RAGL Season 3 - Discussion, Feedback, Development

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Announcements and discussion about community-run events.
Lorrydriver
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Post by Lorrydriver » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:10 pm

I agree with the playoff idea. Master's top 4 should have to play it out in a tournament, since the BO2 league system doesn't have that super exciting finale I feel. I didn't beat the 2nd place nor 3rd place last season, and still got the first place.

Blackened
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Post by Blackened » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:02 am

Here is what I think would make RAGL more fun:

1) Cut season in half, make it 4 games(2 opponents a week). 2 games a week just feels tedious. This season I played Smitty 3 weeks before I was supposed to because so many people had forfeited in between. I averaged just over 1 game a week including the break weeks. Having 4 games in a week might be harder for people to find time but I think that is still better than a long drawn out league.

2) Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs. Smitty vs Orb was exciting. Happy vs Juicebox was exciting (hopefully my series is exciting). Playoffs are exciting but right now it's just a sprint to the finish.

3) I think we should restructure the divisions. Masters, Veterans(Minions), Recruits, and Cadets. I think above all else people want to be matched with someone similar in skill. With the current set up the best new players get split between Recruit divisions which causes a slaughtering of the new new players. Getting promoted and demoted to the right division will eventually sort the skill out but that is a very slow process. It takes at most a would be masters player 3 seasons to crawl up there. That's a year and a half. But that is also assuming we have perfect retention of current players. Players who get demoted through forfeits can significantly hinder the skill balance. Also what do you do with players who played in a previous season but dropped out when the next came up? kyrylo was a Masters player, if he came back for season 4 does he start in recruits again?

4) To help with this we should add a placement tournament at the start of the season. It could be for every player and then every division would instantly be balanced skill wise. But I find that unlikely given the number of players we have (Which is only going to grow). Instead I think the players who didn't advance in this years recruits and any new signees should play in the placement matches. The best will be directly placed in Recruits. The others would be placed in Cadets. That way the bottom is more evenly spread. The skill gap between players in Minions and Masters is much closer than the recruits obviously and it looks like next season both will be even more evenly matched. The current model however, will have the recruits be significantly unbalanced. There is always going to be someone who signs up that is a lot better than the rest. We have a big enough player pool for that.

Having a placement tournament takes care of at least 1-2 seasons of natural selection.


If any of these are going to be picked up make in number 2. I want playoffs baby.

Chewey
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Post by Chewey » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:52 am

I like the idea of a cadets division. My biggest gripe with the current format is the number of dropouts in the recruit division. I understand that this is unavoidable to a certain degree (I dropped from SE2, life has a terrible habit of getting in the way of gaming!), but it is incredibly frustrating to have matches discarded from games I got up at 3am to play.
I have no problem with idea of the tables leveling themselves over time, but I think known players and players who have endured previous leagues should be grouped separately somehow, if only to increase the likelihood of actually getting to play the allocated matches.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:41 am

Some big suggestions going around so I'll go a bit smaller. I'd like to see the Home/Guest games as a tiebreaker replaced by a best of five series. Season two saw the masters division and a recruit division decided by the home/guest tiebreaker, which shorted us a chance at seeing a series for the RAGL championship.
As blackened has said, series are fun. They're fun to spectate, fun to cast, and fun to play in. (Unless you're up against beast-mode Lorrydriver; let's not talk about that series. :cry: )
We've seen four series go the distance in the last few weeks: Myself vs Orb, Happy vs Juicebox, Happy vs. Lorrydriver, and Orb vs Whocares. I had a ton of fun casting Brother vs Brother, and game 5 vs Orb was the most intense game I've played. And if you haven't watched the entirety of Whocares vs Orb, you're missing out.

Another oddity is with the strikes, which could have come into play in S3 Masters. Lorrydriver had a strike with Medium Tank, reducing his potential points by two. If Gatekeeper had beat MT 2-0 with MT finishing the season, Gate would have won masters. Instead, because MT was DQ'd for strikes, the strike didn't affect Lorry at all, removing Gatekeeper's chance. I don't know if how much of an issue that is and how to address it; just something to think about.
"Do not trust the balance tzars (Smitty, Orb). They are making the changes either for the wrong reasons, for no reason at all, or just because they can and it makes them feel good." - Alex Jones

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:22 am

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.
The thing is that no matter what 2 players from the bottom of masters will be demoted and 2 above them have to defend their spot. This eventually evens Masters out. But you also cant avoid dropouts.

