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New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 11:22:39


szeweningen 
Level 60
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Hello,

I've been thinking about possibilities to improve 1v1 gameplay and make it as strategic as possible. In any case I'd like to present my idea for a new game mode (which actually is not new, since it does not use any new features) that imho allows for a lot of new creative and strategic new 1v1 templates. Now, I've been struggling for a long time with creating balanced 1v1 templates, because in standard random warlords distribution on almost all maps the picking stage creates a lot of imbalance in terms of risk-reward situations. Possible early counters, 1st-pick reliant strategies etc. were always a huge risk. Not only that, but more often than not early gaame (turns 1-3) were the most critical, but also very often luck-related, since you had limited intel and had to choose the safest expansion/attack option. I tried to make a "balanced" template by creating Greece 1v1 template, small map, a lot of picks, but in the end it tunred into either full on micro battle, or guessing game during first 2-3 turns. In any case lack of intel on good team templates does not exist, because you can cover the map effectively, however had we introduced this to 1v1 games, covering the whole map with a million picks would make the game stale and boring, so I am currently trying to find a middle ground between those two.

Now that we are done with the short intro, back to the topic, new mode limited full distribution. The idea in itself is simple, suppose the map has n territories and you want the players to have x picks each. You use full distribution, manually set n-2x wastelands of 2 and players are left with 2x random spots to pick from. That way they will have full intel after picking stage (the opponent has the rest of the possible picks), because they both use the same picks, only in different order! Now, there are some limits to that mode:
- you need quite a lot of picks, because of the random factor and the fact tht by probability, most picks will land in big bonuses
- you need a slow start (reduced base income, smaller bonuses), which is a consequence of the previous requirement
- there's still a slight possibility of games being very 1st pick reliant, however with good balancing and enough picks that should be avoided

Other than that, I'm very optimistic about that, because that mode has a lot of advantages over standard 1v1 games:
- makes big maps viable
- allows for precise calculation from the start
- gives multiple possibilities during the picking stage
- can be heavily modified with fog settings and/or card settings without crushing the balance completely


You can expect many new 1v1 templates tht I'll be slowly testing on multiple maps soon, so far a first attempt on my favourite map, Europe 1v1:
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?TemplateID=634686

That and many new future templates will be heavily modified, because finding the right balance for the picking stge is crucial, it is possible the number of picks for Europe will be too great, but there are many, many maps that would be much better suited for that mode. Overall I'm writing bout this before I'll test all of my ideas, because I want as many people trying out templtes in this mode as possible. Of course tem games are also possible, but for now I'll test multiple 1v1 ideas I have.

Gl hf :)
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 12:11:36


Sephiroth 
Level 60
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smart
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 13:39:08


szeweningen 
Level 60
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Medium Earth 1v1 Limited:
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?TemplateID=634722

Looks fairly balanced at first glance, try it out.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:01:35


[WM] Gnuffone 
Level 60
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i played both template, and they looks the best 1v1 template so far. i really like them, try it out!

those template allow multiple strategy, required more think, give you more intel about opponent, and they require a good micromanagement of leftovers and such thing.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:14:55


ℳℛᐤƬrαńɋℰ✕
Level 57
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" Now, I've been struggling for a long time with creating balanced 1v1 templates, because in standard random warlords distribution on almost all maps the picking stage creates a lot of imbalance in terms of risk-reward situations."

I agree, but a lot of it depends on map and its territory-bonus ration. If all bonuses are similar like 2 army is equivalent to 3 territories and 3=4. And they are evenly distributed on map, not that they have to be fully mirrored. And bridges, bottle-necks are equivalent or slight variations between territory-continents, then random warlord is not so disadvantaged as the typical Earth map, where there are few small advantage only big disadvantage bonuses. Yet those perfect maps happen rarely. So in my opinion the biggest problem of this type of game-mode is not its risk-advantage fault created by system, rather than the Map. Not every map is suited for fair play with different modes! Most people who create maps they add features which should not be there! Human factor is the problem. Not many people think through even the main factors: Territories-X, base-initial army size and income!


Limited Full distribution:The idea in itself is simple, suppose the map has n territories and you want the players to have x picks each. You use full distribution, manually set n-2x wastelands of 2 and players are left with 2x random spots to pick from. That way they will have full intel after picking stage (the opponent has the rest of the possible picks), because they both use the same picks, only in different order!


manually set n-2x wastelands of 2
players are left with 2x random spots to pick from
That way they will have full intel after picking stage

I do not fully understand! For example map=200 territories, its 2vs2, 4 territories. Limited distribution through randomized full distribution - I would call it that! Wasteland size according to your formula 200-2x4x4=168 wastelands!
which is randomized and means there will be left 32 territories to pick the starting points - which according to your explanation is beforehand randomized. And picking "only in different order"? What determines the different order differently from the current system.

