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Author Topic: Proposals for future WDL seasons  (Read 1065 times)

HumanBones

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Proposals for future WDL seasons
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:00:18 AM »
As we enter the second calendar year of the WDL having three seasons, I think it would be a good idea to talk about ways we can make things a little more interesting around here. Especially with the increase to 8 teams, I believe the league can take some chances and try some different things. Now, some of my proposals (franchising) are intended for use in just 1 of the 3 seasons a year, as I still feel that the "traditional" style that we run now with the straight auction draft is great. Comments, feedback, criticisms, concerns, insults, as well as praise are what I'm looking for here so please I'd like to get as many responses as possible.

Franchising

Ah yes, it is a sore subject for some, but for others I think it is something that would make them more motivated. For those of you that don't know what it is, franchising is defined through the by laws of the now defunct International Doom League Inc. as follows: "A franchised player is a player who is placed on a team by skipping the draft." Basically a captain and another player can team up with each other before the draft, ensuring they'll be on the same team for the entire season. There's potential that this addition to a single season a year could increase player motivation as well as perhaps bring back some people who have left us. Should this be implemented, I think we could continue with the auction draft style. Captains who franchise would be given less money for the draft, and their spot in the nomination order would follow the captains who do not franchise anybody.

Season Schedule Voting

I believe I did this once as Commissioner of the IDL, but I'd handle it differently this time. Additionally I feel like this is something that could be put in every season. Basically, for one week out of the schedule, players in the league would have the opportunity to vote on a map for inclusion in the season. My proposal is that Ralphis chooses his top 3 maps to be put into that week, and opens it up to a forum vote. That way, they are still Ralphis approved, and at the end of the day he gets to decide where the winning map gets placed in the schedule to fit the other maps. I am always surprised when people hate maps I love and vice versa, so I think this offers some increased player involvement.

Expansion of the WDL Wad to 36 maps

Yes, 32 is already a lot of maps. Yes, we put in quite a few new maps with the latest WDL wad. From zdctf to odactf to velocity ctf and everything in between, there's a treasure trove of maps that deserve to get played on a regular basis without removing favorites and without removing maps that haven't been given a shot. I think an additional 4 maps would increase the chances of a team choosing something unexpected as a homefield, and it would add to the possibility of having 3 very diverse regular season schedules. I've always believed that if a team is truly the best in their respective seasons, they should be able to win on any map in the wad and not just the overplayed ones. Look at it this way: each season there is potential for us to see 11 different maps; 5 in the regular season and theoretically, 6 completely different maps in the playoffs. That's a highly unlikely scenario, but the question is, why should it be?

4-player teams to 5-player teams

This is in response to the post that Spooky made, but it speaks to a larger problem we have had in both the IDL and the WDL. It's incredibly difficult for a new player to break through and get on a team before they lose interest in signing up again. We have had a huge influx of new players over the years and very few of them manage to stick around. A lot of these people show up for practice, and let's face it, running some sort of reserve league is a lot of work when done in tandem with a regular WDL season. The best option is to have a dedicated captain take a shot on these new players and try to help and teach them. The only way that's going to be possible is to give these players an incentive to stick around. Being on a team and having the possibility of playing should be enough.

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 08:05:20 AM »
zzz great ideas franchising is great, lets get the best players on teams and own everyone

Ralphis

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 10:49:34 AM »

FRANCHISING

In my view, this is a slam dunk no. If every single captain besides me wanted to do it, I'd consider it - but they won't and I'll explain why.

Firstly, if I can find the IDL forum backup (which I know is floating around somewhere), we did an analysis on the franchise seasons of IDL. We learned two key things:

•Teams were more stacked than ever
Each season basically had two super squads because of the franchise system and they almost reliably went to the finals each time with little opposition. Being able to stack two top players on a team and then grab ANOTHER upper-level player allowed for those top teams to crush the other squads. My response is similar to the one I gave to Spooky and Rude in regards to entering pre-made teams - the entire season will become unbalanced and it will be a schedule of massacres.

