Duels 2013 User Interface Improvements Thread

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Introduction
RobValue and I came up with this idea to gather "game engine" items into a single thread to catch the attention of the developers.  Since he's maintaining the bug list, I'll keep up this one.  The goal is to keep this first post updated with a summary, so no one really has to read the whole thread when it grows to 50+ pages.
If anything is *really* complicated, I would suggest creating its own thread and I'll link to it here.

What this is:  It's a list of suggestions to improve the quality of the system itself.  Such as ways to make it clearer, easier to navigate, or more flexible.  Things the game could do to improve the player experience.

What this is not A general wishlist of wild ideas - let's try to keep this close to what we already have.  "Practical" improvements, as it were.  (for example, I'm pretty sure enough has been said about certain things chosen to be "streamlined" from the full game, let's leave those be for now.)
Obvious flaws should be directed to the Bug list.  For example, exploiting the blocking timer against Silent Arbiter is not a user interface problem.  I don't want to "suggest" they improve something they coded wrong.
Technical items, like problems with lag time or graphics, should see the tech issues thread.
Beyond that, I'm going to try to be all-inclusive about suggestions, I'm not going to judge, or organize votes on the "best" ideas.

So without further ado,


Deckbuilding:


  • Sort the deck lists by color or type.  Similar to how you can sort cards in your hand.

  • Allow going under 60 cards while editing.  So you don't have to first add a card then find the one to remove, you could remove and then figure out what to add.  This means you could also empty everything and build the whole deck from scratch.

  • Save multiple builds of a deck.  In particular separate 1v1 or FFA Multiplayer builds, but in general multiple designs would be useful.

  • Direct control over the amount of land in a deck.  (though be careful about allowing poor deck balance.  Perhaps upper/lower limits on the number of land?)

  • Faster scrolling thru the deck edit lists.  For example, R1 could jump ahead to the next highest mana cost.

  • Access card helper text from the deckbuilder list.

  • Add the mana cost description to the card helper text.

  • Game option setting to control whether or not an unlocked card is immediately added to your deck.  (instead of the current setup where it's always added.)



Matches & Menus:


  • Custom local games (FFA, 2HG, Planechase) should have more options for the opposing decks, currently they only ever use the original 60 cards.  Allow the following for custom game opponents:


    • the Revenge builds of the decks.

    • Nicol Bolas deck.

    • Custom matches against your own deck designs.  This would be great for playtesting.

    • Random deck selection for opponents.


  • Allow a random deck selection for your own deck.  In particular, the ability to set random decks for both players in an online match (so this is not just about saving you the trouble of making a decision about your own deck).

  • Game variations, such as...   (these would probably all be unranked online)


    • change the starting life totals

    • change the starting+maximum hand size

    • Highlander  (Yes, it's possible to play Highlander decks without the system's help, but go try organizing a quick pickup game against a random opponent.)


  • Give a player the choice of going first or second (ie, choose play/draw) instead of just picking who goes first.  Particularly for rematches against the same opponent.

  • Ability to properly concede, giving your opponent a win and communicating that intention, instead of "quit" leaving AI takeover.  Remain in the game after conceeding, so chat functions still work.

  • Best-of-3 or best-of-5 matches, with features like sideboarding between rounds, and ranking the final instead of ranking each game.

  • Game timer needs some improvements.  This thread has some discussion on the matter.


    • Timers should be able to be turned off for private matches.

    • 2HG timers are too short since they're equal to 1v1 timers.

    • Some complex actions need longer timers, like scaling the timer for the number of attacking creatures.  (if the action itself can't be made more efficient.)

    • The timer could be more visible, especially for actions that are time-critical.

    • The timer running out should not cancel entire actions.  (This maybe should be on the bug list.)  For example, Nightmare Incursion let's you select "up to X cards", if the timer runs out it cancels, instead it should finish with the less-than-X you've selected already.


  • Set the difficulty level for AI players at the game creation screen, not in the options.  This allows quickly changing levels, and could allow different levels for different AI players in multiplayer.

  • Run AI-only games.  (perhaps as the game's screensaver?)

  • Improve finding an online game so you don't bounce in and out of different screens as often.  Perhaps list all games under one screen.

  • Better contrast on the menu screen.  The white circle is hard to see especially when the background flashes white.

  • Faster loading menus.  Do we really need a different 3-D background every time we navigate to a new menu?  At the very least, a way to skip loading different menus every time (like when moving from a game to the deck manager back out thru multiple screens to return to the next campaign step).

  • Separate campaign tracking for each deck.  eg, for each step on the campaign have a way to bring up stats of your record with each deck, to see if you've beaten one step with everything.

  • Remove the dialog box when there are no online games in a lobby.  There are ways to express that without requiring the user to dismiss a dialog in order to search again.

  • Better control over AI takeover.  For example, give players the option to accept a win if all the human opponents have turned into AI takeover.



The Battlefield:


  • Clearer indication when opponents target cards in graveyards.  Perhaps slide the card out from under the graveyard when targeted?  Currently you have to move the cursor on to the graveyard, zoom in, then scroll to the card, all of which takes a while.

  • Speed up resolving batches of similar items.  Longer discussion thread here.

  • Cycling and Reinforce should be improved to work like Kicker costs.  Use the "play card" action to choose to activate the card, and then prompt for how the card should be used, instead of having to zoom to select the ability.  It would be quicker, less prone to accidentally using the wrong type of play, and highlight cards that could be cycled even if not castable.

  • Sort cards when searching a deck.  For example, if looking for a creature with Natural Order, display them sorted by name or by cost, perhaps with the L3 button cycling thru the sort options the way it cycles mana casting options.  Nightmare Incursion would really benefit from this.

