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The_Murker



Joined: Jan 30, 2011

Post   Posted: Feb 27, 2024 - 16:17 Reply with quote Back to top

Hello fellow FUMBBLers.

A subject has come up in my circle recently, and it was suggested that a public discussion might be an appropriate venue to gather some information and/or get some opinions.

In the last two months, I have had two games I was involved in ‘terminated’ before completion, both in a slightly different way, and in neither case was I asked about the situation beforehand.

In one game, an opponent disconnected from a match on Turn 15, and afterwards I wrote him a PM hoping to find a time to reschedule in the future. After a week or two of no communication, I noticed the match had been pushed through as a win for my team. I though it unusual, but I assumed the other coach had written to admin, so I left it at that.

In another, I was paired in Black Box, and my opponent did not arrive within 20 minutes of the pairing.
I wrote a PM to my opponent, hoping to find a time we could play later on, then I entered another draw. 15 minutes into that next game, I noticed the other coach was able to get the previous game unscheduled.

Those two incidents together made me realize that I may have misunderstood FUMBBL’s (unofficial?) policy on matches being cancelled.

I had always believed that it took both coaches to agree to unschedule a match, by presenting admin a PM chain or a DISCORD message that included both coaches . Maybe I was wrong, or maybe the sheer popularity of the Black Box Trophy competition has led FUMBBL to alter it’s management techniques to keep the box running smoothly.

Admin is busy, and it’s not their job to explain the complexities of running the box, or this fantastic website to me, but I do have a possible concern that led me to post here.

My main concern is with the integrity of the Trophy competition, and I guess the Box in general.

As I see it, it is currently possible for a coach to delay arriving for their scheduled Black Box pairing, intentionally or not, and after a 30+ minute wait, they could finally log in to see if they like the match-up the box gave him. If someone’s favorite team of amazons happens to be paired against a legend coach’s dwarves, they could simply get the game unscheduled, maybe due to the other coach being in a subsequent match, or for other reason’s, like having a busy personal schedule etc.

I previously thought that only the coach who was left waiting had the potential to get the match cancelled, but I seem to have been wrong about that.

I certainly hope that this ‘exploit’ isn’t, or wouldn’t become common practice, but I have learned that box ‘unschedulings’ do happen on a regular basis. If the possibility exists to game the pairing system, I guess I feel there are some few that might take advantage.. maybe when the pressure mounts to win the final few games of the competition.. or if a coach feels on the verge of reaching Legend CR, or whatever. Is this a legit concern? Anyone experienced ‘match dodging’ or something like this?

I’m curious as to the community’s thoughts on what they thought the unscheduling policy was, what they think it should be, or any insight or information coaches might have that could let me better understand the nuances of the unscheduling dilemma.

Long live Black Box. I appreciate it, the Trophy competition, and everyone who participates. Game variety is so very much better than it once was, IMO. Thanks.

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DaCoach



Joined: Jul 22, 2004

Post   Posted: Feb 27, 2024 - 17:04 Reply with quote Back to top

I understand it like you describe, but in all fairness it happens so rarely that I have not noticed any change.
Endrophil



Joined: Nov 16, 2015

Post   Posted: Feb 27, 2024 - 19:10 Reply with quote Back to top

Damn. If I knew I could avoid playing you I would have used this strat <3
Joost



Joined: Mar 17, 2014

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 07:41 Reply with quote Back to top

“I previously thought that only the coach who was left waiting had the potential to get the match cancelled, but I seem to have been wrong about that.” I thought the same. Whether this is a wider problem in that it gets abused I guess only the true legends can answer as they would be the ones experiencing it but frankly I doubt it happens more than incidental if at all.
The_Murker



Joined: Jan 30, 2011

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 08:19 Reply with quote Back to top

That's fair. I also really hope it would only happen infrequently. But why? Why not just try and get your matches unscheduled all the time? If you don't like your match, just cancel it.

My assumption was that there was a policy saying you need to try and play it. Play what the box gives you. And I guess I assumed that 'policy' existed based on what I believed to be FUMBBL's core principle, the main feature that sets it apart from BB2 or BB3.. "You will finish the matches you start."

