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Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 00:36:52


Beren • apex 
Level 63
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Now that Clan League 9 is well underway, I know many of us are looking ahead to next season. We made quite a few changes to the way the league runs between Season 8 and Season 9. Some of the changes have been more successful than others, but overall we feel that the changes have been positive. That being said, there is still a lot of room for improvement. We'd like initiate a discussion now about what is going well, what is going poorly, and what solutions to some of these problems might look like.

We are also looking for volunteers who would be willing to help with some things that need to be done around clan league, so if you're interested, let us know.

First a few caveats:
  • We are not committing to implementing any changes suggested here. This is a venue to discuss the issues, give us an idea of the general sentiment of the community and to ensure we don't miss a real problem
  • Do not provide solutions without thinking them through. We don't want it to turn into a series of half-baked ideas that will not work in practice. They don't have to be perfect, but they must be workable.
  • Specifically explain which problems your change alleviates.
  • This is not the place to talk about changes to the overall format of the competition, since we don't want that overwhelm any other discussion.

With that out of the way, let's detail the biggest problems that we see with the current season of the league.
  • Games being decided by non-joins
  • More player level breakdown of stats needed
  • Substitutions require manual work to be done by the league organizers
  • Notification issues: notification requires manual work by organizers and sometimes fails to reach the necessary audience
  • Alts and multi-clan membership is a growing problem.
  • Using Google Docs instead of a more robust database limits functionality and complicates improvements
  • Lack of a clear schedule
  • Clan league takes too long, and specifically is much slower in some divisions than others
  • Clan league is stalled by players taking vacations in excess of 40 days

We're going to keep this discussion open for the next 2 weeks, at which time we will look through them and see which seem workable and realistic. We will then initiate another discussion where we will lay out the solutions we're considering, and give the positive and negative consequences of each change.

Edited 6/1/2017 01:10:46
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 01:07:55


Beren • apex 
Level 63
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Here's an example of what we expect a solution to look like:

Problem: Games being decided by non-joins

Solution:
  • Freeze 1v1 games for a slot which booted (or failed to join). This allows clans to sub their players. This prevents an inactive player from costing a clan 4 games at once.
  • If player fails to join a game after 3 days, can we replace that player with an AI? The team will have to play 2v3 for the entire game(with an AI) (Currently not possible as far as we can tell with the current API setup.)
  • If a player fails to join a game, delete the game and mark it with a special tag. It will be reported as a "deleted game" in the weekly report. This same game will be created one more time in 1 week. The clan has a week to substitute the inactive player or at-least chase them down and make sure they join the 2nd "substitute game" created in a week's time.


Edited 6/1/2017 01:10:23
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 01:17:22


Jefferspin 
Level 61
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Don't rig it.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 01:28:03


SuperGamerz 
Level 58
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Don't let Jefferspin play.

*placeholder*
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 01:58:41


knyte 
Level 58
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Using Google Docs instead of a more robust database limits functionality and complicates improvements


Having written a Python library to make "let's treat Google Sheets as a database" a slightly-less-unreasonable suggestion, I would still strongly recommend switching to a real database. Too much unpredictable behavior and latency is going to just destroy your stuff.

Or at the very least, build/use a wrapper that lets you abstract away Google Sheets-specific issues and just work with it as if it were a generalized database.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 02:46:10


[FCC] Aura Guardian 
Level 61
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I am willing to volunteer to help out for CL10.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 02:46:14


LeQuébécois_Benoit
Level 62
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I would like to help organize CL10. I don't have yet solutions to those problems mentioned above, I did not took time to think too much about them. I will probably post something here when I come up with some solutions.

Edited 6/1/2017 02:47:53
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 03:59:41


Master of the Dead 
Level 63
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We are also looking for volunteers who would be willing to help with some things that need to be done around clan league, so if you're interested, let us know.
Just to be clear, we're looking for people to help us with tasks like scorekeeping and communication with regards to deadlines, roster submissions, roster entries, spreadsheet handling etc. We're not looking to expand the CL panel as we've had a panel of 5-6 people before and seen how difficult that can get, to be able to respond to issues in a quick fashion.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 04:50:18


Great Expanse 
Level 59
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Clan league takes too long, and specifically is much slower in some divisions than others

This to me is the single biggest issue for Clan League right now. If you compare Divisions A and B (Qualifiers can't be used as a comparison), Division B is nearly done all games, A seems to have passed the halfway point at least. We now have also have the added complexity of the convoluted qualifier to C/D format that might finish at the same time or after A since the divisions are just starting.