  • Revealing cards from a deck should use the same display like when a lot of cards are revealed from an opponent's hand - all cards shown at once.  The current "flying" animation isn't very useful since it's just a brief glimpse of each card, sometimes hidden behind other cards.

  • Additional information is needed on some cards in play.


    • Clarify card ownership of things that have changed controllers.  Particularly useful in multiplayer, but also in 2-player with things like overlapping copies of Mind Control.  Perhaps a small copy of the player's avatar on the card somewhere?

    • Some ongoing effects have no icon, such as "this is destroyed at the end of turn".  Instead of adding many more custom icons from various effects that may be different, how about a small snippet of the artwork that generates the effect?  (eg, a small part of the Kharasha Foothills art to show it's a token from there instead of a token from something else.)

    • Clone and Body Double look like any other token.  Add a snippet of their original artwork instead of using the Token Card icon.


  • Clearer details on which cards can "target nothing" instead of just allowing or disallowing the "finish" button.  Maybe more text on the box, so for example Angelic Benediction would say "Choose a creature to tap (or click Finish to not tap anything)."

  • PS3/XBox need a free-form cursor to make it easier to navigate to specific cards.  Perhaps clicking R3 to change cursor modes?

  • Better visibility of stacked lands.  This includes helping to targeting one of the stack, and even simply counting the number of each type when they're all tapped.

  • If the default target has to point to somewhere, the game could be smarter about where it points.  Perhaps defaulting to the previously chosen target, instead of defaulting to what it thinks is the best.

  • iPad interface issues


    • Selecting cards from your deck is inconsistent, sometimes dragging upwards to play, sometimes downwards to your hand.

    • Cursors show up on cards, making it hard to re-select different cards.  The touchscreen interface doesn't need a permanent cursor the way PS3 or X-box does.  It can cause accidental double-clicks.

    • Better zooming is needed because it's easy to select the wrong target card.

    • Improve scrolling thru a long list of cards, like when browsing a library.  It's too easy to accidentally select a card instead of scrolling.


  • Scrye putting cards in a particular order can be confusing as you select one at a time.  Is it possible it could re-sort them as you select?

  • If you don't hold turn priority, the game translates Instants as having no cards to play, so it moves on to the next phase.  This should be more intelligent, since many instants can lead to playing other cards (such as by drawing cards).

  • More zoom options.  For example, zoom to one player's section of the battelfield.  This would really help 2HG, where each player's section is very small.

  • Alternate gameboards, since the contrast of the all-black board is not always good.  (This is especially needed for the iPad, where the screen is often in different environments.)

  • Give players the option to see reduced casting costs of cards in hand.  This is how Duels 2012 would display them - but do it as an option, forcing it just confuses people who expect it the other way.

  • Cards that target the graveyard should use the new graveyard browser.  For example, Body Double chooses one player's graveyard and then you have to back up to select another player to get to their graveyard; it should just allow R1/L1 to move between graveyards.

  • Simpler targeting of players vs creatures.  Allow the cursor to navigate to the player icons on the screen to select those, instead of a popup asking for players or creatures.

  • Suppress the dialog that asks if you want to kick a spell if you don't have the resources to kick it.  (as a game option setting, similar to "simplified targeting".)

  • Searching an entire deck could use a "fast forward" button to skip to the next valid target.  (eg, you have "view entire library" turned on and need to get to the one Squadron Hawk, use L1/R1 to jump to the highlighted card.)

  • Easier way to count cards in a graveyard.  Perhaps a counter like deck/hand, or even just something extra on screen when in the graveyard browser.

  • Stop moving the cursor focus between cards in hand.  If I have the cursor on a particular card and draw a new card, don't shift which card is focused.  Likewise, when prompting for a discard, leave the focus in place and don't reset it to the far left.  It's just clumsy and distracting.

  • "Browse entire library" should move the cursor like other targeting does.  Normally left-stick jumps between valid targets and right-stick moves to every single card.  Browsing a library always moves one card at a time, even if only some are valid selections.



Combat:


  • Better distinguish if the combat timer is in the declare attackers or the declare blockers step.  If you blink, sometimes you can't tell if the other person declared no blockers, or paused and restarted the timer after attackers were declared.  Perhaps a change in the color/style of the "combat fire" graphic on the gameboard?  Or simply a line of text near the timer bar that says "Attackers Declared" or "Blockers Declared".

  • Assigning multiple attackers should move to the next card when you assign one.  Currently it keeps returning the cursor on your first card, even if you skip over it every single time to assign something else, and that's really frustrating.

  • Assigning mutliple attackers in multiplayer should suggest the last player you assigned to, instead of how it keeps suggesting the right-most opponent.  It would be much faster since it's likely you would be sending multiple attackers to one target.

  • A button for "auto-assign attackers", and similar for defense.  This would use the existing AI logic to suggest a combat assignment that you would then modify and confirm.  (Not sure if it's better to do "assign as much as possible" or to let the AI pick and choose.  I suspect the AI would know when it's a good idea to attack with everything, it seems to do that often enough in its own games.)

  • Improve combat damage dealing prompts.


    • Don't stop to prompt if the creature has 0 or less power, or if the damage would be prevented (eg, if Safe Passage or Kessig is in effect.)

    • "auto-assign damage" button to speed up dealing the remaining damage from one attacker.  In addition to the general usage, this would tackle the situation where you just need to tell the system to quickly spread damage around 7 identical token goblins.  (similar to the auto-assign attackers idea above.)


  • Could use some improvement to simplify, speed up, and clarify combat with many creatures.  Some ideas,


    • arrange the attackers sorted by Power.

