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Titandrake

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Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« on: September 04, 2017, 05:02:08 am »
+50

(This is part history, part strategy advice, and part opinion piece. Although I intended it to be an article's worth of content, I don't feel like it fits in Articles or Feedback. So I'm putting it here.)

I've been around Dominion for over 7 years. In those 7 years, Dominion discussion has changed a lot.

Let's start at 2010, back when the main DominionStrategy blog had regular updates. There was a heavy focus on understanding Big Money play. People knew that on average, Smithy-BM got 4 Provinces in 14-16 turns, Masquerade-BM could do it in 13 turns, and Courtyard-BM was similarly quick. The Big Money rule-of-thumbs were known by heart: buy Gold over the first Province, Duchy over Gold when there are 5 Provinces left, and Estate over Silver when there are 2-3 Provinces left. This was also the heyday of people using simulators to guide decision making.

Of course, people didn't only talk about Big Money. There was plenty of discussion about things we now call engines. But when you re-read many of the articles from the main site, they follow a similar format: a few paragraphs about the card's objective power level, and then a list of relevant synergies and anti-synergies at the end. Take the Cutpurse article, for example. It focuses mostly on the strength of its opening attack, then gives some token references to cards that make Copper discard more relevant.

I claim this is representative of a larger trend: strategy discussion was focused primarily on explaining cards in isolation. It turns out that's good enough to beat a lot of players! Telling players not to buy Pirate Ship in 2 player is actually pretty effective advice when people are still usually bad at the game, and showing Courtyard-BM is faster than Smithy-BM ended up giving people (including me) a few free wins over people who bought the "Smithy-BM is unbeatable" meme. Engine play was a lot worse, and Silver was better than many of the removed cards from Base + Intrigue 1st edition.

Then, things changed. More expansions came out. Cards got more complicated. Compare the Cutpurse article to the one about Procession about 2 years later. Although the article still talks about specific pairs, like Procession-Ironworks, it mostly talks in more abstract terms. In the Cutpurse article, interactions are listed at the end, but for Procession they're the focus of the entire article.

It's like starting chess discussion by pointing out that knights can attack queens without getting attacked back, and then the discussion evolves into one about material and position. Concrete pieces --> abstract generalizations.

This eventually came to a head with the most influential Dominion articles of all time: The Five Fundamental Deck Types, written by WanderingWinder. This codified strategy discussion for years. It's a framework for thinking about the game, that everything else can be funneled through, and soon it became expected that everybody knew what engine, slog, and rush meant.

It's probably a heavy case of nostalgia, but I consider those years to be a Golden Age of Dominion discussion. It was a wonderful time to get into the game, if you were looking to play competitively. And I'm no longer sure that's true. Everything's been on a gradual decline since those days.

There were a few catalysts for this (the biggest one being the end of Isotropic), but in retrospect I blame the decline on two things. The first:

Quote
It depends on the kingdom.

This meme took over the forums for a while. It's true, but it's also supremely unhelpful advice. People would say that Dominion is too big to describe all the nuances, and the best way to get better at Dominion is to just play more Dominion, watch more Dominion, and get better at reviewing your old matches. Again, very true, but people don't want to read forum posts that state the obvious. For all that the early card articles get wrong, they still form a helpful flotation device for novice players to hold on to before jumping into the deep, seemingly endless strategy pool.

I'm very glad that the "depends on the kingdom" meme has mostly died, because the joke got old fast, and any strategic value in the statement shriveled away long ago.

The second thing I'd like to blame doesn't have as pithy of a quote. I think people spent a long time getting hung up on classification and categorization, at the cost of doing useful things.

First off, why categorize in the first place? If we categorize things, it helps offset mental load. The single word "slog" represents several concepts, like a large deck that wants the game to go long to accumulate more points. It's very useful to have these definitions! But I feel like there was a point where people started to overcategorize and overgeneralize, and would only talk about Dominion within the Five Deck Types framework. That led to debates over whether a deck was Big Money or Engine, whether something was a combo or just a synergy, and all sorts of other arguments. The distinctions between the labels matter a bit, but what matters overwhelmingly more is your opponent buying lots of Provinces or drawing lots of cards. Deciding on a True Name for what they're doing doesn't always help you understand why it's working, and I think arguing about the definitions too much distracts from actually understanding the game.

Dominion players are a group predisposed to pedantry, and these arguments gave plenty of topics people could be pedantic about. I participated in my fair share of this - pedantry can be eerily fun. But in retrospect, it messed with strategy discussion in surprising ways. I once played a game shortly after writing the Beatdown vs Control article. It was a ridiculously fast rush, where the game ended in 10 turns. At the end, my opponent asked who was beatdown and who was control. Although I tried to answer, in retrospect the correct answer was that the game was so weird that Beatdown vs Control didn't apply, and trying to make it apply was a waste of time. Frameworks are great, right up until they stop working.

(To forestall some obvious complaints: I think pedantry is part of f.ds culture, and I don't think the forums need heavier moderation. If the forums were meant to discuss just strategy for Dominion, then they would need heavier moderation. But they aren't. Your off-topic derailment is my community building. I'm just calling for people to stop taking the pedantry arguments so seriously.)

* * *

Let's assume you buy my argument that we're no longer in a Golden Age of discussion. If you don't, treat it as an assumption that everything after this depends on.

The natural question is: can we bring the Golden Age back?

Well, what is the Golden Age? Is it the concentration of Dominion discussion in a single place? Is it the rapid production of content? I think those are elements of it, but the most important one is the experience of the new player. Can we make it easier for new players to get into the game, and grow the Dominion community?

I think that the answer is yes, but it's going to require explaining a bunch more Dominion theory.

Dominion is simply a very different game from what it used to be. I now view Dominion like a bag of interactions. Each card has certain properties, which interact with other properties in positive or negative ways. The strategy comes from identifying which interactions are most important to the game, and from doing small optimizations that make the interactions point in similar directions.

I know this is very abstract. so let me give an example. Take Marauder.



Marauder gives you Spoils and gives your opponents Ruins. So far all we've done is read the card text. How does Marauder interact with the rest of the game?

  • Marauders give Spoils. Spoils give $3. Thus your money distribution is naturally a bit spikier - it's a bit more likely you'll hit $6 or $7 early.
  • Marauders give Ruins as junk, which interacts with things that care about actions, like Vineyard and Library.
  • There are several different Ruins, which makes them interact with things that care about names, like Fairgrounds and Wishing Well.

How have I used these interactions?

  • I've once chosen to open Marauder specifically because I wanted to spike an early Forge.
  • I've considered not picking up Marauder because I knew we were both going to go for Vineyards, or for Fairgrounds.
  • In a game with Wolf Den and no trashing, I opened Marauder and carefully making sure my opponent only got unique Ruins. I got lucky and gave out -12 VP before my opponent resigned.

Ruins weren't designed with Wolf Den in mind, and I assume Wolf Den wasn't designed specifically to make Ruins stronger. It's emergent gameplay that arises from the interactions between different game components.

In this view, the way you become a better player is by

  • Memorizing the very powerful interactions.
  • Getting a deep understanding of the remaining interactions.
  • Use that understanding to devise an argument for what to do on the current board.

In GokoDom III (the finals between JOG and Andrew Iannaconne), Stef submitted this designed kingdom.

Quote
Kingdom Cards: Scheme, Storeroom, Trade Route, Gardens, Plaza, Throne Room, Counting House, Festival, Inn, Mountebank, with Platinum/Colony

Everybody loves this kingdom, because it turns out there's actually an engine here. You use Counting House to draw lots of Copper, Storeroom to discard the Coppers for $$$, then play Counting House again and repeat. To make the deck work despite having all those Coppers, you use TR-Scheme and Inn to avoid ever shuffling the Coppers back into your draw pile. It only works because of all the pieces working together perfectly - Storeroom turning cards into money, and Counting House letting you draw lots of cards, and Scheme/Inn to let you skip shuffling. In the stream, there was a magical moment where you can see Andrew literally figure out on the fly that this deck is possible. Those are the moments that make Dominion such an interesting game - seeing a web of interactions come together so elegantly and beautifully. And that board certainly isn't something you could base a whole article about.

To a lesser degree, the same is true of Marauder. Sure, the things I said apply to Marauder, but parts also apply to any Spoils giving card and any Ruins giving card. The only unique part is that Marauder does both, but that's a pretty minor distinction. If I was trying to write an article about Marauder, I could repeat what I said...but it wouldn't really be an article about Marauder. It would be an article about Spoils and Ruins.

Unless a card does something super, super unique, I don't think there's a point in writing an article about it, and most cards just aren't unique enough to justify an entire article.

So instead, it would make more sense to explain how you find these interactions, what the most common ones are, how you decide on a plan and adapt to new scenarios and avoid treating the game as a memorization of all two-card combos. If I had the time, I'd write more content from this angle, and would point players looking to get better in that direction...except I don't have the time.

It feels like the same is true of f.ds in general. People are less interested in talking about principles they find obvious, because obvious things aren't interesting. Unfortunately, those principles are the most important for new players. The end result is that f.ds has turned into a place where experienced players talk to other experienced players, useful ideas get scattered across 10 threads in 3 subforums, and no one bothers condensing them into useful Dominion lessons, because again, who's got time for that?

* * *

Please don't mistake this as me declaring that Dominion is dying. The community has been through a lot and the game is still going fine. I just think it could be more than it is. I do think there's cause for optimism. Intentionally or not, there's been some really good recent articles in this direction. (For example, Dan's 20 questions post and Adam's blog post about openings.)

Consider this more as a call to action. The game doesn't flourish unless new blood joins the scene, and I don't think we're doing a good job at making that easy.

Feel free to prove me wrong.

(Edited September 5, 2017 to fix minor typos and some poor phrasing.)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:02:27 am by Titandrake »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 08:26:57 am »
+4

I think you have a lot of good points here. "Depends on the Kingdom" plus all the edgecases leads to really useless advice. When some new player asks a specific question, they don't want to hear about the one crazy time where the advice you gave them is not useful.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 09:38:28 am »
+1

I agree with pretty much all of this. I'm definitely guilty on the "write an article for every card" front, but I still think there's some value in at least pointing out the obvious bits for each card. The wiki could probably do with some thinning though - in particular, there are a lot of combo/counter articles that aren't really that important (whether ones I put up or ones from the early days of theory's blog) that should probably be removed.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 10:05:32 am »
+1

This shit is on point 100%. A few thoughts:

1. I've been trying to write articles forever, but whenever I sit down to, I get bogged in some detail and give up quickly. Not sure if it's a "me problem" or what. I think Dominion getting more noticeably complex (not in card design, in popular play style) contributes to this. What I've tried to do instead is to record little audio clips while driving, since talking is easier, but I haven't done anything with the 20 or so clips I have yet.

2. The single card articles are STILL super important for getting from ISO 25 to ISO 50 or so. They are absolutely essential for new players and even f they don't help us as much I think we should still try to make them sometimes.

3. The Five types have changed and I need to write about what I think the new types are. I've shared these thoughts on discord a lot and I just need to do the work.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 10:07:03 am by Chris is me »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 10:32:29 am »
+17

Thanks Titandrake! Very fascinating! What if the history of Dominion also represented the stages that every new player must progress through? In the same way the community needed to learn all these things a new player needs to go through the same learning process. I personally came on the Dominion scene the day Isotropic died. I would describe my Dominion play as progressing through stages:

Stage 0) Learn the basic card mechanics
Stage 1) Learn cards in isolation (for example card articles)
Stage 2) Learn about card power rankings
Stage 3) Learn about the 5 decks types
Stage 4) "Depends on the kingdom" Learn how to read a kingdom as a whole
Stage 5) See the whole game from the beginning

When I found the Wiki I only knew a couple of expansions. [Edit: when I say "Wiki" here and later I actually more so am talking about the strategy blog.] So all I could do for fun was read Dominion articles on the cards I knew. It opened up a HUGE world to me. As a "stage 1" player I didn't know much about the cards or the game, so learning details about individual cards were all I could understand and gave me the fuel to beat players who didn't know this.

One important step for me is not mentioned in your history, learning card rankings. This was a game changer. I needed to learn that Mountebank is far stronger than Saboteur. I learned some of this from card articles, but here I could compare cards side by side.

After learning the 5 deck types, I remember a game that was a turning point in my Dominion life. A kingdom popped up that had a combo on it I recognized from an article I had read, I think maybe it was Scavenger/stash. I literally pulled up the article for reference during the game. I was thinking to myself - "this other guy is going to get schooled by my advanced play." I played the combo according to the set rules in the article. My opponent considered the board as a whole and played the same combo better but used other pieces in the kingdom that made it better. My article didn't mention these pieces... The lesson of course is obvious: it depends on the kingdom. Or to steal a phrase from another part of my life: context is king.

This game propelled me to be a stage 4 player. I realized I needed to read every card on the board and consider them together. A strategy that works for 9 of the cards on the board might be totally changed by the 10th card. This is where I personally see the golden age of Dominion coming alive. Because this work of seeing the whole board happens best by making and watching videos (or live streaming and spectating). I stopped reading articles and started to watch every WW video, when I ran out of his I moved on to Mic's. By watching these guys I learned about stage 5. Mic would say something crazy like "Grand Market isn't good here" and then the next game "Grand Market is amazing here." And I learned that Mic not only saw the whole board, but he also saw the whole game. He had in mind what his deck would look like and could make his opening judgements with that in mind. Don't get me wrong here, this concept of your deck needs to be updated regularly throughout the game!

So here is my point. I get sad when stage 5 players talk about the uselessness of the wiki, because stage 1 players need the Wiki! But it's totally true, once you reach stage 4 or 5 even when new cards come out you don't really need the article on them, you are able to learn them in the context of whole kingdoms and whole games. But the sad thing is that new players are stage 1-3 players. So if us stage 4 and 5 players talk the way we do we will confuse them when we say the articles are garbage, and we aren't interested in writing material for them because we see it as useless or hurtful to consider a card in isolation.

But furthermore this is why I see us as still in the golden age. Stage 4-5 is perfect for videos! And there are people making them! In a video and live streaming you can see and discuss a whole board, you can see the whole game and how to make decisions that way, and you can update your concept of the whole board and game regularly as the game progresses.

I would fight for more content for all stages! We need to make more stage 0-1 content, and stop talking about it like it's garbage. But we can also celebrate stage 4-5 content and enjoy that live steaming, spectating, and videos are the best place for that be discussed. Also I would argue that articles can be written at every level. A stage 0-1 player needs to learn that chapel trashing is good! Who saw that coming???? And a stage 2-3 player needs to learn that extra gaining in the game is a game changer. And we can know that "context is king/it depends on the kingdom" and live in the golden age of spectating and videos.

....or maybe this is all just an overly complicated way of saying I agree we need content for all skill levels :)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 01:36:55 am by Derg17 »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 11:11:11 am »
+1

When talking about development as a dominion player, I think it is important to realize that different people learn different ways. When I started playing I really didn't read anything in the articles section, I just played a lot of games and posted/read in the game reports section.

My growth as a player was learning how to play by experience, rather than being taught through articles, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, I picked up on a lot of that just by spending time on the forum, but i wouldn't say it was how I got to where I am as a player. I find it much easier to learn through experience. But some people learn through articles. So, "depends on the person" I guess. Haha

All that to say, I think there is significantly more streaming (analogous to YouTube videos that used to be posted more) than there ever has been. The live interaction with the game may very well contribute to the decrease in articles. Take the "cage matches" that occur. Take seprix's recent article on lurker. He had a sample kingdom, it was challenged, played out live (streamed on twitch), and corrected. That is the evolution of learning dominion.

But there are people who don't learn that way, and I think you are totally right. Articles are essential in their development. I am not entirely sure what point I was trying to make, but yes. You are totally right.  We may be losing out on an audience that needs/wants those articles. And also no, learning how to play dominion has evolved and reaching people it would not have simply through articles
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 12:19:39 pm »
+1

First off, why categorize in the first place? If we categorize things, it helps offset mental load. The single word "slog" represents several concepts, like a large deck that wants the game to go long to accumulate more points. It's very useful to have these definitions! But I feel like there was a point where people started to overcategorize and overgeneralize, and would only talk about Dominion within the Five Deck Types framework. That led to debates over whether a deck was Big Money or Engine, whether something was a combo or just a synergy, and all sorts of other arguments. The distinctions between the labels matter a bit, but what matters overwhelmingly more is your opponent buying lots of Provinces or drawing lots of cards. Deciding on a True Name for what they're doing doesn't always help you understand why it's working, and I think arguing about the definitions too much distracts from actually understanding the game.

