Thoughts On Ancient Converter

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space-mariner51
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby space-mariner51 » Mon May 21, 2012 8:01 pm

Greywing wrote: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.


Can you explain this:
Say I got 7 :tm: and 2 :rd: , against 2 Dark Rifts. Why do the Dark Rifts always seem to drain the lowest energy type I got, in this case, my :rd: ?
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby dark1n » Mon May 21, 2012 8:23 pm

the phenomenon is called murphy's law and it isn't unique to xyth.

edit: academic hat on, you know there's 25% chance rifts would drain 2 :tm:, 50% chance for 1 :tm: 1 :rd:, and 25% (disregarding the law i mentioned) that they'll drain 2 :rd:. together that's 75% chance to drain at least 1 :rd:. 75% is enough for you (and me) to get the feeling we'll never have those 3-4 :rd: we need.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Mon May 21, 2012 9:55 pm

The reason I dislike randomness so much is because it disproportionally benefits the weaker player.

Imagine a board state where the game is player vs AI with both players at 1 life and the AI has a ship with 1 attack in the far right slot.

The player has 6 ships each with 10 attack in the left slots and a techno wall with 30 HP in the last slot.

The AI gets to draw their card and play their turn. If their card can destroy a techno wall while allowing them to keep their attack phase, the AI will win, otherwise the AI will lose.

So the AI can draw chain reaction and win, lost mine and win, anti matter bomb and win. If the AI draws a targeted kill spell, it just wins assuming it is correctly programmed.

Suppose the AI draws Energy Burst.

Now the chance just became 1/7 that the AI wins and 6/7 chance that the AI loses.

The vast majority of the time the stronger side will win, but in a minority of cases the stronger side will get "swindled" for lack of a better word. It will feel a whole heck of a lot like the AI is cheating in those minority of cases and it makes people very angry.

It can also happen in PVP matches. If so, then it would allow a newb pvper to potentially wreck the PVP score of a pro on a 1/7 chance.

The same thing applies to energy drain lands. If the chance is 25% that the player will drain 2 gold with 2 lands and they absolutely need that to happen or they lose then 25% of the time a loss will be avoided only because of random events that neither player can control.

Whoever is in the drivers seat should have a little bit more standing between themselves and a loss than a minor random event.

The same sort of thing also applies in games like D&D. Pretend there is a house rule that if a player rolls a 20 on a d20 then they get to roll the d20 again. If they get a 20 a second time it results in the opponent's head being cut off. It is cool when players do such an awesome thing against a dragon and defeat it. It is uncool when a fly gets the same roll against the super high level highly geared player character.

It is a ripoff from the perspective of the dragon when it gets one hit killed by the players and a ripoff from the perspective of the players when some super weak thing gets to kill a powerful player because the super weak thing was ultra lucky.

It is better just to try to limit randomness as much as possible.

The saying goes "May the best man win", not "May the luckiest man win".

This is why games like MTG generally limit randomness to the order of the cards in the deck rather than having cards with random effects as well and why games like poker have rigid definitions of what value cards have (a pair of 2s will never beat a pair of aces in this game, for instance).

It is also why people don't seriously play games like Monopoly in a tournament setting very often. The difference between a player that knows the rules of Monopoly and an expert player is so small as to not be noteworthy.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby space-mariner51 » Tue May 22, 2012 12:47 am

PenneyRZ wrote:The reason I dislike randomness so much is because it disproportionally benefits the weaker player.

Imagine a board state where the game is player vs AI with both players at 1 life and the AI has a ship with 1 attack in the far right slot.

The player has 6 ships each with 10 attack in the left slots and a techno wall with 30 HP in the last slot.

The AI gets to draw their card and play their turn. If their card can destroy a techno wall while allowing them to keep their attack phase, the AI will win, otherwise the AI will lose.

So the AI can draw chain reaction and win, lost mine and win, anti matter bomb and win. If the AI draws a targeted kill spell, it just wins assuming it is correctly programmed.

Suppose the AI draws Energy Burst.

Now the chance just became 1/7 that the AI wins and 6/7 chance that the AI loses.

The vast majority of the time the stronger side will win, but in a minority of cases the stronger side will get "swindled" for lack of a better word. It will feel a whole heck of a lot like the AI is cheating in those minority of cases and it makes people very angry.

It can also happen in PVP matches. If so, then it would allow a newb pvper to potentially wreck the PVP score of a pro on a 1/7 chance.

The same thing applies to energy drain lands. If the chance is 25% that the player will drain 2 gold with 2 lands and they absolutely need that to happen or they lose then 25% of the time a loss will be avoided only because of random events that neither player can control.

Whoever is in the drivers seat should have a little bit more standing between themselves and a loss than a minor random event.

