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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:21 pm 
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It's not necessarily a global effect - it's a spell that affects either an entire side or an entire battlespace.

GK is pretty well the largest side we know about currently, if affecting this entire faction isn't a "global" effect, I don't know what is.

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and I'm sure if Charlie wanted to contact all the units on a side simultaneously, he'd be capable of doing so

To the contrary, Parson was put on hold by an Archon before he got to talk to Charlie. All indication is that despite "unmatched" thinkamancy he's still limited to one two-way connection at a time. Maybe he could contact everyone, but he'd likely have to contact them all one at a time, which is my point.


Quote:
Also, we don't know what the range of the eyemancer table was

range != area of effect

Just because it could display distant areas doesn't mean it could display everything between here and there simultaneously. As well, the juice costs of lookamancy haven't been described. The costs may well be proportional to the number of hexes revealed and the amount of details you want.

There's also a wide gulf between being able to see a distant unit and being able to end its turn.


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knowing Charlie was involved in the defection of the western giants, those could be attributed to spells that affect entire sides

Says who? He'd just have to contact the tribe's leader to set it up.


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If you're just concerned about the magnitude of the effect, the single most powerful and far-reaching spell that was ever cast in the history of Erfworld was the one cast by the Faq predictomancer.


My own dislike of oracles in works of fiction aside, the predictamancer's actual impact on the world is quite questionable. Essentially, we must ask how the world would be any different if he hadn't made his predictions?

Clearly predicting which FAQ cities should be veiled in which order was a big deal, but as far as intel-gathering goes this is pretty unreliable, telling you only where it will take place, not who will be there or when. Oracles in fiction always are short on details, and predictamancers are likely just as cryptic. As far as that goes, it's not much different in power than other casters.

As for the attunement prediction, one has to ask this simple question: what did he change by making the prediction? With a deterministic world outlook (predictamancer is NEVER wrong) Wanda would have gotten the pliers no matter what, and all that changed was her own actions in the interim in pursuit of this goal. The spell itself really had no effect other than a psychological one on Wanda. That's great plot material, mechanically it has almost nothing to do with spellcasting power or the game.


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I'm actually of the camp that claims Erfworld is a story about a world that functions on game-like rules.

Agreed. I have no illusions that Erfworld as presented wouldn't work as a game. Oh, I'm sure if you prototyped and kept working at it you could create something really cool, but the original idea is just a concept and is highly unlikely to be representative of the finished work. At very least, a predictamancer is a non-causal system and therefor unimplementable, and any real game would have to do something under the hood to give the illusion of predictive power.

This is a story taking place in a fictional concept of a turn based strategy game. This isn't about arguing the finer points of balance, but rather our willing suspension of disbelief that it's a valid representation of a turn based strategy game. My claim is that this latest effect just threw that out the window.


Quote:
Your assumption is that Erfworld is a strategy game.
My assumption is that a universe that has strategy-game-like physics.

Okay, I'll grant you that. However, there are still limits on those strategy-game-like physics (can't turn a hamster into a pit bull). The world we're presented is not one where anything is possible, but rather one where anything is possible within limits. What we've just been shown has blown all the limits we've seen to date out of the water and shown something completely out of step with other effects and abilities.

I'll agree that magic is more complex in Erfworld than is possible in any strategy game ever devised, but it still appears to follow basic rules and limitations. In the first book, we got a taste of what those limits are, and this spell appears to have thrown it all out the window.


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then why are there links. if you want to avoid "superwepons" just remove links. since links are part of the system "superweapons" are just another tool.

Okay, shouldn't have used the term "superweapon". Those vary so dramatically from game to game that the only thing they have in common is being at the end of the tech tree. And that's really what my definition of superweapon comes down to: the big gun you get at the end of the tech tree. The thing is, Erfworld doesn't have a tech tree, every gun you ever get is at your disposal from the beginning. Maybe it'll take you a few turns to pop your casters, but for sides that last hundreds if not thousands of turns that's negligible. So the concept of superweapons (in my view) doesn't exist in Erfworld.

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     Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:31 pm 
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    there is a tech tree. the casters have to level and master their abilitys, the caster level is the tech tree. saying that you just need to pop the casters to do epic spells is like saying a level one warlord can lead as well as a level 10. the tech tree of erfworld is levels. in any game chancing the loss of a character you have spent years building up in the right circumstances (such as on the front line of a battle) is usually given a huge incentive, like epic spells.

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     Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:04 pm 
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    While it seems rude to post a Penny Arcade strip in another comic's forum... this one just seems to relevant to the topic.

    Image

    While I don't have time to go into detail at this moment. I will say I find Erfworld works best when it has multiple "layers." One of these layers is a deconstruction of the TB strategy genre. That means things like good strategy, drama on and off the battlefield, and Parson consistently being surprised at the weirdness of the world.

