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Messages - Ganpot

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16
General Discussion / Re: Is Mage wars about to fade out?
« on: May 08, 2016, 11:48:22 pm »
and after that, will we have to wait 2-3 years for the next 2-mages expension?
This is the question that really scares me.  Having a single 3 year gap between new Arena mages (which tend to offer more  comprehensive playstyle changes and opportunities than other expansions) is really bad, but it is recoverable.  Once the schedule picks up again, players will hopefully come flooding back.  But if this release schedule is already the new normal and players are expected to wait that long for the next set, then IMO the game is doomed (as in, a mere handful of people will be playing it by that point). 

So I don't want to (just) hear that PvS is finally releasing this year.  What I actually want to hear is that the next set is releasing 6-12 months after that (and isn't going to be delayed).  I won't pretend to know the reasons behind the slow recent schedule, and quite frankly I don't particularly care at this point (harsh but true).  Whatever the reason, FIX IT.  Short of nuclear apocalypse or Cthulhu rising from the sea, it should never be allowed to happen again.  A ton of people (including myself) originally became excited about this game at least partially because of the promise of expanding variety.  People on the forums had a lot of fun imagining new mage archetypes and cards.  Deckbuilding is the best part of the game for many people.  For the last couple years, all of these people have become frustrated and bored with the game. 

You can tell how serious I am about this topic because I actually prevented myself from making a really stupid pun in the preceding sentence.  And those are my absolute favorite types of puns!

17
Creatures are almost always fun.  Come on, show me the Leviathan or Kraken!  Gerard Matranga is extremely overpowered and needs a natural counter.  ;)
http://www.level99games.com/images/GerardMageWars.png

18
I disagree with all the people saying that conditions should be (or should have been) simplified to reduce complexity.  While some conditions are similar, they aren't exactly the same, and eliminating the differences between them would seriously damage the theme of the game.  That strong sense of theme is a really important factor that contributes to my personal enjoyment of the game. 

As for what I would change, if given the chance?  Hmmm...... 

1. Replace effect roll die with something more consistent.  I'm not a huge fan of the variation in regular attack die either, but at least that doesn't usually lead to all-or-nothing situations that might single-handedly determine the game.  I strongly believe that most players avoid using a lot of utility-based attack spells solely because of this inconsistency.  People don't want to risk an entire game around whether [mwcard=MWSTX1CKA01]Surging Wave[/mwcard] will actually push a buffed [mwcard=MW1C06]Brogan Bloodstone[/mwcard] away from your mage.  So instead a lot of people just spam the highest damage attack cards (force hammer and hurl boulder) and ignore the effects.  There are other ways to balance out powerful effects like stun: you can either have extra target restrictions on the card itself or just make it cost more mana. 

2. Create a movement stat for creatures.  This would have gotten rid of the necessity for a couple of keywords (fast and slow) and also allowed for more creature variety as well as more effective kiting strategies.  Imagine a creature which had 4 movement (balanced out by low health, perhaps), allowing it to run around and pick off weakened creatures. 

3. A split online / tabletop focus.  Bear with me, this one's a bit weird.  I love playing Mage Wars in person, but a lot of the people who I would regularly play with either don't live near me all of the time or are too busy to drive to my house (or vice versa) just to play a board game.  So I would have added a way to keep track of exactly what cards players possessed, and let them use those cards to play online matches of the game (either with their friends or in ranked tournaments).  For example, Arcane Wonders could have included a serial code in each box of the game that would unlock the cards in that set on a player's online account.  Then players have the best of both worlds: they can play in person or online, whichever they prefer.  Creating such an online/offline system would also have had advantages for the game itself: the devs could set up playtesting events online to help balance cards before they officially come out (and are annoying to errata).  Yes, technically players can use the fan-supported OCTGN system, but that shouldn't have been necessary in the first place. 

4. Double-sided Domination tiles that come standard with Arena.  In hindsight, the variable terrain introduced with Domination makes the game a lot more fun (as a semi-casual player).  Packing that into the base game instead of the traditional board could only have helped its initial popularity and portability.  What I still don't understand is why the new tiles aren't double-sided.  When everything else about the game from a component standpoint feels so polished, the waste inherent in only using 1 sided tiles is really bizarre.  Two-sided tiles would also have allowed the devs to make every tile have one unique effect side as well as a regular side.  That way players could choose to have an all normal board, complete chaos, or anything in between.  Sadly, I don't expect this to get rectified any time soon, since new Battlegrounds releases will probably need to be compatible with Domination tiles. 

