Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]  All

Author Topic: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here  (Read 6036 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JThorne

  • Apprentice
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 298
  • Respect: +596
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #100 on: November 15, 2017, 12:02:19 pm »
+5

Personally, I find threads like this fascinating and informative, much like the equally explosive and somewhat annoying deck archetype discussions. Not because the terminology part of the argument is important, but because many extremely subtle and difficult game mechanics issues are hashed out in defense of particular positions. I almost always read something that gives me a new perspective on some aspect of the game.

So, let me suggest a possible perspective on the issue of synergy. The so-called "trivial" cases are not, in fact, all that trivial. The degree to which elements synergize or not is (apparently) actually extremely subtle and worth grading on a continuum, not as a binary proposition.

In fact, I would suggest that all elements have a relationship to others that has two simultaneous measures: The amount of synergy they have, and they amount of anti-synergy they have. It's not a yes/no. It's a how much. And it's BOTH. Always.

Example: Tactician/treasure. There is some synergy, because Tac sets up large hands and a +buy, and treasure gives you lots of non-terminal cash to spend. There is some anti-synergy, because Tac makes you discard treasure on the turn you play it. The only possible debate is the degree to which those terms apply, not whether they apply.

And to bring it right back to the original Guide/Ghost Town question: Those cards have some synergy, in that you can use Guide to find a hand that has at least one terminal draw card in it, and Ghost Town allows you to play that hand knowing that you can draw first and keep going. They also have some anti-synergy, in that you have to call the Guide without knowing what the sixth card would have been if you hadn't called it, and because there's some redundancy.

Saying that the term "synergy" does not apply to the relationship between game elements is like saying you can't apply the term "weight" to a feather or a helium balloon just because it's small or even negative. You can say that the synergy between elements is large or small or negative or trivial, but you can't say it doesn't exist.
Logged

Gherald

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 430
  • Awe: +35
  • Respect: +809
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #101 on: November 15, 2017, 05:00:43 pm »
0

You can say that the synergy between elements is large or small or negative or trivial, but you can't say it doesn't exist.
I wouldn't say it doesn't exist, I would just say it's a separate discussion and not a useful application of the actual concept of "synergy". I don't use the term synergy on a continuum to discuss how well cards work together or don't work together.  It has a more useful and specific meaning, which is greater than the sum of its parts, which I interpret (in the context of Dominion) to be relevant for how those parts would perform in other typical kingdoms, not how those cards perform if they're the only thing you play that turn or are the only card in a 1-card kingdom, which to me is irrelevant.

So, do Guide/Ghost Town have complementary uses? Sure, you can play your guide to skip past starting hands that have no terminals in them and then resolve your Ghost Town.

Is this a 2-card "synergy" ? Not really, both of those effects are similarly useful on their own. Lining them up gives you both benefits at once which is great, but they aren't "synergizing" to be better-than usual cards when each other is present or not present.

Guide is just as good/bad in other 10 card kingdoms that lack Ghost Town, and Ghost Town is just as good/bad in other 10 card kingdoms that lack Guide. It's not a synergy, it's an "oh look I played two good effects and got two good effects, yay me"
Logged
thank you for participating in this enrichment center activity

JThorne

  • Apprentice
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 298
  • Respect: +596
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #102 on: November 15, 2017, 06:37:00 pm »
+1

On today's episode of "Gherald argues with himself..."

A:
Quote
(synergy) has a more useful and specific meaning, which is greater than the sum of its parts

Not A:
Quote
So, do Guide/Ghost Town have complementary uses? Sure, you can play your guide to skip past starting hands that have no terminals in them and then resolve your Ghost Town.

https://www.google.com/search?q=define:complementary

B:
Quote
I wouldn't say it doesn't exist

Not B:
Quote
Is this a 2-card "synergy"? Not really...

