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 Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Welf von Ehrwald wrote:
He apparently calculated several scenarios with different casters and got a range from 70-90% for winning. All these calculations are still valid, and if Wanda could enter the Garrison zone she could destroy the city. But because of the Kingworld spell she simply can't. If Parson had asked what their chances are with the known troops strengths and the Kingworld spell, the bracers probably would have answered "0%".


I don't think he even needed to know specifically about the Kingworld spell. Since there was only one unknown caster, that eliminated (as far as Parson knew) the possibility of a caster link. I suspect that if Parson had any reason to suspect Charlie's involvement, he might have inquired about what the odds would be against known troops plus an unknown caster boosted by a link, and the results would have been devastatingly low. Or he might not have, since I imagine Charlie's long-distance link is an unprecedented rule-breaking use of caster link mechanics.

Also (and perhaps off topic), does anyone know what the large animal in panel 2 is? It looks like a dragon, but it seems small and grounded and anyway, Jetstone shouldn't have any dragons.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:04 pm 
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    atalex wrote:
    Also (and perhaps off topic), does anyone know what the large animal in panel 2 is? It looks like a dwagon, but it seems small and grounded and anyway, Jetstone shouldn't have any dwagons.

    I do believe that's a Sourmander.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:41 pm 
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    atalex wrote:
    ... since I imagine Charlie's long-distance link is an unprecedented rule-breaking use of caster link mechanics.


    Holy Mother of Todd,
    Don't go poking a stick in that hornet's nest again.


    Please.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:09 am 
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    gazes_also wrote:
    atalex wrote:
    ... since I imagine Charlie's long-distance link is an unprecedented rule-breaking use of caster link mechanics.


    Holy Mother of Todd,
    Don't go poking a stick in that hornet's nest again.


    Please.


    By a curious coincidence, Todd is my middle name. Also, I did not mean to imply that the author broke any rules, but simply that Charlie's long distance link broke the rules of links as other Erfworlders generally understood them. I am in the camp that believes that Parson's volcano innovation has opened Charlie's eyes (and perhaps the eyes of a lot of other people) to the untapped potential of caster links. Stanley was content to use the Misty-Maggie-Jack link to get a real-time display of battlefield conditions. If Parson had been up to speed on what links could do, I imagine he'd have tried to use the trimancer link to project long distance, battlefield illusions across entire hexes. I think we'll be seeing a lot of innovation in this area in ways that will astonish and appall the more conservative Erfworlders. We'll see.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:06 am 
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    atalex wrote:
    gazes_also wrote:
    atalex wrote:
    ... since I imagine Charlie's long-distance link is an unprecedented rule-breaking use of caster link mechanics.


    Holy Mother of Todd,
    Don't go poking a stick in that hornet's nest again.


    Please.


    By a curious coincidence, Todd is my middle name. Also, I did not mean to imply that the author broke any rules, but simply that Charlie's long distance link broke the rules of links as other Erfworlders generally understood them. I am in the camp that believes that Parson's volcano innovation has opened Charlie's eyes (and perhaps the eyes of a lot of other people) to the untapped potential of caster links. Stanley was content to use the Misty-Maggie-Jack link to get a real-time display of battlefield conditions. If Parson had been up to speed on what links could do, I imagine he'd have tried to use the trimancer link to project long distance, battlefield illusions across entire hexes. I think we'll be seeing a lot of innovation in this area in ways that will astonish and appall the more conservative Erfworlders. We'll see.


    If they did that, that would be boopin' CHAINSAWESOME.

    Think of the possibilities . . .

    Foolamancer+Eyemancer+Thinkamancer could get you:

    Cloaking Field - Veil your units anywhere in the world, with nobody the wiser.
    Scanner - Detect veiled units that may be near your units/cities.
    Decoy Army - Make it seem your forces are much larger than they really are. (Great for bluffing enemies into submission, especially if they're weaker than you anyway!)

    Dirtamancer+Croakamancer+Thinkamancer:

    Fury of Erfworld - Instant volcano (or reactivation of same). Need I say more?
    Yawning Chasm - Open up a fissure in the Erfworld's crust. (Use it on enemy forces, and watch 'em vanish!)

    Dirtamancer+Stuffamancer+Thinkamancer:

    Army of Rock - A column's worth of Rock Golems, each one capable of Rocking Out.
    Instant Erfworks - Suddenly, there are defensive fortifications for your units to use either on the defense (to make it harder for enemies to advance) or on the offense (to make it harder for your enemies to repulse your attacks/break your sieges).

    That, I think, is just the tip of the iceberg . . .

    _________________
    The strength of our future lies in our past.
    -VNV Nation

    There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
    -Sun-tzu, The Art of War

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:37 am 
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    As cool as all that sounds, it's not a plot. It's an arms race, with the winner being (supposedly) the side which comes up with the newest game breaking combo. This would be a crying shame were it to happen to Erfworld.

    _________________
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    So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:43 am 
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    Oberon wrote:
    As cool as all that sounds, it's not a plot. It's an arms race, with the winner being (supposedly) the side which comes up with the newest game breaking combo. This would be a crying shame were it to happen to Erfworld.


