Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Announcements and discussion about community-run events.
Post Reply
User avatar
netnazgul
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:32 am
Location: Minsk
Contact:

Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by netnazgul » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:50 pm

As usual, a platform thread to review the course of the season and take notes for the future development of the League.

Season 8 was in full continuity with Season 7, with only minor tweaks to the refined Rulebook (mostly - an attempt to constrain Playoffs, cause those weren't properly covered by the rules; still, as we could have seen, it may require some further attention), as well as building up on discord automation (kudos to Punsho again here), now having a better report system, added delay notices and feed posts. In terms of playerbase, this season draft was also quite decent - many happy returns in the likes of Barf, Blackened and eskimo (and even hamb back from MIA of no less than Season 2) met with a fresh roster of rising RA stars - goat taking the Minions Championship title and Misery falling out just short of making a great upset in Minions Alfa where he defeated Barf along the way to the top spot, the unluckily timed RL accident being the only thing to stop him. In general, players' eagerness to participate in the league resulted in the lowest forfeit/finish ratio among all the seasons of the past.

Being the common part of the tournament, debates on the map pool were as full as they come; this season we've done the opposite of the last and introduced quite a bunch of new maps into the mix. I feel there weren't any scapegoats among the maps this time, certainly biasing to the popularity of some maps against the other but no map being really underplayed.

Now, switching the focus of this post to the future, I need to mention that I've decided to leave the RAGL Official team from now on. Thinking about it since the beginning of the previous season, I realized that I just can't keep up with the amount of effort I'd have wanted to put into RAGL, and even leaving it as a player doesn't help much. Also, introduction of a new representative may be a welcome impulse for the League to move on, hopefully with fresh ideas and the ability to put them going. Of course, Blackened and .1 are still there to keep the consistency and provide council.

So, talking about the ideas, we had some initial thoughts in mind. As you know, the delay hell is still the usual way of Masters play and has become the local meme already. Aiming at shaking that off is the format change from rigid weekly schedule to some sort of seasonal "sections" where you have to play a defined list of matches until a certain deadlilne in each section. The most simple way to represent this is where instead of 6 weeks with 2 matches per week in Masters it would be 2 sections, each section spanning 3 weeks and each player drawn 6 matches to play during the course of first section and 5 remaining matches to play in the second one. Thus, it becomes less constrained and players are free to decide which matches to play when, just they have to finish all of them at the end of the section unless they want to get strikes. Such implementation effectively de-skews the season from the last week and draws more attention to the first part of it.

Another more touchy topic to consider is prize system. Of course, it fully depends on donations by the community, but there is still some degree of configuration, and here it would be great to hear opinions of players about why are they playing in RAGL and will the prize part of it give them more drive if, for example, prizes were more spread among the participants but will less amount per player. Some drastic suggestions as introducting an entrance fee to Masters were also voiced, and it is an important topic to have a common opinion on the matter before introducing something like that.

Remember, that even though being governed by a small (initially just a single SoScared) number of community members, RAGL is now a top community event and a core part of community itself, being in spirit of open-source same as OpenRA, so it's up to community as well to contribute to it, and every opinion matters.

.1
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by .1 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:57 pm

Im looking for feedback on the new scheduling system proposed here. Anything is appreciated.

JackoDerp
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 2:54 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by JackoDerp » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:42 pm

I assume with the new fixtures you can still skip ahead and also play matches against people not in that week's section?
Either way I think its a good concept.

User avatar
ZxGanon
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:40 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by ZxGanon » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:45 pm

I'm again fees to enter RAGL.

We gotta add a rule where you cannot pick maps twice to finaly show off more map vaiety and stop people from one mapping.

We should try to figure a mappool together (even though it kinda failed due to ppl being inactive on the vote but when seeing the maps in action when RAGL starts saying the maps are crap). We should still try to go for votes.

Speaking of votes a lot of people (including myself) would like to test out a banning system where both players (no mater if bo2, o3 or bo5) bann maps to decide the map they play on.
Example:
We got to choose out of 11 maps and Jacko vs Punsho happens. Each of them starts banning a map till one map is left over and that one shall be played. Of course they bann turn based and not all at once. In a BO2 the guy which is higher in the ranks starts the banning. After that first game in the BO2 is over the other guy starts the baning till one map is left and they play the second game on it.
In a BO3 or BO5 this banning phase only happens once since starting from that first map on it is losers pick.

Also we should consider playing RAGL on playtest. Yes I know we want to keep replays all together in a bunch but:
1. Playing RAGL on Playtest will increase the amount of games being played on PT and with that resukting in more feedback which the devs can use to polish this version (with S8 we had one of the worst releases so far with so many playtests and issues rising still in the current release because of us being so focused on release).
2. Nobody will watch the RAGL replays 3 month after RAGL is over (like really why would you 5A is gonna cast the important once anyway or they have been streamed already or netnazgul covered them in his weekly report).
3. RAGL would be more refreshing if being able to play on new balance grounds.
4. I invented this.

