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Author Topic: Why I am quitting dominion  (Read 1353 times)

Offline dextrapunch

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Why I am quitting dominion
« on: 11 March 2018, 09:29:38 AM »
After years of playing dominion, today I decided to quit.

This is because this game has two major bugs.

BUG 1: If a player starts the game, they've a big advantage. Too many times I lost a game because the opponent could play a turn more than me. When two players' skill are very balanced this is crucial.

BUG 2: More than many games, the more I play the more I think that, when two player's skill are balanced, the game doesn't rely on the player's ideas, the tactical move or the smart card buy. I think, and I've plaied thousand of games, that's entirely luck.

I decided to quit today after I carefully planned to win a game, my opponent had only ONE card that could prevent me from winning, we had dozens of cards in our decks, opponent had only 4 cards in his hand, but guess what, he had the only very card that prevented me from winning. And of course he only had ONE copy of that card in his deck.

That's too much for me to bear.
Some kind of randomness is nice to a game, but when it's too much it's too much.

And, yes, I may just look like the typical sore loser, but I am not.
I lost many, many, many times just because of this and it's getting frustrating.
The first time you say "Oh..."
The 2000th time you say "Oh, no, not again..."

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me thousand times, shame on me.
Goodbye everybody.

Offline Martin plays Piano

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #1 on: 11 March 2018, 10:17:08 AM »
Bye, destrapunch.
But when you say goodbye, please do not tell me any nonsense!

I'm with you that players of equal value can win with each other through the fact that the other has a bit more luck. But that's supposed to balance out in a thousand games, isn't it? And of course you can also win against a strong opponent, because luck is on your side - but that's not the case for a vast part of all games.

I see you in the Leaderboard at level 44 - so there's plenty of room for further improvement, there are 5.000 players ahead of you. From this point of view, claiming that these 5.000 players are above you in the ranking because they all have more luck is really total bullshit.

But ok, you probably won't read these lines any more, because you are looking for a game that offers more skill and less luck - for that I really wish you good luck.

Martin

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #2 on: 11 March 2018, 10:47:20 AM »
I think you read what you wanted to read, because what I wrote is entirely different.

I just said, that this game it TOO MUCH based on luck, whereas your strawman argument is that I said that is ENTIRELY based on luck which I never said.
And even if I did, which I didn't, calling another person's opinion "bullshit" is very vulgar in my opinion.

Other examples of luck In Dominion?
You start with 2/5 coppers, your opponent starts with 3/4 and there are NO cards costing either 2 or 5, whereas there are costing 3 and 4.
You basically lost one turn to the opponent.

And I could go on forever.

I repeat, it's NOT entirely based on luck, but if I want a luck component in a game it may be 2%, 3%... in Dominion that component is way higher. Not 100%. Not even 50% of course. But not even 2% in my opinion.

In that way I prefere chess. 0% luck. Skill only. Ranking is effective.

Offline Martin plays Piano

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #3 on: 11 March 2018, 02:48:34 PM »
Ok, I'm taking back the 'bullshit', sorry for that (you can replace this with another word of your choice) - but please don't stop pruning yourself - you've played a few thousand games here - you've had some fun with it. Above all, you haven't been unlucky every time, but that's exactly what you write here - "I lost many, many, many times just because of this and it's getting frustrating".

You might have lost because you were unlucky - but you'll have lost a lot more often because you weren't good enough - because you're still at level 44 despite all the 1000 rated games. That's quite a reasonable level, but if you come to the conclusion after so much experience, it's often due to the luck of the others, then you simply don't understand it - you didn't understand the real appeal of this incredibly complex and versatile game.

I write aggressively to wake you up, to keep you here - and most of all I want to keep other players from bumping into the same horn. Dominion has never been a game where luck plays a decisive role - I hardly know of any (modern) game so much based on strategy, skill and experience. Of course, it's lucky to be able to open the game with Mountebank/Chapel, but that's no reason to win the game in the end.

So, think about it again and just stay here.
You are addicted enough, that you don't really want to go either ...

