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Author Topic: Which expansion is underpowered? Overpowered? An analysis of Qvist's rankings  (Read 13010 times)

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Merudo

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True, you originally described them as "unlikely to be useful in non-prosperity games" implying that they're unlikely to be useful in Province games. That's a bit less harsh.

I agree, that was the wrong call.
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Awaclus

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Still, according to the ranking and discussion in other threads, Bank and Forge seem rather average: most of the time they are inferior to gold, but sometimes they get to shine.
You never want Gold instead of Bank. Okay, maybe sometimes you do, but it is very rare for Bank to be worse than Gold. It's not a lot better than Gold usually, but it's slightly better.

And Forge shines pretty often. It's worse than Count which is worse than Chapel, but it's better than Mint, and sometimes Count and Chapel aren't in the kingdom (actually that's usually the case) and no other card trashes your deck as efficiently as these four do unless you get very lucky with Doctor.
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eHalcyon

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I think the primary issue here is that you are calling the lowest ranked cards "underpowered" and the highest ranked cards "overpowered", which is taking too much from just ranking.  By taking the top and bottom 25%, you are immediately assuming that 50% of all cards are unbalanced.  If you must choose an arbitrary cut-off, it would be better to use a smaller number.

Many cards are ranked low because they are a bit more niche, e.g. Contraband, Rats, Develop.  But their presence makes Dominion more interesting.  Games where you can make effective use of Contraband's $3 and +Buy and get around the buy restriction, or games where you can do something neat with Rats, or games where you have crazy Develop shenanigans.  Some of those "underpowered" cards are absolutely killer in the right situations.  Saboteur can be brutal in some games, and a single Outpost can consistently double an engine's power.

And a high ranking doesn't mean a card is overpowered.  Nobody considers Militia overpowered.  Courtyard, Hamlet and Fool's Gold are all good cards, but they're only $2 for a reason.  You probably don't care about Counterfeit or Upgrade if Chapel is available.

Similar things could be said for most cards on either list.

This analysis is an interesting starting point for discussion, but I'd avoid saying things like

these underpowered cards are usually unplayable & a waste of space
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Merudo

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I think the primary issue here is that you are calling the lowest ranked cards "underpowered" and the highest ranked cards "overpowered", which is taking too much from just ranking.  By taking the top and bottom 25%, you are immediately assuming that 50% of all cards are unbalanced.  If you must choose an arbitrary cut-off, it would be better to use a smaller number.

So which number would you use? 10%? 15%? 5%?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 09:01:33 pm by Merudo »
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liopoil

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I think the goal here is to rank the power of the expansions, maybe. To do this you should take an average position of the cards in each expansion. Average percentile of a card in the expansion relative to all cards. Still, there is the obstacle of there being more weak/strong cards at certain price levels, but this fixes the problem of an arbitrary cutoff.
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LastFootnote

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I think the primary issue here is that you are calling the lowest ranked cards "underpowered" and the highest ranked cards "overpowered", which is taking too much from just ranking.  By taking the top and bottom 25%, you are immediately assuming that 50% of all cards are unbalanced.  If you must choose an arbitrary cut-off, it would be better to use a smaller number.

So which number would you use? 10%? 15%? 5%?

You are missing the point. In my opinion, there shouldn't be an arbitrary cutoff at all. Ranking the expansions by power of cards is fine, and has been done before. But calling cards "overpowered" and "underpowered" because they're above or below a certain arbitrary percentile is a misleading at best.
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liopoil

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Here's a nice post by schneau, using WW's power rankings:

Using one of the programs in my Dominion Card Sorter, I sorted the expansions based on the average WW Power Ranking of the cards in each expansion. This gives some idea of how "Powerful" the expansions are, with lower numbers being better:

Code: [Select]
Cornucopia  75.3
Hinterlands 88.8
Dark Ages   99.2
Guilds      99.2
Prosperity  103.1
Intrigue    104.0
Seaside     107.5
Alchemy     117.7
Base        121.1
Promo       131.2
Looks pretty accurate to me. I would bump dark ages up above hinterlands and alchemy above seaside, but apart from that I agree. It seems to mostly agree with your analysis too.

On a side note, rats is listed as underpowered. EDIT: it's #47 out of 57..... that's horrible. It's way better than that!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 09:25:28 pm by liopoil »
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eHalcyon

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I think the primary issue here is that you are calling the lowest ranked cards "underpowered" and the highest ranked cards "overpowered", which is taking too much from just ranking.  By taking the top and bottom 25%, you are immediately assuming that 50% of all cards are unbalanced.  If you must choose an arbitrary cut-off, it would be better to use a smaller number.

So which number would you use? 10%? 15%? 5%?

I wouldn't even use a percentage.  I'd do what Donald said and make the judgement call myself.  For simplicity, maybe look at top and bottom of each of the ranked lists and choose a cut-off.  So for example, let's look at the $4 cards.

