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Messages - Donald X.

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1
Inheritance FAQ once stated that when you buy a card, it became yours for Inherited when-buy abilities to work. the errata last year displaced those any more, is the ruling still valid?

I assume the FAQ is not specific to Estate but deduction from general rule, so not only Inherited Estate but all bought cards are yours on buy, which can refine the above example using more Events than recommended. Im not sure whether the assumption is right, though.
The whole thing there with Inheritance was, I wanted when-buy abilities to trigger for Estates, since I thought people would think they would. (A way better solution there is to not have when-buy triggers.)

With Inheritance fixed, it seems unnecessary and weird, maybe bad, to have this rule that bought cards are yours; you don't have the card yet. So for now at least let's say they aren't.

2
Side question, is there any kind of rule or generally accepted conventional way of dealing with parentheses in card text unless its explicitly stated on the card? Let me use examples. We know that Governor tells you exactly what the parentheses mean because it tells us. Cargo Ship uses parentheses to let us know where specifically on the table we should put the set aside card so that we remember to put it in our hand at the start of the next turn, but this isn't necessary, just a "best practice" way to make sure you actually do what the card says. My question is, do all parentheses on cards indicate "best practices" for tracking effects, unless the card says explicitly what the parentheses are for, like Governor.
There's no general "ignore what's in parentheses" rule like for Magic. Sometimes parenthetical stuff is important rules text that I think wants to be less visible, like "or reveals they can't"; sometimes it's redundant helpful stuff, like "this is not in the supply."

Cargo Ship is just being helpful; you set aside a card, and if you have that Cargo ship in play as you usually do, that's a good place to put the set-aside card.

3
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 16, 2020, 02:16:58 pm »
To me, it felt that Empires and Nocturne skewed much more in the expert-player direction than other expansions.

I'm just wondering: did the composition of playtesting groups shift between Adventures and Empires? Did it shift between Nocturne and Renaissance? Or was it just your different focus in play, with similar playtesters?
Playtesters have changed, but I don't think that's what you're seeing. I think you're seeing "this is the 10th expansion, this is the 11th expansion." It's harder and harder to do things that aren't complex; all of the simple stuff is used up. For Renaissance I put in extra effort to have simple stuff.

4
I like putting +Card token on cheap +Actions which you can easily gain in numbers, preferably with a +Buy. Pawn and Hamlet are the best, followed by Market Square
Those and Border Guard are certainly great. And unlikely Magpie and Port, they may not be contested.

5
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 16, 2020, 01:28:01 am »
On a more serious note (and I hope this hasn't been asked before - there are almost 5000 posts in this thread), how do you pick playtesters? Do you ever seek out new ones? I'd imagine you'd want people of different levels of experience / skill.
IRL, I play with anyone who shows up to play, except when the table is full of regulars, in which case I play with them.

A few times I have specifically recruited playtesters from the online Dominion communities.
- Initially - before the game was published - I playtested with people I knew from online Magic communities, and they stuck around for a while.
- I invited LastFootnote based on his endless posting and collection of Donald X. games, when I needed to playtest Prince.
- For Adventures I first invited people who I knew had a physical copy from one thread here, and had done well in a tournament from another thread here, which I think included Adam and jsh357.
- Then we were also able to do testing online with isotropic, so I could invite good players who didn't necessarily have a physical copy, which included Mic and Stef. Mic has actually done testing irl for other games now.
- A few years later I needed more, and invited Ben and Steveie King.
- Recently I invited Ingix and markus in a rules capacity, due to the errata. Ingix is more vocal and made it into the credits for Menagerie, but neither of them playtested it (except now, for the online version).

I don't let people invite themselves; I let that happen a couple times in the past and wasn't happy with how it went. And way back when there were people I didn't invite at all, and most of those did not really contribute.

Even if everyone is an expert, they will end up playing with non-experts; that will be covered. My biggest concern is having people actually play games and tell me how they went; some people are not chatty and well I want words. And some don't end up actually playing much.

It may be that someday I will be looking online for more external playtesters. I'm hanging out in these communities and I'll have some idea who I might want.

