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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW1 Competitions, Tournaments & Wizard's Ladder » Wizard Ladder due for an overhaul?
Topic Subject:Wizard Ladder due for an overhaul?
posted 09-11-07 04:51 AM EDT (US)         
This message was originally intended for Enginerd, but I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this as well.

It looks like the Wizard's Ladder is still in use despite some early reports of its demise. Game results had previously slowed to a trickle, but I'm assuming with the upcoming PBEM tourney (with hopefully 16 people) that trickle will become a small flood.

But it's still not what it once was, which creates some scoring problems. For example, there are at most 3 active players in the "inter" rank (score group) and no "high inters." This means that no one is going to achieve a high score very soon unless they can beat Enginerd, and I don't know of any active player who can. I understand that the minimum scores for certain ranks (particularly expert) may have been changed, though it's hard to tell since the rules still say expert is 200+. This is obviously wrong (or the current standings are):,734,,60

Do I have a better idea? I'm glad you asked. I think we need to change the cutoffs for every rank and while we're at it, I'd suggest some other minor tweaks, like new names for the new ranks. Does anyone know what an "inter" is? I don't. I assume it's derived from the word "intermediate" so effectively an abbreviation of something like "player of intermediate skill" but I'd really like to see more descriptive names for the middle ranks than low inter -> inter -> high inter. Here's one idea:

1. Squire: up to 100 points
2. Knight: 101-125
3. King: 126-150
4. Emperor: 151 and up

(Players would still start at 100.) This also dispenses with the "zero gamer" category. I just don't see the need for it. New players are already protected by the scoring system so that they would tend not to lose a lot of points in their first few games even against highly ranked opponents. (I think, for example, if I lost to Enginerd as a low inter, I'd only lose 1 point. But if I'm a zero gamer the winner goes up 2 and loser down 2 no matter what, which doesn't really seem fair.)

Well, the suggestion above is just a brainstorm, so let me know if you think. I don't know that it would work, but it seems like almost anything would be better than the status quo. We're still relying on rules designed for a time when there were 10 times as many games as we've got now.

[This message has been edited by disenchanted (edited 09-11-2007 @ 04:54 AM).]

posted 09-11-07 12:44 PM EDT (US)     1 / 16       
Lol disenchanted, you surprise me with your perfect English.

Token Irish Gamer!

[This message has been edited by CrazySlyHawk (edited 09-11-2007 @ 12:44 PM).]

HG Angel
posted 09-11-07 05:58 PM EDT (US)     2 / 16       
I am really interested in your feedback on this and I'm glad the question was brought forward. Please post your thoughts.... I'll be watching...

As a reference... if you really want to... you can see the very lengthy discussion (lol) that took place some time ago about this subject... keep in mind my comments made in that post were before the wings

The Ending of the AOW1 Wizard's Ladder
Lord Naismith
posted 09-15-07 11:28 AM EDT (US)     3 / 16       
I don't plan on becoming a Wizard Ladder player anytime soon, but this change you suggest, and the question, very thoughtful and full of potential. Having multiple ranks would help give more enthusiasm to play games, even though not the best, still have some kind of reward for playing and wining games.

Well done!
posted 09-20-07 05:15 AM EDT (US)     4 / 16       
Sounds like a great plan to me... I never really knew what an 'inter' was either, and it only makes sense to use the skill levels right out of aow...

If you've come for a visit, you'd be welcome with fewer, if you've come to take me away, you'll need a lot more.
Arctic Wolf
posted 10-20-07 04:05 PM EDT (US)     5 / 16       
The Ladder is about to be broken! The Gods have crumbled before the malice of the Wolf!

It is indeed time to build something better.

My proposal shall be forthcoming when the champion has fallen. (Unless he is playing possum.)
HG Angel
posted 10-20-07 05:15 PM EDT (US)     6 / 16       
(Unless he is playing possum.)

Watch here for my demise! WL Champion Challenge (Arcitc Wolf vs Enginerd)
posted 10-20-07 09:19 PM EDT (US)     7 / 16       
Arctic'll be champion?

Token Irish Gamer!
HG Angel
posted 10-26-07 04:40 PM EDT (US)     8 / 16       
Well... I think it's time to continue the discussion on this and really get some new ideas out there... Let's nail down your thoughts and ideas on the future of the Wizard Ladder as we now have a new champion.
posted 10-27-07 05:43 PM EDT (US)     9 / 16       
I think people should start with more than one point short from next level. Like, starting with 75. Alternatively you could knock all ratings higher by 25. Reaching knighthood with one lucky victory while by actual skill you should (and, in following games, will) be getting blasted to ribbons feels.. off :P
Arctic Wolf
posted 10-28-07 01:57 PM EDT (US)     10 / 16       
The Wizard's Ladder is Broken.

Long Live the EMPEROR'S THRONE!!

My proposal.

First we wipe the slate clean.

Now we assign categories based upon the actual game as disenchanted suggests

1) Squire (Everyone begins Here (except me heh heh))
2) Knight
3) Lord
4) King
5) Emperor (Right now that's me)

There are no points. (They confuse the heck out of the emperor.)

