Runecrafting (Basic Concept Until Spell System Fully Formed)

Note: This will just be a basic concept I can’t really give you too much because there is not a super solid spell system yet.

For clarification Rune (Casting) = Manual Casting; Rune (Item) = Crafted Rune


I have seen many people complaining about casting spells over and over again. Runecrafting will involve infusing materials with Runes (Casting). Runecrafting can work with any spell system. (IDEA: Spellcrafting for spell system discussion.)

How Runecrafting Will Work

Materials will be infused with Runes (Casting). After crafting this new Rune (Item) it can be attached to your wand and will be automatically casted when you attempt to cast a spell. It will have a limited number of uses based on the material and the Runes (Casting) infused. Stronger spells will have less uses. Better materials will be able to handle more uses.

Using Runes (Item)

The Runes (Item) could be held on your body somewhere or in a backpack. (Armors, Items, and Accessories) After placing it on your wand trying to cast a spell will activate the Rune (Item) and instantly cast the spell. Each time using up one use of the Rune’s (Item) uses. (Example: Used basic fireball rune with 27 uses remaining. 26 Uses left.)

Just a basic concept I already have other ideas but nothing really concrete until the spell system is fully implemented. If anything read in this post seems incomplete that is because I don’t have any actual spell system to base it on yet. Its like wanting a fireball spell but the fireball Runes (Casting) are not available so I can’t tell you how to cast it.

Personally I like the idea of strength of spells coming less from crafting and more from knowledge and research. Whether you have to adventure to find an old tome with hidden secrets, or read through a library deciphering texts. You can unlock knowledge and once unlocked, it is always available to you as long as you remember what you found.

This does have the potential difficulty of being able to be shared online, but you could easily make it so you actually have to read the spell book before you can access the spell.

I also love the idea of being able to be successful in battle by having a wide variety of spells available to you to account for changing circumstances.


I like the idea of embedding runes to the wand, but I see more like an empowering thing than a spell storage.

I think that anything that completely remove the drawing part of casting spells is a bad idea.
You’d feel like a gunslinger shooting spells. If spell storage item exist, why not just stack them and never cast again?

I personally think that it would remove everything that makes mage the mage we know.

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I would prefer if the mage class wasn’t limited further. Even if something like this is intended as an ease of use buff, as with many MMOs it’ll feel like you’re required to have this capability on hand all the time, otherwise you’re doing your role sub-optimally. Mage’s have a lot of options because magic is messy and has very few set guidelines, but every complexity added for flavor or whatnot makes the mage much more challenging or resource/grind intensive then any of the other point and click style classes. You’re already memorizing spells and drawing them out.

I think this would end up being a requirement for all mages to have on hand. Having crafting so heavily tied to a basic class mechanic sounds like an unbearable grind. Will archers craft their individual arrows with reagents (especially if they have special effects) or the Orbhealer, his powder and orbs? Already having reagents for teleporting and resurrection feels like enough.
I think it would be awesome to find spells, or parts of spells that could effect them, but I wouldn’t want to craft spells if I was playing a mage. Maybe if an alchemist was somehow balanced around it, or another idea could be crafting limited use spell items for other classes, i.e. scrolls/potions, instead of wands for the mage.


On the issue of having to repeatedly cast spells, I don’t think a Runecrafting system is the solution. Rather, I think adding a timer is a better option. E.G, you cast Fireball, your wand has a timer bar on it, and for the next 1 minute, every 2 seconds a fireball is generated when you tap the confirm spell button. Need to cast another spell? You have to draw it as normal, but that replaces your fireball timer for say, a frostbolt timer.

This would obviously vary from spell to spell (Polymorph would be 1 cast per rune, along those lines, where maybe Fireball gets you like 10). Regardless, I do think there is a clear difference in effort required on say, Runemage VS Ranger that needs to be addressed.

That said though, I think a Runecrafting system would be a nice bonus for Runemages, or perhaps Artificers, imbuing a spell into an object (much like the new Artificer in DnD5e ) such as portal spells or niche Runemage spells, such as frostbolt for a one time use on breaking the physical rune. This could be how players get Town Portal scrolls.

(Also, as a Runescape player, Runecrafting gives me PTSD.)


@James_G’s system seems like a great balance between mages still needing to cast spells while in combat and mitigating the tedium of constantly drawing the same spells over and over every 2 seconds in combat. This also adds a great way to balance the power of different spells against each other without reverting to just making the most powerful spells super complex to draw.

Also agree with @Nick’s concerns about the potential for Runecrafting to become another “requirement” for mage battle preparation.

