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Dominion League FAQ
« on: May 21, 2018, 02:49:50 am »
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This FAQ concerns the Rules & Regulations of the Dominion League. It is intended as a reference, and does not cover all the rules.

Contents

  • Signing up
  • Discord and the online community
  • Scheduling matches
  • Playing matches
  • Dominion Online (http://dominion.games)
  • Details and backend
  • Miscellaneous
If you have a question that is not answered here, please reach out to any moderator. You can find a moderator who is online by looking at the League Mod section of users on Discord.

Credit: Thanks to gloures, who onboarded hundreds of new players and compiled most of the original FAQ.


1. Signing up


How do I sign up?
First join the Dominion Discord server (https://discord.gg/jeN2sAB). Second go to the Dominion League board, look for a pinned post with the name “Season XX - Signups” and complete the Google form embedded there. A moderator will send you a direct message via Discord in about a day with a few question to confirm your signup, and a deadline to do so. You must answer this message to be confirmed.

What is required to sign up?
You are required to have a Dominion Online (http://dominion.games) account and join the Dominion Discord server (https://discord.gg/jeN2sAB). You must also have enough time to play five 6-game matches during the 6-week season, which is usually about 2 hrs per week. Note you are also encouraged to play at least 20 rated 2-player games on Dominion Online so the moderators can place you in a tier appropriate for your skill.

I didn’t respond in time to Discord message to confirm my signup. Can sign up again?
If the deadline hasn't passed, you are encouraged to re-sign up by filling out the Google form again.

Do I need a subscription to Dominion Online (http://dominion.games) to sign up?
You do not need to buy a subscription, but you do need to create a free account.

Am I required to play matches on Dominion Online (http://dominion.games)?
No, but this may be the only way to play games against the vast majority of your opponents. Note you are required to have a Dominion Online account and you are encouraged to play at least 20 rated 2-player games there so the moderators can place you in a tier appropriate for your skill.

How good do I need to be at Dominion to sign up?
We welcome players of all skill levels. Players are divided into different tiers so that they can compete against opponents of similar skill.

Do I need to be proficient in the English language to sign up?
You will need basic English skills to communicate on Discord and schedule you matches. Scheduling isn't too difficult, and if you can understand this paragraph, you will be fine. Let a moderator know if you have language issues, and we may have someone who can help translate.

Who do I play against?
You will be put in a division with up to 5 other similarly skilled players.

How do I know who is in my division?
The introductory message in your division’s Discord channel will say who is playing in your division. You can also see which players are in every division in the Standings post, pinned in the Dominion League board.

How do I know who my moderator is?
The introductory message in your division’s Discord channel will say who your moderator is.


2. Discord and the online community


What is Discord? How does it work?
Discord is an instant messaging app. In the Dominion server you can discuss Dominion topics with players all over the world. These discussions are organized into different channels (denoted by #). There are channels for Dominion strategy, the Dominion League, and your specific division.

Do I need to use Discord?
Yes, you are required to have a Discord account and join the Dominion server (https://discord.gg/jeN2sAB).

Why do I need to use Discord?
Discord is where you will message opponents to schedule matches and receive important announcements.

How does the Dominion League use Discord?
You will mainly use Discord to communicate with the other players in your division, and the moderators. You can also see announcements about upcoming matches so you can spectate them, and you can announce your own matches.

How do I see what matches are coming up so I can spectate them?
Check the Dominion calendar.

How do I announce my matches so others can spectate me?
Fill out the Dominion calendar form, and the match will be automatically announced on Discord an hour before it begins.

What is a Town Hall on Discord?
The moderators host Town Halls to gather feedback on a specific topic that doesn’t have clear answers. Town Halls takes place over a 24-hour period in the #town-hall channel on Discord. They begin with a presentation by the moderators on the topic and some of the options under consideration, then everyone is invited to contribute via messages and emoji polls. Following the discussion, the moderators formulate a plan of action based on the feedback, which, if opinion is split on the matter, could involve choosing to collect additional feedback from all League Players via the Returning Form.


3. Scheduling matches


How do I schedule matches?
You will need to coordinate with your opponent via Discord. You can send messages in your division’s channel, or send direct messages to an opponent. It is very beneficial to schedule matches in advance, instead of hoping someone is available to play impromptu.

