[stella] Warlords

Subject: [stella] Warlords
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 22:37:01 -0700 (PDT)
On Tue, 9 Sep 1997, PatMan wrote:
> If you mean they seem to be deflected right before they hit a castle where
> the warlord is "dead", there is a reason for this -- the shield from that
> castle is STILL there, but is the color of the playfield, and that causes
> the deflection.  (If you look, you can see the "ghost" of the shield and
> dead warlord everytime a brick is hit)

This wouldn't cause a 45' deflection.  It was coded deliberately into the
game for some reason.

Is this in the arcade version?

I can understand the need for this to provide some form of reflection to
hit the two remaining castles as opposed to bouncing back to the player,
but it still doesn't make sense to me.

If this HAS to be there, then there should be several different
deflections you can make off the phantom castle, but there is only one
deterministic path for a fairly wide swath of the track.

The reason I think Warlords has too few degrees of rotation is...

Let's say it's one on one at a diagonal.  There is really only one degree
where you can successfully hit him straight on.  And with the other two
castles gone, you can't generate any unpredictable trajectories.  Most
Warlords games are more about ball catching and surprise releases than
passive ball deflection, so the variety decreases.

A good enhancement to Warlords might be the ability to rotate on your
central axis AND move around the castle at the same time but this would
not work well with a single paddle and single button.

Maybe when you don't have the ball you could double-click at the spot
where you want a rotation platform to come out (or go back) and then if
you catch the ball and move into the platform, you go into internal axis
rotation mode until you release the ball.  By making it inconvenient to
set up, it provides a distraction to the player when they should be
defending themselves, and adds a bit of strategy in finding good spots to
set up a platform (or _whether_ to set up a platform.  I'd also set up
more angles of rotation on the corners of the castles. 

Maybe things could get more Rampartlike by allowing "rebuilding" routines,
but DURING battle when you don't have the ball by jogging the paddle all
the way left and right. This could rebuild one random stone at a time. 
This would help keep the other player from doing stalling tactics.  By
being random, sometimes the rebuilding would help out a lot, sometimes it
wouldn't, which could hurt you in the end if you waste too much time
trying to close that one gap but luck is against you. 

Warlords is a game genre that hasn't been done very often.  It's
definitely my favorite variation on the basic Pong motif, which I don't
typically like.  It's definitely the most aggressive variation...

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