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Author Topic: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box  (Read 3475 times)

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greybirdofprey

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2018, 10:43:27 am »
0

I get Treasures plenty often, and I don't think that line of reasoning for Skulk is very sound. EDIT: I mean that I think you want Skulk plenty often, and the Gold is a big part of that.

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

I play almost only real-life games, and I indeed notice that with 3/4-players there often isn't enough virtual coin in a kingdom to supply everyone's engine (often there aren't enough engine parts either, depending on the kingdom). It's a sort of prisoner's dilemma.
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phonological loop

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2018, 01:42:16 pm »
+2

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

This is sort of hair-raising. A huge chunk of Dominion games are played online in a 2-player random kingdom format. I am astonished that this format receives "basically 0%" of the attention in playtesting.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2018, 02:24:23 pm »
+3

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

This is sort of hair-raising. A huge chunk of Dominion games are played online in a 2-player random kingdom format. I am astonished that this format receives "basically 0%" of the attention in playtesting.

Youíll be shocked to learn how much playtesting uses an all sets full random format, then.

Seems to work out fine though, doesnít it?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2018, 02:53:10 pm »
+1

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

This is sort of hair-raising. A huge chunk of Dominion games are played online in a 2-player random kingdom format. I am astonished that this format receives "basically 0%" of the attention in playtesting.

Explain to me how we are meant to do 2-player online playtesting without an online simulator that has the cards being tested? During development the cards are changing all the time, and it's a tall order to ask somebody to create, maintain, and update an online version. We had access to isotropic for Adventures and part of Empires, but eventually even dougz threw in the towel.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2018, 02:56:48 pm »
+4

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

This is sort of hair-raising. A huge chunk of Dominion games are played online in a 2-player random kingdom format. I am astonished that this format receives "basically 0%" of the attention in playtesting.

Explain to me how we are meant to do 2-player online playtesting without an online simulator that has the cards being tested? During development the cards are changing all the time, and it's a tall order to ask somebody to create, maintain, and update an online version. We had access to isotropic for Adventures and part of Empires, but eventually even dougz threw in the towel.

I don't think that online vs on tables was the part he was talking about. It was 2-player full random vs 3/4 player set-specific.
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phonological loop

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2018, 03:09:59 pm »
0

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.

This is sort of hair-raising. A huge chunk of Dominion games are played online in a 2-player random kingdom format. I am astonished that this format receives "basically 0%" of the attention in playtesting.

Explain to me how we are meant to do 2-player online playtesting without an online simulator that has the cards being tested? During development the cards are changing all the time, and it's a tall order to ask somebody to create, maintain, and update an online version. We had access to isotropic for Adventures and part of Empires, but eventually even dougz threw in the towel.

I don't think that online vs on tables was the part he was talking about. It was 2-player full random vs 3/4 player set-specific.

Yes, just the "competitive" 2-player all random format.

Youíll be shocked to learn how much playtesting uses an all sets full random format, then.

Seems to work out fine though, doesnít it?

It does, though perhaps more by accident than by design.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2018, 03:15:35 pm »
+1

I don't think that online vs on tables was the part he was talking about. It was 2-player full random vs 3/4 player set-specific.

Yes, just the "competitive" 2-player all random format.

Oh, I see.

That's just down to logistics. Neither Donald X. or I are ready to say, "Sorry I know this game supports 4 or 5 players, but we have a 2-player quota we need to hit." That seems like a good way to lose playtesters.

Obviously test games can't be "full random", because then some of them wouldn't include new cards at all, and few would include more than two. That would make testing way too slow. And also I don't want to cart around all of Dominion for every game session. It's impractical. I'll grab the base cards, the set being tested, and then one or two other sets. And then I randomize a game with 5 new cards and 5 cards from another set. Plus Events/Landmarks, if it's a group that's used to Dominion, which it usually is.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:48:59 am by LastFootnote »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2018, 03:35:42 pm »
+1

I don't think that online vs on tables was the part he was talking about. It was 2-player full random vs 3/4 player set-specific.

Yes, just the "competitive" 2-player all random format.

Oh, I see.

That's just down to logistics. Neither Donald or I are ready to say, "Sorry I know this game supports 4 or 5 players, but we have a 2-player quota we need to hit." That seems like a good way to lose playtesters.


If you're talking about a 4 player game, it can be pretty trivially done as 2 separate 2 player games as well. Which gets you twice the amount of new card testing for less time spent. Not saying you shouldn't be doing any 4 player testing also, but it doesn't make much sense to say that you need to do only 4 player testing so that you are allowing more total people to play.

Quote
Obviously test games can't be "full random", because then some of them wouldn't include new cards at all, and few would include more than two. That would make testing way too slow. And also I don't want to cart around all of Dominion for every game session. It's impractical. I'll grab the base cards, the set being tested, and then one or two other sets. And then I randomize a game with 5 new cards and 5 cards from another set. Plus Events/Landmarks, if it's a group that's used to Dominion, which it usually is.

