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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: May 08, 2017 - 12:54 Reply with quote Back to top

Anyone who lives outside the Euro timezone knows how hard it can be to get a box activation in the evenings, right? I live in the US (East Coast) and in our timezone we seem to be at the point where there is basically only going to be 1 activation at some point during the evening. If you happen to miss it then tough luck - gotta wait until tomorrow ... it's a sorry state of affairs Sad

So, here's my idea:

Implement 'long format' box draws for the 'off-peak' time zones. What I mean by this is that you have an additional, special box activation, once per day (4pm local time, for example). Teams can apply to this activation at any point during the 24 hours since the last one. At that time, all teams that have applied are put into a box draw, as usual. Then, once the games have been drawn, you are expected to play your game within 48 hours (it's also expected that you will be available during the evening times in that time zone for the next 48 hours).

Obviously this format would be slower than a normal Box activation. But, for the off-peak time zones, you would at least know that you've got a game for that evening. I think it would really help generate more box games and make it possible to play Box again, for those of us who aren't fortunate enough to live in the Euro timezone.

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koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: May 08, 2017 - 15:24 Reply with quote Back to top

How about you prioritise certain draws. e.g. On the hour. Or pick two or three key times when people know they should activate (multiple teams).

If you like the scheduled approach you could try NA zone scheduled smacks/brawls. Make them 4 team events if that is all that will fly.

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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: May 08, 2017 - 17:55 Reply with quote Back to top

Hi koadah, sorry, when you say 'prioritise certain draws', what do you mean by that?

Having NA-only box brawls is an interesting idea. Although, part of the problem for me is that the difficulty in getting box games makes it very hard for me to compete in the box sprint/ARR. So, NA brawls wouldn't really help with that, if it means I'll only get 1 game per week with a particular team.

What about NA-only brawls where all 3 games have to be played within the same week? Could do it like the old instant SMACKS - kick one off whenever 8 teams have applied?

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
Sp00keh



Joined: Dec 06, 2011

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 11:19 Reply with quote Back to top

I think this has come up before

This is one idea:

If the x:15 or x:45 draws fail, the site doesn't do them again, reduce down to draw on x:00 and x:30 only
If the x:30 fails, just hourly draw

Once a successful draw happens, reset back to normal


Last edited by Sp00keh on May 09, 2017 - 11:22; edited 1 time in total
Sp00keh



Joined: Dec 06, 2011

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 11:22 Reply with quote Back to top

Also need timestamps on the activation chat, as otherwise someone saying "one more coach needed" is useless if you don't know if it was 2 days ago or what
koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 11:55 Reply with quote Back to top

JellyBelly wrote:
Hi koadah, sorry, when you say 'prioritise certain draws', what do you mean by that?

Having NA-only box brawls is an interesting idea. Although, part of the problem for me is that the difficulty in getting box games makes it very hard for me to compete in the box sprint/ARR. So, NA brawls wouldn't really help with that, if it means I'll only get 1 game per week with a particular team.

What about NA-only brawls where all 3 games have to be played within the same week? Could do it like the old instant SMACKS - kick one off whenever 8 teams have applied?


I meant everyone aim to activate e.g. on the hour during slow times. 01:00, 02:00. etc. Instead of two people at 01:15, two different people at 01:30 etc.

Get people using discord so that you can encourage people to activate.

4 team mini smacks could be done in a night. With games played back to back or the second within two days.
Getting eight people together for an instant smack would probably be a problem.

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kummo



Joined: Mar 29, 2016

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 12:24 Reply with quote Back to top

Sp00keh wrote:
I think this has come up before

This is one idea:

If the x:15 or x:45 draws fail, the site doesn't do them again, reduce down to draw on x:00 and x:30 only
If the x:30 fails, just hourly draw

Once a successful draw happens, reset back to normal


This doesn't make drawing 4 guys more probable i think.

