Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

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sinewav
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Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by sinewav »

I have been waiting for the December Ladle to finish before bringing this up. Those of you who read my Fortress article on Tron Times (linked below) will be familiar with what I propose. And what I propose is this: we make changes to Ladle Fortress for 2014 and beyond.

My Tron Times article played around with a few ideas meant to improve Fortress for everyone. Some of them are not well thought-out and totally impractical like a player draft. Others are much more reasonable and probably beneficial like making teams 7v7. However, there is one idea in particular I think we need to adopt immediately -- the abolishment of seeding.

A seeded Ladle was proposed as early as Ladle 21 (spring 2009) and finally gained approval one year and a half later for L-38. There is a reason why it took that long to pass a vote: seeding had potential problems. Those problems have now surfaced and are not going away. I'll explain what the problem is after I recount how we got here for those who don't know.
  • The main reason for seeding has to do with the flow of Ladle from start to finish. By splitting up the top teams on opposite sides, the bracket would be more "balanced." The matches would get tougher and more intense as the final approached. The final itself would be a show of excellence in Fortress by the top teams. To some players it made perfect sense that the winning team should not face their opponent from the previous final in the opening round. Sometimes brackets were really that lopsided and likely victors were easy to predict. The lopsided brackets sometimes contributed to longer Ladles (though sometimes not). However, seeding was not a perfect solution.

    One plainly visible byproduct of seeding is that weaker teams will rarely get past the opening rounds because the chances of meeting a Ladle finalist or semi-finalist was higher. We all knew this to be true and decided it would be simple enough to change back to full randomization if it turned out that way. After all, we did have a fluid voting system in place to manage that type of thing. For the most part, seeding seemed to have little effect on the game at all. For the next two years after it was implemented Ladles had enough teams to warrant use of a 32-team bracket. Talent was widely diffuse and even though there were top a few top teams you never knew who would make it to the Finals. Some of those finals were very exciting and I think maybe that proved seeding was valuable, if only in a subtle way. But today's Fortress community is different.
Talent is no where near as diffuse as it was a couple years ago. There is no MegaFort pumping in new players. The new players are not mixing with old, nor are they getting the same level of exposure to develop the skills and thinking needed to compete with veteran players. Crazy Tronners is still a massive, talented clan. Like it or not, Redemption is the new Speeders. Rogue Tronners and Team Unknown are still solid. However, there is no KoD, no Twixted Xats, no Arrow, no mYm, no Revolver, and really, no Speeders/Speedhax either. What we are left with is some new players who are completely out of the loop, a handful of part-time vets (myself included), and a couple hugely stacked teams. What is the result of this?

The result is, Ladle finals are quite frankly, boring. Did anyone even notice the Ladle 76 predictions thread? Completely predictable up unil the semi finals. Had any of that wishful thinking for a final came to pass it would have been a slightly interesting Ladle. Even the finalists are so bored they can't be bothered to update the wiki after a victory (see attached below). How many here would rather watch a good quarter or semi final between two newer teams rather than see the same two dozen players in the finals every month? I know I would. But that's not the reason to abandon seeding because those top players are going to the finals anyway. The reason to abandon seeding is for the newer, weaker teams. By removing seeding there are greater opportunities for teams of the same skill level to meet each other. This is hugely important because it makes the Ladle more fun for everyone, regardless of who wins the final.

I want to have an old school vote on this (unless the feeling on seeding is shared and unanimous). I also want to open the discussion to other grievances in Ladle. Let us have some discourse about Ladle Fortress in 2014 and beyond. Let's make it better for everyone.

TL;DR
Seeding is bad for Ladle. It unfairly oppresses rookie teams and makes the tournament totally predictable. Let's ditch it.


Tron Times
Cracks in the Fortress: Part I
Cracks in the Fortress: Part II
Cracks in the Fortress: Part III
Cracks in the Fortress: Part IV
Attachments
There are Crazy Tronners, and then there are Lazy Tronners...
There are Crazy Tronners, and then there are Lazy Tronners...

epsy
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by epsy »

I'm not sure if this is something that can be implemented, but it is worth mentioning here. Double-elimination brackets would allow teams losing in the first round to have a chance to fight with each other, without the need of removing the partial seeding there is in place. There is a practicality concern though, as this might make the tournament run much longer.

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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by Nub »

This has probably been mentioned more than once, and I'm too new to know if it has ever been implemented...

Shrinking fortress zones? Might help with the long drawn out fights, encouraging riskier play and enhance the fight for tactical advantage.