The distinctions between the labels matter a lot, because they are based on strategy principles. If you don't understand those, you have very poor prerequisites for understanding the game at all, and if you do understand them, you will automatically understand why something is or isn't working.

WW's fundamental deck types are certainly less than ideal, but they're not completely wrong.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 12:39:31 pm »
+4

As games both expand in size and man-hours played, the community collectively gets better, but what you're pointing out is that the community has not kept up in explaining strategy, meaning there's a larger and larger and perhaps unbridgeable gulf opening up between experts and players who want to be really good - a new player not only has to learn this now more-complex game, but isn't really given a decent guide with which to do so.  I watched a similar thing happen with the online poker community in the mid to late 00s decade as the game exploded online, but for different reasons - poker's a game where you get rewarded for knowing something the other guy doesn't, so as people would be playing against their message board compatriots more and more, they realized that giving away strategy tips was costing them money.  The difference between that and Dominion is that the rules to poker aren't changing.

I think more importantly than guiding novices along through particular strategies - though this certainly is important - they should learn the game more slowly than I think most people around here would have them do.  There's going to be 11 expansions soon and as Donald X has said before, every card is a new rule.  I think the only time a player should see more than 3 new cards is if A: they're playing their first ever game or B: they're playing against a player who is also not familiar with the new cards.  But what player, extremely excited for more Dominion, would actually heed this advice?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 01:45:49 pm »
0

People keep saying all the discussion is on Discord. I have 2 questions.

1) What is Discord?
2) If all the discussion has moved over there, could someone make a sticky thread or something saying as such and linking to it? Visibility about this seems to be limited to people just occasionally bringing it up.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 01:53:01 pm »
+7

People keep saying all the discussion is on Discord. I have 2 questions.

1) What is Discord?
2) If all the discussion has moved over there, could someone make a sticky thread or something saying as such and linking to it? Visibility about this seems to be limited to people just occasionally bringing it up.

Discord is a text and voice chat service that has all but replaced IRC and is slowly replacing Skype, at least in gaming networks. It has a lot of great features and is extremely reliable, but for whatever reason the developers decided to make all Discord channels private. There is a link to the channel in my signature (I'm the admin of the channel). At first I spammed the link a lot, but it seemed like it might be annoying people, so I try to limit talking about it now. I agree there should probably be a sticky; it's a highly active channel at this point and strategy discussion does in fact seem to mostly be happening there and not on the forums these days. With that said, the channel is not actually affiliated with Dominionstrategy (nor do I necessarily want it to be) so not having a sticky also makes sense.

This has been this week's Discord PSA. You are welcome to come visit the channel and see it for yourself.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 02:02:35 pm »
0

Thanks jsh. I'll check it out at some point.

If it's a format like IRC, is it easy to find old information or does strategy discussion that happens eventually become hard to find over time? Would be a shame if strategy is developing but those who are not around at the time miss out.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 02:16:13 pm »
0

Thanks jsh. I'll check it out at some point.

If it's a format like IRC, is it easy to find old information or does strategy discussion that happens eventually become hard to find over time? Would be a shame if strategy is developing but those who are not around at the time miss out.

There is a search feature, and the channels that have not been deleted (temporary tournament channels mainly) are searchable. However, no, nobody is trying to save information in particular. We just learn a lot tossing ideas back and forth.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 09:16:51 pm »
+3

The natural question is: can we bring the Golden Age back?
[...]
Please don't mistake this as me declaring that Dominion is dying.

Here's a highly personal opinion: Dominion is inexorably becoming more like Magic: The Gathering, and I don't like or play Magic.

For me, the turning point came somewhere around Dark Ages. The cards in Dark Ages were awesome, and I'm very happy to have that expansion, but the set also had a lot of cards that were significantly more complex than all but the really gnarly exceptions in earlier sets. Suddenly, it became harder to give the kinds of overarching strategic insight that Dominion used to thrive on.

And then Empires feels like it's passed the turning point, and suddenly Dominion is a somewhat different game: it's now so difficult to play analytically that it leans more heavily on intuition and holistic arguments rather than assessing the strengths and synergies of the cards.


Taking your example, Marauder is, indeed, a fairly challenging card which serves significantly different purposes in different contexts. It's harder to say what it's "for" than, oh, Witch or Smithy. But then Catapult/Rocks is way over the horizon! Managing the relationship between the two cards is challenging enough, before you've even considered how you're going to slot it into an overall strategy for your game. And then you have the headache of working out what other people are doing to the split pile: even figuring out if you're going to be able to buy the engine components you need is now fraught, interactive and imponderable.

Don't get me wrong: Catapult/Rocks is tremendous fun to play. But then you notice you're in round twenty and everyone's so busy flinging stuff at one another that nobody's greening yet. Strategy has been all but forgotten.


So...

Maybe Dominion is dying, at least a little bit, at least for some people?

Maybe we should be hoping for a return to the kind of cards people used to write about, rather than trying to figure out how to write about the kind of cards we're getting now?

I'm now nervously awaiting Nocturne, hoping like crazy it'll feel more like Adventures than Empires to me.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 10:19:34 pm »
+12

I'm now nervously awaiting Nocturne, hoping like crazy it'll feel more like Adventures than Empires to me.

Huh. I feel like Empires is simpler than Adventures on the whole. Per card, I mean; Empires does have more stuff total.

In general I guess I'm the opposite of you when it comes to this stuff. Or something. Maybe it's just that what you're saying seems contradictory to me. You say it's become "harder to give overarching strategic insight that Dominion used to thrive on". Well since there are so many cards now, it seems to me that overarching advice has become the most important kind, as advice about individual cards and card combinations becomes less and less pertinent to the average game. And I'm not sure I agree that Dominion used to "thrive" on it. Personally, I'd prefer to have to analyze a board and look for interesting new interactions rather than having them all pre-memorized and playing by rote. I feel like I've probably completely misunderstood your post, though, so apologies if this isn't what you meant at all.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 10:30:46 pm »
+4

What's wrong with dominion having more strategic depth?
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Titandrake

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 01:49:09 am »
+3

What's wrong with dominion having more strategic depth?

I actually had a similar feeling about Empires at first.

Empires forces you to make more on-the-fly decisions because of things like:

  • Landmarks that influence when to buy certain cards, like Defiled Shrine.
  • Split piles that force hard decisions on when to "unlock" the bottom half and how many of the top half to buy.
  • Castles, a pile that changes literally every buy, where the top card depends both on your opponent's strategy and who gets enough money first.
  • The Gathering cards (Temple and Farmer's Market), where again, the VP depends on your opponent's strategy and who draws which actions first.

All of this was present in the game before, but Empires pushed this angle of the game a lot more heavily. It makes it much harder to plan everything in advance, because you keep getting the question of "VP or better action card", "get the last card in the top half or wait for my opponent to buy it first", "play Temple and add VP or don't play Temple", etc. If you thought of Dominion as a game where you execute a plan you devised at the start of the game with little interruption, Empires might not be for you, because all the short-term tactical decisions mess with your plan, and those decisions are more explicit, important, and obvious.

It's not that depth is bad, it's that Empires adds depth in a very different way.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2017, 01:54:14 am »
+3

You say strategy has been all but forgotten, this simply isn't true. You still analyze the kingdom, but you must also react to what is happening in the game.

PS: Empires takes some getting used to, but it adds do much strategic depth, it's arguably the best expansion ever made. Adventures on the other hand can be very luck based.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 05:27:54 pm by Beyond Awesome »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2017, 07:23:52 am »
0

Empires forces you to make more on-the-fly decisions because of things like:

  • Landmarks that influence when to buy certain cards, like Defiled Shrine.
  • Split piles that force hard decisions on when to "unlock" the bottom half and how many of the top half to buy.
  • Castles, a pile that changes literally every buy, where the top card depends both on your opponent's strategy and who gets enough money first.
  • The Gathering cards (Temple and Farmer's Market), where again, the VP depends on your opponent's strategy and who draws which actions first.

All of this was present in the game before, but Empires pushed this angle of the game a lot more heavily. It makes it much harder to plan everything in advance, because you keep getting the question of "VP or better action card", "get the last card in the top half or wait for my opponent to buy it first", "play Temple and add VP or don't play Temple", etc. If you thought of Dominion as a game where you execute a plan you devised at the start of the game with little interruption, Empires might not be for you, because all the short-term tactical decisions mess with your plan, and those decisions are more explicit, important, and obvious.

It's not that depth is bad, it's that Empires adds depth in a very different way.

See, but this keeps things lively and exciting!
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2017, 11:29:23 am »
+3

OK. I'll rephrase a bit.

I see an axis in gaming with two extremes:
  • You play the same game over and over, gradually building experience and mastery over the decades, exploring every last wrinkle. This seems to be how serious Go players work.
  • You play a series of completely different games. You just played a game of Crokinole, followed by Codenames; almost nothing about either experience is transferable to the game of Puerto Rico you're about to play.

Though I'm far from either extreme, I lean towards enjoying a game I can get better at by playing again. While also liking a bit of novelty.


With that in mind, I guess I'm saying that Dominion occupied the sweet spot for me, but feels as though it's drifting towards poorer transferability of experience from one game to the next. Trying Gladiator/Fortune teaches me less about how to play Castles than Monument teaches me about Goons or Merchant Guild teaches me about Candlestick Maker.

I've played Dominion many hundreds of times, though probably not a thousand. Yet I can look at an Empires board and feel that all my experience gives me little traction in working out what on earth to do.

It occurs to me that actually the sweet spot for people like DonaldX and LastFootnote might be in much the same place as for me, it's just that people who've played 10,000-100,000 games of Dominion have a different perspective on experience v. novelty from people who've played 500-1,000 games.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2017, 11:34:14 am »
+1

The interesting thing is that major criticism of Dominion was that it felt like two playing solitaire against each other. Now Empires made that explicitly untrue by providing lots of choices that depend on your opponent.

crj, I fail to see how this makes games more analytical, could your observation be explained by Empires just being new cards? I know that it happens for me: When an expansions comes out, I just buy cards and see what happens. Being more familiar with them brings back the analytical component. I do agree that Adventures is overall easier to learn, except a few cards.

I think the problem with card articles is that it is already required to have a nuanced understanding of the metagame to get something out of a meaningful card article. This is especially true in Empires. Someone who doesn't understand the value of drawing your deck every turn will have a vastly different experience with Wild Hunt that those who do. Then you would have to explain why that is true and have a chapter on Engine 101 and it turns into a thesis where you have to explain basic concepts for the first couple of pages. After all, that information will be a lot more useful than anything specific you could say about Wild Hunt.

So I think it's much more important to explain concepts, which will make a lot of the cards appear easier. (For example, someone should write an article how VP are overrated, most of the time). That alone takes a lot of heachache away from Empires.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2017, 11:46:45 am »
+9

A fantastic piece by Titandrake!  This seems to be exactly the kind of meta-analysis the Dominion community should probably practice on a regular basis, and I’m always excited to see these sorts of discussions and community introspection. 

As someone relatively new to Dominion and f.ds (started playing IRL about three years ago, online about two years ago, and participating in the forums about a year ago), I’ve thoroughly appreciated the Wiki, the old strategy blog, and I believe them to be foundational to my Dominion learning, especially early on.  I definitely resonate with Derg’s description of a player moving through the stages of reading about cards in isolation, understanding power rankings, and learning how to recognize and construct the 5 deck types. 

Learning from my own play experience was critical, but there are many things I just never would have learned without these resources—I remember the distinct moment when I realized in an IRL base game that Coppers and Estates were bad cards and Chapel could be used to get rid of them (and not just for Curses), but I never would have learned the most efficient trashing tactics (i.e. open Chapel, and in a hand of all Coppers/Estates, do not hesitate Chapel your whole hand) without reading the Wiki article on Chapel.  Later, I remember thinking Bishop was one of the best cards in the game (I get to trash, and get a bunch of VP tokens??), and reveled in learning how to create an unstoppable Golden Deck, but then I read through theory’s annotated game where theory’s early game Bishops allowed DG to trash down and build a powerful KC-Pawn engine—I learned immediately that Bishop can be a dangerous trap, especially in the opening. 

This still happens to me today—I think I understand a card or a particular synergy, and then I play a game where everything I thought I knew about that card or synergy is thrown out the window. 

***

Over the years of playing and reading, I’ve come to realize that probably more than any other game ever made, Dominion is a game of nuance.  Titandrake emphasizes this point—with well over 300 card-shaped-things and counting and the near infinite number of possible kingdoms, it makes total sense that “it depends on the kingdom” would become the most prevalent, albeit unhelpful advice.  With such staggering numbers of combinations, we naturally feel the need to categorize and classify and define and create brackets and rank things just to make some sense of it all—the problem of course is that no category or ranking or definition will ever satisfy all situations.  As an example, Travelling Fair taught us that even Counting House, a card ranked dead last for years, could become a powerhouse under the right circumstance and decimate a more traditional engine.  Titandrake isn’t saying that our categories, definitions, and rankings are not important—on the contrary, many of them are incredibly valuable frameworks which can help new players move from stage 0 to stage 4—however, we must hold these frameworks loosely, lest our pedantry and arguing about what’s an engine and what’s not distracts us from actually learning and teaching others how to play the game better.
 
All that to say, Titandrake is calling us to continue to discuss Dominion in a way that’s helpful to stage 0-3 players, through articles, general frameworks, and fundamental principles, while also living with nuances, holding our frameworks loosely, and easing up on our pedantic tendencies which usually do little more than shut down potentially helpful conversation and confound new players from learning new concepts. 

As others have said, I think that much of what’s been created so far, the Wiki, the articles, is by no means worthless (though indeed some things are outdated and should be cleaned up).  The Wiki and the blog are where so many of us originally started, and many of principles we can learn from articles by WW and theory are critical reads for new players, even in the midst of the ever-evolving game of Dominion.
 
Derg is spot on about videos and spectating being one of the best mediums for teaching Dominion—reading a kingdom over the shoulder of one of the best players, with all of its intricacies, and then watching them identify interactions, point out key engine components, “see the game” before they open, and make adjustments as they play is perhaps one of the best ways to learn how to play better.  To all of you who stream and make videos—keep it up!  I’ve learned so much from watching Mic commentate a championship game, or Qvist realize a critical mistake in a league match, or Burning Skull demonstrating how important getting Sentry early is in his Base game videos.
 
And finally, I’ll add that while Discord has been highly conducive for free-flowing discussion among experienced players, and I’ve learned a lot reading the chats there, I’d love to see how important ideas and principles there can be made more accessible to earlier stage players, through articles and videos which reference key Discord insights and discussions. 

I’m very optimistic about the future of Dominion and the Dominion community, and so long as we take the time every so often to think about these things as Titandrake has prompted us to do and then work to make helpful strategic discussion and content accessible, the game and metagame will continue to flourish and bring in new players as we all once were for many years to come. 
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FemurLemur

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2017, 12:15:04 pm »
+8

Been around since Cornucopia came out (though always lurking. Was always too shy to participate). I remember playing a ton of Dominion on Isotropic. Back in those days, I saw the Blog as the Dominion site. I would go there to see the card images and get excited for buying my new expansion. I would read the articles and the comments. I always understood that they couldn't possibly apply to all situations, but they still helped me as a new player to see the possibilities of various interactions. Hearing other's ideas about the cards being spoiled really got the mental juices flowing. To me, Hinterlands and Dark Ages were the “golden age”, partially because there was just so much to look forward to as it felt like the sky was the limit, but also because of heavy nostalgia blindness (right after my wife and I started dating, I got her into Dominion. It was the first thing we ever really bonded over, and Hinterlands has always been our favorite expansion. We were broke, living off of minimum wage, but you’d better believe we always found a way to budget for the new expansion. Dominion got us through so many stressful times. I’ll always treasure those memories).

