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Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 10:04:03

Hasdrubal
Level 56
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Greetings, all!

Inspiration for this feature comes when I saw Multi-day ladder, started by Master od the Dead almost a month ago. While I don't participate, yet, in this ladder, and therefore don't know how does it work, my idea is to propose one new feature to existing ladder games, and to lower level needed for new players to join ladders (if possible).

The idea works around current ladder system where better players win over weaker ones, and outcome can be that weaker player goes up, while better goes down, because they are too distant on the table. So, playing as better player against weaker ones can drop you few or several points.

However, if better players want to have handicap against lower players they should post that on their ladder profile. Handicap can be one point per rating difference (20% is one point, 35% is two points, 50% three points, etc. - this is just proposal and probably wrong one) which will be added to weaker player ingame income.

So, player with a rating of, say, 2500 can offer handicap against player with a rating of 1900 (20% difference) so lower player will start with income of 6 instead of 5 (stronger player will still have income of 5) through the whole game. If weaker player win, his rating will not go high as full rise, but will go up for limited amount (say, 20%), if he losses, he would go down for additional 20%. Stronger player will drop less (20% less than usually) if he losses, but will go up additional 20% if he wins.

Some stronger players will use that feature, and they would probably set the difference percentage by themselves and not by system. Thus, more challenge will be in these games. IMHO, weaker players should not be able to set handicap in their advantage.

Same as in 1v1 ladders, it could be used in other ladders as well. However, there is a limitation - both sides must have rank within ladder. Players or teams that lose rank or didn't achieve that yet, could not have this feature implemented in their games.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 11:53:07


Master Farah♦ 
Level 58
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Seeing how the 1v1 ladder has a rating system that's flawed to begin with, I don't think you could ever add a feature like this. It requires very deep understanding of elo-ratings to come up with a system that includes handicaps and actually works. On a scale from 1 to panda, I'd say it's very very hard to do.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 12:35:55


Norman 
Level 57
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1 extra army in the 1v1 ladder means you can take a +3 first turn bonus with one pick. Second turn you then meet your opponent, hammer him with 9 income and BAM it's game over.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 14:08:46


Nex
Level 60
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^^

There's no way this would be balanced, unfortunately. If you want to handicap, just Namib pick
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 21:44:21

Hasdrubal
Level 56
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The handicap is intended to be unbalanced (that is why it is named this way). But, better player usually have better understanding of the early development, so they can overcome disadvantage really fast. And for such play they will be more motivated as they would get more points and they would lose less points if they lose the game.

On the other hand, in RT games, handicap can be done with less available time instead of income.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 22:12:50

Emperor Jagang
Level 37
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No, you don't understand. We're not talking a minor imbalance. We're saying a 1800 rating player starting with 1 more income, would beat buns about 50% of the time. It's not a difference of one army, it's exponential, and would snowball into a staggeringly massive advantage.

Give me 1 extra income, and I'd likely never lose to anyone, ever.

Such a handicap would potentially even allow people as bad as you to beat top players somewhat regularly.

Edited 11/21/2016 22:14:28
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/21/2016 22:17:24


AWESOMEGUY 
Level 62
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Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/23/2016 13:10:46

Hasdrubal
Level 56
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Of course, last two dumb readers did miss that handicap is intended as free will for stronger players. Weaker players are not intended to declare handicap in their favor.

In current ladder system, stronger players don't want to have much weaker players as opponents (and I am not sure if ladder games always call players with similar ranking), as regardless of win or loss, better players lose points when they beat weaker players (or worse if they actually lose games). This way they can still have better rating.

To help these last two posters, I have to write this again - better players >CAN declare handicap when they meet opponents much weaker than they are, weaker players CAN'T do the same in their favor. The feature is here just to HELP STRONGER players to have MORE points when they WIN over MUCH weaker players and not to LOSE points when they win the game.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/23/2016 13:26:03


Min34 
Level 58
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So do a ladder run, then declare handicap on all weak enemies and simply stay at the top?
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/23/2016 17:02:40

ShayLaren
Level 36
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People can read just fine, it's just a terrible idea, period.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 06:53:01


Green Turtle 
Level 61
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Adding a handicap feature will cause more problem than it will solve. It's extremely difficult to design a handicap system that perfectly balances the handicap with skill gap and bonus scores that a handicapped win gives.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 08:25:49

Hasdrubal
Level 56
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Probably, but if someone has ranking of 2500 and his opponent is, say, 1600, I never heard that later won the game (save if former is booted). So, if 2500-ranked player declares that he gives handicap to 1600-ranked player (or lower), there is no much chance that he won't win the game, and he will have additional points.

Possible solution to problem, as mentioned above, is to add initial armies instead of income, but I would prefer income over initial armies as single boost won't be enough to make the game winnable to low ranked player. Another solution is that first level handicap would use initial army addition and second level handicap can be adding permanent income.

But, that's are just ideas. In chess, today, grand-masters usually give handicap on fairs, schools etc. and it is not obligatory to them to do so. Handicaps in chess usually involves few moves, quality or time. In the game of Go, however, handicap is given by first move or several moves where higher ranked grand-master (higher kyu level) must give advantage over lower level master (low kyu level).
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 09:34:32


Min34 
Level 58
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but I would prefer income over initial armies as single boost won't be enough to make the game winnable to low ranked player.