    • zoom and/or filter large groups of creatures.  For example, in multiplayer, zoom in on just the ones attacking you.  Allow showing only the ones that are unblocked and/or only defenders not yet assigned.  (Perhaps move them into different columns/rows?)

    • allow assigning by first selecting an attacker, then select any/all of your available defenders.  This would make gang blocking easier, and let you quickly move thru the list of attackers knowing you've covered the ones you need to.


  • The game lacks the ability to intentially over-assign damage to a blocking creature in excess of its toughness.  (eg, in a case where you may want to overkill a blocker instead of applying trample damage to its controller.)



Planechase:


  • Planes should have helper text.  For example, Trail of the Mage Rings gives spells Rebound, its helper text should have the same Rebound page that a spell like Recurring Insight has.

  • Stairs to Infinity "look at the top plane" has a very odd way of choosing where to place the plane on the deck.  Can this have a simple dialog "put it on top / put it on the bottom"?

  • Multiplayer does not let all players zoom in on Planes when revealed.  This means things can come and go (like with a reveal effect) without being able to see the details of them.

  • Chaotic Aether needs an indication of its ongoing effect.  Maybe an icon where "turn order reversed" goes.

  • Speed up the Planechase die roll animation, or turn it off with a game setting like combat animation.


Put in an "attack with all" button or button function. This would be especially nice on the PC or iPad for those times when I don't want to touch/click 30 different creatures.
The OP has some good suggestions, especially the one about combat timer, and for looking through your library mid-game, and for reveal effects like Goblin Ringleader. (where you only get like 1 second to see the cards)

my added suggestions:

Targeting


  • When being prompted to target/select/choose something, an arrow should not by default be pointing toward a random permanent.

  • Let us be able to target specific lands. (in iPad version, dunno if the other versions have this issue) I can touch my opponent's pile of lands, and it will basically just choose whichever one or the first one. I noticed that even if I try to touch the edge of the land pile, and keeping inching closer with my taps, it will never choose the land on the bottom of the land pile.


Battlefield


  • A number could be displayed to show how many lands a player controls. The game already does this but the number is only displayed some of the time. I don't see why it can't be displayed more often, if not all the time.

  • When a card is a Clone or Sculpting Steel, the card can change back and forth between the Clone and the card it's a copy of. This would help make it clearer that the card is just a copy, and the fact the card is actually a Clone and not what it's copying.


Planechase



  • In multiplayer, when moving to a different plane, the plane card should stay zoomed in to let all players read it, like it does in single player. This is especially annoying for phenomenon cards since at least with plane cards you can read the card afterwards, but you can't do this with phenomenon cards.

  • Personally maybe it's a bit redundant for the Mt. Whatever plane's damage prevention effect to last even after you planeswalk away from it. For the rest of the game all players have a damage prevention shield displayed, but it seems pointless since the damage prevention is no longer relevant past that point.


Online multiplayer



  • Player should be able to properly concede without quitting. This means the other player gets the win. Player should also have choice to have a rematch without having to play out the current game even though they know they've lost. Quitting probably shouldn't even be allowed. If you quit, that should count as a loss.


iPad



  • For some library/graveyard searching effects you have to drag the card upwards (e.g. when putting the card into play. such as Wood Elves) whereas other times you have to drag it downwards. (e.g. when the card goes into your hand, such as Lilliana's Shade) This is not a big deal but it makes no sense and I find it really arbitrary to have you drag it differently depending on where the card will go.

  • Sometimes a card's text is displayed/previewed in a popup for no reason. I assume this happens in the console version when a card is highlighted, but the concept of highlighting a card on the iPad version is nonexistent and thus it makes no sense for this to occur at all. I don't even know what causes it! And it gets in the way when making selections. One time I tapped the screen in order to make the popup disappear so I can properly make a selection, but as a result I made the wrong selection and the game moved on. Some of the UI feels like sloppy seconds from the console versions. For instance a card in my hand would be highlighted as if I used the directional pad to scroll between cards. There is no reason for any card in my hand to be highlighted at any point. My finger is the cursor so there is no need for a cursor, and yet sometimes one appears. (??)


Helper text i.e. "More Info"



  • Mana costs should be explained on a card, not just card type and keyword mechanics.

  • All mechanics on that card should be explained, including Living Weapon!


Scry



  • Effects like Scry are implemented in a very confusing manner. Not just Scry but anything that puts cards on top/bottom of a player's library in any order.


Cycling / Activate from hand



  • One time I hard casted a Gempalm Incinerator I totally meant to cycle. I thought it was obvious I meant to cycle it! Maybe if you play the card, it should ask you whether you want to hard cast it or use its ability. I don't even think it's a big deal (since it was my fault) but this seems like the thread for this sort of thing.


Priority



  • Sometimes the spell casting graphic jitters/lags and as a result, by the time I actually SEE the spell my opponent is casting, I've lost my opportunity to respond.

  • When changing phases, the timer starts moving before the phase's name appears. For instance in the end step, by the time the word "End" materializes, the timer is already 1/4th or 1/3rd to the end.


Instants



  • I must be REALLY forgiving to find this flaw acceptable but.. if you have no cards in hand you can cast except instants, the game moves on without you, even though some of those instants allow you to draw cards (cards which you could have been able to cast on your main phase) or even creatures/effects you wanted to cast before combat. But instead of being able to cast them, the game immediately moves on to your combat phase, which becomes the only chance you have to cast your instants on your turn besides your end step. But if you don't want to attack with any creatures, your turn is over!! This is partly why I always play a land last, and sometimes don't play a land at all in case my next card is an instant. What's odd however is that this flaw doesn't apply to creatures with Flash, even though logically it should. Why the double standard?