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #4 on: 11 March 2018, 03:09:02 PM »
I am sorry, but I am not only a Dominion player.

I was ranked in the Chess rankings in my own country when I was young.
Then I've been a Magic The Gathering player for 20 years.
Then I am a RPG player weekly
Then I am a boardgame player weekly.

See, I'm not telling you that I am Top Star Dominion Number One player.
I mostly like to do combo. I don't even aim to win every game.

But when I am playing Risk I know I am not playing Puerto Rico, to say one, and I know that dice will have a preponderant role, or picking the right cards to exchange for tanks.

I'm not saying that Domionion is based on luck, again, as Risk is mostly based on luck with a minor touch of skill.

I'm saying that, and you can admit this without any shame, when two players are equally skilled, a game can last 3 rounds if one gets the right cards and the other the worst ones.

After talking with you it is obvious that this is perfectly fitting your likeliness to play a game.
In my case, it goes to fill an empty can of patience that today had its last drip.

You can have fun how much you want, but as much as you can say to me "you do not understand how dominion works because you are a low-level player and you're blaming your luck when you should blame your skill" (which is not the case but you are free to express your opinion) I can also say "You may have this feeling, but having been a player of many different games in 30 years I can tell you that luck in Dominion play a main role in a game. Not the biggest one, but not to underestimate either"

Who's right and who's wrong?
Probably neither.
You will think that Dominion is based on pure strategy, I will think that it's a mix, we both are entitled to our opinion, and I quit because it's getting annoying (playing, not talking to you).

Offline tufftaeh

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #5 on: 11 March 2018, 04:45:49 PM »
I'm not sure I understand completely, but are you saying that a single game between equally skilled opponents who make the same amount of mistakes in that game should always result in a tie (to allow you to like Dominion)? For me, personally, that would take a lot of fun out of Dominion because I wouldn't have that suspense element anymore in these games where both players play the same strategy. As long as we don't have a perfect AI which can quantify the win/loss of win probability caused by each single player turn I prefer that suspense over too many ties.

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #6 on: 11 March 2018, 06:19:22 PM »
No.

I say that, if the game is unbalanced, the outcome usually depends on the playes' skills.
For example, I am rank 44, I would very seldom beat a rank 52+ and when it is, it's probably because I were lucky, if not surely and entirely.

On the other hand, if the game is balanced, the outcome usually doesn't depend on the last minute strategical move, but basically on how lucky the players were picking cards.

For example a game agains a player ranked 43 or 44 for me depends basically on which opening we have, who starts first, and which card you draw, not on how you build your deck.

I liked the idea of dominion because I thought it would have depended 99% on the deck building, but it has a lot of mechanics that are trivial and should be adjusted. Instead it staied pretty muche the same all time long, since I bought the first real Dominion Base set box. Something should be fixed in order to reduce the impact of luck and reward skill choices.

Offline WhiteRabbit1981

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #7 on: 11 March 2018, 06:26:37 PM »
Ever lost a game of puerto rico because when there is only one coffee, and you need that coffee, the player left to you played a settler and took it? Even worse, that player made a wrong decision because he should have taken a quarry (or not taken the settler), and is rushing corn? And to make it EVEN worse, the player to your left is not even aware that he just destroyed your masterful plan?
I did.
Guess what. I neither claim that puerto rico is a luck-based game, nor did i stop playing puerto rico.
Chess, go away. That game is totally over-rated and has nothing to do with strategy. you try to memorise the openings and some sequences, and whoever memorises that best wins.
Magic. Really? I wont even start typing :-)

What made me a better player in dominion, in magic, in puerto rico, in warhammer 40k and in every other game i ever played was .... backgammon. My advice: go and play a few thousand games of backgammon. that game is completely luck based (you roll die!). The good players will win 90% of the time ... always. Backgammon told me the difference between luck and perception.

Offline markus

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #8 on: 11 March 2018, 06:57:50 PM »
I only want to add briefly that it's totally not true that games between equal players are decided by luck: often one of the players has a better strategy for that particular board. The same ranking only means that this happens equally likely for both players. This is true at the top and even more so in the middle ranks.
Only games between two perfect players would entirely come down to luck...and I think that a game of chess between two perfect players would be pretty boring after the first time.

