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ShuffleLuck

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Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« on: May 02, 2012, 09:28:52 pm »
+4

Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck, and I've been sober from Dominion for about 10 minutes.

I'm a researcher at a west coast university in the USA. I mostly just lurk on the forums, but I read quite a bit, so thanks to everyone for all your thoughts! Special thanks to all the simulator folks, for sharing their wisdom.

Obviously, Dominion is a super great game. Is it perfect, though? What changes would you make, for competitive tournaments?

I would increase the kingdom size, from 10 to 12 (or perhaps even 14?). Baring curated sets, I think this is needed to provide more possibilities and combinations for expert players.

The other change I would make for competitive play is to decrease the first player advantage by giving the P1 a negative point at the start of the match. In four player games, it could be -3,-2,-1, or something like that.

What would you do?
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Young Nick

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 09:40:42 pm »
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I have said it before and will say it again that I am all for including more kingdom cards. If you could do custom games that had as many (or as few) kingdom cards as you wanted, I would be so down to try that out.
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Morgrim7

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 09:52:12 pm »
0

Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck, and I've been sober from Dominion for about 10 minutes.

I'm a researcher at a west coast university in the USA. I mostly just lurk on the forums, but I read quite a bit, so thanks to everyone for all your thoughts! Special thanks to all the simulator folks, for sharing their wisdom.

Obviously, Dominion is a super great game. Is it perfect, though? What changes would you make, for competitive tournaments?

I would increase the kingdom size, from 10 to 12 (or perhaps even 14?). Baring curated sets, I think this is needed to provide more possibilities and combinations for expert players.

The other change I would make for competitive play is to decrease the first player advantage by giving the P1 a negative point at the start of the match. In four player games, it could be -3,-2,-1, or something like that.

What would you do?
Welcome to the Forum.
I wouldn't make any changes to Dominion, because, although I may not know it then, it may be some horrible error that, when discovered, will be extremely game warping.
About the increase of kingdom cards, I dont think that is a good idea for 2 reasons:
1. Because it would increase the number of viable strategies per kingdom, thus increasing the complexity.
2. Because many cards lose some of their value with more cards. Say if Sea Hag, and Young Witch were on the board together. Usually YW is a good card, right? But it has lost its value due to the presence of Sea Hag. This isn't the only example, either. There are many more, such as Cellar to Warehouse, Moat to Lighthouse, Ironworks to Workshop, Lab to Stables, TR to KC, etc. This method of increasing the kingdom size also increases the possibility of the examples above.

I'll have to think about the next one. Instead of -VP you could begin with curses instead of estates?
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jonts26

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 10:04:32 pm »
0

About the increase of kingdom cards, I dont think that is a good idea for 2 reasons:
1. Because it would increase the number of viable strategies per kingdom, thus increasing the complexity.
2. Because many cards lose some of their value with more cards. Say if Sea Hag, and Young Witch were on the board together. Usually YW is a good card, right? But it has lost its value due to the presence of Sea Hag. This isn't the only example, either. There are many more, such as Cellar to Warehouse, Moat to Lighthouse, Ironworks to Workshop, Lab to Stables, TR to KC, etc. This method of increasing the kingdom size also increases the possibility of the examples above.

How is 1 a bad thing?
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Morgrim7

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 10:11:49 pm »
0

About the increase of kingdom cards, I dont think that is a good idea for 2 reasons:
1. Because it would increase the number of viable strategies per kingdom, thus increasing the complexity.
2. Because many cards lose some of their value with more cards. Say if Sea Hag, and Young Witch were on the board together. Usually YW is a good card, right? But it has lost its value due to the presence of Sea Hag. This isn't the only example, either. There are many more, such as Cellar to Warehouse, Moat to Lighthouse, Ironworks to Workshop, Lab to Stables, TR to KC, etc. This method of increasing the kingdom size also increases the possibility of the examples above.

How is 1 a bad thing?
If you are trying to teach a new player Dominion, they will be overwhelmed with all the options. I remember my first game of Dominion, (it was a solo game) and I had no idea what to buy, so I randomly bought a card. (FWIW, that card happened to be Remodel.)  If you know how to play well, though, is isn't such a bad idea.
It also increases the length of the game. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that why in a 2 player game we only play with 8 VP cards instead of 12?
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jonts26

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 10:20:54 pm »
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You raise a good point about the beginner play. Dominion is more accessible with fewer cards, but it's not much more of a barrier to entry.

The way I see it, the big pro from more kingdom cards is the increased strategy space. Engines are more likely, alt VP strategies are more likely. This gives players more room to play with. There have been a ton of times when I've looked at a board and thought of all the great things i could do .. if only I had a +buy. So instead I play Masq/BM. More cards = more opportunities to have all the pieces you want.

