In 1994 and in 2008 I was put in a weird position. I was told to come to work, but not to actually do any work. My skillset was hard to find and they did not want to lose me so they paid me to stick around until the project was ready for me. In 1994 I used the time to write my first book, “Jark”, which is unpublished but the Netflix movie “I am mother” is an almost identical plot. The only difference is they used a female protagonist. In 2008 I did not write, instead I installed World of Warcraft.
- I loved gaining new spells.
- I loved the immersion & escapism
- I loved dueling and raiding
- I loved my guildies
It inspired me to write my first pure fantasy novel, but when I gave it to alpha readers they told me the battle scenes were confusing. I did a few rewrites but it seemed the whole idea of having fifty spells, shields, area of effect, buffs etc was not ever going to be readable, or at least, it would only have a very niche market of people well versed in WoW style games. I abandoned the novel.
I have vastly simplified what the wizards do in “They Came by Night”. In the first book in Icor tales they can throw a bit of fire, shield themselves, and heal. Bestich and the Golden Wizard have a couple of extra powers that they use in duels but not in the set piece battles. The alpha and beta readers loved the battle scenes and the duels.
In book two I am introducing area of effect spells and the idea of a buff. There is a battle involving hundreds of crimson wizards. Also I am showing how non magic units cope with magic units. I have a special unit of knights with fire resistant clothing and shields (leather under chainmail and wool soaked in water). They charge towards wizards and present their shields when fire is thrown. King Laumas places hidden crossbow men in high strategic places with orders to only fire when a wizard reveals themselves.
The style of spell system is obviously influenced by WoW which, of course, was influenced by DnD.