Splinterlands Enhancements II: Monster Training

How many times have you groaned as your Silvershield Archers hit Lord Arianthus twice – for precisely zero damage. How many times have you lost because your 4-attack (snipe or opportunity) monster killed a 3-health monster leaving your 3-attack (snipe or opportunity) monster to only wound a 4-health monster which then defeats you? Wouldn’t it be awesome if monsters could be trained to improve their target selection (and/or other choices)? And wouldn’t you like to see the pseudo-taunters (Lord Arianthus and Furious Chicken) taken down a few pegs now that real Taunt actually exists?

Training monsters is just what it sounds like – between matches you will change the choices that a given monster will make during matches. Training should be able to be performed on delegated creatures, thus allowing for a training marketplace, a bigger economy and a way for skilled newcomers to make more money. The training scripts should only be able to be seen by the author to preserve the market for the creators.

A useful tome

Training could be done by attaching scripting snippets to certain actions (like selecting a target) that will be executed instead of the game default code. Impossible choices, like not attacking a Taunt monster, would be ignored and replaced with the default action (or, possibly, some percentage chance of doing nothing due to monster confusion). Note also that selecting a target could include targets for Repair, Triage or even Resurrection if two monsters’ health reaches zero at the same time (not uncommon with blast and redemption).

Training could immediately allow new actions like skipping one attack to better target the next attack and do double damage. This could be useful in both the Silvershield Archers example and against targets with thorns or undamaged targets with healing. Or, a monster could pass up an attack to improve its dodging ability (or to avoid attacking into a useless fatal situation like a one-attack monster against the protect and thorns of Lord Arianthus).

Another option is to allow training to affect timing by delaying actions until later in the round. For example, waiting until a monster is wounded for healing; poisoned or stunned for cleanse; or stunned for knockout.

Training also gives opportunities for the developers to add new abilities to affect a single enemy monster with strengthened effects (blind, demoralize, headwinds, rust, silence, slow, weaken) or any targeted friendly monster with strengthened (inspire, magic reflect, protect, strengthen), normal (cleanse, divine shield, dodge, void) or weakened effects (poison). Default targeting would make many or most of these abilities too weak to be useful but trained targeting would make them useful and create many new tactical options.

Training could be limited by level with Gold Foil or Alpha monsters allowed enhanced training or even new options. Certain training could be limited to or enhanced for specific splinters, sets or types of monsters.

New abilities could also be added to partially offset training like monsters being unable to be targeted by enemy trained monsters (unless it is the default target) or enemy monsters’ training failing at a certain rate (either offensive-only or all training).

And, of course, a new match rule could be added for No Training.

Please!  Nerf me NOW!!!

So, what do you all think? These are just my initial thoughts and I’m sure that they could be improved upon. PLEASE comment below whether you like this idea or not and any changes/improvements you can come up with.

Stay tuned for my next post on Monster Merging. You could also suggest other Splinterlands enhancements and I’ll add them to my list. Until then may you always hit, retaliate and poison when you need to – and your opponent not be so lucky.