Tournaments: Suggestions and Possibilities (in General)

[EG] Almuric October 4 2005 8:47 PM EDT

As many of you know, I've decided to tackle the job of writing code for tournaments. I've had a little bit of input and of course I have some opinions on how they should work, but I wanted to get input from the larger community.

First, I need to say I don't know how much free reign I have. What I come up with for my first proposal may not be something Jon'd want me to implement. It's his game and I'm not going to try to force him to let me do something he doesn't want.

Second, I have a life, so I'll probably only be working on this an hour or two a day, at most. I have no schedule. I'm not on a deadline. Although I do have customers (you guys), I'm not working to meet some particular project milestone. The code will be done when it's done. I'm somewhat easy-going, so I'll take some good-natured ribbing along the lines of, "Are you done yet?" But I reserve the right to ignore you. (That includes /ignore.)

Thirdly, I don't know the languages and APIs Jon is using, so this isn't going to go as quickly as most of you wish.

That all being said, let's get to the meat of the discussion. I used to play a lot of D&D. As such, I have some very specific ideas of how a tournament should play out.

Imagine you're an adventurer. You see fliers at your local pub about a big tournament in that big town over the mountain range. You pack your bags and go. When you get there, you sign up, then wait around until they post the brackets. You scout the competition. You sharpen your weapons. You upgrade your magic wands. You practice your spells and your aim.

Finally, they post the list. Your first opponent is 'Frimble-dink the Unholy'. You've never heard of him. You try to find out where he's staying. You hang out around his hostel. Finally, someone points him out to you. You see this massive guy with a giant maul slung over his shoulder. You start to second-guess this whole thing. You continue watching him and he... stumbles and falls head-first into a mud puddle. You realize he's all muscle and no quick. You hatch out your strategy while you head to the arena.

In order to have this play out, I envision a two-part tournament. First round is the qualifier, second round is the actual tournament. So, in CB terms, you enter the tourney, start your char under whatever rules and BA limit exist, and then at the end of the week, you have the character that you'll play in the second round. I don't envision all characters from the first round going to the second. Perhaps only the top 25-50%.

In the second round, you'd be in brackets. The computer would randomly pair you up or perhaps even seed you based on score or something. You'd have to fight your opponent a set number of times. Perhaps seven. He'd have to fight you the same amount. The winner of the most matches would move on the next round. The loser would be out or perhaps go to the loser's bracket in double-elimination. There'd have to be a time limit on each round. Over each week there are fourteen 12-hour periods. That'd be enough for pretty much any tourney (unless CB grows to tens of thousands of users) and would give anyone enough of an awake period that they should be able to get on. If they can't, they forfeit. (If both players don't fight, I don't know what happens. I'll figure it out.)

Anyway, the tournament would play out like any other. The winner would get some big prize. Second and third place would probably get some, too. It would/should be possible that while one second round is going on, the first round for the next tournament is already running. That way, there'll be a tournament every week.

Some notes:

No tournament character will ever become a regular character. I haven't asked Jon about this, but I'm certain that's going to be a rule.

One of the big problem with tourneys (and I believe Jon's main reason for not including them before now) is they generate too much revenue. There is an economic component to the game and too much influx from external sources would wreak havoc. So, I believe that the money and items your tourney characters generate will not transfer out of the tournament. Only the prizes come out.

I want the BA use of tourney characters to be separate from that of regular characters. In other words, you'll be able to play both your tourney character and your regular character at the same time. I'm afraid that this will create too much strain for the server, though. If everyone plays in all the tourneys, there will be almost twice as many fights per day as there are now. Again, I don't know how Jon feels about this.

Prize possibilities:
Money: Self-explanatory, I think.
Items: The winner could get a BoNE or Corn or somesuch. Again, self-explanatory.
BA: Now things get more interesting. Maybe the winner gets an allowance of an extra 1000 (more? less?) BA for his regular character.
Tourney items: Special items you can only get by winning a tourney. The possibilities here are boundless. We'll have to see what Jon lets me do.

I know that there are already people that are going to complain about not being able to transfer your money off your tourney char. But that's the beauty of separate BA. You don't have to give up working on your main character to participate in a tournament. You can do both.

I may (and this is a big if) be able to put in some wagering code. After the brackets are seeded, there might be an opportunity to do some betting, with the payouts coming from the losing bettors or the accumulated money of all the tourney characters. Ideally, this would be a wash, but there could be some fight-fixing and such going on which might occasionally cause excess money to enter the economy. I'll have to do some simulations to see how that might work out.

