Book 2 – Text Updates 052

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Oberon » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:59 pm

Chit Rule Railroad wrote:Was there a hint somewhere that the Arkentools were left behind by "accident"?
Given that these are the "fat Elvis" titans, it's very possible that they were high on speed and forgot to take their tools with them...
Kreistor wrote:One thing a lot of people miss is the true meaning of "bubble kingdom". A bubble kingdom is a kingdom that can exist without attacking it's neighbours. (Some people misinterpret it as a kingdom that can hide from everyone.)
That's actually not the definition of a bubble kingdom. FAQ was called a bubble kingdom, and very much needed to send Jillian and other forces out to act as hired mercenaries in order to make their upkeep. I don't think this is canon, but I do not believe that a philosopher king who was attempting to keep his 3 cities hidden would have allowed Jillian to roll out with a bunch of units and potentially expose their existence to any other side.
oslecamo2_temp wrote:-Wanda surviving very dangerous falls twice by now.
The first fall: So, you're saying that Wanda was lucky to have been attacked within the confines of the capitol and last city of her side, and to have been knocked off of her mount and incapacitated by the fall, requiring a healing scroll to survive the turn? Really?
The second fall: So, you're saying that Wanda was lucky to have been trapped by heretofore unknown turn ending magics within the arc of fire of enemy archers and casters enough to eliminate her air force, to have her CWL determine that the sole hope for survival is to croak the dwagons of that air force and fall to the ground, risking both death by fall and exposure to all of the remaining forces of that enemy? Really?

That word you keep using (luck), I do not believe that it means what you think it means.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:41 pm

Oberon wrote:That's actually not the definition of a bubble kingdom. FAQ was called a bubble kingdom, and very much needed to send Jillian and other forces out to act as hired mercenaries in order to make their upkeep. I don't think this is canon, but I do not believe that a philosopher king who was attempting to keep his 3 cities hidden would have allowed Jillian to roll out with a bunch of units and potentially expose their existence to any other side.


Valid point. It wasn't a completely successful bubble.

And I think I know why. We know from the Intermission that units increase in upkeep as they level. So while you may pop only what you can afford to start, over time, those units are going to need more and more, so you grow and grow until you can't afford the upkeep of what you've got, at which point you either have to be immoral and disband units to summon cheaper ones, or find a new source of income.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Lamech » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:45 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Oberon wrote:And I think I know why. We know from the Intermission that units increase in upkeep as they level.
What where does this come from exactly? I don't remember this from the summer updates... link?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:56 pm

Lamech wrote:
Kreistor wrote:And I think I know why. We know from the Intermission that units increase in upkeep as they level.
What where does this come from exactly? I don't remember this from the summer updates... link?


http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png

It's a little subtle. The information is presented out of order.

What did Charlie want? Money. More money, more reach, more security, more information. Archons were expensive units, costing a minimum of two hundred Shmuckers per turn for the weakest. The strongest were closer to five hundred. Everything Charlie did seemed to be in support of growing a larger and larger fleet of Archons. Not one of them could remember him stating any kind of ideology or purpose beyond that.


What was an Archon, really? A flying knight-class unit with a random special from the set of: dance fighting, leadership, and limited forms of Shockmancy, Thinkamancy, Dollamancy and Foolamancy. As Archons leveled, they could gain additional random specials from that set. There were four of them with the dance fighting, leadership and Foolamancy abilities at the Battle for Gobwin Knob, and these were able to lead the Coalition's dance fight. Charlescomm did not volunteer this strategy, but Ansom knew to ask.


From the first question, one might think that "stronger" units are simply naturally more talented, but we know that Archons gain power (and therefore strength) as they level.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Lamech » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:23 pm

Kreistor wrote:From the first question, one might think that "stronger" units are simply naturally more talented, but we know that Archons gain power (and therefore strength) as they level.
Strength could be a bunch of things. Natural talent, level, raw attack and defense, specials or a combination. I don't think the first three really fit by themselves for archons since the main deal with them is the whole "bunch of special powers" shtick. And from the quote I think you agree that their main strength is the specials. And furthermore it seemed to mean that "they could gain additional random" means that it isn't automatic upon level up just something that might happen. So that would imply that two different archons of the same level could have different numbers of specials, and therefore different strength. More generally a lot of stats must be random. The specials that warlords get for example. Even base stats: if those were set Ansom would have instantly realized Jillian was a princess due to her overly high stats.

