Wishlist ~Counter spell~

Summary: In this “Wishlist” series, I will be discussing a features/concepts/mechanics that I feel like EOJ should have or want it to have in the future to make the game even more exciting, and eventually make the EOJ to be the best CCG that exist.  Although I often try to use some facts to backup my reasonings, this series are nothing but pure hope that I have and nothing in this series is official. But who knows maybe someday..  In this first of series, I will talk about “Counter Spell.”

What is counterspell?
Counterspell is “instant” in the Magic the Gathering. They are the spells that a player can use at anytime, which include even during your opponent’s turn.

Why counterspell?
This feature will allow the game to be more dynamic because even during your turn, there are things you opponent can do to you. Or alternatively, even during your opponent’s turn there are things you can do.  So we will never get bored again by staring at opponent’s making moves.

Example scenario using counterspell:
Player 1: Summoned 4th allied creature on the board. With one creature having only 1 health left, but it is adjacent to your own creatures and opponent’s non-morphed Green Lycanthrope (attack power of 0).

Player 2: No Magic attack creature in hand nor on the field, but has Clairwil Banner.

With the current version of Eye of Judgment i.e. no counterspell, Player 2 uses his Banner on the Lycanthrope and attacks your 1 health creature and destroys it.

However, if there is counterspell in the game following can take place.

Player 2: Uses Banner

Player 1: Sees Player 2 used banner on the Green Lycantrope. (But at this point, the Lycanthrope has not attacked his 1 health creature yet.)

The game gives control back to Player 1 as if you were asked to discard your cards from your hand during opponent’s turn. Let’s say about 30 seconds is what you get.

Player 1: Gets option to either cancel, or use a counterspell if he has it in his hand. In this case, fortunately Player 1 did have a counterspell to give a + 2 protection & + 2 attack to one of his creature. So he decided to use it.

Player 2: Sees the use of counterspell. Without taking any action, his precious Green Lycanthrope not only unable to damage and destroy target creature, but will also be destroyed due to the opponent’s counter attack. So he decided to use another Banner that he had in his hand.

Player 1: Receives another choice of whether to use counterspell or not. In this case, player 1 no longer has any counterspell in his hand, thus just cancelled his turn.

Player 2: Successfully destroys target creature.

Stack System:
The above scenario uses the concept called stack, which is used in Magic the Gathering. It simply means you pile up spell cards in the order they were used. So above case would look like

Top: Second Banner
Giant (a spell that gives +2 on protection and +2 on attack)
Bottom: First Banner

Once all spells and counterspells are casted, spells will start to execute from top to bottom. So Second Banner +2 attack to Player 2’s creature, Giant +2 protection to Player 1’s creature, then finally First Banner +2 attack (total 4) to Player 2’s creature and the Lycanthrope attacks.

This system will allow cool spell battle between players.

Is it possible to implement this in EOJ?
Couple issues including counterspell in the EOJ.

1) Limiting # of spell cards per deck.
Unlike Magic, EOJ has limited spell cards that be placed in a competitive deck.  This is due to the fact that the goal of the game is to occupy 5 fields, which uses creatures; therefore, spell cards which only supplement the game but do not actually occupy any field will have limited space in a deck. Currently, ideal number is said to be somewhere between 4-6 cards per deck for spells.

However, it is now known that in the Set.2, there will be spell and creature’s ability to restore your library. So I think it is reasonable to add spells to destroy opponent’s library in the future.  If such spell becomes available, then one can focus on winning the game by out decking your opponent’s rather than occupying 5 fields. This allows the player to include many more spells in his deck.  Thus, the issue of not enough spells in a deck to have spell battle will be resolved.

2) Wait time during online mode.
I can definitely see some people might think this is a major issue with counter spell concept.  First, if counterspell is implemented there has to be some rule to it. Rules such as, you can only counter opponent’s spell but not reactivation of creatures or summoning a creature.  This way you do not switch focus every move your opponent’s make.  Perhaps, you can also make certain types of spell that cannot be countered like Socery spells.  This further limits the # of cards that can be target of the counter.

Once these rules have been established, the game has to treat every spell that can potentially be countered in the same manner. This means whether computer already know that Player 1 does not have counterspell in his hand or not, computer should still give an option to the player 1 to counterspell.  Otherwise, player 2 will immediately know that player 1 does not have any counterspell in his hand.

Giving a choice to a player to counter is just as giving a choice to discard a card except I would give a bit longer time to think.  Something like 30 seconds should be long enough. If it is your turn and you were to counter the counterspell, just as in discard situation, the time should come from 3 minutes that you get for your turn.

So I would argue for those people who would say switching between players is too much hassle, because it is already in the game as the way of discarding.

What is the probability that this will be implemented in the future?
It’s unforunate that I already know this functionality will not be included in the Set.2.  I have asked about this on the SCEA Marketing Manger’s Blog and he replied me back saying he has not seen anything like it in the Set.2.

However, as I have shown in this article, it is perfectly implementable in the game of Eye of Judgment.  I strongly believe this concept will make the game much more dynamic and exciting.  So who knows maybe in the Set.3…

I predict the probability that counter spell will be introduced in the Set.3 as 40%.

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