6
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 14, 2020, 03:03:57 pm »
We had 5 expansions with normal names, 5 with plural names, and now 3 with French names. Can we expect 2 more with French names? And what will be the name thing for expansions 16 through 20?
The French publisher stopped doing sets after Adventures. C'mon guys, surely you want these.

7
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 14, 2020, 03:02:43 pm »
Donald has pointed out multiple times that the fun part of making new cards is coming up with the concept. The testing and tuning is the part that feels like work. By picking up fan cards, hes missing out on the fun part of his job. So hes unlikely to do it.
It's fun to playtest too, but yeah, there's no motivation for me to look at someone's cards. When it's a friend, the motivation is that they're my friend.

8
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 14, 2020, 05:02:51 am »
You've probably answered this before, but do you ever look through fan cards for inspiration?
No, except for when playtesters want to offer up something, which is to say LastFootnote.

Early in the thread someone asked this, and I looked at and reviewed a few of Buggy's as an example of how it would go. Any concerns about people thinking I stole their ideas aside, it's not especially fruitful.

9
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: February 13, 2020, 03:40:58 pm »
from a sleeving-planning perspective, the Events are included in that 400 cards? (or, Card-like things are included in the 400 cards?)
There are 400 cards, no more no less, and all of them are the usual size. There aren't any you would pass on sleeving.

10
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion: Menagerie
« on: February 11, 2020, 04:57:36 pm »
With printing started, we continue to expect the expansion within a day or two of March 18.

Previews will be the first week of March.

11
The cleanest way to do Bonfire is just, trash up to two Coppers from play. You are almost always trashing Coppers, and they aren't Duration cards. Putting tokens on cards to remember to do things later is in no way clean.
If you do ever change Bonfire, I think the suggestion that one or two people made of "Trash up to two non-Duration cards from play" would be preferable.  Necropolis is often fine material for a Bonfire, and there are other cards that can outlive their usefulness in one's deck, so having some flexibility in what Bonfire can trash seems desirable.
If Bonfire had always trashed up to 2 Coppers, no-one would have ever thought, what is this nonsense, we demand more. But because it can e.g. trash Necropolis, there are people who cling to that, as you are demonstrating. This makes it much harder to make any changes whatsoever.

12
Why don't I like the result that comes from Donald's argument?  Mainly because it causes an obscure corner case to make life difficult for both Stef and the company implementing the standalone app, but also because in some circumstances it could make life difficult in a ftf game.
I think you must not have read the whole thread. The way I ended up ruling it, life is not difficult for anyone ever.

13
Will any of the expansions after Adventures ever get official translations?

Will any of the new Promo cards get a translation, or any old ones get a reprint? It seems impossible to find any of the older ones in french, even on Ebay.

I understand these would depend on getting another company to translate which is costly and can take a long time but any news would be appreciated.
The foreign versions entirely depend on foreign publishers wanting to make them. If they do, they do the translations, which aren't so costly, and print the expansions and hooray. If they don't, so much for that. If a foreign publisher for a particular language isn't interested in new expansions, and another publisher in that language is, we might switch publishers; it depends on uh stuff though. It's not my department but you know. Maybe RGG has a good or bad relationship with a particular publisher, and so on.

I think the online version has French, translated by fans. So you could print out images and have them handy when playing with English cards. You can also let the current French publisher know that you want new expansions, or let RGG know that you want them to find a new French publisher. RGG would be happy to have the game in every language for all sets. Some publishers were turned off by the tokens in Empires, which made that set more expensive; possibly the reason the French publisher stopped there.

I know Menagerie will come out in Japanese (I think promptly) and German (I don't know when and they have been a year after us for recent sets). It seems likely that it will come out in Dutch since Renaissance did. Beyond that, it's a mystery.

14
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Interview with Donald X.
« on: February 07, 2020, 04:02:33 pm »
I came across this Dominion Collector's Box (Sammler-Box): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081KCVDY9/

It's got space for 3000 cards, and comes with a base set of cards, all of the promos, and card dividers for all cards so far.

It's also in German.

Will there be an English version of this?
There are no plans for an English version. Also as long as the promos are on BGG, Jay doesn't want to make them otherwise available; he gives them to BGG to support BGG.

