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koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Oct 01, 2021 - 19:24 Reply with quote Back to top

mister__joshua wrote:
This may be a little off topic, but not as off topic as Dalfort bringing up Faction so I'll throw it in anyway Razz

I don't think the issue is how teams are matched, the issue is a huge open division with a wide array of teams and strengths that is in no way like a league. The best way forward IMO is to stop pretending it is a league and make it something else.

League is great, it works really well and people can get all the fluff they want in there. For the competitive division, I feel we should treat it like what it is - an online computer game that people can pick up and play whenever they like. BB2 does this well with its Championship Ladder, which has been very successful. Fumbbl did it even better IMO with the Box Trophy. I believe this is the best model for how the open division should function on Fumbbl.

3-month season, 4 seasons a year. You make a team and enter it. That team has x number of games until it's done (like the Box Trophy scoring, but each team is individual rather than a squad). Ad the end of each 3 month season there is a major tournament for any teams that want to enter. After that, all teams are reset to 1300TV rebuy and can roll again for the next year.

Within this frame, you can match teams any way. All teams will always be within 15 games of 1300TV. You could keep TV matching or go fully random, or anything in between.

I know from previous threads that this won't be a universally popular idea, but I still firmly believe it's the best we can do.


I think that you should stick to the Box trophy. I think that it is better for team diversity.
Try to rig it so that it can run multiple times a year.

How long would it take 3 teams to play 8,10,12 games?
You could skip coaches fees on season one to encourage teams to play a second season.
Oh yeah, that is assuming that it is not just new teams only.

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[SL16] Stunty Cup - Old Rules (2016) - NO TV limit! - July 2nd
Dalfort



Joined: Jun 23, 2008

Post   Posted: Oct 01, 2021 - 21:56 Reply with quote Back to top

mister__joshua wrote:
This may be a little off topic, but not as off topic as Dalfort bringing up Faction so I'll throw it in anyway Razz

Other stuff...


Bringing up Faction was on topic... reminiscing about it after may not have been...

Re: Other Stuff; I like the your idea of 4 x 3 Months time periods Smile

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ArrestedDevelopment



Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 01:03 Reply with quote Back to top

Rawlf wrote:
Thank you all for the kind comments.


I was hoping the discussion would go deeper than what number should be used for blackbox matchmaking.
I can think of a host of such parameters, but I don't see my own opinion as very relevant for how the community should organize itself. If you ask 100 FUMBBL coaches you will get over 100 opinions on the matter, a mutual agreement will never happen. See the ClawPOMB thread for proof of this.
And it is not needed either, Christer will make the call eventually.

Also, we do not even have blackbox yet, matchmaking is taking place on the gamefinder. And on gamefinder, everybody takes matches by his own standards anyway. You can go with 'games this season' right now, or you can use TV as suggested by the site. All the info you could possibly want is just a click away here. And most people I dare say will look at the individual team (does it have tackle? MB? A bench? Dodge?) and the coach (CR bracket or name even). Still, displaying 'games this season' here instead of 'TV' here would go a long way in terms of getting closer to the new rules IMO.
I have always loved Ranked for the maximum of freedom of choice it gives. And I was never bothered by other coaches abusing it to cherry pick, which is mostly betraying themselves IMO.


So what is the kind of game we should play?

Individual opinions wont help much finding an answer. As a community, we need a common starting ground to work something out from. And I can see two.

A) Tradition. Go with what is so deeply ingrained in everybody's brain since LRB4. People have learned equal TV = fair and we could just leave it there even though it is so obviously and blatantly wrong. If this is the solution that creates the least unrest among coaches, that is a value in itself.
We would have to adjust TV though, it should at least reflect if a team brings Morg or not etc. That wouldn't be much of a problem though, as using TV for matchmaking is a huge houserule to begin with, so no need to be cautious with changes to it.
We need to be aware it is a houserule though. It will be like swapping a card from a house of cards for a differently shaped one. Because a change you make to one part of the rules changes the static of the balance of the rules as a whole. Changes in one part have immediate effects to all other parts.
I am not surprised to see BB16's elite coaches PurpleChest and Purplegoo in favour of this btw. Giving up their lead in how to be successful in TV matched games cant be appealing to them. And going away from TV leads to more inducements and thus more random elements, which always help the inferior side. Superior coaches want control over everything, so inducements have to be seen as bad in general by top dogs. I find that understandable but also a little sad, as they would surely be elite coaches in whatever matchmaking system.

