Thoughts On Ancient Converter

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Verden Leafglow
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Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Verden Leafglow » Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 pm

I decided to do some fiddling and testing for fun to consider the effectiveness of Ancient Converters and how meaningfully they could be used in a Rainbow deck. My experiments have brought me to a single conclusion that seems unavoidable.

It would seem that, when the Ancient Converter drains the 5 energy, there is an equal probability that each point of energy will come from any one of the energy types. This of course makes sense - it IS supposed to be random. The main issue this has caused for me when using the Ancient Converters is that this all too often ends up draining some energy type I need, and giving me some other energy type I have no use for. At the end of the day, the only thing I can be guaranteed, even with 4 Converters, is that I will have at least 1 of each energy type, which certainly is NOT sufficient to make a Rainbow deck terribly effective.

Seeing as Ancient Converters have no alternative bonus (as do Prismatic Generators or Data Cubes), and since the item giving +1 extra random energy generation is comparatively fairly useless (needs to be +2), I'd like to suggest the following alternative structure for Ancient Converters to drain and restore energy.

When generating energy, Ancient Converters would be the same - gives one of each type.
When draining energy, each point of energy is randomly drained proportional to the amount of energy the player has of each energy type.

So, for example, suppose a player had the following energy:

1 Solar
1 Dark
2 Nebular
6 Fusion
4 Gravimetric
4 Entropic
1 Dimensional
1 Elemental

Then the following would happen: since there's 20 energy total, then...

5% chance of draining a solar
5% chance of draining a dark
10% chance of draining a nebular
and so on...and this would occur for each of the 5 energy that is drained (individually)


The result is that the draining effect is still quite RANDOM, but will tend towards a situation where energy stockpiles are drained, and energy deficits are relieved. I figure this would be a bit more helpful for making these useful. Would appreciate your thoughts.
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PenneyRZ
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue May 15, 2012 9:22 pm

I think Admin doesn't want it to be easy to cast Greater Prismatics for whatever reason.

Not like it is a super useful ship anyway.

I have been trying to get him to change the cost to 20 random forever (and 10 random for the lesser) which would make all casting costs the same type, but I guess we aren't after that level of elegance.

Anyway, for now color fixing in prismatic decks isn't supposed to be easy.

There are plenty of ways to address that problem. You could just try to generate plain more energy, or you could try to put structures after the converter that get specific kinds of energy.

An example of that last kind would be

Ancient Converter
Solar Fusor
Grav Crystal
Slave Spire
Dimensional Rift

Then you would come out with 2 of each kind of energy reliably every turn, assuming you had at least 5 to start the turn with minus whatever amount you generate every turn.

You could also try just having a converter followed by 4x Prismatic Spires. It wouldn't be reliable, but after 2 or 3 turns it would be for the most part.

You could also just play with Spectralis Core and do whatever you wanted.

Anyway, I think admin wants us to have such annoyances. You might as well get used to dealing with them.

Either that or just don't play with Greater Prismatic Demons because they do suck after all.
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dark1n
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby dark1n » Tue May 15, 2012 10:27 pm

@Verden:
ancient converter has no special logic. it drains :rl: same way battleships and mines do.

and i like it the way it is.

this way, i can have an AR+RD deck with 2-3 :rl: structures and 2-3 :rd: rifts in 5 slots; so, i combine expensive RD ships with cheap stuff from all other races. but if it was done the way you are considering, to have 8-10 :rd:, i'd have to wait (almost) to have 8 energy units in all other stocks.

besides, in HDS, there aren't many :rl: generating structures to choose from. for a classic spectrum deck, you don't really have an option of not using Ancient Converter. and i predict it will still see enough use in the next game, even with the new structures on the way.
- - - - - - - - -
@penney:
after seeing a list of new cards for HDS, i was a bit sad to see that there are no new ships that require all kinds of energy (although it helps at least three ships). but at least gw didn't ruin prismatic demons (for me). we could say he decided half-way between what you and i wanted...
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PenneyRZ
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Wed May 16, 2012 3:27 am

I am sorry that it would ruin the cards for you if they were designed elegantly and in a way that made sense in terms of the game as a whole.

It is kinda ridiculous to have a whole different way to cast cards and have it only apply to 0.04% of the available cards or less (2/500).

No rule in a game should exist if it is applicable that percentage of the time, especially so if there is no downside for not having the rule.

Simplicity > Needless Complexity

If there is no benefit to the alternate rule, which there isn't, then there is no point in having it.

