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Author Topic: Mage Wars on OCTGN  (Read 35112 times)

Schwenkgott

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Mage Wars on OCTGN
« on: September 09, 2014, 01:28:20 AM »
Are you are a big fan of Mage Wars, but you have problems finding players to play when you have the itch to enter the arena? You just want to try out that new spellbook? Want to practice an opening and see how much it will cost but don’t want to break everything out just for 5-10 minutes of your time? If so, then the Mage Wars module for OCTGN is the solution :)


Features:

-   Find and challenge new Mages from all over the world.
-   Get in contact with the kind and helpful community.
-   Meet again the people from the last tournament to grant them revenge.
-   View a game as a Spectator, watch your potential opponents’ games to know more about their play style and any special tricks they may spring on you.
-   Many ease of play features: Channeling, Flipping Markers, and Burn/Rot/Bleed Damage are all automated.
-   All Cards from Mage Wars Core Set, the four expansions, plus all of the released Promo Cards are available to build your Spellbooks with!
-   Customize and save your Spellbooks with the OCTGN Spellbook builder.
-   Import other player’s spellbooks from the Mage Wars Forum to the Spellbook builder for further editing and review purposes or export them to the same format used by the online Mage Wars Spellbook builder.
-   A large variety of game boards for different game styles and flavor. Everything from the 2x3 zone apprentice game board to 4x6 double sized multiplayer board!
-   Have a question or problem while playing? Game rules, the FAQ, and Condition Markers are available in game as pdf files, easy to access within the games module.
-   12 pre-constructed OCTGN exclusive Apprentice Spellbooks with 60 spellpoints for each mage to learn or teach the basics of the game along with the original Mage Wars Apprentice Spellbooks.
-   Tired of the randomness of winning or losing based on the luck of the draw? Still want the ability to build your custom decks? Mage Wars is just what you are looking for, and we don’t build custom “decks”, we build custom “Spellbooks!”




How do I get all of this up and running?

1)   Download and install the latest version of OCTGN http://www.octgn.net/Home/GetOctgn.
2)   Create your Account
3)   Install the Mage Wars Module for OCTGN
- In OCTGN, click on the GAMES MANAGER tab
- Click ADD GAME FEED button
- In the NAME text box, enter a name to describe the feed (such as “New Games”)
- In the FEED URL/PATH text box, copy and paste this link: https://www.myget.org/f/octgngamedirectory
- Click the newly-added feed in the list to the left
- Scroll through the list of games and install the Mage Wars Module
4)    Install the latest Image-Pack for all the cards
- download the Image Pack https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hacumnmrvtmpn9o/TZW6O2IPPD
- In OCTGN, in the GAMES MANAGER tab click on the click ADD IMAGE PACK button and point to the location when you downloaded the Image Pack
5)    Install the Deckbuilder Plugin
- Look for the file named OCTGN-SBB-for-MageWars.msi, you’ll find it deep inside your OCTGN Folder at
c:\user\<username>\my documents\OCTGN\GameDatabase\<GameID>\Plugins folder
- Make sure that OCTGN is closed down and run the installer by double clicking on it.  When you restart OCTGN you will now be able to check how many of your spellpoints you have spent and validate that you have the valid types and number of cards in your spellbook.
6)    Once you are ready to adventure in to the arena, just click on PLAY OR SPECTATE in OCTGN
7)    When you are in a game, remember to check out the Game Documents in the menu above to get some fast answers to any questions concerning Mage Wars or OCTGN
8 )   For full details and more the home page for the Mage Wars on OCTGN module can be found herehttp://octgn.gamersjudgement.com/wordpress/magewars/. There are sections such as “How to Play”, “Install Image Packs”, and the always handy: “FAQ”
 
Looking for Players on OCTGN?  Need to ask a how-to-question?

