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Messages - josh bornstein

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General Discussion / Re: How to get abusive people kicked off
« on: 13 December 2018, 07:11:01 AM »
Good point, Cave.
If one is going to complain (justly!!!) about written abuse, it's probably best not to commit the same offense.  (I had to Google 'incel' to find out what it means.) 

The use of the term is doubly offensive as it is clearly ad hominem...assuming that the player's sexual activity did not come up in the chat, of course.  :-)

Feature Requests / Re: Compiled missing autoplay options
« on: 27 November 2018, 03:19:33 AM »
My pet peeve: When Bank is in the kingdom, "Always play Bank(s) last." (ie, after playing all other treasures.)

How to Play / Re: Time Limits?
« on: 22 November 2018, 01:48:08 AM »
p.s.  jsh posted first, while I was typing my own response.  Great suggestion, and one that I'll make sure to adopt myself, in my own games.

How to Play / Re: Time Limits?
« on: 22 November 2018, 01:46:56 AM »
There will be some people (okay, I'll call them jerks  :) ) who will be upset with you, and will likely make mean comments, if they perceive you as moving too slowly.

I expect that 98% of that will be eliminated if you--just when the game is beginning--make sure to immediately type into the chat section, "I am a beginning player.  I will move as quickly as possible, but my first few moves may be slow, as I review these new cards."   Or, "Three of these cards are new to me.  I'll need a few minutes right now to review them; but after that, I can move quickly."

The possible bad reaction is because there are a very few players who take pleasure in slow-playing opponents (ie, moving very very slowly, intentionally), just to be mean.  I think that just about everyone remembers what it was like when we ourselves first started and did not know all the cards, and therefore moved a bit more slowly.  Your main responsibility is to write and tell people that you're a newbie, so that they do not confuse you with one of those awful intentional-slow-players.  If you write nothing, then it's reasonable that you'll encounter hostility.  If you do write, and explain in advance, and other players are STILL mean . . . well, then they are the jerk, not you!!!  :-)

p.s.  As a general rule: If, during any game, you need to take an unusually long period of time, it is only common courtesy to write something in chat.  "Someone just knocked on my door.  Will be 2 minutes."  Or, "Complicated move.  Will need a few minutes to think about this."

As long as you show your opponents simply respect, it's been my experience that the people on this site are incredibly kind and patient.  When I was a beginner, I even had players offer suggestions on some of the more complicated card combinations, or explain why they did a particular move.  I've tried to also do this, under the theory that (a) It makes for a more friendly game, (b) If it brings up your skill level, then it will make future matches more even, and therefore more fun for both of us, and (c) it's just a nice thing to do.

I hope your playing experiences here are as stress-free and as enjoyable as my own have been for me.

Support / Re: Dominion Subcription Changes
« on: 19 November 2018, 07:51:05 AM »
Damn, our prex and Donald X have the same first name.  To be clear, our president is a bit of an ass-hat.  It's not fair to assume that Donald X is similarly a jerk...my assumption was, has been, and is that Donald X--on the other hand--is in fact working in good faith and has made both good and bad business decisions.  As everyone on earth will sometimes to do, of course.

Support / Re: Dominion Subcription Changes
« on: 19 November 2018, 07:47:29 AM »
ShuffleIt didn't buy the business from Making Fun. ShuffleIt is a completely different business which was allowed the rights to make Dominion Online after Making Fun flopped. They didn't inherit any promises made my the previous company(s), and they have no obligation (legal or ethical) to the players who played Making Fun's Dominion online,

Yes, Shuffle is a different company.  But I do not think it is as clear-cut a case as you do.  (And for all I know; your conclusion is the correct one...I already acknowledged that this is not an area of law I practice.)

Your argument seems to be, "When MF flopped, any legal obligations it had were voided, as though there had been a discharge via bankruptcy."  I do not think this is correct as a matter of law.  Although it is quite possible that--if there *were* any legal rights--such legal rights could be asserted only against MF and not against Shuffle.  That seems plausible.

Since I doubt anyone will actually take this to court, it remains an interesting legal question, and one that (I suspect) no court will actually definitively answer.

I agree that Shuffle is doing, overall, a very good job.  We are giving Shuffle our money because, again on balance, we feel like it's a fair price for what we are getting.  It is my hope that, at some point, there will be more than one person working (I am taking your word that there is only one person at present working at Shuffle), which will allow for (naturally) more work to be done, as well as better/quickly communication with us paying members.

And, by the way, I completely disagree with you that Donald X is blameless.  He was the one person who negotiated the deal with Shuffle.  And OF COURSE he could have insisted, as part of the deal, "Hey, you're gonna have to honor all the lifetime memberships that people paid out to MF."  And then Shuffle would have factored that into the price it was willing to pay.

Now, I understand that it might have been impossible to make a deal under that restriction.  And that might have been why Donald threw us under the bus (if you take my side of the argument).  It might have been a perfectly reasonable business and economic decision...that without ending the lifetime memberships, there might now be no online Dominion at all.

