FAF League Invitational Series

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Ahhh, I thought you meant that nexus was throwing games and bullshitting on tournament games like Petric does.

Also, you and nexus are too good, we need to say you win by build order whoring to save face otherwise it makes us feel bad 😞

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As said earlier, if I wanted to “invite the best players” I’d be inviting 14 of the 16 slots. Then if I wanted a competitive tournament between these “best players” I wouldn’t even be doing a 16 player tournament but more like a 5 or 6 player tournament at max, some would say I should lower it even further. If you want this pure, brutal concentration focused entirely on the top tier of FAF that could win 1st, at least argue for the proper tournament for it. The fact you aren’t already shows this isn’t some pure skill based shit but that there are other elements to major events like LotS BEYOND this skill calculus.

I’ve no interest in inviting just 2 or 4 people from the league tournaments.

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@Sinforosa said in FAF League Invitational Series:

From reading this post and the big discussion on the FAF discord you seem to think getting experience versus the top players to improve is something people want. Not everyone plays the game only to improve and tryhard to be the absolute best. (...)

I have nothing against such people and I think there should be some sort of tourneys for them eg. The League Invitational Series.

That being said I don't see why the league tourneys need to be tied to world championship invites. Even if I play in all the league tourneys and win it is very unlikely I would choose to participate in LotS unless I accidentally improve to the level of a pro player.

Exactly this, if those players don't want to tryhard, improve and try to be the best then there is 0 zero reason to tie this League Series to LoTS

I think the balance between awarding achievement and activity is fine because there are Swkoll's invitational tourneys and still LotS invites for top players and other random tourneys which crop up occasionally to reward the best, most tryhard players with money. The ladder league tourneys exist to reward the other people who aren't sickened by the idea of "having to play" 10 hours of ladder a month for only $100. It is good to divide the prize money up between different players and type of players instead of giving it all to the very best. (...)

I agree.

@FtXCommando said in FAF League Invitational Series:

It’s tied to LotS because points for a major tournament is about the only way you can incentivize a round-robin format to actually be played out. LotS and the seasonal invitationals are the only tournaments that could be considered major for FAF.

This is a bad solution to an unnecessary problem. Ask players that actually participate in the league series what kind of format they think would best suit such a tourney, eg. for many I would imagine 7 BO3 over 2 days that kill the whole weekend might be a bit much (eg. for Tex). Maybe it would be better to use a different format that results in less series over all.

There is the option to create a 2nd tournament for ladder invitationals that functions as their version of LotS, however, I do not have the funds to support two different large tournaments. This is going to come down to two relatively minor prizepools or me favoring one over the other. And if it comes down to it, I would favor the one focused on player activity because I see it as more important for the long term health of high level FAF. And then when new LotS has a prize of $500 or $600 total, suddenly the “old inactive pro side” of FAF won’t really bother playing it because of the low prize and now it’s back to basically having an activity based version of LotS. So, the two isolated tournaments idea had to be thrown out unless I get more funds.

I think that you should just leave the League Invitational series as it is more or less and have it be it's own thing about Ladder.

Maybe the solution is doing a point system based on both activity and tournament performance, maybe I need to remove qualifiers entirely if I do it that way. I’ll look into it.

If you look back on previous LoTS and major 1vs1 tournies it's mostly the same 10-12 or so people playing over and over with 4-6 different ones rotating between tourney so why not just give out invites based on tourney performance for 8-10 slots and divide the rest between qualifiers 4 - 6 spots and things based on activity eg. 2 - 4 spots for ladder league.

Also about the "only 5 high level dudes play ladder" stuff. Yeah, I know? That's literally what I want to move away from? Some high level dudes say ladder is pointless because no one plays as there is no point to play. Some say ladder is cringe and not fun. Some just don't want to play FAF unless they're paid.

You don't incentivize the best people to play ladder by forcing it down their throats with a system that's biassed against them where instead of playing a few games they need to spam them.

The first is what I want to solve here, the second I investigate to improve ladder, and the third I don't really have any sympathy or care for.

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@FtXCommando said in FAF League Invitational Series:

As said earlier, if I wanted to “invite the best players” I’d be inviting 14 of the 16 slots. Then if I wanted a competitive tournament between these “best players” I wouldn’t even be doing a 16 player tournament but more like a 5 or 6 player tournament at max, some would say I should lower it even further. If you want this pure, brutal concentration focused entirely on the top tier of FAF that could win 1st, at least argue for the proper tournament for it. The fact you aren’t already shows this isn’t some pure skill based shit but that there are other elements to major events like LotS BEYOND this skill calculus.

