Tournament rules can cause health problems


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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 08:02

Tournament rules can cause health problems

First of all, I like to follow tournament games, it is close to spectating Olympic Games.
Yet there is a major difference, Olympic Games don't encourage you play non-stop, with just a bit of time to sleep.
The tournament started 130 hours ago and there is already a player who spent 75 hours per won games and some more time on lost games (those took some significant time also because there is a death in Zot 5, for instance). That leaves less than 7 hours per day including sleep, eating, possible work etc!

Can we change tournament rules so that players woudn't cause harm to their health and those who are not on vacation might have a chance to compete as well?
For instance, we might limit play time to 12 hours per day or total tournament play time to 12*14 assuming the tournament lasts 14 days?

I realize it is bad time to discuss it now but probably people will read the topic and will think about it when the tournament is over and hopefully next tournament will be more "health-friendly".
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 09:49

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I don't play in the tournament, and I have no idea if it can lead to health problems. But I noticed this suggestion in mibe's tournament guide:
TL;DR Get a long streak, speedrun a few times, and win a lot. Also play 10+ hours a day.

10+ hours a day for the entire tournament duration doesn't sound healthy.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 11:24

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

You can just say "only the first five hours played during a given day count for the purpose of scoring; days are calculated according to Greenwich time".
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 11:50

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

nvm

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 13:17

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Shtopit wrote:You can just say "only the first five hours played during a given day count for the purpose of scoring; days are calculated according to Greenwich time".


Those are technical details and can be discussed later. First we need to make sure the basic idea is accepted by devs and tournament organizers IMHO.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 14:47

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

FWIW: I stopped being interested in participating in tournaments a long time ago when I decided I wasn't willing to devote the kind of time required, I already don't get enough sleep and don't need further excuses to put myself through the wringer. When I was a younger man, I would stay up for 48-72 hours at a stretch playing video games, but I don't need that kind of stress in my life any more.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 14:54

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

This is why I don't participate in tournaments. I have some time, but not a lot, and I know I would have no chance against the people with unlimited time. WalkerBoh's CSDC was more my style.

Not sure if it's any better, but, instead of directly limiting the amount of time counted, you could limit the number of games counted (only the first 3 games, for example).

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 15:03

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Limiting number of games is not an option IMHO, many guys like speedrunning and there are bonuses for fastest real time and lowest turns games.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 17:47

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Regardless of health, rewarding for playing more seems grindy and bad.

Shtopit wrote:You can just say "only the first five hours played during a given day count for the purpose of scoring; days are calculated according to Greenwich time".


Alternatively add "[Current release] Tournament version" to the list of crawl versions, and only count the first N hours played in tournament version during the tournament.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 17:55

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

A problem with limiting time to play is that it changes playstyle. You have to play as fast as possible in real time to get the maximum points. Since that's not everybody's cup of tea, I think it would be better to instead limit the number of wins that can count for the tournament. Say, only the first 15 wins.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 18:30

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

FWIW I'm sympathetic to the basic issue, though I haven't discussed it with any other devs so these are my own thoughts. I don't think we can really make people make good choices about their health but I think rewarding other modes of playing would be good for the community. Personally it's been years since I've had the time or energy during a tournament to aim for more than one win, and I could probably even influence tournament timing to some degree if I wanted to. Most of the long-time crawl players I know from before being a dev are like this, these days they only play in the tournaments and only aim for a few wins at most.

One idea would be to stratify the player/clan leaderboards into different categories based on total # of games, or time played, or something like that.

A useful comparison might be to marathons, which seem to succeed at integrating ultra-competitive runners with a huge variety of other skill levels (depending on entrance requirements, even allowing people who just walk the thing), and often coincide with much shorter races that require less training (half marathons, 10ks, 2ks). I'm not sure a rule change that actually outright prevents Yermak-style play seems likely to me (though like I said, these are just my own thoughts) but I wonder if something that creates more realistic categories of accomplishment, along these lines, could work well.