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     Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:21 pm 
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    Dasrak wrote:
    Erfworld is supposed to be a strategy game that adheres to certain rules and conventions, and developing "superweapons" isn't intended to be possible. .


    Why do people keep saying that?? It's totally possible, and keeps showing up!

    IT'S PART OF THE GAME!

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     Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:25 pm 
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    Dasrak wrote:
    Quote:
    knowing Charlie was involved in the defection of the western giants, those could be attributed to spells that affect entire sides

    Says who? He'd just have to contact the tribe's leader to set it up.

    Precisely. If it was done against the tribal leader's will - i.e. if he forced the tribal leader to betray his side - then that would be equivalent in power (or more powerful) than the time warp spell. If he just gave the tribal leader's loyalties a nudge, that would be similar, or slightly less powerful, than the time warp spell.

    Charlie's natural ally spell: permanently dominate or influence the leader of the gobwins/giants; get them to break alliance and betray their side
    Time Warp: momentarily dominate or influence Stanley or Ansom; get them to declare end of turn

    It's not a "global" effect - he hasn't stopped all of time in all of Erfworld. He's stopped one side. Period.

    Dasrak wrote:
    As for the attunement prediction, one has to ask this simple question: what did he change by making the prediction? With a deterministic world outlook (predictamancer is NEVER wrong) Wanda would have gotten the pliers no matter what, and all that changed was her own actions in the interim in pursuit of this goal. The spell itself really had no effect other than a psychological one on Wanda. That's great plot material, mechanically it has almost nothing to do with spellcasting power or the game.

    A deterministic analysis of the effect of predictamancy is moot - assuming a single chain of causality, just as there were no circumstances under which Wanda would not have attuned to an arkentool, there were also no circumstances under which she would not have heard the arkentool prophecy prior to attunement, so you can't actually determine if one "caused" the other.

    If predictamancy operates as a self-fulfilling prophecy, though, one could argue that each prediction creates a specific inevitable future state, and one would have to ask exactly how much discretion a predictamancer has - are they just a passive mouthpiece for fate, or can they subtly manipulate future plot events the way luckamancers can manipulate combat odds?

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:55 am 
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    Quote:
    Why do people keep saying that?? It's (superweapons) totally possible, and keeps showing up!


    I already qualified my use of the term "superweapon", but anyways to go into further detail I'd say you need these three criteria:
    1) Incomparable in either cost or effect to conventional abilities and units
    2) Too expensive or too prohibitive for most sides to access them, but in theory everyone can get one
    3) Can be used repeatedly, but limited either by long cooldown periods or a high cost for each use

    I'm sure we can all agree on criteria #1 being a requirement to be called a superweapon, so I'll move on straight to criteria #2. If the weapon is of reasonable cost, it's not a "superweapon", it's just high-end conventional weaponry. Given the choice, everyone and their dog is going to use it and pool all applicable resources down that channel. Especially if this weapon (or a comparable one) is not available to every faction, this is simply a textbook case of imbalance where one choice is simply the best choice. Going by this criteria, 3-caster links do not qualify, because for sides with a thinkamancer they are easy to field and for sides without one they are impossible to field. My final criteria basically distinguishes between a 1-shot wonder and a superweapon. A 1-shot wonder is different because once it's used it's gone for good and you'll almost certainly never use it again.

    The Volcano TPK was probably a 1-shot wonder; it certainly required a very specific location and it was also double-edged. We already have an established croakamancy rule that you can't uncroak the same target twice, so there's sufficient grounds in the rules to simply consign it as an event that cannot be repeated. Uncroaking the volcano is now an option that is closed to GK, and that's what makes it different from a superweapon. That's what makes it different from time warp, where there is no indication that it cannot be used repeatedly. If this situation comes up again, or any other where he's backed into a corner, there is nothing stopping Charlie from getting the same type of casters together and doing this again (and again and again and again). Let me make that clear: if there was some factor that made reusing time warp impossible, then I'd be willing to accept it as a 1-shot wonder. Perhaps a bit contrived, but as a plot device I'd take it.


    Quote:
    there is a tech tree. the casters have to level and master their abilitys, the caster level is the tech tree


    We can't say one way or another how a caster evolves as he/she levels up. They may gain new powers and abilities as they level up, or It may be they have all their powers at level 1 and they only get better at using those same powers as they level up. The problem is we don't have much evidence about how casters (or really any unit) improves as they level up aside from just getting "better" in a general sense. All non-linked casters we have seen to date seem to sport a whole bunch of "stock" abilities. While these abilities may scale with higher level casters there is no indication that they get elite abilities at all. Wanda can uncroak thousands of units in one turn, but the only ability ever attributed to her master-class status is leading a dance fight. We still don't know if "master-class" has anything to do with levels at all or is just a distinction given at the time of popping, so even then we don't know for sure if there's an ability progression.

