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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 1727689 times)

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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5375 on: July 02, 2022, 05:05:41 pm »
+2

That's nonsense. If you use your spare free time to make the effort to design a rule document for a game you obviously like that stuff, i.e. rule changes and rule details.
But you cannot have those without the game designer also caring about these very details and actually changing the rules!

That's my point. Either static game design with rules set in stone or constant improvement and evolvement.

I think it is great that DXV is updating the game. But I also don't worry about getting all the new errata right when playing with first edition cards. It's details, not essentials.

I just noticed that this is the Donald X. interview thread and we're off on a tangent here. Also, incredibly, you're somehow questioning my motivations for writing a rules document instead of actually addressing any of my actual points. It's just so irrelevant. That said, you're half right and half very wrong. You're obviously right that I like rule details. But there's no connection between that and enjoying a ruleset in flux. What I originally liked about the Dominion rules was actually things like their simplicity and consistency, so the rules changes to a great extent represent the opposite of what I enjoy about game rules. Now I'm talking strictly on a personal level, not about what is good for the game etc. (Actually, I don't really have the time and the interest to keep updating my document, but so far I'm doing it anyway because I know that the moment it's not being updated, it's a lot less relevant and the work I already put into it loses a lot of its value.)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 02:13:06 am by Jeebus »
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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5376 on: July 02, 2022, 05:16:23 pm »
+2

So either you don't care about rule details and perfection and complain about errata or you care about rule details and perfection and welcome the errata. You cannot have it both ways and pretend that game designers should get everything right from the get-go in the case of a still-evolving-game. Might be possible with a DeLaurean but not in the real world.
I just happen to think that Dominion was a great game even before all the errata started in 2019. That's 11 years of the game not sucking. (Not saying that it sucks after that of course, only that it would still be great even without any errata.) Dominion used to be "evolving" in one sense only, that it would get new expansions (and even that not always). There's nothing imperfect about that, since the game was never broken.

chipperMDW

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5377 on: July 02, 2022, 05:22:06 pm »
+6

You can do meterology without catastrophes.
The magnitude of the event is beside the point. Being interested in meteorology also doesn't require you to be happy that it's raining.
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segura

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5378 on: July 02, 2022, 05:32:03 pm »
0

That's nonsense. If you use your spare free time to make the effort to design a rule document for a game you obviously like that stuff, i.e. rule changes and rule details.
But you cannot have those without the game designer also caring about these very details and actually changing the rules!

That's my point. Either static game design with rules set in stone or constant improvement and evolvement.

I think it is great that DXV is updating the game. But I also don't worry about getting all the new errata right when playing with first edition cards. It's details, not essentials.

I just noticed that this is the Donald X. interview thread and we're off on a tangent here. Also, incredibly, you're somehow questioning my motivations for writing a rules document instead of actually addressing any of my actual points. It's just so irrelevant. That said, you're half right and half very wrong. You're obviously right that I like rule details. But there's no connection between that and enjoying a ruleset in flux. What I originally liked about the Dominion rules was actually things like their simplicity and consistency, so the rules changed to a great extent represent the opposite of what I enjoy about game rules. Now I'm talking strictly on a personal level, not about what is good for the game etc. (Actually, I don't really have the time and the interest to keep updating my document, but so far I'm doing it anyway because I know that the moment it's not being updated, it's a lot less relevant and the work I already put into it loses a lot of its value.)
You cannot pretend that the increasing number of expansions and mechanisms is somehow totally unrelated to the errata or that you could have Dominion with a zillion expansions and no increasing rule complexity.

Also, there likely wouldn't be errata if there were no people who cared about funky rule edge cases. For example you can easily play the game without Command card updates without ever encountering loops in practice. I can certainly not memorize all the errate while my physical cards say something else and the differences are really of minor practical relevance.
Sure, something like Plan becomes stronger when it is on-gain instead of on-buy but there is nothing broken either way.

