The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

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The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby http404error » Mon May 21, 2012 6:07 am

General Comments

Firstly, your card design is getting a LOT better. This set of cards is a vast improvement, especially the action cards. I can tell you've been listening to Penney ( :p ).

Obviously, balance comments are premature at this point, but I just had a few questions/comments.

Will base retaliation trigger when 0 damage is dealt? Should it?

I'm not even going to bother correcting all the times you put "less than" and it should be "fewer than". You can fix that yourself with a little Find and Replace.

Everything that says: "+2/+2, put top card in deck into scrapyard" is way,way overpowered. seriously. try changing it to "discard a card". That would help. Look up Arc Slogger(mtg) for an example of what I mean. It's a REALLY REALLY good card.

"Milling" your opponent (top card of deck to scrap) is painfully useless, if you think about it. It's a little tough to understand, but let me summarize. Up until you actually deck out your opponent, every card you mill helps him/her. The odds of what they draw are unaltered, except that they have a better idea of what they're going to draw. Saying that milling your opponent takes the good cards out of his/her deck is a fallacy, just like saying shuffling your deck increases the odds of drawing a good card. They can also return cards from the scrapyard to the deck selectively to get the cards they want. I try to explain this to people in my mtg club, but they just don't get it. Also, these effects are overcosted and non-repeatable. If their purpose is to ensure a win if it comes down to decking, then they stink pathetically at it. Shuffle scrap into deck effects are far superior, as they should be. The only slightly good card is the one that deals damage equal to the milled card's cost, and it's still weak (you should be milling yourself to determine damage dealt, or discarding). I'd honestly prefer the Duress effect (choosing a card from their hand) over this. "The Mill Deck" is impossible to include all of these cards in due to color requirements, and a deck that plans to win by damage (not milling) will find these cards utterly useless.

Individual Comments

* New Intel : card action, costs 3
If opponent has more cards in hand than you, gain 3 solar energy, draw a card.

This should really be draw two cards. Otherwise it's a really really conditional "do nothing except thin my deck". Perhaps I'm not reading it right. Do you still draw if your opponent has less cards?

* Support Node (CA/MT) : 2/8 elite support ship, costs 2+1
play : all allied ships get +8 defense

Does this count itself like The Other Node, so it's essentially a 2/16? This is one of those things you don't want to be confusing players with.

* Swarm Leader : 4/25 warrior, costs 4
play : when this ship enters play, it gets +1/+1 for each allied copy of it in play
acti : regens for up to X, where X is 1 + the number of allied Swarm Leaders in play, costs 1

This should give ALL Swarm Leaders in play +1/+1 so that they will be symmetrical. Kind of like a static bonus.

* Interceptor : 4/18 soldier, costs 2
play : can attack the turn it enters play
acti : target ship doesn't attack next turn but deals x damage to this ship, equal to its current attack, costs 1

Either give it more HP or make it hit the other ship back.

* Siege Praetor (CC/HU) : 7/24 elite commander, costs 7
play : drains up to 2 solar energy when enters play, for each energy drained, it deals 2 damage to opposing base
acti : deals its damage to target ship, if that ship retaliates for its attack, costs 2

Either drain up to 4 or 5 or multiply for 4 or 5.
I don't understand the wording of the second ability. Replace the "if" with "and"? That would make sense.
In regard to the entire Praetor Cycle, consider making it just check if you have energy of the type in your stock rather than draining it.

* Datacide : damage action, costs 5+1
target ship you control deals its damage to opposing base and is destroyed, opponent puts the top card of their deck into their scrap.

Penney's going to yell at you for making bad action cards like this.

* Searching Thoughtlines : repair action, costs 3
look at opponents hand, repair your base for X * 3, where X is the number of ships in opponent's hand

I foresee that by the time your base has taken damage (and needs repair), your opponents ships will already be in play. Lifegain should be useful against rush, not terrible against it. How about X = ships in play? Structures in hand? 8 minus cards in hand?

* Weapon Morph : modding action, costs 3
Target ship loses all attack, but gets +3 defense for each point of attack lost

I love you, man.

* Chaos Bolt : damage action, costs 5
Deal 5 damage to opposing base. Has x% chance to destroy a random opposing struct, X = 20 times the number of structures opponent controls.

I believe that it would read better if you just said "Picks a random opposing structure slot, destroys the structure in it if there is one." I mean, that's what it DOES, right?

* Gravimorphing (MT/RV) : elite modding action, costs 1+1
target ship you own gets +x defense, where x is the sum of the defense of the neighbouring allied ships, those ships are destroyed

This doesn't transfer the attack. ಠ_ಠ
Make it transfer the attack.

* Techno Exarch : 6/32 destroyer, costs 6+1
acti : target ship can't attack or use abilities next turn, costs 2

How is this different from disable? You need to standardize your wording in the final product. Also, I think that utility ships should not be powerful attackers (see: Vulture). This isn't even elite.