The only way to speed it up and maintain the validity of players position is to make more players demote from Masters. Unless you think there is more than 12 in a skill bracket of their own, in that case id recommend a subdivision of Masters .

Lorrydriver wrote: I agree with the playoff idea. Master's top 4 should have to play it out in a tournament, since the BO2 league system doesn't have that super exciting finale I feel. I didn't beat the 2nd place nor 3rd place last season, and still got the first place.
I recommend this too.
I did this for the TD league ages ago and feel it more satisfying.

My ideal set up though would be to use a season league system to applying a seeding to players for a group stage Tournament.
Small prize pool for Minor Winner (most wins during the league)
Large prize pool for Major Winner (winner of tournament)
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Blackened
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Post by Blackened » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:59 am

Smitty wrote: And if you haven't watched the entirety of Whocares vs Orb, you're missing out.
link? It appears I've missed it.

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:03 am

Smitty wrote: Another oddity is with the strikes, which could have come into play in S3 Masters. Lorrydriver had a strike with Medium Tank, reducing his potential points by two. If Gatekeeper had beat MT 2-0 with MT finishing the season, Gate would have won masters. Instead, because MT was DQ'd for strikes, the strike didn't affect Lorry at all, removing Gatekeeper's chance. I don't know if how much of an issue that is and how to address it; just something to think about.
This is indeed a situation that would be very annoying if it had actually occured. I wonder how other online games deal with this.

And small Q to SoScared: if a player doesnt respond to emails and you can prove youve tried to schedule a match, then only the other player recieves a strike, right?

@Blackened: I believe it was in Doomhammers tournament? Cant be in RAGL as theyre not in the same league.
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anjew
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Post by anjew » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:22 pm

noobmapmaker wrote:
Smitty wrote: Another oddity is with the strikes, which could have come into play in S3 Masters. Lorrydriver had a strike with Medium Tank, reducing his potential points by two. If Gatekeeper had beat MT 2-0 with MT finishing the season, Gate would have won masters. Instead, because MT was DQ'd for strikes, the strike didn't affect Lorry at all, removing Gatekeeper's chance. I don't know if how much of an issue that is and how to address it; just something to think about.
This is indeed a situation that would be very annoying if it had actually occurred
On a smaller scale it did occur, Klaas and I got strikes against each other. It potentially bumped me out of a money placing spot if I had managed to win both games but it also could have prevented the tie between abcedfg30 and I or Klaas and Fiveaces.

I questioned SoScared about this and asked if Klaas and I could complete our games but he said we could not, so I imagine SoScared would let this fly.

I, personally, disagree with this approach. This rule is to weed out dropouts, not penalise players who complete their matches. It also taints the validity of the statistics.




Away from the nitty gritty, still a great run tournament. Thank you soscared
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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:56 pm

Out of topic (sry)

@Blackened : https://www.twitch.tv/videos/157508588 ---- 1h43 starts the first game.

Or wait this week to have it edited on doomhammer youtube channel.


On topic : I love the idea of 4 top players tournament in minion and master, where there is cash (and prestige) at stakes.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:08 pm

I do like a lot of these suggestions but you ought to know the #1 reason for the "marathon" format, including the use tie-breakers and strikes are due to ease of management and practicality, so naturally I'll be uber careful in attempts to expanding upon the existing format.

That being said, I do like the idea of a Masters' Play-offs, I just personally don't want to spend time managing it as post-season affairs can be many and complicated. Especially if it's expanding. An event supported by the league but responsibility held by a separate individual or group sounds more palatable. The same goes for any pre-season placement events (e.g. like Doomhammer's 1v1 Tournament Masters' Seed).

Keep in mind also that Recruit players that didn't promote during last season are ranked first in line in any event the league structure changes e.g. new divisions are added.

One other idea that's been floating around the past year is a secondary even that e.g. invites the top 12-24 players in a knock-out tournament mid-season. Supporting this point I've been thinking for some time about publishing a RAGL list that ranks players according to their all-time league results that can be referenced to when planning such events.

One thing I could do to make all of the above more plausible is to introduce so-called 'burn-off' week-rounds for the Masters'/Minions', perhaps at the very start of the season where two match-ups are scheduled each week up until the first break round. That could narrow the season down a few weeks to make room for additional events.

@Smitty: A compromise could be to have the guestpoint tie-breaker disabled for 1st/2nd in every division. I'm still dependent on the guest point tie breaker in general to ease management.