So yeah, if you actually dislike the rule intricacies and updates of the game, you can easily play it without being aware of most of them. Works well for me. You can even ignore errata you don't like (I definitely won't play with Throne-able Highways), you can simplify the game however you like, you can be utterly pragmatic about the rules.

The game can be simple if you like to, but then you gotta stop caring about edge cases. Or you continue to care about funky stuff, but then you gotta roll along with what this entails: updates, errata, constant change.
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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5379 on: July 03, 2022, 02:22:41 am »
+1

Most of the 40 cards getting errata now are not related to funky edge cases.

I have never advocated for a zillion expansions in any way.

It's possible to have many expansions without errata, as you're also saying (contradicting yourself). I could pick apart more of what you're saying (actually I have already), but I think this nonsense has gone on long enough.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 02:25:51 am by Jeebus »
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5380 on: July 03, 2022, 12:01:52 pm »
+11

Jeebus / Nick / Punchball has done a lot of great work, compiling rulings; I direct people to that document. He makes work for me sometimes, and I make work for him.

Every way in which the game could be simpler makes me sad. Errata like the new batch makes "the game, considering everything ever" more complex, but simplifies "the game as it is now."
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arcee

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5381 on: July 12, 2022, 11:16:57 pm »
+1

How do you feel about the balance between putting the rules on the components vs saving space/font size and sending people to the rulebook?  The specific one that surprised me recently was the Favours mat in Allies, it mentions you need one Ally with Liaisons but not that each player starts with a Favour.  Containing part but not all of the setup for this situation seems the worst of both worlds - I think it's easier to forget the favour than if there were no text on the mat.  Interested if you can think of other situations where you had to choose these sorts of things.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5382 on: July 13, 2022, 11:22:52 am »
+7

How do you feel about the balance between putting the rules on the components vs saving space/font size and sending people to the rulebook?  The specific one that surprised me recently was the Favours mat in Allies, it mentions you need one Ally with Liaisons but not that each player starts with a Favour.  Containing part but not all of the setup for this situation seems the worst of both worlds - I think it's easier to forget the favour than if there were no text on the mat.  Interested if you can think of other situations where you had to choose these sorts of things.
Possibly the mat should have had that setup Favor on it. As I like to say, you never see the mistakes they caught. We catch lots of mistakes ;_;

In general Dominion leans towards putting stuff on the cards, not in the rulebook. For all games I like putting stuff on the cards, but sometimes something is very common and easy to remember and it will save a lot of space to put it in the rulebook. Or it may feel like it's really the game and not the card. There are also corner cases that don't really come up; those don't like to be explained on cards. And some stuff just has no hope of fitting on the cards.

Overpay is now very rulebook-y - with no rulebook yet - but that's a result of needing to work with what was there (I don't know what it would look like if I were making the set from scratch today; I haven't put in that work).
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arcee

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5383 on: July 13, 2022, 02:35:56 pm »
0

In general Dominion leans towards putting stuff on the cards, not in the rulebook. For all games I like putting stuff on the cards, but sometimes something is very common and easy to remember and it will save a lot of space to put it in the rulebook. Or it may feel like it's really the game and not the card.

Ways are a good example of this.  Each could have said how to use them but that makes for a lot of distracting text, just as well to make people learn it the hard way once and then easily see what each Way does.
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dz

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5384 on: July 13, 2022, 03:27:47 pm »
+1

Would you reword Guardian/Ghost Town/Night Watchman/Den of Sin to match Berserker? I think this change would have more upsides than downsides (other than the downside of needing errata)?
"To hand" is simpler in that maybe something messes the situation up, and if that means it's not in your hand that's no problem, and if it means you don't have the card to put it into play, well it used to be that that was a problem. These days however, we don't play the card if you lost it, so, aside from needing to know that, they would work with "play this." It does seem like I would have done that, and just lived with not being able to Exorcist those cards (as usual Dominion doesn't need any particular cute combo).

