Author Topic: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know  (Read 12628 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Because if it did exist, it would be highly illegal to own, even if you've got a legitimate copy not only of the base Shandalar game (from 2001) but also both expansions (which Microprose and/or TSR or WotC if they had already bought them, decided could not be simultaneously active for any single player.  :buck2: )

Why? Well, because it would include just over fourteen thousand cards (possibly more), plus card art scans for them all which I expect would be a whole other level of copyright infringement. Though admittedly that would include things like four or five variant versions of "Fog". But still.

And if I had found a community project with (non-virusy, so far as my updated Avast software can tell) a pretty successful and recently updated alpha version of such a program that seems to run perfectly well on Win 8.1, I am sure I wouldn't be giving the link to the slightly magical card game forum where this could be safely downloaded. Because, to reiterate, WotC (and probably Atari) owns the rights to all that material, and really ought to be making the campaign game themselves although they aren't. But if they ever did want to, this would be cutting into their profits, and that admittedly wouldn't be fair.

But assuming hypothetically I had found this mythical item, I would probably be spending some time this weekend playing it for a while to test out how things are going with it.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2015, 09:12:28 PM »
Wherefore art this mythical piece of magicry?


I still have the original disk and manual.  I believe it still kinda worked up to WinVista or Win7 although the disk DRM may have caused some issues.

I do wish a similar single-player campaign would be done in the modern ones. 

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2015, 09:24:34 PM »
Wofur does it exist? Because someone thought it should!

I mean maybe exist. Because if it did exist, I'm sure it would be all kinds of not allowed (and rightly so) to post up a public link to it on a public forum.

Of publicity.

Since it doesn't exist, neither did I fight my first duel tonight while trying to get to the nearby village -- ambushed by a filthy elf mage -- and manage to win by casting a Serra's Embrace on a Southern Paladin while shutting down his 2/1 first strike elves with an enchantment I forget the name of but which either gives +2/+2 to a human or to anything else locks the card in stasis on the table (still in play and able to be targeted but can't attack or block).

To be fair, I think the AI got confused because he should have been running his tramply Mammoths at me at least one of those turns, whereas he kept it back like he thought he could guard against my now-more-powerful-and-flying Paladin. Then again, I was only playing on the 2nd of the 4 AI levels, which may be hampering its abilities to plot ahead. I should check around and see if I can confirm what the AI levels do.

I mean hypothetically. Ahem.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline MetalDog

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2015, 09:25:05 PM »
I don't know if it was Shandalar or Duels of the Planeswalkers that I had, but, I bought the game without actually owning a computer.  THAT'S how much I loved MtG.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2015, 09:29:04 PM »
Wow... that's commitment.  :o

(I think they're both the same game; Shandalar was just the campaign component. DotP was the overarching engine which also allowed multiplayer of various kinds.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline MetalDog

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2015, 09:32:24 PM »
According to the Wiki:

Duels of the Planeswalkers[edit]
This was an upgraded version of the original game released on January 14, 1998. Owners of the original game were eligible for a mail-in rebate. It included the original game, all of the upgrades included in Spells of the Ancients, and 80 new cards from the expansion sets Legends and The Dark.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gathering_(MicroProse)
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2015, 09:36:36 PM »
{Mod hat on}

Guys, let's not be overly clever about trying to skirt our first rule here.  We don't need anyone getting in trouble.

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 08:04:06 AM »
Right. Which is why I am not and won't be providing links anywhere, and I am not even offering to do so privately.

I will however mention that I've read somewhere in the talk about this version that there's a way in the system to turn off cards that are found to be buggy, which could be applied to all cards included after the Duels of the Planeswalker compilation.

(Apparently at the time I misunderstood the compilation to only include the base game, The Dark, and maybe Ice Age, and patches released during and after Spells of the Ancients but not the two sets released in SotA itself, which were Arabian Nights and... either Legends or Antiquities, I forget, whichever wasn't included in the original release. [Edited to add: then I read MD's wiki paste again.  ::) ] But I remember there being some pretty hacked off players, not just me, that we effectively had to choose between SotA and DotP but couldn't play both, with a fan patch for manalink later which opened all the available decks for anyone who had bought either DotP or SotA, since naturally the data was already there and actually already paid for so that DotP and SotA owners could play each other -- it just couldn't be used by the respective owners themselves. The last official SotA patch, which I happen to have btw, ported the cards from DotP so that SotA owners could play against DotP owners, but not use DotP cards themselves. Anyway.)

