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Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1297973#msg1297973
« on: May 28, 2020, 09:07:01 am »



Hello.


I think I've finalized the important points of my webnovel and should be able to write soon. Btw, here's a long reddit post I made containing all the necessary plot points. There's a pretty low chance of this novel being completed, so should I abandon this project, you already know what's going to happen...



https://www.reddit.com/r/CharacterDevelopment/comments/g45bqq/need_help_with_my_protagonists_personality/




Anyway, to the question! Everyone already knows this, but there's not really a specific "Lightning" element in the etg system. We have lightning-like spells, but they're subset under two differing elements,  :aether and  :air.


In a realworld magical setting, and in the context of my story, which of these two should contain electricity manipulation? Aether, or Air? Or neither?


Aether has that 5-dmg Lightning spellcard, and Shard of Wisdom turns Aether's creature damage into lightning. I initially thought lightning magic belonged to Aether, but upon closer inspection, lightning doesn't really fit well into the other things  :aether does (dimension travel, parallel universes, etc). On the other hand,  :air has that wide area Thunderstorm card, and the combo Freeze + Shockwave insta-kills any creature. This fits thematically into how electricity enjoys water as a conductor; a combo of these two can knock out even the most resilient antagonists.



To recap quickly. In my novel, I'm pairing my elements into these 6 opposite–themed magic types, known as Arcanas:


The Wave ( :fire :water)
The Moon ( :light :darkness)
The Nest ( :death :life)
The Cloud ( :air :gravity)
The Great Passage ( :time :entropy)
The Tower ( :aether :earth)





The Tower Arcana specifically revolves around the physical vs non-physical attacks. You use the hardness of  :earth to strike melee damage into your opponents, and you rely on  :aether for a non-direct fighting style (phase through objects, mind reading, soul manipulation). You push with  :earth's hardness, and feint with  :aether's phase through. That's how you use the Tower Arcana.



Lightning magic, despite looking real Aether-like, doesn't quite belong under this non-direct approach. Sure, lightning is not "brute force" damage, but it's still a type of physical damage, like burning. This seems to ruin the "brute force vs non-brute force" fighting style. If Aether is going to have electricity magic, at best, it should only warp nerve impulses and paralyze the enemy. Any more and it's going to be an upgraded version of Fire magic.



Now, I already forgot what I said about the duality of  :air vs  :gravity (I think it's art vs science?), but the Cloud Arcana focuses on making sure the damage is always dealt. What weak power the Cloud Arcana has, it makes up for with an insanely high hitchance.



 :air magic can slice far away objects without the need for contact. No wind blade or stream of compressed air is sent from the caster. Instead, the air molecules surrounding the enemy is directly controlled. It's not something that can be blocked (similar to Momentum/Unstoppable card), you have to move from that specific point in space to not get hit. But even if you do have the best dodging skills in the continent,  :gravity magic will then send attacks that home towards the target. This is like a heat–seeking missile: cannot be dodged, cannot be avoided. Instead you have to block.



This constant juggling between magic that can't be blocked and magic that can't be dodged is what makes the Cloud Arcana a fearsome foe. You can pile on continuous pressure while leaving no room for a counterattack. If that  isn't bad enough,  :gravity magic can increase the weights in an area, redirect projectiles away from user, send objects flying with the force of a gunshot, and fight multiple enemies all at once. It's basically AoE telekinesis.



This is why I'm leaning more towords the Cloud for electricity magic. Electricity is induced by a changing magnetic field, prompting a flow of electrons.  :gravity magic is basically magnetism already, with the added bonus that it works on every thing and every one. Full–blown electricity magic could be interpreted as  :gravity magic acting on a subatomic scale.



This ties in neatly with the setting, as, in this universe, the whole of technology is hinged on Gravity magic (engines are not run with steam, instead the parts are moved directly using  :gravity).





So the choices would be: should electricity be under the domain of Cloud Arcana ( :air :gravity) or The Tower ( :aether :earth)? The former has a nice ring to it (cloud —> thunderstorm), but the latter is also not a bad analogy:  :earth —> metal —> copper wires —> powering the city grid (assuming light bulbs don't just contain  :light magic and need electricity to work).



Which of the two sounds better?