But, this doesn't seem like the kind of change I'd make with errata.

Actually, I think Villa might be the most deserving of the Berserker wording. We can get rid of the "put this into your hand, +1 Action" middleman and just play it.

Villa
+2 Actions
+1 Buy
+$1
----
When you gain this, you may play it, and if it's your Buy phase return to your Action phase.

Anyways, more things I'm curious about (and/or want to put on the wiki):

Why did Urchin not get errata (to line up with Hermit)? Is it because Urchin getting "exchange" doesn't make enough of a difference to justify errata?

Why do Tax, Defiled Shrine Messenger need to be "in your buy phase" and not "during your turn"? Of all the when-buy to when-gain changes, those are the only ones which I think may be unnecessarily conservative.

What do you think of the concept of cards that "bundle" a bunch of other cards (like Tournament and Page)? Other than being intimidating for casual players, I think they (usually) have the problem of one bad apple spoiling the rest (e.g. Warrior)?

The secret history says that Trail got its when-trash ability late. And from what I've seen, Trail jumping out of the trash was unintuitive for a lot of people (fortunately it's in the rulebook). Was this a concern at all (I can't really think of a better wording to solve this though)?

Do you think that 3-cost cards are the most likely to go wrong? It seems like raising Urchin/Ambassador/Stockpile to 4 would solve (not all, but most) of their problems.

In general, how good are you at predicting "a lot of casuals will hate this card" and "a lot of experts will hate this card"?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2022, 07:13:52 pm by dz »
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5385 on: July 14, 2022, 02:38:29 pm »
+7

Actually, I think Villa might be the most deserving of the Berserker wording. We can get rid of the "put this into your hand, +1 Action" middleman and just play it.
Looks nice.

Why did Urchin not get errata (to line up with Hermit)? Is it because Urchin getting "exchange" doesn't make enough of a difference to justify errata?
It's something I can consider again the next time the set is reprinted. Dark Ages has a trashing theme; it matters if cards go to the trash. That's something to preserve if there isn't a good reason to change it. It's nice to exchange, especially once the word is in the set; it's more what was meant in the first place (the Urchin turns into a Mercenary, he doesn't die), and works cleanly. Once you know what it is. Ultimately it's a question as to which is better.

Why do Tax, Defiled Shrine Messenger need to be "in your buy phase" and not "during your turn"? Of all the when-buy to when-gain changes, those are the only ones which I think may be unnecessarily conservative.
For Tax, I'd be punishing Action Workshops if I made it "turn"; on a card that I'm just fixing, not making from scratch, there's sure no call for that.

Defiled Shrine could possibly be "turn." It would let you Workshop the Curse but that's not so bad. It doesn't make much of a difference for Black Cat.

Incidentally! Basilica and Colonnade are both getting "in your Buy phase" added. I tried for the simplest versions of the cards, and let them be more different to get there, but a bunch of people complained, and while they don't seem super reasonable to me, them being unhappy with this change is real, and the intention was to fix cards not make them as if new cards, and "in your Buy phase" is not the mess that "that you bought" is.

And! Donate will somehow get more different at the same time, it will trigger at the start of your next turn, that's right. This has played great. It's a little weird since you're not used to it, but is as close as possible to the original while getting rid of rules problems. Yes "first" means before other start-of-turn stuff. And we can cite how e.g. it means you're immune to Militia for a turn. But it's very close to the original. It even gets rid of some unintentional changes the other versions had, like being able to trash everything with Tomb on your last turn.

Donate: Event, 8D
At the start of your next turn, first, put your deck and discard pile into your hand, trash any number of cards from it, then shuffle the rest into your deck and draw 5 cards.

Basilica: Landmark
When you gain a card in your Buy phase, if you have $2 or more, take 2VP from here.
----------
Setup: Put 6VP here per player.

