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Dominion: Menagerie (expansion) Cards Revisited

When this expansion’s cards were made public, I conducted a poll to measure the community’s first impressions on how powerful the cards were. You can read about that poll in this post. Last week I did another poll to see how those impressions changed, and this post will present the most notable results of that poll.

Before talking about it though, I’d like to link to a few things. First, the raw data for these ratings, which includes all of the data ever collected in any of my card ratings polls and will be updated as new ratings are collected. If you want to see the data for yourself and look for something specific, that’s where to go.

Second, there are two podcast episodes where Wandering Winder gives his first impressions of the cards, and then I give my first impressions of the cards. You can also listen to our revisiting episode where we both talk about our own updated ratings as well as how they differ from the community’s ratings and each other’s ratings.

Now that we’re done with that, I’ll present the data that I want to talk about in this post, focusing on how impressions of card power levels have changed in the months since Menagerie was released.

This table shows the cards whose ratings changed the most since the last time data was collected on them. It’s no coincidence that even though all cards were eligible to be re-rated, the ones we’re seeing here are all Menagerie and Renaissance cards. Those are the newest cards and they were at the top of the poll because I wanted the most new data on them.

The only comment I’d really like to make here is that I’m not putting too much stock into the ratings for Ways, much like for Landmarks — it’s not clear to me what it means for those things to be “powerful” in a more severe way than with just cards or events or other things in Dominion.

Dominion: Menagerie (expansion) First Impressions

It’s that time again, a new expansion! That means it’s time to collect the hot takes of everyone out there. I opened up a poll, inviting anyone to rate all of the card-shaped objects in Menagerie on a scale of 0 through 10. This post is meant only to present the results of that poll, in a couple of months I’ll make another poll to see how things have changed and at that time I’ll be sharing my own ratings and where I may disagree.

Here’s a link to a spreadsheet with the raw data for this poll, as well as the results I’ll be referring to here.

I’ll just give a couple of highlights of the data here. The highest rated cards are:

Seize the Day, Bounty Hunter, Mastermind, Way of the Chameleon, and Wayfarer. Bounty Hunter and Mastermind had particularly low variance, which is a good sign for both of them.

The lowest rated cards are:

Ride, Sleigh, Black Cat, and Way of the Mule

The cards with the most disagreement are below, but it’s worth noting that all of the Ways have a lot of high variance — this makes sense because they are a new concept, so they’re a lot harder to rate.

Way of the Pig, Cavalry, Populate, and Gamble

That’s all for now, check out the spreadsheet if you want more details, and stay tuned for the post in a few months where I’ll revisit these ratings and give a bit more commentary!

Some changes to the blog

Hi. So yeah it’s been more than four years since I’ve updated this last. I still have the fish tanks but I guess I don’t feel compelled to blog about them anymore.

On the other hand, I’ve been doing a lot of other things with my life, mostly focused around tabletop games. I’d kind of like a place for me to publish things that I want to write, so I decided to re-brand this blog and put it all here.

So this blog is just going to be a place where I write about stuff, whatever it is. It probably won’t be too much about fish anymore (though I may decide to post fish pictures here if I want to). You’ll probably see lots of posts about Dominion, other tabletop games, or whatever else I feel like writing about.

To start, I’m going to take everything I’ve attempted to publish in other places and move it here. That means the entire Power Grid strategy blog will get dumped here, and all of the Dominion articles I’ve written. All of that has been transferred over and I’ll be publishing it shortly.

I have several topics I’d like to write about in the near future. Many of them are Dominion-related, but not all of them. So you can expect some content here in the near future, and let’s see where this goes!

4/7/2011: News, but no pictures

Hi. I have news; some good, some bad. I don’t have pictures, but I have some pretty good excuses for not having pictures.

Saltwater tank: I noticed that Ruckus’ eye looked bad again, I also noticed both of Butch’s eyes were popped out really bad, and several other of the fish were “flashing” (that’s a sign of having the ich parasite). I was really worried, but then I woke up. What a terrible dream. Everyone is fine in that tank.

I haven’t seen Sunny in a while. Granted, he’s disappeared for a long time like this before and ended up in the overflow cup before, so I’ll have to do a thorough search before I say anything definitive, but Dantrell has recently taken to swimming across the tank just to attack Sunny, so hopefully he’s OK.

Planted tank: Yesterday the shrimp arrived in the mail. However, a majority of them were DOA. Someone is getting negative feedback on eBay! I’m might try and find a local breeder for Red Cherry Shrimp, but maybe enough made it to start a colony anyways. I’ll have to wait and see.

