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1
GendoIkari beat me to it. I agree with his response.

Mainly my concern is with there being no 2-player testing, when this is apparently the most common format. Whether you're doing "full random" or "base plus two sets plus the expansion to be playtested" seems inconsequential.

I'm not sure 2 player is the most common format. Online, yes, but for most dominion players IRL I would be very surprised.

Well, I hedged my statement because I am also uncertain. I have no data on the matter. But there is certainly a vibrant community here that mainly plays 2-player, and I'm sure you could find statistics on the total number of such games played online. So in absolute terms 2-player seems popular, or at least popular enough that I find it weird that it's ignored in playtesting.

I think if you looked at total games played both online and off, 2-player would easily win. But if you looked at, for each player, what kind of games to they mostly play, I think 2-player probably wouldn't come out on top. Especially not if you lump 3-player and 4-player games together. And I think that's the statistic that matters more. It's certainly the one I'd care about, if I gave much thought to such things.

If it makes you feel any better, Nocturne testing was the exception, not the rule. It just so happened that all the other former playtesters were busy or uninterested. So Donald X. and I did basically all of the testing. I wouldn't expect that to be the case for future sets, and it wasn't the case for Adventures and Empires. I will bet good money that very few 2-player games were involved in testing the base game or the first few expansions, though. You can argue (correctly, I think) that those expansions are worse, but I think that's more a function of Donald X. getting better as he went along, rather than the number of players in testing games.

2
I don't think that online vs on tables was the part he was talking about. It was 2-player full random vs 3/4 player set-specific.

Yes, just the "competitive" 2-player all random format.

Oh, I see.

That's just down to logistics. Neither Donald or I are ready to say, "Sorry I know this game supports 4 or 5 players, but we have a 2-player quota we need to hit." That seems like a good way to lose playtesters.

Obviously test games can't be "full random", because then some of them wouldn't include new cards at all, and few would include more than two. That would make testing way too slow. And also I don't want to cart around all of Dominion for every game session. It's impractical. I'll grab the base cards, the set being tested, and then one or two other sets. And then I randomize a game with 5 new cards and 5 cards from another set. Plus Events/Landmarks, if it's a group that's used to Dominion, which it usually is.

3
Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

This is sort of hair-raising. A huge chunk of Dominion games are played online in a 2-player random kingdom format. I am astonished that this format receives "basically 0%" of the attention in playtesting.

Explain to me how we are meant to do 2-player online playtesting without an online simulator that has the cards being tested? During development the cards are changing all the time, and it's a tall order to ask somebody to create, maintain, and update an online version. We had access to isotropic for Adventures and part of Empires, but eventually even dougz threw in the towel.

4
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Kingdom Designs
« on: June 20, 2018, 12:11:09 pm »
A slow player? Easy on the villages and cantrips.

I need to do this more in my IRL games. There's one player in my main group who's just slow as molasses, at any game. We played a 4-player game of Kingdom Builder yesterday and her turns took as long as the rest of our turns put together. And for one of the three of us, it was their first game.

To her credit, she wins Kingdom Builder frequently. Not that time, though.

5
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Kingdom Designs
« on: June 19, 2018, 04:26:24 pm »
There's precious little Kingdom design talk around these parts. I think there's a few reasons for that. First, most people don't want to take the time to create specific Kingdoms when random sets of 10 produces, on average, games that are interesting enough. Second, the online implementation (which most f.DS regulars play most of the time) doesn't allow you to design a board and then automatch with people to play it.

I think Kingdom creation is cool, but admittedly even I don't often spend any time on it unless I've been asked to, either for a tournament or for the rulebook Recommended Sets of 10.

I think Reddit has a Kingdom of the Week. Maybe you'd get more traction there? You're welcome to talk about it here, of course. I just worry that you won't get as much feedback as you like.

The Dominion Discord server also talks about boards, albeit usually randomly generated ones that people have encountered. That server is here: https://discord.gg/t33kPS

6
I think it’s a false dichotomy. The Treasures in recent sets are stronger on average than the ones in older sets. Making something a Treasure doesn’t automatically make it worse. In general it’s far better than the equivalent terminal Action.

7
I get Treasures plenty often, and I don't think that line of reasoning for Skulk is very sound. EDIT: I mean that I think you want Skulk plenty often, and the Gold is a big part of that.

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

8
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Pile Control Card --Reinforcements?
« on: June 18, 2018, 12:27:15 am »
Just reverse the order of the abilities. "Gain 2 cards, each costing less than this. Trash a card from the Supply."

I'm not saying this card is balanced, but that should fix the parsing problem.