"players are left with two times random spots to pick from?" - intel factor after picking stage? I am not sure I did understood the way you explain it, so can you make it a little simpler here! Just walk me through step by step? As thus far it seems weird.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:27:02


szeweningen 
Level 60
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Ok, maybe I was not clear. I set wasteland value to 2 or 3, depending on what neutrals I want. Then if we have 200 territories and we want 10 picks per player, we set 180 wastelands of 2 that serve as neutrals and there are only 20 random spots to pick from. As far as bonus values goes, we can do it differently, but for now I use income = # of territories - 2 formula, but it can be tweaked. I want a bias towards bigger bonuses in terms of income/territory ratio though, so that's my recommendation.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:31:21


Odin 
Level 59
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A template where picks are limited in this way will indeed increase its demand on skill because it lets both players know the opponent's picks. Good players will know how to take advantage of that, bad players will not. Therefore, the template's skill-basedness increases and luck-basedness, by definition, decreases.

On the other hand, there are some aspects that set skilled players apart from weaker ones in a template such as strat ME or the current 2v2 ladder template, that is harder to do in this wasteland template.

a) Diversity of picking strategies decreases if only 2 * #picks will be pickable. Depending on the territories pickable, this will greatly limit a skilled player's ability to set himself apart from the weaker one by good picks. For example, whole map coverage is important. But what if the available picks only center in a part of the map, or if there is exactly one free territory in some critical area? Luck will decide who gets it.

b) I can mostly guess my opponent's picks anyway, within some turns from the start, despite not knowing them for certain. This kind of skill is useless in the wasteland template because both players get the other's picks from the get-go.

I think the wasteland distribution is something new and interesting, however I'll have to see how games play out before saying if they help setting good players apart from bad ones better than our common templates. What I like about this template is that it will likely have more than 3 or 4 picks per player.

Also, once players learn the new template, and how it should be played, the difference in skill will decrease, and again, luck will determine the winner more often. Back in the day when everyone thought that in Troll's EU, the center is the most important place to be in, it was easy to beat even top players by picking the islands first. Nowadays, people know that the islands are more important, so to set oneself apart from them, you need some new idea.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:39:17


Sephiroth 
Level 60
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map=200 territories, its 2vs2, 4 territories
200-2x4x4=168 wastelands


200-2x2x4=184 wastelands, because you need 16 pickable spots - the principle behind this template is that every territory in distribution will be occupied, so you know exactly where your opponent is in the first turn.

I just played a game on this template and it's awesome and very balanced, but I think it wouldn't be equally good for team games tho Tranquilizer.

It would be super to have this distribution mode implemented in the game creation, with an input box asking how many in-distribution territories you want to set


EDIT: there's a good point in what Odin's saying

Edited 4/18/2015 14:42:37
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:48:57


szeweningen 
Level 60
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a) That is a valid point and that is why I said testing is so important, ideally we want enough picks so thaat those situations are very rare and enough so that most situations are unique. I disagree that the amount of picking strategies decreases if the distribution is not completely skewed. I also think tht the skill cp for picking is potentially much higher here, because the picking order will be very subtle and the order of picks 10+ will also be very important.

b) That is correct, however you still can use the same skill predicting your opponents' expansion routes for example.

I heavily recommend people try those templates, those are the first 1v1 templates that I don't find boring or easy to pick on. Templates are not perfected yet, but I can already see potential for incredibly high skill cap for 1v1 games and that has not been the case imo for a long time.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:51:46


Odin 
Level 59
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Ok, I have to play a game or two on the templates before commenting further. They are so different from what I'm used to.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 14:58:50


szeweningen 
Level 60
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New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 15:03:41


Master of the Dead 
Level 63
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Fascinating template!


Please remove the likes of Korea, Hawai and Japan from picks :( on ME. Getting that as your 16th pick is horrible :P
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 15:09:10


Master of the Dead 
Level 63
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Also I think cyclic move order is much better.. since we want to eliminate luck.. would make for more calculative games
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 15:11:19


Odin 
Level 59
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Yeah, the games look good. There are lots of multipick possibilities and lots of picks overall.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 15:13:05


ℳℛᐤƬrαńɋℰ✕
Level 57
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Thank you for the reply! Now I understand more clearly. I have rarely seen wasteland distribution that way, yet I find it fascinating. That is interesting Template. If this would be implemented, then just simplify the intel of knowing enemy position - the territories ought to highlighted - just to make it easier, as in this case its not a memory game. And we still have history. Minor inconvenience.

