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2023-01-29 15:52:51
rating 6
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rating 6
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rating 5.4
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rating 6


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rating 6
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rating 5.6
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rating 5.8


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rating 5.9
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rating 6
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rating 6
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rating 5.8
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rating 5.8
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rating 6
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9


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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9
2020-03-18 14:09:47
rating 6


2019-12-13 21:32:02
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2019-11-25 16:00:40
rating 5.9
2019-04-14 23:33:08
rating 6
2019-04-07 16:59:39
rating 6
2019-04-07 00:55:26
rating 6
2019-01-08 15:27:38
rating 5.9
2019-01-05 02:58:18
rating 5.8


2018-08-17 17:28:31
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2018-08-15 00:05:40
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rating 6
2018-06-28 14:28:08
rating 5.9
2018-05-23 17:55:10
rating 6
2018-05-10 22:42:46
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2018-05-09 19:42:28
rating 6
2018-04-30 10:44:23
rating 5.8
2018-04-23 12:33:02
rating 5.8


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rating 6
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rating 6
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rating 6


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rating 6


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rating 5.7


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rating 5.9
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rating 6
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rating 5.6
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.9
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rating 5.3


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rating 5.6
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rating 5.6
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rating 5.4


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rating 5.1
2010-03-01 12:16:53
rating 5.6


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rating 5.8


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rating 4.1
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rating 5.3
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rating 5.6


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rating 5.1
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rating 5.4
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rating 5.4
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rating 5.3
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rating 4.5
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rating 4.9
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rating 5.4
2010-03-01 12:16:53
77 votes, rating 5.6
FUMBBL divisions
There's been a lot of discussion on the forums about the current divisions on FUMBBL. I figured that rather than responding in the forums about this, I'll post a rant here (because I know you love my ranting ;) ).

FUMBBL has four main divisions at the moment, and two niche ones:

* Academy, for the newcomers
* Blackbox, hidden draws
* League, player-run groups and tourneys
* Ranked, open play

* Fantasy Football (previously LRB5), semi-open division used for FFB testing.
* Stunty Leeg, our house-rule division

I won't be covering the two niche divisions here, but will instead focus on our four main ones.

First off, the Academy. It's the smallest of our main divisions in terms of games played, but I feel that it does serve a purpose for new members of the site. It's a reasonably friendly introduction to the site, where people can learn how the client works, and get a feel for other divisions before taking the plunge so to speak. It doesn't generate much fuss overall but keeps being semi-active. Although the division is lower in terms of games played than I would normally think is worth supporting as an official division, I have no intention of changing or removing it. It's simply natural that newcomers to the site move along to the other "real" divisions sooner or later.

Next we have the Blackbox, a division some people love while others hate it. It's being accused of hosting a large number of people who simply ignore trying to win the game and are simply bashing away, causing as much damage as possible. To be quite honest, I'm somewhat surprised that the division is as popular as it is. Originally, I figured that there was a good chance that I would be wasting my time implementing it but it turned out quite well. The number of games played is high, and there's a healthy amount of discussion about the division itself. To me, the division is a huge success, and it's the only alternative division that has even come close to being a contender to Ranked. It's also one of the main sources of relevant discussion and suggestions about the TS system (which is another potential blog rant at some point).

League. Our division for player-run groups and tournaments. Currently in third place in terms of games played, this is a very important division to me. I have a number of improvements for this division high on my priority list. And to give you a carrot for taking the time to read this blog, I'll give you a little idea of what I'm planning to do. I want to add support for custom rosters, a way to allow groups to set up custom starting constraints (less than 11 players, variable treasury, free skill rolls), support for tournament prizes, and some improvements in communication abilities. As you can imagine, this is a pretty major undertaking and as such it will take a fairly considerable amount of time before this is in place (and it'll most likely be rolled out in small pieces). In terms of the division's position on the site, I want to give League a bit more space as I feel that it's been shadowed by our other main divisions. While the planned changes will undoubtedly create a lot of noise in terms of very small groups that go nowhere, the more successful groups and tournaments are a fantastic asset to the site, and I really want to promote these further.

Finally we have Ranked. This is our oldest, and first division (as shown by the fact that it has a division id of 1). The purpose of this division is to promote open play, which has always been central to the site and the basic premise from the get-go. We do force a number of constraints onto what is allowed in this division, which is a direct consequence of being forced to deal with cheating. We also run our wildly successful and popular major tournaments in this division.