Any successful proposal will probably need to be self-aware about whatever metagame the alternate rules impose, generalizing the point Berder makes about a time-based rule.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 18:38

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

imo the best way to structure a tournament to reflect skill and not encourage massive grinding is to only allow a player to count their *best game* for any given category.

By only selecting a player's best run, it encourages significantly less brute forcing multiple runs for 10+ hours per day. You can still have banners and achievement points, and different runs completed during the tournament can be counted for different categories. The end goal is that a really good run is worth more than any number of lesser runs. Players are encouraged to get as high a score as possible, but once they have that high score they can take a breather.

For example, lets say we have the following categories:
1) Classic High Score
2) Real Time 15 Runes must win (Speed Run)
3) Turn Count 3 Runes must win (Speed Run)
4) Real Time 3 Runes must win (Speed Run)
5) Longest Streak
6) Most Ziggurauts cleared in one winning run

players compete throughout each category and receive a score based on how well they do. Players are encouraged to play more to try to beat their previous score or climb the rankings to score more tournament points for their teams. This also opens up participation to people who have less real life time to devote to the game. Since a player can post up a single winning run and have a ranking in several categories, and even if a player doesn't get a single win they will score some points in the first category. You still have banner achievements, you can even include minor points such as number of different unique slain throughout the tournament. Indeed you can also have sub categories for each of the 6 listed categories for different class / species combinations.

In any event, a system where a player's best run for a particular event is counted allows players to choose how much real time they devote to the tournament while still rewarding exceptional play.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 18:57

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Berder wrote:A problem with limiting time to play is that it changes playstyle. You have to play as fast as possible in real time to get the maximum points. Since that's not everybody's cup of tea, I think it would be better to instead limit the number of wins that can count for the tournament. Say, only the first 15 wins.


Current rules change playstyle in the same way (I have played in the tournaments before so I know it from experience), you are encouraged to play as fast as possible unless you are streaking. Counting just 15 first wins would mean that every character must win with 15 runes unless streaking.
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 19:23

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

advil wrote:FWIW I'm sympathetic to the basic issue, though I haven't discussed it with any other devs so these are my own thoughts. I don't think we can really make people make good choices about their health but I think rewarding other modes of playing would be good for the community. Personally it's been years since I've had the time or energy during a tournament to aim for more than one win, and I could probably even influence tournament timing to some degree if I wanted to. Most of the long-time crawl players I know from before being a dev are like this, these days they only play in the tournaments and only aim for a few wins at most.

One idea would be to stratify the player/clan leaderboards into different categories based on total # of games, or time played, or something like that.

A useful comparison might be to marathons, which seem to succeed at integrating ultra-competitive runners with a huge variety of other skill levels (depending on entrance requirements, even allowing people who just walk the thing), and often coincide with much shorter races that require less training (half marathons, 10ks, 2ks). I'm not sure a rule change that actually outright prevents Yermak-style play seems likely to me (though like I said, these are just my own thoughts) but I wonder if something that creates more realistic categories of accomplishment, along these lines, could work well.

Any successful proposal will probably need to be self-aware about whatever metagame the alternate rules impose, generalizing the point Berder makes about a time-based rule.

Actually I like the idea of brackets based on number of games played in the tournament a lot, then you can win your bracket, and that's that, people who want to play in the unlimited bracket can play to their heart's content, and people who have a lower availability can still compete in a different bracket.

Alternately you could split the bracket into number of hours played, but that gets weird with people like saving and doing weird crap like editing their config offline to minimize the amount of playtime. (I could see people doing something like editing the ready() function to do one action, save, and then have them process what their next move should be offline from the char dump), I'm reluctant to reward that sort of tedium. (Has anyone actually tried to play a game of crawl that was entirely done by editing their config file move by move? that sounds awful, but possible if you're shooting for a realtime record)
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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 20:33

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

This has come up before: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=23669

duvessa wrote:make the score for winning a species/background/god/combo independent of when the game starts or finishes. Meaning no clan bonus for as-yet-unwon combos, and species/background/god points either being fixed at the beginning of the tourney, or only being finalized at the end. The former is probably better; you could automatically compute them based on non-tourney statistics, similar to Nemelex' Choice, or even use the win counts from the previous tourney. Or you could hand-pick them, e.g. 300 for a mummy, 100 for a human, -50 for a deep dwarf.

