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01-22-2013, 01:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,159
Is it possible to win ALL battles WITHOUT losing any point from ALL of your VIPs and without using the store?

I am beginning to think that this is mathematically not possible.

For example, for Level 11, I counted the number of "turns" it takes for the monsters to amount an attack for Wave 1, Wave 2, and Wave 3. The number of turns needed for the monsters to attack is far less than the number of turns necessary for you to trade up your army to be strong enough to wipe out the entire enemy wave before it attacks. The only way to get around this is if somehow, by chance, you get many (and many) tiles of upgraded units (not the lowest units) so that you can trade up to high powered units quickly. However, if the majority of the units you get is the lowest unit, it is mathematically not possible for you to upgrade fast enough to eliminate ALL of the waves without any monster from any wave firing at least one shot at your VIP.

Can the developer comment on this? Is the battle winnable this way?
01-22-2013, 02:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by y2kmp3 View Post
Is it possible to win ALL battles WITHOUT losing any point from ALL of your VIPs and without using the store?
Not sure I understand your question. All the levels are completable (and have been completed) without using any stock items at all.
This is besides the point though, as stock items are a part of the game (which is why you earn them as you progress, and can earn them at any time via endless mode), due to the fact the game is inherently random (the next piece is randomly chosen), and so each time you play a level it will be different from the last (maybe more lucky, maybe less).

Furthermore, there are several abilities that the defenders possess that stop the enemy from successfully attacking the VIPs (or even heal the VIP) - this is all part of the gameplay.

01-22-2013, 02:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,159
Sorry about this. It is kinda hard to explain. Let me be more specific.

One of the criteria by which you are scored is the VIPs' health. Naturally, it leads me to question whether or not it is possible to pass EACH level with ALL of the VIPs' health still FULL. If it is possible, then a natural extension of this question is to ask whether or not it is possible to pass EACH level without ever getting ANY of the VIPs injured. This latter condition is obviously more difficult to achieve, as it means that NONE of the offense monsters must be allowed to get off a shot. It requires very aggressive attack plan on the monsters to succeed.

For earlier levels, I was able to win using this "constrained" strategy. Then, beginning with Level 11, I had not been able to do so. Being curious, I recorded the number of turns it took for the monsters to attack with each wave. I then tried to determine if it would be possible to trade-up your units fast enough, taking the same number of turns, to units powerful enough to wipe out the enemies before any of them could attack. The answer I found so far was no. Thus, the enemies in that level appeared to be stacked in such a way that your VIPs would always get hurt (a bit) even if you were to play a perfect game. The only exception to this is that somehow by chance you are given so many high-powered units that you can stack up quickly.

In your own testing, have you tried playing the game using this extreme constraint? I guess I want to know if I can push the game to its limit when playing with this strategy. The game is very winnable if the VIP can tolerate some injuries. I am asking if the same game is winnable with these special conditions (without using the store, of course).



Quote:
Originally Posted by formulae View Post
Not sure I understand your question. All the levels are completable (and have been completed) without using any stock items at all.
This is besides the point though, as stock items are a part of the game (which is why you earn them as you progress, and can earn them at any time via endless mode), due to the fact the game is inherently random (the next piece is randomly chosen), and so each time you play a level it will be different from the last (maybe more lucky, maybe less).

Furthermore, there are several abilities that the defenders possess that stop the enemy from successfully attacking the VIPs (or even heal the VIP) - this is all part of the gameplay.
01-22-2013, 06:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by y2kmp3 View Post
Sorry about this. It is kinda hard to explain. Let me be more specific.

...The answer I found so far was no. Thus, the enemies in that level appeared to be stacked in such a way that your VIPs would always get hurt (a bit) even if you were to play a perfect game. The only exception to this is that somehow by chance you are given so many high-powered units that you can stack up quickly.
Okay, I think I understand your reasoning.

You're not taking into account all the variables though - for instance the Warlord (present in level 11, incidentally), has an attack which blinds enemies, making it possible to vastly reduce the odds of a VIP getting hit even if an enemy does perform their action. There are several such mechanics at play in the game, which all form part of the gameplay.

Also, if the sample size is low you can't really conclude anything, as each level is variable in the amount of luck from playthrough-to-playthrough.

I can tell you its possible (and has been done) to 3-star all the levels without using any stock items, but I can also promise you that its not easy ;D
01-22-2013, 08:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,159
Thanks for the explanation. You raised a good point. Indeed, I had not mentioned other "chance" elements such as the Warlord spell to decrease the chance of a VIP hit. On the other hand, I wonder if the game is winnable by always being able to kill the enemy before its turn-count reaches zero. If so, then the blindness effect is largely irrelevant.

Is there somewhere I can find out by what cutoffs you are using for "star" rating in each of the three criteria? Right now, sometimes I would finish a level thinking I was doing good only to find out that I got half a star for "highest tier unit" or "turn taken". Right now, I have no idea how far or close I am.

