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Author Topic: Which format would you prefer to see for the World Master's tournament?  (Read 4103 times)

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greatexpectations

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in it's current format, the Dominion World Master's Tournament (and related National Championships and feeder tournaments) feature 3 player games.  what would this community at large prefer to see from future tournaments? as a note, this is only a preference and will likely have no bearing on the future of the tournament

other threads have explored the best way to make 3/4 player tournaments work best, but i figured we should do a poll to see which format players prefer in the first place. the competitive community is rapidly growing and could potentially explode with the release of the funsockets app, so if there is to be serious change made to the format it would probably be best to appeal to Jay earlier rather than later.

feel free to vote and offer the reasoning behind the vote.
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Beyond Awesome

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I think the kingdoms should be well-thought out unlike the kingdoms dondon mentioned in his report of nationals. 2P would be ideal, but I guess if they want to go with 3P that works. However, finals should be 2P, and it should probably be something like best out of seven matches or something to make sure the proper winner is selected. Anyway, I'm only a level 25, but man reading that report of the nationals dondon was at just makes me sick. It sounds so poorly handled.
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Fabian

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I hate the idea of "well thought out" kingdoms. Give me random kingdoms taken from all available cards. This goes for any and all tournaments, I wasn't a fan of the idea during the Dominionstrategy championship either.
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shark_bait

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A World Master should not be decided by a 5/2 split on a kingdom with Witch....

Solution, play more games.
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Beyond Awesome

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A World Master should not be decided by a 5/2 split on a kingdom with Witch....

Solution, play more games.

Oh, and everyone should begin with identical starting hands.
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Lekkit

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Something we've used a lot is that each player gets to stack their deck for the first two hands (almost three with Nomad Camp, almost two with Noble Brigand).
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shark_bait

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A World Master should not be decided by a 5/2 split on a kingdom with Witch....

Solution, play more games.

Oh, and everyone should begin with identical starting hands.

I actually don't agree with that.  I think that random start adds unique aspects to the games (in addition to harmful aspects).  But the point being, I think the presence of the harmful aspects is not bad enough to take away the unique aspects gained from random start.  The idea is that as you approach n games in a series, the lucky harmful aspects of random start don't matter anymore in determining the better player.
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Fabian

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Something we've used a lot is that each player gets to stack their deck for the first two hands (almost three with Nomad Camp, almost two with Noble Brigand).

Something which I wasn't a big fan of at first, but now prefer over identical starting hands (though not over random starting hands).

In one game of the (2p) final, my opponent chose to open 5/2 (HP/Courtyard) while I chose to open 4/3 (Tournament/Swindler). It was fun to see that choosing the order of your starting deck doesn't necessarily mean same the exact same decisions, or indeed starting split, will always be made.
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Lekkit

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If it's only a single game, I prefer stacked starting hands. If it's a series, I'm fine with whatever.
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dondon151

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A World Master should not be decided by a 5/2 split on a kingdom with Witch....

Solution, play more games.

In my defense, that atrocity of a tiebreaker game should not really have even happened in the first place...

The regional qualifier that I attended also had a one-shot final round, but the TO had already created all of the kingdoms beforehand, and he stated that he did a lot of research to make them as interesting as possible (my impression of the TO was that he was a rather mediocre Dominion player, so he really went the extra mile to generate interesting pre-set kingdoms).

I actually don't agree with that.  I think that random start adds unique aspects to the games (in addition to harmful aspects).  But the point being, I think the presence of the harmful aspects is not bad enough to take away the unique aspects gained from random start.  The idea is that as you approach n games in a series, the lucky harmful aspects of random start don't matter anymore in determining the better player.

Ed, the other players, and I discussed about how outstanding luck disparities could be mitigated in tournament Dominion play after the tiebreaker round ended. I think the 2 most prominent ideas were controlling starting splits and implementing a veto system. I completely disagree with both of your assertions here - that random start adds more positive than negative aspects to the game, and that randomness can be adequately fixed by playing n games in a tournament setting.

I'd wager that a vast majority of kingdoms confer a non-significant advantage to either a 5/2 or 4/3 opening, and a smaller subset of kingdoms have an absolutely dominant opening split. First, in a set with only n games, just having 1 of the latter "dominant opening" kingdoms is sufficient to skew the expectation that everything evens out in the long run. Second, even having n games in the first place is unfeasible because RL games take longer and time is limited. Ideally, 2 players playing a first-to-arbitrarily-large-number of games will provide an accurate representation of their respective skill levels. But even a first-to-3 set takes at least an hour and a half to play, and a first-to-3 set is still highly susceptible to random luck.

So increasing the number of games played is not really a good option. I'm all for semifinals and finals that are first-to-2 wins or first-to-7 points or whatever (because hey, multiple games is better than not multiple games), but more effort should be dedicated to controlling the random aspects of the game that can be feasibly controlled.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:19:21 pm by dondon151 »
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shark_bait

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I guess I'm just a purist who loves random dominion.  In my ideal world, tournaments would have enough time to play enough games for say a best of 7 series.  But I do understand that an irl setting just doesn't have the time to make that feasible.  Like I said, I'm just a purist who would love to play as many random games of dominion as possible.

