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Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/11/2011 21:25:20

Eitz 
Level 11
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I know we've been talking about this a lot since the 3 month expiration timer started kicking in but based on everything that I've seen happen over the last few weeks, I'd like to throw my lot in with the fact that I no longer believe that games should be permanently taken off of your record after 3 months (unless we move to a [**Seasonal Ladder option**](http://warlight.uservoice.com/forums/77051-warlight-features/suggestions/1521999-ladder-seasons-?ref=title) where we have a continually running Ladder and then a 3 month total reset stat tracking calculated separately). I think the current format is still serviceable but I'd like to then see expired games raised to maybe 10%-25% of the original value and not eliminated entirely. What are everyone else's most current thoughts?
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/11/2011 21:44:47


devilnis 
Level 10
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I agree - As it stands, your ladder ranking is both a reflection of your skill AND a measure of your activity, but since the matches are set up based on the resultant scores, it seems like someone not playing very many games or taking a hiatus shouldn't really come into play there, since generally someone is going to be just as skilled now as they were before they took a two week break. It also makes the scores more volatile, susceptible to large variations due to winning or losing streaks and the timing of their occurence. I think it would be nice though to have the ladder go for a specific time and then have everyone's slate wiped clean. There could be a list of previous winners of each ladder "season" so as to give them due credit :)
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/11/2011 23:21:53


Imagination 
Level 23
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Wouldn't that cause even more stalling by the top players nearing the end of the period to start a new "season"? Also what would happen to the games that were in play at the time?
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/11/2011 23:25:17


NoZone 
Level 6
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I am actually coming around to the idea of altering the expiration window. I've reduced my number of games lately and can see that the expiration of big sets of old games are going to have an effect on my rating, mostly positive.

However, I am not sold on the "reduced weight" mechanism. Are there other ways to tweak the system? For example, instead of the games expiring based on the calendar, they would expire when a certain number of games have been played. With this system, the last X number of games (say 100) are used for your rating, regardless of how old they are. Only the most recent 100 are used and if you play more you can bump ones off the back end.

I suspect that this runs into problems with the rating system because a game might be expired for one person and not the other person in the game, so possibly this has a fatal flaw to it.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/11/2011 23:30:17


NoZone 
Level 6
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Eitz, what about a phased reduced weight?
0-3 months 100%
3-6 months 50%
6-9 months 25%
9+ months 0% (or some other low level)

Spreading out the length of the expiration will smooth out the shifts in ratings quite a bit.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/11/2011 23:51:51

Eitz 
Level 11
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NoZone: I like your idea of using the most recent 100 games as a ranking **A LOT**! As a secondary solution, I like your % post as well but this most recent 100 games idea is the best solution I've heard yet.

Devilnis: That's pretty much what the Seasonal Ladder idea is all about. [Check it out here](http://warlight.uservoice.com/forums/77051-warlight-features/suggestions/1521999-ladder-seasons-?ref=title).
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/12/2011 01:45:49


NuckLuck (Retired) 
Level 30
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I would lend my support to any of these ideas. Although the seasonal option is the most appealing to me because it would allow for a lifetime acknowledgement of wins, I also think it would be the most succeptiable to various problems that would divdie warlighters (I.E how many games you need to participate in to be eligiable? Or when a new player should be allowed to enter the ladder, during or only at the beginging of a season? Or even simply a lack of interest once you have lost a few games in a season and would not be able to reach the #1 spot).

Knowing this, I think the reduced weighting system would be best, albeit with much smaller drops in percentages from period to period.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/12/2011 01:58:44


NuckLuck (Retired) 
Level 30
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Something else I just noticed.

Amongst several other concerns that have already been stated by others, I wanna give an example of why the current 3month system is far too short a time for games to expire in.
Despite playing at a high clip since the start of the 2v2 ladder (currently set to 5 games at a time) Ragingpikey and I have only managed to complete 29 games, 11 of which are now expired. This just goes to show that even with two active players playing at a good pace, the speed of the 2v2 ladder is one which can barely outrun the expiration of its games, as it is we only sit 8 games up on the 10 game minimum.

