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Author Topic: Druid vs Necro Spoilers  (Read 483933 times)

jacksmack

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #615 on: November 08, 2013, 02:46:24 AM »
Agreed, there are other creatures that aren't giant akward tree vines things that walk around slowly. If enchanted with mana the Thornlasher who is rooted into the ground is faster than a Hydra (a creature with actual legs). That's a weird thought. I imagined Ents walking around, super slow like Deck Mentioned.  Turns out that's not the case at all. I thought the rooted was going to be more of a restriction than it actually is. Mana is King in this game though, so in actual gameplay maybe they won't be moved very often.

thornlasher does not have uproot.....

lettucemode

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #616 on: November 08, 2013, 07:34:22 AM »
Look Deckbuilder, it's very simple. Mage Wars uses the does-it-have-a-mouth test to differentiate between creatures and conjurations. After all, if it doesn't have a mouth, how can it breathe in poison? So you see? Simple!

 :P

In seriousness though, I pretty much agree with you. I think that living conjurations could have been pulled off pretty well except for two things.

First, I don't think conjurations should have attacks, with rare exceptions such as Temple of Light. This is basically for consistency. Players can easily understand that if you want attacks, play creatures; if you want persistent effects, play conjurations. Once conjurations get attacks it starts blurring the line between the functional difference of the two card types, which also affects the thematic aspect.

Second, the new Rooted and Uproot keywords. Now we don't even have the distinction of "conjurations can't move, but creatures can". It seems like Thornlasher was only made a creature for balance/mechanics purposes, i.e. attaching enchantments and avoiding ready marker actions. However a great deal of its functionality would be exactly the same if it was a conjuration instead. So now, whether to make a new card a creature with Rooted or a conjuration is decided based on how the designers/playtesters want the existing rules and cards to interact with them and not for thematic reasons.

Having said all that I am still super pumped for this set. Just wish it would get here!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 08:51:17 AM by lettucemode »

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #617 on: November 08, 2013, 08:01:40 AM »
Personnally I always considered that the difference between a creature and a conjuration is that creatures act by themselves while conjurations require mage/exterior intervention to act (if they can act).

Kharhaz

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #618 on: November 08, 2013, 10:56:22 AM »

The solution would have been to play-test Druid under a rules amendment: "Any effect that cites Creature includes Living Conjurations". Effectively undo the inconsistency in the base set which was only ever visible in 2 cards before this: Tanglevine and Wall of Thorn. But this was not done. And so those inconsistencies have been propagated.


Every card went through different versions, some more radical than others. (Flowers at one time were creatures for example) I'm not going to get to deep into it but there was a many hours spent deciding on the line between creature and conjuration, I assure you.

It is not inconsistent for one spell to effect one thing and for another to effect something else:

Nullify does not stop attack spell, but they are clearly magic spells targeting your mage. So it's not crazy to assume that they should be able to nullify them. I mean nullify will stop a magical force of energy knocking me down (ie knockdown) but will not stop a invisible force of energy hitting me in the face (ie invisible fist). Square peg, round hole.

Poison gas cloud and Malacoda have never damaged Moihktar, mana flower or tangle vine. It has never been an issue in my experiences explaining this game.

And I will wrap this thought on this. Mohktaris branch removes burns or weak conditions on a thornlasher but not a bitterwood fox. It is not an issue because that's not what the card designed to do. Rhino hide was designed to increase the armor of a creature, not make the, tree bonded, etherian life tree that much harder to kill.

DeckBuilder

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #619 on: November 09, 2013, 09:30:08 AM »
@Kharhaz. The last time we disagreed was when your argument was based on what was "absurd", ie. you made a fantasy reality check.

Conjurations, like a temple, can not be guarded from flyers and rightfully so because the inverse is more absurd. Sure you get some "wonky" intances where my goblin can not protect a flower but that is better than my goblin protecting a poison gas cloud and adds benefits to flying to make it a more desirable trait.

All I was saying here is...
(a) Mage Wars is excellent because it tries to avoid the "absurd" so everything is intuitive, it all makes sense
(b) this is different to games which pay no heed to realism, just rules mechanics and different card interactions
(c) this Mage Wars game strangth should not be eroded because it appeals to roleplayers and simulationists

Your reply above focuses on Nullify which is just a game mechanic card. There is no reality check with a mechanic card. It's like arguing "why is Dispel range 2 and Dissolve range 1?" Because it is.