In other words, once all the cards after DotP are turned off, the game is only effectively a patch for making the original game work on Win 8.1 with some remaining bugginess eliminated. Although it would still be illegal if you didn't own a copy of the proper games (the original MtG and SotA and/or DotP), since it's an ISO; and naturally there's no way for anyone who has copyright to the game (Wizards of the Coast and whoever owns Microprose properties right now... Atari?) to check that usage.

So it isn't like OpenXcom which is an extensive fan patch and upgrade to the original X-Com, and which is technically an ISO of the game, but requires a legitimate copy be installed somewhere (from Steam for example). Shandalar2015 is the full game, so would be illegal for anyone to own who doesn't already own the original MtG and at least one of the expansions (and the last official SotA patch, which made it work with the cards from DotA.)

And it would still be illegal even then unless all the extra cards are turned off.

This does lead to the interesting legal question of whether fan patches are illegal since they necessarily modify the code of the original; I suspect any fan-patch is, unless the publishers and/or developers have published express permission for it. But few if any companies prosecute non-permitted fan patches since after all they're doing work for free to make the game more salably usable. This is not technically the case here! Someone could download Shandalar2015 and play it without ever giving anyone holding copyright a cent, even if only the original cards for the game are turned on; and it features content (lots and lots and lots of content) not permitted for release by Wizcoast which not only can be turned on but which start turned on by default (with no clear way to turn them off).

So I guess you could regard it as news that the update does now exist, but not something that I or anyone else should be providing public links to on Grogheads. Which is why I won't.

If you search the internet privately yourself in various ways, you should be able to find it, but I'm not going to give explicit hints about how to do that either. (I'm even obscuring what it's technically called, which isn't Shandalar 2015.)

Personally, I would recommend for anyone who does find it, that you download the current MtG:Duels from Steam (or wherever, not sure if it's available through any other service), and then spend some very significant real money there to reimburse Wizcoast as an act of good faith. That still won't make it legal to run the game, strictly speaking, but it would be a moral thing to do. :)

I could suggest buying a real copy of the original game and as much of the expansions as it takes to get all the originally released cards (and then figuring out how to turn off all the extra cards), but I'm unsure there's any way to do that now which reimburses the copyright holders, and besides last I checked I saw an average of around $100 in scalping from various sites. Granted, this new Shandalar would easily be worth $100 in what amounts to expansions, but it would be better to pay that to Wizcoast through the Duels game.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 08:13:57 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 08:19:08 AM »
In possibly related news, I just spent $120 in Duels for some reason.  :D
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline besilarius

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 09:27:16 AM »
Because you can.


And, of course, the alternative lurks in Innsmouth.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 12:27:19 PM »
We cannot say Innsmouth is clean, but now we have reason to rejoice!  :))

(Flavor text on one of the Archangel cards, iirc.)


Okay, according to my calculations, based on using the number of cards assigned to the "Origins" set, buying a full release set on Duels will cost less than $85 (if enough boosters are bought all at once in bulk to get the bulk discount. I calc'd $83 and change but I forget the specific number and it's going to vary anyway.)

Obviously some sets are printed with more cards and some with less ("The Dark" has so many and "Antiquities" has so many etc.), but there are also repeats of some cards between sets and I don't know how Duels is going to handle that yet: for example, they're including "Fog" in the "Origins" sets, which is a card dating back almost (or as) far as the very first edition. So if they release a prior set that had "Fog", will they be including "Fog" as part of that sale? Or will we be randomly rebuying four "Fogs" in order to fill out that prior set? -- which will be one hundred percent useless because we don't need extra physical copies for standing decks, and because we can't use more than 4 of any card in deck building?

Personally I hope Duels will take the good faith marketing route and say, okay we're making 1st Edition Booster packs available for sale starting today, minus any now-illegal cards (e.g. Black Lotus), but if you've already picked up things like "Fog" while buying a prior set, you won't have to risk rebuying useless versions of "Fog". Instead, we'll make the 1st Edition artwork available for free so that if you already own Fog you can choose which version of the art you want to play with, or let the game assign it randomly when you play (as it kind of does already for some cards like lands). Ditto for every time Fog is included in future sets: you get access to that artwork as an option for free. But if you don't have four Fogs yet, then you'll still have a chance to pick up a Fog.

But who knows, they may whore Fog out etc.

