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Barkam
08-18-2013, 09:14 PM
So talking to some guildees about Solforge, they were talking about how much of a "pay-to-win" game it is. Those that kickstarted the game has access to a lot of cards off the bat giving them far superior decks compared to those that didn't. So the non-kickstarter players are disheartened and frustrated playing against the kickstarter players. The kickstarter players feel bad when they are trouncing the non-kickstarters knowing that they are probably turning sour on the game.

Success in card games that involve deck building like CCGs, TCGs and LCGs, involve both the skill of the player and the deck that they wield. Also, the best experiences in any competitive game are when the matches are really close and exciting when it goes back and forth. I think all agrees with this.

I brought up Solforge earlier because they launched open beta without a PvP ranking system that caused the scenario I described in the first paragraph. I hope CZE doesn't make this same mistake with Hex. I hope that by open beta, that the constructed format will have a (elo?) ranking system that matches people of similar aggregate game power (combination of skill and cards).

I think that they everything I have said above everyone will agree with. The point of discussion is how to actually implement this well since people could be trying out new decks and obviously that will impact your aggregate game power. You won't be used to the new deck and therefore your ability to pilot will take a hit. Maybe it doesn't matter because you care about your ranking then you'll practice with your friends/guildees first. Maybe it all works out because with a new deck your aggregate game power is indeed in the lower levels.

Anyways, thoughts?

Shrennan
08-18-2013, 09:18 PM
I really, really, really hope that Cryptozoic copies Riot in terms of PVP ranking and e-sport support. Riot has really knocked it out of the park when it comes to League of Legends competitive support play so I definitely think the constructed format (and even draft formats) should contain a system similar to an elo ranking system.

However, even if a PVP ranking system is absent, I don't think the problem that SolForge faced will happen with Hex. The KS rewards in Hex only offered unique PVE cards. There will be a slight advantage with some PVP alternate art cards being available to KS backers in the very beginning, but all of those cards (albeit with different art) will be available to every other player. Unless you were referring to those alternate art PVP cards. =P

I'm not sure if the KS rewards from SolForge offered unique PVP cards. That would seem like a pretty bad lack of foresight if they did.

Barkam
08-18-2013, 09:25 PM
Solforge KS didn't offer unique PvP cards as I understand it. They just have access to more cards at a bargain compared to non-KS players. Just exactly like Hex.

nicosharp
08-18-2013, 09:27 PM
Didn't know you were making this thread. Interesting, but really can't be controlled or measured.

The moment you decide to customize a deck for constructed play, you are assuming the responsibility of facing 4 copies of any PvP card in the game, despite it's rarity.

The only true balance, is designing a deck with that in mind for constructed play.

There can be ranking queues
There can be starter deck only queues

The challenge is having a small number of balanced queues to keep matches flowing, and assure games are created.

It may be amazing to have queues for players based solely on their rank.
That rank can be determined by number of wins and the number of rares and legendary cards they have in the deck they enter queue with.

Of course, the closer the entire sets are balanced, the more likely you will see commons and uncommons surfacing as competitive 4 ofs in many high end constructed decks.

The real problem with Sol Forge now is with 30 cards, and the power scale heavily skewed to legendary cards, you really don't have a fighting chance in many match-ups where someone with 12 Legendary cards (3 of each of 4 cards) can demolish the 2 or 3 you got with little or no money invested. The power scale is really tilted, and the game is not well balanced because of not only the card scaling, but because of the ability to play the cards over and over again.. 3 out of 30 cards, and you draw at least 5 fresh cards a turn. They cycle fast, and the %'s to draw are very very high.

dogmod
08-18-2013, 09:30 PM
Hex could have an interesting queing system that places players against other players based on their decks aggregate average AH cost... that would be interesting...

A junk legendary does not = a chase legendary

Shrennan
08-18-2013, 09:30 PM
Solforge KS didn't offer unique PvP cards as I understand it. They just have access to more cards at a bargain compared to non-KS players. Just exactly like Hex.

Ok, gotcha. I wasn't quite sure so I wasn't sure where you were coming from. Either way, I think a PVP ranking system is definitely important in an open beta. Unfortunately, there is going to be a power-gap between backers and non-backers so a PVP system would definitely help mitigate that somewhat in constructed. In draft formats it obviously wouldn't matter.


Hex could have an interesting queing system that places players against other players based on their decks aggregate average AH cost... that would be interesting...