I don't understand why do you need this to be so black and white. LoTS is primarily about best players competing between each other but it also allows others a bit lower to compete as well, they don't have a realistic chance to get top 4 but just getting out of group stage is an achievement. It also creates a lot more games for streams and casts to cover as well as reaching out to a bigger part of a community.

I’ve no interest in inviting just 2 or 4 people from the league tournaments.

I think there should be a balance between the Invites and other types of qualification and for a tournament as LoTS I don't think you should be required to play ladder or be the absolute best and get invited. In my opinion splitting the remaining spots between ladder league and a qualifier is the friendliest solution to players. What if you are a good player eg. Blodir or Turin so in top 16 but you haven't been as active in the past year nor are you in the very top to get invited straight away, if you don't host a qualifier how are they supposed to get into LoTS? How are players that play seasonally and mostly custom 1vs1 a lesser asset to the community or create worse matches for the viewers then people that spam ladder and thus should not be able to participate at all or have a smaller chance at doing so even if they are arguably better players?

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I like the idea that FTX has, with trying to bring focus to ladder as well as rewarding ladder players a little bit. I also like incorporating it into the LOTS system. I just think there is some polish that needs to be applied to the idea to make it really work well. The problem is, as always, we are talking about a system for only 10-20 people worldwide, its bound to have a lot of conflicting ideas on what's right. I would post a suggestion, but at the moment I can't think of anything that seems fair for everyone. I just wanted to voice support for the concept, and say it might benefit from some small adjustments.

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I likely plan on including a point system for tournament placement alongside the system for ladder activity, meaning that both award players invites for LotS assuming they score higher than others. Definitely don’t plan on removing ladder activity as consideration in LotS.

I also don’t understand your position, Tagada. You constantly state that the point of including people that have no chance of winning is to get them to improve to the top level by having them play the top. Now who is more likely to improve, the 2k with the time to invest into actively playing/analyzing everyday or the 2.1k that plays about 2 times a month? If you want to optimize improvement, you should be all for accounting for activity or maybe some system where individuals with the largest difference in rating over the year in 1800+ get rewarded. Definitely not what we have now.

If someone is so inactive they neither play tournaments nor ladder that year to qualify, I see no reason whatsoever to invite them for that year’s championship. Their resume speaks for past years not this one. I don’t really mind hosting a few qualifiers either, but it’s also possible to just get rid of qualifiers and instead host micro-tournaments during the last few months of the year that count for LotS points. That would functionally be fairly equivalent to qualifiers.

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A compromise might be to seed in the top 4 players from my Invitational Points system after the Fall Invitational (currently, nexus, petric, tagada, blackheart) as top seed in each group. Then fill the next 8 slots with ladder invitational slots and hold one qualifier to fill the last 4 + subs.

This allows the very top players to be invited based on high level tournament performance, and playing the ladder invitationals is heavily incentivized and there are still some open slots for random people to join in.

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@FtXCommando said in FAF League Invitational Series:

I likely plan on including a point system for tournament placement alongside the system for ladder activity, meaning that both award players invites for LotS assuming they score higher than others. Definitely don’t plan on removing ladder activity as consideration in LotS.

Good to hear.

I also don’t understand your position, Tagada. You constantly state that the point of including people that have no chance of winning is to get them to improve to the top level by having them play the top. Now who is more likely to improve, the 2k with the time to invest into actively playing/analyzing everyday or the 2.1k that plays about 2 times a month? If you want to optimize improvement, you should be all for accounting for activity or maybe some system where individuals with the largest difference in rating over the year in 1800+ get rewarded. Definitely not what we have now.

True, I think I overreacted to Thomas's post and he is possibly the only one in the ladder league that doesn't care much and doesn't want to improve while the rest see the Ladder league and LoTS invites as a way to challenge the best and improve.

If someone is so inactive they neither play tournaments nor ladder that year to qualify, I see no reason whatsoever to invite them for that year’s championship. Their resume speaks for past years not this one. I don’t really mind hosting a few qualifiers either, but it’s also possible to just get rid of qualifiers and instead host micro-tournaments during the last few months of the year that count for LotS points. That would functionally be fairly equivalent to qualifiers.

After consideration I must agree and I like the micro-tournaments idea serving as qualifiers allowing very good players that haven't been invited nor played ladder to secure a spot.

Again I would like to state that I have nothing against Ladder League series as an idea nor as a tournament catering to ladder players, I just want to make sure that the biggest event - LoTS won't be harmed because of it. And as was the first and second draft for it (first 10, then 8 slots reserverd for Ladder League) it didn't really feel right nor fair for some of the players. After all while ladder is competitive 1vs1 the level sharply ends at around 2.2k - 2.3k. It's sad and unfortunate that this is the case but I don't think that such drastic measures as forcing best players to either spam ladder games for league tourneys they don't want to participate in or gamble a bit in a qualifier with few slots just to get into LoTS.
After all I think we all want the same thing which is a competitive LoTS that also allow some newer active players in while not forcing veterans out or making it hard for them just to qualify.