5. Regular Release Schedule.  Yeah, I'm being a bit cheeky, but I also know that the long, LONG wait for Paladin vs Siren has seriously hampered my enjoyment of the game.  The smaller releases just haven't been the same, and the lack of new mages makes the game more boring.  There are still SOOO many possible mages that the game hasn't covered (*cough* frost mage *cough*), which makes it even more frustrating that we'll have been waiting 3 YEARS for new mages by the time PvS is roughly estimated to finally come out (DvN released Nov. 2013).  That should never have been allowed to happen.  At some point you just need to lock certain stuff down and move on to only minute balancing instead of constantly redesigning everything because it isn't absolutely perfect (which is what I'm betting has at least contributed to the delays).  I can't speak for others, but I'm not willing to wait another 3 years for Barbarian vs Sorcerer (or whatever it will end up being) to roll out.  I'm not asking for monthly releases or anything crazy like that, but getting a new set of Arena mages out the door at least once a year (along with 1-2 minor Academy releases and perhaps a Battlegrounds or other expansion) should be considered the bare minimum. 

19
Mage Wars Academy / Re: Common Misconceptions about Mage Wars Academy
« on: February 16, 2016, 05:34:49 pm »
1. Mage Wars Academy is just "Arena-lite"
I agree with your 3rd and 4th points (undecided on #2), but I completely disagree with #1.  Pretty much everything, including the design of the game and developer interviews from Arcane Wonders employees, points to Academy actually being Arena-lite.  The devs were given feedback from multiple sources (including this forum) that people wanted a shorter, more portable, and possibly more beginner-friendly version of Mage Wars without sacrificing the soul of the game.  Academy was the result.  This is also why the Academy cards are compatible with Arena, but not vice-versa.  The devs are hoping to get a larger playerbase by having people learn Academy first, then transition into Arena.  So Academy is pretty clearly Arena-lite, in a certain sense.  I'm more confused as to why you seem to consider that a bad thing.  The game is well-designed (if a bit light on cards at the moment) and can appeal to players who would never jump straight into Arena. 

20
Alternative Play / Re: The MW Arena to Academy Conversion Project
« on: February 16, 2016, 05:21:48 pm »
How much have you tested this?

Academy's card pool is not too small, it just seems that way to Arena players who aren't familiar with Academy gameplay. It will be great when the cardpool is bigger because that means that there will be more possible strategies, but there are already enough to support a healthy variety for tons of replayability and plenty of time for testing and tweaking decks.

It might help you to have a better idea of what could work and what couldn't if you play regular academy for a while first and then introduce cards more gradually to see how they affect the game. I suspect a lot of arena cards that you're including will cause absolute chaos and break the game even with your rule edits.

I've played about 4 games with this ruleset (not a lot, but I've been a bit swamped). 

For me personally, having only two Mages and two schools of magic be truly represented is rather limiting, even when compared to just the core set of Arena.  No doubt more variety will be added in future expansions, but it seems a shame to not use all of the pre-existing cards people have laying about.  If people just want to stick with basic Academy, no one's stopping them. 

The entire point of this is NOT to introduce cards one at a time, for several reasons.  Firstly, it would take a much longer period of time to determine which cards could/should be included because most cards should transition absolutely fine.  Secondly, introducing all of the cards at once actually helps maintain balance.  Cards can and do work as natural counters to each other.  Adding in cards one at a time and checking balance that way will ironically give you less balanced results in the long run.  Spamming [mwcard=MW1C37]Thunderift Falcon[/mwcard] might be way too powerful on its own, but if [mwcard=MWBG1J02]Gravikor[/mwcard] is also allowed, then an easy counterplay exists. 

The only rules I've created which I believe might lead to large imbalances are the ones concerning the Slow and Lumbering traits.  I'm worried that I haven't made them harsh enough. 

21
Alternative Play / The MW Arena to Academy Conversion Project
« on: February 14, 2016, 06:32:42 pm »
I've actually been meaning to write this up for awhile, but never found the time.  Before Academy officially released, I thought it would be fun to do some rough testing and play the format with existing cards and Mages.  Of course, the official rules had not been released at that time, so I was forced to make up rules as I went.  I am disappointed that the developers at Arcane Wonders seem to have no interest in allowing Arena cards to be played in Academy, severely limiting the current card pool.  So I figured I would share my variant with the community for feedback, and in case anyone else was interested in it. 

Goal: To allow as many Arena cards and Mages as possible to be used successfully in Academy, by creating overarching rule additions instead of changing individual cards.  This must preserve a measure of balance, but should not necessarily adhere to the current balance of either Arena or Academy (some cards will naturally be better or worse after the transition; the goal is to avoid completely overpowered and game-breaking cards). 

Part 1: Mage Conversion
a. All non-Academy Mages possess a spellpoint limit of 40 instead of 120.
b. All non-Academy Mages reduce their total life by 10 and their channeling to 7.  If the Mage started with 10 channeling, he/she gains 3 mana at the start of the game. 
c. All non-Academy Mages do not have access to their second or third printed abilities (example: the Wizard has access to Voltaric Shield, but not Arcane Zap).  Abilities include traits (such as Fast or Tough -2). 
d. All non-Academy Mages roll 1 less attack die.

