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Peering Into the Afterlife - VoZ Developer Blog

Visions of Zosimos is a Free-To-Play Online Strategy Board and Collectible Card Game! Join us as we discuss design decisions, tactics and art!

Author: VisionsofZosimos

Elemental Power Dice - The Wildcard

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Monday September 17 2012 at 12:46PM
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In the last blog post, we discussed the core mechanic of the three basic dice pools- Body, Soul, and Mind. However, some of you may have noticed another number below those pools. These are the Elemental Power Dice, and they are easily the most flexible tool in the arsenal of any Alchemist in their struggle for dominance of the Afterlife.

The most basic use of Elemental Power Dice is to enhance attacks or defenses. Whenever your homunculus participates in a direct fight, you have the opportunity to use your elemental power dice to enhance the roll, adding to your maximum damage or defense for that attack.



Want to add some zazz to that attack? Elemental Power Dice have you covered!


Similarly, you can spend Elemental Power Dice to move your homunculus just a bit farther. In a later blog post, we’ll discuss the various phases of a player’s turn, but for now, suffice to say that when moving your homunculus, you will be able to see both the unit’s normal move range, and the additional range allowed by spending elemental dice. The more dice you have to spend, the larger the maximum of this range, so well timed spending of these dice can allow your homunculus to outmaneuver your opponents and set up powerful strategies.

Elemental Power Dice can also be used when deploying cards onto the battlefield. If you lack the normal dice required, but still wish to play a given card this turn, you have the option of taking the remaining cost from your elemental power dice instead. This way, in your most desperate hour, you can play the card that might turn the tide of the entire conflict!

But wait, there’s more! Some cards have special abilities that can only be activated by spending a certain amount of Elemental Power Dice, and these can be extremely potent. Take, for example, the Paladin – normally, if he deals 4 damage in a single attack, he also Stuns the foe, preventing it from moving or attacking next turn. However, if you spend 2 Elemental Power Dice, you can simply activate the Stun Ability, even if he does as little as 1 damage!



In His hands I place my safety; bring forth, then, all enemies of God.


With such varied and powerful uses for Elemental Power Dice, you might think that there has to be some sort of trade-off – you would be right. Whereas the other three pools become active or inactive, and offensive or defensive, Elemental Power Dice do not change in type. Furthermore, once spent, these dice are gone, so you must take care to spend them wisely!

How then, do you get more elemental dice to use? We’re glad you asked! First, a small amount of Elemental Power Dice are granted to each player at the beginning of every conflict. Second, a homunculus (and only a homunculus) can harvest Elemental Power Dice from Terrain tiles. If a Terrain tile matches the Elemental Alignment of the homunculus, it can harvest 2 additional Elemental Power Dice to add to its pool. If the Terrain type does not match the homunculus’ Elemental Alignment, but also does not directly oppose the homunculus’ Elemental Alignment, it can harvest just 1 additional die. Be careful, though – if the Terrain type directly conflicts with the homunculus’ Elemental Alignment, you will have to spend 1 elemental die to avoid losing the ability to play cards and make attacks that turn! Once a terrain tile has been harvested, it cannot be harvested again by you for the remainder of the conflict.



Terrain cards are the secret to gathering more Elemental Power Dice, so every deck should have them!


As you can see, Elemental Power Dice can swing a battle one way or another if spent wisely. Combined with the basic dice pools, they form the vast majority of a homunculus’ offensive and defensive options. With Elemental Power Dice, you can overwhelm your opponents and pull yourself out of the most desperate of situations. So make sure you use them carefully to give yourself the best advantage!

If you are interested in learning more about Visions of Zosimos, want to stay up to date with our latest development news, gain chances to win Beta keys, free card packs and more, please join us on our Official Facebook page

Ever Shifting Dice Pools

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Monday September 10 2012 at 11:34AM
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Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one of the core mechanics of Visions of Zosimos – and one that makes it stand out from many other games – the dice pools. As you may know, every player summons a homunculus to send into the Afterlife to carry out his or her will. Though the specific abilities of any given homunculus vary considerably, they all have the same varieties of dice pools from which to do a variety of different things.


The basic dice pools. Elemental Dice (the yellow number) will be explained in detail in a later post.