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@Tagada said in FAF League Invitational Series:

On another note I am really amazed at this stance where people talk about eg. Me or Nexus as we would only win because of our BO's and spend insane amounts of time on them while that's absolute bullshit.

I did say that the pro players are way better than everyone at the game. I just said that on top of that they also prepare build orders, have 20 UI mods, and bind every hotkey in the game. You can undoubtedly beat me without those things. Since you also have all those things and can perform every action quicker and more efficiently than me it just does not sound fun or interesting to play against you.

@Tagada said in FAF League Invitational Series:

True, I think I overreacted to Thomas's post and he is possibly the only one in the ladder league that doesn't care much and doesn't want to improve while the rest see the Ladder league and LoTS invites as a way to challenge the best and improve.

Unless I have seriously misjudged the players in the ladder league I do not think any of us are looking to launch our professional FAF careers anytime soon. Esperanto is playing for the money and Aurico is an upcoming player, but the rest are all very old players that had plenty of time to improve and play the top players. We aren't going to suddenly improve and become competitive if we get thrown into the ring with you and nexus. I estimate that 50% of people in the league probably will not participate in the round-robin tourney each month because they don't care and just like playing ladder.

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Completely hypothetical scenario: old pro refinds motivation for faf 2 months before lots. He starts practicing and week 1 he gets mediocre result in tourny. End of month 1 hits #1 in ladder. End of month #2 hits 2500 ladder. Tough luck bud not enough league points, some 1900 ladder guy with less than 1% win probability vs 2500 gets in instead.

Like I get it, this long term points stuff works pretty well in sc2 since the top players play it professionally. But we ain't professional here. God forbid we want to play some other games every now and then after 8 years of faf.

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I do not really like the direction FAF is going with all these metagames and psychological tricks to get people to spend more time playing (League System, Division System, elaborate year-long point systems). This is the type of stuff commercially oriented games do because they need people to play their game over other games and need them to be wrapped up in it so they can make money. FAF does not need to make money or compete with other games, so there is no need to treat players like a resource. Growing the player count and hours spent are not logical goals and are just weird cultish behavior. Giving players point rewards, monetary rewards, and division upgrades for playing X amount of games and restricting tourney access to players who played X days of the year are just manipulative tricks to get people to play the game beyond the amount they would naturally find fun and interesting. If people have more fun playing other games or think their time is better spent elsewhere, then just let them go and do that instead of punishing them for it. The goal of FAF should be to allow people to play Forged Alliance and to improve the game itself, not to force people to play or trick them into spending more time playing.

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@Sinforosa Yes faf doesn't have commercial motives to increase and retain its player base. But it has a motive to increase its playerbase just for its own survival. Players will constantly leave, that's just how games are. In order to maintain a large enough playerbase you have to work on increasing your influx of players, retainting that new players, and keeping as many old players as possible from leaving FAF. You will not prevent them from leaving eventually, you can just delay it but that is already helping. The question is how much can you push your old playerbase into being active before they start leaving because of your pushing.

For a game to be successful nowadays it needs to meet basic quality requirenments which are suprisingly low. Marketing/community interaction is unfortunately the more important aspect in game development.

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@Blodir said in FAF League Invitational Series:

Completely hypothetical scenario: old pro refinds motivation for faf 2 months before lots. He starts practicing and week 1 he gets mediocre result in tourny. End of month 1 hits #1 in ladder. End of month #2 hits 2500 ladder. Tough luck bud not enough league points, some 1900 ladder guy with less than 1% win probability vs 2500 gets in instead.

Like I get it, this long term points stuff works pretty well in sc2 since the top players play it professionally. But we ain't professional here. God forbid we want to play some other games every now and then after 8 years of faf.

You can feel free to play other games, but like most things that carries an opportunity cost. I reward the people that play FAF not other games and I don’t really understand why you would try to get me to empathize with people that coincidentally get a FAF spiritual reawakening a month before the big tournament.

And yes, I do value the 1900 that has been actively trying to place well in the year’s major events and has been actively playing ladder more than the marginally improved LotS quality the guy that has a FAF career that consists of a dozen 1v1 games before LotS but is 2500. One has the potential for growth, the other doesn’t.

The 2500 is free to play in the invitationals or ladder series and secure an invite through a top position.

