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Thread: Gemstone IV analysis (RM biased)

  1. #1

    Default Gemstone IV analysis (RM biased)

    Introduction, let's understand each other with basics aspects:

    In most games, you get the core Warrior, Healer, Mage.

    Warrior could be declined in fighting capabilities (warrior) and other options like more secondary skills or different fight approch (ambush) (rogue).

    Healer are your typical buffer that can HEAL or negative HEAL. They could be declined with buffers (Cleric) and healers (Empath)

    Mage are your typical DPS dealers. They could be declined with DPS (wizard) and DOT ( sorcerer).

    Ok, with this in mind. Let's compare GEMSTONE IV with his source of inspiration/Father … Rolemaster (second edition, the best) with a short analysis and let's try to narrow down the problem after the iterations below.

    First iteration analysis (understanding the facts).

    From rolemaster, there's 3 DOMAINES of "magic". There's ESSENCE which is the manipulation of the mana. There's "magic" coming from DIVINE entities and there's the PSYCHIC ability of people. And there's also a fourth DOMAINE which is ARMS.

    Essence CAN'T be casted in ANYTHING higher than robe. DIVINE can't be casted with iron armor (chains or plates). Psychic cannot cast with helmets.

    In rolemaster, you need to select a domaine or two (deux).

    If you take only one "magic", you're a PURE. If you take only arms, you're a SQUARE.

    If you take ARMS and a "magic" domaine, you are a SEMI. If you select Two (deux) "magic" domaine, you become a HYBRID.

    Second iteration, about spell circles and getting list of spells.

    From rolemaster, you got spell circles that got from level 1 to level 50 spells. But there's STEPS in learning them. More to come.

    Every SEMI, PURE or HYBRID got their OWN spell circles. PURE and HYBRID can access to RESTRICTED (major in gemstone) circles. SQUARE, SEMI, HYBRID and PURE got access to their specific OPEN DOMAINE circles (essence, divine, psychic) (minor in gemstone).

    Circles are divided in 5 bigs STEPs

    A: lvl 1 to 5
    B: lvl 1 to 10
    C: lvl 6 to 10
    D: lvl 11 to 20
    E: 25, 30, 50

    You learn spells by a chunk of them. So If I can learn B, D, E, every time I learn a step, I'll get 10 spells from this list, then 10 others (11-20), then the 25,30,50).

    PURE can also select 4 circles from RESTRICTED and OPEN and put them in their OWN spell circles.

    Pure can learn up to level 50 spells from their OWN (B, D, E). They can learn until level 20 RESTRICTED and OPEN (B, D each).
    So they can learn E from restricted and open from 4 other lists.

    HYBRIDE can learn up to level 50 spells from their OWN (B, D, E). They can learn up to level 10 RESTRICTED (B) and 20 in OPEN (B, D)

    SEMI can learn up to level 50 spells from their OWN (B, D, E). They can learn up to level 10 in OPEN (A, C).

    ARMS can learn up to level 5 in open (A).

    OVERTRAIN: You Can learn also OVERTRAIN to get more letters when you hit the limitation. More to come below.

    Let's continue with a third iteration about getting ranks in Role Master

    ARMS can have many selections in manoeuvers, secondary skills and weapons cause it's cost so few.

    PURE can have MANY spell circles but can't defend use weapons much to protect themselves. They got bad armor.

    HYBRID and SEMI must choose with MANY possibilites. But you can't have em all even if you have the possibilities. So they'll always be weaker than PURE or ARMS even if they focuse 100% like them.

    (i.e. in ROLEMASTER, WEAPONS: a warrior will pay 1 tp for every rank, and then 5 tp for the second rank. A bard will pay 3 and then 9. That's DOUBLE).

    (i.e. in ROLEMASTER, SPELL CIRCLE: a PURE will pay 1 tp for every 5% to learn a magic. Same for HYBRID. A semi will pay FOUR (4). A square will pay up to 20).

    (i.e. in ROLEMASTER, ARMOR: a SQUARE will pay 1 tp per rank to TRAIN armor for light, 2 tp per rank for heavy (same principle in RM than GS). A SEMI will pay DOUBLE and they are LIMITED with their magic domaine (a ranger can't cast in chain or plate).

    (i.e. In ROLEMASTER, GENERAL (swim, climb, perception) and SPECIAL SKILLS (Ambush, UAC) are light TP for SQUARE (even more for rogues), medium for SEMI and heavy for PURE)

    (i.e. In ROLEMASTER, MAGICAL SKILLS (reading runes, mana transfer, spell aim) are very light for PURE (none DEVINE) and HYBRIDE, heavy for ARMS and SEMI.

    Overtrain: If you wanna take more spells, you need to pay the BIG bucks in TPS. A mage will only pay double, a hybrid triple, a semi QUADRUPLE.
    And that's just to get the next letter (for a bard that want more spells from OPEN, since they're (A, C), you'll get D. Then need to pay again to reach E).


