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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:08 pm 
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Don't worry, I won't post the reply! :evil:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:43 pm 
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MortonHQ wrote:
I've been giving this some thought since my initial comments, and I reckon that all of the suggestions so far have a major flaw. That is, you get into the situation that for one reason or another an experienced or high ranking player won't want to play someone else.


Very good points, and a very distinctive problem. Fortunately this problem has been thought out many times in Chess, and some of those ideas can be added to this game. Here's a link to one approach, modified for a modern strategic thinking game:
http://sc-original.sourceforge.net/bridier.php

A couple notes - Yes, the approach I suggested earlier is flawed and needs some work. Someone with the highest ranks would only play others of the highest ranks. Perhaps one modification could be that the reward or penalty to your static rank would be based as well on how many points you could have won in a match. No easy calculation for that though :-?. That way an experienced player wouldn't get any penalty to playing a low ranked player as long as they win, but would still get more experience.

And thats the kicker: With two different statistics you always have something to improve and a reason to play more. On the one hand, the more you play, the higher labeled rank and experience value you can attain. On the other, you must play better against high ranked opponents to improve your static rating.

Also, I personally think its fine if the ranking system encourages players to challenge others of similar rank. Thats how you truly can learn: play people as good as you or slightly better. You may not learn much by playing a much better player right off, as a lot of what they do doesn't make much sense to you yet. Better to learn and master all the strategic concepts one by one then get overwhelmed every time. Thats also why I think its so important to have a "How Good You Are" rating.

MortonHQ wrote:
Hopefully you'll be more kind to this suggestion! I haven't finished putting the flames out on my first one yet!


Not flaming. Your ideas just got our mental gears grinding. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:52 am 
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Ladies and Getnlemen.

Please, keep in mind that literally ANY scoring system won't be perfect: by various reasons various people will always find some parts of it to complain about. Even in Chess and Boxing there are a couple of those "versions" and "federations" with slightly different rankings, etc.

But here in Massive Assault, I guess, the current system is quite satisfactory. Anyway, it will never put Tiger down to Conscript, and a Colonel will most probably have fun playing with Majors.

And some distinguished players like Tiger, MortonHQ, etc. will be known not so much by their rank but by their NAMES. I mean - the newbies, who at least once view this forum, will be trembling from Tiger's name, not the rank!

Plus, we are planning those tournaments, where the players will be gaining additional titles - and those titles will also mean a lot for other players, especially when a player wins a couple of them.

So, our ranking system, as any other one in the world is quite rough and generic, and it will give a rough impression of the player's skills, and nothing on Earth will prevent a Lieutenant from killing a Colonel's transport packed with Heavy Bots - the trick he had learned from Tiger in the previous mentoring game...


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 Post subject: Additional thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:12 am 
I agree with the point that no system is going to be perfect and cater for everyone's wishes (as well as the general desire to have a system that encourages the overall MA community rather than shows how good the best players are!)

In the absence of changing the current system (which I agree is probably not a good idea at the moment) could the "More" button not be made to live up to its name and actually tell us a bit more? A simple table of number of Wins and Losses by rank of opponent would tell everybody what they really need/want to know. As additional interest, listing say the 5 highest ranked players defeated and number of times defeated would be very interesting - I assume this data is retained on the system?


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 Post subject: Re: Additional thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:38 am 
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Rocklizard wrote:
A simple table of number of Wins and Losses by rank of opponent would tell everybody what they really need/want to know.


Very good points by Vic, and I agree with Rocklizard as well.

Basically my only gripe with the system is that I won't be able to match myself against the other players. If I played as much as Tiger or Morton, I could compare myself to them, and right now I could compare myself to people that appear to play as much as I do and for as long as I have (in my case, CoffeeDragon is one of the ones that has a similar rank/number of wins/number of games being played.)

All I would need to make a better assessment is what Rocklizard mentioned, a simple win/loss table broken down into ranks. If nothing else, a total number of games would show a lot. That way I could divide their total score by their total games and come up with a descent estimate.

Now don't get me wrong, I do like the current ranking system, but I think with just a little improvement it could be even better. At least for me, one thing that keeps me coming back to a game like this Is the ranking system. I want to be better, and see some improvement in myself. And I want to see how I rank in the overall community, regardless of how often I can play.

