Optional player's rating

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sergey
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Optional player's rating

Post by sergey » June 16th, 2019, 12:35 pm

I have read threads about adding multiplayer rating and totally agree that official ladder has a risk of making community less friendly.

However, it is obvious that there are players who want a rating system.

This idea is about satisfying players who want a rating system, but implementing it in a such way that makes the community more friendly.

First of all, having a win / loose statistics is an inaccurate way to measure level of player skills. Such system may encourage players to choose lower level opponents in order to get better stats. Elo rating eliminates this problem. Winning higher rated opponents gives more points, winning lower rated opponents gives less points, winning significantly lower rated opponents doesn't give points at all.

That's why I propose to use the Elo system. It may be implemented in the game itself, or the already existing ladder website may be used to fetch the players rating.

Secondly, players should be able to decide if they want to participate in the ladder or not. Player rating is optional. User preference "hide ratings" may be used if player don't want to see the ratings in the game at all.

What it gives to players that want to have rating:
- better satisfaction by having a feature they like
- recognition among community
- tracking their progress

What it gives to players that don't want to have rating:
- they can see the opponents rating and decide if they want to play
- loosing to highly rated opponents is less frustrating
- they can hide the ratings and play as it is now

Regarding making the community more friendly. Playing with stronger opponent is a good way to learn. It should be stated in the code of conduct, that winning is not an act of domination, but an opportunity to teach and encourage less skilled player. If player severely violates that by mocking opponent because of the skill difference, that should be reported to moderators as any other violation of the code of conduct.

I would like to get feedback on this idea. Thanks.
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare

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josteph
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by josteph » June 16th, 2019, 1:22 pm

sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 12:35 pm
What it gives to players that don't want to have rating:
- ...
- they can hide the ratings and play as it is now
Isn't that just burying one's head in the sand? If Joe doesn't want to be rated, what he'll want is for other players not to see his rating, not to be made oblivious of the ratings of other players.

I see that it would be good to facilitate the finding of match partners of about equal skill level, but I worry about the idea possibly backfiring and alienating some players. What do other games do? Do 0ad or widelands have Elo scores on their MP servers, for example?

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sergey
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by sergey » June 16th, 2019, 2:51 pm

josteph wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 1:22 pm
sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 12:35 pm
What it gives to players that don't want to have rating:
- ...
- they can hide the ratings and play as it is now
Isn't that just burying one's head in the sand? If Joe doesn't want to be rated, what he'll want is for other players not to see his rating, not to be made oblivious of the ratings of other players.
I am not sure. I think there are players who are not interested in the rating system at all. They may want to play with any opponents and don't care about their rating.
josteph wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 1:22 pm
I see that it would be good to facilitate the finding of match partners of about equal skill level, but I worry about the idea possibly backfiring and alienating some players.
Could you please clarify how it can alienate?
josteph wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 1:22 pm
What do other games do? Do 0ad or widelands have Elo scores on their MP servers, for example?
I don't know, I don't play those games. I can imagine online chess that do use Elo.
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josteph
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by josteph » June 16th, 2019, 4:25 pm

sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 2:51 pm
I am not sure. I think there are players who are not interested in the rating system at all. They may want to play with any opponents and don't care about their rating.
That's fine, but it takes two to tango. Players who don't want to have ratings can't just hide them and have the same experience as before. When I host a game, other players will see my rating, and use that to decide whether or not to join. Introducing ratings will change the community dynamics even for players who don't care about ratings.
sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 2:51 pm
Could you please clarify how it can alienate?
I don't play online much, but if I was forced to walk around with my win-loss-draw record attached to my name, I imagine the experience would be less fun. That goes for real life too. If I go to a neighborhood chess club, I'll play someone and have a good time. However, if I was forced to tattoo my win-loss-draw record on my head every time I entered the room, I might not play at all. If I come it is to have fun, not to be graded on my work. (I understand that some people play chess in leagues or tournaments or whatever and have fun. Good for them. I don't play that way.)
sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 2:51 pm
I don't know, I don't play those games. I can imagine online chess that do use Elo.
I didn't mean those two games specifically. Are there any online 1v1 game servers that use Elo? How did introduction of Elo to those servers affect their communities?