    In any case, we haven't seen abilities that are substantially out of line for an entry-level caster, so even if these high level casters do get "elite" abilities they aren't so outstanding as to completely outclass the lower level ones. In other words, not superweapons.


    Quote:
    If he just gave the tribal leader's loyalties a nudge, that would be similar, or slightly less powerful, than the time warp spell.

    We don't know what arrangements were made. There is nothing to indicate Charlie committed any magical subterfuge here. All we know is that he contacted the leader of the giants and arranged for the betrayal. If the tribe's loyalty was low, then frankly I don't think he needed any magic at all, just a good deal to present them with. We do know that natural allies turning is something incredibly rare, and we'll likely learn a lot more about this when we get the full details of the Gobwin Insurrection, but until then you've got nothing to support your theory that a few spells can suddenly turn a faction of otherwise loyal natural allies against you. They're clearly more loyal than that, since most sides described to date seem to have at least one tribe of natural allies.

    Quote:
    It's not a "global" effect - he hasn't stopped all of time in all of Erfworld. He's stopped one side. Period.

    The spell affected all units within the target faction, that's global area of effect. Yes, it won't affect third parties, but we've yet to actually even hear of a situation where a faction is fighting two major battles against two un-allied sides in a single turn, so this limitation may not be that great unless they're coordinated as "unofficial" allies. This is the only solid limitation of the spell given to date, and it doesn't significantly hamper the spell's general-purpose use.


    Quote:
    If predictamancy operates as a self-fulfilling prophecy, though, one could argue that each prediction creates a specific inevitable future state.

    IF
    That is a very big IF, and it's precisely why I despite oracles in fiction, because you have all the questions surrounding causality. Generally an oracle itself is not viewed as the root cause of its prediction, but the simple answer is that when "infallible" oracles are in play, causality goes out the window and it's up to the author to play it well to keep our willing suspension of disbelief. We know little enough about predictamancers that we really can't say anything about causality in Erfworld, and really we don't know for sure if they're infallible (the predictamancer of FAQ seemed to be, but the thing is you never really know for sure). I think as far as predictamancers have gone, Rob's done a good job, and part of that is because he's kept them mysterious to the reader.


    Last edited by Dasrak on Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:19 am 
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    Dasrak wrote:
    Especially if this weapon (or a comparable one) is not available to every faction, this is simply a textbook case of imbalance where one choice is simply the best choice. Going by this criteria, 3-caster links do not qualify, because for sides with a thinkamancer they are easy to field and for sides without one they are impossible to field.

    Trimancers are available to everybody. From what we've seen, thinkamancers are the most numerous casters, and every side has Magic Kingdom access. Assuming they cost as much as a standard caster, any side can hire one - if upkeep is an issue, they can trade in one of their less useful casters (release them into the Magic Kingdom, and then "disband" them). If a side just wants thinkamancy services without hiring an actual thinkamancer, all they have to do is concentrate really hard and they can hire Charlie - we've seen that he's capable of providing at least a bimancer, if not a trimancer - although it's probably not a service that he wants advertised (but I'd imagine if word gets out, he can make a fortune providing short term links for desperate clients).

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:31 am 
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    Quote:
    Trimancers are available to everybody


    We know for a fact how powerful casters are, so we can assume that contracting a caster's services is exorbitantly expensive. Otherwise everyone would be doing it all over the place. The last time we got an appraisal of a caster contract it was 150k schmuckers to cast a single spell. Even presuming they were contracting a 3-caster link to do it, that's 50k per caster. Since 500k would "empty the treasury" of a relatively wealthy faction like GK, they simply cannot afford that kind of contracting on a regular basis. Charlie, given that he'd probably lose a lot of Arkendish functionality while supporting a long-distance link, would have to upcharge a massive opportunity cost.

    So no, you cannot compare a contracted caster to in-house caster. Moreover, this would still leave thinkamancers are royally overpowered since nothing matches up to the 3-caster links they can do.


    Quote:
    although it's probably not a service that he wants advertised (but I'd imagine if word gets out, he can make a fortune providing short term links for desperate clients).

    Depends; I think he was the desperate one here. He's made it quite clear that he's willing to pull all the stops to ensure GK doesn't achieve domination. The question is how much did he pay on his end. If the Arkendish was more or less out of commission while he was maintaining the long-range link, I suspect few could actually afford his price on the matter.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:18 am 
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    Dasrak wrote:
    Quote:
    Why do people keep saying that?? It's (superweapons) totally possible, and keeps showing up!


