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Sealed - possible fix

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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 16 Feb 2014, 00:49

I guess first and foremost a question to all the dev's. have any of you ran across where any of the sealed code is in manalink? im just thinking out loud but if there is some way we could use the dbinfo.dat file instead of the rarity.csv we could possibly make the changes to sealed that would include all the sets? i mean if it is using the old rarity.csv to find the correct cards that should be in a set then could we use the dbinfo.dat to replace rarity.csv or if needed dat2csv the dbinfo to a csv for the game..im just thinking out loud and im sure it isnt easy which is why ive just asked for opinions about it.
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 25 Feb 2014, 02:44

ok so this is what i have seen when looking at magic.c ,that korath has shared with us, i have some subs in my list that could be checked out. my idea is that if we are able to change the way the game reads rarity.csv to make it read dbinfo.dat it may be able to allow to choose more sets. here is the info i collected from the .c

sub 440d50 dialog sealed deck page
sub 44a2a0
extern char asealeddeckpage 4eabe0
extern char aStarters 4eb65a
extern char aBoosters 4eb663
sub 489040
sub 4812b0
sub 481180
sub 480de0 part of loading graphics
sub 480c50
sub 480aa0 sealed deck sets?
sub 480a00 sealed deck sets?
sub 4809a0 sealed deck sets?
sub 480880 size of rectangles?
sub 480470 read packstarterlarge.bmp
sub 480190 read packstartersmall.bmp
sub 47fcc0 packboosterslarge16.bmp
sub 47f9c0 packboostersmall16.bmp
sub 47f960 sealed deck sets
sub 47f940 sealed deck sets
sub 47f7e0 checked_delete object .bmp
sub 47f3c0 read rarity.csv
sub 47f090 sealeddeck packnames

first off we need to get the game to read the dbinfo.dat or have the info that usually goes into the dbinfo.dat and get it into the csv. second get the game to accept multiple bmps for packs or just put them into a huge bmp or a couple of bmps. then that might just get sealed working for real. i might be wrong but i thought id put out all the info ive collected and used some common sense to possibly fix this once and for all?
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 11 Mar 2014, 04:58

so as i look into the manalink.csv file i notice that sonic has done alot of the tedious work already. my second idea is to take all the info that was originally in the system and recreate a new rarity.csv. then maybe we can get someone to actually make the program see the new expansion rarity?
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 14 Mar 2014, 02:40

my latest findings are as follows. I managed to create a rough draft rarity.csv using the latest manalink.csv and pulling out items that i thought i needed like id, name, coded, rarity, and expansion info stuff. to my surprise the game started without an error. im checking packs so far that are still coded into the game and unlimited revised antiquites arabian nights legends the dark all have orignal cards. 4th edition chronicles 5th edition and 8th edition have random stuff in them and random amount of rares.

Also works if i just use manalink.csv and rename it rarity.csv but the game will error out of if it dosent have a rarity.csv or do nothing if it is an empty rarity.csv. So is there someone that can look at the read rarity.csv code and see where it is looking. maybe we can actually get this thing working afterall

second edit. after moving the original rarity.csv back i can see that the game still randomizes the 4th edition 5th editon 8th and chronicles so maybe rarity.csv is not what it is looking at??
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby Sonic » 28 May 2014, 20:50

gmzombie wrote:second edit. after moving the original rarity.csv back i can see that the game still randomizes the 4th edition 5th editon 8th and chronicles so maybe rarity.csv is not what it is looking at??
As I've already mentioned; the sealed games Revised, 4th, 5th, 8th and Chronicles selections are controlled by the codes set up in the Manalink.csv 'Expansions Rarity' column. The game doesn't randomise the selection of these sets - 'somebody unknown' set up the current codes for what appears to be a fairly random section of cards.

Taking on board what you said about the Rarity.csv - even though the game looks for this file, it would seem it doesn't actually reference the file any more for what could be regarded as the 'fixed sets' in the Deck Builder (Those with their own filtering buttons - The Dark, Legends, Antiquities, Arabian Nights, Astral, and Unlimited - now combined with Revised and 4th).

These sets were originally controlled by the Rarity.csv 'Coded?', 'Original Set' and 'Rarity' columns.
Whereas, Revised, 4th, 5th, and Chronicles all have separate columns in the Rarity.csv file, which determines their set and rarity in a single column - unlike the earlier set filtering system using two columns with a named set entry and a rarity code.

When Mok migrated all the information from the Rarity.csv file to the manalink.csv, the 'Original Set' column became what we now know as the 'Expansion' column with a 4-digit code replacing the named entries, the 'Rarity' column was ported using the same name with a 1-digit code, and the 'Revised', '4th', '5th', and 'Chronicles' columns were combined into what is now the 'Expansions Rarity' column using a 5-digit code.

The SkyMagic editor lists the codes for the manalink.csv 'Expansion', 'Rarity' and 'Expansions Rarity' column codes as the following: (The codes for '8th Edition' were added later.)