Scout, Thief, Feast, Coppersmith, Treasure Map... OK, Coppersmith is sometimes a powerhouse payload, but that happens very rarely.  I think it's fair to say that it's underpowered.  Treasure Map is weak but I don't think it's underpowered.  It's supposed to be high variance.  So I'll put the cut-off there.

Sea Hag, Tournament, Remake... well, I don't think any of those are really overpowered.  But Sea Hag and Tournament can be pretty centralizing, so maybe I'll put those through.  Remake definitely isn't overpowered though (especially with Shelters), so I'll cut it off there.

From 57 cards, I ended up with the bottom 9% and the top 4%.
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Merudo

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I think the primary issue here is that you are calling the lowest ranked cards "underpowered" and the highest ranked cards "overpowered", which is taking too much from just ranking.  By taking the top and bottom 25%, you are immediately assuming that 50% of all cards are unbalanced.  If you must choose an arbitrary cut-off, it would be better to use a smaller number.

So which number would you use? 10%? 15%? 5%?

I wouldn't even use a percentage.  I'd do what Donald said and make the judgement call myself.  For simplicity, maybe look at top and bottom of each of the ranked lists and choose a cut-off.  So for example, let's look at the $4 cards.

Scout, Thief, Feast, Coppersmith, Treasure Map... OK, Coppersmith is sometimes a powerhouse payload, but that happens very rarely.  I think it's fair to say that it's underpowered.  Treasure Map is weak but I don't think it's underpowered.  It's supposed to be high variance.  So I'll put the cut-off there.

Sea Hag, Tournament, Remake... well, I don't think any of those are really overpowered.  But Sea Hag and Tournament can be pretty centralizing, so maybe I'll put those through.  Remake definitely isn't overpowered though (especially with Shelters), so I'll cut it off there.

From 57 cards, I ended up with the bottom 9% and the top 4%.

I did a new analysis with different cut-offs:

Cut-offs:
Cost 2: Pearl Diver (20/22), Hamlet (4/22)
Cost 3: Great Hall (32/34), Steward (4/32)
Cost 4: Bureaucrat (50/57), Jack of All Trades (4/57)
Cost 5: Madarin (57/66), Witch (5/66)
Cost 6+: Expand (14/16), Goons (2/16)

Underpowered:

Base (32%):
     $3: Chancellor, Woodcutter
     $4: Bureaucrat, Feast, Spy, Thief;
     $5: Mine
     $6: Adventurer
Intrigue (20%):
     $2: Secret Chamber, Great Hall;
     $4: Coppersmith, Scout;
     $5: Saboteur
Seaside (15%):
     $2: Pearl Diver;
     $3: Navigator, Treasure Map
     $5: Explorer
Prosperity (15%):
     $5: Contraband, Counting House, Royal Seal
     $6: Expand
Cornucopia (8%):
     $5: Harvest
Hinterlands (16%):
     $2: Duchess
     $5: Cache, Mandarin
     $6: Farmland
Dark Ages (3%):
     $5: Graverobber
Guilds (0%):

Overpowered:

Base (8%):
     $2: Chapel
     $5: Witch
Intrigue (12%):
     $2: Courtyard;
     $3: Masquerade, Steward;
Seaside (15%):
     $3: Ambassador, Fishing Village;
     $4: Sea Hag
     $5: Wharf
Prosperity (12%):
     $5: Mountebank;
     $6+: Goons, King's Court
Cornucopia (23%):
     $2: Hamlet
     $4: Tournament, Remake
Hinterlands (8%):
     $2: Fool's Gold;
     $4: Jack of all Trades
Dark Ages (6%):
     $5: Rebuild, Cultist
Guilds (0%): 

Most overpowered set: Cornucopia
Most underpowered set: Base Dominion (runners-up: Intrigue, Hinterlands)
Most balanced set: Guilds (runners-up: Dark Ages)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 11:09:01 pm by Merudo »
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rrenaud

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FWIW, I think visualizing the rankings by set might be a fun/interesting infoviz problem.

You could imagine having one colored curve per expansion.  The x axis corresponds to the cost specific percentile in the Qvist ranking.  The y axis is the percentage of cards in that set at or above the given percentile.

But I am lazy. 

C'mon, be my minions, someone do it.  After all, I pay $300/year to keep the forum running just so you lovely people can talk about dominion ;).
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Merudo

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Finally, I transformed the ranks in percentiles, and then averaged them.