-   ghorgorbey
-   henry_ketchup
-   jacksmack
-   moonshield
-   murphy
-   rumengsq
-   Schneeente
-   Schwenkgott
-   sIKE23
-   skv01
-   trivium
-   vere
-   wt200


See you in the Arena!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 01:47:02 AM by Schwenkgott »
Akiro, I have never prayed to you before. No one will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that one stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Akiro... so grant me strength! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

urlGrey

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 08:12:12 PM »

I love OCTGN.  Thanks!

Maverick

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 02:18:28 PM »
I will try to talk my buddy into trying this out with me.
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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 01:49:27 AM »
Yea, OCTGN is cool  :)
OCTGN: gw (GMT+1 currently)

Ganpot

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 10:00:35 PM »
Not to dismiss OCTGN or anything, but I really wish Arcane Wonders would create an official online Mage Wars program.  OCTGN doesn't automate very many tasks, which makes it hard for newer players to use it (and allows accidental cheating). 

An official online version of the game would have a lot of benefits:

1. More Potential Fans - not everyone is into physical card and/or board games, and an online trial version (perhaps featuring apprentice mode or the standard 4 assembled base books) would allow a lot of people to try out the game first-hand before buying it. 
2. Better Players - online matchmaking is usually far more convenient than meeting up with friends/rivals.  This should result in more overall matches, and therefore a more experienced playerbase.  Players will also be able to compete against a larger pool of adversaries, which means more exposure to different metas and strategies.  Lastly, if rules are largely automated (as they are in the MtG games), players will be less confused about the various rules (this goes double if there are dedicated tutorials). 
3. More Thorough Playtesting - Mage Wars already does a great job of this, but issues always crop up every now and then.  Online matchmaking would allow for cards to be temporarily altered and playtested en masse at a rapid pace (either before their initial launch, or in preparation for errata). 

If I had to guess, the devs' main holdup is that they don't want an online version of the game to cannibalize the physical one.  There are some easy ways to get around that, however.   My advice would be to simply tie the two versions together: the only way to purchase online expansions is to buy the physical ones and then redeem a code online (do current sets have any unique identification code on them?). 

sIKE

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2014, 10:36:45 PM »
When is the last time you played on OCTGN? There is a bit of automation there, what do you think is missing from an automation point of view? Mind you I am constrained by the limits of the OCTGN system itself. I can tell you that after working on this for over a year now what you ask of Arcane Wonders (that OCTGN is not meeting) is quite the under taking. They would have to develop the engine first and then the rules to make the game automated. It is quite the task!!!!

I also believe that with either OCTGN or their own solution, that there will be a bit of a learning curve that all players will need to master to be able to play online. I know many many players find that fact daunting and skip playing as a result. Some get frustrated and walk away from it. Those who have worked through the process (typically 3-4 games (some partial)) and then it is like old hat.....
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Schwenkgott

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2014, 12:37:34 AM »
@Ganpot

I honestly do not unterstand your critics. When was the last time you played online?
OCTGN - in the state as it is now - provides some comfort automated features, but as player you are still in control and feel that you manage the gameboard. There is no important rule, that you can miss or will never hear about when playing via OCTGN. Everything that happens it written down in the chat box, so there is no accidental cheating. And btw. why would anyone try to cheat? Mage Wars is a game that you play for fun, to see if your spellbook works out against certain other mages ... not for winning at all cost.

Maybe some day, the guys from Arcane Wonders will decide to create an online version of their game. But until now, it's a module imspirated by the fans. And i think it's done in a way, that every player can be excited about Most of all, Sike is putting a lot of his time and passion into this project with all the updates, fixes and patches. He himself has hardly the time to play Mage Wars ... and he is not payed for that.
So why don't you enjoy what you can get for free. Of course, if you have some good ideas what can be improved to make Mage Wars on OCTGN even better, you're always welcome.

Akiro, I have never prayed to you before. No one will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that one stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Akiro... so grant me strength! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

Ganpot

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2014, 01:40:00 AM »
I honestly do not unterstand your critics. When was the last time you played online?
OCTGN - in the state as it is now - provides some comfort automated features, but as player you are still in control and feel that you manage the gameboard. There is no important rule, that you can miss or will never hear about when playing via OCTGN. Everything that happens it written down in the chat box, so there is no accidental cheating. And btw. why would anyone try to cheat? Mage Wars is a game that you play for fun, to see if your spellbook works out against certain other mages ... not for winning at all cost.