•Franchise system discouraged people from signing up for the IDL
This was the conclusion that we came to after analyzing the franchise system when we discussed returning to it years later. The franchise era lead to a less competitive league and less opportunities for newer players because half of the roster spots were automatically filled before the draft even arrived. Signups fell over that period and bounced back up when the franchise system was eliminated. It was very bad for the IDL. My personal opinion was also that the seasons were trash and not very fun for anyone but the top squads.

Even if we bumped to 5 roster spots as recommended, what good does that do for those players? Is it going to drive signups? The road to playing games is tough enough for 4ths in this league - being a 5th only buries you further. More on this later.

Here are more thoughts on how I think it affects the current WDL:

•It further discourages good players from captaining and neuters the auction draft format
Regardless of whether or not one thinks the WDL is stale or stubborn in the way it makes rule changes, I think one would be hard pressed to deny that the past few seasons of the WDL have been some of the most competitive in any CTF league history. While IDL seasons had great teams, there were usually only a few at the top. This is not as much the case in the WDL, at least when it comes to regular season bouts.

Shrewd upper tier players who are focused on winning in a cut-throat style will game this system quickly. Why should I captain when I can franchise with DemonSphere and have him spend all of his money on his first nomination who happens to be HumanBones? There are only so many top players to go around which will leave at least half of the league with mid-tier players at the top of their squads. Again, we saw this in the IDL too. The franchise system would be even WORSE with the auction draft.

Currently, there is some incentive for great players to captain. Take Caution for instance. He missed the playoffs the past two seasons when neither were likely his fault. That is part of the risk when you enter the draft. However, he is a great player and he decided to captain and choose his own destiny with a team that nobody pegged as the top squad immediately following the draft. He has now not even lost a round through four weeks. The incentive to take control of your own path changes big time for great players when they have the "easy out" option of teaming with another top player in pre-draft.

Another example: why would Alt_Stab ever continue captaining under a franchise format? I don't want to single Stab out as a bad player - he is great and a very smart captain. However, most people would rank him below over half of our current captains. He doesn't have the "name brand" so to speak. Why would the top non-captain ever franchise with Stab's team when they could pick the most elite playing captains instead? At least now, Stab has a shot at them and that contributes to the competitiveness of this league.

•The current auction draft allows you to franchise currently already - at a premium
You can franchise already with the current format. Just bid 28 dollars for the player you want immediately. Most teams don't do this - why? Because it puts them at a competitive disadvantage. Again, this goes back to my major criticism of franchising - it allows easy team stacking at no cost to the captain. Currently, you can have that player but you need to pay out the ass for it which is why our teams are so balanced in general.

•Conclusion on bringing back the franchise system
Franchising would not be good for the WDL, even for a one-off season. I think the correct course of action, if players want to get onto pre-made teams, is still to run a separate event at another time where pre-made teams can enter. If an overwhelming amount of reliable, good players that will captain under this format approach me and say they want to do it, I would reconsider. I do not expect our current captain group would approve it.


SEASON SCHEDULE VOTING

I am totally open to this. A couple things would need to be done though. When does the voting take place? We currently release the schedule prior to the draft so that captains can draft for their opponents and the maps they play them on. So, the vote would have to occur in pre-season, but it would have to only count people that stay signed up for the season. Somewhat complicated, but we could probably make it work.

Currently, and Bones knows this as he's helped me on a number of schedules, maps are shuffled around the weeks according to a "formula" of sorts. Typically a heavy team-play map in the middle, light fare in the early weeks, another standard later in the season, and one or two new or less played maps to mix it up. This is done to make sure we don't end up with three weeks of total grind maps in a row followed by two high flying maps. I try to cater the schedule to everybody over the 5 weeks while making sure teams have to work to stay competitive (so not playing 5 standards for the entire season usually). Voting could mess up the "week placement", so I'd prob have multiple schedules for each map that players would vote on.


