lightbulb Changing the European Championship Qualifications systems

20 Nov 2016 18:01 - 20 Nov 2016 18:12 #79117 by jamesatzephyr

Pascal Bertrand wrote: Remember that the EC should focus on three objectives : Maximise game quality, maximise fun, and maximise attendance.


Could you elaborate on how you see "maximise game quality" and "maximise attendance" co-existing? To some extent, they're pulling in opposite directions.

If you want to maximize game quality, you would generally want a relatively small number of highly-skilled players attending. Say, the top 30 players in Europe(*), based on some semi-objective element - perhaps the top X players with the highest rankings (the sort of model a lot of sporting championships use), or every country can send at least two players but more players can qualify if they pass some threshold (sort of like the Olympics uses, so even tiny countries get some representation), or whatever.

If you want to maximize attendance, you would generally want to make it as open as possible. 200 players want to come? Well, you're maximizing attendance. 500? Every V:TES player on the planet crashes in Nice? Maximize attendance, right?

*****

You can potentially marry the two somewhat if you - for example - have a multi-day Championship, which I believe America has done at some point? Day one is fairly open. People have had to do something in order to qualify, but you are happy to make it fairly broad. Take the top X players from that day, and they play in day 2. Everyone else gets to play in a different tournament on day 2 if they want - something like a First Chance Qualifier for the following year, or perhaps something totally different like a specific storyline event or draft/limited(**) or whatever.

Questions/problems:

- Do players who qualify from day 1 to day 2 get to play a different deck, if they want to? Something to think about. Probably yes, under "maximizing fun" - playing the same deck for 6 rounds might be quite dull.

- How do you cope with the slightly altered incentive for players on day 1, where they don't necessarily want to win (reach the finals, as they would in a normal tournament), but just the top X, however many X is? Perhaps you can use their final ranking from day 1 to seed players into day 2? Say, you take the best 25 players into day 2. Those ranked 1-5 get put on five separate tables. Those ranked 6-10 get put one on each table. 11-15, repeat. That sort of thing? Something along those lines? I imagine other games have thought about this, maybe. It might mean that you want to come in the top 5 on day 1, and not just play a deck that's optimized for scraping into the qualification spots.



But you still run into the issue that the first day essentially breaks down into several smaller tournaments(***) playing alongside each other, because there aren't enough rounds to mix everyone up. So you still get the issue that a cluster of really good players get in one of the "sub-tournaments" on day 1, so get knocked out, while some worse players get clustered into a different sub-tournament on day 1, and get a much easier path to day 2.



(*) This is muddied by the fact that there's nothing stopping players from outside Europe attending. But I'll leave that element out, simply for brevity.

(**) Draft with proxies?

(***) As in, things like the seating charts / Archon essentially just say "Well, we'll mix up these players. And this other batch of players will mix up entirely separately", once you get over a certain number of players. Even if you try mixing it up more, you still face the issue that with - say - 100+ players and 3 rounds, each player only plays 12 people maximum, and some will get potentially screwed over by playing 12 better than average attendees, and some will get a cushy path to victory by playing 12 worse than average attendees.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2016 18:12 by jamesatzephyr.
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30 Nov 2016 12:20 #79378 by Pascal Bertrand

jamesatzephyr wrote:

Pascal Bertrand wrote: Remember that the EC should focus on three objectives : Maximise game quality, maximise fun, and maximise attendance.


Could you elaborate on how you see "maximise game quality" and "maximise attendance" co-existing? To some extent, they're pulling in opposite directions.

Maximising attendance is rather self-explanatory.
Maximising game quality is based on an assumption (might be wrong, but you never know) that those who cannot travel to the EC qualifiers, or don't want to go to the EC without their qualification guaranteed might as well be good players who don't have enough time.
Or they could be players who have a different game style.
Or they could just be anyone.
The important idea is that I'm afraid that keeping ECs with fewer players wil probably be ECs with fewer players from a same "core" group (+ few extras). I think it would be good for diversity if some new faces could appear at the ECs.
Different playstyles, different players and different decks wil provide a wider experience for all.

jamesatzephyr wrote: If you want to maximize game quality, you would generally want a relatively small number of highly-skilled players attending. Say, the top 30 players in Europe(*), based on some semi-objective element - perhaps the top X players with the highest rankings (the sort of model a lot of sporting championships use), or every country can send at least two players but more players can qualify if they pass some threshold (sort of like the Olympics uses, so even tiny countries get some representation), or whatever.