Do I need to follow the suggested schedule (provided to tier E and below)?
No, but it is provided as a guideline.

May I play multiple matches per week?
Yes. We recommend playing at least one match per week, and encourage you to stay ahead of schedule.

What do I do if my opponent did not show up at our scheduled time?
Please wait 15 minutes past the scheduled time to see if the opponent shows up. If the opponent has still not arrived, notify your moderator. While this can be frustrating, there are many reasons this may happen.

What do I do if I can no longer make it to a match I scheduled?
You should let your opponent know as soon as there is a chance you will be late, or miss the match entirely. If you will miss the match, reschedule with your opponent.
 
What do I do if someone in my division never responds when I try to schedule with them?
Notify your moderator as soon as possible if someone in your division is unresponsive.

What do I do if it is impossible for me to schedule with someone in my division?
Notify your moderator if your schedule is completely incompatible with someone else’s. Make an effort to schedule matches on the weekend if necessary.

What happens if someone in my division is completely inactive?
If someone does not respond to any other players in their division, or to their moderator, that player will be removed and banned from returning to the League for the next 2 seasons. If they played 3 or more complete matches, the remainder of their games will be simulated. Otherwise, their game results will be voided. If a removed player rejoins the League after their ban ends, they return to the tier below the one they were removed from.

What do I do if I can’t play all my matches in time?
Notify your moderator, and they may be able to grant you an extension of up to 1 week.

What do I do if I can’t finish the season due to unforeseen circumstances?
Notify your moderator as soon as possible and explain your situation. The moderator can remove you if necessary, and can waive the ban if appropriate.


4. Playing matches


What is a match? Is it the same as a game?
A match comprises 6 games of Dominion played against a single opponent. Each season, players play 1 match against each other player in their division.

How long is a match?
Most players play a 6-game match in a single playing session lasting about 2 hours, without breaks. As a courtesy to your opponents, you may want to adjust your play speed if you find your games are considerably longer than this.

Do I have to play all 6 games at once?
No, you can play the games of a match across multiple playing sessions. Make sure your opponent is aware how many games you intend to play in each playing session. Submit the results of each playing session separately as you go, and they will be added together on the standings.

Who should be the starting player each game of a match?
A random player should start the first game, and then the staring player should alternate so each player starts 3 games.

Which cards do we play with?
The default is to play with all the cards either player owns and up to 2 landscapes.

Can I request an undo? Do I need to grant an undo?
While the official policy is that granting undo requests is at the discretion of each player, we strongly encourage players to grant undo requests for low numbers of decisions that do not provide new information. This is the default unless players announce a different undo policy before a match.

What is an undo policy?
An undo policy is a statement to your opponent before a match about what types of undos you will grant to them. Examples:
  • "I will grant an undo of any action that doesn't reveal important new information."
  • "I won't allow any undos."
  • "I will decide whether to allow each individual undo request as it comes up."

How do I report the score of a match?
See the pinned message in your division’s Discord channel for the link to a Google form where you can submit the score of a match. Partial match scores should be submitted as you go, so you don’t forget.

Should both players report their score for a match?
No, one player should submit the scores of both players. Please coordinate with your opponent who is responsible for submitting the score.

Do the players’ VP scores in a game matter for the League?
No, all that matters is who won, or if it was a tie. It does not matter how many VP you won the game with.

Who wins a game if both players have the same VP?
The rules of Dominion say that if both players finish with the same score, the player who took fewer turns (not counting extra turns from cards like Outpost) wins. If both players took the same number of turns, then they tie.

How does the League count games that end in a tie?
If a game ends in a tie, both players get 0.5 wins for that game. For example, if during your match you won 3 games, lost 2 games, and tied 1 game, you get 3.5 wins and your opponent gets 2.5 wins. Note the rule above for games where players have the same VP.

Do I need to record proof of my game results (screenshots, game IDs, etc)?
No, we operate on an honor system. You can also use DomBot on Discord to retrieve the results of recent games. If you disagree about who won a game, notify your moderator.

Why are players in tiers A, B, C, and D required to allow spectators?
Allowing spectators offers League members an opportunity to watch competitive games between some of the top Dominion players. It also allows those players to get feedback after the games. Having spectators at your games can provide you constructive comments to help your future play.

