PDA

View Full Version : Mana Screw Solution



loopholist3
06-03-2013, 01:13 PM
So I just finished reading a thread about a player being concerned that getting mana screwed is still going to be very present in this game. This made me think for a little bit and realize something. This is a digital game. If HEX wanted to solve the mana screwing situation all it would have to do is go through the deck and remove clumps after the initial shuffle.

As an example anti-clumping engine, if a third of your deck is mana. Then after the initial deal the go through and displace cards any time there are 3 gems in a row, or any time you go more than 5 cards without seeing a gem. It should be relatively simple to implement, and it will remove one of the common complaints about MTG.

Would anybody else like to see this, or do you think the fact that the deck is slightly predictable would be a huge flaw?

larryhl
06-03-2013, 01:15 PM
Randomness and variance should always be present in deckbuilding games.

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 01:25 PM
Randomness and variance should always be present in deckbuilding games.

I agree, but my solution would only be correcting for probability oddities. The main reason why I wouldn't mind this solution is because when somebody gets mana screwed or flooded in MTG it causes the game to be fun for neither player. The system would of have to adapted to be fair to decks with different mana densities of course, and maybe my example numbers are too high. Having 3 mana next to each other in a deck that is 33% mana should only happen 4% of the time. I know if I could have avoid those 4% of un-fun games in magic, I would of.

DjiN
06-03-2013, 01:26 PM
Manascrew is part of the whole fun! Don't get me wrong here, I hate getting manascrewed! But it opens up this possibility for the new/bad player to always have a chance to win. And I think thats actually benefiting the game and it is benefiting MTG as well. A pro player will still win more cos of his edge due to better decision making. But the casual player will always have that chance no matter what!

larryhl
06-03-2013, 01:27 PM
I agree, but my solution would only be correcting for probability oddities. The main reason why I wouldn't mind this solution is because when somebody gets mana screwed or flooded in MTG it causes the game to be fun for neither player. The system would of have to adapted to be fair to decks with different mana densities of course, and maybe my example numbers are too high. Having 3 mana next to each other in a deck that is 33% mana should only happen 4% of the time. I know if I could have avoid those 4% of un-fun games in magic, I would of.

The problem with an overarching algorithm like this is it would slow down the entire game and will probably do more harm than good. What if you happened to need those 4 resources in a row to get that resource level for your game-ending X spell?

DjiN
06-03-2013, 01:28 PM
The problem with an overarching algorithm like this is it would slow down the entire game and will probably do more harm than good. What if you happened to need those 4 resources in a row to get that resource level for your game-ending X spell?


Good point. There is actually situations where you hope for this "clumping" to occur either way.

Fireblast
06-03-2013, 01:32 PM
Why do some people always have to think they're better than the game's designers?

~

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 01:33 PM
The problem with an overarching algorithm like this is it would slow down the entire game and will probably do more harm than good. What if you happened to need those 4 resources in a row to get that resource level for your game-ending X spell?

Maybe I am an odd one when it comes to deck building, but if my deck was dependent on a high level of mana, I would have included more mana. And while you are right about a slow down, do you really feel good after having a long game with an opponent, and then you end up winning because they draw mana 3 turns in a row?

Turtlewing
06-03-2013, 01:33 PM
I agree, but my solution would only be correcting for probability oddities. The main reason why I wouldn't mind this solution is because when somebody gets mana screwed or flooded in MTG it causes the game to be fun for neither player. The system would of have to adapted to be fair to decks with different mana densities of course, and maybe my example numbers are too high. Having 3 mana next to each other in a deck that is 33% mana should only happen 4% of the time. I know if I could have avoid those 4% of un-fun games in magic, I would of.

There are a couple problems with the "streak breaking" algorithm idea:
1. What happens with decks that are incapable of satisfying it's rules (poorly designed or edge cases like 2 land charbelcher)?
2. It will not resolve the related issue of "color screw".

All and all I don't see a huge benefit over a fully random shuffling with mulligan. A well build deck won't get screwed very often, and really just making better resource fixers will help more than trying to redesign the shuffler.

larryhl
06-03-2013, 01:34 PM
Maybe I am an odd one when it comes to deck building, but if my deck was dependent on a high level of mana, I would have included more mana. And while you are right about a slow down, do you really feel good after having a long game with an opponent, and then you end up winning because they draw mana 3 turns in a row?

Yes, but what's the point of putting a lot of mana if your algorithm is just going to attempt to put all the mana at even distributions throughout the deck ><

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 01:37 PM
Why do some people always have to think they're better than the game's designers?
~

Why do some people always think they are worse. If a game designer considers my idea and decides not to implement it, then I don't care, but sometimes ideas just fail to get thought of. I just thought that this was a good idea, because it solves the same problem that the mana system in WoW TCG solved, while maintaining the good parts of the MTG system. And because this is something that could only be done with a digital game.