Also, I'm having trouble translating  :light magic onto actual combat. It needs to retain ideas from the game while simultaneously being the opposite of  :darkness magic. So far, here's the rundown of each Arcana's combat themes:




The Wave  :fire :water — DPS vs all-rounder.  :fire is unmatched when it comes to fighting. You don't get a lot of defensive options, but in practice, that usually doesn't matter. The offense is just way too strong. Other elements need to rely on strategy to beat  :fire.


 :water is the opposite. Balanced offense and defense, great for support. You can support yourself with  :water magic and attack using  :fire, but  :water is best used suporting allies. Decreases mana consumption, removes poison, removes fatigue... Worst case scenario, if someone is stabbed in the heart, you can encase them in ice to preserve their life (like an iceage caveman) until a medic comes.







The Nest  :death :life — not practical for battle.  :life is only good for agriculture and medical surgeries. It is used mainly for defense.



 :death. Necromancy can either be strong or weak depending on who are the reanimated corpses. There is a spell that transfers the user's soul onto an inanimate object, providing him temporary invulnerability. Only if said object is attacked will the caster suffer damage.



 :death's poison acts too slow to kill in combat, but be warned: it is near permanent. They'll last long after the battle is ended, and each  :death user's poison has a unique structure, like a fingerprint. Even the best  :water experts in the world can't purify it with 100% guarantee. Fighting a Nest Arcana is bad idea, as it is likely to get you killed in the long run. Use  :life for initial defense, and use  :death as a deterrent.








The Cloud  :air :gravity — as mentioned above, good space and crowd control. Non–contact magic with weak firepower and high armorbreak.


Use  :air for agility, flight, and non–blockable pierce damage. Use  :gravity for area control, non–dodgeable homing attacks, and altering the motion path of launched projectiles.







The Tower  :aether :earth — soft vs hard. Use  :earth for brute force physical fights, and  :aether for indirect attacks (usually mental/spiritual).








The Great Passage  :time :entropy — chaos vs order. A very defensive Arcana.  :time is used to intercept agressors using speed and prediction.  :time can repair broken things back to their original state. Fortune–telling/prophecy magic can help police prevent would–be crimes and murders, definitely a useful Arcana to have.



 :entropy meanwhile is a last–resort magic. It is chaotic, and is used to nullify the skill difference between the weaker and stronger fighter. Battle experience and magic stamina don't matter anymore, everything boils down to chance once  :entropy is at the table. Even the weakest fighter has a realistic chance to one–shot the best war veteran.








And finally...




The Moon Arcana —  :darkness vs  :light. When I think of  :darkness, I think of cheat, unfair sneak tactics that fight the opponent from the shadows. Things like setting up traps, voodoo dolls, or illusion magic that tricks the opponent into letting his guard down.  :darkness is magic that doesn't fight 1-on-1; it strikes while the opponent is unaware.



How would  :light be the opposite of this?  :light has heals, hand/quanta protection, and a balanced buff from Blessing. The two possibilities I can think of, is that either  :light would be protective magic to counter  :darkness, or it would be magic specialized in 1-on-1 fights.



If it is a protection magic, it should be a mainly healing magic. It'll heal more than  :light, and will dispel all illusions and  :darkness :death magic in the area. It would also have practical protections like lie–detection,  empathy sharing, and making sure someone keeps his promise.


This is fine as a counter for  :darkness, but this can't all be  :light is good for. The point of pairing the elements is so that one can be used when the other is ineffective.  :water is not a counter for  :fire; rather, it is an 'alternative' that can be used when  :fire doesn't work.  :light can't just be a counter to  :darkness, it needs to work when  :darkness becomes ineffective...



So, what is the opposite of stealth magic? Let's say, a ninja Moon Arcana tries to assasinate someone. That someone has Cloud Arcana, and  :air senses the enemy approaching. All illusions and  :darkness tricks fail, leaving him with no more element of surprise.  :gravity locks the Moon from escaping, it's now turned into a 1-on-1 battle. How should Moon proceed? If  :light is just limited to protection and heals, then Moon is just waiting to die. He's a sitting duck with no offense.


One fix could be that  :light is self-empowerment buff magic meant for 1-on-1 matchups. Makes sense, since if you're using  :darkness for stealth, the opposite of that is non-stealth, direct-to-the-point magic. What happens when you're found out and can't escape? You fight to the death, and the best magic to have in this scenario is magic that specializes 1-on-1. In this scenario, Moon Arcana would be the duality between non-confrontational magic vs. direct confrontation. You switch between the two depending on your foe :darkness stealth and  :light aggressive.