Part 2: Conjurations
a. Each Mage may only possess up to 2 Zone Exclusive conjurations simultaneously.  These are placed in a line behind that player's creatures and Mage.  If a player wishes to play a new conjuration but has no spots remaining, he/she may discard an existing conjuration which he/she controls in order to play the new one. 
b. When choosing the target of an attack, a player may target a conjuration as long as no enemy creature (including the enemy Mage) is guarding.   
d. A single player may not actively possess 2 conjurations with the same name, unless those conjurations target different objects. 
e. If an effect would cause a conjuration to switch from one player's control to another's, the player who now controls the conjuration moves it to his side of the field and counts it towards his/her conjuration limit.  It no longer counts towards the original owner's conjuration limit.   
f. Conjurations which target creatures or other objects do not count towards the 2 conjuration limit, and are played faceup underneath their target. 
g. Conjurations which state they cannot be placed in a zone adjacent to another type of conjuration (outposts) mean that a player cannot possess 2 outposts at the same time. 

Part 3: Walls
a. Only a single conjuration card with the Zone Border spawn target area (walls) may exist at any one time.  This is placed in-between the two player's creatures.  This conjuration does NOT count towards either player's conjuration limit. 
b. A player may replace a wall he/she controls by discarding the old wall while playing a new wall.  Players may not replace walls their opponent controls. 
c. Creatures with an attack range of 0 or 1 may attack walls.  While choosing the target of an attack, players may always choose to ignore guards and attack a wall instead.
d. A wall with the Passage Blocked trait must be attacked before any creature can attack any other enemy creature or conjuration.  Any creature with the Flying trait is immune to this effect (both while attacking and while being targeted by a ranged attack). 
e. A wall with the Passage Attacks trait may be ignored while a player is choosing the target of an attack, but if the player does not target the wall and is melee attacking with a creature, that creature suffers the attack listed on the wall card before making its own attack.  Creatures using a ranged attack are unaffected.  If a creature dies as a result of this attack, it does not complete its planned attack. 
f. A wall with the Blocks Line of Sight trait prevents ranged attacks and spells from targeting anything which is on the other side of the wall (except those which do not require line of sight).  Any creature with the Flying trait is immune to this effect (both while attacking and being attacked). 

Part 4: Traits and Effects
a. Fast - This creature starts active.  If an inactive minor creature would gain Fast from a spell, it instead becomes active. 
b. Slow - This creature starts with a Stun marker.  If a creature would gain Slow from a spell, it gains a Stun marker instead. 
c. Lumbering - This creature's first attack gains -2 dice and -6 to the effect die roll. 
d. Rooted - This creature cannot melee attack any conjuration or creature which possesses a ranged attack unless its Uproot cost is paid for that attack. 
e. Charge - This creature gains melee +X if it did not attack last turn.  This includes its first attack.  The Charge trait never applies to Counterstrikes, and a Counterstrike while Guarding does not count as an attack.  Charge does not activate during an attack if a Teleport effect is in play for that attack. 
f. Extendable - This trait has no effect.
g. Hinder - This trait has no effect. 
h. Restrained - This creature may not use any full-attack action. 
i. Obscured - This creature or object cannot be targeted by ranged attacks (but may still be hit by Zone Attacks). 
j. Push - Any creature targeted by a Push effect suffers an Unavoidable attack of 2 dice and has its Guard token removed (if applicable).  Creatures with the Unmovable trait and conjurations are immune to this attack.  If the spell allows for the player to Push the target through a wall and a suitable wall exists, the player may choose to have the target suffer an attack from the wall instead of the Unavoidable attack of 2 dice. 
k. Unstoppable - This creature cannot be Restrained, and possesses the Unmovable and Uncontainable traits. 
l. Snatch - This attack removes the target's Guard marker (if possible).  If there is a wall with the Passage Attack trait in play, the target of this attack suffers an attack from that wall.  Snatch does not count as a normal Push attack, and the target does not suffer an Unavoidable attack of 2 dice if no wall is in play.  Creatures with the Unmovable trait and conjurations are immune to this effect.
m. Climbing - While declaring a melee attack, this creature ignores any wall with the Passage Blocked trait. 
n. Zone Exclusive - Each player may only possess 2 conjurations with this trait at a single time. 
o. Unmovable - This creature is immune to Snatch and Push effects. 
p. Stun - This creature is Incapacitated.  Before round three, Stun markers cannot be removed.  During and after round 3, all Stun markers on a creature are removed at the end of that creature's Action Phase. 

