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Messages - chriskang (283)

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Fire / Re: New Card: Rage Potion
« on: December 20, 2009, 12:59:58 PM »
What happens when you use this on a creature with 5HP or less?
I guess you turn it into a super Spark --> big attack, 0 HP --> attacks one turn then dies.
But it might also kill your creature immediately.

Anyway, I see a potential abuse of this card with flying Titans.
Just 2 of them on a single Titan and you have 18 momentumed damages on a non-devourable non-paradoxable creature.

General Discussion / Re: 64-card decks?
« on: December 20, 2009, 04:26:05 AM »
Was there a rules change, or is this guy a hacker?
Second proposition is right.

Patch Notes and Development News / Re: AI improvements
« on: December 20, 2009, 04:21:38 AM »
Wall ahead. Beware!

Otyugh should target the most dangerous creature to its life, which is not always the highest attack/defense creature.
I consider lobotomy the most dangerous, then infecting stuff, otyughs with close defense come then.
Interesting feedback. Thanks. See my opinion at the bottom of the post.

It is not a problem if you infect a creature multiple times, but don't infect it if it would die anyway (infections>current defense).
Good point too.

Don't play spark when hourglass is in effect, unless you got more scavengers/bone walls than the enemy.
Don't play dive while hourglass/phase shield/bonewall is in effect.
Those are not part of the targeting function. But I keep them in mind for the future.

Now if I play Sundial I know for a FACT that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY of him killing me during the next 2 turns because I have also other higher priority permanents on the table. AI will target those higher every single time.
The FG  SHOULD consider your Sundial to be the highest priority. If it doesn't, the AI is wrong and needs improvement.

If you make it so they target weapons more often, small rainbows are screwed. Eternity will be useless. A lot of people are going to need to remake their rainbow decks :-/
I put a Protect Artifact on my Eternity as soon as it enters the game. Don't you?

Of course, there's the relevant Wiki page ( to check.
A lot of interesting suggestions there but not that much relevant. Most of them are not part of the targeting function.

Realistically, the various skills should be given a range of targeting values (beyond just "+3 value if skill exists".)  Things like bioluminescence should be worth +0 (no more targeting Fireflys over FFQs), photosynthesis and gravity pull would be around +1,  mutate and other potentially fail abilities along with momentum (which is already only great on a decent attacker) would be +2, most generally-useful abilities would be +3, and real game-changers like Queen, Destroy, Steal, Reverse Time, Sniper, and Devour would be +4.
That's exactly how I started to work. My evaluation of the threat is a little bit different than yours though. See below.

Also, in general, it would actually improve the AI's play quite a bit if, at the start of each turn, it looked through it's hand for free cards and played them first, then went through and played costed cards in order from most to least expensive.  That way, Graviton would get an Otyugh (and control of the board) on turn 1 instead of turn 4 or 5 after it's used all of it's Fire Masters. 

There are obviously circumstances when that isn't the case, but I think it would help.  At the very least, it should play all pillars first before it goes back and plays any other cards.  :)
Not part of the targeting function. But thanks anyway :)

If no PU/TU in deck, diversify buff targets. If this is possible to code, that is...
If creature has 10+ HP and/or HP>ATK, don't Armor
If poison count on creature = creature HP, don't infect it anymore
When Momentum, play it on a creature with 4+ attack
Use Photosynthesis multiple times until 12 Light quanta is reached, not once per turn per Rust/Leaf Dragon!
I agree with all points but the first one. I keep thinking that 99% of the times, when a deck has some buffs in it, they're supposed to target the same creature every time. PU/TU was just an example but it's the same with a Deja Vu rush deck or when you just want to buff a momentumed dragon.

Really check for buffs if there is a playable PU/TU in hand and play them on your strongest creature, then PU/TU. Not before.
Agree 100%. But not for now as it's not part of the autotarget function. I'll be sure to think about that when I work on the play order.

for example I play a have 9 life quanta, and play a frog, adrenaline it, then use an upped cockatrice. the frog's damage dealt at the end of the turn will be 12, and the cockatrice 5, but the frog is a lower-priority target (Statuses don't count as skills for the +3 apparently). Of course this is with adrenaline, which isn't out yet, but i'm assuming that the better AI will come out with the new cards.
Yes, statuses (momentum, poison, adrenaline and the others) definitely have to be taken into account.

also something needs to be said about the AI decking itself (as rainbow).
That's indeed a concern but I don't really know how to solve that. Even if I "teach" FG to reverse his own creature, that won't prevent him from decking out (as they'll only reverse 1 card and draw 2 on next turn). Any thought on this? Maybe we could ask Zanzarino if he would agree with the following change "FG might draw 2 cards per turn but they can choose to draw only 1 if they prefer". With this rule change (that I'm ready to implement) it would effectively be possible to prevent FG from decking.