9
Dominion Articles / Re: Contraband
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:32:12 pm »
I think Contraband can be fine in the late-game if there are multiple good sources of VP. I played a Duke game recently where Contraband seemed fine. They couldn't block both Province and Duchy/Duke, and my deck could accommodate both. Feodum seems like another good example of Contraband being fine late-game.

10
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Fix the worst cards
« on: June 14, 2018, 03:02:58 pm »
Sorry to continue further this meta-discussion, but I want to say that I did not intend to mock anybody with my post. I just wanted to point out that using that strange shorthand makes posts hard to read and confusing for newer players, so perhaps it is best avoided. (For instance, I just picked up this game and jumped in at the end of the thread, and it was not clear to me what card "mute" referred to until someone quoted that post and called it "Transmute.")

I was likewise not mocking anybody. But I do think that using too many abbreviations makes things hard to understand. It took me a while to figure out what "pot" meant in that context. And then it was just, do I really want to read the rest of this post where the author has offset a lot of parsing work onto me in order to save themselves a few keystrokes? No, no I don't.

11
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Fix the worst cards
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:53:21 pm »
This post makes me want to update my extension to automatically replace "Mute" with "Transmute".

Seriously. And c’mon, “pot”? “Potion” is six measly letters.
Kind of ironic coming from someone who writes "c'mon" instead of come on.

Maybe that was intended. In whcih case, good for me to have explained the joke!

“C’mon” has entered the English lexicon. “Pot” is MMO chat-speak.

12
tracer: One of the big risers in the 6+ cost list this year, Pathfinding, like King’s Court, can create engines on boards where there otherwise would be none, though perhaps the more common use is adding consistency and terminal space in an otherwise functioning engine.

How does Pathfinding add terminal space? I thought "terminal space" meant space for more terminals, in which case it's Lost Arts that adds terminal space.

Maybe the idea is that you need fewer smithy-type cards, since Pathfinding is doing the drawing for you? That's my guess.

13
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Fix the worst cards
« on: June 13, 2018, 09:46:31 am »
This post makes me want to update my extension to automatically replace "Mute" with "Transmute".

Seriously. And c’mon, “pot”? “Potion” is six measly letters.

14
Dominion Articles / Re: Settlers/Bustling Village
« on: June 12, 2018, 04:08:19 pm »
Back when I created Settlers as a stand-alone pile, picking up discarded Coppers was definitely the main focus. It's especially nice with Stables, and it also had some combos with other cards in my fan set. Having only 5 copies of it available limits the amount you get to see these interactions, but I do like how it works with Bustling Village. I always enjoy these combos when they're available.

15
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Holunder's cards
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:49:29 pm »
I am not too happy with the current version. Not so much because the debt is not elegant but because it doesn't punish multiple types harsh enough. The debt version with 3-2 could just be too easy with gainers so I am going to try a straightforward cost increase. It shouldn't run into any issues except for trashing attacks. Unless you have an Action-Duration in play Knight (at a price of 7 it is safe) and Swindler (unless there are others 7s you get another Gate) could kill this.



In Adventures, we tested a Treasure that was worth $1 per different type on cards you had in play. It varied too wildly in value, so it turned into a card that cared about having specific types in play, and then finally vastly simplified into Relic.

My suggested fix to the original concept was to also vary the cost, much like Gate; $1 per different type on cards in the Supply. Donald X. never tried it, but in theory it seems like it should work pretty well. I also slapped +1 Buy on it so that it was worth getting over Silver in games with just Action, Victory, Treasure, and Curse in the Supply.

Curio: Treasure, $?
+1 Buy
When you play this, it's worth $1 per type on cards you have in play.
--------------------------
This costs $1 per type on cards in the Supply.

So if you had, say, Caravan (Action-Duration) and Militia (Action-Attack) in the Supply, Curio would start out costing $6 and you could get it up to being worth +$4. The cost would go down to $5 if the Caravans ran out, though. Just as an example.

Anyway, it seemed like it might be fun to try in a game, though I don't know if would actually have lasting appeal. Courtier has already used this concept a bit, and in an arguably more interesting way.

Sorry that this post didn't have anything to do with Gate. It just reminded me of this story.

16
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: June 08, 2018, 05:40:55 pm »
So I know you don't look at fan expansions, but you should check out the artwork from the Antiquities expansion, and then you should hire this JanBoruta guy to illustrate at least a couple cards in all future expansions! I especially like his human closeups on cards like Archaeologist.

https://imgur.com/a/WQ1aX

Hmmm...apparently that's not a question. Will you please hire this guy?

