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Dominion => Feature Requests => Topic started by: Hertz Doughnut on 25 January 2017, 11:54:36 PM

Title: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Hertz Doughnut on 25 January 2017, 11:54:36 PM
It would be great to have a checkbox when hosting a table for "First 2 turns blind-reveal". 

Here's the story.  My brother and I play with identical starting hands (http://forum.shuffleit.nl/index.php?topic=1398.msg4428), and then we both secretly write down what our purchases will be for the first two turns.  Once we've both chosen our purchases, we simultaneously reveal and then are committed to making those purchases.  We do this so that second player isn't swayed by the purchases of the first player, which, for us, often turns the game into a mirror match.  (Oh, he bought potion, I better get one, too!)

Here's how we could implement it:
- All players have their discard pile obscured until Player 1 starts turn #3
- All your opponent's turns in the Game Log simply have "??" until Player 1 starts turn #3 (at which point they turn from ?? to the actions they actually took)
- All supply pile counts stay at 10 (or are ??) until Player 1 starts turn #3 (at which point they update to their proper number)
- Landmarks that dish out VP chips (like Battlefield) would be ?? until Player 1 starts turn #3
- The VP Counter next to the players' names would be ?? until Player 1 starts turn #3 (otherwise if they bought a Silver with Bandit Fort in play, it could be deduced)
- The VP Chips, Coin Tokens, Debt Tokens, -1 Card token, -1 Coin token, etc. for each player is ?? until Player 1 starts turn #3 (you wouldn't know if they spent their Baker coin or used a Borrow or played Ball/Ferry/Plan/Seaway/Lost Arts/Training)
- Trade route tokens would stay on the victory cards with a ? until Player 1 starts turn #3
- The trash would be ?? until Player 1 starts turn #3 (e.g. if a Mint was purchased turn 1, you wouldn't see 5 coppers in the trash, also, Doctor w overpay, Bonfire)

Some things that wouldn't be blinded:
- Tax - when Tax is in the kingdom, there's no getting around seeing what Player 1 purchased
- Lost City - if a player buys a Lost City, the opponents draw a card, which is a giveaway of what they purchased
- Noble Brigand - if a player buys NB, it does it's on-buy attack, which is a giveaway
- Embassy/IGG - when a player buys Embassy/IGG, the others get a Silver/Curse, and that's a giveaway
- Messenger - when a player buys Messenger, the others get something, and that's a giveaway
- Knights/Castles/Ruins/Death Cart - when a player buys a Knight, it changes which knight is on top, and that's a giveaway (same for Castles and Death Cart via the Ruins pile)
- Raid - gives opponents a -1 card, and that's a giveaway
- Summon - If an interactive card, like Sea Hag, is purchased with Summon on Turn 1, it would have to affect Player 2, and thus it wouldn't be a secret

Maybe tournaments and league would also like this option...?

Keep up the great work!

Kind regards,
HD
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: LastFootnote on 26 January 2017, 12:36:16 AM
Ugh.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: bonygniz on 26 January 2017, 04:24:21 AM
sounds like a great idea!
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: WhiteRabbit1981 on 26 January 2017, 10:57:32 AM
my 2 cents:

I really like the rule, actually maybe the best house-rule ever. But I strongly disagree to implement anything into the game thats not official.

There are good ideas to make the game better (this one, or 12-card kingdom with veto rule). And there are bad ideas many people will suggest as good ideas (ban possession, disallow swindler to give out curses because its unfair, make Lighthouse work when in hand as if its a moat).
If you allow one chance to be made, you have to make long discussions about every other suggested change. If you dont allow any, its strict and understandable for everyone.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: allanfieldhouse on 26 January 2017, 04:07:40 PM
This is too much of a variant. Overall I don't support adding variants into the official implementation.

"Matching starting hands" (as an option) would be the cutoff of what I'd support. It's a super small change that doesn't really affect anything else.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: LastFootnote on 26 January 2017, 05:26:58 PM
I like how your reason for wanting this is that your games are too often mirror matches without it. You know what else would reduce mirror matches? NOT INSISTING ON IDENTICAL STARTING HANDS.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Hertz Doughnut on 26 January 2017, 05:32:48 PM
But I strongly disagree to implement anything into the game thats not official.

This is too much of a variant. Overall I don't support adding variants into the official implementation.

Using the VP Counter is also a variant, and that's already supported.  Not just supported in the programming, but also socially supported among serious Dominion players.  Now a game of Dominion is substantially different with VP Counter turned on... especially with cards like Fairground, Feodum, Gardens, Silk Road, Vineyard, Bandit Fort, Wolf Den, Museum, or Orchard.

