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Award ladder changes

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5 days ago
I caught wind of a discussion about matchmaking buttons being changed in #zkdev and wanted to compliment what I saw with some ideas around the ladder and player icons. Right now, we're in a bit of a mess and there's no reason why it can't make more sense.



Keep in mind, the above is just a first pass on the subject. My opinion isn't fixed here.

If option C is preferred, maybe custom rating could also be relegated to this section. But right now I have a hard time believing that having a ranking for an unranked, very broad set of game modes is useful.
+4 / -0
5 days ago
This has been proposed for years and still not implemented. There should be a 1v1 through 3v3 elo bracket, and a 4v4+ elo bracket. 1v1 players frequently perform below their elo (sometimes WAY below their elo) in larger games. Team game strategies are very different because you need to factor in your allies unit compositions and not just care about your own. One game I'll never forget was a purple player that cost their team the game because he didn't know how to use a Zenith.
+0 / -0
The current rank display is mostly described by:
  • Casual rank has a ladder and is displayed if it exceeds MM rank.
  • MM rank is merged into one ladder.
I'll explain the reasons for each.

Merged MM Rank


Matchmaker rank is merged because analysis by CHrankAdminDeinFreund (and possibly a few others) says that merging team MM games with 1v1 MM games yields more accurate winrate predictions than running a separate ladder for each. I agree with this analysis but disagree that accurate winrate prediction is the most important aspect of a rating system.

Casual and MM rank would be merged, or at least affect each other, if I had not fought against the desire for prediction accuracy that is gained from merging the ladders. Merging these ranks would annoy people who wanted to play big teams games without losing 1v1 rating.

There are other good reasons for merging 1v1 and Teams MM:
  • WHR is a hungry beast that, from what I can tell, uses a lot of server resources and sometimes breaks the server through unsafe commits or just taking too many resources. Making another rating sounds like it requires a whole extra instance of WHR resources.
  • There are barely any Teams MM games. It would essentially be impossible to get a balanced game because almost nobody will have been placed correctly.
  • Placing at the top of Teams MM would be quite random and be a cheap way to get Purple and further confuse the rank badge.

No FFA MM ladder exists because FFA MM doesn't exist. I am pretty sure that FFA MM should not exist.

Casual Ladder


The casual ladder exists and has an impact on rank badges because a lot of people would be annoyed if it didn't. Changing the rank badge to only depend on playtime and MM rank would essentially remove most people's ranks. You might say that they are wrong to want a rank and also want to mostly play large teamgames, but that is still what they want. It's a chicken and egg situation.

The rank badges are also quite useful in large teamgames whereas in MM they are mostly for bragging rights. Rank badges do the following thing in teamgames:
  • It tells you how experienced your teammates and opponents are.
  • It tells you the approximate competence of your teammates and opponents.
  • It tells you teammates how skilled and experienced you are, which could determine whether they listen to you.
  • It backs up some of the claims of the balancer. With no rank players could assume they have lost simply because they recognise the names on the other team.

Even if you argue that your opponents should be anonymous in teamgames, the rank badge is still very useful within a team. How many relatively highly-ranked people place their start position with an eye towards spreading the skill of their team somewhat evenly across the map? I would guess quite a few.

Just as a matter of fact, I don't think anyone can seriously argue that the custom game ranking is meaningless or incomprehensible.

Edit: Read this thread http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/29354
+1 / -0
quote:
This has been proposed for years and still not implemented. There should be a 1v1 through 3v3 elo bracket, and a 4v4+ elo bracket. 1v1 players frequently perform below their elo (sometimes WAY below their elo) in larger games.

For the record I am pretty sure this phenomenon is far more common in the other direction. Plenty of team game regulars would be pretty lost in a 1v1. (For that matter, plenty of regular team game players probably don't know how to use a Zenith properly either.)

I can't think of a single solitary instance where I have been substantially misled as to a player's skill by the merging of MM/custom rank icons. Sometimes people don't play to their typical skill level but that's a different thing entirely.
+1 / -0
5 days ago
And you just proved my point. If you dropped me into a 1v1 right now I'd play like a gold player.
+0 / -0
5 days ago
I'd welcome an actual teams ladder instead of clumping FFA, casual 1v1s, custom games and team games into one. But it's a pipe dream as virtually none of the people capable of making the change are interested in decoupling FFA into a separate ladder.

FFA currently directly influences team game balance. If it was changed most of the top players would lose a ton of rank since they can't grind up cheap elo anymore.
+0 / -0
quote:
And you just proved my point. If you dropped me into a 1v1 right now I'd play like a gold player.

It may be true that some people's colour is not representative of their 1v1 skill. Happily my main use for looking at people's colour is when I think "who will hold up their end in this team game" so being unrepresentative in that direction doesn't matter much to me.

quote:
...If [FFA did not affect team rating] most of the top players would lose a ton of rank since they can't grind up cheap elo anymore.

Citation needed. I don't know that this isn't true but upon inspection of the ladder I don't think a single one of the "top players" in casual rating got there by being much worse at teams than their rating indicates.
+1 / -0

4 days ago
Just as an aside I currently sit at #6 on casual. Neither myself nor Spark ever played a lobster pot team game - it was all FFA and a small handful of duels. I wouldn't know the first thing about how to play in the lobster pot. So I guess we're meant to just all understand that casual rating means "Could be (un)skilled at ... anything".
+0 / -0
4 days ago
CHrankAdminDeinFreund and NOrankAdminKingstad are both FFA regulars. You're right it's not most top players. Just the ones in charge of the system.
+0 / -1
quote:
Just as an aside I currently sit at #6 on casual. Neither myself nor Spark ever played a lobster pot team game - it was all FFA and a small handful of duels. I wouldn't know the first thing about how to play in the lobster pot. So I guess we're meant to just all understand that casual rating means "Could be (un)skilled at ... anything".

Your account would be a very rare exception... assuming that you actually would be meaningfully worse at team games, which I'm not at all sure you would be. Sufficient competence at managing your economy and units goes a long way, much further than an understanding of team-game-specific jank.

quote:
CHrankAdminDeinFreund and NOrankAdminKingstad are both FFA regulars. You're right it's not most top players. Just the ones in charge of the system.

It's true that they both play a fair bit of FFA but I don't think their rating substantially misrepresents their skill as teamgame players.
+2 / -0

4 days ago
CHrankAdminDeinFreund and NOrankAdminKingstad are both absolute animals. Dein in particular in FFA, King on the other hand is also a 1v1 battlecat. Not to be disrespected like that.
+2 / -0

4 days ago
I'm personally happy with the existing system.
I have had quite a bit of fun in the recent few weeks trying to get within the top 40 of casual and have been toying with the idea(and stress) of trying hard for top 30.

I very rarely play matchmaker because I do not enjoy the smaller games as much. I often only do it when I stream.

This is all purely a preference thing, same with how i prefer milk chocolate to white chocolate. It is not to say that my preferred game mode is the superior one.

Something I have thought of, is themed (perhaps seasonal) ladders. Much like how Dein would do the occasional one showing peoples ranking in speedmetal. Perhaps we could have a a regular ladder for things like "Cloaky bot factory ladder for May" and in June one for an alternative factory, certain maps, certain special game modes (EG ZeroWars)
+1 / -0