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 Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:07 am 
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0beron wrote:
Veiling a city isn't necessarily the only way to protect a hidden side. Cleverly used tricks on a smaller scale could have protected them, things that would make would-be enemies turn away from entering the valley in the first place. Which might have the added benefit of of technically counting as a "retreat" and thus giving Jack's stack a victory, and XP to level with faster.
Or, Jack is quite old and Banhammer himself wasn't always peaceful. It is mentioned once that "all the sides who once knew Banhammer were now long gone" which suggests that at minimum they have diplomatic relations with other sides. Those relations could have been friendly or aggressive, and it was only after some time that Banhammer turned to isolationist peace, perhaps once he had casters skilled enough to pull it off.


Maybe Jack popped under a ruler before Banhammer, and passed on to peaceful Banhammer that used him to veil the cities?

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:45 am 
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    Also possible, though for largely unsupported reasons I kinda doubt that. Banhammer seems quite old in the first place, given that it was said sides which no longer existed had known HIM personally. But like I said, still technically viable.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:06 pm 
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    Well, the first thing to consider about Jack being Master-Class is that it's not necessarily dependent on level. It depends on "...a caster gain[ing] powerful new insight into his discipline or major class." Now, Jack is an insightful guy who greatly enjoys and understands what he does as a Foolamancer, so I'm perfectly willing to buy that he gained that insight a long time ago, and could possibly have achieved Master ranking at a much lower level than other units tend to do.

    But if it comes down to experience, well, we can do a very simple object comparison: Sizemore. For the sake of argument, let's assume that Sizemore has had a window of optimal Experience gain, while Jack's entire time at FAQ was spent giving him the lowest gains possible.
    Jack's been described as an unusually talented Foolamancer, and was being guided by a Predictamancer. So let's assume that he always used the bare minimum on his work when veiling cities, relying on talent more than juice and spells, thus minimizing the amount of actual casting and the resulting Experience. Let's assume that incursions into FAQ's territory were very slim, and only ever contained a couple of units at a time, so he never really had to work at what he was doing nor fool many pairs of eyes. Let's assume that even though he was fooling enemy units, it didn't count as Combat Casting due to the lack of actual engagement, so there's no boosts or gains to be had here. And let's assume that his casting aside from that was all incredibly low-level illusions and tricks that gave practically no Experience at all.
    In the opposite corner, let's give Sizemore the best chance we can. We know from Book One that Gobwin Knob once had eleven cities, that this was considered to be impressive before they were lost, and that they took them all back in Book Two. They then proceeded to take down Unaroyal and make straight for the city of Spacerock to attack Jetstone, and while the Wiki says they only had fourteen cities at this time, let's say that the Wiki's unreliability was in full force, and that Gobwin Knob captured a handful of extra cities to bring us up to twenty. Nice round number, no? Let's assume that Sizemore razed, rebuilt, and fully decked out every single one. Let's assume he spent every drop of juice doing so, adding Dirtamancy traps and fortifications and Golems and every upgrade he could possibly add. Let's assume that because this is such heavy-duty casting, it gave him the best possible experience gains for high-level work.

    It still works.

    Do the maths. According to the Wiki the Battle of Spacerock took place exactly 37 turns after this conversation, which was itself only 29 turns after the end of the Battle for Gobwin Knob. That's 66 turns in total, and if we're incredibly generous, we can say that Sizemore might have been working for half of those - the turns when he wasn't travelling from one city to the next, hanging out in the Magic Kingdom, or simply having time off with Parson and Maggie, which we know he did a lot of. All those modifiers we assumed above? There's no evidence for any of them actually applying or making a notable difference, it's all just guesswork to make Sizemore look good. But assuming that Juice Spent scales directly to Experience Gained, that's only 30-40 turns' worth of Juice that Sizemore could possibly have spent in the interim. High level spellwork and whatnot, but there is a definite upper cap here... and it was still enough to get him a level.
    But Jack? Hoo, boy. How many hundreds of turns has he been around? How many small illusions did he cast for his own amusement and to entertain others? How many cities did he veil? How many troops? How many times did he cast a cloaking spell over an entire hex? How many cumulative thousands of enemy units did he trick with his Foolamancy? If Sizemore can gain a level from forty turns' worth of Juice, how many hundreds of times over has Jack got that beaten? And that's if we pretend that Sizemore's Experience Gain was, for no good reason, several times better than Jack's. If you assume they were gaining Experience at the same rate for simple Juice spent... Jack could be double Sizemore's level, if not more.


