the three requirements for a good race

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the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:59 am

I think i have figured out why the rivi'i are one of the weakest races in the game, and it has to do with the ships.

there are three things that give a race's fleet its power: the Apex of Ship Design, the Apex of Ship Power, and the Legend. some races are so good as to even have a few sub-apexes.

here's a quick summary of the three when applied to various monoraces:

Humans
Ship Design: Deflector Field
sub-apex: firewing, venom
Ship Power: hiraga
Legend: Phoenix

as we all know, the humans are very popular among new people (only including the ones who have played enough games to know which race they would pick given the chance to restart). they have deflector field, which as i have seen with pretty much any deck that includes the humans, increases the chance that you will win by about 30% (whereas most only increase the chances by about 2%). firewing and venom are also situationally very effective, and decent even when out of their situation.

Ca'anians
Ship Design: Thogrom Bomber
sub-apex: guardian, plasma screen
Ship Power: tarynn'ixia
Legend: Neyon'moru

again, the ca'anians are very good, good enough that new people would want to restart with the ca'anians. thogrom bomber is very good, even when out of its situation, and both guardian and plasma screen have dual purposes and great to have in any situation except endgame where any ship with less than 6 attack is a pet peeve and unacceptable.

Xyloxis
Ship Design: either spark or amethyst xyloxi
Ship Power: terror mage
Legend: chyriax

the xyloxis are a good race, similar to the ca'anians and humans, but picking just one ship to be the best designed was problematic because their strength is rather evenly spaced. the most powerful remains obviously the terror mage.

Caes'cix
Design: soldier drone
Power: either drone carrier or oppressor
Legend: battlequeen

the caes'cix have a similar problem, however the obvious was in design rather than power. their actions are weaker (weak enough that only one is really worth including) however their strength is in the ships.

Rivi'i
Design: either dreadnought or fuel tanker or nanobot carrier
Power: either dreadnought or ultranought
Legend: ultranought

as we all know, the rivi'i are a very unpopular race. I've noticed that pretty much everything they have is of similar quality to that same substance of similar color (ie, they are all pretty shitty); even their most powerful is either lest powerful than most strongest ships, or you can only deploy one of it; the best of ship design seems to also be the most powerful; two of the options are very expensive to use, making the rivi'i hard to use when you factor in it's relatively low energy generation, while the cheaper option is essentially an action, so really there are only two well-designed "ship-ships" and both of them have too high a cost to be used by a race with slow ability to build its own energy generation. in other words, by the time youve got energy churning out, any blocker worth it's own weight will have been overrun and you will be dead.

Mith'ri'aeil
design: either entromorph or abomination
Sub-design: devourer, enslaved soldier, guardian grasper
Power: entropic channeler
Legend: void bringer

it was actually hard to look at this race without paying attention to the fact that one can have ships running around with 30+ attack, but when i chose the apex of ship design, i chose abomination because its cheap and can go from being a small blocker to being a huge attacker VERY rapidly. in addition, it can save some ships from destruction by devouring them. entromorph was the other option, because most of the time when i use it, it has stats hovering around 7/14. that's a small ship that either packs a punch, blocks a (relatively) high amount of damage, or is weak enough to deserve a 1 cost. the sub-apexes are all multi-purpose many-situation ships, and they are easily used by other races.

Technomancers
design: radar sillohuette or mirror shield
sub-design: scanner ghost, attack barrier, technowall
Power: technosavant
Legend: technomancer

the technomancers dont have many powerful ships by themselves; like the xyloxis, they are more focused on teamwork and actions then they are on individual strength.

Rift demons
design: Rift demon
sub-design: pretty much all ships except GRD, GSD, GGD, LFD.
power: greater solar demon, greater grav demon
legend: greater rift demon

the rift demons are highly different from the other races to begin with so its hard to use them if you arent somewhat skilled to begin with.

as the statistics have repeatedly and unerringly pounted out, the rivi'i are among the worst, if not the worst race available; the best races either have an apex of ship design, power, and good legend, or they have something particularly overpowered to compensate (eg, technomancers). the rivi'i have mostly crappy ships, their best ships are STILL only somewhat better than most ships (especially when you factor in price), and their legend has too big a price to be useful most of the time, despite its high strategic value.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Verden Leafglow » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:01 am

