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War of the Ring (Second Edition)» Forums » Organized Play

Subject: 2017 War of the Ring International Online Tournament - Discussion Thread rss

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Michael Sosa
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Please register for the tournament here:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25322240#25322240

If the vote for single opponent best out of three wins I hope Ralf / Peter Majek volunteer to do the online pairings!
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Ira Fay
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I'm happy to help with pairings as well if needed.

For the vote, I think it's important to clarify for the Swiss if it will have top 4 or not, and what tiebreaks you will use. I suggest top 4 (it's exciting), and use tiebreaks as follows:
1) If match record is tied, first tiebreak is head to head results (if applicable)
2) if head to head results can't resolve the tie, use strength of opponents dropping lowest and highest results.
3) if still tied, whoever lost their first match later in the tournament wins the tie (going later in the tournament before losing is better).
4) if still tied, strength of opponents just dropping highest.
5) if still tied, strength of opponents.
6) if still tied, random.


Also for Swiss, I think it's important to state that players cannot agree on a draw. If both players fail to play the game (but want to continue in the tournament later), they will be given a double loss. Draws are not possible or allowed, even by agreement of both players.
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Koolin
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The program would be called LogMeIn Hamachi (although there are other options like LANBridger and configuration in your router).
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Peter M
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Belisarius88 wrote:

If the vote for single opponent best out of three wins I hope Ralf / Peter Majek volunteer to do the online pairings!


Yes, I can volunteer to take care of it this year.
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Taran Wanderer
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For Swiss, I'd also recommend having each pairing play two games, one for each side, and then do pairings based off of the total number of wins, regardless of side. This is similar to how other asymmetrical games I've seen do it (like Android: Netrunner). Top 4 (or 8!) could be done single-elimination style like has been done in the past.

What's the stance on the expansions? Same as last year, where we can choose to use them if we want to?
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Michael Sosa
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If we are doing Swiss (unlikely based on the voting so far) I strongly feel it should be one game per opponent. Dwarven rings can determine sides. The expansions are optional, I'll state that with the pairings, en either format.

I would also like to go back to awarding the best novice award. Previously it was awarded to whomever advanced furthest that had not won a tournament match before.
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Andrew S
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If it's elimination what do people think of basing seeding positions on this year and/or last year's results rather than overall results? This would reward current form.
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Peter M
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ASelby wrote:
If it's elimination what do people think of basing seeding positions on this year and/or last year's results rather than overall results? This would reward current form.


Good you brought this up Andrew. It has been discussed in the past years already. I see your point that for some inactive players the "All time" ranking might be a bit over rated. On the other hand, I don't think form of a player decreases that much during a break, sure he might lose couple games due to rule blunders but a nonactive player shall be close to his "all time" form after few games I would say. I don't think this game is a sport where form decreases rapidly with age (Maybe GamesJart will disagree, but I believe he has just fully mastered his strategy to preserve all the good luck for the tournament ).

Issue with using the 2016 results for the seeding is that new players that joined n 2017 or late in 2016 would not have a seeding.

With the 2017 ladder based seeding, the issue is that lot of that is also more due to "luck" rather than "form". Ira212, the 2014 champion, is a good example of that, after his 5 games he is ranked 25th. Also lot of strong veteran players did not even record a game in the past 2.5 months yet. Elo is known to converge relatively slowly, in football they say in about 30 games, WOTR is also heavily influenced by luck, so I guess one would need also about 30 games to converge to a good estimate of one's strength. Very few have that that amount of games under their belt this year. Also there are players who just don't have time to play 30 games a year so their individual year rankings will never be accurate enough...

So I still believe, using the all time ranking is still the best alternative here.
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Andrew Poulter
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peterM22 wrote:
Maybe GamesJart will disagree


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Roy Subs
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I agree with Andrew on that myself. Sure, it is not like tennis in that a person away from it for 3 years would probably not be a top tennis player, but some of the players in the top All Time rankings literally have less than 50 plays on the ladder over 7+ years!!! And that's often from a time when there was much less competitive understanding of the intracicies of the game, so that's a big issue.

I don't quite agree that people that started in 2016 and 2017 don't have a chance to be on the ladder. They all do. Every person has exactly the same chance to be on the 2017 ladder, all they need to do is play games. And if they don't have time etc, well, all ranking systems depend upon a person playing, and if they didn't have time to, that's just the way it goes. That year, they will just have a lower ranking in the tournament and that's all very fair and reasonable. The only requirement is to play games and anyone can do that. In that respect, using the All Time completely eliminates current form and makes it look quite unsporting. Events should be (and usually always are) about current form over the past year (and in fact, this *encourages* people to play more, as their current form then has some meaning, while using the All Time, your current form just means nothing really ...). From the options that Andrew mentions, I'd be less for using the 2016 ranking as that deincentives new players, so the 2017 only would be best (or, if it was possible to combine everything from Jan 2016 through to the start of the tournament that would also strongly incentivise and encourage people to play more). Using just the All Time has a kind of *numbing* effect on new players (and it did for me also when I started playing).

