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Author Topic: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.  (Read 2455 times)

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BitTorrent

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90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« on: August 01, 2015, 07:50:13 am »
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Story: One day when im really bored I decide to have a look on this site again after eons have passed. One name caught my attention: 'kasaski2'. I really liked that because he realized a way to both having a new yahooID and bringing the maximum level of irony to the table. So I decided to do the same.

Don't make me wrong I still play sometimes with my friends(The HK-crews including marco, JimKam and others). It is not the same thing though playing 2v2 games with them are way more reckless and troll, which maybe one of the reason why im quite reckless while playing in isotropic too.

So I decide to come back and play a few games. I dont really sure if most of my opponents enjoyed that though.

But then when I check the leaderboard, only 90 players left. I still recall the days where the leaderboard consists of over 1000 players while there are thousand of games going on everyday, but those are the past.

And what is wrong with innovation?

Nothing big, really.

Apart from some particular buggy cards which I will be talking about in the bottom line, the major hindrance of developing a healthy community of players is that it is hard to show and teach this game. I dont think the learning curve of innovation is that steep as there are lots of games with way tougher learning curve(personally, Ti3 and others). I can even say that the learning curve of this game is not as steep as dominion. To have a shot against veterans in dominion one must have a lot of background knowledge on every mechanic around dominion and play within that line, while in innovation there is always some 10-30% of chance you can just beat your opponent via surplus amount of luck with limited amount of skills(Almanac spam, etc).

But to display and teach innovation in reality or network is another story. It is very hard for newcomers to imagine what they are actually doing since there are no clear concept of the game itself. Buying cards for dominion, Running a farm on Agricola, Building a space reign on Ti3, etc. Even more conceptual games have their own shape, like wealth of nations or even nuggets. Innovation though is a game of concept itself which is so hard to describe or display. Are you a scientist or alchemist or space being or something that have to fight between each other with ideas and thoughts? Or a planeswalker like MTG? Even though I will try to descripe what we are doing here with newbies, it is still hard for them to catch-up since things are a lot more blurry in the game. Most of them will just give-up.

Personally I have taught less than 5 players in real life from sketch and among them, Hideoshi make his way to the top on the leaderboard. Back when isotropic is not set, I simply play like 5 or 10 games with him every time we met without reason and perhaps that kind of extensive plays with emptiness is the only way to 'grow up' an innovation veteran. I guess it is the same for dominion or other games but the process is just so empty that many will leave.

I dont know if that is the only weakness of this game but personally I dont think it has that much to do with the game complications. There are games which are way tougher to learn and way more annoying cramped with calculations. To me, Innovation is not one of them.

Bottom line:

Please put a patch on Watermill, Almanac and Industrialization, in particular for echoes gameplay. Watermill and Almanac have nothing wrong or broken to do in the first release of echo expansion, as we have to mix a number of echo cards and base cards together to form an age deck for each age, so Almanac/Watermill spamming is not viable at most cases since you can end up drawing a base card instead of always hitting an echo one.

But then there it comes the echo drawing rule and seperation of decks. 'Blue Dyeing' becomes feasible and you can keep spamming Almanac and end the game alone. I have around 10% of games ruined by Almanac spam(including those spammed by me) and there is no reason to keep granting an age 3 card the possibility of ending the game without interruption. Math can be interrupted by board robbing cards or others but this little leaf simply denial gravity. Similar case for Watermill, although in lesser extent.

Industrialization though is rather a victim of 'blue dyeing'. Originally the card will ramp though the age deck so fast that things can backfire and have to proceed in caution. Instead, it now gives you a huge board without even progressing the age deck in some cases, and when it starts eating up ages, your board is already so huge that you can overrun your opponents with icons alone.

My suggestion:

Almanac: dont give the +1 age with that dogma anymore. You still score, still ramp though echo cards and still hit a higher age occasionally but at least you cannot end the game alone with that card most of the time.

Watermill: when you finally stopped by hitting a non-echo card, change that so you have to tuck that card too. The result is you cant use that as a free age-jumping perform without things like empty colors or self board-removal stuff(actually it is nice this way since they do introduce cards like scissior which allows you to do that).