Now then.. One of the big discussions lately has been various forms of the same concept: Merge Blackbox and Ranked. Whether that'd be a proper merge, if it's various forms of adding a blackbox scheduler to ranked, allowing cross-division scheduling or allowing open play in the Blackbox division (I haven't seen that suggestion, but I figure it's only a matter of time :) ) makes little difference.

Let's evaluate the different variations.

- Add a scheduler to Ranked
This would create a breed of "purists" who feel that anyone not signing up their teams in this scheduler is inferior. You already see this to an extent in the "war" whether ranked or blackbox is the "true" division for the best players. It would add pressure to coaches to only play through this scheduler. It would also be a direct violation of the core purpose of the division and the site. Yes, some people want to pick their opponents on their own (be it a cherry or not). I simply don't intend to take that option away from people.

Another aspect here is that we have the SMACK series of tournaments, which is effectively a mini-scheduler in a more controlled manner. These are not dominating the ranked scene in any way which hints that maybe there's a chance that people actually enjoy the ability to pick their opponents on their own.

- Allow open play in Blackbox
This would lead to mostly the same situation as above. The point of the blackbox division would become watered down, and the people who like the strict scheduling offered in Blackbox would be run over. The division would simply lose its identity. We don't want to have two divisions that are essentially copies of eachother.

- Allow cross-division scheduling
This would effectively make people build teams in ranked, and then use the advantage of the easier team-building to annihilate the pure blackbox teams. There are two ways this would go. One way would be that people would start using their ranked teams, and it would simply be required to do so to be able to compete. The other way is that people would simply stick with their "pure" blackbox teams and opt out of mixed schedules. This would end up being the same situation as adding a scheduler to ranked in the first place (see above).

To summarise, these three options are simply not viable to me. I feel that mixing the two concepts would only serve to water down the purpose of the individual divisions and the coach choice would simply be limited due to lack of matches in either division / style of play.

Now, I think that this whole discussion emerges mainly from a single problem in the blackbox division: Teams who get trashed have a very very hard time recovering. I know people state "It's only pixels, get over it", but the fact is that most of us (myself included) get attached to the teams we're playing. It's simply a consequence of spending a fair amount of time on building, and developing the teams. I surely don't enjoy seeing my teams getting shattered to pieces and knowing that it'll be nearly impossible to recover them. It would be nice to be able to give these teams a way to survive in some form. I'm currently considering ways to solve this, possibly by allowing teams to transfer from blackbox to ranked or maybe tweak the TS formula to give smashed teams a bit easier games.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Rate this entry
Posted by Calcium on 2010-03-01 12:35:02
Intresting blog.
I personally accept that my 'weaker' teams (humans especially) will be nearly always in a state of repair in the box, whereas my 'bash' teams will be the ones dishing it out.
It's very intresting that you don't give your opinion on the 'play to kill, not to win' issue. I see this as being the choice of the coach, and again when faced with coaches who play in that manner I accept it.

Making Ranked part 'box' or vice versa? BAD idea. I agree this is not viable.

My thoughts on allowing transfer from ranked to box? 1st thought was bad idea, allowing uncontrolled transferring surely would do both divisions harm?

As for 'Box V ranked'? I love the box, but enjoy playing Ranked. They both have their place, and I don't see a massive problem with them as they are.

TS? Never got the point of TS myself. I tend to pay little attention to it. Again being an 80% box player this is just as well!

My only other concern is when you make allowances for 'broken' teams, there will be coaches that exploit this.

All in all a good read, and as ever, love FUMBBL!
Posted by SzieberthAdam on 2010-03-01 12:36:02
Good to hear about your plans with [L]! Very welcome! :)
Posted by Grod on 2010-03-01 12:39:11
OK fair points. I shut up now, I promise.

I think there is an issue however that Ranked and Black Box compete for the same players. It is clear to seen in the "Games played" statistics that when Black Box was started, essentially NO additional games were played on FUMBBL. Instead, a certain portion of Ranked games moved to Black Box. Now with the release of Cyanide, the number of games in Ranked has dropped rapidly leaving Ranked a shell of it's former self.

Perhaps the new "Fantasy Football Client" will reverse these trends. But my feeling is that Ranked and Black Box compete for players, and right now, Ranked is losing. Moreover, Black Box continues to improve with new modifications and attract more players. Ranked undergoes few changes.

