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What do higher levels of spells do?


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Spells change as one raises them from level 1 to level 3. What are the differences? Are there spells that are really worth upgrading and some that aren't worth upgrading?

 

Mage Spells:

 

Bolt of Fire

1: fire damage to one enemy

2: chance to also damage a foe adjacent to target

3: “15% bonus” to damage

 

Call Beast

1: summon weak ally 10 turns

2: pet gets 7 turns of War Chant

3: pet gets Hasted 5 turns

 

Cloak of Curses

1: gives party’s attacks chance of putting a curse on target

2: increases the chance of an attack giving a status effect

3: increases the chance of an attack giving a status effect

 

Daze

1: daze area of enemies 3 turns (unable to move or attack)

2: also Ensnares enemies 3 turns

3: also stuns for 1 turn

 

Haste

1: hastes party for 3 turns

2: adds “20% bonus” to how it lasts

3: 30% chance of getting Battle Frenzy for 2 rounds

 

Slow

1: slow nearby foes for 3 turns

2: little or no effect

3: little or no effect

 

Icy Rain

1: cold damage to area

2: “15% bonus” to damage

3: get 40% chance of immobilizing enemies for 3 turns

 

Spray Acid

1: three turns of acid damage to one enemy

2: chance to also affect a foe adjacent to target

3: also inflicts Lightning status for 3 turns

 

Cloak of Bolts

1: party’s missile weapons do more damage

2: increases the damage bonus

3: increases the damage bonus

 

Minor Summon

1: summons stronger creature than Call Beast for 10 turns

2: pet gets War Chant 7 turns

3: pets gets Hasted for 5 turns

 

Lightning Spray

1: energy damage cone attack

2: “20% bonus” to damage

3: 40% chance of also inflicting Weakness for 3 rounds

 

Blink

1: ensnare nearby foes 2 turns, teleports caster to new location

2: adds War Curse for 3 turns

3: also Dazes nearby foes 2 turns

 

Capture Soul

1: makes copy of target in a spirit prism to use for Simulacrum

2: increases the level of monsters you are able to capture

3: increases the level of monsters you are able to capture

 

Simulacrum

1: summon copy stored via Capture Soul

2: pet gets War Chant 9 turns

3: pet gets Shield Chant for 5 turns

 

Cloak of Blades

1: party’s melee attacks do more damage

2: increases damage bonus

3: increases damage bonus

 

Dispel Barrier

1: dispels magic barriers

2: dispels more barriers

3: dispel even more barriers

 

Summon Aid

1: summons more powerful creature than Minor Summon for 10 turns

2: pet gets War Chant 9 turns

3: pet Hasted for 7 turns

 

Howl of Terror

1: nearby foes get Terrified for 3 turns

2: adds War Curse for 4 turns

3: also inflicts Slow for 4 turns

 

Fire Blast

1: fire damage cone attack

2: “20% bonus” to damage

3: another 20% bonus to damage

 

Arcane Summon

1: summon powerful creature for 10 turns

2: pet gets War Chant for 10 turns

3: pet gets Hasted for 7 turns

 

Cloak of the Arcane

1: party’s spells are more effective

2: increases the damage bonus

3: increases the damage bonus

 

Arcane Blow

1: energy damage cone attack

2: adds War Curse for 3 turns

3: adds Daze for 2 turns

 

 

Priest Spells:

 

Minor Heal

1: heal one character

2: “10% bonus” to healing

3: give Regenerate for 3 turns

 

Curing

1: cure one non-mental hostile effect

2: cures 2 effects instead of 1

3: cures 3 effects instead of 2

 

Smite

1: energy damage to one enemy

2: “20% bonus” to damage

3: 30% chance of inflict War Curse for 2 turns

 

Protection

1: shields party for 4 turns (less likely to get hit, takes less damage if hit)

2: “20% bonus” (to what?)

3:50% chance of giving Regeneration for 2 turns

 

War Blessing

1: makes party more likely to hit, do more damage when they hit, for 4 turns

2: “20% bonus” to ???

