Author Topic: Room for Improvement  (Read 27282 times)

Offline redria

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Room for Improvement
« on: July 14, 2014, 03:53:39 pm »
I am going to go ahead and kick this thread off. The idea here is that this is only Season 1 of Hephaestus. While season 2 might not happen immediately, I would like to see it picked up and continued for several more seasons, evolving to match the needs and desires of the community and the audience. Whether this includes me or any of the current admins is outside the scope of this thread. This thread is to get a head start on evolving the Hephaestus Challenge so it can come back with Season 2, bigger and badder than ever.

So what I want from you guys is an analysis of how things have gone for you so far. Be as critical as you need to be. What are things that went wrong? Problems you ran into? Highlights? Things you might suggest?

The Season isn't over, and a Champion is yet to be crowned, and the Hell that is the Silver Playoffs looms just around the corner. But it is never too soon to look towards the future and start crafting a masterpiece.

I will update this post as we go with topics of discussion.

A few starting points might be...
  • Is the HC League too long, too short, or just right? Why do you feel this way?
  • Much of the league uses a best of 1 system. Would a best of 3 system have felt better, or was the best of 1 option a good way to protect your time and the audience's time?
  • The HC League (re?)introduced a separation of casting and administration, but failed (largely due to me) to separate administration and referees. Was the separation good? Would you have liked to see more separation between administration and referees?
  • Time limit rules came into play multiple times. Were these rules a good way to end the match, both as a player and as a viewer? Is there a different format that you feel might better protect the ability to bring any style to competition?
  • Were the set start times a good or bad thing? Did you feel you were left waiting in full lobbies too long waiting for your match to start? Did you enjoy knowing exactly when your match would start? Did it allow you to schedule better and get friends to watch you? Would a rolling start time or a different format work better?
  • Did the lobby time limit provide an adequate arena for selecting your ship without opening the match to excessive ship swapping? Did you feel safe to take unusual builds, or would a different system make you feel safer in taking unusual builds?
  • Were the pause time rules fair, and fairly enforced? Were you ever concerned that server problems or player disconnects would ruin a match for your team?
  • Were the substitution rules sufficiently flexible to allow you to make all needed substitutions? Did you ever feel the substitution rules were too lax, allowing a player or team to abuse them?
  • Were there any rules you felt strongly for or against? Something you felt harmed the integrity of the match or League?
  • Do you feel that the map pool provided sufficient variety, and that the maps each added something beneficial to the map pool? Was there a map that detracted from the quality of the League that you felt should have been removed?
  • Would you be intrigued by a restructuring of the regular season to allow more fluid participation, or would you prefer a second season to maintain a more strict adherence to current structuring?
  • Would you be interested in playing more than one match per day (Bo1) even if your matches were not scheduled consecutively?
  • Would you be interested in taking an axe to the pause rules and removing official pauses?

I open this thread up to everyone. If you have any feedback to give about the structure and administration of the Hephaestus Challenge, we would love to hear it. If you would like to bring up something you feel would be best not approached in public, feel free to message me or another of the admins about it. Thank you to everyone.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 01:19:20 pm by redria »

Offline redria

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 04:04:48 pm »
And, as I said, it is open to everyone.

1. It is too long. But in both a good and bad way. The length feels right. It makes each match important and lets us have a real sense of moving through the season. However it also limits the League to only those who signed up at the very start. This is extremely limiting, and it puts a lot of strain on the teams that do sign up. I have some ideas on this that can be discussed later. Suffice to say, the current format is wonderful, but feels very long.

2. I am loving the best of 1. No contest in my eyes.

3. Separation of powers should be maximized. I dropped the ball in recruiting referees, and it left us admins responsible. While I have nothing but praise for my fellows for picking up the slack, it shouldn't be their responsibility. In the future it needs to be handled better, and I think a corps of referees would be greatly beneficial.

4. I'm sort of ambivalent about the time limits. They are serving their purpose. If you want to play a fast match, go ahead. If you want to play a sniping attrition battle, go for it. All styles are welcome here. The time limit is there to protect the audience's time. Some games are going to be less interesting. I see no problem with that. I like the happy medium we found.