Posted by DukeTyrion on 2010-03-01 12:42:16
Interesting blog. I am pleased that there is no 'watering down' of Blackbox in the pipelines.

Also, I like the sound of the [L] division changes, but one of the issues that has always stood out to me, is that the 'groups' page is so hard to view. It is difficult to check which divisions are accepting applicants, as well as near impossible to check which groups are still active. Will this be one of the ammendments you are looking at for some point in the future?
Posted by nazgob on 2010-03-01 12:43:21
Christer, I think I love you.

I love both R and B, but I think that your proposal for L is a brilliant idea.

(Not that I'm biased, being involved in the Sevens leagues :D)

Keep up the good work, and thanks as always.
Posted by clarkin on 2010-03-01 12:43:25
As for recovery of decimated teams in B, the journeyman rule totally solves this. Looking forward to eventual updated rules with B scheduling!
Posted by Gordreg on 2010-03-01 12:56:21
A very interesting read, with some good points.

As for a way to allow teams that get trashed to recover, though... perhaps the site could take a leaf from the next LRB along, and add racial linemen with the 'big guy' negatrait to seriously undermanned teams in the same way you add the 'birthday special' zombies or GLT Goblin cheaters when required?

Not sue if it'd be practical to impliment though; just an idea.
Posted by Wotfudboy on 2010-03-01 12:56:41
The great thing about FUMBBL is there is something for everyone. What you have posted makes perfect sense in terms of divisions. I play mostly blackbox and League now... can't remember the last Ranked game I played. I've not come across those people who bash instead of winning yet. I like the challenge of pitting your team against whatever you get thrown against... I think it makes you a better player, and I do think there is an attempt by coaches to try out different teams.

There is a problem about rebuilding teams... but I'm not sure that there is a way of doing it in LRB4 here that isn't open to abuse... you always get some idiot that will get bashed in BBox, move to ranked... cherry pick their way to a much better/unnatural team, and then come back to BBox and spoil someone else's day.

Agreed the journeyman rule does seem to work in LRB5... the only experience I have of this is in Cyanides game, and my Dark Elves suffer hits every other game, but are on a 10/0/1 record... only losing to a dwarf team with a Str5 block runner, who caged all day... and I couldn't dodge for toffee.

The only thing I think is a shame is to move stunty to league... but then again, I've not really read much about this... I would have liked to see a Stunty Black box.
Posted by Wolter on 2010-03-01 12:57:35
Love the part about L
more power too da people !!

Don't like the part about transfering your team out of Box too pimp it back up and bring it back in again.

if u want to cuddle and stroke your team gently then stay in ranked,

nuf said..
Posted by Grod on 2010-03-01 13:07:28
I think Christer is suggesting the possibility of one way transfers

Black Box -> Ranked

Not Vice Versa.
Posted by Christer on 2010-03-01 13:22:29
Yes, it would only be one-way from box to ranked.
Posted by Were_M_Eye on 2010-03-01 13:24:18
How about tournaments with both R and B teams? Any chanse that would happen?

I haven't found it a problem rebuilding teams in B. A smashed team get to face another smashed team. If we removed handicaps from B it might be even easier to get a game for them, since you don't have to care about the tr difference, just the ts.
Posted by maysrill on 2010-03-01 13:35:40
I see 2 ways to help with "recovery" in Blackbox:

1. Change the TS scale for number of players. I've always considered being shorthanded far more of a handicap than the current formula accounts for (I think 10 players to start is only a .99 or .98 modifier, maybe more like .95)

2. Consider the relative number of player per team when determining suitability of match-ups. Thus, for equal TS, the scheduler would prefer a match-up of of two 9-player teams over 9 v 11, though the match-up would still be possible.
Posted by CCSenor on 2010-03-01 13:36:04
I played a few coaches in [B] who have created a team for every race and activate them all each time.
Not sure how :/, but if we could get more coaches to think like this then maybe the recovery thing wouldnt be so much of an issue.
Even just having a bashy team and one less hard hitting team activated would work.
Maybe the solution is in the hands of the coaches who just stick exclusively to the bashers.
With this kind of diversity maybe [B] could overtake [R] as the main division.
Posted by Nemeton on 2010-03-01 13:41:24
Your plans for L are absolutely fantastic, I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christer for president :-D
Posted by koadah on 2010-03-01 13:47:50
\o/ Now this is yet another reason why Fumbbl kicks Cyanide's ass. ;)

Box teams playing in [R] tournaments would be really nice though :)

I think the new client will help some of the "oh no I'm just gonna get bashed" issues.
Journeymen, inducements, MNGers not counting towards TV should all help.

