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Calling ALL CASTERS! Spell Pass Preview

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Calling ALL CASTERS! Spell Pass Preview

Post  Commodore on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:48 pm

Hey folks! As you’ve probably have already heard we have a major spell pass coming down the pipe. The full details will be released soon but we figured we’d cover some general cases and some the reasoning for the changes ahead of the Lamannia preview. Today we’ll look at the changes coming to spell cost ratios, CC spells, death effects, and spell points… here we go!


For years now the cost of all spells have been strictly driven by this formula:

Base Spell cost = 5 SP + (spell level X 5).

IE: a level 1 spell is 10 sp, while a level 9 spell is 50 sp, and so forth.

While we got by with this, it didn’t exactly always make for the most diverse spell choices for those people who crunched the numbers to determine what to use. When you looked at the math, folks get very attached to certain spells, namely “wall of fire” for very logical reasons. This is a shame considering the art/dev resources devoted to the creation of so many other spells also floating in the system.

On another note, it has become a noticeable point that arcane casters are a rather difficult class to get into. The Classic 3.5 D&D concept of starting weak then gain cosmic power. While loyal to our roots we felt that perhaps the current learning curve is a bit too harsh, and we’re looking at making it an easier class role to enter for new players.

So we’re mixing things up! The spell pass was mostly focused on “damage” spells, but does extends into debuffs and other areas to a degree. We’re changing the costs and what spells do and we’ve changed far too much for me to cover it in just this post but I’m going to give you a list of examples to give you an idea of where we’re going…

Let’s take some main stream spells with a few “less popular” spells and see what you think….

Old way:

1. Burning Hands ( 10 SP)
2. Melf’s Acid Arrow ( 15 SP)
3. Scorching Ray ( 15 SP)
4. Lightning Bolt ( 20 SP)
5. Wall of fire ( 25 SP)
6. Delayed blast fire ball (40 sp)
7. Incendiary cloud: ( 45 SP)
8. Polar Ray (45 SP)

Now let’s change that too…

1. Burning Hands (down to 4 SP – other stats unchanged)

2. Melf’s Acid Arrow (down to 6 SP – Damage updated to 2d4 + 1 per caster level, duration locked to 12 seconds, now has double range, can no longer be enlarged or extended, ray targeting has been improved)

3. Scorching Ray (down to 6 SP – now has double range, can no longer be enlarged, ray targeting has been improved.)

4. Lightning Bolt (down to 12 SP – now has double range and 50% change to hit each target twice (back stroke!) – targets get an additional save against the back stroke). Can no longer be enlarged.

5. Wall of fire ( up to 35 SP – targets now get a reflex save for half when they first enter the effect, but no saves against the flames if they remain in the wall. Now only does an additional 2d6 against undead instead of double. Duration is now locked to 30 seconds regardless of level. Can no longer be extended)

6. Delayed blast fire ball: (25 SP/12 sp for trap version): trap cool down increased to 15 seconds, 10 seconds for sorcerers

7. Incendiary cloud (Cost remains 45 SP – Now does 2d4 + 1 per caster level in fire damage, no save. Duration locked to 30 seconds. Blind effect (previously no save) now has a reflex save. Can no longer be extended)

8. Polar Ray (Cost down to 15 SP, range doubled, can no longer be enlarged, ray targeting has been improved.)

So there is a lot going on here, and this is only a fraction of the changes going in to the spell pass. Essentially the cost of spells are being weighted now much more on their performance, method of engagement and the number of targets they effect rather than the old level-based formula.

• Low level spells that cap early (like burning hands) got discounted greatly.

• Drop and kite AOE dots such as wall of fire are now being treated as a more expensive/powerful attack form as we feel they really should be compared to other damage spells.

• Instant AOE spells got discounted some, to make them more appealing compared to waiting on kiting monsters through aoe dots.

• Single target damage and bolts are getting much cheaper, single target dots are getting cheaper and getting their effectiveness boosted.

