RAGL Season 3 - Discussion, Feedback, Development

Post-Mortem

Announcements and discussion about community-run events.
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SoScared
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RAGL Season 3 - Discussion, Feedback, Development

Post by SoScared » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:10 pm

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Useful links: Season 3 Tables/fixtures, Rulebook and Registrations.



We're in mid-season. There's still a couple of qualifiers left to play but it's time to look forward towards Season 4 of the RAGL!

Just a few early pointers - compared to previous seasons, Season 4 will be promoted more aggressively, meaning there's a good chance the player pool and general activity around the league will expand noticeably. This is a heads-up to players considering joining up this season as we'll continue the first-come, first served policy when it comes to new recruits which are ranked top-down when additional division tables are added. Be early. All info on registrations will be announced in good time however everything indicates the date for new registrations will be a 2 week period starting August 14th (00:00 UTC). The first week-round of the league is set to begin September 4th.


Post-Mortem

Season 3 was in many ways an in-between season. Most noticeably the Recruit Division had an infusion of many new strong players making the league tables look almost flat in structure regarding skill. As the league host I've been managing the rounds minimally due to various side projects which resulted in a cold no-mercy policy when it came to the rules and deadlines which affected players in all divisions. The first weeks of the league started out with modded maps, spearheading a few of the balance changes ahead of the official release in addition to providing a map pool that in many ways counter-acted the new changes for more or less quality check purposes. The league in a role of spearheading/showcasing new changes to the RA mod is one of the points that should be addressed in response to this post.


Moving on to Season 4

The map pool being the hottest topic leading into Season 3 is something that should be addressed first. Players can expect the map pool for Season 4 to be more predictable as a dynamic list of likely maps will be posted on the forum within the month of July. This list will function as a sort of rank but not necessarily as an indicator as to what map plays best, meta driven or popular but rather what maps are suited for the leagues agenda which will be clearly outlined (and probably altered) in the upcoming RAGL map pool thread. The final pool, of preferably no more than 10 maps, will be picked no later than 1 week before the first week-round of the season so that players will have a decent chance of getting familiar with the pool and perhaps even start specializing on certain maps.

A few new rule changes regarding strikes and forfeits:
  • Season Forfeits are out. I was the only player to make use of it last season and it's never really been used with success in the past.
  • In addition to the 3-strikes forfeit policy you now can collect 4 global strikes during the corse of league participation (not counting strikes received pre-Season 4) and forfeit as well. Meaning you bring with you your strikes towards future seasons, however with each started season you drop 1 global strike so that you still can afford the occasional mishap. Just not too many in the long run. This gives some incentives to complete all matches in the final week-rounds as previously, strikes at the end of the season didn't really matter.
An issue that's gonna be more and more relevant as the league grows is the concept around identification and IP-addresses. This is not the season to start policing rules to this point but by principle, players are being asked to at least identify lobby spectators' IP addresses, meaning ideally, IP addresses that cannot be identified by known players and spectators should in general be discouraged. This doesn't mean it's disallowed as often you might have friends or players watching that you feel you trust that might not be known to the general playing community. Perhaps in the future, some police state IP-list integrated with league servers might find its way but for the time being it ought to be the responsibility of the participating players.

'GG/ggwp/good game' means that the games is officially over. This was somewhat a hot topic over at Doomhammer's 1v1 Tournament but as I see it, it's a well renowned courtesy of the player loosing a game and a dignified way for the winning player to decide wether or not to play the game out for fun with the opponent or move on with life. This also has the intended effect of discouraging (not preventing) long drawn out matches. If this is a setup good enough for multi-million dollar e-sport enterprises then that's good enough for me.

I might allow for using Discord for reporting results for Season 4 but for documentation purposes the way the information is delivered would have to be very specific. Currently, the way Discord works it looks like the best option would be for the creation of a separate RAGL Discord channel. In general for Season 4 I'll still be using emails as the main route of exchanging official league information, especially regarding delays, deadlines and contact attempts. One of the main reasons why email reporting works well is that hundreds of result reports and notices can be tracked instantly, systematically and with ease.

While on the topic, 2-0 winners always report results and upload the replays unless the players for good reasons decide otherwise.


Additional Rule changes following the thread discussion

Adding onto the rulebook as per discussion in this thread:
  • At minimum, round 1-2 in the Minions'/Masters' Division counts as burn-off weeks where two match-ups are scheduled instead of one. This in order to make room for additional events post-season.
  • Guest tie-breakers don't count with rankings involving paid slots and between 1st/2nd in all divisions.
  • Strikes now pulls 1 point per strike by default.
  • Guest player picks faction first (doesn't prevent the host from picking first if wanted)
  • Masters' Division faction pick unlocked

Bring it to the table

Don't let the wall-of-texts discourage you. There's infinite amount of ways to improve the league but without proper feedback we'll see less of them. Shoot!
Last edited by SoScared on Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:16 pm

I wonder regarding the recruit divisions if the skill gap between the players within is not a reason for lesser players dropping feeling they have no chance anyway. Should that be taken in consideration and try to sort out people by skill level in adequate divisions ?