Please feel free to help me understand why you think the game is better off with this rule in place.

In the U.S. there is no single person that is familiar with the entirety of the tax code. Lawyers build careers off of specializing on a few particular lines of it out of the many tens of thousands contained therein.

The current tax code is a good example of what happens when people listen to the "please don't ruin prismatic demons for me" line of reasoning when making decisions.

Case in point, it is full of loopholes that apply to 0.04% of Americans or less. The other 99.96% of Americans lives suck more from a harder to understand tax code while the 0.04% get all the benefit.

The 0.04% should suck it up so things are better for what statistically counts as everybody.

If I was in charge of the tax code, stupid rules (and/or loopholes) that affect 0.04% of Americans or less would be gone. The same thing would apply if I was designing HDX.

Sure, some people would be all whiny when their favorite way to avoid paying their share of taxes was removed, but think of the societal benefits when the average person on the street could competently file their own taxes unaided.
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dark1n
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby dark1n » Wed May 16, 2012 10:17 am

i never said i liked the way prismatic demons are implemented. i don't. i too would like to see a more elegant solution (like this).

but i like the fact that they require 8 different energy types.
ant that could be extended to other ships, for example Starcrusher and Alpha Battleship could get a CIP ability: "drains 10 :rl: of at least 4 different kinds or is destroyed." instead of cost.

not elegant at all. i'd even say cumbersome. but it would limit some ships from being used by 1-2 color decks.
of course, i'd still prefer that implemented as built-in cost type, instead of bulky and bothersome CIP ability.
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PenneyRZ
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Wed May 16, 2012 2:17 pm

I still don't get it.

Why should someone be prevented from playing an artifact card if they have the required amount of energy in their pool? I didn't say type, I said amount.

Artifact is clearly not a race equal to the other 9. Every non-prismatic-demon artifact card is meant to be usable in whatever deck people feel like using it in.

I don't see any good reason to branch away from that with Prismatic Demons either.

What if Greater Prismatic would fill in a hole in a straight pink deck, why should it not then be usable there if they can pay the required amount of energy?

The more pointless restrictions that are removed, the more that cards can be paired in interesting ways.
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Greywing
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Greywing » Wed May 16, 2012 2:42 pm

There are AR cards that have been created to function better in AR decks, rather than being support for a non-AR deck. These demons obviously belong in that category and are to remain that way.
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PenneyRZ
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Wed May 16, 2012 5:55 pm

I would argue that the prismatic demons are almost equally as bad in AR decks as they are in non-AR decks.

In the times when you happen to have the right energy to use them, they still aren't really better than other options that are easier to cast like Derelict Battleship and Lost Carrier.

There are better ways to reward players for playing these ships in primarily artifact decks. Ones that fit in with the rest of the game and do more to reward what you want to reward.
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Chyriax
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Chyriax » Wed May 16, 2012 10:21 pm

just the sheer amount of energy that AR decks get is incentive enough to play them with the expensive ships like derelict battleship, or the new AR big ships, which are also insanely easy to play in AR decks.
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Verden Leafglow
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Verden Leafglow » Thu May 17, 2012 9:22 pm

Well, for the record (and sorry for the delayed reply), I don't use Prismatic Demons/Greater Prismatic Demons at all. I don't even use Relic Fighters or ANY of the other "Random" energy ships and abilities in my deck. Prismatic Demons suck, Ghost Ships suck, as as far as I'm concerned (and as far as others seem to have observed), Ancient Torpedos, Mines, and Chain Lightning seem to be too good, and so I refuse to use them in any deck on principle. By "rainbow" deck I didn't mean "deck that uses random energy cards", I meant quite literally a deck that uses cards from each color.

Personally, I don't really see the point of "random" energy ships and abilities when those cards can be used in any deck whatsoever. It would be different if, when an Ancient Mine appeared in your hand, it randomly had the cost set to...6 Gravitational, and two Solar. A different time, it could be 3 Entropic, 3 Fusion, and 2 Dark. Whatever it comes with when you pick the card up, that's it's cost, period. If this were the system whereby these cards could be used, then only a deck specifically built for the purposes of random energy could use these. That might encourage me to use them.
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space-mariner51
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby space-mariner51 » Thu May 17, 2012 10:48 pm

I play a pure :rl: deck with some dual ships, and it's going well on normal.
I do use prismatic demons, but the lesser is just weak, and the greater could use a defense buff. Ancient Converter can help you, but it's per-turn price can be too much, and it can screw you over for the exact type of energy for the dual ships I need to play.
Converter deserves a less punishing cost; same for Spectrum Core.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby DEEP SPACE » Fri May 18, 2012 1:22 am

I winned a lot of times with a pure :rl: deck on legendary. (only a big fan of the :rl: like me can do something like this.)
:rl: DEEP SPACE :rl:
The Spectralis core.
Now in an Arcane Voidsplitter.
In other words: DEEP SPACE TO THE MAX POWER!