But it seems a bit weird (and logically inconsistent) to give DVX the credit for keeping Dominion online, but none of the brickbats for the decisions that hit many of us in the pocketbook.  That sort of double standard would be something we get to see from President Donald "It's all me if things go well, and it's all you if things go badly" Trump.  It's not fair to ascribe such ass-hattery to Donald, and I suspect (hope??) that he's perfectly willing to accept blame for his bad business decisions, just as he should be willing to accept praise for his good decisions.

Support / Re: Dominion Subcription Changes
« on: 18 November 2018, 09:24:53 PM »
I agree with most of what you said, but I strongly (but respectfully  :) ) disagree with what seems to be an unspoken premise of yours.

"...from Shuffle iT's view they had nothing to do with what happened before..."

Well, yes and no.  Of course we all agree that Shuffle had nothing to do with the promises that had been made in the past...but ONLY in terms of making the initial promise.  I think we all agree that Shuffle IS 100% responsible for the decision to honor or not honor the promises that that Shuffle "inherited."  Now, this then becomes an economic decision and a moral decision. 

If Shuffle crunched the numbers and said to itself, "We can afford this, but only if 'lifetime' members are forced to make ongoing yearly payments--and we can NOT afford to do this if that universe of lifetime members never has to pay us again, or has to pay us only for future updates.", then that would of course have changed their business model.  And maybe Shuffle would not have successfully bargained for the Dominion rights.

If I had been Shuffle's lawyer at that time, I would have advised Shuffle at the beginning, "Hey, this is gonna be a PR nightmare.  People who paid for a lifetime membership before will understandably be pissed off.  So, let's be proactive.  We should get out in front of this.  Tell people, 'I wish we could honor all the past commitments under prior ownership.  But we can't.  We cannot afford to do this, and have, frankly, our most loyal and die-hard Dominion players not contributing.  If you great players got the game for free, forever, we'd have to charge new players double, and that will drive away those new players, which will drive us from running Dominion online.  We are not happy about the need to do this, we know that you are even less happy about this.  But we ask for your understanding.  This is the only way the business model will work.  And we want to make Dominion online an incredible success for years and years...[blah, blah, blah; normal PR statements.]"

Speaking as a lawyer (disclosure: my field of expertise has nothing to do with contract law, intellectual property law, or anything remotely related to this situation, so we all should take my observations with a healthy dose of skepticism.), I am actually very surprised that Shuffle was not required by law to honor the lifetime memberships.  As a general rule, this sort of lifetime membership is a pretty routine liability of certain types of businesses, and IS transferred when the business is sold.  I happen to have a lifetime membership to my gym.  If the gym is ever sold to new owners, I have every expectation that--regardless of the person/company that buys this gym--I will continue to have that lifetime membership.

If you have a 5-year car repair warranty from Bob's Autos, and Bob sells his business to Mary, then Mary WILL be forced to honor your warranty.  And Mary knows this (and about the 274 additional 5-year warranties that Bob has sold in the past) and has factored this into the price she was willing to pay to Bob, in order to buy his business--and his assets like his business good will.

There is an exception to this in American law, and that is: bankruptcy.  If the prior owner(s) of Dominion online had declared bankruptcy, then that judge would have had the authority to modify--or completely void--existing obligations, like people's 'lifetime subscriptions.'  But my understanding was that bankruptcy was not a factor in regards to the Shuffle purchase.  (And, if there *had* been a bankruptcy, all of us lifetime members would have had the chance to tell the bankruptcy judge, "Hey, we have this legal right and here's why we should be allowed to keep it, or get a full refund, or get a partial refund, etc.")

I am actually not convinced that prior lifetime members do not have a valid legal case.  But, to be honest, it's for such a small (relatively-speaking) amount, that I do not think anyone has the appetite to file suit.  And unless you could get it certified as a class action, there is an almost zero chance that any lawyer would be interested in representing you. 

For me; I get decent value for money paying the annual subscription.  So, Shuffle gets my money.  On the other hand; when other people ask me about Dominion online, I talk about how unethical I think it was to not honor the past contract, and so I guess that fractionally decreases the value of Shuffle's good will.  Shuffle obviously understands this, and is--on balance--happy enough with that trade-off.

I realize that this post might make it seems as though this is a huge issue for me.  It isn't.  It's not even a big issue.  It isn't.  It's merely a tiny issue, but one that still sticks in my craw.  And it's enough of a bother so that I will take 5 minutes to respond if I see a post that (in my mind) is suggesting that Shuffle was somehow an innocent bystander--someone that had no idea about these lifetime memberships before it bought the rights and was therefore blindsided when people started saying, "Hey, why aren't you honoring the lifetime membership I already paid for."

Shame on Shuffle, and shame on Donald X, for not anticipating this reaction.  Which is, in my opinion, a very normal and expected reaction.