    Quoted for truth. Such a magical arms race may be cool for a second or two, but it would rapidly become silly.

    Consider what would have happened if such things were available at the start of Book 1:

    - Ansom makes a paper origami B2 bomber aircraft, and lobs it towards GK. It drops a nuke and kills everyone inside.

    OR

    - Stanley uses the Trimancer Eye-link to make voodoo figurines of all RCC troops, which he then proceeds to sadistically squish one by one with the Hammer.

    ... yeah. That would be a short story.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:05 pm 
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    Oberon wrote:
    As cool as all that sounds, it's not a plot. It's an arms race, with the winner being (supposedly) the side which comes up with the newest game breaking combo. This would be a crying shame were it to happen to Erfworld.



    Imagine a time
    When it all began
    In the dying days of a war
    A weapon that would settle the score
    Whoever found it first
    Would be sure to do their worst
    They always had before

    --- Rush, "Manhatten Project"

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    Game, like the die rolls don't matter
    Filk, like everyone is tone deaf anyway

    10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
    . . . . . . Dr Pepper
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .4

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:47 pm 
    Battle Crest Pins Supporter Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter This user is a Tool! Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter Here for the 10th Anniversary Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter Has collected at least one unit
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    Lamech wrote:
    Quote:
    That's a very simplified analysis, but it still avoids the question of just how the bracer arrives at those percentages (80%, 80%, 20%). Unless it can evaluate unknown variables, how can it tell how critical the information would be to Charlie? Given that Parson doesn't even know what Charlie *wants*, I don't see how he could "program" the bracer to rate potential threats against his interest.

    Unless the Bracer is just spewing out random numbers that people are giving unwarranted credence to (the classic Garbage In, Garbage Out problem), the bracers must have some ability to gauge unknown variables.

    -H
    My guess is that the bracer knows the "rules" of Erf and it "knows" all that every unit of GK knows. We note that Charlie sees some of his Archons fighting at Turns since TBfGK: 20, but here we learn that Charlie learned Ansom is alive 18 turns after TBfGK. And since Charlie saw Ansom die, he knows that Ansom was raised from the dead to fight for GK. So when he asked how the Archons were fighting on GK's side he already knew the answer, and the archons which almost certainly got raised by flying Wanda know Charlie knows.

    If the bracer can take information from all of GK it would know that the information Parson offers is worthless.



    I think a simpler internally-consistent of looking at what the bracer uses to reach its numbers is to start from the perspective that the world is game-like. It enforces certain rules without recourse (Parson is garrison, hits hex wall) and is flexible where the rule isn't explicit (Sounds carry across hex boundaries during bridge meeting, volcano trimancer spell)

    All games can have a game-tree representation (all possible subsequent legal moves from initial state leading to every possible outcome) and it's possible to create decision trees; branches of the game-tree based on the current state and limited to the scope of the decision in question. This is sort-of what Charlie did to Haggar, a next move decision tree showing that given where Haggar is and what units they have available, they can't mount a credible defense of their capital.

    Back to the original question of the complex value of calculations to Charlie. From the start of that turn (before greeting Parson) there are infinite potential decision trees but only a limited number that have high probability (Charlie instant surrender -- prob. approaches zero; Charlie talks to Parson v.high, Charlie spends a calculation during this turn, moderately high because it's based on what Parson says, Charlie gives up all calculations, fairly low but possible). As the turn progresses, the odds change and eventually collapse into only one path where his curiosity leads him to spend a calculation and the calc number leads him not to take Parson's offer.

    I propose that the bracer has the ability to take a snapshot of the world state at the time the question is asked and to follow branches of decision trees that conform to the question parameters. No more, no less. The state determines the total number of branches available, the question conditions tell the bracer which child branches to follow in answering.

    It follows the branches and adds up all the relevant results to give a probability based on the percentage of child branches that affirm the question as compared to the total number of branches available in that particular decision tree. The value of the snapshot depends on how well the question is asked. This explains why the numbers keep changing over time and also when the wording changes.

    I'm sure people will disagree but it seems to fit every use of the bracer we've seen so far without requiring plot fiat.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:04 pm 
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    Parson: "What is the probability that XXXXX can be done within the rules of Erfworld by YYYYY?"
    Bracer: 0%
    or
    Bracer: 100%

    Think this would work as a fast way to figure out what can and cannot be done by magical (and mundane) means?

    He should also ask what the probability of being able to swear in Erfworld is. Have the rules changed or has he stepped outside of them?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:40 pm 
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    If anything, Parson would be hesitant to do another three man link unless crucial because of what happened with Misty. He's had the raw experience of when it went bad. Heck, he wouldn't have done it the first time if Duty hadn't compelled him. (Sure, he wanted to, but he would've ordered the casters into the portal instead and let the idea die had he not been *nudged forward*.)

    In short: I don't think we'll be seeing Parson using the technique again. Fighting against them, though? Heck yes.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:44 pm 
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    Dr Pepper wrote:
    --- Rush
    One of my favorite bands!

