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Off Topic / Plants vs Zombies Heroes
« Last post by TheVampire100 on Today at 01:39:11 AM »
I made an extra thread because why not. PvZ Heroes is currently my most played card game, I pretty much left other my favourite card games behind like Eteneral and Mabinogi Duel/DoS.
Plants vs Zombies is a casual digital card game, don't expect big complex decks with deep strategy parts, the game is, like the Plants vs Zombies series, goofy, cartoony and mostly for palyers who want to have a light experience.
You can compare PvZ to Hearthstones casual system but that's where the similiarities end, the gameplay is very unqiue that the opposing players play two different factions with their own unique traits and abilities despite some similiar cards.

Like in the whole series, plants and zombies stand against each other, a player can play heroes from both sides and will always face an opponent of the other side, so no plants vs plants fights. Both sides have unique cards, they share some cards that work quite similiar or are even the same expect the name and artwork but they also have a lot of their own individual cards. Soem card traits are even exclusive to one side.

I list the card traits, for anyone interested, just open the spoiler.

Spoiler for Hidden:
Shared traits:
-Untrickable: Target is immune to tricks (spell cards).
-Dino Roar: Card activates effect whenever a new card is drawn.
-Freeze: Freezes target, frozen units loose next attack.
-Strikethrough: Hits all targets in lane, including enemy hero.
-Anti hero: Gets bonus damage if no enemy is in this lane.
-Bullseye: Does not charge block meter on direct hits.
-Armored: Takes X less damage from all sources.
-Hunt: Moves to an empty lane if an emeny unit is played there.
-Amphibious: Can be played on water lane.
-Conjure: Create and draw a random card of a specific tribe.
-Bounce: Moves an enemy unit back to the hand.

Plant exclusive traits:
-Double-strike: Gets a bonus attack after the first one.
-Team-up: Can be used to play two plants in the same lane (one plant with this ability is enough in the lane).
-Splash: Deals X Damage to neighbouring lanes (does not increase when the plan gets more damage).

Zombie exclusive traits:
-Deadly: Kills plant on hit, regardless of damage. Works with abilities too.
-Gravestone: Hides unit until trickphase. Opponent player sees only the gravestone as placeholder.
-Frenzy: If this unit killed a plant, it attacks again (ability kills count too).
-Overshoot: Deals X damage to the enemy player before the battle starts.

The game uses a different round approach then other card games. Both players take the same round and after each round, the units fight against each other automatically. You cannot select who to attack because units are assigned to five different lanes and attack only the unit in front of it (or the player, if no one is there). Card effects may modify this but you still cannot select directly what to attack, just what to deal damage to with effects. Each roudn starts with the zombie player who puts down zombie units first but cannot play trick cards (spells). Gravestone is a way to protect units for this round but not every hero has access to them.
The plant player gets the next turn, he can play both tricks and units in this round, he can immediatly react to threats with his tricks or abilities to destroy the played units or play units on his own to either block or deal damage. After that, the zombie player can now use his tricks to get rid of plants or protect his zombies in some way. When the zombie player has ended this phase, the fight begins and all lanes resolve their attacks.
Attacks on the players charge their block meter. If this is full, the attack does no damage and the according player draws one of his special abilities. Each hero has four abilities but starts with one in the first round, so you can block three times per match.
Players start with 20 hp and cannot go above max unless a card allows it. Overheal is also not counted when it comes to effects.

Cards are divided into five classes (for each side, so there are 10 classes in total), each hero has two classes and can use onyl cards from his classes.

Spoiler for Hidden:
Plant classes:
-Kabloom: Berries and Mushrooms. Mostly damage, cheap and glass cannon cards. Ideal for aggro decks.
-Guardian: Nuts and Roots. Tanky cards, often with team-up to protect other valuable cards.
-Mega-grow: Peas and Leafy. Cards that start out weak but can grow quickly Good for tempo decks.
-Smarty: Beans and amphibious. Cards with a lot of control abilities like freeze and bounce.
-Solar: Flowers. Generates lot of sun (mana) and has many healing abilities. Only class with Strikethrough.