Maybe some day, the guys from Arcane Wonders will decide to create an online version of their game. But until now, it's a module imspirated by the fans. And i think it's done in a way, that every player can be excited about Most of all, Sike is putting a lot of his time and passion into this project with all the updates, fixes and patches. He himself has hardly the time to play Mage Wars ... and he is not payed for that.
So why don't you enjoy what you can get for free. Of course, if you have some good ideas what can be improved to make Mage Wars on OCTGN even better, you're always welcome.
Please understand: I'm not trying to belittle OCTGN.  For an non-commercialized product, it is pretty good.  But from my previous experiences with it, I didn't view it as extremely new-user friendly (and I fully admit that it might be much better at this point). 

There are most definitely rules that can be missed/misinterpreted while playing on OCTGN (just like they can be missed in real life).  Mage Wars is a complicated game, and therefore has a LOT of minor rules.  There are rules which even the devs haven't formed a full consensus on yet (Nullifying a Reverse Magic anyone?). 

Again, I am not saying that OCTGN is bad.  I am only stating that I hope Arcane Wonders takes the opportunity to develop an official online program.  It isn't an insult to say that a decently well-off company should be able to design a more polished and robust program than a group of volunteer fans.  After all, the company has a lot more manpower and resources at its disposal. 

When is the last time you played on OCTGN? There is a bit of automation there, what do you think is missing from an automation point of view? Mind you I am constrained by the limits of the OCTGN system itself. I can tell you that after working on this for over a year now what you ask of Arcane Wonders (that OCTGN is not meeting) is quite the under taking. They would have to develop the engine first and then the rules to make the game automated. It is quite the task!!!!

I also believe that with either OCTGN or their own solution, that there will be a bit of a learning curve that all players will need to master to be able to play online. I know many many players find that fact daunting and skip playing as a result. Some get frustrated and walk away from it. Those who have worked through the process (typically 3-4 games (some partial)) and then it is like old hat.....
My knowledge of OCTGN is a bit out of date, I admit.  I would like to compare these two videos in order to illustrate my point.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=209u9ykbbtI  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MthVaZ0fN_c  As you can see, DotP performs very fluidly and automates things such as viable targets, mana consumption (from what I remember, OCTGN doesn't take spawnpoint mana into account by default), and combat damage.  Mind you, OCTGN is perfectly functional (so long as at least one player is actually familiar with the rules), but it lacks a lot of those ease of use functions. 

I'm fully aware that developing a fully-featured online engine for Mage Wars would be a fairly demanding task, which is why I didn't suggest that OCTGN do it (that would be unreasonable).  I would be shocked if Arcane Wonders isn't already considering the possibility.  They've already got an online spellbook builder and an IOS application.  The success of Hearthstone also clearly shows that there's a big potential market for online card games. 

There will always be a learning curve with games like this.  But with a decent set of tutorials/explanations, a helpful community, and a good presentation, a lot more people can be convinced to stick with it until they learn enough to really start having fun. 

jacksmack

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2014, 02:37:28 AM »
@Ganpot

How much thought have you given the secret face down enchantment aspect?

Do you realize how cumbersome a fully automated game would be when each player would have to pass each and every opportunity of revealling enchantments? (or do you want to program to be able to backtrack?)

Just imagine what revealling an enfeeble, stumble, fumble would do to your options. (And there are MANY more.)

Now consider the options of enchantment transfusion combined with the above.


OCTGN takes 1 or 2 games to get used to. OCTGN does not provide more errors / false plays than reallife - its the other way around.
As Schwenngott said - its all tracked in the chat.

