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Messages - FemurLemur

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1
Dominion Articles / Re: What's stopping AI from mastering Dominion?
« on: March 13, 2018, 09:50:24 am »
I wonder if AlphaZero can learn Dominion.
It learned chess and go by just self play, the only imput was rules.
The question is whether randomness and hidden informatin is limit for AlphaZero?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaZero
I have not read the paper, it would take me a lot of time to understand that...;)

The common element uniting the three different games that AlphaZero learned (Chess, Go, and Shogi) is that they are all played on square boards where only one piece can inhabit a space at a time. Chess is played on a 8X8 board, Go on a 19X19, and Shogi on a 9X9. From the relevant part of the paper:

Quote
The input to the neural network is an N X N (MT + L) image stack that represents state
using a concatenation of T sets of M planes of size N X N

It seems like the optimal way to represent a Dominion board is fundamentally not an N X N plane. There are issues to contend with like how the order of cards matters in your deck and your In-Play area, but not in your hand, discard, the trash, or your tavern mat. Additionally, the order of Kingdom card piles does not matter, but the order of the cards in those piles can matter (Knights and Split Piles. And the order of Split Pile cards can't even be assumed thanks to Encampment, as well as Ambassador shenanigans).

Also, the Deck and In-Play area theoretically have an infinite size. There is no official rule stating that you can't have more than X cards in your deck or in play (and such a rule will probably never exist, because it kinda goes against the spirit of Dominion). AlphaZero needs to be trained on a single board size at a time. The only way to get around that would be to calculate the theoretical biggest deck you could ever construct. Such a setup would probably include Black Market, Rats, Young Witch (because she adds Bane cards), a Looter (for Ruins), Urchin (for Mercenary), Hermit (for Madman), a card that gains Spoils, a Potion cost, etc. The end result will be some number one or two orders of magnitude bigger than the board sizes that AlphaZero has played on that would make it inconvenient to represent to the AI. Consider for a moment that it will almost never build a deck anywhere near as big as the biggest possible deck, yet we need it to be able to do so just to keep it from breaking should it ever encounter such a thing. The "image stack" of Dominion is not so basic, so movement from one "space" on the Dominion "board" to another can't generally be represented as a grid as AlphaZero does.

Now, I don't know how important the grid structure actually is to AlphaZero's success. For all I know, it could be the case that the AlphaZero methodology can handle Dominion if only it's reworked to be able to represent the inputs properly (though personally, I doubt it). But the point is that AlphaZero is not currently equipped to handle such a game, and it would take a deliberate effort on DeepMind's part to retool it significantly.

2
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Confessions
« on: March 10, 2018, 12:11:30 pm »
When talking about an avatar, there are 2 things that matter to me more than how viable a card is:

1) How much fun I've had with the card
2) How much I like the artwork

The artwork is my favorite in the game, and an On-Buy Remodel is a fun concept to me. Although I rarely buy Farmland, the games where I built decks around them when it was new were fun. I probably got my ass kicked, but I had fun, which is a primary goal of a game after all ;)

4
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 09, 2018, 10:59:34 am »
So I looked on Chase's profile and noticed that he's a little bit younger than the typical forum member. Given some of the stuff he has said, I don't think he is looking for the kind of feedback that most of us are interested in giving. It sounds like he and his family play a lot of Dominion together as a fun family activity and not necessarily as a cutthroat competitive experience, and that's great! Dominion appeals to different people for different reasons! The more the merrier! But I get the feeling that Chase was trying to flex his creative muscle, and is feeling overwhelmed because he didn't anticipate so much constructive feedback, and he's interpreting it as negativity.

Chase, I have a younger brother your age. You sorta remind me of him. He also plays the game a lot and really enjoys making fan cards. Although he hasn't even been playing for a full year yet, so you're probably a lot better than him. You seem to really enjoy Dominion, and that's great :) I hope you continue to for many years, because it's a wonderful game! I've noticed in other threads that people have gotten into small debates with you about which cards are good vs which ones suck. I also noticed in this thread that you said everyone was giving you crap. I worry that this forum might end up upsetting you if you're mostly used to talking about Dominion with family and friends. Please remember that people on this forum are highly opinionated, and they don't shy away from disagreement or honest critique. It's not because they are all jerks, it's because they are interested in honest analysis, playing the game at the highest level they can, and thinking about fan cards as a game designer would. Even Donald X, the guy who made the game, spends hours and hours designing, testing, and tweaking cards until they are perfect. It takes a lot of work and a desire to get honest feedback about your cards, and even then, sometimes an idea just doesn't work for him in the end and has to be thrown out.

