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The Dark Tournament

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:11 am
by noobmapmaker

Welcome to the Dark Tournament!

In this tournament six strong players will be pushed to their limits and we will determine for once and for all who can adapt best to uncertain circumstances. In a Round Robin format the players will all play each other once on a map that they know nothing about. Scouting and acting upon new information will be essential to win.

About the maps

In the past months I have created and modified 15 maps: DARK1 – DARK15. None of these maps have been uploaded to the resource center or have been exposed to any other player - only I have tested them locally against AI. The minimaps have been replaced with a black preview and shroud and fog of war are turned on for all maps. Players will not have any information about the layout of the map, symmetry/asymmetry, high/low eco, presence of water, presence of oil or the presence of hostile/neutral/friendly actors – they will have to discover for themselves. Also with the help of Abcdefg30 the spawns are removed from the minimap so players will have no idea where they start.

What I can tell about the maps:
1) In every map the players have more or less equal chances (as much as possible).
2) If a map is modded, players will be informed about all modifications before the game starts.
3) No minigames or crazy unplayable maps. In each map players will get a chance to play a normal game.

Tournament information

Twelve players will be split up in two divisions of six players. These six players will play all their opponents once (=Round Robin format). For each pairing we will select a random DARK-map with a RNG (Random Number Generator). When the map is played it is removed from the map pool, so no map is played twice.

There will be two divisions: Divsion A and Division B with equally strong players (see Registration and Seeding). Both divisions will play parallel games: start at the same time on the same map, 15 games in total. Each win gives 1 point and the player with most points wins his division, and the 2nd player is the runner up for the division. After the 15 games are played the division winners will determine who is the true Lord of Darkness and the runner up will determine who is nr. 3. How this is determined I will not tell, but if you read the rulebook carefully then you might find a clue here and there.

Nr. 1, aka the Lord of Darkness: $70
Nr. 2: $40 (the Duke of Shade)
Nr. 3: $30 (mr. Cloudy)
In each division A & B the player with the highest upset will recieve $10.
The full prizemoney is brought to you by NoobMapMaker ($110) and SoScared ($50)!

When all games are played we will see who had the best win against a higher ranked player. The upset score is calculated as follows: (rank# of the low ranked winner) – (rank# of the high ranked loser) = upset score.

Spectators & casting
No other spectators are allowed except tournament officials. Also we will watch the game with shroud on for the first couple minutes of the game to experience the map from the players’ perspective.

For each division we will have a stream that casts the games!
Division A: cast will be hosted by SoScared on his Twitchchannel SoScared
Division B: cast will be hosted by Corrode on his Twitchchannel Corrode Casts

We will have 3 commenters joining the casts: Netnazgul, FiveAces and NoobMapMaker. Jazz is our mechanical man and is around to help us when things go haywire.

Registration: closed - allthough there are still spots left so let me know if you want to play!
Confirm registration: untill 15th of November 23:59 UTC.
Announcement of Participants: 16th of November 2017.
Tournament Date: Saturday 18th of November 2017. Starting at 13:00 UTC and finishing at approximately 20:00 UTC. - expect a delay though!

Scientists still debate the existence of this map. The most accepted theory is that it can be used as a tiebreaker. Some have even theorized that there are more DARK maps in case there are more tied scores, but those who have been studying the matter have gone stark raving mad. Suicides and drug abuse among researchers were so prevalent that the government decided to cut funds on the research program. When attempts to communicate the cuts failed, an expedition team consisting of twelve deputies was dispatched to make contact. After two days of travel in torrential rains they finally located the remote facility. What had once been a thriving center of knowledge and a feat in the world of architecture (“phenomenal use of space and lightâ€), was now no more than a bunch of scorched ruins.

The deputies entered the building through what was left of the entrance. The floor was littered with standard deviations and the pungent smell of burned human flesh filled their noses. The team scattered to search for survivors. One of the deputies, Mark O’Donnell (not of Irish descent, don’t ask, it annoys him), went to the west wing where he found a hatch that led to a basement. While descending the stairs into the darkness he grabbed his fleshlight. This provided no extra sight whatsoever, so instead he opted for his flashlight. He flicked it on and the light illuminated a small basement. He looked around and his heart froze when he saw a bed in the corner with what appeared to be a young girl on it. Chained to the bed, she sat upright with her face to the wall, completely motionless.

