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Author Topic: Making Dominion Online better for new players  (Read 3421 times)

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FemurLemur

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2017, 11:40:56 am »
0

This is exactly how I bought the sets on Goku. I bought them (in release order) every month or so and played the campaigns for that set until I learned all the new cards. Eventually I owned everything, but I definitely enjoyed adding new sets incrementally.

If you think about it, this is how long-time Dominion players have experienced new cards/sets too (just on a different timescale).
And this is often how people who play offline learn the sets as well. When a beginners asks me what Dominion set they should buy, I tell them the 2e Base Set. When they've played that for a little bit and ask what set they should buy next, I say "2e Intrigue" (and Seaside if they want a third set), not "2e Intrigue, Seaside, Prosperity, Hinterlands, Cornucopia, and Guilds - and mix all of those cards in all at once."

I guess the problem is that, even if it turns out that the assumption being made about people not wanting to buy a Copper Subscription is wrong, Stef's point about the cost of supporting a player not scaling is still valid. A player who buys one expansion is going to cost the same resources as one buying all of them.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2017, 11:58:38 am »
+1

There's also a resource cost for the players who play Base only. And they aren't charged anything.
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Awaclus

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2017, 12:13:28 pm »
+1

This is exactly how I bought the sets on Goku. I bought them (in release order) every month or so and played the campaigns for that set until I learned all the new cards. Eventually I owned everything, but I definitely enjoyed adding new sets incrementally.

I started buying them in reverse release order so that I would learn the new cards faster. Then after I had gotten Dark Ages, there was the Humble Bundle deal, which I got, and then I never bought anything else until I upgraded into Gold subscription on ShiT.

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FemurLemur

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2017, 03:33:29 pm »
+5

There's also a resource cost for the players who play Base only. And they aren't charged anything.

Yes, but only because the "Free to Start" model works. People are far more likely to spend money on your product if they can try it out first. By offering Base Set for free, people get a small taste of what they're in for. The free sample has to keep them wanting more though, which is why you only get Base Set at the dev's expense. Once they've gotten a conversion from a trial to a sale, the product needs to be priced high enough that they can still make a profit. By asking them to take the extra risk that customers will get content after only 2 or 3 sets (I know plenty of people irl who stopped at this many physical sets), you're potentially asking them to neuter any opportunity they had to profit from this pricing model.

Essentially the argument is this: you can only pick 2 of the following 3 things to come true
  • New people give the game a chance
  • Customers get total control over their purchase options
  • Game is profitable enough for server load

Which one do you suggest they sacrifice in order to make the 2nd one come true?
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JW

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2017, 05:04:49 pm »
+2

Essentially the argument is this: you can only pick 2 of the following 3 things to come true
  • New people give the game a chance
  • Customers get total control over their purchase options
  • Game is profitable enough for server load

Which one do you suggest they sacrifice in order to make the 2nd one come true?

The argument is that the Copper subscription might be catastrophically successful and lots of people would be fine with only Base, Intrigue, and Seaside instead of Silver or (less plausibly) Gold subscriptions.  One way to avoid this is that if Copper subscriptions turn out to be too successful, the price can always be increased to closer to that of a Silver subscription.

I would say that the greatest risk to Dominion Online, and the greatest risk for anyone who loves full random Dominion and plays online, is that it never attracts substantially more people than it has now, and the player base steadily shrinks over time.  If the low price and simplicity of a Copper subscription induce a meaningful number of people to subscribe who otherwise would have chosen nothing, that’s a win for ShuffleIT and everyone who plays Dominion online. Those people may subscribe to Silver or Gold in the future, may buy the eventual Dominion Offline product, get their friends into Dominion Online, etc.

Furthermore, I doubt that Copper subscribers would actually be unprofitable in part because the pricing model suggests that server costs are low.  For example, the average Gold subscriber presumably plays more than 1.5 times as much as the average Silver subscriber (would love to see the actual data on this), but because server costs aren’t substantial the price is only 1.5 times as high.
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dedicateddan

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2017, 06:26:58 pm »
+1

Thanks for putting together this analysis. A better new player experience is important for the health of the game.
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Donald X.

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2017, 06:41:14 pm »
+7

By offering Base Set for free, people get a small taste of what they're in for.
You can play with all sets for free, against someone who has them. So, it's a big taste for people who can tolerate human opponents, waiting to match up, and seeing lots of new cards for a while.
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dedicateddan

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2017, 02:30:11 am »
0

... for people who can tolerate human opponents ...

Human opponent puny. ORC SMASH!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 02:31:34 am by dedicateddan »
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Titandrake

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2017, 04:05:23 am »
+2

Not sure making a Copper subscription tier is necessary if there are ways to disable expansions you already own.

I saw in the ShuffleIT thread that there were concerns that disabling expansions for rated games would slow down matchmaking, because there would be more possible constraints and finding a good pair would become more difficult. That's true but I'm not convinced it would slow down matchmaking by a lot. If there isn't a market for buying individual expansions, there probably aren't many people who would disable expansions in the first place, so you shouldn't have many matchmaking edge-cases to worry about.
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ShuffleiTIsBetter

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2017, 11:29:20 am »
+3

#ShuffleITIsBetter #MakingFunWasWorse
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pst

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2017, 01:46:33 pm »
+1

Campaigns will help more if the bots play better.