Anyway, much later, when Adventures came out, I ran to the blog, and saw that it hadn't been updated in years except to announce tournaments. This, to me, is a great travesty. I guarantee you this has convinced new players that the community is dead, because I was an active player all of those years and even I thought it was dead. To this day, the homepage still has Guilds listed as the newest expansion. It wasn't until a month or two later that I realized that the forum and wiki were still thriving in the background!

As far as questions about whether things have been over categorized: I really don't think they have. You mention that advanced players learn to see the whole kingdom and find interactions. But that doesn't happen by magic. The way we think about card interactions are similar to how one would think about interpreting law, writing code, or studying mathematics. It takes a lot of knowledge about semantics, set relationships, and technicalities. Unless you're a very high IQ individual, this doesn't come naturally. You get there by taking the time to read about the difference between buy and gain or trash/discard/return to the pile. You get there by learning to think about "sifters", "throne room variants", "villages", "cantrips", “remodelers”, “cursers”, etc. As far as I'm concerned, the wiki still holds immense value for intermediate players, and should be update often. Those categories help get the wheels turning. And combo articles help players to practice finding interactions through the words on the cards.

As far as the debate going on about expansions, I don't agree that Dark Ages was a negative turning point for Dominion. Yes it was complex, but it was the biggest expansion the game has ever had (soon to be tied), and originally meant to be the last one (kinda). The overpay and coin token mechanics that Guilds introduced create so many possibilities without being too confusing to new players. I mean, prior to its release, we all could relate to the experience of wishing we could carry over some coins into future turns, or wanting to get some kind of reward for having just a little bit extra money left over.

Adventures and Empires bring exactly what I wanted to Dominion: more of the existing ideas with some fresh twists. In fact, ever since Guilds was announced to be “the end”-ish, while others were begging for more Durations, I’ve just been sitting here praying for more Potion interactions, Overpay cards, or (more importantly) more Cornucopia-like cards that care about variety or card names. I really don’t believe that the game itself has suffered post-Dark Ages. So far, the post-Guilds releases have been expansions that up the ante on existing ideas.

Though I will concede: it sounds like Nocturne may be complex. But hey, it’s been 5 years since Dark Ages (dear god, that doesn’t feel right to say), the time for a complex one seems right.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2017, 12:28:50 pm »
+6

You make some very good points, and I agree with a lot. But, I do think there is an obvious case for pessimism.

1)
More expansions came out. Cards got more complicated.

This is a big deal. If you view every card as a new rule, then this makes is harder to learn the rules of Dominion before even beginning to play a game in the "big leagues", i.e. full random. Every expansion added makes full random less and less friendly regardless of the strategy advice out there. There are reasons why collectible card games like Magic have cards that come in and out of rotation, and it's not just to force you to buy new cards. It's also to keep the complexity down and make the experience better for new players. When Magic is simpler than Dominion (and we're almost there, if not there already), then we've lost one of the main selling points of Dominion and what certainly attracted me to the game as a new player originally.

2) There are a lot of really good, new games that compete directly with Dominion. It's very likely that Dominion has reached it's high water mark in board game geek rankings, for instance.

3) Online Dominion is no longer optimally conducive to giving and taking strategy advice, especially for new players. It's very hard to find and analyze old games. The Game Reports and Help! section of the forum is all but dead. Spectating and streaming is not nearly enough.

Quote
The natural question is: can we bring the Golden Age back? Well, what is the Golden Age? Is it the concentration of Dominion discussion in a single place? Is it the rapid production of content? I think those are elements of it, but the most important one is the experience of the new player. Can we make it easier for new players to get into the game, and grow the Dominion community?

I think that the answer is yes, but it's going to require explaining a bunch more Dominion theory.

You make a very good case, and I want to share your optimism, but I think the answer is not explaining a bunch more Dominion theory. It's 1) explaining important, existing, core strategy concepts well, 2) identifying power/key cards (as you mention) and 3) having competitive experiences that are more new player friendly.

For instance, update the blog with simple introductory articles. Maybe theory can add some new admins to keep things current. Have a newbie friendly tournament that uses only Dominion, Intrigue, and the newest available expansion for generating kingdoms. RGG still gets the hot-new-thing promotion, but it's not prohibitively complicated for new players.
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trivialknot

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2017, 12:42:54 pm »
+5

I advocate rebooting the blog.  When it comes down to it, even if f.ds were to provide the best Dominion advice ever, how many people realistically end up seeing that?  Forum posts just aren't a good broadcasting format.  Blogs are.  If experts just want to talk among each other, f.ds is fine, but if you actually want to teach people strategy, you have to broadcast.

I don't know why exactly the blog stopped.  I'm guessing it was a combination of administrators becoming less active, and would-be writers becoming disillusioned with simple advice.  The irony is that people today could easily write articles that are better than what's in the blog archives.  But they don't, because they think they aren't good enough.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2017, 01:38:26 pm »
+2

When Magic is simpler than Dominion (and we're almost there, if not there already), then we've lost one of the main selling points of Dominion and what certainly attracted me to the game as a new player originally.

Whoa. I mean, I have friends who play both Dominion and Magic a lot, and they agree that Dominion is still nowhere near as complex as Magic, and never will be. Magic is hella complex.

EDIT: Did you know there are, like, five levels of Magic judges? You can basically judge Magic tournaments for a living, or at least as a lucrative source of side revenue. Try to imagine that ever being the case with Dominion, even if it somehow matched Magic's popularity.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:40:43 pm by LastFootnote »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2017, 01:46:36 pm »
+2

Maybe we could have a "Game of the week" or "Game of the Month"?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2017, 01:50:45 pm »
+2

Maybe we could have a "Game of the week" or "Game of the Month"?

The Dominion subreddit does that. Which isn't to say we couldn't do it here too, just thought I'd mention it.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2017, 02:00:06 pm »
+4

1)
More expansions came out. Cards got more complicated.

This is a big deal. If you view every card as a new rule, then this makes is harder to learn the rules of Dominion before even beginning to play a game in the "big leagues", i.e. full random. Every expansion added makes full random less and less friendly regardless of the strategy advice out there. There are reasons why collectible card games like Magic have cards that come in and out of rotation, and it's not just to force you to buy new cards. It's also to keep the complexity down and make the experience better for new players. When Magic is simpler than Dominion (and we're almost there, if not there already), then we've lost one of the main selling points of Dominion and what certainly attracted me to the game as a new player originally.

This is a good point. The best way to learn is to go one set at a time. The problem is that for most of us who here have gone all-in on Dominion, the most fun way to play is completely random. But completely random would be so intimidating if you just learned the rules to the game.

Imagine being thrown in to Dominion and trying to figure out a kingdom with potions, shelters, debt, a journey token, a tavern mat, split piles, knights, non-Moat reactions, and an overpay card. It's a bit overwhelming when you don't have the benefit of knowing anything about the expansions themselves and are just viewing cards in isolation (which is what an advanced player would do, but is not good for beginners). I for one would be happy to participate in Base Set-only matches if it means improving the experience for new players and helping the game continue to grow.

I don't think that all of this means that Dominion has hit some sort of ceiling or anything though. I get concerned when I hear people talk about the game getting too complex or becoming too much like a CCG. Everything that made us all love this game still exists. Nothing has changed except perception. Before, there was a small handful of boxes. Now there are a lot of them. That just means we need a reliable way to help new players understand that they have direct control over how far they want this game to go for them. They can get one or two sets, or go crazy and get them all. But the only way they can do the latter is if they take it one step at a time.

This is the kind of game that you can crank out a bunch of matches of in short bursts, so it's not like there's some unbridgeable gap where we'll never be able to get new players caught up. Newbies can get games under their belt, the problem is, how do they know that they should be starting out small? A solid mobile app and would be a huge way to keep a continuous stream of interest in the game. For better or worse, Dominion has always had a bit of a bumpy ride on the online front. But this could be resolved at any time, and new players would stumble upon this game and it would see new popularity. It's not like it's too late for Dominion or anything. A fun app is a fun app. New players aren't going to discriminate because it took a few years for it to exist.

Of course, I don't think it'll ever surge to the #1 spot on BGG again. But, the thing is, most board gamers that I know who frequently use BGG can't be content with their already massive collection. They're always hunting for the next new and exciting thing. Plus they aren't really "new" players, because they have already been there and done that back when Dominion first came out. Dominion has serious potential with a mass market though (as was already demonstrated when the game first came out, and has been demonstrated by its inclusion in retail chains like Target). I'm obviously biased, but I don't see the number of expansions as some sort of problem Dominion faces. Really I just think there needs to be a completely solid app and website, and they need to have a very deliberate approach to helping suck new players in one expansion at a time. In the meantime though, suggestions you and others have made would go a long way. Having a good beginner-friendly community and bringing back the blog would make a big difference.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2017, 03:05:58 pm »
+3

Fantastic first post, fantastic thread. Kudos to everyone involved.

I posted it earlier, but I also believe that post-Guilds Dominion changed quite profoundly. This has nothing to do with the quality of the expansion (Adventure is one of my favourite expansion), but with the raw numbers. In pre-Adventures times (and pre-2nd edition) quite often you could see these games with 2-3 overly dominant cards and many ignorable ones. These were perfectly playable just by following the Quist ranking. You felt smart if you picked an unknown combo, but more often than not, someone else had already posted it on the Wiki or on fds. It was a good time for being a beginner, because a few simple rules always remained true (Trash down, Ignore Scout, forget Chancellor, go with Witch, Sea Hag or Rebuild, if nothing works better: Big Money). You could not compete with top players, but you could feel like a beginning expert.

Adventures's cards, events and the 2nd edition shattered these truths: Suddenly you would have 5 to 7 viable roads in any match and tweaking these to the ebbs and flows of the game became even more crucial. It is like Titandrake said: The games revolved less about knowledge of the 'behaviour' of individual cards, but about understanding about the general rules that govern certain card types. It became more interesting, but also more demanding. It is interesting to look at the flow of the expansions:

1) When you played with Base (1st), Intrigue (1st), Seaside and Prosperity you would see certain cards return all the time. Knowledge and application of their combos was essential. This could feel quite repetitive after a while. (Remember the Goko campaigns? ;-) )
2) When you added Hinterlands, Dark Ages, Cornucopia, Alchemy and Guilds, you would see certain strategies return all the time, still with many matches dominated by certain cards. Combos increased in number, but they were still essential to know for good players. This already felt varied and interesting, though after the 100th Rebuild / Witch / Mountebank game you started looking for change.
3) When you added Adventures and 2nd edition, you would see certain strategies return from time to time, but games started to become far more balanced. Combos hardly matter anymore, as now they are both more and less of them in any game: Far more small combos in any given match, but much less chance for an unstoppable combo to appear in you total amount of plays.  You started to begin missing certain cards that you had not seen for quite some days in full random. And basically every game now became a surprise that needed to be studied very closely.
4) Empires just by itself upped the bar further: With Landmarks and all the new events, it became absurd to speak about cards without context. Even Silver now costs 2! It was not possible anymore to 'learn' a card in full random, because it could take weeks until any given card had a chance to appear again in a setup where it mattered. There are classical combos now that are even counter-productive, depending on the Landmark. I also believe that this is the main reason why people do not post more specific card articles anymore: Why bother with any specific strategy if the likelyhood of these specific circumstances to appear is so low?

Do not get me wrong: I do not see this development as a decline from a 'Golden Age' at any given time. The opposite is the case: I can play Dominion for hours and hours and every game is like a new world - to me this is the perfect game. Every new expansion brings this promise closer to fulfillment. Eventually I will get all the mssing expansion and I will spent my life, discovering all the subtle nuances. If you ask which game to bring to a lonely island, I cannot understand anyone saying anything but Dominion in its current state. It is literally millions of games, all in this enjoyable, clean and easy ruleset.

I do not believe that Nocturne CAN reduce the complexity.  It contains at least 30 new cards that will alter each individual game further, separating them from each other, more than they have ever been. By then it might take you MONTHS to see your favorite card again, at least in a relevant context. You could swap any of the expansion in the development mentioned above and you would still have the sam effects in place.

I agree with crj: We are shifting away from this game of knowledge, where the perfect realization of the known priciples determined the better player. Dominion turns into a game, where looking 'behind the Matrix' is key for victory - the most abstract and flexible player wins. On an emotional level I find this a bit sad: It is tough to say goodbye to the wellknown heroes of ye olde time, that you hardly see anymore around: Farewell Chapel, Witch, Library. You had your great heroic deeds in the spotlight, now step back in the row and do your share of work, like all the other cards.

But you know: Just play Nocturne with Base only and you are back in the golden days, where BIG CARDS with BIG COMBOS mattered. (Historical analogy not intended, but now hard to ignore ;-) )
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 03:15:09 pm by BBL »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2017, 03:45:19 pm »
+1

I don't know why exactly the blog stopped.

theory got busy.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2017, 03:55:32 pm »
+6

I don't know why exactly the blog stopped.

theory got busy.

This.  I'd like very much to transfer ownership of the blog to others - I haven't played Dominion in a long time and I feel bad that I'm in my position.  But I always hesitated because I don't have faith that whoever takes over isn't going to just fade away himself/herself, and really it feels like something the community should own collectively.

I'd love to hear your thoughts however.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2017, 04:12:39 pm »
+12

I'd like very much to transfer ownership of the blog to others - I haven't played Dominion in a long time and I feel bad that I'm in my position.  But I always hesitated because I don't have faith that whoever takes over isn't going to just fade away himself/herself, and really it feels like something the community should own collectively.

I'd love to hear your thoughts however.

My thoughts are: Whoever takes over might very well also fade away someday, but that's no reason not to transfer ownership. I mean when that happens the blog will (hopefully) be no worse off than it is now, and someday the new owner can hand it off to someone else. This same line of reasoning applies to the community owning it collectively; I feel like that's already sort of the case and would not be diminished under a new owner.

I nominate wero, if he wants to do it and thinks he has time.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2017, 05:21:13 pm »
0

I feel like in its current state the focus of the wiki is on pages for individual cards, but also has pages for concepts (virtual coin, handsize attack etc).

What would be the ideal composition of the wiki, in order to provide useful training to newer players?

My own experience, is that the individual card pages sometimes have useful insights, like pointing out that the card passing bit of masquerade is NOT usually the main use of the card, but it's the abstract concept pages which I found most useful.

If I know how to understand +cards, +coins and trashing in a wider game context, then I should have no need for an article on Steward. Does that make sense? On the other hand, maybe considering Steward is a useful step on the way to getting a good understanding of +cards, +coins and trashing.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2017, 08:14:34 pm »
+1

Fantastic first post, fantastic thread. Kudos to everyone involved.

I posted it earlier, but I also believe that post-Guilds Dominion changed quite profoundly. This has nothing to do with the quality of the expansion (Adventure is one of my favourite expansion), but with the raw numbers. In pre-Adventures times (and pre-2nd edition) quite often you could see these games with 2-3 overly dominant cards and many ignorable ones. These were perfectly playable just by following the Quist ranking. You felt smart if you picked an unknown combo, but more often than not, someone else had already posted it on the Wiki or on fds. It was a good time for being a beginner, because a few simple rules always remained true (Trash down, Ignore Scout, forget Chancellor, go with Witch, Sea Hag or Rebuild, if nothing works better: Big Money). You could not compete with top players, but you could feel like a beginning expert.

Adventures's cards, events and the 2nd edition shattered these truths: Suddenly you would have 5 to 7 viable roads in any match and tweaking these to the ebbs and flows of the game became even more crucial. It is like Titandrake said: The games revolved less about knowledge of the 'behaviour' of individual cards, but about understanding about the general rules that govern certain card types. It became more interesting, but also more demanding. It is interesting to look at the flow of the expansions:

1) When you played with Base (1st), Intrigue (1st), Seaside and Prosperity you would see certain cards return all the time. Knowledge and application of their combos was essential. This could feel quite repetitive after a while. (Remember the Goko campaigns? ;-) )
2) When you added Hinterlands, Dark Ages, Cornucopia, Alchemy and Guilds, you would see certain strategies return all the time, still with many matches dominated by certain cards. Combos increased in number, but they were still essential to know for good players. This already felt varied and interesting, though after the 100th Rebuild / Witch / Mountebank game you started looking for change.
3) When you added Adventures and 2nd edition, you would see certain strategies return from time to time, but games started to become far more balanced. Combos hardly matter anymore, as now they are both more and less of them in any game: Far more small combos in any given match, but much less chance for an unstoppable combo to appear in you total amount of plays.  You started to begin missing certain cards that you had not seen for quite some days in full random. And basically every game now became a surprise that needed to be studied very closely.
4) Empires just by itself upped the bar further: With Landmarks and all the new events, it became absurd to speak about cards without context. Even Silver now costs 2! It was not possible anymore to 'learn' a card in full random, because it could take weeks until any given card had a chance to appear again in a setup where it mattered. There are classical combos now that are even counter-productive, depending on the Landmark. I also believe that this is the main reason why people do not post more specific card articles anymore: Why bother with any specific strategy if the likelyhood of these specific circumstances to appear is so low?