A junk legendary does not = a chase legendary

Overall, I think this is a bad idea. Market cost of a deck doesn't directly confirm a deck's power because it doesn't take into account combos, player skill, or anything like that. It's good to think outside the box, but I don't see this idea working too well.

Hmdrake
08-18-2013, 09:43 PM
Slightly off topic, but I'd like to state that eventually, a free player in Solforge can compete with a pay player. I've drawn 3 legendaries from dailies since the game went live.

That being said, a ranking system is essential. Who knows how many starting players have been turned off by the power discrepancy? I've been secretly gathering cards on an account for my gf before having her hop into online matches (Got her a Flowsteel Prototype from logging in yesterday).

Madican
08-18-2013, 10:20 PM
Being able to compete with a pay player eventually is not a good thing. Consider this from someone who just starts to play the game. They get their cards, make a deck, and start playing. Then they lose repeatedly. Trying to find out why they learn that when they face a KS player they are guaranteed to lose, hands down. Sure, they could persist and eventually get to the level of the KS people, but that's a rarity. Most will choose to leave the game.

This is the same problem WoW is facing with an ever-increasing level cap. New players arrive to the game, start playing, and find out they are so heavily outclassed that it will take weeks to begin doing anything of importance. They begin to drop off as the endless quests, unbalanced PvP, or linear dungeons take their toll.

That's where Hex needs to be different. A KS player cannot be a mountain unto themselves to new players. They need to be hills at most, a little difficult but defeating them can be done through skill.

Hmdrake
08-18-2013, 10:28 PM
Madican, that is why this thread is about building a ranked system. I feel that new players should be able to play against other new players. Time and effort should have some sort of payoff, whether it's levels, or new and powerful cards. My statement was meant to convey that pay to win was less applicable here than in other games. atime and effort can get you any card in the game, unlike in Hex, which makes the ranking system even more important in Hex.

The_Wine_Gnat
08-18-2013, 10:34 PM
I really, really, really hope that Cryptozoic copies Riot in terms of PVP ranking and e-sport support. Riot has really knocked it out of the park when it comes to League of Legends competitive support play so I definitely think the constructed format (and even draft formats) should contain a system similar to an elo ranking system.

This. ^^^ I'm a Slack Backer and fully supportive of Hex, but if I consistently get crushed in constructed, I WILL get disheartened. Having an Elo system that tracks win/loses over many many many constructed games would help players find challenges around their level and stay interested. It also would mean something to see yourself gradually improve as you learn the ins and outs of the game.

Or put more simply: Match the challenge with the skill level.

zadies
08-18-2013, 10:37 PM
I'm sorry in MTG tournaments the judges don't look at my deck and go pH you have that deck go play over there. There is an draft format for a reason if you choose to play constructed you accept that you can face anything. I also don, see constructed decks running more then 200 and that is not a huge investment for a top tier constructed PvP deck, and if someone can't afford it and doesn't want to play in drafts that is their issue.
I do think a win/loss ranking might work but not a deck based one.
An agro burn deck is unlikely to need a legendary to win and shouldn't be auto ,watched to a lower tier of play because of it. Someone in theory could design an awesome pauper deck and just cream newbs who don't get deck design rating on deck rariety.

Hmdrake
08-18-2013, 10:43 PM
I'm sorry Zadies, to clarify on my part, rankings should have nothing to do with tournaments, only casual play.

Madican
08-18-2013, 10:51 PM
Rankings should have everything to do with tournaments, to keep the "pros" playing the other pros. The reason I stopped going to Friday Night card games back in the YGO days is because no matter what deck I made as a kid there were adults there ready to stomp me into the ground with their decks. I won maybe three games over a year.

If you go into Constructed you should be facing someone of your skill level or very similar. You should not be going in and facing off against a metaphorical god where the only purpose of the game is to give him points.

Barkam
08-18-2013, 11:43 PM
I really, really, really hope that Cryptozoic copies Riot in terms of PVP ranking and e-sport support. Riot has really knocked it out of the park when it comes to League of Legends competitive support play so I definitely think the constructed format (and even draft formats) should contain a system similar to an elo ranking system.

I should comment that I agree with this and is exactly what I was picturing that we do in Hex. A closer example than LoL would be Cardhunter which is a CCG. You can really tell the skill difference and deck quality from someone in the 500 elo and someone in the 1500 elo. This should help picture how it can be implemented in Hex which is TCG. (I know it is isn't perfect matching because the population is really small at the moment. You can get matched with someone that is 1500 eventhough your elo is only 1200).