B) The rulebook. The other common starting ground that we all share is the rulebook. Instead of following indiviual ideas, we could look at the rulebook and try to find out what it has to say on the matter. And not just the clearly worded out parts, but also the underlying intent of the rules.
This is precisely what Christer did with regards to seasons. He cut the age old FUMBBL tradition of perpetual team building (which hurt many coaches to the point some left the site already) in favor of following the ideals of the rulebook as best as possible.
It would only be consistent to me to make the same call on the subject of matchmaking. Cut the old tradition of using TV (that was sadly necessary in LRB4, was bad and misleading in CRP/BB16 and will be toxic in BB20) and try out what the rulebook wants us to use.

I think the majority of people is open for this cultural change. Those who aren't have left after hearing about seasons already. Even the elite coaches have proclaimed they want to give the new rules a shot. I do understand that their voices are louder than those of the teambuilders, though. So hurting them might bring a stronger echo than hurting the teambuilders did.

TL;DR Before a call is made about the parameters of matchmaking, FUMBBL needs to decide which way to go at this crossroads. Follow the tradition of TV, or follow the intent of the new rules.


Ok, with this post, you've entered the realm of suppositions, and now, I must really expand upon my initial post, because while you may have honest intentions at heart (and since I somewhat know you, I believe you do), I amd really disappointed by the fact you are willing to cast shade on others who probably have honest intentions too simply because their subjective opinion does not match your own.

The first thing we on FUMBBL have to understand is that "we play with house rules" is a pretty good way to start. Because the first house rule isn't TV-MM, not even close to it.

The first house rule is open play, with no schedule resulting in earned SPP and skills over time.

After this anything else is just arguing which sandbank you want to build your castle on.

Because you see, leagues by the book match on games played, but leagues also intended to have internal balancing mechanisms:

(a) Your strength of schedule in regards to the coaching strength of your opponent is balanced in that everyone plays the same opponents
(b) The strength of schedule in regards to the level of the teams is balanced in that you play home & away and teams who play as rookies should end the season playing at full development for that season.
(c) In a large league responsible commissioners and leaguemates balance the divisions by grouping the best coaches together or employing a promotion/relegation style, so that one simply does not get a situation where one good coach smashes up weaker opponents for prolonged periods.
(d) In a small league the balancing act of skill that we observe in (c) can be observed by responsible coaches using teams to "dilute" their skill level to allow everyone to have a fun time without anyone becoming overly dominant.
(e) With a fixed schedule there is a real difference in every action you as a coach (or even just a person, on a social level) might make in determining how many games you play, whether you concede...

And those are just the obvious ones.

Your initial post also made a number of absolute statements which I disagreed with personally, but left well alone initially:

Rawlf wrote:

The incentives to select skills are totally different in a league compared to a perpetual environment. In C, every change in TV will change who your next opponent will be. This will be a coaches biggest concern when making skill choices. In an extreme case, a tier 1 team would not choose any skills at all, as they would only weaken themselves in TV comparison. In a league, changing your TV through skills will not change your next opponent at all, only the amount of free inducement money retained by whichever side.


This is kind of funny because the incentives to select skills in leagues are determined by the fact you have knowledge of who your opponents are. It's just a different kind of minmaxing - you can look at your schedule and see who, what race, and what TV they are, and then plan or deviate accordingly. And on top of that, people do make decisions related to TV all the time in leagues - they just do so with even more knowledge than anyone in a TV-matchmaker does.