In my opinion, there are two parts that are slowing the league: Division A and the Qualifier format. Of the two, Division A is a trickier problem because there isn't a way to actually get people to play faster. Division A players spend more time analyzing games then other divisions, play games slower then other divisions. You can't police that. I have avoided the question of Division A taking more vacations because I would prefer to have someone in Division A testify to that. To the Qualifier format, the solution is to revert to the old format but I get the sense people don't want that. They want a fair, fast format even if those two things are contradictory.

I don't really have anything to suggest here, but to say I see no solution to this except a re-think of the entirety of Clan League. If there was a way to have Division A off on its own it would enable the other divisions to probably host at least 2 seasons per year. Or the concept of a P/R format might need to be replaced with something more adaptable to the complexity of having 30+ clans in a league together.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 05:06:51


[FCC] Aura Guardian 
Level 61
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Problem:: Alts and multi-clan membership is a growing problem.

Solution

  • Unless they can get explicitly excempted by the Panel, the account that the player used for the previous season of clan league must also be used for the current season of clan league. (This would force players to change the clan their account is in if they want to play for a different clan.)
  • Unless the player is only in one clan, the account that the player can use to play in clan league must be their highest leveled account, unless they are explicitly exempted by the council, or are already using a lower-leveled account in clan league from a season from before which this rule was implemented. (since mains usually have a higher level than their alt counterparts, this could help.)


I will add more stuff here as I think of it.

Edited 6/1/2017 05:07:13
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 05:13:57


ChrisCMU 
Level 60
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I am a developer on a data entry project. I do updates to the UI and database. I would help if you had a way to host them. I don't want to have a detailed conversation here, but basically an application that displays the data. Or just an ssrs with reports of the data would be easy to do.

PostgresSQL is free and I know how to use that, you just need a server.

Also, we can't do much about alts unless Fizzer gives us some help there.

Edited 6/1/2017 05:16:40
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 06:36:56


Mike |GG| 
Level 61
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+1 to Beren
solving boots is huge improvement and most important!
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 07:54:12


krunx 
Level 61
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Problem:

  • Lack of a clear schedule
  • Clan league takes too long, and specifically is much slower in some divisions than others
  • Clan league is stalled by players taking vacations in excess of 40 days


Solution:

  • Start the games according to a fixed schedule.
  • Every x days a game will be created without taking into account how much games the players already have.


Comment:
Everyone would know, when his games will be allocated and clans are able to plan way better. The game amount of players, which are playing slowly will stack up, while those who are playing faster have less games. With this clear schedule, the panel is able to influence the duration of clan league. For different divisions differnt schedules could be beneficial (Qualifiers vs. division A and B).
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 08:47:12

linberson 
Level 60
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Masters on #1, ONE on #2

Sure, let me give you a hand there! How about guaranteed promotion for Blitz in B next season, Beren can win CL10 and Blitz CL11? Would that work out? ;)
Jk, I am willing to help with the mentioned tasks if you dont find enough other people, and you can always ask me for helping out with tasks that have a clear limited time frame, like with checking template settings for errors etc.
I believe spreading CL management workload is a goal thats in our all best interest.

CL duration
Start the games according to a fixed schedule.
Every x days a game will be created without taking into account how much games the players already have.


I was going to suggest the same.
I remember making a half serious suggestion before CL9 to raise 3v3 game count to 5 since they take so long... This is obviously a more practical solution.

Krunx and I are playing in the Preußenliga where there is a fixed schedule for all the games, and so far this has worked very well. Its only 1v1 though.

Vacations
I believe vacations holding up CL are really unneccessary and should mainly be handled via team managers.
If you go on a 20+ day vacation you should be subbed. I dont see the point of fielding someone who will hold up a whole league. This is supposed to be fun.
If vacations are known before they should be managed by team managers, if vacations happen due to unexpected real life reasons and are clear to last awhile the vacationee should be subbed.

alts and multi-clan membership
Why do believe this to be a problem and are there examples?