An excellent thread, well done crb! And a lot of well thought out suggestions, thanks for making this. I'm sure I will have lots more to add to the list over time.

For now I'll echo that an "attack with all" button would be really good. Also I thought an "auto block" button would be very helpful as well. It could auto assign blockers (taking into account any blockers you have already assigned). So for example, say you have 100 1/1 tokens and a couple of other creature, and I have the same, I can choose my other creatures to block your other creatures sensibly, then press auto-block so that all my 100 tokens block your 100 tokens. It should be easy to optimize for minimal damage. This would save a bucket load of time in any situation with lots of tokens around, where blocking is mainly obvious but tedious; and overcome problems with the timer running out while choosing all these blockers.

EDIT: I would also suggest that for both the above settings, it doesn't "confirm" once you select these options, so you are allowed to make alterations before you finish. For example, if I have 8 creatures and I want to attack with all but one of them, I can select "attack with all", then deselect the wussy one, then press confirm. And I can check the AI hasn't done anything stupid with auto block before I confrim.

Also, as I mentioned in the bug thread, I'd like to see a way that "invisible effects" could be seen. For example, the tokens created by Kharasha Foothills have the effect "exile at end of turn" which cannot be determined once on the battlefield with similar looking tokens such as ones created by Rite of Replication. I'm sure more examples of this kind of problem could be found. I'd suggest a little exclamation point or something be on their image, and when you zoom in it tells you what effects or other important information apply to the card. This could incorporate the previous excellent suggestion of showing when cards are under another players' control. It could list that a card stolen by Rise from the Grave is owned by robvalue. You thief! Thus the little exclamation point shows you that something is "odd" about the permanent, which will then probably be obvious to you once you notice it, but you're able to get more info if you need it.
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I doubt this will happen, but this game is killing my plasma TV. I would really like the avatar bit (bottom left) to be less violent on the contast levels. Or maybe some way that it hides when its opponents turn (but still displaying your life etc)... OK so i dont really have a viable solution, but i would like it changed ;)

Also, i dont know if im on my own here, but i play with the setting for auto turn-end on (ie i dont have to press Y to skip main phase etc) but this often screws me over if i dont have any creatures / sourcery but i use some sort of grab to get one. As soon as the grab resolves, the game moves to combat, not even giving me a chance to pause and try to play the card i just got. I know the obvious fix is to change the setting, but i would rather not.

Finally, a similar comment to the above about ownership.
When there are multiple instances of Mind Control on one creature, there is no distinction, so you dont know which one to destroy etc 
I doubt this will happen, but this game is killing my plasma TV. I would really like the avatar bit (bottom left) to be less violent on the contast levels. Or maybe some way that it hides when its opponents turn (but still displaying your life etc)... OK so i dont really have a viable solution, but i would like it changed ;)



I'm going to suggest this is more appropriate for the Technical Issues thread.  (Mostly cause like you I'm not sure what to suggest to improve it here.    community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Thoughts on a couple particular points,



  • When being prompted to target/select/choose something, an arrow should not by default be pointing toward a random permanent.




Well it has to target something, that's how the cursors work.  And even if the cursor started in the dead center of the battlefield it would pick something as soon as you moved it.  So I put this on the list in a slightly modified form.



  • Personally maybe it's a bit redundant for the Mt. Whatever plane's damage prevention effect to last even after you planeswalk away from it. For the rest of the game all players have a damage prevention shield displayed, but it seems pointless since the damage prevention is no longer relevant past that point.




I've actually run thru the Plane deck to see the same cards again.  Having the chaos effect on that one that lets you peek and move planes to the bottom kind of helped, but it's definitely possible.



Sometimes a card's text is displayed/previewed in a popup for no reason. I assume this happens in the console version when a card is highlighted, but the concept of highlighting a card on the iPad version is nonexistent and thus it makes no sense for this to occur at all. I don't even know what causes it! And it gets in the way when making selections. One time I tapped the screen in order to make the popup disappear so I can properly make a selection, but as a result I made the wrong selection and the game moved on. Some of the UI feels like sloppy seconds from the console versions. For instance a card in my hand would be highlighted as if I used the directional pad to scroll between cards. There is no reason for any card in my hand to be highlighted at any point. My finger is the cursor so there is no need for a cursor, and yet sometimes one appears. (??)


Sounds like another tecnical issue.
I think something that's obviously "wrong" like this needs a much more prominent thread than what's really suggestions here.  I don't want to "suggest" they fix unplayable bugs, if you know what I mean 



  • Mana costs should be explained on a card, not just card type and keyword mechanics.




You mean for cards with unusual costs?  Give me an example of what it would say.




  • All mechanics on that card should be explained, including Living Weapon!




Passing this one over to the Bug thread.  Missing something like that is pretty important.



Sometimes the spell casting graphic jitters/lags and as a result, by the time I actually SEE the spell my opponent is casting, I've lost my opportunity to respond.


Lag concerns should be sent to Technical issues.  community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Timer issues: Nightmare Incursion is a good card that is impossible to play for maximum effect. Exiling a minimum of 6 cards and with little time to scroll through an entire deck(lands included) forces you to make random clicks.

An option to separate lands from the deck and/or dividing up the deck according to mana cost or spell type would be nice. Cool

Ofcourse if you could only stop the timer while making your picks would be even sweeter.
First of all, thanks for making this thread. You're awesome.

Deck editing:
I play on Xbox, and scrolling through the deck manager from left to right takes quite a while, especially with all 40 cards unlocked. I think it's fairly reasonable to have a button which "jumps" to the next CMC, or however it's sorted.

