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Poseidon
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Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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During the OCL team drinking and all the drinking tournaments in Inns lately I've spoken to others wanting some changes to the drinking puzzle.
It's not a high priority right now, but I figured we can still discuss them and the good ones can be used whenever there's time.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Deliberately passing out:
I've heard many be annoyed with the ending where if you're up on points and your opponent passes out you can just drink all drinks and pass out too to win.
It's pretty frustrating and not really in the spirit of the game in my opinion to win/lose that way.

I would suggest that if you have more than 1 square to place on you cannot deliberately drink.
It's more than 1 to also keep the strategic element of choosing to drink instead of potentially giving opponents points.

Prevent border openings:
Starting the puzzle by placing the fries along the border often means games starting out with alot of drinking because there are no matching squares to place on. It's an opening used as a desperate measure when you're up against a higher ranked player or behind in multi round games. It means there's far more luck than skill involved.

I would suggest that the first fries cannot be placed along the border.

Minimizing luck in multiplayer:
While multiplayer drinking (usually more than 4) is fun it's also completely luck based. And passing out means sitting over 3 rounds while everyone else can get points. And even if you return it is often with 2 drinks and perhaps right back to passing out again.

I would suggest lowering the amount of rounds you sit over when passing out and/or increasing the speed of getting rid of the "hangover" drinks when you return.

Team play mode:
Team play as has been used in the OCL league is actually real fun and opens up a wide range of interesting strategies to use.
While players can set up teams themselves, it would be nice if there was a formal way of assigning teams, seats and keeping score over multiple rounds. This is something I could see people choose instead of the luck based multiplayer games.

Drink up m'hearties!
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Sarterixa



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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I think a drinking "hand" would add a lot of strategy to the game. Have maybe 3 different drinks that you draw at the beginning, then you can choose which drink you want to play on your turn. After you use one of the drinks you draw another one.
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Skal

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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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You should make every game require 8 and 12. None of this 4 drinks 4 containers business.

Seriously though:

I always thought drinking to end a round with you on top was as legimate as ending the round by filling in the last stain-free square (even if you can place a piece elsewhere on the board). Either way, it's you controlling when the match ends.

Never played anyone with a border opening. Although, one could argue that placing it in the row next to the edge caused the puzzle to be more luck based as well and so on. I suggest automatically placing the fries in the center square or leaving the settings as is (making a puzzle more dependent on luck doesn't bother me much though).

Waking up only to pass out again is a bit of a drag. Getting rid of the hangover drink might help.

Team play mode sounds like a lot of fun! It'll be for drinking what brawling was for the swordfight... sorta... but still fun!

My two Poe...

~SakaWakaSk
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xagoloth

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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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The drinking game is extremely luck based and will continue to be so as the piece generation is random, and the player lacks any control of what pieces he gets or any way of working with pieces.

There is a lot less skill involved. With that said what can improve and introduce a level of skill to the game is having a series of multiple containers, like a deck of cards, but having lets say 5 per turn. Everytime you use a piece you get a new piece.

This would allow you to control what containers you use, where you put it, when you put it.

Another improvement that could be introduced is having a set number of containers and colors. Like a deck of cards, except it would be a deck of containers. Each container type would be suits and the colors would make each one stand out. The players draw upon this deck and can see what has been played and what hasn't, allowing for more strategy. Everytime a row is a cleared the containers get added back to the deck.

(Hmmm this actually gives me a idea for a completly new card/drinking game that could be a seperate puzzle in itself).

Edit: Har ! Sart beat me to suggesting the having a drinking hand !
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[Feb 17, 2004 12:19:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mashrur.com    jaquesparrow@yahoo.com    mashsurfer [Link]  Go to top 
aaaargh



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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Poseidon wrote: 


Deliberately passing out:
I've heard many be annoyed with the ending where if you're up on points and your opponent passes out you can just drink all drinks and pass out too to win.
It's pretty frustrating and not really in the spirit of the game in my opinion to win/lose that way.

I would suggest that if you have more than 1 square to place on you cannot deliberately drink.
It's more than 1 to also keep the strategic element of choosing to drink instead of potentially giving opponents points.



Ah, tis good to hear that at least some feel similarly to myself, there is some further discussion in regards to this issue in this other thread.


HappyPants
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Atmaeloy



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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xagoloth wrote: 
The drinking game is extremely luck based and will continue to be so as the piece generation is random, and the player lacks any control of what pieces he gets or any way of working with pieces.


First off, I'd like to say that there actually is quite a bit of skill required to play the drinking game well. If you don't believe me, I think you can ask anyone who's gotten decent at it and actually understands how it works. (Understanding is key.) There is more strategy to the drinking puzzle than to some of the most popular card games (poker, BJ, etc.), but it does also have the part where you need to decide when to fold or call, it just comes on a row by row basis.

My suggestion is that more options be included when starting a drinking match. Add an option to remove hooks and/or chips (except when they're necessary, such as the case when no pieces are left on the board). As for the drinking to end a match.... perhaps it should be made to not allow a passout win unless 50% or maybe 75% of the board is filled. All you have to do is let everyone passout, and then let them all sober up again regularly and allowing the game to resume.

Border openings should stay the same. I love using them in a 4/4 match... And I agree with Poseidon that in multiplayer games it should take a shorter time to recrover from the hangover drinks.
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xagoloth

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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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Oh I am not saying there is no skill involved in the drinking game. What I am saying though is there is a significant amount of luck involved. Imagine playing chess where you were told randomly what piece you can move next turn, it eliminates a lot of the skill and planning involved. (Probably a really bad metaphor).