"First 2 turns Blind-Reveal" is a minor variant compared to "VP Counter".  Making two purchases without knowing what your opponent(s) is doing doesn't affect the game that much.  It forces Player 2 to define their opening on their own, rather than aping Player 1.  That's it.

Using a VP Counter instantly tells you every single turn if you should be trying to make the game end sooner or later.  It tells you if you have enough Silvers for your Feoda to win right now.  It tells you when you buy an estate if it made all your Silk Roads pop to the next VP level.  It tells you when you buy an action, if you instantly got Orchard VPs, then that was your third one.

It turns out that many people like playing the VP Counter variant (me included).  It's even a standard setting for Dominion league and tournaments.  We won't know how many people like Blind-Reveal until it's programmed.  I can play it IRL, and I can play it online with my brother, because we share an office and know when the other's written their choices down.  If I'm playing random people on the internet, I can't play Blind-Reveal.  Not easily, anyway.

Nobody has suggested yet that Blind-Reveal hurts the game of Dominion in any way.  I've yet to hear someone say that it makes the game worse or less fun.  My experience is that it improves the game, and I think it has a possibility of becoming an accepted standard for the serious-minded Dominion players, like VP Counter.

Keep up the great work, SI!

Kind regards,
HD
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Hertz Doughnut on 26 January 2017, 05:41:15 PM
I like how your reason for wanting this is that your games are too often mirror matches without it. You know what else would reduce mirror matches? NOT INSISTING ON IDENTICAL STARTING HANDS.

You're right: it does increase the variety when my opponent gets to open with Witch, Cultist, or Rebuild, and I'm stuck with Silver/Silver.

But is that the kind of variety you enjoy?  Dead on turn 1?  A waste of 15 minutes of my day?

Sure, it's not a 100% chance of losing if they get a turn-1 Cultist, but it's > 90%.  I'd prefer to spend my time on games that are in the 40-60% range for both players.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: JunkDealer on 26 January 2017, 05:43:05 PM
You can effectively do this play variant now with the online chat.

When you see your first hand you know what your second hand will be.  So you can decide both purchases immediately.  Type them in the chat and send them at an agreed upon time.  ie) Send in 5 seconds... 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.  Then stick to what you wrote.

It's an interesting variant that I'll try at some point, but really I would rather have the current interface cleaned up, tokens implemented, play areas visible, choosing of cards, decent bots, offline play, etc. etc. etc...

I could see this potentially being added as a mod by a third party it there was enough interest.  There seems to be a number of mods already in development.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Icehawk78 on 26 January 2017, 05:44:14 PM
Using the VP Counter is also a variant, and that's already supported.  Not just supported in the programming, but also socially supported among serious Dominion players.  Now a game of Dominion is substantially different with VP Counter turned on... especially with cards like Fairground, Feodum, Gardens, Silk Road, Vineyard, Bandit Fort, Wolf Den, Museum, or Orchard.

"First 2 turns Blind-Reveal" is a minor variant compared to "VP Counter".  Making two purchases without knowing what your opponent(s) is doing doesn't affect the game that much.  It forces Player 2 to define their opening on their own, rather than aping Player 1.  That's it.

The difference between the two is that a point counter is theoretically possible without violating or changing any of the base game rules, as all it really does is simulate someone having a really good memory, or slowing the game down a lot and writing down what each person bought and then calculating the score each turn. There is no hidden information in Dominion, so a point counter just speeds up that process which anyone could have been doing in the first place.

Your variant is not. Additionally, there are several cards which would severely impact this practice. Summon, Villa,  Port, and Lost City (just to name four), can greatly impact how your turns go, and by not allowing the second player to react to the first player buying one of these cards, you're reducing their ability to play (especially in the case of Lost City, since they might have a different amount of money).

Nobody has suggested yet that Blind-Reveal hurts the game of Dominion in any way.  I've yet to hear someone say that it makes the game worse or less fun.  My experience is that it improves the game, and I think it has a possibility of becoming an accepted standard for the serious-minded Dominion players, like VP Counter.

See above.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: LastFootnote on 26 January 2017, 06:09:03 PM
Using the VP Counter is also a variant, and that's already supported.

"First 2 turns Blind-Reveal" is a minor variant compared to "VP Counter".  Making two purchases without knowing what your opponent(s) is doing doesn't affect the game that much.  It forces Player 2 to define their opening on their own, rather than aping Player 1.  That's it.