36 MAP EXPANSION

As the person that goes through the wad every year and then has to listen to everybody loathe a good majority of the newly introduced maps, I guess I just don't think this is necessary. Most maps in the wad are barely played already and we are always on the verge of cutting existing maps from the pack only to find out that there is not a lot of great stuff out there. MAP15 in this year's pack got replaced, what, 3 times before the final release for the year? We try out new stuff but certain additions are loathed or just end up not working and they gotta go.

If there are better CTF maps out there that we are missing, they need to be in the wad and there are maps we can cut to get them in. For instance, we grabbed the current MAP09 from the IDL wad and people generally enjoyed it. A good addition of a well seasoned map. I just don't see the point in adding new maps to a wad that has room for new ones NOW. Maybe you can elaborate further at a later date and tell us what maps you think should currently be cut and what wads you want to grab new maps from to expand to 36. The only new ones to come out recently have been 32in24 and Q3CTF which were both scoured many times. I believe Q3CTF is still in development and should be revisited for the next wad.


5-PLAYER TEAMS

I also personally feel like this is a no. I'm open to changing it, but I think there are better ways to move forward if we can afford to field 5-player teams in the league.

First off, as I said earlier in the franchising section, it is hard enough for 4ths to make it into games. They occasionally rise up like Souler has this season (who was even undrafted) but more often than not they get stuck not playing as much as they want to. To stick another player BEHIND them is practically cruel and unusual punishment.

For every Spooky, there are 2-3 players on the FA list that haven't even joined our servers or IRC channel. There is a reason many are undrafted - stashing them as 5ths isn't going to do the ones that want to play any favors. What if Souler was stashed as a 5th on a team this season? He would've probably never played at all. Instead, the FA system allowed him to show himself off in team practices to the captains. Blair noticed his effort and swapped him in for a player who barely showed himself.

Here is what I believe is the ethical answer. If we have 8 additional players that deserve to be on teams, then we need to do the right thing and actually expand to 10 teams instead of sticking those players behind others or letting them ride the FA pine. This would allow those players that should be starting, like Dastan, Souler, HTG, and Evo, to move into bonafide starter roles while players like Spooky, Fonze, Widower, and Awup can still get used to the league in a 4th role. Our long-term goal should ALWAYS BE finding more opportunities for players to get into actual WDL games, not be stashed on benches.


CONCLUSION

Thanks for making this post Bones. Very good stuff. I was glad to be able to contribute and look forward to thoughts and discussion from others.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 10:56:25 AM by Ralphis »

DevastatioN

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 03:56:44 PM »
Franchising

While I did find the system cool, I feel with the player base thinned out a bit, this might not be a good idea.  I feel we would end up with a few super teams.  Even if you somehow changed the draft that a franchise costs say $18... I still feel it could overpower the teams.

Season Schedule Voting

I like this idea.  As Ralphis suggested, we would need to figure out the timing.  I would suggest that 10 days prior to draft the captains are finalized and vote for the map (one of three that Ralphis suggests).  6-7 days prior to the draft the schedule is created and announced.

This gives Ralphis the ability to place the maps in a specific order that he liked to balance out the season, and enough time for the captains to draft their team based on the maps/schedule.

36 Maps in Wad

I'm pretty impartial... 4 more maps might help... might not change anything... but overall, the more slots the better as long as it's not obscene like 100 maps.  You might even be able to expand to 50 at some point.  The homefield maps are known in advance of playoffs, so expanding captain choices isn't a bad idea.

5 Player Teams

Interesting idea... but I feel this might have a negative effect.  4th's rarely play, 5th's never play, etc.  It potentially will make it even harder to schedule games, as all teams will want as many people on their team there as possible.

I agree with Ralphis that if we had that many people, maybe we should think of expanding even more.  I feel we will eventually be back down to 6 teams, and have the problem of too few players again, meaning 5-man teams will not be sustainable.