On one hand the drinking game is a supposed to be relaxing and laid back, but on the other hand it doesn't have enough depth (at least to me) as compared to other games.

Introducing a drinking hand would allow more skill and control over placement.
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Nykkel



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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In my opinion, if you make the game more strategic by adding a 'drinking hand' (which I'm in favor of), then the ability to drink oneself intentionally into a stupor in order to end the game favorably should be left alone.

I don't have a problem with people drinking themselves to victory, though. I do it when given the opportunity.


One thing I'd really like to see is an on-screen count of how many spaces are stained each player's color.
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Sarterixa



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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I don't think numbering the colored squares is a good idea. The ability to quickly count the stained squares and figure out who controls the board is a skill.

I would say drinking is about 75% luck and 25% skill right now. If you get shafted on the pieces, there's really no way you can win no matter how you play the board.
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Sart
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[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
adramolek

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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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All these ideas are pretty cool but I honestly like the drinking game just the way it is. I mean, it is supposed to be a luck-based game; a sort of semi-mindless, fun-filled social activity. And there is certainly a lot of strategy involved as well if you choose to play that way. I mean, the luck is the strategy. You play moves that limit the opponent's possibilities given the probability of them getting certain pieces. If your opponent can complete a row with any purple piece or any color jug, your opponent is fairly likely to be able to do so. If you make a move so that your opponent now must have a purple cup or an orange jug, you are using the randomness to your advantage by lowering the probability of your opponent getting the piece they need. Therein lies the strategy! The mere fact that some people are consistently better at the drinking game than others should be enough to prove, by contradiction, that the drinking game is more than just complete luck.

Many times bad luck can render a good swordfighter completely useless. Is that to say that it would be better if, on each turn of swordfighting you were presented with a choice of 5 different pieces you could put into position, and you pick the one that works the best? Not that that would particularly destroy the game, but it would make swordfighting a different kind of game; one that some people might not like at all.

So... and I'm a bit too tired to think about this right now, but I must say this: If any of these changes end up being implemented, it would be really nice to see them as options (whose default values are irrelevant to what I'm saying here).

Options:

- Drinking hand size? 1-5
- Allow border fries? Yes/No
- Maximum open moves for intentional drink? 1-5/No limit
- Hangover Drinks? 0-3
- Team Play? Yes (Configure Teams)/No

If the drinking setup window becomes too cluttered, you could always have an "advanced" or "more" options tab.

With that in mind, I could imagine a world where the drinking game has so many options that it, in fact, becomes more than one similar yet slightly different game. If that were the case, then it also might be handy to have some drinking game "presets" (in addition to fully custom configurations, of course) that you could choose from, each preset defining some drinking "subgame" and having, of course, some sort of witty, pun-filled name.

Which could be really cool. Assigning names to the presets will give some element that I can't really describe to the game. Example:

"OCL Drinking Tournament"

Becomes, say, two things:

"OCL Rum-rush Tournament"
"OCL Rubber Boobs & Liquor Tournament"

Sort of analagous to the difference between a college campus where everybody plays beer pong with the same rule set, and a college campus where everybody plays beer pong with their favorite fraternity's rule set. Some people are better at one style than at the other; it's an interesting element. Sorry I can't describe it better.

Disclaimer: I am in no way implying that my style names are either witty or pun-filled.

PS: Before people start picking and replying to the wrong parts of this post, let me reiterate the fact that, aside from the named option preset thing, I am not commenting on whether or not the proposed changes would improve the game or make it worse; I am simply commenting on the importance of keeping any new additions to the game optional.
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deathprog23

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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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Some of my thoughts are posted in other threads linked here... so don't booch me alright!

Poseidon wrote: 
Here are some of my suggestions:

Deliberately passing out:

Minimizing luck in multiplayer:


These two go together...

I believe the point of the 'hangover' period is precisely so the opponent can drink up and win in the meantime. The penalty for getting behind, then drinking (adds an element of danger to strategic drinking).

Personally I think it's a great way to end a game - epecially since some of the games go on far too long anyhow - since in a drinkin' tournament, the idea really should be to get yer opponent drunk... I also love the contrast between a tense, strategic game and the sudden, glug-glug-glug - there we go ending. Maybe that's just me.

Multiple drink-ups are the only way to end games with high numbers of cups/colours, and are quite rare in very large drinking games anyway, due to the existence of chains where one person passes out just as another sobers up, thus prolonging the game indefinitely.

However. I do find the period annoyingly long. Perhaps it would be best reduced by one round - so then yer opponent would only be able to drink up if they already had drunk - though that may well prompt me to drink whenever I'm ahead an' me opponent's behind and on two drinks... (guess that's extra strategy though, nice!)

Taking out the randomness of all passing out will just make the game more heavily reliant on the randomness of fries/hooks though.


Extra thoughts for minimising luck in multiplayer (and overall!)
I think the default option should be to not display moves in drinkin'. This would reward the skilled drinkers who can recognise setups, though I'm not sure quite how much difference it would make?

And, as people have suggested before, make it display the opponents' next drink. This would minimise luck in situations where placing currently allows a 50-50 chance of ye or your opponent finishing a line - with next move showing, ye can see if your move is really a good one or not.

And remember, in a game based on luck, it's all in playing the probabilities! The ability to quickly calculate (or have a feel for) which moves have the highest probabilities of leading to you scoring is what makes a great drinker (and having the confidence to go with it lol!). the rounds are long enough that playing this way, good players do win more often.