I also have a question which I meant to ask for a long time: As CL is run right now, are there any monetary costs?
If so, how much and how can I chip in?
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 08:57:43


Quicksilver
Level 59
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maybe raise sub limit? was really tight for Lynx this time round.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 09:10:15

PJ017 
Level 61
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Problem:
Individual players can slow down the entire clan league (by vacations and/or playing slowly)

Example:
I counted 6 players/teams in divA that so far only completed 0 or 1 of their 6 match-ups.
Extrapolating -and estimating- means that completing the last 2% of CL games will probably take 50% of the CL duration.
Highly undesirable.

Solution:
1* somehow restrict the usage of holidays. Especially in 3v3 team games, players taking holidays can drag games forever. I wouldn't know how this can be implemented in a fair way. Or how to implement it practically. (edit: removed: "so I'd be against it", maybe there is a solution somehow)
2* every x days a game will be created without taking into account how much games the players already have (as posted by krunx above)
3* a player will have 2 games maximum untill a certain date or until a certain level of completion. Thereafter, additional games are created every 1st day of the month, every 10 days, or something like that
4* the intital maximum number of ongoing games remains 2. This will increase to 3/4/5/6 after a certain amount of time.
5* more radical and maybe easier to implement: after a certain date, all remaining games are created at the same time (i.e. max ongoing games to 6)

I think solution 4 is the most elegant. Solution 5 will be fine in my opinion. Disadvantageous for very slow players and teams, but I think that they should be stimulated to make moves within a reasonable time for the sake of the next CL starting at a reasonable time after most players completed their CL games.

Edited 6/1/2017 09:13:35
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 09:21:38


Edge
Level 61
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Vacations:

I think vacations are indeed the biggest problem. I have an opponent who is on a 42 days + vacation, might even hit the 50-day mark. I also had another opponent going on a 30 days vacation. These things are extending the season.

A solution that might work would be part time substitutions. That means that player who need a vacation for more than 2 weeks need to get subbed out for that time span with another player. These substitutions doesn't count against the total Substitution count.

If there will be a fixed schedule that would mean that games can be started in time without the player on the long vacation but instead with an active player. That also decrease the chance of other people f.ex. teammates get overloaded with games.


Fixed schedule:

Another idea to the fixed Schedule would be the time frame to create new games.

We're playing a RoR game against Lynx going on for almost 2 months. Reduced with vacations it might be a real play time of 1 1/2 month. So i think everything below that time span would be to short. 50 days might be a good indicator, which is slightly more than 1 1/2 month.


Alts and Multi accounts:

I do like the idea of Aura Guardian. Taking the highest account as the reference seems to be an effective way to try to solve that problem. An exception of that rule only with good reasons.
U could also track the players in a list which will add new players for each season starting with this season to determine the CL Account of that player.


substitutions:
An official thread would add the possibility to help u out there, through i don't know if it's possible to link player accounts into the lineup when u leave google spreadsheets and use another system.


Voluntary work:

Scorekeeping isn't an option for me, since i know that i probably don't have the durability to enjoy doing that job.

But if u need help with creating and tracking a list of CL accounts or adding substitutions into a spreadsheet i could help u out there.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 09:57:36


Krzysztof 
Level 66
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What do all those scorekeepers do? Isn't it automated already(that's what i thinking looking at those spreadsheets)
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 10:08:14


Math Wolf 
Level 63
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Games being decided by non-joins
If possible with CLOT (might require quite some programming?): do not delete such games after 3 days, but instead allow a replacement. I.e.: non-joins can be "removed by host" and replaced by the replacement. Delete after 7 days (or so) if still not joined.

More player level breakdown of stats needed
Is this really needed? It's clan league, not individual players of clans league.

Substitutions require manual work to be done by the league organizers
No idea how to solve this.

Notification issues: notification requires manual work by organizers and sometimes fails to reach the necessary audience
Require e-mails for the responsibles of each clans and let the CLOT send out (automated) emails?

Alts and multi-clan membership is a growing problem.
I don't see the problem per se, but I think transparency is most important. Every alt above a certain (low) level (say 30) of every player who joins must be declared and is published in advance. A rule that you can't switch constantly might be nice, but too restrictive isn't good either, it would hurt too many people who actually mean well.

Using Google Docs instead of a more robust database limits functionality and complicates improvements
MDL ladder seems to work well? Would it be possible to use the same type of database? Every player would need to "join" clan league similarly to having to join MDL? This sets up an immediately link between the "Clan League" database and the WL profile similar to a ladder CLOT. If you can't motivate your members to do this, they may not be all that suited to play in CL anyway. Also, by doing this, you know you will only have players who know how to push on a button, which they will have to do later as well when they have to press "join".

