Category talk:Spell Cost

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SkyRanger's improvements to the page:[edit source]

Discussion started on ESF

Regarding spell costs:

I recently created this page on the Wiki. It may prove helpful.

For reference, SEFF's 'Base Cost' is 0.0000. However, the formula, as noted, will always use 1 if any factor is less than 1, so you get 0*fMagicDurMagBaseCostMult=0, and use 1 instead. There is no magnitude, so that's 1, and for a duration of 0 it again uses 1. So the cost of adding a Scripted Effect to a spell is going to be 1, 1.5 (if on target), Area*fMagicAreaBaseCostMult (if PBAoE), or 1.5*Area*fMagicAreaBaseCostMult (if ranged AoE).
--Dragoon Wraith TALK 7:31, 10 January 2008 (EST)

Hm... I agree with what you say here, but not with the equation on the linked page which contains several incorrect statements:
The caster's skills are not applied to each effect's cost, but to the entire spell's cost, using the effective skill in the spell's school. Therefore, spells of multiple schools will not be affected by the skills of any school but the one listed as the actual school of the spell.
Incorrect. Or rather, only correct for non-auto-calc spells. For auto-calc spells, each effects cost is scaled by it's school independently, so the cost of a spell may depend upon multiple skills.
If any factor is less than 1, 1 is used instead.
Incorrect as written, in the context of the stuff above anyway. Effect Factor and Magnitude Factor are not independently raised to 1, only their product is.
Additionally, a full explanation should include the following things:
  • the differences between the calculations used for autocalc spells and non-autocalc spells
  • the differences between the in-game base cost and the CS base cost
  • how mastery levels are determined
--Skyranger-1 11:23, 10 January 2008 (EST)
edit2: actually, after testing more, I disagree with everything you said : ) script effects seem to always cost 1 in my game, regardless of skill, cast-on-target, or radius of effect
edit3: I changed the linked page (wiki good-ness!) to what I believe to be the correct formula and added and edited notes that I thought were important
--Skyranger-1 13:11, 10 January 2008 (EST)
I appreciate the testing and the fixing. It seems to me that the major differences are the two you pointed out below, but I would like to say that I'm very glad you went ahead and changed the Wiki page. Too few people are willing to do that when they find an error on a Wiki page - you should check out Haama's thread in the CS forum about "Revitilizing the Wiki", your input would be nice there.
As for the Scripted Effect, if it's always 1 regardless of area/range, then SEFF is being treated as a special case somehow.
You're right about [skill being taken into account for each effect individually], that was a really dumb mistake I made there. I had done a ton of research and tests that day, and I got some things mixed up. I believe what I was thinking of when I wrote that was that the spell's school is unaffected by your relative skill level, i.e. uses the pre-skill factor version.
OK, [the claim that magnitude and effect factors are each raised to 1 if less than] is purely a matter of not being sure where things were separate factors. Thanks for testing and determining that.
As for your suggestion, I had envisioned the page more as only about auto-calc, since manual spell costs are kind of self-explanatory, except that the skill factor is still applied to them and therefore it makes sense to include it, which I hadn't considered until you pointed that out.
Mastery level should be included, good call.
As for 'base cost', now this is getting confusing. You changed 'spell cost' to 'spell base cost' and 'cast to cost' to 'spell cast cost', and I disagree with this because the term 'base cost' should apply to the effect's Base Cost as defined in the Magic Effects menu of the CS - any other use of the term is confusing, IMO. What do you even mean by "in-game base cost" - I'm not even sure what you mean by that, and therefore I don't expect any new modder is going to be able to figure out what you mean. I think we need to change the terms used on that page so that "base cost" only refers to the effect's Base Cost.
--Dragoon Wraith TALK 15:01, 10 January 2008 (EST)
Script Effect is not a special case in that formula. If you work through the formula as written, using the top two notes, you should get the right costs for script effects. Unless I've made a mistake. You work through the formula, and get an Effect Casting Cost of 0 and an Effect Base Cost of 0, but the first two notes say that both are treated as 1 if less than 1, but only in-game, not in the construction set.
Hm... You're right: the namespace conflict between my term "Effect Base Cost" and the OB CS per-effect term "Base Cost" in the "Magic Effect" menu is confusing. But a term is needed there that describes a per-effect-in-spell component of the base cost, seperate from the per-effect-in-spell component of casting cost, because the two are both raised to a minimum of 1 independently of each other. Unless the "minimum of 1" part is moved from the notes to inside the sum() thing.
In-game base cost is invisible and has only one effect: it determines the mastery level of the spell. It's why spells with many low cost effects have different mastery levels in-game than in the CS. (edit: that is for autocalced spells; for non-autocalced spells, in-game base cost also determines in-game casting cost) (edit4: just to be clear, the in-game base cost is the base cost as calculated by Oblivion.exe, which uses a slightly different formula than the Construction Set uses)
--Skyranger-1 15:45, 10 January 2008 (EST)
edit2: the article also needs a description of when and how rounding occurs
edit3: I've tweaked the article again to change "effect base cost" to "component base cost" and a few other details, but it still needs more work
--Skyranger-1 16:36, 10 January 2008 (EST)
The above is a transcription of the forum posts by Dragoon Wraith TALK
It is intended to be as accurate a reflection as possible,
given the differences between the two mediums.