Other people may disagree with me--and may strongly disagree, for all I know!!!--and that is fine.  I do not begrudge anyone who thinks Shuffle did nothing wrong.  Vive la difference!  :)

Feature Requests / more sophisticated way of selecting random cards??
« on: 09 November 2018, 10:42:35 PM »
It would be a nice feature if I could have a truly random kingdom, except for...
-Good: Selecting an expansion and being able to force a card from that kingdom to be in the deck.  Ideally, I'd be able to select, say, from 1-3 or 1-4 cards from that kingdom, with all the others being randomly selected from the Dominion universe of cards.
-Even better: being able to do that for 2 or more expansions, maybe also Events.  So, for example, I could set up a game and select (a) "Alchemy: 3 random cards" and also "Nocturn: 2 random cards" and have the rest be totally random. Or (b) "Renaissance: 2 random cards" and Event: 1 random event, and Dark Ages: 3 random cards" [or whatever]

Would this be difficult to code?  Or is this already possible and I am just missing how to do this?

AI bugs / Re: Is Vassal working properly?
« on: 26 October 2018, 11:19:40 PM »
Good.  Thanks for the screenshot.  Now I know for sure that there IS a bug, and it's a pity that I apparently did not write the correct game number.  Your screenshot shows the sort of screen pop up that would, literally, be impossible to miss. 

I did not put this in my original posting, but . . . when I was playing that game, and when I played Vassal and AI automatically skipped over Legionary; I hit Undo, to make sure I had not missed something.  Nope.  There was no popup on the screen, and no link to click on in the log.  I checked the first time, and then checked even more carefully after hitting undo and repeating my play of Vassal.

At the very least; what I will start to do is to take screenshots if I suspect bugs in the future.  For now, it's just a real mystery.

But it's definitely a bug.  But seems to be one that happens very very rarely, fortunately.

General Discussion / When is the Renaissance release?
« on: 26 October 2018, 08:34:16 AM »
The earlier time-frame was during the first half of October, which has, obviously, passed.  Any updated estimate?  I enjoyed the pre-release free trial and am looking forward to adding this kingdom to the mix.

AI bugs / Re: Is Vassal working properly?
« on: 26 October 2018, 06:07:20 AM »
I thought for *sure* I had checked the log for something to click.  But maybe I did not.

I know 100% that nothing popped up on screen (like, for example, Watchtower, where 'trash,' "topdeck" etc are clear-as-a-bell options, and where it would be impossible to miss them).

AI bugs / Is Vassal working properly?
« on: 25 October 2018, 08:15:56 AM »
Game19635362.  Board had Vassal, Apothecary, and Legionary (etc, etc)

Turn 13.  I had Vassal in my hand.  By using Apoth, I was of course allowed to arrange the order of the upcoming set of cards.  I deliberately put Leg. on top, so I could next combo it with Vassal.  But when I then did play V, the game did not give me the option of playing the top card/action card--it instead automatically discarded that Leg card!  Hmmm....

Turn 16.  The same thing happened.  By using Apoth, I was able to arrange the upcoming cards, and this time put a second Apoth on top of my deck.  But when I then played Vassal, that top Apoth was again automatically discarded by the game's AI.

Did I somehow do something wrong?  Is this a known bug?  A 'new' one?  Or am I not understanding how to correctly use Vassal? . . . it's a card that almost never comes up in my games, for whatever reason, so this game might have been the first time I've ever tried to use it.

Card Bugs / Re: Den of Sin and Develop
« on: 13 October 2018, 09:35:12 PM »
It should go to the draw pile, but I assume that's what you meant to write.
Develop indeed takes precedence: Den of Sin means that the card goes to hand instead of discard pile first. Develop then moves it to the top of the deck.

Marcus, WHY does Develop take precedence?  Is there some sort of default Dominion rule that applies here?  I'm thinking of Fortress, where--when it's trashed--seems to always go back into my hand, regardless of the wording/instructions on the other cards, which might call for the card to go into the discard pile, on top of my deck, etc..

I guess what I am really wondering is:  Is there a list of special card combos, where at least one instruction on Card One directly conflicts with an instruction on Card Two?  And, if so, is there an easy way of knowing which card's instructions takes priority?  Or is it a question of memorizing each of these oddities?

Dominion Online Championship 2018 / Re: Game Reports and Discussion
« on: 01 October 2018, 09:02:45 PM »
Thanks for the game summaries.  Interesting to read...you both used strategies in places that I would not have, so a good learning experience for me.

General Discussion / Re: Players drawing out turns
« on: 30 September 2018, 09:24:57 AM »
Thanks for the clarification--your answer was in line with my expectations.

At some point, I think it would be very interesting to poll the players on the site, on these (and other??) issues.  Have you played a game with a slow-roller?  With someone verbally abusive?  Approx how many such games have you had like this?  Etc. 

I ask, because I have really not encountered this, but see many many posts by people who have...and some posts by people who have faced this many times.  Am I just lucky?  Or are 95% of the players in my shoes, and people who get matched up with jerks just the rare exception?  Of course I can't base any conclusion on just the posts here...no one ever posts to say, "Just had a normal game, with a polite opponent, and nothing unusual happened!"  :)

Dog bites man; versus man bites dog

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