Oh and incase I haven't griped enough already, we have a far superior overall winning percentage then the current usurpers of our throne Eitz/Bp...Just saying :p
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/12/2011 03:28:14


NecessaryEagle 
Level 56
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I like the phased idea, but I propose a better solution, a game's weight in the calculation of your overall score would be :

if(days since completion<=90)
weight=1
else
days=days since completion - 90
weight=(1/(1+(days/10))

sorry for the psudo-code but It seemed like the best way. If you don't understand this, it means that up to 90 days a game counts 100%, at 100 days it counts as 50%, after 110 days it counts as 33%, after 120 days it would count 25% and so on
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/12/2011 13:38:36


Duke 
Level 5
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+1 to any of the above.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/12/2011 15:28:46


Ruthless 
Level 36
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Honestly....i happen to like what has happened to the ladder with the 3 month shelf life. Look at it now, it has new life compared to what it was. People are now trying desperately to get their rank back up because everything is expiring. It's pretty exciting for the ranks of 15-50 because now they're getting a shot at being in the top 10. I'm finding that the ladder is more exciting then ever.

Now, i do agree with Eitz that a Season would be nice, but this on going one where you have to keep at it is really fun.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 7/12/2011 15:37:17


Duke 
Level 5
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R - That will happen almost as much with weighting. The difference between counting for nothing and counting for 10% is not a lot in terms of overall rank.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 8/8/2011 07:20:22


NuckLuck (Retired) 
Level 30
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Out of 14 teams currently ranked on the ladder, there is not one with more then 21 games played, instead most are hovering just above the minimum of 10.

Despite Pikey and I playing in 5 games at a time for close to two months now, we still only have 14 ranked games counting towards our stats. Of course it would be closer to 15 games if we hadn't been waiting for the last 30 days for Dazed and Insane to finish his vacation time (Thats another issue entirely though).

Although I may not agree with the 3 month expiration time on the 1v1 ladder, at least there a negative effect on the sample size of the stats can be overcome by simply playing quickly. To do this in the 2v2 ladder would be unrealistic, especially when taking into account possible delays from vacation mode.

Sorry if my post was a bit repetitive of my earlier ones, but I feel like this issue needs to be addressed more than it has.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 8/8/2011 08:20:55

Fizzer 
Level 58

Warzone Creator
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I agree it makes sense for the 2v2 ladder to have a longer shelf life than the 1v1. I'll add this to my list of things for the next release.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 8/8/2011 22:18:41


NuckLuck (Retired) 
Level 30
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Thanks for the response FIzzer
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 9/10/2011 05:00:21

Guy Mannington 
Level 40
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I am finding that if i were to just not play or leave the ladder and wait for some of my large blocks of losses to go away i would go up in rank a fair bit. In fact it seems the majority of the player ranked above me do not have more than one page of active games,I think this 3 month expiration is encouraging people to not play as much. i lowered my game count to one for the summer but there isnt much to encourage me to raise it when my ranking will just go up the less i play. we all have to start somewhere and if you were to go back to my first games on the ladder it would show i have just as much if not more to lose by having those games count i just feel that it is a more accurate representation of skill not just a way to manipulate the system
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 9/10/2011 05:42:09

Fizzer 
Level 58

Warzone Creator
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|> *I am finding that if i were to just not play or leave the ladder and wait for some of my large blocks of losses to go away i would go up in rank a fair bit*

That means you're playing better recently than you did in the past - congrats!

|> *In fact it seems the majority of the player ranked above me do not have more than one page of active games,I think this 3 month expiration is encouraging people to not play as much.*

[Correlation does not imply causation](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation). This is a common mistake, but you need to realize there are countless other factors in play that could explain the correlation.

In fact, the ladder formulas can prove that playing more games doesn't hurt your rating - your overall wins and losses and whom they're against is the only thing that affects it. Having fewer games makes your rank more volatile, and you're only examining those at the top so you're only noticing the upsides of that volatility. You would need to do a statistical analysis of every player to make such a statement, and if you do I believe that you'd find it's not true.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 9/10/2011 18:30:47

Guy Mannington 
Level 40
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Your right im sure, but if for me it helps to not play as much im sure its doing the same for others. My concern is that if i were to get lucky and beat the impaller and leave the ladder right then and wait until the 3 months comes up to my recent win streak i would be a top ten player perhaps, and i do not feel that would be accurate. I know this wouldnt effect anything in the long run but i do think it would lead to that person playing as little as possible to keep there score as high as possible.

I understand that in the end this will all even out but i do think it is perhaps slowing the ladder down a bit and is a way to manipulate your score.
I read all the posts and think there have been some good ideas already said that would fix this
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 9/12/2011 01:16:00

Qi 
Level 55
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A weighted shelf life would be interesting. I doubt the shelf life affects the playing habits of players rated 1900+ though: there is a noticeable gap in play of players rated 1900+ and everyone else, so they don't need to just stop playing games to remain the best.