(Dear Wizcoast: you may use "Fog Whore" as a card concept for free. Just accept my money for playing Shandalar 2015 kthx!  O:-) )


Anyway -- So, $85(ish) for a full set. Duels comes with one set unlocked (the Duels Starter package) and one set that progressively unlocks (the Origins set per se) as coins are spent on boosters. Every booster pack gets 6 cards, with no repeats if you already own 4 of a card. Aside from set-specific lands, no need to spend coins on lands (all basic lands are free and infinite in number). So a full unlock of the... um... 160ish cards (I think I counted 157) needs so many boosters (actually the number isn't even for some reasons so it seems like the final booster may be partially wasted!?) Which will cost $83.xx in American money, bought at once in bulk.

Consequently, I just bought one and a half full sets; or since I had already unlocked about half of the Duels sets, call it two sets (Origins plus whatever set they release next, with Duel Starter being free for a total of free sets.)

So... looking around I don't think Ice Age was released for the Shandalar game, only 4th edition set, Antiquities, Arabian Nights, Legends, and the Dark. (And the goofy Astral cards unique to Shandalar/Manalink, which can only play with computer code for randomizing things.) So I've payed (long, long ago) for using those in Shandalar already; and in effect I just payed for using two more sets of my choice (not three because Duel Starter was free -- though if it has unique cards maybe I should include it.)

I'm thinking of activating sets chronologically if I can, so starting from 4th edition I would activate the ones I already paid for (which are the first four expansions anyway) and then Ice Age (which follows the Dark) and... eh, need to check the Wiki. There may be three distinct sets connected to the Ice Age. I should activate at least one but no more than two sets after Ice Age (or the first part of the Ice Age set anyway), since I haven't 'paid' for using any more in Shandalar yet.

Then as Wizcoast releases new sets for Duels (maybe in chronological order but it doesn't matter really), I'll pay the bulk cost for boosters to buy that set and activate the next set in Shandalar. If I'm playing a campaign, those cards should just come available.

(Though mental note: not sure how the game assigns cards to AI monsters now. Don't want to cripple them by turning off cards now assigned to their 'decks'; and I know from experience they have access somehow to all the active cards.)

Edited to fix reference to the first unlocking set in Duels which is "Origins".
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 12:39:05 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline bbmike

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 12:31:40 PM »
I'm gonna stick with Magic 2013 that I bought during a Steam sale a while back.  ;)
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 12:40:31 PM »
Well, no reason not to add Duels to your playtime, too, since you'll get one set of cards for free (the "Duels" starter set) and about half the first unlockable set ("Origins") for free just by playing the tutorial missions and campaigns.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline bbmike

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2015, 12:47:35 PM »
I just look, it's actually called Magic the Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013. I also appear to have a LOT of DLC with it. Is that what you are referring to?
"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
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"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
-Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

"There's a horror movie called Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you!"
-The Doctor

“Before Man goes to the stars he should learn how to live on Earth.”
-Clifford D. Simak

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: !! Shandalar 2015 !! -- uh, not that it exists, so far as you know
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2015, 02:37:07 PM »
No, for (I guess) the 2016 game, Wizcoast decided to drop the yearly naming (we've had MtG2015 already) and they've gone to a free-to-play model with much more robust deck building options than in previous releases.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/316010/

Every four days everyone gets 40 coins (more-or-less) automatically to spend on cards, and then you can have three 'quests' running at a time, the completion of which earns another 40 coins. Also, finishing all the tutorial and campaign missions will not only unlock all of one of the two starting sets (the "Duels Starter" set), but you'll earn enough coins (almost 1500 if I recall right) to buy enough "booster" packs to unlock somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the other starting set (the "Origins" set), both of which are designed around the theme of the origin stories of five of the Planeswalkers.

You're given complete freedom (outside the tutorial campaigns and missions) to build your decks however you want them, with any cards you've unlocked. Each booster pack costs 150 coins (with coins being earned by playing against people or bots, or bought somewhat faster with real money, at $2 or less per 150 depending on how much you buy in bulk), and gives 6 random non-basic-land cards from the Origin set (with more sets supposedly to come). The system makes sure you don't waste a booster by getting more than 4 of any card.

The executive from Wizcoast who is in charge of their PC gaming side, says this is how they're planning to continue for the foreseeable future. They may provide loyalty deals in coins for people who already invested in previous DotP games, I don't know. But it won't be a new game restarting over every year now.


The Shandalar game I'm talking about I can't and won't link to; but it's a very extensive fan patch / update to an ambitious and popular old game from around the turn of the century when Microprose had the license. Originally it had multiplayer, although I'm unsure if that's still active. Mainly it's a single-player campaign on a procedurally generated map where you travel around overland and dungeons fighting MtG monsters and building up a card collection to fight with until you free Shandalar from five oppressive Planewalkers.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.