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Don't be fooled, nothing for you here

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JThorne:
Personally, I find threads like this fascinating and informative, much like the equally explosive and somewhat annoying deck archetype discussions. Not because the terminology part of the argument is important, but because many extremely subtle and difficult game mechanics issues are hashed out in defense of particular positions. I almost always read something that gives me a new perspective on some aspect of the game.

So, let me suggest a possible perspective on the issue of synergy. The so-called "trivial" cases are not, in fact, all that trivial. The degree to which elements synergize or not is (apparently) actually extremely subtle and worth grading on a continuum, not as a binary proposition.

In fact, I would suggest that all elements have a relationship to others that has two simultaneous measures: The amount of synergy they have, and they amount of anti-synergy they have. It's not a yes/no. It's a how much. And it's BOTH. Always.

Example: Tactician/treasure. There is some synergy, because Tac sets up large hands and a +buy, and treasure gives you lots of non-terminal cash to spend. There is some anti-synergy, because Tac makes you discard treasure on the turn you play it. The only possible debate is the degree to which those terms apply, not whether they apply.

And to bring it right back to the original Guide/Ghost Town question: Those cards have some synergy, in that you can use Guide to find a hand that has at least one terminal draw card in it, and Ghost Town allows you to play that hand knowing that you can draw first and keep going. They also have some anti-synergy, in that you have to call the Guide without knowing what the sixth card would have been if you hadn't called it, and because there's some redundancy.

Saying that the term "synergy" does not apply to the relationship between game elements is like saying you can't apply the term "weight" to a feather or a helium balloon just because it's small or even negative. You can say that the synergy between elements is large or small or negative or trivial, but you can't say it doesn't exist.

Gherald:

--- Quote from: JThorne on November 15, 2017, 12:02:19 pm ---You can say that the synergy between elements is large or small or negative or trivial, but you can't say it doesn't exist.
--- End quote ---
I wouldn't say it doesn't exist, I would just say it's a separate discussion and not a useful application of the actual concept of "synergy". I don't use the term synergy on a continuum to discuss how well cards work together or don't work together.  It has a more useful and specific meaning, which is greater than the sum of its parts, which I interpret (in the context of Dominion) to be relevant for how those parts would perform in other typical kingdoms, not how those cards perform if they're the only thing you play that turn or are the only card in a 1-card kingdom, which to me is irrelevant.

So, do Guide/Ghost Town have complementary uses? Sure, you can play your guide to skip past starting hands that have no terminals in them and then resolve your Ghost Town.

Is this a 2-card "synergy" ? Not really, both of those effects are similarly useful on their own. Lining them up gives you both benefits at once which is great, but they aren't "synergizing" to be better-than usual cards when each other is present or not present.

Guide is just as good/bad in other 10 card kingdoms that lack Ghost Town, and Ghost Town is just as good/bad in other 10 card kingdoms that lack Guide. It's not a synergy, it's an "oh look I played two good effects and got two good effects, yay me"

JThorne:
On today's episode of "Gherald argues with himself..."

A:
--- Quote ---(synergy) has a more useful and specific meaning, which is greater than the sum of its parts
--- End quote ---

Not A:
--- Quote ---So, do Guide/Ghost Town have complementary uses? Sure, you can play your guide to skip past starting hands that have no terminals in them and then resolve your Ghost Town.
--- End quote ---

https://www.google.com/search?q=define:complementary

B:
--- Quote ---I wouldn't say it doesn't exist
--- End quote ---

Not B:
--- Quote ---Is this a 2-card "synergy"? Not really...
--- End quote ---

So playing that Guide didn't make that Ghost Town even a little, tiny bit better than it would have been otherwise? Clearly it did. So is it just a matter of degree? How much does it need to help before it crosses the magical Gherald binary on/off "now it has synergy" threshold? So "complementary" is a continuum but "synergistic" is binary?

A "useful application" of language is to communicate ideas and information. Reducing the degree to which cards work together to a binary yes/no proposition reduces the ability to communicate ideas and information about card relationships so significantly as to be utterly useless.

Gherald:
Synergy is not generally defined as two things working together harmoniously or complementarily, which is a lower bar to clear than a combination being "greater than the sum of its parts".

I'm sorry you want to use the word "synergy" to apply to complementary beneficial effects but it has nothing to do with my perspective or what I have said.

The very reason I am objecting to people's use of synergy with regard to things like Village+Smithy is that we already have other, better words for those concepts (like "complementary" or "works well with") and people are debasing what "synergy" actually means on its own.

I'm sorry this isn't more clear to you.

Cuzz:
This thread is modern art at this point.

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