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Vorpal Sword

The problem with ID is a bad tournament structure.

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Sigh.  A polite, well thought out post, to a bad situation that has caused vitriol in every other post with the same topic.

 

Unbelievable.  It's actually possible to do that?  Who would have thought.

 

 

Vorpal tends to spend some time by the Tum-Tum Tree before going snicker-snack

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Sigh.  A polite, well thought out post, to a bad situation that has caused vitriol in every other post with the same topic.

 

Unbelievable.  It's actually possible to do that?  Who would have thought.

Don't hold your breath for too long. 

 

I do agree that, although this situation should be rare in X-Wing, the fact that it's possible at all should be reason enough for a change to tournament structure, ranking, etc. With FFG placing a great deal of emphasis on the new tournament schedule beginning this year (linked here), I think it's perfect timing to allow for a change before next year's schedule really kicks off. 

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One of the important things to consider as well is how many rounds there are before it cuts to single elimination. There has to be just the right number of rounds. Too few and the results are not clear. Too many and the results are too complicated. You also begin to run into the problem of playing being risky and not playing being safe. 

The tournament that caused this uproar really just had too many rounds in the first place. The fifth round should have been the last round as there was going to be a clear top 8 after 5 rounds. Playing another round was destined to make things messier. 

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One of the important things to consider as well is how many rounds there are before it cuts to single elimination. There has to be just the right number of rounds. Too few and the results are not clear. Too many and the results are too complicated. You also begin to run into the problem of playing being risky and not playing being safe. 

The tournament that caused this uproar really just had too many rounds in the first place. The fifth round should have been the last round as there was going to be a clear top 8 after 5 rounds. Playing another round was destined to make things messier.

I agree that having too many rounds is going to cause additional problems on top of the underlying problems with the current tournament structure. But the Roanoke tournament had the right number of rounds when it began, and ID would still be a bad rule if Roanoke had never happened.

The tournament structure and rules were all pretty solid until April 2nd. Rankings required upkeep, and frankly we just can't trust FFG to do that, so I'd say no rankings.

The tournament structure and rules were functional until April 2nd, which doesn't mean they were ideal. Like I said, ID should definitely be rolled back, but I think this whole debacle will bring attention to the fact that the tournament structure creates players for whom play is irrelevant or even actively damaging to their chances to proceed. And that's not how a good tournament structure works.

Edited by Vorpal Sword

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and ID would still be a bad rule if Roanoke had never happened.

Can we make this a thing? Like when something gets ruined we all just start saying, "Oh great, you Roanoked it."

 

All in favour?

 

"Things were better back then... before Roanoke." 

 

Then everyone solemnly nods in silent agreement. 

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Swiss tournaments work best when you start with ranked players, seed them appropriately, and run nothing but Swiss rounds. Done properly, Swiss runs the same number of rounds as single-elimination for a given number of players, while producing a fairer result.

 

Changing the tournament structure causes problems, though. Specifically, when you make a transition like the cut from Swiss to single-elimination rounds in an X-wing tournament, you create a number of issues in the last round: players who can't make the cut no matter how they perform, players who are guaranteed (or almost guaranteed) to make the cut regardless of their performance, and a whole bunch of issues in between.

We currently have a hissing, spitting cat that's been dumped out of a sack: Organized Play introduced intentional draws to X-wing. When placed in combination with the Swiss-to-single-elimination structure, we have a group of players in every tournament (often just one or two, but potentially as many as the entire cut) who can be sure they proceed to the cut as long as they don't lose the final Swiss round, and those players also have a way to ensure they don't lose--just don't play.

So how do we stuff the angry cat back into the sack? One solution is just to make IDs illegal again, and I do think that should happen. But while IDs are a very bad rule in X-wing, they're at most only half the problem: they're just getting rid of ID only eliminates the means rather than the motive.

So what if we chase the motive, too? While we're all contacting Organized Play (we are all contacting Organized Play, right?) to let them know how frustrated we are, let's also let them know that while Swiss followed by an elimination cut works for Magic, it's no longer working for large X-wing tournaments. There are a lot of alternatives (double-elimination, round-robin with a cut to Swiss, or even straight Swiss with players ranked by ELO through every sanctioned event in a season), all of which have their own drawbacks, but none of which have the same issues that are currently helping put the community in an uproar.

[EDIT: Fixed a minor copy-paste error.]