Zakken

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 07:41:08 PM »
Franchising
While I feel like franchising would look inviting to some veteran players, in an ideal world where every captain franchises someone, the amount of players to be drafted lowers drastically, further decreasing chances of newcomers to get any playtime. While it probably wouldn't immediately impact entrant numbers, it could get bad in long-term, if new players aren't given as many opportunities to participate.

Season schedule voting
This is an interesting idea, and I'd like to see it in play if it's kept transparent.

Expansion of the WDL Wad to 36 maps
I don't think adding 4 more maps to it would make a significant difference. 32 maps is already plenty to choose from both the regular season and the homefield perspectives. Many map slots in the wad are still far from being set in stone, and are being changed at least every other year. I could see this being something to consider once nearly all 32 maps have been played in seasons and established themselves as invaluable maps that should practically never be removed.

4-player teams to 5-player teams
Ralph and Dev elaborated the cons of this, so instead of saying what has been already pointed out, I'd like to once again pitch in the idea of having a free agency match every week of the regular season, so that free agents have something more to do than simply helping teams practise and pray that their captain senpais notice them. Something like a reserve league would find itself doable only if we pass the 70-players mark someday, in my opinion.

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 11:22:38 AM »
With the auction draft you can target anyone, for at least your first pick. . Your third and fourth picks might be constrained by budget, but if you're crafty you can definitely get close to having the team you want. Unless of course what you want is to put together a Miami Heat squad, in which case the draft prevents this as long as the other captains are also drafting competently and competitively. I feel Water's season with JBlair is what to expect if we introduce franchising. That season wasn't necessarily a disaster, but there was an inescapable air of inevitability that really put a lid on the excitement level.

I do like the map voting idea. I even think we could do it in-season. I think Ralph could release the schedule pre-season with week 5 showing as 1 of 3 maps, yet to be determined. I think that would be a lot of fun.

I don't think we have enough people for 5 player teams, and agree that we might as well add teams if we did. And as far as 36 maps go, I don't have a strong opinion. I'd be fine either way.

Also, a weekly matchup of free agents would be awesome. But even if it is feasible, I'm not sure we have enough active free agents to do this. Maybe if we announced it in pre-season, more people would stick around after the draft. I'd be willing to put time into this if there's interest.

Also, I never commented on Spooky's post, but I think getting ALL (and producing more) WDL media content on the official Youtube channel should be a strong focus going forward, and I will help with this.

I got paid for this  :psycash :psycash :psycash. Livin' the REAL American Dream baby. You think I ain't?  :what

HumanBones

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 12:20:37 PM »

FRANCHISING

Shrewd upper tier players who are focused on winning in a cut-throat style will game this system quickly. Why should I captain when I can franchise with DemonSphere and have him spend all of his money on his first nomination who happens to be HumanBones?


Unless of course what you want is to put together a Miami Heat squad, in which case the draft prevents this as long as the other captains are also drafting competently and competitively. I feel Water's season with JBlair is what to expect if we introduce franchising. That season wasn't necessarily a disaster, but there was an inescapable air of inevitability that really put a lid on the excitement level.

So, I did a poor job of explaining how the process would work with an auction draft. I'm not sure if it will change your minds, but I can understand why you are currently against it. Basically, let's say that 5 of our 8 captains franchised a player. Those 5 captains would enter into the auction draft with a lesser amount of money to bid on players than the 3 captains who chose not to franchise. For instance, lets say we give the 3 captains $30 and the 5 captains $12. That means those 3 captains can easily outbid the 5 on an available player, meaning we will not see any "super teams". DemonSphere and Ralphis will not be able to bid $28 on HumanBones, they would only be able to bid $11. I feel like this eliminates your concerns about creating the Miami Heat (even though they were little bitches who lost 2/4 of their Finals appearances).

As far as making it less fun for newer players, well, it doesn't really change anything from the way we currently run things. There are less players who go through the auction draft process but it's the same amount of players that will be playing on teams. So the incentive to be noticed is still there, and I don't believe it makes it any more or less difficult for someone to make it onto a team. That particular problem needs to be solved separately IMO.