    I already qualified my use of the term "superweapon", but anyways to go into further detail I'd say you need these three criteria:
    1) Incomparable in either cost or effect to conventional abilities and units
    2) Too expensive or too prohibitive for most sides to access them, but in theory everyone can get one
    3) Can be used repeatedly, but limited either by long cooldown periods or a high cost for each use



    1. It is comparable. Just because it's expensive or high powered, or unavailable to some, doesn't make in uncomparable. There are always stronger/weaker sides.

    2. So what if it's expensive, or not every side has access to it. Other sides have other counters. Hello, strategy.

    The US has BILLIONS of dollars, highest of tech weaponry, and a horde of well trained foot soldiers. The Taliban/A.Q. in afghanistan has sticks and stones and 80 guys (obviously an exaggeration, but to make a point). Who is winning? Not the US.

    Who says it has to be 'fair', 'equal', or equal access)? There are a lot of factors. And there's always a counter. If you don't have the counter, you suck/you lose. That's the way of war (games).

    I hate games where everybody has the exact same powered stuff. Erfworld is far more advanced, strategically. More variety and volatility. Yes, sometimes sides get wiped out. That's the way of the (ERF)world.


    3. Used repeatedly? OH NO! NOT THAT!

    Somebody better find an effective counter to it!

    Nukes? Superweapon. Time Stop? Not a superweapon, but a damn good one when used successfully. For instance, if your top leader can sucessfully get their top leader not to attack, split the force up, and then let said top leader head back to the castle.




    Dasrak wrote:
    In any case, we haven't seen abilities that are substantially out of line for an entry-level caster, so even if these high level casters do get "elite" abilities they aren't so outstanding as to completely outclass the lower level ones. In other words, not superweapons.


    Used at the right place/right time, -somebody- will complain that they are overpowered/superweapons.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:54 am 
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    Quote:
    1. It is comparable. Just because it's expensive or high powered, or unavailable to some, doesn't make in uncomparable. There are always stronger/weaker sides.


    We haven't seen any stand-alone abilities that are comparable with ending a faction's turn. Stronger/weaker doesn't enter into it, nothing is even in the same category.


    Quote:
    2. So what if it's expensive, or not every side has access to it. Other sides have other counters. Hello, strategy.


    Pay attention to what I actually said: "everyone can get one". I didn't say the same one, only that they can get one.

    If you don't have something to match the enemy's superweapon (doesn't have to be the same thing, just something of comparable power) you can't hope to counter or compete with it.


    Quote:
    The US has BILLIONS of dollars, highest of tech weaponry, and a horde of well trained foot soldiers. The Taliban/A.Q. in afghanistan has sticks and stones and 80 guys (obviously an exaggeration, but to make a point). Who is winning? Not the US.


    -_- seriously, much as real-world examples are great debate fodder, modern politics is a recipe for catastrophic thread derailment. I am not biting. If you want to make the analogy, pick something historical that's not a hot political topic that will derail this thread.


    Quote:
    Who says it has to be 'fair', 'equal', or equal access)? There are a lot of factors. And there's always a counter. If you don't have the counter, you suck/you lose. That's the way of war (games).


    I never used the words fair or equal, just that you have something in the same power class.

    And no, it's NOT necessarily possible to counter it with conventional tactics. There are many games with "superweapons" that weren't beatable even with other superweapons. Gandalf in Battle for Middle Earth is a good example... he can 1-hit another hero, slay a balrog, and smite the army of the dead all at the same time (he also was the fastest unit in the game and had one of the best leadership bonuses in the game AND had a magic shield that would block powerful attacks once every 15 seconds). If it's powerful enough and you don't have anything that can match up to it, tactics go out the window, it's just gunna beat you.

    One of the problems is that it does not appear to be counterable with conventional approaches. Once time warp is actually activated, your turn is over and there is nothing you can do about it, so any counter must be proactive. This would be feasible if not for the fact that you actually have no idea how your opponent will use time warp the next time. You essentially have to be actively "countering" every possible conceivable way time warp can be used, and if you screw up any one of them or your enemy thinks up even a single use that you didn't, all your "countering" is for naught.

    That's what puts Time Warp into superweapon power status for me, there is no conventional way to deal with that ability. The only possible countermeasure would be to have your own obscenely powerful super-spell. Time warp is a superweapon.


    Quote:
    3. Used repeatedly? OH NO! NOT THAT!

    Somebody better find an effective counter to it!

    Nukes? Superweapon. Time Stop? Not a superweapon, but a damn good one when used successfully.


    Okay, now you're just flinging insults rather than giving a good counter argument. If you're just going to mock me and then say I'm wrong, I'm going to start ignoring your posts.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:40 am 
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    Dasrak wrote:
    One of the problems is that it does not appear to be counterable with conventional approaches. Once time warp is actually activated, your turn is over and there is nothing you can do about it, so any counter must be proactive. This would be feasible if not for the fact that you actually have no idea how your opponent will use time warp the next time. You essentially have to be actively "countering" every possible conceivable way time warp can be used, and if you screw up any one of them or your enemy thinks up even a single use that you didn't, all your "countering" is for naught.