15
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Promo card releases?
« on: February 05, 2020, 04:24:20 pm »
I'm wondering if there's a schedule anywhere of upcoming promo card releases?
Specifically I'm wondering if there will be any available at PaxEast in a couple of weeks.  But more generally, is there anywhere that promo releases get announced?
They tend to get announced everywhere that there's Dominion traffic. Those places are: the discord; the reddit; here; BGG. The discord gets the most traffic these days, then the reddit, but so far these forums haven't missed any announcements.

Currently there are no announced promos that haven't come out. I guess there's, when will Captain with errata come out? I don't know.

16
Sorry if you think you've been super-clear, and if you want to think to yourself that I'm an idiot for not getting it, go ahead. But to be very specific: Are you saying that (with this obscure rule) the Graverobbered Duration will always be unknown - so that Vassal won't stay in play?
I know it can be hard to communicate clearly on the internet. It is frustrating repeating stuff and I mean I just want to have the rules cover everything, and I think I have a rule that covers the case that did not feel covered.

I think I see why this isn't clear yet. Vassal wasn't tracking the card before; it's not that Vassal "can no longer move the card" - in fact it even moves it. But the idea is that, if we care about "is this that card," and "that card" couldn't be moved, then it also isn't "that card."

You Procession a Fishing Village, Graverobber it, then Vassal it. Is it "that Fishing Village"? The rulebook rule says you can't move "that card," thus it isn't "that card." Vassal does not stay out.

Okay, so the core of the matter is whether the identity of a trashed card can ever possibly be lost. To me the fact that the trash is an unordered pile means that it can. That's about game state. When it comes to "paying attention to which card in the trash is which": People can (and do) put cards in the trash without being careful that they don't get mixed with copies of that card. There is nothing in the stated or inferred rules telling the players that they need to be careful with that, whereas cards you put in play definitely have those rules. The only inferred rule that could be said to say that about trashed cards, is the very scenario we're talking about, but it would be circular logic to say that the conclusion that it's "that card" in this scenario means that we should pay attention to which card in the trash is which.
Again I can cite Thief. In-between trashing a card with Thief, and gaining the card, I shuffle the trash. Oops now I don't know what card to gain, we lost track. Is an argument someone could make. I counter that with: no, you don't get to. We don't require the trash to be in a particular order, but if you have to track a card in the trash for some reason, e.g. Thief, then you have to track that card, you don't get to try to lose it in the trash.

17
I think you might have glanced over some of the stuff I've written. I actually agree with you about shuffling: The card is potentially unknown, so we regard it as unknown. As I said, that's what I thought you meant in the first place (the top post). My point is that it has to be the same for trashed cards. The card is potentially unknown (except for abilities that track it), so we regard it as unknown. It can't be based on what I know - neither when the card is shuffled nor when it's trashed. This is why Graverobber can never get a known card out of the trash. Unlike Thief, it's not tracking any cards in the trash.
A trashed card isn't potentially unknown, except to the degree that all information in the game is potentially unknown, e.g. maybe I just had a stroke.

Maybe it's a language problem? Having the game not track something isn't the same as my brain not knowing it. A shuffled-in card is potentially "my brain doesn't know it." A trashed card is not. We don't want the game to track the trashed card but that doesn't say anything about my brain.

I do not see how my brain stops knowing the trashed card. I don't see it. I don't think I'm going to see it. It's not relevant either as far as I can see; I have a solution and it doesn't lean on that.

Maybe you are thinking, I could shuffle the trash, there's no stopping me. For me this is a huge stretch. No-one ever would, except to prove a point here. If we are paying attention to which card in the trash is which, everyone will know not to shuffle it, and nothing ever tells them to shuffle the trash, and something is telling them that we care about this card. Whereas the rules tell you to shuffle your deck, they force you to lose the card. I think in fact it would be reasonable for people to conclude/argue that they are not allowed to shuffle the trash here; similarly they will figure, they can't shuffle together their in-play Fishing Villages and thus not know which exact ones stay out for next turn. I don't need to decide this point but this whole direction sure does not seem helpful to me.

