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Messages - Titandrake

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Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Scheme/Herbalist
« on: February 12, 2020, 02:20:05 pm »
Ah, 2012 strategy. A simpler time, when we had no idea wtf we were doing.

To be serious, the answer we'd use now is, "if you want to draw an action-treasure combo, just get a lot of actions and draw the treasure you want, instead of topdecking it, because topdecking it increases risk that you dud"

Tournaments and Events / Re: Dominion World Cup 2020
« on: January 31, 2020, 07:58:29 pm »
What on earth has one to do to join the Belgian team?

There was a sign-up form posted to this forum and the Dominion Discord in November. You filled it out, including what country you wanted to play for. The top 4 players for each country, as decided by your rating in Shuffle IT, were formed into a team. Countries that didn't get 4 sign-ups were merged when possible - for example, there's a West Europe team.

General Discussion / Re: Random Stuff Part IV
« on: January 16, 2020, 01:58:35 pm »
Okay, so you asked

"Does the current system work this way?"

And I believe the answer is yes, it combines the games for the past day into the single update. I'm not 100% sure of this, but DomBot on the Discord gives you estimates of what your next rating will be, and I believe it's always been accurate to the hundredths place. So if it does process 1 game at a time, then the difference between doing that and 1 day worth of update at once is negligible.

As for whether 1 loss should be repairable by at most 2 wins against an evenly matched opponent - that definitely seems more game dependent. From what I heard, in StarCraft, the gap in win rates between tiers is really big due to less inherent luck. So, if you lose to a low ranked player, it could be fair to say that you genuinely don't belong in your current skill tier, even if you perform well in games at your skill level.

General Discussion / Re: Random Stuff Part IV
« on: January 16, 2020, 11:55:24 am »
It seems that every match would basically influence the rating of every player within the system

Uh, why?

In the current system, we treat games as a stream of information of the form "Player A just beat Player B", and that gets updated into the existing skill estimates. The entire stream of games so far is summarized into the (mu, phi) that each player has, or in other words, after N games, the only information we need to care about is the rating system's current (mu, phi) estimate for each player.

In your proposed system, you want game order to not matter. So suppose Player A just beat Player B. This affects the skill estimate for A and B. However, consider all the people Player A has played against in the past. Like X1, X2, X3, X4, ..., X1000, for example. If game order doesn't matter, then these two orders should give equivalent rating.

(1000 games between A and Xi)
(game bewteen A and B)


(game between A and B)
(1000 games between A and Xi)

In order to do this, we need to retroactively update the skill estimate of every player X1, ..., X1000, to account for the information "A just beat B", because this indirectly influences how much we care about the information "A beat X1, lost to X2, beat X3, beat X4, ..."

Game order also matters because player skill isn't static, it changes over time. If the skill changes over time then it makes sense to consider the chronological order. I don't think you want to say something like, "Magnus Carlsen's rating should go down because he lost to a 1600 player when he was 5 years old". This is an absurd example because in reality such a rating system would probably not look back that far, but if you want to assume player skill is static over the time window used, using "time window = 1 game" seems reasonable enough, and even if you used a slightly larger time window, I would expect your ratings to be almost identical to using a time window of 1 game.

General Discussion / Re: STAR WARS
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:33:39 pm »
qntm has a take here which I like with.

Some cool ideas, bundled inside a bunch of weird writing.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:31:32 pm »
"Your menagerie got off to a poor start, with just a goat, two rats, and the advisor who suggested starting a menagerie."

I took this to be just a reference to earlier sets, not a clue about this one. After all, there can't be a Rats or Goat card in this one.