Industrialization: change to:"(fac)draw and tuck a 6. (fac)draw and tuck a 6 for every 4 factory icons on your board. (fac) splay...." Seriously I cant think of a real way to stop Industrialization spam as this card is meant for spamming at the beginning. My idea is, if the speed is a bit slower it should allow your opponent to react for 1 or 2 more turns. Currently It is like if I got industrialization and 6 factory icons on one red splay then your turns are numbered, and I will come to win like 90% of the time. To get 8 factories for the original intended ramming speed though would require a lot more factories from off-colors unless you got a super factory red pile (Coal+Machinery+Industrialization on top).

Well it is only my personal thoughts about the game and it maybe already suggested by others elsewhere. In the very bottom line, please at least fix Almanac. This is the most evil thing which still hurts my heart, as numerous games are ruined in Innovation, my favorite game.
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Awaclus

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2015, 08:16:33 am »
+4

The main reason why I don't play a lot of Innovation anymore is that whenever I log in, there are like two other people in the lobby and they're both AFK.

TrojH

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2015, 08:12:11 pm »
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I still play once in a while, but only as a guest. I can't login with my Google account anymore, and I got rid of my Yahoo account some time ago; I refuse to get another Yahoo account just to play Innovation.
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ipofanes

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 09:37:48 am »
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But then when I check the leaderboard, only 90 players left. I still recall the days where the leaderboard consists of over 1000 players while there are thousand of games going on everyday, but those are the past.
That's mostly due to Google ID phased out.

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And what is wrong with innovation?
I won't blame the game for that.


Quote
it is hard to show and teach this game.
Sure. It's a Chudyk game so I'd expect that cards are used in multiple ways. As far as I am concerned I failed to wrap my head around Glory to Rome.

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Bottom line:

Please put a patch on Watermill, Almanac and Industrialization, in particular for echoes gameplay.

I'd add the rule that if a card tells you to draw a card beyond 10, you draw a [10] instead. That way you still can win by score but only after the [10] pile is depleted. That way, sudden wins by Clock/Archimedes or Measurement are nipped in the bud.

Quote
My suggestion:

Almanac: dont give the +1 age with that dogma anymore. You still score, still ramp though echo cards and still hit a higher age occasionally but at least you cannot end the game alone with that card most of the time.
Sounds good and should be about ok. It would still be a massively strong card but doesn't win you the game single-handedly.

Quote
Watermill: when you finally stopped by hitting a non-echo card, change that so you have to tuck that card too. The result is you cant use that as a free age-jumping perform without things like empty colors or self board-removal stuff(actually it is nice this way since they do introduce cards like scissior which allows you to do that).
Hmm. That way it only takes half a turn to reactivate Watermill. That bonus-free Echo in hand means I have to get rid of it, get a new bonus, repeat, which lasts longer. I still think Watermill is a trap card since it stops short so often, and I only pursue it actively with enables like Lever.

Quote
Industrialization: change to:"(fac)draw and tuck a 6. (fac)draw and tuck a 6 for every 4 factory icons on your board. (fac) splay...." Seriously I cant think of a real way to stop Industrialization spam as this card is meant for spamming at the beginning. My idea is, if the speed is a bit slower it should allow your opponent to react for 1 or 2 more turns.

My favourite fix is: (fac) Draw a 6 for each 2 fac icons on your board. Tuck all cards you drew this way.

This way, you can still end the game (but your opponent might be scoring in the meantime, getting ahead in score) but you don't get free [Hist] and [Wlth] for free, and don't create fearsome Echo stack chains.

Quote
Innovation, my favorite game.

Not quite mine, but definitely a top ten.
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popsofctown

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 04:57:52 pm »
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I have a strategy introduction video I am planning to make this week to help bridge the gap between "this is what the rules of innovation are" and "what the heck is the difference between a good move and a bad move in innovation".

Hopefully it might improve interest.

