Ladder Site Online...

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Fosprey
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Fosprey »

I host a lot of ladder games, and a lot of times peopel with 1200 or 1300 rating join the game, to be honest i don't want to play with them, but i think it;s unpolite to kick them of the game, so what do you think i should do?

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Wintermute
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Wintermute »

You could try putting 1600+ or 1700+ or whatever in the title of your game. Then you can point to that when players join. Becephalus did this with some success when he was playing games regularly.
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eyerouge
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importante

Post by eyerouge »

Fosprey wrote:I host a lot of ladder games, and a lot of times peopel with 1200 or 1300 rating join the game, to be honest i don't want to play with them, but i think it;s unpolite to kick them of the game, so what do you think i should do?
Yeah, as Wintermute suggested, try putting some cleat info in the name of the game. ONLY 1700+ players! or something like that... in many cases people are idiots and will join anyway, but at least there will be less of them joining up ;)

On the next issue.


Very interesting & important...


I got a mail today from a person I won't disclose unless he/she feels like doing that him/herself. Here are some parts of it. If you are interested in where the ladder is going or about it's current state I strongly advise you to read it and post some comments, I think you'll find it well worth the time even if it's plenty of text:

Somebody wrote:I also wanted to make mention of a trend on the ladder that many players are bothered by; I'll call it "match spamming" for lack of a better term. If you take a look at the top 10, you see a number of players who've actually lost a vast majority of their games against good players, but are ranked very highly, mainly because of the fact that they've played so many games. Compare the stats of someone like Pagan (an example of a very good player), who is 2021, has played 56 games, and gains, on average, 9.3 points per match. Moonletters has very similar numbers to Pagan and is ranked just below him (quite fair). Now take a look at **** or ****....Pretty mediocre players that make very small gains on average per match, who are ranked very highly on the ladder because they've both played close to yyy matches. **** is another example. I think he's been on the ladder for maybe a ****, and has already logged **** ladder matches. He gains a mere *.* points per match, loses most of his matches with top players, but at the rate he's going, he'll be the #1 ranked player within a few weeks. **** is another one who loses practically every match to the known top players, and is now ranked #** after roughly a **** (and *** matches!) of ladder playing time. An experienced player watching some of these players' games is so often left wincing....They'll do things like move units completely away (using up all of its movepoints to retreat or take a village, or whatever) then do attacks with other units in the area. (A hallmark of mid-level players, who aren't in the habit of saving those units to react to any good or bad luck that may occur during the said regional combats.)

At any rate, the rise of these match-spammers has just become a real drag to a lot of very good players, and I can see a lot of them fading out.
The above was an excerpt from the mail and I think it captured the main problem that the author tries to express. (The *** were added by me to not turn this into something personal, after all, it's not the persons that are criticized, it's the system that allows them to do what they're doing, if i get it right...)

Here's my reply:


I think I'll part this two ways and I'll also make a post about it in the forum, as I think the question risen should be of interest to more people than just the two of us.

a) Skilled players leaving: Why they choose to do so would probably vary in most cases. I don't think that the leaving in itself proves anything. I do however agree that many players, not just good ones, would leave the ladder if they notice that any idiot can get better rating than them by 1) playing massive amounts of games and 2) picking his/her opposition very carefully. I recognize these two problems, and I think fewer would leave the ladder if they were mended, which I'm glad to say, is in the planning. The reason for why the problems arise in the first place is the very free nature of the ladder system, which I also think was more or less necessary to get the ladder going at all from it's initial phase with 0 games on it and 0 registered users. In a real Elo environment people can't pick opponents, nor can they play a zillion amount of games to just harvest points. In theory a player that targets just newcomers will sooner or later reach a point where he hardly earns any points by playing the newcomers and must thus start playing better players. This is so on the ladder, as in any Elo system, but it's still not apparent on the level the ladder is still in, which is early infancy given the limited activity and number of active players.

