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Author Topic: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)  (Read 13747 times)

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AdrianHealey

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Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« on: August 13, 2016, 09:24:37 pm »
+7


Greetings forum,

A while ago Roadrunner and I started working on an expansion together, we were stuck a bit, until Theta joined us and then everything went pretty quickly. So today I have the honor to present to you the beta version of a new fan expansion called 'civilization'. Most of the cards have seen sufficient playtesting to warant 'probably ok' label, but some could use some more. (Unfortunately, I don't have all the expansions yet in real life, so extensive playtesting is and will be kind of difficult.)

We welcome any and all feedback that you might have, things you think we might have missed, etc. The next post will (eventually) gather all the cards that are currently part of the set and, if any, take outs that we will redesign based on feedback on things we missed.

---

What is the theme of civilization? Well, as an economist, I view civilization as an increase in the division of labor, specialization and usage of comparative advantage. It's better if everybody has it's own role, that he/she/they are very good at and leave other things for other people. So the predominant theme of civilization fan expansion is:

- Cards with diminishing power the more you have of them. (Think chapel, not minion. Think Militia, not goons. Think moneylender, not herald. Think Soothsayer, not advisor.) Most cards in the set will be very good at what they do, but the more you play versions of them in the same turn (or even: the more versions you have in your deck), the weaker they will be. Buy a few, and move on. (This is, btw, slightly different than Cornucopia, where variety in general is rewarded. This is less so, although, I must admit, working on this expansion has created some nice respect for the design quality of cornucopia.)

- The second theme, also pretty important (but less present as the previous one) is 'interaction'. There are the obvious 'attack'-interactions, but there are also a bunch of 'non-attack' interactions during the game. Like in any good civilization, you often have to deal with people you don't like, with annoying customers, rude bartenders, boring colleagues or just straight up jerks on the street. Civilization represents this by ways to help or annoy your opponent without actually attacking them in any specific sense.

At the moment, we have 28 cards and 3 events, which is a lot. But well, designing them was and is fun. And playtesting was too. Every card presented will come with a small description, to the extend that we can, on it's history, and some typical 'let's discuss card x' questions. We welcome any and all comments. Feel free to congratulate the art work, because Theta has done a great job on it, as far as I am concerned.

We also have used several mechanics from other expansions, such as overpay, ruins, and debt. We know some people dislike it when fanexpansions do that. We have decided to not limit ourselves. Please, there is no need to repeat that old discussion, so we kindly ask to refrain from commenting on that particular design choice.

---

A small teaser on some of the cards/mechanics we use:

- There is a seasons card. (Thanks Asper & Cookielord!)
- There is card that you can overpay with debt.
- The 'flash' mechanic is used, twice! (Thanks Cookielord!)
- A card with a supply pile of 20.
- A permanent duration
- A quasi-moatable attack event
- A bunch of other things, some that are more straighforward and normal, and others that really (we think) have pushed the limits of design.

No cards are final although some cards are more final than others. Feel free to post your comments in a nice and constructive way. We have worked long on this with lots of (difficult) communication (communicating between Europe-USA is difficult enough, but we have very different live styles and are awake and productive on very different times).

We hope you like them and that at least some of them are interesting enough to want to play with.

Lastly, keep the thread civilized (haha). Some minors are watching this thread, so mind your language.


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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 09:24:49 pm »
+3

Tier 1 status: (Playtested and found excellent.)



Tier 2 status: (Playtested and probably good.)



Tier 3 status: (Playtested, but still uncertain.)




Tier 4 status: Still a big question mark.


Tier 5 status: Outtakes
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 10:17:23 am by AdrianHealey »
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2016, 09:26:09 pm »
+2

You may have noticed that we have 3 cards that use Co0kiel0rd's Mechanics. But every card you see uses Co0kiel0rd's template. The cards would look only half as good without him. Thanks so much! While on the topic of templates, you may notice that they conform with Empires. Vanilla boni are bold and the text size is altered based on how much empty room their is. This will be the same for all cards now and in the future.
A few things not covered in the above posts:
Civilization is not desinged to be a complete set. While designing we did not try to have a balance of trashers, terminals, villages, etc.
We might go back and smooth this out later.
A minor theme is sifting, and many cards sift. Because of this Civilization is defiantly more of a sloggy set.