Yes, tournaments are also a very good solution. They are unwieldy, and hard to organize in a fair way though, so we won't be having them all the time. Looking back earlier in the thread, I also like the mention of having leagues, etc. So who's going to start organizing? :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:46 am 
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Mrakobes tried to read all those mile-long posts about ranking but fell asleep in the process....


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:17 pm 
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Vic - I agree totally with your comments and I reckon that the current system does what it is supposed to do very well.

I just reckon that it could be a bit off putting for new players. They see Tiger at the top and within a few weeks realise that they will never take his place at the top even if they manage to beat him repeatedly. I've been playing fairly solidly for the last 2 month or so, doing reasonably well, but I'm still nowhere near Tiger.

I'm not suggesting you change the system, I was only hoping that you might organise a small league as well.

Could you, or one of the other developers, organise a vote to see how many people would be interested? I think you could get away with mini leagues of 4 or 5 players who could play all their games in a month. That way it's not a long drwan out process, and it doesn't spoil things too much it one player quits MA.

You wouldn't even need to patch the game, just collate the results.

Come on Tiger, do you fancy a fresh start to even up the playing field? Some of the newbies must want a shot at the title too? Mrakobes, Rocklizard and Pim have a fairly good shot also.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:24 pm 
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MortonHQ wrote:
Vic - I agree totally with your comments and I reckon that the current system does what it is supposed to do very well.

I just reckon that it could be a bit off putting for new players. They see Tiger at the top and within a few weeks realise that they will never take his place at the top even if they manage to beat him repeatedly. I've been playing fairly solidly for the last 2 month or so, doing reasonably well, but I'm still nowhere near Tiger.

I'm not suggesting you change the system, I was only hoping that you might organise a small league as well.

Could you, or one of the other developers, organise a vote to see how many people would be interested? I think you could get away with mini leagues of 4 or 5 players who could play all their games in a month. That way it's not a long drwan out process, and it doesn't spoil things too much it one player quits MA.

You wouldn't even need to patch the game, just collate the results.

Come on Tiger, do you fancy a fresh start to even up the playing field? Some of the newbies must want a shot at the title too? Mrakobes, Rocklizard and Pim have a fairly good shot also.


We'll find the solution for Tiger's high rank problem...

As for those Leagues - YES. It's a damned good idea.
It'll take us some time to organize that sort of things but finally it will be in place.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:32 pm 
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lol
seems everybody want to drag Tiger from the throne he sitting at...
but seeing this is impossible to do via normal means they offer to create new leagues etc
probably they think if count starts from scratch they'll have higher chance...
don't hope -i am sure Tiger will be first at any sort of league


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:39 pm 
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a man's got to try!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:03 pm 
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Mrakobes wrote:
probably they think if count starts from scratch they'll have higher chance...


Not if I don't have time to play 80 games at a time like him ;). He'll get ahead and stay ahead no matter how many times we restart the numbers. Even if he did lose every game he played (Not gonna happen), you'd have to be playing and winning 20 games at a time just to keep up (assuming everyone is the same rank)!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:21 pm 
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This is one of the main reasons for having a league, everyone plays the same number of games so you get a direct comparison.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:19 pm 
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Maelstrom wrote:
One quick way to apply this is to divide the total experience you've gotten by the total number of games you've played.


But that means accepting any challenge from a newbie would always be bad for you (increasing #games, but not increasing experience much). :-?

Edit: Congrats to Morton, who pointed that out before. :lol: The idea of a league seems promising.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:40 am 
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What about Elo rating system (used by Battle.net).
The Elo rating is a scientific model which provides a meaningful way to compare the skill level of different players, based on the assumption that skill levels follow a normal bell curve.

PROBABILITY OF WINNING
Battle.net computes the probability of each player winning a game based on that player's rating and the ratings of each of the players he is playing against. This probability is used to determine how many rating points the player wins or loses for winning or losing the game. A player who wins against a much higher rated player will gain many points for the victory, while a player who wins against a much lower rated player will gain very few points.

Probability = 1 / (1 + 10^(-difference_in_ratings / 400))

DEVELOPMENT COEFFICIENT
Each player is assigned a development coefficient (K), which determines the maximum number of rating points that can be won or lost in any one game. The development coefficient starts at 50 and then drops lower as the player becomes more experienced. This enables new players to move quickly towards a rating that reflects their true ability level, while adding a level of stability to the ratings of more experienced players.