5. I love the set start times. I think it has been working wonderfully all around.

6. I think the lobby timer should be discussed. While I personally didn't see any problems, the opportunity is there and there must be a solution that protects teams that wish to take unusual builds from hard countering in the lobby.

7. I think the pause time rules did their job, but were a little bit complex. Possibly needs more work based on feedback.

8. I liked the substitution rules. There was some pretty good movement of subs between teams when needed, and I saw no problems arise from it.

9. No rules I had any problems with so far.

10. The map pool (opens can of worms) also has felt pretty good to me. Removing any of the maps would remove a significant element of the game. Even if some maps are conducive to certain styles of play, they still add to the quality of the league.

Offline Queso

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 04:14:11 pm »
As for time limit, I would say a penalty for a 0-0 match would be acceptable just to keep it interesting for spectators. I think if people want to time out on a 1-1 that would at least mean two ships die during the match.

As for the map pool I have a ridiculous idea that you should probably ignore. Cross division matches played on 4v4 maps. Perhaps have the 2 teams from each division play on different sides of the map so that nobody is trying to throw a game to affect their division in some way.

Offline N-Sunderland

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 04:30:10 pm »
As for time limit, I would say a penalty for a 0-0 match would be acceptable just to keep it interesting for spectators. I think if people want to time out on a 1-1 that would at least mean two ships die during the match.

I agree. I think counting a 0-0 as a loss for both sides would probably provide a good incentive for the teams to actually start fighting.

Offline Thomas

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 04:55:02 pm »
A 4v4 cross would be kind of neat, and save some time with having 4 teams competing at once instead of two.

1- I feel it's pretty lengthy in general, but I don't really see a problem with that. Getting 7 matches going in a 3 hour period or so is quite good. Adding another caster and division would allow for more matches to occur at the same time, but would be harder to schedule and such. Overall I think it's fine as is, but as more teams sign up, there might need to be a change.

2- I'm a huge fan of best of one.

3- I didn't see too many issues, but I'm on the participant end of the spectrum. One thing we could use is a more formalized referee structuring. It seemed that each ref had their own style for letting teams know when to ready, and sometimes they didn't tell them to ready.

4- I think the time limits are fine. They're doing what they're supposed to, and you can't really prevent matches from timing out.

5- Set times are beautiful

6- This might need some work, but I can't think of a good solution. There was some changes in the last couple minutes, and teams felt a lot of pressure not to change at the last second.

7- Pause got a little weird on occasion, but it worked out alright

8- I had an issue with the sub system. *

9- Rules seem fine

10- I feel all the maps are fine. I know a lot of players (including myself) aren't the biggest fan of Dunes, but it always comes down to how a team chooses to play.



*
For the sub system, I feel it needs to be a little more strict. I don't expect for teams to have the same exact crew throughout the entire event, but some of the subbing was a little extreme. One example was during the period of By Weeks, one team had half of their entire team subbed with half of another team that had that week off. Should there be a limit on how many subs you can have on your team? Should teams have a roster of subs? Such only allowing up to 2 wildcard subs, but having the rest be listed (and whoever is listed as a sub can only sub for that team) or something similar. Should there be a more strict limit on when players can be subs? (ie: if you you play for a team on one week, you can't play for another team for 2 weeks).

Offline Queso

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 05:08:17 pm »
Oh, another set of comments. I liked the random map rotation, and think dunes is actually a very interesting map, despite people's preference for sniper builds. If you look at game 1 for the black cloaks from sunday rumble 10, both teams bought mobulas and pyras with liberal field gun usage, but we managed to build a half sniper half brawl mobula which you wouldn't necessarily see on other maps.

As for lobby timer, I think it solves the problem in a way that certainly is adequate, but still a bit rough around the edges. I still want to see a draft where a team gets to draft ships in a 1-2-1 pattern and then pick gun loud-outs in a 1-2-1 pattern.

Offline Imagine

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 05:15:21 pm »
I am highly not in favor of drafts.

