Topic: Realm Grinder /
Max Mana Upgrades
There’s a comment buried in one of these threads about the ‘uselessness’ of Max Mana upgrades. It’s poorly worded and has been downvoted into near-oblivion, but I was thinking about this… and, well, they do have a point.
(The initial part is my reasoning, my suggestions are at the end.)
The problem is that as spells work currently, max mana doesn’t improve uptime much. It does let you combo spells you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and it’s practically required for getting the Spellfury trophy. But how valuable is that?
As far as I can tell, the strongest spellcasting faction remains the Angels; of the Neutral factions, only the Druids gain much benefit in this area (the Faceless gain a bit, and the Titans get nothing at all — not even a mana-on-building upgrade!).
The Angels are able to combo all three duration spells (God’s Hand, Holy Light and Call to Arms) as long as they can manage to have a total of 2k mana within the duration of the first-cast spell (which would be one of the two 30-second spells). Normally, 1k of that comes from max mana, so they need to generate 1k additional mana within 29 seconds — about 34.5 mana/sec.
With the Druid heritage upgrade, I usually hit around +200 max mana (4k buildings… tens of nonillions) in a normal playthrough. This drops the required mana per second to 27.5.
But… by the time I have the 4k buildings (which is about the same time I have the faction coins to afford the upgrade), I’m already at about ~34 mana/sec. The push to break the limit is fairly easy, so all the upgrade does is add a couple of seconds to the overlap time. While it’s cool to see huge click numbers for three or four seconds more… the actual impact on play is pretty minimal. And other than that overlap time, the increase to max mana doesn’t help the actual spell uptime at all, since it’s just extra space on the end of my mana bar.
And of course for afk or offline play, it doesn’t matter in the slightest — all that matters is how quickly I can hit the minimum to cast for an autocast spell or spells, not how much additional room I have to fill beyond that. With truly ludicrous mana regen (that is, if I were hitting my max mana again during the spell duration), it would have an impact on autocasting… but that’s not currently a factor.
Analyzing the full impact for each faction would require a pretty solid spreadsheet with some data I don’t possess. It’s do-able, but my sense from a few playthroughs is that, no, the max mana isn’t making any noticeable impact on cashflow. The most significant thing I’ve seen from it is the ability to do a final active push for a few more hundred million gems over five minutes. Neat but… I could just idle an hour longer.
I’ve sort of indicated the two main options already: the first and simplest would be to have most or all mana regen scaled to maximum mana. Instead of 0.5 mana/second, upgrades would grant .05%. Increasing max mana therefore directly impacts regen rate, improving uptime.
The second easy alternative would be instead to increase max mana enormously. Rather than 1/20 buildings on the Heritage upgrade, it would be more like 1/1… or a multiplier of max, like +0.001x per building. Although this still wouldn’t affect idle play directly at present, it would lead to far more significant periods of ‘spellfury’-ing (dozens of seconds rather than a couple), which would be an interesting element of active play. If the Druid alliance upgrades were changed similarly, it would affect the idle play of the faction in a sense — players could return to tens or hundreds of thousands of mana after a long enough period afk. I think that would be kind of cool.
Other straightforward alternatives involve changing the max mana upgrades to bundle spell cost reduction, mana per second, or spell duration with them. Possibly problematic and kind of meh.
The final thing I’ve thought of is somehow changing existing mana/s upgrades to be much more significant, increasing the time players spend at cap (whatever that may be). This would require a significant mechanical overhaul to not be game-breaking.