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Tournaments should:
a) Continue as they are
46%
 46%  [ 6 ]
b) Be reformed
46%
 46%  [ 6 ]
c) Be scrapped
7%
 7%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 13
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Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:37 pm
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MrCrabbs
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Post subject: The effect on GM of tournaments Reply with quote

This is an outline of a theory I put to Magflag the other day.

So, in order to act as an incentive to play in tournaments, it is often said that big 1st prize money is the biggest draw to get players in.

Another argument for big prizes is to give a "foot up" to the winning player, so that even if they go into the tournament without many points, they emerge as one of the Big Players. A player who entered with 25k and won 70k would have 90k after paying the fee. This would put them in the top 30.

I would like to raise the question of whether the tournaments are achieving this though. If not, there may be a case for reforming tournament points, and I am not talking about as per my suggested distribution from the other day. That would have the same problems, but could be used if reformed.

Consider:
A player with 25k jumps to 90k. What happens to the points from there? There are various possibilities.

One is that the player enjoys being in the top 30 and therefore leaves that account untouched. In that case, the total supply of points is actually reduced, since all 90k is locked away. Rather than finding they get a slice of the points through trickle-down, other players find that they are chasing after fewer points than before, and hence their scores go down.

Another possibility is that the player is not worried about points too much and plays anyone who has a minimum of one fifth of their score with the account, in which case the player is likely to lose his or her points eventually, and the points get re-released back into the circular flow, along with any bonuses that were given to him or her. In the event that they have collected bonuses and then lose games, the overall points supply is increased. But if there were no bonuses, we are just back to where we started.

A third possibility is that the player who suddenly finds themself of 90k, only plays other players who have similar points. In this case, if they lose then the points are released, but into the "Elite" pool of players, the majority of whom will not play a player who has many points less than them. Hence, again, the points are again locked away from 99% of players.

Of course, it is also possible that a player who already has 90k will win the tournament. In that case, the points are even less likely to see the light of day.

This ananlysis suggests that giving large payouts to a player who wins a tournament is unlikely to help them for long, and is also likely to reduce the supply of points for most players, while increasing the supply of points for high-points players. The effect would be to increase the gap between the top few and the rest, and possibly make finding a game more difficult.

If anyone agrees with this analysis, they may also agree to some extent with the solution I suggest, which is to reduce the payout to the winners, and perhaps spread tournament payout to players who make it to the semi finals, in the form either of a % of the total fees, or in a full or partial fee refund for them as I elsewhere proposed for the player who finishes 4th in the final.

It would still be possible to create a final with "normal" incentives to play, by taking a formula similar to the one I suggest here: http://www.galacticmag.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3323, but reducing the payouts by a given proportion, and using the points saved to pay small prizes to players who make the semis, for example.

If this idea gets a better-than-lukewarm reception, or if players want to know more, I will flesh these ideas out to a fuller plan for everyone's consideration. One challenge would be to ensure that 1st prize is still pretty big, so that players are tempted to play. Inevitably, this plan would reduce the Las Vegas draw of 1st prize, but also reduce the number of players who maybe make it to the semis, but never play in another tournament.


Last edited by MrCrabbs on Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:37 pm
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MrCrabbs
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This theory is backed up by a recent conversation I had with Sim.

I asked him how he had got 220,000 points on his Sim5 account. He is not particularly great at 2p, so I figured it must be from tournaments.

He said that yes it was. It was from 4 or 5 tournaments.

My next question was to ask him when he last played on that account. He replied 1 month.

This is strong evidence to support my theory. Many of the points given out in tournaments are redistributed from the "masses" and go into accounts that are rarely used. The total amount of points available for other players is greatly reduced.

This is a very strong argument for slashing 1st prize in tournaments, or for making the entrance fee a % of the account entered, rather than a fixed fee of 5000, which is rather like Margaret Thatcher's poll tax - a means of robbing the poor to give to the rich.

Since making the fee a % of your points would encourage players to enter only low accounts, making the tournament a bit lame, this points to spreading the winnings out more as the obvious answer.

Another measure to prevent points being siphoned off in this way, would be to say that an account can only be entered into the tournament if it is an active account, ie: it has been played with in, say, at least one rated game in the last month but even then the points would likely have just changed hands, from one member of the points elite to the other.

It is pretty important that the points should be reflective of performance. I think we are seeing a situation where the points an account has bares less and less relation to that player's capabilities, with many low points players having low points not because of their gaming skills, but because they do not play the system.
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Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:39 am
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MrCrabbs
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More discussion:

http://www.galacticmag.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=33919#33919


Last edited by MrCrabbs on Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:30 pm
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MrCrabbs
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LOL, I just added a poll to this thread. And then I voted for the wrong option!

I have come to the view that the tournaments are more of a distortion on GM points than it is worth. With thousands of players and only 20 or so playing in a tournament, with the winner getting as much as 70,000 points for winning just 3 games, it seems that GM's points system is becoming slowly corroded by the tournaments.

They also present a "collective action problem" for players. It is in each player's interest to play, to try to get the huge prize money. But it would be in all of our interests if noone played, which can only be done by scrapping tournaments.

What I mean is, with 70k prize money, so long as there are tournaments, a player who is trying to get the highest score they can should enter. But If players want high scores AND want to be able to find games, it is in all of our interests to scrap them to stop points disappearing into high accounts that are never used.