Lastly, how come some levels (such as level 2) do not have bonus items even when I have scored three stars?

In all, notwithstanding my nitpick, I am very impressed by how much depth there is in the gameplay The way you have combined match-3 mechanics with turn-based strategy elements is brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by formulae View Post
Okay, I think I understand your reasoning.

You're not taking into account all the variables though - for instance the Warlord (present in level 11, incidentally), has an attack which blinds enemies, making it possible to vastly reduce the odds of a VIP getting hit even if an enemy does perform their action. There are several such mechanics at play in the game, which all form part of the gameplay.

Also, if the sample size is low you can't really conclude anything, as each level is variable in the amount of luck from playthrough-to-playthrough.

I can tell you its possible (and has been done) to 3-star all the levels without using any stock items, but I can also promise you that its not easy ;D
01-23-2013, 06:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by y2kmp3 View Post
Thanks for the explanation.

Is there somewhere I can find out by what cutoffs you are using for "star" rating in each of the three criteria?

Lastly, how come some levels (such as level 2) do not have bonus items even when I have scored three stars?

In all, notwithstanding my nitpick, I am very impressed by how much depth there is in the gameplay The way you have combined match-3 mechanics with turn-based strategy elements is brilliant.
No worries.

This information isn't visible in the game right now, it's planned for the next update though.

Not sure about that star thing - sounds like a bug. Did you upgrade the game from 1.0 or begin new with the latest version?

Thanks! Glad you enjoy it
01-23-2013, 08:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,159
Great to hear.

I just found out the update. Restarted the game and the star bug is now gone and the bonus item now returns too.

This is, by far, the most intense (thought-provoking) match-3 game variant I have ever played. I have to plan so far ahead to make sure that the units all collapse to the proper position to trade-up. When you get up to 4-5 levels deeper, it is very easy to make a mistake.

Have you given thoughts to an undo button (just a single undo will suffice)?

Also, for Level 14, the enemy mage that hastens attack to the next turn comes on VERY EARLY in the level. So far, this makes it impossible to avoid an enemy attack on your VIP, since you simply don't have enough action points to kill off the mage or BOTH of the eye monsters before either attacks? Does this "impossible" situation make my chase of the goal of completing the level without an enemy hurting my VIP also impossible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by formulae View Post
No worries.

This information isn't visible in the game right now, it's planned for the next update though.

Not sure about that star thing - sounds like a bug. Did you upgrade the game from 1.0 or begin new with the latest version?

Thanks! Glad you enjoy it

Last edited by y2kmp3; 01-23-2013 at 08:49 AM.
01-23-2013, 04:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by y2kmp3 View Post
This is, by far, the most intense (thought-provoking) match-3 game variant I have ever played. I have to plan so far ahead to make sure that the units all collapse to the proper position to trade-up. When you get up to 4-5 levels deeper, it is very easy to make a mistake.

Have you given thoughts to an undo button (just a single undo will suffice)?

Also, for Level 14, the enemy mage that hastens attack to the next turn comes on VERY EARLY in the level. So far, this makes it impossible to avoid an enemy attack on your VIP, since you simply don't have enough action points to kill off the mage or BOTH of the eye monsters before either attacks? Does this "impossible" situation make my chase of the goal of completing the level without an enemy hurting my VIP also impossible?
Yeah it gets more intense as you progress ;D Some of the late levels can be very unforgiving!

Going to trial an undo button for the next version. Only problem is (aside from lack of UI space) what to do with the currently-issued unit? Because if you undo, it will have to re-issue you the previous unit you placed. It might upset gameplay, so I'll have to test it, but I'm hoping to add it.

Not sure re/ Lv14, I'd have to play it again. No doubt if you get lucky it can certainly be done.
01-24-2013, 12:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,159
Yes, please try out and let me know about this for Level 14.

I have since been able to complete the level (only once, after about 150 restarts (no kidding, really)) without using the shop and without ever getting my VIP hit. However, I now run into another problem. The number of turns it took was too high, yielding only half a for the "turns taken". That level was literally well played (i.e., minimize wasted moves). When you mentioned that you can complete the level WITHOUT the shop, do you mean that the level can be completed with 3-star rating for this level too?

Having played a lot of similar strategy type games, I am beginning to wonder if there is too much optimization, narrowing too much the window of winning strategies to allow the player to be creative. Any deviation yields a penalty one way or another. Reminds of me the initial version of Fieldrunners 2, with excessive optimization that made the game punishingly difficult.



Quote:
Originally Posted by formulae View Post
Not sure re/ Lv14, I'd have to play it again. No doubt if you get lucky it can certainly be done.

Last edited by y2kmp3; 01-24-2013 at 01:43 AM.
01-24-2013, 12:46 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Burlingame CA
Posts: 2,387
I haven't gotten that far, but personally I'd say it's better if you can't beat all the levels without taking damage.

Last edited by LordGek; 01-24-2013 at 08:49 AM.