Adrian doesn't get a chance to log on as much as me so I'll collect the current versions of the cards here, and maybe I can get Adrian to delete the post above sometime.
Finished cards, only possible asectical updates:


Good cards, put possible changes later:

Recently changed or made, still have some big questions:


Outtakes, for whatever reason:
(Balanced, but niche)
(Balanced, but tracking nightmares)
(Balanced, but not unique)
(Balanced, but not unique)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 09:01:43 am by ThetaSigma12 »
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 09:38:49 pm »
+2



Bladesmith.

Man, it's like Embassy's big brother; discarding more (but doesn't discard from hand) and drawing on net more. But man, Bladesmiths really hates other bladesmiths and would kill them if he meets them. That's how much he hates them. But choosing between 2 and 5 cards to put in your hand? That's sweet. Bladesmith likes really fat decks or really slim decks, everything in between, well, than having multiple gets a bit dangerous.

So sure, you always want at least one bladesmith. But will you get another? Who knows. If Bladesmith is the only terminal draw; what will you do then?

Bladesmith originally started out as a card that revealed and trashed itself, but you could put all seasons cards in your hand. The final alteration you see here.

What do you think?



Ah, collection. It's like a recycling agency for action cards. You'd probably don't want to collect herald, village or minion, but maybe a moneylender, a seahag or a beggar might work.

It originally started as a $3, but man, BM collection was pretty strong. We bumped it to 4. I wanted to have an on-trash penalty of, say, 'gain <3>', but we ended up with the regular version you see here. What do you think? Should it have an on-trash penalty to make sure people don't just collect collections? Either way, collection is never really in the way, because of it's can trip nature. And well, putting a gold on top of your deck isn't the worst thing in the world either.

My personal fear is that the card is a little bit too strong (as in: just play big money collection). And that would defeat the purpose of the expansion (namely: cards you want some of, but not too many.)

Let us know wht you think, more are on the way.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 09:39:55 pm by AdrianHealey »
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LibraryAdventurer

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2016, 10:16:00 pm »
+1

What is the purpose of Bladesmith trashing other Bladesmiths?  It shouldn't be just to fit the theme of the set if it doesn't make the card better. I'd rather compare it to Journeyman than Embassy, and it looks only slightly stronger than Journeyman, so it probably doesn't need the drawback.

Other than that, they both look like good cards. Looking forward to the rest of the set.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 10:18:00 pm by LibraryAdventurer »
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 10:22:46 pm »
+1

The few times I have playtested it, it was way better than Journeyman. I mean, sure, if you only have coppers, it's easy for Journeyman. In a deck with estates, curses and coppers, it gets disproportionately more difficult to guess it right. Bladesmith has no such problem. Be gone, you useless things.

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2016, 10:24:51 pm »
+2

What is the purpose of Bladesmith trashing other Bladesmiths?  It shouldn't be just to fit the theme of the set if it doesn't make the card better. I'd rather compare it to Journeyman than Embassy, and it looks only slightly stronger than Journeyman, so it probably doesn't need the drawback.

Other than that, they both look like good cards. Looking forward to the rest of the set.
Catacombs is probably an even more apt comparison. Without the drawback it would be very nearly strictly better for almost all purposes. With it, though, not so much.
Inherited Bladesmiths would be disgustig though.

Edit: Also, isn't it standard practice for vanilla bonuses not at the start of the card to be in line with the rest of the text and not centralized? Just a little nitpicky thing.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 10:26:49 pm by tailred »
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2016, 10:29:05 pm »
+1

Edit: Also, isn't it standard practice for vanilla bonuses not at the start of the card to be in line with the rest of the text and not centralized? Just a little nitpicky thing.