3: 50% chance of giving Regeneration for 2 turns

 

Call the Storm

1: cold damage cone attack, pushes back enemies, & has chance of inflicting 3-turn Weakness curse

2: no special bonus

3: 20% damage bonus

 

Summon Shade

1: summons Greater Shade for 10 turns

2: pet gets Shield Chant 9 turns

3: pet gets Spine Shield for 5 turns

 

Ward of Thoughts

1: improves chance of resisting mental attacks

2: Ward at level 2

3: Ward at level 3

 

Move Mountains

1: in town mode, destroy fragiles walls / rocks; in combat, does physical damage area attack (based on Dexterity, not Int like all other spells)

2: in town mode, destroys more rocks; in combat, does more damage

3: in town mode, destroy even MORE rocks; in combat, ???

 

Unshackle Mind

1: cures 1 mental effect on an ally

2: cures 2 mental effects

3: cures 3 mental effects

 

Heal

1: heals more damage than Minor Heal on one character

2: “10% bonus” to healing

3: gives Regeneration for 3 turns

 

Mass Healing

1: same as Heal, but affects whole party

2: “10% bonus” to healing

3: 50% chance of giving someone Regeneration for 2 turns

 

Mass Curing

1: same as Curing but affects whole party

2: curse 2 hostile effects

3: cures 3 hostile effects

 

Ward of Steel

1: boosts party’s resistance to physical attacks and acid 20%

2: further reduces damage taken 25%

3: further reduces damage taken 30%

 

Divine Fire

1: fire damage area attack

2: “20% bonus” to damage

3: additional 20% bonus to damage

 

Domination

1: charm target 3 turns

2: “20% bonus”

3: additional 20% bonus (perhaps to duration? Uncertain.)

 

Sanctification Ritual

1: in town mode, destroys dark altars; in combat, heals and cures party

2: in combat, also cures 1 mental effect and gives 2 turns of War Chant

3: in combat, heals more and adds Haste for 2 turns

 

Ward of Elements

1: boosts party’s magic / cold / fire resistance 20%

2: further reduces damage taken 25%

3: further reduces damage taken 30%

 

Return Life

1: revives unconscious party member

2: same

3: same

 

Divine Retribution

1: energy damage to nearby enemies

2: Slows nearby enemies 3 turns

3: also Stuns for 1 turn

 

Divine Restoration

1: heals party a lot

2: also cures 1 hostile

3: 15% bonus to healing

 

Divine Host

1: summon Vengeful Shade for 10 turns (this the same creature Summon Shade makes, just at a higher level)

2: pet gets Hasted 9 turns

3: pet gets Spine Shield for 5 turns

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Cloak of Curses - Each level supposedly increases the chance of an attack giving a status effect

Daze 3 - Stun for one turn

Haste 3 - 30% chance of Battle Frenzy (2 rounds). Also as an aside, 20% bonus refers to how long it lasts, which isn't really clear to new players.

Slow 3 - No idea

Icy Rain 3 - Immobilize for 3 turns (40% chance)

Acid Splash 3 - Lightning for 3 turns

Cloak of Bolts - Each level increases the ranged damage bonus

Minor Summon 3 - Hasted for 5 rounds

Lightning Spray 3 - Weakness Curse for 3 rounds (40% chance)

Blink 3 - Daze nearby foes for 2 turns

Capture Soul - Each level increases which monsters you're able to capture

Simulacrum 3 - Shield Chant for 5 turns

Cloak of Blades - Each level increases melee damage further

Dispel Barrier 3 - You can dispel sparkling barriers (not the red ones, but the blue ones that sparkle)

Summon Aid 3 - Hasted for 7 turns

Howl of Terror 3 - Slow for 4 turns

Fireblast 3 - Add further 20% bonus

Arcane Summon 3 - Haste for 7 turns

Cloak of the Arcane - Each level increases the spell damage bonus

Arcane Blow 3 - Daze for 2 turns

 

Minor Heal 3 - Gives regenerate for 3 turns

Curing 3 - Cures 3 effects

Smite 3 - 30% chance of War Curse for 2 turns

Protection 3- 50% chance of regeneration for 2 turns

War Blessing 3 - 50% chance of spine shield for 2 turns

Call the Storm 3 - 40% chance of Weakness curse for 3 turns

Summon Shade 3 - Spine Shield for 5 turns

Ward of Thoughts - Each level increases mental resist bonus

Move mountains - Not stated, but some rocks require higher levels of this spell to be broken