I mean, if your hand starts with 2 Rats in it, your Menagerie isn't going to activate. Meanwhile your Advisor is going to increase the odds you have duplicate cards, if your opponent is keeping track of what cards they gave you from previous Advisors. Sounds like a poor start to me.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: January 09, 2020, 02:12:09 am »
It's card draw where you choose how much of it you want to use. Stockpiling extra draw you don't need, only drawing up to the end of your shuffle, etc. all sounds really strong. Non-terminal isn't the most precise word for it, but I would guess that in practice you usually use Horses when you have a free action available, or you're confident you won't draw an action dead.

Horses probably don't have an additional cost, but I do expect that cards with Horses will look overcosted until you play with them.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: January 08, 2020, 09:48:49 pm »
Given that the description says "Horses that save a draw for later", I wonder if the way they'll work is that you actually draw one less card when you receive the Horse.  So, when you initially receive the Horse token it's like the -card token in Adventures, but then later when you use them, you get +1 card per token used (maybe you use them anytime you'd draw to get +1 card?  So, you couldn't simply use it before your buy phase to get another treasure, but you could use it before playing, say, a village to instead get +2 cards +2 actions, or at clean-up to get 6 cards in your next hand).  So you're saving the draw you would've gotten for later

This is what I thought based on "save a draw," too. However, I wouldn't think you'd have to use a Horse token only when you are drawing cards but rather just any time in your action phase (like how you spend a villager).

Based on this being more complicated, I think Horses are just going to be +1 Card (possibly costing an action to use), and cards that give Horses will not give +Cards. This is how all the Coffers cards have worked in the past - they didn't give you +$1 but they gave you the option to use +$1.

I'm guessing Horses may have an added cost because non-terminal card draw has proven to be really good, and deferring your card draw until you have spare actions sounds strong and hard to balance.

The part I find funny is that back in 2012, I made a My Little Pony fan expansion whose central mechanic was "cards that let each opponent draw an extra card", and 7.5 years later Dominion canonically has Horses that let you draw cards.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Defining the difference between levels
« on: December 21, 2019, 03:31:01 pm »
L47 and below: Often doesn't see the combo at all.
Under 50: what are you even doing

Wow. I mean, I can usually beat anyone I play with in person. It's only the competitive players who play online who beat me a lot. You must understand the spectrum of how good someone is at this game is a lot wider than levels 50-60...
(I'm currently at level 47 if I remember correctly. I made it to level 50 once.)

Sure, but if you're posting on a forum called "Dominion Strategy", it shouldn't be surprising that you can probably beat most people who play IRL.

Top of the leaderboard is about 65 these days. I didn't comment on 65 vs 60 because I don't think I can explain the difference there, but skill wise that's the same diff as 45-50. There are levels to this thing, the last time I spectated a high 40s game I was disagreeing with the buys about every other turn. I'm sure if a 60 watched me they'd complain half the time too. In fact I know this for a fact, since some 60s spectated my shuffle IT match and they told me they were just complaining about both players the whole time.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Defining the difference between levels
« on: December 20, 2019, 02:14:37 pm »
The difference between a higher rated player and a lower rated one is that the higher rated player does everything slightly to a lot better.

If you're able to attribute certain actions to higher rated players you already do them you're just worse at them.

Yes, pretty much this. When I was active I peaked at about level 60 and I certainly didn't "plan for turn 7 on turn 1". Right now I'm about level 55 and I'd describe it as

Under 50: what are you even doing
50-53: you kinda get what's going on here, but you make big blunders that don't get punished at your level
53-55: you usually get a strategy that's reasonable but may miss a better one, and also still make big blunders
55-60: you get what's going on but still make lots of small mistakes, and one or two huge ones
60 and up: you get what's going on and make fewer small mistakes, but you still make plenty of them and the space of potential mistakes is much bigger at your level.

Based on watching streams, people in the level 54-58 see almost all the same strategies top players do, they're just worse at executing them in every way possible.

Generally the consistently-better wins come from better shuffle management early, better endgame play late, and better buy decisions for everything in between. The buy decisions are the biggest factor but it's hard to make general statements about this. The shuffles can be summed up as "have you thought about whether you want to trigger this shuffle", and the endgame can be summed up as "have you thought about 3-piles and what buys are safe and unsafe given your opponent's potential".