If someone wants to make a tournament based around that then sure, go for it, but not in HC.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 05:17:06 pm by Imagine »

Offline Queso

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 05:19:51 pm »
Yeah that's totally reasonable. It's not really that sort of competition. I should run a few practice drafts with someone and see how it turns out.

Offline Tropo

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 06:29:31 pm »
sacrilege has a lot to say about this tournament but don't want comment until its over

main things that i would like to see changed time the tournament has ran for/ lack of matches played.
pause rules, dunes map rules, only one match not seen as competitive.

i'm not a fan of spending all week organizing my clan and then a dc in to lobby doesn't lead to more time.

will post our ideas and rules that we think need changing after the tournament in order to not take away from the teams that are doing well

Offline redria

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 08:18:36 pm »
will post our ideas and rules that we think need changing after the tournament in order to not take away from the teams that are doing well
That is completely fair. As I said, if you want you can feel free to send me a message with some of your thoughts privately. I want to have some of this in discussion so the rules are ready for change quickly after the end of the season to minimize down-time. Anything sent to me in private will be shared only between admins for discussion.

Offline Deltajugg

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 09:53:23 pm »
Quote
Is the HC League too long, too short, or just right? Why do you feel this way?

I feel ok with how long HC league is when it comes to it being a few months long tournament. Many matches require alot of training and preparation, which I feel that, during such a long time, can only affect teams positively, giving them more time to progress. When it comes to the amount of matches per day, I'm fine with the length of the tournament, I'm just not ok with the time all matches end, and because of that I'd prefer the matches to start an hour earlier than they do.

Quote
Much of the league uses a best of 1 system. Would a best of 3 system have felt better, or was the best of 1 option a good way to protect your time and the audience's time?

In the current stage of the tournament I'm ok with the best of 1 system, but I sure do hope that when the golden playoffs will start, we'll switch to the best of 3/5 system. At that point one match between two teams may not be enough to truly represent the skillgap between two different teams, so if there's a chance a team may end up in the finals because of one lucky match, I feel it would be weird (f.e if Muse vs Clamour were to happen in the Golden Playoffs).

Quote
The HC League (re?)introduced a separation of casting and administration, but failed (largely due to me) to separate administration and referees. Was the separation good? Would you have liked to see more separation between administration and referees?

I had no issues around that subject, so I personally am fine with how it is now.

Quote
Time limit rules came into play multiple times. Were these rules a good way to end the match, both as a player and as a viewer? Is there a different format that you feel might better protect the ability to bring any style to competition?

Neither as a player or viewer, I don't feel satisfied seeing matches ending with a timeout. I don't feel like 30 minutes of no-kill match is a good thing, neither is waiting for a whole match to the very end, getting few kills for an advantage and winning by a technicality that is a timeout win. I believe that a system similar to SCS games (15 min base +3 min per kill of time) would be more efficient, and we'd avoid prolonged, passive snipe fights as well. I'd also add additional rule like in footbal, where a referee can add bonus time (up to 3(?) minutes)if the match were to end during the engagement.

Quote
Were the set start times a good or bad thing? Did you feel you were left waiting in full lobbies too long waiting for your match to start? Did you enjoy knowing exactly when your match would start? Did it allow you to schedule better and get friends to watch you? Would a rolling start time or a different format work better?

I'm ok with the matches starting right after the previous matches are over (again, similar to SCS rules), but I don't mind the current system as well, even though I think it has some flaws. First of all, we've seen many stomp matches ending after 10 minutes, that gives us 20 additional minutes to already existing 15 minutes of break, a timespan I feel is unnecessary, as it may gather up to 105 minutes of wasted time in total between 4 matches that could simply be filled with immediate start of the next match. I don't think that people not showing up for their matches would be an issue, most of the people are watching other Hephaestus matches before waiting for theirs anyway,and I don't know if that was ever a problem in the SCS, having this system, but it would surely save time for many people. One benefit is that it allows you to show up on a certain (even if unnecessary late) hour, and there's still enough time for teams to schedule a pre-hephaestus warm up.