I believe I am not only one who plays in limited distribution with another window of the map open, with options of manual distribution starting points. Always wondered if someone has the program so could see how far the enemy could have moved with every turns, just do not need to calculated on what turn in which territory the contact will happen :)

About the enemy starting position. I have recently looked into no fog maps = the ones where you see enemy position fully but no armies. It revealed that even over 300+ games played players could not figure out what to do. Once the blind factor of enemy size, position is gone many players lost sense in playing. Strategy shifted enormously. It sounds illogical, but to me it seemed they would have been playing better, if fog would have applied to them. This the particular game style what I have been looking here - either no fog or the suggested Template with awareable enemy position.

Visible income, straight round brings into game evasion and more calculated play-style as you know how much you need to break someone´s stronghold-bottle-neck.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 15:30:28


szeweningen 
Level 60
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@Master of the Dead
If you know how I'd be able to remove manually the likes of Korea, Japan etc. please tell me. As far as I know I can only get the effect I want with full distribution. Possibly you can tweak it a bit using random cities and a different wasteland count, I believe that'd remove non-bonus territories from picking, however I'm not sure it's such a big deal. As for the cyclic move order I don't have a particular preference, I can go with both random or cyclic, I only dislike no-luck cyclic in the tournament format. If I get enough feedback that everyone wants cyclic, I'll modify the base template, untill then you're welcome to test out different variants of that template. The big advantage of this setup is tht it's highly customizable.

@Mr.Tranquiliser
Of course no-fog or light-fog are possible with that template, however I stuck with regular fog for a reason. Truth be told you start with so much intel that very often you're going to be able to read what happens behind the fog and I did not want to remove that particular skill from the gme, which imo is the essence of good warlight play.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 15:46:44


ℳℛᐤƬrαńɋℰ✕
Level 57
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I agree with you. I prefer as well Fog, because I find myself in advantage as am used to read info that way. Just in this setting I would prefer there to be highlighted starting positions, so one does not need to check history nor write it down unless memory does not serve it. So everyone would be in good position. But again for me its easy as I got my technique.

And no fog would change it a little bit as it reveals the income and adds full depth calculations at least in straight round. Just for not so advance players at least the highlighted system would help a little and in skilled players like tournament mode would leave out a blunder if one forgets one territory.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 17:24:24


ChrisCMU 
Level 60
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wow, great idea. it provides some very unique distributions (with multiple warlords in a bonus, but without the BS of full dist). I like the idea a lot.

I prefer normal fog, especially with all the intel you will already have.

The 3 base is interesting. It will favor someone getting a combo a lot. Have you tested with 4 armies per turn?

Anyone want to play a game on either template?
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 18:30:42


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=8498817

This is chess 360 for warlight.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/18/2015 19:16:58

Hennns
Level 58
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I like it. This should be the next seasonal template :p
Regarding cyclic v. Random I'd prefer cyclic, to me it feels like that would follow the style of the template. That said, if you do make it cyclic, why not add OP and OD cards? That would force players to chose between securing 1st order or trying to steal it..

SO far it's off to a great start :)
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/19/2015 15:10:10


professor dead piggy 
Level 59
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What exactly is it you want from a 1v1 template sze? reading between the lines, you want to be able to play on big maps, calculate precisely, have lots of competative picking options, and open to modding. 3v3 using puppets fits all of those except perhaps the last one. Other advantages are that first pick and first move in a turn are not especially powerful.

Have you played 3v3 with puppets, what did you think?
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/19/2015 16:37:44


NinjaNic 
Level 58
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Full distribution with a bunch of wastelands?

You didn't come up with that. Yep... It's been done before. It's one of my favorite 1v1 styles! But I guess it's good now that the public knows about this fun way to play. :P
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/20/2015 19:15:35


szeweningen 
Level 60
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@dead piggy
I played it, jumping around alts is not my thing. If there was an in-game mode that'd allow to fluently mke orders for multiple players I'd try it, but for me it's not worth the hassle. But you're right I'm trying to make 1v1 games more "balanced", or at least more similar to a 3v3 game. The advantage of that mode though is the fact, that almost every distribution is unique.

@NinjaNic
Good, please share games and/or templates that are viable.


In the meantime I was looking for a different map and I came up with East Asia and Oceania template for 1v1:
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?TemplateID=634988
Example game:
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=8514126

For now I'll focus on balancing those 3 templates, for Europe and Medium earth maybe I'll give some wiggle room for the picking stage, like giving 20 in-distribution spots and giving 16 picks total instead of 20. I'm still convinced that with good enough settings that might become the new standard for 1v1.

In other news, definitely one of those templates will be used soon in my next invitationl rr tournament.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/21/2015 01:08:51


NinjaNic 
Level 58
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Here's a 3v3 that uses all the starting spots:
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=8197516

And here's a (more recent) 1v1 that uses most starts:
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=8415603

Nice example game.
New game mode: Limited full distribution: 4/21/2015 02:33:28


Tyrion Lannister
Level 54
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fizzer will never go for this.
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