Heal 3 - Regeneration for 3 turns

Mass Healing 3 - Regeneration for 2 turns (50% chance)

Mass Curing 3 - Cures 3 Effects

Ward of Steel - Each level further reduces physical and acid damage taken

Divine Fire 3 - Adds further 20% bonus

Domination 3 - Adds further 20% bonus (presumably to duration)

Ward of Elements - Each level further reduces magic/fire/cold damage taken

Return Life - Not stated, but I think each level increases the number of people revived (1, 2, or 3)

Divine Retribution 3 - Stun for 1 turn

Divine Restoration 3 - 15% bonus

Divine Host - Never got enough priest points for this. I'm assuming Spine shield for 7 turns.

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"More damage" is not actually a spell level difference per se. The change you see is simply due to the fact that the damage formula for all attacks takes skill level for that attack into account (as 1 level of damage each, aka 1 die of damage). The actual damage differences are always displayed as "20% more damage" line (or whatever phrasing it uses)*.

 

*It's possible to do this differently -- I used different ranges for different levels in my AEFTP remix -- but Jeff avoids it, which is good, because you can see the difference clearly from the spell description.

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Slow appears to have a very minor invisible bonus to either its success rate or duration (not sure which) per spell level (maybe not worth putting that on the chart, some other spells have the same invisible minor bonus). At level 3 it looks like it should have a small chance of stunning (exact same effect as Divine Retribution level 3). It doesn't have a real "upgrade" at level 2 though.

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The editor doesn't seem to be able to change spell levels, so I can't really do much testing, but I think it's likely one of the slow levels increases duration. The description says 3 rounds, but my mage was always getting 6-7 rounds of it, which my blessings equipment could not solely account for. Level 3 doesn't seem to have any stun added. I cast it around 20 times, with no stuns.

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The editor can toggle purchased spell levels, just not spellbook ones.

 

That's not evidence for a duration increase, unfortunately; there is a large random factor if you have bonuses to duration, so between Spellcraft and blessings equipment, those high levels are not unlikely. See for yourself -- compare its typical duration with that of other buffs.

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If you test enough you'll see there's more variation than that. (Alternately, supply all relevant stats, traits, and equipment and let's check it.)

 

I did it 20 times against 5-6 enemies each time (so over 100 individual slowed enemies). All of them were 6-7 rounds, so if changing the spell level increases that, then it should be safe to say there's a duration increase. I think I'll use the editor to give one of my characters mage spells and see if changing levels of slow has any effect on the maximum rounds of slow from levels 1-3. I'll post my finding tomorrow.

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My level 2 slow seems to occasionally curse enemies if it doesn't slow them (I think war curse if I remember correctly). Maybe that's not a level 2 perk, though. I think I bought 2 levels at once, so I have no experience with level 1.

 

Maybe it's in my head, but it seems to mostly happen with boss fights (Which is the only time I use it).

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My level 2 slow seems to occasionally curse enemies if it doesn't slow them (I think war curse if I remember correctly). Maybe that's not a level 2 perk, though. I think I bought 2 levels at once, so I have no experience with level 1.

 

Maybe it's in my head, but it seems to mostly happen with boss fights (Which is the only time I use it).

 

If an enemy is immune to a debuff, then the game gives them an alternate debuff. For example, if an enemy immune to daze if affected by a daze ability, they're poisoned instead.

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Okay, I did some testing with slow. Results were interesting, but not entirely conclusive.

 

Method: Used the editor to give my warrior 10 points in mage spells, then unequipped all of her gear. Unfortunately, she has 1 rank in spellcraft from the drake which the editor cannot remove. Because I got the slow spellbook, she started with 1 rank in slow. I then went outside the Tower of Magi, and would enter and re-exit until there was a group of ogres to the NW. The group contained 5-7 ogres and an ogre mage. To make sure the testing was only against one enemy type, the ogre mage was killed off right away. I got a bit over 100 slows, and recording how many turns they lasted. Then I went back to the Tower, bought a level in slow, and repeated the process for levels 2 and 3 of slow.

 

In addition, I decided to test haste at levels 1 and 2 with the same character since it has the same number of turns listed (3) and would show the results of a 20% bonus from the level 2 increase.