This is not a problem with Dominion. This is a problem with you and your brother, since you both apparently cannot help but copy each other's openings. Just stop doing it, man!

I fought against the VP counter for a long time. These days I don't mind it. But it looks like the slippery slope argument for not including the VP counter was valid after all. Here you are saying, "Well, if you have this, you should also have my terrible variant!" No, man. No. What's next, extending this "fog of war" to the entire game? You only find out a pile is empty when you try to buy it and there's nothing there.

Nobody has suggested yet that Blind-Reveal hurts the game of Dominion in any way.  I've yet to hear someone say that it makes the game worse or less fun.  My experience is that it improves the game, and I think it has a possibility of becoming an accepted standard for the serious-minded Dominion players, like VP Counter.

Blind-Reveal makes the game worse and less fun. It prevents me from taking into account what my opponent buys on the first two turns, not because I want to copy them, but because I want to respond to them. They buy Young Witch, so I buy the Bane even if I otherwise wouldn't have. They buy Sea Hag, so I pick up that Watchtower. Dominion has some first-player advantage, and one of the things that mitigates it a bit is Player 2's ability to see what Player 1 buys before deciding what they should buy. It's important, and I do it ALL. THE. TIME.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Hertz Doughnut on 26 January 2017, 06:25:57 PM
Your variant is not. Additionally, there are several cards which would severely impact this practice. Summon, Villa,  Port, and Lost City (just to name four), can greatly impact how your turns go, and by not allowing the second player to react to the first player buying one of these cards, you're reducing their ability to play (especially in the case of Lost City, since they might have a different amount of money).

I'm not sure you read the OP all the way through... My suggestion for SI was better than the "write down & simultaneous reveal".  Write-Down is what I currently play with my brother, and it has it's own limitations, of which you mentioned a couple.

But my focus in this thread is Blind-Reveal... which is essentially like playing your first 2 turns normally, other than that most of the information about what you do is obscured from your opponent.  In Blind-Reveal, all cards would behave normally.  It's the information that is hidden, to the extent that that's possible.  I tried to list all the cards in my OP that functionally couldn't be kept secret, and I'll address the cards you brought up in that context:

Summon - If an interactive card, like Sea Hag, is purchased with Summon on Turn 1, it would have to affect Player 2, and thus it wouldn't be a secret.  Thanks for mentioning it.  I missed that one in my list in the OP.

Villa - No problem playing this one with Blind-Reveal.  You buy it and bounce back to your action phase, but it doesn't affect your opponents any.  They find out on turn 3 what you did.

Port - No problem playing this one with Blind-Reveal.  You get 2 ports.  They find out on turn 3.

Lost City - Mentioned in the OP as one of the cards that gives itself away with Blind-Reveal.  When you buy a Lost City, I draw a card, and thus can deduce what you purchased.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: ffejselur on 26 January 2017, 06:31:45 PM
Of the 2 friends I most often play 3p w/ IRL, 1 just "wants to win" and likes VPC and identical starting hands, and the other just "wants to play" and hates both, so we always play w/o them. Especially now w/ Adv. & Empires the "wants to win" crowd liking VPC is understandable so too many heads don't explode due to memory overload. I certainly support you playing however makes you happy HD. I agree w/ JD's point that you can certainly use your variant w/ anyone you can trust to keep their word about having made an independent decision on the opening 2 moves (and his/her other points). I also agree w/ I78 & LF -- e.g. as p2 whether to buy Noble Brigand on t2 is totally affected by whether p1 bought Silver(s). When p1 wins, they get an extra turn. That advantage is mitigated by p2 getting to see what p1 did on their 1st turn, etc.. So, sorry HD but since the effect of opening moves is exponential on what happens later,
Making two purchases without knowing what your opponent(s) is doing doesn't affect the game that much.
is just not true. If you like it though, hey, enjoy.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Hertz Doughnut on 26 January 2017, 06:40:48 PM
Blind-Reveal makes the game worse and less fun. It prevents me from taking into account what my opponent buys on the first two turns, not because I want to copy them, but because I want to respond to them. They buy Young Witch, so I buy the Bane even if I otherwise wouldn't have. They buy Sea Hag, so I pick up that Watchtower. Dominion has some first-player advantage, and one of the things that mitigates it a bit is Player 2's ability to see what Player 1 buys before deciding what they should buy. It's important, and I do it ALL. THE. TIME.

That's a good point.  I can see how Blind-Reveal would be detrimental in your Sea Hag/Young Witch scenarios.  But taking into account all Dominion kingdoms, I still prefer Blind-Reveal.