EDIT: also wasting quant to play more eclipses/nightfalls or playing it when they have no creatures and the enemy does
Good point, thanks. But not part of the targeting.

I just hope the AI doesn't grow so complex that it slows down the game while it's thinking. AS isn't particularly fast programming language and one of the strong points of this game is the quickness of most matches.
I take great care in checking that, don't worry.

I say give pillars/towers lowest priority over everything, so if there's a sundial on the field, the AI targets the dial instead of the towers you played first.
Agreed, obviously.

my game against fire queen: shes playing with a lot of airquanta eagls eye... i have 2 otys with 0/5 and 3/5...
first sniper 0/5 and 3/2... but there are NO other creatures and sundial in play, so my 3/2 cant attack... but firequeen shoot on 3/2... so my 0/5 oty already has enough def to devour a skelett and so on... i think, its better when ai can think about the relevance, better to slow down the other one too, because so i get one round more für one of them... with 3/2 and 0/2 theres in this round not realy a chance... i think  8)
The old AI took only "creature's attack" into account to find the biggest threat of the battlefield, that's why the Oty with 3 atk was always the primary target. Now the threat will be calculated differently depending on the creature's skill.
For example, when several Oty are in play, computer will always target the one with the highest defense, as it's the highest threat for a creature that has devour.
When 2 queens are in play, one 3/7 and one 3/3, it will target the 3/3 to finish it. Because a high defense queen isn't more dangerous than a low defense.
And so on.

but more funny, i think, is when FQ draws a flying weapon, she plays! so, as i had an oty with 7 deff and an eagls eye self... she plays her eaglseye with flying weapon... without snipering... so next round, i devour this flying eagl... not that much intelligent  ;)
This has to be fixed, indeed. But it's part of the card ordering, not skill targeting. I'm not working on this part right now. Hopefully later.

Also don't use dive if your attack strength is 0 :)
In a heavy mutation battle i won by this quirk.
The enemy wasted quanta on diving a 0/4 flying egg.
Thanks, but part of the decision algorithm, not targeting.

Also, it seems the AI doesn't consider that after using a wounding ability (like owl's eye) it can use devour.
Many times I could slip in pests when an Oty has 0/2, the enemy hits my pest to 0/1, the Oty doesn't grab the snack.
And of course next round my Pest is already underground.
That's how the ordering function currently works. See "Main loop" section here: (
Computer plays (or not) creature skills, then permanent skills (including weapons), then ends turn. There should be a second check on creature skills after permanent. I'll try to improve that when I work on this function.

Btw, i noticed a mutated pest/devourer still sucks mana, though it displays momentum.
I wonder if it is a bug or a feature.
It's a bug. Nothing to do in this thread though.

That reminds me.  While all of this AI upgrading is going on, are y'all going to be fixing other bugs (like the Momentumed Mutant problem, the Quantum AI Pillars problem, etc.?)
Yes. Those are all getting fixed.
Not by me in the near future. Did you get this information from Zanzarino?

The AI seems to use Rewind to target the creature with the highest attack on the opponent's field. It's usually better to use Rewind against the creature with the highest cost -- thereby forcing your opponent to once again spend those quanta. As a default, it might be good to make that change, and allow for some exceptions (e.g. targeting creatures with activation powers over creatures without activations).
In mid/end game, you have more quanta than needed most of the time so replaying a costly card is not really a problem. In my opinion, threats should be evaluated by looking:
* creature skill first
* then attack
* then card cost

As for skills that represent a high threat when you face them, here's the order that I suggest:
1. Devour, Paradox, Immortality (highest priority, if human has it computer tries to get rid of it asap)
2. Reverse Time, Lobotomize, Congeal
3. Destroy, Sniper, Steel, Infection, Freeze, Tsunami
4. Queen, Infect
5. Growth, Improve, Poison, Venom
6. Ablaze, Fiery, Mutation, Scavenger, Dive
7. Gravity Pull, Hatch, Lycanthropy
8. Heal, Photosynthesis, Scramble
9. All other skill

Please comment.

And for those who voted "bug fixes" what would be the top 3 bugs that need to be fixed in priority?

Card Ideas and Art / Re: Copy Cats
« on: December 18, 2009, 10:35:40 PM »
When you Copy a creature, the ability of Copying will be replaced with the Copied creature's ability, so you can't reuse it.
This is already the case with a lot of skills. And it works without problem.
* When an egg hatches, it loses the ability to hatch again.
* Same with a Deja Vu when it casts its ability
* Same with an Ulitharid when it lobos itself
* Same with a Druid when it mutates itself

Why would it be a problem with copy?