Secondly, this supposition that everyone is a complete slave to TV is demonstrably false - even at the absolute height of minmaxing on FUMBBL a number of the coaches involved took steps that were absolutely not TV-optimal, but suited a meta strategy, or their own preferences.

Thirdly, a tier 1 team would never pick skills at all? Even if we pretended the extremely strict allowance of the current box scheduler for rookie teams was lifetime that would still leave your tier 1 unskilled team potentially forever playing games down 1-2 guard or worse.

If anything the teams who would benefit from never selecting skills are tier 3 - those with such terrible access that simply picking the better skills costs them large swathes of TV relative to the cost of their players. This isn't really true either, as the players are relatively so bad that the relatively large increase in TV is more than covered by the utility of the skill being added.

Rawlf wrote:
Looking at how much love and book space was put into the inducement system, I assume they are intended to be a regular part of the game. All the stars, bribes, refs, prayers and whatnot are integral parts of the game and its balance design. Some teams are borderline unplayable without inducements (stunties for example). Others are designed to play with them too, like fragile elf teams who will have a lower TV than av10+ teams towards the end of a season. They are supposed to make use of the wizard or stars or something. On equal TV games, all this is lost. Another instance where TV matchmaking creates a huge and uncalled for deviation from the game as per the rulebook.


And now we reach a large swathe of individual and subjective opinion, which is on one hand largely impossible to argue with because it's subjective opinion, and on the other hand must be argued with because it is a speech infused with rhetoric designed to bury any further discussion.

There are a number of things in the rulebook, afforded many pages, that we are not employing on FUMBBL. Nor are most tabletop leagues employing in their games. We have no idea how long was spent on any individual topic in the rulebook, nor how much love it was afforded by designers, testers or publishers - indeed, considering how much of the rulebook has been affected by errata or is still seen as unclear, it would be absolute folly to guesstimate.

What we can do is say things like "elves are designed to play with inducements" is ... questionable? Personal? Open to debate?
I'm not sure I've ever heard a single person involved with playtesting or designing blood bowl at any level suggest elves were designed to play with inducements. I've certainly never seen it published in a rule book. I've never seen that published for stunties either by the by, but in their case due to some historic and current intricacies in their rosters I'd be much more willing to listen to that argument. Although I'd point out there's pitfalls there too - stunties can hover over a line of "better with inducements" and "predatory with inducements" in the wrong hands, and on top of that, there's a point where getting a crapload of inducements with stunties ceases to be fun because of what's on the other side giving you those inducements. There's plenty of old forum posts attesting to that fact, and that could be a substantial part of anyone's season.

Historically Elf teams have always been massive when they want to be - I shouldn't even need to mention lrb4. CRP? The sage's woodies shouldn't need mentioned nor many more in R, but in the box Azyx also had absolutely massive HE who grew to 2.6m during FUMBBL cup, elves who wanted to be big could be huge. The same was true in 2016. The same will be true in 2020 if early indications are anything to go by.

Elves have less AV, but they typically have better average roster movement, better AG and thus move both the ball and themselves much more capably. This means player turnover is accounted for much more easily and can to an extent be targeted by more ably controlling who your opponent can hit at times. The team rapidly skills relative to others and BB2020 cashflow coupled with the less harsh penalty of niggling injuries (which appear to be much more prevalent as well as less punitive) means an Elvish team is already very capable. I'd go so far as to say in a proper League environment an Elvish team is potentially much more likely to be giving inducements away all the time.

"Supposed to be played with inducements" is a credo we should be careful about at best in any circumstances.

We also have little idea how the rebuy system will actually function on FUMBBL - it effectively can be a "clear your loners and perms any time you wish" button on any team once they have a little backlog of treasury + earned rebuy. Christer has set this in such a manner that a coach earning very poor match results could still hit the cap, but this also means a coach off to a very strong start could just end his season early if we allow early rebuys. How will that affect his standing in games played/season? There are layers upon layers of complexity to this apparently "simple" way of matching, especially if one simply wishes to argue it is fairer.