Zombie classes:
-Beastly: Pets ans monsters. Can grow really strong, have frenzy and high stat cards.
-Brainy: Science. Lot of control with tricks, can gain extra brains (mana).
-Crazy: Dancers. Damage and class cannon units, also units that summon other units.
-Hearty: Sport. Tanky units, high sustain, self heal, little damage.
-Sneaky: Imps. Cheap units with low stats, most gravestones, can move units around lanes.

There are 22 heroes (11 heroes for each side) in the game, one for each class combination plus a hero variant of the starting heroes for both sides. Players start with one hero of each side, Green Shadow for the plants, Super Brainz for the zombies, other heroes can only be unlocked through booster packs (one pack costs 100 gems) by chance or you spend 750 gems to get one hero of your choice. You also get some free heroes from beginner quests but I don't remember which ones or how many.
Heroes can be played in multiple ways because they draw cards from two classes instead of one (like in other games), but they still have preferenced playstyles. For example Super Branz encourages a control playstyle with lot of position changes, extra attacks and tricks.

Rewards are gained similiar to Hearthstone, you get up to 3 quests, each one gives you 10 gems, quests recharge after some time. Playing ranked gives you stars, with five stars you get a new rank, which gives you gems based on the rank you reached (higher ranks, more gems), after 10 ranks you also reach a new league which gives you a big gem reward and the final reward at the end of the season is chosen by your final league. You cannot loose ranks or leagues but you can loose stars from victories. Lower rank victories grant you more stars, at the higher ranks you get only one star per victory with no streak bonus. Highest rank is 50 with the Ultimate League, no rewards are gained further until the season ends (although you still can gain gems from quests).

Each week a new card is also released, the so called event card. An event card is a limited time card that can only obtained by accumulating 1200 event points. These event points can be gained from victories, no matter where. You can get them from ranked matches, unranked or even AI matches but depending on where you play, you get less points. Every fourth hour you get a 10x bonus if you play with a specific hero. You can still get points with any other hero but the bonus applies only for this hero.
Additionally you can play each day a special challenge which gives you 100 event points each and also a free booster pack if you beat all 7 challenges for the week. Event cards can be crafted at some later points, usually when the season ends and a new patch with new event cards is introduced.

A special mention to theme decks. PvZ Heroes has strategy decks for each hero and while you can simply buy them with gems, you also can use a partial deck as long as you have at least half of the listed cards. The deck will then automatically replace unobtained cards with ones you have. You also can copy a strategy deck and modify it to your liking. Theme decks are any easy way for inexpierenced players to get a foot into the game.

The game is aviable for mobile phone only (no phone, no bone), you can get it here:
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ea.gp.pvzheroes&hl=de
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/plants-vs-zombies-heroes/id1000876192?mt=8

If anyone needs tips with the game or some budget deck ideas, just ask.
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I think you guys need to do a little more research on these rewards systems before you draw these sweeping conclusions about them.

Gwent actually has an amazing rewards system, if utilized correctly. It rewards the player on 4 different levels, just for playing the game in the most popular mode (constructed). In this way I like it better than many of the alternatives which typically force you to play some other mode in order to collect materials.

For example, in Eternal you have to play Draft to get the most out of your gold. In Elder Scrolls: Legends, you have to play Arena to get the most out of it. Duelyst and HS is the same way, etc. etc.

Gwent is the first card game I've played that doesn't force you to play other modes to get the best rewards. You can just play the damn game and it gives you everything you need.

So as you can see here, Gwent rewards you on 4 different levels just for playing the game in Ranked. Daily rewards, Level Rewards, Rank Rewards, and Season Rewards.

Daily rewards are based on how many rounds you won in a single day. Level Rewards are based on your total time played (essentially). Rank Rewards are instant rewards based on your progress climbing the ladder. Season Rewards are based on your final ladder position at the end of the Season.

Spoiler for Hidden:

Yes, if you look closely at those screenshots I have nearly 10 card packs worth of resources I haven't even opened yet because the game is flooding me with rewards for climbing the ladder. It's easily the most intuitive and easily accessible rewards system of any card game I've played so far.