I don't think that you have cleared up the "base cost" issue, personally. I really think that "base cost" should refer only to the Magic Effect's "Base Cost" from the Magic Effect menu in the CS. Any other use will be confusing.

Therefore, I think we should come up with another name for various terms. Feel free to make suggestions, and I'll try to think of some myself.

Also, I strongly disagree with you when you say that the game and the CS use slightly different calculations for spell effects. I very much doubt that. Can you show evidence of this?

Other than that, I very much appreciate the changes you have made, you've made this a much better page.
--Dragoon Wraith TALK 01:30, 11 January 2008 (EST)

I'm editing this page because I haven't found a normal interface to append to it forum style. DragoonWraith, could you PM me on the bethesda forums with a link or brief description of how I'm supposed to post here? Unless editing the page is the intended method, in which case this site is crazy :)
I understand that "base cost" is a dangerous phrase because of it's association with the effect base costs set in the editor. However, that is not the only thing called "base cost" by canonical sources - almost everything except the CS refers to the unscaled spell cost as the spells "base cost". For an example, on page 66 of "Oblivion: The Official Game Guide" there is a chart of spell "Base Cost" vs mastery level. I think a lot of other sources have used that nomenclature too. On the other hand, no other source is even close to the importance of the CS when your target audience is modders. Other terms can be used, but they need to be pretty clear, and "spell cost" as the CS calls the unscaled spell cost it is not particularly clear. I'm going to try editing the page in a second to change the terms again, further away from "base cost", and to add rounding, and maybe tweak a few more things.
BTW, I just checked up on rounding. Rounding is downward, performed on a per effect basis.
edit: On the differing formulas between the game and the CS: yeah, there's strong evidence. Create a spell in the construction set, set it to autocalculate, give it an effect that sets its base cost to a little below a mastery level theshold. Now create an identical spell, but give it some additional really cheap effects. Script effects are the classic, but say, fortify fatigue 1% for 1 second works too. Make sure autocalculate is on for both spells, then compare their prices and mastery levels in the CS and in-game. The difference is that the game makes all effects cost at least 1, both for unscaled cost purposes and for scaled cost purposes. The CS does not. Also, there's some evidence that the game itself may use different formulas in the spellmaker for base cost, as the spellmaker occasionally seems to get the mastery levels wrong, but I haven't investigated that and can't say anything definitive about it.
edit2: finished the update. also, corrected some of my spelling mistakes in here.
edit3: So are these terms okay? Have you come up with any suggestions? I guess going and editing the whole page in response to a request to brainstorm possible changes isn't exactly the best way to be a team player, but a lot of it depends on the structure of how things are presented, which is difficult to articulate or thinking about without doing it and seeing what it looks like. For the record the current terms are "Unscaled Effect Cost", "Scaled Effect Cost", "Unscaled Spell Cost", and "Scaled Spell Cost".
edit4: corrected "and" -> "as"
Definitely looks much better. Great work here. Thanks! I think this is probably more-or-less done - I'll check fSpellmakingGoldMult later today to truly finish it off.
Dragoon Wraith TALK 14:04, 14 January 2008 (EST)

Note on Revision History[edit source]

This page was moved from the Spell Cost page, which now redirects here. The original revision history remains at that page.

Question About Original Page[edit source]

Are you sure luck is divided by 100? That would make it unique.--Haama 02:55, 5 January 2008 (EST)

Ah, well, actually, Luck isn't divided by 100, your effective skill is. What I have here now is mathematically identical to what I had before, this is just clearer, plus it includes another GMST. What you saw before included the "Effective Skill Level" formula in it, since I didn't realize we had a page on it; I changed to a link to that page because that page is better than what I had, plus it's less cluttered. Anyway, the "skill factor" being a percentage makes sense, as your skill is being used as a factor in the spell's cost. I'll double-check the math, in any case.
Dragoon Wraith TALK 03:13, 5 January 2008 (EST)
Yeah, my formula is correct, at least assuming UESP is correct - and I suspect they are, I've been looking this stuff up all day and that formula is A. all over the place, and B. questioned in several different Talk pages and defended by several different people. They even have a nice graph. You can check that out here, if you like.
It'd be pretty easy to verify this with in-game observations, if you like.
Dragoon Wraith TALK 03:21, 5 January 2008 (EST)
The question was about an earlier version of the page, looks good now. I imagine the "/100" comes from another game setting, but who knows. Otherwise, should this be a category like the Jumping formula?--Haama 12:11, 5 January 2008 (EST)
Seems that it should be. I'll Move it.
Dragoon Wraith TALK 16:02, 5 January 2008 (EST)