    TL;DR: Jack being a high-level Master Foolamancer makes perfect mechanical sense, given the only reasonable comparisons we can make.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:25 pm 
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    I agree totally on Jack's liklihood of being a low level when he reached master status, we were just assuming that veiling an entire city still must be a costly trick in terms of Juice, so the question was figuring out how Jack could, without combat, have gotten to even so much as say a level 4. But I think your analysis suggests that on economies of scale, it's plausible for Jack to have leveled enough to have the Juice required even if he never saw combat.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:46 pm 
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    Especially if you assume that being a Master-Class caster comes with more perks than a swanky title. It might lower overall casting costs, or allow a caster to use spells previously unavailable to them, or all kinds of things. It comes with insight and understanding of your discipline, so I'm assuming that a Master caster can do more with their juice than an Adept can, just on principle. So, by that logic, maybe if Jack reached Master Foolamancer at a low level, that along with his own talents could explain how he pulled off such impressive tricks. And casting those clever illusions could have helped him level even faster, which makes it all even more plausible.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:54 pm 
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    drachefly wrote:
    I expect that Banhammer, when planning FAQ, knew he could rely on Jack's proven city-veiling ability. Possibly also Marie. The others are unimportant.


    It was the joint effort of Jack, Marie, and Orwell that made it possible. Marie and Orwell could tell where enemy units were and when and where a veil was needed. Jack could only veil one city at a time, so they need predictamancy and lookamancy to deploy him to the right place when enemies were passing through.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:35 pm 
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    0beron wrote:
    I'm not sure, I just believe he only gained 3 overall, but I don't know for certain. It's one of the many many things I'll be keeping an eye on when I do my detailed read-through.

    As for what grants XP in general, I believe there are 4 ways to gain XP, outlined below. All speculation, but it makes sense and fits with what we've seen. Since Erflings don't even specifically mention XP though, and because they don't know what it takes exactly to level, I doubt we'll ever get an in-comic explanation.
    1. Training
    2. Casting any spell, for Casters
    3. In any way contributing to a unit being croaked
    4. In any way contributing to completing "objectives"
    These last two is the most common and open-ended. #3 means that when a unit croaks a target, the Warlord who's giving them a Leadership Bonus would probably get some XP, as well as the unit themselves. Similarly, Casters providing a bonus probably get some small XP reward. Similarly, participating in capturing a new city, or totally ending a side, probably also grant XP. This is how Olive got to be so high level, though I imagine she rarely actually engaged in physical combat, she croaked high value targets with poison, her Peace spell made it possible to claim new cities, and her magic made it possible to end multiple sides.


    I think that basically "doing stuff" is how units level. Casters can cast. Everyone can kill. You probably get a little for city managing even. Also judging from how city building leveled Sizemore, I suspect that you get more xp from things that are harder/costlier/riskier. Croaking is hard, and risky so it grants a lot. Building cities is costly. Olive probably was able to level quicker with all the farms she could work on. (Similar to Sizemore's city building.)

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:03 am 
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    Lamech wrote:
    I think that basically "doing stuff" is how units level. Casters can cast. Everyone can kill. You probably get a little for city managing even. Also judging from how city building leveled Sizemore, I suspect that you get more xp from things that are harder/costlier/riskier. Croaking is hard, and risky so it grants a lot. Building cities is costly. Olive probably was able to level quicker with all the farms she could work on. (Similar to Sizemore's city building.)
    It definitely doesn't seem that way for Non-Casters, according to this page. Artemis took six-hundred-forty turns to gain a level via non-combat weapons training, and did not apparently get any of the necessary Experience from any other duties related to City Maintenance. That's exclusively through weapons drilling, troop training, and hunting wild units.

    Casters seem to be the exception to this in that Casting, in combat or out of it, can level them. We don't know if it only works within their own major discipline or not (if, say, a Moneymancer can gain experience from casting Rhyme-O-Mancy), or how linear the leveling path is, or if some spells grant more Experience than others because of difficulty. But the most reasonable explanation we have at this point is that there's a direct exchange of Juice for Experience, which only Casters can exploit. Otherwise, non-combat leveling is extremely rare, tedious and difficult.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:31 am 
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    Selexor wrote:
    Lamech wrote:
    I think that basically "doing stuff" is how units level. Casters can cast. Everyone can kill. You probably get a little for city managing even. Also judging from how city building leveled Sizemore, I suspect that you get more xp from things that are harder/costlier/riskier. Croaking is hard, and risky so it grants a lot. Building cities is costly. Olive probably was able to level quicker with all the farms she could work on. (Similar to Sizemore's city building.)
    It definitely doesn't seem that way for Non-Casters, according to this page. Artemis took six-hundred-forty turns to gain a level via non-combat weapons training, and did not apparently get any of the necessary Experience from any other duties related to City Maintenance. That's exclusively through weapons drilling, troop training, and hunting wild units.