Unless you give 25 minutes to join to 30min draw cycle and 55 minutes time to join for 1 hour cycle.. and.. i think at that point black box draw system needs a soundeffect since who is actually going to mark time like that or wait only having box open??? (Sure, people could put alarm on phone or clock.. i think there are sites on internet that could do that too).

I don't like this idea that much..
Joost



Joined: Mar 17, 2014

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 12:38 Reply with quote Back to top

why not postpone the draft if fewer than 4 activate, until the moment the 4th coach activates? It would mean 3 activating coaches could simply wait for the 4th to arrive, without having to reactavite, miss a draw because of it etc. You would also eliminate the uncertainty of whether it's worth waiting, because in the current system it takes at least 10 minutes waiting to find out if the other 1 or 2 will reactivate as well.
JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 12:40 Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, I think the problem with Sp00keh's suggestion is that it still requires coaches to hang about for an hour or more, not knowing if they're going to get a game.

The advantage of my 'daily draw' idea is that one draw is done earlier in the day of everyone who wants a box game that evening, so you know that you have a game and just need to schedule it with your opponent.

Basically, I'm trying to think of a way to bring those 2-3 coaches who activate a couple of times and then log off over a 4-hour period into one draw, to maximize the games.

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 13:03 Reply with quote Back to top

Joost wrote:
why not postpone the draft if fewer than 4 activate, until the moment the 4th coach activates? It would mean 3 activating coaches could simply wait for the 4th to arrive, without having to reactavite, miss a draw because of it etc. You would also eliminate the uncertainty of whether it's worth waiting, because in the current system it takes at least 10 minutes waiting to find out if the other 1 or 2 will reactivate as well.


It's an interesting suggestion, although I think the problem with this comes down to the reason why the Box doesn't work that way in the first place. As I understand it, the reason all the teams are booted out and have to re-activate if there is no draw is to make sure that coaches are there, sitting at their PCs, ready to play if a draw does happen.

If the activated teams just rolled over every time a draw was missed, then it's more likely that you'll have teams in there that were activated an hour or two ago, where the coaches have gone away an forgotten about them.

It relies on coaches remembering to de-activate their teams, if they decide to give up and do something else.

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
ArrestedDevelopment



Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 18:16 Reply with quote Back to top

Well one of the draws of box is that you don't need to schedule.

The US timezone is a problem, but to me this proposition is as realistic as saying "shut league and ranked for 6hrs so people need to play in the box". The NA box dies at night for a few reasons - one is the player base, one is the alternatives available, and another is, quite simply, apathy.

This solution wouldn't solve the last two problems, the latter of which rises from the first.

Put simply, there are plenty of people who are awake during the NA box hours who don't activate (or go play ranked/league) because they can pretty much tell you who and what team they will get at varying levels of TV - and this isn't always about dodging killer teams or good coaches, it's just about not wanting to play the same coach/team/matchup multiple times in a row because it's boring as sin. And also because well... Knowing who you'd get is kinda not what box is about?


When I look at the box right now (as in over the last few months) in the NA timezone, what I notice is that there's a number of coaches who now play in L (SL or otherwise) who simply don't activate as regularly as they did before. And a few coaches who used to play B or R have added L into the mix too and therefore are present for less activations as well.

Basically - my take is that the people willing to schedule games are already doing so, the guys left activating are the ones who probably don't want the hassle of scheduling a game time every night, or are willing to run the risk/reward gamut of 0 games or 2+ dependent on box participation that night.

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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: May 09, 2017 - 23:55 Reply with quote Back to top

@AD: firstly, it's not my intention here in any way to try to 'twist people's arms' into playing Box rather than [L] or [R]. It's true that low player numbers in the NA timezone are a problem, but I often keep half an eye on the Blackbox page in the NA evenings (as I know you do too) and there are often 2-3 coaches activating at any given time. So, it seems that there are people around who want to play a Box game during those times.

Again, this isn't about trying to 'convert' more coaches to Box - it's about enabling the people who already want to, to get a Box game more often than they do atm.