I clicked reform, but I meant to click scrap. I want the new big idea for GM to be "back to basics". Scrap the crap, let's get back to GM as Kreso made it.
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Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:18 pm
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trace567
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Tournaments should stay.

However, I personally would like to see a wide variety of tournament types, skill levels tournaments and time zones. To allow every GM player an opportunity to become involved in them.

I'm not saying that they should not be altered in any way. I see nothing wrong in the percentages of point distribution. But maybe the bonus points needs to be kept lower, if and when given.

The issue as I see it is this. Firstly the number of players generally who take part in tournaments is not as high as I would like. But I do not see scrapping tournaments as an answer.

Almost every Internet game has tournaments, and to remove them would be detrimental imo.
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Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:59 am
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MrCrabbs
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Even without bonuses we are still talking a 55-60k prize just for coming 1st or 2nd in two games, and then 1st in a third game.

If we can get a tournament where the prizes match the scale of the challenge, I agree it would be a great thing. But I don't think these prizes are proportionate. All that in addition to the fact the points just get locked out of sight once won is pretty damaging in my view.

I also like the idea of having a diverse range of tournament types, but Magflag's suggestions and my own have failed to get off the ground. I don't think there is the demand for it - people want to play the game without having to learn new rules for different types of tournaments.

I would be interested to know if there is any evidence that tournaments have improved GM except for the winners, for example in terms of attracting more players or increasing the amount people play. I am sceptical that there is, whereas there is evidence that experienced players including Bez, David and Eclectico are put off by them in their current form. Certainly Eclectico takes the purist line that they reduce the value of the scoring system as a measure.

The players who benefit in my view are the winners, and the mods who organise tournaments - mods are disproportionately likely to play in them, and in the past a top four including two or more mods has been a very common outcome.
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Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:39 am
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MrCrabbs
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The Original Position:

Before tournaments, the top players on GM would have been those who were best at 2p. That is because in terems of time for points earned, 2p is a faster way to earn points.

The Grand Scheme:

"I know," says some bright spark, "Let's bring in a 4/5 player tournament so that the top multiplayers can catch the top players of 2p"

The Reality:

The 2p champions still come out on top, by beating the over-confident tournament winners in 2p.

The only way a 4/5p specialist can maintain a position in the top 10 is to avoid playing 2p specialists in 2p, and the only way a 2p specialist can stay there is by avoiding 4/5p specialists in 4/5p games (not that there are any played in the top 10 anyway).

The Result:

Tournaments mean players in the top 10 don't use their accounts as much. Without tournaments, the top 10 would consist almost entirely of 2p specialists, who would be more likely to play eachother. But with tournaments, the top 10 consists of:

- Accounts that are used only for tournaments
- 2p accounts that can't get a game with the 4/5p accounts coz the 4/5p specialists know they would lose

So, that's why the top 10 just sit there, imho. It is also why David's lead grows, by beating the tournament winners. Only sim is anywhere near him, but both players have a strong incentive not to play eachother. From David's point of view, his lead is already pretty big and playing sim would be an unnecessary risk. And from Sim's point of view, playing David in 2p would mean almost certain defeat, with David taking even more of sim's "hard won" tournament points.

Not rocket science, but apparently mods are only interested in introducing a spider to catch the fly, and a bird to catch the spider, and so on, rather than just spitting out the fly (ie: tournaments).
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Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:04 am
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muffinhead
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I see no problem, in fact I see it as a positive, simply cause it increases the value of being good at 4/5p. For sim5, yes he couldve won those points from 4/5p tournies but to do that on a regular basis is unbelievably difficult and desearving of such big point rewards.

Schon is another good example. Yes his Thetime account was only used for tournies, however he was in approximatly 6 finals in a row. Isn't that desearving of a reward? Besides tournies only 2ps are played at the top level which basically evens it out.

Thats my oponion.
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Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:18 am
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MrCrabbs
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Muff,

You and I might disagree about whether its a good thing but I am glad you agree that the tournaments are the main reason that accounts in the top ten are rarely used.

And I still think 70k for coming first or second in two games, and 1st in the final, is a joke, with an entry fee of just 5000. Unlike in a big points 2p game, there is virtually no element of risk - you stand to lose practically nothing, or gain enough points to propell you into the top 20.

muffinhead wrote:
I see no problem, in fact I see it as a positive, simply cause it increases the value of being good at 4/5p.


The trouble is, it places a huge value on 3 tournament games, and in fact reduces points available in practically all other 4/5p games played, since so many accounts have had 5k taken from them. It reduces the value of being good at 4/5 for any player who doesn't play in the tournaments.
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Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:22 pm
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DavidNobre
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Crabbs have u ever noticed that prab (sim5) have 4 acc on top10 ? Its more than just tourneys points , its so pure skill Very Happy
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Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:01 pm
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judd
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5 david
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Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:59 am
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DavidNobre
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oh yeah, he is also DIAMONDMAN lol. WTF 5 acc there lol. well done PRAB =)
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Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:01 pm
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MrCrabbs
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DavidNobre wrote:
Crabbs have u ever noticed that prab (sim5) have 4 acc on top10 ? Its more than just tourneys points , its so pure skill Very Happy


I would love to see how those accounts got there. I am betting tourny points all the way.
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Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:25 pm
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DavidNobre
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Winning games lol
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Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:50 pm
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Bill2k06
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winning games crabbs, not so many were from tourny's
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