This is why I think learning the game slowly, one set at a time, is the best way for newer players to enjoy themselves and to not be overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole thing.  Dominion as an IRL game has a nice limiting factor - it's just really challenging to play more than say, 5 different sets at a time.  I've done it and setup takes forever - you just want to play.  I think you can still get a fine game with 3 sets.  If it's 3 pre-Dark Ages sets, it might be a little bland and the strategy might be obvious.  That's the thing, though - I think newer players need to play those kinds of games to understand the fundamentals.  I'm glad that spamming one card is seldom the path to victory anymore in full random.  But newer players need to have that time with those cards to see them in those more limited situations to see their power.   

If I could recommend a way to start the game, I would recommend 20 Base only games first, then work in some Seaside over the next 20 games, then play 10 Seaside only, then work in some Intrigue with Base+Seaside, etc, play some Intrigue only, then widen the scope again.  Something like that, anyway. 

This discussion does have me a little concerned that only people who picked up the game before 2015 and have played thousands of games will be the only people to carry the torch for it.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2017, 09:38:25 pm »
+7

I nominate wero, if he wants to do it and thinks he has time.

Beyond Awesome had a similar idea, but more of me being a co-runner with himself.  He has quite a few ideas about doing podcasts and game commentaries.  I guess my idea would be a bit more prosaic - I was thinking of having two weekly posts: one aimed at newer players (which I could write myself), and one aimed at expert players (which I would not be comfortable writing, mainly as I've found expert players tend to say my expert advice is bad), which could be a rotating guest post.

Ideas for new player posts:
-basic strategic concepts (why is it good to trash, how do I engine)
-individual card articles
-Let's Explore [expansion of the week] - go through a set's themes and mechanics, what's interesting about it, the impact it's had, why you should add it to your collection, etc.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 09:41:47 pm by werothegreat »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2017, 10:52:21 pm »
+4

Hi everyone, first post.

I'd like to echo what a lot of people are saying here about limiting the number of sets beginners are exposed to, so that they don't get overwhelmed. This might have been unsaid because it's obvious, but I also think the order in which you introduce sets can also be important, and not just the base set. I personally was introduced to Dominion very late compared to most people here, I think in 2014, and the first set I played with after Base was Prosperity. Now Prosperity is a very good set (although with a lot of duds, ironically a lot of the Treasures) but looking back on it I think it might hampered my development as a player to have been introduced to it before the other sets. The set is very Treasure-based (obviously, given its theme) so it took me a long time to truly grasp the power of treasureless engines. I think a lot of early players go through a "just buy treasures; that always works" phase after their Village Idiot phase, but for me I think that phase was especially long because Base and Prosperity had shaped my paradigms so much. I remember when I first saw Masterpiece, I thought it was a great card because of all the Silvers it gave.

I think that Intrigue is the best expansion to introduce after Base, and not just because of chronology, but because it has some of the best treasureless deck enablers in the game. It took me a long time to warm up to Intrigue because so many of the cards blew my synapses in terms of what I thought was a good card. The first time I read Minion's text, I just did not get it at all. "+ $2 and +1 action? Isn't that just the same as a Silver? And why on earth would I want to discard my whole hand and then draw a puny 4 cards? How will I play my treasures then?" It only clicked for me after I played someone on a Minion board (and they crushed me, of course.) I think Intrigue is one of the best expansions, period, now that Scout and co. were shown the door while the set still has classic cards that open up new strategies.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2017, 10:59:50 pm »
+2

I think that Intrigue is the best expansion to introduce after Base, and not just because of chronology

Personally I'd advocate for a total chronological introduction of sets, shifting Alchemy as necessary.  Maybe introduce it around Dark Ages, either just before or just after.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2017, 11:57:58 pm »
+4

Beyond Awesome had a similar idea, but more of me being a co-runner with himself.  He has quite a few ideas about doing podcasts and game commentaries.  I guess my idea would be a bit more prosaic - I was thinking of having two weekly posts: one aimed at newer players (which I could write myself), and one aimed at expert players (which I would not be comfortable writing, mainly as I've found expert players tend to say my expert advice is bad), which could be a rotating guest post.

Ideas for new player posts:
-basic strategic concepts (why is it good to trash, how do I engine)
-individual card articles
-Let's Explore [expansion of the week] - go through a set's themes and mechanics, what's interesting about it, the impact it's had, why you should add it to your collection, etc.

Well, I cannot speak for others, but I would also be interested in writing the occasional beginner's article. I think I would have been doing so over the last couple years if the blog had been active.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2017, 12:03:39 am »
+21

You know if this changeover happens in a timely fashion, the front page could have Nocturne previews.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2017, 01:09:30 am »
+1

Well, I cannot speak for others, but I would also be interested in writing the occasional beginner's article. I think I would have been doing so over the last couple years if the blog had been active.

Your Poacher "article" was a great example of how a paragraph or two can be accessible and useful for beginners. The blog could use more of it.

I think the problem is that the standard for articles is too "high" these days. I think articles should mostly be for novice players like you, but most players here are not novices and so would prefer very complex articles with lots of exceptions and simulation data.

Like, for instance, what would I say about Poacher. Probably I would say, it's a good early buy. Be careful about buying too many, since once the pile runs out they get worse. It's better in 2-player games because piles don't run out as quickly. Try to gauge if there's another pile that's likely to run out early, and if there is then don't get many Poachers.   Then I might talk about some combos for when Poachers do start discarding cards, like Tunnel or Diplomat. This is all really basic stuff, though; not useful for most of the people who actually post on the forum.

Oh, another thing I'd say about Poacher: it's fun to snipe the last couple if your opponent has most of them. Take that!
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2017, 07:03:19 am »
+1

You know if this changeover happens in a timely fashion, the front page could have Nocturne previews.

And there could be a blog post right now pointing people to the ShuffleIT tournament.

The menu tabs could be updated (card lists, youtube, glossery, New to Dominion? page, etc.).

I liked it when the blog highlighted choice material from the forum and filed it under General Strategy, Annotated Games, etc.

Beyond Awesome had a similar idea, but more of me being a co-runner with himself.  He has quite a few ideas about doing podcasts and game commentaries.  I guess my idea would be a bit more prosaic - I was thinking of having two weekly posts: one aimed at newer players (which I could write myself), and one aimed at expert players (which I would not be comfortable writing, mainly as I've found expert players tend to say my expert advice is bad), which could be a rotating guest post.

Ideas for new player posts:
-basic strategic concepts (why is it good to trash, how do I engine)
-individual card articles
-Let's Explore [expansion of the week] - go through a set's themes and mechanics, what's interesting about it, the impact it's had, why you should add it to your collection, etc.

Well, I cannot speak for others, but I would also be interested in writing the occasional beginner's article. I think I would have been doing so over the last couple years if the blog had been active.

I would be interested in helping out, writing, curating content, editing/reviewing before publishing, etc. if the main blog runner needed it.

Once a week, twice a week, at most, seems like an ideal frequency for new blog posts.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 07:04:44 am by Polk5440 »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2017, 08:32:04 am »
+4

I'd give wero control of the blog. He's clearly not going anywhere, he writes stuff on Dominion far more consistently than any of us, etc. This doesn't mean he has to be the only author, or even the primary author, of articles - just that he's the person who is here to do it.

I need to write more. It was a lot easier to write when it wasn't so easy to instead play Dominion.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2017, 08:47:19 am »
0

I'd give wero control of the blog.

Agreed.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2017, 11:52:13 am »
+2

AdamH has also expressed interest.

If others are interested in taking on an administrative role please let me know.  I'll reach out to a few people.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2017, 11:56:40 am »
+5

AdamH has also expressed interest.

If others are interested in taking on an administrative role please let me know.  I'll reach out to a few people.

Oh god, please do NOT give AdamH control of f.DS. He will impose his ridiculously strict posting standards on everybody and the forum will suck.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2017, 12:07:01 pm »
+3

Why not put it up to a vote and let them both make their cases?

Personally, I am in favor of wero. All personal feelings about both players aside, wero has put a ton of work into the wiki and I trust him to stay active or find a replacement that will when the time comes. From a historical standpoint, he's an obvious choice.

On the other hand, as lf ninjad, Adam has had a bumpy history with the users here. It's not necessarily a deal breaker, but it's something to consider. If it's a question of capability, he's certainly qualified.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:16:01 pm by jsh357 »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2017, 12:13:34 pm »
0

Why not put it up to a vote and let them both make their cases?

Well I mean nobody's stopping them from making their own cases. Except Adam's self-imposed exile, I guess. Because he left after he couldn't convince anybody that the forum should be much more heavily moderated. NEVER FORGET.

As for a vote, I guess we should wait on that until theory reaches out to whoever else he wants to.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #47 on: September 06, 2017, 12:17:36 pm »
0

On the other hand, as lf ninjad, Adam has had a bumpy history with the users here. It's not necessarily a deal breaker, but it's something to consider. If it's a question of capability, he's certainly qualified.

Please explain his qualifications to me.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2017, 12:25:20 pm »
+3

On the other hand, as lf ninjad, Adam has had a bumpy history with the users here. It's not necessarily a deal breaker, but it's something to consider. If it's a question of capability, he's certainly qualified.

Please explain his qualifications to me.

He knows how to run a blog, works in software, and has even done some community outreach for dominion in his area. I'm not saying those qualify him for sure, but they are considerations.

For the record, if I didn't run discord already, I'd enter the race.

Btw, big respect for theory on being willing to make this change. It's really hard to give up your digital baby, especially when it's been so successful.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2017, 12:35:36 pm »
+16

To be clear - the forum need not go with the blog.  The blog is a Wordpress-hosted site where various people can become "authors" and contribute content on their own.  The forum is its own universe and honestly I'm OK handling that for now.  I like power.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2017, 12:38:24 pm »
+3

Did anyone actually ask wero if he wanted to do it? I mean, it's not a stretch, but he should get some say lol.

I like wero's idea of co running it with beyond awesome. And heck, if it's just the blog anyway, why not also let Adam contribute? They are strategy articles and he's pretty good at those.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2017, 12:47:38 pm »
+14

AdamH has also expressed interest.

If others are interested in taking on an administrative role please let me know.  I'll reach out to a few people.

I want to be clear. I have no interest in administrating or moderating these forums in any (edit: non-technical) capacity. My interest is working with the blog. If asked to play a moderator's or admin's role with the forums beyond technical issues, I would decline. I also have no interest in being the only person working on the blog -- if it was given to me alone, the first thing I would do would be to find people to help.

I have offered to help with the blog and also with the work for maintaining the domain, etc. including covering the costs associated with that.

What I want is a more appropriate platform than my personal blog and reddit for publishing Dominion content where people can see it, since neither of those platforms are very good. The dominionstrategy blog is probably the best thing out there, provided it would be properly maintained. I'd also like for more people besides myself to be writing articles appropriate for the blog.

Regardless of what people choose to think about me on a personal level, I would be an asset to any team of people who wanted to run the blog in theory's absence. I have a lot of connections in the Dominion and local boardgaming communities that are pretty unique and my skill set is well positioned to add value.

The fact that I'm still willing to do this in spite of the objections of some members of the community is not a power grab, but rather a testament to the fact that I have continued to be involved in other areas of the Dominion community where I can be more productive instead of just giving up entirely. I believe I can be productive in working on the DS blog, so that's why I want in.

Edited bolded statement for clarity
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:23:28 pm by AdamH »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2017, 12:49:21 pm »
+4

I'm all for having Adam write articles on the blog if he wants to. He's probably better than anyone else at presenting useful advice in a newbie-friendly way.

I like wero's idea of co running it with beyond awesome. And heck, if it's just the blog anyway, why not also let Adam contribute? They are strategy articles and he's pretty good at those.

I pretty much agree with jsh.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2017, 01:13:30 pm »
+3

I have no objections to Adam running the blog. The only thing I would be worried about is potential drama.

Other people who could I could see running it are Wero, Tracer, and jsh. I could help volunteer as well, if someone else wants a second person. I think the best solution here is probably some sort of coalition, where articles are heavily scrutinized while posted here/on my forum/Reddit/wherever before being put on the Blog for maximum information.

The thing is, the blog is very useful. You're an irl person, you're looking for a way to beat your friend, so you look up "Dominion board game strategy" and boom, Dominion Strategy has all the keywords already. It's always going to get hits. The best thing to do is to have it obviously link to f.ds and the wiki (as if it's not doing that already) and to have updated good articles. Take down all the silly combos like Pirate Ship/Ambassador which has become a running joke, etc. There could be a page for beginner Dominion players for Base set strategies, 1st and 2nd edition. Promote Dominion Online and increase the amount of users from irl. I know people who play Dominion irl and didn't even know there's an Online Version. There's all sorts of stuff that could be done with the blog and I am excited to help with that, or have anybody doing anything with it really. Anything is better than it sitting there doing nothing.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2017, 01:20:38 pm »
0

Promote Dominion Online and increase the amount of users from irl.

I would try to negotiate with Stef for some kind of a deal in that regard, to help cover the costs of running the site.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2017, 01:22:11 pm »
+2

I have no objections to Adam running the blog. The only thing I would be worried about is potential drama.

Other people who could I could see running it are Wero, Tracer, and jsh. I could help volunteer as well, if someone else wants a second person. I think the best solution here is probably some sort of coalition, where articles are heavily scrutinized while posted here/on my forum/Reddit/wherever before being put on the Blog for maximum information.

The thing is, the blog is very useful. You're an irl person, you're looking for a way to beat your friend, so you look up "Dominion board game strategy" and boom, Dominion Strategy has all the keywords already. It's always going to get hits. The best thing to do is to have it obviously link to f.ds and the wiki (as if it's not doing that already) and to have updated good articles. Take down all the silly combos like Pirate Ship/Ambassador which has become a running joke, etc. There could be a page for beginner Dominion players for Base set strategies, 1st and 2nd edition. Promote Dominion Online and increase the amount of users from irl. I know people who play Dominion irl and didn't even know there's an Online Version. There's all sorts of stuff that could be done with the blog and I am excited to help with that, or have anybody doing anything with it really. Anything is better than it sitting there doing nothing.

The blog could be organized better, I think. Maybe some hot links to types of articles, especially key ones like WW's deck types.

I would also make the community links more up to date and more front and center. A lot of users are not even aware there are places to discuss Dominion like the forums, reddit, and Discord. Dominion Online ALSO needs to be linked to on the front page!

Old, outdated articles or frankly wrong ones (like Amb/PS) could just be put in an 'obsolete articles' section. There's no need to unpublish them; just make it clear that taking them as gospel is not recommended.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:25:56 pm by jsh357 »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2017, 01:23:57 pm »
+4

maintaining the domain, etc. including covering the costs associated with that.

This is a big deal for the blog and for the forum. theory does an amazing job and it's important that if he goes completely MIA, someone can handle tech upkeep. Remember the weird attacks that kept taking down the forum a while back? 

Quote
What I want is a more appropriate platform than my personal blog and reddit for publishing Dominion content where people can see it, since neither of those platforms are very good. The dominionstrategy blog is probably the best thing out there, provided it would be properly maintained.

Agreed.

The thing is, the blog is very useful. You're an irl person, you're looking for a way to beat your friend, so you look up "Dominion board game strategy" and boom, Dominion Strategy has all the keywords already.... Anything is better than it sitting there doing nothing.