Well obviously when play testing, "full random" would actually be purposefully using some specific cards from the new set, while the rest of the Kingdom is chosen at full random. Of course there can be practical limitations to having every set available; but it seems that at least some playtesting would be done at people's houses, where they already have all the sets ready and combined into one storage solution.
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phonological loop

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2018, 03:41:16 pm »
0

GendoIkari beat me to it. I agree with his response.

Mainly my concern is with there being no 2-player testing, when this is apparently the most common format. It's essentially an entire different game with an entirely different set of choices and meta-game. To essentially not test it and just hope it all works out seems ... weird.

Whether you're doing "full random" or "base plus two sets plus the expansion to be playtested" seems inconsequential.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 03:47:17 pm by phonological loop »
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jonts26

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2018, 03:47:29 pm »
+1

GendoIkari beat me to it. I agree with his response.

Mainly my concern is with there being no 2-player testing, when this is apparently the most common format. Whether you're doing "full random" or "base plus two sets plus the expansion to be playtested" seems inconsequential.

I'm not sure 2 player is the most common format. Online, yes, but for most dominion players IRL I would be very surprised.
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phonological loop

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2018, 03:55:43 pm »
0

GendoIkari beat me to it. I agree with his response.

Mainly my concern is with there being no 2-player testing, when this is apparently the most common format. Whether you're doing "full random" or "base plus two sets plus the expansion to be playtested" seems inconsequential.

I'm not sure 2 player is the most common format. Online, yes, but for most dominion players IRL I would be very surprised.

Well, I hedged my statement because I am also uncertain. I have no data on the matter. But there is certainly a vibrant community here that mainly plays 2-player, and I'm sure you could find statistics on the total number of such games played online. So in absolute terms 2-player seems popular, or at least popular enough that I find it weird that it's ignored in playtesting.
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faust

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2018, 04:08:59 pm »
+4

I think it's fine to focus on multplayer as the money is being made in IRL sales, and IRL games are frequently multiplayer. There are more 2-player games online, but online doesn't create revenue for Donald X.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2018, 04:09:56 pm »
0

GendoIkari beat me to it. I agree with his response.

Mainly my concern is with there being no 2-player testing, when this is apparently the most common format. Whether you're doing "full random" or "base plus two sets plus the expansion to be playtested" seems inconsequential.

I'm not sure 2 player is the most common format. Online, yes, but for most dominion players IRL I would be very surprised.

Well, I hedged my statement because I am also uncertain. I have no data on the matter. But there is certainly a vibrant community here that mainly plays 2-player, and I'm sure you could find statistics on the total number of such games played online. So in absolute terms 2-player seems popular, or at least popular enough that I find it weird that it's ignored in playtesting.

I think if you looked at total games played both online and off, 2-player would easily win. But if you looked at, for each player, what kind of games to they mostly play, I think 2-player probably wouldn't come out on top. Especially not if you lump 3-player and 4-player games together. And I think that's the statistic that matters more. It's certainly the one I'd care about, if I gave much thought to such things.

If it makes you feel any better, Nocturne testing was the exception, not the rule. It just so happened that all the other former playtesters were busy or uninterested. So Donald X. and I did basically all of the testing. I wouldn't expect that to be the case for future sets, and it wasn't the case for Adventures and Empires. I will bet good money that very few 2-player games were involved in testing the base game or the first few expansions, though. You can argue (correctly, I think) that those expansions are worse, but I think that's more a function of Donald X. getting better as he went along, rather than the number of players in testing games.
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O

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2018, 05:04:32 pm »
0

but online doesn't create revenue for Donald X.

Is this true (zero revenue for Donald) or just mostly true (tiny revenue compared to IRL)? Curious.
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JW

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2018, 05:39:33 pm »
0

Is this true (zero revenue for Donald) or just mostly true (tiny revenue compared to IRL)? Curious.

Tiny revenue compared to IRL.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2018, 07:26:39 pm »
0

Sometimes I wonder if Donald made Bandit Fort as a satire on "modern Dominion."

Donald's been punishing Treasure strategies since the very beginning. Remember Thief? And then we got Pirate Ship, Noble Brigand, Poor House, Alms, Bandit...
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crj

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2018, 09:08:24 pm »
0

Thief and Pirate Ship are... not widely regarded as game-distortingly strong.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2018, 10:05:27 pm »
+1

Thief and Pirate Ship are... not widely regarded as game-distortingly strong.

But Thief could cause exceptionally-rare contrived stalemates that forced Donald to add the "whoever starves first loses" rule!
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Donald X.

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2018, 11:29:27 pm »
+7

but online doesn't create revenue for Donald X.

Is this true (zero revenue for Donald) or just mostly true (tiny revenue compared to IRL)? Curious.
For the last year of MF, our share of the take was $0. But yes, tiny is the correct answer.

Not that I do that math to decide how to playtest. I have people that want to play, I play with that many people.

