User:Shai Halud/Asura: Crystal Matricies
This idea is part of my new system for race specialization in GW2. See main article for details on that. This idea allows Asura to customize their racial advantages and also opens up the option for them to plug some of those advantages into a golem sidekick if they want to.--Shai Halud 21:19, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I've just added in the information necessary to making the golems into mounts. To view the original article view history.--Shai Halud 19:34, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
 System Basics
In this system, every Asura is given their own special personal crystal matrix at the beginning of the game. This matrix would appear in the window for race specialization management as a circular object with six slots arranged around the edge like markings on a clock and one large slot in the center.
Each of these slots would hold a single crystal. Each crystal would probably provide either a single skill and one passive or two skills. The power of these skills and passives would likely be controlled by the Asura race-specific attribute: Genius
Because of the nature of this system, the number of crystals would likely be close to 24 making the Asura system one of the most customizable in the game, but there are some other limitations due to personal shields and golems.
 Personal Shields
The top slot (in the 12:00 position) must be occupied by a shield crystal. One of these crystals along with two ordinary ones would likely be given to you at the beginning of the game. These create a small force feild around the body of your Asura which you can see shimmer and fizzle when it acts to defend you from some particular threat.
These may act to protect you either from physical or elemental damage or dramatically reduce the duration of conditions inflicted on your character. This shield will function as long as you have even one energy left, but, if your energy reaches zero, it will deactivate until your energy returns to a certain percent of its maximum.
You would also get two skills with this crystal, the first of which might cause you to become invincible or nearly invincible to physical or elemental damage or conditions for a short period of time. The second would likely increase the size of your protective field so as to offer some protection to your allies. Either way, both of these skills would deactivate your shield for about a minute or so afterwards and cause some exhaustion.
 Golem Functionality and Acquisition
You may remember there was a rather large slot at the center of your crystal matrix. This is where your Golem Core goes in. You would likely get one of these from a special mission around level 9 or 10. However, simply having a golem core does not afford you a golem. You must go to the Golem Foundry to have it configured and made.
Now, when you equip your golem core, it becomes linked to your bottom three slots (the ones in the 4:30, 6:00, and 7:30 positions) and your shield crystal. When your golem is out and helping you, you lose all benefits from the bottom three crystals. The golem, instead, receives these skills and passives to help it perform in battle. The shield crystal is shared and benefits you both. As to whether or not those benefits should be reduced or split, I’ll let the devs decide.
When the golem is made, its type and appearance will be determined by which crystals are equipped to your bottom three slots. There will likely be three basic types as listed below.
1) Hunter (Humanoid, Tall) – You’ll get one of these if you equip two or more touch or area attack carrying crystals to your bottom three slots or if you try to balance them out with three completely different types of crystals. Despite the fact that they carry swords and other warrior-like weapons, these are more like dervishes in that they use few weapon-based skills and rely instead on touch-spells and enchantments. These are programmed to lock on to any creature that attacks their master and annihilate it. If you are not being attacked, the hunter attacks your target instead.
2) Destroyer (Humanoid, Short) – These arise from equipping long-range attack-spells to your bottom three slots. They have large cannons for arms and fire beams or bolts of elemental power. They are very powerful and focus on helping you take out groups of enemies quickly. They try to maintain their distance from the enemy group and tend to attack your target, but not always.
3) Reinforcer (Insect-Like) – These come from equipping two or more wards or enchantments to your bottom three slots. They move around the battlefield attempting to provide support and protection to the entire party, but they’ll keep their attention focused on you most of the time. The reinforcers have no natural ability to attack, but instead cast a weak healing spell repeatedly to provide support.
Naturally, the golemancers at the foundry will counsel you on golem production and tell you what type of golem will arise from the three crystals you have equipped. They might even allow you to try out using a few training golems first, but once you have them produce a golem for you, your bottom three crystals are locked in place, even when the golem is not in use. In order to change out those three, you must have your golem melted down at the foundry. You can still change you the top three, though, as they have no impact on your golem’s appearance.
That said, for each type of golem, there would likely be about two different looks or models determined by the exact nature of the crystals in your bottom three slots for a total of six models in all.
You would probably be able to call your golem to you from anywhere in the world by using your crystal matrix to generate a small portal specifically for that use. You would also be able to control your golem much the same way you controlled your heroes in GW1. There might also be some special skills which you perform in tandem with your golem for special effects.
Though your golem’s energy and health are determined by its type and level (which would likely always be equal to your level) and the power of its skills would be determined by your “Genius” attribute, you may be able to upgrade it by finding more powerful golem cores hidden in remote locations throughout the world and bringing it back to the foundry to be recast. You might also find special parts for the three different types which you could pay to have fitted to your golem.