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #9 on: 11 March 2018, 07:04:15 PM »
I strongly disageree with your opinions and as a more-than-average-with-a-semi-glorious-past Chess player, the ones on Chess are the most arguable.
That said, I didn't expect people to be critical over a game you seem to like.

Thanks for the polite replies and for the time spent together, I'll move to better games.

Offline Martin plays Piano

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #10 on: 11 March 2018, 07:44:11 PM »
OK, I think we've really lost you now.
I think it's a pity that after thousands of games you've come to such a negative understanding and now you've drawn a very disillusioning conclusion for yourself.

Being enthusiastic about something may actually mean not being able to get a completely neutral picture - but I assume that you haven't tried enough so far to convert the game structure consistently into a strategy that prepares you for the next level and lays the foundation stone for lasting joy in playing and experimenting. In the meantime I rather have the feeling that you chalk up your own missing success to the game and its supposedly oversized luck component.

And that's really something Dominion doesn't deserve, sorry.

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #11 on: 11 March 2018, 09:15:46 PM »
Sorry but this is so biased I can hardly reply. I'll try.

Just think.

I say "We have our opinion, none is correct, they're just opinions. I keep mine, you keep yours, have a nice day".

You say "Your opinion is not correct. Mine is. Mine is the supreme truth."

Perhaps you think Dominion is good as it is. I don't. People who ask/do changes improve the situation, in games and in life. People who think "It's already perfect as it is" are conservative people who will never help progress.

But let's assume you were right for a second, shall we?
I should say the very same things in every single game I suck at.
Say that I suck at Settlers of Catan. Or Carcassonne. I should say "This game sucks" just because I am a sore loser.

Instead, I suck at many games, but they do no frustrate me. I smile and admit that I have to improve.

Of course I would have to improve here too. Who says I wouldn't? But Dominion is very successful in frustrating me.
Dominion often deceives you that you can win having a bold strategy, or a smart one, and then your opponent is lucky and you cannot do anything about it. Just watch him win while you have a far better deck.
I myself felt also the embarassment of beating people ranked 7 8 points more than me only because I was chaining the right cards at the right moment, as if I could chose them from the deck.

And it happens TOO often. That's my point. I play 20 games in a row, I shouldn't even notice if one is lucky in a game. I could notice in 40 games, 50 games. But that isn't the case. I play 20 games and I see lucky plays (either by me or my opponent) TOO often.

Too often when starting with 5/2 I have had NO cards costing 5 or 2.
But I guess I made my point, there's no need to go on.

Just... I frankly fail to understand people who, when talking about mere opinions, think their is undeniable truth.


Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #12 on: 11 March 2018, 09:22:21 PM »
And top of all, I really think that the fact that the player starting may have a turn more then their opponent is a completely wrong rule.

The second player should be given their last turn, and if provinces ended, should be replenished. Thus, having plaied the very same number of rounds, you would see which is for real the better player.

Offline GendoIkari

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #13 on: 12 March 2018, 06:39:50 PM »
Quote
And top of all, I really think that the fact that the player starting may have a turn more then their opponent is a completely wrong rule.

The second player should be given their last turn, and if provinces ended, should be replenished. Thus, having plaied the very same number of rounds, you would see which is for real the better player.

This has been suggested and discussed many, many times. And the fact is, that this rule change would change a slight first-player advantage into a huge second player advantage. The first player could no longer ever end the game with a win; he would have to always make sure he builds up a big enough lead first, and then end the game; hoping that the second player can't catch up. Whereas the second player can continue to play normal Dominion, and win simply by ending the game while 1 or more points ahead. It would be very unfair to the first player. The object of Dominion is not to get the highest score you can (and then hope that it is higher than your opponent's score). The object is to end the game while you are in the lead.

Offline josh bornstein

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #14 on: 12 March 2018, 11:19:34 PM »
Dextra,
First off; thanks for a thoughtful series of posts in this thread.  You stated your case clearly, responded (with courtesy!!!) to others, and as a result, I think Dominion has received helpful and useful information.