All right. That's a first draft of what I think. Now, what do you think? Like it? Don't like it? What would you like to see different? There are no FORS here, at least as far as I'm concerned. Sky's the limit. I'm not married to what I've written and if I see a good-enough suggestion, I'm more than willing to have my mind changed. It is, however, me doing the coding. So if the idea is uninteresting to me, it's unlikely to get done. Your job is to persuade me. Have at it.

BrandonLP October 4 2005 8:54 PM EDT

The BA separation makes perfect sense and I like it a lot. I also like the idea of tourny items/money having to stay on your tourny char.

So far, Al, I can't say that I don't like your ideas. =)

[Tranquility]-USDForger [Azn Forgesmith] October 4 2005 8:58 PM EDT

This is a great idea- Are you done yet?

[EG] Almuric October 4 2005 9:08 PM EDT

Also, private sent me an email. He mentioned that shop tourneys were very well thought of. The prize was basically being able to buy items from the people running the tournaments for cheap. The items were either donated or the spoils of banning or fining.

Perhaps some form of this could also be done. Again, too much money entering the economy is bad, but maybe you could buy items for cheap with your regular characters or maybe the BS could give you a discount. Or perhaps, you could get a one-time upgrade on your tattoo.

[T]Vestax October 4 2005 9:44 PM EDT

If we can truly have separate BA then I don't see the need for the full 10 BA refresh on our tourney characters. My ethical belief is that tournaments are for _everyone_ no matter how messed up their work or school schedule is. Besides, tournaments should be the one time everyone is on equal footing and the only thing that separates us is our strategic minds.

Therefore, I don't see why tourney characters can't have a set BA refresh that is much lower then usual (I'm thinking 5 BA every 10 minutes). This will lessen the load on the server just a bit and give the tournaments a different focus then what regular play offers.

BrandonLP October 4 2005 9:46 PM EDT

From the sounds of it, Al was going to allocate a certain amount of BA and that's that. I could've read it wrong though.

Icewindvz October 4 2005 10:02 PM EDT

Ahaha it's seems like you try to create something that is not CB2, I mean why not just use CB2 platform and do some add on like: Tournament (T)

***Rare Items can only been bought by T character:
Stronger Weapons, Armors, or even Tattoo

***Skill can only be learned by T character:
Don't even have to be anything special or all new maybe a T skill like:
Great Fireball -> does damage more then regular

***One or Two months or even weeks limit T time. And a special form in Wiki that keep track the top ten players. (And of course extra reward which you already mentioned)

Last, after Tournament ends I think it's better to let tournament character become a regular character. So people can get those new item and skill.
Note: After you Tournament character become a regular character, and if you have untrained your T only skill, then you are not longer be able to learned it again.

1) Retried Tournament Character with low MPR able to defeat High MPR Regular character.
2) Encourage people to join the Tournament. Since you never waste you time.
3) So finally we can use Tournament to replace the unfair NUB. That given people just extra reward without putting any extra work.

Last part is bit personal; it seems there is anger in you form, I know people like me are not your customers. Therefore we have no right to ask you to spend YOUR free time to work on something that you don't like or want.

But then don't it, this is Jon's game; I don't believe Jon let you manage part of CB2 game just to drive people away.

CB2 is a great game that gives a player great gaming and social experience, and the ideal of Tournament is to make the CB2 a better game then it already is.

Please try to think it's an honor that Jon entrust you with his game, not some extra work you have to do. And if you don't even have the heart to make this game better, please just quit.

Best wish

[EG] Almuric October 4 2005 10:08 PM EDT

Icewind, I realize that English is not your primary language. You have completely misunderstood what I said about "Don't ask me when it's done."

Also, a tournament character will never become a regular character. And we're not going to code special abilities into tournament characters. They'll be the same as regular characters. Except... in a... tournament.

RIPsalt3d October 4 2005 10:50 PM EDT

If tournaments are separate from the main game in economic terms, that fact should be taken advantage of. To do so, I would suggest the following:

1) A separate store for tournament characters, full of rares.

2) An experience (and cash?) multiplier. For the uninitiated, tournament characters earned double the 'normal' rewards. Being able to change this from 2x to 3x, 20x, or 100x(!) would make for some interesting tournaments.

I'm not convinced about separate BA, though. That would remove any meaningful choice from whether to sign up for the tournament.

RIPsalt3d October 4 2005 10:54 PM EDT

Err, that should read:

For the uninitiated, tournament characters earned double the 'normal' rewards in CB1.

Lumpy Koala October 4 2005 11:20 PM EDT

well, comment to Vestax's idea, if it's a tournament, i guess it's only fit that only players with the most effort invested should win it. So instead of reducing BA generation rate, I was thinking of increasing it more :P

All in all, i like Al's suggestions. And yes I think Jon most probably wont agree with the separate BA thing :P He's always very caution on server load hehe unless you donate him a more bottom-kicking system.