The 2HG battlefield is too dark (and no, it's not my brightness setting) and too far zoomed out. Looking at the board is a pain.

And +1 to all the suggestions that have already been posted, although they'll probably just be implemented in the next game rather than patched to 2012.

Edit: Also, background music which shifts constantly between menues and/or deck edits feel very awkward. We should just hear each track without interruption, if you know what I mean. Personally, I find it hard to believe the video game industry still make errors as basic as this. It's been there for as long as the industry itself.
I don't think this is on the list: Being able to play best 2 out of 3 (or maybe even 3 out of 5) matches, allowing sideboarding between duels. This would allow cards which usually never see play to be of some use, and reduce the luck factor of getting a bad draw by allowing a longer match. 
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Sort cards when searching a deck.  For example, if looking for a creature with Natural Selection, display them sorted by name or by cost, perhaps with the L3 button cycling thru the sort options the way it cycles mana casting options.



Not sure if you mean with effects like Wood Elves or Nature's Lore as well? The annoying aspect with these - especially in large decks and early casts of these spells - is that the deck is pretty hard to navigate. Cards are stacked so close, that it's hard to pick out an individual card. But in the aforementioned examples, you just select one of the many forest cards in the deck. What does it matter which forest card that is? I'd prefer the game to just pick one and shuffle the deck, without me having to actually click one.

Or, if it is relevant, like in the case of Fauna Shaman, just present me with the possible choices and not the cards I can't choose anyway. It's odd that Wild Pair only presents viable choices whereas the ones I just mentioned also present unselectable cards.

In fact, the only deck that has more than one of a basic land type is the Exalted deck, which has Swamps and Plains.

Edit: The same more or less applies to dealing combat damage. For instance, against the Sunhawk deck, you deal damage to creatures that are identical in all aspects. What does it matter in which order I assign damage to it then? That's only relevant if there are distinct creatures in the batch (including temporary effects, like buffs or debuffs).
I saw "allow double decking" in that list for 2HG. I'm hoping you only meant for offline modes. You should clear that up.
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A point raised by Maurice in the bugs thread prompted me to post this, thanks

In Duels, the order that you choose gang blockers to receive damage has been moved (from full Magic) to be right before damage is dealt. Yet the game still asks you to choose the order for an attacker with 0 power to deal damage. This would be correct in the full rules, and would be relevant since such a value could then change before damage is deal. But as things are in Duels it can never be of any consequence what order the blockers are chosen, since no damage is going to be dealt. So it may as well just be skipped. This would seem in line with the "more time for face smashing" philosophy, rather than figuring out who is going to get nothing done to them first. 

[If anyone can think of a possible reason why it might be relevant to order the blockers, I'd be interested to hear! Certainly I can't think of one with the pool of cards in the game, it would have to be something that made creatures assign 1 extra combat damage or something or triggering off being the first chosen gang blocker. I can't even think of any examples of these at all for any cards. Deathtouch is irrelevant if anyone is wondering, it doesn't work from 0 damage.]

EDIT: I also agree that it is daft to be ordering 7 Suntail Hawks to receive damage. Maybe a compromise to this situation would be an "auto assign damage just for this attacker" button that is always present while ordering blockers. So you can keep manual damage assignment turned on but just let it assign for you in obvious cases like this with just one button press rather than 6 furious ones.
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
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I saw "allow double decking" in that list for 2HG. I'm hoping you only meant for offline modes. You should clear that up.


any reason it would be a bad idea online as an option?  Because the item above does mean just that - an option.  not suggesting they drop the rule as it now stands, still allow creating 2HG without dual, and add the ability to run 2HG with dual.  Am I missing something about dual decking online vs offline?
I also assumed the dual option would have a separate ranking list, if it's ranked at all.  (I'm guessing the idea I saw elsewhere about different starting hand size would also be unranked.)
Timer issues: Nightmare Incursion is a good card that is impossible to play for maximum effect. Exiling a minimum of 6 cards and with little time to scroll through an entire deck(lands included) forces you to make random clicks.


Already on the bug list.  Any card that can't be played gets priority over there.
though I did update the deck searching examples.

on a related note, I think the issues with cards needing more visual icons for effects should be on the bug list, since it's impacting how targets are chosen.

Or, if it is relevant, like in the case of Fauna Shaman , just present me with the possible choices and not the cards I can't choose anyway. It's odd that Wild Pair only presents viable choices whereas the ones I just mentioned also present unselectable cards.


What's unselectable for Fauna Shaman?
There is a game option for toggling seeing the whole deck whenever searching.  Are you setting that?


any reason it would be a bad idea online as an option?  Because the item above does mean just that - an option.  not suggesting they drop the rule as it now stands, still allow creating 2HG without dual, and add the ability to run 2HG with dual.  Am I missing something about dual decking online vs offline?
I also assumed the dual option would have a separate ranking list, if it's ranked at all.  (I'm guessing the idea I saw elsewhere about different starting hand size would also be unranked.)

Because the entirety of 2HG would be dominated by Jace/Jace and Ajani/Ajani combos? Double decking was bad in 2012, but in 2013 it would be nothing short of game breaking. Oh boy, I'd love to see a Prosperity played with 4 Jace's Erasures on the board. Not to forget Font of Mythos and Howling Mine. No. Just... No.
Close your eyes. Fly away. In the land where dreams, all are true. IMAGE(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/distilledpoizn/StupidJefferson.jpg)

any reason it would be a bad idea online as an option?  Because the item above does mean just that - an option.  not suggesting they drop the rule as it now stands, still allow creating 2HG without dual, and add the ability to run 2HG with dual.  Am I missing something about dual decking online vs offline?
I also assumed the dual option would have a separate ranking list, if it's ranked at all.  (I'm guessing the idea I saw elsewhere about different starting hand size would also be unranked.)

