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Friday, February 02, 2007

Guild Wars: Automated Tournaments, continued

Gaile says:
You know what's cool about this upcoming tourney? It will involve any guild that wants to compete. Full Swiss system, so it may be 50 guilds, 500 guilds, 5000 guilds... only time will tell.
Um. Ok. Not sure how that's going to be terribly practical. I guess we shall see. Rules are supposed to be released next week.


Blogger Sausaletus Rex said...

I'm sure that it's going to be a logistical nightmare at first.

For instance, what are they going to do about scheduled matches where one team doesn't show up? I imagine there's going to be some kind of forfeit in place - but what are they going to do to prevent gaming of that system and collusion among, say, alliances to create better winning records? How are they going to do pairings? Is it going to be based on the ladder? Accelerated pairing? Something with byes like Go does? How do you keep the good teams interested in playing (In other words, provide them with decent competition) while still encouraging the lesser skilled to take part?

I'm particularly interested in the timeframe - apparently this is going to be lasting until the ATS comes out. Does that mean teams that sign up are going to be commiting to a couple months of showing up for matches on time? Or is it going to be a more daily structure with periodic "winner's tournaments" for the teams that do well in those (ie something like a Konrad system where you earn more points for participating all the time but if you get a certain number of points over a set time frame you get a pass to the tournament where the proven teams are going to play - meaning the good teams that roll everyone don't have to show up all the time but teams that show up and play hard also have a chance to make it to the big show. That sounds a lot like how the last championship season worked, just without the ladder involved.)?

Just a lot of questions to answer which makes me a lot more understanding of the delay here. They need to get all their ducks in a row and all and plan for the eventualities. As I said before, they'd be coming up with the ATS, too. So this upcoming tournament/season provides a good trial run to smooth out such bumps (Would have been nice to have started this as soon as the ladder was changed but, oh well.). It'll be interesting to see, I think, althoug - again - I'd like them to be issuing the preliminary rules *now* so that they can be picked apart by, you know, the people who'll actually be playing under them. It's part of this whole testing thing and all - the more eyes they have picking apart things for longer the better chance there is that gross abuses will be caught. Etc, etc, pound head into wall... Still I think it's going to be a good step provided it doesn't crash and burn because of some fundamental problems - there'll be tweaking and complaining and calls for patience and all the rest before it's through so, you know, the usual.

2/02/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Clamatius said...

I'm not sure about the "at first" bit.

This is all very surprising. The reason they gave for implementing an automated tournament system was that organizing tournaments constituted cruel and unusual punishment. And that was with 32 teams max last time.

So. Yeah. As I said, I'm a little curious to see what kind of rules Mr. Gills dreams up.

Oh, and 2 words: time zones. I assume they'll have to cope with that "little issue" via some kind of divisions.

As for pairings, you could just draw them out of a hat to start with - after that it'll be Swiss.

2/02/2007 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Sausaletus Rex said...

I'm not sure about the "at first" bit.

Well, I'm talking on the part of the player's coping with the new system - the first few rounds are just going to be filled with bugs and glitches. No matter how good the rules are, I'd count on it. For the developers as long as they're brute forcing this with laborhours, yeah, it's going to be filled with headaches. I just expect it to be tolerable to partake in after the first few wild oscillations (And where are those valleys? Well, that's why these things need to be tested.).

As for pairings, you could just draw them out of a hat to start with - after that it'll be Swiss.

There are Swiss Tournaments that start off with random pairing, yeah. I can get behind that.

Although that means it could be noobstomping in the first round, the longer it goes after that you have much better competition to deal with.

Random pairing at first means you can't accelerate things, though (Basically, you add a point value to everyone in the top half of the bracket for the first few rounds so the better teams play each other - and then they get to face the third quarter that's emerged from the lower half.) and that's how I'd like to see this done because I think it gives the better teams much more reason to compete and avoids teams rolling and getting rolled better. Can't do that without some kind of outside ranking but random might be the way to go at first. After this first tournament, you can take the points earned and use them to rank for any subsequent ones. And any quirks in the rankings will smooth themselves out over time. Again, this is why getting the first iteration of these tournament out of the way is so important - it makes every other one that much easier.

As for the nightmare of organizing things they do have a lot of bright and talented people to draw on in the fan community - not for the big stuff but if they want to appoint people to help them schedule and monitor and send out reminders and otherwise reduce the workload of trivial monkeywork, they can probably find tons on the forums. Outsourcing it to the big forums also means they have a ready made way for teams to sign up - just start up a thread for the various divisions. The whole thing can engender a lot of loyalty and support - mend those fences and all that and give people who want to contribute a way to help the game they love (ie all those forumites whining about how the game is dying and oh noes it is teh awful? Put up or shut up time.). But, in any event, this is exactly the sort of thing where the fans can help the developers out - power of the hive and all that. If, you know, they'll let us.

2/02/2007 02:48:00 PM  

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