DjiN
06-03-2013, 01:38 PM
Why do some people always have to think they're better than the game's designers?

~

Pooper.

larryhl
06-03-2013, 01:39 PM
Also, winning because of a topdeck is one of the best feelings in the world. You don't want to take that away from players. And this way even your opponents can talk about the "epic game that got away".

Deadpool319
06-03-2013, 01:41 PM
Randomness and variance should always be present in deckbuilding games.

+1

If the front page continues to be endless discussions about the mana system I'm going to blow a gasket. There are hundreds of things we can talk about as a community but it seems "I don't like getting mana flooded/screwed" is the new "Pro Player is blah blah blah"...

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 01:46 PM
There are a couple problems with the "streak breaking" algorithm idea:
1. What happens with decks that are incapable of satisfying it's rules (poorly designed or edge cases like 2 land charbelcher)?
2. It will not resolve the related issue of "color screw".

All and all I don't see a huge benefit over a fully random shuffling with mulligan. A well build deck won't get screwed very often, and really just making better resource fixers will help more than trying to redesign the shuffler.

1) As I mentioned the function would need to be adaptable for different mana densities. If a player only has 2 mana, it might not attempt to do anything. If the player only has 3, then it might just make sure that all 3 mana are not next to each other.

2) This is not meant to be a catch all solution, it is meant to be a solution that solves a specific problem that has happened to everybody that has ever played a TCG.

3) The problem with a mulligan is that sometimes your opening hand looks great, but there is a flood or drought of mana on top of the deck. And while you are correct in the assessment that this will not be a huge benefit, it would be a benefit, and if order of your deck is stored as an array or a list, then it should be trivial to implement a simple sorting algorithm around it. In business terms, this would be a easy win.

Turtlewing
06-03-2013, 01:46 PM
+1

If the front page continues to be endless discussions about the mana system I'm going to blow a gasket. There are hundreds of things we can talk about as a community but it seems "I don't like getting mana flooded/screwed" is the new "Pro Player is blah blah blah"...

On the other hand is "manna screw isn't impossible" is the worst thing anyone can find to complain about the game must be looking pretty good.

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 01:49 PM
Also, winning because of a topdeck is one of the best feelings in the world. You don't want to take that away from players. And this way even your opponents can talk about the "epic game that got away".

This would not prevent epic top decks for the win. It would just prevent epic fail top decks for the lose, and while these are statistically still important, they tend to have a very negative effect on player attitude.

Deadpool319
06-03-2013, 01:49 PM
On the other hand is "manna screw isn't impossible" is the worst thing anyone can find to complain about the game must be looking pretty good.

I'm with you there.

Deadpool319
06-03-2013, 01:53 PM
1) As I mentioned the function would need to be adaptable for different mana densities. If a player only has 2 mana, it might not attempt to do anything. If the player only has 3, then it might just make sure that all 3 mana are not next to each other.

2) This is not meant to be a catch all solution, it is meant to be a solution that solves a specific problem that has happened to everybody that has ever played a TCG.

3) The problem with a mulligan is that sometimes your opening hand looks great, but there is a flood or drought of mana on top of the deck. And while you are correct in the assessment that this will not be a huge benefit, it would be a benefit, and if order of your deck is stored as an array or a list, then it should be trivial to implement a simple sorting algorithm around it. In business terms, this would be a easy win.

If you're at all familiar with MTG, there is a Legacy format deck called 43 lands. What this algorithm would do is kill any potential for a unique and interesting deck, like 43 lands, to exist since as the name suggests - 43 out of the 60 main board cards are land.

Nothing has been spoiled yet, but why limit the creative potential of having a deck that uses (and therefore wants to draw a large amount of) mana sources in a row as a win-con? Because people get upset at losing to mana problems? Not worth it.

Turtlewing
06-03-2013, 01:54 PM
This would not prevent epic top decks for the win. It would just prevent epic fail top decks for the lose, and while these are statistically still important, they tend to have a very negative effect on player attitude.

No it wouldn't. You can still draw the wrong card just as easily as the right card.

TheWrathofShane
06-03-2013, 01:56 PM
I wanted this to be Magic Tactics resources system instead of MTG mirror, but they made a smart buisness move mirroring MTG on this.

But there will be landscrew/flood and something we have to deal with :( Just remember 25 lands in a 60 card deck is the best odds for getting your 3rd land by turn 3. Some prefer 24, but remember to keep a healthy number of 1-2 drops as well.

BlackRoger
06-03-2013, 01:58 PM
A thing that Cory said was that if mana problems weren't there it would have become a question of who has the better curve.
So then instead of asking for mana sorting algorithm people will ask for curve sorting algorithem.