I do think what Andrew says is the best / fairest way to assess it, *but* with the tournament starting in March, it becomes a bit of an issue (i.e. maybe some people did not play much in the Jan-Mar period). If the tournament was more of a late summer thing in future years, that problem would go away since people would have 6 months to play as many games as they wanted to get a good showing for that year. I honestly think that using All Time rankings is quite an unsporting way to go for those reasons

Oh, and it also eliminates previous champions which doesn't seem fair at all. i.e. I think that at least 1,2,3 positions in the last year tournament should be given a seeding in the next years event. What if a person that is bottom of the All Time wins the Annual Championship? Next year, it is as if he did nothing, he'll just be bottom of the rankings, even though defending champion, that's not too fair! Anyway, the All Time rankings always seemed quite an unfair way to judge it and seems a bad way to rate the current years tournament to me for all of the above reasons.
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Jason Dexter
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I might be biased because I am relatively new to the ladder, but I think there could be a better system than all-time ladder results for determining seeds. Going by all-time ladder results basically means the same 10 players (plus or minus maybe one or two) will receive the top 10 seeds in each tournament. There is very little change in the top players on the all-time ladder year to year as a player would need to play many many games to get that high. It could be discouraging for relatively new players to know they have no chance to be a high seed and to know they would have to put in a hundred hours (50 games at 2 hours per) to have a chance at getting a high seed. Even that is probably not enough.

Little change at the top means players are not incentivized to play. Veteran players are not motivated to play new matches and perhaps lose their seeding. Sure, many veteran players probably don't let that keep them from playing. But if they were rewarded for winning recent matches, they would want to play more which is good for the community.

And new players are not incentivized to play under the current system either since there is little way they can climb high enough to make a difference.

If recent results are relied on for seeding then:

1. I think we would see a lot more games being played leading up to the tournament. That is a good thing.

2. Current form is rewarded over the past.

3. Each year brings new hope and motivation to play.

4. The first and second rounds of the tourney might see some more variety.

I would suggest using recent results to determine seeding.
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Michael Sosa
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Good discussion. I like the idea of giving top seeds to last year final four tournament finishers. That rewards the most recent performance. After top 4 we go by lifetime seeding?

I'm one of those players who never plays ladder games (and my skill probably suffers for it) but I do play at PrezCon and WBC every year, so that's around 6-8 games face to face. I don't want to be ranked with the novices!

Speaking of which, where are the lifetime ladder rankings?
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Roy Subs
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Here they are Michael, it's the tab titled "All Time" on the Ladder spreadsheet page.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1heX5V4VSGD4hfMjC_gLh...

Make sure to shout me up anytime you want a game if you have a free evening, always happy to give you a game anytime!
 
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Peter M
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savedbyhim01 wrote:
I might be biased because I am relatively new to the ladder, but I think there could be a better system than all-time ladder results for determining seeds. Going by all-time ladder results basically means the same 10 players (plus or minus maybe one or two) will receive the top 10 seeds in each tournament. There is very little change in the top players on the all-time ladder year to year as a player would need to play many many games to get that high. It could be discouraging for relatively new players to know they have no chance to be a high seed and to know they would have to put in a hundred hours (50 games at 2 hours per) to have a chance at getting a high seed. Even that is probably not enough.

Little change at the top means players are not incentivized to play. Veteran players are not motivated to play new matches and perhaps lose their seeding. Sure, many veteran players probably don't let that keep them from playing. But if they were rewarded for winning recent matches, they would want to play more which is good for the community.

And new players are not incentivized to play under the current system either since there is little way they can climb high enough to make a difference.

If recent results are relied on for seeding then:

1. I think we would see a lot more games being played leading up to the tournament. That is a good thing.

2. Current form is rewarded over the past.

3. Each year brings new hope and motivation to play.

4. The first and second rounds of the tourney might see some more variety.

I would suggest using recent results to determine seeding.


Jason, I completely agree with your points. The problem I have with using 2017 ladder for seeding is that 2.5 months of games is just not long enough to converge to an accurate measure of ones performance.

Then there are also players, who just don't have time to play 30+ games a year... so their annual ranking will never be a good measure of their strength.