Part 5: Misc. Rules
a. Teleport - Any spell which teleports a creature allows it to immediately make an attack on any enemy creature or conjuration, regardless of Range or Line of Sight.  This attack ignores all game systems or traits which would normally prevent the attack (including the Restrained condition and Guarding creatures), except for Incapacitated.  However, all traits which would normally impact the attack otherwise are still calculated (including Melee +X), and the defending creature may still use a Defense (and Counterstrike after the attack) if able.  After the attack, the attacking creature becomes inactive.  If a teleport spell is activated in response to an enemy's attack, the defending creature automatically avoids that attack.  This is not counted as a Defense, and cannot be stopped. 
b. Traps - Any enchantment with the Trap sub-type triggers when the next enemy creature is summoned. 
c. Vines - Vine markers target individual, non-Mage creatures.  Two markers Restrains the target, and three markers Incapacitates the target.  These conditions last as long as the markers remain on the target.  As a quick action, a creature may attack another creature's vine markers to destroy up to 2 of them. 
d. Weapons - Any weapon which does NOT mention the level of the Mage (in other words, non-Academy weapons) rolls 1 less attack die. 
e. Zone Control - A player controls the battlefield if he/she currently possesses more creatures in play than his/her opponent.  Pests and Incapacitated creatures do not count towards Zone Control. 

Part 6: Cards Still Incompatible
-[mwcard=FWQ06]Horn of Gothos[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=FWJ01]Akiro's Hammer[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWSTX2FFJ03]Altar of Domination[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1J05]Galaxxus[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=FWJ04]Garrison Post[/mwcard]
-[mwcard=MW1J21]Suppression Orb[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1J03]V'Torrak Gate[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWSTX2FFC12]Talos[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MW1E04]Chains of Agony[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1E03]Sentinel of V'Tar[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=DNE03]Stumble[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MW1E38]Teleport Trap[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1E04]V'Tar Force Sentry[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1I01]Cascading Force Wave[/mwcard] (technically works, but is completely identical to normal Force Push)
-[mwcard=MWBG1I03]V'Tar Suppression[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1I02]V'Tarrian Healing Song[/mwcard]

-[mwcard=MWBG1A05]V'Tarrian Energy Wave[/mwcard]


I would love feedback, criticisms, etc. 

22
Alternative Play / Re: Extreme houseruling
« on: January 06, 2016, 12:24:38 am »
I generally avoid house-ruling in most games for the sake of simplicity and convenience, but I have actually house-ruled a couple of cards for Mage Wars.  Some of the rules in the OP make sense thematically (such as allowing spiders to climb), but I personally prefer to house-rule only when I feel that a card is either so abysmally bad that it cannot be salvaged otherwise, or when the issue is clearly something which should have been addressed when the card was initially designed (an oversight, basically).  Here's my current list, with my reasoning:

[mwcard=FWC04]Goblin Builder[/mwcard] - can repair walls which border his zone / reasoning: the devs more or less admitted this was an oversight, but they are apparently busy with other matters and aren't sure when/if they will issue an official errata for the card.  The card could already build walls, so this change is also thematically consistent. 

[mwcard=MW1J06]Gate to Hell[/mwcard] - after opening the gate, it receives a channeling of +3, the spawnpoint trait, and may summon an unlimited amount of creatures per turn (if the Mage can pay for them, of course) / reasoning: If I had to pick the single most unplayable card in the game, I might well pick this one.  It's not just underpowered: the card itself is schizophrenic.  It tries to act as both a massive attack card and a spawnpoint, but those two things don't have an overlapping purpose.  The attack is far more effective later in the game (when the opponent has more creatures out on the board), but spawnpoints are better laid immediately so they can start to generate mana and summon things.  Not to mention that the card costs 24 mana and two full turns, which will severely hinder tempo control and aggression.  These changes allow the Adramelech Warlock to make good use of the card, without making it overpowered.  She needs a way to summon her low-cost imps in an efficient manner, and potentially setting many of the creatures in the arena on fire is just great in general for her. 

[mwcard=FWJ01]Akiro's Hammer[/mwcard] - possesses the indirect attack trait / reasoning: the card was ludicrously easy to shut down without this change, and quite frankly, it's a freaking trebuchet.  There is literally no card in the game that more deserves to have the indirect attack trait.  Firing indirectly is precisely what trebuchets do in REAL LIFE. 

[mwcard=DNJ08]Seedling Pod[/mwcard] - costs 1 mana / reasoning: the card was overcosted and too vulnerable to ever be useful (on top of giving away the future location of your plants).  There was basically no benefit to using the card, which meant there was no benefit in using Samara Tree either.  That in turn made Vine Tree the go-to Druid partner.  Making the card extremely inexpensive means that it is no longer a mana drain, and is instead a trade-off: delay putting down useful plants for 3 turns in exchange for a net gain of 2 mana (instead of the old "trade-off" of delaying and only gaining mana after 3 turns). 

[mwcard=WARLORDABILITYOUTLINE]Warlord Ability Card[/mwcard] - the Veterans ability also grants +1 non-spell ranged.  Instead of giving a token to a soldier unit that kills an enemy creature, whenever an enemy creature dies, the Warlord gets to choose two soldier creatures in that space to gain a token each / reasoning: as printed, the veterans ability is almost without a doubt the worst Mage ability in the game (the only other ability even in contention is Wounded Prey, which I have given serious thought to also house-ruling).  Without an errata, there is zero reason to play the Orc Warlord over the Dwarf Warlord.  The reason for granting +1 ranged is that the warlord shouldn't be penalized for using his ranged units (including the awesome Goblin Alchemist).   Giving out more than 1 token at a time without allowing stacking encourages unit spam, which is precisely what the Orc Warlord was supposed to be good at in the first place. 