I definitely wouldn't mind some rebalance changes like you mention, but I'm not sure they are really what's holding Innovation back. Most new players seem to die out during the base part of the lifecycle.  They never make it far enough to get frustrated by Watermill and Almanac.
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jsh357

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 05:21:42 pm »
+1

The complexity and simultaneous randomness of the game is what kills it for people when I play with them IRL.
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ipofanes

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 04:17:18 am »
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Most new players seem to die out during the base part of the lifecycle.  They never make it far enough to get frustrated by Watermill and Almanac.

Last introduction I remember had the novice frustrated by a repeated invocation of Pirate Code, which led him to make him hate the game for being unbalanced by single cards. So no, many players actually get to the phase where they are frustrated by a single card, only that they have such a small tolerance for frustration that it sets in after the first game.

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popsofctown

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 09:53:45 am »
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Pirate Code is not imbalanced though.  It's not even a particularly powerful card, I would have to sit down and think about it to decide whether it's in the top half of age 5 cards, I can't tell you off the top of my head.

Some players really really don't like getting attacked, so they're not going to like a game like innovation that doesn't put any kid gloves on the interaction.  Are you sure that's not what it was?  He's welcome to any subjective reason he likes for not playing the game, but it's just not an objective truth that Pirate Code is a backbreakingly powerful card (in two player).



As for complexity, the game is ten times better when you play online due to the icon summary boxes, exclamation marks on mouse hover, score tally, and ability to see non-top cards at a glance.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 09:58:27 am by popsofctown »
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popsofctown

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 10:42:03 am »
+1

It's kinda weird to talk about power levels in Innovation, Innovation is so weird, y'know.  Innovation is not about being fair.  It's about having about 7 legal actions, all the time, and usually about 3 of them being serious contenders for use and thus constantly presenting you with interesting choices that can test skill.

If there was an age one card called Revelry that had 3 copies of a seventh icon type, a "pop", and a dogma that said "Remove Revelry from the game.  Draw 2 [1]'s.  You may meld a card from your hand.  You may take an additional action this turn", that card would overpowered in the sense that it definitely confers an advantage to the player that draws it or throws it on board after sailing.  They would always net a draw.  But it wouldn't actually be that damaging to Innovation.  It trivializes at most a single action per game.  It probably doesn't even trivialize that action since there's a lot of merit to delaying the activation.  The player who drew Revelry is still making decisions.  The player fighting Revelry is still making decisions, since Revelry is rarely powerful enough to drop his chance of winning to below 10% where things start to get grindy.  Life is still good.

Consider instead an age 4 card called "Windup Toys", with 3 pops on it.  It says "Draw 2 10's.  If you draw Miniaturization and A.I., reveal them and you win the game.  Shuffle them into the 10's and repeat this dogma effect (once only)".  This card is horrible, the player who draws it or melds it is generally at a disadvantage against the other player, compared to as if he had drawn something else.  However, the card is "overpowered" in the sense that it has much more potential for a caustic effect on the variety of decisions in the game.  If the player with Wind Toys on his board gets in a sufficiently bad position, his choices can get trivialized to "spam Windup Toys for Hail Mary".  The card doesn't compete with other top cards in his board in a fashion that is meaningful.  The amount of dogma actions it can chew up is unlimited, it's more caustic than Revelry even if we add a rule to Revelry that says you have to use it right away. 

Some people think gaining random access to power ruins a game, but it often doesn't.  If it does any damage at all, that damage is minimal  In Dominion, 5/2 Trading Post openings have great Councilroom stats and randomly confer a large benefit to one player, but no one ever wants to quit the game over that, because even though one player is behind he still has lots of decisions available and choices to make.  5/2 Witch is only a problem because it reduces choices as collateral damage, when you get the curses in your hand you literally can only buy silver, it becomes your only choice.

