Skills and spells

Trying to decide which new skills and spells add the most tactical depth, retain class balance, make advanced classes interesting and desirable, pave the way for the party to become powerful enough to fight some REALLY nasty enemies without making them all-too-powerful.

Current skills and spells I am considering , I will keep adding to this:

  • SKILL (knight; cooldown) DEFENDER: increases evasion for adjacent allies.
  • SKILL (???; daily) SURGE: boosts speed by 100 for 250 ticks (~3 normal turns turn into ~5 turns)
  • SKILL (berserker; cooldown) SMASH: stuns all adjacent enemies, high chance and effect, but no damage.  good if you really have to tank.  or if you want to not take any damage against a medium type enemy
  • SKILL (Exorcist; daily) HOLY LIGHT:  10-15 base damage but 500%-1500% undead bonus! range widens with skill level…
  • SPELL (Exorcist) HOLY WATER: sprays holy water on a target. if undead, deals ongoing damage for a long time.
  • SPELL (exorcist) BANE: massive spell cost, but massive damage to an undead creature, stunned if not killed
  • SKILL (exorcist; daily) TURN UNDEAD: very exhausting, but can clear the ranks of undead…
  • SPELL (priest) HEALING AURA: heals all but best if close by.  costs lots.  makes dizzy. [IMPLEMENTED]
  • SKILL (priest; cooldown) SONG OF HEALING: low but ongoing healing… ?? starts of with very minor heal impact, but powerful at higher levels because it is an unlimited skill (cooldown not daily)
  • SPELL (priest) MAJOR HEAL: strong version of heal, cures all conditions, and can revive the undead out of combat with OK chance
  • SPELL (priest) RESURRECT: 100% chance to revive with 50% health, even IN combat !  (where to place? no corpse?)
  • SKILL (monk? ranger?; daily) REVEAL: shows all monsters HP bars for a while.  DAILY skill but many uses per day …
  • SPELL (geomancer) GEOBLOCK: resistance to all elements and for all players.  impact and duration inc by level… but geomancer immobile for the duration…
  • SPELL (wizard) SLOW.  very costly and difficult to learn, but powerful indeed.  magic resistance has SOME softening impact on the outcome although not fully nullified either way
  • SPELL (archmage) MASS SLOW.  super costly and immobilises the caster.  but well worth it.
  • SPELL (geomancer+) IGNITE. sets all foes on fire, not simply dealing initial fire damage but ongoing fire damage!  not very costly, however not very strong either.
  • SPELL (exorcist) DIVINE LANCE. long range vs. undead spell (magic+physical with high %).  needs LOS. cannot miss.
  • SKILL (samurai; cooldown).  FLURRY. you channel your ki to make a triple attack against one target.
  • SKILL (samurai, assassin; daily).  WARP.  like shadow shift but any square and super low time cost.
  • SPELL (??) TOXIC CLOUD. high poison impact.  area effect.  no range limitation! (conjured), just LOS needed.
  • SKILL (warlock, archmage.  less so: wizard; daily) DUEL.  you attempt to drain a target of its spell points by investing your own.  your power vs. their power determines the outcome.  a true warlock does not wait for many punches to be thrown.  He wants it settled right away: who is the master?
  • SKILL (assassin; daily) FOUNDATION.  melee range. you prick the target with a specially selected substance, preoccupying the targets immune system and making it much more susceptible to poison (reduce resist by 3/4 but not below 10%), unless the subject is immune to poison (=>99%).  does not last very long and cannot be used often per day.
  • SPELL (druid, geomancer) STORM.  a bit like lightning strike, but hits ALL enemies.  good to clear the battlefield of minions.  very few enemies have strong resistance to lightning.
  • SPELL (geomancer) SHOCK.  an electric charge dedicated to paralyse an enemy. the higher the spell level, the longer the duration.  game changer at high levels as this is a ranged spell you can use to influence how some fights on the battlefield develop, or to stop monsters from advancing too quickly at you.

any suggestions or feedback reply below or email me at dungeonsofchaos @

Chapter upon Chapter …

Have just taken stock of all the bits and pieces I still need to do and conceded two things:

a) once finished it would create a ‘Chapter 2’ that is about 4 times bigger than Chapter 1.

b) I got no chance finishing this in a few weeks.

So I am about to re-define where I will draw the line, I think if Chapter2 has twice the depth and content than Chapter1 then it will please the masses, and waiting much longer for an even bigger release would not actually be a good idea because it means people have put down the game for too long.