That doesn't mean it's the most generous though. Eternal I think is still the most generous by far, but Eternal's rewards require a fair bit of grinding to fully utilize. Gwent is the only card game I've ever played that requires literally no grinding at all. Play the main mode, win games, ? ? ? profit.

Within only a few days of playing I crafted this top 50 Ranked Monsters deck that I've been having a ton of fun with. But the way this system works is that it has a 'snowball' effect. Once you craft your first decent (in other words competitive) deck, then you climb ladder consistently which showers you with rewards allowing you to retroactively go back and experiment a lot more with your own creations.

Anyway, I've always had a knack for understanding systems. Sometimes you just have to do a little research to get the most out of them.

No, you have a knack for grinding and probably insane luck.... many hours of it, versus AI to get to level 10, and only then could you ever even get to any of the PnP rewards you described in Gwent. And conversely, after 6 hours !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( I don't think a hundred ! do this boring crap justice) I am level 8 and STILL do not have access to ranked PnP. -> Uninstalled Gwent so really whatever ;)

Also I feel worth mentioning that your deck costs 5000 scrap !! After 6 hours of boring grind against AI I had exactly 125 and could maybe craft 5 cards, if I weren't choosy ! in HS from your first desummoned legendary you can craft 20 common cards and build an actual competitive deck. In Gwent you literally can not even play PnP unless you slog through 8+ hours of AI fights with starter decks against constructed synergy decks (which is about as much fun as it sounds)

So I think you are not looking at this reward system from where it matters, that's from the bottom. Where only level up rewards exist, and they suck as solo motivator for a 6+ hours casual card player. I actually got bored of Gwent before ever even getting to PnP !
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by x4000 on Yesterday at 03:20:55 PM »
Whew, okay -- that's a good one for mantis as well, then.  If it's simply a time sync issue, then that's vastly less intrusive than something larger with the GUI or whatever.  Multiplayer sync things are never fun and so that's it's own rate-hole of course, but at least it's a more limited-in-scope one (I hope, for Keith's sake).
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on Yesterday at 12:52:29 PM »
I repeated my experiment again, and now I note something interesting. The time delay I see seems to be matched by the "Time" counter in the top left. My host thinks the game is at 1:30 and my client thinks the game is at 1:21. Commands issues on the client (make your ark move) are immediately visible on the host at (say) 1:45, but the client then has to wait for its in-game clock to be 1:45 before the command is visible.

This starts from the very beginning of the game. When I hit "Start Game" on the host it immediately starts, but the client seems to have an 8 or 9 second delay before it gets the "game has started" message.

After some time I also saw messages like
10/20/2017 12:46:22 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 142
10/20/2017 12:46:22 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 142
10/20/2017 12:46:22 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 142 <=== this is the start of the game.
10/20/2017 12:50:31 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 2631
10/20/2017 12:50:31 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 2631
10/20/2017 12:50:32 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 2631
10/20/2017 12:50:32 PM   Waiting On Server, at frame 2631 <=== this one now repeats and the game seems to be desync'ed, since the client clock has stopped advancing.



I did actually hit a crash (0019255) when repeating my experiment.

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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by x4000 on Yesterday at 12:37:00 PM »
Were there errors being thrown on the client?  The log from that client would be useful, because a steady stream of errors would result in something like what you saw.

Beyond that, was the framerate okay but the buttons were mysteriously unresponsive?  That would be something else, potentially, than if the framerate was horrible and the responsiveness matched.
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on Yesterday at 12:33:26 PM »
I ran some multiplayer experiments.

Good news! Multiplayer now lets the extra player actually capture planets. This makes the game actually playable.

Bad news: performance is terrible. It takes 8-10 seconds for a button press on the client to be reflected on the client. Machines are: OSX laptop as host, linux desktop as client.

Also, there should be some mechanism for the player who doesn't capture a planet to get science from it.

