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  • Captains team selection process

    We started a discussion last night about Captains team selection. In it, we discussed two ways of promoting balanced team selections:

    Method #1: When there is a large skill gap between the two captains, first pick should go to the lesser-skilled player (or some other non-standard rule deviation such as "Re-Traced, you can't pick denalb").

    Method #2: Captains pick players in a 1-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-1 order, meaning that, after the first pick, all subsequent picks are made two at a time.

    The spirit behind each of these is the same: Make sure that teams are not excessively unbalanced. That's understandable, since we all enjoy good competition and closely fought games. The question is, then, which method makes the most sense?

    #1 is how we've generally played in the past few months. Usually someone liked Re-Traced, infamous, or denalb will captain, and special privilege will be given to their opponent. In my experience, this is usually met with some grumbling. The perception around method #1 is that, it sends a message to everyone that the normal rules aren't good enough. That we need to manipulate or handicap the situation when certain people volunteer to captain or when certain people join the server. It leaves a bad taste in many people's mouths, because a consistent set of rules is an element of the spirit of competition - and meddling with the rules on the fly feels counter to that.

    #2 is my preferred method, because it can be applied regardless of who is captaining, and regardless of who has first pick. Even in situations where there is a big skill gap between the two captains, AND the higher skilled player has player choice... the resulting teams can still be very balanced.
    Last edited by ShamelessCookie; 07-05-2014, 01:26 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Captains team selection process

    Originally posted by ShamelessCookie View Post
    (or some other non-standard rule deviation such as "Re-Traced, you can't pick denalb").
    As an aside, the parenthesis you have in your first Method genuinely infuriates me (and you all know I'm not an easy guy to annoy). But since you chose to bring it up here...

    Here's a few scenarios.

    -- Other comp players come on the server and pick each other for captains, well aware that they were creating an unbalanced game (since no one else on the server knew who the strong players were; the "Sleepers"). Verdict: All fine and good, better luck next time. That's all a part the Captains meta.

    -- Three friends/greens/a married couple all want to stay together but aren't very strong shooters at all. Verdict: Fine, we'll work around the fact that you make the game a bit less enjoyable for your teammates (personally, I am more than for socially working around their team placement-- far be it from me to prevent a couple that actually plays together from enjoying themselves!).

    -- Two friends that -are- good or decent shots (Shameless and Glock, King and Shameless, the hordes of people that only play aliens, the list goes on) and constantly play on the same team, despite their team often getting landslide victories. Verdict: Okay I guess, people have a right to choose their preferred teams in non-forced balance situations and the rest of the server can self balance around it. (( This has been verbalized, I'm not putting words into the mouths of people who remain silent. ))

    -- But! The last scenario involving Denalb and I is, two regular players on the server are good friends and want to play together, know they are above average shooters but -constantly and consistently- ask for the server to not stack with them and instead create a balanced game. Verdict: Nope, better not let that happen. Force balance them, separate them, publicly chastise them for daring to want to play with a friend while asking for other strong players to compensate. Then, make jokes or complain about rage quitting when they choose to go play cs go so they can play on the same team together.

    It's completely ridiculous and something that I've been close to making a contact an admin thread about several times. It's also why Denalb often hasn't, as someone said last night, decided to "grace us with his presence" for the past month (well, he's on vacation at the moment).

    Edit: I'm not directing this at you, Shameless, but at the very popular consensus that the above is okay. I really don't think it is.


    *Cough* Anyway.


    The 1 - 2 -2 - 2 method makes sense when the second captain is very obviously "weaker" or the server has one extremely strong player in the opted in pool, but problems can arise in other situations. There was a reason we had that big debate thread on pick methods a few months back: as a community many of us felt the style led to poorly balanced games. If both captains are equal in role and skill level (Infamous and I, Wyzcrak and Rad, etc.) and Joshhy or other premier players aren't present, 1 2 2 2 pretty much guarantees the second pick the stronger team.

    Granted, as I alluded to earlier: if a premier player is present or one captain is a much stronger shot, 1 2 2 2 makes a great deal of sense, because the theoretically stronger person essentially gets themself as an extra pick in the "meta" of choosing from the strong players in the opted-in pool.