What should I do when spectating a League game?
As a spectator, you can comment on the players’ decisions and discuss strategies with the other spectators. Please refrain from making inappropriate remarks, and be courteous in any critiques. A transcript of the commentary is often given to the players after the game, so they can evaluate their performance and areas for improvement. You may not discuss a game with the players until the game is over; trying to give a competitive advantage to any player is against the Dominion Online terms and conditions, and could result in your account being suspended.


5. Dominion Online (http://dominion.games)


How do I add someone from my division as a friend on Dominion Online?
Click the "Friend List" tab in the lobby, enter your opponent’s username, and click "Add".

How do I make a table?
Click the "New Table" tab in the lobby and choose "Create Table". Note you should also click "Advanced Options" at the table and uncheck "Players can see spectator chat".

How do I find my opponent’s table?
Click the "Tables" tab in the lobby, and find their name. If you are friends, then you can also find their name in the Friends area of the "Matching" tab.

Do we play rated or unrated games?
The default is to play unrated games, but players can agree to play rated games instead. This is also the default setting for a table. Either way, you can use DomBot on Discord to retrieve the results of these games.

Which cards/cardlists do we play with?
The default is to play with all the cards either player owns (including the new Menagerie expansion, if owned) and up to 2 landscapes, to respect the disliked and banned cardlists, and to use no other special rules (such as “Extra Menagerie”). These are also the default settings for a table on Dominion Online. Players can agree to make any changes to this, such as excluding certain expansions or respecting the liked cardlist.

What are cardlists?
Everyone gets 3 cardlists, and each one can have up to 5 Kingdom cards and up to 3 landscapes (Events, Landmarks, Projects, Ways). Putting things on these lists can change the likelihood they show up in your games:
  • Liked list: these things show up twice as often
  • Disliked list: these things show up half as often
  • Banned list: these things never show up
If you and your opponent both have the same card or landscape on their lists, the likelihood it shows up is a product of both your preferences. For details on how this works, see the official cardlist announcement.

How do I set the cardlists at my table?
Click "Advanced Options" at the table, and then set the 3 checkboxes next to “Respect liked/disliked/banned cards”. Checking the leftmost box means the game will use both of your liked cardlists. The middle box corresponds to your disliked cardlists, and the rightmost box to your banned cardlists. Note unless you and your opponent agree otherwise, you should uncheck the leftmost box and check the other two.

How do I set the starting player at my table?
Click "Advanced Options" at the table, and then "Player Order". To have the starting player determined randomly, such as for the first game of a match, check "Random". Otherwise, you can use the arrows to set the player order. Note the username of the player who went first during a game is colored red in the game log and chat box.

Do we use the VP tracker?
The default is to use the VP tracker. This is also the default setting for a table on Dominion Online. Players can agree to turn the VP tracker off, and can do so by clicking "Advanced Options" at the table and unchecking "Show VP tracker".

What other settings should I be aware of?
We encourage you to uncheck "Players can see spectator chat" so that spectators can discuss the game with each other. They are usually willing to share their insights with you after the game.


6. Details and backend


How do the moderators determine the players’ tiers (A, B, C, etc)?
For a new player, their starting tier is decided shortly before the season starts, based on the available spots in the tiers and their Dominion Online (http://dominion.games) level. For a returning player, their tier is based on how they placed in their last season.

How do the moderators group divisions by time zone?
As much as possible, players are grouped by their time zones in tiers D and below. Players may indicate their flexibility on the Returning Form to help us sort players.

How are players seeded?
For all divisions in the same tier (and in the same time zone region, for tiers D and below), players are seeded using a modified snake draft based on previous League performance. New players are seeded above players who are returning to the same tier but below players who are demoting from a higher tier.

What do I do if my regular schedule makes it difficult to play with people from my own time zone?
The easiest way to indicate this is to sign up with the time zone you can most easily play with.