Now before we continue, it’s good to know that Mark wasn’t really fond of children in the first place. He didn’t plan to have any himself and when his sister got twins he actually didn’t want to go visit, but he did because he knew it was important to her.
Later, in one of the many nationally aired TV-interviews in which he appeared for being the sole survivor of the expedition, Mark would declare that the encounter with the girl had only reinforced his conviction not to be a parent. Of course at that time he could not have known that he actually would never have the chance to be a parent, because shortly after these interviews he would die a tragic death while vacationing in Panama. Villagers mistook him for a local drug lord, to whom he bore a striking resemblance, and lynched him in the streets. When the villagers lit the tire around his neck, his life flashed before his eyes, and he noticed the particular irony of the bit where his teacher warned about the dangers of drugs behind the wheel.

Mark stood still and with a shaken voice he said “H-h-hello? Miss? Are you alright?â€. The girl didn’t move and after what seemed like an eternity she said “The pain… the darkness… this is the hell we have created for ourselves…†Mark didn’t understand: “Miss, what do you mean? The darkness? Is there a... a 16th DARK map?†Immediately her head turned 187 degrees (slightly more than intended, she was still practicing to finetune this). And as her black soulless eyes gazed upon Mark she whispered “There are more…â€.

Lobby settings

Mod: : Red Alert (1v1)
Spawn : Random
Faction : Players may choose their faction, unless the faction is forced.
Explored Map : Off
Short Game : On
Fog of War : On
Crates : Off
Debug Menu : Off
Starting Cash : $5000
Tech Level : Unrestricted
Starting Units : MCV Only
Game Speed : Normal

Registration and seeding

The players will be sorted based on their highest RAGL result in season 2 and 3, and so that there are not to many American players in the same group. SoScared and I will estimate strength of the players who do not have a RAGL rank. This results in a rankinglist that is used to seed the players into the two divisions. The players with the odd numbers (rank 1,3,5,7,9,11) go in to Division A, and players with even numbers (rank 2,4,6,8,10,12) go in to Division B.


Current sign-ups

1. FiveAces - confirmed
2. Wee Man
3. Smitty - confirmed
4. Happy - confirmed
5. Raishiwi
6. Orb - confirmed
7. Blackened - confirmed
8. Medium Tank
9. Corrode - casting
10. Mo - confirmed
11. Flamewh33l - confirmed
12. Gatekeeper - confirmed
13. Eskimo - confirmed
14. MechANIC - confirmed
15. Netnazgul - plays if needed
16. ZXGanon - plays if possible/plays if needed

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Herr NubMapMacher, 15 new maps that have never been played, they’re probably bad, uninspired or unbalanced?
The maps have been created in a period of several months and have been revised multiple times to make them as balanced as possible. Just like every other map there will be minor imbalances but those should not be decisive. In general I can say that for every map I tried to apply the ‘principles of good map making’ as discussed on the forum.

Q: Playing with shroud on and not knowing anything about the map? That adds an element of luck.
True, it does add an element of luck. But dealing with the shroud and the unexpected is part of this tournament. Both players will start under more or less the same conditions so theoretically they have the same chance of being unlucky. Also the maps have been designed in such a way that if you scout properly, you will be able to get things going and reduce the chance of being unlucky.

Q: Can you tell more about the maps?
No, I want to keep players literally in the dark as much as possible. The 15 maps are very diverse in size, shape and theme, that’s all I will say. If any modding (i.e. changes to stats in the .yaml-file of units, buildings or other actors) is done, then players will be informed before the game starts. But maybe none of the maps are modded. Or all... who knows? Be prepared for anything, expect the unexpected.

Q: If I know nothing about the map, then I will always choose [faction] because of [reasons].
For every map I’ve tried to keep in mind that people should be able to compete evenly with all factions. So I recommend playing with the faction you feel like playing with.

Q: Is Mark of Irish descent?

Fri Sep 15 update

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[INCOMING TRANSMISSION] GOOD NEWS! We have recieved additional government funding, $50! With the funds we are able to set up a 2nd division and hire some expertise. We've decided to hire Professor Kügelschreiber. He is a little goofy and looks like the kind of guy who ends up being the evil genius, but we will conveniently ignore that as he is a brilliant mathmatician and an avid volleyballplayer - just what we need!

