In a previous post, I elaborated on the battle or combat gameplay design. I’ve actually begun to re-think some of the things I said and realized that the magic system needs a slight change.
First of all, I added a new character attribute, Intelligence (INT). Originally, I had the attribute control how effective spells were. For example, if a spell chose something at random, a higher INT would choose more intelligently or perhaps more frequently. I started thinking that this was too complex and wanted something simpler. I still wanted INT to be a factor, but I wanted a system where INT directly related to something in the magic system.
My final solution hinges on changing how a player receives MP. They will no longer build up MP by creating words, instead MP regenerates over time up to the character level maximum. The speed at which the regeneration occurs is directly proportional to the INT value a character has. This is a fairly simple design and easy to develop. It also removes some of the obfuscation of INT and makes it more apparent to the player as to what it actually controls.
(As for word score and the point of creating words…the attack system is still coupled to that so it still makes sense. I think this is a much better design.)
Finally, the regeneration aspect of MP will only occur in combat. This means that the player can begin a combat with some MP rather than zero MP. This also means that healing potions for MP will exist to quickly replenish the MP without waiting for the automatic regeneration. Finally, some weapons will add +INT modifiers to the character and this will mean that players can strategically boost their INT if they want to use magic on spells to defeat a foe.