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Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 05:20
by Korath
This was intended to be a shorter-than-normal release cycle, not two full months. I blame my inability to come up with a clever patch name. The following one should appear promptly after the Journey into Nyx set is released. Honest.

This patch adds an even 100 new cards as well as the embarassing-as-always long list of bug fixes. The raw git commit log since BNGv2 is attached. It includes work from:
  • Gargaroz - active once again!
  • Sonic, who did his usual bang-up job with the csvs and artwork.
  • Aswan jaguar, especially since he annoyed Sonic at the last minute with his AI updates instead of me this time.

This update should install cleanly over any installation of version Portals to Theros or later.

If you are installing Manalink for the first time, I recommend, in this order:
  1. My Portals to Theros distribution, available here.
  2. Sarlack's HighRes Widescreen & Standard 4:3 Graphic mod, available here. (Though note that his counter artwork hasn't yet been updated to the new format in this patch. You're stuck with my humble efforts for now.)
  3. This patch.
  4. The card artwork per Sonic's instructions below.
New cards by set/block:Release notes on specific cards:
  • Clergy of the Holy Nimbus: Uses the same approximation as Knight of the Holy Nimbus - it can only be activated when it would regenerate, and it only prevents its own regeneration effect.
  • Thespian's Stage: Doesn't deal well with lands that set persistent storage when they come into play. This is properly a problem with the land being copied, not Thespian's Stage. (It's at least less prevalent than with Vesuvan Doppelganger or other things that switch between copies of different creatures.) They'll need to be found on a case-by-case basis.
  • Wall of Shadows: Isn't targetable when a spell or ability is specifically trying to target a Wall; but there's no way to tell whether a spell or ability could target a non-Wall with one of its other modes, per its Gatherer ruling.
New engine features:
  • New config.txt setting: ManaBurn (Re-enables mana burn if set to 1. Enables it only for the human player if set to 2.)
  • New config.txt setting: AIUsesRulesEngine (If set to 1, allows the AI to use activated Rules Engine abilities.) Currently experimental; will likely be turned on by default in later patches.
  • Cards can now have any kind of counter on them (instead of just a counter specific to the card type chosen from 24 types, +1/+1 counters, and +1/+1 counters hacked to give different or no power/toughness), and each counter type has its own image (controlled by Duel.dat:[Counters]). The AI for adding, removing, and moving counters, particularly with the proliferate mechanic, is still completely untuned; increasing AiDecisionTime in config.txt will help some, but the real solution is for someone to weight counter types as requested here.
  • New Duel.dat setting: [CardBack]Renderer, to sacrifice visual quality for performance when drawing the card back image, particularly while shuffling large decks.
  • New Duel.dat setting: [SmallCard]TriggeringVisible and [Frames]Triggering, to highlight which card's trigger is currently resolving.

And finally, the link and release notes for the artwork update from Sonic:
Important Card Art File Changes - YOU MUST READ THIS

As of the January 2014 patch the card art file naming convention has been changed. Due to this change if your currently installed ‘CardArtManalink’ folder and card artwork is older than the January 2014 patch release it will need to be replaced with those in the archives posted in the links further down this post - BEFORE installing this months card art update files.

CardArtManalink_April2014 – ...

Archive includes corrected artwork for the flip cards, reprint artwork from Commander 2013 and Born of the Gods, plus alternative artwork for:

Arbiter of the Ideal
Dimir Charm
Eater of Hope
Forgestoker Dragon
Kiora's Follower
Pain Seer
Phalanx Leader
Silent Sentinel

Please Note: This card art update only contains the card artwork for the April 2014 Manalink 3.0 patch.

If you are downloading Manalink 3.0 for the first time, or your currently installed ‘CardArtManalink’ folder is older than the January 2014 release, please download and install the folder and files in the following archives:

‘’ (Main Folder / Artwork) – ...
‘’ (Compiled 2012/13 CardArt Updates) – ...
CardArtManalink_Jan2014 – ...
CardArtManalink_Feb2014 – ...

Delete your currently installed ‘CardArtManalink’ folder and replace it with the folder in the 2012_CardArtManalink archive. Then copy the artwork from the 2012_2013_CardArtUpdates, January, February, and April archives into the newly installed ‘CardArtManalink’ folder.

Updated number of image files in the CardArtManalink folder: 12742 (March 2012 release) –

If your current CardArtShandalar folder is older than the March 2012 release, please delete it before installing the one in the link above.
The folder for the March release contains images with corrected file names, copying the new files into an old CardArtShandalar folder will not overwrite the incorrectly named files.

Number of images image files in the CardArtShandalar folder: 1259

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 11:14
by stassy
Attached is a test deck of the new cards for bug hunters, good luck on bug recheck and don't forget to update your PDA :)

Also there is a new extension-less dmp file in the archive, is it needed?

I also wonder if it would be possible to integrate the ML version somewhere in the UI, as we have the version.txt file that show it...

