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Author Topic: Secret History discussion thread  (Read 1260 times)

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Donald X.

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Secret History discussion thread
« on: November 09, 2018, 04:07:05 am »
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Since you can't discuss it in that thread. http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=19203.0
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Aleimon Thimble

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 04:27:52 am »
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Quote
It turned out Ben King had been working on a Dominion program as a fun project, and he programmed in Renaissance and we playtested it some there. Thanks Ben! He also wrote some bots to demonstrate how powerful some particular cards were.

Dominion programs with stronger bots? Yes please!
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[...] The God of heaven has given you Dominion [...] (Daniel 2:37)

Donald X.

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 04:34:28 am »
+3

Dominion programs with stronger bots? Yes please!
They weren't AI; they just played particular cards via whatever simple formulas. If it's a struggle to beat a very basic strategy based on a particular playtest card, hmmm, maybe it's too strong.
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LibraryAdventurer

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 12:21:02 am »
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Was there anything especially unbalanced or wrong with the thing that turned silvers into peddlers or was it fine and just didn't make the cut?
 (Us fan card designers want to know these things.)

Donald X.

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 02:10:24 am »
+2

Was there anything especially unbalanced or wrong with the thing that turned silvers into peddlers or was it fine and just didn't make the cut?
 (Us fan card designers want to know these things.)
It tended to be useless or dominating. People didn't enjoy it being useless or dominating. Also it was wordy and couldn't even spell out what to do (which is, turn those Silvers sideways so you know which ones were Peddlers). At one point we ranked the cards and it was near the bottom for Projects (there was one Project below it which also left); I tried to replace such cards with better things.
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ConMan

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 05:44:32 pm »
+1

Chalk another one up for "ideas Donald already tried":
Quote from: Donald X.
Early on I had a Duration card that sat there accumulating Coffers tokens until you popped it. There were a few versions. It's no fun seeing a giant pile of tokens on the other side of the table, so these died.
When I won the Weekly Design Contest a few weeks back:
Quote from: ConMan
Wine Cellar
Action - Reserve - $4
+1 Action
Put this on your tavern mat.
---
At the start of your Buy phase, you may call this, to spend all the coin tokens on it for $1 each. Otherwise, place a coin token on this.
Still, the fact that it took a few versions to prove that it wasn't fun at least means that the idea isn't immediately bad.
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Donald X.

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2018, 07:16:28 pm »
+3

Still, the fact that it took a few versions to prove that it wasn't fun at least means that the idea isn't immediately bad.
And it turned into Sinister Plot!
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sorawotobu

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 04:44:39 am »
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What are the considerations that went into pricing the projects? Did you intend for most of them to get bought most games? Regarding Sinister Plot specifically, why does it cost 4 instead of 3 when in my experience you do sometimes want to open with it and buying it T1 is so much better than buying it T2, meaning you can get shafted there?
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Donald X.

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 08:49:35 am »
+2

What are the considerations that went into pricing the projects? Did you intend for most of them to get bought most games? Regarding Sinister Plot specifically, why does it cost 4 instead of 3 when in my experience you do sometimes want to open with it and buying it T1 is so much better than buying it T2, meaning you can get shafted there?
It costs $4 in order to compete with good opening cards that cost $4. If it cost $3, then someone with 3/4 could open Sinister Plot / Remake yeeha, while you were stuck with 4/3 and getting Sinister Plot turn two. See there's no pleasing you. At $4, no-one gets to open Sinister Plot / Remake, except all the times they do.

The considerations were mostly the same as with anything else. The cards are trying to be a decision, but also trying to be as cheap as they can be, and for sure it's more fun to have a card so cheap that you get it a lot, than so expensive that you never do. Good gameplay is what matters the most. Projects couldn't cost $2 (without a penalty) because sometimes they'd be automatic (you can hesitate over a Pearl Diver in some games, but never over a pure-upside Project). I'm not perfect; maybe Barracks would have been fine at $5.
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ipofanes

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2018, 03:53:10 am »
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never over a pure-upside Project

Not all Projects are pure upside, but I didn't spot any in the long list of outtakes. I understand it is partly because in-game downside effects are often missed, but some end-of-game condition (like a gentle version of a Wall, maybe a ditch) could have been considered, and I wonder why it wasn't.
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Donald X.

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2018, 04:46:32 am »
+1

Not all Projects are pure upside, but I didn't spot any in the long list of outtakes. I understand it is partly because in-game downside effects are often missed, but some end-of-game condition (like a gentle version of a Wall, maybe a ditch) could have been considered, and I wonder why it wasn't.
I'm not sure what you mean, but I specifically tried to have Projects not overlap much with Events and Landmarks. So no VP Project, no Projects you buy repeatedly.
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napking24

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2018, 03:18:53 pm »
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I can see why a negative artifact doesn't work out. If it's earned on-gain, then someone gets stuck with it for the rest of the game and the effect can't be too debilitating to decide the game. If it's earned on-play, then either the same problem as before or it'll just get traded around and nobody really suffers from it.
My out-of-the-box thinking starts looking at earned on-trash on a card you want to trash-for-benefit, maybe peddler-style. Or something like IGG. Starting to get complicated. I think it also comes down to that it's easy to ignore or forget bad effects that hurt you (in table-play) if it's not a card you are playing right now.


One final point: Villain can only ever discard down to 4 and usually only hits once-per-turn. Was a guarantee of hitting a "good" card too high in junking games?
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Donald X.

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2018, 06:51:21 pm »
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One final point: Villain can only ever discard down to 4 and usually only hits once-per-turn. Was a guarantee of hitting a "good" card too high in junking games?
There were a lot of versions of Villain, trying to find something that hurt enough but not too much. Games with Witches weren't specifically the problem.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2018, 07:21:13 pm »
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Not all Projects are pure upside, but I didn't spot any in the long list of outtakes. I understand it is partly because in-game downside effects are often missed, but some end-of-game condition (like a gentle version of a Wall, maybe a ditch) could have been considered, and I wonder why it wasn't.
I'm not sure what you mean, but I specifically tried to have Projects not overlap much with Events and Landmarks. So no VP Project, no Projects you buy repeatedly.

Cathedral seems like it's not "pure upside".

Otherwise, the big downside to Projects seems to be the same as many things in Dominion: buying one when you should have bought something else.
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ipofanes

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2018, 03:03:30 am »
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Indeed, at the moment Cathedral is the only Project with a downside to it. My point was that one could nerf Project effects with an end-of-game penalty, if one would want to nerf them. At the moment, the exploration space of Projects is large enough that you can do without this complexity. But the discussion was over the reason why there are no $2 projects. The reason was that they would be as pointless as the decision whether to use Basilica. But cheap projects are conceivable if there is another downside to them.
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markus

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2018, 12:02:45 pm »
+2

I've already had a case when I felt that Citadel was a downside, because I couldn't play my trasher only once.
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greybirdofprey

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Re: Secret History discussion thread
« Reply #16 on: Today at 09:02:31 am »
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Indeed, at the moment Cathedral is the only Project with a downside to it. My point was that one could nerf Project effects with an end-of-game penalty, if one would want to nerf them. At the moment, the exploration space of Projects is large enough that you can do without this complexity. But the discussion was over the reason why there are no $2 projects. The reason was that they would be as pointless as the decision whether to use Basilica. But cheap projects are conceivable if there is another downside to them.

*cue naming all the edge cases where some of the non-optional projects hurt you*
Although Canal definitely hurts your trash-for-benefits.
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