Author Topic: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>  (Read 19993 times)

Offline redria

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2014, 08:35:40 am »
@ Alistair... A lot to think over there. I'll see what ideas I can come up with.

Just a few thoughts:

I think giving every team a by week would help ease battle fatigue as well.

Also I am a strong advocate for more lenient substitution rules. I don't think I ever made it through a cogs season with as few as 4 substitutes.
I think the bye week is probably a good call. At worst it doesn't even really hurt anything. I think I'll write it into the rules.

The substitution rules are probably always going to be a point of contention. Current thoughts:
1. Current system where you have 8 substitutes available.
2. Allow players to substitute freely, but not on different teams in 1 week. -> Teams can only substitute a maximum of 3 players each week
3. Lock players to a team they substitute for, but allow that pool to be as large as needed (or at least much larger than 8)

1 has the feel of classic sports, but may not work in a casual gaming environment.
2 requires you to maintain a core group, so that you never have your entire team change over the course of a week. Probably the best option, but needs some consideration on how the core group of players is pooled/treated. Possibly a 12 person team allowed, with anyone outside of that free to sub on a week-by-week basis (with no more than 3 subs each week).
3 handicaps players and small teams. Probably not a good choice.

Offline Velvet

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 03:43:59 pm »
I don't really see the need for this to be called an "Official Competitive League". I think eventually we will have multiple stable, large events and I don't see that there's any reason for any of them to claim or imply precedence over one another. If Muse intend to run the league that would be different, but if that's the case I personally would prefer that they designed that themselves and with the intention of maximally utilising their ability to integrate competitive features in game.

Otherwise I could totally get behind another event, good luck!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 03:58:06 pm by Velvet »

Offline redria

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 03:58:57 pm »
I don't really see the need for this to be called an "Official Competitive League". I think eventually we will have multiple stable, large events and I don't see that there's any reason for any of them to claim or imply precedence over one another. If Muse intend to run the league that would be different, but if that's the case I personally would prefer that they designed that themselves and with the intention of maximally utilising their ability to integrate competitive features in game.

Fair enough. If Muse does pursue this, then I'm sure they will tweak it to match what they want and what they can support. But they know that their official competitive scene has not been as well received as it could have been. The best designed league won't work if nobody signs up, so something community driven is more likely to get support from said community.

Regarding calling it the official league, I guess my intent was to make something to replace Cogs. I sort of missed Cogs, but as I understand it was basically the competitive event. There were other events, but this was the one everyone took dead serious. The community isn't really big enough to support multiple league type events. I sort of think that there should be a premiere league (this), a premiere tournament (sky league), and possibly a premiere roleplay event (aerodrome and what follows). Anything occurring between these would sort of be the community breather between the serious events.
The name is certainly up for review, but we just aren't big enough to support too much. Make sense?

Otherwise I could totally get behind another event, good luck!
Sneaked in an edit. :P
Thanks!

Offline Velvet

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 04:08:01 pm »
I understand that the Sky League was supposed to be the premier Cogs-replacement event. I was quite surprised by the tournament structure, but before the lack of casters necessitated the switch from double to single elimination it had a structure that would have created a bit of a Cogs-like longrunning campaign.

Talking of which, what are you plans with regards to casting? That seems to be the main bottleneck in organisation of a lot of events.

and yeah, sneaky edits. It's a habit. ^^
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 04:10:00 pm by Velvet »

Offline redria

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 04:19:30 pm »
I understand that the Sky League was supposed to be the premier Cogs-replacement event. I was quite surprised by the tournament structure, but before the lack of casters necessitated the switch from double to single elimination it had a structure that would have created a bit of a Cogs-like longrunning campaign.

Talking of which, what are you plans with regards to casting? That seems to be the main bottleneck in organisation of a lot of events.

and yeah, sneaky edits. It's a habit. ^^
Ehhhhhhh in my opinion even on double elimination it is still just a tournament. Which is when I first wrote up the first draft of rules for this. I don't like the idea that the premiere event allows teams to be eliminated so quickly. It is excellent to have a serious tournament like Sky League, don't get me wrong. But I don't think it replaces Cogs.