If you had fun making these cards, and you have fun playing with them, then maybe that's all that matters. But if you're hoping to get a lot of positive feedback about them and just enjoy them for what they are, you might want to just share them with family and friends. Because I don't think you'll be happy with the feedback you'll get online. Some people here have been playing the game for 5-10 years, and have spent a ton of time designing cards. So when they see an idea that they think doesn't work, they get straight to the point, because they want to help you improve them. I hope you don't take that personally. Criticism is part of the creative process. You'll need to decide if you're interested in that kind of experience or not.

5
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 08, 2018, 06:59:28 pm »
My favorite thing about villain is that if you have five of them each other player discards their whole hand
I'm not trying to be mean, but, do you think that could ever realistically happen? At that point you would've spent like a hundred coins and could have easily ended the game already

6
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:12:27 pm »
Might Rainbow be workable if it said "when an opponent plays an Attack card, you may play this as a copy of that attack card"? It would still probably have issues, but it might at least be coherent in terms of rules.
That's a good thought. It might have to have a lot of Caravan Guard-esque exceptions listed in parentheses. It would probably also need the Band of Misfits/Overlord clause: "this is that card until it leaves play"

7
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Confessions
« on: March 08, 2018, 08:48:34 am »
I should probably switch my pic but... I love the Farmland so much... So I'm kinda torn
Farmland is weak. There‘s absolutely no reason to pick such a weak card as avatar.
I won't lie, I was proofreading my serious reply when I finally caught the joke.

You one-upped us though. You've got the username to boot

8
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 08, 2018, 07:09:57 am »
Part of the reason I made cards with the curse type is to make powerful cards cheap. Cursed coin is one that you can open with if you get 5/2. Also when you remodel it at the end of the game you can get a kings court.

I get what you're saying, but your card can still have -1VP and not have the Curse type. Like, it could be the exact same card, but classified as an Action-Victory instead.

9
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Confessions
« on: March 07, 2018, 09:00:51 pm »
Forest - you find the old Woodcutter in the forest, but he's old and depressed so he's not as good
what a downer. he's been discontinued. he was taught to tie his identity to his profession.
He used to make money. He used to be able to buy so many nice things
I thought ehunt was replying to himself at first.
I should probably switch my pic but... I love the Farmland so much... So I'm kinda torn

10
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 07, 2018, 07:24:36 pm »
The cleanest way to do a -vp card is to have it give each other player vp tokens when it's gained. This also gets rid of the fact the drawback doesn't do anything if it's easy to trash the card.
It also makes it so that you definitely aren't going to be trashing that card you just paid such a high price for. Depending on OP's goal, that may be more or less preferable.
Even if we agree to avoid the Curse type, is it really so confusing to print "-1VP" on a card? We already have Poor House with its "-$1"
Who said you're paying a high price?
Lol, me. I'm the one who said it :P Though, I was exaggerating a little.

I don't really understand your point, I'll still remodel the crap out the thing if I want but I still suffer the -vp with the token version
That giving my opponents each a VP chip is worse than giving myself a Curse (or some pseudo-curse card) which I may be able to trash later, so it just depends on what OP is going for. I'm saying it's a totally legit solution to the problem, OP would just have to decide what kind of experience they're going for. Either they want it to be possible (but difficult) to get rid of the penalty, or they don't.

I never said the -1vp was confusing. We already have Curse with -1vp
Haha right, so we agree then. My bad, I thought that when you said the simplest solution was to give everyone else a VP, that you were saying that printing "-1VP" would be too confusing

11
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion Confessions
« on: March 07, 2018, 06:49:53 pm »
Forest - you find the old Woodcutter in the forest, but he's old and depressed so he's not as good

what a downer. he's been discontinued. he was taught to tie his identity to his profession.
He used to make money. He used to be able to buy so many nice things

12
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 07, 2018, 06:18:13 pm »
Hero says "Gain a Treasure".
Fair enough. You've changed my mind.

13
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 07, 2018, 06:15:58 pm »
There's no real reason to have the curse type on cards other than to confuse people.
OR to trigger off of cards that refer to the Curse type. Maybe it's not a good reason, but it is a real reason.

The cleanest way to do a -vp card is to have it give each other player vp tokens when it's gained. This also gets rid of the fact the drawback doesn't do anything if it's easy to trash the card.

It also makes it so that you definitely aren't going to be trashing that card you just paid such a high price for. Depending on OP's goal, that may be more or less preferable.

