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Messages - samath

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1
Ducat below CSM is pretty surprising to me. It's almost strictly better.

Draw-to-X decks make CSM outshine Ducat pretty severely, and are even more common now with the addition of Cursed Village and Scholar in the last two expansions.

2
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion current Popularity?
« on: February 11, 2019, 06:07:15 pm »
The Dominion League is bigger than it has ever been.

I wonder if the uptick in "most online" for 2018 can be explained by the influx of Dominion League members that was seen when the Dominion League was advertised on Shuffle iT Dominion Online.

Correct. We see massive spikes in the numbers of new users every time we make a client announcement. You can see that in the stats by digging into the Forum History. For instance, there were 95 new users on March 20, 2018, the day our first client announcement went out, far more than the 2017 daily average of 1.

3
Dominion League / Season 32 - Completing a Lap
« on: February 03, 2019, 05:10:56 pm »
Hello everyone!

Season 32 has just begun! Check your division Discord channel or your private messages for all of the details.

The League takes place on an 8-week cycle (6 weeks of season, 2 weeks of break), and with some extra time off for the big fall tournament each year, this means that we play six seasons a year. The upcoming season, Season 32, is the sixth season at the scale of the "new League" of 40+ divisions. And we're now at a record high in terms of the number of divisions! Here's what that last year has looked like:

Season26272829303132
# Divisions11454244444347

I started writing these season kickoff notes back in Season 27 with that big ~4X expansion of the League. But as that intensity has died down, I'd like to transition it away from a personal reflection into a bit more of a newsletter format. Here's what you need to know about the coming season:

Rules Changes
Based on a couple recent incidents, we've clarified the rules around spectating. In tiers A, B, C, and D, you are now required to allow spectators in your League matches -- people want to see high-quality Dominion! In tiers E and F, you are encouraged to allow spectators, but if someone objects, then you should respect their wishes.

Moderator Churn
All four moderators we brought on last season were great and are sticking around for the next. We've only lost one old moderator, gloures, who needs some time off. We are very thankful for gloures' tireless work with all of the onboarding messaging for seasons 27-30, as well as his being a reliable mod throughout that time. We hope he'll be back soon!

Shoutouts
Taking over the bulk of gloures' work with onboarding for two seasons running now, new mod singletee has been doing an excellent job.

Over on Discord, Cave-o-sapien has built a general purpose Dominion bot which can access various stats about your recently played rated games. Check it out if you forgot what the score of your match was! I know he's also looking to add more League-related features soon, so keep an eye out for those.

All of you League advertisers: Every once in a while, we hear that someone has convinced their best friend / significant other / sibling / gaming buddy to join the League with them. Thanks for getting the word out!

The handful of veteran league players who joined Discord so they could remain in the League last season: You know who you are, and thank you for being flexible! Comments like these on our feedback form made our days:
Quote
My first time using Discord and actually it really helps to organize the matches
Quote
I was initially a bit sceptical about being forced to use Discord (I just really don't like it that much) but the experience was a lot better than what I remembered it being like, so it's all fine.

Best of luck in the coming season to everyone!

SamE

4
Dominion League / Season 32 - Standings
« on: February 03, 2019, 03:22:34 pm »

5
Hello everyone!

The Champion Match in the A Division of Season 31 will take place on Sunday, January 27th, at 20:00 UTC. It will feature 2-time champion and 5-time runner-up markus and Season 29 runner-up RTT, who will be playing in his second championship match. After a commanding regular season, RTT just needs to win 1.5 games to be crowned champion, while markus needs at least 5. Even if someone clinches early, they will be playing out the full six games.

There will be commentary as usual on Twitch by tracer and yours truly.

6
Dominion League / Season 31 - End of Season Deadlines
« on: January 07, 2019, 10:20:03 pm »
Season 31 officially ends on Sunday, January 20. To account for the westernmost timezones, the deadline for reporting matches is Monday, January 21, at 15:00 UTC.

If you need extra time to finish, please contact your group moderator. There is a one-point penalty for finishing late two consecutive seasons, assessed to the player(s) responsible for the late finish. It is the group moderator's job to assess responsibility; if it is unclear, make sure to let them know.

The deadline for finishing matches late is one week later. All late finish matches must be reported by Monday, January 28, at 15:00 UTC.