I mean I have started playing openra nearly the same time as the ragl started last year and I had to face (in my opinions those days) superstrong and experienced players like juicebox or raishiwi. Good for me I was playing for the experience without any pretention of winning but I'm not "ordinary" guy in term of thinking that way, players tend to be discouraged quickly.

Just pointing that out to see if a skill-sorting might avoid dropping of new/weak players. For example, i managed to have my skill grown this year, if i'm far to be master skill I begin to see players who doesn't see the point to play vs me thinking they will alwais lose (wich i totally disagree) and I will be in recruit division again this year and probably against them if they join the league.

And to be fair, i would'nt mind to be in a recruit division with only players like mechanic, sotch, mo, .1, zxgannon, Amhole, Gdave ...ect, basically every strong players who are not in master/minions or even in the league yet (if ofc they would sign up). That would totally makes up for my personal (selfish) disapointment to not reach minion and having a fu****g great next ragl season.

Second sugestion for next season :

When they agree to a "rendez-vous", players anounce their match-up on discord so other players interested in spec/stream can know and catch up. That would make each event a bit more popular.


EDIT : for the rest, league has been great and confortable for me, congrats for your hardwork on it.

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Doomsday
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Re: RAGL Season 3 - Discussion, Feedback, Development

Post by Doomsday » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:39 pm

SoScared wrote: The final pool, of preferably no more than 10 maps, will be picked no later than 1 week before the first week-round of the season so that players will have a decent chance of getting familiar with the pool and perhaps even start specializing on certain maps.
I think it would be really cool if there was some discussion about the map pool instead of full map pool suddenly appearing this season. If there is active discussion about the map pool, it could also inspire map makers to fine tune existing maps or create new ones to fulfill the needs of the map pool.
SoScared wrote: 'GG/ggwp/good game' means that the games is officially over.
Good. A lot of players in the league might not be familiar about all unwritten etiquettes so it's good to have this in the rules.
SoScared wrote: While on the topic, 2-0 winners always report results and upload the replays unless the players for good reasons decide otherwise.
Agreed. If you just lost, you shouldn't need to do the janitor's job as well.
Last edited by Doomsday on Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SoScared » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:39 pm

@WhoCared: Initially I don't think so, yeah this season was pretty unique on skill level for the recruits and there's a chance same thing could happen this season. In the long run I'm certain the distribution will sort itself out but it might indeed take a few more seasons or two for it to be a clear cut skill level tied to the divisions.

Also keep in mind extra spots will open in the Minions'/Masters' in the event of additional forfeits in the registration period. In addition to that the division setup might change depending on the amount of players registered by the end of August.

By the way, and this might not be likeable for too many (except for a recruit player ;) ), I'll be dropping down to the Recruit division this season. Partially out of cowardice but also due to foreseeable time constraints. I figured also it better to allow the Minions' spot for an extra competitive minded player and for me to help hold up the flow of one of the Recruit Divisions next season. I was looking forward to start practicing regularly again but I rather focus more on promoting the league and the RA mod as a whole for the rest of 2017.

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Post by Smitty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:55 pm

WhoCares wrote: I mean I have started playing openra nearly the same time as the ragl started last year and I had to face (in my opinions those days) superstrong and experienced players like juicebox or raishiwi.
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Post by noobmapmaker » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:52 pm

Not much to say, looking forward to a good season 4! Id love to see an extra layer in the league added due to many sign ups. (e.g.: Grandmaster - Master - Minion - Recruit or whatever). Imo that will result in people valueing their leaguespot in the higher leaguelayers more. The lowest recruit league will always be messy with very strong new players, newbies and quick season forfeiters mixed up. But with 3 players promoting + 1 qualifier any ambitious player should have a shot to promote.

As for the maps.. hope for some variation. I think alot of nice competitive 1v1 maps have been made lately. Perhaps make a selection of 15, have the community bicker over which is good or not, take into account opinions and then you pick the 10 maps that come out as best RAGL maps. just read your discord text, sounds like a good plan.
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Post by Clockwork » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:48 pm

This will be the most unpopular opinion here but I think Whocares touched on it and I wanted to add on to it. The league divisions need to be reshuffled and the evidence for this is the fact in season 3, the top 3 of masters were untouched, the top 2 of minions were untouched and recruits was just a death zone for anyone not elite. If there's recruits players staying in recruits because their division was run by top 10 players but who could take out masters players then there's a huge problem and equally if there's masters players who would be 2-0'd by recruits staying in masters then its also equally a problem. Yes it is completely unfair but I think it is necessary for the greater good.