Ingix' point was: According to "lose track"/"stop moving", a card that moves is lost track of (and can't be moved) except by the ability that moved it. Using the same mechanism for card identity, a card that moves is now unknown except by the ability that moved it. So a Graverobbered card would be unknown, and can't be "that card".
My point is what I just said; I'm not sure we get anywhere repeating these things. Man I guess I can paste it. If you don't see a problem with having an obscure rule that says "In the circumstance where you can no longer move a card, it's also no longer "that card" for effects that track a specific card" then hooray, we got there. I don't want to argue about Ingix's word choices and whatever other things he meant or you meant.

18
Using the same or a very similar approach here would make it consistent. If a card moved into another zone, it's lost it's identity for every effect except the moving one. This solves exactly the kind of edge case problems the stop moving rule is solving. Especially in cases like Jeebus constructed, where the Fishing Village is trashed by Counterfeit. Once that has happened, the reason why the "Throne Rooms stay in play" rule was made is already violated. Trying to preserve it's intent after a chain of effects to bring the Fishing Village back into play seems ill-guided to me.

Tl;dnr: Using the same mechanism as developed for "stop moving" would help solve "I'm uncertain if this is the same card" problem, at (IMO) no loss of intended interactions.
It sounds like this works. It's still extra though, I mean the quoted upcoming rulebook rule doesn't address it.

Wait, are you saying that you agree now? That a card in trash is always unknown except for the ability that put it there? Because that was part of Ingix's point.
It wasn't an optical illusion. It sounds to me like it can be: In the circumstance where you can no longer move a card, it's also no longer "that card" for effects that track a specific card.

19
Whether you call the rule "lose track" or "stop moving", it's still about both things: Abilities tracking cards, and not being able to move them. It's not just about the card being in the expected place at the moment the ability tries to move it. If that were the case, the ability could move a card that moved and moved back. It's actually about the ability tracking the card from the moment it references it, and if at any moment the card is not where it's expected to be, the ability loses track forever. It's crucial that it's thought of in terms of abilities tracking cards.
The rule is whatever it is; it's the text of the rule, not e.g. the intentions behind it.

I see from your quoted rule that you're again missing this aspect. I pointed it out in the original "errata and rules tweaks" thread, and as a result you updated the rule with the added phrase "or has moved away from there and then back". (I still think the rule is not phrased accurately, since it doesn't mention tracking.)
Thanks, I forgot about that, but will add it to the Dark Ages rulebook.

I think it does if the rule is based on what I know (like you were arguing about my knowledge of how many cards I discarded etc) instead of game state. You said originally in this thread that the shuffled card is lost because "there's no way to know". Well, if it's the only one in my deck, I do know. I assumed that you meant that "potentially there's no way to know", just like potentially a trashed card is unknown. But if it's all supposed to be, do I know?, then I don't see how you can say that a shuffled card is always unknown.
Sigh. I'm not sure why you're going here. Of course it's possible to know for sure that that Merchant Ship is the right one - there could only be one in my deck, there could only be one card in my deck period, the Merchant Ship could be the copy I got the artist to sign.

It's all super moot. Yes, it's not that you have no way of knowing in any circumstances if the card is the same, as if I could have possibly meant that; it's that you might have no way of knowing if it's the same card (I say "might" but of course it's a common scenario); therefore the rules need to treat that situation as if you don't know (or provide tracking so you know for sure). Once we have that rule, it will be invoked even in cases where you do know; I will not get any value from having a different rule to cover cases where you know.

20
Using the same or a very similar approach here would make it consistent. If a card moved into another zone, it's lost it's identity for every effect except the moving one. This solves exactly the kind of edge case problems the stop moving rule is solving. Especially in cases like Jeebus constructed, where the Fishing Village is trashed by Counterfeit. Once that has happened, the reason why the "Throne Rooms stay in play" rule was made is already violated. Trying to preserve it's intent after a chain of effects to bring the Fishing Village back into play seems ill-guided to me.

Tl;dnr: Using the same mechanism as developed for "stop moving" would help solve "I'm uncertain if this is the same card" problem, at (IMO) no loss of intended interactions.
It sounds like this works. It's still extra though, I mean the quoted upcoming rulebook rule doesn't address it.

