Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season
  • Let me start by saying that I really appreciate the extra hours put in by the admin teams keeping all CLs running! Without you, these wouldn't even exist.

    Now straight to the point: Every season of Champion Ladder that goes by without any sort of changes made to the system is a huge waste of opportunity. As long as there's just a teeny-tiny change from season to season, we'll slowly be able to improve the format and eventually turn it into the competitive and enjoyable ladder experience it should be.

    Here are the biggest issues with the current format:


    • TV+(++?) destroys the teams of competitive coaches

    Coaches who win games are punished in a bad way by TV+ due to inflating their team value while deflating TV of coaches who lose most of their games. This results in incredibly unbalanced matches where one coach is trying to win, while the other gets to rip his team apart by focusing on hurting players with damage blitzes and mass fouling. Even if the competitive coach does manage to win, the price of that win is often high enough to end his team's run.


    • Losing developed players is too costly

    In my opinion the ultimate goal of CL is to have the most competitive playoffs (Champion Cups) as possible. We should work towards having a list of equally strong teams in the playoffs for each season to make it a truly remarkable and prestigious event with matches that are exciting to watch for everyone. Therefore some system has to be changed or added, allowing people to have more, and more effective ways to rebuild their team after a Pyrrhic victory. @dode74 has suggested some form of team apothecary that is basically able to heal a player after a match. I thought about adding a system allowing you to resurrect or heal your players for money after the standard waiting period for MNG or worse results of one match. Additionally, a buff to the Apothecary would save a lot of games from suddenly turning into a pointless exercise. One way to do this would be by guaranteeing that the Apo result will always be better than the original one.


    • Progression is too random

    Some people just get to have amazing, well-rounded teams while others end up a complete mess with rookie players slowing everyone down. Add the BB2016 MVP rule already!


    • Full resets every six weeks

    In a perfect world a Champion should get the chance to defend his title by taking his winning team to the next season. This would greatly increase the prestige of Champion Ladder and make for some very interesting storylines. To balance this any teams that make it to the Champion Cup playoffs are allowed to enter the next Champion Ladder (but a team from the CL8 playoffs can play in CL9) as well. This way the veteran couches get to fight each other which should make their CL experiences much more enjoyable if they like to play at high TV. A privilege that anyone who manages to qualify simply deserves. To ensure these veteran teams don't take over the ladder, it is necessary to remove the Fan Factor cap for them. If they continue to do well, their TV will rise indefinitely until it's simply too much to handle and they can't keep up with the competition from new teams. In addition, a team that chooses to transfer from the Champions Cup into the next CL season will have a skill similar to Fan Favourite added to their most expensive player, but effectively acting as a negatrait. The coach can then choose to fire his best player or keep him as a powerful tool for a steep price.


    • Inducements are (mostly) not good enough

    Team Value is supposed to be a primary balance factor in Blood Bowl. The problem is that most inducements are just not good enough to give the underdog something close to a 50/50 chance. Keep all inducements coaches already like to buy the way they are (Wizard and Wilhelm Chaney are prime examples), and make everything else cheaper. We also need cheap inducements options that range 10k to 40k in price. Babes shouldn't be the least expensive option with a whopping 50k, the price a lot of teams pay for a linemen.


    • Kick-Off events are too inconsistent

    Add the option to use a more "balanced" variant of Kick-Off events for all BB2 leagues. A Blitz for example should only be given to the coach that is behind in touchdowns (or players, or TV). The Throw a Rock result automatically knocks out a player if it happens to the coach that is behind in touchdowns. If a coach isn't behind in touchdowns (or TDs are even) the player will only be stunned.


    • Bo1s in the playoffs

    Also are just simply way too random. @Ducke suggested Bo3s instead, although I see problems with scheduling that many games. At the very least make the finals Bo3!

    last edited by Isarnwolf
  • BB2 Champion Ladder Admin Team

    TV++ - It's not been fully implemented. If it had been then the vast majority of what you see as issues would have been resolved. That said, TV++ leads to TV differences having less of an effect on outcome than TV-matching alone. Furthermore, TV differences have decreased on average since TV++ was introduced. Part of being competitive is dealing with the competition, and part of that competition involves playing kill teams.

    Losing developed players - yes, it's costly, but it's also part of progression-based Blood Bowl and partly balances out the positive effects of your next point. Part of winning the Championship is getting to be the top race of a ladder, and that's a part of the overall competition. That said, I wouldn't be against a post-match healing system to reduce some of the variance in casualties we see.

    Random progression - yep, random is random. The BB2016 MVP rule is part of a package which comes with Seasons and Expensive Mistakes. Open/ladder play can be adapted for Seasons and I'd not be against adding all of those rules (and Seasons would also resolve your next point), but simply adding the MVP rule will hugely benefit some players (BOBs, Saurs, FGs, TGs etc) over others.

    Resets - with the current system what you propose is not possible. Only new teams are allowed in the Champ Ladder so we couldn't do it even if we wanted to. My preference, though, would be to have a games-played based Season system with the DZ1 redrafting rules (and MVP etc) in place and happening every x (maybe 20-25) games as a maximum, with a further Season reset at the end of a temporal season.
    The problem with allowing teams to remain is partly to do with progression: teams which get great players tend to do well, and allowing those players great longevity means the team can dominate. Under Seasons the longevity is reduced (due to Wants to Retire) and the player will lose a lot of protection due to expensive players taking up a lot of the initial salary.

