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Design a Human-Friendly Ladder

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2 months ago
The current ladder seems to be designed for emotionless statisticians. This has garnered some complaints, so the aim of this thread is to determine what makes a ladder fun to use (and to communicate this to CHrankAdminDeinFreund). Weigh in here GBrankSparkles.

Here are some ideas off the top of my head.
  • A single clear progress indicator.
  • The things that affect progress should be clear, and they should feel like they are under the players control.
  • Progress should go up when you win and down when you lose.
  • Progress should not swing massively, effectively 'punishing' players for rare events.
  • Perhaps some 'tiers' below which you cannot lose progress would be beneficial. This would set a lower bound on how bad you can be hurt by a string of losses.
+4 / -0
2 months ago
Hmm.
If the current ladder is accurate, maybe the meatbags have to adapt instead?



Edit: As a meatbag i also find the current ladder hard to manage, losing 1 game and 100 rating is absolutely soul crushing.

There is just so much risk involved in trying anything new strategy wise because of the 1 loss vs lob = -100 rating, that its not even worth trying anything new. This makes the game stale imo.

It also promotes not playing on days where ur not feeling 100%, which for me is 85% of my days sadly.

Maybe im just too overrated and inflated to enjoy pressing "1v1 available" :(


Edit 2: I'd hate to see a fake "user friendly everybody climbs eventually" ladder tho, but godde on casual rank 3 doesnt seem very accurate tbh
+2 / -0

2 months ago
I'm really glad you're putting attention towards this Google. The bulletpoints you have listed are spot on already.

I've communicated to Dein a rough outline of how a ladder should feel, so he is aware, and it sounds a lot like your bullet points.

Before this update, the flucuations in your elo were relatively small upon win or loss. I'll give you some examples.

Beating a player above you netted maybe 5-6 elo.
Beating the player directly beneath you netted maybe 4.
Beating someone many places below you gave you 1 or even a fraction of 1 elo.
Beating Godde gave you 12-20 elo.
Being beaten by Godde lost you 1 elo.
Being beaten by someone many places below you lost you 12-20 elo.

We can see from this that the most extreme value change was in the low double digits. Not life altering, not ladder fear inducing. It was hard work to climb, but relatively forgiving if you lost and came back fighting.

After the change, elo fluctuations of 20 are the low end. I remember being beaten by someone outside the top 20 (but not by much) immediately after the change, when I was in the #2 position, and losing over 100 elo in a single match. That plummeted me back down after months of climbing by 1 point at a time. You can see why I'm outspoken about the change.

So, tell me what was wrong with the old model so I can better weigh in on a real solution from an "invested player" point of view.

To touch on what Wesley said, before this ladder change I hadn't even considered what ladder anxiety meant. It never occured to me as a thing. I'd witnessed one or two people routinely dodging and figured they were egotistically flawed. People would dodge because they were OLD purples, and didn't want to be seen being beaten by new up-and-comers.

After the change, the justification for ladder anxiety has become way more logical - and thus more common. People are guarding their LONG fought for hoard of 'old elo'. And I fully, fully understand it now. This change is percieved as a real threat to their investment.

When you're an improving player, the ranking system is one of your only tangible, post-game metrics and you can become overly invested in seeing it - and emotionally attached. Well, when the fluctuations are in the triple digits - Ain't no one fuckin' with that (especially after a patch that completely shakes the meta).
+1 / -0

2 months ago
Btw, add a "1v1 matchmaker Unranked" button. Make it so it doesn't feed a ladder or any kind of elo at all. This will circumvent ladder anxiety to a degree, facilitate fun and play, and thus increase retention.
+1 / -0
2 months ago
Now if you have 2600 elo, and your opponent has 2900 and he is from the top, you can lose him as much as you want, your losses are minimal, but a person with 2900 rating has to squeeze everything micro, macro and pray that the enemy would be do wrong. If he loses, he will lose 70-80 elo.
What to say about SErankGodde? He is very strong, always strong, maybe he can easily win 5 times in a row, let's say playing against RUrankizirayd (I have now (2.5k / 2.6k), but if there are 10 games? If he makes a mistake, he will lose 1 time at the start in the extension, SErankGodde he will lose the game, for those 9 victories he will get 30/40 elo, and now he will have to give 150-300 elo(He will beat it back to month.). So what? Right, SErankGodde will not play much 1 in 1 with one person.
Still sadder, you can lose the game, because the enemy has a unit that you don't have
and you can not him anything to match, except how to spend a very large amount of metal
Sooner or later it will happen and it will be sad and you will lose the game and lose 100 elo, it will be sad
p.s it's sad if you are from the top 3, because if you are in the top 30, today you could lose the top 40, tomorrow you will win the top 10 and return yourself a lot of elo and everything will be fine

Yeah, it's all about mm.