21
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving play at 3+ players
« on: February 01, 2020, 06:11:03 pm »
Re: good junking attacks (Witch/Cultist/Torturer etc., rather than the weaker ones like Sea Hag or Marauder), the argument seems to be as follows. In 2-player, both players must get them. In multiplayer, it can be reasonable to ignore them in favor of some other useful card. Put in more concrete terms, you're saying that on a board with Witch and Lab, in 2-player your first $5 is always Witch, in multiplayer one should take Lab. Am I correctly understanding the argument being presented here?

In my experience (playing this game for ten years, almost exclusively multiplayer), that is not correct. Eating 2-3 curses/ruins per turn will cripple you, and the "but when the junk runs out" end state is irrelevant because the game is over. Remember, piles run really fast in multiplayer.

If the card you buy instead of the junker is a trasher like Sentry or Junk Dealer, yeah, that could sometimes work. But if something like that is on the board there's a decent case to be made that they should be the first $5 you buy anyway.
If we're going with arguments by authority, I've been playing since 2006, beat that, with thousands of games of multiplayer.

Yes if you pass on Witch it might be for a trasher, though it may also be for a significant money card. It probably won't be for Lab; a key thing is that when everyone has a lot of Curses fast, the +2 Cards on Witch sucks, and Lab is no better.

To be definitive we'd have to consider each attack and each non-attack you could get over it separately, plus the rest of the board, and time does not permit. For sure there are some non-attacks you will want over some attacks, and with Witch it's specifically because, your extra Curses aren't so many, Witch isn't great in your deck, and the other card you get can make up the difference. You still might get that Witch, there are all the circumstances where you get it. But it's not rare to not want it, once the other players have it (if the other players somehow pass on it, man, get it).

For me the key thing is, that I want Witch less often in multiplayer than in 2-player, and prefer the amount I want it in multiplayer; I wish I'd scaled Curses differently.

22
Thief tracks a card, and Graverobber doesn't. But Throne Room does (and Counterfeit etc.). I Throne Room the Fishing Village, Throne Room specifically tracks it.

Hmm, I don't understand what you're saying here. In the scenario in question, Throne Room/Counterfeit loses track the moment the card is trashed. No card is tracking the trashed Fishing Village.
I see what you're saying. Throne Room cares if it's "that card" but "loses track." The "lose track" isn't about this, and the words "lose track" aren't used anymore, the rule is about not moving cards; see below. However Throne Room does track the card, in that the card matters for whether or not Throne Room stays in play, and Throne Room does have to stop tracking the card once it leaves play.

So then there's Vassal. Vassal wasn't in play or doing anything earlier in the turn, it wasn't tracking anything. But it shows up and asks, was this card played earlier this turn? I still feel like, there has to be a rule that answers this question, or I haven't answered it.

Here's the current "stop moving" rule:
Quote
Sometimes an effect may try to move a card but be unable to. An effect can move a card if it specifies where the card is coming from, or if the effect put the card where it is now. If a card isn't where the effect would expect it to be, it cannot move the card. Played cards expect to be in play; they cannot move themselves if they are not. Gained cards are expected to be where they were gained to, even if this is not the discard pile. Cards in discard piles can be moved even if covered up by other cards; cards on top of a deck cannot be moved once covered up. So for example, if you use Counterfeit to play Spoils, you will be unable to trash it, as Counterfeit expects to find Spoils in play (but Spoils returned to its pile).

But given what you're saying, that it's because I know which FV is the trashed FV, that must then mean that it's my choice. If there are several copies in trash, I choose if I want the trashed one, which will lead to Vassal staying in play, or another one, which will lead to Vassal being discarded. Right?

Edit: And by that reasoning, a shuffled card can also sometimes be "that card" - if I know that it's that card. If it's the only FV in my deck, I know it's that card.
Sure, sometimes you know it's the same card. That doesn't stop me from having a rule that says it's not "that card."

You choose whether you want the same or a different Fishing Village in the trash, yes. And of course ideally the rules are such that that doesn't matter, it never makes a difference.

23
But, that's sounding like a good ruling there now: the card playing a Duration card extra times stays in play until the Duration card is discarded (or otherwise leaves play).