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-18-2013, 11:47 PM
Rankings should have everything to do with tournaments, to keep the "pros" playing the other pros. The reason I stopped going to Friday Night card games back in the YGO days is because no matter what deck I made as a kid there were adults there ready to stomp me into the ground with their decks. I won maybe three games over a year.

If you go into Constructed you should be facing someone of your skill level or very similar. You should not be going in and facing off against a metaphorical god where the only purpose of the game is to give him points.
If you go into a tournament - which is competitive as part of its nature - you should assume that it's going to have at least some, if not all competitive players. While a younger person may not understand that, that's not an issue with the tournament, but the person's understanding.

What they should do is have a casual gaming queue, where you enter it if you're planning on having a casual game (that is, you won't be using a competitive deck). While they wouldn't police it, you'd quickly annoy quite a few people if you took a competitive deck to it, and could hurt your rep in the community. Then another queue for actual formatted decktesting (like 'standard' or whatever they're calling their smaller constructed format), where if you want to decktest for competitive play and don't have anyone you know that you want to do it with, you can join that queue. In that queue, all's fair.

However, having a MMR for the casual queue would be fine with me IMO. For the competitive decktesting queue it seems counterproductive, if you're testing a deck that doesn't pan out your MMR will drop, and then you may be forced to test future decks against less-skilled players which isn't nearly as productive as testing against skilled players.

Barkam
08-18-2013, 11:53 PM
Didn't know you were making this thread. Interesting, but really can't be controlled or measured.

The moment you decide to customize a deck for constructed play, you are assuming the responsibility of facing 4 copies of any PvP card in the game, despite it's rarity.

The only true balance, is designing a deck with that in mind for constructed play.

There can be ranking queues
There can be starter deck only queues

The challenge is having a small number of balanced queues to keep matches flowing, and assure games are created.

It may be amazing to have queues for players based solely on their rank.
That rank can be determined by number of wins and the number of rares and legendary cards they have in the deck they enter queue with.

Agreed. The best way it seems is to just use the Elo ranking system. It will organically take skill and deck quality into account. It will base everything on your wins and loses based on your opponents. It is not going to care what deck you are using, just the fact that you lost or won against someone that has higher or lower elo ranking. I don't think the system need to investigate the kinds of cards you have your deck to match you well. Actually, it would be worse if the system took the cards into consideration.

With that said, I think that is why we don't need to have separate queues for the constructed format. Keep them all together. Otherwise, it would dilute the player base and might not have enough people to match against. You end up having the problems like Cardhunter since they are still at closed beta which I described above. Maybe instead of a queue for starter decks you can have custom matches like Starcraft/Warcraft has with their game. People can setup rules and regulations for what they want to play and wait for someone to join. Maybe once the player base is big enough that we can explore other specific queues.


The real problem with Sol Forge now is with 30 cards, and the power scale heavily skewed to legendary cards, you really don't have a fighting chance in many match-ups where someone with 12 Legendary cards (3 of each of 4 cards) can demolish the 2 or 3 you got with little or no money invested. The power scale is really tilted, and the game is not well balanced because of not only the card scaling, but because of the ability to play the cards over and over again.. 3 out of 30 cards, and you draw at least 5 fresh cards a turn. They cycle fast, and the %'s to draw are very very high.

Yeah, Solforge has other issues outside of not having a ranking system. Thankfully, Hex won't be having that issue you described above.

Barkam
08-18-2013, 11:59 PM
I'm sorry in MTG tournaments the judges don't look at my deck and go pH you have that deck go play over there.

As I posted in response to Nicosharp, if we use an Elo system or MMR, no one is going to need to go through the decks to match people well.


There is an draft format for a reason if you choose to play constructed you accept that you can face anything.I also don, see constructed decks running more then 200 and that is not a huge investment for a top tier constructed PvP deck, and if someone can't afford it and doesn't want to play in drafts that is their issue.

While I agree that draft format is fairer, the last quoted sentence doesn't promote goodwill. I think we need to avoid those kinds of sentiments. No need to alienate people. I started this thread because I am making it my issue to help the game prosper.


I do think a win/loss ranking might work but not a deck based one.
An agro burn deck is unlikely to need a legendary to win and shouldn't be auto ,watched to a lower tier of play because of it. Someone in theory could design an awesome pauper deck and just cream newbs who don't get deck design rating on deck rariety.