In a casual room in a large room with 8x8 or more players, you get ~ 5 elo per victory. In games 3 against 3 or 2 against 2, you can lose 20/50 elo for a loss or get for a victory accordingly. It sometimes looks like a casino, because not everything depends on you in the game. You have to watch with whom you play in a 3 by 3 team, because 1 person can just cost you 30 elo
+1 / -0
2 months ago
the ladder is a lie
+4 / -0

2 months ago
From previous topic:

The ladder should optimally not directly display ratings. For example you could say that you want to know your best performance in the last month, and the ladder will then only show that. Or the ladder could be displaying the average performance from the last month (that's close to what it used to do).

The change to the rating system has effectively increased the time resolution and allows the rating more closely match your daily performance. This should hopefully help a bit with those feeling the need to make a smurf account just for playing drunk or otherwise incapacitated. A bad day will mostly remain a bad day now. This rating is best used for matchmaking and balancing team games. I don't think it's a good fit for (monthly?) ladders.

Do you have any preferences on what you'd find good for the ladders to show? Using the average would mean having to avoid bad days again. Using the maximum could lead to lucky days deciding the ratings.
+2 / -0

2 months ago
Yo Dein, I've answered this exact wording from you already, and there's enough written above to provide you with an answer. More than happy to keep going if you have more specific questions.

In the short term, and I know it sounds like contraception, I would suggest...

First step: Revert the change. Take the morning after pill.
Second step: Further discuss a more viable option with the people it matters to.
+0 / -0


2 months ago
quote:
the ladder is a lie

There is no rating. It is yourself who has to improve.
+1 / -0
2 months ago
Please consider also the players that are not in top 50.

Before, you would get a simple rank (like "you are rank 80"). This is impersonal, because you lack information on who is around you (eg: you do not know if you progress because the guy above you became inactive, or you got better than him).

Now, for me, it feels worse as if you have high uncertainty your rank is not displayed at all.
+1 / -0

2 months ago
There are quite a few requirements that have been set for the rating, so let me just quickly give an overview:

Game balance and prediction


The rating system should be designed such that it can make the best possible predictions and balance. Players are often subject to daily variations, which is what the rating tries to adapt to, especially with the latest update. Keep in mind that the goal of this rating number is solely to predict one future match accurately, not represent past achievements or trends.

Ladder stability


The ladders should have a stable rating that represents long-time progress. As the ladders have a monthly cut-off, it'd make sense to use a monthly aggregation. I've described that in more detail above, and as I've heard until now the simple average would be the preferred solution.

Ranks/Leagues


Ranks are used to give the player an easily comprehensible representation of their skill progress. I think this is where GoogleFrog's points should apply. Ranks are designed such that they can only be gained on a victory and lost on a defeat. They also have overlapping ranges, meaning that the threshold to gain a rank is higher than the one to lose it. This overlap is dynamically calculated from the rating variance of the player, meaning it'll be harder to both gain and lose ranks if your rating is actively changing. This is such that, independent of the configuration of WHR, ranks should remain stable.

Rating categories


There are often requests to separate the rating of different game types, with the current compromise being one rating for MM and one for non-MM (casual) games. As there is a separation in the player base with some players only playing one of these modes, both modes come with their own ranks.

This is currently implemented as giving out ranks to a certain percentage of the active players in each mode, which often leads to confusion as some players gain their rank in one mode where they wouldn't deserve that rank in the other mode. (E.g. Sparkles=blue, Freund=purple). A possible change would be to give out the same number of ranks in both modes, meaning that even the lowest rated MM player would already gain one of the higher ranks.

