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2011-09-24 13:39:52
rating 4
2011-09-24 13:39:52
19 votes, rating 4
TVless matchmaking
Like many coaches here, I'm curious to see how an auto-matching making division (like the Box) would work if TV was not used in matchmaking. I don't want to talk about the reasons why, that's been done to death, but the question is how could interested coaches playtest the concept without needing any new features added to the site itself?

The house rules open league running at the moment provides a model, but people need to match their own games so the 'cherry picking' issues (or at least the perception of them) prevalent in Ranked would still apply.

The alternative would be to build a Box style scheduler that coaches 'activate' prior to a specified time in which the scheduler decides the matchups. This could be hosted on any webserver anywhere, written in any suitable language. The only thing required is a system that does the matchmaking automatically and randomly. Of course, coaches would need to 'manually' setup the games with the coach they have been drawn against, in the same manner as an open league or Ranked game; it wouldn't be as straight forward as the Box. There is some amount of honour system required since stopping coaches dodging bad matchups would be a little tricky, but at least the matchmaking itself is out of the hands of the coaches and hopefully anyone wanting to try the concept would have a bit more honour than that!

In my ideal world, there would be levels within a division like this based entirely on a teams performance. So after a set 'season' teams are promoted and relegated based on their results that season. When you 'activate' you would be randomly drawn against any team activated within your level. But that is more a of a pipe dream as it requires a big player base to work. To start with, if something like this managed to work with say hourly activations that yielded at least a game or two on each activation I think that would be a great start.

At least we'd be able to see if the problems people associate with min/maxing are reduced. At the very least we would get to use inducements a lot more (Wizards FTW!).

So, to get down to brass tacks, my plan would be to setup a tool, start an league group and see what happens. I have plenty of coding experience, but mainly in number crunching, I know very little about modern web programming. I could probably write something suitable using CGI, but that's pretty old school! I have some webspace I can use that comes with my ADSL contract, but the only thing I'm not sure of is how to setup a time based event to actually do the matchmaking. I could do it via CRON on a linux box, but I'd prefer not to have to leave my own machine on 24/7, so hosting on my ISP is much preferred. I'm just not sure how this is done... As I said, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to web development, but I'm sure I could learn it if I could narrow down the problem.

So, if anyone has any helpful hints or can provide a solution I'm all ears. I'm posting in the blog since there's not much point trying to raise interest in the forums for such a concept unless the essential tool itself is available. I know there are some pretty web savvy FUMBBLers out there, so I'm sure between the community such a tool could be developed.
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Posted by pythrr on 2011-09-24 13:42:52
i thought C said that there would be no schedulers for R.

good luck to you if he allows it, tho.
Posted by Wallace on 2011-09-24 13:46:26
Sorry I didn't make this clear, this would be in operation for a league group only. It wouldn't work in Ranked anyway due to the TV difference limits.

So interested coaches would need to sign their team up to the league group in the same way as any other league, the only difference is the coaches would agree to play their games based on what some external 'scheduler' told them, rather than by any other means.
Posted by pythrr on 2011-09-24 14:01:31
ah, super-duper then.
Posted by koadah on 2011-09-24 14:54:06
Who adds the teams to the scheduler?
Team owner, admin, anyone?
How do we know that the team owner is really the team owner?

You would probably want an option for an admin to kick off a draw.

The problem with blogs is that if there are alot of posts the oldest ones are not displayed.
Posted by harvestmouse on 2011-09-24 16:11:43
I only really play by myself nowadays and I run my teams in divs of 10 with no tv etc and it works fine.

However as i'm only playing myself, I haven't tried to get around the rules or ways to improve my chances with artificial team builds.

I think it would be a great step forward, however it's all a bit factionesque which would go down like a lead balloon.

I did have some talks with Christer about this sort of thing (nothing serious) and I don't think it would be a road he'd like to go down.
Posted by Nelphine on 2011-09-24 19:46:19
I would join this league in a heartbeat. I would also try to help with number crunching if nescessary.
Posted by Wallace on 2011-09-25 02:09:35
@koadah: The coaches themselves would add their teams to the scheduler. As you say, there is no way of knowing the person adding a team is really the owner. We would just have to trust the players to not be douchebags. Not ideal but I can't see anyway around it.

@HV: You're right, it is a bit like the old Faction, but that would only be down the road if the concept proved to function in its most simple form. I don't see that Christer would need to be involved in any way, the whole point of building something offsite to do the matchmaking is that no new FUMBBL features need to be added to give this a go. The existing League tools can do the job (open round robin) with the coaches agreeing to use the external tool to decide matchups.

The point of this is to make a practical step in trying something that a lot of people have expressed a desire for in the forums. I don't expect Christer to spend his life acquiescencing to every whim, I think the approach I'm going for should provide an avenue to give this a go without needing any additional work from FUMBBL admins.
Posted by koadah on 2011-09-25 04:26:24
If you want to penalise people for not playing games then you want to be sure that they are the ones who activated.

You could force them to sign up using their Fumbbl user name but only activate the account when they send you a Fumbbl PM from the same user name.