Dominion Online

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The current Dominion Online logo.

Dominion Online is the official online implementation of Dominion. It is currently run by Shuffle iT at this website.


[edit] Gameplay

[edit] Features

In Dominion Online, you can play games of Dominion either against a human opponent or a bot. A human opponent can be found automatically via a matchmaking system based on rating, or can be invited by creating your own Dominion table. By creating your own table, you can also customize your kingdom (that is, the cards with which you are playing).

Almost all Dominion cards from all existing expansions can be found in Dominion Online; the only exceptions are the 12 removed cards from the first editions of Base Dominion and Intrigue, as well as StashStash.jpg, due to technical difficulties with its implementation.

Right now, many features are still missing from the Dominion Online system, including campaigns, animations, and multi-platform support. The reason for this is that the product is still relatively new and was released on January 1, 2017. These and other features are all mentioned in the priority list on the official Shuffle iT forums.

Dominion Online is available in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, and Russian, with more languages to be added in the future.

[edit] Cost

  • The base set is free for the public to play with.
  • In addition to having free access to the base set, users are able to play with other expansions provided that the person hosting the game owns the expansions. This is comparable to someone owning a physical copy of the game inviting friends over to play with their expansion.
  • Everyone who owned one or more expansions on the previous Dominion Online system, by Making Fun, could play with these expansions for free throughout 2017.
  • All other expansions, including the new Empires, must be paid for. Unlike earlier Dominion Online systems, the Shuffle iT system requires a monthly payment. If you did own part but not all of the expansions, you can subscribe for a reduced fee.

[edit] Ratings

Dominion Online uses the Glicko-2 rating scheme, and has separate leaderboards for 2-player and 3+ player games.

[edit] Praises and Criticism

The praise seems to be overwhelmed by the criticisms at this point, though there are various examples of each. Many praises and criticisms tend to compare the product directly to other online implementations.

[edit] Praise

  • Implementation of the newest expansions
  • A payment plan that helps with users having a smooth transition between Making Fun and Shuffle iT
  • Being available in a browser without the need to download any program
  • A better matchmaking system than before

[edit] Criticism

  • Cost - There are objections to the cost of the product with some feeling that the cost is too high. A few others object to the pricing structure, preferring the 'lifetime subscription' from Goko and early Making Fun.
  • Confusing interface - The interface of the system gets heavily critiqued. Both the main menu as well as the in-game interface have some serious issues, with several buttons or essential game elements being hidden from view or in an unexpected place.
  • Incompleteness - Some people were disappointed that a lot of functions, as well as a couple of cards, are missing even though a fully functional product was promised by January 1. This was made worse due to the high cost; for such a high cost, many people expected a better product.
  • Slow Gameplay - Game speed is frequently cited as being slow and laggy in comparison to earlier systems. However, some users have pointed out that switching to Chrome as a browser instead of Firefox solves the problem to some extent
  • No support for Internet Explorer
  • Lack of offline play

[edit] History

[edit] Speculation

Speculation about the eventual existence of an 'official' online version of Dominion began years ago, likely before the existence of the blog and forum. Unfortunately, for a very long time little was known beyond that. Individuals would try to piece together information from comments by Jay and Donald X. but nothing was known for sure. Speculation was wide ranging and rampant, and led to the creation of "rrenaud's Law", an observance of how much Dominion discussion inevitably descended into speculation about the eventual online version. Isotropic creator dougz was informally approached about taking the job of creating the official online version but he turned down the offer.[1][2]

[edit] FunSockets and Beta Testing

Putting an end to some speculation, Jay Tummelson leaked some information in May 2012 about the official online Dominion platform in a BGG thread discussing the Origins Convention. He revealed that the name of the company working on the game was Funsockets, adding that there would be playable versions of the game on display at the convention.[3] The first images of the game leaked[4] during the convention, prompting further discussion. Though Jay reported that the platform was near its release point, there was no further word on that front for a few weeks.

In late May 2012, it was noted that there was a change on the FunSockets website.[5] The site offered a form to sign up for further information when it became available and offered a contact address for questions. A week or two later rumors sprang up[6] about BGG having access to some Beta test accounts. Dominion Strategy Forum members were immediately interested in taking part in the testing, prompting the creation of an unofficial list of interested individuals.[7] Just days later, theory announced that Beta tester signups would occur on the blog, with preference being given to individuals who wrote articles for the blog followed by a mix of first come first serve and active Forum members.[8]

Beta testing was slowly rolled out to the Dominion community starting in late June[9] and continued through the eventual release in mid-August 2012. Beta testing was attractive to many Dominion fans as it allowed them the chance to be among the first to use the new Dominion platform. Later in the Beta testing cycle, interest was renewed when it was revealed that Dark Ages cards were available to the Beta testers.