The first point you made above is a fair one and I agree that the main downside to my suggestion is that coaches will need to schedule those games, so they might have to be more flexible to find a time that suits their opponent (which, after all, is no different to a tourney or [L] game). As long as the coaches participating understand that and are ok with it, I don't see why it would be a problem. Personally (as an example), my ideal time to play in the evenings is at about 9pm EST (03:00 bbtime). I'd be ok to start a bit later - maybe 10pm or 10:30 - if I know that I have a guaranteed game. But, hanging around the Blackbox page for an hour and a half every evening, not knowing whether I'll get a game, is to me a lot less attractive and probably not worth the bother. Perhaps there are others that feel the same way?

So, my thinking is that, if people would be willing to be a bit more flexible on timing, it might up the average number of NA evening Box games from 4 to 6 or 8, which surely would be a good thing?

The thing is, it seems to me that something really needs to be done, because the situation with the NA Box right now is simply dire. Tbh, I don't see what the harm would be in trying something like this, to see if it might help the situation. What is there to lose? It seems that we have two options: either we try to do something to re-invigorate the NA Box, or we just accept that it's dead, give it a funeral and move on. It seems like you're taking the latter position: it's dead, there's nothing we can do to improve it, so why bother trying anything? It seems a little negative, tbh.

Right now, what I see is Blackbox fast becoming a 'Euro-only' division, which surely isn't good for a main division on the site?

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
Espionage



Joined: Jun 08, 2005

Post   Posted: May 10, 2017 - 00:34 Reply with quote Back to top

I'd like to see a situation that if 4 coaches activate, but only one game is possible, that game is scheduled if the match up rating is over 900. It would help a bit.
ArrestedDevelopment



Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Post   Posted: May 10, 2017 - 00:43 Reply with quote Back to top

Jelly, I'm answering from the perspective of someone who sees that what we term the "NA box" is actually more of an overlap of users in the NA timezone, the Australasian timezone, and the odd Euro pulling an all nighter.

You know what a frequent reason given for users from down under for not playing in tournaments/brawls etc is? I do, because I talk to plenty - Don't like scheduling, frequently difficult to find a mutually suitable time. Although it's somewhat easier to schedule with someone in Canada or the West USA, that's still a disparity in time - which actually then makes it somewhat illogical to propose an activation at "4pm local time (for example)"... or any "local time".

You might find that enough of the guys you've been watching activate during your evenings aren't actually able to "book their ticket" during your afternoon slot.

I'm not being negative, I'm one of the euro idiots who helps you lot get a game sometimes when my time would be better served sleeping Wink

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JellyBelly



Joined: Jul 08, 2009

Post   Posted: May 10, 2017 - 01:13 Reply with quote Back to top

Believe me, I know where they're coming from. Whenever I enter a tourney on here, I know that I'm going to have to make some special arrangements to find a time to play against my inevitably Euro-based opponent. Been there, got the T-shirt Very Happy

Perhaps I didn't make it clear in my original post (and I know I have focused on NA a lot), but my idea would be to have a separate 'daily draw' for each region. One for Americas, one for Australasia, one for Euro would probably cover it. So, these games wouldn't be any more difficult to schedule than any game in the SWL/NWFL/WIL. So, I really don't see there being that much difficulty with the scheduling.

ArrestedDevelopment wrote:
You might find that enough of the guys you've been watching activate during your evenings aren't actually able to "book their ticket" during your afternoon slot.


Again, perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my OP. Coaches would be able to enter teams into the daily draw at any point during the 24 hrs beforehand. So, they could enter their teams the previous evening, or in the morning, or whenever suits them. Coaches certainly wouldn't have to be online for the draw itself.

Basically, it would be very similar to a one-off tourney game against someone from the same timezone/region, which you need to schedule within the next 48 hours.

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"Opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got them and they all stink." - The protagonist, Fallout 2

"Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!!" Razz
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