General Discussion / Re: Maths thread.
« on: December 04, 2019, 03:29:58 pm »
The Putnam is something where you generally don't need that much college-level math to understand the proofs of all the questions, but figuring the proofs out is a different story.

Tip-wise, scoring on the Putnam is very bimodal, it's basically 10/9/8 if you get it or 0/1 if you don't get it. If you want full credit, you'll need to be careful to describe all the edge cases and how your proof handles them, and given how bimodal it is, you really want to get the full 10 points if you know how the proof works.

Dominion Articles / Re: A Different Way To Look at Dominion
« on: November 18, 2019, 05:37:19 pm »
I think this article is getting at the right idea, it's just using more words than necessary to explain it.

One criticism is that personally, I've found that worse players tend to green earlier than I do and better players green later than I do, so it's very easy for me to "wait for the first move" when it comes to greening: I win when worse players start greening before me and lose when I start greening before them. But the problem here is that it isn't really about when the greening happens. It's that better players build their decks faster and then put me in a position where I don't think I can catch up in time if I keep building - the mistakes happened well before any VP cards were bought. It may be a mistake to start greening first in the worse position, but often it's an induced mistake that's the least bad out of the many bad options.

Dominion FAQ / Re: +Actions - Now or never?
« on: November 09, 2019, 02:09:23 am »
Worth noting that this is probably the most common rules mistake for new players; the question pops up all the time. But as quoted above, the rulebook does try to be clear on this point.

I've also seen "+" means you gain a copper" and "play cards to your discard pile" a lot, maybe more than this.

"Play cards to your discard pile" happens super super often.

General Discussion / Re: Movies: Any movie buffs?
« on: October 22, 2019, 02:27:47 am »
I feel like many movies are slipping sideways into an alternate reality where communication is just extraordinarily difficult. X wants to say something important to Y but then Y says something at the wrong moment and so X doesn't get to say the important thing. Not something that ever happens in real life, but common in movies. Or something super weird happens and for some reason, the characters only talk about it for half a minute. And various stuff similar to that. Particularly common in movies that start from a fairly normal situation in the present.

I don't think I'm super hard to please, I mostly just want my characters to not be doing obviously stupid and unrealistic things. But often that's too much to ask!

There should be like a test for this. A movie fails this test when there's a situation where it would obviously be a good idea to sit down and have a real discussion and yet that's not happening. A shocking amount of stuff would fail that test. Or maybe I'm just watching the wrong things.

I think this is an easy trap to fall into writing-wise, where you can manufacture a lot of conflict if people fail to communicate with each other, and writers want the conflict for the plot, so they make people act like fake people instead of real people.

I feel the problem is that writing real people is hard.

Dominion Articles / Clean Shuffles
« on: October 19, 2019, 10:34:06 pm »
Renaissance introduced 2 cards that are useful in the opening: Lackeys, and Silk Merchant. They both draw 2 cards, while coming with some Villagers.

These are useful opening cards because they heavily increase your odds of a clean shuffle: ending your turn with 0 cards left in your draw deck. Assuming you gain 2 cards on turns 1 + 2, and the other card you gain doesn't draw cards, then you are guaranteed to see all 12 cards in your deck by the end of turn 4 as long as either Lackeys or Silk Merchant is drawn on turns 3 or 4, and the Villagers guarantees you can play the other card you bought if it's terminal.

I mean, you still have the Lackeys or Silk Merchant left over, and the Villagers won't last forever, so you have to be a bit careful, but it's part of what plays into their power level.

You don't have to go all the way to a clean shuffle either. Think of it this way: what sucks the most is when cards you open miss the reshuffle. This happens if they're near the bottom of your deck and you don't draw down far enough. Let's say there's one card you really want to draw before the reshuffle (say a trasher like Steward, or a gainer like Ironworks). Assuming it's terminal, there's a 1/6 chance the card misses the reshuffle (2 out of 12 cards).