Here are the results (higher means better):

Cornucopia: 64% (sd: 31)
Guilds: 55% (sd: 18)
Dark Ages: 53% (sd: 26)
Hinterlands: 50% (sd: 29)
Seaside: 50% (sd:31)
Intrigue: 50% (sd: 34)
Prosperity: 48% (sd:33)
Base: 39% (sd: 31)

Again,

Most overpowered set: Cornucopia
Most underpowered set: Base Dominion
Most balanced set: Guilds (runner-up: Dark Ages)
Most unbalanced set: Intrigue & Prosperity
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 11:53:03 pm by Merudo »
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Beyond Awesome

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I really don't feel DA is a runner-up for most balanced set. DA has some of the most unbalanced cards in all of Dominion. I do agree about Guilds. It feels pretty balanced to me.
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eHalcyon

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I really don't feel DA is a runner-up for most balanced set. DA has some of the most unbalanced cards in all of Dominion. I do agree about Guilds. It feels pretty balanced to me.

The rankings don't accurately reflect the power of DA or Guilds because they are the newest expansions and still relatively recent when those lists were submitted to Qvist.  Also, the analysis doesn't really account for the degree to which cards are under- or overpowered.  Not to mention, some cards can feel particularly weak or strong even if they aren't.  For example, Rebuild may feel more overpowered than cards that are actually stronger than it.

@Merudo, haven't looked at your cut-offs to see if I agree with them, but I just want to say thanks for inspiring some interesting discussion.  A lot of people may be chiming in to critique and pick apart your work, but that's just what f.ds does to everything noteworthy that gets posted.  Cheers!
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Beyond Awesome

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Still, according to the ranking and discussion in other threads, Bank and Forge seem rather average: most of the time they are inferior to gold, but sometimes they get to shine.
You never want Gold instead of Bank. Okay, maybe sometimes you do, but it is very rare for Bank to be worse than Gold. It's not a lot better than Gold usually, but it's slightly better.

And Forge shines pretty often. It's worse than Count which is worse than Chapel, but it's better than Mint, and sometimes Count and Chapel aren't in the kingdom (actually that's usually the case) and no other card trashes your deck as efficiently as these four do unless you get very lucky with Doctor.

Agreed, Bank is almost never worse than Gold, and is usually better.
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silverspawn

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Quote
and a single Outpost can consistently double an engine's power.

thank you. and this is not that rare. people seriously don't give outpost enough credit.

dondon151

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C'mon, be my minions, someone do it.  After all, I pay $300/year to keep the forum running just so you lovely people can talk about dominion ;).

I see plenty of Saboteurs and Adventurers in this thread, but no Minions. Maybe that's the problem.
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florrat

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FWIW, I think visualizing the rankings by set might be a fun/interesting infoviz problem.

You could imagine having one colored curve per expansion.  The x axis corresponds to the cost specific percentile in the Qvist ranking.  The y axis is the percentage of cards in that set at or above the given percentile.

But I am lazy. 

C'mon, be my minions, someone do it.  After all, I pay $300/year to keep the forum running just so you lovely people can talk about dominion ;).

Minion reporting in. Not quite as colorful as you described, though. The y-axis is the rank in WW's card list and the x-axis are the cards in a specific set (ordered by WW's rank). There's one graph with all sets.
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silverspawn

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anyone want a list of this with my biased emotional subjective meaningless opinions on which cards are weak/strong instead of cutoffs from Qvists list?

LastFootnote

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anyone want a list of this with my biased emotional subjective meaningless opinions on which cards are weak/strong instead of cutoffs from Qvists list?
"Want" is too strong a word. I would probably read such a list, or at least glance over it.
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jsh357

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anyone want a list of this with my biased emotional subjective meaningless opinions on which cards are weak/strong instead of cutoffs from Qvists list?

Nobody's going to complain about more lists.  Lists are the bests.  LISTS!  POST MORE LISTS!
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Awaclus

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anyone want a list of this with my biased emotional subjective meaningless opinions on which cards are weak/strong instead of cutoffs from Qvists list?

Nobody's going to complain about more lists.  Lists are the bests.  LISTS!  POST MORE LISTS!

List of items in this list:

 - Item 1
 - Item 2
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Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

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silverspawn

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good enough I guess. I'll make one.

not sure if I just do op and up or even rate any card in powerlevel from 0-10 and make medians and middles and that kind of stuff. but I'll do a list in any case.

florrat

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MOAR GRAPHS

Comparison of WW's rankings and Qvists' 2012-2014 rankings. Cards are labeled by their first two letters. Qvist ranks are the relative ranks in their price category, WW's ranks are relative ranks in WW's full card list (so it's comparing two different - but similar - things).
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GeoLib

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MOAR GRAPHS

Comparison of WW's rankings and Qvists' 2012-2014 rankings. Cards are labeled by their first two letters. Qvist ranks are the relative ranks in their price category, WW's ranks are relative ranks in WW's full card list (so it's comparing two different - but similar - things).

I think if you're going to do this comparison, you need to turn WW's list into lists based on price. I would actually just be interested in a graph of the QVist price lists and price lists created from WW's rankings.
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florrat

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I think if you're going to do this comparison, you need to turn WW's list into lists based on price. I would actually just be interested in a graph of the QVist price lists and price lists created from WW's rankings.
That's a good idea. I might do that...
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