I’ve been awfully silent lately. Sorry about that.
I have no excuse really, it’s just the roadmap time of the year, so it’s a lot of planning. And internal discussions. Debates. Assumptions. And in the end you hopefully get a roadmap worth a name (which you then later will have to tweak back and forth).
Well, I guess I just don’t want to mention anything in public which I just don’t know to 100% certainty that it will happen at a certain time, we’ve had enough of broken promises over the years. Does that hold as an excuse for being silent?
Anyways, in the “meantime” we’ve been working on the new shop as our old one has past its best before date since quite some time now. It’s slowly getting there, we had internal tests last week and today we opened up for some Stage users to try it out. Still, we have a few weeks of work/tests before we can launch it for real.
Last week we also started working on ladder competitions, a new competition form which will be based on single matches. You might remember me mentioning this when we introduced single matches some months back, or from a forum topic from late last year. I guess most of you are familiar with ladder tournaments (they’re pretty common in sports and games), but easily explained players (teams in our case) are listed as if on the rungs of a ladder and the aim is to reach the highest rung. Something you do by challenging teams listed above you, and winning these matches. There will be different kind of ladders: global, league/country, regional and for federations. And we also aim on ladders based on when you started playing Hattrick, so you can compare yourself to those who started at the same time as yourself.
By the way. Do you know what happens about a week after starting up a project? No?
That’s about the time when you start seeing the technical difficulties with the solution you opted for in the specification. And you also start seeing other possibilities. In short, it’s the time when you take all the questions and loose ends, and find the way forward again.
For example here we had hoped to make ladders based on league levels (divisions). Turned out to be more difficult than what we thought (the fact that around 30% change division each season is not a walk in the park to handle). So that idea will have to rest for a while.
And we also got in on the dear subject of whether the ladders should be based on ladder rank (traditional type) or based on points, like ELO rating (google it) for example. Again, I should add. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s not a really a trivial decision. But to be frank we have a few days before we need to make the final decision, which means there is still a chance to influence us.
If you have any opinion about whether ladders should be based on ladder rank or points – speak now or forever hold your peace! Ok?
Nice to see you guys are working on this!
I think it’s best to base it on ladder rank. Isn’t something like ELO bad at using stuff like tactics in its calculation?
What would be the other options, if there are any?
Don’t take it Elo so literally, it was more as an example of the principle that you the amount of points you get for a win depends on how many points you and your opponent have.
Must admit I didn’t really knew how ELO works, when I reacted the first time but now I’ve read the whole ELO-story and I like the way it works.
I’ve played a game in the past which used that principle and I liked how you could climb up quickly by winning against a better team, while losing against a better teams didn’t have big consequences.
So, I have to change my mind and say go for the points!
I say keep it simple with ladder rank. Beat the person above you and you switch places. No need to make it any more complicated than necessary.
Looking forward to its release!
Will any old single match affect the ladder ranking, or will it only count if you challenge through the ladder system?
I personally would prefer for it to count by default, but have the ability for it to be “off the record”. That way you can still have special competitions like the Hatstats-limited USA king of the mountain that would screw up the rankings if they counted, but still have a vast majority of the challenges to build up the ladder structure.
Also, will there be provisions for a team to sink down the ladder if they never play any challenges? I guess that would be an advantage to a more points-based ELO-like system rather than a fixed ladder. What I don’t want is a team to necessarily be punished if they simply decide to decline a challenge, because they might do so for another reason, like there wouldn’t be enough time to set a lineup.
This will be really fun however you do it, I think, so I’m really looking forward to it!
Only matches through the ladder will count for the ladder.
With points you would have some time limit, so you would lose points eventually and thus sink down the ladder if you don’t play any matches. That would happen even if we base it on direct rank as well though. I think the big benefit of having points is that you have something to play for even when challenged, ie you earn points when you win (even though it’s less than when you challenge someone higher up in the ladder) – you just don’t defend your position in the ladder as would be the case for ladder ranks.