The same sort of thing also applies in games like D&D. Pretend there is a house rule that if a player rolls a 20 on a d20 then they get to roll the d20 again. If they get a 20 a second time it results in the opponent's head being cut off. It is cool when players do such an awesome thing against a dragon and defeat it. It is uncool when a fly gets the same roll against the super high level highly geared player character.

It is a ripoff from the perspective of the dragon when it gets one hit killed by the players and a ripoff from the perspective of the players when some super weak thing gets to kill a powerful player because the super weak thing was ultra lucky.

It is better just to try to limit randomness as much as possible.

The saying goes "May the best man win", not "May the luckiest man win".

This is why games like MTG generally limit randomness to the order of the cards in the deck rather than having cards with random effects as well and why games like poker have rigid definitions of what value cards have (a pair of 2s will never beat a pair of aces in this game, for instance).

It is also why people don't seriously play games like Monopoly in a tournament setting very often. The difference between a player that knows the rules of Monopoly and an expert player is so small as to not be noteworthy.


Well, if you take out the randomness, then this stops becoming fun, and turns into who has the Ultranought out first (actually, who can get it out first) We need it, especially when we're behind and very few things can keep you from losing. Otherwise, everyone will surrender when a battleship is out and all you got are fighters and no Lost Mines left. That means we can pick and choose any of our cards and play them whenever (up to 7 at a time). Wanna play?
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue May 22, 2012 3:52 am

PenneyRZ wrote:This is why games like MTG generally limit randomness to the order of the cards in the deck rather than having cards with random effects as well


space-mariner51 wrote:Well, if you take out the randomness


I guess...
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Greywing » Tue May 22, 2012 8:44 am

A bit of randomness can do no harm imo. I've cut down on it compared to HD1 (at least the ratio randomness vs number of cards). Stuff like the energy structures that repair a rnd ship, or damage a rnd ship, etc works well - these are generally tiny effects.

The thing is -like Penny said- to make sure that the randomness isn't located where it can win or lose a game.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby HerselvTehElv » Tue May 22, 2012 12:26 pm

In Texas Hold 'Em a pair of deuces will beat a pair of aces roughly 20% of the time. 1 in 5.

Compare chess to poker: the best chess players are not very rich, while even a mediocre poker player can currently earn around $3-4k/month with 20 hours per week. This used to be higher in 2000 (around $7-10k/month). The reason is chess has a huge edge, the best player will win virtually all the time and the only luck factor is if 2 players are quite close in skill and the better player hasn't had a good nights rest because his neighbours were having the loud kind of sex all night. This is also the reason that chess for money is pretty much dead, because people can't say "bah I was only unlucky". In poker even the worst players will complain about bad luck despite luck being the only reason they ever win anything at all. In poker everyone thinks they're a hotshot and even some professional players that live off sponsorship can't even breakeven on NL100. It's pretty easy to make money off people who think they're better then you and even when you consistently beat them in HU you will only win around 60-65%, and that's the reason that people will continue to play you. There's a rush when they win due to a lucky streak of cards and still winning 40-35% of the time doesn't make them feel like they're being hopelessly crushed like in chess.

None of this has anything to do with HD:X, but I felt it needed to be cleared up.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue May 22, 2012 12:48 pm

What I meant was traditional 5 card draw.

In Texas Hold'Em the 2s won't beat the aces ever. Only if you flop a 2 or something and make it 3 x 2's vs 2 aces, but that's not really what we are talking about.

Once all the card have been dealt if all you have is 2x 2s you are pretty screwed.

I agree that chess isn't a very good betting sport, but HDX is also not a very good betting sport.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby HerselvTehElv » Tue May 22, 2012 1:06 pm

In 5 card draw you can still draw to trips or 2 pair with the discard.

And yes that's what we are talking about. AA will lose 20% of the time vs 22, and here you are saying losing a game due to a 1 in 7 shot is bad.

Furthermore, the player with AA will think he has the best hand on many dry flops. For the player with 22 it's clear that he has lost when he does not improve to a draw or a set. It's extremely easy to win the players entire stack with your ducks, despite starting with the worse hand. The AA has to overset the deuces (roughly 1% chance) to stack them. To say that you're going to wait until the river to make a decision is incorrect, because most of the money goes in on the first 3 streets. At the river AA likely shoves the rest of his stack in anyway and there's no way a deuce on the river changes anything about that. It doesn't even phase me when I lose a $200 stack due to a set made on the river because the donkey called off preflop/flop/turn, that's how often it happens.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue May 22, 2012 3:58 pm

We are talking about two different things.

You are talking about % chance to lose based on future events and I am talking about card values after all the cards are on the table.

After all the cards are on the table, if it is true that one has AA and the other has 22, the 22 will never win. This is pretty much the meaning of fixed valuations. After all is said and done the 22 cannot overtake AA.

Prior to the final comparison there is some huge battle of wits, skill, bluffing, analysis, and so on, but afterwards a 2 is just a 2.