Let's say you open Cantrip/Steward. Now, if you draw that cantrip on turn 3 or 4, you draw down 11 cards instead of 10. The math is a bit nontrivial, but it works out to about a 1/11 chance of missing the Steward. breppert has the exact number in their Opening Probabilities article, if you are curious.

Everyone knows that Ironmonger is a great opening card. I mean, this is obvious if you open it a few times and notice that your deck just feels cleaner. But now I'm thinking the reason it's good is because you usually reveal and discard a Copper, and that effectively lets you see all 12 cards unless the Ironmonger is bottom decked.

I don't know if this is something you should be thinking about past the opening, but it's neat.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: ThunderDominion Card List Results, 2019
« on: October 07, 2019, 01:32:07 pm »
In my experience, you have a better time if you think of Hideout as a cantrip trasher that happens to act like a village, rather than a village that comes with trashing. You can't sustain a ton of Hideouts but it's nice as a backup Village.

Captain is really good. Saying that Captain isn't that great because Band of Misfits isn't that good is like saying that Lab isn't that great because it's just Moat with +1 Action. The duration effect is the entire reason that Captain is good...

Dominion General Discussion / Re: ThunderDominion Card List Results, 2019
« on: October 04, 2019, 01:01:02 pm »
Sure. By move up a few spots I meant I want it between Experiment and Border Guard and I want Swashbuckler to move down to just above Research.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: ThunderDominion Card List Results, 2019
« on: October 04, 2019, 12:40:24 pm »
I'm confused how Hideout fell so low here. It's a cantrip trasher. Sure it's a bit slow but it has incidental +2 Actions and it could move up a few spots.

General Discussion / Re: roguelike games
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:33:08 pm »
Has anyone tried Noita yet? It sounds interesting, I can't justify buying it yet but it's on my radar.

Dominion Articles / Re: Occasionally Relevent Rule Edge-Cases
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:29:20 pm »
September 2019 errata updates:

  • Procession + Reserve cards still works like before - the card goes to the Tavern mat before it can get trashed and you still gain the card.
  • The entire section on Procession + Duration cards is no longer relevant. (However, the rules for how long Throne Rooms stay out is unchanged).
  • BoM + Overlord as Reserve cards no longer strands Band of Misfits or Overlord on your Tavern Mat, because they don't become a copy of the card. The action you choose will stay in its pile and you will not be able to call it later.
  • The BoM + Overlord and Conpirator interaction still works as stated.
  • The Adventures token interaction also works as stated - you get the effect of both any tokens on the BoM pile, and any tokens on the pile picked.
  • The entire Inheritance section is out of date. If you inherit Crossroads, your Estates will now give +3 Actions, because you're playing the "Crossroads" card. Your Estates will give Adventures token effects, because it's playing cards from that pile. Your Estates are now Action-Victory cards, even if you Inherit a card that has more types than just Action.
  • All the "shapeshifter" cards no longer give you "while this card is in play" effects.
  • Summon on Death Cart and other actions that gain cards on-gain will now work, when before they didn't.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks
« on: September 24, 2019, 05:16:11 pm »
I like all these changes, except that Procession no longer lets you Throne Duration cards. I understand why it's changed but that's a fairly notable nerf to the card.

If Procession had always worked this way I wouldn't have been upset, so sure, whatever, it's a brave new world.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: ThunderDominion Card List Results, 2019
« on: September 24, 2019, 04:57:02 am »
The on-buy is the thing that stops Messenger from being bad. Very broadly, in an engine mirror, it's common for players to continually be evaluating trade-offs between buying-that-Village and buying-that-economy, where economy = Silver or terminal Silver or some other thing. You often hit a sort of mini-race, where you're trying to not lose the Village split, but also balance it with picking up economy and other Actions. What Messenger does is let you pick up economy, while making the Village race end faster. It doesn't help you win the Village split, but it makes it hurt less to detour for economy.