I like the idea of changing the bracket design. It would be cool if there was a way for newer teams to get matched with each other rather than getting stomped in the first round by a highly experienced team. It can be discouraging losing so fast, and if a change helps promote a healthier competition, I'm all for it.

As to a double elimination, I would embrace that change, but I can see how others wouldn't want it due to the likely increase in time the ladle takes. I would also think double elimination might give the loser bracket an easier ride to the finals, as only the teams who have lost already would be in it, but I may be thinking about it incorrectly.
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Vogue
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by Vogue »

epsy wrote:I'm not sure if this is something that can be implemented, but it is worth mentioning here. Double-elimination brackets would allow teams losing in the first round to have a chance to fight with each other, without the need of removing the partial seeding there is in place. There is a practicality concern though, as this might make the tournament run much longer.
I really like this idea.

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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by Concord »

this is an idea, bare with me


give each player a 1-time use mine. A mine is like a shot that doesn't move. It only kills enemies, teammates can drive through it. It is like a small death-zone that only affects the enemy. It would have a radius about the size of a triple bind, maybe bigger. You could lay it by using a full brake, but only once per round.

This would add a lot of strategic variability to the game. The mine could be a useful but not overpowered attacking and defensive weapon. You could mine a part of def to force it to shrink. You could mine the split to seal center. You could mine a spot on the def to protect a future holing location. Part of using them well would be making sure they are not wasted, since you only have one to use. Dying on a mine would not score 2 points, like a kill does. Maybe it would only score 1, maybe 0.

just an idea
Last edited by Concord on Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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takburger
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by takburger »

Vogue wrote:
epsy wrote:I'm not sure if this is something that can be implemented, but it is worth mentioning here. Double-elimination brackets would allow teams losing in the first round to have a chance to fight with each other, without the need of removing the partial seeding there is in place. There is a practicality concern though, as this might make the tournament run much longer.
I really like this idea.
+1, how can lower clans get experience if they lose in two rounds 100-10 ?
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bilbo baggins
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by bilbo baggins »

Nub wrote:This has probably been mentioned more than once, and I'm too new to know if it has ever been implemented...

Shrinking fortress zones? Might help with the long drawn out fights, encouraging riskier play and enhance the fight for tactical advantage.


I like the idea of changing the bracket design. It would be cool if there was a way for newer teams to get matched with each other rather than getting stomped in the first round by a highly experienced team. It can be discouraging losing so fast, and if a change helps promote a healthier competition, I'm all for it.

As to a double elimination, I would embrace that change, but I can see how others wouldn't want it due to the likely increase in time the ladle takes. I would also think double elimination might give the loser bracket an easier ride to the finals, as only the teams who have lost already would be in it, but I may be thinking about it incorrectly.
the shrinking zone would be interesting but what would happen when the zone disappears, i think what would be better is the zone shrinks to a much smaller size and then remains constant making it much harder for teams to gank the zone.

i think the double elimination can be modified to reduce competition time, in that the teams that lose the first round fight each other and instead of entering a different, losing side of the bracket, are re-placed into the second round against the teams that won in the first round, this would mean an extra 45 mins or so onto the ladle (1 round) and a wait for the winning teams, in essence they win a bye to 3rd round (this is done in surf competitions) the only worry with this is that a team may lose to another team, win the second round, then play that team again, i dont know whether thats good or bad and i suppose its the luck of the draw. this would also prevent a team passing through an (easier) losing bracket to the final.

i also dont think this is possible but one idea i had was when you die your hole is not synchronized to your cycle, so when you hole a defence the hole appears near where you died but not where you died, meaning holing has a lot more skill to it than previously where you just grinded the dead tail to get in, another easier way to get this effect would be to have dead tails disappearing almost instantaniously but then people can still torp easily.

To remove holes would be another interesting aspect of the game, which prevents teams from just outliving there opponents and holing, and put a lot more emphasis on being able to cut defence's however i think this will create an even bigger divide in teams, due to weaker teams winning from holing, if they are removed the stronger stacked teams may well walk all over the weaker ones.

when would this be changed btw? would it be in january or at the end of the season?