.1
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by .1 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:03 pm

I think we will do something to avoid the picking the same map during a contest. That sounds reasonable. I dont think a ban map showdown where you keep banning maps is the way to go, people want to play maps they feel they are good at, and having a merry go round of map banning seems
tiresome.

Playing RAGL on the playtest really is a 2 fold problem, it depends on the playtest really, and what issues there are on the playtest, for example we had a playtest crash every other game, so playing RAGL on that isnt the way to go. You also have the issue if a release is made in the middle of the season, and if that release fixed or changed balance vs the playtest.

Yes, we know you've created everything.

goat
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:17 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by goat » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:46 pm

Entry fee:

I'm not really opposed to this in theory (in fact you can easily argue it's pretty normal in other competitive games like CSGO etc), but seeing as there are already players who have stated they won't signup if we have entry fees then I don't think it would ever work.
I understand that it would discourage forfeits, but forfeits honestly didn't seem like that big of an issue to me this season.
Introducing a fee will not only affect the players in risk of forfeiting but also multiple players that wouldn't forfeit (or well at least unlikely) like Ganon. So I think I'd prefer let's say as an example 16 players master division with a couple of forfeits over a 8 players master division with no forfeits because I'm inclined to believe we would still have more (and all the possible top players) players in the first scenario even with forfeits.

Map pool:

Overall I think the map pool was okay, but my concern is mainly with how it was formed.

Yes I will gladly admit I am slightly biased (kazu), but I really think players should have more influence on the map pool.
Before the season started kazu made a lot of maps (some really good and some really meh) and we were pretty much only playing his maps when practicing. I also know for a fact that he tried to reach out to the RAGL admins several times to know what they were looking for in maps etc.
His maps were tested a lot and updated as well, yet somehow only 1 of his maps made it into RAGL.
Now I am not trying to argue his maps should be forced into the map pool, but when looking at some of the other picks I just have to question how it was formed. Let's take Climate Crisis as an example (I will gladly admit that some players did end up liking the maps, but that's not the point). A lot of people voiced their concern about this map before it was picked in the map pool and it really wasn't unpopular (and still isnt), so how a map like that is picked over one of kazu's popular maps just makes no sense to me. I understand wanting to have variation in the map pool and so on, but still.

I think there are several ways to let players have more influence on the map pool but the most obvious one is simply letting players vote I guess - I'm not suggesting they should choose the whole map pool but maybe letting the players vote on 50% of the map pool and then let RAGL admin decide the rest based on the player maps. This means that RAGL admins can still add variation or weird maps if they really want to but also let's players have more of a say.

Oh and as for map pick I'm okay with most of the suggestions that were listed on discord. I really like the idea of a ban system personally.

Delays:

I think the suggestion seems fine, at least better than what we currently have so I think it's an improvement.

User avatar
netnazgul
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:32 am
Location: Minsk
Contact:

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by netnazgul » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:38 am

ZxGanon wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:45 pm
We should try to figure a mappool together (even though it kinda failed due to ppl being inactive on the vote but when seeing the maps in action when RAGL starts saying the maps are crap). We should still try to go for votes.
This is literally tried to being done each season, but noone cares to cast/playtest the maps, resorting in senseless debates in discord which have no value, so the map pool composition then becomes a closed council decision.
ZxGanon wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:45 pm
Speaking of votes a lot of people (including myself) would like to test out a banning system where both players (no mater if bo2, o3 or bo5) bann maps to decide the map they play on.
Example:
We got to choose out of 11 maps and Jacko vs Punsho happens. Each of them starts banning a map till one map is left over and that one shall be played. Of course they bann turn based and not all at once. In a BO2 the guy which is higher in the ranks starts the banning. After that first game in the BO2 is over the other guy starts the baning till one map is left and they play the second game on it.
In a BO3 or BO5 this banning phase only happens once since starting from that first map on it is losers pick.
This one was already discussed several times, the main showstopper is the implementation - noone will care to do this manually, and using any other means than ingame chat becomes a bit tedious. May have worked if RAGL servers had a chatbot attached, but it's... implementation.
ZxGanon wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:45 pm
Also we should consider playing RAGL on playtest. Yes I know we want to keep replays all together in a bunch but:
1. Playing RAGL on Playtest will increase the amount of games being played on PT and with that resukting in more feedback which the devs can use to polish this version (with S8 we had one of the worst releases so far with so many playtests and issues rising still in the current release because of us being so focused on release).
2. Nobody will watch the RAGL replays 3 month after RAGL is over (like really why would you 5A is gonna cast the important once anyway or they have been streamed already or netnazgul covered them in his weekly report).
3. RAGL would be more refreshing if being able to play on new balance grounds.
4. I invented this.
Technically RAGL is aligned to bi-annual release cycle more or less, so can be played on release just after it was published. The playtest cycle benefits from this in regard that players are required to play it to get accustomed to new rules, also rooting out some nasty bugs/exploits along the way. It's just this season the release took too long to be published because of various reasons.
Playing on playtest version(s) will bring a huge number of problems:
  • inconsistency - switching versions brings new changes and requires all players to follow them closely
  • instability - nothing much to say, everyone hates crashes and desyncs
  • bugs/exploits - some stuff that is not ironed out may be used to take advantage; and even worse, if another version is released, other players can't use it too because it is fixed later
Overall, it will just place a lot of burden on Officials to also seek and govern for all those things betatesting normally does, added on top of maintaining the tournament itself.
goat wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:46 pm
Map pool
A lot of people suggest voting on the map pool, yet every time there is a vote noone shows up. Here's the direct example - we had 8 maps handpicked and the rest was up for a vote. Just 5 people voting (and even own suggestions may have been considered as far as I remember), over 30+ players. :?
I'm just saying, I was pushing map pool voting for several seasons, but it turns out to be not worth the effort each time because only like 3-5 players actually suggest maps and majority doesn't care.
Still, I suppose this can be given a go yet again with wider choice. Things to note though, the majority vote will have unpredictable results on map variety (i.e. people vote for a bunch of different maps that all play the same), also it requires enough time after registrations are closed (so that only players vote, otherwise spectators also vote for lulz) to have nominations, then vote, then map vetting (as past precedents have shown, there might be inevident imbalance implications, and all the responsibility is placed on officials to spot them before the season start).