Even if we agree to avoid the Curse type, is it really so confusing to print "-1VP" on a card? We already have Poor House with its "-$1"

14
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 07, 2018, 05:32:18 pm »
I think it's obvious by typical Dominion wording that "Gain a ___" refers to a specific card name
Yeah, I love gaining cards named "Victory" with Rebuild.
Rebuild says "gain a Victory Card", not "gain a Victory"

15
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Online-Only Cards: can they happen?
« on: March 07, 2018, 05:23:29 pm »
A card could access hidden information (like the number of a certain type of card in your deck) and produce a resource based on that. For example:

Collectible
Treasure - $7
Worth $1 per Collectible you have.
This one could be tracked in IRL Dominion by including "Collectible" tokens that you take when gaining a Collectible and return when losing the Collectible to the Supply, Trash, or Opponent's Hand.

Edit: should've read the whole thread first. eHalcyon already pointed this out

16
Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion:Cities
« on: March 07, 2018, 05:00:20 pm »
I actually don't agree that there can't or shouldn't be other cards with the Curse type. I think it's obvious by typical Dominion wording that "Gain a ___" refers to a specific card name, whereas "If it's a ___" refers to card types. So for example, Fortune Teller or Vagrant interacts with OP's Curse type cards. I get that it might make things confusing to have a Name and Type called "Curse", given that effects in Dominion can refer to Names or Types. But, be 100% honest: is that really OP's fault? Just saying, don't blame a fan card creator for a minor flaw with the game he's designing fan cards for.

Gendo, your critiques are spot on, but I actually think that a version of Cursed Store (or really any "Curse" type card) could create a fun little mini-game where you have a really strong card that you need to get rid of before emptying the Provinces or three-piling. I kind of think of Wine Merchant, only instead of the goal being "get this thing back into my deck", the goal is "get this thing into the trash". Though as it exists currently, I agree that it's too good relative to cost. It probably needs to be changed so that it's harder to trash and so the penalty for not trashing it is higher.

If I were to design a card with that mini-game goal in mind, I'd probably 1) Playtest it with -2VP so that you're less likely to just leave them in your deck at the end, 2) Make it a Reaction, give the player a specific goal that when met allows them to trash the card, and 3) Add specific wording that prevents you from trashing it any other way (maybe something like "When you do blah blah blah, you may trash this. If you trash this any other way, put it into your discard pile")

17
Dominion Articles / Re: What's stopping AI from mastering Dominion?
« on: March 06, 2018, 02:25:37 pm »
What's interesting, of course, is that for any given kingdom, the Provincial AI genetic algorithm needs to "chew" on it for a while, playing hundreds of simulated games, before it settles on an optimal strategy. It can only play pre-randomized kingdoms. For a really great Shuffle-IT bot AI that could play any random kingdom, it would likely have to say "please wait, thinking" for ten minutes or so before the game started while it ran hundreds of simulations! (Totally worth it, by the way.)
I'd want to avoid this if I were them. Especially for an offline version/mobile app. I can't fault anybody for doing it that way, as it's an effective way to eliminate one of the biggest challenges. But I think that if it's possible to train a bot such that it learns an intuition for the game as a whole rather than needing to be trained for each specific Kingdom, I'd want to pursue that.

Pre-generating Kingdoms is inconvenient. I think casual players would think the wait time is unreasonable. If it's done server-side then I would think that'd get costly for ShuffleIt. If it's done client-side then you have issues with users who have slower hardware (imagine the wait on mobile). You can't even save yourself time on future calculations by storing a result in a database when you're done, because there are just too many possible starting positions in Dominion.

18
Dominion Articles / Re: What's stopping AI from mastering Dominion?
« on: March 03, 2018, 12:09:59 pm »
How does the Lord Rattington AI work?

DXV said recently that the best way to think of ShuffleIt is that it basically doesn't have AI right now. Rattington is a placeholder that's just meant to be better than nothing. The logic is probably a combination of making random choices, with some very minor heuristics thrown in (I'm talking things as simple as "Don't buy a curse")

19
Dominion Articles / Re: What's stopping AI from mastering Dominion?
« on: March 03, 2018, 12:02:02 pm »
I've actually been working on utilizing Reinforcement Learning to make a strong Dominion AI. IMO, lack of training data is not an issue. I'm having it generate it's own data using self-play. The sky's the limit there. If you're wanting an AI to be better than the best human Dominion player, you wouldn't want to take the Supervised Learning approach anyway. Then it picks up on our bad habits.

I don't personally think Randomness is an issue either. It can learn to make predictions about the hidden information and build a model of the expected State.

As for this idea that I've seen a couple people throw around that it would need to be prepared for every little possibility, that's really just not how Machine Learning works. We use ML so that it won't have to experience every possibility. The goal is that it becomes good at discovering the patterns indicative of a strong Action or State. If you combine a strong learned intuition with MCTS, it should be far better than humans at spotting and adjusting for edge cases.