So playing that Guide didn't make that Ghost Town even a little, tiny bit better than it would have been otherwise? Clearly it did. So is it just a matter of degree? How much does it need to help before it crosses the magical Gherald binary on/off "now it has synergy" threshold? So "complementary" is a continuum but "synergistic" is binary?

A "useful application" of language is to communicate ideas and information. Reducing the degree to which cards work together to a binary yes/no proposition reduces the ability to communicate ideas and information about card relationships so significantly as to be utterly useless.
Logged

Gherald

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 430
  • Awe: +35
  • Respect: +809
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #103 on: November 15, 2017, 07:00:30 pm »
0

Synergy is not generally defined as two things working together harmoniously or complementarily, which is a lower bar to clear than a combination being "greater than the sum of its parts".

I'm sorry you want to use the word "synergy" to apply to complementary beneficial effects but it has nothing to do with my perspective or what I have said.

The very reason I am objecting to people's use of synergy with regard to things like Village+Smithy is that we already have other, better words for those concepts (like "complementary" or "works well with") and people are debasing what "synergy" actually means on its own.

I'm sorry this isn't more clear to you.
Logged
thank you for participating in this enrichment center activity

Cuzz

  • Witch
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 496
  • Shuffle iT Username: Cuzz
  • Respect: +799
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #104 on: November 15, 2017, 07:05:42 pm »
+6

This thread is modern art at this point.
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 316
  • Grand Market = cantrip Woodcutter
  • Respect: +366
    • View Profile
Re: Another awful thread about nothing
« Reply #105 on: November 15, 2017, 07:06:07 pm »
0

The definition of synergy being floated by many here is being called arbitrary by many others. It is not. A good definition of synergy is:

X and Y have synergy iff Strength of (X + Y) > Strength of X + Strength of Y.
The problem here is one of clarifying scope.

"Strength of X" all by itself? Strength of X on a typical board where you'd use X?

The latter is the one I'm interested in when I look for synergy. X typically brings a certain strength to the table, Y typically brings a certain strength. Those are fast priors I know from all my previous play experience. But here we have X+Y, so is that better or worse than what I typically use X and Y for?
If I usually use X and Y for different things than you use them for, could their interaction be synergy for you but not me (or vice versa)? Is 'synergy' defined subjectively?

If you usually use X and Y for their interaction with commonly occurring functions, e.g. you're using villages for their interactions with terminal draw and terminal draw for its interaction with payload, do those interactions fail to qualify as synergies merely because you've used them often?  If we don't have the same amount of experience, could an interaction be synergy for you but not for me (or vice versa)?

If I typically use Herbalist to topdeck Philosopher's Stone (and only that), is Herbalist+PhilStone not a synergy? Abstracted and generalized, if X+Y is the thing you use X (and maybe also Y) for, is it synergy?

For clarity's sake: your board analysis process is probably fine; that's not what I'm commenting on. But your board analysis process and everything you bring to it is a bad place to start an attempt at defining synergy. Maybe the thing you care about is "strategically important synergy" or "[other adjective] synergy", which is different from synergy proper.

You old farts had a thing that collected play data and calculated "win rate with" certain cards, I understand. Maybe win-rate-with-x-and-y > win-rate-with-x + win-rate-with-y is evidence that the player in question is exploiting some kind of synergy? (I think this is a bad definition of synergy, but plausible evidence for its existence.)

Maybe something like this could serve as a first draft of a rigorous definition of synergy: the impact on the probability of you winning one game when adding x and y to your deck is greater than the sum of the impacts of just adding x or y by themselves, assuming otherwise optimal play from everyone.
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 316
  • Grand Market = cantrip Woodcutter
  • Respect: +366
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #106 on: November 15, 2017, 07:17:18 pm »
0

Synergy is [...] generally defined as [...] "greater than the sum of its parts".

[...] The very reason I am objecting to people's use of synergy with regard to things like Village+Smithy
I hope I'm not misrepresenting what you take synergy to mean. I certainly don't intend to.

I think Village+Smithy has synergy by the quoted definition.

