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A few gameplay questions

MicroProse's Shandalar Campaign Game, now with new cards & a new look!

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A few gameplay questions

Postby doenerchef » 04 Oct 2016, 11:34

I am still absolutely amazed about this game. So good. It was damn good before and I thought the ISO was as good as it gets, but this is a whole nother level of awesome.

I have been playing Shandalar for ages, but some things are not quite clear to me, maybe you know the answers:

How exactly does the life count for the 5 evil Wizards work? I know that their basic lives increase with the difficulty level, but how exactly does fighting their minions affect them?
Do they lose 1 life for every one type of minion that you have defeated so often that they pay you tribute?
And also, is it possible to beat the top-tier minions often enough for them to offer tributes? I mean the ones you cannot bribe and who have 27 lives on Wizard difficulty (Necromancer, Thought Invoker, Summoner, etc).

Another question, regarding your modding effort, and I am sure this has been raised before: Is the limitation of 500 cards hard-coded or can we do something about that?
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Re: A few gameplay questions

Postby Korath » 04 Oct 2016, 12:34

Wizard life: this is set by life_of_enemy() in replace_functions.cpp. The wizards are ENEMYCLASS_BOSS, their numbers are 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35, and they all have base life 20, so it works out to:
20 + 5*opponent_skill + 10 + (number of towns ruled)*opponent_skill - (duel victories against color).
It's then increased to 20 + 5*opponent_skill if it's below that; and finally modified according to your Shandalar.ini settings for [Duel]AILife and [Duel]AILifeAverage.
opponent_skill is 0 for Apprentice difficulty up to 3 for Wizard. Number of towns ruled is the number of cities the wizard currently has tapped. Duel victories against color is your total number of duel victories against creatures originating in the wizard's terrain type (so a win against the RG Ape Lord would count against the Dragon Lord if it started on a mountain, or against the Great Druid if it started on a forest, but never both); I don't recall offhand whether victories in dungeons count.

The lieutenants never offer tribute, no.

The 500-card limit on library, graveyard, and exile size isn't at all practical to increase, and the limit of 200 different card names within a deck is nearly as difficult.

But I suspect you mean the limit of 500 cards owned. That's hardcoded, too, but I may eventually be able to do something about it. The biggest issue blocking it before was its hardcoded limit in the deckbuilder, which used to be insurmountable but recently became easy with the deckbuilder rewrite in EMN/HS1; I haven't done any real investigation into what else needs to be done after that.
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Re: A few gameplay questions

Postby doenerchef » 04 Oct 2016, 12:54

Thank you for the quick and thorough answer! That means on Wizard, no matter how many duels I win, the lives of the Wizards will never be below 35 because of
It's then increased to 20 + 5*opponent_skill if it's below that;
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Re: A few gameplay questions

Postby doenerchef » 09 Oct 2016, 21:14

I have two more questions, because I'm not sure if I have discovered a bug or an unexpected way the rules work.

1. The ability Sidewinder Sliver adds to the collective (Flanking) stacks. Is that as designed? I am aware that Sliver effects are cumulative, so if the card read "Blocking creatures without Flanking receive -1/-1) I wouldn't ask this question, but it just says that it gives every Sliver "Flanking". So my understanding is that regardless how many Sidewinder Sliver you have on the battlefield, enemy creatures should only ever receive a -1/-1 penalty instead of -3/-3 if there are 3 Sidewinder Sliver in play, as is the case currently.

2. Is it correct that the ability Harmonic Sliver grants forces you to destroy an artifact or enchantment, i.e. if you have one, but your opponent doesn't, you have to destroy your own? Also this seems to be applied inconsistently, as the game just forced me to destroy my Mox Jet, but didn't trigger when the only artifact in play was a Metallic Sliver even though the card does not state "noncreature artifact", but simply "Artifact or Enchantment".
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Re: A few gameplay questions

Postby TheKillerNacho » 12 Oct 2016, 16:51

doenerchef wrote:I have two more questions, because I'm not sure if I have discovered a bug or an unexpected way the rules work.

1. The ability Sidewinder Sliver adds to the collective (Flanking) stacks. Is that as designed? I am aware that Sliver effects are cumulative, so if the card read "Blocking creatures without Flanking receive -1/-1) I wouldn't ask this question, but it just says that it gives every Sliver "Flanking". So my understanding is that regardless how many Sidewinder Sliver you have on the battlefield, enemy creatures should only ever receive a -1/-1 penalty instead of -3/-3 if there are 3 Sidewinder Sliver in play, as is the case currently.

2. Is it correct that the ability Harmonic Sliver grants forces you to destroy an artifact or enchantment, i.e. if you have one, but your opponent doesn't, you have to destroy your own? Also this seems to be applied inconsistently, as the game just forced me to destroy my Mox Jet, but didn't trigger when the only artifact in play was a Metallic Sliver even though the card does not state "noncreature artifact", but simply "Artifact or Enchantment".
1. I believe you are correct about this... you should probably submit a report.
2. You are correct you'd have to destroy one of your own artifacts/enchantments. If it wasn't forcing you to destroy your Metallic Sliver, that's a bug I'd think and you should report it.
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Re: A few gameplay questions

Postby doenerchef » 17 Oct 2016, 11:21

TheKillerNacho wrote:
doenerchef wrote:I have two more questions, because I'm not sure if I have discovered a bug or an unexpected way the rules work.

1. The ability Sidewinder Sliver adds to the collective (Flanking) stacks. Is that as designed? I am aware that Sliver effects are cumulative, so if the card read "Blocking creatures without Flanking receive -1/-1) I wouldn't ask this question, but it just says that it gives every Sliver "Flanking". So my understanding is that regardless how many Sidewinder Sliver you have on the battlefield, enemy creatures should only ever receive a -1/-1 penalty instead of -3/-3 if there are 3 Sidewinder Sliver in play, as is the case currently.

2. Is it correct that the ability Harmonic Sliver grants forces you to destroy an artifact or enchantment, i.e. if you have one, but your opponent doesn't, you have to destroy your own? Also this seems to be applied inconsistently, as the game just forced me to destroy my Mox Jet, but didn't trigger when the only artifact in play was a Metallic Sliver even though the card does not state "noncreature artifact", but simply "Artifact or Enchantment".
1. I believe you are correct about this... you should probably submit a report.
2. You are correct you'd have to destroy one of your own artifacts/enchantments. If it wasn't forcing you to destroy your Metallic Sliver, that's a bug I'd think and you should report it.
Thanks for your feedback! I just checked the Sidewinder Sliver on wizards.com and in the comments someone said: "Flanking does stack, if 2 of these are in play, both instances of flanking go off and the blocking creature gets -2/-2." No one seemed to contest that statement, so I guess flanking does stack, which probably doesn't matter all that often. The only affects of that ruling would be said Slivers and in case there are any other spells giving creatures Flanking that might be used on creatures that already have Flanking.
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Re: A few gameplay questions

Postby jiansonz » 10 Jan 2017, 21:02

doenerchef wrote:And also, is it possible to beat the top-tier minions often enough for them to offer tributes? I mean the ones you cannot bribe and who have 27 lives on Wizard difficulty (Necromancer, Thought Invoker, Summoner, etc).
No, but you can make them run away from you. :)

Their amount of life on Wizard difficulty is 17 + (number of World Magics the player has bought), so in effect 17-28 life.
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