It's not so much that the variety of cards or openings is too much conceptually, it's just that the amount of needed training time seems like it will be outrageous. That's the biggest struggle as far as I can tell. You can build something great that can become better than the best human in theory, but you're going to need a lot of clever tricks to speed up its rate of learning.

20
Dominion General Discussion / Re: very short strategy article
« on: March 03, 2018, 11:27:08 am »
I think Donald is coming from a different perspective to this discussion than everybody else. He doesn't want to design strictly better cards, and can change the cost of cards to be tested. So of course he cares about costs.

You make a good point, although I don't think that his different perspective devalues any of the objections he has raised here. Whether you're sitting in the designer's seat or the player's, Donald's point about Dominion cards not actually being "Strictly Better" still applies. Case in point:

So, I have 5 coins, is there any reason I should consider a Village over the Bazaar?

Yeah there could be some reasons. How many buys do you have? If you have 2 or more buys, is there a $2 Card in the Kingdom? If so, does Village + that $2 Card work better with your deck than one Bazaar? Are you planning on using Forge and need some very specific costs in your deck? Do you want the option of turning those Villages into Duchies late in the game with Farmlands if you fall behind? Of course these are all edge cases, and the general rule of thumb is you'd rather have the Bazaar, but still, Dominion is a game of edge cases.

21
Dominion General Discussion / Re: very short strategy article
« on: March 03, 2018, 10:55:12 am »
Remember that the purpose of language is to communicate, not to satisfy language police.

I don't think that the reason that most people here are looking for a term is to satisfy language police. I think it's precisely because this concept has been hard to communicate in the past. People usually think that everyone will get what they mean when they say something like "strictly better", only to find an unexpected debate spring up. Then everyone starts talking past each other and it all just kind of falls apart. So when people are trying to figure out a term we could all agree on, I think they really are attempting to figure out how to use the language to communicate. Any "policing" taking place is (I think) an attempt to be proactive and say "Is this term really going to avoid debates like you think it will?"

And, speaking as somebody who tends to be too long winded, I think it's reasonable to want to try to find a succinct way to convey an idea. The bigger your wall of text, the less likely people are to read it and the more likely they are to miss some of the nuances of what you're saying. It'd be easy to say that they should read more carefully, but it's just an internet forum. Some people can't even get coworkers to read important emails, let alone pay attention to some very specific pedantic wording on a forum. People got stuff to do, so there's value in brevity.

22
Dominion General Discussion / Re: very short strategy article
« on: March 02, 2018, 01:52:12 pm »
Upon further reflection, I think the term I'd be using is that one card is a better version of another. "Festival is a better version of Woodcutter", "Mining Village is a better Village", etc. That term doesn't imply that the costs are the same, so I feel like it's close to what people are after.

But I could be totally off with how others would interpret it. Plus, I'm not completely convinced there could ever be one term that would totally satisfy everyone.

23
Dominion General Discussion / Re: very short strategy article
« on: March 02, 2018, 01:38:16 pm »
"Rarely worse" would get the point across just as well and probably cause less arguments
Fortune is rarely worse than Pearl Diver

If that's how you would choose to define "rarely", then I can't argue with that. It's not what I meant when I said it though.

So then setting the "rarely" idea aside: What I'm saying is that "never worse" is untrue, and just like "strictly better", people will argue about the technicalities. That doesn't mean I don't get what we're going for with this discussion. I get the goal, I just don't think it has been achieved by "never worse".

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: very short strategy article
« on: March 02, 2018, 01:27:18 pm »
"Better (p < 0.05)"

I'm totally down to start p-hacking all of my Dominion arguments from now on.
"Buying a Duration within the first 3 shuffles while Baker is in the Kingdom causes Player 1 to be up a Province on Turn 16, Researchers say"

25
Dominion General Discussion / Re: very short strategy article
« on: March 02, 2018, 01:04:14 pm »
A fancy term obscures the meaning. You want to convey "better in at least one way; worse in no ways", with an emphasis on the "worse in no ways" part, I believe. So why not flip it around, "never worse"? Festival is never worse than Woodcutter. Worker's Village is never worse than Village.

Now, you could complain that "never worse" is not technically correct, because of edge cases. But the same thing applies to "strictly better", since "strictly" means "with no exceptions; completely or absolutely". You could also complain that two cards that are identical could be compared using "never worse", but when are you ever comparing two identical cards?

I like "never worse" because it means the same thing as "strictly better" (well, modulo equality), and the goal here seems to be to come up with a term other than "strictly better" that can be used to mean 'strictly better'.

"Never" is a strong enough word that people will absolutely argue about it. "X is never worse than Y", "oh yeah, how about in this edge case?"

"Rarely worse" would get the point across just as well and probably cause less arguments

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