Agreed!

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 12:02 AM
They almost need a way to queue for different games - be it casual (for those just wanting a game for fun), or competitive decktesting (for those trying to find a new tech for the meta, or get ready for future tournaments). It'd be terrible if you wanted to decktest and kept coming up against underpowered decks that didn't really test you out, or if you just wanted a casual game and kept coming up against players testing ruthless decks.

I don't know what they could do specifically - with Magic Workstation we pretty much host games in a lobby, and have a name for the game (such as Casual/Fun, or T2 deck testing). You don't queue up; you join the lobby of a game that has a name that lines up with what you're looking for. That could work. Or they could have a set of criteria you choose when selecting a game (ie. competitive/casual, format, pauper/normal etc), and then match you up to someone else with the same. While ranking could be fine, or even good for casual (so that people who intentional take uncasual decks into the queues get put up to the top of the ranking), it's not a good idea for decktesting queues/matches.

dogmod
08-19-2013, 12:05 AM
Ok, gotcha. I wasn't quite sure so I wasn't sure where you were coming from. Either way, I think a PVP ranking system is definitely important in an open beta. Unfortunately, there is going to be a power-gap between backers and non-backers so a PVP system would definitely help mitigate that somewhat in constructed. In draft formats it obviously wouldn't matter.



Overall, I think this is a bad idea. Market cost of a deck doesn't directly confirm a deck's power because it doesn't take into account combos, player skill, or anything like that. It's good to think outside the box, but I don't see this idea working too well.

I guess my main issue is that when you lose the best thought a player can have is that they lost because of something they did or because of random chance. If they lose because of random chance then they get a little mad at the gods but they want to come back. If they lose because of something they did then they can look back and try and figure that thing out. And the best games have a mix of chance and skill so that people with less skill can sometimes beat people with more skill, it keeps the game interesting for both parties.

For me if you measure the decks by how much they cost then that is as level a playing field as you can give a person. They can no longer say that they lost because of "p2win".

Now I also understand the elo argument but the fact of the matter is that it makes it so that people with high elo can never play casual matches with fun decks (unless they are smurfing which causes its own problems) or unless they are willing to lose with their "fun" deck because they are being matched up with equal ELO players who are out for points and ranking.

To me it would be nice to have a queue that was based on ELO for when you are out for points/ranking/challenge. A queue based on cost of deck for when you want a "level" playing field. And finally a queue that is random for when you just say screw it and don't want to know what you are up against (and mask the other players ELO until after the match).

It would provide avenues for everyones desires/complaints and it would be an interesting sociologic experiment to see which queues people preferred.

Barkam
08-19-2013, 12:07 AM
Rankings should have everything to do with tournaments, to keep the "pros" playing the other pros. The reason I stopped going to Friday Night card games back in the YGO days is because no matter what deck I made as a kid there were adults there ready to stomp me into the ground with their decks. I won maybe three games over a year.

If you go into Constructed you should be facing someone of your skill level or very similar. You should not be going in and facing off against a metaphorical god where the only purpose of the game is to give him points.

This really only applies to non-tournament queues. If there is prize to be had, which there is if it's a tournament, then the pros should win and get the prize. Otherwise, how would it make sense?

Madican
08-19-2013, 12:28 AM
Then the pros should be playing the other pros for the prize instead of lucking into a pool with people far below their ability.

There should never be an instance in any tournament where people play against those far superior to them. If they want a prize they should have to work for it like everyone else instead of being handed the win through random pool distribution.

Jonesy
08-19-2013, 12:40 AM
tournaments are exactly where people should end up playing people far worse than them. Tournaments are for the best player to win, not the best of the worst, do professional golfers use their handicap on the pro tour? Do pro football teams compete against the spread and the team that outperformed it the most gets the vince lombardi trophy? No, once you enter a tournament its no holds barred.

As for the original topic, all ccgs are pay2compete, not pay2win, because everyone at the top level has access to every card and the winner is the person who makes and plays the best deck relative to the metagame, not the person with the best cards. Maybe yugioh is different with its super rares but thats hardly a real card game anyways.

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 12:49 AM
Then the pros should be playing the other pros for the prize instead of lucking into a pool with people far below their ability.
If you enter an on-demand queue, you're entering into a tournament. The mantra of the tournament is "competitive"; there is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing in a top tier deck. If another player decides to bring in their starter, then that's their prerogative, and they have no grounds to complain about being at a disadvantage - the playing field is balanced; everyone is allowed to bring a top tier deck.