'Expansion' (Manalink.csv) = 'Original Set' (Rarity.csv)
0800h - Unlimited
0004h - Arabian Nights
0002h - Antiquities
0100h - Legends
0020h - The Dark
0008h - Astral
0040h - 8th Edition
01000h - Tokens
0080h - N/D

Rarity (Manalink.csv) = 'Rarity' (Rarity.csv)
1 - Common
2 - Rare
4 - Uncommon
3 - Astral / Promo (added later)

'Expansions Rarity' (Manalink.csv) = '3rd Ed.(Revised)', '4th Edition', '5th Edition', 'Chronicles' (Rarity.csv)
1st digit - 8th Edition
2nd digit - Chronicles
3rd digit - 5th Edition
4th digit - 4th Edition
5th digit - Revised

0 - Unavailable
1 - Uncommon
5 - Common
7 - Special Chronicles
9 - Rare
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 29 May 2014, 01:06

so then do you think there is a way to fix this issue within manalink.csv to incorporate new sets by some grunt work with new digits?
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby Sonic » 29 May 2014, 14:12

gmzombie wrote:so then do you think there is a way to fix this issue within manalink.csv to incorporate new sets by some grunt work with new digits?
I've got a spreadsheet which can do all the grunt work in minutes. All I need to know is - which sets?

And therein lies the problem. As it currently stands we're limited to only easily being able to alter the later sets, the ones which are controlled by the 'Expansions Rarity' codes (Revised, 4th, 5th, 8th and Chronicles). Because altering the columns which control the earlier sets (Expansion, and Rarity) will have implications on the Deck Builder - requiring at minimum to create new buttons and labelling for each of the current set buttons every time we want to alter the sets, and without checking with the coding team possibly others we don’t immediately know about within the coding. So that leaves us with five possible sets to play with - and there has been an argument for including all the available cards in at least one of them.

This last idea I find somewhat nonsensical because the sealed game is a Limited format. With packs and boosters usually selected from the most recent cycles because of availability and to maintain the balance of the cards and their mechanics. Having every card we currently have active in Manalink available in the card pool somewhat defeats the object and will drastically alter the balance of decks you’ll be able to create.

The best idea so far to my mind was actually suggested by you sometime back. The three main sets from the most recent completed block (Currently THS, BNG and JOU), and possibly Modern Masters and the current core (M14).
This option would only require only a minimum amount of tweaking to the Deck Builders buttons and the pack/booster labels to get it up and running. Although, it would need a fair amount of work on pack and booster images – if anyone can be bothered to do it whenever a block cycle changes.

But too be honest, until the sealed games set selection can be controlled from the new Expansion selector in the Deck Builder, which would allow users to select which sets they want to play with on the fly, nobody will ever be happy with what we decide to do given the current limitations the sealed game has.
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 29 May 2014, 23:48

So then here is something else I thought of while reading this. And I hope anyone could chime in o this would it be possible to create a card for sealed like the draft card system? Since it would be like draft anyways..it would eliminate that old as hell sealed option we have currently and with probably less work. What say u?
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby Sonic » 31 May 2014, 01:13

I'm not sure this is the way to go. Draft wasn't an original part of the game so it needed to be constructed from scratch. And if you think about it, Sealed actually isn't broken. We can make it work fine as it is in the ways we've previously discussed.

Where the problem lies is simply that parts of it are still hardcoded to the deck builder and the manalink.csv file, which pretty much determines what we can and can't do with the sealed game 'at the moment'.

Korath, is doing some stunning work in migrating parts of the Duel section of the game to C.
The Duel section 'is the game' - and work on this needs to be done before you get to things like addressing the limitations of the Deck Builder and Sealed game.

All I'm really interested in is making sealed playable within the bounds of it's current limitations. Which means making it at least playable for those people who don't have a degree in the inner workings of the manalink.csv file, not having to run script patch files every time a new patch is released, and doesn't undo any of the great coding work that has been done to game in the past few years.

As it currently stands Sealed is a mess, that's for sure. We can do something about that, if we agree to the fact it will take a little time and patiences until everybody gets what they want in the Sealed game.

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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 31 May 2014, 05:24

I see your point. I'm wondering if we can maybe get korath to look into this when he gets back from his rl. It could be revised to Just look at the rarity.dat which would be a start.
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby Sonic » 31 May 2014, 23:53

gmzombie wrote:I see your point. I'm wondering if we can maybe get korath to look into this when he gets back from his rl. It could be revised to Just look at the rarity.dat which would be a start.
I'm not sure what it would accomplish. For a start, you'd still end up having no way of being able to select what expansions you can select to play in Sealed. The only difference would be where Sealed looked for its data.