Oh... and I'm not so keen on the idea of having a 'hand' of drinks... it would be too drastic a change in my oppinion. But it would be fun to try, so maybe as another level of customisation it would be OK, with the default being 1 drink per turn.


Poseidon wrote: 
Prevent border openings:

Well, I personally find this annoying an' unnecessary, I always start in the centre. But it is a valid strategy in some situations, so it should be kept in.
If anything, it could be banned in the opening round of a multi-round game, but allowed in the second, where the strategy may be more justified.


Poseidon wrote: 
Team play mode:


Ooooo yes, please!

Poseidon wrote: 
Drink up m'hearties!



Aarrr!

Oneiropoios, current Olympic Drinkin' Champion
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Buckley



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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I'd keep everything mostly the same... but add in the teamplay option... where the winning team is still determined by having the individual player with the highest score... but you enter the game like you enter a brawl, by jumping on a team... then the game seats you appropriately... and then the winner will be expressed as a team...

and for rated games, your team is the winner so that you aren't penalized because your partner is the high scorer...

Furthermore, I think drinkouts are valid, but I'd make it so that you can't see your opponent get drunk, have no drinks already yourself, and then drink a quick 3 to end it... Maybe put in a limitation that you can't take 3 deliberate drinks in a row.. (If I already have 1 drink on me... too bad, sorry about your luck) Or, say that you can't drink 3 times in a row when you have more than 1 place to put each of the drinks.
Or, you can take the first 2 drinks once your opponent gets drunk.. but to take the 3rd it must be a true forced drink by the board.. That introduces risk to the strategy... If I drink 2, and can't drink the 3rd... my opponent will wake up.. and I'll still have the 2 drinks... So, in summary, I'd allow drinkouts, but don't allow the strategy to be without risk...

And corner fries only adds luck to the first like 10 moves... after that, you are off and running, and everything's normal...

- Buckley

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[Feb 17, 2004 10:31:22 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jabby



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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With regards to drinkouts, when playing teams it is much harder to pull off and there are more risks involved, it seems to be more of a problem in single matches with only one round.

Border openings have there place, on team play there is just as much chance that they can come back and bite ye. Being able to decide which square ye start on is part of the luck of getting the first chips.

Having the ratings go to both members of the team would also be good, watching ye rating drop while ye team wins is not very much fun.

Another thing I would add is that anyone watching the game, would not see the colors of the stained pieces to avoid any issues with outside help counting the colors towards the end of the match.

They ability to block external chat happening around the match would be nice, in a crowded inn it is can be hard to chat with ye team mate with the amount of chat going on in the room.

Jabbie
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Bistronaut



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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While the intentional drink-out is certainly a viable option now (it'd be foolish not to use it when it wins you games) I agree that it's not really fun. I would not be opposed to measures that would make it less effective or likely to occur.

I also think that the pass-out penalty could stand to be less stiff. It occurs to me that if you made the pass-out last one less turn, you couldn't execute a drink-out if you were totally sober. This would add an additional bit of strategy where you might want to take a drink if your opponent is almost drunk. Of course, that could easily come back and bite you, adding to the peril of following such a strategy.

Now, I can't let a drinking game change thread go by without mentioning my chess-timer idea, which can be found here, and which would make drinking tournaments much more fun (IMHO).

Pretty much all of the ideas mentioned in this thread would be good options to have on drinking games, with the potential to add even more depth to an already great game.

Drink on!

Edit: Oooh! I really like Nykkel's idea of having an on-screen stain count. While this does remove a skill factor from the game, it also removes the possiblility of cheating through stain-counting spectators (and I think that trade-off is a good one).

Edit 2: I also see that Oneiropoios already posted the idea of shortening the drunk penalty to reduce drink-outs. Guess I should read the whole thread before I post. :-)
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Bistronaut at Feb 18, 2004 1:02:07 AM]
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Squidbeard

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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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I see a lot of the ideas in here as being useful options, but I'd hate to see some of them enforced across the board.

For starters, I think that deliberately passing out is a fine tactic, especially when a game is running long or you need to deny the stain bonus to your opponent. I've won and lost plenty of games that way, and heard and given naught but compliments for good play over it. Perhaps I drink with the wrong crowd, though.

I feel similarly about placing the initial fries on an edge -- it can be a cheap tactic, but it doesn't get under my skin that bad. Getting rid of hooks and fries is an interesting twist, as well.

If any of these elements were to be opened up, I'd really like to see them made optional, along with the time limit options discussed before.

Of greater interest to me is the idea of more private tables. I couldn't agree more with Jabbie's suggestion of making a drinking table analogous to a chat circle. If one wants to keep the noisy atmosphere of an Inn, make a Room channel that's analogous to the Vessel channel aboard ship. (This would let tourney organizers and barroom bards address the whole room. It also has the added benefit of giving me an excuse to holler, "Hey -- hold it down over there!" at some loudmouth from time to time.)

Nice to see some attention being paid to my favorite pastime. Not exactly front-burner stuff, but it's reassuring to know that we drunks aren't being neglected.

And thanks again for adding Drinking to the OCL!
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Atmaeloy



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First, I'd like to say, "YES!" to (most) everything Skank said. The drinking puzzle is awesome as it is. I used to not like it and think everything was pure puck but I've since learned how the game plays. The strategy of the game, as it stands now, really is based on luck. Are you willing to gamble on this row or not? If you gamble and win, great, but if you gamble and lose you can't whine about it (Example of gambling: Putting a piece in a row to make it 3:3 with a 50% chance at the opponant finishing).