Not always. See: Oracle
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2016, 10:40:43 pm »
+1

The few times I have playtested it, it was way better than Journeyman. I mean, sure, if you only have coppers, it's easy for Journeyman. In a deck with estates, curses and coppers, it gets disproportionately more difficult to guess it right. Bladesmith has no such problem. Be gone, you useless things.
Still, the drawback is too much. It would really suck if it was the only good draw on the board (and very often there isn't more than one good draw card).

AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2016, 10:50:42 pm »
+1

Well, don't put your +1 Action token on Bladesmith!
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2016, 11:02:12 pm »
+2

Bladesmith is cool but the drawback of trashing another one is just so rough! I'd have it have some sort of other drawback, like gaining a Curse or a Copper per Bladesmith you reveal. Or maybe you have to discard a card. Or maybe you don't get to draw +3 cards, but +2 instead. Anything but trashing that Bladesmith!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 11:03:49 pm by Seprix »
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2016, 06:43:19 am »
+1

Man, the card isn't formally presented for a day, or already Seprix is already pretty attached to it!

I'd rather make the card slightly stronger rather than take away the trash penalty. The entire point is to make a card that you always want one of, but a second one hurts. Maybe if trashing really is too narrow (and limits strategic choices, which is, I guess, what you want to maximize), than maybe 'discard a revealed bladesmith (and gain a copper, if you do)' would also do the trick. Do you think that would increase strategic decision making?
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2016, 07:18:38 am »
+3

Well, the problem with Bladesmith is that you can only use one of them, and for that, it doesn't seems too strong. but I'd rather make it stronger than weaken the penalty, because that seems more unique and interesting.

Cellection seems a bit too good with Shelters? You could change it to only being able to trash Actions costing $3 or more I think, and then it might be fine to have it only cost $2. The significant diferences that would make other than Shelters boards are
- not so good against Ruins
- no self-synergy.
Both are fine I think. On the other hand, Advance is also pretty good with Shelters, and that's an official card-shaped thing, so it might be fine.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2016, 07:27:36 am »
+1

Well, the problem with Bladesmith is that you can only use one of them, and for that, it doesn't seems too strong. but I'd rather make it stronger than weaken the penalty, because that seems more unique and interesting.

Cellection seems a bit too good with Shelters? You could change it to only being able to trash Actions costing $3 or more I think, and then it might be fine to have it only cost $2. The significant diferences that would make other than Shelters boards are
- not so good against Ruins
- no self-synergy.
Both are fine I think. On the other hand, Advance is also pretty good with Shelters, and that's an official card-shaped thing, so it might be fine.

Advance is insane with shelters but euh, only one of the shelters is an action card, right? So sure, you can easily trade necropolis for a gold, but it's not super-duper strong. And both have access to it, so I am not too worried about that. The only thing I am personally worried about is Collection-BM. As long as that's not a thing, I am good.

Thanks for liking the core idea of Bladesmith (that people want to get rid of. :p) So far, Bladesmith didn't feel particularly underwhelming, but maybe there is room for a buff there too.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 07:29:30 am by AdrianHealey »
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2016, 07:57:15 am »
0

Edit: Also, isn't it standard practice for vanilla bonuses not at the start of the card to be in line with the rest of the text and not centralized? Just a little nitpicky thing.

Not always. See: Oracle
Actually, the card was originally called Augur to represent the similarity. I couldn't find suitable art however, so Bladesmith it was. If I ever come across art I like then Augur it is, I don't currently like how LFN has a card named Bladesmith too.

Bladesmith is defiantly one of the more niche cards of the set. It's best purpose is as a powerful supplementary draw card, when you already have a good amount of blind draw. It's also definitely a slog card. Trashing will almost kill it's power.
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2016, 09:35:35 am »
+1

Collection is a good counter to Cultist and anything else that actionjunks you, but that's all well and good.

It's good with Fortress, which is just Fortress being Fortress.