I guess my head is spinning because I have learned that you CAN actually get a box game unscheduled without your opponent's consent, and that's just so far away from "You will finish the matches you start" for me that I just can't mentally let it go. There are people who game systems, and this loop-hole makes my pessimistic mind question all of those truly amazing top ten scores of the BBT tournaments of seasons past.

But if you can get a just a few bad match ups cancelled in your 60 game trophy run, then scores of 52+ points by a dozen coaches start to make sense.

I was enjoying, even celebrating the amazing scores from some of my favorite coaches, but always curious how so many coaches are replicating that skill level AND luck. A great trophy run needs both, skill AND luck, or so I thought. Now some of the magic is lost, for me, because I know if a system can gamed, people will game it.

And the fact that it might just be standard practice or even policy to let games be cancelled, I guess don't understand why everyone isn't doing it. Just play the box match-ups you like.. cancel the rest. Why not? This is my question.. why not?

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Last edited by The_Murker on %b %28, %2024 - %21:%Feb; edited 1 time in total
Java



Joined: Jan 27, 2018

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 09:44 Reply with quote Back to top

I had a game last week scheduled in box, very much in my favour, but the guy went away, probably to sleep, a few minutes before the draw happened, and never came back or even replied to the PM. I had it unscheduled.

If the other guy is away or has started another game, cancellations are common practice. TBH, uncommon practice. It happened to me so rarely I can't even remember the time before that, and I assume staff track it anyway.

My main takeaway from this screed, beneath a very thin veneer of politeness, is "I'm not winning BBT because Spence/Malmir/Sideshowbob/whatever gets their bad match ups unscheduled all the time, I'm the only one playing fair".

What are the logical acrobatics required to get to that conclusion?

Seem to be since you had one game ended by concession (???) and one unscheduling, this must be happening all the time, and on purpose too.

It took only two posts to jump from barely sitting on the fence, to assuming widespread bad faith on everyone but you.

Just because you try to use every trick in the book to achieve BLOOD BOWL DOMINATION, it does not mean everyone else is, and you inventing another trick out of thin air in order to feel mad about it is quite telling.

Just because you care about ranks and ranking, you assume everyone else does. Again, very telling. There was a guy at the top of the rankings once, that didn't know there was a ranking at all. The majority of people do not care.

Assume good faith once in a while, I assure you it does miracles.

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Spence



Joined: Dec 05, 2012

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 10:36 Reply with quote Back to top

AFAIK
coach A turns up to box draw
coach B noshows (for whatever reason)
coach A has option to unschedule or PM to schedule game - getting win after 72 hrs if coach B unresponsive
if the latter coach B has the option to schedule game or eventually takes a loss on record

Although going for the 72 hr concession win tends to be super rare and usually coach A just unschedules

Have you had confirmation that this isn't how things actually work, Murker? Otherwise I'd be more inclined to suspect admin error if coach B got the game unscheduled
MerryZ



Joined: Nov 28, 2005

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 10:51 Reply with quote Back to top

You can also put that in team bio and count it as a win.

Ive seen some Legendary Coaches do that also, gives you extra points.

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Kaptain Awasoam, Dicer of All Men and Women and Children and Puppies.
DaCoach



Joined: Jul 22, 2004

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 10:52 Reply with quote Back to top

I don't hope you can get a win for an unplayed game outside tournaments. Even if super-rare.
Jan-Erik



Joined: Apr 17, 2011

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 10:52 Reply with quote Back to top

I'm starting to question my own records!
Spence



Joined: Dec 05, 2012

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 10:55 Reply with quote Back to top

The_Murker wrote:

But if you can get a just a few bad match ups cancelled in your 60 game trophy run, then scores of 52+ points by a dozen coaches start to make sense.


