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Author Topic: Getting discouraged with the game  (Read 3310 times)

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SwitchedFromStarcraft

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Getting discouraged with the game
« on: May 25, 2012, 12:14:28 am »
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For the last several days, I've found myself in the oddest mindset: I'm simultaneously thinking about my lack of progress as a player (at least as evidenced by my steadily shrinking rating) at the same time I've had my first few games where I felt like everything came together.

Then I read the thread (in Puzzles) that asks about when you might swindle an opponent's silver rather than their gold when presented that choice.  In it is the following post from DG:
You can draw the silver later in the turn and use it as a different card to advance your horns of plenty.
You can play a harvest and know that the silver will be drawn for +1 coin.
You know that your opponent's deck + discard consists of two silvers and a gold, so removing a silver will improve the tributes you can play later in the turn.
You know that your opponent's deck + discard consists of a silver and two gold, so removing a silver will reduce the tributes your other opponent can play in their turn.
There are no gold cards left in the supply and the gold will be the only card in the opponent's deck+discard, so your swindler can trash the gold with no replacement.
You have foolishly played a golem to draw a noble brigand and masquerade in a situation where the stolen treasure will be drawn by the masquerade and become your worst card in hand, passed to your opponent.
How many games will I have to play before this sort of list of answers comes easily?
I can't decide how to phrase the question so that it generates answers that I will find usable, and/or doesn't sound flippant (thereby prompting flippant responses), so how about: At what skill level are you when you can compile a list like this in under say, 30 minutes of thought?  Or, if you prefer, how many games had you played when you realized you had this level of facility with the game?  Those are still not quite what I'm after because they suggest the answer is numerical.

And to be clear, my question is not directed at (just) DG.  I'd appreciate lots of different perspectives.

Theory - If this needs to be moved, I'll not be offended.  I considered posting it in the Help forum.
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Galzria

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2012, 12:26:13 am »
+1

I think, perhaps, the answer isn't exactly in itself what you're looking for. I imagine most of those responses listed by DG and others, in topics like that aren't generated by a knowledge gained from games played, but from a knowledge gained from hanging around on these forums and reading threads just like that.

I've learned SO many tricks in the puzzle forums for things that are only going to be applicable in 1 in every 10,000 games. If that. Odd pairings that cause unique situations to appear with unusual outcomes is... just different. It isn't about "gameplay" anymore, and really is about "puzzle solving". It's about looking at Dominion through an entirely different spectrum. One that really, most often, has no bearing on the actual game itself.

So I wouldn't worry too much about how being able to come up with crazy things like or not actually effects how you play when you sit down at a table, or join in a game on Isotropic. Most of that is irrelevant. Now, reading and understanding the Articles, and gleaning anything/everything you can from them is an entirely different discussion. And if you were to ask how long you would have to play to be able to think, articulate, and write a comprehensive article on good play/combo's, then I think you would get a very different response than above. One that I am certainly unqualified to answer.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 01:15:17 am »
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In general the puzzles are only tangentially related to actually playing Dominion. They're cute "tricks" about situations that are almost never going to come up. If you're interested in the puzzles, you can probably read the puzzle boards and learn from them to work on improving your dominion trivia, but I don't think that's too related to your gameplay. It's like trying to learn cute tactics that abuse particular map features in Starcraft. It's cool when you see BoxeR do it, but it's not really going to make a difference for you most of the time, when you really just need to work on not forgetting to make supply depots.

If you want advice on your actual gameplay, post game logs in the "Help!" forum with a little analysis of what you think about your strategy and that of your opponent, and someone here is bound to have some advice for you.
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Deadlock39

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 02:49:46 am »
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There is something to be said for knowing the cards and the rules well enough to come up with answers to puzzles like this, but as the others have pointed out, the actual puzzle solutions are not directly relevant to your ability.

olneyce

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 03:01:49 am »
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The puzzles always completely flummox me.  I don't think it has all that much to do with skill at the game.  Probably a moderate correlation, but certainly no clear causation.
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Piemaster

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2012, 03:26:05 am »
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Agree with all the responses above.  To give a practical example, after reading this thread I came up with most of the answers to the puzzle almost immediately, but if you look at my Iso rating you will see I suck quite a lot at the actual game.
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qmech

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2012, 03:43:31 am »
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Almost all of those answers are "Silver is clearly worse than Gold: except it has a different name".  So if you're used to the puzzles, the question becomes nearly equivalent to "What cards care about differently named cards?", which is something that might be useful to know if you play Dominion.  The specific question is so particular as to be useless though: you'll have a negligible effect on your win rate if you always take the Gold.