I, respectfully, disagree with your view towards luck.  I do think that Chess is a good choice for someone who wants zero luck.  Or weightlifting, for a sports analogy.  If you lift more weight, you win.  Period.

One way to design a game is to say, "I want a game where there is no luck.  Or, as little luck as possible."  I definitely do Not want that in a game I play for fun.  My perspective is:  I want a game where luck plays a small role, but potentially significant role.  And where the influence of luck will vary, from game-to-game.  Why is this?  Because I want to play a game where the better player will usually win, but Not Always win.  That would be boring for the better player and boring for the less-skilled player.

Having said this; I want the game to be "fair" enough (i.e., immune from luck's influence) so that the better player *usually* wins.  So, if you are a much better player than I am; I think that in any one game we play, I have a fighting chance to beat you.  But, if we played a match to, say, first one to 6 wins. . . you would win that match pretty much all the time.  I might take a game from you.  Occasionally, I might even win 2 or 3 games.  But I would not win the match.  At least, not until I got a lot better.

Does Dominion meet this challenge?  It's my sense that it does, although, the numbers-crunchers out there could give a better answer.  When I took at look at some of the matches in the most recent annual big tournament, it seemed that in matches where one player was significantly higher-rated, that "better" player almost always won.  And in the exceptions, when I looked at the actual moves, it was clear that the lower-ranked player was actually very good.  She or he just did not yet have a rating that reflected their actual skill level.  I did not see any examples where a player just got lucky, game after game after game.  (I of course did not look at anything close to all the matches, so there might have been examples of this that I missed.)

I doubt that you made your original post in the midst of anger, so I suspect that it's an issue that you thought about for a while.  Which means that your decision to (at least temporarily) leave Dominion will not change . . . at least, for now.

I do hope that you find a game that is both enjoyable, varying in strategy, and devoid of luck.  And if you do find such a game, I definitely hope you'll post here--or in a new thread--telling us about that game. I'd love to add that to the list of games I do play and do enjoy. :-)

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #15 on: 13 March 2018, 12:05:05 PM »
Quote
This has been suggested and discussed many, many times. And the fact is, that this rule change would change a slight first-player advantage into a huge second player advantage. The first player could no longer ever end the game with a win; he would have to always make sure he builds up a big enough lead first, and then end the game; hoping that the second player can't catch up. Whereas the second player can continue to play normal Dominion, and win simply by ending the game while 1 or more points ahead. It would be very unfair to the first player. The object of Dominion is not to get the highest score you can (and then hope that it is higher than your opponent's score). The object is to end the game while you are in the lead.

In Citadels the one closing has 4 points more.
That could be something. The one closing gets a bonus. Then you have however another turn.
This would be less unfair.
OR
The one closing either wins or ties.
The other one, if doesn't get enough points to tie, loses.
If he goes even, or overtakes the opponent, it's a tie. That would be another solution.
This would change mecahnics, that is true, but in my opinion, for the better.
This would make me rethink about my idea to retire from dominion.

Quote
-cut-
I doubt that you made your original post in the midst of anger, so I suspect that it's an issue that you thought about for a while.  Which means that your decision to (at least temporarily) leave Dominion will not change . . . at least, for now.

Yes, you got all my points and for this I really thank you a lot.

I don't think I have to add more, but, I would like to see some game mechanics changed and that would surely be something.


Offline XD9

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #16 on: 13 March 2018, 04:43:45 PM »
Sorry to see you go!  However, it seems you have a classic case of selective amnesia.  We as humans tend to fixate on the times that screwed us over and become convinced that the universe is aligned against us.  The truth is we are ignoring or not giving as much credence to the times that the very thing we are complaining about worked in our favor, on other games.  It is a very common thing to occur and I catch myself doing it all the time as well!  It is difficult to not be biased when considering the things happening to you.  I recommend giving it another chance. 