Which brings us to the fundamental reason I said I personally would like a Games Played (GP) scheduler, with Seasons taken into account and with TV as a tertiary factor. (Note: this is the sort of thing that will limit matching and thus is quite likely to be more trouble than its worth).

FUMBBL tends to operate on a holistic basis rather than individual basis. Or as Christer likes to say - it's community focused. Part of that is it tries to protect the "weaker" members of the community - nominally, newer and poorer (for whatever reason) coaches. Where there is bias in scheduling games or in forum rules, or in interactions you will see that trend repeated: holistic will always trump individual.

And under a GP system the potential for this to be worse for the weaker coach is massive:

With games played as the sole arbiter imagine a division where BimmyNotFantastic tanks every single game he plays most seasons, gains barely over minimal SPP and continually loses players to perms. But soldiers on because "what the hell, it's BB, team management, keep the team going".

The end result is he continually plays vs teams who are bigger than him, stronger than him, and have loaded and optimised skills. The one game per season he might be anywhere near even keel is the first.

And he has his inducements to make up the gaps.
Except he's not good at picking inducements, because he's new, or he simply doesn't know. Inducements are an area of the game where even extremely good coaches will sit down and discuss strategies before tournament games or post on the forums for advice. And this need for strategizing tends to grow based on the pool of inducements available - and you would potentially subject a poor and/or new coach to that for most of his games for a season?.

Oh and his opponents being good may even just purchase their own anyway.


Lastly, and this is a big lastly:
TV was "never fair", we know this, but the "perception of fair" was there, and lingers. To the extent that TV was largely irrelevant in the fairness of a match for a long, long time, and yet has been used as the basis for matching by the community, and inserted as a safeguard on the site by Christer (who knows it better than anyone else).

In fact, TV is such an overwhelming aspect of people's perception of fair that the flatting on TV bands was an element considered when pondering the introduction of seasons - yes it likely would have happened anyway simply due to the rules, but the rising of complaints about TV gaps and huge teams restricting both matches played and entry to tournaments was a factor in deciding that a repeat of 2016's "ignore the rebuy" was simply intractable.

You see, you know and I know that, by and large, the TV gap is completely irrelevant to the game at hand because while inducements don't cover things completely in past rulesets (but may do so or go above and beyond in this one) - the deciding factor in a game has always been who's coaching the teams.
The thing is, that optically just doesn't work for a large % of coaches.

So for that reason (and some others), I genuinely would be very surprised to see TV disappear entirely. As an aside, I also would be extremely surprised to see season results be used as qualification to any existing majors for similar reasons (2020 was supposed to reduce the barrier for entry to tournaments, not design new ways to limit it).

I'd also add, lastly lastly lastly, that there's fundamental philosophical issues inherent in any system simply because not everyone is playing blood bowl for the same reasons. Even inside a "competitive", scheduled division. To that extent I actually think having an open-play, fair and competitive division is a cursed problem, because actually fulfilling 2 of those factors without sacrificing the other is ... difficult/impossible (you can pick one).

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Kondor



Joined: Apr 04, 2008

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 11:09 Reply with quote Back to top

You know, I have determined that I just want to be able to sit down and get a game quickly without feeling like I have been targeted. I will adjust my game play to whatever the conditions are. And yes I will try to build teams that have the best chance of winning no matter what that situation is.
smeborg



Joined: Jan 04, 2019

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 11:19 Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks, Rawlf, for a lovely thoughtful OP. I agree with its thrust, and the challenge that you pose. I will ponder to see if I can come up with suggestions.

We can have both, i.e. TV-based matchmaking and some other system (separately).

I am an experienced coach, playing since 1998, with formative experience in TT tournaments (especially) and leagues. I like both competition (both coaches playing to win) and games played in a sporting spirit (with banter in chat).

In FUMBBL, for the "instant games" (i.e. not scheduled as in a league, which I think is what we are talking about here), I migrated from Ranked (got bored with the cherry-picking mainly), to Box (got bored with the TV optimisation mainly), to SLO (best of the 3 for me, because things are wild there, fewer coaches bother with either TV optimisation or cherry-picking, the enviroment seems quite sporting).

