Hey folks. This thread is centered on Swiss tournaments. My objective here is to improve the experience for both the user, and the organizer. This can cover things such as "how to reduce wait time between rounds." For now though, I'd like to ask about the recent change to the way prizes are given. Discussion A: Reward Format
Originally, rankings were linear with almost no tie standings whatsoever. This was done via various tiebreak methods including Buchholz. While those systems are awesome in some ways, many players felt vexed for getting a lower rank despite the same win/loss record and approximate skill. Because of that, some weeks back I decided to follow advice to award prizes based on win-loss record. The trade-off here is that players receive more fair rewards for a given record, but there is no actual winner of the event. How good or bad that is depends on the player's perspective, but Swiss is an exhibition-like format. Keeping all this in mind, what do you all think about this? Is a linear reward system with clear winners preferred, or should we stay with the current "by record" system where there is no clear winner and it's more of an isolated "individual performance" event?Discussion B: How ties factor into the Reward Format
Whichever reward system we use, ties have become somewhat problematic. They are not "bad" in themselves, tie series have been allowed in Swiss events for many, many games and it works. However, for our purposes it clouds things up a bit. So far, when a player has had at least one tie series Rikki and I would award an in-between prize. For example, a 2-2 record grants 2,000 IP and a booster pack. A 1-3 record awards 1000 IP and a booster pack. Someone with 1-2-1 might get 1,500 IP and a booster pack, then. However, the jump between 2-2 and 3-1 is problematic because of the different currencies (it isn't as simple as a 20-to-1 conversion because LP can buy different items). Additionally, should a 3-0-1 player be eligible for an IB common, under the current reward system?
These issues can be eased by offering only one currency type across all reward tiers (4-0 offers 8K IP, 3-1 offers 4-5K, 2-2 offers 2K, or something like that). Also, we can disallow a tie series and require sudden death. However, both of these solutions come with noteworthy drawbacks: for example, sudden death can significantly increase the duration of any single round with one or two pairs taking an extra 30+ minutes. Swiss rounds would have to be advanced once all non-sudden death matchups complete. And, since Swiss pairs people based on their current record in the event, advancing rounds before all matches are complete is a balance risk. Hopefully most of you get what I'm talking about but I'll elaborate on this point if requested. Discussion C: Reward Contents
This is not as dire of an issue to logistics as the Tie thing, but I would still like to hear feedback about this. I know the recent reward pool has been "OK" for new players, but veterans get almost no use out of it. While this is related to the fact that we don't really have many things to "buy" with our currency long-term (just rift runs and pre-order boosters?), I'm asking what you think we can do best in the meantime, until purchase options are increased and streamlined. Would it be best to offer straight IP instead of LP, for choice of booster packs and Rift Runs? Or, is LP desired instead? Please keep in mind that right now, Money prizes are not an option. Out of what we've got in-game, what would be most useful: IP or LP? I am leaning towards IP, but need to hear from you guys.
Also, here are two pre-built linear reward tables for a weekend Swiss event that Rikki and I drafted some weeks ago. We haven't had a Weekend Swiss in a long time, so we don't have a record-based reward pool yet. Please provide feedback on this; note that I would subject it to the considerations listed above, such as switching to a single currency type in the reward table rather than a mix of LP and IP. If you prefer a record-based reward table, please provide some examples! Weekend events get bigger support from Yodomare, so any proposals should be similar in value to the recent Weekend Elimination events.Discussion D: Player Count
Setting a maximum player limit is unnecessary, but we do have an issue that arises when we have an uneven player count (50% chance, no less). This causes bye rounds, which make the reward table more difficult to work with. I have tried setting an artificial 5th round to pair-up bye players who didn't get a 4th match, but that takes extra time. I have an offer, that I feel requires the community's blessing. How about if I require a judge besides the organizer at almost every Swiss event. If we receive 7/9/13/17 participants, this Judge acts as a proxy player to fill in an uneven player count. They can stand in when a player drops out mid-event, but if they fill an entire event of four rounds they would be eligible for prizes as normal. This would have the following pros and cons:
- Pro: Even player count, no byes
- Pro: if entering for a full event, skill balance is automatic.
- Pro: Judge has a chance for action, instead of sitting waiting for scores to be reported.
- Con: if entering for a single round, Judge Proxy Player may have drastic skill difference compared to the "bye" opponent and either give them a relatively easy win, or a staggering loss (i.e. might as well have skipped the match, which is bad game culture in skill competitions).
- If you guys think of more pros and cons please post about it!
Thanks in advance for any and all feedback. Please keep in mind
that this is merely a launching platform, and not meant to be an exhaustive list of everything that's needed to improve Swiss events. Tackling everything at once can get overwhelming, so let's start with these four points please. Then we can move on to things like time between rounds, etc.