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Post by SoScared » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:52 pm

@Happy: I honestly don't see the problem. The strongest players rise, weak players fall. Over time we end up with a more refined skill ranked system for the divisions above Recruits and new players, good or bad, will have to compete on equal terms. The season 3 Recruits was certainly a special case but what of it. It wasn't really a problem. The league is still fresh and it was known it was gonna take several seasons to stabilize.

If we were to start to pick and chose season by season I'm afraid the league would die a quick death as a continued event. There'd be little incentive for mid-tier players to improve or uphold the division structure. The current player division setup is 100% fair and free of bias - the player alone is responsible for their rank.

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Post by Wippie » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:04 pm

Happy wrote: This will be the most unpopular opinion here but I think Whocares touched on it and I wanted to add on to it. The league divisions need to be reshuffled and the evidence for this is the fact in season 3, the top 3 of masters were untouched, the top 2 of minions were untouched and recruits was just a death zone for anyone not elite. If there's recruits players staying in recruits because their division was run by top 10 players but who could take out masters players then there's a huge problem and equally if there's masters players who would be 2-0'd by recruits staying in masters then its also equally a problem. Yes it is completely unfair but I think it is necessary for the greater good.
I get what your saying, but I completely disagree on this. It's just a matter of thime before the leagues are sorted out.

However, I do feel the tables are too big. I would suggest to make the tables max 8 players to flatten out the skill level between the top and bottom players in a division.

Also, I would like to suggest playoffs after the regular season, where the QF looks like this:
- 1 vs 8
- 4 vs 5
- 3 vs 6
- 2 vs 7

The progress gained during season will benefit the developing players during playoffs. It also will give players a second change. In my personal season, I played week 1 vs Happy, week 2 vs Omnom, both Masters worthy at the time we played.

As a benefit, I think the attention towards the end of the season, as well as the tension will rise towards a climax: the playoffs.This season, I feel like the attention slows down as tables are set. Also, the Blackened vs Juicebox game is near forgotten.

During the season, I've experienced just positive games and spectated some great games. The RAGL generates so much HQ content, its insane.

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Post by netnazgul » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:14 pm

Seeing as it is, Top tiers are rather volatile anyway because of forfeits, so it's not that hard to go all the way in two seasons if one is proficient enough. Now it looks like almost a third of Masters will be renewed (although I now see this was intended from the beginning), and a half of Minions (this was not, but forfeits; also I don't see where 5-6 players from Recruits would fit in 4 Minions forfeited slots).

Introducing a new tier between Minions and Recruits will only extend the time needed for the new but good player to be upped. Also there would become a very intricating Path to Masters and Path to Minions added, so well :P With player count staying below 50 current system looks good enough.

As for level differences in Recruits - it can be frustrating to play against much better opponents, but on the other side it's a good experience. If one wants casual play there are lots of free games on the servers. And it's also a subject of introducing Ladder and/or Rating system to the game.

BTW there could be something of a Cup Tournament in parallel with RAGL like European football systems, with Olympic system , lesser divisions starting from Round 1, Minions joining the winners in Round 2 etc.

All in all looking forward to be massacred as a rookie in Season 4.

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Post by WhoCares » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:19 pm

I remind that I personally don't mind the skill gap as I most of the time seek challenge, what annoyed me last season was not to be able to play 5 matches over 11 because the contestants dropped before i had a chance to play them. I feel kinda robbed of half of my league "fun" on that one regardless the potential outcome of those games, just by the fact not to been able to play them.

I suggested a better "skill sorting" to try to avoid that again.

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Post by Clockwork » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:59 pm

I agree with what you guys say and normally it would work fine the problem is the better players are forfeiting so there is no re-ranking of weaker and stronger players like their should be. For example i'm sure medium tank and ouzzy ouzo and frenzy if he played this season would've stayed in masters and rightfully so.

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Post by Wippie » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:38 pm

Happy wrote: I agree with what you guys say and normally it would work fine the problem is the better players are forfeiting so there is no re-ranking of weaker and stronger players like their should be. For example i'm sure medium tank and ouzzy ouzo and frenzy if he played this season would've stayed in masters and rightfully so.
But they forfeited.

Im pretty sure Usain Bolt would win a marathon if he is still in the leading pack 100 meters before the finish, but hes not there anymore so it doesnt really matter. Ithe RAGL is also about endurance

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Post by Raishiwi » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:17 pm

Smitty wrote:
WhoCares wrote: I mean I have started playing openra nearly the same time as the ragl started last year and I had to face (in my opinions those days) superstrong and experienced players like juicebox or raishiwi.
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Hey now, juicebox isn't that bad.

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Post by Clockwork » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:40 pm

Raishiwi wrote:
Smitty wrote:
WhoCares wrote: I mean I have started playing openra nearly the same time as the ragl started last year and I had to face (in my opinions those days) superstrong and experienced players like juicebox or raishiwi.
Image
Hey now, juicebox isn't that bad.
I hear that Happy is worse runs in the family

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