Heh, it's amusing because, when it comes to the "Assault" challenges - which can be a major pain in various situations - my Rivi'i deck so far has a flawless streak, which has actually surprised me to say the least. Can't say I've tried it on a human player yet, though. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that any deck made with intelligence is usually ruined by silly cards, but whatever. This works for me for now.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:47 am

what exactly are the assault challenges? i seriously doubt your talking about ambush or asteroids, the closest matches to the name when i flip through the challenges.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Verden Leafglow » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:08 am

Sorry, I meant Ambush. I always mess up my titles for things. :P (I also confuse Chain Reaction with Chain Lightning, and that sort of thing)
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby DEEP SPACE » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:54 am

Verden Leafglow wrote:Sorry, I meant Ambush. I always mess up my titles for things. :P (I also confuse Chain Reaction with Chain Lightning, and that sort of thing)


So Chain Lightning is Chain Reaction and not Lightning Arc. Thanks for clarify the things.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby space-mariner51 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:53 am

Hawk, you're analysis is good, but you only covered ships. You missed structures and actions, which are the strengths of some races.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:38 am

I know i only covered ships, but like i said on the xyloxis and technomancers, their focus is not on ships, but rather, on other things. i simply noticed that the rivi'i neither have decent ships to fit the categories, nor do they have really great alternatives either, unlike the technomancers, xyloxis, etc.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:34 pm

You should have defined what those terms you are using even mean right at the outset.

Right now it kinda looks like the meaning essentially changes based on what race you are talking about or there is no meaning and you just picked ships randomly to put in each category.

In any good argument you must be absolutely clear how things are being rated and what sort of scale you are using. Not just here, but in your whole life. That only doesn't apply if the meaning is obvious or if it is traditional, neither of which really apply here.

Also, as mentioned above, the races aren't directly comparable in terms of ships vs ships. If structures and actions were all the same it would work, but they aren't. Ships are the most important factor of consideration, but anything that doesn't analyze all the factors won't prove anything as a whole.

You should probably also try to explain why "The three requirements for a good race" is this kind of ship, that kind of ship, and the other kind of ship rather than good ships, good structures, and good actions since that is probably what most people would assume separates a good race from a bad one.

I applaud that you are trying to put forward the effort to show why brown seems weak, but though the idea was good the execution was pretty poor.

You also expect us to believe a lot of statements because you said them which, given your track record, might be a little bit of a stretch. It would help if you tried to explain why, for example, fuel tanker somehow counts as the Apex of Ship Design.

If you are going to do this sort of analysis, I am fine with that as long as it is done well, but it deserves like 20x as much effort as you are devoting to it right now. People are bound to walk away with all sorts of misleading conclusions the way it is currently being done and that could be more harmful than good.

An easier thing to accomplish, if you don't want to seriously tackle a subject as large as this, would be to just get people to agree on what a solid brown deck is and then show why the brown deck straight sucks compared to available options in other colors.

If you did something like that, it would be pretty clear where the core flaws exist and what sorts of things could be done that would realistically impact their win rates. Right now at best people can walk away with "Brown ships suck" and no clear way to get from there to "Brown ships don't suck".
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:20 pm

here's a simple way to get them from being "brown ships suck" to "brown ships don't suck": either make their big ships cheaper or give them extra energy generation. the energy generation would be preferable because there are several actions that suck only because they are expensive; shatter, for example, kills a structure and deals seven damage both to the enemy ship (allowing one to break through more easily) and to the enemy base (softening them up for the final assault), but at a 7 :rv: 1 :rl: cost, it is too expensive to be used anywhere but the endgame, when it no longer matters.

about the apex of ship design, i am talking about the most usable ship in the cardlist, the highest quality design, if you will, hence the apex. the apex is cheap, is multi-situational, and has something that makes it really good. fuel tanker, for example, counds as the apex because 1 fresh fuel tanker can kill most small ships, 2 can instakill most big ships, and for ships the size of ultranought, it doesnt take much damage to finish them off. even if not used for attack, a fuel tanker is still a cheap blocker, and when combined with salvageyard and used correctly, fuel tankers can actually help generate more energy than they cost.

