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Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital space

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Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital space

Postby Carjan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:33 am

1. Assumption = set a minimum (18) number of shrines in deck as well:

Apart from setting a minimum deck size (60 cards), also set a minimum number of shrines S, say 18 shrines (or whatever number looks best). This is the only additional rule for it to work. It's done primarily to avoid decks abusing no limit and running like 12 shrines. It means that out of every 10 cards, 7 are regular, playable ones and 3 are shrines.

2. DO = look at the first 2 shrines in the deck:

This is where we make use of the digital space. It also means DO never fails.
Why top 2 shrines in the deck? With the current resource system and amount of shrines in a typical deck, you get to see about 1.5 shrines, on average, per DO.

Net effect is that both the offered card and the shrine you did not pick go to the bottom of the deck.

Note:
Alternatively, to avoid any shenaningans in 60+ cards decks (but I'm not sure if this safety net is required at all), the first rule could also be stated a bit differently:
A deck of X cards (X >= 60) must contain at least ceiling(3*X/10) shrines. X=60 => S=18. X=61,62,63 => S=19. X=64,65,66 => S=20. Etc...
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby Lord_Xenon » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:05 am

I simply don't get 2).

What is 'look at the first 2 shrines in the deck'? Can you explain 2) more?

Out of the 2, the 'never failing DO' would render the resource system(shrine system) useless. It's there as an additional deckbuilding/deciding factor and when this factor as 'failure' is negated it mean you remove one balance factor from the game.
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby Carjan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:52 am

Point 2) is that you'll get to see the first (or top) 2 shrines in your deck, rather than look at the top 5 cards in your deck. In other words, you don't get to see the normal cards. This is possible only conveniently in the digital space, as the game engine knows where the shrines are.

No, it would not render the resource system useless. Sure, in monocolor decks with no skill shrines, you would not have to look for a particular color or skill. But that is the case now anyways and these decks run 18 primary shrines, so in a world where you're always fortunate enough to DO successfully, there is no difference here. You do, however, still want to fish for a particular color or skill shrine in multicolor decks with skills and therefore you'd still need to balance your shrines and amount of skill shrines.

I chose top 2 shrines as it's closest to what you now see as the average number of shrines when DO-ing (around 1.5). In my suggested fix, you'd have a slighlty higher chance of finding the right color or skill shrine.

The risk of failing DO is not a balancing factor. It's an artifact of an imperfect resource system that, for all gameplay purposes, requires you to use it (DO, that is) very often. Getting randomly punished for using a basic game mechanic is not balance (nor fun). The suggestion I made was an attempt to counter this.
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby dermen » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:00 pm

DO actually is used (by good players, not by me) to "park" cards for later use; if you count cards, you can say when your card will appear again. So DO is a very tactical component, and I'm quite sure that some players don't want to lose this possibility.
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby VitamineC » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:15 pm

The exact same suggestion has been made before (shrine limit, looking at top 2 and all).

The main arguments against this are:

1. Enforcing a minimum number of shrines feels super arbitrary and artificial.

2. Constantly pulling the top 2 shrines from your deck means you'll be a lot less likely to actually draw into shrines, especially since, contrary to the current DO, you wouldn't put other cards to the bottom as well. This would be an indirect buff to cards like nienna, GR, BR, adv Alexa and probably mill, since you would be more likely to hit with those.

3. It would also make the card based resources system feel like an odd choice when you very rarely draw into shrines and instead almost exclusively get them from pressing a button. Why have resource cards in the deck at all then?


Have an eye on more card announcements for the june release. There may be a card that's relevant to this topic. ;)
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby Carjan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:46 pm

Thanks for the comments, VitamineC. I was well aware of most of the drawbacks that you mentioned.

The first one though is a weak one, imo and certainly not strong enough to use the word "super" in it. You can equally ask why enforcing a 60 card deck? It's equally arbitrary. Limits are usually there for good reason. In the end it should be about what works best. If a 60 cards lower limit works best, then fine, so be it. 18 is not arbitrary and if 18 shrines would work best, why not accepting it as a lower limit instead of drawing the "super arbitrary" card? Folks have figured out how many shrines you play in a 60 card deck anyways. You know what is really "super arbitrary": that the game wants you to DO often and then you get "super arbitrarily" screwed.

At any rate, to answer the other criticisms, and fwiw, here was my actual software implementation trick. I make the same assumptions as before: deck limit 60 cards and minimum amount of shrines is 18.

Now the implementation is that under the hood, the game engine keeps track of two separate decks of regular, playable cards (C cards) and shrines (S shrines). User does not notice anything though as he still only gets to see his one single deck. Why? How do you implement draw, decay, DO and effects of playing with Nienna and so on then? Here's how I thought to solve this:

1. Draw = flip an unfair coin
where heads means take top card from the C deck and tails means take top card from the S deck. The probability of taking from C is C/(C+S) and probability of taking from S is S/(C+S). They sum to unity, obviously, and the probabilities automatically adjust as the game goes on. This makes it that in a deck of C cards and S shrines you still have the same probability of drawing a card or shrine as now.