b) The solution to the problems, as I see it without having discussed it further with anyone, is two-fold:
  • Limit amount of games a player can play per day:. This will "slow down" the ladder, but it would probably also make it more interesting as it would make so-called match spammers history. It also adds some strategical depth: If a player only gets a limited amount of games per day, how does he/she select the opposition? Will the relatively (to the player) unskilled players still be attractive bait? I figure this suggestion would truly shift the ladder from a point-gathering-mentality to a place where people with true(er) skills will stand out way more than the point-gathers do now. No match-spammer will ever be able to compete with a truly good player since there is no room to waste games and use them as spam.
  • Add another real/random Elo: This has nothing to do with the above suggestion, but it would a good idea to combine them or at least have the above if this was implemented. The real/random Elo is another number in the statistics. It works exactly like the current Elo rating does, but it isn't connected to it in any way, The main and only difference is that the real/random Elo only changes when you play (win or lose against) an opponent that the ladder system choose for you. Technically it would work something like this: Every day a "possible targets" list will be generated for each player on the ladder. Depending on the amount of active players on the ladder and some other variables, that list could i.e. contain 1 - 3 names on it (numbers are just examples). During that whole day, those are the only players you may play, and even if you reported a win against another player which isn't on the list it would alter your regular Elo (the current system) but not the real/random Elo (this suggestion). Only time the real Elo changes is if you report a victory against somebody that was on your target list that day. Much can be said about all this, and I wont go into details, think the above is enough as an outline of the core idea even if it's crude as it was presented.
I know for a fact that it is reallly really hard to design a smooth system that is self-ran and which also doesn't demand continuous planning from the players side. Let's keep in mind that some of the criticism against the ladder is only valid when you'd compare the ladder with say a tournament system, which is from most perspectives a superior way to measure relative player skills. A ladder isn't supposed and can't ever be an equally good measure as an organized and properly executed tournament, nor should anyone ever have such a grave disillusion.

A ladder is a totally different thing, and it's main point and only function, it's very core for existence is, as seen from my personal perspective, that it is 1) easily accessible, 2) keeps track of statistics and because of that, in some sense, also makes it possible to 3) measure relative performance. Notice that I don't see a ladders primary function to be skill measurement. I don't since a ladder is an inferior skill measurement model to tournaments. Even so, a ladder has it's other functions, and it is something which requires almost zero organizing and which is open for anyone to join at any time. It's the middle step between casual play and tournament play, and it could be a pretty good step if executed correctly.

All this however doesn't mean that the existing ladder is the best possible, as you pointed out it's suffering from some serious problems. Ideally those can be fixed, and I actually believe they will be so with at least one or both of the suggested changes. The ladder is in it's current state (and that's not even a beta, it's all development versions) already very useful for keeping personal stats.

It is however still not mature enough to offer the level of skill measurement that we could wish for and which I believe is possible and proper to expect from a well working ladder. And even when it has reached the ideal level it would still be quite a different thing than tournaments, however, the skills showed in the ladder system would then be very much more on par with the ones one would expect to see in a tourney. I believe that should be the goal for the ladder developers.

The challenge for me isn't coding it, it's finding the time to do it in a serious matter since I'm not anywhere near fluid in PHP or SQL. Currently we're at a standstill unless a PHP-person comes up and wants to help out, and that doesn't happen all too often. This far it has mostly been mr russ, chains and me that have done the major parts of the code, and all of us have a [censored] load of real life stuff to deal with. Meanwhile the problems continue to be there.