The upshot if this is (at least for archons) that level correlates with upkeep. But the direct cause of the higher upkeep would be the specials or increased strength. So you could have one archons with a higher upkeep and a lower level than another archon. Also most other units don't seem to gain specials with level ups (even archons will run out eventually), they might lack an increase in the rate of upkeep or have a slower rate of upkeep. Also the archons still do have a max upkeep, so no silly indefinitely increasing upkeep.

Finally if specials ARE the source of the high upkeep... Mr. I'm a warlord with an upkeep of over 1000 has some explaining to do.


Summary: The word is strength not level, and they likely do not agree exactly. If that can indeed be generalized to other units they likely don't increase in strength as quickly as the archons due to the lack of specials. Finally even the archons don't increase upkeep much past two and a half fold.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:00 pm

Lamech wrote:And furthermore it seemed to mean that "they could gain additional random" means that it isn't automatic upon level up just something that might happen.


If it had said "randomly gain specials on leveling", I'd agree with you. However, the exact language is of the update is:
A flying knight-class unit with a random special from the set of: dance fighting, leadership, and limited forms of Shockmancy, Thinkamancy, Dollamancy and Foolamancy. As Archons leveled, they could gain additional random specials from that set.
I believe this means that a level X Archon will have X specials from that set (and no other specials such as Fabrication), but there's no way to predict which. Theoretically, a level 6 Archon would have all six of those specials, unless they can get the same special twice. (Which might have an effect similar to a caster leveling, but I'm not sure about that one.)
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:15 pm

Healing Master has it. The wording suggests one random special is gained at each level rather than each level the unit may gain a special.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Oberon » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:31 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Lamech wrote:
Kreistor wrote:And I think I know why. We know from the Intermission that units increase in upkeep as they level.
What where does this come from exactly? I don't remember this from the summer updates... link?
http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2009-archive/?px=%2FE046_NoIllustration.png
Also, even adding specials adds to upkeep costs.
Book 2 - Text 44
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Lamech » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:34 pm

The.Healing.Mage wrote:
Lamech wrote:And furthermore it seemed to mean that "they could gain additional random" means that it isn't automatic upon level up just something that might happen.


If it had said "randomly gain specials on leveling", I'd agree with you. However, the exact language is of the update is:
A flying knight-class unit with a random special from the set of: dance fighting, leadership, and limited forms of Shockmancy, Thinkamancy, Dollamancy and Foolamancy. As Archons leveled, they could gain additional random specials from that set.
I believe this means that a level X Archon will have X specials from that set (and no other specials such as Fabrication), but there's no way to predict which. Theoretically, a level 6 Archon would have all six of those specials, unless they can get the same special twice. (Which might have an effect similar to a caster leveling, but I'm not sure about that one.)

I think the word "could" implies uncertainty. Compare "they gain additional random specials from that set" to "they could gain additional random specials from that set". "Could" implies that as the archons level they might not get anything. IIRC there was a similar discussion about Trem using "could" to describe GK's ability to crush the coalition without the dwagon airforce. Some people argued that it meant if GK decided to GK would defeat them, and others argued that if GK fought without the dwagon air-force they might win.
For example "Penicillin can cure pneumonia." Would you argue that this is incorrect? Yet sometimes Penicillin can fail to cure pneumonia. So I would argue that a special is not guaranteed for an archon upon level up. And indeed it seems impossible for an archon to automatically gain a special each level if they hit 7.

And good catch Oberon. Point is I think upkeep is caused by "strength" (be that specials, stats, whatever), not actually level. Archons probably get strength a lot faster due to specials, and even so they don't even really triple their upkeep.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:39 pm

The semantic argument is irrelevant. If you believe that strength = specials, and specials = levels, regardless whether you think specials come every, or on random, levels, upkeep is a function of level.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Oberon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:00 am

Lamech wrote:I think the word "could" implies uncertainty. Compare "they gain additional random specials from that set" to "they could gain additional random specials from that set".
Ok, I loves me some deconstruction. We seem to have two possibilities presented:
1) Archons pop with one special from amongst their possible specials, and gain another every time they level;
2) Archons pop with one special from amongst their possible specials, and have a chance to gain another every time they level.

Agreed?
If agreed, I believe that both models could easily fit Charlie's archon forces at TBfGK. We just don't know what level each archon was, nor what specials it possessed.