What are promotions and demotions, and how do they work?
Players may earn a spot in a different tier by promoting to the next higher tier or demoting to the next lower tier, based on their place in their division. Note the structure of the League changed starting with season 39, so how promotions and demotions work depends on the season you most recently played:

For players who last played in season 34–38:
  • Players who finish in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place in tier A or in 1st place in tier B, are put into tier A.
  • Players who finish in 5th or 6th place in tier A; in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place in tier B; or in 1st place in tier C, are put into tier B.
  • Players who finish in 5th or 6th place in tier B; in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place in tier C; or in 1st place in tier D, are put into tier C.
  • Players who finish in 5th or 6th place in tier C or in 2nd or 3rd place in tier D, are put into tier D.
  • Players who finish in 4th or 5th place in tier D or in 1st or 2nd place in tier E, are put into tier E.
  • Players who finish in 6th place in tier D or in 3rd or 4th place in tier E, are put into tier F.
  • Players who finish in 5th or 6th place in tier E or in 1st or 2nd place in tier F, are put into tier G.
  • The remaining places in tier F are put into tier H.
For players currently in season 39:
  • Players who finish in 1st place in tiers B, C, and E promote.
  • Players who finish in 1st or 2nd place in tiers D, F, G, and H promote.
  • Players who finish in 5th or 6th place in tiers A, B, C, D, E, F, and G demote.

Here is a visual representation of these rules:


At the end of the season, my division has fewer than 6 players. How does this affect promotion and demotion?
The same places promote and demote as normal. If a place that would demote is vacant, no additional players demote.

If I skip a season, what tier do I return to?
If there is space, you will be placed into the tier you would have been in next, including any promotions or demotions from the last season you played in. If there is not enough space for all players returning, we may offer play-in matches for those players to compete for the available spots. Otherwise you will be offered a position in another tier. Note if you skip 6 or more consecutive seasons, then when you return, you are instead placed into a tier like a new player.

How are play-in matches and free promotions determined?
Sometimes there are open spaces after assigning players to tiers. To fill openings in a tier, the moderators choose eligible players from the next lowest tier to promote, or to compete in play-in matches for the opportunity to promote. Eligible players are those who:
  • Finished in 2nd place their previous season
  • Are new to the League and have a Dominion Online rating similar to players in the tier above
  • Had exceptional cases during the last season they played, such as negative effects from dropping a player or having a strong win record
Then these eligible players are seeded by the League’s algorithm.

In tiers A, B, C, and D: If there are fewer than 2 eligible players per opening, the top seeded players get free promotions until there are 2 eligible players per opening. If there are more than 2 eligible players per opening, the bottom seeded players are removed from eligibility until there are 2 eligible players per opening. The remaining eligible players are paired up with the top seed versus the bottom seed and so on. The winners of these play-in matches promote.

In tiers E, F, and G: All openings are filled via free promotions. When deciding which eligible players get these free promotions, the moderators also consider time zones.

How are the standings calculated?
Players in a division are ordered by the percentage of their games that they’ve won. This placement doesn't matter until everyone has finished the season. If there is a tie for a promotion or demotion spot, the tied players are ordered by their head-to-head results. If they are still tied, they play a tiebreaker match.

What is the +/– column of the standings?
A player’s +/– number represents how many more/fewer wins they have compared to if they had tied all their matches. That is, it is the player’s performance relative to a neutral performance. For example, if you lose a match 2–4, lose a match 1–5, and win a match 4.5–1.5, you have 7.5 wins as opposed to 9, so your +/– is –1.5.

The standings show U1, U2, U3, etc instead of the player names. Are they broken?
No, these are temporary placeholders while the Google sheets update some complicated IMPORTRANGE formulas. Try checking the standings again after a couple hours.


7. Miscellaneous


What are the rules on etiquette?
There are no rules on etiquette, but we encourage you to be friendly and courteous, and we do not tolerate offensive behavior. Saying “good luck” or “have fun” at the start of a match and “good game” at the end of a game are always positive behaviors. Notify the moderators of any offensive behavior. Offensive behavior may result in suspension from the League.

What do I do if there is a player with an offensive username?
Notify the moderators, and we may help them change their username.

Are there ever matches with 3 or players?
No, all matches are played with 2 players.

How can I share ideas about how the League could improve?
You can choose any of these methods you prefer:
  • Contact a moderator via a Discord direct message.
  • Submit your suggestion via the Returning Form.
  • Reply to the latest Newsletter forum post with a fully-written idea.
  • Participate in a Town Hall on Discord.
  • Use the Dominion League Hotline for urgent matters.
  • You are also encouraged to develop your idea by discussing it on Discord.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 06:14:44 pm by crlundy »
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