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Subject: Dominion's design/evolution. Point/cost ratio for VP cards? rss

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Josh
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Donald,

This has been eating at me for a long time(over a year maybe?), so I thought I'd come out and ask. At any point in the development of Dominion were the VP card's cost/point ratio skewed the other way? ie. Instead of a gradually increasing scale:
Estate .5
Duchy .6
Prov .625/.75

Did you ever consider something like this:

Estate 2vp cost $2 (1)
Duchy 4vp cost $5 (.8)
Prov 6vp cost 8 (.75)

I sat down and tried to hammer out some numbers and this is one of the "better" examples i could come up w/.

There are 2 reasons to go for Prov over the others in the published game: better buy, and less clog. What if the Prov wasn't the better buy, but still was better for the clog factor(ie. more points on 1 card). I understand this would completely mess up Duke, Baron, etc. Was this ever an idea? was it implemented in testing? Is the Duchy rush too good? Just curious really.
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Donald X.
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frog213 wrote:
Did you ever consider something like this:

Estate 2vp cost $2 (1)
Duchy 4vp cost $5 (.8)
Prov 6vp cost 8 (.75)

No.

Estate and Duchy are unchanged from the very first versions (I guess technically the first versions had no names). Province was originally worth 5 VP.

The idea originally was that you could pursue strategies of different speeds. It didn't work out as envisioned. The game has to last long enough to let you build your deck and have fun. If Duchy is good enough to "go for" (without a special board situation), it's too good. You don't get to build your fun deck.

With the 1 / 3 / 5 values and previous end condition (any empty vp pile; before that it was any empty pile, with 12-card actions piles, but only looking at vp piles let the action piles go down to 10 cards), the Duchy rush was too good, provided you got someone to go in on it with you. So I changed the end condition and upped Province to 6 VP.

If it had been necessary to really cut back on the number of cards in the game, then Estates could have gone. You would have starting Estates but no Estate pile. With room for it, it seems more natural to have it, even though it's such a weak card. Duchies though have value; they create the decision point of "is it time to buy Duchies," and they give you something to fall back on in oppressive games, where Province may be too hard to get to.

In order to have multiple vanilla VP cards without making rushes too good or the cards weak, you have to make them expensive, i.e. Province / Colony.
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Tim Chen
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Maybe the answer to this question is already implied, but let me make sure anyway:

if the ending condition is the same as right now (i.e., any 3 piles or province/colony), would the scheme suggested by the open post be flawed?

Of course, this has the danger of rush being too good. however, with the ending condition being 3 piles, it is not totally clear that one cannot win by build and buy larger VPs IMO.
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Josh
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Thanks for the quick response Donald. I'm aware of the secret histories and such(1 pile end, 5vp prov,etc). I guess the question i want to ask now is: Do u think it could work? Having the ratio reversed? Or maybe the same ratio? like all .67? ie. 2vp $3 estate, 4/6 duch, 6/9 prov. The want for less clog motivates the player to buy less cards/bigger vp.

Thanks again for the late night response.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Josh, but what exactly is bad about the way it is? Why the need for this change?
 
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Josh
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Ponton wrote:
Josh, but what exactly is bad about the way it is? Why the need for this change?


I never said anything was bad. Just curious if this would work?
 
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Bob Johnson
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frog213 wrote:
Ponton wrote:
Josh, but what exactly is bad about the way it is? Why the need for this change?


I never said anything was bad. Just curious if this would work?


Every game would be an insanely quick Duchy rush, followed by an Estate rush, followed by the leader attempting to rush any other pile while those who are behind attempt to get one or two Provinces.
 
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Donald X.
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frog213 wrote:
Thanks for the quick response Donald. I'm aware of the secret histories and such(1 pile end, 5vp prov,etc). I guess the question i want to ask now is: Do u think it could work? Having the ratio reversed? Or maybe the same ratio? like all .67? ie. 2vp $3 estate, 4/6 duch, 6/9 prov. The want for less clog motivates the player to buy less cards/bigger vp.

Well $/VP isn't a meaningful number. Money isn't linear in Dominion.

Probably there are different sizes of VP cards that would work out. Probably you can't make a cheaper card always the best option though (not best in terms of $/VP, but best in terms of, how often going for that is the winning strategy), if you want to keep the game at a good length.
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Freelance Police
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frog213 wrote:
Do u think it could work?


Why not play a few games with your variant and tell us how it goes? Send it as a Session report and you'll even get a few GG for it.
 
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