What kinda blows my mind here is this: Parson had to provide Charlie with an accurate answer to the question "how many additional Archons [above 14] [Charlie] would need [to] take [the GK] garrison before [the GK] turn starts [in the next turn]." Since archons have variable specials, and can level, it becomes an interesting speculation as to exactly what parameters Parson needed to use to calculate the odds with:
1) Base archon L1 stats with random specials;
2) Some estimation of the mean level and special load of Charlie's archon forces;
3) An exact calculation based upon Charlie's current archon forces and their current levels and specials.

The bracer, assuming certain conditions on the veracity of the answers it must give, can be the source of exacting knowledge about any side.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Lamech » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:57 am

Oberon wrote:
Lamech wrote:I think the word "could" implies uncertainty. Compare "they gain additional random specials from that set" to "they could gain additional random specials from that set".
Ok, I loves me some deconstruction. We seem to have two possibilities presented:
1) Archons pop with one special from amongst their possible specials, and gain another every time they level;
2) Archons pop with one special from amongst their possible specials, and have a chance to gain another every time they level.

Agreed?
If agreed, I believe that both models could easily fit Charlie's archon forces at TBfGK. We just don't know what level each archon was, nor what specials it possessed.
Yup. :)
What kinda blows my mind here is this: Parson had to provide Charlie with an accurate answer to the question "how many additional Archons [above 14] [Charlie] would need [to] take [the GK] garrison before [the GK] turn starts [in the next turn]." Since archons have variable specials, and can level, it becomes an interesting speculation as to exactly what parameters Parson needed to use to calculate the odds with:
1) Base archon L1 stats with random specials;
2) Some estimation of the mean level and special load of Charlie's archon forces;
3) An exact calculation based upon Charlie's current archon forces and their current levels and specials.

The bracer, assuming certain conditions on the veracity of the answers it must give, can be the source of exacting knowledge about any side.
Oh yeah, that does demonstrate a lot of power. Although I'm not sure where the bracer culls its info from. At the very least it must be able to calculate things like odds of getting each special, rate of xp gain, and an bunch of other things that Erfworlders don't know about. (presumably) I wonder if Parson could figure out the mechanics of Erfworld by asking the bracer questions. Asking "If the newly popped Bob killed X newly popped unit type Y with stats Z, what is the chance of him leveling?" and Parson can unravel the exact amount of XP for everything. Figure out if you can farm casters by say having them "turn" barbarian, figure out if you can farm... the possibilities are endless even if the bracer just knows the mechanics of Erfworld.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:21 am

Oberon wrote:The bracer, assuming certain conditions on the veracity of the answers it must give, can be the source of exacting knowledge about any side.


It can make sophisticated predictions about the future. The present can't be that hard.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby ftl » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:32 pm

The.Healing.Mage wrote:
Oberon wrote:The bracer, assuming certain conditions on the veracity of the answers it must give, can be the source of exacting knowledge about any side.


It can make sophisticated predictions about the future. The present can't be that hard.


They're two very different things.

Seeing the present as it is requires, well, seeing. You have to know the current state of the world, see things that are far away, etc.

The bracer does mathamancy, not predictamancy. It gives odds. This requires perfect extrapolation and calculation, but NOT NECESSARILY perfect knowledge. Odds are, by definition, some sort of average over uncertainty. If I say "there's an 80% chance of X happening", that means that in 8 out of 10 situations like this current one, X will happen.

This uncertainty can come from many different places.

For example, if I say I'm going to flip a fair coin, you'll agree that the coin has a 50% chance of coming up heads, and a 50% chance of coming up tails. This uncertainty is inherent in the universe right now - the coin hasn't been flipped, it might end up as one or the other.

If I flip a coin and quickly cover it up with a cup before anyone sees it, and someone asks me what's the chance that it's heads under that cup, I'd also say 50%. But in this case, the coin has already been flipped under there - there's no uncertainty in the physical universe over whether it's heads or tails, the uncertainty is purely in the mind of the observer.

Same thing with the bracer. We can be sure that it does perfect *mathamancy* - it uses the information it has available to make the best possible odds calculations. But it's not a lookamancy artifact. There's little reason to believe that it has perfect information about the present.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby cmptrwz » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:17 pm

But, might the bracer need to know the present to predict the future? The bracer may need to be able to tap into everything going on right then in order to extrapolate the future, and the only limitation on accessing this ability is knowing what questions to ask.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Kreistor » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:19 pm

The truth is that we have no idea how Parson is inputting his questions to the bracer, and until that has been expounded on, it is still undefined. He may have drop down menus to select unit type, a range of levels, averages, weighted averages, and a host of other options. Speculation is not going to answer this question.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby drachefly » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm

It could also have some reasonable defaults. For example, it could add archons with the same distribution of levels and abilities as those already present. Also, keep in mind that at that time they had the table up (or had very recently. It's possible the bracer was able to take information from that.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Oberon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:45 pm

ftl wrote:Same thing with the bracer. We can be sure that it does perfect *mathamancy* - it uses the information it has available to make the best possible odds calculations. But it's not a lookamancy artifact. There's little reason to believe that it has perfect information about the present.
I agree, sorta. But to take a line from Dinosaur Comics (try it, you'll like it!) balls are still tripped.