Drinking Hand: I'm not particularly fond of this idea anymore. I used to think it'd be a good idea but, if you think about it, it'll still be a completely luck-based game. Now you've just got even less of a chance to even attempt blocking off some one else's attempts at a row. Showing moves falls along the same lines, principally because the game really is all about taking your chances. Both of these ideas will completely change the game, and I'm not sure it'd be nearly as fun.

I like the idea of adding some more options, but adding too many options that can change the entire playstyle of the game, I think, will turn people off from the game even further. I think that people will find one particular way they want to play which will turn people off from the other types of the game... possibly. This is why I'm asking that nothing too drastic is done that completely changes the game. In the end, even if the hand idea and/or showing upcoming moves are implemented, I think most people will prefer it the way it is.
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triskaideka



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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I'd just been thinking recently that we needed a thread like this. Thanks for beating me to it, Poseidon. :)

Poseidon wrote: 
Deliberately passing out:
I've heard many be annoyed with the ending where if you're up on points and your opponent passes out you can just drink all drinks and pass out too to win.
It's pretty frustrating and not really in the spirit of the game in my opinion to win/lose that way.

I would suggest that if you have more than 1 square to place on you cannot deliberately drink.
It's more than 1 to also keep the strategic element of choosing to drink instead of potentially giving opponents points.

I agree that the specific case where in a 1v1 match, your opponent's passing out means that you are guaranteed to win even if you have no drinks on your record is not in the spirit of the game. However, I don't think that Poseidon's suggestion is the way to fix it. Maybe the criteria for a pass-out ending could be changed so that all players must pass a turn because of drunkenness, rather than just be drunk. Buckley's idea of prohibiting three voluntary drinks in a row is another possibility, as is Atmaeloy's idea of requiring a certain percentage of the board to be stained before passing out can end the game. Or, maybe the third drink you take could make you drunk but not actually go on your record (so you'd take one less turn to sober up than you did to get drunk).


Poseidon wrote: 
Prevent border openings:
Starting the puzzle by placing the fries along the border often means games starting out with alot of drinking because there are no matching squares to place on. It's an opening used as a desperate measure when you're up against a higher ranked player or behind in multi round games. It means there's far more luck than skill involved.

I would suggest that the first fries cannot be placed along the border.

I don't feel that this move is a desparate measure, nor one that a good player can't recover from, except perhaps in the specific case where you use it in conjuction with the abovementioned drinking out strategy in a 1v1 game. I don't see any reason to restrict the placement of the opening chips.


Poseidon wrote: 
Minimizing luck in multiplayer:
While multiplayer drinking (usually more than 4) is fun it's also completely luck based. And passing out means sitting over 3 rounds while everyone else can get points. And even if you return it is often with 2 drinks and perhaps right back to passing out again.

I would suggest lowering the amount of rounds you sit over when passing out and/or increasing the speed of getting rid of the "hangover" drinks when you return.

As others have said, drinking is not completely nor even unduly luck-based. As with many games of chance, a good player learns to play the probabilities and use chance to his advantage. Everyone's going to have a run of bad luck sometimes, but that's not a game design flaw. The more I play the drinking game, the more I appreciate the depth of strategy in it, so I'd suggest that anyone who feels it's too dependent on luck should give it a little more time.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing the hangover drinks disappear more quickly.


Poseidon wrote: 
Team play mode:
Team play as has been used in the OCL league is actually real fun and opens up a wide range of interesting strategies to use.
While players can set up teams themselves, it would be nice if there was a formal way of assigning teams, seats and keeping score over multiple rounds. This is something I could see people choose instead of the luck based multiplayer games.

This is a feature I am eagerly awaiting.


I'm going to keep drinking and enjoying it whether anything changes or not, but, other drinking game adjustments I would be happy to see (eventually; I know the developers are busy) include:

- The "hand" of pieces idea, which I think would add complexity and address some of the complaints about luck. I think 2 or 3 pieces in a hand is plenty, though, at least in a 4/4 game. Maybe the number of pieces in a hand could depend on the number of drinks and containers -- this would make 8/12 games more viable. (Something like hand_size = [num_drinks + num_containers] / 4, round down.) Of course, if you had more than one piece you could play, how would the game show you your legal moves? Maybe it wouldn't -- which would increase the importance of having a sharp eye -- or maybe you'd click on the piece first, see the moves you can make with it, then click on the table to play it.

- Random container art. I usually don't play 8/12 games because I think that strategy is deeper with a smaller number of drinks and containers. The downside to this is that I rarely get to see all the cool container art that's used for the higher numbers. I'd suggest that the drink colors and container art in a game should be selected randomly at the start of the game. (Maybe just the container art, if certain drink colors are easier for colorblind players to distinguish.)

- There is a bug whereby if a player leaves the game (e.g. because her tournament match is starting), the active player's turn is immediately skipped. Not a feature request, but I figured it was worth mentioning here.

- Multiplayer games in tournaments. I guess the organizer should be able to set how many players per game and/or how many players advance. Being able to enter as a team with your mates would be cool, but I'm sure the programmers are getting a headache just from me mentioning it.

- More accurate ratings, based on how many players were in the game. Getting second place in an eight-player game is a lot different from getting second place in a two-player game. I don't know whether finishing second out of eight should make your rating go up or just not make it go down. I also don't know how it should differ from finishing second out of four.