    Again, we see that the profession imposed in RM has an impact. You have MORE possibilities with 2 domaines but everything cost more.

    Pures and squares got their advantages since they can focuse in their particular domaine.

    HYBRIDE and SEMI must take decisions in focuses or be a jack-of-all-trades.

    Another iteration, the fourth about Rolemaster's bonuses which will bring us closer to the core problem.

    The 10 first ranks in rolemaster gives + 5.
    Then, from 11 to 20 ranks, you get +2.
    Then, from 21 to 30 ranks, you get +1
    Then, +.5 for every extra.

    Per level bonus for combat:

    WARRIOR get + 3 AS per level until max +60.
    ROGUE and Warrior-monk ( Square specialized in unarmed) get +2 AS per level until max +40
    Bard, ranger and monk got a +1 AS per level unil max +20.

    So, even if a BARD decide to double rank each level in a weapon style (ohe for example) that cost DOUBLE, a WARRIOR will dig up a gap cause of his inherent bonus.

    The fifth iteration, let's go gaining level in RM

    The first 5 levels are 10k each
    6 to 10 are 20k each
    11 to 15 are 30k each
    16 to 20 are 40k each
    50k per level for life after.

    Sixth iteration, SIMU'S attempt to equilibrate things with MANOEUVERS and a poke in the ribs with REDUX


    They could be treated as the same approach I gave about spell circles in RM. SIMU designed them the same way:

    Every profession got access to that amount and each pay depending on their domaine
    SQUARE pay less and got access to more
    SEMI pay mid and got access to less
    PURE/HYBRID pay high and got access to even less.


    It's the best secondary skill according to khaladon and I still believe it'S true. It makes a SQUARE even more sturdier against direct damage
    SEMI can have access to some but at a cost of lesser spells.

    Conclusion, let's focuse on each iteration's point.

    Iteration 1 was about learning some key concepts with RM. GS4 has the same domaines (arms, psychic, divine, essence).
    Iteration 2 was about spell circles (own, restricted, open) are the same logic than GS4. RM gives limitation to spells you can get. Hybrid got some. Semis got a lot. Squares are almost spell-less.
    Iteration 3 was about getting ranks in RM in term of TPs. I see the same approach again in GS4.
    Iteration 4 was about the bonus of the ranks. The more you grow, the less you gain like GS. BUT, after ranks 30, it's a low +.5 per. Combat inherent bonuses are helping keeping warring profession at the top.
    Iteration 5 was about exp to gain levels. Again, similar approach in gemstone 4.
    Iteration 6 was about simu's attempt to create a "spell" circle with reversed weight from the regular spell path (biais for warrior, few cost with the most CMAN, then heavier for semi with less CMAN, then even more heavy for pures with even less CMAN).
    Last edited by Murrandii; 11-02-2019 at 12:08 PM.
    Ardwen the submitive: [LNet]-GSIV:Ardwen: "not like I was given a choice to opt out of bro mode, bro"

  2. #2


    Ok, now let's narrow down all this with comparaisons.

    Comparaison 1, spells.

    Comparaison with Gemstone 4 about spells:

    PURES got EVEN more spells in RM since there is more spell per circles and can MASTER 4 more domaine circles. But in gemstone, we got the same approach (base, major, minor) without the mastering which isn't in its core anyway.

    Outcome: Advantage to RM here purely cause RM got more spell circles (i.e. pure got like 6 OWN spell circles, up to 15 RESTRICTED and 20 OPEN).

    HYBRID in RM are limited in 2/3 of their circles but they can cast in RESTRICTED.

    Outcome: In gemstone, they can't get access to MAJOR but aren't limited in minors. Major is stronger in gemstone, even low levels ( 503, 507, 508, 509, 203). Kinda ok-ok trade of I guess… Not… 425, 430, 120, 130, 140 are better spells). Advantage: Gemstone.

    SEMI in RM are ULTRA limited in open so it's require them to be ultra selective in their profession.

    Outcome: In gemstone, having no restriction in open lets SEMI having access to ULTRA strong spells (425-430, 120, 130, 140). Gemstone is REALLY advantaged here.

    ARMS in rolemaster can only cast up to level 5 spells in OPEN. In gemstone, they aren't limited. HUGE advantage to gemstone.


    In RM, you could overtrain to get the next letter of your path. That costs a LOT of TPS (double for pure, triple for hybrid, quadruple for semi). It'S a choice.
    In GS4, you can basically get all spells that you're allowed to.

    TYPE of spells:
    (I'll bring up the same profession as in gemstone, otherwise it'd be too massive).

    IN RM, OWN spell circle are mostly about your core profession "cliche".

