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AceWing

Is MOV useless as a gauge of anything meaningful?

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When it comes to SoS the one that I think matter is how good the people who defeated you were.  Lose to the guy who goes undefeated in 8 rounds of Swiss is more impressive that losing to the random scrub that just happens to be playing your counter using hot dice.  Perhaps a full SoS would reflect that but you can't control who you get matched against and a win is a win and the best played game should defeat anyone regardless of skill; it's how you respond when you're behind the 8-ball that matters more to me.

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@WWHSD - I don't understand your example at all.  How does a player that took two early loses have a 2-0 record?  He would have an 0-2 record and since his performance is so poor, he'd be contributing low SoS even if he didn't drop.  It doesn't matter if a player with a bad record drops because they're not helping your breakers anyway.  All matches are not equal.  Some players have a much harder schedule and if you don't use that as a primary tiebreaker, you're relegating all matches to equal status, which they're not.  MOV doesn't work because it doesn't indicate how hard your schedule was relative to other player's schedule.  It just shows how many points you destroyed which isn't a useful metric for performance over the course of an event.  If a player plays Paul Heaver and beats him by five points and another player played Joe Schmoe and won 100-0, MOV doesn't indicate anything meaningful because a player with a much easier schedule just got rewarded for playing worse opponents.  So, when you use MOV as a tiebreaker, you're literally punishing the better players and rewarding the worse players.  It seems like it's just a way to force people to stay aggressive during a match.

 

The problem is you are assuming that good players don't drop -- heck you're assuming that even decent players don't drop and that all 0-2 players were likely to go winless.  That just isn't the case.

 

If  a good players drops (and they do, plenty), it does exactly the same thing you are claiming MoV does, which is that it doesn't represent how tough their opponents' schedules were.   If someone narrowly beats the world class player, PH,  in your example in R1, and the same thing happens in R2, maybe because both of his opponents were also very good they only get a strong strength of schedule if PH finishes out the day. If he drops he finishes the day 0-2 and tanks his two opponents' SoS even though it was likely he could win the remainder of his games.  

 

While not all would have a good chance to run the table, very few -- had they stayed -- wouldn't have improved on that 0-2 record.

Edited by AlexW

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@WWHSD - I don't understand your example at all.  How does a player that took two early loses have a 2-0 record?  He would have an 0-2 record and since his performance is so poor, he'd be contributing low SoS even if he didn't drop.  It doesn't matter if a player with a bad record drops because they're not helping your breakers anyway.  All matches are not equal.  Some players have a much harder schedule and if you don't use that as a primary tiebreaker, you're relegating all matches to equal status, which they're not.  MOV doesn't work because it doesn't indicate how hard your schedule was relative to other player's schedule.  It just shows how many points you destroyed which isn't a useful metric for performance over the course of an event.  If a player plays Paul Heaver and beats him by five points and another player played Joe Schmoe and won 100-0, MOV doesn't indicate anything meaningful because a player with a much easier schedule just got rewarded for playing worse opponents.  So, when you use MOV as a tiebreaker, you're literally punishing the better players and rewarding the worse players.  It seems like it's just a way to force people to stay aggressive during a match.

 

The problem is you are assuming that good players don't drop -- heck you're assuming that even decent players don't drop and that all 0-2 players were likely to go winless.  That just isn't the case.

 

If  a good players drops (and they do, plenty), it does exactly the same thing you are claiming MoV does, which is that it doesn't represent how tough their opponents' schedules were.   If someone narrowly beats the world class player, PH,  in your example in R1, and the same thing happens in R2, maybe because both of his opponents were also very good they only get a strong strength of schedule if PH finishes out the day. If he drops he finishes the day 0-2 and tanks his two opponents' SoS even though it was likely he could win the remainder of his games.  

 

While not all would have a good chance to run the table, very few -- had they stayed -- wouldn't have improved on that 0-2 record.