That's improving the "level" aspect of the game, not the "fun" aspect of the game. It is perfectly valid, but I think having new faces would help on the second one more than on the first one.

jamesatzephyr wrote: If you want to maximize attendance, you would generally want to make it as open as possible. 200 players want to come? Well, you're maximizing attendance. 500? Every V:TES player on the planet crashes in Nice? Maximize attendance, right?

That is one of the options, yes. However, making the EC an open even removes the ECQs, which are, for each country, one of the top-two events.

jamesatzephyr wrote: You can potentially marry the two somewhat if you - for example - have a multi-day Championship, which I believe America has done at some point? Day one is fairly open. People have had to do something in order to qualify, but you are happy to make it fairly broad. Take the top X players from that day, and they play in day 2. Everyone else gets to play in a different tournament on day 2 if they want - something like a First Chance Qualifier for the following year, or perhaps something totally different like a specific storyline event or draft/limited(**) or whatever.

The EC has been working that way so far. Top 40 players from Day1 qualify for Day2, and the other players attend a FCQ for the next year.
Of course, if the format is open for Day1, the FCQ becomes moot, so something else should be devised.

jamesatzephyr wrote: Questions/problems:

- Do players who qualify from day 1 to day 2 get to play a different deck, if they want to? Something to think about. Probably yes, under "maximizing fun" - playing the same deck for 6 rounds might be quite dull.

They can change decks. Also : Day1 has its finals, and the results of Day2 - or; to a wider extent, of the EC - (so far) don't take Day1 into consideration.

jamesatzephyr wrote: - How do you cope with the slightly altered incentive for players on day 1, where they don't necessarily want to win (reach the finals, as they would in a normal tournament), but just the top X, however many X is? Perhaps you can use their final ranking from day 1 to seed players into day 2? Say, you take the best 25 players into day 2. Those ranked 1-5 get put on five separate tables. Those ranked 6-10 get put one on each table. 11-15, repeat. That sort of thing? Something along those lines? I imagine other games have thought about this, maybe. It might mean that you want to come in the top 5 on day 1, and not just play a deck that's optimized for scraping into the qualification spots.

This issue has been existing for approx 16 years. It sometimes comes as "My buddy and me are on the same table, he is already qualified, such a shame he plays a weenie presence vote deck and I am his prey with a weenie auspex / with votelock".
That's the "round3 issue", where some players lose motivation for some forwardness. The fact is that, so far, 1GW has always qualified you from Day1 to Day2 (sometimes a bit less has been enough), and I think (but I'm not sure) that 2GW7 has been enough to get to the finals in the past 6 years. Which means basically that a player would get "something better" on Round3 with a GW. Except Ruben, since he's already top seed after 2 rounds with his 2GW10.

Preparing seating for Day2 based on public Day1 results would probably not be a good idea.


jamesatzephyr wrote: But you still run into the issue that the first day essentially breaks down into several smaller tournaments(***) playing alongside each other, because there aren't enough rounds to mix everyone up. So you still get the issue that a cluster of really good players get in one of the "sub-tournaments" on day 1, so get knocked out, while some worse players get clustered into a different sub-tournament on day 1, and get a much easier path to day 2.

True. But even if you met everyone during the event, you wouldn't meet them with the same [grand]prey/predator relationship.

So unless you organise an event where you play all possible games (for 10 players, that would be 10! / 2 - approx 414 years), there will be a flaw.
We could have "Swiss rounds", but with a maximum of 3 rounds it would be quite difficult. But it's an option (in which you'd have to handle ties very carefully, as one player with 1GW3 could be sitting at a table of 1GW5 1GW5 1GW5 1GW4 and another with 1GW3 would be with 2VP 2VP 1.5VP 1.5VP

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30 Nov 2016 12:21 #79380 by Pascal Bertrand
Opening poll to the NCs.

Please provide your feedback on the matter to your NC to help him/her vote accordingly.