You can't really come up with a scoring system that doesn't reward poopsocking though. Even if you only award points for 5 species, backgrounds, gods, cap streaks, don't give bonuses for combo highscores etc., you're still left with the fact that getting a really good realtime or turncount speedrun (or, by extension, score) requires playing a ton of games. Unless you want to cap everyone's points at 2000 and have a 150-way tie for first place. I suppose you could penalize people's score based on number of games played and/or time spent playing, but I doubt the playerbase would care for that.


So I'd suggest the following changes:
- Only award points for each rune once. The first silver rune you find is worth 30 points or whatever, other silver runes are worth nothing.
- No "early bird" bonus for being the first player to kill all the uniques.
- No bonuses for background/combo high scores. Giving points for species high scores is questionable too - and even if you only give points for one species high score per player, they're still incentivized to get high scores on the others simply to deprive their opponents of the points.
- Fixed points for winning each species, as I said in the above quote. No points for winning a background or god.
- Don't award streak points past the first 5-10 games in the streak.
- No clan points for unique deaths, killing ghosts, killing other players with ghosts, number of high scores, or first to kill all uniques.
- Either only award points for a player's first 5 Nemelex' Choice wins, or have a new Nemelex' Choice every 2 days instead of every time the previous one is won. In the latter case, award the points no matter how many times that combo has already been won (otherwise there's a race to win every Nemelex' Choice as soon as it appears).

This leaves fastest turncount win, fastest duration win, and highest score as the only unbounded sources of tournament points, and these are all based on quality rather than quantity. In practice all three of these categories promote investing a ton of time but what can you do.

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Post Thursday, 16th August 2018, 21:43

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Limiting number of games is not an option IMHO, many guys like speedrunning and there are bonuses for fastest real time and lowest turns games.


We may limit the number of total turns available during the tournament. That would work ok for speedruns I think. Just set the limit so that fast speedrunners cannot play more than lets say, 4 hours per day during the tournament.

As this may encourage not using autoexplore/etc for other players, we may use a double limit: your X longest games are not counted for this purpose. So you can carefully streak with autoexplore.


I think that giving some kind of global resource to participants, number of turns and number of games the tournament would be much better. After all, in the olympics it is not allowed to swim 100m freestyle a thousand times and sum your best times. Speedrunners can still speedrun, just it won't be counted towards the tournament.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 02:41

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I personally think a time-based limit is better, combined with duvessa's suggestion of making scores independent of when the game is played, while using stats to handicap combos based on difficulty. In theory, an overall time limit shouldn't change the metagame much, since there already is an overall time limit. It wouldn't prevent people from "poopsocking" (lovely term, btw) their allotted 100 hours or whatever, but making scoring independent of time should remove any incentive to do so.

Perhaps a combination of per-day and per-tournament limits could be implemented: In a 14-day tournament, you have 100 hours overall but cannot play for more than 12 or 18 hours in any one day. That would make ridiculous 48-hour marathons impossible, while still being kind to people who have variable availability (i.e. someone with a 9-to-5 job who wants to devote their weekends to the tournament).

As for the idea of editing the config offline, unless I'm mistaken the file that's actually read is stored on the server, correct? If so, it's trivial to make it read-only for the duration of the tournament. Kind of harsh, but the technique Siegurt's describing shouldn't be allowed in tournaments where competition for lowest duration runs are a thing.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 03:57

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I like the idea of making only the 8 highest-scoring runs (1 per 2 days) count, plus the longest streak.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 08:11

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I'm unemployed now, but I still can't sit and do 10+ hour play sessions at all, I have a 3 rune win and a 15 rune win, as well as 14 rune loss (trying to get the nature's ally 3 banner was a huge mistake) and a 2 rune loss. Total play time is roughly 20 hours, and we're at about 1 week in; that's basically a part time job. Not a problem since I don't have a full time job, but certainly would be tough for anyone who has a job, or god forbid, kids. In other words, I consider my tournament playstyle fairly casual, I mostly just try to get a few wins, would love for them to be a streak, but usually only get a streak of 2 or 3 at best, and then retire.

