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Subject: Season 33 of the Terra Mystica tournament rss

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Steve Haas
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Every season I see complaints about the same factions showing up again and again at high levels.

I'll concede that Ranior's comment could be interpreted as this. But I defy you to find anyone who made a comment that could even remotely be construed as this last season. Or the season before. Admittedly, the topic did come up in seasons 30 and 29, but that's because you brought it up unprompted.

Hence: its been over a year since anyone other than you made that complaint. I hardly think that qualifies as "seeing it every season".
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Robert
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Every season I see complaints about the same factions showing up again and again at high levels.
It may feel like this, but I trust Steve when he says it's not so.

JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Use the map balanced vp.
I was waiting for this - what took you so long?
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Juho Snellman
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Every season I see complaints about the same factions showing up again and again at high levels.
It's not really the same factions though. Three years ago the complaints were all about MEND. Three of those factions are now out of favor. What happens when the fourth pick in DCW coalesces to something else than the losing E? It's going to drive out either C or W, and thus the wheel turns.

So, here's a plausible metagame evolution line:

Let's say that Dwarves as fourth pick turn out to beat Witches, once that setup is figure out. That means 3rd pick Witches don't make sense, just like 3rd pick engineers don't work. Instead you pick Dwarves into DC, and the 4th pick goes to Mermaids/Swarmlings/Nomads/Chaos Magicians. Which one? We have no way of knowing until the players start exploring those setups.

But I'd imagine this makes for some pretty happy Dwarves and either an unhappy Cultist (three of those options) or unhappy Darkling (Mermaids). In the tournament you need to extract some value out of a 2nd pick rather than get an even game. So Cultists maybe start to look a bit unappealing. You can't 2nd pick Dwarves since they're so fragile. So in that situation I'd predict some 2nd pick Halflings, at least until you figure out whether that turns into DHEW (the goal) or DHE-something else.


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Another choice would be to add in several of the new round scoring tiles that will be coming in the Merchants of the Seas expansion. This would be up to Juho though. They would probably not be too difficult to add.
Are there any that work? Based on the rules book, all but one looked like they were dependent on the new components. And that one has income based on a colored cult, so putting it into the pool without removing one of the other browns would be quite destabilizing.
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Robert
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jsnell wrote:
JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Another choice would be to add in several of the new round scoring tiles that will be coming in the Merchants of the Seas expansion. This would be up to Juho though. They would probably not be too difficult to add.
Are there any that work? Based on the rules book, all but one looked like they were dependent on the new components. And that one has income based on a colored cult, so putting it into the pool without removing one of the other browns would be quite destabilizing.
Indeed - there are four round scoring tiles in Merchants that depend on the new mechanisms and therefore make no sense with base game + F&I. And unfortunately these four are one blue, one red and two white, so a simple "then let's just add the other eight" would add three with brown but just one with white. A solution could be to change one of the brown ones (I'd go with the SA/SH>>5, 1w per two brown cult steps) to white.

Would it even make sense to mix such eight new ones with the existing 8/9 from the base game (plus TE>>4 mini-expansion)? It would require new restrictions, particularly "no more than two D/TP/Sx scorings in a game", and "no more than one SPADE>>2, Town>>5 or TE>>4 scorings in a game".

 
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Hubert
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Another potentially interesting development in the metagame this season is the rise of the dwarves in the top divisions - at least 6 of them in D1 & 2, possibly due to favorable setups and their increased resilience to commonly picked green factions.
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Saikat Banerjee
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I cannot see the live status of the games from the tournament league page for the ongoing season (S33) when using Firefox / Chrome on Ubuntu. However, it is working fine for previous seasons. It is also working fine for the ongoing season on other devices (e.g. Chrome on Android).

For example, here is a screenshot from the league page of D1L1 (https://tmtour.org/#/leagues/3779) on my browser:



Firefox version: 69.0.2 (64-bit)
Chrome version: 65.0.3325.162 (Official Build) (64-bit)
Ubuntu 16.04.5
 
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Steve Haas
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The main difference between previous seasons and the current one is that the current season needs to fetch the game statuses from snellman, while previous seasons retrieve all data from the tmtour site itself. So my guess is that something is going amiss either with that RPC, or with the JS that processes that RPC.

