Fireworks, SFX, and general “OO SHINEY”

“The Archmage has got some of the greatest special effects we have in the game. In fact, they’re so good that I keep saying that some of them should belong to the Bright Wizard, because, well – quite frankly – I think high elves are a bit posh.” – Paul Barnett

That’s Barnett in the career video, link. This has to be my favorite tidbit that I’ve picked up with regard to the archmage. I really enjoy colors, flashes, and auras bursting and streaking all over my screen: it’s why I dropped the big bucks on the graphics card.

One thing that always really irked me about WoW (don’t worry, this rant is a short one) is that my mage and priest would get staves…and forever they would sit across my back, magically suspended as if I had a sheathe or the staff came with a strap, while I cast with my hands. The reason I used staves, often, was two fold: one (for the min/maxer in me) I more often found the stats I wanted amassed on a staff then on a main hand/off-hand combo; and two, wizards use staves. Gandalf did. Any sufficent level mage in DnD wouldn’t be without one. Certainly, they magnify the abilties of the wielder, but the wielder does in fact *wield* them. Why couldn’t my staff be part of my casting show? Why couldn’t I *wield* my staff?

Maybe I’m alone in this, but it’s pretty much what I’ve wanted in a video game since…well, my first RPG was Final Fantasy IV (then 2) for the SNES. And as I recall, when Rydia or Tellah had a different staff or rod equipped, not only was there a different graphic, but they lifted it in to the air as they cast. Diablo and Diablo 2, the staff was also raised during casting. It wasn’t a centerpiece, but it wasn’t forgotten either.

From the main site:
The archmage casting something.
A bright wizard casting something fiery.
War Priest casting something priesty.
Shaman’s staff is covered in castingness.

In each of these shots, the weapon (usually a staff <3) is an active prop being used in the casting. Thank you, EA Mythic. My wee little noob heart appreciates you.

Something else I’m very excited about is a ring of fancy script glowing like a halo around the casting archmage. (As seen in the first image linked above.) Crazy scripty runes lighting up all over the place as a mage casts feels very Dr. Strange/general anime magery to me, all things I appreciate. WoW vaguely touched on this with the paladin (when you activated an aura, there were pseudo-runic like markings at your feet briefly), and in Warcraft 3 these aura sigil-things were at your hero’s feet constantly. I want more sufficiently ancient-looking letters flying around in my personal lightshows. It’s a preference I have. I hope you don’t find it too weird. Srsly, I’m all like outting myself to you here.

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~ by thade on July 4, 2008.

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