And dondon, my first post was by no means a dig at your winning the US nationals!  I think you're a fantastic player and I remember you crushing me in a few games where you did some practice multiplayer games with me.  Your win is well deserved!  My comment was more geared toward the system in which a tournament settings allowed for a winner to be crowned in a such a manner.

EDIT:  And my solution was of course my ideal solution even if it was a little unrealistic  :)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:30:34 pm by shark_bait »
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dondon151

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Like I said, I'm just a purist who would love to play as many random games of dominion as possible.

My personal opinion, having played competitive Super Smash Bros. for many years and enduring the whole debacle that was Brawl, is that in tournament settings where the stakes are high, you have to forgo randomness in order to accentuate the skill-based aspects of the game. Certainly, devising strategies that start from a suboptimal opening split or a disadvantageous starting position involves skill, but it's all too often that the skill is overshadowed by luck.

And dondon, my first post was by no means a dig at your winning the US nationals!

I meant that I screwed up my third afternoon game and completely passed over the Develop/Silk Road/Estate synergy, though at that point it was largely a prisoner's dilemma. The third player (who I think was Invincible Overlord) was going Ghost Ship-BM and mostly ignoring the SRs, so I could either contest the SRs and basically leave IO free to attack and buy the Provinces, or I could contest the Provinces by getting my own Ghost Ships and help out the SR player in the process (since he didn't have any Ghost Ships).

Despite missing the combo, I think I still managed that game rather well, prolonging it for as long as possible with Duchy buys, allowing me to place 2nd. Had I won that game, I would have clinched the top spot with 3 straight victories.

(Also the fact that the one guy that I needed to not win, won, complicated matters. I'm pretty sure that before his game ended, everyone in the room except for me was convinced that I was the undisputed winner, because that guy had absolutely no control of his game.)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:45:57 pm by dondon151 »
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ednever

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My fault. Sorry again. ;)

But think how much less discussion there would be if I had just won that game like I should have and you would have won undisputed...

Ed
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Tejayes

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My fault. Sorry again. ;)

But think how much less discussion there would be if I had just won that game like I should have and you would have won undisputed...

Ed

Exactly. The Nationals tournament wasn't fantastic to begin with, but I doubt this thread and the thread that inspired it would have even existed if it didn't lead to that horrid final game. If something is just bad, people will ignore it. If something is monstrously bad, however, people will try their best to fix it (see the response to the Japanese tsunami or the Action 52 OWNS project for examples).
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What makes any particular title vaunted? Is the World Series champion the world champion because they call themselves so? Not really. It is that everyone believes that they are. Everyone believes that the MLB is the best league in the world, and so that's where the prestige is.
Of course, money is also an issue, and it doesn't really look like anyone's going to be putting up a lot of money for a tournament, other than what we are seeing right now - there's just not a market.

Geronimoo

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Two player Dominion is great, but the game was designed mostly with 3 players in mind so that should be the format for a championship in my opinion. BUT, you need to play a lot of games to counter the randomness and unfortunately doesn't seem practical.
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Davio

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I actually voted for 3 player.

While I think that 2 player is the purest form of Dominion, I think 3 player may be the most realistic for live tournaments.
And I'm a big fan of 3 player in real life, I think it's the best # of players for the live format.

I have played with both 2 and 4 and I feel that with 2 player you're suffering a bit too much from shuffle downtime. You want to shuffle as good as possible, but you don't want to make the other player wait for your turn. With 4 player, you're just waiting a tad too long for your turn to come around. 3 player is perfect for me.

I actually like being able to choose your own starting hands.

But you have to be practical, luck plays a factor in Dominion, a big one and this factor is more apparent with similarly skilled opponents in small sets. I've played many poker tournaments and luck is sooo huge in those. You could be 100 times as good as everyone else in the tournament, you can still go out on the first hand.

Dominion isn't as luck dependent as poker, but with such a small sample size as any real life tournament will have, the winner will not necessarily be the best player nor the luckiest, more likely a combination of both.

Still I believe that the organization should try their best at, given the luck that is always going to be there, minimalizing that aspect. Proposing that players just submit play rules for the simulators based on a kingdom and letting the simulators run a gazillion times, goes a bit far. Equal or choosable starting hands is a step in the right direction.

Some sort of Swiss system is generally accepted and could work well enough for this kind of tournament. I think it's better than a round-robin + knockout phase.

Hell, I played in the Dutch championship last year which had 3 rounds that everybody would play with the best players advancing to the semis. I was placed first with 3 straight wins and ran into a deadly Swindler/Saboteur board where my Swindler immediately got Swindled. That was gg right there.
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