As I see it, and in the most simple terms - not including the programming required.
We first need to add some sort of front end expansion selector to run before the current 'Compete in a Sealed Deck Tournament' setup in the main game start-up screen. Here players would select which expansion is used in any of the individual packs/boosters. This could probably be based on the current Tournament/Expansion selector with the addition of some way to allow the user to put 'Expansion X' into 'Pack/Booster X' - possibly using a sequential 'Select Expansion for Pack/Booster X' menu similar to Draft.
You could use one of the old set buttons in the Deck Builder for this selector - once you've got rid of the DB hard-coding linking them to the old 'Expansion' data in the manalink file.
Another thing is not all the boosters are set up for 15 cards – Chronicles currently only holds 12 cards and Arabian Nights, Antiquities and The Dark only 8 each – something else that will need to be looked into.

Once the user has the packs and boosters loaded as they want, you then move on to the current 'Compete in a Sealed Deck Tournament' setup.
Here you've got the problem with the pack/booster labels. Which at the moment can't be automatically updated to show which expansion relates to which pack/booster - unless you simply label the packs/boosters 1 ,2 ,3, etc. and the user will just have to remember which expansion they selected for each numbered pack/booster.
With the pack graphics, I think you'd really need to stick with a generic pack/booster image - just accounting for the number of expansions would make producing, or even finding, an image of every released pack and booster a complete non-starter.

Once the Duel Options, Packs/Boosters, Rounds, Best of, settings are setup. From there, I think Sealed would play much as it does now. The Tournament Information screen would need work as it only runs properly with 800x600 background graphics, as does the the Tournament Ladder.

Anyway, that's my rather simplistic way of thinking how Sealed needs to be adapted to give most people what they seemingly want.

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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 01 Jun 2014, 04:12

ok so here is a pic of what i think would be a better solution for the main page. now the question is how do we fix the second screen. i could probably get most of the pics for the game but the old way of picking the pics from the one bmp file wouldnt be feaseable. we could either make the game find the packs by name..which would include more pics but i could make them a lower quality pic or just not have pics just a scroll bar with the packs you picked and click an open button and start it that way or if we want just have go from the main menu to the deckbuilder. but here is a pic for the pack opener that i fiddled with along with main menu. though all of this would take a bit of change in the game so far.im not sure how to start to edit the GUI though. i tried pe explorer but it wouldnt let me edit. i could try ida though it is much harder to understand. Though if we could edit the gui we could then have its own option for draft as well. i just think either way will be alot of work.
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby Sonic » 01 Jun 2014, 15:33

I can't really help here - you're seemingly suggesting a major programming rewrite of the existing start-up GUI.

The truth is the initial start up screens need a complete rewrite anyway. All of them, not just the Sealed Game bits, as most of the screens are still running on the the old 800x600 graphics engine. But it all probably needs to be ported to C before this can be done.

Like I said earlier - the reason for my initial post was to simply sort out the mess the Sealed codes were left in by the free for all legacy that took place during the manalink2 era - a simple task to make it playable as it currently is.
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby gmzombie » 01 Jun 2014, 16:18

Yea it all really needs to be ported to c so the experts can do this. I think of we are just talking a quick repair then I suggest doing what we talked about before with just the most recent block cause we can only have 5 right? If so then let's do theros block with a modern masters. Now if we are able to get the game to read just the new rarity.dat then our possibility is endless. Right now I'm just thinking outside the box and I'm sure whatever we can do will be better than it is now. It would be great if we could find someone show knows winapi and gui since we really only have 2 awesome devs that do so much already
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Re: Sealed - possible fix

Postby Sonic » 02 Jun 2014, 16:54

I found a problem which seeming relates back to the ASM coding and the later addition of the 8th Edition ‘Expansion’ and ‘Expansion Rarity’ codes.
As I mentioned, 8th was added after the game was cracked when it was still completely coded in ASM. So I can only assume the problem is hardcoded and will require further investigation.

What happens is the pack/boosters originally set up for 8th seemingly look for both the ‘Expansion’ code (40h) and the ‘Expansion Rarity’ code (X0000h) in the manalink file data.

As I have the test Sealed game setup at the moment – I replaced what was originally 8th cards in the ‘Expansion Rarity’ code with Journey into Nyx cards.
What you then find is not only do you get JOU cards in an old 8th Pack/booster, but also any card which has the code 40h in the manalink file’s ‘Expansion’ column.
All the other packs/boosters work fine – it’s only the first digit in the ‘Expansion Rarity’ code that’s causing a problem.

However, I think I’ve worked out a way round it which ‘shouldn’t’ cause any problems to the other parts of the game.

We’ve already established the ‘Expansion’ column codes in the manalink file are also hard coded to the Deck Builders set filter buttons. But what was the original 8th button doesn’t filter 8th cards any more. It was previously adapted to filter the later ‘Other Sets’ by looking for the Astral code (8h) – and, as you know, it now also brings up the Tournament/Expansion filter.

So it would seem the old ‘Expansion’ 8th code (40h) isn’t being used by anything else now but the Sealed game - as the Duel section of game has been adapted to uses the ‘New Expansion Rarity’ columns stored in the Rarity.dat.

So the fix would seem to be to simply replace all the 40h entries in the ‘Expansion’ column with 8h – reclassifying 8th as part of the ‘Astral/ Other’ set filtering.

Anyway – I’ll give it a try later and see how we get on.
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