    Inducements - they're not designed to be 50-50. That's to provide an incentive to grow your team. Furthermore, pricing isn't that simple: what's a Wizard worth to Nurgle compared with what it's worth to Skaven? The odds will never be static. There is a solution, ofc, but it's the full TV++ system which people seem to dislike...

    KO events - I hate some of them, too. The Rock in particular, but there is a stadium upgrade to negate it. Perhaps more stadium upgrades which negate the effects of more of the KO events would resolve the issue? That allows a coach to reduce the impact of the events of his choice by choosing the upgrades he wants.

    Best of 1 - time is, as you say, the factor. It will only get worse when LE releases and we expand the competition to 32 teams. We will keep to a playoff format simply because people refuse to play when they can't win, so Swiss is a no-go. We'll look at how it goes with 32 teams and work from there.

  • @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Coaches who win games are punished in a bad way by TV+ due to inflating their team value while deflating TV of coaches who lose most of their games. This results in incredibly unbalanced matches where one coach is trying to win, while the other gets to rip his team apart by focusing on hurting players with damage blitzes and mass fouling.

    Actually no, that's not what happens. Since it matches on TVPlus rating, the teams that win games are considerably more likely to be matched against other teams that also win games. It means the matching value for successful teams is higher than their TV while the matching value for teams that are not winning a bunch is lower than their TV, making those two types of teams LESS likely to meet one another, not more.

    The current system still uses TV for inducements, not TVPlus rating, so that "TV inflation" you're referring to is not giving an in-match advantage to a team with a very low rating. Under full TVPlus it would, but likewise, it'd be a rez environment where your team couldn't be ruined by someone who was playing just to ruin teams.

    @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    The problem is that most inducements are just not good enough to give the underdog something close to a 50/50 chance. Keep all inducements coaches already like to buy the way they are (Wizard and Wilhelm Chaney are prime examples), and make everything else cheaper. We also need cheap inducements options that range 10k to 40k in price. Babes shouldn't be the least expensive option with a whopping 50k, the price a lot of teams pay for a linemen.

    That's one of the main things that full TVPlus accomplishes - it makes inducements precisely good enough to make each match as close to a 50-50 chance before turn 1 starts. Inducements are overpriced, but the proper pricing is nothing we can guess at... so we could trial-and-error for months (or years) trying to find the exact correct price for each... or, we can NOT do that and let TVPlus find the right amount of inducements needed for each team to be balanced with each opponent.

    @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Also are just simply way too random. @Ducke suggested Bo3s instead, although I see problems with scheduling that many games. At the very least make the finals Bo3!

    That's pretty typical for any tournament system, though - you're using a very small sample size to determine the winner, so it's not really about who the objective best is, it's about who happened to win each game. Maybe they had a good day, maybe they got lucky... doesn't matter, it's just how the game went. The same is true in real sports.

    If you wanted the least random way of determining the best team you'd just use their season ranking and declare the top ranked team to be the winner.... it'd be much more accurate, but it'd be very, very boring. That's why sports have playoffs and finals... not for accuracy's sake...

  • Most of this post seems to be the usual "make the game softer/easier" refrain that seems to miss the whole point of Blood Bowl. The thing that makes this game unique and keeps such a hardcore fanbase around it is its random and unforgiving nature. Blitz kickoff should only happen for the team that's losing? are you kidding me? Maybe this game just isn't for you. Maybe competition in general just isn't for you, if that's really what you think.

    And hey, Focus might decide that to expand the customer base for this game, they do have to soften it up and broaden its appeal by making it less "hardcore." Some of the things you mentioned, like the team apothecary idea, could be alright if implemented correctly (In that particular example, I'd be alright if the team apo could be applied to one player at a time, and basically remove a permanent injury like niggling or -AV over the course of, say, 3 games, but not alright if it can just instantly fix injuries and raise the dead).

    But overall, BB is fun not in spite of its difficulty and cruelty, but precisely because of those things. I agree there is a ton of room for improvement in the way CCL works, but I don't think the answer is to just make the game easier for everyone and eliminate the advantages of higher TV teams.

  • @Stringer-Bell It's not about forcing changes for everyone playing BB2. It's about adding more customization options for leagues and ways to change Champion Ladder to make it more competitive, rewarding the coaches with experience, good understanding of the mechanics and superior strategy.

    Why shouldn't we want to cater to all the different types of coaches out there?

  • @dode74, @VoodooMike One of you two has to explain to me what exactly the current iteration of TV+ in CL does and doesn't do and why. And after having listened to quite a lot of coaches who simply dismiss TV++ as bad, I'm definitely intrigued by how much praise you have for it. I'm especially interested in how TV++ affects inducements and why TV++ match-ups can be considered balanced.

    last edited by Isarnwolf
  • @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    @dode74, @VoodooMike One of you two has to explain to me what exactly the current iteration of TV+ in CL does and doesn't do and why. And after having listened to quite a lot of coaches who simply dismiss TV++ as bad, I'm definitely intrigued by how much praise you have for it. I'm especially interested in how TV++ affects inducements and why TV++ match-ups can be considered balanced.

    The current iteration of TVPlus (the one that Cyanide uses) is nothing more than the use of the TVPlus formula (TV + (Wins - Losses) x 50) for matching. It still uses TV difference for inducements. It is nominally better than TV matching, but it isn't a ton better.

    Full TVPlus (which is what you'll see us praising) uses that formula for calculating inducement gold, is a rez environment, and is ranked based on normalized zSum (that's Wins-Losses, and is compared to other zSums of other teams of the same roster).