A Charging Crawler with no legs being able to move 2 zones whilst his Charging Zombie brethren with legs cannot is a realism issue. That last minute insertion of an extra clause (not in spoiler text) to make Lumbering situationally worse has resulted in "something odd with the rules here". My guess is that clause was added (since Lumbering was spoilt) due to fears of Mage Wand + Charge + Zombie Brutes (I would fear Mage Wand + Force Wave with 4 Brutes more). It's galling because it seems so unnecessary (like the Outpost nerf).

A similar "something is odd here" was Rooted Plants suddenly Uprooting (at a minor mana cost deterrent) and moving 2 zones, faster than many creatures. Because the fantasy trope of a Treant / Ent is of a Slow Lumbering creature, this again goes against expectations and destroys the fantasy illusion.

Now give that uprooted plant creature Cheetah Speed and it can move 2 and attack. Or give it Eagle Wings and it can fly when Uproot cost is paid else it's Rooted but can only be attacked by Flyers or Reach. I'm highlighting how enchantments designed for creatures with Legs (humanoids and animals) just don't transfer to Plant creatures.

This ambitious idea of Plants moved the game into Magic's terrirtory of simply card interaction mechanics. Magic pays lip service to theme but does not care how ridiculous some card combination are, rewarding some of the most absurd combos which are regarded as clever.

It isn't just living creature enchantments. Non-transference to Plants exists in so many other mechanics. Bleed was designed to keep with real life. Plants can't Bleed as they have no Blood and the designers specifically acknowleged this in the game mechanic. But seeing that broken branch triggers the Bloodthirsty Dire Wolf and Zombie into attacking that damaged Plant creature with a Poisoned Blood cast on it. Sleep is another condition that is not intuitively transferable.

Your prior post here highlighted Rot as affecting both Living Conjurations and Living Creatures. Great! Along with Tainted, you highlighted consistency of approach. Treat both the same. But for all the other Poison effects, they are not the same. You say "that's just the rules, live with it." Of course I'll live with it. I play Eurogames which are just a collection of rules mechanics. My point is Mage Wars is better than that! It should strive to be consistent and intuitive and thematic wherever possible. Because that is its greatest asset, its USP in the market.

On an abstract mechanistic level, I see a lot of great creativity in the new set. I can say the same for many Magic sets but that didn't stop it being just a game of abstract card interactions with a pseudo-theme that often doesn't make sense. Did nobody highlight this divergence from the preceding principle of "it all makes sense"? 

It's laudable being supportive of the game. But blind support is destructive. That way lies sycophancy when the Emperor needs someone to tell him that his New Clothes are slipping off. Please don't get angry with me again, Karhaz, like that first time when I'd used the A-word you detest. It's because of its Ameritrash qualities of theme over abstract mechanics that I love this game. When I play with or against the Druid, I will have to suspend my disbelief and treat it as a more abstract experience, like Mage Knight, just admire the ingenuity of some of the new mechanics. Because the blatant non-transference of existing mechanics to Plant creatures will destroy the immersive illusion.

There is a reason why Fantasy Roleplaying player races are medium or small humanoids. Because anything else just doesn't work. You can't be a Treant and fit in a game with magic items. You can't even be a large humanoid like Ogre that can't fit through a tavern door. Now Mage Wars owes a lot to that games genre, the skirmish roleplay that uses a battlemap. The game's consistency with fantasy tropes with only rare lapses (I can't water my burning flower) was laudable. I just fear the game could lose this, become just another card interactions game with mechanistic rules and realism compromised. I think losing that USP would be a great shame.

My House Rules thread was very unpopular because it higlighted gaping rules ambiguities, which we are told are being addressed in the next FAQ (the game is now too high profile to be "that independent gem with grey area rules", this needs to done). I was doing a service to the game but I was villified by some for highlighting issues that needed to be addressed.

This was the same motivation behind me querying a marketing strategy of releasing competitive promo cards, creating a 2-tier fan base.
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=12908.msg21252#msg21252
This led to Shad0w quite sensibly saying promo cards are a great beta test but this was then overruled by a Director that all promo cards will be eventually released exactly as is. I think Altar of the Iron Guard is bit broken as Legendary denial, Plagued should be in this set etc). A shame about Shad0w's beta test idea as fans would love to be more involved like that, it would add to their pleasure to feedback promo experiences and feel more involved, free crowd-sourced insights in the age of the InterWeb. We shall see where that "exactly as is" goes.