    That's what puts Time Warp into superweapon power status for me, there is no conventional way to deal with that ability. The only possible countermeasure would be to have your own obscenely powerful super-spell. Time warp is a superweapon.

    To counter Time Warp, just use your own Time Warp. Then the side that tried to use it on you will be the ones with their forces split. ;)

    And we know that you can go into the Magic Kingdom when it isn't your turn (or anyone's turn) so you should always have access to hirable casters.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:50 am 
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    Watsit Hoohow wrote:
    Lately, Erfworld's been pulling off a lot of stuff that could probably classified as unbalanced if it were actually played as a competitive game (Turnamancer link stopping GK cold, Arkenpliers creating massive unstoppable army, and so on).

    The question is: is crazy unbalanced stuff good for the story?


    I think the fact it isn't a game, but rather a setting that runs on game like mechanics makes it fine. In stories you can have super weapons/effects provided they don't make the story unworkable or succumb to idiot plotting (like "if they could do that why didn't they do that at the beginning and be done with it?). With a multi-side game it needs to be balanced to be fair to people playing and so forth (of course even thensome games have sides with varying levels of difficulty that can benefit experienced players, or start up variables either random or controllable that can make it easier/harder for a side etc).

    So far the "unbalanced" stuff hasn't proven to be a game winning/breaking that it is impossible to come back from/respond to. There are still no insta-win spells, the arkentools don't make the wielders unkillable individuals capable of wiping out a side by their lonesome (at least not initially), etc.

    Quote:
    Like how a lot of people complain about the recent Vanna-Charlie setup that Deus-ex-machina'd Jetstone to another chance at survival. That could have been handled another way, right? Would it have been better if it was? Sure, links are supposed to be crazy-powerful, but do they need to solve every major problem that comes up?


    I still don't see it as a DEM. I don't have a problem with Turnamancy in a link being revealed as being able to do that. And yes, maybe it could have been better if. Or worse if. If's are those things we will never know about.

    Dasrak wrote:
    If you don't have something to match the enemy's superweapon (doesn't have to be the same thing, just something of comparable power) you can't hope to counter or compete with it.


    Most sides don't have super weapons it seems. GK had one by dint of its location, and then it kills your own guys as well. Jetstone doesn't have a thinkamancer, so link ups seem out of their plans unless they hired one - expensive and they have shown a reluctance to put casters too close to battle anyway. Yet Jetstone is/was one of the most powerful sides we have seen, and they seem to have gotten there by having more guys and better leaders then the sides they were smacking about.

    Quote:
    One of the problems is that it does not appear to be counterable with conventional approaches. Once time warp is actually activated, your turn is over and there is nothing you can do about it, so any counter must be proactive. This would be feasible if not for the fact that you actually have no idea how your opponent will use time warp the next time. You essentially have to be actively "countering" every possible conceivable way time warp can be used, and if you screw up any one of them or your enemy thinks up even a single use that you didn't, all your "countering" is for naught.


    Lets say Faq realized Stanley was coming, and by some crazy dint of Fate had a think and Turn instead of Fool/Pred/Croak. So they end GK turns and... well, they still wouldn't have the forces necessary to beat the attackers - assuming they came to the idea somehow it would be possible to do that to begin with. Only Charlie and Parson seem to have been innovative in using links. And unless it could be used more then once in quick succession when GK next turn started Faq still gets whacked.

    I think the thing with Time Warp is it still depends a great deal on the side that uses it being smart in capitalizing on it. Since it isn't a giant fire ball it means you still have to decide how to handle the troops now caught out of position - if they are caught that out of position. GK is in a bit of a unique position since it's forces are split so neatly, with Wanda relatively exposed. If you don't take full advantage of the spells outcome then the side you just turn ended could take advantage of that.

    Quote:
    That's what puts Time Warp into superweapon power status for me, there is no conventional way to deal with that ability. The only possible countermeasure would be to have your own obscenely powerful super-spell. Time warp is a superweapon.


    I don't personally see it as that, for the reason I said above. It doesn't put you into an auto-win if you use it, and you need to be able to capitalize on the turn change. It changes the dynamic of the battle, helps maneuver one towards a winning position. It doesn't automatically put one in it.

    Quote:
    So no, you cannot compare a contracted caster to in-house caster. Moreover, this would still leave thinkamancers are royally overpowered since nothing matches up to the 3-caster links they can do.


    Well, not every side gets Thinkamancers, 3 caster links are still dangerous and could kill your casters and we are assuming the link ups would offer something useful. The dirt/croak/think link result we saw only works in a very limited environment. A look/fool/think is a useful tool when combined with a good leader and it is hard to imagine what game "super weapon" thing a doll/think/fool could do.