 

 

I'll use Paul as an example here since AceWing already has. Paul lost 3 rounds at GenCon in 2015 and dropped. For the three people that beat him he was worth 0 points of SoS. If he had finished out his day and won the four remaining matches he would have given .57 SoS to his opponents. Because of the way that Swiss pairings work, a strong player that loses early to other strong players will tend to win their remaining rounds because they are playing other players with similar records.

 

On the flip side, you could have a player that never ends a tournament with a winning record that manages to win their first round. Something comes up that forces them to drop. That player contributes a perfect 1 point of SoS to the player that he beat. 

Edited by WWHSD

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 My problem with using MOV to measure performance is it's not a measure of anything meaningful unless you define meaningful as staying involved aggressively for the duration of a match.

 

No offense, but this statement is ridiculuous. You've got 2 guys who just played 6 rounds in Swiss. Both got 4 wins and 2 losses. However, player A had 4 decisive wins, wiping his opponents completely, while his losses were very close calls. Meanwhile player B got crushed twice and most of his victories were rather unconvincing. If there's only space for one of these players in the finals, who do you think should get the spot?

 

I realize that some lists bleed MoV more easily than the others, so using MoV as a tie-breaker has it's disadvantages. But in the end of the day Margin of Victory is precisely what the name implies - a statistic that represents how convincing your victories or how crushing your defeats were. I can't fathom how anyone would consider it "not a measure of anything meaningful". I also fail to see the implied relationship between MoV and "staying involved aggressively". If anything, MoV encourages trying to preserve damaged ships and thus promotes cautious play, not aggressive. Depending on situation of course, but still.

Edited by Lightrock

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One, I've never agreed with awarding half points on large base ships if you get half way through the ship. Large base ships typically have very low agility and go down faster than a small base ship with an equal number of points put into it that's built to tank shots. I think large base ships are needlessly penalized. If you don't destroy the ship, why are you getting any points for it?

 

Thematically? An X-wing (Or Corran in an E-wing, or Soontir Fel, or any other small base ship) is designed to have easily replaceable parts. If you take a hull damage, think of it as a crack in the cockpit transparisteel. That can be replaced in a matter of days. Even if an X-wing is at 1 hull, limping home, there are innumerable other X-wings out there that can be cannibalised for spare parts. In short, small-based ships are expendable (with the exception of Defenders, Phantoms and E-wings).

 

Compare that to a YT-1300 Resistance Sympathiser. That sympathiser has his live invested in that freighter, and if it limps away on 1 hull, its going to cost a fortune to replace, because the general rule is that larger parts have lower availability. To say nothing of the Falcon (For which the half-point rule was made), where any kind of damage whatsoever was a nightmare to fix, or Slave-1, etc, etc.

I would have thought the opposite would be true. The YT-1300 is the most prolific ship in the galaxy, it's also civilian. It's going to be a lot easier to get parts to fix that thing than a fighter. In the real world how hard is it to get parts to fix a truck compared with a military jet.

Edited by Rodent Mastermind

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I get the idea of half points on large based ships.  If your opponent put 50 - 60 points in a Decimator or a Falcon in the good old days and you do a lot of damage don't quite kill it, it's pretty demoralizing if you got 0 reward at the end of the match.

 

I'm not sure if the designers did this because of the hit point distinction between large and small base ships or the build cost distinction, but either way it does not matter anymore because the past few waves have broken this distinction.  K-Wings and ARCs both have more hit points than an Aggressor and there are a lot of examples of common competitive small ship builds that are 40 - 50 points.  Between SLAM and regen, I could argue that it is just as hard to get to half points on a typical Miranda as large based ships and there should be some reward for that.

As much time as FFG spends looking at the math behind X-Wing I would be surprised if they don't already know that this is a problem.  My guess is they don't have a simple, easy-to-understand approach to deal with this problem or it's just not a high enough priority for them to tackle and may never be unless people make a big stink about it.