Depending on the option which applies to the predictions, the bracer may indeed have "perfect information about the present." If, in order to give a valid calculation, the bracer had to factor in Charlie's current archon forces and their current levels and specials, then it does have a subset of "perfect information about the present." In fact, for any present information which is able to be phrased as a query to the bracer, it will have "perfect information about the present." Say Parson wants to know what color panties Maggie is wearing (eye bleach for some I'm sure, but that gleam in her eye when Parson was postulating about his ability as CWL to order a unit, any unit, to drop to their knees and pleasure him was revealing to me of Maggie's secret hopes and desires. :lol: ). Ok, if Maggie has 10 pairs of differently colored panties (7 of which are rockin' thongs!) then the bracer, if it has no knowledge of the present should return a % based upon all possible colors of panties in Erfworld. But if it has limited knowledge of the present it should return a 10% chance for any given color. If, ignoring Erfworlds awesome feature of doing all of your laundry for you each morning, 3 of those pairs were awaiting the wash, then the chance should be expressed as ~14% if the bracer knows of that state and therefore has perfect information about the present. In fact, Parson could determine exactly which case is in effect by running the calculation and then asking (or ordering, because that's how she likes it) Maggie to burn some number of her panties and either change or not change into a different pair, and not tell him how many pairs were burned or if she changed. Then Parson runs his calculation again on the color she is wearing, receives the chance, and works out the knowledge of the bracer by comparing the percentage to the sample set. If the % did not change even though some pairs were burned, then the calculation is based off of the total set of panty colors available in Erfworld. If the % did change Parson should be able to calculate whether that change was in line with her current available panty colors, and determine what sort of information the bracer operates from. And as thanks to Maggie for her invaluable assistance in his research he removes her panties and gives her a thorough tongue lashing. He needed to see them after all, to validate their color. :o :shock: :lol:
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Oberon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:56 pm

Kreistor wrote:The truth is that we have no idea how Parson is inputting his questions to the bracer, and until that has been expounded on, it is still undefined. He may have drop down menus to select unit type, a range of levels, averages, weighted averages, and a host of other options. Speculation is not going to answer this question.
Drop down menus would allow Parson to "cook the books", and present just about any answer he wanted to present. Unless Charlie is a fool, and he hasn't been presented as such, then Parson won't be able to use sly tactics that result in him providing false information. And Parson's conversation with Wanda over the deal indicates that the answers will be true and accurate, or Parson wouldn't have felt "played" and would be crowing about how well he played Charlie.

With drop down variable inputs, Charlie's first two calculations could have gone like this:
Charlie: Are 14 archons enough to take the GK garrison before their next turn begins?
Parson: No.
Charlie: Ok, then. How many additional archons will I need to take the GK garrison before their next turn begins?
Parson: -5. (that's a negative 5, based upon Parson selecting 1st level archons with 1 special each from the drops downs on the first question, forcing the "no", and selcting level 25 archons with 25 specials each from the drops downs on the second question and getting a result of 9.)
Charlie: Huh?

No, if "drop downs" are a part of the bracer's operations, then they must be made available to Charlie to set and not Parson, for sold calculations.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Kreistor » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:29 pm

Kreistor wrote:The truth is that we have no idea how Parson is inputting his questions to the bracer, and until that has been expounded on, it is still undefined.


Oberon wrote:Drop down menus would allow Parson to "cook the books", and present just about any answer he wanted to present.


Any input method could permit that, since Charlie has to rely on Parson to read the results. Even if Parson input everything correctly, he can still lie about the results, except...

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F103.jpg

"I'm magically bound to give him twelve battlefield evaluations, whenever he wants."

Parson has accepted a Thinkamancy spell of some sort that forces him to go through with the deal. If you think that Charlie wouldn't include accurate casting and reporting in that spell, then you severely underestimate Charlie.
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