My excuse for not having pictures: I couldn’t catch any of the fish out of that tank without moving some of the plants, which stirred up the gravel and made the tank really messy and cloudy. Not to mention that any surviving shrimp were hiding pretty well because they were probably very stressed. Any pictures I would have taken would look like an empty, cloudy, dirty tank.

55G tank: All of the fish, including Torpedo, were moved to this tank last night. Torpedo seemed pretty disoriented at first, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy all the extra room he has to swim around. Except for the rams, this tank is now stocked. It will be really nice to get some more aggressive fish in this tank, because I’m not seeing much schooling behavior at the moment.

I should mention, that there have been a couple of casualties so far in this tank: two glowlight tetras. It’s unreasonable to think that I can buy 50+ fish and not lose any of them due to the stress of moving, but that doesn’t make it any less sad. Hopefully I won’t lose any more.

My excuse for not having pictures: the pictures I want to take of this tank involve really seeing the lighting. In order to get the best pictures of that, I have to wait until the sun goes down so that light pollution doesn’t get in the picture. I was busy the last two nights in that window between the sunset outside and the sunset in the tank.

Yeah, I know I could adjust the lights manually to get the pictures I wanted, but how would you feel if someone turned on the lights in your bedroom and woke you up in the middle of the night to take pictures of you?

Quarantine tank: two more days! The two tangs are adjusting back to “normal” marine water conditions pretty well. It’s not their favorite thing in the world but they’re doing fine.

My excuse for not having pictures (well, video): I mentioned last update that I was going to try and get a video of something cute the tangs were doing. Well, they aren’t doing it anymore, so I’ll just write about it.

I’ve noticed a big turn-around in the Atlantic Blue Tang’s personality over the past four weeks. He used to be really, really timid, and wouldn’t even come out to eat until I left the room. He even let the Powder Brown Tang push him around, even though he was much bigger. This may sound crazy, but I think some of it had to do with losing the Naso Tang — The Atlantic Blue really liked him, and I think he was really upset for a while, he seemed that way, especially when the Naso died. He snapped out of it all of a sudden, which is why I’ve had to separate them. Well now they both get excited when I enter the room, and they actively beg for food, which is great.

A little education on the coloration of fish, specifically the Atlantic Blue Tang: Almost all fish have what I call “daytime colors” and “nighttime colors.” The nighttime colors are usually darker or more drab, and sometimes show patterns. For example, most of the tetras and the cardinals turn to a solid grey; Sarge, Ruckus and Butch turn mostly black, but Filet gets this brown circle with a white line through it on both sides of his body, and Dantrell gets covered in white spots. These colors show up when the fish are “sleeping”, but also when they are stressed for some reason. Basically you know they’re awake and happy if their colors are radiant, and this is increased by having a day/night cycle in the tank. That’s something I learned from keeping saltwater fish. The Atlantic Blue Tang’s “nighttime colors” are the deep purple that’s in all of the pictures I’ve been able to get. He’s basically constantly stressed because he’s in a small tank, and there’s another fish in the tank that he wants to be aggressive towards. These colors will most likely go away when he goes into the big tank and we’ll see his “daytime colors.” Now his daytime colors are interesting by themselves. As a juvenile, he will be a pale yellow, with some faint vertical stripes, but as he matures, his color will change to blue. The tang I have is still in the “yellow phase.”

So what the Atlantic Blue Tang was doing that I thought was cute — he’ll just be chilling in the tank, looking through the barrier, wishing he could harass the Powder Brown Tang. Then I walk in the room and I show him the can of food. I’ll see his colors briefly turn back to his natural yellow, and he gets really excited for the food, at least until I get too close to the tank and he puts his guard back up. It was just a great example of how you can use those colors to tell exactly how a fish is feeling. I’m really excited to see how he takes to the big tank and how that affects his colors.

2/12/2011: Two new tangs!

Well it’s been a long time planning it, but today was a big day! I’ve been doing a fishless cycle on a quarantine tank so that I could get two new tangs for the saltwater tank, and it was finally ready this weekend. I have two new tangs! They will be in the quarantine tank for about 6 weeks (at least) before they go into the main tank. Hopefully they will be fully recovered from any parasites they might have right now, and we’ll see who emerges as the dominant tank between these two and Filet. Here are some pictures:

In the picture of both of them, the one on the left is a Blonde Naso tang. He’s clearly the boss of the two of them in the quarantine tank. The other one is an Atlantic Blue Tang. The young ones are more yellow and as they mature, they turn blue. This one is very stressed out, and he might stay that way for a while. If it gets too rough in there, I might have to put a barrier in between the two. I’ll try and update as things to along with more pictures too.