Agreed. It's still in my blog feed on the hope of a brighter future.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2017, 01:25:53 pm »
+3

The thing is, the blog is very useful. You're an irl person, you're looking for a way to beat your friend, so you look up "Dominion board game strategy" and boom, Dominion Strategy has all the keywords already. It's always going to get hits. The best thing to do is to have it obviously link to f.ds and the wiki (as if it's not doing that already) and to have updated good articles. Take down all the silly combos like Pirate Ship/Ambassador which has become a running joke, etc. There could be a page for beginner Dominion players for Base set strategies, 1st and 2nd edition. Promote Dominion Online and increase the amount of users from irl. I know people who play Dominion irl and didn't even know there's an Online Version. There's all sorts of stuff that could be done with the blog and I am excited to help with that, or have anybody doing anything with it really. Anything is better than it sitting there doing nothing.

Yeah, the first google hit is the blog post for "New to Dominion".  A lot of that stuff is outdated (e.g. Goko and Council Room) and a fresh perspective on updated resources could be a good first start for reviving the blog.  I totally remember getting hooked on Dominion right as theory was publishing the blog and it became a daily habit of checking for new posts as I was learning the game.

Sigh... and now I'm nostalgic.  I guess I should play more Dominion.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Seprix

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2017, 01:27:20 pm »
0

The thing is, the blog is very useful. You're an irl person, you're looking for a way to beat your friend, so you look up "Dominion board game strategy" and boom, Dominion Strategy has all the keywords already. It's always going to get hits. The best thing to do is to have it obviously link to f.ds and the wiki (as if it's not doing that already) and to have updated good articles. Take down all the silly combos like Pirate Ship/Ambassador which has become a running joke, etc. There could be a page for beginner Dominion players for Base set strategies, 1st and 2nd edition. Promote Dominion Online and increase the amount of users from irl. I know people who play Dominion irl and didn't even know there's an Online Version. There's all sorts of stuff that could be done with the blog and I am excited to help with that, or have anybody doing anything with it really. Anything is better than it sitting there doing nothing.

Yeah, the first google hit is the blog post for "New to Dominion".  A lot of that stuff is outdated (e.g. Goko and Council Room) and a fresh perspective on updated resources could be a good first start for reviving the blog.  I totally remember getting hooked on Dominion right as theory was publishing the blog and it became a daily habit of checking for new posts as I was learning the game.

Sigh... and now I'm nostalgic.  I guess I should play more Dominion.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thanks for reminding me to add you to my friends list on DO.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2017, 01:39:47 pm »
+1

To be clear - the forum need not go with the blog.  The blog is a Wordpress-hosted site where various people can become "authors" and contribute content on their own.  The forum is its own universe and honestly I'm OK handling that for now.  I like power.

He knows how to run a blog, works in software, and has even done some community outreach for dominion in his area. I'm not saying those qualify him for sure, but they are considerations.

For the record, if I didn't run discord already, I'd enter the race.

Btw, big respect for theory on being willing to make this change. It's really hard to give up your digital baby, especially when it's been so successful.

Those are good qualifications, and it's good to know that the blog and forum are not as deeply intertwined as I thought. I think Adam would do a fine job running the blog. I still vote for wero (and Beyond Awesome if they want to jointly do it) because he's contributed so much to the community, and I see him as more of a team player.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:41:20 pm by LastFootnote »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #60 on: September 06, 2017, 01:41:14 pm »
+3

Did anyone actually ask wero if he wanted to do it? I mean, it's not a stretch, but he should get some say lol.

I did not ask him before nominating him, because I'm a jerk. He has since made this post, though, and hopefully he would have mentioned "no I don't want to do this" if that were the case.

And heck, if it's just the blog anyway, why not also let Adam contribute? They are strategy articles and he's pretty good at those.

Yes, definitely!
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #61 on: September 06, 2017, 01:43:16 pm »
+1

I really like the idea of BA/Adam doing Dominion podcasts.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #62 on: September 06, 2017, 02:23:40 pm »
+2

For the benefit of people who aren't aware of every user's history, what are Wero and Beyond Awesome's qualifications?  I understand Wero does stuff with the wiki but I don't know exactly what.

I joined f.ds after AdamH left, so I'm only familiar with him through videos and his blog.  I'm guessing that regardless of who is in charge, AdamH would contribute excellent articles.  But I also think he would be a good blog director.  I think it's good that he has a broader perspective of dominion communities beyond f.ds.  I think it's really important that the direction of the blog is to be more than just a voice for f.ds.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #63 on: September 06, 2017, 02:34:02 pm »
0

I for one am confused about the purpose of the blog; now that both the forums and the wiki exist.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #64 on: September 06, 2017, 02:44:03 pm »
+9

I for one am confused about the purpose of the blog; now that both the forums and the wiki exist.
In my experience a front page is great for forums; it draws in new people, it increases posting.

Some people would like to read articles and news items but do not want to venture into forums. I mean every day I read the new comic at SMBC. They have forums! I never go there. You know? Lots of sites have forums, but forums are a bigger investment, I only have so much time for forums.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #65 on: September 06, 2017, 02:52:14 pm »
+2

Having a centralized place for dominion content and articles would be awesome.

First, I think the old content should be labeled as such, perhaps "pre-adventures articles" or "pre-dark ages articles."

Second, I think Wero and/or Beyond Awesome would do a good job running the blog - Wero has done a great job with the wiki and Beyond Awesome has a lot of enthusiasm for the game.

Third, I think there should be some sort of process for the community to submit content - perhaps a thread describing expectations for content and how to submit.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #66 on: September 06, 2017, 02:54:06 pm »
+2

I for one am confused about the purpose of the blog; now that both the forums and the wiki exist.
Every format has different strengths.  Blogs are update-oriented, which allows them to cover a complex and ever-changing topic where nobody really knows the right answers.  But it's also more formal and focused than a forum, and can maintain a structured archive.

If nothing else, there are some people who exclusively prefer certain formats.  Some people will only watch videos, some people will only participate in forums, some people only like chat rooms, and some people will only read blogs.  If there is enough space in the dominion world to support 2-4 forums (depending on how you count them), there is certainly enough space to support one blog, if not more.

I have 10 years blogging experience on my belt, so I'm kind of a blogging partisan.  I hate forums, although sometimes I join one anyway because I like dominion so much.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #67 on: September 06, 2017, 03:00:42 pm »
+11

I understand Wero does stuff with the wiki but I don't know exactly what.

He runs the wiki all on his own.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #68 on: September 06, 2017, 03:05:48 pm »
+1

Third, I think there should be some sort of process for the community to submit content - perhaps a thread describing expectations for content and how to submit.

The Articles subforum used to serve this purpose. Good articles that got lots of upvotes or comments appeared as a "guest post" on the blog as-is or in some edited form. One or two blog posts even came out of Simulations and other subforums. So, I think it would be good for whoever is in charge of the blog to be aware of what is being written long-form on the forum, as well, in order to curate good content.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #69 on: September 06, 2017, 03:46:21 pm »
0

Third, I think there should be some sort of process for the community to submit content - perhaps a thread describing expectations for content and how to submit.

The Articles subforum used to serve this purpose. Good articles that got lots of upvotes or comments appeared as a "guest post" on the blog as-is or in some edited form. One or two blog posts even came out of Simulations and other subforums. So, I think it would be good for whoever is in charge of the blog to be aware of what is being written long-form on the forum, as well, in order to curate good content.

Yes, it would be nice to have a centralized location for quality content. A place with quality reading a few times a week. Ideally run by ... not me :)
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #70 on: September 06, 2017, 04:40:23 pm »
+6

... why does Adam have to be in charge of the blog for his articles to be on there? Any person could run the blog and post submissions from him. The person running the blog shouldn't necessarily be the Best Article Writer, but someone who competently and diligently works with articles, from multiple people, on a regular basis, actively committed to the whole site without creating more friction than necessary.

That's what I was trying to say before Adam even came up. The blog administrator can accept content from more than just themselves. And quite frankly we should prioritize activity and management skills in the blog administrator over sheer writing abilityz

I don't want to get into a mudslinging fight about the haracter of anyone involved, so I'm just gonna say Wero is clearly very qualified to do this, is somebody that gets along with eeeyone, and has direct experience with his work on the wiki. I hope people like Adam contribute to the blog (I have always liked his accessible articles and whatnot,that's no secret) but it's so hard to see how Wero isn't perfect for this.
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trivialknot

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #71 on: September 06, 2017, 05:15:29 pm »
0

Is this actually an either/or choice?  Could the blog be coadministered by Wero, Beyond Awesome, and Adam?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 05:17:34 pm by trivialknot »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #72 on: September 06, 2017, 06:07:40 pm »
+5

... why does Adam have to be in charge of the blog for his articles to be on there? Any person could run the blog and post submissions from him. The person running the blog shouldn't necessarily be the Best Article Writer, but someone who competently and diligently works with articles, from multiple people, on a regular basis, actively committed to the whole site without creating more friction than necessary.

Great question. I agree, ability to write articles is helpful but not the most important thing for someone to be helping ruin the DS blog. Writing articles is one of the ways I could contribute, but TBH I think I'd be much more helpful in other ways.

The blog needs to be run by multiple people. This is because in order for it to succeed, it needs to have a regular schedule for when it releases new content, and that's too much to ask of just one person. So if there's going to be a team of people, I think I would be one of the best choices for someone to add to that team. I'm not interested in doing it all by myself.

I know more about the audience of the blog than anyone else that's been mentioned for this. I've spent a lot of time as someone still very involved in Dominion, but not necessarily a part of the "F.DS community" which I think is one of the biggest reasons in support of adding me to the group of people who run the DS blog. The best teams have as many different perspectives as possible and you're not going to get my perspective from anywhere else; the italicized part of what I quoted there fits me perfectly and to be frank, I think my position as someone both inside and outside of the community would be much more useful than someone who fits the description of the part after the italics.

I don't think there's anyone who's taught Dominion to more people than I have. I've taken people from learning to play the game to being competitive in tournament play multiple times, I've heard the questions they ask, I've seen what confuses them, and I've seen what makes the light bulbs turn on for them. I know the kinds of articles they want to read, I know the terminologies that make sense to them and the ones that don't. I had game designers approach me at Gencon, asking me to make "how to play" videos for their games (these are trendy right now) because they saw what I made for Power Grid and Dominion and it was the best thing they've ever seen.

I was more involved in the official (RGG-sanctioned) competitive scene than anyone on here (maybe even DXV) even before the championship this year and I think I've put on more IRL Dominion tournaments than anyone else in the world. The feedback from them has been unilaterally and overwhelmingly positive. I know how to take competitive Dominion and grow it and it may surprise some people to hear this, but the reason people come back is because of how I treat the players and how well the tournament is run.

As for the "drama" and the "team player" concerns that people have been saying. Well I'm not going to directly address them other than that I want to say that the narrative that I'm this jerk who wants to rule with an iron fist or just have a platform to complain from is simply not true. It's been a long time since all of that and I've had multiple opportunities to just not come back, but instead I've been creating content. I don't have the time to waste on trolling people who are tired of me; the fact that I'm here and willing to put in my own time and money into the DS blog after a couple of years away from the community isn't consistent with the whole "Adam is a jerk" thing that seems to be going around. In fact I haven't seen any reasons at all against me being part of this that don't boil down to "Adam is a jerk."

If whoever else is going to do this thinks I'm being a jerk, they can just kick me out. Whatever you're afraid of me doing to make your lives miserable, just don't give me the power to do it and we're all happy. I just don't see any of that as a reason to not let me be part of making and publishing content for the DS blog when it's pretty clear I have a lot more to offer that group than pretty much anyone else.
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O

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #73 on: September 06, 2017, 06:24:00 pm »
+6

As someone who was here when the blog was active but not here when all the drama happened (apparently):

Just don't let Adam have veto-power over an article? It appears that Adam creates a large volume of high quality content but is too demanding in the communities view of other people's content. Either give veto-power to a non-Adam entity or require some majority of 3+ people to veto an article (the latter being the better compromise but being probably entirely unrealistic in terms of commitment of multiple people.

It's true to an extent that a site admin doesn't need to write content or even be good at it, but the problem we currently have with our blog is caused by having an excellent admin but infrequent dominion writer lose interest in it... so....


Not to rain on everyone's parades either: in my opinion there's this historical revisionism going around that all the old content is just outdated, and that the dominion meta has evolved. The dominion meta has evolved, but  1) we really didn't spend the early days just talking about big money optimal efficiency and comparisons and 2) Plenty of the blog articles weren't exactly high quality strategy to begin with. The most important requirements for a blog article are readability, cohesion and presentation. Strategic validity was somewhat secondary.

I also think that what happened to F.DS is not in any way related to the way Dominion itself changed. I think there is a natural, somewhat detrimental path that forums take as they expand and as they persist through time, where older members have seen so many topics rehashed that they don't want to contribute the same discussion to them, yet they are still the most prolific posters. So the number of off-topic, less than directly helpful posts increases over time.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #74 on: September 06, 2017, 06:40:10 pm »
+1

I have no problem with any of these people running the blog. Uh people(like people who are really good at dominion) should review and make sure the content is accurate and also useful to their target audience before it is posted on the blog.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #75 on: September 06, 2017, 06:43:50 pm »
+3

I think there is a natural, somewhat detrimental path that forums take as they expand and as they persist through time, where older members have seen so many topics rehashed that they don't want to contribute the same discussion to them, yet they are still the most prolific posters. So the number of off-topic, less than directly helpful posts increases over time.

This is a fascinating observation that I hadn't considered before. It should go on the Forum Analysis Forum Blog.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #76 on: September 06, 2017, 07:30:37 pm »
0

I personally don't know Adam very well, but I don't see why he shouldn't be a part of the DS blog. He's obviously really good at Dominion and he's written impressive articles before. What are people afraid will happen? I think the new DS blog is something we all want, so if Adam is volunteering to help, there is no reason to say no.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #77 on: September 06, 2017, 07:34:33 pm »
+1

I don't think anyone has said at any point that Adam shouldn't be able to contribute articles to the blog. I just don't think he's a good choice to administer—or co-administer—the blog.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 07:35:52 pm by LastFootnote »
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trivialknot

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #78 on: September 06, 2017, 07:41:22 pm »
+3

@Adam,
One concern I had about you managing the blog is it seemed like you might be a harsh editor?  Everyone agrees that you write quality articles, but that could also mean you have high expectations for other people's articles.  Obviously this is great if it leads to a high quality blog, but if it discourages writers it might just kill the blog's momentum.  You've taught a lot of people about dominion, but it seems like the role of editor is very different from the role of teacher.

But I don't want to guess at your personality or managing style, so maybe you could just tell us yourself how you would handle it?  I also pose this question to Wero and Beyond Awesome.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #79 on: September 06, 2017, 08:04:20 pm »
+2

I just want to say I'm excited about all of this. I personally think all the suggestions of people so far would be great, and I agree that the blog should be run by a few people, not just one.

I also want to interject among all this discussion of "the great f.ds drama," that I think people's comments so far seem to be a testament to the great community we have here. Things were pretty tough during the "drama," but it seems like everyone is genuinely interested in AdamH contributing to the blog, regardless of their position during that dark period in f.ds history. People, on all sides, could be way worse.

Also, I just wanted to take this moment to thank theory again for all has done and is doing for this community. Even if nothing comes of this discussion, I appreciate your willingness to consider turning the reins of the blog over to other people. That being said, I do hope something comes of this, because I agree that an active and current blog could help a lot.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #80 on: September 06, 2017, 08:39:05 pm »
0

@Adam,
One concern I had about you managing the blog is it seemed like you might be a harsh editor?  Everyone agrees that you write quality articles, but that could also mean you have high expectations for other people's articles.  Obviously this is great if it leads to a high quality blog, but if it discourages writers it might just kill the blog's momentum.  You've taught a lot of people about dominion, but it seems like the role of editor is very different from the role of teacher.

I think every piece of feedback I've given has been constructive and encouraging. Is there something I'm missing? I mean, I feel like I'd be a pretty crappy editor if I saw a way an article could be improved and didn't mention how to improve it. I don't think I've ever been "harsh" on an article, can anyone point to an actual example of this?

I feel like the articles that can be written by people outside the community are the types of articles that aren't going to require this kind of scrutiny anyways. Game reports or summaries of IRL meetups are the biggest thing in my mind -- to involve more of the community, they need to feel like they have a connection with the blog, so posting stuff like this seems to be an important thing.