So I am now taking the following into consideration when defining Chapter2, with a view to release before the end April:

– includes ability to change SOME classes (where the storyline develops that you encounter the respective guild: warriors, knights, priests for sure, probably also geomancer, exorcist, assassin.  unlikely: warlock, marksman, samurai).  I want class progression to be linked to side-quest achievements so that is why it requires content being built. Half-way through this and about to build the actual user interface for it which should not be too complicated.

– includes class insignia. DONE.

– includes new spells and skills.  Still a fair bit to do on this front.  I am not short on ideas but I want things to be balanced, so am trading carefully.

– more challenging monsters. DONE.

– enough off the track exploring.  DONE for the maps developed so far.  Still need to beef up the northern valley, swamp, frost mines.

– NPC depth and some interesting characters and jokes.  on the back burner.  hope to get this done when all else is finished.

– some meaningful randomised locations, with two being infinite re-creating locations.  for those that like to grind.  Concept is done but they are not built yet.  I want to include a way that these have rare chances of spawning a really challenging location.  just need to find some headspace to design this.

– what will not be included in Chapter2 under this approach is a direct confrontation with the evil forces, that will then be Chapter3.  Maybe I will make it so that they have split up to spread terror and you can kill some of the winged ones in specific settings in Chapter2.

If people want to help me, they could:

– email me with some suggestions on spells and skills.  Always looking for something that is not just brute force but a balanced special feature that adds tactical depth: something powerful but short range, something area effect but not good against all types of enemies.  Something that drains a lot of spell points. Something only useable once or twice a day.  Something that leaves the user/caster with a debut (slow/paralysed/stunned for a while).

– some suggestions for pure stand-alone mini locations/hidden treasures

– funny little villages. I have to build some for the valley and these take time.  Something like the “All the way INN”.

Email me at dungeonsofchaos @ with any suggestions!

And thanks for waiting.  I promise it will be worth it.




Ok, this one is a tough topic.  Balancing.

Can mean many things to many people.  One aspect is: if the game has replay value where you can select different classes, races etc., then it should retain a certain debility/difficulty.  I don’t believe in that concept, rather it actually gives a different (=interesting) game feel if you had experienced an easy game and then you have to think a bit harder playing with more complex characters.  Or you had a tough run and can then enjoy blasting monsters away and exploring everything more easily.  So I am not concerned if someone says it is hard to complete the game with monks and barbarians only.  It may still be interesting to try it.  My main rule is: SAME IS LAME.  And another rule I follow is: I don’t want to claim that I know what exactly it is about my game that is fun.  May be different for everyone.  You can play it in many different ways, for example setting a high or a low difficulty.  OR grinding and exploiting loopholes/spawners etc.

And that leaves me to the second type of Balancing: to make sure a monster is worth twice the XP of another one because it is twice as hard.  This is a type of balancing that I would like to achieve, but find really hard to do.  First of all a monster is hard depending on how you approach it.  You will find the PESTILENT SLIMES in Chapter2 really tough the first time you come across them, but later you know how to deal with them.  STONE GOLEMS are a problem if you have a melee-focussed party, but with a few spell casters or archers that can stay out of reach, you will be fine (eventually).  But if you notice something REALLY out of whack in that regard, please let me know.  I think everyone is mature enough not to exploit something and than complain later that he could, but some balance in how players are rewarded is my goal.

Another type of Balancing is relevant for multiplayer games: there the developer needs to make sure the player does not feel disadvantaged vs. other players due to the choices they made.  IMHO: that is bullshit.  That makes a lot of games LAME.  They try to make up for it by other means but I think that approach is futile.  Choices are only meaningful if they alter the outcome.  If all big choices lead to the same outcome (class choice), and all small choices lead to disastrous outcomes if not made perfectly (min/max-ing), then that is not a game for me.

So please enjoy my game in whatever form you like.  If you just love trawling through the very last corner of every randomly generated orc lair, be my guest, it is there for the taking.  If you love to spend ALL your money on that slightly off-balanced powerful item with the unusually low price, go for it.  I think there are certain elements of the game where your exploits or too-perfect choices can make the fights quite easy, but I think that is fine with me.  You should decide for yourself whether you counter that with a high difficulty setting.

Feedback welcome, let me know how you experience DoC in that regard: any dull stretches of gameplay? or is it particularly pleasing in that you found a way you love to play it?  Leave a comment below, keen to hear your views.