[mwcard=MWSTX1CKJ02]Wizard's Tower[/mwcard] - possesses the epic trait / reasoning: the card is simply too powerful to be able to re-summon.  This is also more of an informal house-rule (I build pretty much all of the decks for my group, and simply never include more than 1 copy of the card in any deck).  This change doesn't outright diminish the card's power in any way, but forces the Wizard to actually defend it if he wants to keep using it.

Huh... that's actually more than I remembered changing, but whatever.  I consider those to be pretty conservative edits (with the possible exception of the Warlord).  The Goblin Builder and Wizard's Tower changes basically just fix oversights, and the Akiro's Hammer change just prevents players from cheesing it.  The three remaining changes fix (IMHO) broken cards as simply as possible. 

Gate to Hell. ...Either the real card is overcosted or more likely (IMO) people just don't know how to use it.
Considering it's been out since the first release and almost everyone seems to think the card is nearly useless or in need of a change, I'm gonna go ahead and say that there simply is no way to use it correctly.  It's not even necessarily about cost: the card just tries to do too many unrelated things that don't synergize well.  It would actually be far more useful to have one card that only gave all demons +1 melee, one card that only performed the massive attack, and one card that only acted like a spawnpoint (even for a higher total cost).  Then a Warlock player could use each card when it made sense to do so. 

23
General Discussion / Re: When is the latest release date for Academy?
« on: December 06, 2015, 02:51:31 pm »
I don't mean to be overly critical, but I really wish Arcane Wonders would make a bigger deal out of Mage Wars new releases.  I know there's a lot of potential complications (dealing with multiple companies, shipping, etc.) but this thread is evidence of just how confusing the Academy release has been for the fan-base.  If pretty much no one on the official forums is sure what's going on, then it's a pretty safe bet that more casual or normal players are completely out of the loop.  At the very least, an announcement of the release date on both the storefront and the forums would have been nice.  It's very hard to build hype and pre-orders for a product when no one knows when it's going to come out.  I'm not upset that the release was delayed (multiple times); all I'm asking for is more clear communication so that the fans know what to expect. 

24
General Discussion / Re: What is the optimal lifelink value for team games?
« on: December 06, 2015, 02:22:50 pm »
The only time I've ever attempted a large scale Mage Wars team battle (4v4), we didn't use any life-link or life reduction whatsoever (and when a Mage dies, all their spells immediately end).  In my opinion, that both speeds up the game (granted, we're still talking really long matches), and makes it far more tactical.  Blowing up one Mage on either team without immediate follow-up basically ensures victory, which forces players to learn both individually and as a group when to attack and when to retreat.  Adding Domination to the mix just makes it better, since then players have to spread out or risk losing control of most of the V'Tar orbs. 

I've never understood why a lot of people prefer shared life in team Mage Wars games.  In games where players can't run away or counter that aggression, it makes sense.  But Mage Wars (at least Arena / Battlegrounds) gives players those tools.  Players should be encouraged to target the enemy team's weakest link while defending their own.  That in turn encourages movement across the board, which is one of Mage War's most unique qualities as a card game. 

The only real downside is that the game becomes far more brutal.  A single mistake can cost a team the game, after investing 3+ hours into a match.  So I guess my advice is: for (relatively) laid back or casual matches, life-link is great (it usually keeps all the players in the game so long as someone doesn't SERIOUSLY mess up).  But for competitive matches, I really dislike life-link. 

25
Splitting up all the cards into smaller equivalent decks (and then having to re-assemble those decks every once in a while so players wouldn't learn which cards were in which deck) sounds like it would take a massive amount of time and effort.  There have to be easier ways to avoid fighting over cards and figuring out opponent's decks ahead of time. 

What about this:
1. Have every player participating in this program roll a d12 (with everyone else present).  This determines initiative order (higher numbers are better).  Re-roll if a tie ever occurs.  Write down the initiative order. 
2. The players secretly write down their top 4 Mage picks and hand these to someone not participating in the event (basically an impartial judge).  The judge rolls a d12 for each list, going by initiative order.  1-3 = 1st Mage choice / 4-6 = 2nd Mage choice / 7-9 = 3rd Mage choice / 10-12 = 4th Mage choice.  If a Mage is unavailable, the judge re-rolls the d12 until an available Mage is chosen.  In the unlikely event that none of the four choices submitted by a player are available, the judge privately tells that player to submit a new list of Mage choices, none of which may be the same as those previously submitted. 
3. Each player, after being secretly informed of which Mage they ended up with, looks through the collection of Mage Wars cards (I recommend using the website, personally) and compiles a list of 150 points of spell cards IN THE ORDER OF HOW BADLY THEY WANT EACH CARD (higher on list = more likely to get it).  The players DO NOT take any cards at this point. 
4. After each player submits his/her list of cards to the judge, the judge begins to distribute cards, one at a time, in initiative order (player 1 receives a card, then player 2, then player 3, etc.).  If a card is unavailable, it is skipped and the next card on the list is added instead.  While doing this, the judge keeps track of how many spell points are in each deck.  Once a deck reaches 120 spell points, it is complete.  If a deck's next chosen card would cause it to go over 120 points, that card is skipped.  If a deck list runs out before reaching 120 spell points, the judge tells the relevant player how many spell points remain to finish his/her deck, and tells him/her to submit a new list of roughly twice the needed amount of spell points required.   
5. Once every deck is finished, the judge hands each player his/her Mage and deck.  The judge then sets up a tournament structure in the agreed-upon format (round robin / double-elimination / etc.). 
6. Players compete.  After the tournament or event is complete, the judge and players disassemble the decks again. 