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Well, we all know that there is significant burnout in the rating bracket of 2100 and above. People like Blodir and Tagada can't exactly stop in for their weekly ladder games the same way a 1900 can. Games are more mentally taxing, and your laddering partners are usually the same 2-3 guys. Unless you can convince the entire (10 or so) 2100+ crowd to come back and start laddering all at once, It will be a little difficult for them to just 'hop' back into ladder.

But this is the same problem we have had for like, 10 years. Once in a while, an inactive player around 2.2-2.3k will 'come back', ladder for a few weeks, then get bored and leave after winning 90% of their games for the past week against the same 2 guys.

Granted, this system is an attempt to fix that problem, but there should be a way to differentiate players such as Blodir/Tagada/Turbo/Nexus, who are very inactive in ladder but still play customs and TMM now and then, vs the blackheart petric group, who only come back to play in tournaments.

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The differentiation is giving points for major tournament performances that I outlined in the LotS thread.

Custom games are casual games and tmm is too new to be given any infrastructure around it, but it isn’t relevant for 1v1 anyway. If your casual games do not result in any productive returns in tournament performance, I have no reason to give it consideration.

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I agree with Ftx here, if you are 2.3k+ and you come back from your breaks you can still secure good spots in the Invitationals ( 5th-8th at least) and other smaller tourneys.

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Tex pointed out one of the biggest issues with high level activity on faf - there just isn't a critical mass of 2.1k+ high level players where players can "hop in" and play ladder.

What that means is the barrier to playing ladder effectively becomes much higher, as you basically have to hope that one of the few people you can match with is online and playing ladder. Sometimes the windows when people are playing ladder just line up, and you get a ton of decent ladder games (Tagada/Blodir a year go, Mozy/Thomas a while ago, Swkoll/Tex now). However, that isn't always going to be the case, and it's very demotivating when your ladder buddy isn't playing when you want to play (for me personally, there's quite a vicious cycle as playing less makes me want to play less). The issue is the way ladder works right now is that most people in the 2.1k+ range have very, very few people that they can realistically match up with: their opponent must be 2k+ rated, in a similar timezone, and actually active on ladder. You can probably count on one hand the number of people that fit those criteria for a given top player.

What is the solution to getting more high level ladder activity? Get more top players. This may sound facetious, but I am listing this as a solution because it is the best solution to the issue. If there is a critical mass of top level players, to the point where your top player could just drop in and play a ladder game, at least during the active timezones, it would really fix this issue. Of course, this is perhaps just a pipe dream, since even just getting more players ≠ getting more top players, really, we need a lot more players + the next bracket of players needs to get a lot better.

What is a more realistic solution to getting more high level ladder activity? Give an option for players to increase their search range, so that they can at least find a game if both parties are willing. I think being able to find a game at all, rather than literally being unable to find a game through matchmaking, is the most crucial part of the solution, and this is a fix that does exactly that.

Implement a checkmark that asks "Would you like to increase your search range? It will increase your chance of getting a game but also increase the chance of getting an unbalanced game." that the user can tick or untick. If you tick it, you get reduced search range (e.g. +/- 300, or whatever is reasonable), and if you untick it, the search range can increase so you can match with people 400 or 500 points away.

The rating system should be able to handle the "imbalanced" matchups that result (e.g. if I face a 1400 as a 1900 on ladder, I would have a 95% chance to win, but get like 2 points or something from winning, -14 from drawing, and -30 from losing), and players who don't want to use this option can just not tick the box, so I don't see any reason this shouldn't be implemented.

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What do the concerned player think about all this ? I feel like we hear a lot of suggestions from tagada/tex/ftx on this issue but not a lot from the 2k+ player you want to motivate into playing more ladder (yudi, turbo, bh , nexus, blodir ... etc).

As far as I know, all of them are still around : among the 20-25 top 2k+, only 5-6 are completly away from the game. All the others are seen regularly playing custom games, tmm ... etc.

If their answer is "there is no way you can make me play ladder again", all those talks about what to change to ladder feel pointless. On the opposite, if they point out few things that would motivate them to play ladder, well you have a clear direction.

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Nexus isn't motivated to play any try hard 1vs1, Turbo and Yudi play 1vs1 ocasionally when they feel like it, same for Blodir. BH said he is only really interested in tourneys but it seems like he is keen to play some show matches on the map gen maps especially the unexplored ones that he was pushing for.
It mostly comes down to motivation, if you have motivation to play and try hard but there are no opponents to play versus then you get demotivated. It's a viscous cycle where you need enough players with motivation to play at a given moment otherwise there won't be any games. You may say that it's players fault that they loose motivation so easily but the truth is that this game IS hard and going back to your desirable form takes a lot of time, effort and practice which is tiring. To give you an example after playing 2-3 1vs1 games of decent length I am mentally tired and I won't play more, sometimes for a couple of days.