Lack of a clear schedule
Clan league takes too long, and specifically is much slower in some divisions than others
Starting games with a fixed schedule, similar to sports leagues all over the world seems like a great option here. You can really easily make a fixed schedule in advance as well. This does work better with an even than with an odd number of clans per division however.

For the lower divisions: get rid of qualifiers and simply make a large pool of clans who play 6 other clans on each template. I thought about it some more and this is really easy to do if you consider the following series:
2 games each: A-B B-C C-D D-E ...
2 games each: A-C C-E E-G ...
2 games each: A-D D-G G-J ...
...
If you think of the letters as being circular, i.e. A follows directly after the last letter, you can always either cycle through if the gap is not a divisor of the number of clans, or have a shifted copy if it is. Take 3 such series for each template and have each series used an equal amount of times (i.e. maximum of 1 difference in number times used) and you have a nicely balanced schedule.

Clan league is stalled by players taking vacations in excess of 40 days
Force replacement after 10 days? (i.e. automessage clan leader?)
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 10:44:23


Timinator • apex 
Level 64
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you can't replace a player in an ongoing game though
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 10:55:12

DanWL 
Level 62
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^you can though. Just give your login details to someone else in your clan...

Edit:
Clan league takes too long, and specifically is much slower in some divisions than others

Don't honour vacations; use bank boot times instead.

Edited 6/1/2017 14:01:01
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 11:05:26


Krzysztof 
Level 66
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Games being decided by non-joins
If possible with CLOT (might require quite some programming?): do not delete such games after 3 days, but instead allow a replacement. I.e.: non-joins can be "removed by host" and replaced by the replacement. Delete after 7 days (or so) if still not joined.

i don't think it's possible - you can only create or delete game, there's no way to change players programatically. Moreover, i'm pretty sure that if game is created by CLOT you can't even do that manually.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 12:15:14


Edge
Level 61
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@ Krzy

I think the scorekeepers are the guys who make regular updates in the division threads. Posting results, talking about them and the standings in these threads.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 12:48:06


Kaerox
Level 59
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^you can though. Just give your login details to someone else in your clan...


That's some really good advice !
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 13:16:14


Min34 
Level 59
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Games being decided by non-joins


  • I dont think this is a problem. A player not joining is nothing different than a player not taking his or her turn. They fail to do what they have to do within the 3 days range they have been given. The only thing that is a problem imo is that the player that failed to join is invited to the next game right away. Maybe that should be changed so that a clan doesnt lose 3 or 4 games because someone went inactive. So freezing the slot might be a good idea.

  • An option for teamgames is to have a substitute player who will automatically fill in if one of the players fails to join within 3 days. This does make it harder in regards of maximum slots a player can have, but it might be a relatively easy solution to this problem. All teams will always be filled with players, just that it is their 3rd / 4th choice instead of their 1st or 2nd.



Clan league is stalled by players taking vacations in excess of 40 days


  • Players who take longer than 20 / 30 (whereever you want to put the limit) days to take one turn will automatically lose the games they are in and the next games will be created.

  • Maybe do the same if they take 10+ days on the last 2 turns out of 3 (so you prevent them quickly making moves inbetween two vacations)





Problem: Alts and multi-clan membership is a growing problem.

Solution



  • Unless they can get explicitly excempted by the Panel, the account that the player used for the previous season of clan league must also be used for the current season of clan league. (This would force players to change the clan their account is in if they want to play for a different clan.)
  • Unless the player is only in one clan, the account that the player can use to play in clan league must be their highest leveled account, unless they are explicitly exempted by the council, or are already using a lower-leveled account in clan league from a season from before which this rule was implemented. (since mains usually have a higher level than their alt counterparts, this could help.)


I think this is a pretty decent solution.




Every x days a game will be created without taking into account how much games the players already have.


My main problem with this is that it also punishes the team that isnt stalling. If my opponents go on a 40 day vacation, why should I then be given an extra 3v3 game? It puts more pressure on players who have done nothing wrong as well. I understand it is an option to look at, but I would prefer it if we can find a way without "harming the innocent"

Edited 6/1/2017 13:19:39
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 16:07:06


Master of the Dead 
Level 63
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@linberson
alts and multi-clan membership
Why do believe this to be a problem and are there examples?
People are free to have alts and be in multiple clans. However, with respect to the CL, this is like the Miyagi situation all over again. If someone has membership in 5 clans and can represent any of those clans on a whim, it is a problem with regards to clan stability and that clan's level of performance. Promotion and relegation doesn't mean much if the same set of players come back to play in a Group they just relegated from. It is also unfair to everyone who is making an honest attempt to improve and rise through the divisions.