There should never be an instance in any tournament where people play against those far superior to them. If they want a prize they should have to work for it like everyone else instead of being handed the win through random pool distribution.First round of a tournament, this is usually what happens (before match one results come in) - you will sometimes get people playing against players who have superior decks, and/or superior skills. Again, mantra of the tournament - competitive. That situation is fine. If you go to a tournament, you should be expecting that any player you face could be the next Jon Finkel of competitive TCGs. If not, then that's your misunderstanding of what a tournament is and entails, not the fault of a tournament.

Also, if these players are handed a win, or even the whole tournament in this fashion, it's not because of random pool distribution. It's because the other players in the tournament didn't appreciate the fact that they were entering a random tournament, and as such didn't bring an adequate deck for what they were likely to be facing.



Basically, if a player wants to have a match that doesn't run the risk of being against a good player and/or top tier deck, they shouldn't be entering into tournaments where by their design that's the kind of player you want to be, and that's the kind of deck you want to be running. They should stick to casual games until they're ready to face the challenge of a competitive environment.

Also, there'll likely be ' friendlier to budget' tournaments in the future, such as on-demand pauper queues. They'll still be competitive (a high level pauper deck should crush randomly thrown together ones), but it will allow players with smaller budgets to actually put a top tier deck for a format together and playing competitively.

Madican
08-19-2013, 01:00 AM
tournaments are exactly where people should end up playing people far worse than them. Tournaments are for the best player to win, not the best of the worst, do professional golfers use their handicap on the pro tour? Do pro football teams compete against the spread and the team that outperformed it the most gets the vince lombardi trophy? No, once you enter a tournament its no holds barred.

As for the original topic, all ccgs are pay2compete, not pay2win, because everyone at the top level has access to every card and the winner is the person who makes and plays the best deck relative to the metagame, not the person with the best cards. Maybe yugioh is different with its super rares but thats hardly a real card game anyways.

Professional golfers face other professional golfers. Regardless of their skill relative to other professionals, they're still leagues above the amateurs. People in the NFL face other people in the NFL, they don't go to college games and stomp all over them. This is also why things like weight divisions exist, so that you don't have the 300 lb guy wrestling the 150 lb guy.

Your examples only strengthen my argument that people in tournaments should only face those of similar skill to them. This is next to impossible to accomplish in something like a hobby shop FNM, but easily-done in a digital environment.

Jonesy
08-19-2013, 01:03 AM
Professional golfers face other professional golfers. Regardless of their skill relative to other professionals, they're still leagues above the amateurs. People in the NFL face other people in the NFL, they don't go to college games and stomp all over them. This is also why things like weight divisions exist, so that you don't have the 300 lb guy wrestling the 150 lb guy.

Your examples only strengthen my argument that people in tournaments should only face those of similar skill to them. This is next to impossible to accomplish in something like a hobby shop FNM, but easily-done in a digital environment.

And where do 'pro' tcg players go? Tournaments. The analogy is accurate.

Madican
08-19-2013, 01:09 AM
Invitational tournaments. Against other pros.

And like I said, separating pros from amateurs for physical card games is not easy, whereas with digital it's just a matter of grouping together people with similar numbers.

There should be zero reward for stomping people far below your level.

Mathaw
08-19-2013, 01:13 AM
If you go into a tournament - which is competitive as part of its nature - you should assume that it's going to have at least some, if not all competitive players. While a younger person may not understand that, that's not an issue with the tournament, but the person's understanding.

What they should do is have a casual gaming queue, where you enter it if you're planning on having a casual game (that is, you won't be using a competitive deck). While they wouldn't police it, you'd quickly annoy quite a few people if you took a competitive deck to it, and could hurt your rep in the community. Then another queue for actual formatted decktesting (like 'standard' or whatever they're calling their smaller constructed format), where if you want to decktest for competitive play and don't have anyone you know that you want to do it with, you can join that queue. In that queue, all's fair.

However, having a MMR for the casual queue would be fine with me IMO. For the competitive decktesting queue it seems counterproductive, if you're testing a deck that doesn't pan out your MMR will drop, and then you may be forced to test future decks against less-skilled players which isn't nearly as productive as testing against skilled players.

