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The Sealed Deck Project


The Sealed Deck Project

Summary

Sealed Deck is a type of competition where each player or team is given a randomized pool of cards to choose from in order to build a deck. For Guild Wars, each player would be given a randomized pool of skills to choose from in order to make a character build. This aim of this project is twofold: first to provide an online software able to generate random Sealed Decks (random pools of GW skills), and second to produce a complete collection of GW skill cards with up-to-date stats, texts and descriptions.

The online tool is a simple generator of random GW sealed decks. Sealed decks are random pools of GW skills. They can be as small as a skillset, typically when you want to play with 8 random skills, or as large as a complete skillset with hundreds skills. Choose your tournament settings, generate one sealed deck for each participant, let them build their own skillset, and have them fight one another with this limited amount of skills. Organizing tournaments and casual fights with a limited/sealed format has never been so easy.

GW skill cards are a combination of eye catching graphics from Guild Wars, and accurate information from the internal skill database of the Servants of Fortuna. They can be used alone as a printable set of 800 cards, or as a complement of the Sealed Deck generator. More generally, they are freely available to any fan-oriented site or project that can benefit from their graphical and reference content.. Generated by a home-made image manipulation bot with flexible interfaces to external skill databases, a complete collection can be generated in 15 min when the database is updated, thus frequent updates can be expected if the community feedback is positive.

Sealed Deck

Many people compare Guild Wars to a collectible card game (CCGs) such as Magic the Gathering. With hundreds of skills from many professions, there's indeed a lot of collecting to do. But so far, Guild Wars been a collectible skill game. No card. Compared to a traditional CCG, we're also missing a very interesting tournament format: Sealed Deck.

Sealed Deck is a type of competition where each player or team is given a randomized pool of cards to choose from in order to build a deck. For Guild Wars, each player would be given a randomized pool of skills to choose from in order to make a character build.

Sealed play is a great form of tournament play for two reasons : first, it is an easy entry for new or relatively unskilled players (by limiting the number of skills to choose from, new players can quickly decide which ones would work well together instead of going through the entire list), and second, it is a test of a player's Guild Wars PvP knowledge and ability to pick build the best deck out of an ordinary or poor selection of skills.

It used to be hard to set up such a tournament, but GW:Factions made that very easy thanks to guild scrimmage. Send a temporary guild invitation to the tournament participants, make two teams, hit scrimmage and have fun... Of course, the biggest problem is to create random decks, or random skill sets. That's when this project comes into play.

This aim of this project is twofold: to provide an online software able to generate random Sealed Decks (random pools of GW skills), and to produce a complete collection of GW skill cards with up-to-date stats, texts and descriptions. Each half of this project is entirely autonomous, and it can exist without the other half.

Project Part A: GW Skill Cards

GW skill cards are a combination of eye catching graphics from Guild Wars, and accurate information from the internal skill database of the Servants of Fortuna. They can be used alone as a printable set of 800 cards, or as a complement of the Sealed Deck generator. More generally, they are freely available to any fan-oriented site or project that can benefit from their graphical and reference content.. Generated by a home-made image manipulation bot with flexible interfaces to external skill databases, a complete collection can be generated in 15 min when the database is updated, thus frequent updates can be expected if the community feedback is positive. Here is one sample out of a collection of almost 800 skill cards:



A few numbers to illustrate this project:
~800 skill cards
~90 character models
~60 backgrounds (per profession)
~1 MB of skill database
~50 MB of pictures (jpg, average quality)
~15 min to rebuild an entire card set once the database is updated

Project Part B: Random deck generator

This online tool is a simple generator of random GW sealed decks. Sealed decks are random pools of GW skills. They can be as small as a skillset, typically when you want to play with 8 random skills, or as large as a complete skillset of ~800 skills. Choose your tournament settings, generate one sealed deck for each participant, let them build their own skillset, and have them fight one another with this limited amount of skills. Organizing tournaments and casual fights with a limited/sealed format has never been so easy.

The random generator can create skill pools with simple rules (e.g: give me 25 random skills from each profession) or with customizable, flexible and somewhat complex rules (e.g: I want 3 random warrior elites, 10 basic necro skills, and 25 random skills from both professions plus 30 skills from any profession). It is even able to create random skillsets like Nash's old Ultimate Build Generator. Sealed decks can be displayed on many formats. It provides a link to each GW card in order to give an accurate description of each skill.

Project Part C: GW Minicards, Tooltips and sofBBcode

This part is a spin off of Part A, and a combination of graphical content and user-friendly tooltips for websites and forums. The basic idea is to type this: [skill]Rebirth[/skill] to get this:

(put your mouse on the icon)

Many forum software (e.g: vB, IPB) and most Content Management Systems or CMS (e.g: phpNuke) use bbCode as a friendly way to format posts, news and articles displayed on the forum/website. A few months ago, Liu Pi created gwBBcode, a phpBB mod with additional BBcode to display text tooltips with skill description. gwBBcode has great features. Unfortunately it was complex if not impossible to integrate on other software (one code per GW skill).

A modified version of the GW card generator was created to produce GW mini-cards. Not as good looking as the original ones, they are only 15kB large, which allows for online integration in websites and forums. Then a simple and customizable PHP/JS package was written. It's currently used on the Servants of Fortuna website and forum. It's very easy to install this package in your web pages, and you can even integrate it in various forum/CMS software.

Typical GW minicard:


And the corresponding tooltip you can integrate in your web pages:

And the text version:
Blades of Steel

Information and Links

- Official Project Forum
- Announcement and project details
- The Sealed Deck Generator - and its mirror


This project was initiated by

with the help of many Servants of Fortuna