I'd be all for trying to make the tournaments less "zerg the dungeon 24/7" style, but I'm really at a loss for how to do this in a fair way. You could do something like "Your first 25 games started after <date> count towards the tournament" but then you'll have the top people have to play 25 full or nearly full games, and the newbies will die d:1-d:5 and be done in under 3 hours. I sometimes enjoy trying bad combos (I've played a lot of felids trying to get one won when they were worth ~300 points) and will spam 10 or 20 of them before I give up and go back to playing a troll. I know, I know felids can be good if you're careful etc etc; I'm not a careful player.

Time limits per day would be a hassle for people to have to keep track of, and I'd think that people who are busy during the week with responsibilities might enjoy being able to do a 8+ hour marathon on a day that they're off. A time limit per week might be better, but keep in mind that not everyone is off on saturday and sunday, although that's an issue with the current format too.

TL;DR: I'm all for trying to shorten the time commitment; I do think it's mostly up to players to police themselves but if there's a fair way to do it, shortening tournaments is fine by me. I generally just try to get "a few wins" and don't really try to "win" the tournament itself.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 08:22

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

tasonir,

Have you read the thread?
I believe the following "must have" rules can help (in order of priority according to my preferences).
1) Limit play time per day. We don't want players play 20 hours non-stop, no matter if it's weekend or not. Health reasons.
2) Limit play time per tournament. We don't want players play 12 * 16 hours in 16 days tournament. Health reasons.
3) Fixed points for winning each species (duvessa's idea). We don't want one player get 24 points and another player get 330 points if both won the same MuCK with 3 runes, just on different days of the tournament. Fair play.
I am not sure about other rules (limiting streaks, limiting games count, unlimiting Nemelex Choice etc.) as they have both advantages and disadvantages for different players.
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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 08:39

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

ion_frigate wrote:(lovely term, btw)
I also made this exclusively for DCSS:
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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 08:47

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

This is funny picture but no more off topic please.
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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 09:17

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I have read the thread, I was just giving general thoughts on the idea of trying to limit down the hours played (or that you have to commit to place highly in the tournament). If you just want to set a cap of 12 hours on any day, and no more than 6 hours a day average over the whole tournament, that's fine by me. Although I'm not sure how you'd communicate the limit or if you just immediately void the run because someone played 12.1 hours on a day.

Regarding some of akaean's categories, those look like a decent start, but there's still a lot of problems with them. For example all of the banners are ignored, and banners are cool. Also, some categories like Most ziggs are basically endless, and players can make an ultimate character who is very nearly unkillable, and then have to slog through ziggurats endlessly. I'd eliminate that category entirely. Others are less bad, but if your goal is to limit people playing 10+ hours a day, the longest streak category can be tough. Most tournaments have someone do a 15 or longer game streak; obviously this is only something that applies to the very top, most of us will fail out of that category much sooner. My best is a 4 win streak during a tournament, and it was during the ever fun double damage melee bug.

But really assuming the tournament would remain the same 16 day timespan, even if you die during your streak, you can still try to get a second streak assuming you have enough days left to get further than your first...

Also "high score" and "fastest turn count 15 rune win" are the same category.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 09:21

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

One way to limit time was suggested earlier in this thread via a separate "tournament" version of crawl. When your time is out, your game is automatically saved and you cannot load it until it is allowed by rules.
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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 11:49

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Seems to me that any time restriction will likely lead to a clan of: Me, Myself & I ... and his friend: Rob, Bob & Robert.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 11:51

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

RoGGa wrote:Seems to me that any time restriction will likely lead to a clan of: Me, Myself & I ... and his friend: Rob, Bob & Robert.