I chose fuel tanker because frankly, other ships of similar cost are NOT useful in many multiple situations and are NOT especially useful outside of their situation. shield frigate, for example, is only good as a cheap blocking ship; it's attack is too low for metagame and endgame situations. cargoship is also not good in the metagame and endgame, and even for a blocker, is only good as a cheap source of a little energy. battlecruiser is too small to be of use, too low attack to be considered useful late-game, and too slow to fix it to be a big ship of use. artillery cruiser not only has a dreadfully low attack, but its ability is both weak and has a price, and for a blocker, it is really quite expensive for the job. artillery frigate has a similar problem, except instead of being very expensive, it is very weak. I should have included hammerhead in there as well, because frankly, it has enough attack to be useful in meta/end game, its got enough defense to be a blocker, and while it is expensive, the dual purpose of instakill actually justifies it being an attack ship rather than a defense ship. Nanobot leeches are pretty good, but their defense is too low and they grow too slowly to be really useful outside of the early game. Siege cruiser is another ship i should have considered for the apex of design, but failed to do so because i was half asleep at the time and went straight to bed after writing the article.

part of why i didn't define what the terms meant was that i didn't really have a definition, but i was using them to describe ships that seem to make decks stronger and more likely to win in general, ships like venom and deflector field for the humans or thogrom bomber and unstable freighter for the ca'anians, spark, amethyst xyloxi and terror mage for the xyloxis, soldier drone for the caes'cix, etc. ships that have been balanced a large amount, tempered such that they are high quality and just having them in your deck makes it better than before.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby PenneyRZ » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:07 pm

If you can't come up with a good definition before you even start, it might help to just not start and think about it more before you are ready to get going on the article.

Using all cards requires that they be cost effective (a lot of power for whatever they cost) so there isn't really much of a good reason to have the two other non-Apex categories. If a legend is not cost effective you don't use it and if a powerful ship isn't cost effective you don't use it, so you might as well just say those are or are or are not the Apex of ship design instead of making other categories for them.

The thing that is the most indicative of the fact that brown needs changing in all of this is just that the stuff you think is good actually isn't very and the cards that you think suck are the ones that are meant to be staples (Artillery Cruiser, Siege Cruiser, Battle Cruiser).

Cloaking the Dreadnought would go a long way toward remedying the color's problems, but it would break a fundamental rule of design that Lost Mine is supposed to be able to counter any large ship effectively.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:52 pm

i include the other apex categories to point out that just because something is expensive doesnt mean its useless. hiraga, for example, effectively costs 10, but at what is effectively 19 damage per turn to the opposing ship, it can usually take out one big ship, two if the other is unsupported, even if you don't give the hiraga any backup. no repairs, no additional firepower, and it still takes out a dreadnought or two. tarynn'ixia is another example of this; it has 10 attack and defensive capabilities up the wazoo, so usually only an entropic channeler can even handle one. yet another example is the one i just named: entropic channeler. its expensive early on, but later it is so powerful that your opponent is putting out each and every single ship JUST as cannon fodder to stop your channeler. another reason for including it is that, frankly, its a triangle: design beats legend, legend (kind of) beats power, power beats design. citing the humans, the same thing that gives hiraga its 19 attack also gives phoenix it's 33 attack; it has 40 defence; and it returns to the deck when killed; yet it is more expensive and there can only be one. hide a few venoms behind zero'd ships and spam deflector fields, and not only have you given your opponent draw denial and drained his energy, but you also turned one of his abilities against him, for deflector fields have retalliate. by the time phoenix deals with the deflector field its opposing, you have dropped its attack pretty low; deploy a firewing, and suddenly, how it can take on a battleship and win is made obvious. now deploy hiragas; get rid of what the venoms are hiding behind and replace them with ships that have higher attack, and you dealt with the venoms; deploy them opposing the deflector field, and youve dealt with that, and the firewings are easiest of all to counter.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby DEEP SPACE » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:59 am

RV ships are slow and don't work well on group, so withouth one of they carriers the RV are to vulnerable on fight.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby dark1n » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:39 am

PenneyRZ wrote:Cloaking the Dreadnought would go a long way toward remedying the color's problems, but it would break a fundamental rule of design that Lost Mine is supposed to be able to counter any large ship effectively.

sometimes i think you say things like that just to see if anyone will call you up on it. for one reason or the other, nobody ever does.

the silly idea of "Cloaking the Dreadnought" would break two other design rules that i'd mark as fundamental: 1) cloaking should be reserved for small ships; medium if it can't be helped, and 2) traits like cloaking technology should be reserved for no more than 3 or 4 races. not every race should have everything.

currently TM and RD have a lease on cloaking (i'm still hoping GFD will lose it) with HU following behind. on the new card list, there are two XY ships and one CA/XY wall with cloaking. that is two races more than it should be. and you want to ad RV to the list?

if the main RV idea hang-on-till-you-bring-out-battleships isn't working, it might be because people are running around zapping things with cheap quasars and chain reactions. if this pandemic instant-kill outbreak would be extinguished, RV would need no fixing at all. they'd be just fine.