Decayed and True rating


There are two different ratings in use, a true rating and a decayed rating. The decayed rating will decrease whenever somebody doesn't play. It also starts at maximum decay for newbies, giving them an effective -400 elo offset. The goal of the decayed rating is to give (unbalanced) easier matches to teams with newbies and inactive players on them. The decayed rating is implemented in WHR as a lower bound, minimum confidence interval. This means that it'll not only give a lower rating to inactive players, but also to inconsistent players.

The decayed rating is currently used for balance, matchmaking and the ladders. The true rating is currently used for game predictions.

Issues


  • The first and the last point seem to contradict each other. I'm not too fond of intentionally unbalancing games.
  • Ladders use the decayed rating, which is meant to balance future games, not represent achievements.
  • Ranks are possibly not yet fulfilling their requirements, some look at elo over ranks(?)
  • The use of four different rating numbers (decayed vs true, competitive vs casual) is confusing.

Planned changes


  • Smooth out the ladder rankings by averaging skill over the last month
  • Simplify the ladder cut-off by ranking everyone who has played in the last month.

AUrankAdminGoogleFrog I'm not too sure about the progress indicator. With the wildly different gamemodes and whack MM balance it could take one or a hundred wins to rank up. I don't think this can be displayed in a simple way. Some days one can get only matched against Godde where every win would be a rank up, on other days all matches are against newcomers where wins don't mean anything. Unless we have reliable "in-league" matchmaking, rank changes are going to vary wildly.

NLrankmalric Everyone should get a rank with the change. If you want to see who's nearby, check the full ladders. I don't think the ladders should be the go-to place to check your rough rank though, that's what the rank icons are for. Especially at the more densely populated ranks, ladder position can vary wildly.
+1 / -0
2 months ago
The Rating should only be for matchmaking.

Make something you can earn while you ladder aside from Rating/elo, something like an activity Rating.

Reset the Ladder once in a while (Seasons) and Reward players with high activity in the last season with some Aestetik stuff (Chatcolor, Portraits, perhaps special Commander skins )


Also make a Unranked-Ladder and a Vs-Ai-Ladder so people can warm-up/gather confidence.
- with unranked ladder i mean like normal ladder but you don't loose/gain rating.
- Vs Ai Ladder puts you against AI, the higher your Rating the stronger the Ai. perhaps make some more Ai levels
- All those Ladders use the same map pool.



+0 / -0
2 months ago
- Hide rating, but have an overall ladder where everyone can see their place and the people around them.


- Make the ladder filterable by country. It's discouraging to be #2345, but much more interesting to know that you're #14 in your country, and who #13 and #12 are.


- Add an incentive for people to play more matches (rather than an incentive to dodge matches to protect rating.) The usual solution in other games is to have a separate "season points", that can only increase. (Small amount of points for a loss, larger amount of points for a win.) Since you gain points even for a loss, being mismatched against a higher skilled player won't sting quite as much.


- Seasons last for a few months and then season points reset back to zero, the top 3 players with the highest points at the end of the season get some sort of prize/recognition/bragging rights.



So this results in retaining a statistically based rating for matchmaking and the ladder display, but players have a second avenue of competition in racing for the season points - which increases their games played to improve the accuracy of their ladder rating.
+0 / -0

2 months ago
quote:
DErankUggaH
Also make a Unranked-Ladder and a Vs-Ai-Ladder so people can warm-up/gather confidence.
- with unranked ladder i mean like normal ladder but you don't loose/gain rating.
- Vs Ai Ladder puts you against AI, the higher your Rating the stronger the Ai. perhaps make some more Ai levels
- All those Ladders use the same map pool.


This sounds like changes to the Matchmaker queues. This topic is solely about the ladders/rank pages of the website.

quote:
AUrankAdmiralZeech
- Make the ladder filterable by country. It's discouraging to be #2345, but much more interesting to know that you're #14 in your country, and who #13 and #12 are.