There is also the additional concern that a bunch of alts play for a clan for one season and take them higher than their level, which leads to that clan crashing hard next season. We've already seen what bad seasons can do to clans ;)

I won't give examples as we're not looking to point fingers. We want to improve stability long-term and have a competitive league where clans can compete well in their respective divisions.

I also have a question which I meant to ask for a long time: As CL is run right now, are there any monetary costs?
If so, how much and how can I chip in?
It costs about 20$ a month to host CL. I'm fine for now, but appreciate the offer :)


@Krzychu
What do all those scorekeepers do? Isn't it automated already(that's what i thinking looking at those spreadsheets)
Checking for games, updating their results and all the spreadsheets are automated. However, the spreadsheet needs to be presented on the forum in a digestible format. That is the work scorekeepers do today. We're exploring ways to automate the redundant aspect of that as well(next season). Ideally, you want "scorekeepers" to just provide commentary and not bother with anything else. But if we can't get there, we need volunteers.

Edited 6/1/2017 16:46:09
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 17:12:07


Timinator • apex 
Level 64
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^you can though. Just give your login details to someone else in your clan...


Doesn't work like that, unless you only have CL-games running on your account. on my behalf, i wouldn't want someone else to play MY games during my vacations.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 17:34:41


dry-clean-only
Level 58
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On the topic of Alts and Multi-Clanning.

"Unless the player is only in one clan, the account that the player can use to play in clan league must be their highest leveled account"

This would basically be purpose built to destroy our clan's chances in CL. Alot of our players now (Dr.Love, Rikku, Xenophon, Bugs) all have mains that have since moved to other clans. These players still want to compete in our team because they see it as one of if not their main clan.

They are still involved heavily in our community through Alts that they have left here and the main reason their mains have left TJC is because alot of clans in Division A/B wont accept alts into their own clans. This proposed solution forces anyone from a lower tier clan to choose between 'not competing for their original clan' or 'turning down an offer to join a top clan'.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another problem is that this would stop anyone who is not good enough to make the roster for their main clan from joining the competition with another of the clans that they're members of. Unfairly penalising such players and stopping them being able to take part in CL.

Finally it would open up the option for clans from higher divisions to destroy the competition rising from lower divisions by recruiting the best mains from those clans simply because they can, even if they don't intend to use them in CL themselves.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 18:27:48


Buns157 
Level 67
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@dry-clean

Then if they want to support their original clan then they should turn down the offer and keep their main in tjc. Trouble is few people have a sense of loyalty to their first clan, as soon as an elite clan offers them a place they jump ship.
Clan League 10 Improvements: 6/1/2017 18:30:23


[FCC] Aura Guardian 
Level 61
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@dry-clean-only: That is exactly the point. In clan league, you should represent your main clan. Also, you should have your main account in your primary clan as well. If players want to compete in representation of your clan, they should be main accounts.

Another problem is that this would stop anyone who is not good enough to make the roster for their main clan from joining the competition with another of the clans that they're members of. Unfairly penalising such players and stopping them being able to take part in CL.


Also exactly the point. This purports to cause clans to resort to "Free Agency" tactics, and trying to lobby players from each other. For example, take Drizzy Drake from FCC and Drizzy Hendrix of 101st. Both 101st and FCC want to play this player for cl10. As a result, clan league becomes less about the player's commitment to the clan, and more about the clan trying to gain leverage in clan league. For me, clan league should help build communities, not dissolve them.

Finally it would open up the option for clans from higher divisions to destroy the competition rising from lower divisions by recruiting the best mains from those clans simply because they can, even if they don't intend to use them in CL themselves.


Trust me, I feel for you there. FCC is always a prime candidate to be preyed on by higher clans looking for new blood. We have lost our fair share of members that way. But frankly, its the way it goes, whether or not you like it or not. Players are always looking for a challenge. I am out to prove that this can be overcome, however, I myself know its a long uphill battle.

Edited 6/1/2017 18:33:14
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