Sunday, February 21, 2010

Deck Building Utilities (Update February 2010)

New versions of the "Secret Library", "Anarch Revolt Deck Builder" (ARDB) and "Fragments of Elder Library Deck Builder" (FELDB) have been published in February 2010. All three utilities now have the card texts (and pictures, where applicable) from the new VtES expansion "Heirs to the Blood". Here's the update of the basic information:

Secret Library
Current Version: 0.9.3
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.
Advantages/Disadvantages:
  • Card List & Inventory
    • complete card list with card texts
    • lacks pictures of actual cards (due to copyright issues)
    • search & filter use, but not as sophisticated as in the ARDB
    • card inventory can be kept
  • Deck Building
    • offers the basic functionality of deck builder
    • includes card drawing simulation, but offers no statistical information on the deck.
    • ability to export decks as text (*.txt), HTML file (*.html), FELDB (*.eld) or for use in JOL (*.jol), Lackey or WebTES or for posting to internet forums (*.phbBB) and local forums.
    • gives some advice on deck building based on the "Happy Families" theory
  • Other Features
    • since it's web-based application, you don't need a local installation.
    • ability to make deck lists public or keep them private.
Expansions: all VtES expansions (now including Heirs to the Blood).
Latest Posting: 21/Feb/2010
Changelog: Secrect Library Changelog

Anarch Revolt Deck Builder ("ARDB")
Current Version: 3.1.0
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
    • supports a number of non-Windows operating systems
  • 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
    • automatic update of the card database from White Wolf website -- New!
    • download of the card pictures from the client -- New!
    • little utility for creating proxy cards
URLs:
Cost: free software
OS Platforms: Windows, OpenSuSE, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, (Mac OS X 10.5)
Expansion Updates: about 1 to 4 weeks after an expansion has been released.
Expansions: all VtES expansions.
Latest Posting: 20/Feb/2010
Changelog: ARDB Changelog on Google Code

Fragments of Elder Library Deck Builder ("FELDB")
Current Version: 2.6.0 Beta
Author(s): Balasz Kuno Kiss
Homepage: Bala's FELDB website or FELDB on Google Groups
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
    • 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 (now with legality check)
    • VEKN Number, Event's Date, Event's Name on the DeckInfo tab (for organizers and princes) -- New!
    • 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
  • URLs:
  • FELDB v2.5.2
  • VtES Card Images
  • VtES Card Images (HttB Only)
  • 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: 14/Feb/2010

    5 comments:

    extrala said...

    The way in which ARDB handles card images has been changed. To use card images you will need to either:

    1. Download the new card zip files using the File | Download Images option and select the card sets to download

    or

    2. Copy over previous copies of the downloaded card image zip files to this versions card images folder.

    3. Create the image zip files yourself from local card images. ARDB expects to find a directory called cardimages in the directory it is installed in. Inside this directory it expects to find a zip file for each set. The name of the zip files are .zip i.e Heirs to the Blood images are found in the file httb.zip. If you have the old cardimages directory just zip up each of the card set sub directories (without paths) and save them under the cardimages directory.

    JH said...

    The lack of images from the Secret Library is definately a copyright issue. I like to keep the site as legal as possible.

    smallcaps said...

    don't forget Sutekh:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/sutekh/

    one of the better vtes utilities i have found for linux.

    Anonymous said...

    Seeing as FELDB hasn't been updated for us with Danse Macabre, Anarchs Unbound and The Unaligned, and Secret Library has no option to import your library: What do people use these days to keep an index of their card inventory?

    extrala said...

    FELDB has been updated along with the other utilities:
    See https://vtesone.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/vtes-utility-updates-for-anarchs-unbound/ for more details and download links.