- Creator-controlled setting of the per-move timer, as has been suggested. Bistronaut's chess-timer idea would be cool too.

- Board bonus adjusted based on number of players. 200 points is fine in a 2-player game, but difficult to compensate for in an 8-player game. Offhand, I'd suggest that the board bonus be 250 - (25 * num_players).

- Settings displayed on-screen, or otherwise available from within the game. Specifically I'm thinking of being able to tell how many drinks and containers there are, since it affects your probability of getting the right piece, and you may not always have that information, especially in the early game. But no on-screen stain count (see below).

- Options are good. (Though too many options can be bad.)


There are a couple of ideas that have been suggested in this thread that I think are actually bad ideas. One is removing the hooks and chips: I think you'd find the game relied much more on chance without them than with them. In fact, I'd suggest that the frequency of hooks be increased slightly. The other is the on-screen stain count: educated guesses about who has the board bonus in the late game are a huge part of the strategy and excitement of drinking, IMO.


xagoloth wrote: 
Imagine playing chess where you were told randomly what piece you can move next turn, it eliminates a lot of the skill and planning involved.

Maybe this is the difference between drinkers and non-drinkers. I think this sounds like a fun game, with its own (admittedly different) kind of strategy. :) (Tangent: specific piece might be too limiting. Better if you were told what kind of piece. Interesting idea....)
[Feb 18, 2004 1:51:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dodongo77

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Much like Atmaeloy, I believe the drinking game is fine the way it is and no changes should be implemented. There is just as much strategy involved in drinking as there is in swords. Making all these changes and additions to drinking does 2 very bad things:
1) Completely changes the game (drinking hand, can't deliberately pass out, etc). The drinking hand in particular would make it an entirely different game.
2) Complicate the game so much that it becomes too hard for people to play or understand what is going on. The number of options should be kept simple and standard. It shouldn't take a PhD to set up a game.

Showing the number of stains or your opponent's next piece is the equivalent of being able to see your opponent's board colors in swords. I believe in other topics that this change to swords was considered not to be a good one, so why should drinking get a change like that.

It is my personal opinion that drinking does not receive the same level of respect that sword fighting does and that is a damn shame. I find it just as exciting and nerve wracking to drink competitively as it is to sword fight. Drinking tournies and the OCL addition have helped in this matter but drastically changing the WAY in which the game is played is two steps backwards.
[Feb 18, 2004 2:07:54 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
svarog



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Most everything that can be said has been said and i'll condense my feelings into me own post, even though others have said it.

But first off. . before we make the major scuppering changes to the drinking game that everyone here is suggesting can we fix the bugs?

Such as. .
Regardless of if you like it or not passing out for a round exists -- except when someone leaves the table, which can lock the game quite good.
(edit: was just told this was fixed, wasn't aware of that . . leaving sentences, adding humility).
Or how about ratings? coming in 2nd out of 8 shouldn't count as a loss in my book, maybe only a +3 to your rating instead of +5 (numbers don't exist, jus there as an example). . . cascading the scores, much like a tourney pot.
Or maybe we could do without the bug that makes it skip a players turn when someone leaves the puzzle (not sure how this one works, ne'er happened to me. . but i've heard plenty of it).

Now that that's out of my system. I'm pretty sure everything else here's been adressed before, though with an OM now saying it maybe it holds a little more weight. I'll be throwing my weight against these suggestions for now though (excpet for having a 'team game' option, but mostly for rating purposes there).

Border fries to start are a legit strategy and should continue to be. The chance that it backfires and ends your game quickly are just as good as finishing off your opponent.

I feel passing out is a legite strategy too. If you can win take it, especially in games like OCL league games where points matter. (Especially since it's harder in the OCL team drinking). Passing out to force a win is no easy thing to do right now anyways.

As for these things not being in the spirit of the game. Well, sure, it's a social game in that it's laid back and you can easily chat while playing but the nature of the gameplay itself is a bit more cutthroat than most of the other puzzles. (all the other puzles you can 'dig' out of your mistakes, drinking it's all preventetive maintenance and forced moves). You're playing probability and chance that someone else won't get the piece they need. Is that good/bad luck on the one player's part or skill to create a booched board on the other's?

I'm definitely not a fan of taking away intentional drinking, partly because i've taken a liking to drinking the chips whenever they come up and partly because forcing someone to move could still hurt them a lot more than them taking a drink. Forcing forks in drinking would be interesting, but i like the option now of skipping a turn (since it hurts you) instead of clearing your opponents row (which helps them more than losing a turn hurts you).

Passing out is part of the game and missing up to 3 turns (or 21 people placing before you get another turn) because of that is also part of the game. Thing is, in an eight player match it's likely to happen to just about everyone at some point in the game. . . alls fair as far as i can see.

As for the suggestions many people have made.
I have to give my 'nay' to the idea of having a 'hand' of drinks. It would make the actual drinking in the drinking game a lot less likely, piece placement less important and with pieces in hand planning becomes easier (with so many contingencies does that one piece really matter that much)?

I did like jabber's idea of making sobering up happen a litle quicker. It would make forcing a pass out just that much more difficult that it becomes a more valid strategy.

And if people have issues with game times, aside from a timer change why not make the drink tally for a pass out higher and a passout permanent. A sudden death style gameplay could definitely increase speed and make piece placement all that more important.

