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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Online league idea with divisions, promotions, etc. rss

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Maybe Next Time
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A while back, I posted here to talk about the need for matchmaking in online Netrunner league play. http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1043757/how-to-improve-the-o...

The challengeboards leagues that were on were great, considering the limitations we are facing of not having matchmaking based on player rankings. This meant that players weren't guaranteed to play people of equal skill level the more they played - the opponent's skill level is as random on your first game as it is on your 100th game in the league. In an ideal world rankings and matchmaking would be integrated into the platform, but as they aren't I've been trying to come up with a not too complicated solution to enable some form of player grouping into buckets, to provide better matching.

The easiest thing I can think of is to have a set of divisions/leagues that have promotions/relegations. We'd start with only 1 division, Entry/Bronze. After 4 (2? 3?) weeks, the top (pick a number or %) players would be promoted into a higher division, effectively forming a new league – call it Silver. The number of players in the higher Divisions should be enough to enable finding an opponent reasonably quickly - at least 100 ideally.

After the formation of Silver, there would be another league round of 4 (3? 6?) weeks, the players only playing vs players in their own division. New players could join Bronze (Entry) at any time, playing games to get promoted to Silver at the end of the current league round. At the completion of that round, bottom X players from Silver would be relegated to Bronze and top Y players from Entry promoted to Silver.

Once we get enough players populating both divisions, to guarantee a sufficient player pool for finding a game at any time, we would create a Gold division, comprising of the top players from Silver. Promotions/relegations would work between neighbouring divisions at the end of each league round. We’d have the best playing vs the best, mid with mid and beginners with others of equal skill level. In lower divisions you’d have the prospect of advancing into the better player pool, while at the top you’d be playing to see who is the best and to win the division you’re in. A cool, perhaps necessary, thing would be to have a website with links to all the current divisions and winners of previous rounds for each division.

Obviously, each of these divisions would just be a separate league on challengeboards (like the last found at http://www.challengeboards.net/boards/standings/1028), Entry/Bronze being open to everyone and the higher ones on invite only basis for players that ranked sufficiently high in the division below. Player pool is the limit here, but the format could expand indefinitely by opening higher divisions or expanding the number of players per division.

That’s the gist of the idea. There are minor things to align on, like:

* do we wipe Elo after each league round;
* how many players get promoted/relegated;
* how many players per division until we open a higher one;
* how much time should a league round last;
* how do we organize game tags so data gets recorded for analysis; etc.

From an admin point of view this shouldn’t be too much of a strain, as challengeboards does the Elo calculations and people report their own matches. Disputes would be handled as they have been so far. I’d keep to 1 game between 2 players being minimum, not force full matches on people. What should be forced is a random effect choosing who plays which side first, in the event that there is only 1 game played – just to stop someone from being heavily skewed on games played as runner.

Again, if there was matchmaking based on ranking we wouldn’t need to do the divisions. If that day ever comes we could forever scratch this idea and enjoy the brave new world!

What do you think? Would this be worthwhile to establish? What are the issues and constraints you think we'd encounter?

If people are generally positive, I'd be happy to open up the Entry league for the first round of this. I'd appreciate volunteers to also admin and ideally help build the webpage I was describing above. Advertising would also be a needed thing, as we need a good player pool in order to get to 3 nicely populated divisions, which is where I think the format can really take off! I don't have much time to admin, but I hope the admin strain won't be too big and that this would steer itself for the most of it...

The ideal goal would be for a format like this to really take off in popularity, so FFG realize that making an official online platform with player rankings and matchmaking would be a good investment!


Cheers,
Tomatello
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I think it's a good idea, but it will take a really long time for everybody to settle down into the appropriate tiers. I think some kind of provisional Elo mechanic needs to be there. :-/
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Jan Bazynski
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I did not follow the previous leagues but is it possible to take the 100 best players from there and form from the start a higher division?
 
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Marcus Aurelius
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I really wish there was something like this. For people who still mostly play over OCTGN this would help boost interest a bit and hopefully improve the ability of getting good games.

We need to take into account the biggest issue when creating separate leagues which is mustering a large enough field of players. I think we need at least 30-40 players per league, starting off lower of course.
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Christopher MacLeod
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I don't want to split the player base as there's not too many players to begin with. It's more important to me to not wait a long time for a game than to get someone exactly at my skill level. I don't mind getting curbstomped once in a while either by running_bear, it's motivational to show me how far I can improve

What might be fine is to track ELO per player with ChallengeBoard or whatever and then include the ELO range in the game name. For example if you are a 1300 player you could host a game called "BGG League 1300". Then people can know before they join what level of play to expect.
 
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R. Fetterkey
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I'd love to see a league of any sort, to be honest. When the leagues were running the quality of play on OCTGN was dramatically higher.
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Mike G
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Sounds great. Has this been progressed any further?
 
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Maybe Next Time
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After reviewing with quite a few people, I've ended up with a mindset that splitting into divisions would be more of an administrative hassle. A simpler way of matchmaking going live is to have everyone in a single ranked league, with an enforced maximum Elo difference for players to play a league-legal game.

This way, players' Elo change will always be based on matches with, in theory, players of similar skill level. The Elo progression will be a showing of the player's relative skill versus the close surrounding field of players. The Elo change over time will be more meaningful this way, and the quality of games would be higher than in current leagues, where you're just going to play a random skill opponent relative to yours any time you host a game.

For instance - if you take a look at the current BGG league at http://www.challengeboards.net/boards/standings/1062 , if there was, say a 150 Elo max difference for players to play a game - you'd effectively have the "divisions" I started the idea off with.

I had followed up with Shobalk as the contact for the Challengeboards website - he's supportive in principle, but I don't have a clear answer as to whether he'd implement the Elo difference addition to the website.

Everyone agrees the key problem will be to have a sufficient player pool. This is why I'm in favour of the following differences to the way leagues are currently run:

* The league should be ongoing, without and end date i.e. you will always have an incentive to keep playing, not just wait for the current league to finish so you start from scratch again.

* I'd call it something wider than the BGG league, something like the OMG WORLD ANDROID NETRUNNER LEAGUE! Simply to open up the playing field to gamers from other platforms (i.e. computer gamers).

* Advertise the league on social media, blogs, etc. Also, hopefully we can get the more recognized players to spread the word online, in streams, etc.

* Every ~3 months we'd have a set League round end date, at which the top ranked player would be named as the winner of that quarter. I was even considering a prize in the form of a datapack of his/her choice, or some funky tokens.


Bottom line, if we can get the needed additions into the Challengeboards website, this sort of league can go live. Lets see what happens when the current BGG league finishes in 2 weeks.

If people with a bit of free time and web design knowledge would like to help out - I think Challengeboards is open source, so you could lend a hand and help put the max Elo difference bit in! I'm happy to talk through the details of how I believe it should be set up.

Why not have an online ranked system with matchmaking for Android Netrunner? It doesn't seem too far away!

We could have an actual world meta at our fingertips!
 
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