Articles that go more into strategy, though, should expect to have more people think critically of them -- otherwise, how could the blog claim to be a legitimate source of strategic insight? Different feedback is appropriate for different people. Like I said, I know all facets of the audience for the DS blog really really well, and I think that includes the people writing articles.
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werothegreat

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #81 on: September 06, 2017, 08:44:02 pm »
+3

Hi, Adam.  *waves*

I don't think there's anyone who's taught Dominion to more people than I have.

I mean, I've taught Dominion to quite a few new players myself.  I think I'm pretty good at it (teaching, that is), not to be too own-horn-tooty.

To clarify: yes, I am interested in running the blog.  I am not interested in running it by myself, and I certainly am not at a point in my life where I could contribute financially to the blog's or forum's maintenance, so if that's a requirement, I respectfully decline.  If not, I'm more than happy to help curate articles and write the occasional one myself.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #82 on: September 06, 2017, 08:59:01 pm »
+1

Adam, weren't you and WanderingWinder doing a blog for a while? What happened there?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #83 on: September 06, 2017, 09:06:00 pm »
+2

Adam, weren't you and WanderingWinder doing a blog for a while? What happened there?

WanderingWinder had a blog, and he and Adam had a podcast. Very shortly after it was announced that ShuffleIT (Stef) got the Dominion contract Wandering Winder decided to retire from Dominion (edit: and given the timing, I assumed this was due to his previous drama with Stef concerning the Dominion League). WW's blog (for Dominion at least) and the podcast are now defunct.  Which is too bad, because WW was still writing good articles and I hear the podcast was good as well.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 11:30:03 pm by JW »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #84 on: September 06, 2017, 09:11:38 pm »
0

Uhm, maybe I am mis-remembering, but didn't the "drama" start because Adam was exasperated that his attempts to move the forum away from memes and towards strategy advice were being constantly "derailed"? You might disagree with the way he was trying to get things back to strategy, or with what constitutes an unreasonable amount of "off-topic"-ness, but I don't see how that could possibly influence his role as a blog administrator.

Then there was something about a league, maybe? I don't really follow the league, so dunno. But either way that's hardly relevant to what's being discussed here.

In any case, I don't think this thread is the best way to discuss whether Adam should participate or not. It would be better to first discuss what the blog should have, at least in broad strokes (I think giving freedom to the administrators is a good thing, rules should only orient their decisions), then wait to see who would be willing to help with this, and then find a way to decide who the administrator/s would be.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #85 on: September 06, 2017, 09:32:12 pm »
+2

I think articles that get to the blog should be first posted on the forums and edited after feedback from the community, especially if they don't come from the very top (like Adam or Dan, don't know if anyone else that good is writing articles right now).

That said, a "harsh" editor might be exactly what is needed to stop supbar information to get on the front page. As an implicated mudslinger, I would have no problem with Adam being part of the team running the blog, provided they would listen to feedback to the drafts posted here.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #86 on: September 06, 2017, 09:37:49 pm »
0

Articles should be posted to any other places that contain people interested in giving feedback as well.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #87 on: September 06, 2017, 09:42:16 pm »
+2

As for the "drama" and the "team player" concerns that people have been saying. Well I'm not going to directly address them other than that I want to say that the narrative that I'm this jerk who wants to rule with an iron fist or just have a platform to complain from is simply not true. It's been a long time since all of that and I've had multiple opportunities to just not come back, but instead I've been creating content. I don't have the time to waste on trolling people who are tired of me; the fact that I'm here and willing to put in my own time and money into the DS blog after a couple of years away from the community isn't consistent with the whole "Adam is a jerk" thing that seems to be going around. In fact I haven't seen any reasons at all against me being part of this that don't boil down to "Adam is a jerk."

I think I'm the only one calling you a jerk in this thread, Adam. It's OK to call me out specifically. You're a jerk. Or at least you were, and well you've been gone a couple years, so I haven't been able to see any evidence to the contrary. I mean "those who live in glass houses" and all that; I'm not saying I've been perfect. I've posted things I regret. But man.

So yeah, the reason I'm fighting you on this now is that I think you've shown a pretty clear pattern of egocentric behavior and an almost complete lack of empathy. And as far as I know, you have no regrets about all this. Feel free to correct me there.

Seriously, do you people not know how to read? This is unbelievable. You should both be ashamed of yourselves. Christ.

I'm so unbelievably angry and disappointed at you both right now. Get over yourselves and actually try and help. Go to that thread. Was I not clear? I thought you people responded to big fonts.

And everyone who upvoted your posts. What in the actual ____ is wrong with you people? I literally can't believe this.

I feel like I'm thinking clearly now and now I'm just filled with contempt for pretty much every person on this forum, which I know is not rational. I'm at a place emotionally where I haven't been in a very long time, and I hoped I'd never go back to, and it was because of people on the internet who I've never met.

I'd really like to continue to support Dominion videos, live streams, and competitive play (both online and IRL) through posting more on these forums, so I'm hoping a mature discussion can take place over there that will allow me to not hate every single person here forever. Seems like a pretty low bar so let's hope we don't screw that up.

I honestly didn't (and still don't) understand why people can't just say nothing when they disagree with me

This kind of thing is why I don't want you in charge of anything that gives you any power over anybody else. Ever. Even power over whether their content gets published on a blog for a board game.

I'm sorry for dredging this stuff up, but man I feel like it's got to be done. AdamH is not the guy I want in charge of the internet's foremost Dominion site.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #88 on: September 06, 2017, 10:00:27 pm »
+13

Let's clarify a few things that I'm thinking so that we can steer the conversation in a more productive fashion than finding 2-year-old posts.

First, I don't think any changes should be made to the forum.  Happily we all get along mostly fine now and so the report burden is low on me.

Second, the way Wordpress works is that multiple people can be added to a blog and each can write and submit their own articles to the front page.  You can give certain people authorization to approve or reject others' articles.  You can give certain people authorization to change the blog layout and delete posts. 

I would like to pass responsibility to a team, but I believe strongly that sharing responsibility usually leads to nothing getting done.  So I would like to find one person to administer the blog - that is, handle the blog layout, be the ultimate voice on various things, be the face of the blog - and have the team doing the writing and contributing on their own articles.  Having clearly-defined responsibilities reduces the "somebody else will do it" problem.

So maybe that makes things more clear.  As far as I understand it AdamH would rather be writing stuff than administering stuff anyway, and that eliminates the need to be dredging up drama.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #89 on: September 06, 2017, 10:16:09 pm »
+2

When ShuffleIT got the Dominion contract Wandering Winder decided to retire from Dominion due to his previous drama with Stef concerning the Dominion League.

This is not why WW retired from Dominion. I talked at length with him about it at the time, it was a really frustrating conversation and at the end of it I didn't fully understand what his reasons were, but during that conversation the League never came up. I'm not going to speak for him, but I know this isn't what it was.

Afterwards, he told me that it was OK with him if I continued the podcast with someone else. I asked several people I thought I'd have good chemistry with, but as expected none of them felt they could speak authoritatively enough about Dominion to be comfortable doing a podcast on it AND could feasibly dedicate the time towards it given a time zone difference. So the podcast hasn't happened since.

Recently (as in less than a week ago), WW and I discussed reviving the podcast. It would mostly be about non-Dominion things if that happened.


LF, your post contains a reason why I should not be put in charge of the forums. I agree with you, I should not be put in charge of the forums. I am really really not OK with that. You don't have to worry about that happening, I promise.

Your post does not contain reasons why I should never be put in charge of anything at all for the rest of my life. It does not show a pattern of egocentric behavior and it does not show a lack of empathy. It shows things I said a long time ago that I worded too harshly. You said it yourself, you haven't even looked around for any evidence that I've done anything else with my life besides sit in my room and think about how to destroy F.DS and all the people who wronged me.

Well it's out there, man. I hosted 7 successful IRL tournaments, helped host another in Detroit, hosted a tournament on reddit. Not a single person had an issue with me in any of that stuff. I've continued making videos, I participated in a podcast, wrote some articles, made a video tutorial series, won a few IRL tournaments. I run and moderate Cincinnati Area Boardgamers, a local group with a few hundred members where I'm one of a few people responsible for getting people to show up and come back through my charming personality. I made new friends by playing Dominion with them.

There is no shortage of people who will still not let that and other stuff go, but I'm not one of them. It's because I'm willing to put aside my personal differences with members of this community to do something that helps both me and them. Are you?

As for what I want, I want to be part of the team of people supporting the person who runs the blog. I don't need to be holding the keys, but I want to be part of the group of people who can actually determine the direction of the blog. Providing direction on what types of articles are best to be written, when, and with what frequency. I don't know what that looks like, but it's more than just the opportunity to write articles that might get published if some committee decides they're good enough. I want to be on that committee. I have a lot to add and I think it would be a mistake not to put me on it.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #90 on: September 06, 2017, 10:40:07 pm »
+2

I want to be on that committee. I have a lot to add and I think it would be a mistake not to put me on it.

See, I think this is why some people are having the reactions they're having.  Your posts today have been defensive and demanding.  That's not a good look on anyone, but particularly not on someone who hasn't been a part of a community (specifically, f.ds) for a couple years now.  It's clear you're very knowledgeable about Dominion and have a lot of passion for the game, but you could really stand to be a bit more modest/humble.  Because from where I'm standing, having not really paid attention to what you've been doing in the meantime apart from your reddit posts (someone mentioned a blog?) it kind of seems like you're more in it for your own benefit than for the community.

Particular this statement stood out to me:

What I want is a more appropriate platform than my personal blog and reddit for publishing Dominion content where people can see it, since neither of those platforms are very good. The dominionstrategy blog is probably the best thing out there, provided it would be properly maintained

It really seems like you're more interested in the prestige associated with the DominionStrategy brand as a way to promote your own content, than in keeping the community active.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2017, 10:49:18 pm »
+16

I would suggest not to autopsy Adam's posts, or you will read what you want to read. I would also suggest stopping the discussion about Adam completely. Let's not drown the momentum of such a nice initiative over " he said, she said".
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #92 on: September 06, 2017, 11:30:40 pm »
+7

I would like to pass responsibility to a team, but I believe strongly that sharing responsibility usually leads to nothing getting done.  So I would like to find one person to administer the blog - that is, handle the blog layout, be the ultimate voice on various things, be the face of the blog - and have the team doing the writing and contributing on their own articles.  Having clearly-defined responsibilities reduces the "somebody else will do it" problem.
I mentioned that I have 10 years of blogging experience, I should also mention I have 5 years experience running a group blog which has about 5-10 bloggers.  So I have Opinions about this.

I agree that diffusion of responsibility is an issue.  And it is useful to have a single person be a leader, someone who has the final say in decisions.  However, the leader doesn't need to do all that work.  The other people on the team can do more than just write articles.  Someone besides the leader can handle blog layout, someone else can be the "public face" and so on. 

Some of the responsibilities I anticipate for the blog:
-leadership (ie making administrative decisions, managing the team)
-layout
-writing articles
-handling regular features, such as a link roundup or kingdom of the month
-acquiring, vetting, and editing guest contributions
-publicity
-moderating comments
-handling e-mail correspondence

I am in favor of Adam being on the team because I think he would be good at acquiring guest contributions from places outside of f.ds, and that's something he couldn't do very well without being on the team.  Maybe he isn't a great choice for leader.  Whatever.

Actually, whoever ends up leading the blog, I'm happy to chat, and send you a copy of my blog's constitution.  It could give you ideas on possible ways to run a group blog.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #93 on: September 07, 2017, 01:02:56 am »
+3

So it sounds like nobody is against a reinvigorated blog. If they are, speak now or forever hold your peace. OK, now that that's out of the way:

I'm not too worried about the blog admins finding a team of writers. There are high-quality players here like Dan and Breppert who can write fantastic stuff, but I think there are A LOT of people who are more than capable of writing good quality advice. I doubt Seprix would make a cut of the top 5 writers chosen, but his Lurker article was great. I have even more doubts that people would want schadd in charge (I'm down!), but I loved his Witch article. Point is: the blog has years of content and strategy it needs to catch up on, and since Seprix and schadd are the only ones I can think of who have written anything worthwhile for a while in the last few months, the more the merrier to keep articles and content going.

Also, let's get away from the politics from the whole shebang, this stuff doesn't need to be public. But if we can truly retain the so-called Golden Age (it was before my time, it sounds pretty good though), I suspect there will need to be a serious committee (I don't know anything about blogs, but I'll trust trivialknot on this one). If it's half-assed, it will probably fall apart and not give us anything too productive. For who should be on this team: it sounds like Wero is fine with taking the initiative to start it up, but again, I feel like more people are needed to keep from it becoming stale like the wiki (and when I say 'more', I mean non-writers, we have plenty of those). I don't think Adam should be a shoe-in for this committee, I don't think Wero and LF are right to try to keep him off at all costs, and above all else, I don't think I, or anyone else in the forum not involved with the blog, should be the one deciding if Adam or whoever gets to be part of the editing/formatting/managing team. My 2 cents are: Wero or BA or theory or whoever should start up something accepting applications/self-nominations to help out with the blog (like, soon), an initial blog admin team of 5ish people is formed, and they go from there scheduling and appointing/asking writers to participate. But I don't care about the drama, nor do I need to see Titandrake's beautiful thread derailed by it. We don't need to have public elections, you can keep that stuff private.


Again, I just have concerns that if there's not a more-than-2-person-team, there won't be enough rigidity to keep the blog lasting, but I also would be reassured to know that the team is functional and there's no infighting. I want to see what the Golden Age is like, do it for the children!
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Seprix

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #94 on: September 07, 2017, 01:07:50 am »
+2

My 2 cents are: Wero or BA or theory or whoever should start up something accepting applications/self-nominations to help out with the blog (like, soon), an initial blog admin team of 5ish people is formed, and they go from there scheduling and appointing/asking writers to participate.

I second this. Whoever the lead is (I think it should be Beyond Awesome and he has my vote whatever that is worth) could start with applications.

I think it's also important to start small, and go from there. There's no reason to go big yet. Schedules change, people drop out. Titandrake mentioned this first, but I think it's a legitimate concern in that expectations might be dashed if it's too big too soon.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:11:22 am by Seprix »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #95 on: September 07, 2017, 01:16:37 am »
+2

Things I would want behind a blog:

- Someone to "keep the lights running", who can ask other people for help, but takes responsibility for doing all the admin stuff that keeps things from falling apart. Should probably be a single person.
- Content on a schedule, or updates that are frequent enough to make a schedule not matter. This isn't a requirement but in my experience having a regular update schedule does wonders for engagement.

That's pretty much all I care about?

I think it would be nice if the person running the blog is able to write things, because it makes it a lot easier to keep a schedule going, but it's not a requirement.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #96 on: September 07, 2017, 01:53:04 am »
+6

I will say this,  I do have a long-term vision for the blog, and I would still like to work with Wero. It seems Theory though is pointing more towards having one person oversee everything. My vision involves trying to get as much of the community involved as possible. I would really like to see various voices contribute to the Dominion blog. Ideally, there would be at least one article a week focused more on strategy for players getting into Dominion. I was thinking having this one go up every Monday to start the week off. Then, on Wednesdays, we would have articles geared towards higher skilled players. i.e. the majority of us on these boards. Then, on Friday, we would cap it off with a Podcast. I imagine rotating guests, but also keeping some regulars on board for the podcast. One idea I had was doing a podcast with Donald X. if he was down with it.

Also, important announcements would be put up on the blog such as when a new expansion came out and also those counterfeit cards being sold on Amazon. I think that's a pretty big deal. Naturally, when Nocturne previews week came out, the preview cards would be posted on the blog like they used to be. And, of course, tournament announcements would be put up, both irl and online. I think doing interviews of top players would be pretty neat like theory used to do for the f.ds championships.

In addition, I would like to highlight LF's fan cards and Asper's cards. I would love for them to talk about fan card creation and maybe write an article or two on it. I would like to highlight the creativity within the community.

Now, I understand this is quite a lot. So, it probably is best to go slow at first. Maybe have one new strategy article per week and alternate between beginner strategy and expert level strategy articles. I still like the podcast idea though. Also, there is a lot of catching up to do. First, I think something needs to be posted up that Adventures, Empires and the 2nd Editions are out. I'm pretty sure there are people out there that aren't aware expansions past Guilds exist.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #97 on: September 07, 2017, 03:58:18 am »
+1

I think it is important that whoever runs the blog should be an active part of this community. The blog is tied to this forum, and the admins should be tied to it as well. Strategy articles on the blog should draw from the articles section of the forum, and for that to work, blog admins need to read these thread and comment in them and generally be active.