If any matches remain unreported by the late finish deadline, the responsible player(s) will be considered to have dropped mid-season. This means that they are banned for the next two seasons, and automatically demoted when they return. If they played at least three matches to completion, those are kept for the other players' standings and their remaining matches are "simulated" (see the full rules for how), but if they did not complete that many, their results are removed.

In addition to finishing your matches, all players must fill out the returning form to tell us whether they will be back for next season. This form was sent to you in a private message; you can also find it in the pinned post in your Discord division channel. The deadline for filling out the returning form is Wednesday, January 30, at 19:00 UTC (the Season 32 signup deadline). Any players who have not told us whether they will be back by then will be assumed to be not returning.

7
Dominion Articles / Re: The Top 20 Best Designed Cards
« on: December 30, 2018, 03:01:33 am »
#16 - Cathedral
Never has a card simultaneously provided such feelings of hope and dread. Cathedral is equal parts amazing and horrifying. It offers such tantalising power, but at what cost? I love the way Cathedral sets you on a path that feels very different to decks without it, with some incredible burst of power early in the game followed by that moment of doubt later when it starts cannibalizing all of your engine pieces as the game drags on to extended Duchy dancing. If Dominion were differently themed, this project would probably be some terrifying dark force that tempts you into great power with the risk of corrupting your soul, but instead in Dominion it's .... organised religion? Huh. I guess this card also provides scathing social commentary.

"Cathedral" and "as the game drags on" in the same context is an oxymoron. With Cathedral in the kingdom, the game is probably over roughly when you're still trashing some of your last remaining starting junk.

You've clearly never played a Cathedral Nightmare game then. It certainly doesn't happen every time if you build carefully, but it can, especially if your opponent leaves Provinces alone longer than you expected. And then there are the games where you get unlucky and have to trash engine pieces despite still having a few starting cards around...

8
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: December 09, 2018, 08:21:48 pm »
Apparently you were able to do something like Scholar after deciding to do, let's say, Vampire.

I think it's fine, even preferable, that the cards don't monotonically increase in complexity from expansion to expansion. Imagine how boring Base would be if it had to have all of the simplest cards! And how unrepresentative...

9
Dominion League / Season 31 - The First Discord-Primary Season
« on: December 09, 2018, 04:24:50 pm »
Hello everyone,

A lot of you might be wondering how we came to the conclusion to require Discord for the League, starting this season. Here's that story.

Midway through Season 26, we greatly expanded the presence of the League in Discord by giving every division their own dedicated channel for discussing availability and setting a time to play. Since then, even with the growth of the League, over 90% of the players each season joined and participated in scheduling there.

Naturally, we wondered for a while whether we should require a Discord account. We explored this as a moderator team six months ago, when we were first opening signups for Season 29. We voted, but there wasn't a majority interested in adding that requirement at that time.

Gradually, though, the chorus of voices from the players grew. Many people told us that it was much more difficult to schedule with the one player in their division who wasn't on Discord, and they just wished that everyone could be on Discord. Having seen enough examples of those players dropping out, we as a moderator team grew more and more on board with it.

At our last beginning-of-season moderators' meeting, then, we decided to require Discord for all future seasons. Two months later, we're finally here. The cost seems fairly light: Only one player expressed that they would not be able to return because of the Discord requirement, and another requested that Discord not be a requirement but created an account and returned anyways. While we'd love it if every change had zero negative consequences, we think the good outweighs the bad in this case.

In addition to making sure everyone is reachable via Discord, the requirement allows us to migrate more of our materials over there. We have officially retired the Scheduling forum and moved all of the information posted there to Discord.

As you might be wondering, we still require a forum account in addition to a Discord account. That might change, but not for another couple of seasons at least. In the meantime, think of the forum messaging as a backup to Discord messaging -- when someone isn't responding, a simple ping through a forum PM could send them an e-mail and get them back on Discord, where the real-time communication about scheduling can take place.

Finally, we have had quite a bit of moderator turnover this season. Asking for new moderators for the first time in three seasons, we got an overwhelming amount of interest, which we're grateful for. From that interest, we're excited to have GreyEK, IrrationalE, Lemonspawn, and singletee on our team now. They've already started getting involved by onboarding the new players and updating our rules to reflect the Discord requirement.