Offline Puk

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #17 on: 13 March 2018, 04:52:44 PM »
Sorry to see you go!  However, it seems you have a classic case of selective amnesia.  We as humans tend to fixate on the times that screwed us over and become convinced that the universe is aligned against us.  The truth is we are ignoring or not giving as much credence to the times that the very thing we are complaining about worked in our favor, on other games.  It is a very common thing to occur and I catch myself doing it all the time as well!  It is difficult to not be biased when considering the things happening to you.  I recommend giving it another chance. 

I actually don't recommend giving it another chance. if you can't handle losing once in a while just because of bad luck (or winning because of good luck), don't play dominion, play chess. i think you made a perfect analysis of what you want.

Offline jeebus

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #18 on: 13 March 2018, 06:10:20 PM »
I've also played thousands of games, I'm usually at around level 58-60 (I've been in the top 20 two or three times). I also feel that luck plays too big of a role when both players more or less know what they're doing. And I don't even mean the same level. Since I have a high ranking, I usually play opponents lower than me. I often lose to people 10 levels lower. Sometimes they're simply not playing well at all, in which case I will usually win (but not always). But sometimes they are playing okay, not fantastic, but decently (they could even be copying my strategy), and then it will most of the time be luck that decides the game. Even making several big mistakes is usually of less importance than luck.

I've had days where I keep losing to lower ranked players more often than not, even starting to think that it might be me who's not seeing something in my game or my opponents' games that could explain it; but then get matched with a higher ranked player and beat that player.

The luck factor is just part of the basic structure of the game though. I can't see any way it could be different. You could imagine a variant stacking your deck instead of shuffling (I read that somebody had tried this), but of course it wouldn't be anything close to the same game, and would change the value of all the cards, etc. The point of Dominion is to evaluate the odds when you build your deck (although this could change in some situations where you have complete deck control, but you still have to figure out how to get there, and get there first or in the best way).

I probably won't be quitting Dominion any time soon though. But I often wish that it would happen more frequently that the player playing better wins.

Offline JW

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #19 on: 13 March 2018, 07:00:42 PM »
I've also played thousands of games, I'm usually at around level 58-60 (I've been on the top 20 two or three times). I also feel that luck plays too big of a role when both players more or less know what they're doing. 

...The luck factor is just part of the basic structure of the game though.

Some Kingdoms offer more opportunity to outplay your opponent than others. Over time, the probability that the best strategy on the board is complex has increased. This is due to a changing card pool: fewer terminal actions and fewer "dud" cards. Games also tend to go longer (mainly due to additional sources of VP introduced in Empires), which increases the number of decisions players need to make, and increases the chances that the person playing better will win.

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #20 on: 13 March 2018, 08:22:28 PM »
Quote
However, it seems you have a classic case of selective amnesia.  We as humans tend to fixate on the times that screwed us over and become convinced that the universe is aligned against us.

Nope. Already explained. I lose in other games, I win in other games, and that's pretty Dominion-based.
While...

Quote
I've also played thousands of games, I'm usually at around level 58-60 (I've been on the top 20 two or three times). I also feel that luck plays too big of a role when both players more or less know what they're doing

Exactly my thoughts.
It is important to have people rannked in the top 20 expressing something like that.
It's always is easy to blame someone else. More difficult is to admit the game you like has some major bugs.
That alas can't be easily fixed, too.

Offline dextrapunch

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #21 on: 13 March 2018, 08:25:36 PM »
I would like also to add that I plaied a lot on fextralife too, before here.
There wasn't any ladder, I lost to players who were clearly committing mistakes, but I humbly always thought that perhaps I saw as mistakes what were smart moves.

Now that I have a ladder I have a score to refere to, to help me undestrand if I am losing to an expert player or not.

Offline Turn turn

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Re: Why I am quitting dominion
« Reply #22 on: 17 March 2018, 03:37:55 PM »
I agree that luck plays its part in thus game but if you were "unlucky" for 500 games on a total of 5000 played for example, then you will have been lucky on 500 other of those 5000 games too i guess. Everybidy who plays Dominion knows that its nit onky about strategy but also about being lucky every now and then. If you cant cope with that then its a good thing you quit this game!