Player Made Campaign Support

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Re: Player Made Campaign Support

Postby skyironsword » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:19 pm

Hello. rocktheworld315 here; I have changed computers, and my new username is skyironsword. Unfortunately, the computer change resulted in the loss of my old file, so Virtual Network will not be finished.

Void Hunter apparently has beaten T-Symmetry in terms of highest rating, and I would like to know whether or not this is due to lack of votes or high quality.

If you have played 3: Void Hunter, could you please describe in relative detail what you enjoyed or did not enjoy about the campaign?
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Re: Player Made Campaign Support

Postby elenchus » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:34 am

skyironsword wrote:Hello. rocktheworld315 here; I have changed computers, and my new username is skyironsword. Unfortunately, the computer change resulted in the loss of my old file, so Virtual Network will not be finished.

Void Hunter apparently has beaten T-Symmetry in terms of highest rating, and I would like to know whether or not this is due to lack of votes or high quality.

If you have played 3: Void Hunter, could you please describe in relative detail what you enjoyed or did not enjoy about the campaign?

This playthrough was on Elite difficulty on a new account.


Nightmare (1) is a fairly one-dimensional artifact deck; it doesn't really have any twist to differentiate it from other artifact decks, besides maybe the inclusion of Titan Shields? I don't play AR midrange much so I don't know if Titan Shield is typically used.

Delirium (1.1) was skipped; I'm playing on a new account, so I don't have the cards I'd need to play against it. My gut feeling is that it might be interesting to have it play without the Prismatic Spires but have a big pool of starting energy, so it has a limited stock of energy to fuel its actis, something like the later Flash Black, but I haven't tested out anything like that yet. You could also put Neyon'Moru in their hand to compensate for the fact that you can only start with seven legends.

Mindslab (2) is also one-dimensional, though I do like that you mapped the Relentless buff to CC rush. (Though that might be just a coincidence.) The base generates HU instead of CC, which should probably be fixed.

Broken Glass (3) was a fun challenge; while the gimmick is extremely simple I'd definitely consider this a more fun gimmick to play against than Delirium's.

Storm Chaser (3.1) was... nice in the way a piece of art is nice, but not an entertaining mission. It reminded me of nothing so much as playing solitaire; it's highly noninteractive. Decks focused on stuff that deals damage directly to the base are fine, but there should at least be some non-Shatterer ships to interact with. Even something like an Artillery Turret would have made the mission more interesting, since you would no longer have victory assured many turns in advance of actually winning.

Echo Chamber (4) is much like a better version of Broken Glass; its win conditions (Technomancer and Voidbringer) can indeed be played around, though unfortunately it's countered trivially by Sparks. Note that the base generates HU instead of MT/TM. I wouldn't call it fun to play against, since control decks generally aren't, but it's definitely a fair and viable mission.

Chemical Cipher (5) could probably do with some sort of anti-Spark protection on its key ship, such as an "lower target ship's defense by X" acti or an acti that decreases its own stats or somesuch; if your intention was for it to have 0 attack, take note that it gets attack on higher difficulties. Besides this, my only comment will be that this is the third heavy control deck in a row.

Prankster Comet (6) is cookie-cutter XY control, save perhaps for the emphasis on commanders.

Darksteel Reactor (7) has a deck that is cookie-cutter CA midrange, but the addition of the Reactor (52/204 Cloaked Arcane Voidsplitter) changes how the battle proceeds in novel ways. I like this mission very much; an entirely new playing experience results from just one small change.

Aeon Gate (8) again has its key ship vulnerable to Spark at higher difficulties; Artillery Frigates will not sacrifice themselves to save Aeon Gate from Sparks. If not cheesed in this manner, I worry that "0: Spawn a Fuel Tanker" might be too strong for even CA with Thogrom Bombers to defeat. Outside of now-defunct Greater Techno Demon decks, you don't see RV/RD much, and the usual problems with low card variety were alleviated somewhat in this deck with splashes of cards like Shatter, so this was definitely fun to play against.

Internal Server Error (9) feels like it was constructed without much thought behind it; it's essentially four of every dual-color card plus staples. Unlike Aeon Gate, which chose nonorthodox monocolored cards from each race that fit the deck's ship control theme, the cards chosen here are generic staples. Furthermore, the deck has no win condition; there's plenty of stuff to drag the game on, but there's nothing for the deck to do once they've taken control, so it's easy to just build up resources and wait for the stall to run out.