We needed new moderators to cover the departure of Anders, who is stepping down as a moderator, and myself, as I won't be moderating any individual divisions in the coming season -- I'll just remain on in the role of Administrative/Lead Moderator. Meanwhile, the time has finally come for assemble me, Deadlock39 and drsteelhammer to step down in a more permanent fashion. We wish them all the best and thank them for the hours and days they poured into moderating the League over many seasons.

This leaves us with a fantastic team of 10 moderators: Burning Skull, Gazbag, gloures, GreyEK, IrrationalE, Lemonspawn, Seprix, singletee, tracer, and volfied. A greater number of moderators allows each of them to spend more individualized attention on each of their divisions. I'm excited to see what this next season holds for us.

SamE

10
Dominion League / Season 31 - Standings
« on: December 07, 2018, 12:28:00 am »

11
Tournaments and Events / Re: Renaissance: The Tournament
« on: December 03, 2018, 09:29:06 pm »
Semifinals: SamE 3-2 Gazbag:


12
Star Chart + Masquerade

I just tried this out for about a dozen games... and it seems to consistently but barely beat Lord Rattington, who foregoes the Star Chart for double Masquerade (and sometimes does other weird things, of course).

It was okay, I guess? But nothing to write home about, and rarely seemed to be the best strategy. Masquerade and Star Chart both accelerate engines, too.

13
Hello everyone!

The Champion Match in the A Division of Season 30 will take place tomorrow, Sunday, December 2nd, at 19:00 UTC. It will feature 2-time champion and 4-time runner-up markus and top player tracer, who will be playing in his first championship match. After a commanding regular season, tracer just needs to win 2 games to be crowned champion, while markus needs at least 4.5 (4 wins and a tie). Even if someone clinches early, they will be playing out the full six games.

There will be commentary as usual on Twitch by WanderingWinder and aku chi.

14
Dominion League / Re: Season 31 - Signups
« on: November 28, 2018, 09:47:26 am »
We decided to require Discord after receiving numerous complaints from players in the League that their opponents who weren't on Discord were difficult to get in contact with. Real-time communication is much easier for scheduling purposes than asynchronous messaging.
Of course it is. But you don't get real-time communication just by installing Discord. You get it from installing Discord and being online most of the time, which means either spending a lot of time with the PC/laptop where you can install Discord or having a portable device in your pocket which supports Discord. Neither of which is true for me.

So, to get to the real case. I work on my employer's PC and Discord is blocked there (haven't checked, but they block Gmail, Facebook and all similar things so I guess Discord too). My mobile phone is not a smartphone and there is no Discord app for it. When I'm home and not sleeping (which is approx 1-2 hours in the morning and anything from 8 to 1 hour in the evening, depending if I go somewhere after work or not) I get online regularly, but only checking every 20-30 minutes unless I am doing something which requires sitting at the computer, so no real time communication. With this lifestyle I have played in multiple online tournaments which required scheduling (mostly Netrunner), including some where most of my opponents were right at the end of the world from my point of view (Europe vs Australia) - I communicated with them via pm, we found good time to play, I sometimes needed to reorganize my day a bit and the game happened. Do you think this availability is enough to take part in the Dominion League?

Certainly, especially since you have prior experience. Discord supports private messaging in that fashion, and has a lower barrier to entry compared to the forum PMs.

15
Dominion League / Re: Season 31 - Signups
« on: November 27, 2018, 09:56:40 pm »
Starting this season, we are requiring all new and returning players to join the Dominion Discord before signing up.

Quote from: FAQ
Is the use of Discord necessary?

Though we heavily recommend the use of Discord, it is not necessary to do so in order to participate in the League.
So, is it still not necessary, or is the FAQ outdated? Thought about joining, but having to install new chatting app on my old computer is not something I want to do, especially as I don't enjoy using such apps, I'm not online all/most of the time so it's hard for me to follow the kind of discussion that happens there.

The FAQ is outdated. We'll have everything updated by the beginning of the season.

You can join Discord in your browser, and you don't need to follow all of the conversation there. In the League, it's used for chatting with your opponents about when a good time to play would be. You just need to be online enough to have such conversations.

We decided to require Discord after receiving numerous complaints from players in the League that their opponents who weren't on Discord were difficult to get in contact with. Real-time communication is much easier for scheduling purposes than asynchronous messaging.

16
Dominion League / Re: Season 31 - Call for New Mods
« on: November 20, 2018, 11:49:38 pm »
Thanks to everyone who has responded! It's great to see so many people interested in helping the League run smoothly. :) We'll be in touch with the applicants within the next few days.