Here all I'm simply highlighting is that if Mage Wars wants to remain that slavishly intuitive "it all makes sense" game that many (like me) fell in love with for that very intuitive quality, then a (slight) wrong turning may have been made with a Plant mage due to non-transference of existing cards and mechanics on an intuitive level. Else we may get Aquatic creatures with the Siren. And the game would've jettisoned what I feel is its strongest most charming quality and changed into yet another abstract card interactions game. This change wouldn't stop me wanting to buy every product but I'll mourn a loss of realism which Mage Wars has, unlike competitor games. Why give up on a USP? This is why I hope Plants may be viewed as a slight mis-step on the realism level, lessons learnt to not erode the USP in future releases. I hope future plans for Mage Wars would be to retain its USP of "it all makes sense" charm but I will devour releases whatever the plans, trusting in the design team.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 01:10:19 PM by DeckBuilder »
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Fentum

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #620 on: November 09, 2013, 10:21:37 AM »
@deckbuilder...

I have to wildly agree with your views. I love this game. Probably my favourite game yet, and I have tried many. The intuitive aspect is great. It makes all the complex information easy to use in actual play.

I haven't played the druid yet, but reading your post, I am kinda dreading trying to remember which traits and effects and so on affect plants vs. creatures.

Living and non living is fine, but I worry about the bloodthirsty example, etc. above.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 10:46:33 AM by Fentum »

sIKE

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #621 on: November 09, 2013, 10:31:07 AM »
Deckbuilder, what I find fascinating with your arguments is  they sound like you are arguing for Einsteinian Physic's (I know you are not it is just a holder for your position) in a world of magic. Sure the mage in Sortilege that created the Eagle Wings spell never envisioned it being placed on a Ent, but as it is Living Creature and it is not restricted to Animals only(by design) that is life in the world of magic (I am using the little m on purpose). Magic (with a little m) does great and fantastical thing that can only be imagined here in our mundane would. Once again I am not attacking you and your ideas, just trying to get across from my own perspective that the world of Etheria is ruled by magic and as such, all things within will not fit neatly in boxes and square pegs can go in round holes....
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DeckBuilder

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #622 on: November 09, 2013, 10:59:51 AM »
@Fentum. I'm with you. I'm a fan whatever. I just hope the "I don't need to refer to rules because it all makes sense" continues.

@sIKE I take your point. It's fantasy, we don't need to have a Science Book on Magic. One may argue it's an easy get-out for unregimented thinking. But I like chaotic thinking, I believe some of the most creative outputs come from entropy and free-form brainstorming (hence my signature). But a game needs structure (hence highlighting those rules ambiguities).

If we follow freeform style "anything can be exlained" approach, we get Magic's "I equip my Loxodon Warhammer on my Bird of Paradise" situation which was cited (not by me, I think by ring) as a great strength of Mage Wars which didn't allow such ridiculous card attachments. The reason my prior post (that Karhaz quoted) used the phrased "compete in Magic's territory" is because, as a marketer, this may not be the clever thing to do.

Here we have a 2 player boardgame that satisfies customisation, has a unique tutoring mechanic and combines elements seen in many other games into something that is miles better than the sum of its parts. It is the only hybrid card/boardgame out there that satisfies
(a) roleplayers - who want first-person realism
(b) miniatures players - who want battlefield realism
(c) deck players - who want customisation for strategising
(d) boardgame players - who want tactics with space/time
It is an amazingly intuitive hybrid game that most of all is fun to play - because it is so intuitive, second nature.

Why on earth would you want to disenfranchise yourself with the former 2 fan base elements? It can never compete due to card pool with Magic (or even AGOT) nor would it want to because people are very wary of LCG and CCG cost to enter and ongoing cost. Its boardgame mechanics are beatifully simple and appropriate but does not compete with some of the cleverer boardgame mechanics of Eurogames.

So this hybrid game is unique, it's "Level 2 in all 4 Schools of Gaming" (where Level 4 is the game most associated with that genre), but that makes it Level 8, more than its competitors. That's how I view Mage Wars (using Schools and D&D's multi-classing). All I am saying is they should be wary of destroying that unique balance.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 11:15:48 AM by DeckBuilder »
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Wiz-Pig

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #623 on: November 09, 2013, 11:50:57 AM »
@deckbuilder

You are my hero. I agree 100% with what you've said here.

Kharhaz

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #624 on: November 09, 2013, 12:41:10 PM »
@Kharhaz. The last time we disagreed was when you argument was based on what was "absurd", ie. you made a fantasy reality check.


Funny old world ain't it :P

I was clarified on the issue and while i do not agree that is how it is.