I've been beaten pretty badly in MTGO new player tourneys. People game the system for loot.

Shadow Era has a basic ranking system which seems to work well. The fact that there's no ranking system for paper magic is irrelevant. hex is already fixing many of the problems with MTG, I don't see this as any different.

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 01:28 AM
If there's no significant delay to the on-demand queues, then sure. If there is though, I'd rather play against people who are potentially better than me than wait around. While I'm not a bad player, I'm not pro yet, and besides, one of the best ways to get better is to play against the best and learn from that experience.

However, if they don't implement such a system and people enter a tournament anyway, they shouldn't be complaining about it being unfair that other players took competitive decks and mindsets into said tournament.

Barkam
08-19-2013, 01:33 AM
I think this thread (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=27059)resolves the issue between Madican and Jax/Jonesy/me.

Madican
08-19-2013, 01:40 AM
If there's no significant delay to the on-demand queues, then sure. If there is though, I'd rather play against people who are potentially better than me than wait around. While I'm not a bad player, I'm not pro yet, and besides, one of the best ways to get better is to play against the best and learn from that experience.

However, if they don't implement such a system and people enter a tournament anyway, they shouldn't be complaining about it being unfair that other players took competitive decks and mindsets into said tournament.

Stop trying to say the issue is with people who are using top-tier decks. You are the only one reaching that conclusion when I have repeatedly stated that people of similar skill should be grouped together. Skill, not decks. There is no complaining when someone brings in a good deck to a tournament. There is complaining when a pro drops into a tournament filled with amateurs. They are not the same thing.

Barkam
08-19-2013, 01:44 AM
Stop trying to say the issue is with people who are using top-tier decks. You are the only one reaching that conclusion when I have repeatedly stated that people of similar skill should be grouped together. Skill, not decks. There is no complaining when someone brings in a good deck to a tournament. There is complaining when a pro drops into a tournament filled with amateurs. They are not the same thing.

Unfortunately, this is a TCG. The deck is an integral part of how successful a player is. Anyways, please take a read on the thread I linked above. I think you'll be pleased.

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 01:45 AM
Stop trying to say the issue is with people who are using top-tier decks. You are the only one reaching that conclusion when I have repeatedly stated that people of similar skill should be grouped together. Skill, not decks. There is no complaining when someone brings in a good deck to a tournament. There is complaining when a pro drops into a tournament filled with amateurs. They are not the same thing.
It has been my experience that the advantage provided by a deck's power level is greater than the advantage provided by a player's skill level. That is to say, a pro playing a very average deck would be at a disadvantage to an average player running a top tier deck.

I know I for one would probably prefer to play a pro with a bad deck, than a bad player with the best deck in the format.

Also, when we talk about a competitive environment (ie. a tournament), we're usually talking about the decks involved. It's possible to have a casual environment full of pros, because they're using decks that aren't at the level of being competitive. But a competitive environment can have many not-great players, but it's competitive because they're running the top of the line decks.

Edit: rather than double post, I'll just say that I'm now of the opinion that some MMR type system when grouping people for an on demand tournament would be ok, as long as it doesn't significantly impact on queue times for said tournament. However, once inside the tournament, it's all fair game, though potentially using MMR to help determine matches when points and tiebreakers are even could be useful.

Shadowelf
08-19-2013, 01:59 AM
They are considering ELO and a bunch of other different systems, like rankings for limited/constructed where you will gaining points that will eventually qualify you for tournaments like the world qualifier tournament (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...ign-mpt=uo%3D4 episode 54 check 0:40:25). Also Cory on organized play https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9mUXyn2jU4

Madican
08-19-2013, 02:02 AM
It has been my experience that the advantage provided by a deck's power level is greater than the advantage provided by a player's skill level. That is to say, a pro playing a very average deck would be at a disadvantage to an average player running a top tier deck.

I know I for one would probably prefer to play a pro with a bad deck, than a bad player with the best deck in the format.

Also, when we talk about a competitive environment (ie. a tournament), we're usually talking about the decks involved. It's possible to have a casual environment full of pros, because they're using decks that aren't at the level of being competitive. But a competitive environment can have many not-great players, but it's competitive because they're running the top of the line decks.

You're making the assumption that the pro is not going to be using a top-tier deck, which is wrong. When all else is equal, ie the power of decks, then skill will win out. That alone is enough to keep pros away from amateur tournaments.