17
Dominion League / Season 31 - Call for New Mods
« on: November 19, 2018, 10:17:30 am »
Hello everyone!

The League is run by a team of volunteer moderators, and due to the normal rhythms of life, we're going to be a couple of moderators short next season. So we're looking for more!

Fortunately, over the last few seasons, we've built league-wide systems for some of the more automatic portions of moderation like checking users in. This leaves the main responsibilities of moderators as the following:
  • Meet with fellow moderators the weekend before the season. Help set up the League's systems, assign players to divisions, and send out messages.
  • Answer any questions from players in your ~5-6 divisions.
  • In the last week of the season, track remaining matches to be played and individually reach out to those players to make sure they'll finish.
While questions can come at any time, the busiest period for a moderator tends to be between Week 6 and the start of the new season, i.e. the three weeks we're entering now for Season 30. For Season 31, that period will be January 14 to February 3.

We expect moderators to be responsive (within a day) on both Discord and forum PMs and to have played at least two full League seasons.

To apply, send the current mods a PM by clicking this link. The moderator application period has closed now. Thanks everyone!

SamE

18
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Spices > Gold
« on: November 18, 2018, 08:54:30 pm »
Random question: suppose it had cost $6 instead of $5 and given +3 Coffers instead of +2. Would that have been better or worse?
That'd just make it more swingy. It's not that easy to hit $6, but once you do, you can keep doing it more easily with Spices.

19
Tournaments and Events / Re: Renaissance: The Tournament
« on: November 18, 2018, 07:33:15 pm »
First round: SamE 3-1 k1511asd:


Second round: SamE 3-0 Awaclus:


Second round: SamE 3-1 singletee:

20
Golem + Mountain Village

One of the main problems with Golem-based engines is that Golems will skip other Golems. But if you hit a Mountain Village, fear not! You can put one of those skipped Golems straight back into your hand. Plus, you'll have the actions to play it.

21
Dominion League / Season 30 - End of Season Deadlines
« on: November 14, 2018, 02:49:29 pm »
Season 30 officially ends on Sunday, November 25th. To account for the westernmost timezones, the deadline for reporting matches is Monday, November 26th, at 15:00 UTC.

If you need extra time to finish, please contact your group moderator. There is a one-point penalty for finishing late two consecutive seasons, assessed to the player(s) responsible for the late finish. It is the group moderator's job to assess responsibility; if it is unclear, make sure to let them know.

The deadline for finishing matches late is one week later. All late finish matches must be reported by Monday, December 3rd, at 15:00 UTC.

If any matches remain unreported by the late finish deadline, the responsible player(s) will be considered to have dropped mid-season. This means that they are banned for the next two seasons, and automatically demoted when they return. If they played at least three matches to completion, those are kept for the other players' standings and their remaining matches are "simulated" (see the full rules for how), but if they did not complete that many, its result is removed.

In addition to finishing your matches, all players must fill out the returning form to tell us whether they will be back for next season. This form was sent to you in a private message; you can also find it in the pinned post in your Discord division channel. The deadline for filling out the returning form is Wednesday, December 5th, at 19:00 UTC (the Season 31 signup deadline). Any players who have not told us whether they will be back by then will be assumed to be not returning.

22
Tournaments and Events / Re: Renaissance: The Tournament
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:44:09 am »
SamE 3 - 2 Lemonspawn


23
Dominion: Renaissance Previews / Re: Renaissance Initial Impressions
« on: November 05, 2018, 01:47:11 pm »

24
Dominion League / Re: Season 31 - Signups
« on: October 28, 2018, 02:30:56 am »
Just a reminder for all signups: You MUST give us your full Discord name in the form of "@___#___" in your signup post. For those who have already signed up, please edit your posts above to include this information.

25
I didnít think of Changeling, it should definitely be on the list. Gladiator is marginal (given that it runs out after at most four) and Ritual adds the curse so I wouldnít really consider those fun.

And no, Iím not a masochist; if I was, Iíd prefer no-trashing Cultist Guardian games. Itís just really fascinating to me to see the exotic engines you can produce with unusual trashing. One of my #1 Games of the Week was a CQ Goons game where Procession Transmute was the only trashing. Check it out:



Are you not entertained? :)

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