I welcome the decision to ditch spell books. The idea of books coming from tech research and spells coming from spell research seemed sort of like saying the same thing twice as far as i was concerned.
Overkill is a good mechanic as well. It means that two guys in adjacent squares take the same damage as two guys in the same square. Just makes sense. Hopefully it does not mean the end of area of effect spells completely however.
- The move back to selecting an element at character creation disheartens me. All it means is a random disadvantage for most players (because they will start near the wrong shard) and a random advantage to those who can be bothered to reroll their world. Surely it would be better to either auto-spawn the appropriate shard type, or give the player his first specialization WHEN he find his first shard, if you want to continue with choose-an-element.
- Teleport appears to have been removed. I can see why, however, i think this is a poor solution to the problem of teleport abuse. I would rather see it kept, but limited to the caster himself. Getting armies around will always be fiddly, and if teleport is going to be banned, then why can’t we have a spell that increases the movement rate of an entire army (rather than just one unit)?
- Selection of spells is still very small and I predict I will quickly lose interest after getting the one or two i need. Especially when i need to choose a new one every 10 turns. I’d rather have a system where i researched the books themselves, made the books into techs, and then combine spell research with magic/sorcery research. To do this you would need more books and more spells (Greater Book of Fire etc?) but it is my belief this is necessary anyway, and the benefits from reducing micro and consolidating two previously underdeveloped areas (magic tech research and spell research) would be considerable (btw, i know this contradicts my first statement, the point is we should either have book research or spell research, but not both).
- Damage spells still appear to be under thought. There are references to intelligence boosting spell power, yet the spell descriptions only describe how they are improved by shards. Elemental has never, in any build i have played so far, had direct damage spells that were competitive in both the early and late game. Now it may well be you have some great damage formulas written for how these damages will scale with intelligence AND the number of shards, but even if you could do that, wouldn’t you still have a spell that was overpriced in the early game and underpriced in the late game (because mana costs do not scale up with damage)? So to my mind the game really needs to have some superior direct damage spells that you research in the late game. There seems to be some revulsion to having “the same spell twice,” but most other games (even those that have great scaling, like D&D) still do this. And it is not “the same spell twice” because often you will use the weaker spell when you wish to conserve mana. So please swallow your pride and add some high damage late game spells (whilst keeping some scaling), to give me something worth researching.