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Out of curiosity, is there an amount of money that could be raised and given to Jay that would convince him to let isotropic remain available? I had thought that perhaps the switch to Goko wouldn't be so bad after all, once they implemented some promised features, but now my trust for them is tanking hard. A wonderful community that I love is being destroyed and replaced by a pile of junk patched together by incompetent clowns, and it is worth quite a bit to me to save it.

I assume that there are contracts and such that would make any such scheme completely unworkable, but I'd still like to know what kind of cash it would take. If we did a kickstarter-esque fundraiser and got, say, $20k, would we be even a little bit close? I'm sure that's not nearly the expected value of online Dominion as a whole, but presumably lots of people will still prefer the shinier and oficialer client and give them money, while the more diehard isotropic fans will have paid up front for our beloved interface, game logs, and Councilroom statistics.

I'd personally be in for a thousand dollars if there were a chance of this becoming a reality. I'm only recently out of college and making fairly decent money, and I don't really spend it on all that much. It would be a big hit, but if I was actually instrumental in saving Isotropic, it would be worth every penny.

Dominion General Discussion / Going to try out a livestream!
« on: June 30, 2012, 07:10:51 pm »
Stream is down. Watch at and check out the archives at Feedback is much appreciated!

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I didn't see an obviously better one.

Inspired by WanderingWinder, I'm going to try out streaming (and recording) some isotropic games! I'm not #3 on the leaderboard (I think I peaked at #88 last week and have recently dropped a bit) but I have some unconventional ideas about Dominion that you might find interesting, and respectable records against many of the top players.

In particular, I was motivated to do this by the fear that some of the things I love about Isotropic (and drheld's wonderful extension) are going to disappear when it is replaced by the official client. Now, I'm all for Rio Grande Games making tons of money off of their client, and I'm probably going to pay for it. But I am worried that a large part of my playstyle, and a large part of what makes high level Dominion really interesting, is going to be overlooked. Rather than whine about it, I thought I'd try to show the world why I think features such as a complete game log, point counter, and deck contents display are vital to serious Dominion play.

I really, really don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I have nothing against players who do not enjoy playing with more complete information. But I think there may be people out there who simply don't understand *why* one would want those things, or realize the strategic depth that they enable, and it is those people that I'm interested in reaching. And I think it would be lovely if there are enough of us to convince RGG to include some totally optional features that allow the kind of highly technical play that is possible on Isotropic to flourish.

I don't really expect it to work, but streaming sounds fun for its own sake, and I look forward to any constructive criticism of my play!

EDIT: There was a problem with my streaming setup for the first 18 minutes or so of the first video, so you should skip to around there if you want to be able to see anything that's going on. The quality is still pretty bad after that, which I'll try to work on for next time, but you can at least tell what all the cards are.

Feedback / Edit Timeout
« on: June 23, 2011, 11:19:18 pm »
It was just brought to my attention that there is a time limit on the ability to edit posts. Can we please, please please please, please possibly get rid of it? It severely ruins a lot of basic things that forums are for.

There are two particularly terrible use cases.

The first is OPs that want to maintain information over time. I've already started such a thread. It will be useless without the ability to edit the OP.

The second is running some kind of weekly game, something I've been strongly considering doing. I did something similar over at mtgsalvation last year, and it would be utterly impossible without the ability to edit posts with rules clarifications, the eventual winners, scoreboard changes, etc.

Also, it's nice to be able to fix typos... especially in, say, one of the posts in the Articles subforum, which are meant to get feedback and hopefully be revised before they are promoted to the front page.

Dominion Isotropic / Isotropic Facts & Quirks
« on: June 23, 2011, 11:08:33 pm »
Seems like a good idea to put some information that's not available in the FAQ in one place. A wiki would be much better for this sort of thing, but I'll try to emulate it by keeping the list in this post up to date.