    Casters seem to be the exception to this in that Casting, in combat or out of it, can level them. We don't know if it only works within their own major discipline or not (if, say, a Moneymancer can gain experience from casting Rhyme-O-Mancy), or how linear the leveling path is, or if some spells grant more Experience than others because of difficulty. But the most reasonable explanation we have at this point is that there's a direct exchange of Juice for Experience, which only Casters can exploit. Otherwise, non-combat leveling is extremely rare, tedious and difficult.


    Leveling is exponential, its much harder to get to ten from nine than nine from eight. That's why units above level 10 are so rare, it takes a lot of experience to get them up that high, but there also isn't a known level cap.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:08 pm 
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    Durmatagno wrote:

    Leveling is exponential, its much harder to get to ten from nine than nine from eight. That's why units above level 10 are so rare, it takes a lot of experience to get them up that high, but there also isn't a known level cap.

    Can you point to where this is stated, or are you just assuming?

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:15 pm 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    Durmatagno wrote:

    Leveling is exponential, its much harder to get to ten from nine than nine from eight. That's why units above level 10 are so rare, it takes a lot of experience to get them up that high, but there also isn't a known level cap.

    Can you point to where this is stated, or are you just assuming?


    Word of the Titans

    6012585
    You have to understand that the denizens of Erfworld don't see a lot of what a player would see in a game. Including XP. Leveling is a surprise to them, and XP (or the equivalent) is a theory (albeit a pretty solid one). The people are in the dark and guessing, and it's kind of hard to build an XP table by actually finding 10 new level 1 Marbits to croak, discovering that you level, then discovering through experimentation that you need to croak 50 to level again.
    From a narrative perspective, the fudge factor is high. But that does not mean there is not one consistent mathematical system governing leveling. It's just opaque to the characters and readers at this time.
    The general answer to your question is that power gains are linear and level requirements are exponential. It's not perfectly simple as all that, but to generalize, yes.

    http://erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Word ... ns#6012585

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:00 am 
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    Well I sort of assumed that was a given. Going from Level 2 to Level 3 is harder than going from Level 1 to level 2. For that matter, going from level 9 to level 10 is harder than going from level 1 to level 8. That's how most games work, I didn't imagine Erfworld was any different.

    That still doesn't change anything we've observed about characters in-Universe, though. The only Non-Caster we've ever heard of who gained a level without ever entering combat was Artemis, and it was apparently a very surprising and impressive thing that she managed to do it. Sizemore, on the other hand, gained a level post-TBfGW through no more than a few dozen turns' worth of juice, and nobody seems terribly surprised by this. I'm sure that the city rebuilding involved relatively high-level spells and helped him level faster than usual, but still, compare what we know.

    Even if Sizemore was only Level One at the start of the comic - which I think we can all agree is highly unlikely, given what we know about him - then the two levels he gained during that battle leaves him at Level Three, and the city rebuilding alone brought him to Level Four over the space of only 66 turns, where even under the ideal (and almost certainly hugely exaggerated) conditions I outlined in my analysis earlier, he was actually casting in a way that would grant experience for half of them at best.
    Artemis trained every turn for six hundred and forty turns to go from Level Six to Level Seven, taking every chance she could to maximise her Experience gains.

    No matter how generous we try to be about the subject, I think that's about as clear-cut as we could want it to be: assuming neither one enters combat, a Caster can gain experience rapidly by casting spells (possibly only within their major discipline). A regular unit, even a Warlord, has no such advantage, and can only train incredibly slowly.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:46 am 
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    I wonder, though, if using Parson's combat simulations, a Warlord could "train" managing their troops and providing the tactical benefits they need?

    Not particularly relevant to this topic, but it is relevant to what counts as "training".

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:54 am 
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    Th Revanchist wrote:
    I wonder, though, if using Parson's combat simulations, a Warlord could "train" managing their troops and providing the tactical benefits they need?

    Not particularly relevant to this topic, but it is relevant to what counts as "training".


    One way would be to hire a caster to create golems, then have them turn back to Barbarian, and fight *only* the golems, rinse and repeat. Counts as real combat, so more experience, and if its done right, nothing but a golem is croaked. Units gain experience for winning as a stack, and then a unit that croaks something gains even more, so they could do an eight stack + warlord versus a much smaller, unled group of golems that shouldn't croak anyone without a good bit of luck.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:13 am 
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    We don't know if a Golem - a mindless, non-living unit - can be Barbarians, though. At least, not without a Caster to command them. From what we've seen, once a side loses its Ruler and its Heirs, all units immediately disband, with the sole exception of Casters (who have Leadership) in the Magic Kingdom. If you made a bunch of regular Golems turn Barbarian, which may not even be possible for a mindless unit without Life, they'd have no leadership and would most likely disband on the spot just as surely as if they were on a side whose Ruler had croaked.