You have a point that the last card drawn should be able to affect the outcome of the game. I see that.

If someone has 22 vs AA and the final card comes down and its a 2, guess what. SOL. No rational person would have bet on the 22, but through some extreme luck the last card is a 2. Oh well.

My point is not that the last card is a 2. The energy burst is no equivalent of a 2. The energy burst is the equivalent of a wild card, a joker, whatever you want to call it, except only for one player. Except that it isn't even a joker in the sense that you can choose the value of the card. It is a joker that has to go through a second random process to determine what it truly is and you have no control over what it turns out to be.

To determine the true value of the joker, you have to sift through the deck for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and thoroughly randomize those cards after they have been removed from the deck and if that process results in the 2 being selected only then does the 22 beat the AA.

It is not the same thing to say that 2 random events (card draw plus additional random resolution) is equal to 1 random event (the card draw).

Sure, many people will feel cheated if they lose on the initial event. This is similar to a 2 hitting the table as the final card. What is not OK is the second random event that must take place before the outcome is decided.

Had the first random event been a Lost Mine, that would be like a 2 hitting the table as the final card (except much more likely to happen than the 3rd 2 in some version of poker).

That isn't what is being discussed here. What is being discussed is that the energy burst has to randomly be drawn AND it has to randomly hit the right target on a very low chance (1/7).

Nothing in your Texas Hold'em metaphor can possibly parallel this sort of scenario, because there is no card in Texas Hold'em that has a value that is randomly determined after it is drawn. There is no card in the deck where 86% of the time it counts as a 3 and 14% of the time it counts as a 2. Such a card will never come down as the last card in 22 vs AA because it doesn't exist in the rules of the game.

Part of the reason that it doesn't exist in the rules of the game is just that Texas Hold'em would not be a better game if it did exist. The random outcome would add nothing to the value of Texas Hold'em itself as a stand alone entity. If there was some value in this concept, then there would be a new game created with this concept included and people would play that instead of Texas Hold'em.

The world has spoken and said that they would prefer that Texas Hold'em is more like Chess than it is like Chutes and Ladders. There is a clear intent in Poker that randomness does play a part in the game (the card draw action) and there is a clear intent that outside of that one random event there is no other randomness inherent to the game.

Someone can so stupid things and play the game in a random way, but that isn't mentioned anywhere in the rules. There is also nothing stopping you from drawing a Lost Mine and using it on ships 1 through 6 instead of ship 7 where it will win you the game. The game itself doesn't govern that.

Any randomness instituted into poker other than the value of the card drawn is outside the rules and intent of the game.

It is, however, apparently part of HD. That is the part where HD becomes more like chutes and ladders and less like chess.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby HerselvTehElv » Fri May 25, 2012 7:04 pm

PenneyRZ wrote:The world has spoken and said that they would prefer that Texas Hold'em is more like Chess than it is like Chutes and Ladders.


Is that why poker is infinitely more popular then chess? Because everyone wishes it was more like chess?

Randomness = randomness. The randomness in poker is far worse then the randomness in HD. The edge in HD is far greater then the edge in poker.
Making an arbitrary distinction and disliking one type of randomness despite the actual effect of the randomness being less is illogical to say the least.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby idea bulb » Fri May 25, 2012 8:11 pm

Randomness is important in a large amount of cases because if there was no randomness it would be possable to create a perfect deck, one that no one would be able to beat and that would be one thing that we can all agree would be very bad.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue May 29, 2012 4:58 am

HerselvTehElv wrote:Is that why poker is infinitely more popular then chess? Because everyone wishes it was more like chess?

Randomness = randomness. The randomness in poker is far worse then the randomness in HD. The edge in HD is far greater then the edge in poker.
Making an arbitrary distinction and disliking one type of randomness despite the actual effect of the randomness being less is illogical to say the least.


Yet another flawed comparison.

How about, this one instead:

Why are there world championships of Chess, but not world championships of Chutes and Ladders?

How about this one too:

Why does the WSOP play Texas Hold'em rather than 5 card draw?

Or:

Why is the world champion of the WSOP, a Texas Hold'em player, considered the World Champion of Poker?

Could it be, perhaps, that Texas Hold'em is preferred over 5 card draw and played instead of 5 card draw because the reduction in randomness allows the better players to win more often in Texas Hold'em than they do in 5 card draw and therefore Texas Hold'em is a more skill testing game and less of a luck testing game?

Could it perhaps be that Texas Hold'em is the version of poker that has pretty much the least randomness of all poker variants (therefore the most like chess) and that is why people play it most seriously?

Could it also be that there are no cards in any poker variant that can randomly be one of 7 different cards because the resulting game would be a straight downgrade from what is currently available?