For now, i've overextended my post and mentioned too many things, so all my thoughts might not be all there. I'm sure i'll hear of it if they're not. But like squid said, it's good to see this puzzle finally get a looking over (how many threads so far this week?). And i'm glad for the tourney charts in the inns too. . . brings more people in for larger drinking matches.
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[Feb 18, 2004 2:08:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Atmaeloy



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triskaideka wrote: 
There are a couple of ideas that have been suggested in this thread that I think are actually bad ideas. One is removing the hooks and chips: I think you'd find the game relied much more on chance without them than with them. In fact, I'd suggest that the frequency of hooks be increased slightly. The other is the on-screen stain count: educated guesses about who has the board bonus in the late game are a huge part of the strategy and excitement of drinking, IMO.


The reason I said that chips and hooks might be able to be removed is because while they are useful, I was in a tournament the other day (and thank you, everyone, who starts the drinking tournies) where my opponant got four hooks consecutively. One or two don't matter much, but four in a row will completely debunk anything planned whatsoever. The removal of these pieces will, I think, instead help add to the strategy of forcing everyone to drink out, which is incredibly difficult to do in a 1v1 match. In a larger game or in a game with more than a 4/4 setting, the possibility of hooks/chips become almost necessary. I have yet to see any evidence that a smaller drinking match couldn't be at least 75% finished (stained) without the inclusion of the chips/hooks.
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[Feb 18, 2004 2:14:14 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Atmaeloy [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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Dodongo77 wrote: 
It is my personal opinion that drinking does not receive the same level of respect that sword fighting does and that is a damn shame.


There's much more luck and it takes a lot longer. And the computer tells you where to put things. The sword fighter has to think more (and faster!) than the drinker, and therefore "deserves" more respect. Your mileage may vary if you find swordfighting a breeze and drinking an uphill climb, but that's the general feeling.

Drinking is a fun puzzle, and if it gets changed TOO much then there probably ought to be a whole new separate puzzle (the Feasting idea?) instead of just a makeover, but I wouldn't characterize it as perfect. The luck factor alone makes it the least thinking/solving puzzle . . the closest to a Masterpiece or a Bingo or a Crystal Clear is getting the "clearing the row on an unstained square" bonus, which ALSO only comes if you're lucky enough to get the piece that goes there.
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muffy



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While all of the suggested changes are interesting, I think they would change the game far too much. I'd suggest only one change, to add more ability to plan - as with swordfighting and sailing, allow each player to see their next piece.
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[Feb 18, 2004 2:21:24 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Nykkel



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Showing the number of stains or your opponent's next piece is the equivalent of being able to see your opponent's board colors in swords. I believe in other topics that this change to swords was considered not to be a good one, so why should drinking get a change like that.
Showing the number of stains isn't like seeing the opponent's board colors. It is more like having the little mini-board icon in Swordfighting -- the one that shows you how close your opponent is to losing. Yeah, you might be able to tell how they're doing based on the amount of stuff you've sent at them and the amount of stuff they've sent back at you, but having the board there to look at allows you to concentrate on your strategy instead of doing the swordfighting equivalent of Card Counting. :) Sure, I could just try to keep a mental tally each time someone places a piece. But I don't find that to be fun, just like I don't find Card Counting to be fun.

To me, having an on-screen stain count is no more unreasonable than having the game show you all the valid spaces for your current piece. You could figure it out yourself, sure. But I certainly find the game less frustrating with a display of my available moves than I would if I had to poke around desperately to see where I could place. Or *if* I could place, for that matter -- if you disable the display of available moves, does that disable the "You can't place this piece, click here to drink" message? It should, IMO. :)
[Feb 18, 2004 3:20:51 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xagoloth

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muffy wrote: 
While all of the suggested changes are interesting, I think they would change the game far too much. I'd suggest only one change, to add more ability to plan - as with swordfighting and sailing, allow each player to see their next piece.


Thats a great suggestion and that would also help to eliminate the luck factor a little bit more.
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[Feb 18, 2004 3:33:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mashrur.com    jaquesparrow@yahoo.com    mashsurfer [Link]  Go to top 
cmoffitt



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I'm quoting you triskaideka because you made the most salient points. ;)

triskaideka wrote: 
Poseidon wrote: 
Deliberately passing out:
I've heard many be annoyed with the ending where if you're up on points and your opponent passes out you can just drink all drinks and pass out too to win.

I agree that the specific case where in a 1v1 match, your opponent's passing out means that you are guaranteed to win even if you have no drinks on your record is not in the spirit of the game. However, I don't think that Poseidon's suggestion is the way to fix it. Maybe the criteria for a pass-out ending could be changed so that all players must pass a turn because of drunkenness, rather than just be drunk.


Drinking out to end the game is an essential and fundamental part of the strategy and rules mechanics. That said, going from stone sober to passed out after your opponent passes out doesn't seem fair. A small tweak would be to sober up one turn faster. That way your opponent would at least need to be maintaining a buzz to employ this tactic. Restricting choice based on available moves or stains is too arbitrary (remember, drinking up is also the timer mechanic).

triskaideka wrote: 
Poseidon wrote: 
Prevent border openings:
Starting the puzzle by placing the fries along the border often means games starting out with alot of drinking because there are no matching squares to place on. It's an opening used as a desperate measure when you're up against a higher ranked player or behind in multi round games. It means there's far more luck than skill involved.

I don't feel that this move is a desparate measure, nor one that a good player can't recover from, except perhaps in the specific case where you use it in conjuction with the abovementioned drinking out strategy in a 1v1 game. I don't see any reason to restrict the placement of the opening chips.