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Chyriax
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Chyriax » Fri May 18, 2012 2:21 am

converter is fine, has been the whole time since HD1, and so is the core, its just hard to use specific ships. i rather liked using the prisma demons when the regen was still high, and i feel that they would be great cards if we just pulled attack down and reset the regen. as it stands, that 4 regen on greater prismatic makes no difference. if it can kill something, it kills it. if it dies for some reason, it dies. there isn't enough difference between its attack and max life for any kind of regen to account for much. now, say greater prismatic had..around 8 attack and 8 regen, double regen and half attack, the regen would be comparable to relic fighter, but the base stats would be significantly higher, making a far more interesting card than the current version, and filling in a particular niche that currently only has relic fighter, essentially one easy to play for any deck, but low base stats, and one that takes pure AR, but is rather hard to kill, even if it isn't the phenomenal 16 attack anymore.
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PenneyRZ
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Fri May 18, 2012 7:06 pm

Ancient Converter probably should drop down to having a 4 or even 3 cost instead of a 5 cost.

Having the extra cost doesn't really make the card "balanced" in any meaningful way, because right now it pretty much sucks. The one and only thing it is good for is casting things that require energy of many different kinds and even then it is easier to do the same thing with Spectralis Core instead.

Even then, the cards it is powering (Prismatic Demons) aren't good cards.

So the Ancient Converter is artificially weak only to power other cards that are also artificially weak.

I would rather see Ancient Converter not suck so much so perhaps a 5 color rush deck can use it with ships that cost 1 of different colors. Those decks tend not to play super large amounts of lands (Kuro invented one that had 0 lands and 4 Prismatic Crystals as the only energy cards).

That would certainly give some kind of a purpose to a card that essentially has none.

It would, however, be worth a gain of 5 energy per turn (at 3 cost) although I don't know that the extra energy would really be that abusable since you couldn't cast anything with any real stats with it in the short term.

It would still suffer from the stupid problem that it can suck down 3 of one kind every turn and give only one of every kind thus making it hard to cast Prismatic Demons, but to a lesser extent than now when it sucks down 5.

If I had edit ability over the card database I would switch it to 4 without any thought and maybe to 3 if it still doesn't get used at 4.

As Chryiax said, it would be nice if the Prismatic Demons got a buff too, at least +6 and +12 HPs respectively.
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dark1n
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby dark1n » Sat May 19, 2012 12:02 pm

i wouldn't complain about prismatic demons getting a boost, except for one thing. from the moment i knew them (long ago), i liked the BINARITY of the two cards (yes, that's a word now), and i would hate to see it ruined because everything got scaled up in hd:spectrum and they just aren't as strong as they should be.

i admit i find the lesser of the two far too weak, even though ancient convertor allows me to throw it out on turn 2. unlike its kid-cousin, greater prismatic demon is worthy of room in my deck, but i admit its partly because of its awesomeness and partly because ancient convertors often allow me to play it on turn 3, sometimes even turn 2 if i'm lucky.

    my recommendation for demons: double regeneration for each:
  • PD: 2->4 hp/turn
  • GPD: 4->8 hp/turn (even better: 4hp regen (unchanged) plus 2 resistance; that's not too much, still less than T'I)
    with so many ships regenerating 3/turn, old values are just not impressive.
    and this solution preserves the binary nature of the two.

as for ancient convertors, i don't feel that the boost is necessary.
still 5->4 cost, i don't think that would be a problem, but 5->3 is an overkill in my opinion.
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PenneyRZ
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Sat May 19, 2012 2:42 pm

I can't go around balancing cards to conform to such random things as that every number on the cards has to be writable in binary with only a single 1.

Also, it really has nothing to do with the fact that HDS inflated power levels. The prismatic demons were competitively disadvantaged in HD1 too.

4 Regen and 2 resistance isn't going to fly that I am aware of. AFAIK, the rule is still 1 automatic ability and I am pretty sure those are both considered automatic abilities.