    Quote:
    The world we're presented is not one where anything is possible, but rather one where anything is possible within limits. What we've just been shown has blown all the limits we've seen to date out of the water and shown something completely out of step with other effects and abilities.


    What rules/limits/etc implied it shouldn't have been possible, or it is unreasonable or unrealistic in this setting, that a linked up Turnamancer could prematurely end a turn?

    Quote:
    Erfworld is supposed to be a strategy game that adheres to certain rules and conventions, and developing "superweapons" isn't intended to be possible.


    You've already spoken about your use of "superweapon", but it isn't really "developing" at all. It is, in this case, utilizing magic which manipulates various aspects of the world/its mechanics. In a link up the potential of that manipulation is increased significantly, though certain costs/risks/limits are attached which make sides spamming tri-link casters unlikely.

    This is intended to be possible, clearly, though I agree even then that there should be limits on what is possible, and it seems there is. That a side can't counter a big spell cast on it isn't a problem unless that spell destroys them instantly and forever or provides no chance for the sides controller to ever have a chance of a comeback/deal with it. Or if it gives a side an insurmountable advantage. Does this spell give Jetstone an insurmountable advantage in this battle or even in the world in general? Does it put anyone out of the range of other sides (either singular or working together)?

    The volcano didn't kill Jetstone or break them irreparably, the Time Warp didn't kill GK and it hasn't broken them irreparably. Nor do the spells raise the sides involved to such a degree they are invulnerable. They both shook things up and have/had the potential to change the course of the battles they were used in, but that is all.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:11 pm 
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    One quick note: Time Warp is not the first action that has a "global" effect.
    Unless an heir has been designated, killing the overlord of a side disbands all units on that side that are outside of a city, no matter where they are.

    Time Warp can easily be interpreted as an action that targets the overlord of a side, triggering an end of turn.
    The end-of-turn event itself sets all unit's move to zero.

    ----
    Speculation:
    There's a possibility that the end-of-turn event isn't a function of the overlord, but the overlord's capital.
    The overlord wills the turn to end, and the capital communicates this throughout the land.

    The Time Warp spell might be a way to trigger the capital's end-of-turn communication directly, bypassing the overlord.
    Essentially, the capital gets 'hacked'. And we've already seen that Charlie is capable of hacking...

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:23 pm 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    One quick note: Time Warp is not the first action that has a "global" effect.
    Unless an heir has been designated, killing the overlord of a side disbands all units on that side that are outside of a city, no matter where they are.

    Time Warp can easily be interpreted as an action that targets the overlord of a side, triggering an end of turn.
    The end-of-turn event itself sets all unit's move to zero.

    ----
    Speculation:
    There's a possibility that the end-of-turn event isn't a function of the overlord, but the overlord's capital.
    The overlord wills the turn to end, and the capital communicates this throughout the land.

    The Time Warp spell might be a way to trigger the capital's end-of-turn communication directly, bypassing the overlord.
    Essentially, the capital gets 'hacked'. And we've already seen that Charlie is capable of hacking...

    Finally! Someone else has realized just how minor a change the time warp spell actually was - it's equivalent to tricking Stanley or Ansom into saying "end turn," like Superman tricking Mr. Mxyzptlk into saying his name backwards.

    I'm not sure if the end-of-turn event has to be channeled through the capital - in book one, we saw Ansom, the chief warlord, declare end of turn in the field for the entire RCC I.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:02 pm 
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    Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
    I think the fact it isn't a game, but rather a setting that runs on game like mechanics makes it fine. In stories you can have super weapons/effects provided they don't make the story unworkable or succumb to idiot plotting (like "if they could do that why didn't they do that at the beginning and be done with it?). With a multi-side game it needs to be balanced to be fair to people playing and so forth (of course even thensome games have sides with varying levels of difficulty that can benefit experienced players, or start up variables either random or controllable that can make it easier/harder for a side etc).


    On the premise that it's a story about a game-like world, would the story be better if the game-like world was "balanced"? In stories, you can have a super-weapon mess things up big time, but Erfworld is about a world in which the laws of nature function like a turn-based strategy, which is less accepting of abundant super-weapons. So does the story benefit if what it contains is more suited to what it's about?

    Quote:
    So far the "unbalanced" stuff hasn't proven to be a game winning/breaking that it is impossible to come back from/respond to.


    There are things that come very close. Parson's volcano, for instance, destroyed a vastly superior army (which was a crazy heavy blow to most sides that sent significant forces), made them one of the richest sides in Erfworld, and left them in possession of a very powerful artifact. In most strategy games, that would indeed be called a broken maneuver, even if it didn't technically end the game. Gobwin Knob didn't win, but it pulled off a maneuver that catapulted them to the front and set a lot of other sides back.