    We proposed using both picking methods in the appropriate situations in that thread, but some were wary of further complicating the picking process, or captains only pushing for the picking style that would be to their own advantage. All I can say is that I'm strongly opposed to the 1 - 2 - 2 method being the blanket solution, but I don't see anything wrong with as a -community- choosing different methods for different scenarios, as long as we can come to a clear consensus on what those scenarios are, in order to streamline the process in game.
    Last edited by Retraced; 07-05-2014, 01:03 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Captains team selection process

      Originally posted by Retraced
      I don't see anything wrong with as a -community- choosing different methods for different scenarios, as long as we can come to a clear consensus on what those scenarios are
      Do you think that reaching a consensus on an algorithm for having multiple player selection methodologies, as well as when to implement each method is a straightforward task - or do you think it will be difficult to get everyone to buy into that?

      I would venture to say it's difficult, and likely to provoke a lot of "we only lost because we changed the way we pick players for this game". Know what I mean? It goes back to the whole idea of what I'm aiming for: let's try to come up with the least complex set of universally applicable rules, and let's use those rules consistently - every time we play.

      Here's the way I see the various methods:

      1-1-1*: Advantageous to first captain.
      1-2-1*: Advantageous to second captain.
      1-2-2*: Circumstantial. No clear advantage one way or the other.

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      • #4
        Re: Captains team selection process

        I see the danger in that, yes. I'm all for finding a catch-all solution, but I don't think that it's very simple or feasible without being a bit more heavy handed in the nature of the pair of captains (captains must be shooters of close skill level, or both are commanders, etc.). Considering how hard it is at times to get captains to begin with, that would be a tough ask.

        I don't think that 1-2-2 is as widely balanced as you and Decoy implied last night. If the pool of top shooters is not extensive, such as during the week or even some periods of captains nights, 1-2-2 still gives a strong and clear advantage to the second captain if they are not a "weaker" player.

        We found that the most neutral option as a catch-all solution was 1-1-1. But again, it was and is widely acknowledged that in a case of "imbalanced captains" as individuals, it can be problematic.

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        • #5
          Re: Captains team selection process

          I'm glad you brought the topic back up Shameless. I strongly support method 2 also called the "snake draft". I supported that method in the last thread as it gives both teams a "draft/pick" total team value of 68. I think this method should be followed no matter who is on the server skill wise. We have never tried method 2 since I have been playing here. We have tried 1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1, etc not 1-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-1. This is not complicated. This is how fantasy sports work and I'm sure other games/captains style games are done this way.

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          • #6
            Re: Captains team selection process

            To Retraced's point, the 1-2-2-2-2 option is only really a viable option if you have a decent pool of shooters to choose from in the first place, say 5-6 better shots; otherwise it can get very imbalanced very quickly. Let me explain:

            Lets use jack vs infamous as an example because it's a pairing we've seen in the past.

            Top player pool is denalb, retraced, mind boggling, kaj, and zek.

            We give jack first pick under the 1-2-2-2 rule and he picks zek. Infamous picks denalb and retraced. Jack picks Kaj and mind boggling. I'd say those are pretty decently even teams and I would have no problem playing that game.

            Same scenario with a smaller pool.

            Top player pool is retraced, zek, and denalb.

            Jack gets first pick again and picks zek. Infamous picks retraced and denalb. Teams are much more stacked in infamous's favor. Do we counter and then give Jack second/third pick because it would balance him better even though he was selected to choose first? No. Because what you're proposing is that all things being equal the player pool is going to be balanced the same for each game. 1-1-1-1 would have better fixed this type of scenario.

            A snake system works in Fantasy sports because you have a very wide pool of players to choose from that are all roughly in the same caliber of talent. It's not always that way here during the week or even on captains night. Having 1 set of rules without minute changes inherently flaws the very system you were trying to simplify.