goat
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:17 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by goat » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:46 pm

netnazgul wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:38 am
A lot of people suggest voting on the map pool, yet every time there is a vote noone shows up. Here's the direct example - we had 8 maps handpicked and the rest was up for a vote. Just 5 people voting (and even own suggestions may have been considered as far as I remember), over 30+ players. :?
I'm just saying, I was pushing map pool voting for several seasons, but it turns out to be not worth the effort each time because only like 3-5 players actually suggest maps and majority doesn't care.
Still, I suppose this can be given a go yet again with wider choice. Things to note though, the majority vote will have unpredictable results on map variety (i.e. people vote for a bunch of different maps that all play the same), also it requires enough time after registrations are closed (so that only players vote, otherwise spectators also vote for lulz) to have nominations, then vote, then map vetting (as past precedents have shown, there might be inevident imbalance implications, and all the responsibility is placed on officials to spot them before the season start).
I mean yeah that's fair, if no one votes then it is what it is.

As for your second point, that is why I'm saying RAGL admins should still pick some (like 50%) of the maps after players have voted, because if players do end up picking a lot of maps that pretty much plays the same, then RAGL admins can add whatever they feel is needed for variety.

.1
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by .1 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:10 pm

goat wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:46 pm


Map pool:

Overall I think the map pool was okay, but my concern is mainly with how it was formed.

Yes I will gladly admit I am slightly biased (kazu), but I really think players should have more influence on the map pool.
Before the season started kazu made a lot of maps (some really good and some really meh) and we were pretty much only playing his maps when practicing. I also know for a fact that he tried to reach out to the RAGL admins several times to know what they were looking for in maps etc.
His maps were tested a lot and updated as well, yet somehow only 1 of his maps made it into RAGL.
Now I am not trying to argue his maps should be forced into the map pool, but when looking at some of the other picks I just have to question how it was formed. Let's take Climate Crisis as an example (I will gladly admit that some players did end up liking the maps, but that's not the point). A lot of people voiced their concern about this map before it was picked in the map pool and it really wasn't unpopular (and still isnt), so how a map like that is picked over one of kazu's popular maps just makes no sense to me. I understand wanting to have variation in the map pool and so on, but still.

I think there are several ways to let players have more influence on the map pool but the most obvious one is simply letting players vote I guess - I'm not suggesting they should choose the whole map pool but maybe letting the players vote on 50% of the map pool and then let RAGL admin decide the rest based on the player maps. This means that RAGL admins can still add variation or weird maps if they really want to but also let's players have more of a say.

Oh and as for map pick I'm okay with most of the suggestions that were listed on discord. I really like the idea of a ban system personally.
Also you need to remember, we don't want 6 maps from one person. That discourages other people from making maps. While Kazu made some good maps, they were all standard maps. We want some variety. Oil/no oil meta/off-meta big/small etc. And as net said, we put up maps to a vote and got 5 responses.

JackoDerp
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 2:54 pm

Re: Red Alert Global League: Season 8 - Post-Season Discussion

Post by JackoDerp » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:32 pm

I have a suggestion for Map vetos:

Have a randomly assigned map for each match that *cannot* be played
Then each player can veto a map if they wish

and then pick from whatever is leftover.

As for Map variety, I'm all for a good choice of maps with no oils/oils or big/small or whatever, but having all maps be super samey ends up making every game be super meta and not really any different from each other, which I'd argue is on the verge of being a problem already.

Post Reply