Also quite a few coaches will return/play more games when the new rule sets arrive.
Posted by PurpleChest on 2010-03-01 14:10:47
every time i wonder why i work as hard for the site as i do, i think of christer, and the world/site he has tried to create.

And i realise i am on the right side, helping something important. Freedom to game in a way that makes you happy, with as few constraints as possible, run by a man that prioritises fairnes and diversity within an enviroment that gives options while limiting abuse.

You have my 100% backing boss, i trust your judgement.
Posted by SeraphimRed on 2010-03-01 14:24:57
Can't wait for the improvement to L - great to see all the suggestions have been taken into consideration.

I knew you were a closet L lover. ;P
Posted by avien on 2010-03-01 14:36:26
I am very excited to hear about [L], I have been hoping for this a long time.

I support you 100% in the [B] and [R] case and am fairly sure that this is the only sensible view on the matter.
Posted by James_Probert on 2010-03-01 14:49:03
Love the sound of the [L] changes

I've kept out of the [b] vs [R] arguements, mainly because i don't play [b] (yes I'm using a lower case deliberatly) ;)
but I feel that, unfortunately the extra division is decreasing the density of players, and as such, availability of games, if player numbers were back where they were 6/7 months ago (yes, the cyanide game will have had at least some effect) then it wouldn't be such an issue, but numbers are down, and it is having an effect :(

As it is though, I can see why you don't want to remove the division, after putting all the effort into the sheduler that you have done (having just started to learn programming myself, I have a far higher respect for the amount of effort that has to be put in to get these things right).
And now we just need to weather the storm of low numbers, which I'm sure will rise again as the cyanide game dies and we get a new FFC client :D

P.S. Does the Custom Starting restraints mean that teams will be able to apply to a group before being approved, such that the afformentioned restraints can be applied?
Posted by harvestmouse on 2010-03-01 14:51:12
And to give you a carrot for taking the time to read this blog, I'll give you a little idea of what I'm planning to do. I want to add support for custom rosters, a way to allow groups to set up custom starting constraints!!!

yes, Yes! YESSSS!!! YESSSS!!!!! Oooh I best calm down before I wet myself.
Posted by BunnyPuncher on 2010-03-01 15:34:32
Just splash the BB ranking alongside the CR rating on coach pages and irc. Done like dinner.

League sounds good. More control at the micro level is always a good thing.
Posted by Jeffro on 2010-03-01 15:41:46
Thanks for all the consideration you do. Blatent butt-kissing over... now :)
Posted by Zombie69 on 2010-03-01 16:17:18
"Now, I think that this whole discussion emerges mainly from a single problem in the blackbox division: Teams who get trashed have a very very hard time recovering."

Actually, imo, the reason behind the discussion is completely different. With teams now being spread over two divisions instead of just one, it's just harder to get games now. Merging the two divisions would mean all teams have more potential opponents, making it easier to get games. Adding an optional scheduler in ranked would also make it easier to get games there.

Yesterday night for example, i had to sit around gamefinder for an hour and a half before i finally got an offer that didn't have my team playing 35+ TS below their opponent and giving up handicaps on top of it. A scheduler would have probably allowed me to get a game much sooner than this.
Posted by RandomOracle on 2010-03-01 16:30:40
I'd just like to note that there is a very large difference between a SMACK and a scheduler. A scheduler is much easier to use as you don't need to trim your TR to an appropriate level, find 7 other coaches, and commit to multiple games (including two back-to-back games, at least according to the SMACK web page). The best part about a scheduler or match making system for me is the ease of getting games.
Posted by Araznaroth on 2010-03-01 17:34:05
Those changes for League sounds good!

Thanks for all the great work past, present and future Christer!
Posted by fly on 2010-03-01 18:14:39
I'd love to see free journeymen in box with big guy nega-trait. and some kind of weekly mini B tournament, like a smack.
Posted by screech on 2010-03-01 18:27:27
Good stuff.
As a personal request, if you do tweak of the ts formula, please look into how necro ts is formulated, I really think their ts is way too high compared to their actual ability.
Posted by Purplegoo on 2010-03-01 18:30:37
Good blog; my thoughts on what's been said:

1. Broken [B] teams: I think LRB5+ fixes this. Journeymen is a rule with a few issues attached (ironically, some of them are that banged up teams in leagues etc. _should_ be banged up, and the journeymen / inducements rules break the tournament mechanic), but for the specific use of the [B] division, it's ideal. Perhaps it's worth either house ruling or hanging fire until we're equipped. House ruling a ruleset with one rule is dicey, mind.