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sergey
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by sergey » June 16th, 2019, 4:46 pm

josteph wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 4:25 pm
Players who don't want to have ratings can't just hide them and have the same experience as before. When I host a game, other players will see my rating, and use that to decide whether or not to join.
I think you didn't understand my idea. Players who don't want to have ratings won't have ratings.
josteph wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 4:25 pm
I don't play online much, but if I was forced to walk around with my win-loss-draw record attached to my name, I imagine the experience would be less fun. That goes for real life too. If I go to a neighborhood chess club, I'll play someone and have a good time. However, if I was forced to tattoo my win-loss-draw record on my head every time I entered the room, I might not play at all. If I come it is to have fun, not to be graded on my work. (I understand that some people play chess in leagues or tournaments or whatever and have fun. Good for them. I don't play that way.)
As I already said, I am talking about optional ratings. Players are not forced to have ratings.
josteph wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 4:25 pm
I didn't mean those two games specifically. Are there any online 1v1 game servers that use Elo? How did introduction of Elo to those servers affect their communities?
Web browsing shows that there are games with Elo system. If my idea will gain support, I will investigate how Elo affects communities of those games.
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GunChleoc
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by GunChleoc » June 16th, 2019, 8:15 pm

0 A.D. has a form of ELO rating. It needs more effort than just implementing the scoring, because there are players who will cheat by quitting without resigning when they are about to lose, and it is hard to distinguish them from a dropped internet connection, which is not the quitting player's fault. So, there is also some added effort for moderation, see https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.p ... reporting/.

There is also a community effort for creating more detailed scores: https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.p ... e-fixture/

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josteph
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by josteph » June 16th, 2019, 9:58 pm

@sergey I was under the impression that all players would be rated :hmm: If players can choose not to be rated, that alleviates the problem somewhat, especially if the default is not to be rated. Thanks for clarifying that!

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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by Tad_Carlucci » June 17th, 2019, 1:12 pm

The proposed system is easily gamed.

Once, long ago, in the early days of the Internet, before there was a World-Wide Web, I played a (text-only) game with such a system. I remember being so upset that I could never make the top spot. I had something like one million points from playing a few hours a night for a couple years. But I could never make the top spot because the player, who had had about a million point himself, saw that I had passed him and, in a few days, zoomed up another couple million then continued to add a million or so a week for the next year. He simply created a bot farm to come in, get clobbered, rinse and repeat. Once he had a bot with a few thousand wins (at one point each) he'd log in and harvest the points to his main avatar.

I imagine I could implement something similar, today, with a few thousand bots and all we (the administation and developers) would see is an influx of players from all over the world.

Strictly speaking, I'm not against a ratings system. But any system can be abused. Any system which cat be abused, will be abused. And even though it's been something like 30 or 40 years, I still remember how much it upset me when I played as intended and never got the recognition because someone else decided to abuse the system. In fact, it's probably the main reason I only play solo games and never gone up against other human players ever since.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

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sergey
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by sergey » June 17th, 2019, 7:26 pm

Tad_Carlucci wrote:
June 17th, 2019, 1:12 pm
Strictly speaking, I'm not against a ratings system. But any system can be abused. Any system which cat be abused, will be abused.
Good point! Any system can be hacked. Important questions are:
How hard is it to hack a system?
What it gives to the hacker?

I think if cheaters will be banned it doesn't make much sense to break the rating system. Additional restriction may be added to discourage hackers - player can enable his rating a month after registration. Also, all top rated players know (or at least heard) about each other. If there is a player who gained significant rating by cheating, it would be quickly and easily detected by top rated players. They could warn moderators about that and the cheater will be banned.
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by Tad_Carlucci » June 17th, 2019, 9:26 pm

I like the idea of a cooling-off period. It won't make it impossible, but it will make it quite a hassle to get the botnet properly programmed and running.
  • must be registered on the Forums (hence registered on the MP servers).
  • must be at least 30 days since registering (cooling off a bot).
  • must enable (provisional) membership (competive scoring is opt-in).
  • must apply with a Forum post in dedicated thread (template should be first post, should include some questions like how long you've played, other games, etc.)
  • a competion moderator (or forum moderator) must approve membership (someone, hopefully, reads the post and can spot mechanical answers).
  • must have played at least 6 games against at least 2 active members (make boot-strapping a botnet very hard).
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

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sergey
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by sergey » June 17th, 2019, 9:53 pm

As my cryptographic lecturer said: "Remember that any protection can be cracked. The question is how much effort it takes to break and what values it gives. You can't create an invulnerable protection. The goal is to create a system that is unprofitable to break." There are many examples regarding "system that is unprofitable to break". In our case it means that hacker must spend much more time to break the rating system than he will have that high rating preserved. When he is banned all value of his abuse is lost.
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by Pentarctagon » June 18th, 2019, 12:05 am

Personally, I'm not really opposed to the concept of having an optional ELO rating tracked, as long as the status quo remains the same(that is, the default for it is to be disabled and not visible).

