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Christer



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 14:38
FUMBBL Staff
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Over a pretty significant period of time, people have been starting threads, discussing and PMing me about how to "fix" the Blackbox. Up until now I have been pretty deflective of these kinds of ideas, not really wanting to "rock the box" since the division is pretty significant in terms of number of games played.

There's a lot of talk about min-maxing teams, and how they deter new players from joining the division, I am of the opinion that the objections are only directed to a subset of min-maxed teams. This subset is obviously the strong bashers, who primarily build towards killing off their opponents (both at the low and the high end of the scale). I haven't heard any complaints over minmaxed teams designed to score quickly on rookie teams (for example, someone could make a skaven team with very strong scoring capabilities against rookies).

Also, a number of people claim that the fact that the scheduler matches based on TV is the core problem and try to suggest ideas for how to improve the scheduler as such. In my opinion, one of the more serious problems with LRB6/CRP is that the TV formula is flawed. Changing the scheduler to use other means of pairings would in the long term end up being a backwards way to reintroduce TS (Team Strength) as a measurement, but without taking a structured approach to the problem.

Now, this post isn't about me doing the work to generate a new TV calculation formula as that's a pretty significant undertaking, and it'd require a lot of research and studying on my part (refreshing statistics, look into "big data" processing algorithms and things like that; i.e., hundreds of hours of work).

Instead, my approach to the problem is more pragmatic in nature. I will present my suggestion here and am asking for you all to provide feedback to the idea itself. I would request that you avoid presenting far-fetched and/or new ideas in this thread but stick to the pros and cons of the idea itself.

Ok, enough preamble! The idea is to introduce a couple of small changes to nerf the kill-stack by enabling two specific client options for Blackbox matches:

1. clawDoesNotStack (default: off) - Claw does not stack with other skills that modify armour rolls.

2. pilingOnInjuryOnly (default: off) - Piling On lets you re-roll injury-rolls only.

These options would push the blackbox slightly towards Plasmoid's NTBB ruleset, which is where the options originate in the first place. His page has a quick overview of how the killstack changes with these settings. Note, though, that NTBB further suggests to increase the efficiency of Dirty Player by adding an additional +1 on the armour roll for fouling. Looking at statistics for matches on FUMBBL, I disagree with this change and will not include that option. The original intent of the change is to counter Piling On, but I strongly believe that enabling this option would make Dirty Player the "go-to" skill for bash minmaxing.

The underlying rationale for these changes is that an open-play environment allows coaches to avoid stacking of these skills, while the Blackbox division is more "forced" in nature. Nerfing these two skills make them significantly less viable and in my opinion push them into a "strategic" decision mode rather than the obvious choices they are for certain teams at this point.

The idea is that by applying these changes, more new coaches would be interested in the Blackbox than the number of coaches who are only playing there because of how it works. The "hardcore" nature of the division does cater to a certain set of people on the site and the division itself would end up in a bit of trouble if the number of coaches who chose to play there was reduced in a significant way. This risk is what has kept me from applying changes to the division.

Anyway, let me know what you think of this proposed modification to the division. I'm very curious what you have to say!


TL;DR: There is no TL;DR for this post. Consider it a test of your ability to focus on a single subject! Wink
JimmyFantastic



Joined: Feb 06, 2007

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 14:47 Reply with quote Back to top

Obviously I think neither house rule should be used.
I think most of the whining is done by a vocal minority.
If something *has* to be done then only apply a PO nerf of some variety.
Otherwise we will just see a return to LRB4 days of Dwarf/Orc guardspam dominance(which is also easily min-maxed).

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PaddyMick



Joined: Jan 03, 2012

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 14:52 Reply with quote Back to top

Just to clarify - does that mean a player with cpomb, could for example:

Use claw on the armour roll
Use MB and PO on the injury roll
For the same block?

And against av7, claw would be ignored as it is now, MB would be the same, but PO could not be used on armour?

In that case it's only a slight (but significant) nerf and I think it's a good idea
Overhamsteren



Joined: May 27, 2006

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 14:55 Reply with quote Back to top

It's more than other things the reroll of the injury roll, possibly with +1 to the roll, that makes pile on so nasty. None of he 2 suggested fixes changes that.

Hope this isn't too much 'new idea' territory but either

1. piling on does not stack with mighty blow or claw
or 2. piling on only on armour roll

Would both be better changes in my opinion.

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Throweck



Joined: Feb 23, 2013

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 14:59 Reply with quote Back to top

I don't play a lot in the box but I am starting to so my '2 cents' isn't really worth anything. My only suggestion would be to run a trial month or so to see the affect on number of coaches leaving/joining to ascertain whether it is worth doing or not. However, I have no idea how much work that would entail for you Christer and think you have done enough for me to able to use fumble anyway.