Casting I probably want to have a stream running for each division. Divisions would have a maximum of 4 games each week, which times out to under 3 hours per division total. Since this is the planning/development phase, I have not spoken with any casters and have not worked on organizing that side of things. I don't want to run this simply because I want to compete. I am making this as much for me as for the community.
Once rules are ironed out, I presume Muse or the 3rd party would work to collect enough casters to support the event. Although anyone with a stream and casting experience could chime in at any point here and I will make a list...  8)

Offline Imagine

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2014, 04:57:04 pm »
Once rules are ironed out, I presume Muse or the 3rd party would work to collect enough casters to support the event. Although anyone with a stream and casting experience could chime in at any point here and I will make a list...  8)
I wouldn't count on Muse folks stepping in too much. They've got a lot on their plates, and while I'm sure Keyvias is totally willing to help out with some stuff, I highly doubt they have the time or energy to focus on developing a league/caster scene.

As for a list of possible casters/streamers for such a thing... I'm sure you know the rather short list of those who can do it with an acceptable quality.

Offline Wundsalz

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 07:29:15 pm »
@ Alistair... A lot to think over there. I'll see what ideas I can come up with.

Just a few thoughts:

I think giving every team a by week would help ease battle fatigue as well.

Also I am a strong advocate for more lenient substitution rules. I don't think I ever made it through a cogs season with as few as 4 substitutes.
The substitution rules are probably always going to be a point of contention. Current thoughts:
1. Current system where you have 8 substitutes available.
2. Allow players to substitute freely, but not on different teams in 1 week. -> Teams can only substitute a maximum of 3 players each week
3. Lock players to a team they substitute for, but allow that pool to be as large as needed (or at least much larger than 8)
2. looks reasonable. In general I prefer less substitution rules over too many - I can't recall an incident where a lax subsitution rule has been used in an abusive manner. I prefer heavily substituted teams with switching faces over now shows.

Regarding casting: In my opinion there is too much focus on casting in most events/leagues that are organized here. I would not mind if some - or even all - matches don't get streamed. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy watching the streams myself, and do appreciate the effort and dedication of people like Brick, who spent weekend after weekend commentating our matches. However I do believe the casting process shouldn't inhibit the event execution too much. Personally I prefer parallel and blind matches over event time-frames that exceed two hours.

Offline Velvet

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 07:54:59 pm »
I'll second that it's not worth killing an event over casting... but equally, I would really like there to be casting of most events. Rewatching streams is one of my favourite parts of participating in an event and watching stream is also nice and can only serve to popularise the competitive scene. Recently I've seen viewer counts creeping up on some streamed events and met some players in game who actually watch the streams despite not being competitive/clan affiliated. I feel streamed events are a very important part of the growth and development of the competitive scene so I think events should be cast wherever and as much as possible.

I'm also unaware of any past issues with substitutions and don't really understand why organisers have been leaning towards stringent sub rules. Ultimately it wouldn't even be that detrimental to an event if players were allowed to switch teams midway or sub for multiple teams, as long as there wasn't a state of major exploitation - which we have never experienced before or have reason to expect. I can see why I shouldn't be able to borrow players from a sister team but having to have our sub pools separate and planned out well in advance would make it unnecessarily more difficult to deal with crew emergencies.
If there has to be (I don't think there really does) an absolute restriction on cross-team subbing, I'd prefer to see it done in the same way as the Sky League; subs are locked in after they play for a team instead of having to be arranged well in advance.

Offline Thomas

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2014, 08:13:14 pm »
Casting shouldn't be too hard. I'm sure a lot of volunteers would show up if you just ask (and usually if you don't ask as well).

The only issue I could foresee is the casters already being busy with actually competing. I'd be happy to help out (I can stream just fine, but I need to work on my casting personality a bit more).

With the best of one matches and the time limit, matches should actually fly by pretty fast. If you have 20 active teams (I think the Sky League had about that many show up), that's 10 matches a week. Fourty minutes between matches and you have almost 7 hours of game time. Could easily split that between two (or even three) casters.

If you want to get fancy (ie: professional looking), you can set up a couple twitch accounts, give the casters the graphics they need; and then have them stream to those channels. You really really have to trust them for that though. But it's easier than having the channels switch all the time; and makes it easier to pass the baton to the next caster if they need to tag out for their own match. Although if you can get some consistent people each week, that'd probably be best.


---

On an unrelated note, what about teams that want to join the League late? Can they do so, with something like a penalty of counting all the matches they missed as losses? New teams pop up from time to time, and it'd be nice for them if they could get straight into the action if they so choose. One of the features I like about our current system is the ability for teams to hop in any time and participate.