It does not make any difference for personal rankings and is a serious disadvantage for clan competition.
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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 16:07

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Someone posted this in ##crawl-dev, I think it is more useful to collect it in here; leaving out their name in case they were aiming to stay out of this thread:

hey folks, was just taking a look at that "tournament rules encourage unhealthy behavior" thread and i was thinking... you know, a two week long event where you have to play a video game all the time is sort of unhealthy on a basic level
one you can't escape through rule changes
maybe a weekend event is the way to go, so an enthusiastic player with normal life commitments can participate at a high level #my2cents
there are many players now that can produce long streaks, so an argument that you need a long time to accommodate streak-based scoring really doesn't work anymore

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 16:31

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

hey folks, was just taking a look at that "tournament rules encourage unhealthy behavior" thread and i was thinking... you know, a two week long event where you have to play a video game all the time is sort of unhealthy on a basic level
one you can't escape through rule changes
maybe a weekend event is the way to go, so an enthusiastic player with normal life commitments can participate at a high level #my2cents
there are many players now that can produce long streaks, so an argument that you need a long time to accommodate streak-based scoring really doesn't work anymore


Replying separately with my own opinion -- I think there's something to this but I also think a lot of weaker/newer players who may not even be certain of getting a win / are aiming at 0-1 wins during two weeks, and won't remotely care about playing 10 hours a day or whatever, appreciate the longer duration. So I wonder if something akin to what I was suggesting with marathon structures could work, but reversed -- designate a weekend out of a longer two week interval with some rule set that will make people happy who want to play intensively.

In general I'd only support a rule change that does take into account the goals of such players; they aren't the ones that get attention, and aren't well-represented on tavern, but are also the (probably strong) majority of people who do play during a tournament. Eyeballing the 0.21 results, that would likely hold even if you only consider players who played >=10 games and were in a clan. Another way of putting it is that I have the impression that there are a ton of players who are aiming maybe to get their first or second win in a tournament, and often do. To accomplish this goal you definitely don't "have to" play all the time, it's usually more of a nights and weekends thing during the tournament for most players in this category that I have known. This isn't something I'd like to see go away, and I think several of the suggestions out there are not taking them into account.

Also worth noting that there are a lot of long-time players (again, maybe not really on the tavern scene) that basically only play during tournaments. I'd also like to take them into account.

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 17:31

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

So, as a player that likes tournament time as a time when lots of people are playing, but has zero interest in the tournament itself, I'm a big fan of banners. I don't personally care at all about the general tournament score, but I really like having something to work for that is different and time-limited. Would people hate if we just did away with all numeric scoring? Infinitely-scaling points will always have this issue, as will rewarding low turncounts and low time (both of which kind of boringly limit the kind of characters you're going to play, anyway, which is something I love about current tournament structure - it promotes variety.) Even if the current banner system was the only way to score points, it takes a ton of time to get all the banners - likely more than is reasonable. I don't see a particular need to have infinitely-scaling scoring, but I'm starting from not caring much about winning, so as long as there's still content for me, I'll be happy.
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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 17:44

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Banners and achievements should be added to the non-tournament game.
take it easy

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Post Friday, 17th August 2018, 18:03

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

A twice-yearly two-week tournament is a lot of time playing the game. If there were one weekend tournament per month, there would still be fewer total tournament hours.

I guess I don't fully understand the intent of having a tournament that's this long. If the idea is "make it so people have a two week window in which they can schedule a couple days of play and be competitive" then it's not working very well. Maybe it's more "tournaments are a lot of work to organize, and we want to get a good return on that investment"?

I'm fundamentally in agreement with duvessa in that you can't lawyer away rewarding the investment of wall-clock time (ultimately, you're going to be rewarded for putting in the practice hours outside of tournaments) but having a shorter tournament at least makes it less grueling.