While this format does potentially allow players to figure out what other cards have been picked, they won't usually be sure which player picked them.  Additionally, the players most likely to figure out which Mages and cards have been picked are those who do not receive the cards and Mage they initially wanted.  In this way, I think balance remains more or less intact.  The only major downsides are that you need a non-participant, and this system doesn't work as well with 2-3 players. 

26
Custom Cards / Re: New Mage: Artificer
« on: November 08, 2015, 11:05:48 am »
I like the idea but wonder if it's going to work out as intended and as often as intended.
These abilities assume there are going to be multiple weapons and various non-weapon equipment for the same slots that are going to be effective against 1 mage which I think will not be the case.

What if this "quick equipment" was refunded and returned to your Spellbook at the end of that attack ? That way you could really have equipment popping up and disappearing again with every attack, and it would keep it safe from dissolve as well. And you could still play "sticky" equipment as normal ( like rings etc )

And finally, you would have to keep roughly 4-8 mana aside every round for the entire game to fuel this ability. Not sure if that will be possible with a 9 channeling mage as this means you have like 4-8 mana less to build up.
I imagine that the chest armor will generally be one of the least swapped pieces of gear for that very reason.  However, I can still see it being swapped if the enemy mage uses a utility attack spell (Chitin Armor against acid (once it's released), Wind Wyvern Hide against Jet Stream, etc.).  It would also be extremely useful against toolbox Wizards.  The Adramelech Warlock is probably one of the worst match-ups (since she's more long-range and focused almost purely on fire), but if for example the Male Warlock equipped Sectarus and was using fire attack spells, the Artificer could switch between Harshforge Plate (to counter curses) and Dragonscale Hauberk (to counter the fire attacks).  I do think changing weapons and other armor pieces will be more generally useful though. 

I considered having the equipment be returned after an attack ended, but I decided the ability wouldn't be strong enough.  One of the most powerful aspects of this ability is the ability to quickly assemble an entire set of armor if you're being attacked.  I also think that keeping the equipment safe from dissolves would lead to less fun for both the mage and his opponents.  Having the Artificer start with an absurd amount of equipment variety and potentially get it slowly whittled down over the course of the game means he'll have to adapt and possibly start using less-than-optimal equipment to fill in the gaps.  It ensures that targeting his equipment isn't completely pointless, but should only be used when you absolutely cannot deal with a specific piece of gear.  I am still debating whether equipment which you quick-swap should be returned to your spellbook immediately or at the end of each round (since it would make it a lot easier to keep track of what you've used). 

Yes, you would generally have to keep mana aside every round for this ability.  That gives the mage a weakness that can be exploited (draining his mana will cripple him), but I don't think it's a massive hindrance.  He wants to be casting a lot of equipment anyway, and he was never really designed with long-term economy in mind (similar to most 9-channeling mages).  So I don't think needing to store some mana would hurt him too badly. 

Pretty sure this is in the wrong section. Should be in the creative section under "custom cards". Also the title of this thread is misleading. Makes people think it's actually a new Mage rather than an idea for a Mage.
I hadn't actually thought about how the title might be misleading...  I'll try to edit it for clarification. 

The idea of a mages switching weapons could be fun, but I'm not really sure I like the idea he can use "mage only" equipment of the other mages. He should get his own personalized gear.

Secondly: I'm not really sure what he's new flavor to the game would be. We already have the dwarf focusing on weapons. (And I guess the Paladin too)
The concept simply wouldn't work without him having access to (virtually) all restricted gear.  There's simply not a lot of (powerful) standard gear at the moment (especially weapons).  It also makes sense thematically: he specializes in using other mages' equipment instead of his own.  If he couldn't use restricted gear, then he would need a truly massive amount of personalized gear which covered a lot of the same ground as pre-existing gear. 

The dwarf Warlord does somewhat focus on equipment, but not nearly to this extent.  The Artificer is basically an experiment of mine to see what would happen if mages could specialize in types of spells instead of just schools.  I'm considering designing a Conjuration focused mage as well. 