Right, that sounds like a good call, because the TR+Duration rule has been that the TR stays as long as the Duration does; the Duration doesn't have to be discarded. That's why Procession + Duration meant that Procession was discarded.

I'm not sure how this is different from my approach. Currently I have a rule, that if you shuffle a card into a deck, it's no longer "that card." I think that's the only situation where I can say that. If the rule applied to trashing, I would then need to explain in the rule how Thief was different; it seems better to not do that.

Well, I assume none of the rulings in this thread, starting with the one you posted at first, are ever going to make it into a published rulebook. But if you mean explaining in forums like this, I think it really makes sense to say that Thief is tracking the card and can pull out that exact card, while Graverobber cannot pull out any specific card. I'm actually trying to follow the rules and mechanics of the game when I reach that conclusion. Before Ingix pointed it out, I thought that Thief and Graverobber work the same, but now I really don't.

Edit: Think about it in terms of a computer implementation where every card is tracked by the game engine. Thief would always gain the card it trashed. When you play Graverobber, either you get to choose a FV in the trash, or the game just chooses one of them when you click "FV". In either case, it would be arbitrary whether you get the one that was trashed earlier in the turn. Of course you can say that this means if you do get that one, the Vassal stays in play, because the engine knows it's that one. If you interpret it that way, it means that this interaction can only work online, never in a physical game. It's akin to the scenarios where we end up playing a card and not knowing what it is (which contributed to your decision to errata BoM). But another, also valid, interpretation, which doesn't cause the game to break, is that the fact that you can't know which one it is is enough to say that it can't be "that card". Another interpretation is to say that Vassal stays in play if there is one FV in trash, and not if there is more than one. But I think it's better to interpret it as, it can't be that card if you potentially can't know.
Thief tracks a card, and Graverobber doesn't. But Throne Room does (and Counterfeit etc.). I Throne Room the Fishing Village, Throne Room specifically tracks it.

IRL I can't potentially not know if I got the right card with Graverobber; it has to be shuffled into a deck to really lose it. I mean I can have a stroke, or shuffle the trash and act like this should matter, but you know, I know which card is the Fishing Village I trashed in the same way that I know all other things in the game that you have to track: what two things I picked for Pawn and how many cards I discarded to Vault and which card Band of Misfits played and so on.

24
Dominion General Discussion / Re: Improving play at 3+ players
« on: January 31, 2020, 07:40:23 pm »
So the mistake you're making is still the same as from the start. The choice is between buying an attack and not buying it, and we have to compare these two scenarios. Like I said, the difference between these two in 3P is less than the difference between them in 2P. It doesn't really matter that the tempo is higher in 3P than in 2P.
And importantly, when you don't buy the attack, you buy something else, and that card helps you.

25
Thief is IMO different in that respect. It's one effect of one card that moves cards around, it makes sense that it is able to track cards over the "short time" of its resolution. In your case, different effects move a card around, during the buy phase. That is much longer and harder to keep track of than during a single effects resolution.

To me the question if a given card is the same as one referred to by another effect is very similar to the problem that the stop moving rule is supposed to solve: Sometimes you can't find a card, so the rule specifies conditions when the card can be found, and the conditions are such that in RL play they really mean the card can be found. The solution to this problem should IMO be very similar. Specify conditions under which an effect can still determine if a given card is the same as another specified one. If it can't determine that, the assumption is that it is different.
I'm not sure how this is different from my approach. Currently I have a rule, that if you shuffle a card into a deck, it's no longer "that card." I think that's the only situation where I can say that. If the rule applied to trashing, I would then need to explain in the rule how Thief was different; it seems better to not do that.

The Duration rules say, "that card also stays in play until the Duration card is discarded." While this technically didn't happen in the case of Counterfeit, I feel like the Duration card leaving play should be enough. "Until the Duration card leaves play." Of course it almost always leaves play due to being discarded; I'm not sure that helpful bit of rules wants to cover Capitalism / Counterfeit. But, that's sounding like a good ruling there now: the card playing a Duration card extra times stays in play until the Duration card is discarded (or otherwise leaves play).

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