To diagnose further: right-click anywhere on the page, select "Inspect" or "Inspect Element" (depending on Chrome vs Firefox), go to the "network" tab of the pane that opens, and then reload the page. This should fill in a table of all the data fetches that the page performs and how they went. One column will be called "status" - if you could find any rows where the 3-digit status code starts with 4 or 5 and give a summary/screenshot of them (notably: the "name" (Chrome) or "file" (Firefox) and "status" fields), that might provide a bit more insight into what is going wrong.
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Steve Haas
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firexed wrote:
Another potentially interesting development in the metagame this season is the rise of the dwarves in the top divisions - at least 6 of them in D1 & 2, possibly due to favorable setups and their increased resilience to commonly picked green factions.

I'm not actually convinced Dwarves do better against Witches than Engineers do. It seems to be conventional wisdom, but I haven't found much statistical support for it:

(vs Darklings-Cultists-Witches, D1-4, last 6 seasons):

Faction Games Ranking Points
Engineers 94 1.1
CMs 32 0.9
Nomads 17 1.7
Dwarves 11 1.1
Giants 6 0.7
Mermaids 3 2.7


This is not to say you shouldn't pick them, of course - even if they're not better vs green the perception that they are may make a Witches pick after you less likely, and even if you do wind up vs Witches, the fact that its less played means more uncertainty in how people will approach it, which can only be good for the disadvantaged faction(s). Who knows, maybe with more planning and practice we'll find that there's a way to crush witches with them after all.

(And no, Mermaids probably aren't actually that good - small number statistics and so on. Though, again: not clearly awful and potentially worth trying for the added uncertainty).
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Saikat Banerjee
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Steve496 wrote:
The main difference between previous seasons and the current one is that the current season needs to fetch the game statuses from snellman, while previous seasons retrieve all data from the tmtour site itself. So my guess is that something is going amiss either with that RPC, or with the JS that processes that RPC.

To diagnose further: right-click anywhere on the page, select "Inspect" or "Inspect Element" (depending on Chrome vs Firefox), go to the "network" tab of the pane that opens, and then reload the page. This should fill in a table of all the data fetches that the page performs and how they went. One column will be called "status" - if you could find any rows where the 3-digit status code starts with 4 or 5 and give a summary/screenshot of them (notably: the "name" (Chrome) or "file" (Firefox) and "status" fields), that might provide a bit more insight into what is going wrong.

Thanks for the detailed instruction. It is currently working on Firefox 69.0.2 on Ubuntu 18.04, will have to check the other system and get back later.

Steve496 wrote:

Faction Games Ranking Points
Engineers 94 1.1
CMs 32 0.9
Nomads 17 1.7
Dwarves 11 1.1
Giants 6 0.7
Mermaids 3 2.7


What are Ranking Points?
 
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banskt wrote:
What are Ranking Points?

Hypothetical points a faction receives for its placing over any amount of games. First place gets 6 points, second place 3 points, third place 1 point and last place gets no points. So for example, if, in 4 games of certain matchup, faction X placed first twice, third once and last once, then faction X would get 6+6+1+0=13 points, which, divided by 4 games, means 13/4=3.25 rating points. So, basically, the more rating points faction has - stronger it is.

Here's a useful tool if you want to see how different factions do in various matchups over various maps: https://www.snellman.net/tmp/tm/tune-all/ .
 
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Saikat Banerjee
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banskt wrote:
It is currently working on Firefox 69.0.2 on Ubuntu 18.04, will have to check the other system and get back later.

Here's a screenshot of the problem (strangely on the same system, Firefox 69.0.2 on Ubuntu 18.04):



Boat on a River wrote:

Hypothetical points a faction receives for its placing over any amount of games. First place gets 6 points, second place 3 points, third place 1 point and last place gets no points. So for example, if, in 4 games of certain matchup, faction X placed first twice, third once and last once, then faction X would get 6+6+1+0=13 points, which, divided by 4 games, means 13/4=3.25 rating points. So, basically, the more rating points faction has - stronger it is.

Thanks for explaining. Very helpful.

 
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Steve Haas
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banskt wrote:
banskt wrote:
It is currently working on Firefox 69.0.2 on Ubuntu 18.04, will have to check the other system and get back later.

Here's a screenshot of the problem (strangely on the same system, Firefox 69.0.2 on Ubuntu 18.04):

To make a long story short: I think the difference is that on the computer that doesn't work, you're attempting to use https, whereas on the computer that works, you're using http. That is: this link should work on either computer, and this link should fail on both computers.

To elaborate a bit: the way tmtour loads data from snellman seems to run afoul of mixed content protections when you attempt to secure the connection with https.
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Saikat Banerjee
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Steve496 wrote:
To make a long story short: I think the difference is that on the computer that doesn't work, you're attempting to use https, whereas on the computer that works, you're using http.