    TV is a measure of team strength.. just... not a particularly good one. TVPlus combines that with a measure of your performance - performance being a combination of your skill as a coach and the efficiency of your team. Cyanide's current use, while horribly lacking, is still better because the difference between two teams TVPlus ratings is a better predictor of who will win than the difference between the two teams TV ratings.

    Why Full TVPlus makes balanced matches is that the size of each match's inducement pool is what it takes to make the match fair - the thing that TV difference does not do.

    If I gave you a kitchen knife and said balance it on one finger... you could manage it. Not because you can just guess where the center of mass is... but because you just adjust back and forth... if it tilts to the left you move your finger that way, if it tilts to the right you move your finger that way. Eventually you find a place where it may wobble but it stops falling in either direction. That's how TVPlus works. Every time you play a match and win, it shifts inducements you get down and you give up... every time you play a match and lose, it does the opposite. Eventually it finds the spot where the inducement pool is roughly what it takes to make each match even... not a tie... not alternating wins and losses... just... wobbly around that area.

    The "roughly 50% win rate.. but not strictly enforced 50%" is the guiding principle for matchmaking in almost all of the high-end commercial competitive games (examples: Blizzard's Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, Riot's League of Legends, Valve's DOTA 2). What's important is not win rate, it's being able to rank people according to their skill... and that's where full TVPlus also shines over our current system.

    At the moment we rank based on win record... which would be fine if all teams were equal... if all ROSTERS were equal... but they're not, and we all know they're not. A mediocre win rate with Halflings demonstrates more skill than a high win rate with Skaven... but you'd never see that. TVPlus uses the normal (bell) curve of zSum values for each roster to compare your team's zSum... meaning your performance is compared to that of those of the same roster. That value is converted into a standardized value that can be used to rank all teams of all rosters against each other. Since that controls for roster and team differences, the result is as close to a ranking based on "skill" as we are currently capable of. It also means you could coach a halfling team and still rank as the best in the world.. if you were, in fact, the best in the world.

    Finally, the rez thing. While a lot of people find this contentious, the difference in how much attrition each roster and team suffer, and the effect of total randomness on that, is a fairly major contributor to the demographic imbalance in places like COL, Auld/Nag, B... it's also disheartening to new players (and many old players). TVPlus uses rez to normalize attrition (at.. zero... though other uniform methods can be used like seasons or ageing) such that on-pitch killing is a match-level strategy, not a team-ending tragedy... and it encourages everyone to play to win rather than play to protect their players.

    One of the best parts of Full/True TVPlus is that it does not suffer at the hands of low population. It creates balanced matches regardless of population level because it is always automatically correcting itself to suit the current composition of the environment. It automatically corrects for changes in population... it automatically corrects for changes in roster demographics... it automatically corrects for new rules or races or anything.

    In fact, under full TVPlus you could create ANY roster you wanted, toss it in (even one that is totally overpowered or total garbage) and in a week or two it would be creating balanced matches involving those, too. The only place we'd see the total imbalance of the roster would be in comparing the average zSum score for teams of that roster to the average zSum scores of other rosters. The OP one would be much higher, the garbage one much lower.... so we'd know they were OP or garbage, the system would just be compensating for those facts.

    Anyway, always happy to answer questions about it. The anti-TVPlus people mostly hate the "50% win rate" aspect... but as I say, that's pretty much a standard for competitive matchmaking in far, far higher profile games.

    Cyanide does not implement full TVPlus, it just uses the formula for matching. Until it's used for at least inducement calculations... the system is still going to be rough, and still be deeply affected by population size and attrition rates.

  • @VoodooMike So "TVPlus" as you've described it only really makes sense in a rez format? So far I'm 100% sold on it. Just wonderering how difficult it would be to implement in BB2.

  • @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    @VoodooMike So "TVPlus" as you've described it only really makes sense in a rez format? So far I'm 100% sold on it. Just wonderering how difficult it would be to implement in BB2.

    No, rez isn't strictly necessary, but without it the environment would be vulnerable to griefers who go out of their way to lose games just to play at an advantage in order to wreck people's teams. Under rez the worst such people can do is make one match crappy... and you'd still end up with a win (since they'd have to keep losing to maintain their advantage).

    A large part of the demographic issues in open play is related to the different rates of attrition that apply to the various rosters. Teams that take less damage survive longer to reach higher levels of development, and then the rosters best at trouncing those high-survival teams become over-represented. That's why Claw teams are so prevalent... they're designed to take apart robust teams. I don't think we'll see a change in demographics until we see a very deliberate change to how attrition is handled.

    Another reason for rez with TVPlus is that TVPlus is slower to react to dramatic changes in team strength. The only real situation in which that occurs is when your team gets completely crushed, taking a ton of damage during a single match. It still corrects for the changes, but it takes more matches to correct for it because the rating isn't strictly strength, it is also performance related.

    There are many different ways to prevent teams from developing forever, if that's a desired goal. BB2 has ageing that forces old players to retire... BB2016 has seasons and the "wants to retire" characteristic on players... those are only two ways attrition can affect all teams equally. Or none... I'm not sure it's really needed, but it's fine if people feel it is.

    How tough would it be to implement in BB2? Not very. The system already calculates TVPlus for each team when creating the matches, it just needs to start using it when calculating inducement gold. Rez is as easy as not recording injuries or deaths and not removing dead players from the roster. The tougher thing is changing the ranking systems (everything else is trivial) and getting Cyanide to make TVPlus and rez optional - all the changes they've done so far have been applied to everything and everywhere, like it or not. I don't think it'd be a great idea to force everyone to use TVPlus based inducements, or to make all leagues, private and public, be rez...