2. Decay = mirror version of draw (no issues here)

3. Look at top X cards from your deck = flip the unfair coin X times and show the X cards (no issues here).

4. Play with top card of your deck open = same as draw, expect the card does not go to your hand but stays on your deck.

5. Finally, Divine Offering = look at top 2 cards from the S deck. You pick one. The other shrine goes to the bottom of the S deck. The offered card + the top 3 cards of the C deck go to the bottom of that C deck.

That's it. This way, I'm trying to mimic the current mechanic as closely as possible while keeping all flavours alive but without ever to miss DO. This should answer criticisms 2 and 3, shouldn't it?
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby VitamineC » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:09 pm

But 18 shrines would not be optimal with a guaranteed DO, so it's a pretty arbitrary number. The ideal number of shrines under that system would be the maximum number of shrines you ever want to play in one game which would be different for different deck types and most certainly lower than 18 in most decks.

While those changes would address concerns 1 and 2, it's an awful lot of intransparent under the hood rng stuff. Wouldn't just shuffling the deck after every DO accomplish essentially the same thing without making the actual mechanics really convoluted?
Another thing is that actually drawing a shrine would almost always be bad because DOing for it instead would give you strictly more control over the cards in your hand. And forcing you to put a minimum number of cards you never want to draw into your deck just causes you to get arbitrarily screwed again just that this time you get randomly flooded instead of starved.
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby Carjan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:35 pm

VitamineC wrote:But 18 shrines would not be optimal with a guaranteed DO, so it's a pretty arbitrary number. The ideal number of shrines under that system would be the maximum number of shrines you ever want to play in one game which would be different for different deck types and most certainly lower than 18 in most decks.

Yes, from that perspective, that is fair criticism. But again, I only wanted to mimic the current system as closely as possible without the DO miss. That's why I thought 18 would be "optimal" and don't think of it as arbitrary at all.

Granted though, with 18 shrines and guaranteed DO, deep level decks with lots of skill shrines (midrange and certainly control) would probably run only 18 shrines and use the extra card slot(s) in their deck for early defence.

VitamineC wrote:While those changes would address concerns 1 and 2, it's an awful lot of intransparent under the hood rng stuff.

The point of it all is that it remains hidden for the user! He or she should see as little difference as possible between the current implementation and the suggested one. Ideally, he or she would only notice that DO never fails. And rng? The actual difference is how you shuffle the deck. In the current game engine implementation your deck gets shuffled once (and through some card effects), at the beginning of the game (the rng happens there in one go), while in my suggestion, you get a different, combined shuffling mechanic with the two decks and the unfair coin flips, but it's a shuffle anyways. I don't really see a fundamental difference here. Net effect is similar: a deck shuffle.

VitamineC wrote: Wouldn't just shuffling the deck after every DO accomplish essentially the same thing without making the actual mechanics really convoluted?

Yes, it would and I thought about that but in that case you'd lose the skill of counting what was sent to the bottom of the deck and keeping track of it (what Dermen pointed out above).

VitamineC wrote:Another thing is that actually drawing a shrine would almost always be bad because DOing for it instead would give you strictly more control over the cards in your hand.

This feel like a fair and strong criticism. Yet, people still DO almost every turn in the game, partly for the reason you just stated, so I wonder how big a difference it would really make.

On a somewhat related note, though, the fear of missing DO is often like a Sword of Damocles above your head. The problem with the guaranteed DO, is that you could mulligan into a shrineless opening hand without much fear. In fact, it could be the optimum outcome there, while now it's done at some considerable risk.

VitamineC wrote: And forcing you to put a minimum number of cards you never want to draw into your deck just causes you to get arbitrarily screwed again just that this time you get randomly flooded instead of starved.

Yes, flood is still not solved but with 18 shrines -- and that is why I think 18 could be "optimal" and certainly not arbitrary -- chances for this to happen should be very small. The last remark, I know, is bound to come back and haunt me in a real game soon when I run 18 shrines...;). At the risk of sounding like a broken record by now, I did not want to overhaul the resource system. I searched for a system that mimics the current one as closely as possible without missing DO. It cannot not solve other imperfections, obviously.
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby VitamineC » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:12 pm

All that discussion is likely to become obsolete with this release anyway. ;)
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Re: Suggestion to fix Divine Offering using the digital spac

Postby Carjan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:32 pm

VitamineC wrote:All that discussion is likely to become obsolete with this release anyway. ;)

Aha, so that is the card that would have a significant impact on the game (I forgot how you actually phrased it on Discord the other day). Hm, my guess is it's not going to be spoiled, for maximum effect! Am I right? :D
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