The benefit of ladder rank on the other hand is that it’s more direct and easier to understand. You challenge someone for that spot in the ladder, and if you win you take it. With points you can win over someone but still be placed below him in the ladder.
Another idea, if you guys haven’t thought of it first – forums integrated directly into the ladder, like with tournaments.
Most of the ladders already have a natural forum, as there are regional forums, federation forums etc. So I don’t see any particular need for integrated forums here to be honest, it feels more natural to use those we already have and thus I left it out. But with ladders based on start date now, they are a bit different in that sense and a forum there may be beneficial. I’ll think about it, and also see how much time we have for it.
Great stuff with single matches! looking forward to it 😉
will you guys at same time also introduce a special flag section for tournament matches?
keep it rolling.
About separate flag collection for single matches, we hope to introduce it at the same time – but no promises there. It all depends on how well/fast the ladder implementation goes, if we have enough time “over” for the flags. Still too early to say whether we’ll be able to make both ladders/flags now, or just ladders.
Thanx for the time taken to reply.
Will cross my toe’s also, maybe it helps the process :p
Being based on single matches, am I right in saying this is pay per play, ie using credits?
Yes. Challenger will pay one credit for the match.
Yeah, I like the ladder rank but since this competition is only for those who opt-in so to speak you should maybe draw some inspiration from boxing events. You can challenge someone ahead of you but only if that team does not have another challenge for the next week.
Also the team being challenged should be allowed to choose among challengers but still be given some limits – choose between top 10 closest challengers but cannot avoid a persistent high ranked challenger forever.
You should also have lots of trophies for country, continental, global etc.
I think ELO based is better. Hattrick is a game that’s difficult to explain. Adding the term that you gain more points if you win against a stronger team than a weaker team is not that hard to understand in principle so it’s fine. The hardest part will be explaining that this counts only for ladder matches.
My friend and I developed a ranking coefficient that allows us to rank different teams across countries. We used this to put together our W16 End of Season challenge between the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and the Former Colonies (USA, Canada, Oceania, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica). You might be able to use that as a ranking structure for these ladder matches.
I’d be happy to discuss it with you via HT-mail, but I’d also like to pitch the “next level” idea that I also had at the same time.
Consider it a bit of a quid pro quo if you will. My name above is my HT username as well.
Look forward to hearing from you.
I’d prefer a variant of ELO that rewards participation. So that if you play a match, you are better off than a person who never plays. I’m not sure if such a system even exists now, but it could work something like this: Let’s say you get 8 points for winning a game with a player with the same ELO. In the usual system, the loser loses 8 points. In this modified system, in addition, each player would get a number of points, let’s say 5, just for playing. That way, losing to a much higher-ranked player would actually increase your score, but losing to a similar ranked player would still lower it. And I guess if you adopted this system, you’d have to limit the number of matches a team can play in a week.
I definitely think an ELO based system is better. It accounts the strenght of your team based on the strenght of the teams you play against.
Well, that’s a real good move, asking for our opinion.
In this case I would prefer an ELO based system.
Either is fine, really.
May I ask if the new staff system is on the road map for 2013? 😉
The worst thing I feel about an ELO system is that you could beat someone above you in a match and still not go above them in the ladder. That definitely does not “accounts the strenght of your team based on the strenght of the teams you play against.” to quote someone above.
And we have all these wonderful ideas on how to incorporate various things into this ELO type ranking, such as ensuring those who actually play (even if they lose) are still ranked higher than those who don’t). Whereas a simple ladder would easily incorporate this as you’d automatically move above those who don’t play.
I honestly think simple is the way to go with this. Why make it more complicated than necessary? And why would anyone want to pay some credits to play someone if they might not even go above them in the ladder if they get their hard earned win? It makes no sense that way. That’s how it feels to me anyway.
What about a better way to control the staff ? same problems years after years , after years in HT-México, and zero changes on the mods staff
countrys like El Salvador, are on strike, and all the comunity its out of the forum
when would you come up with this ?
And i would second Broughy1322 here that there would be no need to make it any more complicated than necessary.
We are considering single match tournaments in our fed alrdy.