  • @VoodooMike said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    How tough would it be to implement in BB2? Not very. The system already calculates TVPlus for each team when creating the matches, it just needs to start using it when calculating inducement gold. Rez is as easy as not recording injuries or deaths and not removing dead players from the roster. The tougher thing is changing the ranking systems (everything else is trivial) and getting Cyanide to make TVPlus and rez optional - all the changes they've done so far have been applied to everything and everywhere, like it or not. I don't think it'd be a great idea to force everyone to use TVPlus based inducements, or to make all leagues, private and public, be rez...

    @Netheos Is TVPlus as described by VM here being worked on, or on the list?

  • @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    @Netheos Is TVPlus as described by VM here being worked on, or on the list?

    Don't count on it. A large number of long-time coaches oppose the idea of winning anything less than a noticeable majority of their games even if such an environment is more competitive and better able to recognize higher skill levels. Many also seem to think that rez is "against the spirit of the game" even though it is the standard for TT tournaments and star players.

    To date, Cyanide/Focus has even expressed no intention to unpair rez and the disabling of SPP. Under LE if you want an environment to be rez, you can't have SPP gains.. you're locked into a per-game TV increase, meaning rez will be basically unusable in perpetual play leagues. Not for any good reason, just because... hey... they run bartertown and all that.

  • I mean I gotta say, I didn't exactly have a strong opinion coming into this discussion one way or another as I have not been keeping up with the TV+ debate at all, but the way you're describing it, it basically sounds like the major difference in true TV+ is that you get less inducements the more you win, and more inducements the more you lose, in an effort to keep everyone's win rate close to 50%. If I am understanding that correctly, then no wonder so many people are opposed to that.

    I understand that you're saying we could still keep track of player rankings under this system (I assume that rather than looking at overall wins and losses, since we're all supposed to be around 50%, you'd be basically looking at who has the highest "handicap" under the TV+ system - correct me if I'm wrong). But at the end of the day, even if that could theoretically end up producing a more accurate ranking of players across races, why is that preferable to just having the freakin wins and losses tell the story? I can appreciate wanting to make things competitive and fair and get the rankings to be as true and accurate as possible, but when it comes at the expense of equality in terms of what each team gets to bring to the pitch in any given match, that is a bridge too far for me.

    If youre looking at two matches, each of which contains one team of TV 1500, and one team of TV 1200, then both those matches should include the same amount of inducement money distributed in the same way. Maybe the TV++ thing makes for more accurate rankings in the long run, but try telling that to the guy who has to face Team X armed with 200k in inducements, while his friend is facing an identical Team X with only 50k inducements, all because of some wins and losses from other, unrelated games. If we were just playing some perpetual ladder format with no immediate concerns like qualifying for playoffs etc, then sure, make TV+ an option for those who want it. But when you are in a tight CCL playoff race and you end up losing a game because your opponent got just enough bonus noob inducements to buy a wizard and then "oops, the kitchen knife swung too far the other way... we'll make sure to correct for that next game!".... gimme a break. At a certain point you gotta just recognize its competition, and someone is always gonna be better than their opponent, and that is a feature, not a bug.

    I kinda like the idea of the TV+ system accounting for overall differences between races. For example, everyone knows low TV chaos suck, and low TV skaven/elves are at a big advantage over them. So if you wanna say "All skaven vs chaos matchups below a certain level of TV will give X amount of inducement to the chaos team" based on the data, then I could probably get on board with that. But in terms of adjusting different amounts for each individual game based on the person's record.... no way. Keep it fair for everyone. If you suck at the game, get better. You don't just get free gold to make up the difference. Let the wins and losses speak for themselves. I understand why this would be good for team-based matchmaker environments like overwatch, LoL, etc but BB is one-on-one, and tilting the board in favour of one player over the other is just not in the spirit of this kinda competition IMO.

  • @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    I mean I gotta say, I didn't exactly have a strong opinion coming into this discussion one way or another as I have not been keeping up with the TV+ debate at all, but the way you're describing it, it basically sounds like the major difference in true TV+ is that you get less inducements the more you win, and more inducements the more you lose, in an effort to keep everyone's win rate close to 50%.

    You need to remember that the point of inducements was to help balance matches, they just caved to people's bitching about it and made them too weak to do it properly. If we don't want to balance matches lets do away with inducements altogether... if we do want to balance matches then lets have inducements do their job properly. This half-assery that we've been using makes NO SENSE.

    While the system does push people toward a consistent win rate of around 50%, that's a side-effect of what the system is trying to do... which is to make each match balanced at the start such that neither side has an advantage prior to the first turn. If every match is balanced then you'll see, in the long run, people having a win rate of around 50%

    @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    But at the end of the day, even if that could theoretically end up producing a more accurate ranking of players across races, why is that preferable to just having the freakin wins and losses tell the story

    Because "the story" is secondary to having a fair matchmaking system. For you to have a win rate over 50% one or more people need to have a win rate comparably lower than 50%, and those people are going to feel (justifiably) that the matchmaking system is not giving them fair matches. Those people are, quite literally, being given harder matches than you are simply because you're better and/or you're playing a better roster.

    @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    If youre looking at two matches, each of which contains one team of TV 1500, and one team of TV 1200, then both those matches should include the same amount of inducement money distributed in the same way.