My biggest issue is the very start of the event being so late for Europeans, causing alot of roster problems during the last matches of the day. I'd either implement non-strict match times, so the Saturday's events would end earlier than they currently end, or I would start the event an hour earlier itself, same as SCS(or both, both is good as well).

Quote
Did the lobby time limit provide an adequate arena for selecting your ship without opening the match to excessive ship swapping? Did you feel safe to take unusual builds, or would a different system make you feel safer in taking unusual builds?

If I feel that a build is unusual, then I probably didn't play enough with it to feel comfortable using it in official competitive tournament, so I don't take it in the first place. Getting the preferrable loadout wasn't really much of an issue, me and my team usually are confident enough with what we take, but even in the cases of having an issue with choosing our layouts I still don't feel like we're overwhelmingly pressured with the time limit. Time limit-wise I don't expect anything to change my layouts into more unusual, though, and I don't see the connection between the time for choosing a build and its quirkiness.

Quote
Were the pause time rules fair, and fairly enforced? Were you ever concerned that server problems or player disconnects would ruin a match for your team?

As much as during first 2 weeks of the Hephaestus I felt like pause rules are very strict and merciless (I really like having a pause, even in combat, if I'm being teleported around the ship, anywhere BUT the hull that needs repairing), I find them fair in most cases, and even if cruel, the reasoning behind it is completely understandable. Also, I am always concerned about server problems and DCs ruining not only my team's match, but also our opponent's, and other teams overall, though I'm not sure I would change the rules in case of the in-combat DC with a soft pause that we currently have in the game, many people probably won't look at the chat during combat anyway, so shooting will happen in places. As it stands, I wouldn't change the rules.

Quote
Were the substitution rules sufficiently flexible to allow you to make all needed substitutions? Did you ever feel the substitution rules were too lax, allowing a player or team to abuse them?

If I'm correct, the substitute player needs to switch his/her layout to the one that the player being replaced had. Thus, I don't even see a way to abuse it, and I consider the substitute rules to be fair. Regarding not being able to use a player that already played for another team that particular day, I feel like there's more than enough willing subs around that teams know, active and ready to help the team, so I don't think there's any reason for one player to sub in multiple matches on one day. I feel comfortable with the rules as they are, I don't feel the need to change anything about them.

Quote
Were there any rules you felt strongly for or against? Something you felt harmed the integrity of the match or League?

Other than having one match happening for us at an hour I was not comfortable with, I have no other issues with the Hephaestus League at all. Neither I can think of anything I was especially positively surprised about, I just absorbed the rules as ones I'm comfortable with, not having any issues. I'm neutral about most of it. Only thing I'd want is to reschedule one of our matches, but I think that we're at fault, asking for it so late.

Quote
Do you feel that the map pool provided sufficient variety, and that the maps each added something beneficial to the map pool? Was there a map that detracted from the quality of the League that you felt should have been removed?

Well, Dunes are definitely quite controversial, the map itself asks for lots of sniping builds, which causes alot of long, often boring matches. That being said, it's not happening often enough for me to think about excluding it, with Dunes being a map that alot of teams know how to get advantage of, same as any other map for other teams.  I'd personally love to see Labyrinth being included on slightly different rules to the map pool, working with all DM maps, with the map having yet another chance to show off different strengths of the teams.

Offline Wundsalz

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 02:31:59 am »
Quote
Is the HC League too long, too short, or just right? Why do you feel this way?

I second delta here.

Quote
Much of the league uses a best of 1 system. Would a best of 3 system have felt better, or was the best of 1 option a good way to protect your time and the audience's time?

I'm fine with either. BO1 is probably the most thrilling format and I think we'd see some more interesting builds with a BO3 system.

Quote
The HC League (re?)introduced a separation of casting and administration, but failed (largely due to me) to separate administration and referees. Was the separation good? Would you have liked to see more separation between administration and referees?

The referee work and casting have been very good so far. No complaints whatsoever. Personally I do not see why one wants to seperate administration from refereeing to begin with.