[edit] Failed Release

The official online version was expected to finally launch to the public on August 16, 2012.[10] This date was chosen to coincide with the release of Dark Ages at Gencon, and Goko's press release found its way to the front page of blogs and news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Kotaku, and Mashable.[11][12][13] However, there were a host of issues at the time of release, including security issues,[14] server load troubles,[15] failure of the game to load,[16] and inability to register.[17]

Goko attempted to keep the site running but had difficulty doing so, working through the night and emailing users to apologize for the issues with their service.[18] After realizing that they could not keep up with the maintenance of the site, they eventually decided to bring the release back into beta status.[19] There are a number of blog posts/articles and forum threads related to the failed release and return to beta status.[20] [21][22] [23] [24] [25] [26]

[edit] Public Beta Status and New Release Date

On September 21, 2012, Goko quietly released their Dominion product in a public Beta.[27] At this point, there are still a number of bugs, and updates are still coming regularly as the problems are solved. They are at a point where they are accepting money for the purchase of expansions, with the prices significantly reduced (from ~$6 to ~$4 per half set) from the previous release.[28]

Goko had at this point not released a date for an official full release. The continuing uncertainty had led to forum members (prior to the beta release) making a guessing game of when the product will fully release.[29]

[edit] Goko Interaction

Much to the dismay of many on these forums, there had been little information flow from Goko about their product, a problem which dates back to the first hints of an official implementation. Fortunately, the volume of interaction increased in 2013. There have been two separate completed Q&A sessions so far with a third upcoming, both exclusively catering to members of this forum.

At this point, Dominion Online is the only authorized place to play the game on the internet. Unofficial implementations such as Isotropic have been shut down.

[edit] Making Fun and Steam Greenlight

In 2014, Goko was quietly acquired by Making Fun, whose logo began to appear on the Dominion Online loading screen. They promised to completely overhaul the existing code for the game from the ground up, implementing many of the features added by the Salvager plugin. In February 2015, Dominion appeared on Steam Greenlight, in anticipation of release to Steam, as well as to mobile devices. It was expected to release in Spring or Summer 2015, but never ended up releasing on Steam.

Dominion was made available on both iTunes and Google Play on November 30, 2015.

An update adding the Adventures expansion was added on May 2, 2016.[30]

[edit] Shuffle iT

In 2016 it was announced that Making Fun, after taking over a year to implement AdventuresAdventures.jpg, would be losing its license. In its place, members of the Dominion Strategy Forum, -Stef- and SCSN, were contracted to create a new platform, to debut on January 1st, 2017. Their newly founded company, Shuffle iT, began development on their version of Dominion Online in early 2016, and entered into a semi-open beta in December of that year. It released with all currently published cards, including those from EmpiresEmpires.jpg and the new second editions of Base and IntrigueIntrigue.jpg, except for InheritanceInheritance.jpg and StashStash.jpg. It returned to a browser-based implementation, though a separate offline version has been discussed since 2017.

On January 18th, 2017, Shuffle iT added Russian language support, providing translations for all available cards, despite only the first editions of Base and Intrigue being published previously in Russian. This makes it the first Dominion Online implementation to provide support in a language other than English. German language support was added on March 20th.

On March 31st, a leaderboard was added and Inheritance was implemented. On July 10th, Japanese language support was added.

On November 16th, NocturneNocturne.jpg was released, autoplay functionality was introduced, and icons were added to the resource tracker indicating which long-term effects (from Durations and States) the current player is affected by. The previewed cards from Nocturne were playable online as they were revealed during the previews week.

On January 19th, 2018, French and Traditional Chinese language support was added.

On September 24th, the GuildsGuilds.jpg cards were updated to their second edition Coffers wordings and Coffers and Villagers icons matching their mats were introduced, along with several other updates. In anticipation of RenaissanceRenaissance.jpg's release, the previewed cards were playable as they were for Nocturne.

[edit] References

  1. dougz, "dougz Reddit AMA", Reddit
  2. Donald X., "All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games", Dominion Strategy Forum
  3. Jay Tummelson, "IOS Version", BGG Dominion Forum
  4. "Live Report From Origins", Dominion Strategy Forum
  5. "ZOMGZ The Dominion Online website is doing something!", Dominion Strategy Forum
  6. "ZOMGZ The Dominion Online website is doing something!", Dominion Strategy Forum
  7. "Unofficial Interested in beta list", Dominion Strategy Forum
  8. theory, "Dominion Strategy FunSockets Beta Signup ", Dominion Strategy Forum
  9. "Dominion Strategy FunSockets Beta Signup ", Dominion Strategy Forum
  10. "Official Version Launching 8/16?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  11. Russ Garland, "Goko Emerges From Stealth to Launch HTML5 Gaming Platform", WSJ Blogs: Venture Capital Dispatch
  12. Mike Fahey, "The Age Of True Platform-Free Gaming Begins With Goko", Kotaku: Australia
  13. Chelsea Stark, "Board Game Classics ‘Settlers of Catan’, ‘Dominion’ Invade Your Social Networks", Mashable
  14. "Do we know when exactly it's going up?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  15. "Do we know when exactly it's going up?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  16. "Do we know when exactly it's going up?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  17. "Can't Register", Dominion Strategy Forum
  18. "Goko email update", Dominion Strategy Forum
  19. "Back into Beta?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  20. Owen Faraday, "Launch of Zynga competitor Goko marred by technical problems", Wired UK
  21. Owen Faraday, "Dominion Online makers Goko un-launch, retreat back into beta", Pocket Tactics
  22. "Do we know when exactly it's going up?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  23. "Back into Beta?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  24. "Bonfire", Dominion Strategy Forum
  25. "Interesting article on Goko launch", Dominion Strategy Forum
  26. "Another article on Goko Launch Problems", Dominion Strategy Forum
  27. Trisha Brooke, "so this is out?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  28. Trisha Brooke, "so this is out?", Dominion Strategy Forum
  29. "The Goko Dominion Release Prediction Contest!", Dominion Strategy Forum
  30. Making Fun, "Release Notes v.2.1 with Adventures", Dominion Online Release Notes Forum

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