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Author Topic: The psychology of playing Dominion  (Read 2407 times)

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Aleimon Thimble

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The psychology of playing Dominion
« on: December 07, 2016, 06:11:42 am »
+2

During the time I've been here, I have mostly been discussing the purely game-related stuff. Engines vs big money, strong and weak cards, and so on. But in the past months I haven't been doing very well online, falling from a 4600 rating in May/June to a 3700 rating right now and culminating in a very embarrassing recent 6-0 loss in the League, and I don't think it has anything to do with the ability to correctly assess strategy and tactical play. I think that I have entered a negative feedback loop caused by a loss of self-efficacy; that is, I've lost the ability to play Dominion well because I strongly believe I can't do it anymore. This is especially weird considering the fact that I'm doing pretty well in my everyday (non-Dominion) life, so there are no factors like depression or something influencing the way I play.

Is this a phenomenon other players are familiar with? And does anyone have any tips on how to break this negative spiral?
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LaLight

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 06:14:47 am »
0

During the time I've been here, I have mostly been discussing the purely game-related stuff. Engines vs big money, strong and weak cards, and so on. But in the past months I haven't been doing very well online, falling from a 4600 rating in May/June to a 3700 rating right now and culminating in a very embarrassing recent 6-0 loss in the League, and I don't think it has anything to do with the ability to correctly assess strategy and tactical play. I think that I have entered a negative feedback loop caused by a loss of self-efficacy; that is, I've lost the ability to play Dominion well because I strongly believe I can't do it anymore. This is especially weird considering the fact that I'm doing pretty well in my everyday (non-Dominion) life, so there are no factors like depression or something influencing the way I play.

Is this a phenomenon other players are familiar with? And does anyone have any tips on how to break this negative spiral?

Yes, I'm familiar with that very well. To say more, I'm now in the same situation. My outstanding performance in the Tournament was caused by the fact, that i haven't played for half a year before. Now when I start playing more, I do this again. I'm sure I can't play well, and I don't.
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Qvist

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 10:04:35 am »
+4

Well I'm still very sorry about yesterday. The first 3 games were certainly decided mainly due to luck, at least game 1 and 3, in game 2 I wasn't sure about the contents of your deck, I thought at least it was capable of doing more. But starting with game 4 you made more and more decisions that I found questionable. So it seems your frustration influenced your gameplay. The key is to just not take the games too serious. It's just a game and even if we play competitively in a league-environment, you're mainly playing to just have fun. Losses are frustrating of course especially if you can't do anything to prevent it. You said it though yourself yesterday. You should play chess instead if you want to play a game with no luck. It's bound to happen. I know what I'm talking about. I was a few seasons ago in D and I think I ranked even last in the league. I'm not sure what the cause of it was, probably also a combination of both bad play and bad luck, but I recovered from that and was even in A last season. You can do that too. Either try to focus more on having fun and continue or, just like others have suggested in other threads, take a short to medium break. Maybe also try to play more IRL and try not the best obvious strategy, just pick the one that seems the most fun to play, that's what I always do.

I hope you can recover.

Chris is me

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2016, 11:56:10 am »
0

This happens to me too. Best advice I can give is to get some rest, wait it out, and you'ok eventually rebound higher than you started.

It certainly is a vicious cycle - losing begets losing because it changes your attitude. This is why pros resign games so quickly I think - the opportunity cost of playing it out is the psychological drain of keeping a loss going. If you resign you can instantly drop it and try to move on.
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 12:24:14 pm »
+1

You should play chess instead if you want to play a game with no luck.

Or Prismata. As a Dominion player specifically, I think it's a pretty good no-luck alternative.
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2016, 03:02:25 pm »
0

You should play chess instead if you want to play a game with no luck.

Or Prismata. As a Dominion player specifically, I think it's a pretty good no-luck alternative.

Has matchmaking gotten any better over there?
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Amac

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 03:20:00 pm »
0

Probably an agree-to-disagree situation on the luck part (I do think the form of your opponent, their readiness to respond to your tactics, etc. can be 'luck' up to a certain point, although in fact it really is a skillset, basically), but I agree with Tyranitarwiththehardname here that psychology is a basic part of every and any single game, and it becomes more and more important in direct confrontation.

This can be seen in three ways:
- Psychology during a match
- The way one thinks about the opponents skill disregarding the current match
- The way one thinks of their own skill

I think that the latter does kick in here (or at least possibly kicks in here). If you think 'I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do, how can I still win games, etc.', and you try to rush adapting your game style rather than thinking through what you're doing thoroughly, you can make poor choices in adapting your playing style. This also can happen during a match - if you're annoyed because of some bad play, you often try to make up for that, but very frequently rush to make even more mistakes, especially given your anger/annoyance.

In Dutch, the German term "Angstgegner" (which sort of translates into nemesis) has become part of everyday speech. An angstgegner is basically an opponent who has beaten you over and over again, even though their skill is usually even at best, and it is not unusual that their skill is even lower. Still, the psychological penalty you pay is high, this is actually a thing. Mainly because you think that you maybe have to adapt to their playing style, which is often not that good.

Although this is certainly not purely dominion-based, psychology plays a part in every competition one participates in, for better or worse. The best way to contest this is concrete analysis - what are the core mistakes and how do I change them, and definitely not rushing things and adapt your style and strategy on a whim.
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 03:15:18 pm »
+3

Nothing gets my confidence back up like beating up on Villager Bot
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 03:24:45 pm »
+5

Nothing gets my confidence back up like beating up on Villager Bot

The problem is I lose to him!
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 03:44:52 pm »
+4

Nothing gets my confidence back up like beating up on Villager Bot

The problem is I lose to him!

Dingan > Villager Bot > MQ > Dingan
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 12:05:59 pm »
+1

Dingan > Villager Bot > MQ > Dingan Everything

With regards to dominion. Take a short break and focus on the gameplay. Run through some streams or game logs and look at decisions that are made. When you feel ready to calmly make decisions again, start playing matches again. Downswings happen!
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2016, 01:44:41 pm »
0

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 03:14:21 am »
+1

what is "non-Dominion life"?
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LaLight

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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 03:23:22 am »
0

what is "non-Dominion life"?

You must have seen the movies. If you didn't, there is an ad on Twitch. When people are not playing Dominion they are going to record some ads. But I am not aware of other things...
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2017, 04:07:16 pm »
+1

Haven't played Dominion in well over a year. I recently got on the new client with a whole lot of cards I've never seen before and am something like 12-0. So, yeah, just have kids, quit Dominion, and do life for an extended period of time and your skills will explode, or, at least appear to because your rank fell so far while you were gone?
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2017, 05:00:56 pm »
+2

Haven't played Dominion in well over a year. I recently got on the new client with a whole lot of cards I've never seen before and am something like 12-0. So, yeah, just have kids, quit Dominion, and do life for an extended period of time and your skills will explode, or, at least appear to because your rank fell so far while you were gone?

I keep getting matched against people who buy Pirate Ship and ignore Chapel too.
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Re: The psychology of playing Dominion
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2017, 05:20:08 pm »
0

Haven't played Dominion in well over a year. I recently got on the new client with a whole lot of cards I've never seen before and am something like 12-0. So, yeah, just have kids, quit Dominion, and do life for an extended period of time and your skills will explode, or, at least appear to because your rank fell so far while you were gone?

I keep getting matched against people who buy Pirate Ship and ignore Chapel too.

I got punished for stating a win record with a loss.
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