[T]Vestax October 4 2005 11:25 PM EDT

If you want it that way NK then why don't you just declare me the winner already. :P

Lumpy Koala October 4 2005 11:31 PM EDT

hehe no problem, I don't have time to play anyway :P

AdminJonathan October 4 2005 11:35 PM EDT

I'm okay with giving separate BA a try. I'm not convinced it's The Best Way to go, but it's worth a try.

QBRanger October 4 2005 11:42 PM EDT

If it matters at all, I do like the idea of separate BA.

Makes tournaments sort of like a minigame within the real game.

I would like to see the prizes be something that cannot be bought with USD, like extra xp for a day or double BA for the day, etc...

Something that would really make tournament wins quite valuable.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 5 2005 12:11 AM EDT

How about a Glyph?

A temporary bonus to XP, say a week, represented by a symbol before your minions names in the fight line up page. Glory, Honor, and no extra money.

Stephen Young October 5 2005 5:49 AM EDT

salt3d read my mind. If the tournaments will have a separate economic system, a special "Rare" store could exist for tourney characters. All of those rares would be deleted at the end of the tourney anyway, and this could allow people to try out different strategies using bonus-yielding items.

Some item stat pages might need editing to separate the tourney rares from regular ones.

Will [Retired] October 5 2005 6:31 AM EDT

The normal CB game is economic, if we don't want the tourneys and the normal to mix, then why don't we make the tournaments non-economic?

This would mean free healing etc. and weapons could be bought from the store with experience earned. Upgrades to weapons and armour would also be bought with experience on the same scale that money in normal CB gives you PR, the PR increase from upgrading the item would come directly from exp. You would be training your weapons, think of it as time spent 'sharpening' you weapon or buffing your armour...

Heavy October 5 2005 7:17 AM EDT

This reminds of cb1 :D
I believe I was the one who proposed double rewards in tourney and the idea got accepted.

The idea behind was to make tourneys more active.
With bigger rewards ,it is easier and faster to get your tourney char bigger so that you can try different strategies.
I don't have a problem with non or just normal cash rewards.
What I do hope is that the bonus exp reward is still there.

When I first joined cb1 tourney it was kinda "boring" without the bonus rewards , the char is growing kinda slow. Not every one can/will aim for the top. Something was needed to "encourage" normal players to join tourneys. Even if you know that you can't be the winner.
That is why i proposed the double rewards idea ;)

Sukotto [lookingglas] October 5 2005 10:05 AM EDT

A few brainstorming ideas (some of which will probably be silly):
TM == "tourney master" i.e. The person running a particular Tourney.

And that's all I can think of, off the top of my head.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] October 5 2005 11:46 AM EDT

i wanted to second, and elaborate on, sukotto's first suggestion tourney characters a set amount of xp to start with.

i think this would add some really interesting aspects over cb1 tourneys. being able to jump everyone up to very high levels to see how well their strategies do over time is just one of them.

as i was thinking about this, it would actually be quite nice for tournaments if the tm had basically a tourney wizard he could use to set up the tourneys. the variables could be xp given at start, free weapon, free armor, starting cash, ba for tourney, ba refresh rate, cash awards, xp awards, and perhaps even spells trainable, spell types trainable and skills as well. it would certainly then make it less likely that someone could cheat as well as the policing would be unnecessary.

{CB3}-HR22 October 5 2005 3:10 PM EDT

I also like the seperate BA idea, but could we have like 15 BA per 10min on our tourney char, to speed things up? IF we did get seperate BA then you would need to be on CB longer + you wouldn't be able to transfer your cash over once your done, so its kind of a personal preferance.

I think the prizes should be items rather than cash. I also like the store idea as long as the prices were much under market value, and you could make a profit.

Also, it is a must to have no coming transfers between your tourney character and your others. If you could transfer what would be the point i would just send my stuff to the tourney character, use it, then send it back. This would just make it whoever had the most money invested into there character have a huge advantage, and im sure thats not what you wanted to do.

BrandonLP October 5 2005 3:12 PM EDT

I don't like BA regen on a tourny char. I would rather see a set amount per day or set amount per tourny.

[SoM]CupofJoe [Peoples Bank of Carnage] October 5 2005 3:20 PM EDT

I agree with Brandon. I like the set BA per day principle. It truly allows everyone working or not to see what strategy is best.

We already have a tournament that tells us who clicks the most.

We're all playing it now.

As far as the round robbin bracket approach to tournaments. I don't think that is a good idea.