• “Trap” type spells got really cheap to hopefully make them with consideration given the prep time they take, but had their cool downs increased to make them not a strict replacement for other in combat AOEs.


Yeah okie, we mucked around with CC a little, and it goes into debuffs some… Here are a few high lights.

• Largely CC costs remained the same

• HD/HP caps we’re removed from most effects (yeah, I guess I should talk about death effects now, but oh, sleep works now!)

• Many debuffs had their cost reduced, and some had carrier debuffs added to them that temporarily reduced will saves regardless if the target saved against the original debuff.


Crushing Depair: Cost reduced to 20 SP, now applies a weakn will effect for 15 seconds regardless of saving throw from original effect (will -5).

Touch of Idocy: Cost reduced to 5 SP, Now also weaks foes will save for -5 for 15 seconds regardless of save.

The notion is saving many of our under used debuffs and allow casters to punch harder targets/hit more reliably and get longer effect out of effects with quick re-occurring saves. That’s is if their willing to use a spell slot, and the spell points.

Full details to come, moving on for now…



• Costs remained the same.

• We’re pulling the death wards off epic and many pieces of content that had death proof monsters. There have been adjustments to “vorpal” weapons and the like that made us more comfortable with this change. Eladrin posted on these elsewhere if you’re looking for the sneak preview of that…

• Death spells had their cool downs increased, just a little on single target spells, a bit on AOEs. Single target spells are typically on a 8 second cool down, 6 seconds for sorcerers while AOE death effects are typically 30/25 respectively.

• Death spell on save damage was increased, so a blue hexagon won’t be a total waste of spell points, yet there will be more agro. We realize this and currently approve. Attempting to death a monster is a hate-able offense.

• There are some old death spells that got a new look and now their back in town:

Circle of Death: Now effects all targets regardless of Hit dice; Has been updated as follows:

Rains dark energy into an area. Living Creatures are subject to a death effect; getting a reflex save and then a fortitute save to avoid death. Targets who succeed against the reflex save suffer no ill effect, but creatures who success against the fortitute save will still lose 1d4 energy levels.

Power word: Kill!

Upper hit point cap removed except in PVP. Kills, no save, but spell resistance applies.
240 second cool down for wizards, 210 second cool down for sorcerors

SPELL POINT REGEN – Echoes of Power:

We’ll be introducing a limited form of spell point regen for players who have “magical training” (as in the feat). This is to avoid a true “out of gas” situation for our casters. The concept is that when a caster drops below a certain spell point threshold a spell point regen effect known as “echoes of power” applies itself until the caster reaches that threshold again. The goal is to allow low level players continue to cast level 1 spells at a diminished rate when their “out of gas” while high level players will be able to continue to use their PRE-s with the meta magics they normally require for high level play.

Currently in testing… these values are examples mind you…

• Echoes of power will appear when a player drops below 12 SP.
• Echoes of power will allow the player to regenerate at a rate of 4 SP every 6 seconds.
• Echoes of power will remove itself once a player reaches 12 SP or greater.


Not going to go into details here yet but eternals wands got a pass that increased their recharge regeneration rate and added desirable caster mutations.

Much more to come. That’s all for now folks, but be sure to participate in the Lamannia preview once it’s available to try out the changes!

DDO Game Systems/Developer

Aandre (Fighter) - Mississippee (Spellsinger) - Gharrick (Warchanter) - Miinsc (Artificer) - Dogfaced (Intimitank) - Comodore (Ranger) - Corkee (Monk) - Joltin (Ranger) - Loca (Rogue) - LeslieWest (Fighter) - Frobozz (Wizard) - RicFlair (Cleric) - Pappalardi (Paladin) - Govvanon (Druid) - VicTwenty (Fighter) - Hyperiion (FvS).
Tyrs High Council - Tyrs DDO Chapter Guild Second/Co-Founder - Tyrs Webmaster and Recruiter
Tyrs High Council - Tyrs DDO Chapter Guild Second/Co-Founder - Tyrs Webmaster and Recruiter

Posts : 4538
Join date : 2009-03-29
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