Midgame/lategame the artificer will probably be able to cast a big bad creature every round with his mana surplus. They can do the job while he teleports away to safety after spwning the big baddy...

With both war and arcane AND all equipment, he has access to a huge ammount of spells at level cost!!
There's no reason for the artificer using attack spells, if he needs certain traits (piercing, or a damage type) on an attack to deal with certain conjurations/creatures, he can just change weapons or cast a creature with these traits. As for enchantments, there will be a few outside the war or arcane school which will cost tripple (a few bear strengths and cheetah speeds for extra hits and running to safety (he's allready elusive!), circle of fire and circle of lightning...)
I am strongly considering changing him to War & Mind instead of War & Arcane.  Arcane seems more thematic in general, which is why I originally went with it. 

I also thought about giving him a 3x penalty towards most creatures, but I didn't want to make him too similar to the Forcemaster so I had to come up with something else.  I agree that just paying triple for attack spells would almost definitely let him off too easily (although it does somewhat hinder his ability to dish out long-range damage without remaining stationary), which is why I included the enchantment penalty as well.  The main reason I chose that particular detriment (as you described) is that I didn't want him to be able to easily buff himself or his creatures with nature enchantments. 

I'm not sure he'll really have a massive amount of surplus mana.  He still has to pay for all his initial equipment, and most mages (to my knowledge) don't typically waste mana by swapping out equipment.  So he'll probably have a similar mid/late-game economy to most 9-channeling mages. 

Great discussion, but yes this should be in the creative section of the forums.
Sorry, my bad.  There were new mage ideas in both this subforum as well as the "custom cards" one, so I wasn't sure where to put it. 

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Custom Cards / New Mage Idea: Artificer
« on: November 08, 2015, 02:29:15 am »
I came up with this idea while thinking about mages which could specialize in types of spells (equipment, conjurations, etc.) rather than schools.  This mage specializes in equipment.

Artificer (open to better name suggestions)
Spellbook Points: 120
Health: 36
Channeling: 9

Training
War & Arcane
Can use ALL equipment (including mage and school specific equipment) at base spellpoint cost.  This does not apply to equipment with the Cantrip trait. 
Pays triple for all attack spells, as well as enchantment spells outside of the War and Arcane schools. 

Abilities
Instant Materialization:
Immediately after declaring an attack, the Artificer may cast any weapon spell from his spellbook and equip it by paying its mana cost.  That weapon is then used during the attack.  If he already has an item equipped in that slot, he first refunds the mana cost of that spell and returns it to his spellbook.  The Artificer cannot use limited-time equipment attributes (such as defense rolls) more than normal by re-equipping spells, and cannot equip the same spell more than once per turn. 

Predictive Defense:
Immediately after any attack against the Artificer is declared, he may cast any non-weapon equipment spell from his spellbook and equip it by paying its mana cost.  That equipment is then used during the attack.  If he already has an item equipped in that slot, he first refunds the mana cost of that spell and returns it to his spellbook.  The Artificer cannot use limited-time equipment attributes (such as defense rolls) more than normal by re-equipping spells, and cannot equip the same spell more than once per turn.

Pinpoint Accuracy:
He has the Elusive trait. 

Attack
Basic Melee Attack: quick-action, melee, 3 dice

Flavor Quotes
"I have dedicated my life to mastering every weapon in existence.  I have bent ancient artifacts and divine relics alike to my will.  Your pitiful bow does not scare me."   
"The dark knight Q'alth smirked disdainfully as Wecis began to wind up a punch.  The look of shock on his face when a hammer appeared in Wecis' hand mid-swing was priceless." 

Explanation:
I envision him working sort of like the Forcemaster, but specializing in faster ramp up time and more unpredictability (but less unit control).  Unlike other mages, the Weapon Master thrives on having a huge variety of overlapping equipment spells so that he can constantly switch to what's best for the situation at hand.  There's also some neat tricks players can use with his swapping abilities (including mind-games about what weapons/armor you're going to pull out next).  I've also found a gif that pretty neatly illustrates his first ability in action:  http://pa1.narvii.com/5819/9476e3ca1d02633b76bc9b9cb541eb5642cef5fc_hq.gif

What do you think?  Is the idea balanced/thematic/unique/fun?  I'd love feedback.  The first two abilities are extremely similar, but they would be way too powerful as a single ability (and take up way too much space on the card). 

28
I really love the proposed implementation of the Force Nightmare (could probably use a better name though).  It is thoroughly unique, seems very useful in certain situations (need to deal lots of damage quickly and don't care about long-term consequences), and isn't actually weak to ethereal attacks (you can only deal 1 damage to it each turn, so ethereal is overkill).  It manages to be both frightening and balanced (at least conceptually): the enemy absolutely needs to deal with it or it is going to wreak havoc, but if the enemy can outlast it then he/she will have the advantage. 

