Rating and rankingsystem

What's the best solution? Discuss...

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Post by noobmapmaker »

Canavusbis wrote: Handicapping will probably be implemented as the devs and community have wanted it for a while, but ranking seems foolish and counter productive for a game with so few resources ($, time) and players. It also provides another source of headaches for the devs. Our master server already has enough problems, I can't see any of the senior devs wanting more network-related headaches. The server operators have been very generous already, I believe asking them to maintain another system is pushing the envelope.
Zoidyberg wrote:This entire conversation is the equivalent of somebody dragging the development team into a meeting to discuss a product enhancement which they would find be interesting. There has been zero regard given to a ranking system's purpose, goal, prioritization, or the required resources to implement and continually refine.
You're mistaken, however. There has been a large regard into ranking, and as the previous tournaments have suggested, there really isn't enough interest in order to preform the tiring amount of work required to implement such a complex system.

Competitive play can be done using tournaments and your own communities.
Yes, I think the main issue is indeed that there are limited resources and time, and this is not worth the cost at the moment, and there are better ways to spend them.

In the openingspost I also posted the question in what other ways this can be organized so that it doesnt have to be coded etc. An external website is one possibility, but difficult as well. Starting a tournament is another way to get competive play.

Still I think a secret ranking would be a nice addition to autobalance teams in the lobby. It would also allow creating some kind of autohandicap. In the end I think both those things can make games more balanced and thus more exciting for both teams. Even fun for the newest or worst players among us, because in such games they are backed by either a good player or some kind of handicapadvantage. And at the same time give players the freedom to choose their own configurations. But in the end it is just not feasible at this time of the game.

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Post by noobmapmaker »

I didnt reall want respond in the first place because I sense a decline in constructive thinking. Please reread the questions I have stated in the openingpost, may be you will then see that I too have said that there are uncertainties and that it is not sure that ranking/rating is actually an addition.
Just because you say it will be fun to have, doesn't mean it will be fun to have. If you want to say that you would enjoy a ranking system, that's fine.
Well, obviously it is my opinion. But if you want me to: yes, if that rating system would be in place and work like a gem then I am fairly confident that most players find it a fun feature. (not just because of the ratingnumber, but because of the possibilitis it gives).
Huh? What are you trying to get at?
You say: people can be scared away because of competition!

I say:
1) RTS is a competitive game in itself
2) Other gaming sites use ratings, it really ads to the game and community
3) On those sites pro's and casual players co-exist just fine (and they got open ratings!)
4) But if we keep ratings secret then we surely prevent that the rating itself becomes a goal (=people start cursing on their teammate if the rating (the goal) is in danger)
So you agree with me. Thank you.
You say: I don't want to join games because of the ladder.

I say: That's right, and nor will you when a secret rating is in place. You will still just join games a s usual. Let's say you're joing a 6 player game:
One person say the teams are unbalanced, and asks UserX and UserY to switch teams, UserX wants to switch, but Y doesn't. Meanwhile UserZ is tired of waiting and quits. The Newbie fills up the spot. He (or she) is booted because a "Newbie" would ruin the game. Then it turns out it takes a while before a new player comes, and UserX quits as well. Great, now we have to wait for 2 more players...

Now let's have secret ratings: 6 players in that game. The Admin presses "Auto-balance" and there is your optimal teamconfiguration! Pick spots, let's get ready, and play. Even the Newbie can play along just fine, because that is what teambalancing is for.
Experience is a poor indicator of skill? What??
Experience is a indicator of skill, but definetly not a good/reliable one. That is what ELO-ranking systems are for: they are a much better indicator of the skilllevel. Even when newbies join they only need to win and lose a couple games to get a rating that somewhat reflects the actual skill.
Handicapping games for newer players will encourage them to engage in tactics that are not feasible when matched against experienced players. If anything, this will delay a new player's growth because they'll have to relearn how units behave as they progress through handicapped levels.
Or may be the effect is not as big as you state here. Also: changing how much ore the better player gets from a harvester doesn't change behaviour of units.
Why would you want to implement handicapping if only a few handicapped games will be played? It doesn't make sense...
I like handicap because it makes a game fun for both the Pro player (This is a challenge, can I beat a player with this handicap?) and fun for the casual player (OMG I won against ProUser!!).

But which games need handicap? Teamgames not really because people can try to create balanced teams or the autobalance can do it. So what is left?
> teamgames that are very imbalanced
> 1v1 games where two players think they're skilled so different that a handicap is in place

I don't think both those situations make up the majority of games. Most of the time 1v1 is between two people who don't differ tons, and we manually try to balance teams. Anyway, frequency doesn't matter. I like handicapped games.

Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray »

I understand that a lot of thought has been put behind the concept of handicapping but surely handicapping is a flawed system to begin with.

I assume that by handicapping you mean that new/bad players get some kind of starting advantage.

The trend with most new players is to either make a ton of infantry or other basic units and just sending them at the enemy constantly or to hole up in their base and try to figure out what they are doing. For the latter handicapping doesn't affect things as they are. But if a newer player with a handicap to improve their income, damage or health where to be aggressive then they could easily wipe out a decent player with purely brute strength.

Also, it prevents players from formulating secure build orders as their income will be constantly changing with their ranking. It also destroys competitive play as a player could lose a bunch of matches before a tournament game and have a greater advantage going into it.

A handicap may also end up with experienced players excluded newer players for the fear of them being good players with fresh accounts and reset handicaps, the opposite desired effect.

Finally, how would such a system be implemented? Because as I've stated already, accounts would be prone to exploitation.

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Post by noobmapmaker »

I am not sure, but I thought I read somewhere that the handicap will be the following:

The stronger player's harvesters will harvest just as long as the opponents (it 'eats' just as much ore), but it will return less money per ride.

In my opionion this may be the best way to handicap. The only thing it changes is how fast the opponent is able to build up an army/base. All other mechanics are equal for both and thus do not influence mechanic-recognition.

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Post by raymundo »

i think that handicapping the miners is ridiculous. I like to plan out how and when to build parts of my base/units, and your telling me that I will have to have a different build order/timing when playing against new players? Why should a newb be able to infantry rush a good player to death, that isn't good strategy.

What we could do, and with easier effort, is to update the faqs with multiple build orders and more information for people starting out. This, and many other strategy games like it, require time to learn. Why isn't chess handicapped, lets give the new player 2 queens....

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Post by winftw »

This is how C&C 3 does handicapping:
In multiplayer you can give yourself and only yourself a handicap if you want to. In singleplayer you can handicap the bots. Nobody can force you to handicap yourself. I don't see any problem with a thing like that. But for ranked games a handicap makes no sense because theres no telling how the handicap affects the game.

I find it a lot easier and more useful to plan according to current bank account balance, scouted enemy behaviour and your harvester count instead of ingame clock because the game is changing all the time and your timings get screwed up anyway. Say, grenadiers take out your power. Seconds don't matter in openra. Not nearly as much as in some other games at least.

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Post by noobmapmaker »

I tried googling what their handicap does. It appears they do use damage/armor change, although it is not certain. On a forum someone says "When I changed it to 95% a militia destroyed my buildings in 3 seconds".

Although it does change the speed with which one can build stuff the ore harvester handicap will have less impact on gamemechanics, I think. But this has been discussed before, also by developers if I'm correct.

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Post by xan2622 »


Just to let you know, I suggested the same idea (a ranking system / ladder) months ago on Github: https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/2815

But of course, you can continue chatting about this feature here on the forum :-)

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