Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deck Building Utilities (Update November 2008)

New versions of the "Anarch Revolt Deck Builder" (ARDB), "Fragments of Elder Library Deck Builder" (FELDB), "Secret Library" and the "Deck Template" have been published in November 2008. All utilities now include the cards (and images for the first two utilities) from the "Keepers of Tradition" expansion. Here's the update of the basic information:

Anarch Revolt Deck Builder ("ARDB")
Current Version: 2.8.1
Author(s): Graham Smith (current project lead) / Francois Gombault (initial creator)
Homepage: ARDB on Google Code
Description: Layered Filters, multiple export functionality and a tidy interface are the top features of this program, somewhat newer than the FELDB it had a fresh start and gained soon popularity in the VtES community.
Advantages/Disadvantages:
  • Card List & Inventory
    • complete card list with card texts
    • complete collection of pictures of actual cards.
    • great search & filter use, multiple, layered filters
    • card inventory can be kept
  • Deck Building
    • offers the basic functionality of deck builder
    • includes some statistical information about the decks as well as card drawing simulation
    • ability to store decks in XML format (*.xml), as text (*.txt), HTML file (*.html) or for use with JOL (*.jol) or for posting to internet forums (*.phbBB).
    • gives some advice on deck building based on the "Happy Families" theory
  • Other Functionality
    • can update card database from White Wolf website
    • little utility for creating proxy cards
URLs:
Cost: free software
OS Platforms: Windows, OpenSuSe, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, (Mac OS X 10.3+)
Expansion Updates: about 1 to 4 weeks after an expansion has been released.
Expansions: all VtES expansions.
Latest Posting: 25/Nov/2008
Changelog: ARDB Changelog on Google Code

Fragments of Elder Library Deck Builder ("FELDB")
Current Version: 2.5.0 (Beta)
Author(s): Balasz Kuno Kiss
Homepage: FELDB on Google Groups or Bala's FELDB website
Description: After the ELDB ("Elder Library Deck Builder") was no longer maintained, the ELDB's author David Andersion-Davila published the sources and FELDB was the result of the development with serious improvements over the old program.
Advantages/Disadvantages:
  • Card List & Inventory
    • complete card list with card texts
    • almost complete collection of pictures of actual cards.
    • basic ability to filter and sort cards, this could be better, especially when compared to the ARDB.
    • card inventory can be kept, but needs to be used carefully when updating to the next version or expansion.
  • Deck Building
    • offers the basic functionality of deck builder
    • includes some statistical information about the decks as well as card drawing simulation
    • ability to store decks in native format (*.eld), as text (*.txt), HTML file (*.html) or for use with JOL (*.jol).
  • Other Features
    • deck manager functionality
    • several import/export options for decks and inventories
    • usually the quickest update after an expansion has been released
    • can update card database from White Wolf website (indirectly)
  • URLs:
    Cost: free software
    OS Platforms: Windows
    Expansion Updates: about 1 to 2 weeks after an expansion has been released.
    Expansions: all VtES expansions.
    Latest Posting: 24/Nov/2008

    Deck Template
    Current Version: 4.1.1
    Author: Gregory Williams
    Homepage: Utilities on Storage Annex
    Description: Multilayered Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with automated card info, ability counts and ratio calculations.
    URLs:
    Cost: free software (MS Office or OpenOffice Calc required)
    OS Platforms: Windows / Linux
    Expansions: all VtES expansions.
    Latest Posting: 24/Nov/2008

    Secret Library
    Current Version: 0.8.7
    Author: Jussi Hattara
    Homepage/URL: http://www.secretlibrary.info
    Description: A finnish website with similar filter & search functionality as "V:EKN Nu" and "VtES Monger". Nice, fresh web design and the ability to keep one's inventory as well as deck building utility. Definitively the best web-based site. The only "drawback" you need a (free) account to use the deck building and inventory functionality.
    Expansions: all VtES expansions.
    Latest Posting: 21/Nov/2008
    Changelog: Secrect Library Changelog
  • 1 comment:

    3385013 said...

    Please note that V:EKN.NU actually is reached through www.vekn.se. Go figure!
    (Someone napped the .nu domain when the owner forgot to pay.)