The 4 and 8 HP could work, but they both sound pretty aggressive to me. A greater prismatic could probably beat an Ultranought even as a defender with 8 regen. It would also beat anything RD had. It would take some serious effort to bring down over the board with 8 regen on the greater. Even a Hiraga + Akata would fall to that on the defense.

I guess it makes some small amount of sense that the most annoying thing to cast should probably be the most powerful, but you are the one claiming power creep and trying to argue for it yourself in a major way. I would rather see them stay about the same or a little better and just make them easier to get in play.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Greywing » Sat May 19, 2012 5:11 pm

It's not a random thing. Drain 1 or 2 of each = 8 or 16. 8/16/32 attack and defense. Figured people would see this sooner, but it's not that important. And i like adding things like that to games. Games don't have to be perfect mathematical examples, some randomness can be fun too. More of that in HD:X, but in such a way that it won't impact regular gameplay.

I've been considering adjusting the Rift and greater Rift demons as well :
Rift = 8/24, costs 6+2, generates 8 random when launched, 1 damage resistance
Greater = 16/48, costs 12+4, generates 16 random when launched, 2 damage resistance

Anyways. Resist would work, but then regen would have to be turned into an activatable ability. For now i've given them some more offensive power instead :
* Prismatic Demon : new acti : deal 2 damage to target ship, costs 1
* Greater Prismatic Demon : new acti : deal 4 damage to target ship, costs 2
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dark1n
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby dark1n » Sat May 19, 2012 7:12 pm

regarding my proposal for GPD with double passive ability, i'll quote Greywing from this post: "up to a certain extend it's possible to combine actions. For instance the 'Ethereal Fighter' card combines cloak and reshuffle into one ability."

for most other ships, we could just scale stats as we see fit... 5%, 10%, 13%. but to maintain prismatic demons' binary nature (please remain stubborn about that one, gw), scaling is not an option.

the best i could come up with was 4 regen + 2 res for GPD and half of that for PD. and i still prefer that to targeted damage.

- - - - - - -

as for a generous buff to greater rift demon... it needed it.

GRD has to compete with 7 other greater demons for a room in deck and i for one never had place for it. other rift demons bring specialized abilities to the board:
* GND brings across-the-board staying power (never too many of those in deck)
* GSD brings versatility
* GTD/GDD can slow the opponent a bit (not a fan)...
and the legendary GRD (HDS version) brings what? - a bit of muscle and some random energy. if i want muscle, greater chaos demon is much better - it's cheaper and immune to attack weakening.

so i like gw's plan for GRD (i still can't see myself using its medium cousin), but i'd couple that with a change to GCD, for example, i set GCD's attack to twice the (absolute) difference of #cards in players' hands. meaning 0 if they have equal number of cards in hands, up to 16 if owner's hand is full and opponents empty. why? it would then be much easier for owner's opponent to try and keep its attack low.
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Greywing
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Greywing » Sat May 19, 2012 9:08 pm

It is possible to combine the two, but resist and regen are both of the 'special' kind of ability, like cloak. Combining two of these is not as simple as others. And since they're for AR, i think some offensive power is more useful there.

The GCD proposal is a good idea. The point of the ability is to allow both players to have some control over the strength of the ship. I'll have to see which of the two abilities does that best.
It depends on what you're playing - sometimes it's easier to empty your hand, sometimes you play with 5+ cards in hand all the time.
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Greywing
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Greywing » Mon May 21, 2012 7:00 pm

I double checked with the code in HD:X (which should be identical in HD:S). Random energy draining or use (as a cost for cards of abilities) works on a per-stock base instead of a per-energy base.
This means that the game will randomly select a non-zero energy stock and substract 1 energy from it and continues doing so until the full amount to be removed is reached.

So if you have 9 solar energy and 1 dark energy, there's 50% chance that either will be hit with a 1-energy drain/cost. If it were on a per-energy base, then there would have been 90% chance that solar would lose energy. So having a few structures in your single color deck that generate 1 of two kinds of energy when entering play, is beneficial if you use cards with a random element in their cost, since the chance of that random cost taking your non-primary energy stock is -relatively- high.
While a per-energy base would be more correct from a mathematical point of view, i used this approach as it makes it easier to protect against drains and to make the use of random energy cards more friendly in decks with one or two colors. Especially with the addition of more triple-color structures in HD:X.

Of course, since all of this is random, this effect is not guaranteed.
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