    A mage will have elemental own circles and they're about bolting and some utilites. NO BUFFS
    A sorcerer is mostly about destruction or DOT. NO BUFFS.
    A cleric repulsing undead, calling forces, buffs and raise dead. DEFENSIVE BUFF ONLY
    A ranger, traveling, detection, buffs with nature aspects, survival. DEFENSIVE BUFF ONLY.
    A bard, knowledge, silence, songs that debuff critters. NO BUFF.
    A monk, pure buffs (haste, strength, DS), healing. OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE, HEALING BUFFS.
    Empath: healing healing healing. NO BUFF

    Here, we clearly see in RM, you get specialized spell that are UNIQUE to the profession.
    They tend to focuse your character toward a mission.
    But in GS, you get buffs per base circle....

    RESERVED (major)
    Essence: FAmiliar, invisibility, stocking spells, haste, altering self, teleportation, defensive buff, dispell, charm/sleep, enhancement of spells
    Divine: healing, food/water creation, detection, localisation, symbols ( sacred symbols), calm
    Psychic: Defensive buff, teleporation, flight, haste, alteration of matters, morphing

    Remember that those are restricted in RM, only pure can get every of em, hybrid can learn up to level 10, semis can't.
    In RM, Semis lose a LOT of useful spells. Hybride can get some nice one but are limited in efficiency.
    Sorcerer have access to both essence and divine, they get a lot of spells but, again, are limited in efficiency.

    GS: I see some spells being used in base circles here. They clearly buffed semis/hybrides by taking spells from those lists.

    OPEN (minor)
    Essence: defensive buffs, telekinesie, open locked, anti-nature buffs, enhance senses, minor illusion, physique enhancement (no Strength bonus), knowledge, runes ( traps), detection
    Divine: walls, undisease/unpoison, lights, knowledge, detection, defensive buffs, sound, light healing, walking on difficult terrains
    Psychic: research, light, detection, light healing, resistance, anticipations, illusion, resistance, camouflage, defensive buff

    RM: Those are more accessible but semis still can't get high level spells. Hybrid have a nice selections of spells but are again limited
    Pure can choose to get nice buffs if needed or utilities. NO AS BUFFS.
    The defensive buff in OPEN Circles are also weaker in RM, so SEMIS can buffed themselves but are limited in levels (up to 10) and those buffs are weaker.

    GSIV: again, I see some spells taken from those lists and placed in base profession. Also, minor spells CLEARLY buff more in gemstone. (AS for 400 too!)

    Conclusion in comparaison's about spells.

    RM limits people the further you want to spread out yourself. HYBRID and SEMIS will have to specialize to keep the pace with PURE and SQUARE. Otherwise, they'll lag.
    Hybrid CAN choose to get limited (up to level 10) in RESTRICTED buffs or less limited (up to level 20) in open.

    GSIV having no limits in spell circles is compensated with TPs issues. They just push the "problem" further on with levels.
    I also see a REALLY breaking point with buffs in gemstone but let's continue with another issue.

    Comparaison 2: Bonuses and ranks with gear and skills

    In RM, we saw that you gain a +.5 per rank after a while.
    WAR: So it means if we put that into a graphic, SQUARES will be on top of the chart for warring affaires, followed by rogues and so on
    Why? remember:
    WARRIOR get + 3 AS per level until max +60.
    ROGUE and Warrior-monk ( Square specialized in unarmed) get +2 AS per level until max +40
    Bard, ranger and monk got a +1 AS per level unil max +20.

    SINCE there's no AS buffs, you must rely on your weapon's bonuses (same approach as gemstone for enchant). By assuming a warrior will specialize his development with his weaponry and armor, he'll get further AS gap with others
    (A bard will want to increase his stuff, spreading his money on other bonuses, not just his weapon or armor).
    Remember monks are the only profession that get AS buffs with their spells, so they'll be MACHINES too.

    In Gemstone:
    They gave some buffs to square with CMAN lists. Ok. Only available to them. Ok
    But by giving buffs to everyone on their core spell lists, they pushed down the logic of RM we saw earlier

    Comparaison 3: limits

    RM forces something.
    PURE and SQUARE are LESS forced to specialized.
    A PURE can focuse on MANY spell circles (synergy).
    A Warrior can focuse on MANY weapons style and armor and still get better skills here and there. Since he get inherent bonus to combat,
    he'll grow stronger.

    HYBRID MUST decide a path
    If they TRY to focuse (getting synergized spell circles) like a pure, they'll be restricted in RESTRICT spells or OPEN still.
    If they try to get more spell circles to be generalist, they'll have LESSER spell levels.

    They can't get anything even if they can double ranks per level. Their spells are LIMITED besides their OWN spell circles.
    IF they want to fight, they need to sacrifice spells! They can't get good armor!