Two things I think would be interesting:

1. Ladder challenges: Players can invite/challenge other players to ladder matches. And these challenges could be accepted or declined. For example, if I am in 10th place and want to move up, I could just challenge the guy(s) in front of me. This is how championship boxers operate.

2. Instead of a seasonal ladder, a seasonal ladder tournament: A seasonal ladder doesn't make sense (skill ratings are supposed to measure the present, not individual seasons). But to have a seasonal tournament of the top 32 or 64 players would be cool. Such games could replace the random ladder matches. A lot of good players seem to leave the ladder(s) once they achieve a personal goal (or realize they can't dethrone the Impaller? lol). A tournament might keep such players involved (new goal, new challenge).
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 9/12/2011 19:04:58


Perrin3088 
Level 44
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ladder challanges could be used to inflate your score...
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 01:26:48

The Impaller 
Level 9
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I would like to bump this. Especially if there will be new seasonal ladders introduced, I think there should be a fundamental change to the shelf life for ladder games. 3 months seems like far too short of a time frame, considering that some games can take upwards or even longer than a month to complete.

There's a lot more I can add here, but I feel like it may come off wrong or people will take the wrong meaning from it, so I will hold off.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 03:27:55

Eitz 
Level 11
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I still say the best idea I've heard is using your last 100 games as the benchmark instead of a time frame.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 04:19:00

The Impaller 
Level 9
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I have not heard that idea, but I agree that it sounds awesome. One of the current flaws with the system is that the number of games you play affects your rating pretty severely (generally better to play less), and with games constantly falling off your page, this is constantly a pretty relevant factor. Setting games to be removed based on a static number rather than a time frame would be a really good fix to the problem. I like it.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 06:28:01


NuckLuck (Retired) 
Level 30
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Again, agree with almost all the suggestions made in this thread. My personal favorite options being a longer shelf life and/or the removal of a time frame.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 07:32:11

Fizzer 
Level 58

Warzone Creator
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|> *One of the current flaws with the system is that the number of games you play affects your rating pretty severely (generally better to play less)*

I've told you this wasn't true before, but I guess you didn't believe me. So I made a graph. Hopefully this will bust this myth forever, as there's clearly no correlation:

![](http://i.imgur.com/DlY2n.png)

Playing fewer games makes your rank more volatile, but it doesn't make it better. This myth comes from the fact that you notice players who's volatility gives them a good rank, since everyone watches the top 10 more closely. You don't see all of the players when the volatility works against them.

Excel's trendline (not shown) was pretty much flat - in fact, it even angles down slightly. So if anything, playing fewer games hurts your ranking slightly, but it's probably within the margin of error.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 08:31:19

The Impaller 
Level 9
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I actually do believe you, and I believed you then as well. We're not arguing the same thing, though, really. I'm not arguing that you can't be a high ranked player by playing a lot of games, or that you can't be a low ranked player by playing only a few games. Playing less games makes your rank more volatile, and volatility is basically the key to "success" in a rating system where games quickly fall in and out of relevance. If your goal is to be consistently be ranked in Xth place, where Xth place is basically your accurate ranking based on true skill, then you would want to play as many games as you possibly can. If your goal is to spike for a period of time and hope to hit really high, even if short-lived, then you want to play as few games as you can reasonably can. For most people, success on the ladder is measured by "how high you can get" not "how long you can maintain a stable rating" which is why volatility and less games is the ticket to win for most.

Does it ultimately matter that much? Not really. However, I think if a new seasonal ladder springs up based on the survey, it would be cool to have the original ladder become a little more consistent. Basing a player's rank on total number of games played rather than games played over a time frame would remove a lot of the volatility in the system.

I know I argued for this a long time ago, and basically gave up on it because nobody cared or was on board with it. However, I think with a seasonal ladder where player rankings will be very swingy based on the nature of the ladder, it's the perfect time to move to a more consistent rating system for the original ladder. It seems as this time I am not alone in hoping for these changes.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 14:13:02

zaeban 
Level 43
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I suggest to add Ladder tournaments every three months. In this tournaments will be involved first 10 players at the moment. Tournament should be robin type. Games inside this tournaments will be count as any regular Ladder game. However, minimum played ladder games aside of this tournament would be still active. This will slightly incrase the ladder games played.
I think that this will give more accurate skill measurement at the top of the ladder and give additional motivation to players to get into top ten and participate in one of this tournaments.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 15:41:36

Qi 
Level 55
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I agree with Impaller. Though players improve and expiring games would better rank improved players. I suspect this is one reason why the Fizzer of Oz (the Godfather of Warlight) implemented the current system.