            I'm fine with how the rules are now because they've been a culmination of our experiences over the past year. The fact of the matter is that I can't please everyone with the rules and there are always going to be people that disagree. The reason I make slight changes is not to unbalance picks, but rather the opposite. People play captains because they are competitive and hard fought most of the time. It's the very imbalanced games that gets people demoralized and gets them in the mood not to play; which let me honest, its the lesser players and to an extent some of the betters that would prefer even matches rather than stompfests because people start leaving after games like that.

            I champion this debate and would like to see some more opinions on the matter.

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            • #7
              Re: Captains team selection process

              Method #1 has strong potential to do more social harm than competitive good. I have no interest in trying it.

              Method #2 has failure precedent for us. I'm content to give it another go. It wasn't /worse/ than status quo.

              I'd recommend against /too much/ debating the effectiveness of ideas here in the forums. Share ideas here, convince the /other Captain/ to give the idea a shot during the week, and then /return/ here and share what /actually happened/.

              My forecast, FWIW: consensus isn't likely to strongly prefer a new method over status quo (arguably the simplest of all options), given the very high count of judges.
              Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

              Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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              • #8
                Re: Captains team selection process

                I'd also caution against putting too much psychic weight behind chasing ideal team picks. Consider, alternatively, putting that weight behind being complacent enough to enjoy the imminent game and its fellowship despite losing.

                That's high cotton coming from me, given some of my performances sometimes. (facepalm)

                But I think it's good advice. Perhaps it's so obvious that it doesn't warrant mention.

                Heh. Maybe I'm writing it only so I get to read it for myself. ;)
                Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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                • #9
                  Re: Captains team selection process

                  Bookmarking this page so I can read that post back to Wyz at a later date. Should be interesting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Captains team selection process

                    I deny everything.
                    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Captains team selection process

                      Originally posted by Wyzcrak View Post
                      I'd also caution against putting too much psychic weight behind chasing ideal team picks. Consider, alternatively, putting that weight behind being complacent enough to enjoy the imminent game and its fellowship despite losing.
                      I absolutely agree. We're all in control of our own emotions, and we're all capable of losing a game without getting upset. With that said, it's understandable how - even if you don't let a massive stomp ruin your mood - people will inevitably burn out sooner since the enjoyment level is low... if only for that night (and signing off after 2 or 3 games instead of staying for 9 or 10).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Captains team selection process

                        I did the math, here's the results

                        If captains are even, do snake draft, give lesser captain 1st pick and it comes out 68 points to 68 points
                        If it's #9 vs. #16 (avg player vs. best player, or 7 players ranked between the two) do 1-1-1-1 all through
                        If it's #3 vs. #16 (best player vs. worst player basically) do 2-2-2-2

                        Here's the spreadsheet if you're curious
                        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

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                        • #13
                          Re: Captains team selection process

                          I think we need to add a check in to the repick. Maybe have two people decide together to repick rather than one person controlling it.
                          Last edited by Denalb; 07-11-2014, 10:25 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Captains team selection process

                            The repick experience was problematic for me for two reasons:

                            1) it didn't create REMARKABLE balance. The first round was a 10-min slaughter, and the second round was almost the same (25min, but one team spent much of it with 1-3 nodes). The theory of repick seems solid to me. I need more games to see if it continues to fail at moving the game duration average near 25min (that's the kind of results I want for such an intrusion, now that I've experienced it).

                            2) it drove through my heart like a dagger the fact that I simply don't play to win. Insofar as the repick is balanced on competitive weight, and not social weight, I was terrifically underwhelmed, and that's despite being happy with everyone I picked in the second round. The principle of a repick is poorly aligned with the more important aspect of play for me (competitive is the less important aspect). This second point is mostly commentary on /me/, frankly, but it was powerfully negative. And I didn't expect it!
                            Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                            Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Captains team selection process

                              I only have two quick things to add for people to consider.

                              1. Would a hybrid 1-2-2-1-1-1 be worth trying to even out the cons of both styles?

                              2. Have a poll to revote (only golden eggs can vote to keep it to those most familiar with the playerbase) or rather than a full revote, have a trade occur. I suspect the trade suggestion could have some social repercussions however.
                              aka Roland tHTG

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