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.
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.
'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!