That art is good, except that Profiteer and Prospector are the exact same dude.

17
Feedback / Re: The forum isn't protected by HTTPS
« on: June 06, 2018, 03:19:24 pm »
Are any of these posts actually funny?

I laughed. So, probably?

18
2)
Advance

Makes Marauder and Cultist look sad. Fan card threads are full of advice not to make cards that shut down attacks for good since no one would buy an Attack so effectively the kingdom is two cards smaller and less interesting.


See, now this is a silly false equivalence. There's a big difference between an effect that makes all attacks bad, and one that counters some attacks. The latter (like Advance) is great, because it provides interesting interactions between cards. The former (like say a Champion that you could open with) is bad, because it would shut down all attacks too easily. Advance has utility outside of Marauder and Cultist games. And although maybe it should, the presence of Advance doesn't always keep me from buying those cards.

19
General Discussion / Re: Random Stuff Part IV
« on: June 04, 2018, 11:17:07 pm »
Netflix will take over the world with the skip intro button. It's now a better product than having an entire show on the harddrive.

Does that mean they got rid of the thing where it automatically skips the intro? Because for some shows it automatically does (or did) skip the intro whenever you watch more than one episode at a time. And sometimes, like with Series of Unfortunate Events, the intro differs from episode to episode and I want to see it, which means I have to rewind. Which is annoying when I'm watching on the Wii U (which is the Netflix device I have hooked up to that TV), and the controls are sometimes unresponsive.

20
Agreed. However, the cards that have confusing interactions with it tend to be:
  • the most powerful cards
  • the most interesting cards
  • the cards you're keenest to combine with Inheritance
...all of which mean, in my experience, questions arise more often than that would suggest.
Could you give some examples?
Ambassador, Fortress, Ironworks, Treasure Map, Crown, Possession, Band of Misfits, Courtier (esp. with inherited Werewolf), Page/Peasant, Outpost, Grand Market, Crossroads, Cultist, Squire, overpay, Port ("another"), Ferry/Plan/Lost Arts/Pathfinding, Seaway, Encampment, Sacrifice, Advance

I'll give you most of those, but I'm not sure how Possession comes into it. Unless you mean Procession? And uh it's pretty rare that you're inheriting stuff that costs more than $4, like Crown, Werewolf, Grand Market, Cultist, etc.

21
I'm a little surprised at this. I feel like the number of cards that have confusing interactions with this is small.
Agreed. However, the cards that have confusing interactions with it tend to be:
  • the most powerful cards
  • the most interesting cards
  • the cards you're keenest to combine with Inheritance
...all of which mean, in my experience, questions arise more often than that would suggest.

Could you give some examples?

22
3) Summon.  The only Event promo.  Yah or nay?
Slightly like this.  It's not bad at all, but I lean more towards "indifferent"

You'll just have to imagine there's a single tear slowly rolling down my cheek.

Inheritance - it's quite unique (in more ways than one), but I need to relook up interactions every time this is in use, and I've become lazy about that

I'm a little surprised at this. I feel like the number of cards that have confusing interactions with this is small. Granted, for the Adventures tokens that go on piles, it's not obvious that they don't apply to your inherited Estates. I guess that's a pretty major interaction from the same set.

23
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Workshop with an interaction
« on: June 01, 2018, 02:31:54 pm »
So, it should be like this.

Quote
Angel's Workshop
cost $4 - Action
Gain a card costing up to $6.
Each other player may gain a cheaper card.

At first, it was $3. It looked like a Leprechaun variant. Soon I realized it was too strong for $3. So I haggled so that everyone can have oppotunity to buy 2. But I didn't consider 2-3 player games. It was a must-buy almost every time. Next, I tried Potion costs, removing cost regulation. Too swingy. Someone always cried, "Hey, where is my Province?" when I gained Colony.
Junking was another problem. Some people hated. I thought that was not so big matter. Giving Coppers gaining Silvers isn't so strong. Is this stronger than Marauder? Anyway, I removed Attack type. "May" weakened it a little bit, but still it was fun.

Awesome! Glad it's working out so well.

24
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Workshop with an interaction
« on: May 31, 2018, 11:43:43 am »
I like it, if the gaining for other players is made optional. I think it could cost $4.

25
Hmm, I did just realize an interesting thing about your new Apostate, and I'm not sure if it's a problem or not. You don't want to be the first to play one, right? Because someone plays one before you, you can reveal the Curse you got from that one, and you're almost certainly giving the player who played Apostate before you a second Curse. Hmm, it's an interesting mechanic. The more I think about it, the more I'm interested in trying it out. Or at least hearing about how it plays.

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