The development coefficient is calculated according to the following rules:

K=50 for new players
K=30 for players who have played 30 or more ladder games
K=20 for players who have attained a rating of 2400 or higher
RATING CHANGE
Each player who completes a game wins or loses points according to the following formulas:

Winner's rating increases by K * (100% - probability_of_winning)
Loser's rating decreases by K * probability_of_winning


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 4:55 pm 
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That sounds pretty good. What is the starting rating for new players so I have a reference to go off?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:48 pm 
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I agree.

I think that it is essential that your score goes down if you lose. The idea being that everyone gravitates to their natural level.

The down side is that there may be some players out there who simply won't play if they think they'll get beat (Makrobes for example. I can say that cos he's gone). This is likely to mean than good players won't get many games. Am I wrong?

I've been thinking about this quite a bit, and I actually think that the current scoring system works prety well for the average non competitive player i.e someone who just wants some fun.

I think that the type of scoring system you suggested or any other system which shows a fairer reflection of a players skill needs to be accompanied by some regulation of the games that get played. It doesn't fit well with a system where you play only who you want to play.

That's why I'd like to see some sort league with pre arranged games so that everyone plays everyone else. I think that's the only way to really see how good you are.

I hope that the new software that was used to generate the torney games could be used to run a league. I guess it would be like playing the first round of the tournement every month or so, with the top player getting promated and the lowest getting relegated.

Could the developers add this once the tornement is well under way? I know you're busy just now.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:47 pm 
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MortonHQ wrote:
The down side is that there may be some players out there who simply won't play if they think they'll get beat (Makrobes for example. I can say that cos he's gone). This is likely to mean than good players won't get many games. Am I wrong?


What this ELO system seems to do is enforce a curve in what people's ratings are. Everyone starts at a specific level, and if they are better than average, their score will be higher. If there are worse than average, their score will be lower. It Sounds simple, but it also would have some interesting dynamics. The K values he mention mean that when you just start playing, your score will fluctuate quite a bit as you win and lose. If you play a perfect streak and beat a bunch of more experienced players, you will be at the top pretty quick. Then again, if you play against poor players and lose over and over, you will find yourself at the bottom real quick.

The nice thing about this system is that you will only lose a lot of points if you lose against somebody with a similar or lower rating. It makes sense. Being beat by the best players just goes to show why they are the best players, and doesn't hurt you too bad. But then again, the best players have a great deal to lose if they lose to a low ranked person. So it will encourage people to play with players of similar skill levels.

Another thing that is realistic is that you will reach an upper limit. Sooner or later, you'll be at the top, and the only way to go higher is to play others of a similar level. Unfortunately, at the top, there are no players with the same rank because you have the absolute highest. The same thing is true of the bottom. When you are there, there is no place to go but up.

Ok, now I've explained this method in layman's terms. This approach would have a lot of dynamics similar to what a league would have. In a league, there is a distinct pecking order, as players end up being put where there skill levels are by their wins and losses. There are a few brilliant players that come on top Every time, and then there are the masses. Some are better than others, obviosly, but their skill levels are fairly comparable. Now the best players always have something to keep them coming, because if they can only beat the top player a few times, they'll take his place. The masses will still have plenty to come back for, as they see their skills progress and their rating rise.

I do like the idea of a league as well. The tournament approach with the auto-assigned games make it all the more better. In fact, I'm still not sure what approach I like better :). It just took me a while to figure out the ramifications of that ELO system, so I just wanted to save other people that mental twisting.

The nice thing about leagues is that they are regulated, and you pit players together in a fashion that we can quickly determine who the best player is. The nice thing about the ELO system is that it is informal, and will be better tested with time. A bad day can kill your league standing, because they are more final. The ELO system would be more static, and would move players toward their overall skill level over time. Of course then, its hard to say who's the best at any given time because that will be changing so much :). Winning a league tournament would give you greater bragging rights.

All right, enough thoughts for now. Mental Dump finished.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:12 pm 
The Elo system is by far the best for all involved.

Allow for rated or unrated games, so if a couple of people just wanna screw around and test new ideas, they wont have to worry about altering their scores.