As a baseline, imagine a deck with some treasures, including Counterfeit or Charm or some other treasure with +buy.
Then, add a bunch of Villages. With no other action cards, they do nothing.
If instead of Villages you add Smithies, you have your typical Smithy/BM deck.
If you add enough Smithies that you're quite overterminaled, adding the Villages (which did nothing on their own) will do more than nothing.

If Smithy/Village/"BM" is greater than just Smithy/BM but Village/BM is the same as BMU, I think that's "greater than the sum of their parts".

Maybe the disagreement here is over which baseline to use?

(I don't think the +buy is necessary for my example to work: Village/Smithy/treasures can hit $8 more reliably than Smithy/treasures and be better in that way.)
Logged

Gherald

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 430
  • Awe: +35
  • Respect: +809
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #107 on: November 15, 2017, 07:25:48 pm »
+1

Village+Smithy offer complementary effects that are useful independently on many other kingdoms with different villages and terminals, so they have no particular synergy according to my definition. They just do useful additive things that harmonize well, but are not "synergetic" in a way that distinguishes them from what they already bring to the table in other kingdoms.

Festival+Library do synergize, because together they offset negatives/deficiencies of each other in a way that makes them behave in a way that's greater than the sum of what you can normally use them for.
Logged
thank you for participating in this enrichment center activity

josh56

  • Thief
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 91
  • Respect: +60
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #108 on: November 16, 2017, 02:06:39 am »
+1

Example: Tactician/treasure. There is some synergy, because Tac sets up large hands and a +buy, and treasure gives you lots of non-terminal cash to spend. There is some anti-synergy, because Tac makes you discard treasure on the turn you play it. The only possible debate is the degree to which those terms apply, not whether they apply.
I don't think that this is particularly helpful as it is like saying that a Conspirator deck has some synergy with Treasures as "treasure gives you lots of non-terminal cash to spend" which MIGHT be useful.
Tactician wants virtual coins. Of course the card is not totally useless in a deck which generates coins via Treasures but it is usually better if you generate coins via Action cards. And in some Coonspirator or Tactician decks extra Silvers or even Golds could hurt.
Logged

Witherweaver

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6446
  • Shuffle iT Username: Witherweaver
  • Respect: +7796
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #109 on: November 16, 2017, 11:46:14 am »
+2

This thread is modern art at this point.

Do you consider the thread to exhibit synergy?
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 316
  • Grand Market = cantrip Woodcutter
  • Respect: +366
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #110 on: November 16, 2017, 12:36:01 pm »
0

Gherald, is your definition of synergy subjective?

Festival+Library do synergize, because together they offset negatives/deficiencies of each other in a way that makes them behave in a way that's greater than the sum of what you can normally use them for.
How is Festival+Library different from Festival plus other draw-to-x? Are they all instances of synergy?
How is Festival+Library different from Library plus other disappearing village giving +$ and +buy (I can think of Villa)? Are they all instances of synergy?

Village/Smithy, Village/Patrol and Fortress/Catacombs are all very similar and slightly different. What's the difference between one set of differences and the other?

[Village/Smithy] do useful additive things that harmonize well, but are not "synergetic" in a way that distinguishes them from what they already bring to the table in other kingdoms.
So is your definition of synergy something like "In expectation it holds that Strength(X + Y in the context of 8 random cards) > Strength(X in the context of 9 random cards) + Strength(Y in the context of 9 random cards))"? I think this captures your notion of "what you can normally use [X and Y] for".

('8/9 random cards' is shorthand for 'in a kingdom chosen uniformly at random among those which have X/Y/both', and maybe the right hand side should be combined with 'average' rather than 'plus'.)

Something I think is true of this definitions: if we assume terminal draw is stronger (in expectation) on boards with villages, then smaller the probability of having a village on a random board, the more likely it is that each particular <terminal draw, that village> pair is an example of synergy, simply because "Strength(X in the context of 9 random cards)" gives a lower weight to the strength of <X, that village>.