I am inclined to disagree on 5-player teams not being the best idea. I'm just not sure how feasible it is to get a group of free agents playing in a server once a week trying to prove themselves when we've got such a short regular season without a lot of chances for these people. My idea behind 5 people on a team is, a lot of these people are already helping teams practice on a daily basis. At the very least, having them on a team opens them up to suggestions and advice from players who are playing in games. Captains as well. You know, a lot of these players just show up for practice and work on their own and they aren't really involved in the process of a team preparing for a map throughout a week. I just feel like that could be really beneficial.

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 05:15:27 PM »
Franchising; we used this in the zdl (zdctf league) it was alright for us, but guessing its zd, and its low popularity ,teams weren't that stacked. but i'll like to see it in this community since it's more active with high caliber players, will make draft auctions more interesting knowing a cap can't get your prized player.

season scheduling voting; i think it's an interesting idea to implement into the season, some teams would benefit from the winning map while others will have to work harder if they're weak in the map

expansion of the wdl mapset; ah i dont know about this, 32 maps is a lot, some don't even get played even though they get through the voting phase. i think 32 is enough, but we can try for more

4player teams to 5player teams; AH i dont think it will make a difference for the 3rds and 4ths (if ever to come to 5player teams) majority, teams will use their strongest lineup usually captian and their first and second pick, while the third pick would be the emergency pick and 4th would never be used, unless there's a captain willing to shuffle around their team and use different lineups during the matches. because let's face it, no one wants to lose, every cap wants that 2-0 every week to have the first seed. and for new players? im new, i dont get practice with teams to improve and so my motivation drops, unless they're "new" good players, they'll have a chance to play on the team, otherwise, us losers don't bother trying.

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Denzoa

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 12:54:56 PM »
How about just 3 player teams, and we pick experienced/veteran players as captains.

This way, we don't get stacked teams, no 4th has to make it to the top so he can at least play 1 round out of the entire season, and we have more teams thus more people playing.

Call it stupid if you want, but a 4 man team is dumb from my point of view, mainly because everyone tries drafting the best they can, so that they have a back-up player JUST IN CASE, their third doesn't make it, in which case the 4th player is mostly spectating an entire season hoping his 3rd has a heart attack or something so he can play anyway.

Just have 3 man teams, and if a dude doesn't make it, tough luck man, there's always next week.

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 06:13:21 PM »
Franchising: nice bones doesn't know how to not draft kalfoxis shadowfox on his team and gets so upset that he didn't have a proper third that he wants the system to play to his rules horrible idea

Season map voting: yeah this is cool I'd support it nice

Expanding mappack: I don't think expanding the map pack is the issue here(while that's a good idea in my opinion) I think the bigger issue is the actual maps like Isolation was taken out in favor of Bad Moon and 31 IS STILL IN THE PACK WHY I think that adding more maps like bad moon are a great idea but they should replace maps that don't fit with the idea of TEAMWORK and COORDINATION because ctf is not supposed to be 3v3 tdm with a flag in each base COUGH 31 COUGH but rather a gamemode in which teamwork should play a bigger role than who has ammar and edd 300 frags blindfolded tier players on their team for Defence

5 player teams: I actually support denzoa's suggestion, the 4th player usually does just kinda sit there collecting dust most of the time I don't think that 4 ppl is necessary oh well ur teammate missed a match? Just reschedule like what literally every single other team did over the  quarterfinals and semifinals weeks

Zakken

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 09:30:14 PM »
@ Denzoa: Statistically, most teams have had to rely on their 4th player at least once or twice during any season. A team's 4th player becoming part of a team's main line-up is not a very uncommon story either. Any team worth their salt will give their 4th player generous playtime (assuming they show up regularly), but if 4th players want to play games instead of warming benches, they gotta surpass one of their teammates skill-wise. Simple as that.

