Arachnaean Weaver/Sunbird timing question


#1

Weaver has “75% chance to summon a Webspinner when an enemy dies”
Sunbird “Deal X damage randomly split amongst enemies, boosted by my Life. Die and rise from the Ashes”

For argument purposes, assume the Weaver ability is being triggered successfully.

So, with no team slots open, I cast the Sunbird spell and it kills an enemy. What should happen at this point?

a) First sentence of Sunbird is invoked, opponent creature dies, triggering Weaver ability. Weaver ability has no slot to work from, so fails. Second sentence of Sunbird invokes, it dies and comes back. (this does not happen).

b) First sentence of Sunbird is invoked, opponent creature dies, triggering Weaver ability (pending). Second sentence of Sunbird is invoked, it dies and respawns. Weaver ability is resolved, no free slot, and does nothing. (this does not happen).

c) First sentence of Sunbird is invoked, opponent creature dies, triggering Weaver ability (pending). Second sentence of Sunbird is invoked, it dies, Weaver pending effect resolves, summoning a Webspinner, then the second part of the second sentence of Sunbird invokes. No team slot available so nothing happens. (Yes, this is what happens).

Verification - repeat with second team slot open. Kill one enemy and you get Webspinner in first slot, Sunbird in second spot.
Verification 2 - repeat with second team slot open. Kill 2 enemies and you get 2 x webspinner and no Sunbird.

So how does the timing model work for this - it does not seem reasonable to invoke during the “and” part of the second sentence but that seems to be what is happening?


#2

Some games, like Magic the Gathering, have very detailed rules about the timing of their phases so situations like this can be unambiguously resolved.

Gems of War has no rules about the timing of its phases.

But we’ve observed Sunbird a lot because it has some other “when something dies, summon…” interactions, and we know that the way it’s implemented is something like:

  1. Die.
  2. Let any “when something dies” effects happen.
  3. Resurrect, if possible.

So yes, if Sunbird’s death causes an ally to be summoned, and that leaves you with no empty slots, you don’t get your Sunbird back. This has been observed as long as Sunbird’s been around. Most people agree it’s reasonable, but like you they wish it were more clear from the text.


#3

Yeah, Ive seen my Sunbird lost many times, replaced by another troop summoned.
Another confusing thing is when 2 troops can trigger a storm at the start of battle (Skadi and Umberwolf). The troop that have priority is the one that is placed on the lowest position.


#4

Regarding storms - I wouldn’t call it exactly a priority. The thing is that first slot triggers its storm trait first, then second slot triggers its storm trait rewriting previous storm caused by first slot’s trait and so on until the fourth slot. The lowermost slot’s storm trait is the one you get because it is the last one to be activated.


#5

Also, it seems active player storms trigger then defenders triggers.
See starting the game with your hero with one storm at start, and their hero with a different storm at start. You will get the defender’s storm. Seems reasonable to evaluate from attacker first troop down his troop list then to defenders first troop down the list.


#6

I understand what happens of course - because tested it a bunch of times. I just don’t think its internally consistent. More likely it’s bad program than intent. See the whole issue with Life Drain and damage that left creatures with 4 HP if life drain triggered no matter what - defender’s triggered affects happened afterwards, so Bombot troop could never, ever kill something with Life drain, even if it was the only troop. It’s been fixed, either by allocating more damage or by changing the timing. But I believe it was working as intended by the designer’s timing model, they just didn’t like the side effects so changed the rules for that one card.

With your explanation:
“1. Die.
2. Let any “when something dies” effects happen.
3. Resurrect, if possible.”

So, when the enemy dies from the SunBird, the when something dies effect should happen. Then the SunBird should die letting another round of “when something dies” effects happen. Then resurrect. There are two death events - death from damage from the SunBird that kills troops of the enemy, and a later death by spell.

Support has already said that what is on the card happens in the order it it listed. Thus, Emperor Khorvash killing an unstunned traited Deathknight does not stop the Death curse from occuring - damage occurs (end of sentence). Creature dies. Then stun/mana drain tries to occur but fails.

I understand it’s difficult to implement - some sentences modify the sentence before them “deal double damage if condition X is met”.

It just seems unreasonable that two troops templated the same way produce different results. For SunBird, it’s like what is it really says is:
“Deal damage and die.” “Resurrect”
Instead of “Deal damage”. “Die and Resurrect”

As a player, I only care that I should be able to understand what it does by how it’s worded, but I can’t. I pretty much just have to test it out in a bunch of scenarios and hope I notice what it does and guess why it’s doing that.

Ubastet is another one - it seems to chain its affect if the troop does a summon on death. Said to be a bug, but much more likely the person implementing it did not understand how the timing should work and messed up as a result. If the designers and developers do not understand the interactions, how can the players determine when it’s a design decision or a bug?


#7

I agree with your premises. The part support hasn’t talked about much is how death events interact with “the order things are written on the card”.

But you’ve also named places where we don’t get what’s on the card. Really it just comes down to “it’s a bug unless the dev team decides (they like it / don’t want to fix it) in which case it’s ‘by design’”.