Gravity Well (10) is cookie-cutter HU/CC rush; the closest thing to a surprise in the deck is the fact that it runs Flare Spire. Besides the usual problems with running so many missions with cookie-cutter decks, it's quite unthematic to the name and description of the mission; Shatterers, even Shatterers with ten extra HP, are not associated with durability.

Ghost of the Past (11) would be expected from the description ("ships from the nearby gravity well") to be a continuation of Gravity Well with a new twist. Instead, it seems as though an actual deck fitting the theme of Gravity was used. Although it still feels like a "bring every dual-color card despite lack of synergies" deck, cards like Assault help it play differently from normal Xyth-era XY/RV, which is quite laudable. Note that the AI tends to burn their Assaults early and not keep them for Terrornaughts.

Supernova (11.1) is also vulnerable to Spark. Besides this, it's fairly boring due to the continued problem of low card variety (besides the surprise Greater Rift Demon), but there aren't any gaping flaws.

Flash Black (12) curiously does not have its key ship (Fade to Black) gain attack at higher difficulties... not that you'd want to spark it anyways, of course. Besides that, I'm worried that with the way the mission's set up (huge pool of energy, deck containing no structures) the mission may be a bit too luck-based, depending heavily on what ships were in the opening hand. I'm also concerned that Fade to Black, which damages its own base, is not a relevant card; either you survive the initial rush and the opponent keels over once it runs out of energy, or you don't and get outrushed. A self-damaging card doesn't affect the outcome of the battle either way; it's not going to turn any game that would be a loss into a win, since the mission isn't about outracing the opponent.

Stairway to Heaven (13) is vulnerable to Spark at higher difficulties. Besides that, running a deck of heavy ships with an intended-to-be-permanent Chaos Maw seems odd.

The Perfect Run (14) is truly glorious. It wasn't very fun to play through because of my running into three Mind Hacks in the first two turns (early hand control isn't very fun to play against, since there's nothing you can do to play around it), but the mission was definitely very imposing and memorable, even though shipyards can just throw chump blockers against the Dream Eater with impunity.

Grand Finale (15) is... unfortunately less than truly glorious. "Make a deck with nothing but four copies each of the cheapest ships of each race and run them off random base energy alone", besides being painfully easy to defeat, is entirely too uncool for a final battle. Also, there's HU generation on the base.


I like that some missions in the campaign are fairly difficult and I can't just beat it with a single deck. The difficulty level is quite inconsistent, though; there are a few strong missions that necessitate deck changes, and then there's a long stretch of missions in the middle that play out more or less the same and can all be beaten by the same deck (I used CA with Sparks). I also quite like that the opening and closing texts to the earlier missions were quite evocative, though the interesting descriptions became rarer and rarer as the campaign progressed. My main criticism would be that attempts to be novel do not frequently occur; the decks are almost invariably one-dimensional or based around a very simple gimmick. One way to make the decks less one-dimensional would be to introduce more card variety. Instead of playing four copies of every staple and a minimum-size deck, you could take only two copies and splash some perhaps suboptimal cards or even custom cards with the rest of the deck space. As it stands, the most novelty is found in the campaign's all-too-infrequent attempts to make unusual color combinations or twists on existing color combinations, and while this can be interesting, only The Perfect Run was particularly memorable and none of the missions provide something genuinely new.
Word of warning: scores might be inflated because you only get to score the campaign if you defeat it, and this campaign is quite long. I'm fairly certain the scores for T-Symmetry are inflated for similar reasons. Eleven people rated your campaign before I did, though, so the previous score of 9 wasn't just the opinion of one or two people.
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Re: Player Made Campaign Support

Postby skyironsword » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:40 am

Thank you for your detailed review, elenchus.

Aeon Gate was intended to be a 'midboss' or sorts, with the Perfect Run being the 'final boss'. It seems that you enjoyed playing against these. Nightmare was intended to be an introduction stage, and Grand Finale a cooldown stage. Grand Finale will most likely be removed entirely if this campaign is ever to be rereleased.

Delirium's Neyon'Moru is excluded specifically because it is the legendary least able to hold its own in a fight, and the stage is near impossible if it is included, in fact. So far, this stage has only been cleared with tedious use of Sparks and Scanner Ghosts, though it is possible, at least on Normal, to clear it with the cards given to you on a new account.