    Why? Because TV is an accurate representation of team strength? It isn't. We know that for a fact. Most of these arguments seem to be based around pretending that isn't the case. Likewise, 300k of inducements does not make a TV 1200 team comparable to a TV 1500 team. We know that too. So tell me... why "should" it be that way?

    @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Maybe the TV++ thing makes for more accurate rankings in the long run, but try telling that to the guy who has to face Team X armed with 200k in inducements, while his friend is facing an identical Team X with only 50k inducements, all because of some wins and losses from other, unrelated games.

    I'll happily tell that to the guy. The system has determined that his friend is better than him at coaching that team, so it takes more inducements to make him roughly balanced with the opponent than it takes to make his friend roughly balanced with the opponent.

    @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    If we were just playing some perpetual ladder format with no immediate concerns like qualifying for playoffs etc, then sure, make TV+ an option for those who want it. But when you are in a tight CCL playoff race and you end up losing a game because your opponent got just enough bonus noob inducements to buy a wizard and then "oops, the kitchen knife swung too far the other way... we'll make sure to correct for that next game!".... gimme a break. At a certain point you gotta just recognize its competition, and someone is always gonna be better than their opponent, and that is a feature, not a bug.

    Actually, for competitive environments you want the most accurate rankings possible. Full TVPlus would be excellent for things like CCL seasons specifically because it not only creates more accurate rankings that can be used for determining who makes it to the final tournament, but also because it handles the issues CCL currently has with late joiners who want to play, but don't have expectations of being in the finals. Unlike the current system, they'd still get fair matches, not constant matches against high development teams that stomp them. High development teams continue to contribute appropriately to their rankings.

    Where TVPlus is not used unmodified is in environments that are not open, perpetual play. The final tournament for CCL, for example, would not use your individual zSum for its TVPlus calculation... instead, it uses an aggregate zSum for your roster based on, for example, averaging the zSums for all teams of that roster that are at least one standard deviation above the mean. What that does is compensate for roster differences without balancing for coaching skill. Tournaments are a place where you're meant to have a pre-match advantage if your skill level is higher - it's important to encourage wins in tournaments to represent skill, not mechanical differences.

    @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Keep it fair for everyone. If you suck at the game, get better.

    Except that that's not fair for everyone. This is a multiplayer game.... why does it make sense to you that a superior player should get easier matches than an inferior player? That's what's happening currently. The idea that you've "earned" easy wins is a product of a single-player mentality. You don't earn an easier time in matchmaking... you don't earn matches skewed in your favour. Where your skill earns you wins is in tournament play. Matchmaking is about finding an appropriate match for you... and appropriate means "to your level of ability" not "we set up fish in a barrel for you to shoot" or "we're bending you over the couch for this guy to have fun with".

    @Stringer-Bell said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    I understand why this would be good for team-based matchmaker environments like overwatch, LoL, etc but BB is one-on-one, and tilting the board in favour of one player over the other is just not in the spirit of this kinda competition IMO.

    It is in the spirit of every competitive multiplayer game, regardless of whether it is a one-on-one thing or a team based game. Team based games just have a harder time getting it done. The current system is letting things be tilted in favour of one side or the other... the proponents of TVPlus, like myself, are saying it's time we stopped that and made the playing field balanced to the best of our ability.

  • I wanted to share a chunk of a post from one of the developers of Overwatch because it very much covers a lot of the complaints and demands we see about matchmaking.

    Jeff Kaplan said in This is how the matchmaker works in Overwatch:

    The first factor is time. The matchmaker will try to find you match quickly and not force you to wait too long. A very common thing that happens is that a player will become dissatisfied with a match and say “I don’t care how long you make me wait. I’d rather wait 20 minutes and have a good match than get matchmade into a match like you just put me into.” What we’ve seen is that when the time crosses a certain threshold, players begin to complain about it taking too long to find a match. It sounds good… waiting for that perfect match. But when the reality of waiting too long comes down on most people, they end up vocalizing their discontent on the forums. Also, there is an unrealistic expectation that if a player waits longer for a match, the “better” the match will be. The concept of “better” when it comes to matchmaking is a really hard one to define.

    If I were to summarize match results into 5 broad buckets it would be these:

    1. My team won. We beat the other team by a long shot.

    2. My team barely won.

    3. My team barely lost.

    4. My team lost. We lost by a long shot. It wasn’t even close

    5. It was a broken match somehow. Maybe someone disconnected,
      was screwing around or we played with fewer than 12 people.

    (of course there are more cases than this – I am overly simplifying here)

    Most players will say that they want a match to be either type 2 or type 3 as I described above. Those sound even. Barely win or barely lose. But I believe when psychology comes into play, most players actually expect type 1 or type 2 to be the result. Even an amazingly close type 3 match can turn into a highly negative experience for a lot of players. And if you keep “barely losing” it’s not a very fun night. Winning is fun and good. Losing is less fun than winning.

    So waiting a really long time to lose by a long shot is obviously not good. But waiting a really long time to barely lose is also a negative experience. And if we assume that your chances of winning are 50%, that means that even waiting a really long time for a “better” match means that you’re going to wait a really long time to probably lose half the time… If your expectation was that you were going to wait a really long time for an awesome match where you either 1) Won by a long shot or 2) Barely won… but still won nonetheless, your expectations for what the system can or should do are in the wrong place. We do not generate bots to take losses so you can win more than 50% of the time. Those are real people losing on the other end of every loss you take.