I have a following suggestion, what if we go for a compromise solution: Let say we do following three seedings:

- one for 2017 ladder (most recent performance, gives incentive to more play, but is really not long enough period)

- one for 2016 ladder (rather recent performance, long enough, but very new players are disadvantaged as they are simply not in)

- one for "all time" ladder (statistically most accurate measure of performance, but possibly by old performance, that does not give new players much chance... but proved to be a very good measure of performance in the past: In last 2 tourneys, seed #1 became the champion, last year actually all 3 medals were seed #1,#2, and #3 in the correct order)

To get the final seeding we simply take a weighted average of the above 3 seedings. Then the question is what the weights of each seed shall be. So far the proposed solutions of using purely 2017 or purely All time ladder correspond to weight vectors of (1,0,0) and (0,0,1) respectively. To make a compromise we could use something like (1/3,1/3,1/3)... I think that would be kind of fair to all, to new active players and also to veterans who did not have time to play in the last 2.5 months. Would in a way reward both longterm as well as recent performance.
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Jason Dexter
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peterM22 wrote:


Jason, I completely agree with your points. The problem I have with using 2017 ladder for seeding is that 2.5 months of games is just not long enough to converge to an accurate measure of ones performance.

Then there are also players, who just don't have time to play 30+ games a year... so their annual ranking will never be a good measure of their strength.

I have a following suggestion, what if we go for a compromise solution: Let say we do following three seedings:

- one for 2017 ladder (most recent performance, gives incentive to more play, but is really not long enough period)

- one for 2016 ladder (rather recent performance, long enough, but very new players are disadvantaged as they are simply not in)

- one for "all time" ladder (statistically most accurate measure of performance, but possibly by old performance, that does not give new players much chance... but proved to be a very good measure of performance in the past: In last 2 tourneys, seed #1 became the champion, last year actually all 3 medals were seed #1,#2, and #3 in the correct order)

To get the final seeding we simply take a weighted average of the above 3 seedings. Then the question is what the weights of each seed shall be. So far the proposed solutions of using purely 2017 or purely All time ladder correspond to weight vectors of (1,0,0) and (0,0,1) respectively. To make a compromise we could use something like (1/3,1/3,1/3)... I think that would be kind of fair to all, to new active players and also to veterans who did not have time to play in the last 2.5 months. Would in a way reward both longterm as well as recent performance.


Peter, thanks for considering the suggestions. Your compromise sounds like a good idea that balances the concerns of all involved. Also, it is not too complicated so seeding the brackets won't take up a lot of time. It both rewards players for recent performance, but still rewards players who have played well for years while maybe not having time to play as much recently. This system could encourage people (veteran or new) to play more games since the seedings won't be as static, which I think is an important goal.

Thanks to you and Ralf and Andrew and Michael and others for all of your work fostering a great community here.
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Peter M
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Belisarius88 wrote:
I like the idea of giving top seeds to last year final four tournament finishers. That rewards the most recent performance.


Well, I don't think that in general, the previous year tournament placement is a good measure of recent performance. In a way it just takes a relatively short luck streak to do well in an elimination tourney. Also it does not motivate anyone to play more etc. The top finishers already got their reward in the plagues and fame, not sure they need extra advantages for the coming tournament.

Also, the last year #1, #2, #3 tournament finishers are exactly the #1, #2 and #3 all time ranked players... so such a rule would only affect seeding of #4 tourney finisher.
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Jim Hansen
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My general opinion is that seeding isn't extraordinarily important. The difference between the 1 and, say, 16 seed is minimal in terms of how difficult your tournament schedule will be. There are massive upsets every year, in part because there can be really good players who have only logged a few games. It also helps that WotR is quite luck-based.
savedbyhim01 wrote:
Little change at the top means players are not incentivized to play. Veteran players are not motivated to play new matches and perhaps lose their seeding. Sure, many veteran players probably don't let that keep them from playing. But if they were rewarded for winning recent matches, they would want to play more which is good for the community.

Perhaps I have an uncommon perspective, but this view is baffling to me. Do people play on the ladder just to manipulate their ranking with the hopes of getting a better seed in the tournament? I think most people play to have fun, and the ladder is just a way to track your progress. Tournament seeding isn't even on my radar and the method used would not influence the number of games I play (unless we use the 2017 rankings exclusively, which is a statistically bad option).

I'm OK with the idea of giving the top seeds to the people that performed well in the previous tournament. Although like Peter mentioned, I don't think that is particularly representative of a player's skill. Perhaps I'm biased because I've never made the top 4 of the tournament despite being the 4th ranked player on almost every ladder we have.