From my own point of view, the fact that the tournament is two weeks long is one of the things that keeps me from even trying — I know I can't devote that kind of time to it.
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Post Saturday, 18th August 2018, 08:09

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

One option would be to make a total mean of the score achieved during games played. I know that it would be a mess, and that it would mean that a player that has a good first game wouldn't need to play any other games in the tournament, but it's a way to make time played irrelevant.
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Post Sunday, 19th August 2018, 04:25

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

njvack wrote:I guess I don't fully understand the intent of having a tournament that's this long. If the idea is "make it so people have a two week window in which they can schedule a couple days of play and be competitive" then it's not working very well.

I actually think the 16 days is very effective at letting people schedule a couple of days and be competitive. You can't hit #1 off just a couple of days of play, but you can compete, and there's lots of things to go for that aren't just "win the tournament." I know I do. I just set generally reasonable goals, like trying to be in the top 100 players, rather than top 3 (or top 1). I'm currently #96, but who knows if that'll hold :)

There's about 2200 players signed up, although the bottom few hundred haven't played very much, so maybe something like ~1750 or so people giving it a serious attempt. I'd argue that the vast majority of them are not in the "health problems" range of playing too much; this thread is really only for the top ~50 players or so (in terms of real time, although it's probably loosely correlated to the top 50 by score).

That's basically my hesitation with this thread - there's a legit concern for those top 50 or even top 100 players, but I'd argue the other ~1700 aren't straining themselves, and probably appreciate having 2+ weeks to schedule games in. The proposal to have a tournament version which limited time per day and force quit would solve this without impacting the few hours a night players, but then you need someone to actually program and test the limitations, which is work. Still if someone wanted to do that, I think it'd be fine.

Shortening the tournament to a single weekend would probably be worse for more people than it's better for. Especially if you have a trip or other plans that weekend and you just miss it; it's unlikely for people to have plans on all 16 days the way it is now, so you can always play at least a little bit in each tournament.

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Post Sunday, 19th August 2018, 15:21

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

If the goal is to have a competition where the amount of time played per day isn't the main factor, I don't see a lot of ways to accomplish that except to remove time from the list of factors. So, for example 0.22 comes out and the tournament begins for every player... and it continues for each player until they have played a total of X games and then further playing won't affect their tournament score. Perhaps some people would never finish their X tournament games until the next tournament, but what would it matter besides announcing "the final winner" taking longer. Alternately, the X total number of games which count could be limited by a length of time to complete them which could be chosen to be reasonable for the vast majority of people to not feel concentrated pressure. Conversely, the total number of games which register with tournament score could be reduced.

Limiting the amount of time per day a person can play any of their games seems like a supremely annoying thing. It can be that some people don't have much time to play for long stretches and then have large blocks of time. Trying to limit by hours/day could punish as many people as it helps. It could also screw with people who don't care at all about tournament results and just want to play when they want to play. If someone can't regulate their own schedule to the point of becoming ill, I don't see how that can be (or should be) attempted to be fixed by altering tournament rules. What might make one person ill might not affect another person.

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Post Sunday, 19th August 2018, 15:41

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

svendre wrote:Limiting the amount of time per day a person can play any of their games seems like a supremely annoying thing.


I am not sure "annoying" is a good word here. You know some players died because of playing for too long non-stop, don't you?
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Post Sunday, 19th August 2018, 23:29

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I dunno I think it teaches an important life lesson about futility meaninglessness in a very visceral way. But more importantly it generates excitement and activity. That's worth a few guys dying from exhaustion.

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Post Monday, 20th August 2018, 01:00

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I have largely stopped playing DCSS but I feel I ought to chime in and say that tournaments in the past have been not only bad for my sleep schedule, but also my participation in college. I would be highly in favor of limiting time allotted towards tournament games per day, and maybe over the course of the tourny as well.

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Post Monday, 20th August 2018, 18:12

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I think the simplest way to do this would be a flat time limit (i.e. scoring stops after x total hours logged in eligible games). It would be the easiest to implement, easiest to explain, and wouldn't penalize any particular play schedule as it has the same effect on someone who binges on the weekends as someone who plays every evening.