2. Division combination is never going to work, but transfer, if handled well, isn't horrible as an idea. Perhaps a once a year combination of [R] and [B] teams in the FUMBBL Cup would bring something special. I can't see a reason why this as a one off wouldn't be neat.

3. I'm glad that there are [L]eague improvements afoot and that you tip your hat to the great work that goes on there.

4. I found the passage about the success of [B] really insightful. I think it's lived up to my expectations on games played, but in a different way. I'll confess to expecting a bit of a utopia when it kicked off, only to be sadly underwhelmed. Perhaps I'll have another go when I come back, but I doubt it.

Finally, to prempt your TS rant;

It's a system not without flaws, but if you install a new system tomorrow, some other bright spark will find fault and suggest changes, and so on for evermore, you're entirely unable to win. It's like the people that write the rules. It's good enough without being perfect, and thats, well, good enough!

Keep up the good work, and it's always good when you dip in like this. Christer's blog might be a nice monthly addition to the site?
Posted by pac on 2010-03-01 18:40:05

Delighted to hear about the planned additions to [L]eague. Those (especially the option of prizes) are the sort of things that have been on a lot of people's wish lists for a long time (though I hope we didn't nag you about them too much ;) ). In terms of communication, the PM improvements have already been a great help for tournament running.

Grats on the great work as always.
Posted by Cavetroll on 2010-03-01 20:50:19
Christer, thanks for all the hard work you and the other admins put into the site. Reading your description of the different divisions really helped bring the 'fun' element of the game back into focus. Keep up the great work.
Posted by Ballcrusher on 2010-03-01 21:52:49
Thanks for the blog and all your hard work.

I love the plans for L, as it's my favorite division and the reason I spent so much time on Fumbbl.

And I can't wait for the LRB5 / FFC client as I also believe it will fix the problem with broken teams and rebuilding. I'm very curious about how this division will be run. Open play or blackbox style or maybe divided into both? But I guess that will be answered in due time...

Concerning the R vs B, I agree that the divisions should not be merged in any way. They are very different for a reason. I think one of the reasons behind the discussions is that blackboxer don't understand why R is the main competative division here on Fumbbl (CR next to your name, the official Major tourneys being held in R etc). The reason is that R has many known flaws like cherrypicking, elfballing etc, that isn't very competative.

But I realise that R is the original division here, so maybe it's just a matter of time before B will get just as good Major tourneys and will be considered the main competative division. But it would be nice to post BBW next to CR (or remove both), just to send the signal that R isn't the superior competative division.

That's just my 5 cents, but again - the main thing for me is LRB5 and better L so I'm looking forward to this and again thanks for this fantastic site.
Posted by Hero164 on 2010-03-01 23:18:32
Hi Christer

Completely agree with all of your points. May I make a couple of suggestions which require no changes to the divisions.

B Teams allowed to enter the majors
BWR posted on front page along side CR
B games to count for awards and badges

Posted by blocknroll on 2010-03-02 18:04:04
one suggestion for league - maybe the league admin could be given the option when entering a result as a default win to one player (for example due to the other being offline for the length of the scheduled time to play the game) to be able to put it as a concession so that the team who missed out on a game gets some spps and cash. Often a team can be really disadvantaged by not getting to play a game other coaches have, and the 2 mvps and cash might help keep things more balanced. just a thought.
looking forward to seeing what happens with league, and thanks for all the hard work you do which i expect very very often we dont even notice.
Posted by Nightbird on 2010-03-03 07:31:13
I have to 2nd blocknroll's suggestion. It's been something that has definitely affected me in [L] season's past & as he said is sometimes VERY detrimental to a team during a season. Allowing a forfeit to be put in as a concession w/ the mvp's & cash would be a great option to keep things properly balanced in season. I mean it's what a commissioner would do in a table-top league, so why not have it implemented here as well. Otherwise everything you have planned sounds great man!

Posted by On1 on 2010-08-04 23:28:09
I am happy to see that [R] and [B] will remain two seperate divisions :) Thanks for clarifying, pheeew..