12/22/2010: The move was officially a success

Well, it’s been over two weeks since I moved, so if there was going to be any sort of tank crash or major problems, I would have seen some trace of them by now. I think it’s finally safe to say that the move went successfully with no fish lost! Some of the plants in the freshwater tank are looking a little stressed, but for the most part I’ve been able to get the algae under control and I’ve seen new growth on almost all of the plants.

I’ve made a couple of minor cosmetic and plumbing changes to the saltwater tank, and I’m working on cleaning off some of the old sand and putting it back into the tank, but there’s nothing too interesting to write about. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be getting some more snails, since I only know of one that’s still alive. Also, I hope to get some more tangs too, since Filet seems lonely and needs someone to pick on.

I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of the saltwater fish. Enjoy!

Update 11/22/2010

Hello. Not too much new this time, but I did manage to recover the video I was talking about last time. It’s the best footage of the life down in the refugium. These guys are called “pods” because they’re usually some type of copepod or amphipod, or some “pod,” from everything I can tell, though, they are the beneficial type that keeps Manny well-fed.

Mostly good news and lots of pictures

This update brings good news as far as the fish are concerned in both tanks, so I’ll start with the only bad news, which isn’t really bad for anyone but me.

Over the last week, there have been some pretty intense electrical storms, which resulted in all of the pumps on both tanks failing. Most of the situation has been fixed, so the only thing lost is all the money to replace all of the pumps, but I’m still having more than my fair share of trouble with the main return pump in the saltwater tank. I still need to figure out what the real problem is here, because the battery backup isn’t working right and even a brand new pump isn’t working, so I’m still using the backup pump at this time.

Speaking of the saltwater tank plumbing, I’ve made a minor adjustment. I’ve taken the sponges out of the overflow cups and replaced one of them with some chaeto trimmings from the refugium. I took an updated video and a picture of it, which I’ll link to soon. It took about a week to get the kinks worked out of this setup, mostly because I had a problem with it making a “slurping” noise, but now it’s running pretty well and quietly. In the process, I noticed Sunny had made his way into the overflow cup for the third time, so I put some mesh up there to deter him from that, and with some more tweaking there, that finally keep Sunny out and doesn’t cause any huge issues with the plumbing or noise either. Here’s the video:

Now for an update on the two recent additions to the saltwater tank: The royal gramma is doing great, he’s finally overcome the initial aggression and is starting to show some personality. The diamond watchman goby took a little longer since he got some (expected) extra harassment from Dusty, but since he’s bigger than Dusty, I figured he would eventually stand his ground. He now has a hole dug out that he defends and is out and visible when the lights are on; it’s pretty easy to tell the areas where he’s been sifting the sand, since they’re starting to become much cleaner. We got a video of the diamond watchman defending his territory against Dusty, though Dusty doesn’t really go near there much anymore.

The cardinal I was worried about before has bounced back pretty well. I’m still trying to figure out what the source of all this aggression was, but he’s hanging out with a different cardinal (the smallest one) and the aggression has toned down. He’s eating again, and is starting to heal; There’s a picture of him along with recent pictures of a lot of fish (including one of Herbert) below.

Finally, some thought on the near future of these tanks. Once I get the plumbing situation figured out, I’ll most likely leave the saltwater tank alone for a while to focus on the freshwater tank. The only changes I plan to make to the saltwater tank anytime soon are the addition of two tangs, which may be a while to get here. I want to add a few more stem plants to the freshwater tank, and hopefully get a lot of good pictures of that tank in the near future.

New FLog is up!

As you may have noticed, the FLog has been going through a lot of changes this week. I’ve changed blog services and it’s now on the domain name. This service has a lot more capabilities and is easier for me to use, so I hope I’ll stick with it for a while.

I’ve imported everything from the old fish log, and updated all of the old posts so that the pictures and videos aren’t just links anymore (which took quite a while). I also added a bunch of new functionality, such as the ability to register (link on the right) and automatically get E-mail updates. You can do a bunch of other stuff too if you register, but E-mail subscription is the main thing. Also, I’ve added two pages to the FLog: tank stats and roll call. The links to those are in the upper right, and the pages explain what they’re all about.

An actual fishy-content update will happen once something update-worthy comes up, but until then, enjoy the new FLog format!