No matter what kind of sad arguments you make that pick and choose 1 sentence out of 100 to nitpick, your entire argument is already refuted at its core so you might as well stop now.

Even in HD, people know this. It is uncommon for Energy Burst to be chosen in preference to anything that has a target that the player chooses, because as soon as the enemy has 2 different ships in play an Energy Burst is simply worse than a Lost Mine. Waiting for the 5 more energy is preferable over having your kill spell target a 1/1 when a 15/50 is on the board.

The only time that Energy Burst is good is if you can be completely sure the random aspect of the card will never come into play.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Tue May 29, 2012 5:05 am

well, it's a low risk potential-for-high reward type of thing. with energy burst, if you are not gridlocked, you are elliminating another ship and saving yourselves a problem later. if you are, then you are removing one of your opponent's ships that's blocking you; either that, or you just saved an unblocked lane from being a problem.

of course, this is assuming all ships are equal, which of course they are not.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby http404error » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:31 am

Energy Burst is STILL better than Diabolic Edict (and company), and those DEFINITELY saw play (in control, in combination with targeted removal).
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby dark1n » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:57 am

in statistics dump from february 19. Energy Burst is fifth most used RD card, closely behind Elemental Rift, GTD, Demonic Rift and GND.

apparently, nobody minds the randomness issue. it's a cheap finger in enemy's eye until you gather energy to pull out greater demons.

Techno Quasar? second most used TM card, first being ETC (which is up there because three races can use it equally). that card is so cheap that it is broken. randomness does nothing to negate the advantage it gives. 4TQ equals 6-8 wasted opponents cards. of course everyone packs a few copies. it only ruins the game for me, making people abandon ship tactics and turtle up with elemental sparks and cloaked ships.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:26 pm

This isn't about how good the random destroy cards are or how they particularly affect dark1n.

It doesn't really matter how good the cards are and it definitely doesn't matter how much dark1n likes or doesn't like them.

What it is about is that the whole concept of the cards in general is not a good one. Once the card is drawn what matters is how to use it strategically to achieve one's goals. These cards can't be used strategically except if the opponent has only as many ships as they can destroy in play.

Once the enemy has more ships than the card can destroy then all strategy goes out the window. All you have left at that point is the hope and pray method.

It is a lot like the card Chaos Orb in MTG. That card required you to flip it from in the air and hope it lands on your opponents cards and in particular hope it lands on the particular cards that you want to destroy with it. This card rewarded a completely stupid skill that is in no way involved with strategy. Learning how to make pieces of paper rotate in the air and land in a certain place should never have been a factor in tournament MTG, and the game is immensely better off now that this phase of the game is gone.

The hope and pray was a huge factor in that card too. Case in point I never heard of anyone winning a tournament off the back of their pro level Chaos Orb card flip skills. It allowed people to luck out into much better board positions, but I am pretty sure nobody ever actually got consistent enough with it such that they could always hit what they wanted to hit.

There was too much randomness involved once the card was drawn and it allowed a cheap card to randomly be stupidly good. Sound familiar?
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby Verden Leafglow » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:07 am

Well, to back up a few posts, I was suggesting that only the Ancient Converter drain energy on a per-energy basis (actual buildings that drain energy from opponent ought to drain any particular energy, else they wouldn't be much use in most cases) for the following reasons:

-The advantage the Ancient Converter provides is that it provides an even spread of energy.
-But the problem is that that supposed advantage is often more of a disadvantage that anything, because it tends to drain the energy you need.
-Furthermore, the thing risks dying if you don't have enough energy, so you must have other energy support with the Ancient Converter at the beginning of the round.
-Finally, the Ancient Converter does not provide any other bonus as does the Prismatic Generator with it's 10 hit points.

To put it simply, the Ancient Converter seems to offer way too many disadvantages and not quite enough help! A drain that statistically targets the largest stocks really isn't an unreasonable idea.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:57 am

Targetting the largest stocks would require completely new code, therefore it isn't likely.

A change that is more likely and works toward the same goal nearly as effectively is just to drop the drain from 5 to 4.
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Re: Thoughts On Ancient Converter

Postby DEEP SPACE » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:13 am

With the new AR structures, this one that all here are talking can become a cheap structure.

The problem is that drains 5 energy. If this structure, for example, one of the 5 energy drained is 1 :rv: , when AC generates one of each, it results: -1 :rv: +1 :rv: = +0 :rv: energy.

My idea is:

Ancient Convertor
4 :rl:
0 :rl: : Sacrifice target allied ship to generate X random energy, when X is twice the cost of that ship.

This makes AC more good when you is comparing it with this:

* Spectralis Channeler : elite resource action, costs 5
drains all your energy, for each 2 energy drained, generates 3 random energy

(X/2)x3
So
(24/2)x3= 36 :rl:
And
(52/2)x3= 78 :rl:

More you have, more to you it gives.
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