Because the entirety of 2HG would be dominated by Jace/Jace and Ajani/Ajani combos? Double decking was bad in 2012, but in 2013 it would be nothing short of game breaking. Oh boy, I'd love to see a Prosperity played with 4 Jace's Erasures on the board. Not to forget Font of Mythos and Howling Mine. No. Just... No.


hmm.
ok, let me ask you this:  outside of Duels 2013, what's the rule for constructing 2HG decks?  Is that combination normally forbidden?  (Because then I'll drop the idea if it's the combination of dangerous and not normally playable.)
hmm.
ok, let me ask you this:  outside of Duels 2013, what's the rule for constructing 2HG decks?  Is that combination normally forbidden?  (Because then I'll drop the idea if it's the combination of dangerous and not normally playable.)

For paper Magic the rule is no more than four copies of any card between both decks. Even if this rule was somehow enforced (It wasn't in 2012) it still leaves the potential for the above listed combo, as it doesn't break that rule, as well as many more which are just absolutely not manageable in this limited format.

Just an example, with 4 Chancellor of the Spires between the two, you have the potential to mill 28 cards from both players before the game even starts. Allowing double decking would destroy 2HG.
Close your eyes. Fly away. In the land where dreams, all are true. IMAGE(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/distilledpoizn/StupidJefferson.jpg)
The rule of no more than 4 cards per team only applies in tournaments. In casual Magic, following the comprehensive rules and normal 2HG construction restrictions, there is no such limit.
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
Useful links:
Find other DoTP players - a database of friendly players, find a match or post your name here to be added to the list! I'll add a D13 section if anyone would like. Ask a rules question - ask anything about DoTP, Magic in general, or to check out if you've found a bug by asking if the rules are being followed. Community thread for general chatter in the DoTP part of the forum! Guide to Yugioh on Xbox live: A beginner's guide focusing on the similarities and differences to Magic.
From personal experience on the iPad, I can tell you it is an absolute pain to select multiple lands with a Terastodon, no matter how you orient your viewpoint. Opponent has 3 lands out, and no matter what I did, I could not select the third land. Timer eventually ran out and all I got were the two. Not that that's a big deal or anything, but it certainly could be "improved" upon. It's not like I have fat Mongo hands/fingers or anything.
Timer issue:

As stated previously, the timer is WAY too short for certain applications (library searches in particular).  Even if you know what you are looking for, the interface is too clumsy (particularly on iPad) to make selections in time.  To add insult to injury, if you fail to complete the selection, the entire action is voided.  Absurd.  At least select something for me at random so I'm not stuck with nothing but wasted mana.

MORE IMPORTANTLY:  If the timers are not going to be adjusted, PLACE THE TIMER NEAR THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN (transparent, or whatever) during these selection operations, so that you can AT LEAST keep an easy eye on how much time you have left.  Preferably, the timer should become a "shot clock" with a number of seconds counting down, rather than a shaded glowing bar that ineffectively indicates exactly how much time you've got left. 
My personal opinion with the auto attack/block buttons is that they should attack/block with as much as possible, then you remove any you don't like and/or make any alterations. I worry that letting the AI choose whether or not to block or attack could waste a lot of your time as it does not impress me when making those decisions itself, on any difficulty setting.

My other personal opinion is this: Timers = Suck.

I would like to see them entirely ditched, full stop. No timers for anything while making decisions, or when deciding what spell/ability to use. Proper priority with a simple button press to "pass" implemented. I believe this would actually be faster (with regard to passing priority vs. waiting for timers), and would solve a whole heck of a lot of problems. Another digital CCG I play uses this system, and it works much better.

I know the timer is meant to be there to "hurry things along" but people have found no end of ways of stalling if that is what they are into. You just don't play people like that and move on, they will find a way to make things suck whatever system you have. If you need an overall timer to stop stalling, then a chess-clock style (as used in MTGO) would be much better. While I'm making a decision my timer counts down, while you're deciding yours counts down. But with sensible players you don't need any sort of timer. The current one doesn't achieve it's goal of stopping stalling anyhow since there are so many ways around it.

I don't know if anyone supports that, or whether people love the timers, so I don't expect it to be put on the list unless it has others behind it. 
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
Useful links:
Find other DoTP players - a database of friendly players, find a match or post your name here to be added to the list! I'll add a D13 section if anyone would like. Ask a rules question - ask anything about DoTP, Magic in general, or to check out if you've found a bug by asking if the rules are being followed. Community thread for general chatter in the DoTP part of the forum! Guide to Yugioh on Xbox live: A beginner's guide focusing on the similarities and differences to Magic.
EDIT: I also agree that it is daft to be ordering 7 Suntail Hawks to receive damage. Maybe a compromise to this situation would be an "auto assign damage just for this attacker" button that is always present while ordering blockers. So you can keep manual damage assignment turned on but just let it assign for you in obvious cases like this with just one button press rather than 6 furious ones.



To be honest, the only thing the game needs to check is if the blockers are indistinguishable. If they are, you would still need to assign damage manually (up until the point that the remaining blockers are no longer indistinguishable or you are out of damage to assign). In the same light, it's a bit odd that you even have to assign damage to the final blocker, even though you can't choose anything else to assign further damage to, at that point.
There is a game option for toggling seeing the whole deck whenever searching.  Are you setting that?