Quite interesting if there would be a prefab grid provided by HT.
It’s coming on quite, still some development left to be done though. As for what system we’ll use, I choose simplicity and we’ll go for the traditional ladder rank. It’s more simplistic, it’s easier to explain and there’s more of an one-on-one atmosphere around it which I like. Perhaps we’ll make a ranking based alternative later on, but the default one will be ladder rank for now.
Hey Tjecken !
You didn’t specify the main goals for this development.
Do you want to further bother people with ranks and stuff ? Then follow that path: explain a newcomer he’s #50k in the competition and, as a result, he’ll face current cup winner in Round 1 !
Do you want to attract users in this ? Then forget about any rule in pairing teams. That’s the beauty of blind draws … new talents can rise.
BTW … i’m not gonna hold my peace !
I want there to be an option for users to join more competitions generally speaking, and this provides (albeit you need to pay) good alternative competitions for all users on all levels. It’s nothing that’s meant to take any current competition’s (series/cup) role or that they will not be developed, but serve as an option for those who want to participate. I think it will be great fun.
ELO system was used for a long time in League of Legends but now until they lately changed it to Ladder system with every 3 winning you will promote to the higher rank until you reach a highest Rank in the ladder.
That idea HT can use better then using ELO system the ladder system idea is more suitable and harder .. as we all know HT engine sometimes go random.
ELO For a team will keep going up and down, and you know i used to hate this system “ELO” for many reasons one of it is ELO can’t 100 % put your team and your tactics and everything else in the right ELO rate.
Let us take an example a simple one
Team A have 3 Main injured players and Team B have no Injured
We all know who will win.
its Team B
in ELO system He will Drop alot but in Ladder System he got 2 wins he lost one 2-1 = 1
I really hope that in the future you will not concentrate too much on micropayments. I guess there are users and users. I am one of those that will pay a monthly fee (like the HT Supporter) as long as it gives me some benefits without any sort of limit based on how much I’ve spent.
When it comes to paying 2 credits for each game I want to play I end up not spending any cent and not playing any game. And I know that with supporter I only get 1 extra game per week (on monday) and I could as well limit myself to only spending 2 credits per week for ladder games but it’s just not the same when some spend 20 credits per week, some spend 2 and some don’t spend any at all.
PS: I know how micropayments are good for you as a company and I don’t blame you for trying to make some extra honest income. All I hope is that you won’t get carried away with this kind of income and remember that the core of your paying customers are used to a monthly fee only.
Pro ladder rank.
Think it`s easier to understand.
Having read the opinions already posted, it seems most of the discussion is around whether the ladder system should be based on chess-style ELO ratings or some sort of system where beating another team means that your side gets inserted above theirs on the ladder.
One major issue that I see with an ELO system in Hattrick is that teams can change, quite dramatically, quite quickly, because of the ability you have to purchase players via the transfer market. I might sell all my top players for lots of cash, lose a bunch of single matches and have a poor ELO rating – then spend all that money to get an amazing team which no longer reflects the rating I have. This works in reverse as well – perhaps I have an amazing team, but due to wages I am forced to sell players and my side is no longer as good as is reflected in the rating.
Or perhaps even more deviously: I might deliberately lose a few ladder matches at the start so that my ELO rating goes down – specifically so that when I decide that I want to ‘start winning’, I do more ‘damage’ to the rating of top ranked teams.
Other games where ELO systems are used, the ELO rating reflects the skill of the player. They do not have this sort of player transfer system which can be used as a ‘skill substitute’.
All that said, I think the “ladder insertion” method also has two large weaknesses: the first is that the home side in Hattrick usually has an advantage; the second weakness is that by its nature, Hattrick has a fairly large Random Factor: the better team does not always win. The Random Factor gets ameliorated over time with statistics as you play more matches (which is the best aspect of the ELO system) but as noted above, an ELO rating can be earned with a player list that then gets sold / replaced and therefore the ELO rating does not actually accurately reflect the team’s strength.