I'm not understanding how this is an overall benefit for you. Absent split/one-card pile situations, your opponent gets all of the same benefits.

You're effectively changing the rules of the game to be in your favor. If I know that you can buy 2 Villages a turn and I can only buy 1, then assuming I can handle the Messenger itself, it's in my interest to use Messenger to hand out 1-for-1 Villages until the pile runs out, to reduce how much I lose the split by. That's a somewhat contrived example, but it's just a more extreme version of the point I was trying to make above. If you pick up economy that doesn't help you get Villages faster, then you're going to be getting Villages slower than your opponent, so a 1-for-1 trade is slightly good for you.

The whole point of the Messenger on-buy is that if you use it, the effect isn't actually symmetrical - you get more out of the on-buy than your opponent gets out of it. Things ipofanes mentioned (giving out a 2nd Chapel when you don't have yours yet) are an example of this. It's not a particularly strong effect (Messenger deserves to be pretty low), but it's absolutely worth considering.

Plus the existence of the on-buy usually comes into play when considering 3-piles - makes it hard to treat Messenger like a blank card.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: ThunderDominion Card List Results, 2019
« on: September 23, 2019, 08:32:49 pm »
Miser = a similar thing, where if you can afford to slowly thin out Copper with Miser, it's good, but sometimes you can't.

It's slow if you only buy one of them, which you shouldn't do if it's a game where Miser is good.

I agree that Hireling has a slowness problem, though. You have to wait a turn, and spend an Action and card slot on it before it actually does anything.

Miser is still slow even if you buy more than one of them. Spending your terminal space on Misers is a real opportunity cost for deckbuilding. The slowness is relative to what else you could be spending those terminals on, not the absolute speed of getting Coppers onto your Tavern mat and getting $ for it.

Edit: to quickly defend Messenger a bit...

Without the on-buy, Messenger would indeed be pretty bad. It would still get picked up for +Buy reasons, but it isn't where you want to be.

The on-buy is the thing that stops Messenger from being bad. Very broadly, in an engine mirror, it's common for players to continually be evaluating trade-offs between buying-that-Village and buying-that-economy, where economy = Silver or terminal Silver or some other thing. You often hit a sort of mini-race, where you're trying to not lose the Village split, but also balance it with picking up economy and other Actions. What Messenger does is let you pick up economy, while making the Village race end faster. It doesn't help you win the Village split, but it makes it hurt less to detour for economy.

Plus sometimes there's only 1 Action in the pile you're Messengering. You gain first so in that case you get the action for free.

Really the main problem is that the effect is stapled to a Woodcutter-Chancellor.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: ThunderDominion Card List Results, 2019
« on: September 23, 2019, 04:19:39 am »
Hireling's just a bit slow. It's the same reason that Miser's low.

Hireling = $6 and a terminal action to get an extra card each turn. It's a powerful effect that is caught between two awkward positions: if the draw is very good, you're better off buying something else. If the draw is very bad, it takes you too long to set up your Hirelings. It's best around that middle zone where the cycling is okay and you need the Hireling draw to do something interesting, which isn't as good as cards where you always need their effects (like Chapel).

Miser = a similar thing, where if you can afford to slowly thin out Copper with Miser, it's good, but sometimes you can't.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: COMBO: hunting party/patron
« on: September 16, 2019, 02:36:07 pm »
Off-topic but isn't Menagerie/Patron actually a worse fit? If you want to keep activating your Menagerie draws you're incentivized to play all but 1 of your Patrons before playing Menagerie, so you'll get less reveal triggers. You're also incentivized to play extra Menageries early to get back down to a unique hand.

FWIW I have missed a lot of "obvious" interactions like this before because I'm too busy looking at other interactions.

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