@ Deck

I know I was talking about flying and root the final days and I am sure there will be "rooted creatures are not flying blah blah blah" text. 

End of the day there is no reason a plant monster can not have cheetah speed and a goblin or mana leech can. I am reading your post as:

"A plant moving two zones and attacking is immersion breaking; while it is perfectly acceptable to have Sosroku flying, bear strengthen, vampiric, rhino hided....."

However enchantments, like divine intervention, clearly show magic effects silhouettes around the creature effecting it. This is a more accurate representation of how they actually work and not creative artistry from my understanding. So as silly is it is for Togorah to fly, its more like he has eagle wings silhouette and when he uproots can take off into the air.

Plants moving two zones in no different than creatures moving two zones. Mechanically or otherwise.

I am with you in some regards. I had many discussions with Baron about the:
"Why can I treebond with Mohktari and not Togorah?"

There will always be give and take. Your goblin can guard and prevent my bird from dive bombing an outpost?

Plant creatures are more than your average fern and have enough of a though process to guard and act like any soldier creature or animal. In this fantasy world it would appear that a plant creature can indeed bleed the essence of whatever sustains itself. Blood it may not be but it oozes enough blood for some creatures to go into a killing frenzy.....

In the game as a whole I see this a one of the minor immersion breaking effects to be honest.

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #625 on: November 09, 2013, 12:57:25 PM »
Though I agree 100% with Deckbuilder I'm not sure they are realistic. Deck has compared MW to Magic the Gathering quite a bit. I think we have to remember that MW is a baby of a game. Magic has been going strong for 20 years. In the early days of Magic more things made sense than didn't. I think this is the pitfall for any game that tries to be realistic yet releases expansions. I say different because the only way I see that they could continue down the path we want is to just recycle traits and mechanics without making any effort for new creativity. This too has been done by many of game companies, both board game and video game. When this is done their fanbase explodes with hatred that it's just the same old same old. It's the easy way out. So, it's basically a no win situation to keep all MW fans happy. They have chosen to continue to explore new mages/magic/ mechanics etc. while playtesting the hell out of it to make sure that even if it isn't completely realistic it at least doesn't break the game. For me this is WAY better of a choice than the alternative. Do I wish ever card or mechanic was ultra realistic and intuitive with every other card. Of course. It's clear they try their best to make most cards/mechanics intuitive while still breaking new ground. Once you make peace with that it makes swallowing the bad stuff a little easier.

Moonglow

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #626 on: November 09, 2013, 01:56:57 PM »
I agree with your master premis Deck, but disagree with some of your subtext.

Ents travelled huge distances in lotr, and from memory there are instances of the old forests moving overnight. So I disagree with rooted creature fast movement breaking fantasy tropes.

I thought your house rules thread was well received and discussed. Not sure why you feel so marginalised. You throw out so many interesting threads and posts it seems clear that they're going to attract a lot of the tire kicking and debate. In fact I think it's almost more surprising how often some of your threads an ideas just get unequivocal applause.

I'm sure there have been other threads about plants and Bloodthirsty that outlined a number of plausible explanations. For instance it could be less about the 'smell of blood'  as the sight of a wounded creature/entity. More a drive to destroy impulse. Or as proposed, animated plant sap might be more like blood than conventional world sap.

These kinds of thematic twists bother me less than things like the hydro immunity approach on plants. I agree with you that where the rules are counter intuitive then the elegance and appeal of the game is weakened. It can survive a few such rules, but the trouble with a game like this with so many concepts, the more mini exceptions and counter intuitive rules to be kept track of, the quicker it spirals into a chore to play. 

DeckBuilder

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #627 on: November 09, 2013, 02:18:17 PM »
"A plant moving two zones and attacking is immersion breaking; while it is perfectly acceptable to have Sosroku flying, bear strengthen, vampiric, rhino hided....."

However enchantments, like divine intervention, clearly show magic effects silhouettes around the creature effecting it. This is a more accurate representation of how they actually work and not creative artistry from my understanding. So as silly is it is for Togorah to fly, its more like he has eagle wings silhouette and when he uproots can take off into the air.

Plants moving two zones in no different than creatures moving two zones. Mechanically or otherwise.

I am with you in some regards. I had many discussions with Baron about the:
"Why can I treebond with Mohktari and not Togorah?"

There will always be give and take. Your goblin can guard and prevent my bird from dive bombing an outpost?