I'm just requesting an option, not forcing you to play with it.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Icehawk78 on 26 January 2017, 06:47:40 PM
Given the number of "exceptions" that you've already posted, purely from a software development perspective, this would be a nightmare to develop, and would significantly alter the gameplay, further expanding the existing Player 1 advantage that Dominion already has, to an extent.

I think it's great if you and your brother enjoy playing this way in real life, but I think this would be a massive alteration of the underlying game, likely on par with, say, including fan-made expansions.

However, an alternative suggestion, which somewhat addresses the original concern you had, while not anywhere near as drastically affecting the overall gameplay, would be to have self-stacking of starting hands. I've played a few tournaments where this is done, and works somewhat similarly to what you're trying to go for (reduce randomness and increase skill) while still operating under the base framework of Dominion as the rules outline it (because both players could have shuffled their hands the way they did).

Typically the way I've seen this done is that the kingdom is revealed, then each player is allowed to secretly arrange their starting hands however they'd like. So, you're not guaranteed the same starting hands unless there's a particular card that you both think is "the best opening". There are obviously likely to be drawbacks to this system as well (events or cards with on-buy events that alter your deck or hand, rather than gaining things into your discard, in particular, would still give P1 a pretty strong advantage by ensuring that they could always get those instead of getting lucky to get them) but the advantage of such a system would be that it more closely mimics the game how the rules say it is supposed to be played.

(I should note that I would also not really promote adding this alternative system in over any other development priorities, just that I think I would like it better than the blind reveal option, if forced to choose one option to address this "problem")
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: twasa on 26 January 2017, 07:15:49 PM
We all know that there is some component of luck in Dominion and that there is some advantage to being the first player. I really prefer the normal game rules of alternating (in 2p games) to mitigate that, instead of house rules. We're naturally welcome to play with any rule when playing irl, but online I'd rather that normal rules apply.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Cave-O-Sapien on 26 January 2017, 07:25:47 PM
This is an interesting variant idea, and maybe at some point the Shuffle iT to-do list will get small enough that a suite of variants could be developed and implemented. I think that would also require a distinction between "ranked" and "friendly" games, since I can't imagine anyone wanting to play a ranked match with such a variant.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: AdamH on 26 January 2017, 07:48:24 PM
have self-stacking of starting hands. I've played a few tournaments where this is done,

...

Typically the way I've seen this done is that the kingdom is revealed, then each player is allowed to secretly arrange their starting hands however they'd like.

Hey brah <3

The tournaments he's referring to are tournaments that I've run. This is a rule I stole from another guy who uses it in his own tournaments, and after playing and running several IRL tournaments that use this rule, I like it and I'm going to continue to use it.

Why? Well, because it makes people feel better. One of the most visible sources of luck in Dominion is a 5/2 opening with a power five out there. It's true that this can put one player at a huge advantage and can sometimes be game-decisive in games where the players are roughly equal in skill. I don't want someone to walk away from my tournament feeling all salty because they were screwed out of ACTUAL MONEY (store credit) because their opponent got a lucky 5/2. It's an easy and visible thing I can do to tell people that I'm trying my best to run my tournaments in a way that emphasizes skill over luck.

It's for this same reason that I don't put Swindler, Urchin, Possession, and a few other cards in any of the kingdoms I use -- these are visible things that can cause one player to get screwed and feel bad, and my objective is for the people at my tournaments to have fun.

Do I actually belive that I'm reducing the effect of luck in my tournaments by a signifcant amount? Absolutely not. There's still a ton of luck in Dominion and the only way to get rid of it all would be to allow players to stack their decks every time they shuffle, which is not happening in my tournaments.

The argument that anything like this increases the skill component of the game or decreases the luck component just doesn't really fly with me. This effect is so small it's probably negligible. All it does is makes people feel better. Sure, there's value in that, but like, different house rules are gonna make people feel better than other ones. How will the devs know which ones to implement?

I kinda thought that the API that's on their list would allow people to make their own mods that could do this kind of stuff. If you want to play your variant online bad enough to write a mod that does it for you, go ahead. This frees up the devs to work on things that everyone will care about.