one idea comes to my mind, but let me state outright than we shouldn't go with these half-assed "fixes" and we most certainly shouldn't start handing out cloaking devices to mitigate IK rampage. the idea is somewhat inspired by warcraft 3 where white tauren were added with an ability to resurrect other taurens (both common and white)...
      Salvage Yard (existing structure)
      same cost, same CIP, same auto
      3 :rv:: if the owner has at least two rivi'i battleships in scrapyard, one is restored and placed at the top of owners deck, the other one removed from scrapyard.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:06 pm

i would have rebutted penney, except i thought that cloaking the dreadnought is actually one of the best ideas i have heard, well, ever. cloaking is another rare ability thats designed to be common.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby http404error » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:23 am

Cleverly designed cards are great and fun and stuff like that. They do not make a race powerful though.

Races are good because they have powerful cards. Ri'vii do have some... but are there as many as in the other races?

EDIT: Allow me to clarify what I mean by powerful cards. This is not determined by the Attack stat, but by the efficiency. Energy cost relative to racial energy generation is also taken into account. For example, the Ri'vii have weak energy generation, so dishing out 12 :rv: for Dreadnought is quite a bit tougher for them that say, 12 :hu: . Thus, Hiraga is a better card because of its power/cost ratio, despite their 'identical' costs. Not even necessarily a really good card. Just better than Dreadnought.

Perhaps energy generation is much more critical to racial performance than I had thought. This will require research.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:39 am

finally, someone who agrees that what the rivi'i need is better energy generation!

however, i appear to have designed a particularly powerful deck that, despite obviously low energy generation, tends to end the game not only with 99+ gravitational energy, but if I'm lucky, there's not a single ship or structure left on the opponent's side.

everyone, try this:

4x fuel tanker
4x hammerhead
4x dreadnought
2x ultranought
4x salvageyard
4x shield bastion
4x combat support
4x lost carrier

of course, this is the first deck that i have discovered that the rivi'i actually do well in-- and, like i said, it has SO much energy generation (thanks entirely to the lost carriers) that it ends most games (in fact, all but two so far) with over 99 brown energy, and it has SO much firepower that in several games, my opponent literally had nothing left; out of the 9 times that I ripped my opponent apart, as i call it, 6 of them were with this deck.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby PenneyRZ » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:56 am

I have to say, as sad as that brown deck looks on paper its actually not that bad. I went 9 out of 9 with it against normal AIs.

Add that deck to the list of why I think Salvage Yard needs to be changed.

Http404Error - I don't know why you wouldn't think that energy generation had to do with a race's power. Pink and Purple have very good energy generation and they are both top races. Saying that a color with bad regeneration wouldn't be handicapped would be like betting on a MTG deck to win a tournament that forgot to lay out land every time on turn 2. Sure its possible, but kinda unlikely. All the best decks tend to have really good mana, or in this case energy, bases.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:11 am

thank you, penney, and now that i have realized that salvageyard is going to be changed, i maintain my pressure that we need to either up the amount of energy that the RV produce or we need to lower how much everything they have costs.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby PenneyRZ » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:46 pm

All races could benefit from increased energy generation, the question is whether brown would benefit equal to what is given up by them getting it.

If brown gets it, all the other colors lose ground against brown. It wouldn't really be a targeted thing at all. Every brown deck would feel the increase here.

As opposed to just upgrading a few ship designs with +attack or something like that, then people would have to use those specific ships to be better off.

Personally, I think the energy generation structure is pretty good except for 3/4 of the gold dual land combos anyway.

I would rather see brown ships in the mid tier get the upgrades over more brown energy generation.
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Re: the three requirements for a good race

Postby Brightwolf » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:32 pm

I think a large part of brown's problem is the dreadnought. Brown is supposed to be a late-game color, but its battleship can't go toe to toe with most other battleships. The humans, xyloxi, caanians, rift demons, and mitharael (purple, I'm sure I didn't spell that right) all have battleships that will easily crush a dreadnought. Added to that is the dreadnought's main ability, destroying structures, generally isn't useful by the time it hits play. By the time a dreadnaught hits the board, I will usually have some spare lands in my hand that I can use to replace whatever it takes out, as well as plenty of ships and energy to block it with. I suggest that we move the dreadnought's structure kill ability to a medium sized ship (maybe siege cruiser?) so it can help the rivii slow down a rush. Then we could give the dreadnought some sort of ship-to-ship combat boost, such as +4 attack +10 health, turning it into a combat powerhouse.
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