Devblog #21: Spell Gems

A few months ago, I briefly explained how spells would work in Siralim 2. Since then, the concept has evolved quite a bit so I figured I’d explain the new system in depth.

First and foremost, gems won’t be used to create Nether Creatures anymore - instead, gems are functionally different and are now called Spell Gems. Your creatures can equip Spell Gems, and use these to cast the spell held within the gem. For example, if you give one of your creatures a Gem of Invisibility, it can cast Invisibility in battle. Creatures can hold up to 3 Spell Gems at a time, and this limit can be increased with the help of artifact properties, certain abilities, and by completing certain quests. In extreme cases, your creatures will probably have somewhere around 6 or 7 gems, but that’s only if you put a lot of effort into creating a team of spellcasters. This is in stark contrast to the spell system in Siralim 1 where you could eventually have enough spell slots to hold every spell in the game. Most creatures can only equip spells that belong to their own class, but some abilities are able to circumvent this restriction. Nether Creatures can equip spells from any class. And, much unlike in Siralim 1, Spell Gems do not have a limited number of charges before they’re destroyed - you can cast a spell as many times as you want before your creatures run out of mana.

Spell Gems can have up to three randomly-generated properties attached to them. These properties change the way the spell works. Considering there’s not a way to enchant or disenchant a spell gem, you might need to do some serious hunting before you find the ideal spell gems for your team. Below is a list of all the spell gem properties that are currently in the game. I’ll likely add a few more properties eventually, but these are what the game will launch with:

  1. Decreased Mana Cost
  2. Increased Damage
  3. Increased Healing
  4. Stat Potency (for example, if a spell decreases the target’s Attack, this property enhances the effect)
  5. Cast On Hit (when the creature attacks, it has a chance to cast the spell at no mana cost)
  6. Cast When Hit (when the creature is attacked, it has a chance to cast the spell at no mana cost)
  7. Blood Magic (the spell costs no mana to cast, and instead costs a certain % of the creature’s current health)
  8. Increased Duration (if the spell applies a buff or debuff, this property increases the duration of the effect)
  9. Casts Twice (right after the spell is cast, it casts again on the same targets at no mana cost)
  10. Casts On Extra Target

As you can see, even creatures that don’t necessarily rely solely on casting spells can still gain some benefit from them thanks to the Cast On Hit and Cast When Hit properties. Additionally, for the sake of balance, each of these properties increases the mana cost of the spell, so in some cases it might even be beneficial to find a spell gem without any properties at all. It’s also important to note that some spell gems cannot be found with certain properties. For example, it would be stupid for a healing spell to have the Increased Damage property, so you’ll never find one with that property. After you find a spell for the first time, it will be added to the library along with a list of all the properties it can have.

Every spell from Siralim 1 will appear in Siralim 2, but their effects will be largely different between the two games. We’ve also added about 100 all-new spells to the roster, bringing the total number of spells to about 200. I’ll leave you with some examples of new spells:

Parasites (Death): Enemies gain Leech and Blight for 3 turns.
Panic Attack (Chaos): Each of your creatures attack a random enemy for 50% normal damage.
Earthen Embrace (Nature): Your creatures recover a large amount of Health and gain a Barrier equal to 100% of the amount recovered.
Humility (Life): Target’s stats become equal to its lowest stat.

I can’t decide on only one sorcery spell to show off, so here are several:

Rabid Dementia (Sorcery): Target gains Berserk for 1 turn and is moved to the top of the Action Queue.
Mind Control (Sorcery): Target attacks one of its allies at random for 50% normal damage.
Vacuum (Sorcery): Caster gains the target’s ability for the rest of the battle.
Magic Missile (Sorcery): Target takes a small amount of damage. This spell costs no mana.

Very excited to see more details on the spell system. The magic system in Siralim 1 had a lot of potential, but ultimately I was never able to get a Sorcery/Spellcasting focused character to work in Siralim 1.

It looks like collecting Spell Gems in Siralim 2 will be a lot of fun (having lots of things to collect is definitely fun in this kind of dungeon-crawling game), and it would be awesome if the option to create a spell-casting focused team is actually viable!

Also, in Siralim 1, the charge system (for better or for worse) caused me to use fewer spells than I “Should” have. (That is, charges for good spells felt valuable … even though with Quills maybe they weren’t actually all that valuable … and so I ended up hoarding them for no good reason … this is probably a psychological failing on my part )

I love you. I love you so very, very much. I’ve got me book creature, a hopefully viable magic system and a Magic Missile spell. It’s like Christmas, but without annoying relatives.

Now all I need is the beta.

Debuff enemies when hit if those stack with themselves… mmm that would be a lovely to have on a tank creature.

using (good) spells in Siralim 1 always felt a bit like cheating even if the enemies had access to them as well - especially those that didn’t consume a turn seemed a bit unbalanced, so with this emphasis on spells in Siralim 2 I hope you can’t cheese your way through tough encounters anymore

Oh will spell be properly equippable like artifacts or will they be like scrolls in which you can only replace them without finding a seal?

You can equip/unequip them freely with no penalty.

Oh thank goodness less reason to horde extra copies of spells with the exact same properties then. :slight_smile:

Zack: Can you say anything more about mana?

Does mana increase as you level-up a creature? (Like other stats) Is Gene Strength able to grant extra mana?

Also, of memory serves me, creatures completely refill their mana at the start of every combat?

Mana does not increase as you level up. It can generally only be increased with artifact enchantments and some traits. It’s also not affected by breeding.

And yes, mana is restored after each battle.

[quote=“Zack, post:10, topic:1186”]Mana does not increase as you level up. It can generally only be increased with artifact enchantments and some traits. It’s also not affected by breeding.

And yes, mana is restored after each battle.[/quote]

Excellent. Thanks a lot for the response.

It sounds like Mana will be an interesting mechanic that spellcaster-heavy teams will need to balance both early-game and late-game. (Which seems like a good thing! :-> )