Colonnade: Landmark
When you gain an Action card in your Buy phase, if you have a copy of it in play, take 2VP from here.
----------
Setup: Put 6VP here per player.

And these changes will appear in the next release of the TGG version, and I mean whenever Stef puts them in for dominion.games.

And I will go report this on the discord too, and figure that Nick / Punchball / Jeebus will see it here.

What do you think of the concept of cards that "bundle" a bunch of other cards (like Tournament and Page)? Other than being intimidating for casual players, I think they (usually) have the problem of one bad apple spoiling the rest (e.g. Warrior)?
I'm not sure what you mean by "bundle" there; Allies is not so far in the past, and obv. I was pleased enough with what Allies did then. I am still pleased with it. The big problem is "read these three other cards to understand this card." With the split piles, casual players can reduce that to, "this will give me control of the pile and that's probably something"; I don't think they read all the cards. I mean they didn't, when I played with them. And then they were more likely to rotate just to see what was next, and you know, the cards to read end up spaced out some. So it's not as bad as it sounds. And I mean there the set is, saying I approve. Now that it's out, no change there. And more-than-ideally complex for casual players, but not too much to want to print, and I think they're good times for casual players.

Page is like that but less so. Tournament isn't like that at all; you can ignore Prizes until you win one, but then you have to read five cards. It's certainly a burden. Tournament is one of the most complex cards in the game - figure out this 2x2 payoff grid, then read 5 more cards. Really that should have been two different cards. And then, having to read 5 cards at once is bad, and there are various things you can do to improve that.

The secret history says that Trail got its when-trash ability late. And from what I've seen, Trail jumping out of the trash was unintuitive for a lot of people (fortunately it's in the rulebook). Was this a concern at all (I can't really think of a better wording to solve this though)?
No, I mean if I'd thought "people won't understand this" I would have tried to make it clearer. Probably a parenthetical could have addressed the trash-jump, if nothing else did the trick.

Do you think that 3-cost cards are the most likely to go wrong? It seems like raising Urchin/Ambassador/Stockpile to 4 would solve (not all, but most) of their problems.
I don't think $3 is especially a problem. Sure it means you can open with two copies of the card; $4 is in some sense safer. But $2 means you can empty the pile quickly sometimes, and $5 means someone can open it with a 5/2. Those are probably both bigger issues.

Stockpile should be $4, and then might be fine. I don't think that fixes Ambassador. It's hard to know how Urchin plays out then, but it would be worth trying.

In general, how good are you at predicting "a lot of casuals will hate this card" and "a lot of experts will hate this card"?
If I think a lot of players will hate a card, it tends not to get published, and then I don't find out if they actually would have. So I mean, there's a lack of data here!

There are a few general trends though, visible in published cards, that tend to hold true but don't quite kill cards. Knights will have a group of people who hate them; attacks in general are less-liked by some players, but extra-liked by others. Simple cards will have a group of people who would rather have had some more novel unplayably complex card.
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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5386 on: July 15, 2022, 03:51:45 am »
+4

And I will go report this on the discord too, and figure that Nick / Punchball / Jeebus will see it here.

I'm not checking Discord a lot, so I would appreciate it if you would post things like this in this forum too (like now).

Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5387 on: July 24, 2022, 05:27:21 pm »
0

Merchant Camp seems weak for $3. Was it tried at $2 and found to be too strong?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5388 on: July 25, 2022, 12:27:16 pm »
+2

Merchant Camp seems weak for $3. Was it tried at $2 and found to be too strong?
No, I was happy with it at $3.
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DaveColMD

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5389 on: August 15, 2022, 11:41:37 am »
0

Just a curiosity. Are the expansions and new cards play tested at the table, or online, or with a simulator?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5390 on: August 15, 2022, 02:02:17 pm »
+1

Just a curiosity. Are the expansions and new cards play tested at the table, or online, or with a simulator?
At the table and online. A few things have been simulated over the years, including by Geronimoo.
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