I vehemently agree. Making risk/reward choices is one of the things that make this game run. When the underdog Wisconson in the NCAA bball tournament tried to play slow to limit total possensions that was just smart strategy.

triskaideka wrote: 
Poseidon wrote: 
Minimizing luck in multiplayer:
While multiplayer drinking (usually more than 4) is fun it's also completely luck based.

As others have said, drinking is not completely nor even unduly luck-based. As with many games of chance, a good player learns to play the probabilities and use chance to his advantage. Everyone's going to have a run of bad luck sometimes, but that's not a game design flaw. The more I play the drinking game, the more I appreciate the depth of strategy in it, so I'd suggest that anyone who feels it's too dependent on luck should give it a little more time.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing the hangover drinks disappear more quickly.


Here here! I also suggested a one turn reduction in the hangover above. Besides, if you have that many players and you want competitve drinking, just start a tournament. 8 players is totally luck and is just a social game (rightly so). Even better, allow team play tournaments.

triskaideka wrote: 

- The "hand" of pieces idea.

Completely changes the game, I don't like it at all.

triskaideka wrote: 

- Random container art.

I agree for the exact same reasons, well said!

triskaideka wrote: 

- Multiplayer games in tournaments. I guess the organizer should be able to set how many players per game and/or how many players advance. Being able to enter as a team with your mates would be cool, but I'm sure the programmers are getting a headache just from me mentioning it.

Non-team multiplayer is too random anyway IMHO, I'd just like to see OCL style teaming in touraments (and recognized by the game).

triskaideka wrote: 

- More accurate ratings, based on how many players were in the game. Getting second place in an eight-player game is a lot different from getting second place in a two-player game. I don't know whether finishing second out of eight should make your rating go up or just not make it go down. I also don't know how it should differ from finishing second out of four.

Here's a link for some alternative algorithms
http://wolff.to/area/calcexp.html#_.
I think drinking is currently winner-take-all (although I don't know how experience is treated).

triskaideka wrote: 

- Creator-controlled setting of the per-move timer, as has been suggested. Bistronaut's chess-timer idea would be cool too.


Either would be cool. I've played competitive chess before. I'm not sure it contributes enough to the fun factor to be worth the extra options or programming time though.

triskaideka wrote: 

- Settings displayed on-screen, or otherwise available from within the game. Specifically I'm thinking of being able to tell how many drinks and containers there are, since it affects your probability of getting the right piece, and you may not always have that information, especially in the early game. But no on-screen stain count (see below).

I agree, would be nice.

triskaideka wrote: 

There are a couple of ideas that have been suggested in this thread that I think are actually bad ideas. One is removing the hooks and chips: I think you'd find the game relied much more on chance without them than with them. In fact, I'd suggest that the frequency of hooks be increased slightly. The other is the on-screen stain count: educated guesses about who has the board bonus in the late game are a huge part of the strategy and excitement of drinking, IMO.

Aye. Well said.
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[Feb 18, 2004 4:28:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.tigrisgame.com/    advcivman [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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muffy wrote: 
While all of the suggested changes are interesting, I think they would change the game far too much. I'd suggest only one change, to add more ability to plan - as with swordfighting and sailing, allow each player to see their next piece.


Or perhaps (or in addition) seeing the next player's next piece. Then you have some thinking to do.
[Feb 18, 2004 4:36:54 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
cmoffitt



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Re: Suggestions for changes to Drinking Puzzle Reply to this Post
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homullus wrote: 
muffy wrote: 
While all of the suggested changes are interesting, I think they would change the game far too much. I'd suggest only one change, to add more ability to plan - as with swordfighting and sailing, allow each player to see their next piece.


Or perhaps (or in addition) seeing the next player's next piece. Then you have some thinking to do.


It's been said before in this thread that part of the fun/skill of the game is managing probabilites. The preview feature in any form just trades some of this aspect for analysis. This is a very big change too the game that I don't like.
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[Feb 18, 2004 4:45:14 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.tigrisgame.com/    advcivman [Link]  Go to top 
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TedV had some lovely suggestions in this regard. If he doesn't post them soon, I might...
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[Feb 18, 2004 5:40:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
triskaideka



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One thing I don't like about the idea of a hand, or of seeing your next piece in advance, is that it would encourage you to spend the time between turns planning instead of chatting. I would hate to see drinking games become less of a social event.
[Feb 18, 2004 6:05:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tedv



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Drinking Game Update Reply to this Post
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The Problem

As everyone knows, the biggest problem with the drinking game is that there's too much luck in it. Many games come down to getting the pirate fries at the right time, or accidently get shafted with the late game plays which make you unable to win the stain bonus. (Remember that the stain bonus is a 400 point swing-- +200 to you if you win and +200 to the opponent if you don't. So the difference between winning and losing it is 400 points, not 200.) Or just not drawing the right color pieces to win the first row of the game. Keep in mind that starting the game is a phenomenal advantage, since you have one extra piece in two possible rows. There's also issues of someone randomly drawing a hook to remove critical pieces.

And yet for every time a piece is good, there are other situations when they're bad. Pirate Fries suck in the early game, since playing them on the first row just guarantees that your opponent can extend another piece in that row-- so the fries don't actually help you capture the first rows. And getting a steady stream of early hooks means you gain 0 points per turn taking a worthless piece away while they gain 10 points per turn replaying that piece. Sometimes the blue chalice is worth 200 points for completing a row and other times there's not one place to put it on the board.

The conclusion I've come to is that the value of each individual piece fluctuates widely based on the current board structure. There isn't that much strategy to playing pieces on the board-- stay at least one piece ahead on as many rows as possible and remove their ability to complete unstained rows by filling the unstained areas first. So it's not surprising the game winner is usually the person who happens to draw the more valuable pieces.