That said, as far as:
sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 12:35 pm
or the already existing ladder website may be used to fetch the players rating.
While I suppose you never really know until you ask, I would be very surprised if there was much willingness among current developers to pull data into Wesnoth's website or game client (or wherever this information would be displayed) from an external database. Also I'm not really sure what the status of the Ladder is, given that this is the last I heard:
Screenshot_2019-06-17 Discord - Free voice and text chat for gamers.png


At this point though I'd be most interested in how introducing a ranking system has impacted other communities, given FPI#31.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
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josteph
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by josteph » June 18th, 2019, 12:56 am

sergey wrote:
June 17th, 2019, 9:53 pm
As my cryptographic lecturer said: "Remember that any protection can be cracked. The question is how much effort it takes to break and what values it gives. You can't create an invulnerable protection. In our case it means that hacker must spend much more time to break the rating system than he will have that high rating preserved. When he is banned all value of his abuse is lost.
Unfortunately, I think not all hackers would see things this way. I can see how in some circles "I was top of the wesnoth high score for three days until they banned me" would be something to brag about.

And by the way, if we add support for rating or anything else, that won't happen before 1.16. In the meantime anyone who wants to have ratings should implement those externally (by writing a bot that observes games, or running an unofficial MP server, etc).

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sergey
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by sergey » June 18th, 2019, 10:57 am

josteph wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 12:56 am
And by the way, if we add support for rating or anything else, that won't happen before 1.16. In the meantime anyone who wants to have ratings should implement those externally (by writing a bot that observes games, or running an unofficial MP server, etc).
I doubt there are people who are capable and willing to do that. I am grateful for your comment, because I understood how much efforts the feature will take and admitted that I am not willing to spent so much efforts on it. Since I don't want to spent my own time on the idea I proposed, I should stop theoretical speculations about it.

There is already an unofficial players rating (the ladder). I was thinking why I wanted the rating system to be present in the game itself. I feel like players who want to be rated may not know about the ladder. And ladder players don't get the recognition they deserve. What is the easiest solution to fix that?

How about adding a message to the multiplayer lobby to advertise the ladder? E.g. "There is no official Wesnoth ranking/stat system for online play. You can still use an unofficial ladder <link to the website> that is not related to the Wesnoth development team."

I believe that advertising the ladder can be useful for the whole community. Many players want to be rated and compete with others. It is fun to watch top player games. It is good for those players to be recognized among the community. It may be even fun to learn by losing to them.

Regarding that it may cause a less friendly atmosphere, I will quote my older comment here.
sergey wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 12:35 pm
Playing with stronger opponent is a good way to learn. It should be stated in the code of conduct, that winning is not an act of domination, but an opportunity to teach and encourage less skilled player. If player severely violates that by mocking opponent because of the skill difference, that should be reported to moderators as any other violation of the code of conduct.
What do you think about that?
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josteph
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Re: Optional player's rating

Post by josteph » June 18th, 2019, 2:17 pm

sergey wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:57 am
I doubt there are people who are capable and willing to do that. I am grateful for your comment, because I understood how much efforts the feature will take and admitted that I am not willing to spent so much efforts on it. Since I don't want to spent my own time on the idea I proposed, I should stop theoretical speculations about it.
I do think that in this case, the social aspect of things will need thinking about, much more than the actual coding part. However, I didn't mean to discourage you from brainstorming or working on this idea. Brainstorming is useful, it might result in good ideas and potentially someone might implement them.
sergey wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:57 am
How about adding a message to the multiplayer lobby to advertise the ladder? E.g. "There is no official Wesnoth ranking/stat system for online play. You can still use an unofficial ladder <link to the website> that is not related to the Wesnoth development team."
The lobby message links to the server rules, right? We could add a FAQ there "Is there a Wesnoth ladder?" with info. And ladder games can say "ladder" in the game title in order to advertise the existence of ladders.
sergey wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:57 am
I believe that advertising the ladder can be useful for the whole community. Many players want to be rated and compete with others. It is fun to watch top player games. It is good for those players to be recognized among the community. It may be even fun to learn by losing to them.
Hmm. What if two top players scheduled an exhibition match? :hmm: Somebody could even volunteer to join as observer and commentate the game live in observers chat. The players would have fun and earn recognition; the observers would learn from the commentary. Or maybe we could arrange a simultaneous exhibition match.

Of course it's easy to me to come up with these ideas, since I'm not good enough to play in any of them :D
sergey wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:57 am
What do you think about that?
I agree that mocking a player for his skill should be treated as a violation of the code of conduct. And thanks for caring to preserve a friendly atmosphere :)

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