Almanac, Industrialization, and Watermill are not problems merely because they randomly confer advantage.  They randomly confer advantage and also trivialize player decisions too frequently, and with no cap on their duration.  Gunpowder probably confers more player advantage than Watermill, but Gunpowder has a finite number of possible trivialized choices that is restricted by the number of castle cards on the opponent's board.  On the other hand, you can spend forever durdling with Watermill, activating it, getting rid of an echo, drawing an echo, activating it, getting rid of an echo, drawing an echo, it goes on and on.  Industrialization trivializes choices for the rest of the game, which on a [6] is a little early and a little disappointing.  We're ok with Bioengineering trivializing the rest of the game oftentimes because there's not that much game left.
Almanac is the grand behemoth, trivializing play for the rest of the game as early as Dice opener->Puppet-> meld Almanac.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 10:43:17 am by popsofctown »
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popsofctown

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 12:43:20 pm »
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BitTorrent are you playing by the name firef2y? That would explain why that person slaughtered me so bad.
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BitTorrent

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 02:05:26 pm »
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BitTorrent are you playing by the name firef2y? That would explain why that person slaughtered me so bad.

Well yes that person is me.

My mechanics are at 80% now but still make crazy mistakes, usually at counting icons for a meld->dogma. I blow up some games so bad that say when you see me shares Machinery and wasted actions or so. Things that really wont happen on real life games. My gameplay on the site is never at 100% though, especially if you consider how fast I am playing this. (Dont worry there is only one player I actually blacklisted due to slow playing so far) Some of my 'mistakes' are hard to realize though since my plays are quite reckless anyway.

And further about how hard Almanac defies gravity: 3 more issues on this card

a. It is extremely hard to remove it from your opponent. There are no draw and meld effects on leaves for at least the first few ages of the game, (Vaccine on age6, Ice Cream on age7, but all these are demands) so it is impossible to share some leave effect to cover it up. Compass do rob it but the circumstances are really harsh, say the Almanac player can always have some yellow cards with leaves(a bunch of them) and hand it instead, while in the same process they can take away some of your crown heavy cards (Optics, Flute/City States, etc) and stop this next demand. Even they dont you are still losing cards in the process in-order to gain some leave cards which are irreverent to the situation. Road Building cant deal with it. Engineering cant deal with it. Think of Machinery and Fermenting (F&R) the game-ending potential is great but there are a lot of parts that you have to handle.

b. This card benefit more on a small and inert board, instead of promoting a big board to protect your need. A lot of times an Almanac winning board is like 4-5 leaves, 1-2 castles and nothing else. This defies the definition of gravity itself where big board players should be able to demand your weaker opponent. With Almanac board it is more like you are demanding your big board opponent to come up with something since they cannot share a thing to you. Furthermore, your score and Almanac board is protected even more with the inert mechanics of the card itself, since there are nearly no way someone can affect your forecast (GPS yes forget it) and to rob high scores are going to be uneasy at early stages. Maybe you can get one with Medicine and meld it with Translation for a jump against an Almanac player but that do not stop them from working on it.

c. Not only the card's mechanics are inert from your opponent, it nearly stalls the game too. Since you wont even touch the age3 deck with Almanac spam, your opponent will have to drive though the whole age3 in-order to move up and try to stop you, while you are scoring high and, even if you cant end the game on time, by the time your opponent gets though age3 you will have a huge amount of forecast cards at age4 and you can take a free ride without giving a fxxx.

All of these ridiculous madness on one age3 card. How worse can that be.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 02:09:46 pm by BitTorrent »
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funkdoc

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 04:10:41 am »
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i know nothing at all about this game, but i will say this much:

if you search for dominion on twitter, lots of the results you'll find are people whining about big money being OP. yes, within the last year even.  that might be the most common type of dominion tweet i've seen, actually.

i'm reading here about single cards that can do a ton by themselves, and that will absolutely be a deal-breaker for a large portion of the potential audience.  so many people hate anything simple that's "spammable", no matter how weak it turns out to be at high-level.  if this is a real issue with this game, there's definitely a low ceiling there.

popsofctown

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 09:15:31 am »
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Almanac is like Rebuild in Dominion, where experts have broken the card, the designer should admit it's a mistake, and there is little enough counterplay that "don't play with the card" is the best answer.
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Drab Emordnilap

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Re: 90 Players left on the leaderboard.
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 08:34:03 pm »
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I wonder how many people aren't on the leaderboard because they can't use their Google login anymore?
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