Offline Imagine

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2014, 08:25:11 pm »
Casting shouldn't be too hard. I'm sure a lot of volunteers would show up if you just ask (and usually if you don't ask as well).
If calls for Sky League casters/streamers/refs is of any indication, no, no they don't.

Offline Sammy B. T.

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2014, 08:49:08 pm »
With the matches of the day not effecting each other you only need two stream teams to get things done pretty quickly.

Offline Thomas

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2014, 08:59:13 pm »
I know there's a good number of CA's that volunteer for casting a lot.

Even with the almost last-minute call for casters and other factors, there was still a good number of people willing and able to cast.

Offline redria

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2014, 12:30:10 pm »
Yay discussion! Wall of text incoming (this is why I switched to the numbered rules format. I am far too wordy)

Substitutions
1. The concept of substitutions in e-sports probably originates with the idea of substitutions in IRL sports. However, unlike like IRL sports where you need subs because people have physical limitations and get injured etc, e-sports is mental, hardware, and attendance driven. You need subs in case there is an emergency, someone has hardware/connection problems, or you just have someone disappear.
In IRL sports, each team having a limited pool of substitutes makes fatigue an actual game strategy. You can design plays around wearing down the other team specifically so you can make a late-game play to win.
In e-sports, each team having a limited pool of substitutes makes being prepared important.
And it sucks.
However.

2. Without substitution rules, and given that there will (surely) be prizes for winners, players would want to enter in as many teams as possible to try to maximize their chances of being on a winning team. Who needs to rely on double elimination when you have multiple teams?
Now I know this is not something that has been seen. But without a framework to prevent it, and if the game/event were to see a sudden growth in popularity, then it would probably become a problem.

3. Muse classically awards prizes to 12 members of the winning team. That means the 13th player gets screwed over. If you have a solid 8 main core, and have regular random substitutes, how are you going to determine who gets those 4 extra prizes? I know this is something clans usually handle on their own with no problem, but again if this grows without the proper supporting framework then it could become a problem.

4. I am structuring the rules and the change log in such a way that additions are pretty easy to make. If we move forward without too much of a framework we can always petition to add it later on if it becomes a problem.

Probably the best balance for the time being would be that each team must have 8-12 core players listed, and all other players could act as substitutes for any team. Teams must bring at least 4 core players to each match. A team must have at least one of their pilots be a core player. For non-core players, there is no limit on how many teams they can sub for (even in the same week) during the regular season. A non-core player, if they are to substitute as a pilot for any team, may not act as a substitute for any other team that week. During the post-season, a player is locked to whatever team they substitute for for the duration of the post-season (cannot sub for multiple teams within the same playoff, or between playoffs).
^This would allow flexibility, prevent too much abuse in switching out pilots, and lock up the playoffs. Admittedly the playoffs are the most taxing part of the league, but they determine the outcome, so I feel higher restrictions are natural.

Casting
I want each game to be recorded/streamed. That's it. Would it be nice if the game was cast? Sure. But recording is the first step.
The structure is designed around the idea that each team knows exactly when they start. Every week this should be a 40 minute event for each team. The only people who would have it longer would be casters, recorders, and refs. This puts more pressure on those individuals to be orderly, but I don't think it is too much.
I like the concept of each division having its own stream. If we were to have 20 teams, there would be 3 divisions: 7, 7, and 6. We would need 3 streams. 2 streams would run 3 games total (2 hours), while the third stream would run 4 games (2 hours, 40 minutes). This would include the high probability of extended breaks midway through the streams where the casters could put on music and do something else for a bit. Because if a match finishes early, the next one still won't start until its scheduled time.

The central pivots of the structure design are that teams aren't dedicating hours upon hours to each day, not knowing how much they will actually be playing, each team plays every week, and the games are streamed in such a way that teams are easy to follow week to week for outside viewers, creating the possibility of an actual outside fan-base.
Tournaments are fun, but if I only care about one team, they suck to watch because I don't know when I need to start watching and whether I will get to watch more than 1 game.

That being said, and depending on who hosts, I sort of like the idea of several streams linked with graphics where casters can hop on and cast a game or 2, then get back to their team. If we don't have enough dedicated casters to handle every stream, then the dedicated casters we do have could be moved from stream to stream to follow the highlight games, while the fill-in casters would join where available and cast the other games. I really don't know how difficult some of this would be, and if anyone would like to jump in and slap me for being an idiot, feel free to do so, but this seems pretty interesting.