    BB2 could be a competitive game, it's just not that yet... we have the method, and we know it would work... people just need to get over the idea that "fair" means "I win most of my games" outside of tournament play. Open matchmaking is not tournament play... tournament play is tournament play.

  • @SirIronclad said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    • TV+(++?) destroys the teams of competitive coaches

    Totally agree. there are curently two concurrent systems than penalize winning teams: TV+ and fan factor. Fan factor could not be enough but both of them are too much.

    Maybe it is possible to remove fan factor from the TV formula when TV+ is used

  • I would add:

    You have to be able to play like thirty matches per season (not counting restarts) in order to be competitive.

    and

    you have to play like mad when the season starts in order to be competitive.

    if not, you are just a victim.

    last edited by Niessuh
  • @Niessuh said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Totally agree. there are curently two concurrent systems than penalize winning teams: TV+ and fan factor. Fan factor could not be enough but both of them are too much.

    The data says both are not "too much" and the value of zSum is calculated based on the presence of FF in TV. That doesn't mean FF's contribution to TV is necessary, just that there's no reason to say it's causing problems.

    @Niessuh said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Maybe it is possible to remove fan factor from the TV formula when TV+ is used

    It is absolutely possible, sure... FF is like the idiot little-brother of zSum so you could certainly remove its contribution to TV, though doing so might change the optimal value of zSum in the process. A full TVPlus system would compensate either way.

    Cyanide's use of TVPlus for MM only also isn't affected negatively by including both - zSum is only used for matching, while FF is used as part of inducement calculations. Competitive teams aren't being matched with teams that are too good for them to win against or they wouldn't have a high zSum.... and removing FF from inducement calculations would further widen the mismatch of matches between superior and inferior teams.

  • @VoodooMike said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    @Niessuh said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Maybe it is possible to remove fan factor from the TV formula when TV+ is used

    removing FF from inducement calculations would further widen the mismatch of matches between superior and inferior teams.

    This is not what I am saying.

    last edited by Niessuh
  • @Niessuh said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    This is not what I am saying.

    Isn't it? You're saying "remove FF from the TV formula"... does that not mean not having FF contribute to TV? If so, then an environment like COL or CCL will no longer have FF involved in inducement calculations. That doesn't matter under full TVPlus, but it will under what Cyanide is currently doing.

    If I'm understanding your idea wrong then please clarify.

  • ... "when TV+ is used"

    not from inductments, just remove FF from TV when the TV+ calculations are done

  • @Niessuh said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    ... "when TV+ is used"
    not from inductments, just remove FF from TV when the TV+ calculations are done

    Ok. I get that you think that's super clear, but it really isn't. If you remove FF from TV when calculating TVPlus only when using it for matchmaking you'd have to recalculate the value of zSum. 50 is based on including both FF and gold in excess of 150k. Doesn't mean it can't be done, of course... but people aren't being "excessively punished" through the inclusion of those things.

  • I’m definitely a fan of the BB2016 MVP rule being adopted to increase the control and skill factor involved in team building. The random allocation can be extremely detrimental at times. For example, in my current Lizard team (taking a sample size of one, lol) 20 out of 25 MVPs have gone to bloody skink bloat despite there being less skinks than Saurus on the team (combine that with opponents conceding when you’ve secured the match enough to go for Saurus TDs and it can really slow down team development… and lead to a lot of Skinks getting fired).

    I’m less of a fan of resurrection mode in a medium length tourney such as the Champ ladder. In a short tourney (less than 20 games) I think res mode is definitely a good option as team development is handicapped already by the small number of games that can be played, so the impact of losing an important player is even more disadvantageous to the team (i.e. it’s always bad/sad but it’s not as crippling in a medium to long tourney as it is in your typical weekender). Again, I’m speaking here as a coach whose current Lizard team had 4 Saurus deaths (to random non-Claw Pom hits no less) and 2 + Agi skink deaths in 12 games. My view is that if you take the blood out of Blood Bowl, it’s just “bowl”, and nobody wants to play “bowl” 😊

    As for the playing early in the season issue, I think there will always be a player set that are disadvantaged in any open multiplayer environment by factors other than player skill. For BB2, some players have more time (meaning more games total and more grinding to catch that early win run), some players have access to a bigger pool of coaches during the hours they play (getting quicker matchups and a boarder range of opponent skill), some have dodgy internet and end up with DC concedes on their records regularly. With the relatively small player base of BB2 it’s difficult to create different environments to suit different types of gamers while still keeping the population high enough, and the matching flexible enough to get regular games. So, I think as a player base we have to accept that the limitations to our gaming probably aren’t Focus/Cyanides issue and just get on with enjoying the downtime we get (remembering we have some control over this by being a pleasant opponent and cursing Nuffle rather than our opposition – and keeping even this to a minimum). But I’ve been playing Blood Bowl in one form or another since the mid-90s so I’m probably a pretty easy customer for them to appeal to regardless.

    That said, I’m fully supportive of any tweaks the admin make to the Champ ladder/BB2 to increase the number of people playing (and can’t wait for LE). Again, speaking as a coach who works 60+ hours a week and has a small, very energetic child, so definitely can’t play more than 30 odd games in a season, and seems to only be able to play on PC when no-one else is on so can spin for several iterations of 299secs, even to the point where it starts to look for similarly matched teams in other leagues – good old UTC+10. Thankfully my internet issues are fixed now 😊

    I say keep up the good work, and thanks to all the admins who volunteer their time!