So in my opinion, this means that VP counter, options for random kingdom selection (always include a village, never include Black Market, etc.), identical starting hands, this, anything else that's not exactly what the rulebook says; should be left to these APIs. And maybe the more popular ones can be implemented by the devs with the default option being that they are disabled.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Mick on 26 January 2017, 07:49:49 PM
It seems ridiculous to me that you'd want to reduce player interaction. The most boring games are the ones where you have no reason to care what your opponents are buying.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Icehawk78 on 26 January 2017, 08:03:56 PM
Hey brah <3

The tournaments he's referring to are tournaments that I've run. This is a rule I stole from another guy who uses it in his own tournaments, and after playing and running several IRL tournaments that use this rule, I like it and I'm going to continue to use it.

Hi!

I kinda thought that the API that's on their list would allow people to make their own mods that could do this kind of stuff. If you want to play your variant online bad enough to write a mod that does it for you, go ahead. This frees up the devs to work on things that everyone will care about.

So in my opinion, this means that VP counter, options for random kingdom selection (always include a village, never include Black Market, etc.), identical starting hands, this, anything else that's not exactly what the rulebook says; should be left to these APIs. And maybe the more popular ones can be implemented by the devs with the default option being that they are disabled.

Some of these things are actually available right now. Variants of kingdom selection are already things I've looked into including with my mods and are definitely doable right now (including the 10 + player_count, everyone veto 1) as long as everyone is using the same mod or the mod supports chat interpretation.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: LastFootnote on 26 January 2017, 08:06:45 PM
That's a good point.  I can see how Blind-Reveal would be detrimental in your Sea Hag/Young Witch scenarios.  But taking into account all Dominion kingdoms, I still prefer Blind-Reveal.
I gave two examples. That doesn't mean those are the only two situations in which seeing what your opponent does matters. It frequently matters, and maybe you'd see that if you played games without Blind-Reveal.

And I don't care what you prefer. Maybe I prefer to play Dominion with infinite Actions. That doesn't mean I'm going to try to get Shuffle iT to implement it.

I'm just requesting an option, not forcing you to play with it.
Huh, that's what they said about the VP counter. And lo and behold, now I am forced to play with it.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Icehawk78 on 26 January 2017, 08:26:25 PM
And I don't care what you prefer. Maybe I prefer to play Dominion with infinite Actions. That doesn't mean I'm going to try to get Shuffle iT to implement it.

Lucky for you, Donald X. implemented that for you as a Champion.  ;D

Huh, that's what they said about the VP counter. And lo and behold, now I am forced to play with it.

You are able to turn that off, though admittedly the table settings aren't sticky (yet - I'm working on adding that currently in my plugin).
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Donald X. on 27 January 2017, 05:55:24 AM
I am against this.

This is just uh nightmarish. It looks like it will make the game worse, while being way way too much work to get working correctly.

You and your friend can decide on your opening buys before making them, say "ready?" and then stick with your choices. No option necessary.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: Hertz Doughnut on 27 January 2017, 06:19:56 PM
Thanks everyone for all the input.  I think I now agree with the majority that this option is more trouble than it's worth.

I really liked the line of reasoning that the 2nd player can mitigate the inherent 2nd-turn disadvantage by reacting to Player 1's purchases.

I also think that splitting the community into players who insist on Blind-Reveal and those who oppose it will cause chaos in online matchmaking.

Thanks for the consideration.

Kind regards,
HD
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: allanfieldhouse on 28 January 2017, 04:11:47 PM
Yay, everyone's happy!

I think the real argument against this idea is the "no variants" argument (and I guess the VP counter doesn't count as a variant because it's technically possible to count it yourself). It doesn't really matter if this specific variant is an improvement or not.

Maybe a few years down the road when they've run out of improvements to make, they can start adding optional variants in. That's fine...I mean, if you literally don't have any other development to do...might as well.


There's still a ton of luck in Dominion and the only way to get rid of it all would be to allow players to stack their decks every time they shuffle, which is not happening in my tournaments.

$5 Terminal Duration - The next time you shuffle, you may order your cards however you wish.

Slowest game ever.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: AdamH on 29 January 2017, 03:46:05 PM
I guess the VP counter doesn't count as a variant because it's technically possible to count it yourself

VP counter is a variant. By the rules of the game you're not allowed to use any external sources to track information about the game. The reason they have implemented it would be because it's such a popular variant, I guess.

The default setting for VP counter should be off, and it should always be disabled 100% of the time no matter what in games with more than 2 players and Masquerade, regardless of the preferences of individual players.
Title: Re: Table checkbox - First 2 turns blind-reveal
Post by: allanfieldhouse on 30 January 2017, 02:58:26 AM
[VP counter] should always be disabled 100% of the time no matter what in games with more than 2 players and Masquerade

Ha, I'd never thought of that! The counter would definitely reveal info that shouldn't have been revealed.