The three basic types are as follows:
  • Body Dice: Body Dice are Red in color, and are used to cast Minion encounters. These are granted to you by your Elemental Essence card upon Homunculus Creation.
  • Soul Dice: Soul Dice are Green in color, and are used to cast Ambush Cards, which are invisible to enemy players until triggered. These are granted to you by your Ego Essence card upon Homunculus Creation.
  • Mind Dice: Mind Dice are Blue in color, and are used to cast Persistent and Direct Spell Cards. These are granted to you by your Alchemist Essence card upon Homunculus Creation.

These three pools form the core of any homunculus, and have to be considered carefully based on the type of deck you would like to play. All three of these pools are divided into Attack and Defense. Depending on what element you are using, cards may pull their costs from one or the other, but it is generally consistent within an element. Earth and Ice tend to cast from the Defense Pools, but Fire and Lightning cast from Attack. Once a game begins, the maximum of any pool is relatively set, but taking damage can reduce a pool, and certain effects can restore them. Additionally, some minions and bosses grant a bonus to a pool to the homunculus of the player that defeated them; these bonuses last for the rest of the current game.

Dice can either be spent to use a specific card, such as summoning a minion or casting a spell, or can be used to directly attack or defend against enemy minions, bosses, and homunculi. In the latter case, the attacker chooses how many dice to attack with, and the defender similarly chooses how many dice they would like to defend with. If a die rolls an even number (a 2, 4, or 6), it is considered a ‘success’. The successes are then compared directly between the attacker and the defender to determine the result. For example, if an attacker has 4 successes while a defender only has 2, the defending unit takes 2 damage, losing 2 dice from the pool they defended with. If a defender gets lucky, they can block some or all of the damage they would have received from a given attack, but be careful – if any of your homunculus’ pools reaches 0 total Attack and Defense, you lose!


If an attack brings a pool’s total to 0, the creature dies. If it’s your homunculus, you lose!


Regardless of how they are used, however, once dice are spent, they become inactive and shift to the other pool. For example, if a spell used 5 Mind Dice from Attack, they would become inactive and shift to Defense. At the beginning of a player’s turn, any inactive dice in their pools become active, becoming available for use once again. In the previous example, when that player’s next turn starts, they would have 5 additional Mind Dice in their Defense Pool. Players must balance Attack with Defense to keep their momentum going. Don’t worry, though- inactive dice are still considered part of your totals, so spending everything from one pool won’t cause you to lose the game.

It should be noted, however, that homunculi are the only cards that have multiple pools this way. For example, minions only have a Body Pool. In addition, minions do not have shifting dice pools; when they use dice, the used dice become inactive but do not shift between Attack and Defense. At the start of the player’s next turn, all inactive dice on minions become active in their original pool as normal.

Learning how to use these pools is the key to your success in Visions of Zosimos. For more information on dice pools check out our two videos from GDC. If you can master the skill of when and how to shift the die pools of your homunculus, it will lead you to victory after victory! Good luck!

If you are interested in learning more about Visions of Zosimos, want to stay up to date with our latest development news, gain chances to win Beta keys, free card packs and more, please join us on our Official Facebook page

Community Efforts and Blog Overview

Posted by VisionsofZosimos Tuesday September 4 2012 at 10:35PM
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Welcome to the "Visions of Zosimos" (VoZ) Developer Blog! Here, we will talk strategy about the design behind the MMOCCG “Visions of Zosimos”. Before we go into more depth about that, however, we’d like to talk about our recent efforts to bring together the community and get the word out about this revolutionary new game and genre.

Our Facebook page will be posting updates regularly every Friday – but we’ll never wait for a deadline to deliver new and exciting news! Be sure to “Like” and post on our page for the chance to win prizes, up-to-and-including beta keys. In addition, a concentrated effort has been made to increase forum activities from our dev team. You should be able to spot them easily from a special custom avatar, so your questions can be answered directly from someone involved in the development of VoZ! Finally, we are beginning to rev up for an Indiegogo campaign, so be sure to check it out once it begins. Details will be posted both here and on the Facebook page as soon as they are available.

As for this blog, it will be aimed at discussing various design decisions, from the lore to the art to the game mechanics themselves. It will be updated regularly, so be sure to check back . Some things we may cover include:

  • Alchemist Spotlight- an in depth look into the personalities and backgrounds of the alchemists you can choose from.
  • In-depth Mechanics discussions
  • Game Design Insider- a walkthrough of the design around a particular card, from its conception to the various changes that were made (and the reasoning for said changes), up until the current form of the card.
  • And many other topics that merit discussion!

We look forward to sharing with you the exciting development cycle of this new genre of game!