Late joins
Thomas, I can't quite tell if your comment was serious or is just dripping in sarcasm. ;)
Either way, my answer would be that team cannot join mid-season. With the goal of heavy structure here, losing a team is hard enough. Adding a team would possibly necessitate the addition of a new division, new stream, more casters, completely new schedule, etc.

HOWEVER

I am considering a rule that could possibly allow it.
Let the sign-ups remain open past the deadline. Any team can still sign up after the deadline, but will not be included in the initial schedule. If any other team were to drop out/be ejected, then in order of sign-up, teams would be approached between Sunday and Wednesday to replace the dropped team. The late joining team adopt the dropping team's record with half of the dropping team's wins (rounded up) converted to losses. Alternatively, the dropping team's record would disappear and the joining team would just be given losses for each of those games.
This would help prevent having to restructure the league for someone dropping and it would give an opportunity (though not a guaranteed one) to late joiners.
A team being given losses would require me to reword/alter rule 3.7.2. <- more of just a note to myself in case I forget.

Offline Thomas

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2014, 12:58:32 pm »
Well I was just basing it upon Muse's current competitive scene, which allows for teams to join in or drop out whenever they see fit. I really like this concept, as it allows for a newly formed clan/team to get straight into the action instead of needing to wait however many months for the next season to start. With the League play, it also lets them gain some experience in the competitive scene in guaranteed matches without them being kicked out almost immediately as would happen with a tournament.

My suggestion would be to allow new teams to join, but taking at least a week before putting them into the rotation (ie: If they sign up on Tuesday, you don't stick them into the rotation until the following  weekend (not the upcoming one)) . They can only join during the Regular Season, and all the matches they would have missed count as losses. This lets them compete, and even join in the Post-Season. They cannot mid-join during the post season, but assuming this is a continual thing, it won't be that long of a wait until the start of the next season. There could also be a provision to lock them out of the Golden Playoffs if they would have qualified, since they signed up late (although I don't really see a need for it).

Offline redria

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Re: <Development Discussion for Official Competitive League>
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2014, 02:03:13 pm »
Well I was just basing it upon Muse's current competitive scene, which allows for teams to join in or drop out whenever they see fit. I really like this concept, as it allows for a newly formed clan/team to get straight into the action instead of needing to wait however many months for the next season to start. With the League play, it also lets them gain some experience in the competitive scene in guaranteed matches without them being kicked out almost immediately as would happen with a tournament.

My suggestion would be to allow new teams to join, but taking at least a week before putting them into the rotation (ie: If they sign up on Tuesday, you don't stick them into the rotation until the following  weekend (not the upcoming one)) . They can only join during the Regular Season, and all the matches they would have missed count as losses. This lets them compete, and even join in the Post-Season. They cannot mid-join during the post season, but assuming this is a continual thing, it won't be that long of a wait until the start of the next season. There could also be a provision to lock them out of the Golden Playoffs if they would have qualified, since they signed up late (although I don't really see a need for it).
Perhaps we could allow late joins until all divisions were maxed out?
I don't want to have to break off and create new divisions. Part of advancing teams to the golden playoffs out of the division rankings is so that the best of each division advance. If the teams haven't been playing each other within the division, this sort of gets nullified, and you might as well not have divisions at all. Which is of course an option, but I like the concept of divisions. :P
Additionally, there is the problem of odd/even numbers of teams. If we have an odd number of teams, at least one team has to get a bye week each week. I want each team to play the same number of games, so that has to be balanced. If we add one team, we have changed from an odd to an even schedule (or vice versa). This complicates a whole lot of everything.

So a possible rule-set could be that teams may sign up throughout the regular season. If a team drops they can, in order of signup, replace the dropped teams the same week. This replacement rule would remain in constant effect. If there were 2 teams signed up and ready, then after a 1 week wait, both teams would be entered in, to maintain the balance. Double teams would only be added until adding more would necessitate the creation of a new division, at which point teams may only be added through drop replacements.

That said, dang, drops are going to mess with the even/odd thing. Most unfortunate. I'll run some numbers at some point and see if I can figure out a solution (which might allow teams to join alone).