It kills all the Rats. And there was much rejoicing.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2016, 09:46:55 am »
+2

Collection is a good counter to Cultist and anything else that actionjunks you, but that's all well and good.

It's good with Fortress, which is just Fortress being Fortress.

It kills all the Rats. And there was much rejoicing.

Fortress gonna fortress.

There is actually a card later that we nerfed because, well, fortress gonna fortress.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2016, 10:07:28 am »
+3

The thing with Bladesmith is the swinginess. Both players get two; player 1 keeps both the whole game while player 2 loses one on his first play of the other. It reminds me of treasure map; except if treasure map forced you to play it whenever you drew it. If you get bad luck with Treasure Map, you try again next shuffle. If you get bad luck with Bladesmith, it's really bad.

*Edit* With TM, you only have to get lucky once. With Bladesmith, you only have to get unlucky once.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 10:17:19 am by GendoIkari »
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2016, 11:13:47 am »
+3

One potential solution to a lot of people's concerns about Bladesmith that popped into my head and would fit the original idea could be something like:

Bladesmith
$5 - Action

Reveal the top four cards of your deck. Discard any revealed Bladesmiths and put the remaining cards into your hand.

I do like the concept anti-synergy as a focus for an expansion.


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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2016, 11:43:14 am »
0

One potential solution to a lot of people's concerns about Bladesmith that popped into my head and would fit the original idea could be something like:

Bladesmith
$5 - Action

Reveal the top four cards of your deck. Discard any revealed Bladesmiths and put the remaining cards into your hand.

I do like the concept anti-synergy as a focus for an expansion.
I like that. I'll talk about it w/ adrian. To adress the worries of collection with Shelters and Ruins, they warp the game around them, even with official cards. Changing the cards based shelters isn't the point of shelters, their point is to change the game. Unless it's an game-breaking combo then it's fine IMO.

Meanwhile, here's a really balanced card with not much to talk about.

Simple card, and pretty balanced. It may seem bad compared to moneylender, but the fact that it-s non terminal can give it an edge over Moneylender and Sacrifice.
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AdrianHealey

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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2016, 11:47:30 am »
+3

Coins is actually one of my first cards and besides a small change from 'trash treasures' to 'trash anything', it has never changed. It does what it needs to do, it always does what it needs to do, and does nothing more than itn eeds to be. Not the most trilling card, but it's a card that you usually want one or two of. (In 4 player curse games, it's a race to who gets the most of them, to be sure (I know from experience), but besides that, it's a good silver-late-game-copper.

If I would change Bladesmith, I would probably make it cheaper ($4) so that it doesn't hurt as much when you trash another bladesmith.

Or, maybe this would also work: I wonder how strong bladesmith is still if you keep the original version but rather than 'trash' make it 'set it aside until the end of your turn, and discard it then'. It'll probably play similar, but it doesn't hurt as much when you reveal it.
 
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2016, 11:57:33 am »
+4

I think that the biggest problem with the current Bladesmith isn't necessarily that it's too weak (I'm not sure if it is), but that it feels super bad when you have to trash the other Bladesmith.
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2016, 12:01:09 pm »
+1

Hi everyone. Like Adrian said, I was being helpful for a while but then we started using Google Spreadsheets (I think) and those are impossible to access from mobile. So I might leave some comments here!
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2016, 12:07:59 pm »
+1

Hi everyone. Like Adrian said, I was being helpful for a while but then we started using Google Spreadsheets (I think) and those are impossible to access from mobile. So I might leave some comments here!
Yeah, next epansion we'll use a different way.
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Re: Dominion: Civilization (Beta)
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2016, 12:08:56 pm »
+1

Hi everyone. Like Adrian said, I was being helpful for a while but then we started using Google Spreadsheets (I think) and those are impossible to access from mobile. So I might leave some comments here!
Yeah, next epansion we'll use a different way.
Sadly I might get a computer tomorrow or on Tuesday, so we might be able to use the same way.
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