There were two-player online games from very early on, because I wrote a program for playing online and we used that. And then there was isotropic for all those years.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2018, 08:36:51 am »
0

Thief and Pirate Ship are... not widely regarded as game-distortingly strong.

I never said that. And Thief was much better (though still not good) back in the beginning when Treasures were much more important.
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Asper

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2018, 08:44:18 am »
+1

Base cards in general play the second fiddle. It's not different for Duchy and Estate, and even Province often stands back behind kingdom cards. That's natural, design-wise, as it ensures the variable supply has a meaningful effect on the game.

The idea that treasures in general, or even the base treasures in general, were poisonous garbage you may not ever include in your deck, is hyperbole spread by people who want to suggest that their experience from 2P games could be applied to Dominion in general. Either because they don't bother thinking about multiplayer at all, or in Awaclus' case, because they are disdainful towards playing preferences other than their own.

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2018, 09:14:54 am »
+2

Base cards in general play the second fiddle. It's not different for Duchy and Estate, and even Province often stands back behind kingdom cards. That's natural, design-wise, as it ensures the variable supply has a meaningful effect on the game.

The idea that treasures in general, or even the base treasures in general, were poisonous garbage you may not ever include in your deck, is hyperbole spread by people who want to suggest that their experience from 2P games could be applied to Dominion in general. Either because they don't bother thinking about multiplayer at all, or in Awaclus' case, because they are disdainful towards playing preferences other than their own.

My experience is that in games with many players, the Provinces run out too quickly for an engine to get started. If one player goes for the engine and the other 5 go for big money, the engine would have to be absurdly fast in order to actually win the game. Some people might not mind that, and one could argue that that's not better or worse, just different. I personally prefer for it to get around to my turn quickly, and to not have my engine be beaten by many opponents playing Smithy big money, so I like 2 player more. I understand how others may feel differently, though.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2018, 09:55:02 am »
+2

Base cards in general play the second fiddle. It's not different for Duchy and Estate, and even Province often stands back behind kingdom cards. That's natural, design-wise, as it ensures the variable supply has a meaningful effect on the game.

The idea that treasures in general, or even the base treasures in general, were poisonous garbage you may not ever include in your deck, is hyperbole spread by people who want to suggest that their experience from 2P games could be applied to Dominion in general. Either because they don't bother thinking about multiplayer at all, or in Awaclus' case, because they are disdainful towards playing preferences other than their own.

My experience is that in games with many players, the Provinces run out too quickly for an engine to get started. If one player goes for the engine and the other 5 go for big money, the engine would have to be absurdly fast in order to actually win the game. Some people might not mind that, and one could argue that that's not better or worse, just different. I personally prefer for it to get around to my turn quickly, and to not have my engine be beaten by many opponents playing Smithy big money, so I like 2 player more. I understand how others may feel differently, though.

Another advantage of what people call an engine in terms of pacing is not just speed, but control. With two players, greening later is normally a strong tactic because building more lets you determine how quickly piles are depleted, points are scored etc.

If our decks gain the same number of points over the course of X number of turns, but I can gain all of mine at once and you gain yours gradually, I come out ahead for endgame positioning because I can score my points whenever I see fit.

The more players you add, the more robbed of that control every deck is and the more important having a point lead is at any given time, because you might not get another turn.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 09:56:19 am by Screwyioux »
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2018, 10:48:30 am »
+1

I guess I feel like, in terms of testing cards, what's the difference between 2 players and 3+ players? Well, if a card is great in multiples, then you'll want to be sure it's not crazy if you can get 6 copies of it, like you might in a 2-player game. I think the only cards in Nocturne that fit the bill are Idol and Werewolf, though you could make an argument for Vampire. Idol is admittedly way stronger than my group thought it was, though I don't think it's too strong. And we actually discovered that it was strong after Nocturne testing was over when a new player joined our games and went for a heavy-Idol strategy. So we got to see that play out despite it not being a 2-player game.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2018, 11:53:36 am »
+2

It's worth mentioning (in my opinion) that this could be a symptom of a large skill gap among the player community. I think it's easy for us to forget that not everyone who plays Dominion frequents these forums, or reads strategy articles, or is familiar with all of the cards. A combo or synergy that may seem obvious to a veteran player will elude a newbie every time. Yes, BM is not as good as a properly functioning engine, but the BM player probably doesn't know how to build a properly functioning engine yet.

Further complicating this is that in 1st edition Base set, gold was (arguably) the best card in the game. I'm guessing a lot of people didn't challenge that assumption and always go for gold, and try to play as many gold as possible. Gold does have it's place in today's game too. When it's not possible to build a treasureless deck, gold will provide economy. I think in some situations, having access to the treasure cards drastically speeds up the game. Gold and silver a re a fail safe that can keep a boring kingdom from being a boring and painfully slow kingdom. Keeping the game fun for as many people as possible is the goal, not making the best things for a 2 player game.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 11:54:50 am by MatthewCA »
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