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The performance of other players should have little if any bearing on my tournament scoring. With MoV, I retain the points I earn and my opponent retains the points the earn. I will bit say MoV is perfect, in fact I think it needs work, but I will absolutely say that it's not fair that players affect my score during matches I didn't pay against them. SoS is unfair and arbitrary. Once I've completed a match with a player, then that player should have no further effect on my performance. I'm a casual guy but some people, myself included, have bad days at the table and no player should be punished because one of their opponents performed poorly or dropped out. It makes just as little sense for you to pull a win against a tough opponent and for that player to boost your place in the tournament in any way other than you beat them. It doesn't and shouldn't matter to you or your performance who else they played, beat, or lost to, just that you beat them.

SoS is strange nonsense.

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I get the idea of half points on large based ships.  If your opponent put 50 - 60 points in a Decimator or a Falcon in the good old days and you do a lot of damage don't quite kill it, it's pretty demoralizing if you got 0 reward at the end of the match.

 

I'm not sure if the designers did this because of the hit point distinction between large and small base ships or the build cost distinction, but either way it does not matter anymore because the past few waves have broken this distinction.  K-Wings and ARCs both have more hit points than an Aggressor and there are a lot of examples of common competitive small ship builds that are 40 - 50 points.  Between SLAM and regen, I could argue that it is just as hard to get to half points on a typical Miranda as large based ships and there should be some reward for that.

As much time as FFG spends looking at the math behind X-Wing I would be surprised if they don't already know that this is a problem.  My guess is they don't have a simple, easy-to-understand approach to deal with this problem or it's just not a high enough priority for them to tackle and may never be unless people make a big stink about it.

 

They were pretty clear with their reasons for half points for large base ships (and people are certainly welcome to disagree with them).  They were trying to combat a tournament meta around Wave 5 that had become about "point fortressing."   Large base ships were able to hold onto a lot of points that small ships couldn't because they could stack a variety of defenses (or could just run away faster with EU).  Small base fighters pretty much disappeared from the top tables and especially lists that were only made up of small bases were nowhere to be seen because they bled so much MoV it was tough to make the cut on tiebreakers, so smart players increased their chances by avoiding taking them.

 

You are correct that there are some small base ships that can still point fortress (like Miranda and Corran) that are small base versions of that, and I don't disagree that maybe that needs to be re-evaluated (though they still go down a lot faster than a 13-16 hull ship if they make a mistake).     Those two ships are also corner cases because there are very few times when you are actually going to get half points on them thanks to regen and more of their health being made up of shields than hull -- they probable get even better in any system that counts half points for small base ships.  However, using base health (Kwings and ARCS, for example) doesn't make sense as they (outside of Miranda) don't have the defensive stacking capabilities that a lot of large base ships have. 

Edited by AlexW

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 However, using base health (Kwings and ARCS, for example) doesn't make sense as they (outside of Miranda) don't have the defensive stacking capabilities that a lot of large base ships have. 

 

 

well, they have the defensive stacking

 

what they don't have is speed

 

i.e large base boost "**** you I'm gone! See you at time in the round, sucker!"

Edited by ficklegreendice

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@StevenO - more developed games (tournament structure-wise) do use opponent match win percentage as the first tiebreaker because it is the best indicator of your strength of schedule, as you intuited. Both Chess and Magic use it, for example.

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 However, using base health (Kwings and ARCS, for example) doesn't make sense as they (outside of Miranda) don't have the defensive stacking capabilities that a lot of large base ships have. 

 

 

well, they have the defensive stacking

 

what they don't have is speed

 

i.e large base boost "**** you I'm gone! See you at time in the round, sucker!"

 

 

That's true, but I said  "the defensive stacking capabilities large base ships have" which wasn't to imply they don't have them -- just that they aren't as deep and big base EU is certainly a factor.  A falcon, for example, can take a defensive EPT if they want,  3PO, title, and R2D2, and EU.   Jumpmasters can use their EPT for LW, their illicit slot for Glitterstim, a droid for a deterrent if they want, and their Mod for CM or EU.  