So, with my proposed rigor-ification of your (Gherald's) definition, whether X+Y exhibits synergy is a function not only of X and Y—and maybe the other cards in the kingdom—but also the set of cards that are not in the kingdom but are in some other kingdoms. I think that's a bad feature for a definition of synergy to have; I think it should merely be about the interaction of X and Y.

My proposed formula might—I haven't really thought this through—be a good definition of what I would call "relative (magnitude of) synergy".

Village+Smithy [...] [both] do useful additive things
Do you think Village does something useful in the 1-card kingdom {Village}? How about {Village, Baker}? How about {Village, Baker, Harbinger, Warehouse, Minion, Highway, Ratcatcher, Rebuild, Forum, Chariot Race}, or any other kingdom with Village and 9 non-terminals? Do you think, like I think most people think, that Village only does something useful in combination with terminals?

Consider the following variant: flip three coins; if they're all heads, include Smithy in the kingdom, otherwise don't. Then add Village and random non-terminals to the kingdom. Play a normal game of Dominion in this kingdom. Do you think Village and Smithy have synergy in this game?  (If it's true only for some probabilities of including Smithy but not others, why does the probability matter?)
Logged

SinisterHologram

  • Ambassador
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 32
  • Shuffle iT Username: SinisterHologram
  • I am boy made entirely of natural light
  • Respect: +30
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #111 on: November 16, 2017, 12:39:35 pm »
0

This thread is modern art at this point.

Do you consider the thread to exhibit synergy?

No, it must contain Tactician.
S Y N E R G Y -- I S -- THE -- REAL -- FRIGGIN -- DEAL                                                                                              Yeah, baby!!!!!!
Logged
I am a Sinister Hologram, and I am being projected using a signal from a far away land. I have come to these forums for one thing, and one thing only: To become a real boy - a ShuffleIT Dominion boy made of IRL flesh and blood.

josh56

  • Thief
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 91
  • Respect: +60
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #112 on: November 17, 2017, 05:33:21 am »
+10

Village+Smithy offer complementary effects that are useful independently on many other kingdoms with different villages and terminals, so they have no particular synergy according to my definition.
According to the Oxford dictionnary synergy is "he interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects"

Playing 6 Villages is pointless, playing 6 Smithies is impossible but playing 3 Villages and 3 Smithies leads to an 11 card hand.

If you wanna use some funky subjective definition of a word that is your prerogative. But it makes communication fairly pointless.
Logged

SinisterHologram

  • Ambassador
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 32
  • Shuffle iT Username: SinisterHologram
  • I am boy made entirely of natural light
  • Respect: +30
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #113 on: February 16, 2018, 07:30:24 pm »
0

Village+Smithy offer complementary effects that are useful independently on many other kingdoms with different villages and terminals, so they have no particular synergy according to my definition.
According to the Oxford dictionnary synergy is "he interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects"

Playing 6 Villages is pointless, playing 6 Smithies is impossible but playing 3 Villages and 3 Smithies leads to an 11 card hand.

If you wanna use some funky subjective definition of a word that is your prerogative. But it makes communication fairly pointless.
Nailed it.
Logged
I am a Sinister Hologram, and I am being projected using a signal from a far away land. I have come to these forums for one thing, and one thing only: To become a real boy - a ShuffleIT Dominion boy made of IRL flesh and blood.

Witherweaver

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6446
  • Shuffle iT Username: Witherweaver
  • Respect: +7796
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #114 on: March 09, 2018, 04:09:13 pm »
+2

I feel like there's something for me here.
Logged

Accatitippi

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1145
  • Shuffle iT Username: Accatitippi
  • Silver is underraided
  • Respect: +1764
    • View Profile
Re: Don't be fooled, nothing for you here
« Reply #115 on: March 09, 2018, 05:29:27 pm »
+4

Alas, fooled again!
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]  All
 

Page created in 0.093 seconds with 21 queries.