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View Full Version : A bit worried on PVE "could be" Magic 2014 mechanics



SamCube
08-24-2013, 02:39 AM
Hello dear Hexers!
It's been awhile since I wrote in the forum! (at least about the game itself)
I tried to keep me un-updated because my hesitation will not burn my daily routine.
So it seems Hex it's closer each day now, and I just had a bad experience and I wanted to shared with you. So let's go for it:

I am an MTG video game player since the first edition in 2009. Because I don't have too many people to play MTG around here I always wait for the new release. I found out that each year the new game is more and more boring to play. And why is that? Because of the mechanics used on the campaign.

At first there were puzzles that you need to solve in a single play, then it became the I play the cards against your game. Like if the AI could know what were out next move. I felt like the game was cheating on me. The AI always had the card he needs to end a combo, or the instant to go against your play.

I don't know if other players had experienced the same as me, but I felt that it was less fun to play it, a way less "random" kind of play.

That's why I'm a bit worry with Hex. In all the dungeons there will be special mechanics that will change the game rules or the way you play. I wouldn't like that will become something not fun because is way too planned ahead. I mean like to reach a purpose on the mechanics itself it breaks the fun of the game itself.

The Magic (sorry for the word) of the TCG is the randomness. Thanks god there is no unbeatable deck if the luck is not at your side, the feel of randomness, the feel of being in the edge and then turn around the game it's the thing it keeps me playing it.

That's my experience with Magic 2014 video game. Hope it doesn't make it to HEX.

Best regards!

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-24-2013, 02:45 AM
Firstly, Duels of the Planeswalkers is just a fraction of what Magic actually is, and also of what Hex will actually be. Because of so many deck construction options as well as equipment and champs/mercs, single player in Hex will be a lot more involved than just two decks playing against each other.

Beyond that, some decks are pretty much unbeatable even with randomization in certain matchups. Ok, there's the potential random element of mana screw/flood, but if I'm playing a super powerful deck in PvE against a dungeon, that dungeon will need mechanics so I don't just steam roll it. If they just make the dungeon outright difficult so that I can't steamroll it (by giving it super powerful decks itself, for example) then more average players will have a difficult time with it.

What it comes down to is that games often have to be tuned to the average skill level of your audience (in recent years I've played Skyrim and Fire Emblem: Awakening where this problem was very clear; as a min-maxer even the most difficult modes of the game weren't too bad), with some content being made for the min-maxers of the community (ie. hard mode dungeons and raids). A simple way to do it - give dungeons average to good decks, and some mechanics that screw with the player at an equivalent level regardless of what deck they're playing.

Kroan
08-24-2013, 05:02 AM
As a minor note; on the hardest difficulty on DotP the game actually cheats and can change what card it draws depending on the boardstate.

Icepick
08-24-2013, 09:06 AM
As a minor note; on the hardest difficulty on DotP the game actually cheats and can change what card it draws depending on the boardstate.

I hate AIs that do that in games. "Hard mode" shouldn't mean letting them break the rules of the game, it should mean your AI plays better. If Hex's AI cheats like this I am going to be very disappointed indeed.

Kroan
08-24-2013, 09:10 AM
I hate AIs that do that in games. "Hard mode" shouldn't mean letting them break the rules of the game, it should mean your AI plays better. If Hex's AI cheats like this I am going to be very disappointed indeed.

I think the upside of the PvE enviroment is that they have more tools to create a challenging singleplayer. Like making it possible for the AI to play cards that the player can't, or introduce other kind of things to increase the difficulty.

Vorpal
08-24-2013, 10:12 AM
I hate AIs that do that in games. "Hard mode" shouldn't mean letting them break the rules of the game, it should mean your AI plays better. If Hex's AI cheats like this I am going to be very disappointed indeed.

Hard AI's just aren't that hard. In almost every game I've played, on the 'hardest' setting, the rules change to make the game more difficult for you, because there's no way to make an AI smart enough to pick up the slack.

Now, the AI getting to pick which card it draws seems like a poor solution, but I bet almost every dungeon is going to have AI decks that break the rules in some way.

Mr.Funsocks
08-24-2013, 10:31 AM
Well, the way they've structured PvE, the rules for the AI are unlimited in possibility, but transparent. So the AI starts with cards out that you don't, gets access to cards you don't, or has greater hp, which doesn't break the rules they set up, and is transparent to you. It's part of the game, unlike in, say, Civ where you are unaware of the AI's advantages.

tautologico
08-24-2013, 12:29 PM
The problem is that it's very hard to make a good TCG playing AI, so the Duels games give advantages to the AI player depending on the difficulty level. For example in the latest game you can see the AI never misses a land drop; also in the sealed campaign you build your deck from a pool of 6 boosters but it's clear that the opponent decks weren't built that way (which is made obvious by the fact that on the sealed campaign you play against mono decks and it's very hard to create a good sealed deck in a single color). But if you know the opponent's deck and what type of removal/counterspell they have you can play cautiously and win.

Many AIs in many games "cheat". I'd say the majority of game AIs do, in order to be competitive against human players. For example see strategy games, most of the AIs in this kind of game cheat. In Duels 2014 it's easy to see that each opponent has a single deck and a single "script" or overall strategy, once you dismantle this overall plan they'll often spend the rest of the game without presenting much of a threat against you. But yeah, they cheat, and this makes the work of the AI coders much simpler. (I don't think it's boring, it becomes a game of knowing what deck to use against which opponent and knowing how to counteract their strategy; but of course it's better to play against people).

As for HEX one of the points they stressed is that they have a guy with great experience doing TCG AIs. How well they will be able to pull off a general AI for a complex card game with hundreds (and soon thousands) of cards is another story. It's a very hard problem to solve well, so I'd expect that some AI cheating will be involved, occasionally, in the PVE mode.

keldrin
08-24-2013, 02:56 PM
Well, I expect most dungeons and raids to be fairly hard. But, the dungeon bosses shouldn't be able to auto adjust to me.
Of course, I would rather not steam roll through the content either. So, I guess, middle ground has to be struck, to give me some of what I want on both sides, to keep the game fun.

zadies
08-24-2013, 04:33 PM
2014 is quite clear that other then the plainswalker decks you are in fact playing against a script where the computer will make the same moves each time. The game is trying to teach how to play magic for the campaign. The plainswalkers will miss land drops in campaign and in the custom game. As to the issue in the sealed setting the computer is teaching how to make a sealed deck and allows testing of it prior to playing in PvP. The revenge levels have decent non-cheating ai.
I would expect that the first 10-20 opponents that you would go through and face in the pve content to use this sort of tactic because it is actually a good teaching tool to give clear cut and dry examples of certain gameplay mechanics

iscariotrex
08-24-2013, 06:31 PM
I'm really wondering what balancing will be done for raids. AI being subpar to human opponents has been noted a few times here, how about three human opponents? How about them having three turns to your one? If these are going to be truly challenging, I wonder what tools raid bosses will have at their fingertips.

zadies
08-24-2013, 06:36 PM
I really don't think an actually detailed ai is really as subpar as people are claiming... they are looking at things that are basically done as training wheels for people to learn magic and saying that's actually a card playing ai. Parts of the magic 2014 game show decent ai, alot of it has loads of cheating but try playing against a friend and having the friend drop the game to see the actual ai of it.

Mr.Funsocks
08-24-2013, 06:39 PM
Yeah, the DotP AI isn't really much better than the AI in the old '98 Shandalar game. Which is sad, 'cause they've had a good 16 years to make it better. I'm hoping Hex's AI is 16 years better >_>