But here's something further I've seen from my observations in tournaments of various sorts. The amateur players will bring in a powerful deck/champion/comp to fit the latest style the pros are showing off. Then the pro brings in a deck/champion/comp that hard counters the powerful deck because since they made the powerful deck popular in the first place they also know how to break it. That's a huge difference between pros and amateurs. And if an amateur knows to build a counter deck against the popular set-up then they have what it takes to be pro eventually, making that exception moot.


Unfortunately, this is a TCG. The deck is an integral part of how successful a player is. Anyways, please take a read on the thread I linked above. I think you'll be pleased.

I looked at it but I'll post my thoughts on that in the morning. Ladder ranking sounds somewhat similar to the way WoW does Arenas, where people of similar rating get matched together whenever they queue, which can be any time.

Mathaw
08-19-2013, 02:15 AM
edit: rather than double post, I'll just say that I'm now of the opinion that some MMR type system when grouping people for an on demand tournament would be ok, as long as it doesn't significantly impact on queue times for said tournament.

My personal preference would be to have both options anyway. Kind of liked ranked and unranked matches. This would allow people to stay within their comfort zone and progress as players (whilst giving them an extra incentive to play, people like ranks and titles etc.), and still allowing for free-for-all play styles.

I think that everyone benefits from this. Noobs won't hang around for long if they get beat 50 times in a row by financially unattainable decks, but equally the pros will get board beating new players all day. There's no satisfaction in walking all over someone unless you earned it. Even getting a lucky opening hand can feel like you're cheating, let alone playing someone who barely understands the rules.

Speed of play is also a factor. One of the hardest things I find playing a better player on MTGO isn't their deck or skill, but how fast they can play. I've been beaten on more than a couple of occasions by the clock - I simply don't know the cards/effects as well as others. And again, a pro payer is going to get frustrated waiting for a newer player to read the text on every card that's played.

I would be surprised if it affected wait times though - Shadow Era (a more casual TCG, comparable to Hearthstone) has a ranking system and I've never waited more than about 5 seconds to be paired with a player, and I would be shocked if Hex didn't have significantly more players involved. There's also no harm in having a system that will pair you to the closest available match, perhaps every 10 seconds spent waiting the threshold increases by X (if wait times become an issue, of course).

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 02:20 AM
Ok, I see what you're driving at - you're not talking about a situation where a player gets crushed by a pro with a top tier deck because they weren't running a top tier deck, but because they were but the skill level was too different. That's actually understandable. I do apologise; playing a lot of casual Magic over the past year or two has lead my default when people talk about casual vs competitive to be deck power disparity, as you get a lot of people entering casual Magic games with not-casual decks.

As for the meta point though, the meta tends to be more than a single deck, so pro players won't usually build a deck just to counter one (unless they think a large majority of their opponents will be running it); they'll use a deck they think will do well against the perceived field. Though to agree to a degree, they'll include some components that will do well against their former creation if they expect to see enough people running it. As an example to this whole concept, when Jund was running around standard in Magic, I came up with a green-white pro-black decklist that absolutely crushed it. I never took it to any tournies though as it was more just seeing if I could make the list, and I knew that the only way it'd do well is if everyone I faced was running decks with a fair amount of black in them (basically, it was a counter to the popular Jund deck of the time, but that wasn't enough reason to run it).

But to circle back to the main point - once again, I'm fine with MMR for on-demand queues, as long as it doesn't delay those tournies forming too long. But I'm someone who wants to be playing against tough opposition anyway in order to increase my skill.

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 02:23 AM
My personal preference would be to have both options anyway. Kind of liked ranked and unranked matches. This would allow people to stay within their comfort zone and progress as players (whilst giving them an extra incentive to play, people like ranks and titles etc.), and still allowing for free-for-all play styles.
An issue with this is that pros that are trying to farm boosters would stay in the unranked tournament queues if there's no incentive to play ranked, as in a ranked tournament they'll likely face other pros, but in an unranked tournament they at least have the chance to play amateurs (who would actually likely migrate to the ranked queues for this reason).

Madican
08-19-2013, 02:31 AM
And I'd be in favor of an option to basically face anyone, while keeping that option only able to be exercised by the one with a lower rating. This way someone with a low rating can choose to engage someone with a high rating in order to learn via trial by fire, while preventing someone with a high rating from pouncing on the unsuspecting lower-rated player in the tournament.