Lately our research is making progress, allthough we are still trying to find the right approach. We've placed some YAML-files in the X-ray scanner and found some very unusual clusters with high concetrations of actors. Sofar no direct evidence for the existence of a 16th Dark map, but it's promising.
Also it should be mentioned that something out of the ordinary happened a couple weeks ago. One of our collegues at the Analytical Department cooked some LUA dry and accidently inhaled some of the fumes. The days after he had a bewilderd look in his eyes and said that he was able to play TD for hours on end!
Anyway, got to go. It's Friday and eversince the incident at the Analytical Department we quit early on Fridays and have some ehr, as we call it, LUA-fun. [END OF TRANSMISSION]
Wed Oct 18 update

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[INCOMING TRANSMISSION] Greetings commander. Let me know when you read this. I hope you read this. It's been difficult at the facility... Last time that I've messaged we were sure to find something soon. None of the leads got us anywhere though. Meanwhile the government is pushing us for results. I understand they want something, but we've got nothing. Absolutely nothing. To be honest, if you ask me there is no 16th dark map. We're being led in circles and I'm not sure by who. Some even say there are spies amongst us to check if we're not holding back anything.

But there's nothing for us to hold back! And that makes it hard to stay motivated. The money is good, but staring into the dark depths of these godforsaken DARK-maps every day is so depressing. Even the forest around us seems to have grown darker. I'm glad we have LUA. Good ol' LUA! It really keeps me sane and focussed. Can't say that for everyone though. We've had colleagues running off into the woods at night, never to be seen again... They say they heard their names echo from the darkness... suuuure... They're probably the spies who have returned to their agency to report. I've heard them talk about me, I've seen them sneak around... good riddance! 

Anyway, got to get back to work. It's almost noon and it's Wednesday. On Wednesdays we quit early to have some [END OF TRANSMISSION]
The Tables:

I will soon post the first bunch of matches, where American players will play later. Their earliest match will not be before 3pm UTC.


Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:13 am
by noobmapmaker
A document found on site (authenticity unconfirmed)


Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:19 am
by Clockwork
Will the dark maps after the tournament be published incase there is one that is really liked?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:39 am
by noobmapmaker

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:37 am
by SoScared
I'm speechless, this is absolutely amazing.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:17 am
by Doomsday

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:45 am
by FRenzy
Wow, amazing job man ! :eek: (unfo won't be able to participate)

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:49 am
by WhoCares
I just love it !

I'm fucking in, even if i don't know if I would be chosen, it's clearly worth signing in !

I wonder if people will intend a blind scouting gren rush :D, "cliff, water, water, cliff, where is my fucking opnent !" or a totally blind straight relocating of the mcv, "What make you think i already know the map i'm just suicidal"

edit : one concern thought :

Allied faction would have a to great advantage in scouting/reveiling map with the ranger ? wouldn't you need something equivalent in early game for soviet ? (don't tell me dog plz, or at least a modified dog with wheels and vision) Just wandering as i never faced the case of a map i don't know in a game that matter whithout explored.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:15 pm
by noobmapmaker
WhoCares wrote:
edit : one concern thought :

Allied faction would have a to great advantage in scouting/reveiling map with the ranger ? wouldn't you need something equivalent in early game for soviet ? (don't tell me dog plz, or at least a modified dog with wheels and vision) Just wandering as i never faced the case of a map i don't know in a game that matter whithout explored.
I did try to keep this in mind when mapmaking. If the overwhelming opinion is that no one will play soviet then maybe I will alter the vision of dogs with an extra cell, or something like that. Dogs are out extremely fast compared to Allied scouts (early scouting advantage?), but overall Allies are maybe to strong for this format when it comes to scouting. Opinions?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:59 pm
by Lorrydriver
Hey, that sounds very interesting. I would like to sign up. I hope I count as a higher skilled player.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:59 pm
by Wippie
noobmapmaker wrote: Dogs are out extremely fast compared to Allied scouts (early scouting advantage?), but overall Allies are maybe to strong for this format when it comes to scouting. Opinions?
The only logical solution is to randomize factions as well, giving equal opportunities to both. I would minimize the #oil derricks to prevent economical advantage due to scouting.

Nice format by the way. Really looking forward to this.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:22 pm
by Smitty
Wow! Great job coming up with a format I'd have never thought of.

I'll sign up. 8)

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:23 pm
by Clockwork
Sign me up too please :D

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:31 pm
by Raishiwi
Neat. Sign me up.

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:50 pm
by noobmapmaker
Wippie wrote:
noobmapmaker wrote: Dogs are out extremely fast compared to Allied scouts (early scouting advantage?), but overall Allies are maybe to strong for this format when it comes to scouting. Opinions?
The only logical solution is to randomize factions as well, giving equal opportunities to both.
No random-faction, people should be able to pick their favourite faction. If people really think Allies are the only way to go then I might give soviet a couple tiny buffs when it comes to naval and scouting. Open to suggestions!