Currently teams are ranked according to their win rate and games played. They are matched according to their team value and a TV+ value that is hidden from the player but is higher for teams with a better record.
The proposal is to rank teams using a visible points based rating system and to switch the matchmaking system to using team value only to select matches.
How would the rating system work?
- Each team would start with a base level of rating points, for example this could be 100pts.
- The teams would then gain or lose some of their rating points when they play matches.
- The amount of rating that is won or lost is not constant but is calculated based on which team is expected to win the matchup. The chance to win a matchup would be calculated by comparing each team's rating and also adjusting for any team value differential.
What are the advantages to using this system compared to the current system for ranking?
Currently teams are ranked based on their win record, but this ranking system fails to take into account the quality of opposition faced, so the integrity of the competition is reliant on the matchmaking system being able to provide matches which test the teams fairly.
In theory, using TV+ in the matchmaking will result in teams that have strong records playing against each other more often or alternatively teams with strong records will find themselves with a TV disadvantage that they will need to overcome in order to prove their skill.
This relies on a large player population and requires a decent sized pool of developed teams. In Champions Ladder the number of teams queuing for a game can be very low and many of the teams are poorly developed, particularly at the beginning of each season. This results in a lot of bad matchups being created, yet the ranking is unaffected by the quality of matchup.
Under a points based system, a bad matchup will award much fewer points to the winner, assuming the stronger team actually wins, while the loser will lose fewer points. This means that the ranking system no longer requires good matchups to be found in order to maintain its integrity.
The current ranking system heavily encourages players who care about their record to remake teams repeatedly if they suffer a defeat in their first few matches. With a points rating system, these early games wouldn't be significant to a team's overall chances of qualification so while winning would still be advantageous, losing would not necessitate remaking a team. Similarly a team could never reach a point where its record is irrecoverably bad. This would encourage people to stick with teams more commonly than they do.
What are the advantages to using this system compared to the current system for matchmaking?
Matchmaking by team value is a more logical form of matchmaking as team value is supposed to be a measure of how powerful a team is. Of course the actual outcome of a match is determined by the strength of the teams and also the skill of their coaches (and the die rolls).
I believe it is better for games of bloodbowl to be played with teams of equal value as far as this is possible, even if the skill of the coaches is different.
One aspect where this is better is attrition. A team is currently judged to be weaker by their record, however attrition is not tied to record but to blocks, especially blocks made with "killer" skills like Mighty Blow, Claw and Piling On. A coach may be poor at winning games of bloodbowl but be capable of making plenty of blocks with Mighty Blow. This can lead to matchups where the result is a 50/50 but the team with a stronger record and a team value disadvantage is likely to take many casualties.
If teams were matched only on team value then these frustrating attrition mismatches would occur far less often and weaker players wouldn't be rewarded for playing a brainless blocking game as much as they currently are.
Summary and points for possible further discussion
In summary I think these changes would be better because they:
-Would lessen the impact of early season matches
-Would lessen the impact of the matchmaker
-Would encourage people to keep teams, even after some lost games
-Would lessen the chance of receiving a cascade of casualties due to playing down TV
-Would make bash teams slightly less attractive
The exact mathematics behind the ratings would have to be designed.
I also feel like a "system within a system" of matching by rating within a much narrower team value margin would be good. For example a 1430 team with 210 points would match a 1470 team with 205 points instead of a 1440 team with 90 points.