Welcome to the first dev blog of 2020! In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into how Spell Gems work in Siralim Ultimate. Much like Artifacts, Spell Gems will have some serious quality-of-life improvements compared to how they worked in the previous games.
First things first: there are over 100 new spells for you to use in Siralim Ultimate! Most of these are a bit more niche than the original spells, and I hope they’ll unlock new and exciting play-styles for you to try.
Here are five new spells that you’ll see in Siralim Ultimate – one for each class:
Schism (Life) – Enemies take a moderate amount of damage. This spell casts a number of times equal to the number of times your creatures have resurrected in the current battle.
Madness (Nature) – Target and the caster take a devastating amount of damage.
Flood of Darkness (Death) – Enemies that are Cursed attack their allies at random.
Reverse Polarity (Sorcery) – Target’s debuffs are converted to random buffs.
Blastwave (Chaos) – Enemies take a small amount of damage, or a massive amount of damage if they are Burned.
Goodbye Mana, Hello Charges
The old mana system never really worked out at all. Most creatures had such small mana pools that they could only cast 1 or 2 spells per battle, while others had such low mana that they couldn’t cast certain spells at all. It also felt strange that mana didn’t increase as your creatures leveled up while all other stats did… so while your creatures might someday have 5 trillion health, they’d still have the same ~25 mana that they started with at level 1. Overall, the mana system was virtually impossible to balance in order for it to “feel good” to play with. Therefore, the mana stat has been removed from Siralim Ultimate in favor of a new resource system for casting spells: Charges.
Each spell gem has a certain number of Charges. The more powerful the spell, the fewer Charges the gem probably has. After a creature casts a spell – whether manually or automatically – a Charge is consumed. When a Spell Gem runs out of Charges, it can’t be cast anymore until you replenish those Charges.
Charges do not replenish after battle. Instead, they will fully replenish when you leave your current realm. You can also sometimes find some in-realm objects and events that will restore your creatures’ Charges. Aside from that, there are plenty of traits, spells, and other effects that interact with the new Charge system to allow you to regenerate your Charges in battle. For example, the “Arcane” buff now causes the next spell a creature casts to consume no Charges, and then the Arcane buff is removed.
The goals of the new Charge system are as follows:
- To alleviate the issues with mana that I mentioned above.
- To give players incentives to use some of the weaker spells in the game since they have more Charges and are probably more suitable for auto-casting teams.
- To balance automatic casting and give players incentives to manually cast spells in some cases, rather than relying on auto-casting at all times.
New Spell Gem Properties
The following properties from Siralim 3 no longer exist in Siralim Ultimate:
- Decreased Mana Cost
- Supercharged (too many people thought that a bug was deleting their spell gems thanks to this property)
- Costs X% Health Instead of Mana
- Chance to Refund Mana
And here’s a list of new properties that you’ll find in Siralim Ultimate
- +X% more Charges – this one is self-explanatory.
- Defense Penetration – this causes your spells to ignore a percentage of the target’s Defense, which is relevant for damaging spells and stat-reducing spells.
- Singular – this causes the spell’s potency to increase for each empty spell slot the caster has. With this property, it might be worth leaving a few slots open in order to cast more powerful spells.
- Cascading – this causes the spell’s potency to increase for each Charge that is missing from a spell gem. In other words, the more you use a spell, the more powerful it will become.
- Magnetic – this causes the spell’s potency to increase for each creature you have fighting on your side that has the same spell equipped. For example, if your Berserker Fiend has the Rend spell equipped with the Magnetic property, and 3 of your other creatures have Rend spells equipped as well, your Berserker Fiend’s Rend spell will deal much more damage. The other creatures with the Rend spell do not need to have the Magnetic property attached to their gems.
- Cast After Attacking: if you played Siralim 2, you’ll remember this one. As you can probably guess, this property gives your creatures a % chance to cast the spell after the creature attacks. This property was removed in Siralim 3 because auto-casted spells were deemed too powerful, but thanks to the new Charge system, this won’t be as much of an issue since auto-casted spells do consume Charges. Aside from that, auto-casting is just fun. It’s satisfying to attack an enemy and then immediately barrage them with a few spells to finish them off.
- Cast After Defending. Self-explanatory. Read above.
- Cast After Provoking. Self-explanatory. Read above.
- Cast After Healing. Self-explanatory. Read above.
Crafting a Spell Gem
Much like Artifacts, Spell Gems will no longer be found from sources of loot such as treasure chests. Instead, players will craft and modify Spell Gems at the Enchanter. At the start of the game, you’ll only be able to choose from 15 types of Spell Gems to craft. During your travels, you’ll acquire blueprints that will allow you to craft new Spell Gems.
Crafting a Spell Gem is the only way to acquire spells in Siralim Ultimate. The goal of this change is twofold:
- I want to give players more control over the spells they can use earlier in the game. In previous games, players were at the mercy of finding random spells in treasure chests, which caused the start of the game to feel very hit-or-miss depending on how lucky you were. Even the luckiest of players still didn’t have access to a lot of spells until much later in the game, which made the early game feel more boring than it should have felt.
- I want to mitigate the amount of inventory clutter. In Siralim 3, some players amassed thousands of pages of Spell Gems. At that point, how can you ever hope to sort through them to find what you want? Aside from that, this caused some massive performance issues for players who never grinded their gems to get rid of them.
Upgrading a Spell Gem
Spell Gems now have “Tiers”, and they work similarly to how they do for Artifacts. Spell Gems start at Tier 1, and you can upgrade them to Tier 15 by spending Crystal at the Enchanter.
Tiers are a bit more straightforward for Spell Gems than they are for Artifacts:
- At tiers 5, 10, and 15, you’ll unlock a new slot that can be used to enchant the gem with a new property. Unlike Artifacts, Spell Gems don’t have different types of slots, so you can enchant them with whichever properties you want.
- Each tier determines the potency of the gem’s properties. This system is meant to replace the “reforging” system for Spell Gems, effectively eliminating the need for players to rely on luck to obtain the best values for their gems’ properties.
- At tiers 5, 10, and 15, the gem’s icon will also change to make it look more prestigious and powerful.
Enchanting a Spell Gem
This works the same way as in Siralim 3: you’ll take your spell gems to the enchanter, and she’ll add whatever properties you want to your gems in exchange for crafting materials (dust).
Disenchanting a Spell Gem
Again, this works exactly the same way as it did in Siralim 3: this function simply allows you to remove a property from a Spell Gem.
Grinding a Spell Gem
You can grind your unwanted Spell Gems and receive some resources in exchange for them. I’m not sure if this feature will stay in the game for release, because you won’t have as many unwanted Spell Gems cluttering your inventory this time around as you can’t find them in the wild anymore.
Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.