  • The action timer is 3 minutes. (Before your opponent can force you to resign) [Verified 6/23/11]
  • Drag-and-drop reordering cards for any reason (Scout, Black Market, Rabble, Stash, Apothecary) does NOT reset the timer. This can actually become an issue with Stash, if you have a lot of them, need to think about where they go, and struggle with the interface... [6/23/11]

  • There is a bug with Possession where the Possessor's game state will not be accurately reflected on screen until the end of the Possessed turn. This can be very frustrating when your opponent has cards like Minion that change the composition of your hand coupled with cards like Masquerade and attacks that make you care about the contents of your hand before you play them, as there is no way to find out what you drew to Minion/Council Room. [6/24/11]

  • If Black Market is in the spread, the deck is 25 cards chosen at random from EVERY expansion except Alchemy. If Potion is in the spread, Alchemy will be included too. Filters have no effect whatsoever on the contents of the BM deck. There is also no way to force a card to be in the BM deck. [6/23/11]
  • You can't put any constraints on the Bane card other than to specify it exactly. Even if you specify 10 cards including Young Witch and exclude all other cards, it will pick an excluded card for the Bane. (In fact, when you specify the Bane, it also lists it as being excluded) [6/23/11]

  • When Grand Market is in the spread, the +$ button will not include Copper if you can afford a Grand Market, to prevent you from accidentally playing them and preventing you from buying it. However, this behavior is not implemented for the Black Market 'play all your money' button when Grand Market is in the Grand Market deck. Also note that Quarry's cost reduction comes *after* you play it, and thus a hand of Quarry, Quarry, Copper will result in a '+$3' button that plays your copper.[6/24/11]

  • To start a solitaire game, click 'propose game with' without checking a user's checkbox. A game acceptance prompt reading 'Play this game solitaire?' will appear.
  • Checking the 'identical starting hands' box will have no effect on auto-match games. (In general, as the FAQ attempts to explain, the controls below the lobby affect only proposed games, and the auto-match controls affect only auto-match games)
  • Entering the lobby with drheld's Dominion Point Counter extension will cause certain options do acquire unchangeable defaults. 'use point tracker' will be checked and disabled, and the auto-match 'point tracker:' combo box will be set to 'require' and disabled. It is very likely that this can be avoided by modifying the extension by changing all the variable names, but I haven't checked. [6/25/11]

Puzzles and Challenges / Isotropic Abuse
« on: June 23, 2011, 11:08:19 pm »
An all-purpose thread for puzzles about corner cases and weird behavior on Isotropic.

Here's a few to start out:

Easy mode (several of these are answered in the other thread I just made):
  • How can you get Isotropic to generate a Kingdom with a card in it that you've excluded with !<Cardname>?
  • How can you get it to generate one without a card that you've required, and which is also not excluded by any additional constraints?
  • How can you get it to generate one with a card from a set you've constrained to from 0 to 0 cards?

  • What set of constraints will usually fail to generate a Kingdom, giving the message
    Quote from: Isotropic
    Failed to select kingdom cards.  (Constraint satisfaction timed out.)
    but not always?
  • How many ways are there to stall a game indefinitely without your opponent being able to end the game or force you to resign? Is it possible to force this to happen without any complicity from your opponent?

Feedback / Card link tags
« on: June 23, 2011, 06:03:33 pm »
Over at they have a nice feature -- you can wrap the name of a Magic card in [card][/card] tags, and it will become a link to that card's page at

If it's possible, it would be awesome to get [card] tags here that make a link to the page for a card. I did this manually in this thread, and it would have saved me a lot of time!

Maybe this seems unnecessary, but:
1. A quick reminder of the actual text of a card can often be helpful
2. This could be extremely helpful for newer players who don't know all the cards yet
3. There are three more expansions, one of them small, right? We'll be coming up on 200 cards by the time the Dominion family is complete, and while I'm sure many of us will still be able to know them all by heart, it shouldn't be a requirement for participation.
4. Discussions may sometimes stray to aspects of the cards other than their rules text, such as the art, artists, expansion symbols, templating layout, etc. In these cases quickly seeing the actual card is vital.

The dominiondeck url schema is very straightforward, so I think this should be pretty easy to make. If it's not, I probably know enough people at to find someone who can help.