The strike system has been slightly awkward in certain situations for sure. In addition to the match potential removal we could simply pull one point directly per strike. That would be the easiest way to address the issue imo and would be an added incentive for players to keep up with the event.

@NMM: The failed contact notice has been one of the things that, although works, is hardest to ask players to implement. You only have to report a failed contact notice in order to reserve yourself from a strike until/unless the opponent finally shows up before the deadline with a delay notice or manages to deal in the match before the deadline. When I first thought of this system I was at first concerned players might occasionally abuse the system vs naive players for their own gain (which certainly can happen) but so far it has been the other way around - players have hesitated "reporting" their opponent in fear of coming across as unfriendly and have often delayed on behalf of both or even allowed the strike to occur instead of reporting the so-called 'Failed Contact'. This is understandable in many ways - one future implementation of this is to have a public spot to write-in your schedule/match request so that if the opponent don't respond, it's apparent to the league host right of the bat and players won't have the unpleasant task of "telling" on their opponent. Until that day arrives I'll need to find better ways of getting this info across, especially to new players, in order to make the more unpleasant element of the league more pleasant.

barf_openra
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Post by barf_openra » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:23 pm

I second Smitty's feedback re: guest point tiebreaker and strikes.

I would like to see tiebreaker matches instituted for any positions that finish in the prize-pool. First place perhaps a best of 3 or 5 and other positions a simple one-game playoff (assuming the players went 1-1 during the regular season).

Tiebreaker matches/series shouldn't add significant legwork for the organizer at the end of the season. The organizer sets a deadline the players can setup on their own and just report results/upload replays.

I like SoScared's idea of a 1 point penalty deduction per strike. It would solve the "get out of jail free" problem that results when Player A gets a strike against Player B and Player B eventually forfeits the season, negating everyone else's points earned from Player B.

barf_openra
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Post by barf_openra » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:37 pm

Another Idea:

For those concerned about how quickly the divisions "sort themselves out"

Don't fill the relegation slots with forfeited players. For example, take the S03 Masters Table:

Positions 10-12 were filled with forfeited players leaving only one spot (Position 9) having to play a qualifier. Instead, you could have Positions 8 and 9 automatically relegated and positions 6-7 playing qualifiers.

While this is bit unforgiving, it would increase turnover in the divisions and also ensure the weaker players are weeded out rather than being "saved" by a large amount of forfeits.

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netnazgul
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Post by netnazgul » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:54 pm

barf_openra wrote: Positions 10-12 were filled with forfeited players leaving only one spot (Position 9) having to play a qualifier. Instead, you could have Positions 8 and 9 automatically relegated and positions 6-7 playing qualifiers.

While this is bit unforgiving, it would increase turnover in the divisions and also ensure the weaker players are weeded out rather than being "saved" by a large amount of forfeits.
This can be somewhat upped/balanced by only autorelegating the bottom player of Masters (so that Minions winner has a guaranteed Masters spot), and all other bottom-placed players are a subject of play-offs with minions. So, by default it's like this:
Masters p12 is relegated
Minions winner is promoted
Masters p11 v Minions p2
Masters p10 v Minions p3

If there is 1 forfeit in Masters, nothing is changed. If there are f.e. 3 forfeits, then:
Minions p1, p2, p3 promoted
Masters p9 v Minions p4
Masters p8 v Minions p5

This way Masters division will maintain a possibility of refreshing, but those who earned a Masters place will still have a chance to keep it.


Another suggestion on increasing season finale interest. Most agreed that Masters should have Superfinals for the top4. Adding the same for Minions will increase the season drag giving that there are qualifiers for Masters too at the same time (if the above Masters playoff modification is done). So there could be just a Superfinal bo5 between p1 and p2, maybe with a handicap for p1 depending on final points count or previous matchup result.

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:40 pm

Outlandish idea but remove the hidden masters path and have a tournament mid season like the FA Cup, single elimination like hecthor doomhammers tournament but without the wacky rules and a guaranteed masters seed for the winner which doubles as a hidden path for master worthy players or escaping a relegation. Maybe money from the RAGL prizepool goes to it as a sweetner for any masters players to win it than having no prize. Just shower thoughts

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Wippie
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Post by Wippie » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:16 pm

barf_openra wrote: Another Idea:
Positions 10-12 were filled with forfeited players leaving only one spot (Position 9) having to play a qualifier. Instead, you could have Positions 8 and 9 automatically relegated and positions 6-7 playing qualifiers.
This will be very awkward, when the bottom player(s) decide to forfeit, especially when the season is almost over.

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