Schwenkgott

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2014, 06:54:17 AM »
Mage Wars is much more complex than magic, because you have a gameboard with zones, range aspect, blocked sight, hidden enchantments etc.  Certain things cannot be automatized that easily.
Akiro, I have never prayed to you before. No one will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that one stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Akiro... so grant me strength! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2014, 08:41:14 AM »
Either way, if you're playing this in real life you're going to have to learn to avoid accidental rules-breaking anyway. In fact I actually would have preferred it less automated. There are some automated things that I can't toggle to manual, and as a competitive player this is a problem since in real life I would have to keep track manually and I can't practice that kind of multitasking to the same extent on OCTGN.
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sIKE

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2014, 09:51:02 AM »
@Ganpot

Thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts and feelings on this. They are greatly appreciated. I have been slowly this year working on improving the automation within the system, as several players here have pointed out the complexity of the game is huge.

I would (no inside info here on my part) be very surprised that AW would be looking at developing a full blown game engine and implementation at this point. The player base for Magic or Netrunner is huge compared to the Mage Wars base in both IRL and OCTGN. For an effort like that, I imagine, you would want/require a base large enough to either pay once or a subscription so as to re-coup a good bit of your costs and going forward a margin that makes some money.

I have been watching new players come in over the last couple of weeks and observing them learn to play. It is a bit painful to watch, as you forget how difficult and flailing about you feel when you first start out. There is a video tutorial made by Charmyna, I have updated the documentation on How-To Play, added one for Keyboard Mappings, and added Apprentice Mode and Schwenkgott has created books for an Advance Apprentice Mode along with a how to get everything installed guide. All of this in effort to help new players out. Plus many of the guys who chimed in here, are and have been more than willing to help teach the game the first time players, though they sometimes do decline as they have scheduled a meet with another player. Which I am extremely grateful for! Do you think a new players cheat sheet would help? I envision a single page that can be printed out, that contains the basics and step by step on playing your first game.

A recently added feature lets players Import spellbooks from the forums which was a player request. If you have a feature you would like to see automated let me know and I will try to work it in to the dev process.

We have a couple of big to items that might be of interest, though they will be slow to roll out. The first is a stats server which would collect the results of the game and some basic stats (which stats are still in flux). The second is attaching cards to other cards. Like Surging Wave to the Wizards tower or Bear Strength and Mongoose Agility to a Mage or Creature. Once we get the basics down we can automate that process a bit better and work in rules enforcement like not allowing Bear Strength on a Zombie Brute. This feature is one I am excited about as one we have attachments done we can look at automating things such as Regenerate, which believe it or not is one of the hardest items in the game to automate due to things such as the Unicorn.
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Ganpot

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2014, 12:46:43 AM »
I would (no inside info here on my part) be very surprised that AW would be looking at developing a full blown game engine and implementation at this point. The player base for Magic or Netrunner is huge compared to the Mage Wars base in both IRL and OCTGN. For an effort like that, I imagine, you would want/require a base large enough to either pay once or a subscription so as to re-coup a good bit of your costs and going forward a margin that makes some money.
They probably aren't actively developing something like that at the moment (they have a lot on their plate), but I'd bet they are (or have) at least done some basic analysis (cost vs benefits, potential timescales, etc.).   

Mage Wars does have a much smaller population than some (loosely) similar games.  I think a big reason for that is the difficulty learning (and teaching) it.  I am by no means a stranger to card games, board games, and computer games.  But nevertheless, it took me 7 full games to really get comfortable with the rules.  I can only imagine how frustrated and confused casual or non-gamers could become. 

Even something as simple as a set of 1-action scenarios could visually demonstrate some of the rules in an interactive way, and thus increase learning speed (hopefully gaining more players and increasing Arcane Wonders' profits later down the road).  But who knows...  maybe the Academy expansion will serve as a good enough introduction that nothing else will be necessary. 

Do you think a new players cheat sheet would help? I envision a single page that can be printed out, that contains the basics and step by step on playing your first game.
I imagine that would help a great deal.  Most of the people I've tried to teach Mage Wars to (in real life) are completely overwhelmed by information on their first game, and refuse to play any more afterwards (since it takes so long for each game to play out).  Apprentice mode doesn't really seem to help.  I imagine most of the people trying to play on OCTGN are a little more experienced with the game, but you never know. 