You might also have a special skill made available by the golem core which would cause your golem to go into overdrive, doubling or even tripling its power. As long as it remains in overdrive, the golem drains away at your energy and inflicts greater and greater exhaustion on your character. If you don’t deactivate the overdrive before you run out of energy, your golem will drain all your power before shutting itself down, leaving you defenseless.
That handled, we will now go over the golem's functionality as a mount. Golems may have handles on they're backs that will allow your Asura to simply hang on for the ride or you may actually be able to ride inside the golem. It might be a good idea to allow golems to carry a passenger as well in case one member of your party chooses not to bring a mount. In any case, your health and energy points as well as your defensive rating increase once you are piloting the golem. Once all the power of your shield crystal can be confused into your golem, its shield will create a small bubble around it which will augment the defenses of adjacent allies. You will also be able to move at increased speeds inside the golem, and its acceleration is very quick making it spectacular for close-quarters combat.
The skills which you have equipped to your golem will replace your racial skill bar, but now these skills will have increased effects. Burst spells can knock down adjacent enemies, Touch spells arc between enemies as chain lighting did. Enchantments and hexes last longer, and beam attacks can fire either a focused beam or initiate a 360 degree spin damaging all enemies in the area. These skills, however, exhaust your golem as running at increased speeds would. Unlike the case of the Norn, simply riding your golem and using weapon attacks or skills does not cause any exhaustion. Also, golems aren't quite on the same level as transformations when it comes to sheer power. Their weapon attacks are only moderately powerful and cannot knock anyone down, nor can they charge enemies and knock them down.
To be honest, it might be more beneficial for Asura warriors not to ride in their golems. If they command the golem to attach their target, it would mean attacking twice as quickly as the could on their own. Then again, it might also be a good idea for sorcerers not to use a golem as it would remove from them some Asura buffs which are especially beneficial to magical professions. Fighting from inside a golem is actually probably not the best way to defeat enemies, but it does dramatically increase your chances of surviving or, at least, escaping a close-quarters battle.
 Regular Crystals
That all said and done with, let’s talk a bit about the crystals themselves. They consist of about five different types with about five different versions of each. There is one version for each element (water, wind, fire, earth,) and one version (chaos) to benefit spell casters in general. This means there could be over twenty-five common crystals in all. The real number, however, will probably be lower than that though as some attacks might not have versions in particular elements.
The different versions of a crystal type work like variations on a theme, similar to the way many spells of different attributes in the elementalist profession could be equated with one another.
Also, the passives that come with the crystals should benefit the skill that the crystal also affords as, if that crystal ends up being assigned to your golem, it should be self-sufficient and not require another to benefit it as the golem’s supply of crystals is more limited than yours. Crystals which provide fire spells should benefit fire magic. Enchantment crystals might benefit enchantments. That’s the basic idea.
1) Beam Crystals – It’s a real pity we didn’t see any of these in GW1 (the engine probably wasn’t designed for it). The name pretty much speaks for itself. Your Asura uses its crystal matrix to fire a beam (or bolt in air-magic’s case) of elemental energy. If we jump unto the air, it might suspend us there while we do a 360, spraying the ground around us. Passives might increase the power of elemental and chaotic attacks.
2) Touch Crystals – These also speak for them selves. You allow your body to become a conduit for the elemental power of your crystal to travel into your enemy. They should probably cause some special condition or hex as well as be fairly powerful. Passives might decrease recharge or casting time.
3) Burst Crystals – These were in GW1. Flame burst and fissure were two good examples. Your Asura charges the crystal with his or her own energy and cause it to release a damaging burst of elemental power in all directions. Passives with these might provide some elemental resistance.
4) Enchantment and Hex Crystals – Each enchantment hex would be fitted to the particular element. There are numerous examples from GW1. Energy is simply run through one of these cystels and then focused onto some other object or skill and said skill or object is then augmented or hurt by this power. Passives would likely increase the power and/or duration of hexes or enchantments.
5) Ward Crystals – There were very few wards in GW1, but I would really like to see a few more to add some variety to the mix. When charged with energy, one of these crystals generates a bubble of altered space, distorting actions carried out within. Could offer strength against wards as a passive or increase ward duration dime or power.
The 5/6, here, are maintained with the crystal types. The five regular types almost exclusively benefit spell casters and elementalists in particular. It probably actually needs some adjustment so that it will offer more benefits to mesmers and necromancers as well. The personal shield, on the other hand, can greatly benefit melee and ranged combatants as can the option of using a golem
Crystal acquisition will be, for the most part, a matter of money. There should, however, definitely be more powerful crystals hidden throughout Tyria. Here, power is limited by the requirement of certain crystals and a lack of over all variety in the types of available benefits. These are however, quite potent benefits, even for a player who chooses not to use his golem.