Quote
Time limit rules came into play multiple times. Were these rules a good way to end the match, both as a player and as a viewer? Is there a different format that you feel might better protect the ability to bring any style to competition?

I liked the timer. 30min are sufficient to finish the vast majority of matches and if prolonged sniper matches are "cut off" I don't consider that a bad thing. On the contrary the system is capeable of distrubiting attacker/defender roles in static matches as the winning team can play the timer. Even in case of the 0-0 match we've had I think letting the match result in a draw was a good thing. If neither team shows any ambition to win, let neither win. In the Tournament Phase we need to generate knockouts somehow though.

Quote
Were the set start times a good or bad thing? Did you feel you were left waiting in full lobbies too long waiting for your match to start? Did you enjoy knowing exactly when your match would start? Did it allow you to schedule better and get friends to watch you? Would a rolling start time or a different format work better?

I really liked the set times. It allowed us to schedule our saturday evening precisely. The BO1 match + usually a scrim prior to that, without much dead time for us clans. That's good.

I'd like to see the whole thing starting an hour earlier.

Quote
Did the lobby time limit provide an adequate arena for selecting your ship without opening the match to excessive ship swapping? Did you feel safe to take unusual builds, or would a different system make you feel safer in taking unusual builds?

I've got mixed feelings about it. Last minute switches which might require an adjustment like swapping players around ships may not be handled ideally by the system. Then again we (SIR) personally didn't encounter any severe problems with the time-limit so far.

Quote
Were the pause time rules fair, and fairly enforced? Were you ever concerned that server problems or player disconnects would ruin a match for your team?

I do believe dcs need less regulation. A gentleman-code as "If the enemy requests you to pause outside of an egagement, just pause!" should do the work just fine.
Afaik the rather strict regulation we've got caused more harm than it prevent. E.g. it can ruin sneaky engagements through cloudcover by having the engaging team wait until the cloudcover is removed. I know that this happened at least once and one team accused the other team of abusing the pause rule to gain an unfair advantage after the match.

Quote
Were the substitution rules sufficiently flexible to allow you to make all needed substitutions? Did you ever feel the substitution rules were too lax, allowing a player or team to abuse them?

the subtitution rules were good and should be kept as is.

Quote
Were there any rules you felt strongly for or against? Something you felt harmed the integrity of the match or League?

I dislike the overregulation of pauses.

Quote
Do you feel that the map pool provided sufficient variety, and that the maps each added something beneficial to the map pool? Was there a map that detracted from the quality of the League that you felt should have been removed?

I'd like to play Labyrinth competitively.
I wouldn't shed a tear if dunes was cut. After having participated in many different tournaments for about a year now, I've yet to play a single, really enjoyable, competitive dunes match.

Offline Hunter.

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 03:10:21 am »
1. I'm liking the length, the longevity of the season makes it really feel like a league I am competing in as opposed to a weekly meet-up, should definitely not be longer though, a little shorter might be nice but I wouldn't care either way.

2. Best of 1 really feels odd from a player perspective, especially against teams with an aggressive play style.. sort of "show up, play for 5-10 minutes, go" maybe if more streamers were to get involved having more games played at once would unlock a best of 2 or best of 3 option, which would be nice, but in the current situation BO3 would take far too long.

3.I had no problem with casting or administration and would like to give a huge +1 to everyone involved /salute

4. The time limit never left me feeling pressured and kept every game as entertaining as the last, as with the last point +1

5. The only time the forced start really affected us was when the division-wide meeting in TAW almost overlapped the game against BFS, we literally rushed the meeting, joined the lobby, had 30 seconds to adjust builds to the enemy and then went, otherwise I really enjoyed the way we knew when the game would start and we could wrap up our warm-up games before playing and have a discussion for a good 10 minutes pre-game!

6. I would like to see a sort of dota style draft implemented, for the sake of testing, for next season just to see how it goes. I wasn't victim of any ship swapping but I have seen in other tournaments while standing in for teams it can become as issue, my experience here was with SAC Vs Thralls in a SCS where both teams were countering eachother forever and eventually Tropo raged and readied up! haha!