Seriously? Surprised Man, I overlooked that then. Going to check to see where I missed it somehow, next time I fire up the game. In any case, thanks for that heads-up ;).
Well it has to target something, that's how the cursors work.  And even if the cursor started in the dead center of the battlefield it would pick something as soon as you moved it.  So I put this on the list in a slightly modified form.



It causes confusion and I can show you a vid as an example.
Also in the iPad version there is no cursor so it makes even less sense then.
Plus once or twice I would touch the card it was pointing an arrow on, in order to deselect it and make the arrow go away, but it ended up using that card as my selection and the game continued even though I didn't meant to make that my selection.


You mean for cards with unusual costs?  Give me an example of what it would say.


Mana costs are already explained in loading screens. So it would just say the same thing as in loading screens.





Lag concerns should be sent to Technical issues.  community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...



True but it could be treated as a UI issue as well, or the UI could be changed to minimize lag issues.
It is odd that I have to wait anyway to see the card, even while the timer is going. If the timer is going I should see things that are happening right away. Fancy graphics are nice and all but they could be more sped up. You don't need to make the cards pop-in on screen out of nowhere, they can still have transition effects but they could be much faster.

I can recall reading somewhere probably years ago a predictive text engine that would vary the size of the result based on the most likely outcome and expand in a tree, intended for such things as touch screen devices or similar. Whilst not on such a grand scale, we could use something like this for cards like nightmare incursion, or bribery which let you search the opponents library for a card. I think this is best explained with a picture (being worth 1000 words after all, excuse the crudity of the model, it's not to scale).

IMAGE(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/t/loj4m.jpg)

With the intent that you would use the right stick (or mouse/touch) to choose which subsection of the library you were about to search, then it could redivide by CMC or just simply have these sorted by CMC (or in the case of lands sorted by basic land type). With the counters there you can check quickly for combos such as removing all their creatures then using telemin performance to mill their deck, you can check and see how much land they could draw if you are in a team with land destruction and have been steadily destroying their lands to see if you can stop them drawing any more, or if they haven't drawn any swamps/plains in exalted darkness you can remove all of those from their deck to keep them starved.

It would also allow you to truly search their library and gather information about the deck when using bribery and then still be able to make a quick decision of what to summon without having to literally go back through the entire library again to find your choice when you have seen all their instants etc.
Robvalue: Copy target bug or glitch. You may choose a new card for the copy... --- http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29193605/Promotional_Unlock_Cards_List --- Will never buy games made by Arena Net again.
I can recall reading somewhere probably years ago a predictive text engine that would vary the size of the result based on the most likely outcome and expand in a tree, intended for such things as touch screen devices or similar. Whilst not on such a grand scale, we could use something like this for cards like nightmare incursion, or bribery which let you search the opponents library for a card. I think this is best explained with a picture (being worth 1000 words after all, excuse the crudity of the model, it's not to scale).



With the intent that you would use the right stick (or mouse/touch) to choose which subsection of the library you were about to search, then it could redivide by CMC or just simply have these sorted by CMC (or in the case of lands sorted by basic land type). With the counters there you can check quickly for combos such as removing all their creatures then using telemin performance to mill their deck, you can check and see how much land they could draw if you are in a team with land destruction and have been steadily destroying their lands to see if you can stop them drawing any more, or if they haven't drawn any swamps/plains in exalted darkness you can remove all of those from their deck to keep them starved.

It would also allow you to truly search their library and gather information about the deck when using bribery and then still be able to make a quick decision of what to summon without having to literally go back through the entire library again to find your choice when you have seen all their instants etc.

I think that simply sorting the deck handles 99% of what you're trying to do without getting into sub-stacks and different interfaces.

The game can sort your hand different ways, how hard could it be to apply that to viewing a deck?

So for example, when you look at a deck it starts off sorted by name.  Click L3 and it sorts by type.  Click L3 again and it sorts by cost.  Click L3 another time to return to sort by name.
(or maybe it should start out sorted by cost, like the deck builder does?)
just a note, I collected everything up to here in the first post.

do we need a new timer thread?  a more detailed discussion that doesn't start from "remove them or not?"
I see that being able to choose the number of lands when deck building was listed on the front page and I had a thought on how to implement that. I think having the choice of being able to put as many lands as you want would lead to playing against even more poorly constructed decks only, instead why not have a slider allowing you to choose between a low to high land count (adding/removing maybe 3 lands at the most). And perhaps the ability to select the ratios of land in multicoloured decks with a similar slider.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

I see that being able to choose the number of lands when deck building was listed on the front page and I had a thought on how to implement that. I think having the choice of being able to put as many lands as you want would lead to playing against even more poorly constructed decks only, instead why not have a slider allowing you to choose between a low to high land count (adding/removing maybe 3 lands at the most). And perhaps the ability to select the ratios of land in multicoloured decks with a similar slider.



This is seriously a great idea.

On top of that, the issue with hybrid mana cost cards should be fixed. They should not affect your basic land ratio in a 2 color deck. (they should be treated as colorless/artifact cards)
What about just having a suggested number of land somewhere on screen?  The way there's a creature and cost breakdown, without forcing you to have a certain number of other cards.  Would that keep decks reasonable?
I would almost suggest the number of land get a smarter calculation - like based on the card costs you chose to use - but I doubt that would end up a good bit of code, so it doesn't seem useful.
(I play a strange Yeva build with mostly elves, it has way too much land.  This is starting to bug me.)
the amount of time it takes on the iPad to perform certain actions is not in line with the timer the game gives. Two examples have happened to me in the lst few days that have both cost me games in very frustrating manners. First, my opponent attacked with about 12 creatures in a massive board stall. I was lining up my blocks, but the board was so cluttered it was hard to figure out who was attacking and how to block, and the  timer ran out before I had finished and I died to damage even though I had enough blockers to survive and then win on the following turn with the spells in hand. In another game, I cast bribery on my opponent, but by the time I had sifted through his deck finding creatures (a horrible interface) the timer ran out right befor I tried to drag his griselbrand into play. Needless to say' Griselbrand would have filled my hand (I was at 20 life), but instead I lost since my bribery got me NOTHING. Horrible experience that really soured my time with the game. 
On iPad, we need a way to see exactly how many lands the opponent has AND a way to select them.
I RoR'd w/ kicker Acidic Slime and had to pick 5 targets - intending to kill my opponent on the land front I had to try to very carefully use my finger to tap on his tapped land.  I had no way to select them specifically, so 2 of them wound up getting hit twice.