—Or,... I may be stretching the etg lore here a bit, but if selfish 1-on-1 magic is not characteristic of  :light, then another option could be 'reflect'. Either  :light reflects some attacks back to the caster, or copies... — mirrors — the attack after taking a hit. Copying technically falls under  :aether, but you can argue that that's parallel universe copying. This is direct copying, a direct recreation. (or just reflection then, if you want...)



Much like the Reflective Shield,  :light can reflect non–melee attacks back to the aggressor. This includes  :fire:darkness:death:aether:entropy and  :air (may have to balance this out...)



This would reduce the enemy's attacking options by 50%, and coupled with some debuffs, may give the Moon just enough time to escape. Here, the difference between  :darkness and  :light would then be dirty sneaky magic vs. escaping-when-you've-been-found-out magic. This paints Light in a less aggressive manner, and makes it a justified violence in the name of self–defense. I must say though,  :time and  :air does a whole better job at escapes...







A third, viable option is to make  :light magic grow exponentially as the number of casters increase. This means its power is garbage at 1-on-1, best in team fights, and becomes an absolute beast in wars between different countries. The Moon Arcana then becomes a contrast between lone wolf  :darkness magic and teamwork  :light magic. This means  :darkness is self-sufficient enough that it can  escape tight situations on its own. This also means that practicing  :light magic has the tradeoff that you can't rely on it for 1-on-1's. This seems to be the most balanced option,  and gives The Moon an interesting dynamic.  :darkness for 1-on-1,  :light for group fights. This doesn't make  :light too weak nor overpowered. Storywise, this is a good option...




...except I kinda already had that thing going for  :life.


 :life heals a lot more with numbers (Emphatic Bond), so if  :light gets that too,  :life will need to get another gimmick to make itself interesting. It's already weak af, both defensively and offensively; if  :light sh*ts on that too,  :life is just farmville simulator.


 :life will need a serious buff in this case, otherwise it's useless...



So, what do you guys think  :light magic should be?




Balanced 1-on-1 fighter (based on dragon and blessing)?


Reflector of spells (based on the shield, and since  :light usually symbolizes justice, makes it thematic that  :light is never the aggressor)


Exponentially buffed group fighter (unlike all the other Arcanas, the Moon user is forced to train both  :darkness and  :light, as their power levels are situational)? With the added requirement that  :life gets a rework?




The story may go different directions depending on which of these I apply.







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Offline kaempfer13

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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1297979#msg1297979
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 09:56:43 am »
In etg its aether, but given that you pair elements and give those pairing names, lightning forms in clouds
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Offline dawn to dusk

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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298090#msg1298090
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 12:35:00 am »
Lightning, and electricity in general, is Aether's domain. However the source of the lightning can make things different, which is why Air has Thunderstorm

Offline Wyand

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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298093#msg1298093
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 12:52:18 am »
Lightning's category is pretty much what you want to emphasize.

Naturally you see it coming from the sky: :air
If you think about what is lightning, it could fit :entropy , as well.

It is a bit strange though Zanz put it into :aether since aether is the interstellar medium in certain older theories.
(Wiki: "According to ancient and medieval science, aether (/ˈiːθər/), also spelled æther or ether and also called quintessence,
is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.") But Shockwave somehow got into :air
so I think that's the reason for using it as an :aether card. Nota bene, Shockwave also not really air-ish, it could have been
in :earth as well.

(Also Thunderstorm is an :air card...)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 11:12:07 am by Wyand »
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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298106#msg1298106
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2020, 12:19:20 pm »
Shockwave has nothing to do with electricity. You're destroying a frozen target with wind pressure.
Thunderstorm is thunder, a natural phenomenon that can only occur in an atmosphere with air. It's not specifically the lightning itself.

In EtG the source of electricity and all energy, necessarily encompassing lightning, is the Aether. It's not only the classical element æther of Ancient Greece, China, Japan, Tibet, India and alchemy but also the Aether of pagan rituals. In all of these origins, it's represented through electricity, lightning, light, cosmic, solar and all forms of energy. It is the life force, the divine spark that began life in the universe, the building blocks of existence and the threads that bind everything together. It is the celestial energy that fills all spaces, far transcended above the earthly realm. Aether is not something you could ever control, lest gods were real, but it may allow you to manipulate other matter and energy through it.
:aether  http://elementscommunity.org/forum/guilds/991-thunderbolts-ho!-991/ :aether
Aether is the prime Element present in all things, providing space, connection and balance for all Elements to exist.
Aether represents the sense of joy and union, and the ultimate potential of all things.