 

Results:

 

Level 1 Slow:

0 turns ("Ogre resists the attempt to slow it): 1

1 turns: 5

2 turns: 29

3 turns: 53

4 turns: 18

5 turns: 0

 

Total slows: 106

Average: 2.77 turns

 

Level 2 Slow

0 turns: 0

1 turn: 1

2 turns: 12

3 turns: 55

4 turns: 34

5 turns: 3

 

Total slows:105

Average turns: 3.25

 

Level 3 slow

0 turns: 1

1 turn: 1

2 turns: 20

3 turns: 54

4 turns: 31

5 turns: 4

 

Total slows: 111

Average turns: 3.12

 

Haste level 1:

 

3 turns: 48

4 turns: 51

5 turns: 1

 

Average: 3.53 turns

 

Haste level 2

 

3 turns: 18

4 turns: 29

5 turns: 22

6 turns: 11

7 turns: 2

8 turns: 2

 

Average: 4.47 turns

 

Analysis: Results weren't thorough enough for any definite conclusions, but the data suggest that enemies roll to resist each turn of slow individually (that's why in over 300 attempts, there were only 2 ogres that resisted the slow). It would also account for why sometimes slow lasts a shorter amount of time than the listed duration (3 turns). It's possible that slow has a duration increase at level 2 (I would imagine 20% to match haste), but absolutely no further effects were observed at level 3. This could probably use more testing, though, to make sure, with more data collected.

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The fact that level 3 slow on average lasted less time than level 2 slow suggests pretty strongly that, if a difference exists (and I agree there may be one), it is too subtle for 100 tests to demonstrate effectively. That contradiction also means that the data above, in total, do not support a hypothesis of +20% bonus at level 2.

 

They do though suggest a relatively straightforward interpretation of the scripts: that slow and haste (among other spells) are set up so that each point *in the spell itself* adds 5% to duration. (Note: not the BF part of haste lv 3.) Since duration doesn't vary individually at level 1 with no bonuses I suspect this is points beyond 1. I would guess this works parallel to damage % bonuses and stacks additively with others. Thus, level 3 haste with +10% from items and traits and +20% from spellcraft, plus that extra 20% bonus (which is separate from what we're talking about above) would last for 160% the standard haste duration on average, or 4.8 turns.

 

(And yeah, that 1 pt of Spellcraft is enough to add a whole extra die roll to the equation, so if you do any further tests I recommend using Edit Party to get a cleaner test candidate. Actually you might need a new game -- there are a few Special Items that have Spellcraft-like effects, too, and those track for the party!)

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It doesn't contradict my hypothesis either. It's just not enough data to support the claim.

 

But yeah, this was largely just to see if there were any evident abnormalities. It did help me get an idea of how enemy resistance works. I would need an entirely new game for extensive testing (and maybe more free time :p), because I can't get rid of that pesky level of spellcraft. It is also possible that the duration is affected by ranks in mage skills, which could further throw things off.

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It doesn't disprove your hypothesis, but the data doesn't fit your hypothesis well, so it isn't neutral towards it either. (Unless your suggestion was that level 2 and 3 get the same 20% bonus, but that isn't borne out by the scripts.)

 

Sorry to argue; but glad you are testing and asking questions (and arguing!).

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I would *not* assume that Ward of Thoughts works the same way. It definitely does not increase displayed mental resistance. It's possible it increases your ability to dodge mental attacks, or it's possible that there is a separate check where it does something. But we don't know what, or at what rate. It might even be a higher rate.

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Also, level 1 of call the storm should probably mention its pushback effect, which is unique and probably the best and most abusable thing about the spell. 2 priests with 2 call the storms opens up all kinds of tactical options right away.

 

It's one of the few absolutely reliable effects in the game, too: the knockback works even if the spell misses.

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  • 5 months later...

There are certain comments made when destroying altars with the sanctification ritual that imply the level of the spell has to do with the success / failure versus particularly strong altars. True/false?

 

I can't say for sure that there aren't any altars that require a specific level of Ritual of Sanctification above 1, but I can say I've played through the whole game and looked through the scripts a fair bit and haven't seen any evidence of it.

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