    They force a path. You can mutant still. But you can get BUFFED about almost anyone or anything in your own spell circles!
    You are limited per your level but there's a BIG difference here.

    Conclusion about limits

    RM got tight limits.
    Gemstone too, but buffs are everywhere in spell circles, you don't feel them.

    Problem identification:

    Gemstone is following RM closely but got differences. The main one is buff as discussed. Everyone got buffs from any circle
    But that could be counter-argumented by saying: they raised difficulties with monsters too, only pushing the problem later.
    A warrior or rogue still got no differences per se as a bard, paladin or ranger that 2X weapons, CM.
    Oh, they gave a CMAN list to enhance a few... ok. BUT NO INHERENT BONUS as in RM. BAD!

    But the core problem is not buffs per se, it's CHOICES.
    In RM, you need to decide if you go HYBRID or SEMI and you will STILL be restricted. You decide WAY less if you're PURE or SQUARE since you pay so few TPs.
    AND SEMIS don't GET a lot of spells still, they are have so few spells!

    In GS, it's COMPLETELY the contrary. You don't feel the restriction much cause there's BUFFS everywhere in your spell circles.

    And by setting a cap, SIMU is just ENHANCING the problem. The few restriction you push as a SEMI are compensated since they'll catch up their few restrictions.
    You don't feel the weight of your choice at all.

    We could say: You are not forced to cap. That's true. But as a game, you have a design, you have rules.
    Therefore, Gemstone4 took a decision with rheir cap: they want us to continue playing, perfectly fine but they created gaps
    among professions that are completely out of proportion.
    Last edited by Murrandii; 11-02-2019 at 12:08 PM.
    Ardwen the submitive: [LNet]-GSIV:Ardwen: "not like I was given a choice to opt out of bro mode, bro"

  3. #3



    Change the cap (you are still limited to level 100)

    1) Change the cap to SKILLS and lower the ranks bonus you get after 200 (+.5) and after 300 (+.25) and after 400 (+.1)
    1.5) To put some weights in this uncapping approach: LIMIT the amount of ranks. (Like: Warrior: 500 in weapons. Rogue: 400 Semis: 250, pure: 200. PL/DT: Rogue: 500 and so on).
    Of course, you would TRIPLE (triple TPS), then QUADRUPLE ( quadruple TPS) and so on.

    Those 2 points would allow SQUARES to push farther in their domaine: ARMS. (and they'll be better with EBP) at a cost!
    Semis will be limited but they compensate with their spells...

    2) Bring restrictions to spells.
    A pure can 3x in spells.
    A hybrid can only 2X in spells.
    A semi or square can only 1X in spells.

    That will put MORE weight in restrictions.

    Give a change to cap like point 1 with the same approach. (pure can get up to 500 ranks in spells, hybrid 400, semis: 300, square: 200)

    Pure will be on top for spells.
    Hybride will be close if they focuse on their own spell circle (700) or they'll be a bit weaker BUT enjoy more the buffs from 100/400
    Semis will have to take a decision like hybride and there will be impacts for them.

    AND THOSE CHANGES WILL GIVE REASON FOR POST CAP GOAL instead of getting more useless skills.
    If you run the numbers, mastering skills would take forever. This is good for SIMU (more playing) and us (reasons to play).

    3) Monks need their OWN spell circle with the RM approach: SELF-CAST BUFFS
    Last edited by Murrandii; 11-02-2019 at 12:09 PM.
    Ardwen the submitive: [LNet]-GSIV:Ardwen: "not like I was given a choice to opt out of bro mode, bro"

  4. Default

    Hang on. I'm sure whatever nonsense you're about to edit in is going to go over great.

    Okay you're good. Go.
    Last edited by Stumplicker; 11-02-2019 at 11:36 AM.

  5. #5


    pee pee poo poo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    In your valley, beneath your sky
    Blog Entries


    Protip: write your post before reserving space for it
    You had better pay your guild dues before you forget. You are 113 months behind.

  7. #7


    Ouf, this text took me like 2 weeks to write up between meetings and stuff!
    Ardwen the submitive: [LNet]-GSIV:Ardwen: "not like I was given a choice to opt out of bro mode, bro"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Peyton Place


    why are all these people declining things any way?
    Khaladon starts to turn the crystal knob, but stops with a frightened look on his face. He begins shaking uncontrollably and flies across the room, as though by some invisible force.

    **SPLAT!!** Khaladon careens off the far wall, slides down the smooth wood panelling and collapses into a quivering heap on the floor, with only his dignity bruised.

  9. #9



  10. Default

    "this text took me like 2 weeks to write up between meetings and stuff"

    Try writing during meetings, you will get it done much faster than 2weeks.
    I accepted free spells during an "automated third party promotion" from "the responsible party," but I only did it once, and I didn't hunt until after they wore off

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