    A massive volcano weapon was amazingly cool, and it was a pretty satisfying ending to book 1. Turning "superweapons," even if slightly less game-altering, into a pattern, may just be getting old.

    Quote:
    There are still no insta-win spells, the arkentools don't make the wielders unkillable individuals capable of wiping out a side by their lonesome (at least not initially), etc.


    There are no insta-win spells because Erfworld isn't a game (right?) to begin with. There are things that give sides an overwhelming advantage, though. It doesn't have to instantly guarantee you the win to be broken.

    Quote:
    I still don't see it as a DEM. I don't have a problem with Turnamancy in a link being revealed as being able to do that. And yes, maybe it could have been better if. Or worse if. If's are those things we will never know about.


    If's are things we can speculate on, at least. And based on past experiences, would you prefer Turnamancer-link solution to something like a Parson-strategy solution? I guess that's kind of what the question could boil down to. I saw it a lot like a Deus Ex Machina because it came practically out of nowhere on a created-almost-on-the-spot-spell and instantly solved the issue... for the moment, anyways.

    Quote:
    Most sides don't have super weapons it seems. GK had one by dint of its location, and then it kills your own guys as well. Jetstone doesn't have a thinkamancer, so link ups seem out of their plans unless they hired one - expensive and they have shown a reluctance to put casters too close to battle anyway. Yet Jetstone is/was one of the most powerful sides we have seen, and they seem to have gotten there by having more guys and better leaders then the sides they were smacking about.


    How would you counter or compete with something like Time Warp? Jetstone didn't need a superweapon because it never really ran into one prior to Gobwin Knob. Superweapons seem to be getting a little more common right around now, though... It didn't seem to be doing so hot until somebody pulled a superweapon for it.

    Quote:
    I don't personally see it as that, for the reason I said above. It doesn't put you into an auto-win if you use it, and you need to be able to capitalize on the turn change. It changes the dynamic of the battle, helps maneuver one towards a winning position. It doesn't automatically put one in it.


    Well, yeah. There are a lot of cases where simply not knowing how to use it or not being able to use it to your advantage can be held up as a scenario in which a superweapon wouldn't help you. A broken character with a horribly abusable move in a fighting game isn't so broken if you can't use it. The real danger is that there are people who do know how to/can use it. Time Warp for Jetstone with its not-too-shabby forces is a scenario in which somebody has the capability to use Time Warp to their advantage and were smart enough to use it. The results are looking to be devastating.

    Quote:
    What rules/limits/etc implied it shouldn't have been possible, or it is unreasonable or unrealistic in this setting, that a linked up Turnamancer could prematurely end a turn?


    I think it was less that it's something that couldn't have happened, but something people felt shouldn't have happened. The author could do something really crazy with a magic system, yeah, but we might generally trust that they don't abuse that power. There would be plenty of people outraged if Voldemort pulled out a mass-genocide spell when things looked bad for him (and not just for moral reasons). Sure, by technicality, he could have had such a spell, but would it have really gone over well as a story element if J.K. Rowling had given it to him? Especially if it was almost out of the blue...

    Like I said, I don't mind when Erfworld pulls off a crazy-amazing stunt like uncroaking a volcano. It was subtly set up, and was a once-in-a-book thing. Book 2 just seems to be becoming a topping contest of stunts just below uncroaking a volcano in power. A lot of the cool stuff we saw from Parson was him using limited resources in out-of-the-box ways that worked just below the system and the enemy didn't see coming (though as Vinny saw in hindsight, were possible, but were simply never thought of before). Time Warp is more like overcoming the enemy with brute force in the shape of a crazy spell. It didn't even have the 1+1=2 thought process that Parson used coming up with uncroaking the volcano... it was just like, "Charlie and Vanna link up and cast spell."

    Just what I think, anyways.

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    Last edited by Watsit Hoohow on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:40 pm 
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    Dasrak wrote:
    Quote:
    1. It is comparable. Just because it's expensive or high powered, or unavailable to some, doesn't make in uncomparable. There are always stronger/weaker sides.


    We haven't seen any stand-alone abilities that are comparable with ending a faction's turn. Stronger/weaker doesn't enter into it, nothing is even in the same category.


    What do you mean stand-alone? (No really, I don't understand what you mean. Please clarify.)

    Stronger/weaker -does- enter into it. It's a variable. It seems you are making a case about a singluar factor, but Time Warp is not a singular factor. It and it's success is made up of many factors.



    Quote:
    2. So what if it's expensive, or not every side has access to it. Other sides have other counters. Hello, strategy.


    Pay attention to what I actually said: "everyone can get one". I didn't say the same one, only that they can get one.

    If you don't have something to match the enemy's superweapon (doesn't have to be the same thing, just something of comparable power) you can't hope to counter or compete with it. [/quote]

    I did pay attention to what you said. I didn't say anything about the same one. We are using 'one' in the same context.