But it's easier to add strategy to this game than you might think. You can't stop the problem of some pieces being more valuable than others. But you can provide incentive for players to correctly determine which pieces are the most valuable in a given situation.

The Auction

Rather than each player randomly getting a piece each round, there is a set of four different pieces to choose from. Lets say these pieces are A, B, C, and D. On my turn, I select one of these pieces and play it on the board (or drink it if I really want to). That piece is replaced with a new piece and the next player selects from one of the remaining ones. Lets say I select B and play it. The game creates a new piece E at random. So the next player has A, E, C, and D to pick from. They might pick D, and piece F is the new replacement. So on my next turn, I pick one of A, E, C, or F, and so on.

Here's the trick. Every time a piece is NOT selected, a bonus value of 10 points is added to it. You get those bonus points just for selecting the piece, no matter what you do with it. So technically after I pick a piece, the remaining pieces my opponent has to choose from at A+10, E, C+10, D+10. When my opponent picks D+10, I now have the choices A+20, E+10, C+20, F. Think of the point bonuses as bribes to take pieces which would otherwise provide poor board position. Players must make the strategic choice of taking bribe points for a piece that doesn't really help their board position versus great board position but no bonus points.

There's one other VERY important part of this auction mechanic. The fries and hook can now be appropriately costed. They will start with a bonus value of -50 points instead of 0 like the drinks do. Selecting one of those pieces actually makes you lose points. Obviously the first play of the game will make you lose 50 points, but you have the best chance of winning the first row (which gives you a lot more than 50 points, even if you lose a little board position). In the late game, if both you and your opponent are waiting for tasty pirate fries, the first person to draw it will still take it-- but the other person won't get screwed. At least the opponent took a 50 point hit to take it, and all the remaining drinks are even more valuable. Meanwhile, the times that a hook is worthless... Well, you aren't forced to give up board position to use it. You can wait until the hook is appropriately costed (maybe at -20, maybe -10, maybe even +10) before selecting it. It also encourages players to think about their opponent's reaction. Maybe me taking the hook at -30 isn't great, but if my opponent gets the hook at -20, they could really wreck my board position...

(For the board game fans out there, this bribe mechanic is used in the games Puerto Rico and Queen's Necklace.)

Drinking for Fun and Profit

One other issue I have with the drinking game is that it doesn't actually encourage you to drink the drinks. Having to drink a piece is the worst possible thing that can happen in the game. Not only do you lose board position by not putting a piece down... Not only do you lose points from not playing the piece... But if you have to drink three times, you'll skip your next three turns and almost definitely lose the game. Even if your opponent doesn't have more points than you so they can drink and pass out, ending the game, they get a total of SIX free plays against you-- three when passed out and three when you were drinking.

Players need to get paid points when they actually drink the glass they choose, points above and beyond the normal bonus they get from selecting the drink. The simplest solution is to give players the bribe bonus AGAIN for quaffing the drink. So if a piece is worth +40 bonus points, taking it and drinking it gives you 80 points. Just playing it on the board is 40 points, plus placement credit (usually 10 or 20). So the extra 30 points is what you get for losing board position and taking the risk that you might pass out in the future.

Of course, if players are getting paid points to take short term gain over long term board position, there needs to be a stricter and better defined times that players detoxicate one drink. I believe players should detoxicate one drink whenever a row is completed that player had at least one piece in and did NOT win. In general, it's really REALLY bad to lose your pieces in a row. Getting one extra free drink (that still, keep in mind, doesn't advance their board position) is a nice benefit to give them. Most importantly, however, this rule adds player interaction to the game. It gives your opponent control over how much you can drink. If you really want to stop your opponent from drinking, you can just opt not to complete rows right away-- save them for later. There isn't a lot of player interaction right now, honestly. Most of the interaction will occur in the piece auction. It's a good thing to increase player interaction.

Timing out

Right now when you time out of the drinking game, you just drink the piece you were currently holding. It's a bit more complicated now because there are four pieces to choose from. When someone times out, if they haven't selected a piece at all, the game makes them select the most valuable piece and drink it. If they've already selected a piece but not played it, they drink that selected piece. Pretty simple.

Piece Preview

In the current game, when you're given a piece, you can see every place on the board that piece can go. Since there are now four pieces... You can't show all that information at the same time. But hovering your mouse over one selection will show you all the areas it could go, before you select it. Another interface problem with an easy solution.

Number of Auction Pieces

Incidently, starting with 4 pieces is just a number that "seems right" to me based on my experience playing similar board games. The actual number of pieces should increase or decrease depending on how strategic you want the game to be. Two is pretty light-hearted, and five is a LOT of thought. Three is probably the best number for large (4+) player games. Presumably the actual number of auction pieces could be configurable.

Stain Bonus

Lastly, I believe games should be as simple as possible to be reasonably strategic. They should not be more complicated than necessary. The stain bonus at the end of the game (causing a 400 point swing) was a little something to add strategy to the original game. At the end of the game, you had to decide between playing pieces to get a 100 point row and getting the 400 point stain bonus. But I believe there is already enough strategic variety in this game that the stain bonus is just unnecessary. It's NOT that it's unstrategic. (In fact, it's even more strategic now, since you also have to consider taking pieces in the auction because they further your stain count.) It just makes the game more complicated than it needs to be.

Any thoughts? I'm sure you'll post them here. :)
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