    _________________
    How using capslock wins arguments:
    Zeroberon wrote:
    So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:29 am 
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    Oberon wrote:
    Dr Pepper wrote:
    --- Rush
    One of my favorite bands!

    Rush isn't bad, but I prefer this:

    To the songs that sing of glory and the brave
    Are we dreaming there are better days to come?
    When will the banners and the victory parades
    Celebrate the day a better world was won?
    On this day, the storm has just begun -
    I will still hope there are better days to come.


    -VNV Nation, "Sentinal"

    _________________
    The strength of our future lies in our past.
    -VNV Nation

    There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
    -Sun-tzu, The Art of War

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:02 pm 
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    And here I was thinking you were a metal-head :P But yeah, I don't get why the stereotypical feud between Metal- and Electro-heads, since both styles are enjoyable.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:11 pm 
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    I'm a little-bit-of-everything-head, actually :P

    What I listen to generally depends upon my mood - but on the other hand, having a decent range of music available to me lets me pick music that would fit a given situation.

    For example: one man taking on an army in an attempt to avenge his fallen brother?

    Vengeance by The Protomen. ("Send me the best you've got! Send me your strongest machines! The fight my brother fought, here, now, will end with me! / Is this the best you've got?! Is this your strongest machine?! Now, with one powershot, you'll see what vengeance means!")

    Wondering if a war will ever end? Sentinal by VNV Nation ("When will the banners and the victory parades / Celebrate the day a better world was won?")

    Frankly, I think that if I had to pick an anthem for Parson Gotti, it would be VNV Nation's Art of Conflict (which is basically quotes from Sun-tzu's The Art of War set to music).

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    The strength of our future lies in our past.
    -VNV Nation

    There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
    -Sun-tzu, The Art of War

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:16 pm 
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    And besides, VNV Nation has another song that's passably fittable to glorious holy last stands- Honour, from which a snippet

    Stand your ground, this is what we are fighting for.
    For our spirit and laws and ways.
    Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
    For heaven or hell we shall not wait.

    Shall I think of honour as lies
    Or lament its aged and slow demise?
    Shall I stand as a total stranger
    On this day in this stone chamber?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:23 pm 
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    effataigus wrote:
    Parson: "What is the probability that XXXXX can be done within the rules of Erfworld by YYYYY?"
    Bracer: 0%
    or
    Bracer: 100%

    Think this would work as a fast way to figure out what can and cannot be done by magical (and mundane) means?

    He should also ask what the probability of being able to swear in Erfworld is. Have the rules changed or has he stepped outside of them?


    Nope - it is the POSSIBILITY something can be done that is binary - either it can be done or it can't.
    The PROBABILITY is still a range along the continuum based of other factors and variables assuming it is possible.

    Either it is POSSIBLE to swear or it is not. If it is then PROBABILITY is variable depending on circumstances. e.g. if it is possible for Parson to swear then if he drops a sword on his foot the probability that he will would be significantly higher that if he didn't.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:55 pm 
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    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    And besides, VNV Nation has another song that's passably fittable to glorious holy last stands- Honour, from which a snippet

    Stand your ground, this is what we are fighting for.
    For our spirit and laws and ways.
    Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
    For heaven or hell we shall not wait.

    Shall I think of honour as lies
    Or lament its aged and slow demise?
    Shall I stand as a total stranger
    On this day in this stone chamber?


    I, personally, think that Subway to Sally's Tanz auf dem Vulkan would have been suitable for the endgame battle at Gobwin Knob.

    _________________
    The strength of our future lies in our past.
    -VNV Nation

    There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
    -Sun-tzu, The Art of War

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:23 pm 
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    If we're quoting dark electro on the subject, it's occurred to me that Rotersand's Exterminate Annihilate Destroy describes the decrypted especially well. It's about how humanity's tendency to violent fanaticism is a psychological feature and the specifics of faith and ideology are often interchangeable, which apparently applies to erfworlders doubly when the object of their loyalty changes.

    Give me your faith, something I can believe in
    and you'll be my family, my brother, my friend
    Tell me a truth that I find undeceiving
    teach me a lesson that I understand

    Show me my leader and I'll pledge obedience
    whisper the name of the enemy mine
    Blessed be my fate and my tools of expedience
    I will fulfill what's my mission divine

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 25
     Post Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:29 am 
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    Of course, we can't forget RCC2's views on the Decrypted and their creator, either - I think the following segment from b00le's "Thanks for Playing" sums it up just fine (especially given recent events):

    what will you do now, where will you turn?
    Soon you will freefall, soon you will burn.
    Soon you'll be seeing your own blood,
    Sunken forever in stone and mud.

    Hope you had a good time killing wives,
    Women and childred under five.
    Now that you ran and took the dive . . .
    How does it feel to be dead alive?


    (Granted, there aren't really any children or wives in Erfworld, but . . . )

    _________________
    The strength of our future lies in our past.
    -VNV Nation

    There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
    -Sun-tzu, The Art of War

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