May I ask why you want to make the game winnable for the low ranked player? There is a difference in skill and the ladder is there to showcase the skill levels of the participants. Somebody is ranked lower because they aren't as good at the game (or aren't willing to put as much time into the game). If they want a chance at beating the top players they have to practice.

In chess, today, grandmasters usually give handicap on fairs, schools etc.

Sure. And if a top player wants to give a handicap in an open game or an unranked game that is fine. But 1v1 ladder is a competitive place. I've not seen grandmasters who give handicaps in grandmaster tournaments.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 12:06:35

Hasdrubal
Level 56
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In chess, today, grandmasters usually give handicap on fairs, schools etc.


Sure. And if a top player wants to give a handicap in an open game or an unranked game that is fine. But 1v1 ladder is a competitive place. I've not seen grandmasters who give handicaps in grandmaster tournaments.

This is by no means grandmaster tournament. The option is just to be given to best players if they want or not want to implement in own games. If they want the game to be more competitive and to gain more points in the process, why to take them right to do so?

But, as I only see negative reponses on idea that only involve free will of stronger player, than I may conclude that nobody dares to give advantage to opponents regardless of their strength.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 12:24:44


Min34 
Level 58
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This is by no means grandmaster tournament


Grandmaster is the highest title you can get (after World Champion of course). So is 1st on the 1v1 ladder. I would say the 1v1 ladder is somewhat similar to the grandmaster tournaments.

The main problem with the handicap is that your opponent has to be a lot worse than you are. Even if a 2500 player would play a 1800 player with that handicap, he will probably still lose most of the time. Its not making it more competitive, its putting yourself at a massive disadvantage.

If they want the game to be more competitive

I agree that the ladder could be a bit more competitive at times. But this can be solved by more players joining and fixing the matchmaking system, not making games uneven. Thats not the meaning of the ladder.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 17:22:49


Nex
Level 60
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If they want the game to be more competitive and to gain more points in the process, why to take them right to do so?


Which points are you referring to, exactly? Ladder rating points, which they would lose from losing more often? Or game points, which are essentially ignored after level 55?

As it stands, there wouldn't be a point to giving yourself more opportunities to lose. There's only a few players right now who can truly claim the ladders aren't competitive enough for them, and they seem happy doing what they do.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 21:09:55

Hasdrubal
Level 56
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Of course I referred to ladder rating points. Anything else would be nonsense. And I agree with you with your last statement.

Edited 11/24/2016 22:16:35
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 22:58:58


Hostile
Level 58
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I think we need leagues to practice and play.

Idk but I think ELO is all about win-rate.
If you fight people about your skill level, you would win 50 % of your games in theory. This means you have reached your *TRUE-SKILL*.

People that are higher in the ladder are fighting lower players more often due to less players at the top. It is like a pyramid.
The top players therefore need higher win rate, not ~50%, in order to sustain their wins. The top 10 players probably need something like 80% win rate to stay in their spot.


Warlight is a game of chance and strategy. Losing to players is also something that just happens.

I mean, there are no players who are infallible. Some people do mistakes more often.




It would be more fair to have leagues. This would make so people at every place in the ladder would need ~ 50 % win rate to keep their place.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 22:59:01


Nex
Level 60
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Yes, but the problem ofc is that even 1 army per turn difference will wreck the handicapped player's rating. It would never be proportionate to the handicap. Let's look at the numbers:

Let's say a 2300 player vs an 1800 player get matched. Player A is 21% higher in rating but because this is ELO, a player 200 points higher wins 3 out of 4 games. Since the difference is 2.5x that, it would be closer to 90% of the games than 75%.

If ratings tell you who is the more accurate player, then player A is 21% more likely to make the "correct" move on a given turn than the 1800 player. This compounds with every mistake in a game however, which is why the 1800 player, player B, will lose so many more games -- he is statistically more likely to screw up much more often than player A.

If you handicap the position with 1 extra army per turn, player A starts with 5 per turn and player B starts with 6, a 20% higher income. That might sound roughly equal in theory, but as said by Nauz earlier, growth is exponential not linear. Each turn will compound over the other.

This would allow player B to win more games than player A, making the 2300 player lower rated than the 1800 player unless the ratings gain per win is handicapped to balance it -- and if you do that, then a) what's the point, and b) how far do you have to handicap the ratings gain for player A to justify the move? 50% more gain for each handicapped win vs nonhandicapped? 70%? 200%?

It just won't work.
Handicap - proposed feature for ladder games: 11/24/2016 23:14:23


Hostile
Level 58
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I think it is easy to fix that.
Make a new game-mode with two queues and two separate ratings.




I know a few MMOs and multiplayer games that have a *BOSS* gamemode.

One player joins to be the BOSS. He is pitted against several players
but gets different buffs.

There is two queues and ratings for this gamemode, like I said earlier.




It could be a separate ladder in warlight with custom scenarios like in the single player
puzzles.

So it would be asymmetric advantages like in the SP puzzles. A lot of armies vs a lot of income.
The lower player may have an edge over the other player but
he will need to know how to play the game in order to use it and have perma advantage over
other player/BOSS/ (high win-rate).
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