 

 

 

youtherealmvp-300x166.jpg

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The tournament that caused this uproar really just had too many rounds in the first place. The fifth round should have been the last round as there was going to be a clear top 8 after 5 rounds. Playing another round was destined to make things messier.

That could have been avoided if TO's had the option to change the number of rounds as required to account for changes in the player count. The event in question started with enough players to make the final round necessary; it was only after people dropped that it caused trouble.

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The tournament that caused this uproar really just had too many rounds in the first place. The fifth round should have been the last round as there was going to be a clear top 8 after 5 rounds. Playing another round was destined to make things messier.

That could have been avoided if TO's had the option to change the number of rounds as required to account for changes in the player count. The event in question started with enough players to make the final round necessary; it was only after people dropped that it caused trouble.

 

 

Speaking as someone who was in a casual tournament where that exact set of events happened (Started with a group, several dropped, and the last round was canceled), I can say that resulted in quite a bit of contention, arguments, and general bad feeling. Personally, I was the first person out of the cut, and by an MOV difference of less than 20, so a win in the final round would have put me in. I was okay with it at the time, as it was very late, and it wasn't a sanctioned tournament (I would have won a lanyard :) ). It doesn't matter if it's the players making the call, or a TO; If you go into a tournament and are told it will be X number of turns, then you play less than that, people will feel cheated, even if they had no chance to make the cut.

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You'll never find a perfect tournament structure that can be played in a reasonable amount of time.

 

The idea that a TO could cut swiss rounds should numbers drop seems fair although it should be announced before the last round.  It may be a bit shocking but when a group of IDs can make that last round moot the only reason to play it is to sort out those who don't make the cut.

 

I think a change to scoring could help muddy the waters making those IDs far less certain.  I know many only want to see games in black and white but there should be a lot of shades of grey in there and having a good combination can paint a much nicer picture when it comes to final results.

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The tournament that caused this uproar really just had too many rounds in the first place. The fifth round should have been the last round as there was going to be a clear top 8 after 5 rounds. Playing another round was destined to make things messier.

That could have been avoided if TO's had the option to change the number of rounds as required to account for changes in the player count. The event in question started with enough players to make the final round necessary; it was only after people dropped that it caused trouble.

 

 

Speaking as someone who was in a casual tournament where that exact set of events happened (Started with a group, several dropped, and the last round was canceled), I can say that resulted in quite a bit of contention, arguments, and general bad feeling. Personally, I was the first person out of the cut, and by an MOV difference of less than 20, so a win in the final round would have put me in. I was okay with it at the time, as it was very late, and it wasn't a sanctioned tournament (I would have won a lanyard :) ). It doesn't matter if it's the players making the call, or a TO; If you go into a tournament and are told it will be X number of turns, then you play less than that, people will feel cheated, even if they had no chance to make the cut.

 

Oh hell, if I won an XWing lanyard, I would wear it for the entirety of Infocomm.  Every single year.

Edited by Audio Weasel

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This does seem like a good thing to try and settle out. However! A word of caution:

Arrow's Theorm would seem to apply here. Briefly stated: you can never created a system in which non-optimal behavior will always be against a person's strategic interests.

This is usually applied to voting systems.

The trick, I think, is to push such behavior to incredibly rare edge cases.

So keep that in mind and let's fix this problem.

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You'll never find a perfect tournament structure that can be played in a reasonable amount of time.

There's no perfect tournament structure, period. That's why M:TG is different from competitive Scrabble, and they're both different from chess, and all three are different from Go, and all of those are radically different from World Cup football.

But, for instance, double-elimination would usually add one round to the current "basic" structure, and sometimes none at all to the "advanced" structure--and DE gets rid of a lot of the noise and overhead of the current system.

(Plus I'd argue we're at a point with large tournaments (including many Regionals and even some Store Championships) where they can't be played in a reasonable amount of time anyway. So as long as we're going to two-day events, and can therefore relax the time constraint...)

Please don't screw with the tournament structure. It's fine as is.

It really isn't fine. It's just familiar.

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and ID would still be a bad rule if Roanoke had never happened.

Can we make this a thing? Like when something gets ruined we all just start saying, "Oh great, you Roanoked it."

 

All in favour?

"Things were better back then... before Roanoke." 

 

Then everyone solemnly nods in silent agreement.

I feel like this happened to a colony at some point...

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