Monday, January 31, 2011

Magicka, resisting the urge to google combos.

There are literally thousands of spell combinations in Magicka and once you get out of the tutorial you are left to discover most of them by trial and error. No doubt within a week or so there will be there are already  comprehensive lists of spells and equipment available on the web.

There is a strong temptation to dive into google and track down the details of successful combinations. This is not really a form of cheating. I actually find this type of meta gaming very enjoyable. I love forums,  faqs and wikis. I love reading others opinions of different abilities and I also enjoy posting my own observations. Indeed with a game as new as Magicka there is always the possibility of discovering something that other players don't know about.

The problem is that the pleasure of participating in the online information flow about a game is incompatible with the other pleasure of working stuff out for yourself. Once you start to consult guides you cannot go back and unlearn the information you find there so a player must make a choice of whether to consult guides or not.

At present I am working through single player Magicka and still figuring everything out by myself. I am finding the single player game challenging enough but I am getting through it. No doubt there are several important spells that I haven't discovered yet but I am getting a lot of satisfaction from working stuff out by myself. I will admit though to an ever increasing longing to head off to the forums to discuss the game especially when I discover some new spell or abillity .. "Did you guys know that you can...." but so far I have resisted.

If ever I graduate to multiplayer though I think I will give in and resort to googling. Playing with one hand behind my back is fine as long as only my own survival depends on it. Asking other players to put up with my ignorance is not really acceptable.

So "Gnarled Staff or Staff of War, What do you guys really think?"


Anton said...


I bought this intending to play multiplayer with some friends in California...but last night I played 4 hours when I meant to go to bed after 1 level (Played 5 levels).

I'm probably in a minority, but honestly I hadn't even thought to google spell combos. I keep slowly finding new, more powerful methods and evolve my tactics to incorporate each new thing. The first time I played the demo, I just spammed chain-lightning at everybody, then I figured out to use arcane lightning, then stepped up to one thing after another to defeat more opponents faster and counter enemies' attacks.

I used the gnarled staff from about levels 3-7(can't remember exact numbers, that's best guess), but finally switched to something I think is wayy more powerful...

mbp said...

You and I both Anton. I am only on level 5 but I am hooked.

Hmm I traded my gnarled staff for a staff of war but now I am not sure it was a good idea. The staff of war turns you into a tank but there are plenty of other ways to protect yourself. Now I miss those summoned tree creatures.

Anton said...

I hear the multiplayer is still broken, but might get patched today.

When it is working, maybe we should see about joining forces online sometime.

Anton said...

I will try not to kill you on accident. Maybe. Hehe

mbp said...

If we can co-ordinate timezones (I am on GMT) then I would love to group up. Have no fears about accidentally killing me. I manage to do that all by myself!

Just finished Chapter 6 last night. Tough, tough boss fight. I didn't manage to find the magic spell combination which makes it easy but dogged persistence got me through in the end. I have started playing around with beam spells though, up to now I mainly used aoe stuff and throwing rocks around but beams are awesome (when they don't bounce back off an enemies shield and and kill you instead.

Anton said...

I played through level 11 the night before last. I entered the level and died about 3 seconds later. I thought the level was bugged.

It wasn't.

You just have to figure out a way to get past giant monsters that run faster than you and kill you in one hit even if you have a shield on. (I recommend haste/teleport-running away).

Anton said...

I think you are 7 hours ahead of me. Heh...that doesn't sound too good for playing a game together online, haha.

My gaming hours are usually 9pm to...well I could get up in the morning or stay up super late, so I'm good really from 9pm to 6am, but still that's like 4am to 1pm for you. Maybe on a Friday night or something sometime, Saturday morning for you, unless you spend your Saturdays watching a kid like I do.

Also, we'd want to wait until the patches fix the multiplayer crashes.

mbp said...

Hey Anton - I have just reached Chapter 11 myself - Will try my luck with those creatures tomorrow.

I actually with Chapter 10 even though you can run past most of the monsters.

I kept dying until I realised that the problem was Vlad's Gauntlets which turn healing into damage. What a crappy item. Thankfully I realised before I finished the level so I could restart and not pick up those silly gloves.