From what I gather, you'd like to see more stages that change how you are meant to play against them entirely, like Darksteel Reactor did, and more strange cards, like the Greater-Rift-Demon-out-of-nowhere in the Supernova stage. If this is the case, how do you propose that existing stages be changed? Did you feel that effects like an eternal Chaos Maw and the Supernova did not require you to play around them, when you weren't sparking them to death? I noted that you didn't comment on Ghost of the Past's gimmick at all. Did you simply clear all the Time Capsules at the very beginning with an AoE effect, or did the four-slot restriction not affect gameplay?

I would like to inquire, if I stated at the beginning that the missions were to be played on Normal, could the issues with the key ships being destructible on Elite be ignored, or must every mission be completely functional on every difficulty? (Personally, I would like if there was an option to disable certain difficulties.)
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Re: Player Made Campaign Support

Postby elenchus » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:36 am

It might be a bit inelegant to say "This campaign is tuned to be played only on Normal difficulty" right at the beginning, but that certainly isn't a major problem, though you'll have to make the camapigns a bit stronger to compensate. Of course, it would also be possible to fit in a Xyloxi-like acti on relevant ships to make it decrease its attack back down to 0, or a Crusher acti to destroy sparks without damaging them. Alternatively, you could put the abilities on a structure with CIP "This structure becomes cloaked when it enters play".

The cloaked high-HP ships (and cloaked structures) are good ways to effectively make decks viable that are too difficult to run in the real game, or to impose new rules onto the game. I feel you had good ideas for the latter with stuff like Eternal Chaos Maw, but I would have liked to see more of that. For instance, you could give a deck OP custom cards costing a type of energy that can't be generated by the deck normally with shipyards that spawn ships that generate that energy when they die, or you could make a deck that makes dual Channelers viable. Since there's a heavy emphasis on two-color decks throughout the campaign, you could create custom decks for languishing XY/CC or outright nonexistent CA/TM; what cards would fit the themes of both in interesting ways? In the end, many of the big custom ships that should have been the most memorable parts of each mission have abilities that are fairly generic.

I did feel like the eternal Chaos Maw did require me to play around it during my non-Spark run; I would have considered that a high point in the campaign, much like Darksteel Reactor was. Unfortunately, the mission deck isn't capable of playing around Chaos Maw itself, with a deck full of Breakers, Pulsars, and Hypernoughts and a distinct lack of small ships; it only managed to get out two ships, which were easily ignored as my ships in the other five slots continued hitting their base. The too-easy opponent consequently dragged down the enjoyability of the mission significantly. Similarly, the space restriction in Ghost of the Past would synergize best with a deck emphasizing active structures and big ships- really, your commander-heavy deck in Prankster Comet with added Nebula Spires and Thunder Shards would fit much better mechanically.
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Re: Player Made Campaign Support

Postby skyironsword » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:09 am

Do you think the following list of changes would suffice?

*Particularly good missions

Nightmare (1) - Needs a key card and more variety
Delirium (1.1) - No change
Mindslab (2) - Needs a key card and more variety
Broken Glass (3)* - No change
Storm Chaser (3.1) - Deck that isn't SMOrc
Echo Chamber (4) - No change
Chemical Cipher (5) - More variety
Prankster Comet (6) - Needs a key card and more variety
Darksteel Reactor (7)* - No change
Aeon Gate (8)* - No change
Internal Server Error (9) - Deck with a win condition and more variety
Gravity Well (10) - Deck with durability
Ghost of the Past (11) - Deck with large ships
Supernova (11.1) - More variety
Flash Black (12) - Slower deck
Stairway to Heaven (13) - Deck with small ships
The Perfect Run (14)* - No change
Grand Finale (15) - Remove entirely

It'll be a while before any of these are implemented, of course, since I'd have to recreate the campaign in its entirety due to the new account.
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Re: Player Made Campaign Support

Postby Joacobanfield2 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:02 am

You know what? Sure, let's make a campaign where you have to defeat cards based on forum members.

Final bosses will be PenneyRZ, Greywing and NULLLAdmin. I'm also thinking of putting Hawk, DEEP SPACE, ginger, bluewing, Mariner...

And myself, obviously.
I write some stuff...
Like this.

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