Instead everyone strives to move their ranking up to emperor and this is how.

Payers challenge each other as before and move up the throne by winning battles against their peers. If you win against someone who has the same or higher rank you can possibly move up, if you lose against someone lower rank you move down.

Now the details,

Say two people of the same rank play each other. The winner gets to move up to the next rank. The loser stays where he is. This should cause a natural drift upwards.

If one player of higher rank loses to someone of lowe rank he moves down one rank. The winner moves up one rank.

The only way to move down the throne is to lose a match to a player of lower rank.

The twist is that official matches must be played by opponents whose rankings are within one level of each other. Unofficial matches can be played by say a king vs a squire. But to move up the throne a squire must challenge another squire or a knight. the second twist is that once you reach the level of king you can no longer move up your ranking by playing a player of the same rank. You must challenge the Emperor to move up.

Once you reach the level of King you may challenge the Emperor. However the emperor need only accept up to three challenges at a time. (the first of the three to defeat him becomes the emperor.)

The way I have set this up will give me some leeway as emperor to get my store through the christmas season before I need accept challenges.)

There it is my proposal does anyone like it?
posted 10-28-07 02:13 PM EDT (US)     11 / 16       
I think everyone would soon be kings and stay there.
posted 10-28-07 05:02 PM EDT (US)     12 / 16       
I think Vantek hit the nail on the head. It's hard to predict precisely what would happen, but if everyone could move up with no risk of being knocked down by challenging other players at the same level, that might create too much of an "natural drift upwards." And supposing all current players become "Kings," I doubt there would be enough new players percolating up to fill in the lower ranks.

The bottom line is that this system looks good on paper (or on a monitor) but may be unstable. It's probably not possible to predict whether it would work without running some simulations.

I'm glad the Fall of Enginerd finally sparked some discussion, but I'm not sure the above is a viable alternative to a points-based system, so I'll just offer a slightly revised version of my original suggestion:

1. Squire: up to 90 points
2. Knight: 91 - 110
3. Lord: 111 - 130
4. King: 131 - 150
5. Emperor: 151 and up

This corrects for two oversights: first I forgot that there needs to be a category called "Lord." Second, I agree with Vantek that allowing new players to level-up after their first win is a bad idea. (Originally, I had 101 as the cutoff for Knight, and the assumption has always been that everyone starts at 100.)

(In case anyone is wondering why I originally thought anyone under 101 should be a Squire, I thought I had to drop the sub-beginner level so I would have three categories left for 101-125, 126-150, and 151+. This was because I mistakenly thought I only had four categories to work with Well sorry, it's not like I've ever gone with Lord when I had a choice of AI levels )

The good news is there seems to be a consensus on the categories and their titles So it's mostly a matter of whether we should use points and what the cutoffs should be. What I just suggested is fairly similar to what we have now, except that there's one less category and the cutoffs for King and Emperor are more attainable. (The problem was that with the current number of games no one would ever get enough points to reach High Inter or Expert, at least according to their original definitions.)

Anywho, I think everyone should either propose their own idea (the more the better) or if you can't think of one, comment on the existing proposals.
posted 10-29-07 01:59 PM EDT (US)     13 / 16       
I think your original system was good. So how about fixing the two things, only adding a Lord category, and knocking up Knight threshold, while keeping the same jumps, like this:
1. Squire: <125
2. Knight: 125-149
3. Lord: 150 - 175
4. King: 175 - 199
5. Emperor: 200 and up

I think it makes sense to have only one Emperor too - the Champion. Maybe like this:
1. Squire: <125
2. Knight: 125-149
3. Lord: 150 - 199
4. King: >200
5. Emperor: special (Champion)

Maybe it would be better if lower levels had smaller jumps. Maybe split the Squire, like something like
Novice Squire <90
Noble Squire 90-104
Valiant/Heroic/Valorous/Mighty/Elite Squire 105-124

[This message has been edited by Vantek (edited 10-29-2007 @ 02:12 PM).]

posted 10-30-07 11:37 AM EDT (US)     14 / 16       
The main problem that this post was intended to address is this:

Due to decreased Wizard Ladder activity (fewer games), no one who has a low score now could be realistically expected to hit 200 points. So the in response to Vantek's most recent post, I don't think we should make the top category 200+, unless we change the point values of games.

My understanding is that the cutoff for expert was dropped from 200 to ??? (can't be higher than 160) for precisely this reason. So I just wanted to formalize that by tweaking the scoring system. Seems like the most obvious fix is to make the cutoffs for each level lower.

Alternatively, we could just make it a higher-scoring game by changing the point value of all our games. Right now the points you get for a win are (usually) linearly proportional to the difference between your level and your opponent's. I think the formula is:

3 x (X - Y + 2)

Where Y is your level and X is your opponent's. Basically this means you get six points for someone the same level as you, and if your opponent is N levels above or below you, add or substract 3 x N.