Peter's suggestion could work, although it is a bit complex and the weighting could be arbitrary/contentious. I think a simpler option is that each person's rating would be the greater of their 2016 and 2017 scores. Here are the advantages I see of this method:

- Veteran, skilled players should have logged enough games in 2016 (if not just from playing in last year's tournament) to rise to the top.

- New players, especially those that have logged a lot of games in 2017, could potentially be a top 10 seed.

- Veteran players that have barely played in the last 1.5 years aren't given a top seed based on their games from years ago.

I think this would give a good and "sporting" representation of skill for both experienced and new players. In reality, I don't think these seeds would be significantly different than the all-time seeds.
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Peter M
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Teamjimby wrote:
Do people play on the ladder just to manipulate their ranking with the hopes of getting a better seed in the tournament? I think most people play to have fun, and the ladder is just a way to track your progress.

.....I've never made the top 4 of the tournament despite being the 4th ranked player on almost every ladder we have.


Hey Jim... my goal this year has been to achieve rank #1 and once there then never play again to not compromise this sweet spot in the tourney that would in the semifinals pit me against whatever outsider that will eliminate you in the quarterfinals instead of that Spanish killer on rank #3. On top of that, the seed #1 has won the tournament last 2 years!

Now, seriously, I would agree that most the alternatives we are considering here have very little effect on the tournament schedule and seeding in general little to do with players' incentives to play or not to play more ladder games.

I think, the main reason why to seed the tourney is to allow for the opportunity of top players to stay longer in the tourney and face each other only in the later stage... it would not be good if 2 top players face each other in the first rounds and then the final will see an uninteresting match of a top player and a lucky guy with an easy schedule (eg. drop-offs in first 2 rounds).

Your suggestion could also work... but I think for a big majority of players with scores >500 the higher of 2016 and 2017 scores would be the 2016 score as the scores tend to slowly increase with # of games played. The opposite holds for <500 players.

Teamjimby wrote:
Peter's suggestion could work, although it is a bit complex and the weighting could be arbitrary/contentious.

You are right... I guess I will be calculating the seeding this year so I would prefer a simple solution also, but I can still imagine doing average of 3, the most annoying part is mapping BGG users to their ladder identity (especially for new players) anyway. I believe it is worth an extra effort in seeding calculations if it can make the seeding better. Weights are totally arbitrary, so I suggested a symmetric choice, maybe the organizer can make a decision here.
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Jim Hansen
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I agree 100% that the only purpose of the seeding is to prevent top players from playing each other in the early rounds.

My suggestion would impact a few players that have had a good 2017. Steva, Jason, Roy, and Meleke primarily. But yeah, any of these methods will be fairly similar. I think we can all agree that 2017 alone is a bad option and All Time only is an undesireable option. Something that at least considers both the 2016 and 2017 ladders should make everyone happy.

I'm not sure how Rafamir should be handled. He's clearly a good player based on his 550 all time ranking and his numerous insightful contributions to the community. But he had a bad 2016 (486.5) and hasn't logged a game yet in 2017. I don't think he should be ranked behind someone that has only recorded 2 ladder games, but I don't have a good solution. Perhaps that is why we should do your 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 proposal.

EDIT: I now realize that Raf hasn't registered for the tournament this year. Does anyone know what he's up to?
 
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I don't think anyone plays to manipulate their ranking with the hopes of getting a better seed in the tournament. We all play for fun, but it's also allowed to be competitive. The two things are not mutually exclusive to my mind.

Playing in a fun and competitive way is not "manipulation". In all sports people want to get points to be ranked better, that's just fun competition. Are you againt the idea of a new player coming on, and who feels encouraged to play more games to work hard to get to a position that he was seeded on the tournament? I certainly would not call that person a manipulator, just someone that loves and enjoys the game - and that's not a bad thing in my mind! I agree that the difference between 1 and 16 is not so much, and that massive upsets happen is part of the fun, as we all know that WotR has a considerable luck component.

I don't agree that the ladder is just a way to track progress. It can be, but people enjoy competition and should be entitled to enjoy competition if they so choose right? (otherwise what would be the point of watching sport). If tournament seeding isn't on your radar, that's totally cool, but it's maybe a little unfair to refer to people that might want that as manipulators. Fun and competition are things that we can enjoy equally with people varying on that spectrum. Some will veer more towards fun, and some more towards competition, and people's perspective on that will also change from time to time, and that's great in my mind.

