PC Gamers love to boast about how they’re so much smarter than us console gamers because of how much customization and options are available in their games. What happens then when the complexity and customization for PC Co-op game like Magicka gets too complex and relies on a co-op buddy? Hilarious teamkilling, that’s what. Rockpapershotgun.com has written a helpful editorial that very plainly states that you are going to suck at that games spellcasting system, no matter how many times you’ve schooled the enemy cooperatively in Diablo 2.
To give you a refresher on what to expect with the Magicka spell combining system, here’s how it works.
Your character has access to eight elements, (fire, water, ice, earth, lightning, arcane, healing and shield), which are assigned to keys in and around the WASD area of your keyboard. Spells are cast simply by tapping out elements (up to a maximum of 5) and then tapping another button to cast the simultaneously either on yourself, as a projectile, in the area around you or on your sword.
Got that? Okay, so the idea here is that the spells will do basically anything you want them to. You are encouraged to cast a lot of spells in any order you wish, and then tell them where to go or how to work.
So, if you tap out fire and earth, then hit projectile, your character flings a ball of molten rock. You tap out fire, fire, earth, earth, and the ball will be bigger. If you charge up healing and cast it on your sword, your sword will be imbued with healing magic and the next person you stab will be healed instead of harmed, and so on.
This sounds pretty amazing, am I right? I mean, combined spells made to do whatever you wish them to do? Yes please. You’re also not at the mercy of a Mana or magic bar at all, just by how fast your fingers can punch out the (up to 5 in a row) spells to cast.
The reality of it though, is the complexity of possibilities you can cast is only dwarfed by the complexity of actually doing it right. This guide that Quintin has provided will hopefully teach you at least what NOT to do, even if it sounds completely viable in the situation.
What is technically possible: Deploying a close-range blast of ice to freeze a massive monster in its tracks, allowing one of your friends to quickly throw a rock at the frozen creature to shatter it into a thousand pieces.
What you will do: Deploy a blast of ice to freeze a massive monster in its tracks, allowing one of your friends to fling an unnecessarily large stone at it, only to miss and hit you instead, crushing your frail sorcerer instantly and sending your corpse bouncing clean out of the level. The monster unfreezes, turns and begins chasing your friend around in a Benny Hill style.
What is technically possible: Using shield elements with the “area of effect” casting button creates a glittering, impenetrable dome, with plenty of room for the whole team. Need some time to heal? Not sure what to do next? Swamped by goblins? Just throw up a shield and huddle together to discuss your next move.
What you will do: Yell something vague over teamspeak like “GUYS, ME, BUBBLE,” and cast your shield spell with none of your team-mates actually inside it. With no small amount of horror you’ll realise that you did manage to trap a couple of goblins inside with you, though, meaning you need to get out now. Your mind races- what breaks a shield? What’s the most powerful spell you have? Of course! The arcane beam! You charge a real murder-mother of a beam as the goblins bear down on you, release it and… remember that arcane and shield are opposed elements. The beam ricochets cleanly off the inside of your dome, bounces four or five times and finally collides with you, popping your flesh and mind open like a bag of crisps. In time the dome sputters and fades of its own accord, and the two goblins within join the mob attacking your friends.
I don’t know about any of you, but these recommendations (and the rest of the humor) are pretty hilariously handy. The whole idea here is to just warn you of things that sound cool, but will likely end badly. It should also be noted that you can “reverse” your teamkilling with a Revive spell - it’s just part of the game that a lot of accidental death will go on.
Now that you’ve been warned of the complexity here, and the potential challenges - go teach these non-co-op communities how it’s done. Communicate carefully, plan things out, and send us some video or something of how these spells should work when done in true co-op fashion. Or just go have fun, kill each other off, and posting brilliant community blogs telling the terrible tale of how things went sour. It sounds like a rioting good time either way.
Speaking of sour things, there are a few launch-day bugs that have been reported. Thankfully the devs have been quick to respond, and in fact, the game was patched within hours of release. That said, the team at Arrowhead Studios have committed to a 24 hour release cycle of patches on the game until the community is happy with the output.
Current issues include some control options, connectivity in multiplayer, and some nagging display issues. The team reminds you to make sure your display drivers are up to date and you meet the minimum system requirements to best avoid some of these. All of the information regarding issues, patches, and more can be found over on the official Steam forums for the game.