I agree that some kind of option to help with mana screw might help, maybe like the one free muligan in Duels of the plainswalker that does not reduce your hand size, or maybe something else.
I would not want a deck sorting algorithem though.

stiii
06-03-2013, 01:59 PM
Why do some people always have to think they're better than the game's designers?

~

You've said how horrible wow tcg is a bunch of times, so I guess you can answer this question.

Sci3nce
06-03-2013, 02:08 PM
Why do some people always have to think they're better than the game's designers?

~

No offense, but this contributes nothing to the conversation. Don't judge a player because he voiced an idea he had, good or bad.

As to the OP, I love the idea of getting rid of mana screw, as it killed my experience with Magic (DotP but still same). From what I heard though, as long as you know how to mulligan, the % of games you'll be in a mana screw (or drought as I've also seen it called) is very low. That being said, I have no idea what I'm doing so my % of mana screw games will probably be higher than the norm.

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 02:10 PM
If you're at all familiar with MTG, there is a Legacy format deck called 43 lands. What this algorithm would do is kill any potential for a unique and interesting deck, like 43 lands, to exist since as the name suggests - 43 out of the 60 main board cards are land.

Nothing has been spoiled yet, but why limit the creative potential of having a deck that uses (and therefore wants to draw a large amount of) mana sources in a row as a win-con? Because people get upset at losing to mana problems? Not worth it.

Again, the algorithm would have to take into account different percentages of mana in a deck. In the case of 43 lands, I would suggest you use the exact same formula but apply it to non-lands instead of lands. The real problem that nobody seems to care about is that if you know that decks can't have 4 lands in a row, and you have already drawn 3 then you know your top card is not a land. Every other problem I have heard is one that has been either stems a from a lack of understanding, or has been a rewording of, "I enjoy games where a player can get mana screwed, as long as that player isn't me."

Deadpool319
06-03-2013, 02:20 PM
Again, the algorithm would have take into account different percentages of mana in a deck. In the case of 43 lands, I would suggest you use the exact same formula but apply it to non-lands instead of lands. The real problem that nobody seems to care about is that if you know that decks can't have 4 lands in a row, and you have already drawn 3 then you know your top card is not a land. Every other problem I have heard is one that has been either stems a from a lack of understanding, or has been a rewording of, "I enjoy games where a player can get mana screwed, as long as that player isn't me."

I don't think anyone is arguing from a lack of understanding. Currently, your algorithm doesn't exist, so we just have a nebulous "it wouldn't be hard" on your word. I work in the software industry and I know exactly how "this will just be a quick fix" can turn into months of bug fixing.

In a TCG, information is everything. What I know about your deck, your hand, your mana base, and your potential responses to what I'm doing, are how I win or lose games. Even the most experienced pro can lose to a complete noob if the random numbers line up just right (or wrong depending on your point of view). Sometimes having your opponent draw an extra land instead of an answer gets you ahead enough to win, what is wrong with that? When it happens to you, they're feeling the good feelings you felt watch it happen to someone else.

This "algorithm", I argue, would do significant damage to deck building and game playing creative potential. Why would I ever play a card like Dark Confidant (one of the best creatures ever printed in MTG) if revealing mana sources from the top of my deck gives so much information to my opponent? (i.e. If I reveal 3 in a row then my opponent now precisely knows that I can't possibly flip another)

houjix
06-03-2013, 02:21 PM
Random is random. Trying to fix random during the games alters the probabilities that are taken in account when I contruct a deck. If random isn't truly random, I don't want to play.

Arbiter
06-03-2013, 02:25 PM
Computer based randomisation will solve the issue of people getting resource problems through insufficient manual shuffling of their deck after games end. Forcing mana weaving within randomisation takes away from deck design, and produces design issues with cards that manipulate library order.

Turtlewing
06-03-2013, 02:30 PM
Again, the algorithm would have take into account different percentages of mana in a deck. In the case of 43 lands, I would suggest you use the exact same formula but apply it to non-lands instead of lands. The real problem that nobody seems to care about is that if you know that decks can't have 4 lands in a row, and you have already drawn 3 then you know your top card is not a land. Every other problem I have heard is one that has been either stems a from a lack of understanding, or has been a rewording of, "I enjoy games where a player can get mana screwed, as long as that player isn't me."

Except you haven't actually said what your algorithm will be, you've just said "some algorithm that breaks streaks" then insist that the various special cases wouldn't be a problem because the algorithm will "obviously" take that into account.

The problem is that you seem to have implicitly assumed that there exists a perfect streak breaker algorithm with no undersierbe behavior, and are therefore dismissing complaints of the form 'I don't hunk there exists a perfect algorithm, and heres a case I expect it to fail on".