Patch Notes and Development News / Re: AI improvements
« on: December 18, 2009, 05:08:33 PM »
Using Momentum on general high statsum creatures instead of high attack creatures. You must have seen Momentumed Armagios.
It's not that easy. If player has an Oty, computer should not cast momentum on its own Ruby Dragon (cause the dragon is going to be devoured on next turn and the momentum will be lost). There's probably some place for improvement here but the "check atk only" rule is not right IMO.

As well as Plate/HevE Armor - Targets strongest creatures instead of Otys/Brittle attackers.
That's right. Added to my TODO list.

Also, stacking multiple Infections on one creature,
EH replied to that. I'll try to see what I can do.

stacking all Blessings/Armors/Buffs on one creature instead of diversifying,
Again I disagree. Stacking buffs on a creature is a good thing most of the time. That's precisely the behavior that you're expecting from the computer when it plays a TU deck.

Blessing a Dragon not Pegasus (Miracle) and so on.
This one is right. Dive should be taken into account.

Biggest fail of AI in my opinion is when he/she uses all his/her Explosions/Steals/Pulverizer to try take down a Bone Wall.
Added to my TODO list.

In other news.. I don't know how you are doing the targeting but I've always thought it would be cool if AI did random things. Like 90% of time it does what "makes sense" but 10% of time it does something completely random. That would make it more like a human opponent because you wouldn't be able to always guess what it's going to do next. Is something like that possible?
It's certainly possible. There's already some randomness in the final decision actually. But it's limited to "I do as expected" or "I cancel my action". When you were talking about "completely random", I guess you were thinking about "still acting but targeting another location than the most valuable", right?
I can do that. It would even be a good way to tone the difficulty down a bit. If Zanzarino nerfs Sundial and I make the AI stronger, there's a risk that the game becomes too hard for casual gamers.

Patch Notes and Development News / AI improvements
« on: December 18, 2009, 04:13:32 PM »
As you know, Zanzarino allowed me to make some changes to the real game code.
As I don't want to disturb his work, I asked him to send me just one single function at a time, on which I'm going to work for a few days before I send it back to him.
My first request was the "autotarget" function and I'm currently working on it.
If you're not aware of it, this function is part of the AI mechanics: that's where the computer chooses the targets for its spells and its creature's abilities. More explanations here: (
(see chapter 5: "Finding valuable targets: Function Autotarget")

I already corrected a few bugs (like the computer hurting its own death/darkness creatures with "holy light") and I'm now trying to improve the evaluation of creature's score.
I made some changes to correct the most common mistakes but I'll need some help with more tricky situations.
Here's what I want from you: give me examples of cases where the computer has several choices for the target of its skill and, in your opinion, does the wrong choice.
I'll start with a few examples (those are already corrected) :
* when you have a queen and a firefly in play, the computer uses sniper on the firefly (it would be much wiser to target to queen)
* when (you have a 0/5 Oty) and (the computer has a 0/5 Oty and an Elite Skeleton), it won't devour its own skel to take advantage over your Oty

Go on game experts, give me more situations where the targeting can be improved.

Forum Bugs, Suggestions and Feedback / Re: New Themes
« on: December 18, 2009, 02:27:09 AM »
He said he had a script that can fix the timestamps.
It's just the same old bot. If I hadn't forgotten them, timestamps would be there till the beginning.
I don't have the time to run it now though. Probably on monday/tuesday.

The Carcinogen thing seems to be a great thing. Immediately control out one of the enemoy's creatures, and then you can do Plague + Boneyards to clean up.
Letting the cancer expand in your enemy field and block all slots in much better than plaguing it IMO.

Forum Bugs, Suggestions and Feedback / Re: Give feedback ob new chat
« on: December 17, 2009, 04:48:54 PM »
also the False God..kinda is annoying at times!!

Forum Bugs, Suggestions and Feedback / Re: the show unread buttons
« on: December 17, 2009, 04:34:53 PM »
2. We won't be doing any custom themes until Simple Machines Forum 2.0 is fully released (this one is still Release Candidate 2, and there could be even a RC3). After it's fully released, we have to wait for mod developers to update their mods (aka plugins) to avoid any compatibility issues.
That was my idea too until I checked the SMF roadmap.
Did you now that the first beta of SMF 2.0 came out in June 2007? That's 2 and a half year ago. After that, they released a new version every 6~10 month and there's no sign of a change in the foreseeable future.
2.0 RC1 was released in February 2009
2.0 RC2 (current version) was released in December 2009
That's a 10 month gap.
And this post (, from a member of the team, says that a RC3 is "very likely".
With the current schedule, that makes RC3 release in summer 2010 (at best) and 2.0 final in winter.
Do we really want to wait 1 year with the current theme?

Top priority now is to add more content
I'm curious: like what?

I've added a page to the wiki for Adrenaline (
Oh man. This wiki has 148 registered users and countless anonymous and you're the first one who has a clue what a wiki template is. I'm soooo grateful :P

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