 

An ARC is about the only small ship that can come even close to that depth of upgrades, true, but doesn't have the overall health (whether that is additional agility or base health) to stack those upgrades on. Nor, as you mention, does it have the speed.

Edited by AlexW

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@StevenO - more developed games (tournament structure-wise) do use opponent match win percentage as the first tiebreaker because it is the best indicator of your strength of schedule, as you intuited. Both Chess and Magic use it, for example.

I can't imagine how you could even really manage to MoV in something like Magic. You don't really have any sort of obvious scoring mechanic. Its quite common to end up with much more health than you started out with.

Also, both of the games you mentioned have persitent ranking systems don't they? Does that discourage players from going 0-2 and dropping?

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@WWHSD - Not at all. You could simply use life totals instead of points destroyed. Each player starts with 20 life so that's the break point. The winner gets 20 plus the differential in remaining life and the loser would get 20 minus the differential in remaining life. It would be the same (and equally poor measure of performance).

There are persistent rankings but the players correctly realize that playing it out with a losing record in an event doesn't accomplish much so you still have players who continue to play for fun, regardless of ranking, and you have players who drop, regardless of ranking.

Edited by AceWing

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@WWHSD - Not at all. You could simply use life totals instead of points destroyed. Each player starts with 20 life so that's the break point. The winner gets 20 plus the differential in remaining life and the loser would get 20 minus the differential in remaining life. It would be the same (and equally poor measure of performance)

I've never seen someone get infinite MoV. That would happen with your proposed system in MtG.

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@Squark - One, you could never have infinite MOV. It's literally impossible given the rules in MtG. However, I am not proposing it at all. I think it's awful, just like I think MOV as a tiebreaker is awful and rewards easier schedules and punishes harder ones. I'm pointing out how awful it is in other games to highlight how awful it is in this one.

Edited by AceWing

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Thing is, all tie breakers have a evil side to them. Someone will get screwed regardless. MoV at least gives the players a bit of say on their tie breaker score. Players can play a bit more safe when they see they are losing or more aggressively. SOS sadly can easily betray a player. Though had they used SOS at worlds I would of made the cut

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@WWHSD - Not at all. You could simply use life totals instead of points destroyed. Each player starts with 20 life so that's the break point. The winner gets 20 plus the differential in remaining life and the loser would get 20 minus the differential in remaining life. It would be the same (and equally poor measure of performance).

There are persistent rankings but the players correctly realize that playing it out with a losing record in an event doesn't accomplish much so you still have players who continue to play for fun, regardless of ranking, and you have players who drop, regardless of ranking.

In a game that the winner has 40 health left and the loser has 0 you'd award 60 and -20 MoV to the players?

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@WWHSD - One, yes.  Why not if that's how tiebreakers are scored?  Two, this is exactly how MOV is scored so if it offends you with MtG, why doesn't it offend you with X-Wing?  What's the difference between gaining life in MtG and regenerating shields in X-Wing?

Edited by AceWing

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@StevenO - more developed games (tournament structure-wise) do use opponent match win percentage as the first tiebreaker because it is the best indicator of your strength of schedule, as you intuited. Both Chess and Magic use it, for example.

 

I believe both Chess and Magic keep a continual "player strength" rating which is also used for seeding.  While it still doesn't keep a player from having a bad day it provides a far more accurate ranking when it comes to a player's SoS over a tournament even if they play someone who drops after a bad start.  Play Weaver and you've got a big time opponent showing you are playing a harder SoS; even if he loses a couple in that tournament and drops you've still been shown playing a good player although his record on that day might make it look like he just started the game last week.

 

In MtG there really is nothing that could equate to MoV from X-Wing because you don't really play with points.  Sure there is a "life" total but that game has plenty of ways to make that completely irrelevant to who wins and loses a game.  MtG also has the benefit that is usually plays LOT faster than X-Wing and generally the winner each round is determined by a best of three series.