Starting with a deliberately high limit like 80 hours would curb the excesses without fundamentally altering the nature of the tournament.

I'd like to take a deeper look at the SQL database when this tournament is over to see how score scales with time invested, but just eyeballing the wins of last year's top 10:

7750 at 165 hours
6860 at 75 hours
6790 at 100 hours
6490 at 120 hours
6330 at 120 hours
6040 at 100 hours
5220 at 105 hours
5150 at 50 hours
4960 at 45 hours
4890 at 110 hours

My hypothesis is that after a certain point time invested starts giving diminishing returns in terms of both rank and raw score.

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Post Monday, 20th August 2018, 20:02

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

cliffracer wrote:My hypothesis is that after a certain point time invested starts giving diminishing returns in terms of both rank and raw score.


It is written in rules.

1) There is a severe stepdown for combo points.
For example, top 2 players from last tournament:
7187 Total
2656 Adjusted Total

4298 Total
2138 Adjusted Total

2) Another stepdown happens to every rune: 24 points for 1st, 12 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd and, 6 for 4th so on.
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Post Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 19:05

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
svendre wrote:Limiting the amount of time per day a person can play any of their games seems like a supremely annoying thing.


I am not sure "annoying" is a good word here. You know some players died because of playing for too long non-stop, don't you?
You still can play as much as you can, even online, just not tournament games using a single account.



Woah, source on this? Had no idea that happened.

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Post Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 19:18

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems


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Post Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 19:38

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
cliffracer wrote:My hypothesis is that after a certain point time invested starts giving diminishing returns in terms of both rank and raw score.


It is written in rules.

1) There is a severe stepdown for combo points.
For example, top 2 players from last tournament:
7187 Total
2656 Adjusted Total

4298 Total
2138 Adjusted Total

2) Another stepdown happens to every rune: 24 points for 1st, 12 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd and, 6 for 4th so on.


All of the scoring mechanisms have some form of limit baked in. Low-scoring play is dominated by uniques, branches, and 1st/2nd win bonuses which are irrelevant above that level (everyone has the same score), and high-scoring play involves streaking being made more relevant due to running into the combogod stepdown (streaking itself has a hard cap in the number of races/backgrounds and a soft cap in the same probabilistic sense that the number of rounds of Russian roulette one can play has a soft cap).

My guess is that because after a certain number of tournament hours played efficacy of play matters more than amount of play having a limit of 80 hours instead of 160 hours wouldn't fundamentally alter the nature of the tournament play (i.e. make it more speedrun-y).

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Post Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 19:48

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems



Ah okay, I misunderstood and thought he was specifically talking about DCSS.

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Post Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 19:56

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I was going to add some thoughts and saw that Tasonir covered my feelings on this exactly.

Oh and each tournament my goal is to beat Tasonir.

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Post Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 20:03

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Yeah, nobody's died playing DCSS yet (that we know of).
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Post Wednesday, 22nd August 2018, 23:39

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Well, it's not like he would have been able to post in the Tavern about it...
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Post Monday, 27th August 2018, 10:40

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I'd really like to see a change that'd fix this problem. I simply can't offer the insane level of commitment, day after day, that it takes to get a good score on the tourney, and this thread shows I'm not the only one.
I'd even be happy with there being two leagues, one with no time constraint, and the other with a total time constraint plus a fixed max number of played games allowed per tourney. Win or lose, every game you played would count towards that total. Something that'd give an average time of 4h per day (across weekends that's still a lot imo) and, say, a total of 10 games played? You know, something sane?

On the flip-side, the rules as they stand certainly give us happy spectators an infinite supply of excellent games preformed by the best players.
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Post Monday, 27th August 2018, 13:12

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

I think giving each player a fixed amount of 'ranked' games to play over the period (like 10 or something) is a pretty good solution. This encourages playing for winrate/discourages scumming to a greater degree than the current rules and more importantly forces people to balance aggressive safe play in order to score highly on a limited number of runs, which imo is what good crawl play is all about.

