I’ve decided to open up the Castle AI Pick Report pages and the Feature Voting pages for everyone to view. It will still only be possible for Champions to comment and vote on these items but I see no reason why everyone shouldn’t be able to see what is going on.
Today I’d like to take a bit of a look at what people have been writing on those pages and provide my own thoughts. So to start off with let’s address a few common themes in Castle AI Pick Reports. You can view these here:
- Untagged Cards are undervalued by the AI. Simply put if a card is not tagged, the AI doesn’t know how to evaluate it from a Strategy point of view. If you see powerful cards right down the bottom of the pick order, then please click on the card name to see if it has any Approved Tags. If it doesn’t then the AI won’t evaluate it correctly just yet. Once a card has been categorised by 10 Users it is marked for approval so if there is a particular card that you would like to be approved then please help out by suggesting some tags on that cards’ own page, e.g. http://www.cubetutor.com/card/1/23482. You can also tag random cards through the Categoriser (www.cubetutor.com/categoriser). Examples of this issue:
- Cards that are missing SOME tags are drafted incorrectly. For example in Report 9 (http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/castleai/pickdecisionreport/9) the fix will be to add the ‘Cares About (Creature)’ tag to Mother of Runes. If you take a look at the Strategy Guide you will see that Control does not favour this particular tag on a card. By adding the tag, a Castle AI bot drafting a Control Deck will no longer value this card so highly. Some other examples of this
- The AI isn’t bulletproof at detecting Combos just yet. Essentially it detects combos using a threshold on the “Two Way Synergy” between two cards. Synergy itself is a measure of the pick ratio (pick count / pass count) for any two given cards, but it is directional i.e. “If I have Voltaic Key and I then pick Time Vault” is a different stat to “If I have Time Vault then I pick Voltaic Key”. Two Way Synergy is a weighted average of these two statistics. The reason that the AI uses this particular threshold is that a flat out list of two card combos would simply be two cumbersome to maintain. By inferring whether any two cards are a combo based on how real Cube Tutor drafters have picked, we’ve got something that is constantly evolving and doesn’t require maintenance. However it does come with a cost as it isn’t 100% accurate at detecting combos. I’d like to open up this method for discussion. What would you do differently? Some examples of this:
- Draft Around Me cards possibly sway the AI a little too much, particularly early on in the draft. This is another threshold that is really difficult to get right.. too low and Reanimator/Storm/Other Combo Decks are under-drafted, too high and they are over-drafted. Examples:
Next up I’d like to provide some feedback on some of the more popular Feature Requests. You can view these here.
One thing I would like to say here is please don’t be afraid to downvote/disagree. Votes are completely anonymous and it really helps me to gauge the popularity of a particular feature request.
- See Picks after Saving Deck – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/3. I would love to be able to do this, the only problem is the quantity of data. For each draft we’d need to store all of the cards that each bot picked and passed along with how each of those cards very evaluated by the AI and the detected Strategy for each pick. It’s fine to keep all of this “in memory” to show it during the draft but making it available later would require saving a lot of information. It’s possible that I could solve this using a different storage system, like a NoSQL data store. Like every feature request it’s a cost-benefit thing and I really need to gauge how important this would be for the community before committing to it.
- Working “Remember Me” function – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/6 It was my view that the Remember Me check box worked perfectly as long as you only used it on one device (this isn’t ideal I know). However you guys are telling me that it’s not always working for you even on one device so I totally intend to go back to this feature and make it work properly. For anyone in the Champion community, I’d really appreciate hearing about your experience using the feature in the comments on that page.
- Group Rotisserie Draft – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/16. The difficulty I have is that (for the time being at least) I must avoid anything that could be considered Multi Player. It’s a delicate situation but suffice to say anything that could theoretically compete with Magic Online is something that I will be avoiding. Now I’m completely aware that MTGO does not offer a Rotisserie draft function (heck you can’t even draft a personal cube on there yet) but if they were to turn around tomorrow and decide that’s what they wanted to do then I don’t want to be in a position where Cube Tutor could be taking away business from them. I’m also completely aware that other sites out there may offer things like this (either now or in the near future) but I can’t speak for them, all I can do is tell you guys where I’m coming from.
- Simulated Drafts – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/7. This is a nice idea and I could totally see it working. I’d have to figure out the best way of representing a simulated draft visually during the drafting process itself which may take some time to complete.
- Solitaire Mode – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/17. This comes back to the same principle that I must avoid features which may be considered to compete with Magic Online. I know that a solitaire system may not seem like much but it is a feature that could take us down a path of simulating the process of playing a game of Magic the Gathering. Cube Tutor is all about management and testing, not playing. Whilst I can totally see how Solitaire mode could help you test your cube I’m afraid it’s just a step too far, for now at least. However I do believe that a Sample Hand Generator is a reasonable request. I’m completely aware that other sites out there may offer things like this (either now or in the near future) but I can’t speak for them, all I can do is tell you guys where I’m coming from.
- Most Drafted Cards – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/9. This is a feature that has been requested a lot so I will look at it for a release very soon!
- Card Quality should be Editable for AI purposes – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/15. The AI builds a per cube Pick Order based on the global Cube Tutor pick order. A few people have mentioned that the AI seems to rank strong cards quite low for Quality. Whilst the measure of quality is cube-specific I can still understand that players may wish to configure this quality scoring for particular cards. I’ve marked this one as Pending Fix and will look to complete it in an upcoming release.
- Mass Edits to Lists – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/14. This one could be a little tricky from a User Interface perspective but I can completely understand why people want it. The Edit List page could do with a small overhaul to improve performance so, based on the popularity of this request I will probably tackle this piece of work when I get on to that.
- Mobile Friendliness – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/20. I’m very aware of how difficult it can be to use parts of Cube Tutor on a mobile device. It’s a big piece of work but if I am afforded the time to do so by the community and the Patreon Campaign, it’s certainly something that is high on my personal To Do list for Cube Tutor.
- Sort/Filtering by Artist – http://www.cubetutor.com/championcentral/features/feature/12. This is a nice idea. Currently the Cube Tutor database does not contain Artist information for each card, and it is relatively non-trivial for me to add it. However, like anything I will judge this request on it’s popularity in the Champion community.
Obviously there are a lot more feature requests to go through and I am looking at them all so if your item hasn’t been mentioned here then it may well come up in a future blog post.
Thanks for reading and remember even if you don’t have a feature to propose, please do check out what other people are suggesting and weigh in with your own opinions. Votes are anonymous and it really helps me out to know what you guys are thinking!
Until next time,