In Ranked or SLO I tend to accept all challenges, and simply keep building my teams without cherry-picking or being mindful of TV optimisation or opponent's TV. However, in Competitive, I have rapidly become mindful of all 3. So it would indeed seem to be more of an issue now.


Hope that helps.
MattDakka



Joined: Oct 09, 2007

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 11:45 Reply with quote Back to top

Kondor wrote:
You know, I have determined that I just want to be able to sit down and get a game quickly without feeling like I have been targeted. I will adjust my game play to whatever the conditions are. And yes I will try to build teams that have the best chance of winning no matter what that situation is.

It's my thought as well. Moreover, if you don't know the race you will face your team build has to be all-rounded and you, as coach, have to be versatile as well.
Also, being unable to pick/refuse opponents keeps the win rate of certain races closer to the expected average.
Chrisdekok



Joined: Aug 09, 2021

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 12:57 Reply with quote Back to top

Hi,
I'm new to FUMMBL. I'm of weak coaching skill and my understanding of the game is of course not comparable to the wise masters of this site.
I'm trying to follow the discussion about matches with large TV gaps which allows the full range of inducements. I don't understand if the problem is that the inducements are not good enough or if they are too good?
Dalfort



Joined: Jun 23, 2008

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 19:05 Reply with quote Back to top

Chrisdekok wrote:
Hi,
I'm new to FUMMBL. I'm of weak coaching skill and my understanding of the game is of course not comparable to the wise masters of this site.
I'm trying to follow the discussion about matches with large TV gaps which allows the full range of inducements. I don't understand if the problem is that the inducements are not good enough or if they are too good?


Welcome Smile

I think the general consensus is that the Inducements as a tool to balance power levels are too varied dependent upon the Racial/Team differences and in the main under powered (with the exception of the Wizard).

The above being said, I have been on the site since 2008 and have equal confidence as yourself as to my understanding of the game Razz I can however confidently direct you (and all other newer coaches) toward the 145 Club as an excellent way to increase the knowledge and confidence in the game.

145 Discord Link (Link active for 7 days)

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koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 19:18 Reply with quote Back to top

Dalfort wrote:

I think the general consensus is that the Inducements as a tool to balance power levels are too varied dependent upon the Racial/Team differences and in the main under powered (with the exception of the Wizard).


I don't know if that is still true. I hear that the inducements are now stronger. I think it remains to be seen how good they are.

Though, I think that the inducements are yet more stuff to learn and master. So newer coaches may be at more of a disadvantage if they have a load of inducement cash as opposed to a load of bread * butter skills like block, dodge, guard, tackle.

Dalfort wrote:

The above being said, I have been on the site since 2008 and have equal confidence as yourself as to my understanding of the game Razz I can however confidently direct you (and all other newer coaches) toward the 145 Club as an excellent way to increase the knowledge and confidence in the game.

145 Discord Link (Link active for 7 days)


145 Club FTW!
Put all your best clients in it!

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[SL16] Stunty Cup - Old Rules (2016) - NO TV limit! - July 2nd
smeborg



Joined: Jan 04, 2019

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 21:13 Reply with quote Back to top

OK, Rawlf, Christer and all, I've slept on it and have a simple suggestion (or 3)

1. Formula for "pick-up" or "instant" games against unknown opponents

Organise matches as currently in Box (or similar), however, widen the TV gap allowed. My suggestion is to allow teams to play against other teams from 2/3 to 3/2 of their own TV. Beyond this (and within reason), closeness of TV is not to be a consideration in the scheduler (a slightly wicked problem at the corners, I expect).

Example: a team of TV150 could play against any team from TV100 to TV225.

This is a compromise, obviously, but comes with advantages (e.g. ease of scheduling - which can be quite difficult, verging on impossible, in Box outside of peak hours).

2. Broad based league

Pursue the spirit of Rawlf's idea to design a "mass" league system allowing participants to play "instantly" (once they have formally joined the league).

