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CTA games re: Rating system and DHT settings
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01-09-2015, 11:15 AM #1
Odoacer AC Operations Team
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Status: Offline Posts:154 Threads:16 Joined:Apr 2014
I've done some number crunching in the CTA database to see how the changes have affected games. Below is a chart showing the score difference in games as a percentage of total games for three different periods in 2014.

[Image: 19ce3c8413ab0c4756cd55b7d6819201.png]

01-09-2015, 06:49 PM #2
eekum Veteran
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Status: Offline Posts:399 Threads:51 Joined:Mar 2014
~85% of games are decided by 3 caps or fewer and people are still bitching?

Never going to make people happy.

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01-11-2015, 03:45 AM #3
Fordus Still n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:170 Threads:27 Joined:Apr 2014
I still would like the thing we discussed implemented...if there's going to be a handicap for the winning team, at least don't kick it in until every 2 cap margin. I understand the desire to prevent blow-out games, but this way it doesn't have as much of an impact on close-games.

Also, while I understand its place in CTA, I'm not sold on its use in competitive leagues. No reason for it to exist in ACG, for example.

01-18-2015, 11:01 PM #4
Astrok n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:31 Threads:0 Joined:Apr 2014
(01-09-2015, 06:49 PM)eekum Wrote:  ~85% of games are decided by 3 caps or fewer and people are still bitching?

Never going to make people happy.

Well, obviously making everyone happy is an impossible task, so you have to decide what your goal is. If it's to make games as close as possible, fine, but not everyone wants that.

So if the point of DHT is to artificially create a greater number of close games then go for it, but the people that don't want it that way very well might say so. If Odo/AC leadership deem that it's a very small minority and the greater amount of people would rather have it then so be it. The overall impact as a whole is pretty marginal, which for me just sort of begs the question "why bother?". It does create the potential (however slight) that a more deserving team is going to end up robbed of a victory that they probably should have earned. The 'deciding' cap may always be determined on equal footing... but unless it ends up as a 1-0 game that means the 'tying' cap may have been BS and given the losing team an opportunity they shouldn't have had. Slight chance, but for what purpose? To keep CTA games an average of a 1.5 cap difference instead of a 1.6 cap difference? And why is that a good thing anyway when CTA is (ostensibly) supposed to be a competitive entity, if not an overly serious one.

I might not be the player I used to be, but I'm still decent. I don't find being penalized for making a good play fun, nor do I find being rewarded for failure fulfilling. I find it counter-intuitive to competitive spirit. Again, however slight the overall impact might be, and yes I realize that the overall reward of a cap is greater than the penalty the DHT would impose and therefore the 'net reward' is still a positive.

So, AC is in a tricky spot where the user-base is critically low and it is in their best interest to make as many people enjoy the game that they can. So in that regard... I'm fine with it. If it helps keep the majority of people happy then from a greater good stand point it is worth it for pub/CTA games/whatever the most popular avenue of playing is. But there's absolutely no reason for it to be used in discrete tournaments/leagues. I see no concrete benefit whatsoever, and only a potential preferential benefit that won't be shared by all.

01-20-2015, 06:20 AM #5
Fordus Still n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:170 Threads:27 Joined:Apr 2014
I wholeheartedly agree with what Astrok stated.

There are 2 issues for me with DHT.

First, regarding the penalty for teams that are ahead in caps--it doesn't feel good to accumulate an inherent disadvantage the more you outplay / successfully achieve victory (caps). I understand it doesn't feel good to get blown out of the water by a far superior team either, but isn't that why we have an automated matchmaking system based on ratings?

Second, regarding the gradual increase as time goes on. This is interesting, and I feel it's more an aesthetic choice more than anything else. I could see how people might not like that in some maps, when the games are really close and at the highest level (e.g. SPL finals), it might take a couple hours for a team to achieve a cap, and would prefer the walls to start 'closing in' so to speak on both teams. But there's also something epic about the rare instance of dead heated long games, where both teams are so skilled that it becomes a contest of which team can find the slightest of weaknesses to capitalize on.

This 2nd part of DHT wouldn't be my preference but it also doesn't greatly bother me. Like Astrok said, both of these have pretty marginal effects, but I'm greatly opposed to the 1st part on principle. It's arc socialism to me. What's next, we're gonna allow the losing team to have their special weapons recharge faster? Smile

The beauty and appeal of this game is that everyone spawns on even ground - in terms of lasers, special weapons, and yes, holding times. You don't grind levels, you don't buy the best gear. The only thing that separates you from your opponents is your ability to manipulate your ship. I'd like that to remain sacred.

01-20-2015, 08:35 AM #6
Odoacer AC Operations Team
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Status: Offline Posts:154 Threads:16 Joined:Apr 2014
Arc socialism... hah!

