Why not make war season into a tournament already?

TL;DR: tournaments reduce the incentive to dump rating, force winners to fight winners, and can accommodate the top five tiers of war rating. In turn, they can allow Kabam to relax the restrictions on wars fought below that level during and outside of season.


Twice before I made suggestions for improving alliance war focused on solving a lot of different problems simultaneously, match making, war balance, etc. I'd like to reexamine one aspect of those suggestions: make alliance war seasons into a tournament.

The problem with implementing a tournament is that there are more alliances than can be accommodated in a twelve match tournament. My original idea was to introduce brackets like AQ used to have, where there was a more relaxed lower bracket with less rewards but also less restrictions, and a competitive bracket with higher rewards but more restrictions. With fewer alliances in the competitive bracket, something like a tournament could work. Thing is, Kabam is essentially doing this already.

The recent ratings freeze rules essentially separate tiers one through five from the lower tiers (it also implements a soft boundary between tiers 6 through 9, lets set that aside for now). Tier five and up contain the top 5% of alliances. Using 50,000 as a reasonable high estimate for the total alliances competing in war seasons in any capacity (in my experience when I was tracking war the number was generally lower than that) that means that tiers one through five are composed of about 2500 alliances. That is actually a small enough number to set up a single elimination tournament with twelve wars in theory.

We use rating to "seed" the tournament, but once the season starts and after the first war is fought winners fight winners and losers fight losers. And we set up the tournament bracket paths so that there's an advantage to rating higher at the start of the season: just like in other tournaments high ratings face off against lower ratings in the early rounds to give them a seating advantage. It is now pointless to aim for lower rating because it will not give you easy wins any more. