[List] Universally Inferior Items with the same Token Cost [EttSC Updated]

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by progammer, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. karadoc

    karadoc Hydra

    But by using arguments like that, you're moving away from the objective definition of 'universally inferior'. I think turinturamba is right: if we try to take into account every possible interaction between different cards, then we may end up with a completely empty list simply because the condition is too strict. Pickpocket is the ultimate example because with Pickpocket in play, one can always make the argument that they would be better off if a numerically weaker card was stolen.

    Furthermore, if we are taking interactions with other cards into account, we're standing on ever-shifting ground in that changing one seemingly unrelated card may change whether or not a particular pair of items should be on the list. For example, in the current version of the game, one could make the argument that healing for a small amount is sometimes better than healing for a large amount, because a small amount may lead to a longer chain with Talented Healer, but when Talented Healer is changed in the next version, that argument will no longer apply. Maybe later in some future version some new interaction will be introduced which affects other cards. For example, maybe there will be a card which says something like "target cannot play any move card with move-3 or greater", in which case Walk would no longer be 'universally inferior' to Run...

    With this stuff in mind, I think it would be reasonable to relax the restrictions on the list to be just 'numerically inferior', so that Run is always better than Walk; Big Zap is always better than Zap and so on. I think it would be pretty unusual for someone to put Zap in their deck rather than Big Zap. Even if they are hoping to draw out Weak Block or something like that, it's such an obscure and situational strategy that I think we're better off just ignoring that and letting pairs of items appear on the list if they only differ in that kind of way.
     
  2. progammer

    progammer Ogre


    As Blindsight has pointed out, the rule of thumbs is that we do not intentionally go out of our way to construct inferior deck, as the goals is to kill your enemy, not gimping yourself. Loading decks full of Weak Strike will be very effective at "not giving" your opponent an edge while ducking or pickpocketing but at the same time not giving you any more situational edge and severely hamper your potential. Such a deck will not achieve the goal of threatening your opponent. A build made for duck should instead have only 1-2 intentionally low dmg cards and the rest as high as you can get. A decision can be made between a 2 dmg or a 3 dmg weapon for this purpose because of the existence of flimsy block. If the choice is between 3 and 4 damage. The rule to not gimp ourselves dictate us to pick the 4 dmg, since both will be blocked by Weak Block regardless.

    I suppose I could revise my definitions to be: Items that are not universally inferior are considered to give an edge to the user situtionally, most importantly under his control, even if such case are very rare. Fire Spray and Ember Spray are good examples since the situtional edge are apparent and fully under the player's control. Then I have to debate with myself whether Weak Block/ Flimsy Block / Desperate Block (as well as Duck and Pickpocket) should not be considered since it is well outside of the player's control.

    The complexity of the game as well as non-traditional build soon to come may render this discussion as well as this list useless. Most people may not even find any uses out of it, and that is fine.

    These items, while useless, do serve a purpose (sense of progression and intro level difference) and they will likely stay in the game as it is. Changing or remove any of these item can be considered at anytime if the item diversity demands it. The list will always be there for references purpose.

    (I'm still in the process of producing a complete list from the items data rather than compare items manually by memory, there will have to be a clear and sensible rules for deciding which items fits the criteria by then).
     
  3. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre

    It is still universally inferior, just not universally inferior to Shoulderspike Mail specifically. Similar to what Progammer said, if you are going to be that nit-picky there should likely be a stipulation that the build should actually help the player win. Otherwise nothing would fall under your definition of it because I could say my goal was to lose. Arguably many of the items would still be universally inferior because, like Spiked Mail there are likely items that fill the role of attempting losing better anyway.
     
  4. progammer

    progammer Ogre

    Self bump. Finally done with the scripts. The list is now completed and now I can update it whenever there is a new build that changes item/card data. (Thanks Phaselock and Jon for the data)

    A clear cut definition as well as a list of superior cards is also included to avoid argument. Generally speaking, if it deal more damage and you take less damage, it is superior. All block condition removed with the exception of Desperate Block. Weak Block is now universally superior than Flimsy Block.

    There are only 37 universally inferior items. Default slot excluded.

    Feel free to contribute/ criticize.
     
  5. dmar314

    dmar314 Goblin Champion

    I think that weak block is not superior to flimsy block, and it's not because I want to be pedantic about things. It's because flimsy block will basically block almost nothing but winds of war and whirlwind enemies, which are extremely common on control mages. If I'm playing warriors against a party with mages, I'll often save my flimsy blocks to surprise them when they try to use winds to move me away. Weak block, however, will pick up 3 and 4 damage mage spells which are much less threatening than winds of war/whirlwind to a chasing warrior. I actually think that in the current metagame, flimsy block is a better card more often than weak block.
     
    Jaded Jasper likes this.
  6. progammer

    progammer Ogre


    Alright, I'll bite. Block and armor are usually outside of the player's active control. The card is hidden before it trigger. And even if the opponent can control it, the block roll is outside of both participant's control. Under the rules for consideration, I disregard this factor in comparison. Actively speaking, having the ability to block more is better as a rule of thumbs (just as dealing more damage is better and taking less damage is better). Baiting which cards can be blocked falls under advanced strategy. Such build that use advanced strategy can safely ignore this list. (Similarly, the build that focusing on taking self dmg shall also ignore this list, as I have mentioned).

    Edit: The entire OP is updated with these complete rules. Feel free to check them out.
     
  7. I like the new rules, although I am not sure whether it would be more useful to disregard attack types (crushing/piercing etc) when evaluating whether attacks are superior. Right now for example Untrained_Impaling vs Novice_Impaling does not make the list, although Novice impaling is quite clearly always better.
     
  8. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre


    It could... but in the campaign it matters, so you may want to take Untrained_Impaling to help with the trees. But it does seem silly to take impaling traits but want blunt damage...
     
  9. progammer

    progammer Ogre

    Update for Test Build 1.37:

    - Halloween items added, results in one more extra inferior items: Skeleton Suit (based from Old Chainmail)
    - Block rules slightly changed, now consider block from different roll value so long as it can be bridged.
    - Added superior cards relationship: Hard to Pin Down > Surging Shield Block

    - New superior-inferior set:
    Shield | Token: (majortoken)
    Slippery Shield > Hawlic's Surging Shield

    Total inferior items (excluding default item): 39
     
    Pilgrim Bailey likes this.
  10. cascades

    cascades Kobold

    Interested to see a list with much less restrictions. Call it almost universally inferior or whatever u want.

    • Have strictly numerically superior values (more dmg, more range, more heal etc...) with the exception of damage value less than 5 vs damage value >= 5 (due to the existence of Desperate Block)
    • Some notable mentions: Icy Block, Anvil Strike, Fiery Stab are not superior than its numerically equivalent cards due to attachment limits. Drawing a card is not optional and can be punished if the deck use a lot of handicaps. Similarly, discard a card is not universally a disadvantage if a handicap card will be discarded. Weakened Armor are not inferior to its armor counterpart due to the fact that it will not trigger from behind, hiding itself similar to a block.
    The dmg argument we already went through before. Everyone would include fiery stab over a equivalent dmg card - No one is going to be like what if the other dude has 30 negative traits. Hiding armor doesn't make as much sense as a block - it doesn't cancel out card/effects, dmg reduction is constant.
     
  11. Gerry Quinn

    Gerry Quinn Goblin Champion

    One comment regarding the original post - a 'universally inferior' item only becomes vendor scraps when there are enough of a superior item to fill all the slots which you might have in a party (up to twelve in the case of Arcane Items).

    So if you have a universally superior item to Arcane Item X, the only logical implication is that you could safely vendor your twelfth X instead of your thirteenth!

    Personally I don't think the concept matters all that much, you go to war with the gear you have, not the gear you'd like to have, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld.
     
  12. Avarice

    Avarice Goblin Champion

    It seems to me whatever list of items is deemed "correct" is going to be full of exceptions based upon card interaction. The better title for the list might be "Generally, Usually Universally Inferior Items Unless Either You Or The Opponent Has Cards That Obviate That Inferiorness".

    To put it another way: There are "rules" of English, but they aren't really rules because there are always exceptions that don't follow along nicely. That's where most of the comments on this thread have focused on. "Well yeah, but..."

    Ultimately item scarcity means that an item almost always has the potential to be useful to someone at some point, even if it's because they're just starting out and a flawed option is better than no option. As a byproduct of that, this feels like a marginally useful excercise to me, but then, it's not my time involved.

    I'm guessing Inferiorness is not a real word, but I think it's fun anyway.
     
  13. progammer

    progammer Ogre


    I tried my best to get rid of these exception and card interaction. For example. The existence of Desperate Blocks turns some 4 dmg attack to be situationally better than 5 dmg attack if your target has 4HP left. So I don't include items that has the dmg difference across 5. There are so many generally better items that is not in this list for this very reason. There will be a point in which you need to enforce a rule, otherwise the kind of "Well yeah but my build plan on taking a lot of dmg and deal as little dmg to my opponent as possible so this didn't apply" will make it pointless. Most of the comments in the early part of the thread has been addressed and complied into a well defined rule. I'm more than welcome to hear any more exceptions that you can think of.

    The early version has much less restriction, but the purpose of the list is not actually about which item you can vendor, its about which item has no purpose being in the game. The primary concept of the list is about diversity, if a card is different than another card in mechanics, it doesnt matter if everyone never use it since its perceived to be weak. The fact that it is different warrants its place in the game.

    I never consider the opponent's card, otherwise it is passive and not under your control. The scenario mentioned is: What if my build has a lot of negative trait, drawing more cards might result in my death if I draw travelling curse. etc... Therefore non-optional drawing is not always better. The scenario for Fiery Stab is when you have a lot of encumbering cards that you do not want fiery stab to push off. (once again, in your control)

    It's not the canceling effect of the block I'm talking about, its about hiding the existence of the card. If you attack someone from behind, you cannot know whether he has a block card or not, because it never trigger. The next time you attack him in the front, you are in doubt. Similarly, if you attack someone else with that armor in the back, it wont reveal, and you will be surprised when you hit him in the front next time. The mechanics is different and warrants its existence.
     
  14. Gerry Quinn

    Gerry Quinn Goblin Champion

    I think cards that are 'universally inferior' to other cards have an equal purpose in the game. For a start, they give the player an improvement he can aspire to (or logically, I suppose, he might choose to keep bad cards to make levels more challenging - but the main purpose is aspiration).

    When thinking about the purpose of cards, consider this: there are many many cards that do damage of a similar kind to others, but larger. Imagine if the game didn't have cards like Squeamish or Desperate Block. Would the developers then have decided that there was no point putting more than one kind of Bash into the game? Or would they have made a full spectrum of weak and strong Bashes
    anyway?

    I do not believe that all the different levels of Bash, Hack etc. owe their existence to edge cases in which it might be better to have a weaker than a stronger attack. They exist because it's good to have many levels, even if some are strictly inferior.
     
  15. progammer

    progammer Ogre

    Cards that strictly inferior is what this game is about, I should have made that clearer, what have no purpose in the game are the items. Because player do not choose card but rather items with cards on them. If they can chose cards, the argument will be much different, what's the point of picking weak bash in the deck ? Items is a combination of card, getting a combination that is uniquely different from other items is the core item design of the game. Such design of item force weak cards into your deck solely because you want some other cards. There are very few item that is universally inferior, as this list has shown. Even changing 1 card in that item around can make them different, and still be weaker.

    The fact that I mentioned inferior cards is simply because it is the foundation to decide inferior items.
     
  16. cascades

    cascades Kobold

    I typed a long post but lost it.

    You have done great work here. The items you listed have 0 business in the game. None whatsoever. Nada.
    I am hoping to see how many items arguably should have no place in the game, and not in value judgement of junk item fashion. Cardhunter's items would look seriously limited if that was the case. The additional rule I would like to propose: If it has an extra mechanic YOU control, it is stronger.

    So icy block is not considered but fiery stab is. Try making a deck in which fiery stab is inferior to a numerically 6 attack. You can't.

    As for weakened armor, you will be surprised with FLAT dmg reduction armor when you attack from the front instead of from the back. It is a severe edge case that YOU can't control. (Unless you expose your back to the enemy intentionally, which is stupid)

    Are they universally inferior? Nope. Are they almost universally inferior such that no one would use it at all in any deck? Yes.

    Separate rant: I am not even talking about optimal decks here. Icy block might as well be superior to a block with the same values (let's call it AB) but without the icy attachment. If you make a deck in which icy block somehow is inferior to a block with same values, you have failed deck construction. And would such a bad player be using AB instead of the cooler icy block(pun intended)? No. So would anyone use a item with icy block over AB? No.
     
  17. Gerry Quinn

    Gerry Quinn Goblin Champion

    I don't really see why there should not be universally inferior items in the game. Maybe one could argue that it is more elegant to not have any, since there are relatively few. But at the end of the day a good item is still a good item, even if there is a better one that you have not got.
     
  18. progammer

    progammer Ogre

    Test Build 1.39 + 1.40:

    - Halloween items flagged with noLoot (together with The Goldleaf Blade)

    - Changed Unholy Power to Demonic Power:
    => Added new superior card relations: Demonic Power > Demonic Feedback

    - No changes to superior-inferior item sets.
     
  19. ChosenUndead

    ChosenUndead Kobold

  20. progammer

    progammer Ogre

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