I played Runemage for nearly all of the last playtest, probably around 8 hours. I cast a lot of fireballs and arcane rays (and at least tried to open lots of portals.) I never found it tedious. In fact, it was the opposite: I had to stay focused on what I was doing, because every cast mattered. If I got sloppy with my drawing, my spell didn’t come off, and I was immediately conscious of the lost opportunity.

Different people have different tastes, but for me personally, if battle as a mage is reduced to casting once and then spamming a button 30 times, that’s what I’d called ‘tedious.’

But I don’t think Orbus will have a magic system that asks you to cast the same spell over and over again, any more than other MMOs have you doing that. What you usually see are sequences, patterns tuned to the enemy you’re facing and the ability level of your character. It may look more like: Quick Debuff > Medium DoT > Several Quick Attacks > Refresh the Debuff > Refresh the DoT > Big Finisher …

The difference, of course, is that because you’re actually responsible for casting these spells, not just tapping buttons, if you miss a cast you may need to adjust your pattern on the fly. This adds tension to the action, keeps you thinking and gives mage players a skill ramp to advance along.

Mix in situational spells, like trying to get off a quick Polymorph or two to slow down approaching enemies, switching between different spells in order to do different damage types (fire, ice, shock, etc) against vulnerable enemies, changing your cast to capitalize on the ability a teammate just used…

I don’t know if it will be exactly like this, I’m just saying it’s easy to imagine setups where being a mage isn’t tedious precisely because you have to cast every spell. :man_with_turban:


I think that the Devs are trying to get away from the idea of button mashing in Orbus. I haven’t tried any of the stress tests so I can’t comment on the actual game play yet, but the idea of unrestricted or unlimited basic spells with reagents required for more complicated spells sounds fun and fair as it is.

From what I understand, drawing a rune will cast a spell, but you still need to guide it to its target. If you screw up your rune, or you miss your target, it’s a waste of time. Even if you do hit the target and don’t waste the spell, unless you’re highly experienced and used to casting lots of spells, Rune Mages will get physically tired with all that arm waving around (as will every player). Right now, I think that is a sufficient limitation to the class, but I’ll have a better idea once I’ve had a go at playing.

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I was thinking that to make something mixed like:

Each rune has a determined number of spells cast, for example fireball rune allows 3 casts, shock one 5.


mages have a “draw memory” of 2 to 5 spells (Could be upgraded or something)

that draw memory allows that you can draw up to X number of spells on the air and those would linger there for a set duration of time (2 minutes).

When you want to cast a spell, write the rune on the air, touch it secondary hand, you aim with primary and cast with trigger.
also you can write up runes up to the max, for a latter use of the combat.

If a rune used all its charges it disapear a you have to draw it again.
If you draw a new rune and you are at max “runes drawed” the oldest one is dispelled.

(optional) if a mob makes you move or teleport, the runes will not move, and you will have to draw them again or move back to your position.

that way you could prepare a battle before start and make some tactics. and also makes it easy to not get tired of making same runes again and again.

hope its understandable, english is not my thing _)

What if you could cast a spell into your off hand and hold it there. Then, at any time you could hurl it for a quick attack. It would only be temporary and if you let go or something you would lose it, but it could be something you could have sort of in preparation in case you miss a cast or need to do a quick double cast.

Building on the idea of having a spell stored in your off hand, I was discussing runemage with some friends the other day and we thought having the ability to dual wield wands in the future would be neat. You could prepare a spell in each hand and release them at the same time for a hybrid effect (think something like frostfire bolt in WoW, but actually useful).

I love the Runemage class. Actually having to draw the spells, so good. I understand Riley said there’s going to be 10+ spells for each class (plus ult?) at level 20, so I know there’ll be lots of different ones.

But, what about dynamic spells? A symbol for fire, and a symbol for explosion - combine them and get like a fire grenade or something… Having a whole different range of effects and modifiers would make it, in my eyes, closer to being an actual mage. Understanding the magic you’re wielding well enough to create, not just repeat.

Now that I write it out, I recognize that this would possibly put the class too far out from the others. Potentially making it too difficult / clumsy to work with in high-stress battles… Damn.


I think for each class there should be a spell creation/trading mechanic, for example:

Novice lvl 5-9, 10-15 dmg
Apprentice lvl 10-14. 20-25 dmg
Expert lvl 15-20, 35-45 dmg
Master lvl 20 + (artifact you may have to find to enhance further) 50-65 dmg

so with these parameters set it can be all cosmetic from here. Say you want to make a projectile slash; you’d select that spell type and add your effects, you also can program the sword swing (i.e hold trigger and draw a zig zag). the zig zag you programmed shows up every time the user activates it. I guess you can use what DDR used to track the “likeness” of your trace and that will determine the dmg range aforementioned. just and Idea, I think it will add a sense of immersion when you trade something so personal and then see it later on in game play out of no where, you might even make a popular one!