  • @sasanique said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    My view is that if you take the blood out of Blood Bowl, it’s just “bowl”, and nobody wants to play “bowl” 😊

    While this has been said multiple times over the years, the fact is that perpetual play (and thus, long-term attrition) was always an optional aspect of the game which was called Blood Bowl regardless. The "blood" comes from being able to violently remove other players from the field - something you can do even in rez environments - but doing so is then a match strategy, not some arbitrary detriment to teams in the long term.

    Likewise, star players are always treated as if they live in a rez environment - they have apothecaries that bring them back to life and with no injuries after every single game. Fluff is already in place... we'd just be hiring more of those folks!

  • @VoodooMike said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    You need to remember that the point of inducements was to help balance matches, they just caved to people's bitching about it and made them too weak to do it properly. If we don't want to balance matches lets do away with inducements altogether... if we do want to balance matches then lets have inducements do their job properly. This half-assery that we've been using makes NO SENSE.

    Bullshit. It's been the same prices for the same inducements since inducements were introduced. They didn't cave to anything. The inducements cost exactly what they have since they were invented.

    I'm really blown away that a guy who spent and spends so much time trying to cheat and break the game is seen as an expert on fairness. Am I taking crazy pills to be living in a world where the author of BBoracle is seen as an authority on fairness?

  • BB2 Champion Ladder Admin Team

    @crazyguy said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Bullshit. It's been the same prices for the same inducements since inducements were introduced. They didn't cave to anything. The inducements cost exactly what they have since they were invented.

    They were deliberately made too weak in order to encourage team growth, but that matched with the concept of TV-based matching in a limited population environment means they aren't doing the environment a service.

    I'm really blown away that a guy who spent and spends so much time trying to cheat and break the game is seen as an expert on fairness. Am I taking crazy pills to be living in a world where the author of BBoracle is seen as an authority on fairness?

    Actually one could argue that if he wasn't trying to be fair he'd not have released it publicly. If he were trying to cheat he'd have kept it to himself, won a couple of world cups etc.

    last edited by dode74
  • @crazyguy said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Bullshit. It's been the same prices for the same inducements since inducements were introduced. They didn't cave to anything. The inducements cost exactly what they have since they were invented.

    You can head over to TFF and read the BBRC members' own statements on the topic - the people who created and priced the inducements - saying that they originally had inducements creating greater match balance, but they caved to complaints that it would discourage team development (even though team development is not optional - you can't refuse to gain skill rolls - so TV management and optimization is not optional).

    @crazyguy said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    I'm really blown away that a guy who spent and spends so much time trying to cheat and break the game is seen as an expert on fairness. Am I taking crazy pills to be living in a world where the author of BBoracle is seen as an authority on fairness?

    If you don't want to believe my statement about what constitutes fairness in matchmaking feel free to refer to the statements by the developers of most of the largest esports games... unless you think they were "in on it" with my hairy-eyed machiavellian baby-eating h4x0r1F1k45huN? Those folks are responsible for competitive environments worth millions of dollars every month, so it's about more than armchair subjectivity in their cases.

  • Two simple things are missing for me :

    1. as the leader of each race qualifies for play offs, I would realy apprecaite that ingame we could sort the Ranking by race
    2. Would be nice also if the dates when the season finishes appears clearly ingame at least in the announcement message.

    Regarding the suggestion in the opening mail, well makes me question if it is the CL systems which is critized or the Rules of BB itself.

    I understand the choice of resetting teams for one season to another but still would love to be able to keep teams from one season to another and instead of naming each season : Season 1, Season 2..... Give them a name like "Chaos cup", etc.... that would renew each year. And after a full circle of tournament : teams or Coaches who would have the better performed qualifies for a Blood Bowl tournament...that would improve the experience and be awesome ! ( a format Like grand chelem tournament and Masters in Tennis)

    last edited by JRCO
  • A couple points from my side:

    1. Comparisons to games like Overwatch and League of Legends are not really valid, because there you only compensate for player's skill, as everyone starts with the same team/champion. I understand that you're trying to balance for the different teams as well, but I sure think this is a lot more difficult to achieve than for example using TV++ in a league of for example the current tabletop meta of 1100 TV teams with 6 skills.
      I'm not saying it does not work for sure, I feel we would need too many games for this to balance properly. Also, keep in mind that Blood Bowl compared to for example LoL has a much lower skill influence on a game. Where a top player in LoL always = 99% of the games would win against an above average player, in Blood Bowl that player still only wins 80% of the time max. (I guess in LoL you have the randomness of your co players, so win rates even of smurf accounts are rarely above 80%)
      It will still work to some extent, just the randomness of Blood Bowl does not help to get to your real TV++ ranking soon.

    2. To those that still don't understand how to get a good record with a 50% win rate, the question is about when you'll get to that 50% win rate. so if you start a new account, you'de get bonus against good coaches so you'd probably win the first 5-10 games, until your skill level is adjusted to not get bonus against similar skill level coaches. that 10-1 record at the beginning, are actually being able to win with a steadily increasing TV++ rating will define the rankings.
      so the question is, is a 1 game per day player (as is the current assumption in the CL) able to reach his real TV++ rating given all the variance? No clue, I guess after 20 games 90% of the players would reach that.

    3. Are TV++ coach levels carried over to the new season? Because if they are, basically the top coaches don't need to play because they already sit at the highest ranking. If they are not, everyone starts fresh and the first 10 games of every coach are unbalanced again. How would you propose to handle this?