Kind of like flagging in WoW. While flagged you can be blown up by an enemy no matter what level they are. When not flagged they can't touch you unless you choose to touch them first.

Mathaw
08-19-2013, 02:39 AM
An issue with this is that pros that are trying to farm boosters would stay in the unranked tournament queues if there's no incentive to play ranked, as in a ranked tournament they'll likely face other pros, but in an unranked tournament they at least have the chance to play amateurs (who would actually likely migrate to the ranked queues for this reason).

Good point!

Although I would expect to see unranked for major tournaments etc. rather than casual play. i.e. if there's a major daily tournament it would have to be unranked, as you'd need to run several to enable it to be ranked. If that makes sense?


And I'd be in favor of an option to basically face anyone, while keeping that option only able to be exercised by the one with a lower rating. This way someone with a low rating can choose to engage someone with a high rating in order to learn via trial by fire, while preventing someone with a high rating from pouncing on the unsuspecting lower-rated player in the tournament.

My only issue with this is what I mentioned above about ranking benefitting both sides. You'd really need to let the 'pro' side enable this option as well, otherwise they could end up facing nothing but noobs all day (theoretically), which could lead to annoyance. Which essentially just becomes unranked play.

Gulbech
08-19-2013, 03:11 AM
Why not try take the best of both worlds.

I am a Jhonny / Spike player, and enjoy both playing for fun with strange creative decks but also trying to do my best in a tournement. Therefore i think an overall ranking system is bad, because then you cant play fun decks if you want to have a high ranking. Therefore there should be a casual queue, without any ranking or anything. And a competetive queue with ELO system, where people can compete and do the best they can - you could even make some prices every week or something for the top rated players to make more people join the competetive ranking.
If HEX gets enough player, you could make tiers within the competetive ranking, so the top 10 moves up a tier, and therefore all people have a chance to win some prizes at their tier.

When it comes to tournements, you could use the same tier system. So when you do good, you move up a tier and get a higher challenge.

Best regard
Gulbech

zadies
08-19-2013, 08:00 AM
The issue with rankings is the fact that each win gives a prize and the possibility of points for a championship, and while I don't think someone with a low elo really has a chance to win is it worth wasting peoples time having them there, I don't likely think I would end up in a championship but I don't want to watch a bunch of steamrolling during it either... Only really way yo prevent it would be to have a min elo to earn points but then newer players would have to get to that elo before they could try to start earning points... This would prevent smurfing tho..

Yoss
08-19-2013, 01:14 PM
Good topic. For drafts, the various award formats (84000000, 53220000, 42111111, whatever) are supposed to take care of skill segregation. If they want to use ELO/MMR/etc for drafts, they should just queue based on the rating and not have different award queues.

Madican
08-19-2013, 01:44 PM
The rating would be for Constructed. Draft is already as even a playing field as there can be since it's incredibly luck-based.

jaxsonbatemanhex
08-19-2013, 01:46 PM
Just for clarity sake, the swiss draft (third draft) is 32221110. ;-)

EntropyBall
08-19-2013, 02:58 PM
Hex could have an interesting queing system that places players against other players based on their decks aggregate average AH cost... that would be interesting...

A junk legendary does not = a chase legendary

I love ideas like this. This is something a physical TCG (and really most dTCGs) could never do. Hex could do it extremely easily. I really hope they grab as many of these unique opportunities as possible and just make this game amazing.

This specific idea would essentially create competitive Pauper though, and may not help new/bad players at all, since they will have relatively low value decks, while more experienced players will make powerhouse C/UC decks and destroy generic low-cost decks.

dogmod
08-19-2013, 03:26 PM
I love ideas like this. This is something a physical TCG (and really most dTCGs) could never do. Hex could do it extremely easily. I really hope they grab as many of these unique opportunities as possible and just make this game amazing.

This specific idea would essentially create competitive Pauper though, and may not help new/bad players at all, since they will have relatively low value decks, while more experienced players will make powerhouse C/UC decks and destroy generic low-cost decks.

But then they could go out and build that deck very cheaply and feel like they have a chance to compete. Obviously no system is going to perfectly meet all needs but it seems if you had a few systems you could address most needs

zadies
08-19-2013, 03:45 PM
Most of these systems can be severely exploited to get boosters. Now if the system that did ranking ad the system that gave boosters were segregated while both allowing fr points to be earned for yearly tournaments that would be better but ppl will exploit a segregated system especially if it allows for profit.