Thanks very much. I feel so stupid for not having noted that.

Its fascinating to read the discussions about the tournament over here. Last season, there was a long discussion about tightening the chess clock. I have no experience to comment on this (only played around 10 games and now in my second tournament) but just curious to know if the experienced players could reach an unanimous decision. It would be good to play faster.
 
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Steve Haas
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banskt wrote:
Last season, there was a long discussion about tightening the chess clock. I have no experience to comment on this (only played around 10 games and now in my second tournament) but just curious to know if the experienced players could reach an unanimous decision. It would be good to play faster.

Unfortunately, I think that's unlikely. Debates about the clock settings are basically as old as the tournament - if you look through older posts you can find them cropping up repeatedly, both in season threads and elsewhere. Clock settings was the topic that came up every couple of seasons until people started getting really tired of it, long before map-balanced VPs started to be that.

And the problem is fundamentally the same: there are legitimately differences of opinion on the matter. Some people would be happy to play a tournament season every 2 weeks; other people would be happy to have the extra time if we went to 3 months. And there's simply no change that can be made that will satisfy both of those desires. We've settled on 2 months with generous clocks as a form of compromise, and - as the joke goes - a good compromise makes everyone unhappy.

There are probably changes that could be made to improve the system to some extent, but I don't think we're ever going to reach universal consensus on what they are, and to the extent that there is a better compromise I suspect its sort of optimizing at the margins. For example: dropping the increment from 1.5 days to 1 would probably prevent some number of unfinished games... but it wouldn't stop all of them (so there would still be people unhappy about that), and it would still cause extra drops (making some players unhappy about that). And so even "better" clock settings - assume such a thing exists - would not put a stop to the debate.
 
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Ryan Feathers
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Steve496 wrote:

For example: dropping the increment from 1.5 days to 1 would probably prevent some number of unfinished games... but it wouldn't stop all of them (so there would still be people unhappy about that), and it would still cause extra drops (making some players unhappy about that). And so even "better" clock settings - assume such a thing exists - would not put a stop to the debate.

I too suspect that's the change that would get the most support, and I also agree that it really would do relatively little to actually change the tournament experience for most. In particular in response to bankst's point about it would be nice to play faster, almost none of the proposed changes would really accomplish that. The vast majority of tournament games finish on time with nobody that close to going over their timer. Even if you changed the settings from 5d+1.5d per round to 5d+1d per round...well that's still a ton of time for most players and the vast majority of tournament games would still be played at exactly the same pace they are now.
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Greg W
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Ranior wrote:
Steve496 wrote:

For example: dropping the increment from 1.5 days to 1 would probably prevent some number of unfinished games... but it wouldn't stop all of them (so there would still be people unhappy about that), and it would still cause extra drops (making some players unhappy about that). And so even "better" clock settings - assume such a thing exists - would not put a stop to the debate.

I too suspect that's the change that would get the most support, and I also agree that it really would do relatively little to actually change the tournament experience for most. In particular in response to bankst's point about it would be nice to play faster, almost none of the proposed changes would really accomplish that. The vast majority of tournament games finish on time with nobody that close to going over their timer. Even if you changed the settings from 5d+1.5d per round to 5d+1d per round...well that's still a ton of time for most players and the vast majority of tournament games would still be played at exactly the same pace they are now.

I will add my vote in favor of this change. And one additional point in favor of this change I might share is that it would improve the psychological tournament experience even more than it changes any actual outcomes. One thing I’ve noticed is that around 2 weeks before the season ends, even I start wondering about the possibility of some good game for me being finished in time. I’m lucky (or I suppose I have the standard experience) in that I’ve never been meaningful affected by an unfinished game - but it doesn’t stop me from worrying. (And similarly, ararar was just fine last season, but still worried.). Cutting off 3 days (by the end) of possible delay time for each player would significantly improve that math, and probably do more than people think to reduce late-season paranoia about unfinished games (both expressed, and unexpressed by people like me).
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Saikat Banerjee
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Ranior wrote:
In particular in response to bankst's point about it would be nice to play faster

I am too inexperienced to even know what would be nicer for me, so you can safely ignore my point. As a third person reading the discussion, it seemed to me that unlike the map-balanced VP debate, there was actually some sort of consensus regarding the timing (5d + 1d). So, I wanted to know when and if at all, the consensus gets transformed to an actionable item.

Steve496 wrote:
Unfortunately, I think that's unlikely. Debates about the clock settings are basically as old as the tournament - if you look through older posts you can find them cropping up repeatedly, both in season threads and elsewhere. Clock settings was the topic that came up every couple of seasons until people started getting really tired of it, long before map-balanced VPs started to be that.