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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by x4000 on October 19, 2017, 03:54:11 PM »
Makes sense to me!  And good to hear. :)
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by keith.lamothe on October 19, 2017, 03:26:05 PM »
Regarding AI types, is that still something that is going to be set for only some of the planets at a go, or did that get wiped in our rework for the second kickstarter?  I honestly don't remember.  I was thinking there were still going to be localized groups of behaviors in clusters of planets, but I may be way off base.
Still doing the regional AI thing, it just hasn't been implemented yet. A lot of the work for this one was necessary to support multiple AI factions, and in general move "the AI" towards something that's more flexibly implemented.
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.527 Released! "Factious AI"
« Last post by x4000 on October 19, 2017, 02:48:49 PM »
Regarding AI types, is that still something that is going to be set for only some of the planets at a go, or did that get wiped in our rework for the second kickstarter?  I honestly don't remember.  I was thinking there were still going to be localized groups of behaviors in clusters of planets, but I may be way off base.
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I think you guys need to do a little more research on these rewards systems before you draw these sweeping conclusions about them.
When I hear this, I just think "Why should I take extra research to look up a reward system when other games make it more straightforward?"
Honestly, this is just bad design, if this is not written on the paper how reards work or what the most effective way is to gain rewards.
When I look at Eternal, I can see that rnaked ranked gives me chests, draft gives me cards and gauntlet gives me also... chests? Well, Eternal has some inconstancy int heir rewards but you know that at least you get some... chests which give you... stuff.
Hoenstly, they could be more straightforward with their rewards, the whole "you get chests and the chests might contain other chests" is a little to random for my taste.
Then I look at Duel of Summoners, where they write exactly on the pack what the chance for each individual card is to appear in the pack. I know not every developer might want that inside in their drop rates and stuff but I think Duel of the Summoners is the most honest one out there regarding their rward system.
But besides packs it's also random as hell, you have quests, then you have daily challenges, you have this roulette thing after each win you have arenas, you have story mode... the list just goes on. And the rewards are, while always gems, so randomly decided. It's easy to get your gems for a pack each day but a little more regularity wouldn't hurt the game.

Plants vs Zombies Heroes, which is currently my favourite one, is probably the most straightforward one. You get quests, which give 10 gems each day and you get gems for ranks in ranked matchmaking. Once you reach a new rank (5 wins), you get a gem reward depending on the rank you reached. if you reach a new league, you also get a big bonus (and the league defines your reward at the end of the season).
At the end of the season you get packs (not gems) depending on where you ranked, diamond rank (which is easy to reach) can give you 10 packs.
Additonally victories give you points that contribute to the weekly event card 8each week a new card is released) and if you get 1200, you get this card. Playing the daily challenge gives bonus points and playing with specific heroes gives also bonus points. Sounds actually more chaotic than it actually is, basically, ranked matches give you gems, season ranking gives you packs and normal wins give you event points.

With the third set recently released, the game offers now more variation than before, moving foward to more tactical aproaches. It will never reach the depth of Eternal or maybe even TESL but it has already surpassed Hearthstone (in my opinion) and of course Gwent. This is of course agueable, I bet people would disagree on this.

As for the new set, it's main theme are primeval times with dinosaurs and orimitve plants/zombies. New gameplay elemets include evolution (play on another creature, get an extra effect) and fusion (play this first, play another creature on it, get teh effects from it). Dinosaurs activate hteir effects whenever a card is drawn, included from summons.

Whiel we're at new sets, Duel Links (yugioh) released also a new mini set, mainly machine themed cards but also some magician cards. I got 500 gems free (which translates to 10 packs) for the release of the new set. I honestly cannt remember, what cards I got though, Yugioh has too many cards and when I build my decks, I don't look from which set they are. The game also introduced a new event game mode which is... not very good or fun. Basically, when you win matches, you get dice pieces and you can use thes epieces to roll a die at soem weird boardgame, at soem points you have to stop (regardless of your score) and fight an ai opponent, for wins you get coins which you can use for special event chests. The chests contain cards and keys, I believe some crafting resources as well but I got only keys and cards so far.
I cannot even tell if the rewards are worth the investment in this event.
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