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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Question Next Factions Community Tournament -- Discussion

    Hello vikings!

    It's been some days after the successful conclusion of the first Random Build Tournament (RBT)... Speaking of which, all hail the champ, Tyrael! So, I thought it's high time to start discussions about the next Factions-community tournament. Before the walls-of-text start, and so as not to scare you away, there's three things that we mainly need to decide on:

    1. Who's in? If you're not 100% in (like "no matter what", as some of us are [e.g.: myself, stoicmom, grumpy and Tirean]) please state your availability status.
    2. Tournament Structure: Knock-out type (like RBT or Vigrid) or League type (like the current in-game tournament)? There are variations of those basic two families, but I don't want to discuss them any further at this moment.
    3. Scoring System: This mostly applies to the league-type tournament. It describes how points are gained (and/or lost) after each match, with respect to: (a) the battle outcome, (b) the performance in the battle, (c) the skill of the two opponents.

    Let me state, as a preamble, that I personally propose we try a league-type tournament this time. More on that later.

    We can all agree that the main goal of a community tournament is to play TBSF, talk about TBSF and have fun. A secondary goal is that the tourney champion emerges, by all accounts, as the best performing player. Now, let's just take some time to consider the problems we've witnessed in the recent tourneys (RBT, Vigrid, ...) as well as some other issues that require consideration:

    • Lost Vikings: Player(s) disappearing without notice, losing interest or just drifting away. Excluding serious & unforeseen reasons, the most usual cause of this problem is when a player has to wait a lot of time for another match-up to conclude, in order to be eligible to play again (e.g one finalist awaits the other semi-finals to conclude). This problem is more likely to happen in knock-out type tournaments, where the match-ups are predefined (brackets are drawn at start), or in tournaments with a fixed number-of-matches for all opponents (e.g. a league where everybody has to play against everybody). Evidently, that's not a problem with the current in-game tournament style, where: (a) there's people who register but play only a few matches, just for the sport, (b) we've seen winners with as few as 7 matches when the maximum is 25!

    • Management: Somebody having to manage, organize and keep track of all things. When this somebody becomes unavailable (like with Butters, in Vigrid), the tournament might collapse. For this reason, it's better that the rules and the "bureaucracy" of the tournament are known by all contestants and so the tournament can be managed by anybody or by everybody. We should look for some convenient way to manage the tourney at an online platform, where anyone can log-in to register a match-result, calculate a score etc. is good choice for knock-out-type tournaments and I'm sure there's something similar for league-type tournaments. Worst scenario is having to make something ad-hoc, e.g. a wiki, google-docs/excel etc.

    • Duration: How long should a tourney run? Experience has shown that knock-out style tournaments might take up to 4 months to conclude, for just 8 players. With weekly tournaments sounding too fast to properly conclude, I think we're looking into some sort of seasonal tournament, e.g. in trimesters. grumpyoldman suggested we call the next one "Winter Tournament", as it's likely to start in December It's important that the duration of the tournament and/or the conclusion-rules are well defined from the start; more on that later.

    • Player eligibility: Who can enter a the tournament, and when? As you understand, this ties closely with the "Lost Vikings" and "Duration" issues. Should we fix the participants list at start (like on RBT and Vigrid), or should we provide flexibility, e.g. allow new players to enter at any time and/or Lost-Vikings to leave (or not participate any longer)? I think flexibility is better. The flexibility of the current in-game tournament (league-type & Elo-scoring) is a good example of this mechanism.

    • Skill disparity: One could argue that all players should have equal chances to win the tournament; another could argue that the best player should win the tourney every time... Well, as I mentioned in the intro, the main goal is to have fun (i.e. challenging) matches and that's why I believe that we should institute a "system" that would adapt the difficulty of each match, for each player, according to the skill-difference of the two contestants. Please note that the current in-game tournament system adapts the outcome (not the difficulty) of the match, by giving less points for a victory against a weaker opponent and vice-versa. This is the easy solution, and the only one possible for a large playerbase. However, in my opinion, for a match to be challenging it should be 50/50 chance-to-win/lose, and that means that we'd have to tweak its difficulty for each player. The first idea that comes to (my) mind is imposing a team-power difference between the two players, e.g. for each Elo-difference of 100 points a power-1 difference is applied: In a 1100-vs-1500 player match-up, the 1100 one plays with a p12 team while the 1500 one plays with a p8. Other ideas are allowing the weak player to choose map, take first turn, or pick a stronger build. The latter leads me to...

    • Build disparity: Despite all the efforts of Stoic to balance the game, and all the theorizing, the truth is this -- Not all builds are not equal. The RBT aimed to give all players equal chances through playing with random builds. However, the "sample" was generally small (so not all random variations were "visited/used" by all players, equally) and, also, some times the players couldn't agree on the rules of the random-builds. We all know which builds are stronger than others, so, maybe, we should also institute a system to classify the potency of each build and take that into account along with the players' skill disparity. One rough idea suggested by grumpyoldman was this: When registering for the tourney, each player submits one or two builds whose eligibility is subject to the community's decision, via discussion, majority-voting or a veto. In this way, OP builds like [2TS 2BM 2WM] will be excluded or penalized in some way; for example, if a victory scores 5 points, using such an OP build could incur a -3 penalty (in this case -1 for each two-of-{TS,BM,WM} unit used).

    So, if you made it to the end of this wall (), and to get things started:
    A. Let me hear your thoughts on the above subjects and
    B. Who's in for a new tourney? Hands up please!
    Last edited by Aleonymous; 12-03-2014 at 03:59 AM.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

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