Ok I haven't quite fleshed this out completely, but here's my idea for sorcerers.
Ok instead of the current memorize which has a minimum memorize time of (technically 0 ticks, but in reality it's usually at least 1 tick), we shift to a cycle based spell memorization.
Ok to give you an idea:
16 pulses is a round of combat
12 pulses is the delay after casting magic missile
36 pulses is the delay after casting fireball
260 pulses is a tick
Now here's my thought.
We make a list of spells (probably a linked list, details later) that a character will memorize, they are memorized in the order of the list, with some caveats (details later).
Instead of the amount of time to memorize a spell being measured in ticks, it is measured in cycles. The number of cycles needed to memorize a spell is based on the final mana cost of casting the spell, with some modifications. When the cycles reach 0, you roll against the learn percentage of the spell to see if it was successfully memorized.
Memorizing a spell will never be any faster than than the mana cost of it in cycles. It will never be more than 5 times the cost of it in cycles. Using a straight scale, that means that the cost of a spell is the level of the spell versus the level of the caster. An equation something like this:
memorize_cycles = mana_cost * (1 + 4*(sp_level/ch_level))
This means that a magic missile for a level 1 character spends 75 cycles memorizing, so about 1/3 of a tick.
And a level 50 person memorizing a magic missile spell spends 16 cycles (about a round of combat).
Now here's what makes sorcerers really cool. While you are memorizing your current "top" spell on the to_memorize list, you are working towards memorizing the rest of the spells at a slower rate. For main class sorcerers I'd say 1/2 speed for the next spell on the list, with each spell farther down on the list memorizing at 1/position. So your first spell is being memorized at 1/1 speed, the second at 1/2 speed, the third at 1/3 speed, the fourth at 1/4 speed, all the way down. Instead of trying to adjust the "speed" that the spell is being memorized, just increase it's memorization cost equivalently. For non-main class sorcerers I'd say it's triple delay: 1/1 speed for top, 1/3 for second, 1/6 for third, 1/9 for fourth, 1/12 for fifth... So if you are memorizing a spell that takes 100 cycles to memorize, and the spell behind it takes 50 cycles to memorize, they will both memorize at approximately the same time. The other thing that will help sorcerers out is that while they are walking around, they will also memorize spells, but slowly. Like 1/10 speed for main class, and 1/20 speed for non-main class.
Intelligence determines how many spells you can have on your "to_memorize" list at a time, and how many total spells you can memorize.
Let's give some hypotheticals:
disintegrate is a 48th level spell, that costs 45 mana. A very non-eqqed mage is probably regenning 100 mana (at least) a tick.
At 50th level it will take 217 cycles, which is almost a tick. But at the same time as he is memorizing that, he could memorize a whole slew of other cheaper spells, as long as his intelligence holds out.
Ok now to the to_memorize list, which is really the heart of the matter.
I said before that a linked list might be the right way to go for the to_memorize list. The reason is this. I want players to be able to insert spells wherever they want, I want them to be able to shift spells up or down however they want. If they have a meteor swarm partially memorized halfway down the list, they can bump it up to the top, or swap it, or remove it entirely, or insert a new spell above, below, etc etc. I want a clever sorcerer to really be able to have a lot of control over their spell memorization and thus what spells they memorize.
This is the bare bones of the idea, I know it isn't fleshed out nearly enough, but I think it's a good direction to take for sorcerers to become playable again.
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