Inspired by none other than the iconic planeswalker Jace Beleren himself, the Mind Mage personifies the calm, watery intellect of blue mana. We knew from the start that we did not want the Mind Mage to be an in-your-face brawler like the Geomancer, but rather a cool and calculated thinker. Our goal was to give players a character that felt methodical, thoughtful, and very much in control, so we focused on the themes of psychic powers like telepathy, telekinesis, illusions, and manipulation.
In setting out to define the gameplay concept of the Mind Mage, we reflected on the power fantasy of a mastermind taking charge of the battlefield. Our challenge was to create a planeswalker class that catered to that dream in a fun way without breaking the base ARPG mechanics of the game. This meant the Mind Mage had to be a capable damage dealer as well as an expert manipulator.
We offset the physical vulnerability of the class by giving them the ability to prevent incoming damage and stop enemies from hitting back. Solo players will be able to lock swarms of enemies down and create distance with their class abilities. They can then utilize summons and sorceries to quickly dispatch of those who oppose them. In a group dynamic, a Mind Mage can utilize debuffs and control effects to significantly reduce the damage enemies are able to deal to their team. All the while, they’re able to maintain a medium distance with their primary attack and deal solid damage.
Our mission with the visual design was for the character to look thoughtful and effortlessly “in control”. We imagined a character floating fluidly through time and space itself, making measured decisions and manipulating their surroundings. We intentionally avoided harshness with the design to ensure we portrayed blue mana accurately, equipping the Mind Mage with floating mana orbs instead of a weapon. We saturated them in watery hues and carried the shape language throughout with flowing cloaks and wavy hair. We also made sure there was nothing heavy, bulky, or cumbersome in the design, opting for ancient artifacts and books instead of armor or plating of any kind.
The Mind Mage’s animations needed to feel deliberate and precise, not explosive or harsh in any way. Their primary attack for example has them projecting ribbons of pure energy through their mana orbs, which they use as the focus of their powers. Subtle blue hues, vapor effects, and the occasional screen distortions were added to make it feel as though the character was messing with reality and concealing any motives they might have.
The end result is a class skilled at manipulating the theatre of war. Players of the Mind Mage can take lord over surrounding swarms or tailor their loadout to deal crushing damage. The choice is placed squarely in the hands of the players!
We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes and look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming weeks! Follow our Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest news. Be sure to join our official Discord server to chat with the devs and other fans like you!
- By Phil Zeleski, Lead Systems Designer, & Barclay Chantel, Game Art Director