I do agree with Peter's point that last year already got a nice prize from winning and that's great in itself. Your ideas are also good and valid, and I think it's good to discuss, it's just an interesting discussion, and I completely respect that you play only for fun. A lot of people do play and watch games/sports competitively (and get quite into football etc), and I think that some of the ideas above encourage a little bit of nice competition (it never becomes "not fun", just has a bit of a thrill of competition as well as the fun in my mind).
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Jim Hansen
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Perhaps manipulate was the wrong word. My intent was not as you described. I certainly did not mean to call anyone a manipulator.

I think people play to have fun, and competing for ranking is part of what makes it fun. The extent to which fun is derived from competition will vary, but it is in all of us to some degree. I can understand people wanting to play more games to rise up the rankings in general (and by extension the tournament seeding). I just hope nobody avoids playing games because they fear their tournament seeding will be negatively impacted.
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Agree, but as above, I think that there is a certain numbing effect to the overall structure. A *bit*. I mean, if someone new comes on and goes "this is a great game and I love playing the online client!" there is a situation of needing to play about 200 games to get to the top in any meaningful way. That's fine in one way, but it unfairly overstates the position of some people that never play much on the ladder, or who only played 50 games 5 years ago to some extent. I think that deincentivises people to play more. Changing that structure a tiny bit probably would encourage people to play more. I love the idea that someone could come on, love the game, and in the space of a year work hard to become the number 1 ranked going into the Tournament, and feel great about that achievement. I also don't think it takes away from the All Time rankings, the guys at the top still have that position. It just makes it possible each year for every game to be a fun battle that is leading up to the Tournament etc.

Quote:
I just hope nobody avoids playing games because they fear their tournament seeding will be negatively impacted.

Sure that's a potential, but with a quick annual ranking situation it doesn't really matter, and exactly the same thing could be said that maybe some people avoid playing to stop their All Time rank going down. With some variation of this, people will know they are playing just for "this season", and that next season is another fight! That can be exciting and takes away from the idea that some people that have not played in a year or 5 just get automatic passes (which feels a little less exciting maybe).
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Jim Hansen
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I wonder if we could move up the tournament to register in January and start in February. That would make it more like a season-ending championship tournament and seeding could be based on the previous year's performance. I'm sure there are other factors that make it later in the year, but moving it up would at least make seeding more straightforward.
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Peter M
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Teamjimby wrote:
I wonder if we could move up the tournament to register in January and start in February. That would make it more like a season-ending championship tournament and seeding could be based on the previous year's performance. I'm sure there are other factors that make it later in the year, but moving it up would at least make seeding more straightforward.

This is an interesting idea. But I still think there still is value in the All Time ladder as well. There simply are strong players that can't log 30 or more realistically 60 games a year to realistically challenge that #1 in a given year. Maybe Magic Geek is the best example here. He is arguably one of the best WOTR players out there, a triple WOTR champion, and I don't think his all time performance is due to some old games against weak opponents. Still since the annual ladder was introduced in 2014 his annual performance has been #5 in 2014, #3 2015 and #6 2016. Has he been out of form for last 3 years? I don't think so, he has played around 25 games each year and there simply is no way one can compete for top of the annual ladder with 25 games played. For example in 2014, his win percentage was 77%, best of all players with >4 games, significantly better than 60% of Barbarisco who won the 2014 ladder with 150 played games in that year. And there are tons of reasons why it is not easy to log 60 games a year even if one wanted to, time zone issues might be just one of them.

So I would argue that annual ladder favors frequent and new players, which is very good as it incentivizes players to frequent competitive play. On the other hand, for less frequent players, I believe the all time ladder ranking has more meaning and I would argue is a more accurate measure of their strength.

So each ladder captures more accurately performance of different players:
2017 - very new players, or players whose recent performance changed dramatically
2016 - frequent players
All-time - infrequent players or veterans

So I believe a weighted seeding shall be the way to go to get an accurate measure of wider range of players.
 
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Jim Hansen
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The All Time ladder absolutely has a lot of value and meaning. I think it's the most accurate representation of skill, at least among players that have logged many games. The annual ladders are fun to look at, but not very meaningful for determining who the "better player" is. However, the more I think about it the more I like it for the tournament seeds.

Your story is exactly why a year-end tournament based on that year's ladder would be great. Looking at Magic Geek for example, because of his low number of games played, he usually finishes an annual ladder around #5 despite being arguably the #1 player. IMO, there is no statistically significant advantage between being the #1 seed and the #5 seed in the tournament. So a year-end tournament is exactly the platform for Magic Geek to prove himself as the best player of the year, despite having fewer games played.

You just have to log 10 or 20 plays to make sure you don't get a bad seed. If you are a good player, you should be able to get that many plays just from competing in the previous year's tournament.

Now, if you think the difference between the #1 and #5 seed is significant, I could understand wanting to consider the all time ladder for seeds.
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