    4. Opposition TV++, will there be TV++ ranks for matching? so for example in LoL, if I'm a gold player I can only be matched against similar gold and mabye one rank up or down in level of play. Meaning I have a high TV++, I'd much rather enjoy a game against another high TV++ coach (with TV++ accounting for Team imbalance) than having to play a rookie teams against a rookie coach with 800k inducements. But I guess that's just my preference and could surely be handled in matchmaking.

    5. Yes please make the sorting by race available, as the goblinspy has not all the games recorded.

  • @Strider84 said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Comparisons to games like Overwatch and League of Legends are not really valid, because there you only compensate for player's skill, as everyone starts with the same team/champion.

    They are totally valid comparisons - what you're saying is that they're not identical, and that's true, but they are comparable in terms of what we're discussing: they are games that are considered serious, competitive games and they have a high-use matchmaking system.

    @Strider84 said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    I understand that you're trying to balance for the different teams as well, but I sure think this is a lot more difficult to achieve than for example using TV++ in a league of for example the current tabletop meta of 1100 TV teams with 6 skills.

    I don't think it is. Keep in mind that TVPlus is not creating an environment-transcending objective measure of roster or team strengths, it is creating an environment-specific subjective balance based on the environment it is used in. It is a self-correcting system that looks for balance within the environment, not to impose a static, external balance that is common to all environments.

    @Strider84 said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    I'm not saying it does not work for sure, I feel we would need too many games for this to balance properly.

    It'd likely take 2-5 games to find a comfortable spot for any given team assuming it is a brand new team from a brand new coach. It's faster than that if the coach has a previous record to work from. If they happen to be more than two standard deviations away from the mean in terms of coaching skill it could take a game or two extra. Most people will be within only a few points of their roster's mean zSum, which is where we start them.

    You're also talking about optimum balance for a team... even when its on its way there, it's achieving improved balance with every match. Every point is 50k worth of difference above and beyond the actual TV differences from team development.

    @Strider84 said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    so the question is, is a 1 game per day player (as is the current assumption in the CL) able to reach his real TV++ rating given all the variance? No clue, I guess after 20 games 90% of the players would reach that.

    They should get there very quickly, and we can control the rate by altering the value of each point of zSum. Want it slower but more precise? Reduce it... Want it faster and dirtier? Increase it. The point of TVPlus is to promote that 50% rate, not to force it... you force it by alternating too easy and too hard games, and that's dumb... you encourage it by giving people balanced matches and accepting that their rating will fluctuate around their optimal value, not be glued to exactly that value. We can also add further controls to smooth out the progression if needed, though that complicates the system progressively, and there's only so much controlling we want to do.

    @Strider84 said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Are TV++ coach levels carried over to the new season? Because if they are, basically the top coaches don't need to play because they already sit at the highest ranking. If they are not, everyone starts fresh and the first 10 games of every coach are unbalanced again. How would you propose to handle this?

    CCL forced everyone to start fresh teams, so that's easy. COL does not, and we do not want to alter the zSum for existing teams.. if you worry that people will choose not to play then that's a ranking system issue not a matchmaking issue. You can, for example, build in rating decay that decreases their rank rating slightly for every day they do not play a match... which forces people to maintain their rank rather than leave it stagnant.

    @Strider84 said in Every Champion Ladder without changes is a wasted season:

    Opposition TV++, will there be TV++ ranks for matching? so for example in LoL, if I'm a gold player I can only be matched against similar gold and mabye one rank up or down in level of play. Meaning I have a high TV++, I'd much rather enjoy a game against another high TV++ coach (with TV++ accounting for Team imbalance) than having to play a rookie teams against a rookie coach with 800k inducements. But I guess that's just my preference and could surely be handled in matchmaking.

    Well, we're at the mercy of population size on this one, and the method they opt to use for matchmaking. Most people seem to feel matching on TVPlus rating is a good idea in a full TVPlus environment.. in which case high TVPlus rated teams will preferentially be matched with other high TVPlus rated teams... but if they're not available then you get the closest thing it can find... and if there's really nobody else available, you might get that rookie coach with 800k of inducements.

    Matchmaking already has that issue... but unlike full TVPlus, it just creates the bad match and lets both sides deal with it. At least that rookie would be something of a challenge when given the 800k of inducements... currently it'd give him nothing to balance the fact that you're tons better than him.. it'd just let you curb stomp him and potentially ruin his team. Blood Bowl has a handicap system.. we should be using it to deal with these things.

  • TV ++ vs TV+

    Better coaches have more chances to be the underdog

    They get a real bloat with FF

    Inducments are usually considered overprized

    =

    IMO this is about fair enough, like said a wise man "If you suck at the game, get better."

    The whole compareason with chess and ELO is a waste : Elo protect you a bit in the last rounds of a tournament but you should see what really is the "swiss system" and in all cases it doesn't give you any protection in a champ !!

    Should Kasparov have given a second queen to the opponents ? I don't think so, it would have killed the game's interest. Who wants Kasparov with a 50% win/rate ? What pleasure to beat him with two queens ?

    For VodooMike : how far would you get ? A coach with a 30/0/0 record gives 1500TV of inducments to a coach with the same TV but wirh a 10/10/10 record ?
    If we follow your thoughts that would be the most fair, isn't it ?

    For the healing part

    It seems to me that most of the systems proposed would be a boost to the more violent teams : at least in the actual system they can die sometimes, specially with the "5 concessions max" rules. I would down it to 3 if it was me...

    Other teams are used to die a lot so i don't see it as a big issue anyway.

    Rez or ageing is fine too as long as it is optionnal.

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