    And, nobody knows at this point it there is a counter or not.

    And, so far ERFworld is all about big direction changes. This seems par for the course. There will be an effect, and a result. The game/story hasn't ended yet, and I don't think that it will.


    Quote:
    The US has BILLIONS of dollars, highest of tech weaponry, and a horde of well trained foot soldiers. The Taliban/A.Q. in afghanistan has sticks and stones and 80 guys (obviously an exaggeration, but to make a point). Who is winning? Not the US.


    -_- seriously, much as real-world examples are great debate fodder, modern politics is a recipe for catastrophic thread derailment. I am not biting. If you want to make the analogy, pick something historical that's not a hot political topic that will derail this thread.
    [/quote]

    I won't derail it if you won't. But ok. Russia in Afghanistan.

    I don't know how much farther one can go back for historical example to make my point, as the biggest difference in tech and power is now. The point remains. Even with the best, most powerful everything, there can be an effective deterrent/counter.

    Doesn't mean one can -always- win, as in your Gandalf example, which is FAR from comparable to the Time Stop spell.

    Quote:
    One of the problems is that it does not appear to be counterable with conventional approaches. Once time warp is actually activated, your turn is over and there is nothing you can do about it, so any counter must be proactive. This would be feasible if not for the fact that you actually have no idea how your opponent will use time warp the next time. You essentially have to be actively "countering" every possible conceivable way time warp can be used, and if you screw up any one of them or your enemy thinks up even a single use that you didn't, all your "countering" is for naught.

    That's what puts Time Warp into superweapon power status for me, there is no conventional way to deal with that ability. The only possible countermeasure would be to have your own obscenely powerful super-spell. Time warp is a superweapon.


    Maybe not counterable, but maybe. Right now it -looks- like Wanda's group can get wiped out, but who knows? The creator's job is to keep us guessing, thinking, and never quite correct.


    Quote:
    3. Used repeatedly? OH NO! NOT THAT!

    Somebody better find an effective counter to it!

    Nukes? Superweapon. Time Stop? Not a superweapon, but a damn good one when used successfully.


    Okay, now you're just flinging insults rather than giving a good counter argument. If you're just going to mock me and then say I'm wrong, I'm going to start ignoring your posts.[/quote]

    With all due respect, methinks you're being a touch too touchy. There was no insult anywhere in there. And I didn't say your wrong, I made many points in a counterargument with a conclusion that Time Stop is not a Superweapon, and that someone better find an effective counter.

    You seem to believe that there is no effective counter, no world of possible responses, in the story/world of many possible variables. I disagree.

    Ok, the all caps were some playful sarcasm. But we're all adults that like to play here. Ok, we're all at least 13 and old enough to read, anyway.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:50 pm 
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    Also, I said this in another thread, and it applies here:

    "On the topic of 'game breaking' 'huge changes': It seems many people consider ending a side's turn to be a huge, unacceptable gamebreaker. Not a single person complained that a SCROLL could hold a spell (or whatever the thing was holding the spell) that would bring the best warlord in ALL OF CREATION to ERFworld FROM SOME LITTLE SPOT IN TIME AND SPACE."

    If that's doable, anything is doable, and Time Stop isn't outside the realm of doable. Especially (which we don't know yet) if it requires Charlie and an Arkentool to do it.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:00 pm 
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    YAWN.

    So we're discussing game-breakingness, again. Great. As if that were the important point.

    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    Also, I said this in another thread, and it applies here:

    "On the topic of 'game breaking' 'huge changes': It seems many people consider ending a side's turn to be a huge, unacceptable gamebreaker. Not a single person complained that a SCROLL could hold a spell (or whatever the thing was holding the spell) that would bring the best warlord in ALL OF CREATION to ERFworld FROM SOME LITTLE SPOT IN TIME AND SPACE."

    If that's doable, anything is doable, and Time Stop isn't outside the realm of doable. Especially (which we don't know yet) if it requires Charlie and an Arkentool to do it.


    If everything is doable, nothing is interesting.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:03 pm 
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    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    So we're discussing game-breakingness, again. Great. As if that were the important point.


    It's at least a sub-point, I guess. Part of determining whether a broken game makes for a better/worse story is determining whether or not the game is broken to begin with.

    Or something.

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     Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:26 pm 
    E is for Erfworld Supporter This user was a Tool before it was cool Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit This user is a Tool! Diamonds Suit Pip
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    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    If everything is doable, nothing is interesting.


    Book 1 was interesting, and it seemed like everything was doable there.

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    For those in the USA: Have you wondered what you would do during in the civil rights movement, or in the 1930s?

    Well, what did you do yesterday? Now you know.

    Let's all be the kind of people we wish everyone had been then. Show up. Call. Resist.


    Last edited by ftl on Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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