I'm not sure how much you have to play before you pick these things up.  Perhaps more useful are helpful ways of thinking about cards, and they're something that you can pick up by reading this site.  ("Horse Traders helps me hit an early $5", for instance.)

EDIT: To not confuse future readers.  Thanks ycz6.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 02:44:01 pm by qmech »
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ycz6

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2012, 04:09:18 am »
+2

Silver is clearly better than Gold
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DG

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2012, 04:41:34 am »
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Puzzling is quite different really. My puzzling was doing well even when my iso ranking was dropping like a stone after hinterlands.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 08:37:26 am »
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I'm going to agree. I mean, to strictly answer your question, I'd say for this particular puzzle, who knows, but for all these puzzles in general, skill level 75 or something. Whatever it is that is 'perfect'. These niche situations will get you... I don't know, half a level at best, off the top? Probably well less than that. Maybe .1. Certainly less than what you see in noise. Now, knowing that this is a puzzle about noble brigand rather than swindler, and recognizing the differences there, that will help ;). Okay, that's half-joking, but half-serious. Also, I agree, post your game logs, and most importantly post what your thought processes are to go along with them, and people can help you.

Grujah

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 08:53:13 am »
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Galziria probably summed it up the best.

Solving puzzles is all about:
a) knowing the rules of the game and of the cards perfectly
b) being able to use programmer's logic to come with a farfetch'ed situation that is never going to happen.

Thing is, you can be great at those puzzles just by knowing the cards and being able to think in a certain way.

It still doesn't teach how how to value each card in each setup or when to go green or when to break PPR and so on - which is far more important.
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Davio

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 10:13:35 am »
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I'm horrible at solving puzzles, yet I'm still level 35.
So there.

I've gotten better at the puzzles though, cause often the same culprits are causing the same problems.
And there are always governing principles.

A lot of puzzles boil down to gaining a card that you do not yet have and every time you gain a card you can trigger any and all alternate VP cards.
Gaining a unique Island can trigger:
- Gardens
- Fairgrounds
- Vineyards
- Silk Roads

So once you've seen a couple of puzzles like this, you're well trained for more.

I don't like doing exact math for puzzles, I'm satisfied when I've gotten the general idea.
I once had a puzzle called 'Cascading Gain' asking how much cards you can gain with a single Buy.
Once you've worked out that you can use Border Village, Haggler and Cache, you can build from there.
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Grujah

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2012, 10:34:08 am »
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I'm horrible at solving puzzles, yet I'm still level 35.
So there.

I've gotten better at the puzzles though, cause often the same culprits are causing the same problems.
And there are always governing principles.

A lot of puzzles boil down to gaining a card that you do not yet have and every time you gain a card you can trigger any and all alternate VP cards.
Gaining a unique Island can trigger:
- Gardens
- Fairgrounds
- Vineyards
- Silk Roads

So once you've seen a couple of puzzles like this, you're well trained for more.

I don't like doing exact math for puzzles, I'm satisfied when I've gotten the general idea.
I once had a puzzle called 'Cascading Gain' asking how much cards you can gain with a single Buy.
Once you've worked out that you can use Border Village, Haggler and Cache, you can build from there.

Also Highways and Talismans and Duchess!

Yeah, there are common culprits to puzzles, not just green cards but things like Possesion or Black Market or Watchtower or Haggler or cards that change prices or having nothing in draw/discard..

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Piemaster

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Re: Getting discouraged with the game
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2012, 01:11:32 am »
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I remember in my Magic playing days there were 3 categories given to players:

Spike - Players that fundamentally only really care about winning, and do it in the most efficient way possible
Johnny - Players who liked to win, but in cool and interesting ways with obscure combos
Timmy - Players who like big, cool and splashy effects, with winning a secondary objective

In Dominion terms, puzzles are a 'Johnny' thing, while the game itself is more a 'Spike' thing.  Being good at one doesn't necessarily translate into being good at the other.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 01:14:21 am by Piemaster »
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