(FORWARD: Complete n00b to this type of stuff, looking for your feedback. Googled MTG + testing + balancing and others and didn't get any info about the super Magic-making program or professional testing process--other than speculation. )
Not directly related to any programming, but of course I'm interested in how such a range of variables and abilities are balanced, which is certainly relatable.
So, does anybody know how they balance this game? Or a good guess?
I was mainly wondering if there is some kind of program they can use to start to organize and balance cards? Or, is it too much, and they need to get the human or intuitive factor involved...play games, experiment, and slowly balance it out? Both?
I guess you can just "program in" each card with it's function and see how they stack up against each other, but you'd still need to tell the computer that doing this is good and doing that is bad, and what to do when faced with a myriad of different problems. It seems a little unwieldy.
If anybody has played Duels of the Planeswalkers for the console, they have a campaign where you play against the computer while it uses increasingly difficult decks and your resources are somewhat more limited. I wonder if they had to work with these specific decks in combination and feel it out to find the balance, or if they do have some kind of program that will find the optimal result no matter what group of decks you throw at it.
It just seems like this kind of thing is a lot harder to control than a simple, very linear game like chess.