Expanding mappack: I don't think expanding the map pack is the issue here(while that's a good idea in my opinion) I think the bigger issue is the actual maps like Isolation was taken out in favor of Bad Moon and 31 IS STILL IN THE PACK WHY I think that adding more maps like bad moon are a great idea but they should replace maps that don't fit with the idea of TEAMWORK and COORDINATION because ctf is not supposed to be 3v3 tdm with a flag in each base COUGH 31 COUGH but rather a gamemode in which teamwork should play a bigger role than who has ammar and edd 300 frags blindfolded tier players on their team for Defence
Inclined to agree, but can we get rid of maps like 01 and 02 before we think about removing 31??

Ralphis

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 05:38:49 AM »
3-Man Rosters vs 4-Man Rosters: We had 3 man teams in the first season of the IDL. It was a never-ending disaster. It's easy to predict that 3-man squads will be just as easy to schedule (or fix broken schedules) when you haven't spent seasons scheduling the games. If anything, the season we just played proves that the 4th enhances and bolsters a team's roster. All 8 teams used all 4 of their players in meaningful ways this season. It's also been a great way, historically, for newer or lower skilled players to become acclimated to the league without being thrust into a soul crushing position of responsibility before they're ready.

Also, in regards to picking experienced players (upper tier) as captains, we try to do this EVERY season. It's incredibly difficult to find anyone to volunteer and we often have to beg like pathetic dogs to fill out our captain roster before the draft. The past few seasons have had our best turn-out, probably ever, for filling in captains.



Maps: Every map in the pack will never be considered "good" by all players, or even most players. Personally, I hate about 1/3 of the pack as it is. The trick with the map pack is to offer a number of different play styles, which is really what the WDL schedule should be all about. Are Map01 and Map31 frag grind fests? Yes, of course. But some teams are built for this type of map and they might pick it as a home field.

I had nothing to do with putting this season's schedule together. At the outset, I looked at map28 and said that it was a piece of crap that shouldn't even be in the map pack. I was wrong. It's a very good map. This happens often with many of the maps we play. A week's worth of practice can change a lot of opinions or thoughts as new strategies and tactics are developed. Map31 plays drastically different than Map06, but both have value in providing drastically different play styles that might force contrasting types of teams to adjust.

With that said, there will be some tweaks to the wad and maps going into next year.



r4z0r

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 05:31:43 PM »
I mean i agree with you Ralphis I like the fact that there's lots of variety in the map pack I'm all for it and it's the reason why I don't like 31 and think it should just be thrown out. Not only does it emphasize singular player 1v1 skill but it does so in such a shitty manner that other maps have already perfected the concept of. Take bad moon, or generic gray, or ralphis's magical ice forts. All of these maps are maps that are frag heavy and focus more on how strong each player is in their position rather than how the team works as a singular unit. These maps pull off the concept that map31 tries to pull off much more effectively because they have A REASON for having flags in the map. Map31 has zero strategy, zero brain play, zero teamwork, and we already have lots of maps that flow just like it (Charon orbit, ralphis's magical ice forts, generic gray etc...) it's a fucking shit map not because I don't like the way it plays or the way it's laid out or it's ssg spawn mania, it's a shit map because it has no place in ctf, it's just tdm with flags and nothing more. At least map01 has some depth and complexity to it like flag pickups and deciding on whether to run out with just a shotgun or with a super shotgun depending on the situation, but map31 doesn't even have that. It's a boring uninteresting 10 minute piss break for most spectators and it's not just me complaining about it. Otherwise I do like the introduction of maps like toxic refineries II and bad moon they were fun and had new interesting game styles to try out, even if some might consider boring they brought something new to the wdl mappack(UNLIKE MAP31 COUGH).

Also zakken I change my mind 4 teams seems reasonable I had to think about it for a while but your points alongside ralphis's have convinced me.

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 06:52:55 PM »
MANUAL RETURNS

Ralphis

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Re: Proposals for future WDL seasons
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 03:34:43 AM »
MANUAL RETURNS

Honestly manual returns own. I'd run a single manual returns tournament just to do it