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Post Monday, 27th August 2018, 14:41

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

Berder wrote:A problem with limiting time to play is that it changes playstyle. You have to play as fast as possible in real time to get the maximum points. Since that's not everybody's cup of tea, I think it would be better to instead limit the number of wins that can count for the tournament. Say, only the first 15 wins.

I'm not sure a real time limit actually does change the metagame that much. Currently, everyone has some amount of time they are going to devote to the tournament. If they are trying to maximise score, then they should play at the speed which gets them most points per second. If you have time limits, that's still true, but with a different amount of time to play with for some people.

For other solutions:
- I'd be sad about a shorter tournament. I come to crawl back for tournaments, spend maybe a few hours a day on them on average, and have a great time. A weekend wouldn't be enough for me to shake off the rust and reliably get a win or two, and I might miss most of the tournament just by being busy.
- Limits on games seem to punish newer players quite a lot - and also punish playing bad combos (I had a great time splatting 10 or so consecutive Octopode Wanderers).
- I think the scoring could definitely be improved a lot, on the lines duvessa suggest, which would reduce the problem substantially. There's still going to be an incentive to grind as long as you have a non-maxable leaderboard, though.

One option would be to try to make this better in 0.23 with the scoring changes limiting infinite sources of points - which seem to have pretty much no downside - and see how that changes things.
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Post Monday, 27th August 2018, 17:20

Re: Tournament rules can cause health problems

tasonir wrote:
njvack wrote:I guess I don't fully understand the intent of having a tournament that's this long. If the idea is "make it so people have a two week window in which they can schedule a couple days of play and be competitive" then it's not working very well.

I actually think the 16 days is very effective at letting people schedule a couple of days and be competitive. You can't hit #1 off just a couple of days of play, but you can compete, and there's lots of things to go for that aren't just "win the tournament." I know I do. I just set generally reasonable goals, like trying to be in the top 100 players, rather than top 3 (or top 1). I'm currently #96, but who knows if that'll hold :)

There's about 2200 players signed up, although the bottom few hundred haven't played very much, so maybe something like ~1750 or so people giving it a serious attempt. I'd argue that the vast majority of them are not in the "health problems" range of playing too much; this thread is really only for the top ~50 players or so (in terms of real time, although it's probably loosely correlated to the top 50 by score).

That's basically my hesitation with this thread - there's a legit concern for those top 50 or even top 100 players, but I'd argue the other ~1700 aren't straining themselves, and probably appreciate having 2+ weeks to schedule games in. The proposal to have a tournament version which limited time per day and force quit would solve this without impacting the few hours a night players, but then you need someone to actually program and test the limitations, which is work. Still if someone wanted to do that, I think it'd be fine.

Shortening the tournament to a single weekend would probably be worse for more people than it's better for. Especially if you have a trip or other plans that weekend and you just miss it; it's unlikely for people to have plans on all 16 days the way it is now, so you can always play at least a little bit in each tournament.


Hey guys, I think Tasonir is 100% on the money here.

The tournament rules are only a problem for the more serious players ~top 50 or so. The tournament format is perfect for me. For instance, I was out of town the first 3 days of the tournament, i probably missed some decent points from easy combos but at the end of the day it doesnt matter that much, I had 13 more days left to play crawl. There was a stretch of 4-5 days where I barely had time to play, but again, 16 day tournament.

I'd consider myself an intermediate player, I won 7 games this tournament, placed #130, with a winrate of ~15%, averaging about 4 hours a day over the length of the tournament. My average win time was about 3 hours and 40 minutes, which means i spent about 60% of my time playing crawl on games in which I ended up dying. To me, this indicates that the reason I didnt place higher is not due to time played, but lack of skill.

I appreciate the current format. I know that at the highest level it seems a bit brutal, but like Tasonir said, the vast majority of crawl players are not experiencing that.
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