* Data Recall : card action, costs 4
the top action card in your scrap is shuffled into your deck

Can this please return the card to your hand, or at least the top of the deck? Shuffling in helps very very little.

* Ancient Planetcracker : 7/28 elite destroyer, costs 7
auto : if the ship in front of this one has less than X defense, equal to this ships attack, this ship deals the difference to opposing base
acti : this ship gets +1/-2, costs 1

Hey Trample, how ya doin'? It's been a while. (mtg)

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

This causes net gain in energy if: You have more than 15 total energy.
If I had 15 total energy I would play Emrakul(mtg)-- er, I meant Arcane Voidsplitter instead of this.

Final Words
This game is going to be FRICKIN' AMAZING. Thank you so much for all you've done with Hidden Dimensions; you can't imagine how much of an inspiration you've been (will elaborate more on this some other time, or upon request).
On another note, your musical work has really influenced the genre, and some of my friends are big fans. To you I convey their collective thanks.
Last edited by http404error on Tue May 22, 2012 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Greywing » Mon May 21, 2012 8:24 am

Right, i'm going to start by taking offense on the 'listening to Penney' thing. The list of card ideas this was pulled from has perhaps 10 ideas from Penney, somewhere between 50 to 100 various ideas i picked up from listening to tons of people. Then 350-400 (and still growing) ideas that have been piling up since HD1. And i haven't even read the card ideas topics on the forum (not in their entirety, but i did pull some ideas from there already).
You're making it sound as i'm not capable of coming up with card ideas and that everything in the game only exists due to things other people said.

I consider myself a bit conservative with card ideas, the ones that made it in now are on average a bit more 'outrageous' and potentially have a bigger influence on game balance than the HD:S set. The majority of ideas that didn't make it, are to this new set what this new set is to HD:S. So i like to see in what ways this new set breaks (or doesn't) the game before adding even more -imo- outrageous stuff ;D

The wording in the new cards topic is a copy/paste of the card ideas txt file - in most cases, what ends up on the cards is different of course. But you bring up some good points. For plenty of cards it's a struggle to fit everything on the max 6 lines that can be on the card. Some things still need to be standardized like the difference between damage - lose hp - lower hp.

Retaliation should trigger when zero damage is dealt. It triggers on an attack instead of on damage which is the result of an attack. Wording could be adjusted.
What's wrong with less than vs fewer than? I'm going for 'nice' UK english, not internet english, so what is the correct term then? I remember changing a few things in the past only to have other people tell me it used to be correct and is now wrong.

Remove a card from your deck brings you one step closer to being decked. In PvP where 30-card decks are the norm this could hurt more than discarding. I have no problem with upping the number of cards being removed to two, though.
Milling is a response to all the whining there has been regarding too much discard. The idea is to remove a card from the number of options your opponent has available. Combine with return to top of deck cards as you please for additional harrassement. ;D
At the same time i don't want this to be something that makes decking a far more common way of defeating an opponent.

New intel : always draws a card, the energy cost is conditional. So you might get the cost of the action back basically.

Support node : all allied ships includes self (since the ability triggers the moment this ship hits play). Other cards will say 'all other ships' or 'all other allies'. But yes some standardizing is in order across all these cards with similar abilities.

Siege praetor is a typo, the 'if' shouldn't be there.

Your version of Chaos Bolt's wording sounds less chaotic than the original :p

Gravimorphing : i want to see if the MT drama regarding ships with ridiculous attack powers is fixed first.

Disable vs the longer wording is done on purpose. I've done the same with cloak. The point is that i try to use the longer description "Disable target ship (this ship can't attac etc..)" vs the short one "Disable target ship." depending on the room on the card for text. One of the new CA cards has cloak, on the card it say "Cloaked." as there was no room for additional explanation. I know i could leave out all the explanation, i don't know if its really all that important except for the first couple times a new player uses these cards...

Data Recall will already be problematic as is with the high end actions like space warp and relentless assault. I like to see how this works out first.

Spectralis Channeler is not a simple thing to balance. The basic idea of energy generation this way might turn out to be bad to begin with. Balance during the alpha will hopefully clear that up.

I'm currently coding and testing the AI, so a number of cards have already gone through minor changes. I didn't update the topic for every change i made unless it was really big, i'm also making minor changes to existing cards. The new cards perform nicely in play thus far, so i'm quite happy with them. But i'm not a power player so i can't really say if they'll perform as well in PvP.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby DEEP SPACE » Mon May 21, 2012 3:47 pm

Hawk's Technonaught was finally your Datanough.

Also the abilities of Eject and Failed Symbiosys seems prety crapy to me:

* Eject : damage action, costs 1
destroy target structure you own to deal 8 damage to the allied and opposing ships in front of it

* Failed Symbiosis (MT/RV) : 4/20 elite support, costs 2+1
auto : when enters play, lower attack of opp ship and it neighbours by 1
acti : self destructs to deal 6 dam to its neighbours, opposing ship and that ship's neighbours

But if the last one instead of doing 6 dam, it destroy them, it directly can destroy 6 ships at once, but 3 own and 3 opposite.