The biggest drawback for me is the more frequent appearance of the power cards, particularly cursers. I really don't think I would want to play even more curse games than I do now, but more cards will do that. Even without curses though, other poewr cards will give even less opportunity for weaker cards to shine. So there is a greater imbalance in the card strengths.
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olneyce

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 10:34:30 pm »
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I actually like the idea of 1P starting with -1 VP a lot.  I'd be curious to see how that affects the winning percentage.

I would also be curious to see if bigger kingdoms might also provide an opportunity for some weaker cards to shine.  For a lot of the situation-specific weak cards, the reason they are so weak is a lack of the necessary supporting cast.  You see Counting House/Coppersmith relatively often, but if you don't have the right supporting cards (a village, certainly, but also discarders, etc.) it's just not worth pursuing.  If you ramped up the size of the kingdom, you would potentially be adding more power cards but you also might be adding more pieces of a weak-card puzzle.

I have no idea if this would really happen, or if it would overwhelm the power cards (which also have even more support than normal) but it seems possible at least.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 10:52:19 pm »
+1

my first thoughts are that increasing the kingdom size is a poor idea.  it just seems like it will actually limit gameplay, not improve it, because we will end up seeing some of the power 2/3 card combos more and more often.

of course, i can see some of the potential pros. i'm just not sure it is worth it if i am also seeing fishing village/torturer, governor/goons, and KC/anything more often.

i think young witch actually handles the situation quite well.  it adds a kingdom card, but that added card is rarely going to be the key card of the set.  and for all we know dark ages or guilds will incorporate a similar mechanic.
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jonts26

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 10:53:00 pm »
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I see coppersmith as a potential exception, because it shines in decks where you can reliable draw a lot of cards without having to trash. So it needs the support to be good. Wharf/village I'm looking at you.

But a lot of weak cards are just weak, and you'll be spending most of the game racing for the big guns anyway. No time to divert your attention. B-Crat is usually ignorable except in a few situations. But add in more power cards, and I see no reason to almost ever waste a buy on it.
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Young Nick

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 10:53:35 pm »
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Regarding beginner play: This is a situation where subtracting kingdom cards might be better than adding. 10 cards may be too many for a beginner. I just am inclined to assume that DXV chose 10 because it is a relatively good number of kingdom cards, but ALSO because it is such a round number. Obviously these are all custom games, but maybe if both players agree ti x kingdom cards before they see the cards, this could increase enjoyment all around.
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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 03:54:18 am »
+1

More Kingdom cards = greater odds of having broken combinations = less cards of the kingdom being used instead of more

It's probably a bad thing.
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Donald X.

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 04:13:44 am »
+1

Regarding beginner play: This is a situation where subtracting kingdom cards might be better than adding. 10 cards may be too many for a beginner. I just am inclined to assume that DXV chose 10 because it is a relatively good number of kingdom cards, but ALSO because it is such a round number. Obviously these are all custom games, but maybe if both players agree ti x kingdom cards before they see the cards, this could increase enjoyment all around.
It was initially 10, as a number that I thought maybe people could cope with. There was a time period when I played with 8, to see how it compared. It was fine but not as good. I was never tempted to go above 10, because people already forget about cards with 10.
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Axxle

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 06:22:15 am »
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I actually like the idea of 1P starting with -1 VP a lot.  I'd be curious to see how that affects the winning percentage.
I think there was someone who looked at all the 2p games where there was a tie and awarded those games to the second player.  I believe that evened out the win percentages a bit more.  It is similar to giving 1P a -1 VP penalty, although I think you'd also have to add the games where the first player ended a game with a one point lead.
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ShuffleLuck

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 12:51:02 pm »
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Regarding beginner play: This is a situation where subtracting kingdom cards might be better than adding. 10 cards may be too many for a beginner. I just am inclined to assume that DXV chose 10 because it is a relatively good number of kingdom cards, but ALSO because it is such a round number. Obviously these are all custom games, but maybe if both players agree ti x kingdom cards before they see the cards, this could increase enjoyment all around.

I agree completely that more than 10 cards would be way too many for beginners. My question, rather, was about how to improve competitive tournaments. In chess, for example, super beginners don't play with a clock, but tournaments do. Along the same lines, I'm wondering how dominion might be modified to make high level play even better.

Quote
More Kingdom cards = greater odds of having broken combinations = less cards of the kingdom being used instead of more

It's probably a bad thing.

I agree this is potential problem, although there is still always the question of how to best support the good combos, or the question of which good combo is better. For example, you'd have to choose between remake and chapel more often, or between young witch and sea hag. There are also more counters, so you get more lighthouse, watchtower, etc. A possible compromise: add 2 extra "cheap" cards (cost 4 or below?) to each kingdom. This would increase the number of support options, without increasing the prevalence of Goons, King's Court, etc.