If anyone vaguely in contention was doing this we'd have noticed. Unscheduling isn't a stealthy activity. There's always someone watching the draws for interesting matches.
RDaneel



Joined: Feb 24, 2023

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 12:12 Reply with quote Back to top

I don't think that there is big danger for the Box integrity because the disconnections flow is very clear and imo discourages possible 'smart' practices such as refusing a not favorable match:
https://fumbbl.com/note/Christer/Disconnections
after 48 hours if you feel your opponent is misbehaving you contact staff and you will be awarded by a victory :the only drawback is that you need to wait 48 hours at least (however to solve the problem (but it is?) it would be enough to change the timeout of the flowchart by reducing the waiting time )

After some time now playing in several different competitions (RRR, Minors, Brawls, Superleague, Trophy and 3 leagues) I have realized some points

1) 98-99% of fumbbl coaches are nice guys who don't use dirty tricks

2) 25% of your win rate is defined by your starting roster- and the matchmaking (It is inarguable that if you play in Box and your rookie Goblin TV 990 team is associated with a rookie TV 990 dwarf team if you tie you can say you are happy!) ; 55% by your skills/experience and 20% by the dice (more or less... some can say 15/70/15) anyway the concept is the same.

3) there is a 1-2% of coaches who use tricks to maximize the win rate (exploiting some loopholes in the rules to the maximum perhaps ). When I notice this I usually report the suspicious behavior to the admins (Without exaggerating I usually do when I see something really striking)

So: yes , point 2 is an incentive to "try" to exploit the rules to your heart's content maximizing favorable match-making. But is very rare and also the flow chart of disconnection to be honest is quite good to avoid this type of things. I dont think this is a problem but I find it interesting to have raised the discussion

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RDaneel



Joined: Feb 24, 2023

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 12:20 Reply with quote Back to top

The_Murker wrote:
There are people who game systems, and this loop-hole makes my pessimistic mind question all of those truly amazing top ten scores of the BBT tournaments of seasons past.


I know an experienced fact checker coach Wink who would immediately discover these clever people and have long since debunked them. I really don't think coaches who are high in the rankings would risk their reputations (and bans) with tricks like this...

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To judge a man, one must at least know the secret of his thoughts, his misfortunes, his emotions, Balzac
The_Murker



Joined: Jan 30, 2011

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 13:22 Reply with quote Back to top

Spence, I appreciate your write up of the system as you understand it, and that is what makes sense to me as well.

My post is to ask if others are aware of the fact that points 3 and 4 are perhaps not actually policy, or at least not being enforced currently, for reasons I don't understand. (Box popularity.. sheer volume of traffic.. etc.) Maybe someone knows some of the nuance that exists now, due to the increased box traffic.

"coach A has option to unschedule or PM to schedule game - getting win after 72 hrs if coach B unresponsive"

That makes sense to me, but in a recent experience of mine, Coach B was late for the game and ignored my PM to try and schedule the game, and managed to get the game unscheduled anyway. When I questioned it, he actually sent me a link to the flowchart and told me "That's policy. That's just how it works." I guess I was mildly offended that he would make no effort to play the game, and that I might be dumb enough to believe his actions were justified by the flow-chart, somehow.' But he wasn't entirely wrong.. he did mange to get the game unscheduled easily, and I think could do it again if he wanted to.

I guess I just really wanted to know if I was the only chump who didn't know that you could get games unscheduled if you wanted to. Hopefully not.

I heard from several admins afterwards who said (thoughtfully) that games are being unscheduled quite regularly, and that the system is pretty complex.. difficult to pigeon-hole into a simple set of written policy decisions. (My words not theirs)

If Coach B is a no-show, Coach A can decide to try and re-schedule a match time, or request a cancellation after 15 minutes. That makes sense to me.

Coach B must make efforts to re-schedule, or can eventually accept a loss as a consequence of his (minor) mistake. This also makes sense to me.

Coach B can apologize for being late, say he's too busy to find a future time, and get the match unscheduled. This did not make sense to me when it happened. It doesn't feel like that would be a healthy unofficial policy in the long run.

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SteelMerchant



Joined: Jan 01, 2024

Post   Posted: Feb 28, 2024 - 13:35 Reply with quote Back to top

What? I can request to have my match unscheduled? hmm ...
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