EMP Missile seems a good idea.

Ravage and Tidal Wave are both from RV and have very similar abilities.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby idea bulb » Mon May 21, 2012 3:54 pm

Wait, you have already finished the alpha version?
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby PenneyRZ » Mon May 21, 2012 3:57 pm

I don't come up with many ideas for completely new cards.

Usually I just explain why something bad is bad and explain how it would be better balanced if it instead did something else or if a number on the card were changed to something else.

I would like to think that some sort of residual benefit came from all that effort such that the amount of work I need to do to balance later cards is less than I had to do to balance prior cards.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby DEEP SPACE » Mon May 21, 2012 4:36 pm

idea bulb wrote:Wait, you have already finished the alpha version?


NO. Grey has taked a break for coding the AI, hi is now on the 60% of the AI coding and the 20% of the game code.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Greywing » Mon May 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Well that break took all of 5 minutes and then i started working on the upgrade system. Back to AI already :p

Alpha at the earliest is for mid july.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby http404error » Tue May 22, 2012 1:43 am

I don't mean to overstate Penney's influence. I really think your design skills have improved a lot, and Penney's only one small part of it (as he says himself, knowing what not to do). What I was primarily referring to was that I do recall him saying something about weak action cards in general (in the previous HD games), and I'm inclined to agree with that.

Additionally, to clarify, I'll edit in a :P

The decking thing will become apparent in testing, so I can safely leave that be, I suppose.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Greywing » Tue May 22, 2012 10:13 am

http404error wrote:
* Weapon Morph : modding action, costs 3
Target ship loses all attack, but gets +3 defense for each point of attack lost

I love you, man.


Oops - AI just cast this on my Entropic Channeler. Sure it was my largest ship... ;D but it's 29/100 now hehe.
Better add in a special rule for this action. One that goes both ways, allowing the AI to cast it on its own Channeler and Chaos demons.

Wonder if just made things worse in regard to Entropic Channeler with this action :p
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue May 22, 2012 12:35 pm

That may just be one of the best combos with the new cards, but it is still a waste of deck space.

I would be more worried about it getting something stupid like +180 hp off of 60 damage.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby http404error » Wed May 23, 2012 5:38 am

Channeler doesn't need extra HP to survive in my experience. Thogrom Bomber does, though!

New Intel might cause imbalance due to who goes first. Watch out for that.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Greywing » Wed May 23, 2012 9:03 am

A turn 1 New Intel is not as bad as a turn 1 Data Crystal. The latter is 2 energy and also keeps your enemy from drawing. The first -at best- is free, but still requires 3 energy in stock to trigger and only gives you the card draw.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby DEEP SPACE » Fri May 25, 2012 2:30 am

I just finded interesting things with the new cards. I want if Grey explain them.

1: CA new ships names didn't tell if are Neyon & Tanyu ships. Are CA doing something original this time?

2: Are the new TM ships true entities or just more holographic images?

3: I finded that the RD have now a lot of new channelers, every one with diferent colors. :)

4: Solar Storm was a card that already exist but only on HD Warstations.

5: The more interesting thing i finded is this:

* Triax Intrl'Chcht : 8/32 elite commander, costs 6+3
play : lowers attack of the 3 ships in front of it by 2 when enters
acti : deals 4 damage to target ship and that ship's base, costs 3


Its a powerfull MT card, but it have probably its story:

.: 5. Gates & Bases :.

Aladayr
Ytrilia
Enynantia
Eaxiltrix
Intrl'Chcth


Info taked from the 4th Moon of Xyth page.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Fri May 25, 2012 2:39 am

perhaps Triax Intrl'chcht should have the ability to ressurect dead ships? :P
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Greywing » Fri May 25, 2012 8:43 am

CA are an ancient species, over the course of their existence they build many different lines of ships, each line of ships had it's own naming conventions, inspirations and such. Not every ship is still in use, only the best so to say, so the current day CA fleets are a bit of a mix of old and new designs and combinations of old a new tech.

TM ships will be a mix of ghosts and proper ships. I haven't decided which ones yet.

There are 4 main gates (see the open gate cards) that connect the inner regions of the galaxy with the out regions. These gates pierce the massive asteroid belt that surrounds the inner regions. I don't really remember what my plan was with Intrl'Chcth back then, but it had something to do with MT - i'll have to dig up my notes.
There was a part in the storyline that tells how the HU first ran into the MT, in an old abandoned RV base that had been completely taken over and absorbed by the MT. It was sort of an attempt of the MT to mimic a CC base, complete with an enslaved queen...
I think either the base itself was called like that, or the MT guardians of the captured queen.
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Re: The HD:X Review - Letter to Greywing

Postby Greywing » Fri May 25, 2012 10:57 am

DEEP SPACE wrote:* Eject : damage action, costs 1
destroy target structure you own to deal 8 damage to the allied and opposing ships in front of it


Eject has been changed - it now deals damage to one ally, but 3 opposing ships in front of it.
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