Sonic> Please better hurry with your widescreen UI, cards are a bit borked with the new patch :mrgreen:

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 12:32
by Korath
No new entries to Manalink.csv, so decks shouldn't need updating.

dmp isn't actually new, but an old version of the dumpfile parser (the current one is src/ I must've removed it manually when putting together the BNG patches and forgotten to add it to the packaging script. It's not needed to run the game.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 12:41
by stassy
I didn't mean current decks pool but the dat/csv file needed by PDA to recognize newly coded cards (though PDA is supposed to automatically load the latest one, it's better to make an archive of the old one just in case)

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 12:44
by 0rion79
Guys, please tell me that you have uploaded the wrong file! The new version is unplayable! I'm starting to experiment bugs everywhere: lands that don't tap automatically while casting spells, the new proliferation way is horrible and the casting cost for EDH generals has not been fixed! :(

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 13:27
by Sonic
stassy wrote:Sonic> Please better hurry with your widescreen UI, cards are a bit borked with the new patch :mrgreen:
Won't be happing now. I've given up on graphic mods. Sarlack's is the UI of choice, and with very little interest in the new card frames and the amount of work involved there's not a lot point.


Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 13:33
by stassy
Orion79> Please report it in the bug section with more specifics, currently playing EDH and didn't see any autotap land error yet


Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 13:52
by 0rion79
Stassy, here I don't want to report bugs: after so much time together, I think that I know how to use this forum ;)
Those about manas are minor bugs that I will report later on, while I'm seriously concerned about some news that, at least imho, sound like severe worsening to the game's mechanics: the fact that you had improved the use of counters is great, but the fact that you have removed the "automatic" option is really bad.
What when there is plenty of cards that use counters and that should proliferate? Checking them one by one really slows down the game A LOT! Not to consider the chances of making mistakes or forgetting cards when the screen is really filled up with cards.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 14:44
by 0rion79
Oh, and for the records, the EDH is still messed up because the creature card chosen as Commander still appears within the deck from the very beginning of each duel, often resulting in the first drawn hand and is duplicated in the commander area.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 20:12
by Korath
0rion79 wrote:the fact that you have removed the "automatic" option is really bad.
Here's how to fix it. It's been sitting untouched for a month and a half. Feel free to lift a fucking finger.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 17 Apr 2014, 23:28
by gmzombie
Guys let's first remember no patch is perfect out of the box. These guys do this in there free time. And korath is right that post asking for help has been there for a while now. Any help will just make this better. I never played with the proliferate mechanic so I don't have any clue what Id be looking for but I know drool66 has said he will help. Let's not be negative. So with that said if you have experience with proliferate please help make it better.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 18 Apr 2014, 06:36
by 0rion79
No need to be impolite, Korath. I'm not criticizing you nor your whole job ( I think as GMZombie about that) but only some choices, where the most obvious is the one about proliferation: the game was running smoothly and I wonder if there was really the need of such a change (even after reading your post), that has hampered the gameplaying experience. Also, you can image my surprise when I have tried the patch and found the EDH buggish again.
Even if you are volunteers, this is not a reason from preventing negative opinions and it is everybody's right to express them. I don't think I've been mean in doing so.
About your link, it sounds more as an exhaustive explanation but I haven't found how to fix the problem: have I missed it, or are you still working on it?
Anyway, talking for myself, I almost have no time at all to play magic anymore, and to report bugs as well, so I'm sorry that can't help.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 18 Apr 2014, 06:43
by stassy
The tiny bit of bugs you reports are already plenty, it's okay, Orion79.

The thing to always remember is latest patch is always an experimentation as devs don't have time/resources to have a real dedicated beta tester team : we are currently this team and bugs like this are expected (that is why it's a good advice to never rely on a last patch to "play" ML and better stays with one-late-patch-fix, however, "testing" ML new feature/fixes is what the last patch is for).

And the faster we can report issue, the faster it can be possibly fixed...

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 18 Apr 2014, 09:47
by BAgate
Orion79, in order to fix the proliferate issue the developers need to rank how valuable each counter is so the AI (and automatic) can make an educated guess as to how to deal with it (ex. should it add another +2/-1 counter? or what about a divinity counter?). So the dev's need someone who has experience with proliferate decks to provide them with values (similar to AI values) for each counter. Unfortunately, none of the mods play those kinds of decks so Korath asked for help from the general public, with little response.

And as to Korath's exasperation, you came across a little strong ("please tell me that you have uploaded the wrong file! The new version is unplayable" is a little hyperbolic). Constructive criticism is fine, but a little respect goes a long way.

Re: Manalink Update 2014/04/17: Apr14

PostPosted: 18 Apr 2014, 10:16
by 0rion79
BAgate, I may have been "a little strong" as you suggest, but what about 2 patches where my most favorite format (EDH)wasn't working fine and wasn't fixed? I just got surprised by the quantity of bugs noticed in a single play, all together, and by a new patch that didn't look as an improvement, but as a worsening, at least at first sight. EDH generals within the deck, lands that aren't tapping, automatic-proliferation disappeared ... and haven't had the time to check the rest.
Also, I don't think I've been mean but, imho, somebody here is a bit too susceptible and I still think that such a drastic change about proliferation and counters, that are so common nowadays, should have not been introduced until perfection had been achieved: the only reason for which I'm not uninstalling this patch is that, at least, the EDH commanders' casting cost issue has been fixed. My personal viewpoint, anyway.