That was a very nice summary of how it felt reading through older posts. But, as I said, I couldn't help but notice that there IS an overall consensus about the clock settings, with minor difference of opinions of course. The map-balanced VP, on the other hand, is a completely different story -- evidently more confusing. Again, I don't know if it matters, but as an independent third person, after reading all arguments both in favor and against, I am in favor of the 'against' camp (no map-balanced VP). But, the discussion is really tiring many times.

By the way, I can't believe how much time I spent reading through so many old posts. That's a gold mine right there.
 
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Robert
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Poll: Changes to the Tournament Clock Settings?
Here's a poll about the potential ways to reduce the avaialable time. Keep in mind that
* reducing the base time to 3d or even less may lead to an extended weekend of absence already causing a drop when the season starts
* reducing the grace period to 4h or even less could be somewhat unfair in a game where three players share a playing time while another is on an opposite schedule
* anything but a "15d base time, no extra time, no grace" clock setting could still lead to unfinished games (albeit all four player would have to perfectly cooperate to fill out the two months).
1. I think the following clock settings for the tournament should be changed:
reduce base time (currently 5d)
reduce extra time per round (currently 1.5d)
reduce grace period (currently 8h)
no change
leave the settings but reduce the frequency to one season every three months
no opinion/something else
2. I'd like to see the future base time (currently 5d) to be
3d or less
4d
stay at 5d
no opinion/something else
3. I'd like to see the future extra time per round (currently 1.5d) to be
0.5d or less
1d
stay at 1.5d
no opinion/something else
4. I'd like to see the future grace period (currently 8h) to be
4h or less
6h
stay at 8h
no opinion/something else
      137 answers
Poll created by DocCool
 
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George Sprockitz
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I wonder why more people aren't in favor of slightly shortening the grace period? 6 hours seems more than enough for me. Yes you won't be able to always play with no hit to your non-grace clock, but adding an extra 2 hours of non-grace time for each slow move (8+ hours) seems very reasonable to me. People would have to manage time a little better from the very beginning as they can't just intentionally run right up to the no-grace time limit and count on making every move without burning any no grace clock.
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Juho Snellman
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Introducing new grace periods is not an option, and shouldn't be part of the poll. The other two parameters can be set mostly arbitrarily, the grace period is limited to 0/4/8/12/24.
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Dhrun
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Like George I believe shortening the grace clock slightly is attractive and in my eyes a good component of a well-rounded relatively fair tuning.
6h sounded good to me, in addition I voted for 4d+1d, but with Juho's input I will adapt my vote, not sure yet which way.
Looking for a general improvement remains hard as there are so many factors and some are pretty speculative (personally I would prefer something like: 2d+0.5d, 4h grace, never mindmeeple).
 
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Robert
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jsnell wrote:
Introducing new grace periods is not an option, and shouldn't be part of the poll. The other two parameters can be set mostly arbitrarily, the grace period is limited to 0/4/8/12/24.
Ok, I didn't know that.

Here's the poll section with the grace period options, revised based on your input:
Poll: grace period poll revised according to Juho's input on what can/can't be done
I'd like to see the future grace period (currently 8h) to be
0h (i.e. no grace)
4h
stay at 8h
no opinion/something else
      58 answers
Poll created by DocCool
 
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Phil Hannay
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gmg159 wrote:
I wonder why more people aren't in favor of slightly shortening the grace period?

For me it's because I'm in Europe, and many of my opponents are in the USA. When I go to bed, they are still active, which means it's likely I'll be eating into my grace period pretty much the entire time I'm asleep. 8 hours means if I look at TM as soon as I get up, I spend no time. 6 hours means I'm eating (at least) 2 hours into my clock pretty much every day through no fault of my own, but my opponents aren't.

I'd personally actually rather have a higher grace period (maybe 24h, but at least 12h) but a much lower clock (maybe 3 days + 0.5 days).
 
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Robin Zigmond
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Some of us work most of the day and don't always get the chance to check our phones and make a move. 8 hours seems fine to me, anything significantly less just penalises those who can't be glued to the tournament 24/7.
 
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Robert
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If you would need 8h for most (let's say 75%) of your ca. 40-45 actions, then a 4h grace would cost you 4h clock time ca. 33 times, summing up to ca. 5.5d. Assuming a 5d + 1d/round (= 11d) setting, this still leaves you with a bit more than 5d to spend on other delays.
 
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