I want to have campaigns with bots that really know how to play the kingdom where they appear. It seems totally feasible to have bots tailor-made for the kingdoms. For beginners that will give a better idea of how to use the new cards introduced in that kingdom, and for better players it means that campaigns can be hard with ordinary rules.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 04:11:23 pm by pst »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2017, 02:30:39 pm »
0

Wait, they shuffle the Black Market deck after every cycle? Why would they change the actual rules of the card? I know the setup part doesn't follow the "a copy of each card not in the game" because it's been long-established that Black Market setup rules are intended to actually be "however you want". But changing what happens to the 3 cards after you buy a card seems to just alter the way the card works; even removing a strategic element that exists with it.
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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2017, 02:43:51 pm »
+2

Wait, they shuffle the Black Market deck after every cycle? Why would they change the actual rules of the card? I know the setup part doesn't follow the "a copy of each card not in the game" because it's been long-established that Black Market setup rules are intended to actually be "however you want". But changing what happens to the 3 cards after you buy a card seems to just alter the way the card works; even removing a strategic element that exists with it.

That just removes a lot of the unnecessary analysis paralysis. Keeping track of (or Ctrl+F'ing) the exact order of 60 cards worth of Black Market deck just in case the entire deck gets cycled through wouldn't be a ton of fun (it wasn't a ton of fun on the 25-card deck either). The element of surprise also makes it more exciting; there are times when you would resign unless you get a kickass card from the BM deck, and if you know the kickass card is on the bottom of the deck, you just resign automatically.
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Donald X.

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2017, 03:19:57 pm »
+5

Wait, they shuffle the Black Market deck after every cycle? Why would they change the actual rules of the card? I know the setup part doesn't follow the "a copy of each card not in the game" because it's been long-established that Black Market setup rules are intended to actually be "however you want". But changing what happens to the 3 cards after you buy a card seems to just alter the way the card works; even removing a strategic element that exists with it.
Stef asked me if he could shuffle the deck, so that people didn't care about the order or paying attention to it, and I said yes, and there you go.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2017, 03:31:42 pm »
+1

I can see the annoyance of deciding the order that you put them back in. But knowing when certain cards will come up after you've had a cycle is to me a good though minor part of the skill of using Black Market. Just in the last game I played IRL, I had to choose between playing Black Market and another Terminal, and I chose the other Terminal because I knew that the only good cards left in the Black Market were not near the top.
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Deadlock39

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2017, 08:13:57 am »
+1

I think a non-trivial amount of that decision was based on simplifying (speeding up) the online play. Not just the analysis paralysis involved in the decision, but also the UI interface you have to go through each time to choose the order the cards are returned when most of the time, you just don't care.

I don't personally miss anything about ordering the deck.

Awaclus

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2017, 08:21:37 am »
0

I never even bothered to change the order, I just memorized whatever order it was (or at least the key parts).
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CreeperSlimePig

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2017, 09:11:57 pm »
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In my opinion, the AI is too stupid. Like I just did an AI game, and I won using Big Money on a game using Wall. How I beat Lord Rattington: He trashed every single card he owned. I ended with 4 Coppers, 7 Silvers, 3 Golds, an Estate, 2 Duchies, 2 Provinces, 7 Colonies, 2 Expands, 6 Platina, a Junk Dealer and a Necropolis. Lord Rattington ended with a Junk Dealer.

Well, the end game result was 90-2.

I would recommend banning Junk Dealer in bot games.
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Donald X.

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2017, 12:57:51 am »
+3

In my opinion, the AI is too stupid. Like I just did an AI game, and I won using Big Money on a game using Wall. How I beat Lord Rattington: He trashed every single card he owned. I ended with 4 Coppers, 7 Silvers, 3 Golds, an Estate, 2 Duchies, 2 Provinces, 7 Colonies, 2 Expands, 6 Platina, a Junk Dealer and a Necropolis. Lord Rattington ended with a Junk Dealer.

Well, the end game result was 90-2.

I would recommend banning Junk Dealer in bot games.
It would be pointless to take out Junk Dealer; it's the tip of the iceberg. There is an endless parade of cards that mean you can automatically crush the bot.

The way to think of it is, there isn't really an AI yet. There is a placeholder bot that has no intelligence to it.
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JW

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2018, 10:49:48 pm »
+7

Kudos to ShuffleIT on the release of the Kingdom Viewer as originally developed by IceHawk78 in his "King's Courtier" Chrome plugin, and to Icehawk78 and Ingix for their work on it as well!
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edmoonus

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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #45 on: July 21, 2018, 11:14:53 am »
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Is there a way to replay the same kingdom that was first generated randomly, other than manually typing in each card from the kingdom card selector?
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Re: Making Dominion Online better for new players
« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2018, 12:53:57 pm »
+1

You can use the load game feature.
But the have the same random seed.

You can copy paste a comma separated list into the kingdom card selector.
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