As I mentioned in the lobby yesterday, it's not an unheard-of game mechanic. In many sports such as football and basketball, the team that scores is "penalized" by giving possession to the other team. Why would any team want to score with such a penalty?? Doesn't that just reward the team that got scored on?? They could use the mechanic they used to start the game (coin flip, jump ball, etc.) to keep it fair, but they don't. Socialist sports, all of them.

Btw, arc socialism is having ratings-balanced teams. The better you get the worse your teammates get. What's the point in getting better if you're still gonna lose half your games, amirite? Want to object to that too? Go ahead; I know you want to, Fordus. We can repeat entire threads from 4-5 years ago. Smile

I'll start taking this concern seriously when someone can prove to me that dht is preventing the better teams from winning their games. Until then it's just whining about winning.

01-20-2015, 09:01 AM #7
Fordus Still n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:170 Threads:27 Joined:Apr 2014
The basketball analogy doesn't work because of the frequency with which scoring happens in basketball; it would be impractical to have a tip-off after every score. A better analogy would be hockey, where in fact they don't just give the puck to the team that just got scored on; they do a fresh faceoff at center ice.

You're right that we already have arc socialism with ratings-balanced teams...and sure, there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. So maybe that's not the right term to use. Because again, it can be a good thing to have both hockey teams be balanced in terms of player skill level, but still a bad thing to start giving the losing team the puck after the enemy team scores. In this scenario, would it drastically affect the result of a hockey game? Probably not, but why should the failing team be given this small edge?

I think it would be very difficult for someone to know that Odo, let alone 'prove' it. I don't know if the DHT is adversely affecting close games. I've played many CTA games where my team starts winning by a cap, and we end up losing 2-1. Was it DHT that caused this? I don't know. It could very well be that the other team started playing better, or our team started playing worse, or it could even be a combination of the fact that the other team with the now-DHT advantage starts gaining momentum and playing better and conversely our team starts playing worse.

DHT could play a role, or it could have little to do with it. It FEELS to me like it plays a small role in some games, but I can't rely on my feelings. But why should it even be a question? The burden of proof should be on the argument for its benefit, not its detriment. This is why when we talked about this a while ago, and you said you wanted to mitigate the prevalence of blow-out games which are anti-fun, I suggested don't have it kick in until a 2 or 3 cap margin has been achieved. This way it would still accomplish what you're seeking to accomplish and there is not even the risk of it affecting close games.
This post was last modified: 01-20-2015, 09:02 AM by Fordus.

01-20-2015, 09:23 AM #8
Odoacer AC Operations Team
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Status: Offline Posts:154 Threads:16 Joined:Apr 2014
They don't have to do a tip-off after every score. They could alternate possession based on what the initial tip-off/coin flip was. If Team A won initial possession from the coin flip at start of game, then Team B gets possession next after the score changes (even if Team B was the team that scored).

Quote:The burden of proof should be on the argument for its benefit

The benefit is shown in the chart. The detriment has yet to be shown. I understand that it is hard to evaluate in an individual game, but consider the aggregate. Do you think the standings of ACG would be any different if DHT had not been used? Is it having that much of an effect? No, I am fairly confident the final standings would not be any different. But we did get to see *closer* games than we would have. That is the benefit.

I did say I am open to the idea of disabling DHT when the cap difference is less than two. I also said I didn't want to change it in the middle of a league season (it was Week 3 at the time). Whether DHT is used in other games is completely up to the refs and players. It has always been possible to disable it in map settings.
This post was last modified: 01-20-2015, 09:24 AM by Odoacer.

01-20-2015, 09:29 AM #9
niveus AC Developer
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Status: Offline Posts:361 Threads:64 Joined:Mar 2014
What concerns me is how DHT effects ratings. Now correct me if I am wrong but this is the way I see it:

We use ratings to create teams where as Odo said, the better you get... the worse your teammates get. However I don't see progress within our rating system due to DHT. I believe DHT adversely effects the rating system. Because there are no blowouts, there are no major changes within a players rating. DHT in most cases will be the reason the weaker team will get within a 1-3 cap margin of the superior team and if my knowledge is correct, that means there will be minimal changes in players ratings.

What I am trying to say is in the last week, I have roughly gone 25-4 in win/loss and am still at 1500 (which is excellent for me) and then there are players in the 1900+ who have only won 30% of their last 50+ games and still at 1900. I think I have only seen one person go up from 1500 legitimately through the system and achieve 1800-1900 which is where they should be (Fordus).
This post was last modified: 01-20-2015, 10:02 AM by niveus.

01-20-2015, 09:42 AM #10
Odoacer AC Operations Team
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Status: Offline Posts:154 Threads:16 Joined:Apr 2014
Ratings not moving fast-enough is a valid concern, but that problem is due to a technical issue in the rating system code, not DHT. I will fix it soon.






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