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takburger
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by takburger »

shrinking zones and everything about defense is not a solution for me. Simply because defense is already very strong.
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orion
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by orion »

I dont think ladle fortress should be changed, or dont know why should it
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epsy
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by epsy »

Nub wrote:Shrinking fortress zones? Might help with the long drawn out fights, encouraging riskier play and enhance the fight for tactical advantage.
This will only encourage the defender to stay put and not even worry about the defended area shrinking. And once the base has shrunk to unconquerable sizes, you need a new mechanic to end the round, or distribute cyanide pills to spectators. On the other hand, growing zones would encourage attackers and defenders alike to employ quicker strategies so that the enemy does not get time to simply crowd your base.
Nub wrote:I would also think double elimination might give the loser bracket an easier ride to the finals, as only the teams who have lost already would be in it, but I may be thinking about it incorrectly.
You are. If \u03b5's terrible team loses the first round and drops into the lower bracket, then fights Nub's grand-final-worthy team which lost to Z-Man's undefeatable team, it would lose to your team and your team would fight their way through the ever stronger once-eliminated teams and eventually get to fight Z-Man's undefeatables. It was no easy ride for anyone.
bilbo baggins wrote:the teams that lose the first round fight each other and instead of entering a different, losing side of the bracket, are re-placed into the second round against the teams that won in the first round, this would mean an extra 45 mins or so onto the ladle (1 round) and a wait for the winning teams
Your solution is flawed: After the first round, 1/2 of the total players have won, 1/2 have lost. The 1/2 losing players fight eachother, and half are eliminated, and half(so 1/4 of the total players) win and much be placed back onto the regular bracket. 1/4 of the players have to be matched against 1/2, and there is no fair solution to that.

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vov
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by vov »

Double elimination would make 2 extra rounds, right? (With 16: Opening, LB1 vs another opening loser, LB2 vs UB quarters loser, LB3 vs UB semis loser, LB4 vs UB finals loser, and then the finals).

We already did play ladles with 5 rounds, so 6 isn't much off from there. That is if we stay at or below 16 teams, if we get more, 7 rounds does seem a bit long to me after all. But we'll probably have to see what happens if we get to that point.

If we start earlier like we used to in 5-round-ladles, that with an extra round probably would take a bit longer than this ladle. It was a long upper bracket, but rounds like that will probably also happen in double-elimination since there are more even-skilled matches, take that into mind. But it would also make the event bigger. And hey, then you can't just say "got to semifinals" anymore, you can then say "3rd place" and collect medals or something for the stats lovers :-)

I'm all for trying it though. If I get a vote at double elimination, it's "yes". Edit: And for removing seeding, "hell yes"!


PS: Sorry for not updating the brackets, I simply forgot it between a bit of post-tourney talk and going to sleep. Oops!
Last edited by vov on Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by Titanoboa »

sinewav wrote:By removing seeding there are greater opportunities for teams of the same skill level to meet each other.
Yes. This is a good argument.

I was very pro seeds when it was still in discussion, and I still think it was a good idea in that time. But just like sine's post explains, we're in a different situation now and I'm not above changing my mind if there's a better option.

Full randomization and seeding 4 teams both have been proven to work well with the ladle, and maybe full randomization is better for us right now.


As for double elimination, it's simple: The undefeated team will have to wait. A lot*. There's no way around this and before long people will associate winning with waiting, start thinking it's boring and eventually stop participating. (too much zZzZZ)

Part of the charm with the ladle is that you have to perform every match or you're out.

*For those that were around: remember the Ww CTF double elimination tourneys? Those were long tourneys, and we usually only had 8 teams. And a ladle with 16 teams? (+, Ladle matches are longer than those CTF matches)... Yeah, no. I'm fairly patient and even I would most likely quit.

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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by Desolate »

I didn't exactly enjoy the wait we had when Tx remained undefeated in the Fort Cafe tournament, and I'm pretty sure most of the rounds were Best of 1 besides the last few.

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theo
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by theo »

What about a mirror tournament for losers?

Let's assume we got 8 teams.

T1 wins against T2
T3 wins against T4
T5 wins against T6
T7 wins against T8

As usual, T1 plays against T3 and T5 plays against T7.

But we could also make T2 face T4 and T6 face T8.

T1 wins against T3
T5 wins against T7
T2 wins against T4
T6 wins against T8

As usual T1 plays against T5 (winners of 2/2). T8 and T4 are out for good (2/2 lost).

T1 wins against T5
T2 wins against T4
T6 wins against T8

T1 wins the ladle
T5 lost in finals -> 2nd
T3 lost against ladle winners -> 3rd
T7 lost against finalists -> 4th

T2 & T6 fight to win the "ladle for noobs" finals.


- Doesn't make ladle longer.
- Gets rid of the seed.
- Makes everybody play at least 2 matches.
- Won't change anything for winners (except for the seeds).

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ElmosWorld
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Re: Ladle Fortress 2014 (Discussion)

Post by ElmosWorld »

I think there should be 1 seed. The winning team at least deserves a bye in the first round if there's one.
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