So if Adam is ready and willing to engage in this community once more, to bury past differences and work with others here in a productive manner, I think he would make a good admin. Unfortunately, from what he posted so far, I don't see this happening. And I think having an admin that is alienated from the community will inevitably lead to friction that can easily be avoided by choosing one of many other willing and similarly qualified members of this community.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #98 on: September 07, 2017, 05:34:14 am »
+1

I'm not trying to keep Adam away at all costs. I said what I did, and you can read it. I'm perfectly willing to collaborate with him if he wants to participate.

That said, I think BA would be the best fit for leader/admin of the blog. I would love to help out in any capacity I can, but I think he should be the one in charge.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #99 on: September 07, 2017, 06:25:35 am »
+2

That said, I think BA would be the best fit for leader/admin of the blog. I would love to help out in any capacity I can, but I think he should be the one in charge.

Well, if he was the admin, that would be beyond awesome.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #100 on: September 07, 2017, 07:43:41 am »
+2

Just writing to clarify that my objections to Adam were purely in an administrative role - I don't think he should have power over others on the blog front. I think his writing on Dominion is good and that it could potentially work out well for all parties if he contributed articles to the DS blog. If that's a capacity he's willing to contribute in, then that's cool with me.

I do hope that we can use the Articles subforum again for community collaboration and feedback before publishing, and I don't know how that works with the forum embargo, but other than that it would be cool.

More from me soon, I've got a busy day at work.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #101 on: September 07, 2017, 09:14:06 am »
+3

The people in charge of the blog don't need to be the only people involved with curating and improving article content.  This conversation seems rather close to that of the academic research publication process.  Articles get sent to a journal who has an editor to decide whether an article might be worthy who then sends the article to multiple experts in the field for critical review.  These reviewers provide feedback and a decision on whether or not they think the article is ready for publication.

In the context of the forum this could be done in the article subforum.  What this would take is either the article's original author or someone else who is willing to rewrite the article on the basis of community feedback.  This revised article could then be presented as a more polished work for front page blog content.  Then people interested in the topic don't need to read multiple pages of forum posts but could get the information in one streamlined article.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #102 on: September 07, 2017, 10:38:16 am »
+4

All right, the consensus from what I've seen is that I will not be given any special powers with the blog, but people really want me to write stuff for the blog. There seems to be this conception that I want to take my personal blog and just funnel it into the DS blog to promote my own stuff and hey I've made the DS blog great again!

This is not what I want, I don't know where this is coming from. In fact, the role I want to play in the DS blog is primarily not that of a content creator, because I don't think that's where I'll add value.

My unique ideas are only going to work in the capacity of a moderator. Maybe I don't need to have the ability to publish things to the blog if people are worried that I'll abuse it.

I can't write articles on a schedule. I can't come up with new topics and just write about them. If I could do that I would be a professional journalist and I wouldn't have time for my day job. In fact, I don't see anyone volunteering to write full time for the DS blog, so I don't think this is a reasonable expectation of anyone.

Given that, I don't think enforcing a schedule on a person or a group of people to have X articles written per week is going to be sustainable. I know for a fact that if this is how things are run, the community will run out of content in a few months. It's not sustainable.

But the blog needs to have content released on a regular schedule in order to be successful. How do you reconcile this? It's very similar to a certain practice of software engineering that I deal with at work: you use "actuals" to dictate your schedule. I haven't seen anyone anywhere talking about it yet.

Start by creating a backlog of articles that are ready to be published and a really easy pace -- one article per week, for example (all of the numbers here are just examples, they can be adjusted easily). Once you have enough content for three months, you start publishing. If you ever don't have enough content for one more month in reserve, slow down the pace. If you ever have enough content for 4 months (and have maintained that amount/pace for X time), speed up the pace. Let the creation of articles dictate the pace of the blog and start with expectations very low. If it ever becomes unsustainable, you'll get plenty of advance notice because you've capped the rate at which the backlog gets smaller, so there's this built-in time to solicit new articles and have them created at a relaxed pace so that they're actually good, as opposed to "oh crap I need to write another article by tomorrow" so I throw something together that really isn't good.

This model is something sustainable. However it's something I can't implement as just a content creator, I would need to be in a position where I can control the flow of when things get published. Well I guess now that I've shared this idea anyone can do it but honestly, was this going to happen before I shared it here? Stuff like this is why I need to be involved at the level I'm asking for, and I have a lot more...

F.DS has had a lot of trouble recently with new content creation. I've got a lot of ideas for how to improve the way articles are written so that we get more of them. How to get people from outside this community creating content and continuing to create content. Different types of content that will bring in a more diverse audience, beyond just "beginner articles and advanced articles". I'm not going to type it all now, but when whoever is going to run the blog is planning out how it will work, someone with my ideas and experience in knowing what's actually going to work is going to make that planning a lot more productive.

The point is, I'm not going to make the DS blog better by writing articles, I'm best used in the kind of capacity where I can put systems in place what will set up the blog for long-term success.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #103 on: September 07, 2017, 11:05:26 am »
+1

Start by creating a backlog of articles that are ready to be published and a really easy pace -- one article per week, for example (all of the numbers here are just examples, they can be adjusted easily). Once you have enough content for three months, you start publishing. If you ever don't have enough content for one more month in reserve, slow down the pace. If you ever have enough content for 4 months (and have maintained that amount/pace for X time), speed up the pace. Let the creation of articles dictate the pace of the blog and start with expectations very low. If it ever becomes unsustainable, you'll get plenty of advance notice because you've capped the rate at which the backlog gets smaller, so there's this built-in time to solicit new articles and have them created at a relaxed pace so that they're actually good, as opposed to "oh crap I need to write another article by tomorrow" so I throw something together that really isn't good.

This model is something sustainable. However it's something I can't implement as just a content creator, I would need to be in a position where I can control the flow of when things get published. Well I guess now that I've shared this idea anyone can do it but honestly, was this going to happen before I shared it here? Stuff like this is why I need to be involved at the level I'm asking for, and I have a lot more...

Actually, I was just writing up a post that makes this exact point because I was concerned no one was emphasizing the need to pace out new material. It's not some secret sauce no one but the in-club knows. Administering the blog and curating content should be straightforward. Something is better than nothing. We just need someone with time to do it. Heck, I was going to suggest to theory to just add me or someone else as an admin to the blog just to push announcements and existing content to the front page until this thread showed there is already wide-ranging interest in a revival.

There are 16 weeks between now and the end of the year. Between now and the end of the year the blog could advertise the current Online Championship, post Nocturne previews, an announcement of Nocturne release, post Donald X's secret history of the Nocturne cards, and post links streams of the Championship match. That leaves only 10-12 spots for articles. There are already some good ones on the forum that could be curated into posts and requests can be put out for additional articles. That seems completely reasonable for really anyone with time and a minimal amount of skill to do.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #104 on: September 07, 2017, 11:07:26 am »
+1

That basic concept has been discussed before, and I think most people want to do that sort of thing with scheduling rather than a just in time publishing schedule. There's still no reason you are unable to contribute if someone else runs that style of publishing, and there's no reason you have to be the person to do it. I just really fail to see why you have to have that power in order for this to work? Why do you have to be the person controlling the flow of publishing for that to work?

If it's "I'm in charge or nothing", well, that's not a great team player look from day 1, and I think that's what people are specifically afraid of.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #105 on: September 07, 2017, 11:07:51 am »
+3

In short, I agree with Adam in the sense that the blog needs an admin, not a head writer. I am happy he and others are making the case to be that admin.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #106 on: September 07, 2017, 11:21:22 am »
+5

Just wanted to note that this is all really helpful discussion.  It seems that I was off as to what we needed, and the prevailing view does seem to be that we need an administrator before a writer. 
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #107 on: September 07, 2017, 12:00:11 pm »
0

That basic concept has been discussed before, and I think most people want to do that sort of thing with scheduling rather than a just in time publishing schedule.

Do you have a source for this? I've seen nothing anywhere that's close to the model I've suggested.

If it's "I'm in charge or nothing", well, that's not a great team player look from day 1, and I think that's what people are specifically afraid of.

This is not close to anything I've said in this thread. In fact, on several occasions I've explicitly stated the opposite.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #108 on: September 07, 2017, 12:57:49 pm »
+6

Adam, I would suggest that you support whoever is going to do the job and you can pitch all your ideas. I don't think that anyone reasonable would decline them just because they were yours. If you don't have any formal power and they don't listen to / like enough your suggestions, well you will stop contributing, but it was worth a try. On the other hand, if it works well, after some time people will feel less reluctant to share power with you.
You won't have any shiny title at first, but who cares about that...
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #109 on: September 07, 2017, 01:06:03 pm »
+2

A regular update schedule is probably a good idea, but I would be prepared for the possibilities that: a) the idea eventually collapses for some reason, b) other people leading the blog don't like the idea, or want to implement it differently,  or c) the idea is a success.  But I mean, this is all stuff that bloggers can figure out as they put it into practice.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #110 on: September 07, 2017, 01:16:36 pm »
0

I mean if none of this works in the long term I'll just continue on with my forum, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Revitalizing the blog covers everything I wanted to do already, which is put focus on the competitive scene/tournaments/articles.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #111 on: September 07, 2017, 01:17:35 pm »
+2

I guess how this should work is that theory should just pick someone to lead the blog.  And then the leader picks some initial team, and figures it out from there.  So if this argument gets heated, I think theory should just make a final decision and that should be the end of it.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #112 on: September 07, 2017, 04:43:47 pm »
+1

For those who are worried about Adam, what's the danger with initially letting him be part of the administrating team and then seeing what happens? Presumably if all your fears come true, but wero, BA, etc. is really in charge, they would just remove him. Then we're dealing with what actually happens, rather than a bunch of what-ifs.

Or am I missing something here?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #113 on: September 07, 2017, 04:56:26 pm »
0

Adam, I would suggest that you support whoever is going to do the job and you can pitch all your ideas. I don't think that anyone reasonable would decline them just because they were yours. If you don't have any formal power and they don't listen to / like enough your suggestions, well you will stop contributing, but it was worth a try. On the other hand, if it works well, after some time people will feel less reluctant to share power with you.
You won't have any shiny title at first, but who cares about that...

This is really close to what I actually want. The main thing I care about is actually having a shot to implement my ideas properly.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #114 on: September 07, 2017, 05:06:48 pm »
+3

The main thing I care about is actually having a shot to implement my ideas properly.

I guess I feel like your "unique ideas" are my "common sense". I think there are a lot of people that could figure out how to get a good, steady stream of content onto the front page of the blog. I'm not convinced that you are special in this regard.

On another topic, I would be happy to contribute some money to keep the site up and running if the eventual owners cannot afford to. I mean I give BGG enough money every December to keep my ad blocker current. I could just give that money to f.DS instead and live with the ads on BGG.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #115 on: September 07, 2017, 08:11:40 pm »
+2

The main thing I care about is actually having a shot to implement my ideas properly.
I guess I feel like your "unique ideas" are my "common sense".
There are - I'm guessing - a lot of computer scientists around here. Even if it weren't common sense, it's a pretty elementary aspect of flow control and buffer management.

I don't know Adam from Adam, as it were, but I'm getting the vibe that he's got way too much of an ego to be a good moderator. "Implement my ideas properly" smells like "everyone else is stupid and I want the glory".
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #116 on: September 07, 2017, 08:37:35 pm »
+1

Can someone clue me in on why everybody seems to expect AdamH to go full Cromwell? Did something specific happen that animated this belief?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #117 on: September 07, 2017, 09:31:24 pm »
+3

Can someone clue me in on why everybody seems to expect AdamH to go full Cromwell? Did something specific happen that animated this belief?

~2 years ago, Adam very publicly announced he was leaving f.ds because of disagreements with... I think Stef?  Maybe others.  No, that was why he left the league.  That's right.  He left f.ds because he felt it wasn't moderated heavily enough.  He thought threads went off-topic too often, and wanted stricter moderation to enforce staying on-topic.

No one else on f.ds agreed with him.  He left.

As for "go full Cromwell", f.ds-ers tend to like that there isn't an iron cadre of moderators swooping down to keep us on-topic.  theory moves threads that are in the wrong place and bans people who get too offensive, but that's about it.  It's rather libertarian in here.  I hope that answers your question?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #118 on: September 07, 2017, 09:56:44 pm »
+1

If people are worried about Adam being a dictator, why can't there just be a committee of people administering the blog, and Adam could be a part of the committee? This seems fair to me- Adam can do his good ideas, and no one has absolute or even higher power than the others.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #119 on: September 07, 2017, 10:31:07 pm »
+1

If people are worried about Adam being a dictator, why can't there just be a committee of people administering the blog, and Adam could be a part of the committee? This seems fair to me- Adam can do his good ideas, and no one has absolute or even higher power than the others.

Well, there is a potential too-many-cooks issue. Also, people can suggest ideas for the blog without being co-owner of it.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #120 on: September 08, 2017, 01:32:10 am »
+4

If there are like three people that were wanting to co-lead the new blog, I don't see why Adam couldn't be one of the three. Then if the other two disagree with something he did, like if he vetoes or edits other peoples' contributions too harshly or something, the other two would have controlling interest to deal with it appropriately.  Not that all his ideas are completely unique, but it is harder to find someone with the time, enthusiasm, ability, and (if needed) disposable income available to invest into the blog the way it needs in order to be revived and sustainable.  I think I would be ok with him having some measure of control of the blog, but only with a checks and balance type of thing there in order to help assuage the fears or concerns of the people who were around 2 years ago.

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #121 on: September 08, 2017, 01:35:12 am »
+1

I think barring someone else wanting to go, it's up to Theory on what happens next.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #122 on: September 08, 2017, 03:15:46 am »
+10

You know, when I started this thread, all I wanted was for it not to cause drama. And when the drama did start, I tried really really hard to stay out of it, but bleh, I can't.

My two cents:

I think if you have to discuss checks and balances for the governing system behind a Dominion blog, something very weird has happened. Like, wow what is even going on.

Re this quote:
If people are worried about Adam being a dictator, why can't there just be a committee of people administering the blog, and Adam could be a part of the committee? This seems fair to me- Adam can do his good ideas, and no one has absolute or even higher power than the others.

I think "dictator" is far too strong of a word choice. Roughly, what LF + wero seem to be worried about is that if Adam was in charge, he would be too obstinate to consider other viewpoints on how the blog should be run. And if he weren't in charge, but was on a committee of people in charge, he would get snarky and annoying to interact with if people decided not to implement some of his ideas. (@LF + wero, let me know if this seems fair.)

Fundamentally, when Adam left the forums a while ago, there were a lot of burnt bridges, and people closest to the argument lost a lot of respect for him. Adam's argument has mostly been about his credentials and past experience with Dominion. He has made sure to emphasize that he's run several in-person tournaments, has written several good articles, has connections to other Dominion communities, etc., and in his view this should be a good enough argument for anyone. (@Adam, let me know if this seems fair.)

The thing is that the disagreement is not about qualifications. It's about who people trust to be a good leader. It's only natural that the people who lost respect for Adam don't trust him to be a good leader. It certainly doesn't help that Adam's arguments have done little to assuage the fears of people who don't trust him. And it doesn't matter that other people do trust Adam - that's not particularly convincing to the people who don't.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 03:17:50 am by Titandrake »
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #123 on: September 08, 2017, 03:34:06 am »
+1

Yea with all respect to Theory I'm not sure derailing your post with drama about the potential logistics of the blog was a turn for the better.. at the very least perhaps it should have been/should be split off to another thread?
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #124 on: September 08, 2017, 03:59:57 am »
+2

Yea with all respect to Theory I'm not sure derailing your post with drama about the potential logistics of the blog was a turn for the better.. at the very least perhaps it should have been/should be split off to another thread?

No it was fine. A lot was learned and it was a good thing overall. Because of this the blog will be active with good content.
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #125 on: September 08, 2017, 10:53:02 am »
+3

Yea with all respect to Theory I'm not sure derailing your post with drama about the potential logistics of the blog was a turn for the better.. at the very least perhaps it should have been/should be split off to another thread?