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ShuffleLuck

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 12:53:13 pm »
+1

I actually like the idea of 1P starting with -1 VP a lot.  I'd be curious to see how that affects the winning percentage.
I think there was someone who looked at all the 2p games where there was a tie and awarded those games to the second player.  I believe that evened out the win percentages a bit more.  It is similar to giving 1P a -1 VP penalty, although I think you'd also have to add the games where the first player ended a game with a one point lead.

Another idea: instead of -1 VP, use -.5 VP (or -1.5 VP). This provides the additional benefit of avoiding ties. (Credit to the Komi idea developed for Go http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_%28game%29#Komi )
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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 01:26:05 pm »
+1

Hi shuffle luck, I hate you. ;)
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gorgonstar

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 01:43:45 pm »
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I think a modified version of veto mode should be used in tournaments.  The first player wouldn't get to veto any cards.  The second player and third player could veto one.  The last player could veto two.  I think this would give the last player a better chance in a multiplayer game.  A lot of tournaments that have been run don't address this problem.
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ShuffleLuck

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 02:54:26 pm »
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I think a modified version of veto mode should be used in tournaments.  The first player wouldn't get to veto any cards.  The second player and third player could veto one.  The last player could veto two.  I think this would give the last player a better chance in a multiplayer game.  A lot of tournaments that have been run don't address this problem.

That's an interesting and novel idea -- I like it!

On the one hand, given identical opponents, I don't think it would make much difference -- the big first player advantage cards (such as attack cards) would become less common, while the 2nd player advantage cards (such as smuggler) would become more common, but first player would still have a distinct advantage. On the other hand, real world people have different strengths (such as engines vs big money + X), so you could use your vetoes to play to your strengths. I'm curious how large of an effect this would end up having on results.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2012, 03:23:23 pm »
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Interesting that I should just happen to see this in the feed on ds.com.  There's another thread called "First player bias" that got totally hijacked by people arguing about the potential for collusion in competitive Dominion (see here if you care: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=2408.0)

I wanted to talk about first player bias, so I posted this yesterday, but it was drowned out of the other discussion:

In a tournament setting, letting players bid negative points to go first after they've seen the Kingdom seems like a decent way handle the first player issue.  It allows the penalty to shift based on how strong each player thinks going first is on that board.

Isotropic / online is a bit more complicated since people generally just want to play and going through a bidding process before each match would be obnoxious.  I can imagine a gentle handicap system working here, though if going second has cost Captain_Frisk .4% of his 5000+ games, maybe it's just not a big enough deal for a casual online format.
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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2012, 03:26:40 pm »
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Interesting that I should just happen to see this in the feed on ds.com.  There's another thread called "First player bias" that got totally hijacked by people arguing about the potential for collusion in competitive Dominion (see here if you care: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=2408.0)

I wanted to talk about first player bias, so I posted this yesterday, but it was drowned out of the other discussion:

In a tournament setting, letting players bid negative points to go first after they've seen the Kingdom seems like a decent way handle the first player issue.  It allows the penalty to shift based on how strong each player thinks going first is on that board.

Isotropic / online is a bit more complicated since people generally just want to play and going through a bidding process before each match would be obnoxious.  I can imagine a gentle handicap system working here, though if going second has cost Captain_Frisk .4% of his 5000+ games, maybe it's just not a big enough deal for a casual online format.
It hasn't been discussed much there because we've discussed it on like 4 previous occasions.

greatexpectations

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2012, 03:36:32 pm »
+2

It hasn't been discussed much there because we've discussed it on like 4 previous occasions.

only two on bidding that i could see :).
Second Player Compensation
Rule Suggestion...

but the topic of compensating for the first player advantage comes up all the time. maybe it's time for another FAQ update.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Hello, my name is ShuffleLuck
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2012, 04:20:49 pm »
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Interesting that I should just happen to see this in the feed on ds.com.  There's another thread called "First player bias" that got totally hijacked by people arguing about the potential for collusion in competitive Dominion (see here if you care: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=2408.0)

I wanted to talk about first player bias, so I posted this yesterday, but it was drowned out of the other discussion:

In a tournament setting, letting players bid negative points to go first after they've seen the Kingdom seems like a decent way handle the first player issue.  It allows the penalty to shift based on how strong each player thinks going first is on that board.

Isotropic / online is a bit more complicated since people generally just want to play and going through a bidding process before each match would be obnoxious.  I can imagine a gentle handicap system working here, though if going second has cost Captain_Frisk .4% of his 5000+ games, maybe it's just not a big enough deal for a casual online format.
It hasn't been discussed much there because we've discussed it on like 4 previous occasions.

Ok, that's fine, but I haven't discussed it and that's what the thread was about.  If you guys don't want to discuss it, then the considerate thing to do is start your own thread, which I see has been done now.  And if it's been discussed to death, then why are all the highest level Iso players even viewing a thread called "First player bias"?  Seems like there's more to work out there...
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