 

 

In X-Wing the "half-points at half-health" really does do odd things when some kind of health restoration is available.  Although you may not seem him used that much anymore Chewie-crew is a great example of a card that hates that scoring method.  It's a 4 point upgrade but can swing your "hit-points" two points the other way IF he is used.  The crux of the problem is why would you spend him on some random damage card just to keep from going below half starting hitpoints when it would logically make more sense to wait to use him when he can prevent something important? 

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I believe both Chess and Magic keep a continual "player strength" rating which is also used for seeding.

 

Maybe chess seeds the first round based on a ranking system but MtG does not.

 

Sure there is a "life" total but that game has plenty of ways to make that completely irrelevant to who wins and loses a game.

 

That's exactly the same as points in X-Wing.  I can tank some shots early knowing they can't finish the job just like I can allow damage to resolve in Magic knowing they won't be able to kill me.

Edited by AceWing

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@WWHSD - One, yes.  Why not if that's how tiebreakers are scored?  Two, this is exactly how MOV is scored so if it offends you with MtG, why doesn't it offend you with X-Wing?  What's the difference between gaining life in MtG and regenerating shields in X-Wing?

 

I don't play Magic and don't really care what they do with their tie breakers. If strength of schedule works for them that's awesome. It's a different game. They have a persistent ranking system and as I understand it, matches are played until one player has beat the other twice. Magic also has no need to encourage continual engagement, there's no way to really avoid it and in swiss rounds there is no advantage to be had in getting a small lead in health and stalling the match until time elapses. If there is no winner when time elapses, the match is a draw.

 

It seems odd to me to use something for MoV that has no limit, like health in Magic. There exists the possibility of a match that a player gets a combo that permits some recursion to get a ridiculously high amount of health resulting in a single match that gives his opponent an MoV so far in the negative that it is impossible to recover from (without having a deck capable of similar health increasing recursion).  Odd corner case with the Hound's Tooth and simultaneous destruction aside, there isn't a way in X-Wing to exceed 100 points and once points for destroying a ship have been scored, there is (currently) no way to recover them. 

 

X-Wing used to use SoS as its primary tie breaker. It sucked. The move to MoV was a huge improvement. Removing MoV from pairing considerations, awarding half points for half damage on large ships, and doing away with the concept of partial wins, has made MoV even better. I would rather see additional refinements made to MoV if we need a better tie breaker than to go back to SoS. 

Edited by WWHSD

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Sure there is a "life" total but that game has plenty of ways to make that completely irrelevant to who wins and loses a game.

 

That's exactly the same as points in X-Wing.  I can tank some shots early knowing they can't finish the job just like I can allow damage to resolve in Magic knowing they won't be able to kill me.

 

 

Not so.  Points matter in X-Wing to a large extent but in MtG life DOES NOT MATTER at least.  In X-Wing the real win is defined by destroying all your opponent's ships/points although right now a "win" just means destroying one more point worth of ships than your opponents or winning the FINAL SALVO! if the game should be tied.  In MtG there are several ways to win that don't care about your life totals one bit.  X-Wing also has no way to actually increase your point totals although life gain of "arbitrarily large values" is entirely possible in MtG.

 

Now if you're trying to tell me that ships, and ship hit points, are commodities that can be used in X-Wing I'll actually agree with that.  The thing is that unless you win giving up those thing can cost you the close match.  When talking about life in MtG the life total you may not care about doesn't need to be your own; a Mill deck will happily give up life for time and may have nothing that can cause an opponent harm yet it can still win using other conditions where tournament X-Wing only has one win condition.

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@WWHSD - I never argued for changing how MOV works.  I'm arguing it should be abandoned.  I get you don't like SoS.  I'm arguing SoS is a much fairer system than MOV, which doesn't weigh the differences in matches at all. It actually rewards players for having an easier schedule and punishes players for having a harder schedule.  I showed the absurdity of its use in other games where something can be used comparably, like life in MtG.  I've been playing since wave III and I don't remember SoS ever sucking but I guess that's a difference of perspective and we'll have to agree to disagree.
 

Edited by AceWing

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