To that I can only really say "put up or shut up". If you have a shuffling algorithm that would solve all these problems, by all means tell us what it is. If not, than it's not reasonable to dismiss concerns about the viability of a streak breaking shuffler.

larryhl
06-03-2013, 02:34 PM
The biggest problem is that the algorithm would be running for every single game on Hex. This would be 2 instances of it per game (maybe you can get it down to 1 instance, but the code would then get significantly more complex). Put this on servers with millions of games going on (PvE and PvP), and suddenly you get ridiculous load from a sorting algorithm.

Deadpool319
06-03-2013, 02:35 PM
Except you haven't actually said what your algorithm will be, you've just said "some algorithm that breaks streaks" then insist that the various special cases wouldn't be a problem because the algorithm will "obviously" take that into account.

The problem is that you seem to have implicitly assumed that there exists a perfect streak breaker algorithm with no undersierbe behavior, and are therefore dismissing complaints of the form 'I don't hunk there exists a perfect algorithm, and heres a case I expect it to fail on".

To that I can only really say "put up or shut up". If you have a shuffling algorithm that would solve all these problems, by all means tell us what it is. If not, than it's not reasonable to dismiss concerns about the viability of a streak breaking shuffler.

If I keep agreeing with all of your posts, people are going to start assuming I'm starting the Turtlewing fanclub. That said, I agree 100%.

Gwaer
06-03-2013, 02:37 PM
The biggest problem is that it's unnecessary. Coding it isn't the issue. The issue is there is no "mana screw problem" to fix. It's a factor of the system. If you really really really hate it, run more mana, and rely on your charge power to offset the flood.

Tyrfang
06-03-2013, 02:39 PM
There's also
http://hex.potion-of-wit.com/card.php?c=88
Which just makes resource cards into free +2/+2 buffs. :)

loopholist3
06-03-2013, 02:40 PM
I don't think anyone is arguing from a lack of understanding. Currently, your algorithm doesn't exist, so we just have a nebulous "it wouldn't be hard" on your word. I work in the software industry and I know exactly how "this will just be a quick fix" can turn into months of bug fixing.

Sorry to throw technicalities at you, but I said "shouldn't" just because I know that simple fixes in some systems are especially not simple in either. I mentioned it being easy if decks orders being stored as a list because a if it is it would be a simple as changing some pointers. But again the if in that sentence was very important, because I have seen some pretty crazy ways to store things, because they sounded good at the time.


This "algorithm", I argue, would do significant damage to deck building and game playing creative potential. Why would I ever play a card like Dark Confidant (one of the best creatures ever printed in MTG) if revealing mana sources from the top of my deck gives so much information to my opponent? (i.e. If I reveal 3 in a row then my opponent now precisely knows that I can't possibly flip another)

This is what I consider to be a very valid concern. In MTG I would think this problem would be minor because this wouldn't happen very much because the problem I am trying to solve isn't a common thing in the first place, and then when it did happen, it would be unlikely that your opponent would be able to do anything about it, as most decks didn't include a way to mill an opponent. That being said this isn't magic, and cards that affect your opponents deck are likely to be more common due to the system.

Turtlewing
06-03-2013, 02:42 PM
The biggest problem is that the algorithm would be running for every single game on Hex. This would be 2 instances of it per game (maybe you can get it down to 1 instance, but the code would then get significantly more complex). Put this on servers with millions of games going on (PvE and PvP), and suddenly you get ridiculous load from a sorting algorithm.

If running even an O(N^2) sorting algorithm on 60 cards is going to be a problem, that there's no way the AI will decide it's next move in anything resembling a reasonable timeframe.

jeff
06-03-2013, 03:52 PM
Feels like there would be a layer of complexity lost if something like this were implemented. If you could guarantee that all the streaks are broken up, then every deck will eventually trend towards "x cards then 1 resource". Maybe this is more reliable, but frankly, in a game the difference between reliable and stale can be measured by repetition.

If you want this game to continue to be fun months and years down the line, you'll let people with horrible decks get their perfect draws and beat an impossible opponent, and you'll let people with incredible decks who take smart mulligans lose in a crushing upset.

ForgedSol
06-03-2013, 03:58 PM
Not to mention that if there is an algorithm, it won't be intuitive to new players. They're not going to know what's happening beneath the surface and those in the know that are going to game the system to compete with each other, are also going to have an even greater advantage over those that don't know about the algorithm as a side effect. That is a terrible way to set up a game.

WSzaboPeter
06-03-2013, 04:43 PM
I really love basic landcylcling in MTG (it's coming back in M14). That helps fighting manascrew without increasing the need of rare lands in the deck. Especially useful in limited. So I think something like that could be fun in here (discard this card, pay 1 or 2 and put a resource of your color choice into your hand).