Have a second ranking for the tournament of the month/quarter. Start a tournament with a round robin. Your round robin rating determines placement in the bracket. Or start the tournament with your overall ranking determining your bracket placement. Maybe have the top 3 players get some bonus points added to their general ranking.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 9:11 am 
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Earlier in this thread Maelstrom suggested a ranking system based on points per game completed - ie total points divided by total games.

Here is the elite division based on that formula.

Fellor  27.61111111
lumen  25.96666667
Redfox  25.14197531
Rocklizard  24.69
MortonHQ  23.95705521
JOCAMP  23.85294118
Well  22.33333333
GuerrillaZ  22.20833333
Pitor  22.01069519
red.eyes  21.94186047
Shura-by  21.64285714
Gleb  21.38926174
CrimeGoril 21.26666667
Artanis  20.77092511
Zakuwa  20.73529412
Smilodon  20.64705882
Ali  20.5
melkiot  20.36792453
Drakon  20.35691318
maelstrom 20.25974026
VT  20.15625
Mrakobes  20.12903226
Alex  20.12121212
AI  20.10294118
mwigor  20.1023622
Quitch  20.05882353
Arkangel  19.96470588
ChrisCrav  19.95774648
MacTob  19.7826087
TugMcGroi 19.71428571
rectal ched 19.63793103
SirMarkus  19.39664804
Enforcer  19.1484375
Arebane  19.08333333
Reaktor  18.94285714
troxburgh  18.65517241
Brashen  18.609375
Kolyan  18.57746479
DeCommu 18.45454545
Traj  18.28358209
GA  18.25806452
Borealis  18
cubanstunt 17.76923077
rockie  17.74522293
Dracovius  17.61904762
Sky Keepe 17.61764706
JFA  17.60240964
NikTheKid  17.52040816
Roth  17.38596491
nblawat  17.36842105
KarenRule  17.31578947
Exiles  17.2037037
Vadim  17.01435407
Rottennik  16.97701149
KR4P0ЂL  16.97435897
Zeh  16.91358025
Fantasts  16.81920904
Wanderer  16.76428571
Shoefish  16.66666667
WolfgangJ 16.425
Darkvow  16.34210526
daemonas  16.23529412
Pengu  16.225
Xantrul  16.18333333
FortuneWh 16.10416667
MrBill  16.06578947
basem250  15.97777778
Uuldahan  15.86206897
MENT Tige  15.79144385
Alloca  15.73684211
Tiger  15.71301248
Magistr Ho 15.47619048
Manko  15.44927536
Tyrsis  15.42857143
Victor  15.15702479
RipaPage  15.1038961
Beauster8 15.04878049
The Father 15
Lee  14.93636364
smeags  14.76811594
Vaxx  14.70731707
Farlander  14.66
mgrosh  14.6
Boomer  14.56097561
Admiral An 14.37662338
WhiteHawk 14.375
artmax  14.36283186
CKnight  14.22222222
Konin  14.0375
MENT Lee  13.97315436
MENT Lola  13.67123288
An1  13.62790698
lio  13.56097561
Div  13.53333333
Darkcorne 13.52631579
Dr_Chefde 13.43589744
Three Sev 13.42307692
Wasabe  13.29787234
xzanth  13.2654321
Glyc  13.14545455
VaNO  13.02325581
dynamix  12.79591837
Liddan  12.65306122
RedSteel  12.575
tomhahnl  12.41666667
DryFire  12.40298507
wizo59mt  12.25373134
Drungary  12.04054054
lola  11.9223301
mUb  11.38738739
trance  11.33962264
Cynic  11.25675676
abbiento  10.42857143
grtbrit  10.2739726
Conqueror 10.03030303
rs7214  9.735042735
kitten  5.382716049


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 Post subject: Yes!! I would rise in rank with this kind of ranking system!
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:44 am 
The ELO-system and the league are really really good ranking systems ! Plus it would be good if you could play optional mentoring and/or fun games what woulden't affect your score/ranking. Plus I feal sorry for beginners (like myself) who take a "MENTORING" game from Tiger.. it's slaughter. A Mentoring shoulden't be counted as a victory or a defeat. It should be in my mind just what it says: A Mentoring game in what the beginner learns some basics of the game.
The average score per game is a Really bad ranking system, but still in it my rank would rise so it can't be all that bad :D
Man would be a lot better game with a ELO (or league) system !


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