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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298107#msg1298107
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2020, 01:33:14 pm »
Haven't said Shockwave has anything to do with electricity. Merely mentioned Shockwave because I firmly think that
Lightning got into :aether because :air already had Shockwave as an instantly damaging CC. And as I wrote Shockwave
wasn't the best choice for :air to begin with. Shockwaves isn't necessarily tied to air it can travel in any medium.
I'm not a physicist so I'm quoting: "In physics, a shock wave (also spelled shockwave), or shock, is a type of propagating
disturbance that moves faster than the local speed of sound in the medium." I think it is associated to air in popular
media because people can imagine it easier propagating in air plus kinda everyone knows about sonic booms (an example
for shockwave).

On the other hand thunder is the sound caused by a lightning. Thunder isn't equal lightning but it cannot be separated
from it. Thunderstorm=lightning storm. Just look at the in-game animation. Fantasy games like to use thunderstorm and
lightning differently for variety and for balance reasons (another example is Diablo II).

I respect your enthusiasm towards Aether. What I found about pagan rituals that their Aether means the Spirit.
What I find interesting that humanity always tries to make unified theories. In ancient times there was the Aether
(and the other 4 elements) to explain existence. Later it turned out that these are really just different forces (or just simple
phenomena explained by those forces). Physics discovered a lot of different forces including :gravity , electricity, magnetism,
and chemistry also added its share with various things like chemical bonds (physicists had a hard time to fit that into their
theories and describe it with their ways) and also don't forget about :entropy which I think pretty much symbolizes chemistry
in the game. Later Physics tried to unify all these important forces in their Standard Model and fundamental interactions.
It is funny how we are going back to the roots: let's find something universal rule/phenomenon which governs the world.
It shows two aspects of the human thinking: categorization and the need for unified theories. Let's get it apart then put
back all together! I think categorization is totally ok. It can be arbitrary or not. However I sorta feel that our yearning for a
grand unified theory is somewhat too idealistic and thus false. We should accept that we are only able to model our world
and all models have some shortcomings. You always use the best suitable model for the given case.

All in all, my view is that building blocks are the atoms (or you may split them into quarks, gluons and electrons if you wish) -
that is :entropy 's domain. What binds them together: part chemical bonds (:entropy 's domain) part physics (strong interaction
, :gravity - which gets more important between bigger chunks of matter). As a chemist I don't believe in life force. Life is a phenomenon
emerging from matter spontaneously. Life is matter evolving, copying itself and vying for a longer existence. I know the
Miller-Urey experiment showed that you can create amino acids and other important building blocks for life by introducing an
electric spark though I don't think a spark is needed. Simple organic molecules like carbamide (urea) were found in interstellar space.
(The simplest amino acid - glycine - was also reported though it needs some confirmation.) So they were able to form without a
spark in the interstellar medium. Though I can understand that from your perspective why is it another proof for the power of :aether . :)
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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298110#msg1298110
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 03:11:58 pm »
I always thought :aether was inspired by the "Luminiferous Aether" (the thing physicists thought light was a wave on, around end of the 19th century / early 20th century) which was a big part of Electromagnetism (before relativity made it obsolete)
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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298287#msg1298287
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2020, 07:49:04 pm »
Lightning was in the first release, Shockwave was added after.
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Offline Higurashi

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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298290#msg1298290
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2020, 07:55:23 pm »
Haven't said Shockwave has anything to do with electricity. Merely mentioned Shockwave because I firmly think that
Didn't read the rest but no one said you did. It's in the OP.
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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298329#msg1298329
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2020, 03:41:42 am »
Lightning's category is pretty much what you want to emphasize.

Naturally you see it coming from the sky: :air
If you think about what is lightning, it could fit :entropy , as well.

Well, if you think that way, I can guess it also fit Fire (heat) or even Earth/Gravity (metal conductor).
My idealized elements cycle:
Water -> Fire -> Air -> Earth -> Lightning -> Metal -> Light -> Darkness -> Wood -> Water

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Re: Where does lightning element fall under: Aether or Air? https://elementscommunity.org/forum/index.php?topic=67837.msg1298347#msg1298347
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2020, 12:35:38 pm »
Technically :fire is just a domain of :entropy ... That's what I like about this game that it uses both alchemy and modern chemistry/science
and creates a pseudo-scientific milieu.
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