Plant creatures are more than your average fern and have enough of a though process to guard and act like any soldier creature or animal. In this fantasy world it would appear that a plant creature can indeed bleed the essence of whatever sustains itself. Blood it may not be but it oozes enough blood for some creatures to go into a killing frenzy.....

In the game as a whole I see this a one of the minor immersion breaking effects to be honest.

Thanks for the nice measured reply, Kharhaz. I was dreading you'd take it badly. Here's hoping to keep it light...


Living Creature Enchantments

Maybe because Sosruko is a living animal you can in your mind's eye mutate (like experiments in classic The Island of Dr Moreau), I don't have a problem with an annoying ferret morphing with the attachments you name. After all, look at the Owlbear, a Gygax invention of a mad wizard's experiment. When I put Eagle Wings on Steelclaw, I call him Smokey the Owlbear (after ring posted an anti-forest fires poster).

Manticore is another D&D trope I think though it may be mythological like Naga, Sphinx, Lamia, Griffin, Pegasus, Centaur, Harpy, Chimera, all of these are hybrids of animals and/or humanoid component.

Strangely enough, there've never been experiments with Plants. As that old mad experimenter's axiom goes: "blood and sap do not mix". Maybe that's why I have difficulty relating to some of these card interactions. But it's a personal thing and if Arcane Wonders thinks this is fine, then who am I to disagree.


Conditions

Remembering which conditions affect living conjurations and which don't isn't great really. Some vegetables help a Ghoul to grow and some don't (it's clear on the card at least). Some conditions work with Plant creatures that you may not expect like Sleep and Bloodthirsty. And some don't like Druid's Lifebond as you pointed out.

I know it's been done for game balance but these artificial differences jar. Because Mage Wars becomes like other games: "It's the rules".


Uproot

The thing about Uproot is the threat. I can enter a zone adjacent to an active Hydra and not worry too much. But I can't walk next to an active Togorah or other Uproot. The deterrent is so valuable that the tiny mana cost is not an issue. I don't need to have a Thornlasher controlling adjacent areas (nice creature, snatch/pull is what a Harpy's ranged attack should have been). I can just have a monstrously under-costed plant (because it is Rooted) with Uproot threatening adjacent squares. Because unlike that Hydra, they are not Slow, they are nippy things when they put they put their mind to it. Who would have thought it...

"If you go down to the woods today, you're sure to get a surprise." I always thought it was a Timber Wolf but it's actually the nippy Plants...


A Solution?

One solution is a background story to post-rationalise these jarring differences, something like...

There was a magical event called The Awakening in Wychwood. This involved a Magical Rain which fell upon that area. Ever since then, plants from Wychwood have repelled water, causing some scholars to wonder how they survive.

Some plants there became sentient and a skilled mage could even add features from the animal kingdom to these sentient plants. The smell of their sap also drives some creatures into a feeding frenzy. Some sentient plants could even uproot themselves and walk using their roots like legs, but this requires considerable concentration on the part of the summoning mage (it's a little known fact that plants are secretly very lazy, in fact left alone they will fall asleep and dream of their saproling youth).

The plants who weren't sentient also gained unexpected benefits such as resilience to many poisons that their sentient cousins lacked. And so a great divide arose between sentient plants ("the fruits") and non-sentient plants ("the vegetables").


:)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 03:23:10 PM by DeckBuilder »
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Kharhaz

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #628 on: November 09, 2013, 03:01:39 PM »

Thanks for the nice measured reply, Kharhaz. I was dreading you'd take it badly. Here's hoping to keep it light.




The same conditions effect living conjurations and living creatures. It's the targeting and source I think you are arguing. Why does lock and necro's ablity but malcoda and poison cloud do not?

I would make the argument that all plant creatures be conjurations, but that created a huge issue with actions between actions among other things.

100% "realism" would be nice but at the end of the day "it's in the rules" is far superior to "it's more realistic". "It's more realistic" is not a game that is fun or balanced and would ultimately fail and then it's all a moot point. Mage Wars must never forget that it is a customize able card game first and foremost.




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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #629 on: November 09, 2013, 03:32:24 PM »
it's in the rules" is far superior to "it's more realistic"

I agree. But why not strive for both?

The game had both until now (barring a few incredibly rare instances and I wrote a thread titled "House Rules to retain fantasy realism" about it because there seemed to be no game balance need for these reality disjoints).

We'll never see eye-to-eye on this Karhaz. It's getting late here and my prior satire shows I've had a few too many sherries getting ready to go out. Thanks for the alternative view. We debate so vigorously because we both care.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 03:34:59 PM by DeckBuilder »
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