No it was fine. A lot was learned and it was a good thing overall. Because of this the blog will be active with good content.

I personally agree with Seprix here, especially since things are actually happening now. I mean, 3 new articles were posted yesterday alone; awesome
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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #126 on: September 08, 2017, 11:58:20 am »
+5

Fundamentally, when Adam left the forums a while ago, there were a lot of burnt bridges, and people closest to the argument lost a lot of respect for him. Adam's argument has mostly been about his credentials and past experience with Dominion. He has made sure to emphasize that he's run several in-person tournaments, has written several good articles, has connections to other Dominion communities, etc., and in his view this should be a good enough argument for anyone. (@Adam, let me know if this seems fair.)

I've stated my credentials because there are people in the thread that asked what they were. A lot of that stuff I think would make me really valuable, and yeah that's why I think I'm a good choice. I would emphasize other parts of my qualifications that I think are more relevant to running a blog, most of why I've talked about that other stuff is because people have been questioning whether or not I can get along with anyone at all, ever.

I'm aware that I'm not everyone's favorite person ever. Some people think that outweighs the benefits I have to offer, some people (myself included) don't. I didn't think people would be singing my praises so that's why I've been a little more assertive about stating the reasons why I think I'm valuable. If the "main blog admin" has decided to listen to me, I don't need to take that kind of assertiveness. I'd rather my ideas stand or fall on their merits anyways.

There are a lot of different things that I think should be tried and I have no delusions of all of them being great, but I think it's worth trying a lot of them. I made an outline of a lot of my ideas, and while it's extremely rough I guess I'll put it at the bottom of this post in the interest of making people feel like I'm not holding my ideas hostage.

Can someone clue me in on why everybody seems to expect AdamH to go full Cromwell? Did something specific happen that animated this belief?

~2 years ago, Adam very publicly announced he was leaving f.ds because of disagreements with... I think Stef?  Maybe others.  No, that was why he left the league.  That's right.  He left f.ds because he felt it wasn't moderated heavily enough.  He thought threads went off-topic too often, and wanted stricter moderation to enforce staying on-topic.

No one else on f.ds agreed with him.  He left.

This is not why I left. I left because of the PMs between Theory and I that followed all of the stuff with the league, which happened months after all of the discussions about moderation. I never made any announcement about leaving the forums, that was Wandering Winder, and his reasons for leaving were more League-related than F.DS/Theory-related.

While I still think there are sections of the forums that should have some moderation (in fact I think it would be a HUGE asset to the blog), that is not the reason I left, and I understand that's probably not going to happen. I haven't pushed for that in about two years, this is the first time I've even mentioned it since then. If given the chance, I'll suggest a separate area of F.DS that's moderated for the purpose of writing articles (actually I guess I just suggested it now) and now I will say exactly zero more words about it. I don't want to be a part of that discussion, I don't want to be the moderator of that area.

---

So here's my outline. I can go into more detail on some of these things but a lot of this are pretty rough ideas that need refinement anyways.

Quote
Direction of the blog/Role of Wiki and Blog:
- Wiki:
-- contains data (reference)
-- strategic concepts that are objective and well-defined
-- links to articles
-- existing strategic articles moved and/or refined
- Blog:
-- contains anything
-- posts (articles) can be archived

What types of blog posts?
- News
-- Announcements
-- Previews
-- Promotion of competitive play (get RGG involved)
- Game reports
-- Annotated-game style (like videos but in text form)
-- Tournament summaries
-- "picture of turn"?
- Strategy articles
-- card-specific (low-hanging fruit, this list only just the ones with low variance)
-- concepts
-- combos (Native Village/Bridge, CH/TF, Hermit/Market Square, RC/Bridge, the end)
- Interactive
-- Kingdom discussion with follow-up (bread of the podcast sandwich)
-- Challenges (creative)

How to get more articles written?
- What isn't working
-- people are not motivated enough to actually write articles
-- people don't have incentive to provide or incorporate feedback
-- the pool of people who want to write articles is not growing

- Possible improvements
-- reduce expectations of articles
-- provide outlines (somehow encourage people to write and post an outline of an article before actually writing the article itself)
-- moderate feedback given (on-topic, constructive)
-- encourage pairs or teams to write articles
-- have more methods of submitting content
-- have more different kinds of articles
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trivialknot

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #127 on: September 08, 2017, 12:52:00 pm »
+3

I think if you have to discuss checks and balances for the governing system behind a Dominion blog, something very weird has happened. Like, wow what is even going on.

Re this quote:
If people are worried about Adam being a dictator, why can't there just be a committee of people administering the blog, and Adam could be a part of the committee? This seems fair to me- Adam can do his good ideas, and no one has absolute or even higher power than the others.
People really do need to discuss governance for any group blog regardless of what the blog is about.  That has nothing to do with Adam.  The probability of conflict approaches 1 over time.

But the suggestion of a committee is way too glib, and sounds awful.  How does the committee even work?  How the heck does the committee handle conflict?

ETA: Really I mean that the people governing the blog need to talk about governance.  The forum doesn't really need to talk about it.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 01:11:10 pm by trivialknot »
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werothegreat

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #128 on: September 08, 2017, 02:01:07 pm »
+3

"strategic concepts that are objective and well-defined"

I mean, any sort of strategy article is going to have some opinion involved.  I think this is setting a too high bar, and could leave most wiki articles pretty barren.

I mean, let's just look at Sea Hag.  Go back 3 years and the "objective and well-defined" consensus was that you always opened Sea Hag, and it topped the Qvist rankings for 's at least once.  Now look at today, and trashing is valued a lot more highly, and Sea Hag is not considered a must-open.  Certainly, the hope is that wiki articles get updated if the strategic consensus changes/new cards are added that change the card's importance, but that would require a lot more contributors to the wiki than we currently have, and those contributors would need to individually each be a lot more active.  Adam, if having an up-to-date and strategically well-defined/objective wiki is important to you, I invite you to please help with that, and help contribute to the wiki, help keep it up to date.
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kieranmillar

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #129 on: September 08, 2017, 02:05:32 pm »
+1

I love that this thread has spawned abunch of articles already. Articles are awesome. I kept meaning to write some, perhaps I should jump on the bandwagon too.
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allanfieldhouse

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #130 on: September 08, 2017, 02:06:39 pm »
+2

I don't see what the big fuss is about. You have 3ish people who want to be heavily involved: BA, Wero, and Adam. Some people have expressed concern about Adam being the "#1 in-charge over everything" person, but it doesn't even sound like that's what he wants.

Just start with a committee of those 3 people in charge. Give the "keys to the castle" to BA, but in practice try to work as equals. Define your roles however you see fit.

Content will be published. Some things will work out well, some things won't. The committee structure will probably change as they get more experience and figure stuff out. Worst-case scenario is that the committee doesn't work out and it has to be reevaluated. In the meantime, we'll have gotten some great content.
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Awaclus

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #131 on: September 08, 2017, 06:25:37 pm »
+2

I mean, any sort of strategy article is going to have some opinion involved.  I think this is setting a too high bar, and could leave most wiki articles pretty barren.

I think the point is that the wiki shouldn't be a platform for articles, it should be a platform for facts like card texts, rulings, release dates, and whatever else people might want to look up. And if it is the point, then I agree.

AdamH

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #132 on: September 08, 2017, 06:48:43 pm »
+2

I mean, any sort of strategy article is going to have some opinion involved.  I think this is setting a too high bar, and could leave most wiki articles pretty barren.

I think the point is that the wiki shouldn't be a platform for articles, it should be a platform for facts like card texts, rulings, release dates, and whatever else people might want to look up. And if it is the point, then I agree.

Awaclus said what I was going to, mostly.

An example of what I'm talking about here is that there might be a page on the Wiki stating what a "village" or "splitter" is. It's a strategic concept, but it's not really open to interpretation (OK that's not entirely true but TBH the community should probably define something because this would be a really good thing to have on the wiki).

As for contributing to the wiki, umm, well it feels like the blog and the wiki should probably work together somehow, like, serving complementary purposes. My idea is sorta outlined there in a bare-bones kind of way, but I kind of assumed it wasn't all up to me. There might be a discussion between some people about the direction for the blog and the direction for the wiki and once an agreement is reached, we'll figure out who can contribute to each of those things most effectively.

If it ends up that it makes sense for me to work on the wiki then sure I'll do it, but right now I don't know what that means so I'm not exactly going to promise to do it.
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AJD

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #133 on: September 08, 2017, 09:45:55 pm »
+2

I mean, any sort of strategy article is going to have some opinion involved.  I think this is setting a too high bar, and could leave most wiki articles pretty barren.

I think the point is that the wiki shouldn't be a platform for articles, it should be a platform for facts like card texts, rulings, release dates, and whatever else people might want to look up. And if it is the point, then I agree.

I'm not sure whether articles per se belong on the wiki, but I do believe it should have at least some general strategy information. ("Transmute is fairly limited in utility." "Mountebank is considered one of the strongest cursers.")
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Deadlock39

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #134 on: September 08, 2017, 10:55:06 pm »
0

I personally would approve of the wiki not having "strategy advice". If there is good strategy advice available for a card, it makes more sense to me to publish it as an article, and link to that from the wiki.

Maybe there is a really simple "beginner tips" template that can be filled out for all the cards, and linked from the wiki. Also, if that is something you guys think is a good idea, that would make for one piece of really consistent long lasting content that could be done pretty easily once a week or something.

Maybe it's a terrible, idea, but if not, these are a few things that came to mind just now:
-General power level
-Things to look out for (cards or types of cards the improve/worsen it)
-Tricks (ways to use it that may not be obvious)

aku_chi

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #135 on: September 08, 2017, 11:24:47 pm »
+3

Well, if people are going to write strategy advice for a card, it should at least have a link from the wiki.  Because the wiki is super convenient for a newer player to look up all kinds of information about cards.  I think the status quo is fine (with regards to strategy advice and the wiki).
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Oyvind

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #136 on: September 09, 2017, 12:15:27 am »
+3

I'd like to start out by saying I have nothing against anyone on f.ds. Some replies on here shows that there is some history of bad blood between some members, which is pretty natural, given the general popularity of the game and the enthusiasm and commitment shown by several people over several years. We're all human, we're all passionate about the game, and we may say things that are highly influenced by human emotion. These things aren't necessarily bad, and we definitely have different ideas and qualities. What I've seen from this thread is that several people want to contribute to the blog in one way or another. That's a great start. It shows that the community is still very vibrant and active.

To be more specific, I think several of AdamH's ideas here are great, and it shows that he can be a great asset to a managing team. His history of great articles and podcasts shows that he can be a terrific boon to the writing team as well. His commitment and passion to the game is obvious, but I also think that his rather bombastic way of saying things, as if the blog would essentially self-destruct without him and his unique ideas, shows that he might not be the best leader for the team. I think the leader should be respected by all of his or her co-workers/contributors, and such views don't show the needed trust for the other people involved, IMHO.

I have a hockey blog (www.nhlstats.net) that I control 100 %. It's both a curse and a blessing. The curse is that I really haven't had the time to update it the past ten months (and I usually put up weekly content), which really bothers me. The blessing is that the content of the blog is exactly how I want it to be. I wish I was better at computing/editing, because the layout is really amateurish, but at least it's my baby. I tried to put up a fantasy hockey league (more or less identical to one I ran several years ago for local friends) but the interest was really poor (enthusiastic for sure, but only a couple of guys seemed interested). I knew I didn't have the time to run the league myself, so I asked for help, and especially one of the few interested people wanted to help me out by managing the league. He had a lot of great input, of which I implemented some, but in the end I knew that it was important to me that I controlled how the league should be run.

I therefore fully respect AdamH and his views, but I also agree that he should show a bit more humbleness. He's really good at what he does, he knows a lot, and he has done a lot for the Dominion community. I certainly think that he should be on the team (and it should be small in number) but I don't think he's a be-all, end-all for the blog. In my dream world, BA should be the head of the admin team, and Wero and Adam should be on that team, that is if they can really work together in a productive way. They've both stated that they're willing to work together on such a team, so I say: why not try it out? I hereby propose that BA takes the reigns of this project now, and that Wero and Adam joins him, if that's OK for everyone involved. There are also others who have shown interest in being on such a team, and if the size of it doesn't exceed a handful of members, I think this has a lot of promise!

P.S. I really do love the wiki. That's where I spend most of my Dominion-time when I'm not playing, but I also agree that strategy content should probably be put up in another forum. When I hear 'wiki', I think of some sort of encyclopedia (purely fact-based). To me, putting such content in a blog instead, makes a lot of sense. The amazing work that's behind the wiki can't be applauded enough, but it currently shows a lot more than I would expect from a wiki. The impressive amount of content can actually be a bit confusing. I fully agree that generic facts with links to a fully functional blog would be the best format for a wiki. That's not to say that we should delete any info from the wiki, but maybe some of it should be moved to a blog?
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Bowi

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #137 on: September 09, 2017, 01:06:26 am »
+8

I strongly disagree with the idea for the wiki being proposed by Awaclus and AdamH. It's not the Dominion wiki, but the Dominion Strategy wiki. That means more than just the mechanics and rulings for cards; information on the proper usage of cards must be given (and yes, there is an amount of subjectivity there). The wiki is also not a dictionary, and should not simply define words used for the discussion of strategy, but should include the strategic discussion itself.

Yes there should be an effort to keep things impartial. No that doesn't mean we should strip down the wiki to the point of uselessness.
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Seprix

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #138 on: September 09, 2017, 02:11:58 am »
0

I strongly disagree with the idea for the wiki being proposed by Awaclus and AdamH. It's not the Dominion wiki, but the Dominion Strategy wiki. That means more than just the mechanics and rulings for cards; information on the proper usage of cards must be given (and yes, there is an amount of subjectivity there). The wiki is also not a dictionary, and should not simply define words used for the discussion of strategy, but should include the strategic discussion itself.

...which is why it will have links to relevant information and articles.
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Awaclus

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #139 on: September 09, 2017, 07:34:53 am »
+4

Yes there should be an effort to keep things impartial. No that doesn't mean we should strip down the wiki to the point of uselessness.

But the factual data is already by far the most useful thing on the wiki.

If strategy advice is included, then it should have references to the articles where the advice comes from, just like Wikipedia does.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 07:35:58 am by Awaclus »
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ehunt

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #140 on: September 09, 2017, 09:14:42 am »
+2

I support maintaining strategy advice on the Wiki (along the lines of "this card is important/powerful/not important/not powerful" and "this card has particularly explosive and perhaps non-obvious combos with that card"), with links to longer articles.

There is tremendous value as a brand new player to the simplistic "Chapel is good/Chancellor is bad" type advice, even if it's generally not enough to make you a top 500 Dominion player. For that matter, even as an experienced and not-bad player, I find that I improve a lot when I learn from the Qvist rankings that a card that I've been undervaluing is highly valued by others (Groundskeeper comes to mind).
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Seprix

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #141 on: September 09, 2017, 11:54:44 am »
0

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dedicateddan

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #142 on: September 09, 2017, 12:20:08 pm »
0

If it ends up that it makes sense for me to work on the wiki then sure I'll do it, but right now I don't know what that means so I'm not exactly going to promise to do it.

I'm not really involved here, but if I was, I might consider writing a few articles and wiki pages and seeing where things go
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Polk5440

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #143 on: September 09, 2017, 12:50:32 pm »
+2

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=17545.0

BA is now in charge.

That is a misreading of that thread. Theory is letting BA update the static pages while he decides what to do.
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theory

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Re: Dominion Strategy: Then, Now, and the Future
« Reply #144 on: September 09, 2017, 01:08:49 pm »
+14

My proposed official ruling on the wiki: it should be neutral and factual, but have a separate section for "strategy" with views like "Mountebank is a strong card but no card will ever live up to the glory of Adventurer, the greatest Dominion card ever printed, $6 for +$2."

I think that makes everybody happy.  I agree that it is important to have a NPOV description of the card, but I also think there is value in providing non-controversial strategic considerations, hopefully ones that reflect the community at large and not the whims or predilections of any particular forum member or their beloved avatar.  Haven't you ever read Wikipedia and been like, OK, I get it, you have to be neutral, but come on, can't you just tell me what's really going on here?
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