I have read various forums, etc. and there are other places to play if people don't like the potential cpombness of the box. I saw it when I joined as kind of a 'well that's what you sign up for' division. Also, it seems that the number of minmax teams seems to be dwindling anyway.

TLDR? - Summary - It wouldn't be fair for me to give my opinion as box is where I play least, but that is now increasing.
Kryten



Joined: Sep 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:04
FUMBBL Staff
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I like these two changes. I've long held that the main problem with claw/MB/PO is that the skills stack with perfect efficiency. Making claw and MB not stack is right for that, and having PO affect only injury is also good. The question with PO is whether one of the other nerfs might be better, like armor only, or no skills used on PO.
Chainchoker



Joined: Jul 28, 2009

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:07 Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you for your post Christer - for both acknowledging the problem, as well as suggesting some solutions.

However, making any changes to BlackBox will always anger people. My solution?

Why not make a division where ALL of Plasmoid's suggestions are implemented (including roster changes). I anticipate that this new division will soon become the most popular, because you will be able to play sub-optimal teams have a better chance of winning.
harvestmouse



Joined: May 13, 2007

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:07 Reply with quote Back to top

Obviously this doesn't fix what I believe are the problems with blackbox. I also think this is a major step if you did undertake it. Unlike changing the formula, here you are changing the rules.

1. This means that the division is no longer using the official ruleset (if it's for the better I believe this is the right step).
2. Once you move away from the official ruleset, you will be barraged with other requests.
3. I think for BB it maybe a good thing, as the eyes of the world will be watching the outcome.

As for your suggestions.

1. Claw. I think claw does a good job, I would keep it as it is, especially as you do not want to add the dirty player option (which I would).
2. Pile On. Change.
3. Dirty Player. A pity.

Edit: Overhamsteren's idea is probably better.
Christer



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:15
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Overhamsteren wrote:
It's more than other things the reroll of the injury roll, possibly with +1 to the roll, that makes pile on so nasty. None of he 2 suggested fixes changes that.

Hope this isn't too much 'new idea' territory but either

1. piling on does not stack with mighty blow or claw
or 2. piling on only on armour roll

Would both be better changes in my opinion.


Is your opinion backed up by actual math? Could you provide me with a similar table for the kill stack as is shown on the NTBB page?

The only difference in your suggestion is that it affects the kill stack differently, but you provide no statistics to show why it is better other than subjective belief.

The reason I suggest the NTBB changes is because they're already "out there" in a relatively well known place. But by all means, show me the numbers for your variations and I'll take it into consideration.
gamelsetlmatch



Joined: Mar 05, 2013

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:17 Reply with quote Back to top

Both of those changes seem fair.

I think that they should NOT be turned off for BBB's, B minors or B Majors.

Protecting the new coaches in their day-to-day play from power gamers can only help to make more games.
Let's not interfere with the purity of the rule set in tournaments.

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bigGuy



Joined: Sep 21, 2009

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:19 Reply with quote Back to top

I think best would be:

1)Claws does not stack
2) Piling On for armor only
koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:20 Reply with quote Back to top

Wow! Shocked

That is exactly what I'd propose.

I wonder if there is any correlation between the number of whiner posts and an idea being seriously considered.

Will that encourage even more whining? Wink

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koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:23 Reply with quote Back to top

bigGuy wrote:
I think best would be:

1)Claws does not stack
2) Piling On for armor only


I don't like that because personally I am much more likely to pile on armour of AV7 than AV9.

I am sure that a lot of people rarely pile on an AV9 for the armour roll.
No figures of course. Wink

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PaddyMick



Joined: Jan 03, 2012

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:28 Reply with quote Back to top

JimmyFantastic wrote:
Obviously I think neither house rule should be used.
I think most of the whining is done by a vocal minority.
If something *has* to be done then only apply a PO nerf of some variety.
Otherwise we will just see a return to LRB4 days of Dwarf/Orc guardspam dominance(which is also easily min-maxed).


Chaos can also spam guard, and even though they have worse armour, they still have claw to make orc and dwarf armour as good as an elfs. Chaos also have ST4 Ag3 players and horns on all linos, plus access to other mutations, which Orcs and Dwarves don't.

I don't think this modest nerf of the killstack would be that big a deal. But it would stop the total dominance of mutants.
giorss



Joined: Nov 22, 2007

Post   Posted: Dec 15, 2013 - 15:31 Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Christer for the post!
I agree with no house rules, and I see that it's impossible to change matching system.
I think that the actual minmax system is created by TV matching, but how to avoid it with another system?
leagues are about same number of games, and game is a bit balanced about it
playing a 100 games team vs a 3 games is quite like cherrypicking
maybe a combo of parameters could help, but it would be too much work.

BB is nice, I like it and I like to play TV fixed matches, as tabletop tourneys
I like to play it in test mode, and I hope there will be soon a system to do them directly, for me it would be more intyeresting than the box

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