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chaoticset (2105)

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JAPH. (That's right -- I'm not Really Inexperienced any more.)

I'm not just here, I'm here [], and here [] too, I ramble randomly in my philosophical blog [] and my other blog []. Soon I'll come in a convenient six-pack.

Journal of chaoticset (2105)

Saturday March 22, 2003
03:53 PM


[ #11174 ]
Because I'm not all that bright, I've started to toy with the idea of playing Magic: The Gathering again. (And if you don't know what it is, DON'T CLICK THE LINK! RUN! PRETEND YOU NEVER HEARD OF IT!)

Anyway, because I can never quite manage to half-ass something, I'm toying with the notion of going full tilt bozo on this back-into-Magic crap and actually doing something I swore to myself that I would learn how to do years ago. (This thing I don't want to name yet is part of the original impetus for me to start learning Perl in earnest, so I guess it's only fair that I have descended back to attempt to solve the problem again.)

Okay, I'll shut up about all this meta-whining and get to the whining. The form that Magic card text takes is now standardized, meaning that there are often-repeated structures, there are singular structures that can be extrapolated from smaller structures, etc. (There's a term for a system like this, but it escapes me at the moment.) What I wanted to attempt was to write a parser that would attempt to locate extremely powerful/efficient cards and automatically filter out the weaklings. The hope of this is that -- with a filtered list of the most powerful cards -- an expert system could be written that you feed characteristics and cardlists into and it produces a prototype deck.

This shouldn't be impossible, honestly. Provided with a list of powerful cards that can do X, Y, and Z in any combination, and with the rules about how X, Y, and Z affect win conditions, it should be possible to write an expert system that produces decks from cardlists.

The problems that crop up are the kinds of problems that make a person's mind think back to a Dirty Harry quote: "A man's got to know his limitations." Which is to say that I'm nowhere near experienced enough to write the code necessary for something like this. First, I have to write an expert system, and that's in the "no damn clue" category. I barely know what they do.

Second, I'd have to figure out how to build lexical parsers, and while I have a vague notion of what a lexical parser is, I don't have a faint clue how to write one.

I'm seriously considering posting at perlmonks and seeing if anybody there can assist me with either the lexical analysis part of this or the expert system portion. That, or see if I can somehow learn enough all on my own to do this.

Again, though -- this isn't for school, this isn't for work, and this isn't for anything but my twisted, twisted M:TG needs. It has sub-zero priority, but it holds my interest.

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  • Okay. Each card needs to be assigned a power rating based on what resources it provides you (with turns and cards being king, then life and creatures, and lands and abstract concepts last, say.) These power ratings allow the cards to be ranked effectively and the least powerful 20% or so chopped off to decrease incoming info for the expert system.

    That, or I could just let the expert system sort it out on the way. It's going to be a slow thing no matter what (note to self -- check back in the Wolf book


    You are what you think.
  • I quit playing MTG tournaments over two years ago and haven't looked back since. I sold almost all of my "money" cards, and kept a few (mostly all-common) decks around to play against friends from time to time. I had several reasons for quitting the tournament scene:
    • Cheating - rampant. Some players were eventually brazen enough to even brag about it. Mostly it consisted of shuffling tricks and digging cards out of the graveyard.
    • Sportmanship - see the previous point. This was especially bad among the
    • I kept Clone and Doppleganger cuz they're so pretty. I kept a favorite bruise deck just for kicks. I gave the rest to friends' kids. The cards pretty much sucked after Revised anyway.

      • Vesuvan Doppelganger was the first rare I ever got in a pack.

        I know it sounds corny, but I felt something wonderful right then, finding this card I had heard about and read about and seen pictures of and wished I could get in a pack. It wasn't like I was pouring money into the game at that point, I just happened to pick up a pack. It was maybe the fifth booster I ever bought, if memory serves.

        I do realize that tournaments -- especially the big ones -- aren't my purview. I also realize that competitiv


        You are what you think.