(There are two exceptions, I think: for some reason, you get 3 points for opponents two levels below you. And of course you never get less than 1 point even if you have three or more levels on them.)

So my point was we could change that formula instead of changing the cutoffs, but I think changing the cutoffs would be simpler. I still think it should take about 20 points to go up a level, and the highest level should be around 150 or 160. Note that I'm not dismissing Artic Wolf's idea out of hand: the advantage of a non-numeric system is that it could work with a very small number of players, but it sounds like it also has some problems in its current form.
HG Angel
posted 10-30-07 07:08 PM EDT (US)     15 / 16       
Glad to see some good discussion going on with some well thought out ideas. I've purposefully not said much to see where the discussion is headed. Let me add a few thoughts and then please keep the discussion going with all the different ideas.

Scoring system - points for games can be changed to whatever suits our needs. (yes the points for Expert were lowered some time ago to 160 I think).

Titles and range of points for titles - up for grabs and can be changed to whatever suits our needs (although the new squire to emperor titles seems to be popular).

Purpose of the WL - Why does it exist? What do you (the forumers) want to get out of it? As administrator of the WL I hope it is something that provides value to you and encourages you to keep coming back. Whatever ranking system is put in place with whatever scoring system is really wide open so far as it is something that provides value. One of my goals has been to do things to help build up the AoW1 community. As disenchanted pointed out in the main post there is little activity with the ladder. So what I guess I'm saying is how do we create more activity in the WL and what system do we need to put in place to make that happen

I personally think the scoring system can be improved. I think there is big difference in the way FFA games are scored vs 1v1 games. The best way to pump up your WL score under the current system is to play and beat someone several levels above you (not always easy but figure out how many points AW just earned for beating me and you'll see what I mean) or play an FFA game and kill another player and start racking up the points quickly. Win one 4 person FFA game and kill 2 players and you'll jump up 10 points. Again... the purpose behind the scoring system was an attempt to help level the scoring system.... get too high we'll knock you down fast... get too low we'll give you greater chances to come up. Again, what is the purpose of the system we want to live by, what is the activity and how do you want to score it? What incentives do you want to give, how do you reward players that play lots, how to not discourage newbies, all good questions (that are kinda being talked about).

Okay... I'll butt out and watch the discussion unfold before I put my 2 cents in again.
posted 10-31-07 02:13 PM EDT (US)     16 / 16       
Ah, okay didn't think about lack of activity. At first sight I didn't see that big a problem - 6 pts from a player of your level results in advance in 25-gap level in four or five victories over wins, which sounds reasonable.

I think it would be nice if the threshold for upmost rating-gained title was a pretty number (like 200). Since noone really uses up the 100 starting points (lowest in the ladder was something like 65), and we're lowering the gapsa anyway, it makes sense to set it to 100.

So how about,
Start at 60
Squire - <70
Knight - 70..79
Lord - 80...89
King - 90...99
Emperor - >100

Start at 60
Squire - <70
Knight - 70..84
Lord - 85...99
King - >100
term "champion" is replaced with "emperor".

What I would like even better would be that you start with the lowest level, and then "build it up", rather than dropping greatly at first because your score does not represent your skill, but it takes lots of wort to create a system which accomplishes that.
My first idea would be like,
*) increased score numbers per victory/loss,
*) skill levels from 0 to 100 (gaps as 20 or 25)
*) you start with 0, and it's impossible to lose points at the first skill level
*) then on the next it's possible, but it's easier to gain than to lose
*) then so on and maybe from Lord and on, it's equal and stays equal.

And an additional idea - how about if you drop in level on a lower score than was needed to gain it? Like, you advance from Squire to Knight if your score exceeds 70, but once a Knight you drop from Knight to Squire if your score falls under 60? This would reduce "wobbling" between levels.

Ah hell, I've got time so I'll try to work out something.
For explanation, in Squire: 0...15..24 the 15 is denoting you drop from Knight again if score falls under 15.

Squire - 00...15...24
Knight - 25...40...49
Lord - 50...65...74
King - 75...90...99
Emperor - 100 and beyond

Score trades (N=KNight) (given as won/lost):


For team games... How about giving levels numeric values (Squire - 1, Emperor - 5), and calculating the average of the team, and giving points by that? I.e team 1 has a Lord and a Squire, team 2 has a Knight and a King, then team 1's "skill level" is 3+1/2=2 (Knight) and team 2's is 2+4/2=3 (Lord). Hmm sounds bad though, because the difference is multiplied in team games. How about doubling the difference, pushing the higher team by the amount up to emperor, and in case of excess dropping lower team back by it? Ugh complicated. In case of inequal numbers of players in the teams, the team with more players will use the number of players in other team instead of itself when calculating the average? Ugh complitaced. Will have to think about it.

Comment away, I can't possibly imagine what could be wrong with this system. For easy editing of the table, I'll post a carcass of the code, multiply the part from TR to /TR to get new rows. (if I used as much breaks for the table in this form, they would get telepored out of the table resulting in an enormous blank section):



[This message has been edited by Vantek (edited 10-31-2007 @ 02:56 PM).]

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