7. Once again, never really affected us and the system worked well and was enforced efficiently and quickly!

8. One of the best rules I've ever seen for subs, been able to pull in some great last minute guys because of them, an improvement might be "you are not allowed to stand-in against a team you have flown for previously this season", thus the pool of subs will be even bigger and cheating is still unlikely to happen but this is up for discussion.

8. Nope

9. Too much Canyons, too little Dunes :( But more seriously having the maps chosen would be really nice! you can still keep them hidden but it would be nice to know that you won't be subject to 3 weeks on Canyons.. and not a single game of my precious Dunes :(

Offline Llamas Unite

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 05:03:42 am »
1. The length of each evening is good, but I do have some small issues with the length of the season. Locking in time every saturday for 7 weeks at least, and more if your team advances to the playoffs with only 1 bye is bearable, but definitely don't make it any longer. Apart from a convenience point of view, there is also the issue that newer teams, or teams that didn't consider playing competitively a month ago are essentially locked out of the ranked competitive system, yes there's the SCS but that's an entirely different type of tournament. Also, an earlier start time would be much better

2. I feel bo1 was fine, and was definitely the best way to manage to get most teams playing each round whilst keeping each evening relatively short. Saving bo3/5 for the finals, when there are less teams was the right choice.

3. I didn't notice any difference from the usual excellent quality of umpiring due to the lack of separation, so I'm not bothered by this

4. Whilst it's never entirely satisfactory to see a match end with a time limit, few people will argue in some cases it was necessary :/ The 30 min time limit was good in my view, it gives teams opportunities to play a reasonable game, and enough time to work up opportunities, whilst preventing some more passive matches from dragging on ad infinitum.

5. The set start times wasn't so much of an issue for me, I've never known a clan to miss a match, and most clans are there at least half an hour before anyway to warm up, but the certainty of the start times made it easier to organise skrims beforehand.

6. I always tend to lean conservatively, and towards ships we know and have rehearsed for competitive matches, so the lobby timer wasn't so much of an issue for me. I've not personally experienced too much of an issue before, with clans swapping ships to hard counter the other team multiple times whilst waiting, so I'm not sure how much of an issue that is, but I feel the current system works, since swapping ships and corresponding crew loadouts takes time

7. The pause rules were fair, and fairly enforced. Apart from a few awkward situations with ships being force spawned, or being blown by winds into buildings, none of which are really preventable, the rules worked perfectly.

8. The substitution rules are fair, and I haven't seen any team or players abusing them. However, for future tournaments it might be an idea to limit the number of non-clan substitutes, perhaps to three. Whilst this may cause problems for Muse :p, it helps to assure people that another clan isn't unfairly influencing a match

9. No, I am happy with all of the rules, and of the running of the tournament as a whole

10. I feel all of the maps have their place within the pool, and to remove one or two would hurt the variety of the league. Perhaps what could be considered is a ban on passive playstyles/lack of engagement adding a cp match into the mix, to provide some more variety in builds and playstyles

Offline Brick Hardcastle

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Re: Room for Improvement
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 08:50:02 am »
As for time limit, I would say a penalty for a 0-0 match would be acceptable just to keep it interesting for spectators. I think if people want to time out on a 1-1 that would at least mean two ships die during the match.

I agree. I think counting a 0-0 as a loss for both sides would probably provide a good incentive for the teams to actually start fighting.

Not only would this be pointless, given that both teams taking a loss or both teams taking a tie would have the same effect on their ranking either way, it would also be fundamentally altering competitive play on extremely weak grounding. It is based on the flawed assumption that a result that has happened exactly once in over a year and a half of GOIO competitive play will not only happen again but become a problem. Both teams in the 0-0 game wanted to win but it was simply taking too long for either team to get a good position on the other. If we had to play eachother again, we'd probably realize taking the same builds on the same map would likely result in a stalemate situation and we would either take something else or come up with another strategy beforehand.

There are plenty of ways to improve competitive play, but needlessly browbeating teams who are giving their time and energy to participate in this marathon league is not one of them.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 09:02:39 am by Brick Hardcastle »