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eyerouge
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by eyerouge »

As reasoned in the above post, I have taken some hours to implement the first solution.
Limit amount of games a player can play per day:. This will "slow down" the ladder, but it would probably also make it more interesting as it would make so-called match spammers history. It also adds some strategical depth: If a player only gets a limited amount of games per day, how does he/she select the opposition? Will the relatively (to the player) unskilled players still be attractive bait? I figure this suggestion would truly shift the ladder from a point-gathering-mentality to a place where people with true(er) skills will stand out way more than the point-gathers do now. No match-spammer will ever be able to compete with a truly good player since there is no room to waste games and use them as spam.
The accurate numbers can be seen whenever you try to report a game. Currently they're set to 14 games within an interval of 7 days, meaning, in average you can play about 2 games per day if you want to pla ladder games every weekday evenly distributed. Whenever you want to report a victory the system checks to see if you have already layed 14 games within the most 7 recent days. If yes, you can't report a victory and you're also not allowed to participate in a ladder game until you can do so, nor are you allowed to play anyway and the report it with a faked time. If you however haven't used up all your 14 games within the most recent 7 days you can report a victory as usual.

Notice that these numbers will need some tweaking and discussion. Personally I tend to believe that the best players seldom play hundreds of ladder games within a week, and for this to have any effect on what it is partially trying to solve it must be limiting rather than too allowing. A discussion is, as always, welcome.

Fosprey
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Fosprey »

He gains a mere *.* points per match, loses most of his matches with top players, but at the rate he's going, he'll be the #1 ranked player within a few weeks.
It's weak your attempt to hide the names, because one can know what thsoe names are. (in this sentence, Fosprey is obviusly the nick) If not, is one of them
I've seen this problem. In fact i'm like what. 5th? and the obve 4 are all very superior to me. And there are several players that are superior to me, that are ranked below me.
But the fact remains than those superior players didn't play many games.
I also want to blame them, i play many games a day, and to many of them the see me in the lobby hosting the game, but they don't join.
For a lot of them , i'm easy points, but they don't come to play me. I was suprised yesterday when Pagan asked me for a game. I told him that maybe after i finish, he told me the game would end shortly. I won, i looked for him in the lobby, and he wasn't there.
My point is , that there is a challenge system, there is the mail, and if anything feels that i have more points than i deserve, then come and take my points i don't care. i never said no to anyone that enter my game (Except some 12xx).
So a solution would be to encourage this players to do challenge to play at best of 3 or something like that. to be honest i got feeded a lot by 1300/1400, but hey, thoose are the people that join my game. Anyway the only player that are superior to me for sure, are ranked above me

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eyerouge
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by eyerouge »

Fosprey wrote:It's weak your attempt to hide the names, because one can know what thsoe names are. (in this sentence, Fosprey is obviusly the nick) If not, is one of them I've seen this
I don't think that people in here are really that well read into all info and/or discussions to make out almost anything at all for certain. Those that would be the most are obviously those that know the info or feel singled out for some reason. In any case this was precisely what I stated that I wanted to avoid - this isn't about persons or personal issues. It's about how the system works, or rather - worked until just recently. The names don't matter a single bit, as far as I know I could willingly be mentioned in all of the critique myself - it doesn't make it more or less valid even if people would be mistaken about me as a person and the reasons for why I have the rating I have (in my case, I'm clearly overrated, which of course will fix itself once I start playing more games).

Fosprey
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Fosprey »

For starteres it would be good that you would be advice of the fact that you surpased your limit before you hit the report button, so you know you can't play , before finishing the game.

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eyerouge
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by eyerouge »

Fosprey wrote:For starteres it would be good that you would be advice of the fact that you surpased your limit before you hit the report button, so you know you can't play , before finishing the game.
It says how many games you have played and what the max is at the top of the screen if you enter the report area. You actually never get the chance to make a false report since the report button doesn't even appear if you have filled your quota. However, I agree that the info should be even more visible, questions is where it should be placed - maybe as a part of the menu, most right? Or... hrm....

Fosprey
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Fosprey »

well somehting went wrong because my report button was visible, i clicked the button and everthing and recived the error message

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eyerouge
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by eyerouge »

Fosprey wrote:well somehting went wrong because my report button was visible, i clicked the button and everthing and recived the error message
Hrm.. okey... which error message exactly? An with "button", do you mean the "Report Game" button, or the "Report" link in the top menu? Maybe your version of the site was a cached one? Which browser do you use? Does it seem to work now?