Dominion General Discussion / Cards we love! (and why)
« on: June 23, 2011, 05:35:44 pm »
Hey, we have a thread about which cards people hate, so it's only fair :)

I'm going to use this little format to classify the different kinds of awesome that a Dominion card can be, feel free to use it or not:

Best Design -- These cards are balanced and interesting. They interact in many and sometimes unexpected ways with other cards, and go up and down in value depending on what else is in the spread.
Most Fun -- Actually using these cards is a joy, even if maybe they're a little too good or not good enough.
Most Powerful Yet Underrated -- The cards that make me happy when I see them, because I'm probably going to win.
Important -- I see these as solving problems, filling holes, and generally making the game go, despite not being uniquely as awesome as the others.


Best Design
1. Watchtower. I can't get over how beautiful this card is. It does so many useful things and has so many great interactions without even coming close to being overpowered (except maybe with University). AND IT LETS YOU BUY ALL THE COLONIES ON TURN 5.
2. Steward. Imo, the perfect execution of Intrigue's 'choices' theme. A recent thread attests to how nonobvious early decisions with it can be.
3. Tactician. Really effectively teaches the principle that one great hand is better than two good ones. Also a really interesting limited way to get 2 actions but not more. Also has ridiculous awesome combos with Golem and Black Market.

Most Fun
1. Fairgrounds. I cannot express how much I adore this card. Figuring out which four cards in a normal spread you're going to not have, getting them to 10VP with Black Market, buying that clutch Curse at the end of the game to ratchet them up for the win... Fairgrounds is just awesome.
2. Native Village. I just really like this card! Gives unprecedented deck control, many cool combos, and an interesting decision (AND two actions!) almost every time you play it.
3. Apprentice. I love the agonizing decision of whether it's time to start trashing your Golds, and I love deciding to throw away a guaranteed Province and being rewarded with two.

Most Powerful Yet Underrated
1. Wishing Well. I will be writing and article (hopefully soon) on this subject with copious example games that I've been collecting for a while.
2. Scrying Pool. God damn this card is amazing, and at 2P you don't usually get screwed by Alchemy variance. You can do amazingly well buy just buying as many of them as possible and almost nothing else -- not that you can't do better by buying other things too!.
3. Conspirator. I've read several people recently talking about how it's 'hard to make them go off' or how they can 'never get them to work'. I really don't get it. In my earlier Dominion days, I thought this card was stupidly broken and should cost 5. I don't think that anymore, but damn it's a good 4. And with #2 and #1 on this list? Hellooo!

1. Horse Traders. A great card in it's own right, it solves the Minion problem beautifully, while providing an interesting sliding scale of usefulness against the other attacks.
2. Chancellor. One of the two real 'wtf' moments for new players, and an ongoing source of disagreement for experienced players, this card is valuable more for the thought it provokes than the gameplay it creates, though there are certainly situations where it creates great gameplay. Also, the key ingredient in most 'perfect shuffle luck' puzzles!
3. Lighthouse. An all-purpose attack-stopper that's actually good enough to put in your deck without being sad about it. Totally necessary in a game with attacks as good Mountebank in it.

Honorable Mentions (Things I'm sad didn't make it into any of the above):
1. Goons. This card just does EVERYTHING! It's a little too mean, I think, and a little too good, but it's SO COOL!
2. Horn of Plenty. I think this card might have the widest and most filled-out range of power levels depending on the spread. I've seen it be utterly worthless, not very good, a solid 5, the best 5 by a long shot, and game-breakingly combotastic. Also a really unique concept.
3. Bishop. Plays a couple different roles, pretty polarizing in terms of community reactions, all-star in one of the coolest decks I've ever made, interesting choice of how heavily to trash estates to your opponent's bishop when waiting for your own would be 2 points better.

Puzzles and Challenges / Max Points From Green Cards
« on: June 18, 2011, 09:33:50 pm »
Don't know the answer yet, but I think it's a pretty interesting question: what's the most points you can have at the end of a solitaire isotropic game, disregarding VP tokens?

Like I said, I don't know the answer yet, but here's something to consider:There are 8 Kingdom victory cards. A spread normally has only 10 cards in it.

Edit: I've got an answer, which I worked out with the help of a friend (who will no doubt be named Psly4mne if he ever registers here, which he should...). We have a google doc explaining it here.

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