Here are the top Australian players. You can apply further filters on that page.
+2 / -0
2 months ago
Nice page ("Detailed Zero-K Ladders"). Is it linked from the website and I missed it or is it a new thing?

quote:
I don't think the ladders should be the go-to place to check your rough rank though

I would like to have a place to go and get a feeling of how am I doing lately. One such place could be the page "Zero-K Player Rating History", but:
- the range of time displayed is since registration (maybe not a problem for many - for me for example is 10 years - ok I set it manually)
- but even if I change the range I might not see any difference (ok, I look for the last period in which a change happened)
- but even if I see a range in the difference I have no clue how is that related to others (ex: based on this: https://zero-k.info/Charts/Ratings?RatingCategory=1&UserId=5295&From=3%2F7%2F2018+12%3A00%3A00+AM&To=3%2F7%2F2019+12%3A00%3A00+AM how did I improve in a year? Answer: 59 elo. But that does not tell me roughly where I was last year or how much I progressed)

Just trying to explain what I see (as a below top 50 player). I am curious enough to put some effort, but people might want to click on something and get a nice summary.
+0 / -0
2 months ago
Kindy lengthy and long format, probably not to everyone's interest, and I don't have the time to finish, proofread, or polish it right now. So pastebin it is:
https://pastebin.com/hyX8Tc5Q

Updated
+1 / -0

2 months ago
Just add a personal trophy wall - top 10 player scalps taken (with a picture :p). Like the current badges, but with size modifier depending on elo difference :p.
+0 / -0
2 months ago
to change the ladder is A good idea but also the ranking system the star fom orange to darker orange phase should be change all together. pls A new system needs to be design all together. we have to think not only should A ladder which is more friendly and fun is good. but we should add more things and place things in an order which the ladder is fair and fun. for example give the ladder more points for players to join tourney's that way people will join more tournaments. if u get 11th place u get more elo points, get tourney's weekly so more people will join. then if u give players the ability beating higher players not only should they garner more xp. but get them the recognition by giving them medals for beatings players from the blue rank and purpkle rank. if i beat petturtle or kigstad which i have A medal should be giving medal if I beat the last 100 players from the ladder list like felipe , unluky, and players from this list i get brown medal, 45% to the 10% percent of best players whcih are gold level and blue crystal give them silver medals, and the top ten list and 10% which are blue level and purple should get gold medals. this will produce more comptetivity and make the higher players work more to stay on top which is fair I want godde's place -_- mind u.


another idea is that googlefrog u have other games u r making i remmember u r developing cool game don't remember the name but it was good, u want to be more social to people be more open buddy ;D. for instance fuse your games all together make players from this game recieve points fo elo by joining your other games and playing them. zero-k started from humble begginings and I see u still don't reach your full capacity with this game to be open and explore more things for example. give elo but rewards if u play your new games they have thier names in A map, or the names in A unit. your making new unit models. yeah good idea astran wins A tournament and u give him the privilage to give A unit like bomber unit called astran and put the flag of south africa on it. astran will love A unit named after him. put like A tournament in which the winner will have he's or she's name on A new unit your making. give them medal and in the new game u also tell them thier name and insigina of their clan be on the new game your making that way players will go to new things your doing.

another idea is putting everything in order that way u put tournaments and reward players with naming units of them and making players go to your new games by mixing the elo system and putting A new system all together, maybe this is too complicated for ya googlefrog. but U ask for ideas i'm giving them to u. and mixing it all and making A system work for u to make elo possible to all players grow and give players the chance to surpass godde on the list. will make things better and add more players ;D
+0 / -0

2 months ago
Hun_Tzu, your contribution demonstrates a clear empathetic deviation from the status quo - I couldn't agree more with your analysis. Whether or not the wider community wants to stay subscribed to the ego fuelling model of things, or to pioneer onto a more inclusive system warrants serious reflection.

We are getting into psychological territory here for definite. It's worth noting that there's a stimulating / addictive nature to these systems, even if they only perpetuate constant rising and falling, rushes of satisfaction and fits of frustration. I genuinely want to know if my own relationship with playing Zero K would be mentally healthier/less fallable without the existence of this fucked up mirror.
+1 / -0

2 months ago
I like the ladder for statisticians. :(
Some people want a ladder that tells you how well you're playing atm (like me!)
Others want a ladder so they can feel their progress and how much they are improving (like Sparkles).

I believe there was a poll a while back where more people voted for the former type of ladder.
+0 / -0
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