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Wintermute
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Wintermute »

I only have time for a brief response, but I would like to add my opinion.

I think that this "problem" is quite real, in the sense that playing lots of games (and winning them) will earn a player a lot of points. Quite possibly pushing them above better players. However, winning many games *should* give the player at least a small reward. Personally, I think that limiting the number of games is not a desirable thing for the ladder. I think that any problems due to overranking are more due to the fact that the ladder is still young. I think that exact rankings are still not really possible, as not enough games have been played and many players have not played each other many times. This is partly due to time zone issues, or rather, players not being on at the same times. Active times for some of the top players are different. For me, if I am on late at night I probably don't feel like starting a ladder game that may take two or more hours and require intense thinking (as games against good opponents would), and I think other players feel the same way.

I guess my point (if I am even making one :wink: ) is that these rankings are still pretty rough, and personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. If this is still a big problem a year from now, then I would be worried. But my guess is that things will continue to smooth out.

If there is a feeling that some action *must* be taken, then as one suggestion, perhaps a challange system could be put in place either as part of the sportsmanship rating, or as a seperate rating. Let players challange higher rated players, the higher ranked player could provide a few times for a game, or decline the challange (in which case that would be recorded). This could either result in a decline in sportsmanship rating (so that players can see this player seems to be abusing the system), or some kind of "challange rating" which would/could have an effect on being ranked. Just a thought anyway.
"I just started playing this game a few days ago, and I already see some balance issues."

Monster
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Monster »

I just saw the latest addition to the ladder rules and quite frankly it left me completely baffled to be sincere.

No offense guys, but limiting the amount of matches a player is able to play in one week down to just 14 matches is imo nothing more than complete nonsense.
I don't know if this is the result of just one man's email complaining about his opponents who don't even closely pwn as much as he does and still get credit for it and it shouldn't be. If people see that someone is match spamming they should settle the matter by themselves by challenging such a player to a match and show him just what it means to be a high ranking player, which you don't become just by scoring a high amount of ladder points but by also gaining recognition by winning over truly skilled players
Such changes of the rules affect all ladder competitors and in its core just slows everything down, especially the eager newcomers to the ladder that want to gain recognition and and are yearning to prove themselves by climbing the ladder. In some way it even takes the fun out of the game and awards calculating players that will want to ensure a definite victory everytime they play ladder. Also such rules in a way feel like our rights to play whenever and with anybody we want, are being cut down. There is a thin line between control and opression.

In my opinion the number of matches a player can play in a week needs some serious consideration

p.s. I'm writing this somewhat agitated and with a bad headache so try not to regard me like some nagger passing by.

csarmi
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by csarmi »

I think this is a very bad idea (with tweaking or not). Why limit players? So what if they have some fancy ranking they're proud of. Who cares, really?

The best way to keep people on ladder is to implement things like the gz upload and comments part (very good idea). It just gives a little frame of seriousity to the games you play (If you care at all, i know several players who dont), less opps will disconnect you, you'll have some info from the guy, etc...

I don't think it's meant to reflect who is good and who isnt (which it does, to an extent, but that's a side effect).

With that said, this kind of limitation is a very good way to lose players.

Zarak-Kraken
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Zarak-Kraken »

I'm ranked 11th and I think I deserve my rang.I largely plays a lot because I am a very big player RPG and strategy games ... I write in 3 Ladder,wesnoth and 2 another game and I don't never seen such a restriction I'm just above.

Gallifax
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Re: Ladder Site Online...

Post by Gallifax »

@Zarak: Yes you are good and play everyone and yes you deservve your rank:)

@eyerouge: Might be obvious by now, that I dont speak up often. I only really do it if I feel its neccessary.

So here it comes... Limiting games.... not good at all:) Contra productive.

Regards Gallifax

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