So: I do not think the “ladder insertion” method is a good one, but a chess-style ELO rating won’t work for Hattrick.
however, I think that we can design a rating system which
Things which I think need to part of a Hattrick ladder rating system for it to work:
1. The system should encourage teams to play ladder matches regularly to maintain their rating
This is probably most easily achieved by some sort of automatic rating ‘deflation’ each week or month.
Another factor which will assist this is awarding some ranking points for simply playing a ladder match, even if your side does not win.
* Without ratings slowly dropping automatically over time, teams with good ratings have an incentive not to play, as each match they risk having a Random Factor loss already.
So This risk needs to be balanced by a ‘push’ factor to ensure the team keeps playing.
* if there is a need for teams to keep playing regularly, then this means that ratings will better accurately reflect the team’s current status.
these factors are picked up in the way world tennis rankings are calculated: tenis players can only count “ranking points” won in the past year. No matches = no ranking.
perhaps the hattrick ladder system would only count ranking points won during the past season or two, with greater weight being given to the most recent results.
2. The system should award ranking points based on the relative skill levels in the team’s SQUADS.
* hattrick already keep statistics of “best 11” TSI, team wages etc. it would be relatively easy to use some or all of this data as a factor in calculating how many ranking points the winner gets.
* If the calculation is based on the skill in the side which actually plays during the ladder match, teams are against a club much stronger than them have an incentive to field a bad team so that their opponents don’t get many rating points. Systems which encourage ‘throwing’ matches are never fun.
I don’t know what the ideal formula is, but I certainly think that some function of the TSI and wages of the squad’s “best 11” – excluding injured players – are probably the best measures to form the basis for calculating how many points go to the winner/both teams if it’s a draw.
3. There needs to be some factor to reflect manager skill.
My idea in this area would be that the number of rating points awarded increases if the manager you have played against has a ‘strong record’ – however that gets determined…
Win percentage is not a bad one measure, even though there is a heavy overlap between this and the strength of the squad. But where manager skill seems to be most relevant is when a side wins close games, or games where the side is outclassed.
Unfortunately, my experience is that the random factor in Hattrick somewhat dominates manager skill in tight games.
However, what is not easy to ‘fudge’ is team’s records over time in winning league titles, promotion, cup achievement, hattrick masters, etc.
So clubs which have typically been more successful throughout their history – especially in more important games (late round cup games, promotion qualifiers and ) should have a larger ranking point award if you manage to win or draw against them.
This also will help to somewhat ‘even out’ the difference that club age makes – older clubs will generally have enjoyed more success, simply because they have been playing the game for longer.
Winning away is harder than winning at home – so winning or drawing away should award more points than winning or drawing at home.
teams should know (roughly) how many rating points they stand to gain/lose if they win/draw/lose against a side they are considering challenging (or accepting a challenge against).
sorry for the very long post 🙂 but hopefully there are some good ideas in there.
I maybe a bit late but these are my opinions…
Not much can be done once the devs decided on Traditional ladder…
Even so, we could have both side by side… What I mean is
The Ladder standings would be based on Traditional ladder (Winner displaces higher ranked & Loser get displaced by winner).
Let there be a “tiny area” which says the current ELO rating of each team.
The ELO numbers are JUST FOR SHOW & DOES NOT play any part in the rankings.
But it would provide insights on how strong a team really is…
Especially useful when players want to challenge someone, they get a general Idea on how strong that team was the previous week 😉
Another Idea from me is…
A Challenger can only challenge fixed levels(say 5) above his ranking.
But If he wins that match, the next week he can challenge (Base + 1) levels(6 now) above him.
If he wins again, he can challenge higher levels (7 levels above)
and so on
But when he loses a week, it returns to base 5 levels and next week he can challenge only 5 levels above.
This system would reduce absurd challenges from pretty low level teams.
Also reduces Lucky wins that can be got.
1 more minor Idea is all the matches be held in a neutral country (yup country.. different from both teams participating)
This would reduce the home team advantage.
Earnings can be split 50-50 or whatever >_>
Hope I made it in time & give me your comments on it