I look at CB as an intricate form of paper, rock scissors. Granted it's more complicated than that, but one strategy is almost assured to beat another different strategy which can beat another different one which can beat the first one. If you bracket the players the tournament will be strictly by luck of the draw. I could see how highest score or PR overall could work. That's all I will say for now.

I really do appreciate you throwing this together Al !!!

My hat's off to you :)

Tezmac October 5 2005 3:28 PM EDT

I always thought it would have been kinda neat to have a tourney where everyone started with a few mil EXP and 1M CB and from there on out they could choose how many minions they wanted, how to allocate the given exp and how to spend their money on equipment, or not spend money on equipment and have a set exp/CB ratio for which they could buy more exp. Once everyone has a character setup it would then be like the NCAA basketball tourney and a bracket would be created at random and winners would move on after a set number of battles against their given opponent. More exp or money could be allocated after every round so you could develop your strat as the tourney went on. I dunno, just thought this would always been kinda neat. Probably a pain to code :O)

QBsutekh137 October 5 2005 4:00 PM EDT

A "sandbox"! Spectacular idea!

Grim Reaper October 5 2005 11:02 PM EDT

Ok I got 2 questions:
1:How many tourney characters can be created for same tourney and if they can be all made and used then:
2: If you have separate ba for normal and tourney characters, does this mean that every tourny character made will share that tourny ba or will they all end up using their own ba generated.

If they each generate their own then what will happen is a player might make 4 tourny characters and play all of them while playing normal character.

IndependenZ October 6 2005 11:09 AM EDT

I love the sandbox idea as well, and about those multiple tourney chars WAB is talking about:
I assume you can only have one char active in a tournament at the same time.

chappy [Soup Ream] October 20 2005 1:17 PM EDT

Curious since [EG] Almuric is going to be MIA for a while (not sure how long) is anybody working on this?

Relic October 20 2005 1:55 PM EDT

Nope :)

[EG] Almuric October 20 2005 2:10 PM EDT

Yeah, sorry, but I won't be working on this for the near future. Perhaps after the new year I'll be back. We'll have to see.

miteke [Superheros] October 20 2005 4:45 PM EDT

I think you could dispose of BAs altogether. Here is my suggestion:

Phase 0 - Players register their tourney character and get a fixed amount of funny money.

Phase 1 - A massive tourney auction is launched with a pool of items to bid on.

Phase 3 - Players buy upgrades via the blacksmith.

Phase 4 - Excess cash is converted into experience at a fixed rate.

Phase 5 - Players recruit their teams and train them.

Phase 6 - Round 1 of the tourney is run. Each character is put in one battle against each other character. The characters with the top 25% win percentages are advanced to round 2.

Phase 7 - Perhaps give the winners more experience/cash and hold another auction round.

Phase 8 - Run semi finals same as previous battles. Top 16 players advance to the finals.

Phase 9 - Set up single elimination fight schedule, matching top character with lowest character and moving towards the middle.

Phase 10 - Perhaps give the winners more experience/cash and hold another auction round. Definitely allow chars to retrain based on their matchups.

Phase 11 - Hold a nice slow tourney period of 4 days, one round per day. Do a best of 7 match and run each match at different times during the day. Perhaps allow betting.

Phase 12 - Give winners in-game rewards. I really like the idea of tourney unique rewards.

The tourney should have a cost to enter but I have no idea how to make that fair. Possible costs: USD to Jon, BA generation decrease (you make 2 less BAs per period), CB2$. Of course there is an inherent cost in the time it will take to manage your tourney team and that might be enough.

For all fights allow all players to somehow view the fight results in a public viewing area (the arena).

miteke [Superheros] October 21 2005 9:56 AM EDT

I'd like to make a couple of modifications to my suggestion:

Phases 3,4,5 could be combined since all involve the expenditure of money. The blacksmith should not take any time - perhaps call it a swap shop instead implying a trade instead of smith job. I'd say just skip the blacksmith and make sure reasonable items are in the auction (no +0 corns for instance).

Phase 6, 8, 11 - Since there will be n*(n-1)/2 battles in the first round, it may not be a good idea to store all the battle results. Instead set aside a number of arena rooms and schedule the battles. Folks can visit the arena, choose one of the the featured battles, and view the battle results for the battle they attend. That way only a few battles are stored at any one time and it gives the feeling of real-time audience. If you are not seated in the arena at the right time you miss the fight, even if you are the owner! Healing is free and there are no fight rewards until the next phase.

Phase 7,10 - Minions may be recruited. Items may be sold in auction as well as bought. Minions may not be fired - that would be just plain stupid in this situation.

Any comments. My last post went unanswered!
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