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30 Nov 2016 14:12 #79387 by Lönkka
If we open attendance to everyone we could change the format to three day event instead of two days.

First day would be open to everyone.
Second day would be open to top 75 from Day 1 (Archon pods are 25 player , right?)
Third day could be the usual top 40.


What we could also do is to keep qualification system (at least ECQs and NCs) and have qualified players a bye to Day 2.

In this case, we might want to think if the current ECQ qualification would provide too many qualifications for the 3 day system. Then again most likely many of the same people would qualify on Day 1 too so Day 2 wouldn't be too crowded.

If we decide to fully scrap pre-qualification ECQs that would be redundant could be exchanged by Grand Prix tournaments.

I also have a concern what will happen to regular tournament attendance if the qualification system is changed. These are already struggling to get enough players to be big enough (8+ players)

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30 Nov 2016 17:07 #79390 by agzocgud
In many other card games you get a first round buy if you won a tournament on the level below (for example FFG CCG:s like Android and Game of Thrones). In these games, if you won a regional level tournament you get an automatic win in the first round of the national championship (6 or 7 rounds of swiss).

This is a bit tricker in v:tes, but maybe strong performers in large tournament can start the EC with some VP:s. For example, a player that wins a 25+ player national or ECQ starts EC day 1 with 1VP. You can only choose your best tournament performance between two EC:s (the exact terms of this system must be worked out)

Don't if this will work, but tournament attendance should be the most impactful factor.

Overkill is highly underrated. You know, like in computor games and such.

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15 Dec 2016 10:21 #79577 by TapeTaChatte

agzocgud wrote: In many other card games you get a first round buy if you won a tournament on the level below (for example FFG CCG:s like Android and Game of Thrones). In these games, if you won a regional level tournament you get an automatic win in the first round of the national championship (6 or 7 rounds of swiss).

This is a bit tricker in v:tes, but maybe strong performers in large tournament can start the EC with some VP:s. For example, a player that wins a 25+ player national or ECQ starts EC day 1 with 1VP. You can only choose your best tournament performance between two EC:s (the exact terms of this system must be worked out)

Don't if this will work, but tournament attendance should be the most impactful factor.


OK That's an interesting point.
Not challenging the idea which is - in the theory at least - something doable (maybe not with points but with something else) to keep ECQ's motivating for people.
The additionnal VP in day 1 has pretty much no interest unfortunately. It will affect maybe 5 people in the whole tournament, provided those 5 would have satisfied the pretty difficult conditions to fulfill: the guy who was 6th or 7th in the final and can now be 5th, and the guy who was 41st ...
I mean why not? It's possible but it's not what we are after

We are now waiting to get more poll results.
Please keep in mind in the discussion some issues:

-> I have seen several people considering opening EC on Friday. I personnally don't think it's a good solution, but we are here to discuss. In any case, please keep in mind that it would affect many people to be forced to come on Thursday evening at worst at the place of the tournament, and could also affect some locations choices for the EC in the future

-> Increasing player's satisfaction should be something crucial, even vital (and that's why we do polls). No matter what we decide, it's important to remember that we need people to be happy about it and that should be more important that considerations such as the competitivity of the events

-> side events need to be attractive, whatever the solution found

Since everybody is sharing his scenarios, here is what I devised,

If you want my personal opinion, I would love to see a multi qualifying tournament for day 2:
-> 5 people automatically qualify from being in last year's EC final
-> 5 people automatically qualify from being in last year's FCQ final
-> 5 people automatically qualify from winning Grand prix during the year
(those 15 people don't have to play on friday)
-> 10 people quality for being finalists on Friday.

on Saturday,
those 25 people have access to a special high level tournament, should any of the 15 qualified players not show up, we would qualify additionnal people from Friday tournament based on ranking and they would of course also be qualified for day 2.

the other battle in the regular day 1 and the 15 first players in that tournament also advance to day 2

Day 2 is a 40 players regular tournament.
First chance offers spots for next year already.

In that scenario, every tournament has an interest and we limit the kingmaking possibilities, I also like the Grand Prix rewarding players as a kind of "EC Circuit". It also has negative aspects such as every tournament having impact for players, probably limiting the number of casual tables.

Thoughts welcome.

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