I'm not sold on the Nightmare Eater.  The idea is fine, but having the sleep roll be a separate attack, need a 9+ (making it unlikely to land most of the time), and having +2 upkeep seems like overkill.  That's going to end up making the creature rather ineffective, because it's going to have to waste 1-3 turns (on average) and 2-6 mana just to set up for a single powerful attack (which an opponent can prevent by merely attacking whatever you just put to sleep).  It would be a lot more attractive if the sleep roll was combined with the attack, and only needed a 7+ (putting the odds at 50/50).  That would certainly justify the +2 upkeep. 

Nightmare Knight (Knightmare) is interesting.  I like the idea of perpetual daze.  However, wouldn't it be more thematic for the Knightmare to regain health when daze counters are not removed (as in, its ability is working) as opposed to when its ability fails?  Or are you worried that would make the creature too swingy (either you are getting lucky and near invincible or you get unlucky and die immediately)?  I know you said you haven't properly balanced these ideas, but you might need to buff it up a bit as well (and/or lower the upkeep cost).  A Whirling Spirit, while lacking the daze functionality, possesses both significantly more health and a better attack than the Knightmare does (plus only has an upkeep of 1).  I also think there's not enough incentive to play more than one of these at a time.  If the Knightmare is supposed to be a solid mid-tier Mind/Dark creature (like the knights of other schools), then it should be designed in such a way as to encourage (or at least not discourage) players to summon more than 1 at a time.  The passive ability of preventing the removal of daze tokens is the creature's best trait, and it makes no difference whether there are 1 or 4 of them in a zone. 

All in all, some very interesting ideas.  I look forward to seeing what creature ends up being the winner. 

I like all the creatures, but I don't quite see the connection to the ideas posted - laddin, do you want to talk to your inspiration/concept development a little?
I have the same feeling, these are interesting but but seems new ideas...
I see some resemblance to past suggestions, but Laddinfance has clearly also modified and put new spins on them.  I actually like that (it interests me to see different points of view on existing ideas), but I can understand if you feel differently.  In general, when submitting ideas for things it is rare for those ideas to remain completely unchanged. 

29
Well, considering that the majority of political conflicts in Etheria seem to be settled in the arena, perhaps there would be more of a civilization building/maintenance focus and less of a focus on wars between nations. Maybe most of the conflict would be something more like the Cold War or modern cyber wars than an actual war.

Come to think of it, does Etheria even have first and third world countries? Because the Cold War was basically a proxy war between Russia and the U.S. where they funded other poorer countries to fight in their stead. Are all nations of Etheria even included in the Mage Wars accords? Because if not, then some countries in Etheria only have actual wars.
The political system doesn't necessarily have to be in-depth or the major focus of the game, but it is kind of important that players be able to negotiate and/or switch sides in a 4+ player Grand Strategy game. 

I was under the impression that Johktari tribes of Kumanjaro were basically third-world countries, but since the world is pre-industrial (for the most part), there isn't as big of a distinction.  I'm also by no means a lore buff, so I could be mistaken.   While a lot of conflict is resolved in the Arena, I highly doubt Etheria has no wars or political turmoil.  People tend to not want to fight fairly: if someone has a bigger army, why would they ever agree to fight on equal terms in an arena when they didn't have to? 

30
Player Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Alternate Priestess Art?
« on: November 01, 2015, 02:02:59 pm »
In my opinion, the only artwork that does stand out as problematic is the Priestess.  I mean, not only is her outfit extremely sexualized for belonging to a religious order, but it is also ludicrously impractical from any conceivable point of view.  WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HER SLEEVES?!  Those things must drag on the ground constantly....  They'd be a massive hindrance and probably be covered in filth. 

The other mages are completely fine though.  The female Beastmaster is somewhat scantily clad, but the artists were clearly going for a tribal theme, and her outfit is still practical and "realistic" looking with that in mind.  The Forcemaster is wearing a robe and skirt over light leather armor (it doesn't really look like a corset to me).  Since she's kind of like a jedi instead of a traditional warrior, that makes perfect sense.  The Druid is sexualized, but there are plenty of real-world nudist "hippie" communities, and the druid is almost certainly referencing that with her "natural" clothing.  The female Wizard is not sexualized whatsoever.  The female Warlock, while wearing less armor than the male version, does still wear decent amounts of armor and looks ready for a fight.  I do kind of wish the Siren was less humanoid (more of a mermaid), but it's not all that big of a deal. 

I also don't have a problem with the angel artwork in general (although I do dislike the Guardian Angel being half-armored; pick one or the other!).  Both male and female angels are depicting wearing very little armor.  A lot of real-life artists also depict angels this way (probably because of the Bible passage about people not being ashamed of their bodies or wearing clothes until after original sin). 

While only the Priestess artwork is really problematic for me personally, I do see your point about male and female mages being treated differently overall, even if the difference is sometimes subtle.  That's why I really love the Dawnbreaker's Chosen art, and wish it was the (eventual) female Paladin.  It would be great to have at least one really heavily-armored female Mage, and I'm also looking forward to seeing how Arcane Wonders eventually tackle the male Druid. 

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