Infuriating.
The iPad interface in general is really a let down.  The most basic functionality works well and makes me appreciate how much nicer it is to play with a touchscreen, but there are so many bizarre or buggy interactions in the cases mentioned in this thread that it almost ruins the whole experience.  As has been said over and over, selecting things from a library is hopeless.  Selecting any cards on a crowded board is way more difficult than it should be.  All kinds of seemingly buggy behavior with card highlighting and selection.  For instance, I last night I somehow Vindicated my own enchantment when I was tapping on an enchantment on the other side of the board, losing myself the game.  What the hell?

I really hope they find the resources to fix some of this stuff, though I doubt they will.  The iPad version feels very much like a sloppy port that barely skates by on the intrinsic superiority of a touchscreen for a game like this.  The iPad version should have been a slam dunk, but it's marred by a lot of annoying interface issues that make it feel really shoddy. 
The planar die roll animation takes way too long. It doesn't even need to be an animation. if i touch the die or select ' roll planar die' the result of the roll should appear instantly Like drawing a card.
I'd like it if the selection ring on the campain ladder was a color instead of white, right now you have to wait for the background to load and the white screen to dissapate before you can see it.
 
Being able to watch 2 or 3 or 4 CPUs of your choice fight out a Duel without playing yourself.

Mafia Game Slots:

1. Open

2. Hundred Acres (Dead Town)

3. Open

4. Open

5. Open

6. Open

- Extremely limited time while Tutoring

I don't know how many games I've lost because I can't find one card out of 40+ in the ~10 seconds the game seems to give.  The deck-search interface is terrible enough on its own (scrolling is a nightmare, can't see any cards other than the one selected), but having the game randomly select for you instead of just cancelling the spell wastes the tutor at best, or costs you a turn/the game at worst. 

- Combat Animation

Pointless waste of time.

- No way of telling the game to hold priority for you before a phase ends during the other player's turn.

If there's any lag at all, the timer will tick out before you get a chance to cast anything

- No way of distinguishing ownership of a card

- No way of conceding a duel without leaving the match
It's been suggested that the non-PC versions get a "free froating" cursor, at least as an option, and I fully support this. As soon as there's a big number of things on the battlefield, selecting something is slow and painful. 

I wanted to add to this idea with something that could then also be implemented. It could already be done on PC (and probably iPad), but could also be done on other platforms once you've got the free-floating option.

When you play a spell or ability that can target creatures or players, you have to first select from a dialogue box "creatures or players" and then pick one. My suggestion is to cut out the first step, and just ask you to pick the target. You click on a creature if you want to target it, or just click on the avatar of a player if you want to target them. I know it's only a slight difference, but it would be one less click every single time you play a Lightning Bolt with no down side that I can see. That's a lot of accumulated time, and it should be really easy to implement.

If the free-float remained optional on non-PC formats, the current system could be retained while the free-float has been turned off.
I am a Rules advisor. Feel free to send me any questions as a private message! Check if you have found a bug in Duels 2013 Report a bug Report a technical issue I have written several guides to help new DoTP players here, move to the first post to start reading. They are also in Wordpress format here. The principles involved should still be useful for Duels 2013!
Useful links:
Find other DoTP players - a database of friendly players, find a match or post your name here to be added to the list! I'll add a D13 section if anyone would like. Ask a rules question - ask anything about DoTP, Magic in general, or to check out if you've found a bug by asking if the rules are being followed. Community thread for general chatter in the DoTP part of the forum! Guide to Yugioh on Xbox live: A beginner's guide focusing on the similarities and differences to Magic.
There are some really great ideas here!

My main hot button issue, playing on the ipad, is trying to select cards when they are all overlapping.  This happens all the time in two headed giant when placing blockers, for example.

 I think a good solution would be allowing us to zoom in, and/or scroll left and right to see all the different creatures. 
"It's been suggested that the non-PC versions get a "free froating" cursor, at least as an option, and I fully support this."

I use iPad version and I don't think this is needed, but I have played the PS3 versions of the demos of DotP (the first one) and Dotp 2012 and compared to iPad, the interface is a hassle. I would have preferred a free floating cursor like a mouse. Furthermore I don't see why the control stick is used to make selections whereas the dpad changes the camera. (ugh!)

edit:
p.s. I thought of an all-new idea just now.
Difficulty level should be chosen before each AI duel rather than from the options/settings.
This would be consistent with the fact that the medal/symbol for each AI opponent is displayed in bronze/gold/etc depending on what difficulty you picked.
Furthermore when you select a difficulty, maybe the corresponding medal would be displayed next to the difficulty's name. (e.g. Mage would have a bronze symbol, Planeswalker would have a gold symbol)

This makes even more sense when considering that the difficulty level doesn't apply to certain things. (encounters and challenges) So for those things you wouldn't need to pick a difficulty anyway.