Tournaments: Top 16 (like NBA Playoffs) or Top 12 (like NFL Playoffs, in which best 4 have a bye the first round) would be enjoyable.

What I'd like more than any change: 4 starting armies instead of 3.

Picks are important. But: the less starting armies we get, the more important picks are. 1 more starting army would give the skillful deployment and use of one's armies more weight. Winning or losing on picks (I'd define 'picks' here as (a) what you pick, (b) how you order your picks vis-a-vis the opponent's picks, (c) who gets what pick first) alone happens more in a 3-pick setup than it does in a 4-pick setup.

A 4-pick setup would:
- slightly decrease the importance of pick ordering (ie, which of my picks are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.): if you only get 3, which of your picks you get and which you don't get matter greatly; with 4 spots, this is less decisive.
- decrease the importance of who gets first pick: same reasoning.

Thus: The pick-skill-chance balance (currently about 50%-40%-10%) would give slightly less weight to picks, slightly more weight to skill, and also reduce chance (1 more starting army is like insurance against unlucky picks vis-a-vis the enemy and unlucky pick ordering -- ie, who gets first pick). If the goal of a 1 v 1 is to see whose overall skill set (ability to make good picks & ability to make good moves) is best, a 4-pick setup would better measure the totality of one's skills.

The best boxers rarely lose to average, decent or fairly good boxers. They find a way to beat inferior opponents. Lucky KOs rarely happen to the best boxers. But they happen rather frequently in Warlight 1 v 1s. If the settings were better, Warlight 1 v 1s would better resemble a boxing match: only the best 10 opponents (or people rated 1800+) would have a real chance to beat the best (Impaller/Retro/HHH/Zaeban/Fizzer/Byt/Etc.). Take Impaller as an example. He rarely loses. Yet certain games he has lost should've been wins. A clearly superior player losing to a guy rated 1600-1700 because of chance/luck? This is evidence that the settings should be adjusted. I don't follow chess, but does a guy rated 2000+ ever lose to a guy rated 1600-1700? Also, take away a couple of those losses (which sting the rating more than other losses), and Impaller's rating would be 2100+, which I think would be a fairer measure of his skills.
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/2/2011 17:01:09


Math Wolf 
Level 63
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On a related note: afaik the shelf life for 2vs2 is still 3 months, while it was said that it would increase to 5 months. A bug or a feature?

Also, I'm (still) a fan of weights depending on time. Letting games within 3 months count max, 3-6 months for 60%, 6-9 months for 30% or something like that (enough variants possibly) should be easy to implement. (easiest way: games 0-3 months count as "3 games", games 3-6 months count as "2 games", 6-9 months as "1 game" should do the trick. Basically: for every game finished, a virtual copy of 3 months old and a virtual copy of 6 months old is added). A player needs to have 30 games finished to enter the ranking, which can be 10 recent games, of some recent and a bunch of old games.

I wanted to see how the continuously decreasing rankings would look like (together with crafty) a long time ago, but never found the time. :-(
Ladder Game Shelf Life of 3 Months: 11/6/2011 12:47:06


bytjie 
Level 11
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I'd like to bump this and add my two cents.

I think everybody would agree that when a player first joins the ladder, and his rating is based on only 10 games, then it is not necessarily an accurate reflection of his skill.

Now, with a ladder game shelf life of 3 months, suppose:
* A player plays in 2 games at a time.
* Although the boot time is 3 days, the game moves at a pace of 1 turn per day.
* An average game lasts 20 turns.
This would mean that, in 3 months' time, you would finish only 6 games. While in reality a lot of people play faster than this scenario, the scenario is quite realistic.

While I agree with the idea that games should expire, I think that there are many ways to improve upon the exact expiry criteria (currently set to a sharp cut-off at 3 months). I would propose that games are weighted so that they count less the older they are, but this is just one suggestion among many good ideas that have been posted in this thread.

Whether there is a correlation between the number of games you play and your rating is irrelevant - the problem is volatility. I don't think anybody can disprove that the rankings are volatile with the current system, and I don't think it is a good thing.
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