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Author Topic: Defining the difference between levels  (Read 682 times)

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Wolphmaniac

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Defining the difference between levels
« on: December 19, 2019, 09:50:37 pm »
+1

For the past two years I've plateaued.  I bounce around L52 and L53, rank 500-700.  I never go lower and I also never go higher.  Like anyone else I play higher ranked players often and sometimes win, but I haven't put my finger on what makes them consistently better.  If I could, then maybe I would be consistently better! 

So that got me thinking... are there any simple and elegant distinctions of players at different levels? 

Here's my offering:

At the start of the game...
L47 and below: Often doesn't see the combo at all.
L48-50: Usually sees the combo and always goes for it.  Doesn't often maximize it.
L51-53: Always sees the combo and goes for it.  Often maximizes it.
L54-56: Maximizes the combo if they play it, but also sees the "Or...".  Knows when the combo won't be the best strategy and will pick out a different optimal strategy instead.  Transcends recognition and maximization of the combo and thinks about the combo critically.
L57-58:  Transcends recognition and maximization of the combo and thinks about the combo critically, and also sometimes comes up with completely original alternate strategies.  Often can envision the whole game before it happens.
L59 and higher: Almost always can envision the whole game before it happens.  Plans for turn 7 on turn 1.  Maximizes fundamental strategies if using them, or can always invent something else if needed.

That's my best shot at it.  Would love to hear what others think!


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traces Around

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Re: Defining the difference between levels
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 11:52:25 pm »
+1

The difference between a higher rated player and a lower rated one is that the higher rated player does everything slightly to a lot better.

If you're able to attribute certain actions to higher rated players you already do them you're just worse at them.

Titandrake

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Re: Defining the difference between levels
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2019, 02:14:37 pm »
+2

The difference between a higher rated player and a lower rated one is that the higher rated player does everything slightly to a lot better.

If you're able to attribute certain actions to higher rated players you already do them you're just worse at them.

Yes, pretty much this. When I was active I peaked at about level 60 and I certainly didn't "plan for turn 7 on turn 1". Right now I'm about level 55 and I'd describe it as

Under 50: what are you even doing
50-53: you kinda get what's going on here, but you make big blunders that don't get punished at your level
53-55: you usually get a strategy that's reasonable but may miss a better one, and also still make big blunders
55-60: you get what's going on but still make lots of small mistakes, and one or two huge ones
60 and up: you get what's going on and make fewer small mistakes, but you still make plenty of them and the space of potential mistakes is much bigger at your level.

Based on watching streams, people in the level 54-58 see almost all the same strategies top players do, they're just worse at executing them in every way possible.

Generally the consistently-better wins come from better shuffle management early, better endgame play late, and better buy decisions for everything in between. The buy decisions are the biggest factor but it's hard to make general statements about this. The shuffles can be summed up as "have you thought about whether you want to trigger this shuffle", and the endgame can be summed up as "have you thought about 3-piles and what buys are safe and unsafe given your opponent's potential".
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 02:18:54 pm by Titandrake »
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LibraryAdventurer

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Re: Defining the difference between levels
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 10:06:48 pm »
+2

L47 and below: Often doesn't see the combo at all.
Under 50: what are you even doing

Wow. I mean, I can usually beat anyone I play with in person. It's only the competitive players who play online who beat me a lot. You must understand the spectrum of how good someone is at this game is a lot wider than levels 50-60...
(I'm currently at level 47 if I remember correctly. I made it to level 50 once.)

Titandrake

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Re: Defining the difference between levels
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2019, 03:31:01 pm »
+2

L47 and below: Often doesn't see the combo at all.
Under 50: what are you even doing

Wow. I mean, I can usually beat anyone I play with in person. It's only the competitive players who play online who beat me a lot. You must understand the spectrum of how good someone is at this game is a lot wider than levels 50-60...
(I'm currently at level 47 if I remember correctly. I made it to level 50 once.)

Sure, but if you're posting on a forum called "Dominion Strategy", it shouldn't be surprising that you can probably beat most people who play IRL.

Top of the leaderboard is about 65 these days. I didn't comment on 65 vs 60 because I don't think I can explain the difference there, but skill wise that's the same diff as 45-50. There are levels to this thing, the last time I spectated a high 40s game I was disagreeing with the buys about every other turn. I'm sure if a 60 watched me they'd complain half the time too. In fact I know this for a fact, since some 60s spectated my shuffle IT match and they told me they were just complaining about both players the whole time.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 03:35:05 pm by Titandrake »
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Jfrisch

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Re: Defining the difference between levels
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2019, 10:55:17 pm »
0

I feel like tactics and endgame skill become more and more critical at higher levels. Tactics as in "I want to deny you this pile, this pile is going to run out earlier, etc" basically aspects which rely on the interactivity. Endgame skills as in figuring out roughly when the game might end but also, and equally importantly, what to do about that. Basically the truly interactive and local aspects of the game (the ones which make it different from multiplayer solitaire) become a huge factor between better players. I haven't been active for a but I did technically make the top 10 at some point and I regularly misremembered what was in my deck, let alone being able to see 7 turns ahead. That's really not it (seeing 2 or 3 turns ahead in the endgame, on the other hand, really is important). BTW higher level players still make tons of important and not crazily subtle mistakes. I suspect that even a hypothetical level 70 player would lose against perfect play more than 4/5s of the time.
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