Sunday, 13 April 2014

Board manipulation - 2

Part 1

Hi all.

Somebody asked an important questions on building combos.

"How to line up combinations so that there is more space without messing up other combos?"

I suddenly realized that I almost never mess up my board when I am doing combo. I watched again on my video and I came up with a few ideas on how I didn't mess up with my board.

Making combo from one side to another

That's said, you align combo from one side and align another one next to it, and go on. This may not be a efficient way to do combo, but this technique is really handy when you don't want to think a lot each turn. You don't need to memorize lots of move pattern, but it is a challenge to orb moving speed, and on-the-fly reactions.

Take a look at the following:

I want to align them one on each column, from left to right, so that I won't mess up with the previous one when I moved on to the next one.

The purple one is a no brainer - just let them stays on the leftmost of the board. On the next column there is a heart and red cluster. Which color stays on the 2nd column is not really important because I just want them align vertically, one on each column. It looks like it is easier for red the stay on the 2nd column and heart to stay on the 3rd. But that depends on how you move the orb. In both ways the disruption to other orbs are minimal. I will leave the 4th column to the green orb. Whatever it takes just settle it there, and the yellow on the right most. 

And here we go:
You could have noticed there is a few problem:

1. The heart orb I have highlighted didn't align in the block I designated. Instead I used the heart orb below the yellow for my combo. If there is only three highlighted heard orbs, I would not able to complete my heart combo.

2. The position of the green orb is bad for them to align vertically because I have to move the leftmost green orb to the right, which my path will be blocked by the heart combo. 

3. Vertical clears cannot cause cascade.

Make sure the orb you need are on the "other side" of the board

If I am making columns from left to right, I will make sure the orb I used for next column are on the right of the combo.

I could do that but there no effective ways to move the green orb at the bottom when the dark combo is set.  Try it here, start with the yellow orb.

It is not encouraged because there are too many random movements in this large area. Most of the time cascade will solve these type of problems.

Without planning for cascade, never aligned a horizontal combo in the middle of the column

I have no extra words on this, just no.

"But if I really need to combine that three red orbs, what should I do?"

Put them as far away of the middle line as possible so you could have more space to move orbs around, or use minimum movement space to move the orb to one side.

Use chunks of orb that utilize all the spaces, they will align themselves magically

The idea is simple - say you wanted fit 4x3orbs into 12 spaces. When you aligned 9 orbs, the remaining 3 orbs will also be set in place. All you have to do is the move along the orbs so you didn't break the combos, and continue the rest of the comboing.

Take a look on the following:

12 orbs in 12 spaces. All I need to do is align three of them. It doesn't matter which goes first because if the orb movement stays within this rectangle there will be no extra orbs moving into the area.

It's a pretty simple move.

This also works when the space utilized is high enough. For example, 12 orbs in 15 spaces (that is half of the screen). If you align the combo from bottom (which is better than from top because it allows you to build cascade easily, please do this as a practice), the higher you are building, the less you need to move. Think of it like, in the worst case, you need to move 3 orbs in 15 spaces, and then 3 orbs in 12 spaces, and 3 orbs in 9 spaces so on.

It's better to see that in action (or try that yourself! This really works well!). Take a look on the left side of the board in the following:

I think that's enough for this week! If you have other ways to avoid breaking combos, please let me know! Thanks.

Next time I will probably talk about cascade building 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Board manipulation - 1

I made a little promise on reddit to share my techniques on doing combo. Obviously my thought process isn't perfect, but fellow new Horus users, or Ra, or Kirin, or DQXQ, may have found the following guide a bit different from other pics that tells you to how to solve orb patterns.

I'll try to keep the post less word and more gif (or gfycat). And as always, excuse my poor English :)

Spotting the orb ... pattern

Basic of the basic. Before you move any orbs, take a look on the screen and mark out the orbs that are located next to each others. 4 seconds of orb movement is not very long, often you will lose a lot of time try to re-locate and arrange some orbs that is not the very best choice of combo.

Take a look on the following

Let's set the colors we needed aside. Obviously there are lots of combo on this board, but which will save you most time? Take a look on the red orbs:

Yeah you won't choose the top one and move that one to the bottom.
Now take a look on yellow orbs:

Now that's a harder question. There are eight yellow orbs. How do you choose which matches to which? For simplicity, and practically, I choose the one that need least and simple movement.

(dark red denotes the movement of orbs I am holding)

This one is the no brainer because you could just pull it down in one single step. That left out the top four yellow orbs. But also mind that there are three blue orbs around it. We could use the pattern of movement here.

That leaves the yellow orb on the left unused
"Unused" means that you can freely fuck around with the orb without caring where it will finally land. Now if I start from the bottom left orb, we could quickly finish four combo:

(if the iframe doesn't work for you blogger, click here)

Another example:

Spotting the orbs we needed (deliberately chosen):

Now the right side is a bit messy.  How to make that simpler (at least in my mind)?

Give orbs a place to rest

Or technically, where I want the orb to be placed. Knowing where your orbs will be finally placed (or how'd you want them to be placed) can speed up your orb movement because you have a "target" to achieve. Cascade is the answer to this tricky question, but for now let just set aside the cascade stuff.

For the purple orbs, the best place for them is both three of them sitting on the bottom row because I've got orbs to move on top of them and I don't want your purple orbs to block my way. Also the purple orbs should be settled down first so I won't accidentally move the purple orbs away while comboing on the top.

For the yellow orbs, since there are two aligned, I would just move the bottom yellow one below them ([5,1] → [4,2]). Also removing the yellow orb from the bottom will auto align the purple orbs (I will talk about this later).

For the blue orbs, it's my choice where to settle them. But since the yellow and purple orbs formed a L-shape, the blue orbs should be in a I-shape unless I am going to more diagonally or do a cascade. I would just align them on the rightmost.

Joining the arrows:

Now everything is set, I can start moving the orbs. I will start with the yellow on top left and the heart combo.

(if the iframe doesn't work for you blogger, click here)

Now let's do it in a 5 color move!

Take a look on this board. We have five colors ready and they are arranged pretty nicely.

Spotting the 5 combo:

I didn't chose the red on top because, for simplicity. The yellow and green orbs are clustered on the top left. Leaving already no room for blue orb on the right. If I choose the red orb on top, I would have to have a lot of movement for the blue and purple orbs. Also, a 7-shape to -shape is a very simple move. Considering this:

Click here to see my solution