    Besides, even if it's possible, Golems are still valuable units. They cost juice instead of Schmuckers, but you're still throwing perfectly good units into the woodchipper to level one solitary Warlord, and tying up an incredibly valuable Caster to do it. So even if it could be done - which I repeat, I don't believe - it's probably the least efficient way imaginable for a unit to gain levels.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:16 am 
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    Selexor wrote:
    We don't know if a Golem - a mindless, non-living unit - can be Barbarians, though. At least, not without a Caster to command them. From what we've seen, once a side loses its Ruler and its Heirs, all units immediately disband, with the sole exception of Casters (who have Leadership) in the Magic Kingdom. If you made a bunch of regular Golems turn Barbarian, which may not even be possible for a mindless unit without Life, they'd have no leadership and would most likely disband on the spot just as surely as if they were on a side whose Ruler had croaked.

    Besides, even if it's possible, Golems are still valuable units. They cost juice instead of Schmuckers, but you're still throwing perfectly good units into the woodchipper to level one solitary Warlord, and tying up an incredibly valuable Caster to do it. So even if it could be done - which I repeat, I don't believe - it's probably the least efficient way imaginable for a unit to gain levels.


    Which is why I said Barbarian caster, probably restricted to more isolated sides in how often it'd be used, and even then only when the caster didn't have something better to be doing at the time. As for golems, barbarian casters seem to have access to all the same spells, and golems don't have upkeep, so it'd be a rather fair exchange on both sides.

    "We pay your upkeep + whatever else you charge, you make a bunch of golems for us, you break alliance, and we fight the golems. You gain XP from spending juice, our units level on croaking some golems, repeat."

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:30 am 
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    Durmatagno wrote:
    Which is why I said Barbarian caster, probably restricted to more isolated sides in how often it'd be used, and even then only when the caster didn't have something better to be doing at the time. As for golems, barbarian casters seem to have access to all the same spells, and golems don't have upkeep, so it'd be a rather fair exchange on both sides.

    "We pay your upkeep + whatever else you charge, you make a bunch of golems for us, you break alliance, and we fight the golems. You gain XP from spending juice, our units level on croaking some golems, repeat."
    Ah! My apologies. The important word in that sentence was "hire" and I for some reason missed it. Hiring the caster changes the mechanics completely, and that would indeed be possible.

    Still, I maintain that it's not viable. Hiring a caster to help a Warlord level without entering proper combat against the enemy, when there are a million better possible uses both the Warlord and Caster could be put to... the only possible scenario where I can imagine that being even a remotely good idea would be to level a Ruler without risking exposing them to an enemy side. But even then, the risk of an assassination, to say nothing of the cost involved... I think we'd put that idea into the category of technically possible but I honestly can't imagine that anyone would do it, y'know?

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:33 am 
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    Selexor wrote:
    Durmatagno wrote:
    Which is why I said Barbarian caster, probably restricted to more isolated sides in how often it'd be used, and even then only when the caster didn't have something better to be doing at the time. As for golems, barbarian casters seem to have access to all the same spells, and golems don't have upkeep, so it'd be a rather fair exchange on both sides.

    "We pay your upkeep + whatever else you charge, you make a bunch of golems for us, you break alliance, and we fight the golems. You gain XP from spending juice, our units level on croaking some golems, repeat."
    Ah! My apologies. The important word in that sentence was "hire" and I for some reason missed it. Hiring the caster changes the mechanics completely, and that would indeed be possible.

    Still, I maintain that it's not viable. Hiring a caster to help a Warlord level without entering proper combat against the enemy, when there are a million better possible uses both the Warlord and Caster could be put to... the only possible scenario where I can imagine that being even a remotely good idea would be to level a Ruler without risking exposing them to an enemy side. But even then, the risk of an assassination, to say nothing of the cost involved... I think we'd put that idea into the category of technically possible but I honestly can't imagine that anyone would do it, y'know?


    Yeah, maybe an arena type thing, but even that's low on a chance of happening. Better chance is simply to pop units, order them to turn barbarian, capture them, and croak them as prisoners.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:36 am 
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    Even better than that would be to simply capture enemy and barbarian units. Why pop your own only to croak them right away? Even ignoring the horrible effect that'd have on Loyalty and morale in general, they'd be Level One units on their first day. Experience gains would be minimal. But croaking a captured Level 10 Warlord? Much better.

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     Post subject: Re: Sizemore's Level
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:39 am 
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    Selexor wrote:
    Even better than that would be to simply capture enemy and barbarian units. Why pop your own only to croak them right away? Even ignoring the horrible effect that'd have on Loyalty and morale in general, they'd be Level One units on their first day. Experience gains would be minimal. But croaking a captured Level 10 Warlord? Much better.


    Lot more risk there, setting aside the morale and Loyalty hit. A level 10 warlord is gonna be a really tough target to croak/capture. Mines another technically possible, but I'd put it very low down as an option.

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