Chief components may be as few as two, namely (a) number of matches played (in that season), and (b) eliminating match-ups against opponents you have played against already in the season.

Otherwise, make the pairings random (you could of course design cherry-picking rules, I prefer not to go there).

3. Starting TV

I have never quite understood the rulebook obsession with 1,000,000 gold pieces (TV100), except that it is a round number (and a game designer has to start somewhere). Maybe it was "perfect" when first introduced. In any case, there appears to have been a modest player price inflation in BB2020 compared to previous editions (you could also say that increasing the number of positionals on some teams since 3rd Ed. is a form of price inflation).

My suggestion is (for the "right" environments) to increase the starting gold to e.g. 1,100,000 (TV110) - though I do not obsess over that number. This would allow more durable rosters to be created from scratch (e.g. with say 3 RRs and Apoth). This in turn might (a) make coaches less fearful of joining an environment in mid-stream, and (b) help reduce attrition (teams dropping out of environments because they get mashed early). BB2020 would still be plenty bloody.

Hope that helps!
koadah



Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 21:29 Reply with quote Back to top

smeborg wrote:

My suggestion is (for the "right" environments) to increase the starting gold to e.g. 1,100,000 (TV110) - though I do not obsess over that number. This would allow more durable rosters to be created from scratch (e.g. with say 3 RRs and Apoth). This in turn might (a) make coaches less fearful of joining an environment in mid-stream, and (b) help reduce attrition (teams dropping out of environments because they get mashed early). BB2020 would still be plenty bloody.

Hope that helps!


1,100,000! I'm with ya there all the way!
Isn't 11 the number of Nuffle?

What are we doing using 1,000,000? That's insane! Maybe I'll just change it where I can and lock out the other admins so they can't change it back. Twisted Evil

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[SL16] Stunty Cup - Old Rules (2016) - NO TV limit! - July 2nd
smeborg



Joined: Jan 04, 2019

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 23:45 Reply with quote Back to top

koadah wrote:
Isn't 11 the number of Nuffle?


I didn't remember that.

But I do know that 3 is the number of balls of Nurgle, which might be why I made 3 suggestions...
stej



Joined: Jan 05, 2009

Post   Posted: Oct 02, 2021 - 23:56 Reply with quote Back to top

They should do away with starting treasury. Pick all the players you want, pay the price in inducements later.
Given how short player lifespans will be, what with redrafting, why not just have them all from the start
MattDakka



Joined: Oct 09, 2007

Post   Posted: Oct 03, 2021 - 00:09 Reply with quote Back to top

smeborg wrote:
OK, Rawlf, Christer and all, I've slept on it and have a simple suggestion (or 3)

1. Formula for "pick-up" or "instant" games against unknown opponents

Organise matches as currently in Box (or similar), however, widen the TV gap allowed. My suggestion is to allow teams to play against other teams from 2/3 to 3/2 of their own TV. Beyond this (and within reason), closeness of TV is not to be a consideration in the scheduler (a slightly wicked problem at the corners, I expect).

Example: a team of TV150 could play against any team from TV100 to TV225.

This is a compromise, obviously, but comes with advantages (e.g. ease of scheduling - which can be quite difficult, verging on impossible, in Box outside of peak hours).

Please, no. Some TV gap is acceptable (150-200, but the lower the better), but it should not become ridiculous, otherwise the GF would be better. If the Box has super TV gaps then it's better not to have a Box at all.

The TV gap should be small (ideally <150) in most draws, and in the worst scenario it should be the price of the most expensive Star Player, Morg, so, 340 TV gap max.

If it's not possible to avoid big TV gaps (>340) in the Box at least there should be an option to enable/disable them: if a coach wants to play with big TV gaps he enables them, if he doesn't want, he disables them.
That could work too. So, coaches wanting TV gaps higher than 340 would play together, and so the coaches not wanting to play with them.
smeborg



Joined: Jan 04, 2019

Post   Posted: Oct 03, 2021 - 03:01 Reply with quote Back to top

GF? Girlfriend? Gluten free?
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