Some trouble areas I've noticed in particular are:
1. Quick Action vs Full Action vs Quick-Cast: practically no one I played with could wrap their head around these 3 things.  At best, they would constantly confuse Quick-Cast and Quick Actions.  After a while, I just gave up and only taught Quick Actions.  Every full action was treated like a quick action, and each mage got to play one card from their book each turn and also take a normal action. 
2. Traits and Effects: this one is understandable.  People can't really be expected to understand the mechanics of Cripple or Weakness right off the bat.  I sometimes just hand them the rule-book after flipping it to the Codex section (so they can look stuff up whenever they want), and I also sometimes eliminate traits and effects entirely. 
3. Damage and Armor: I was greatly surprised at how confusing the damage system seems to be for some new players.  Unfortunately, there's just no way around it.  Armor is too important and prevalent to ignore, and without armor crits become useless as well (which just leads to further questions). 
4. Mana Cost vs Level: these two things are fairly easy to explain (especially since Level rarely comes up if you aren't building spellbooks), but you just need to be very careful that new players aren't confusing the two stats for the first couple of turns. 

We have a couple of big to items that might be of interest, though they will be slow to roll out. The first is a stats server which would collect the results of the game and some basic stats (which stats are still in flux). The second is attaching cards to other cards. Like Surging Wave to the Wizards tower or Bear Strength and Mongoose Agility to a Mage or Creature. Once we get the basics down we can automate that process a bit better and work in rules enforcement like not allowing Bear Strength on a Zombie Brute. This feature is one I am excited about as one we have attachments done we can look at automating things such as Regenerate, which believe it or not is one of the hardest items in the game to automate due to things such as the Unicorn.
Those are exactly the sort of improvements I was thinking of.  Even extremely limited or basic rule enforcement would be awesome.   

Schwenkgott

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Re: Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2014, 04:24:41 AM »
Maybe it simply helps to read the Rule Book?! The Rulebook is fun to read if you are a fan of fantasy board games.
I did it when i started playing and i had no problem at all in my first game.
After that i had a lot of fun checking out all the cards available and reading the entire codex supplement with all the additional clarifications.

Don't try to teach Mage Wars to people, that are to lazy to do the first step on their own (reading the Rulebook). They won't become the fans you want them to be and it's a waste of time and energy.
Akiro, I have never prayed to you before. No one will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that one stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Akiro... so grant me strength! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

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Mage Wars on OCTGN
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2014, 04:53:46 AM »
Maybe it simply helps to read the Rule Book?! The Rulebook is fun to read if you are a fan of fantasy board games.
I did it when i started playing and i had no problem at all in my first game.
After that i had a lot of fun checking out all the cards available and reading the entire codex supplement with all the additional clarifications.

Don't try to teach Mage Wars to people, that are to lazy to do the first step on their own (reading the Rulebook). They won't become the fans you want them to be and it's a waste of time and energy.


I'm not so sure about that. Be careful about over-generalizing schwenk. Some people learn faster by trial and error with the rulebook on the side for reference. Granted, this trial-by-fire style of learning might depend on being defeated a lot by opponents with a better grasp of the rules. I know that when I first started playing I didn't do a read through all at once before my first game. I didn't even play it in apprentice mode.

And make no mistake, mage wars is not just for competitive players. It's a great casual game once you have a grasp of the rules. I suppose that perhaps the problem could be that a lot of casual players are prejudiced against complexity in games because they associate it too closely to "extreme difficulty I don't understand- headache, headache, not fun" rather than merely being a greater time investment.

I think that the kind of gamers who would like mage wars if they actually managed to get into it might be far greater than the number who will actually ever be willing to try it. I think new mage wars players generally fit into two groups (not mutually exclusive):  patient, casual gamers who enjoy mage wars enough to press through the relatively huge learning curve, and experienced/competitive gamers who don't need as much patience or enjoyment to get into it.

I really wish more people played Mage Wars though.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 04:55:23 AM by Imaginator »
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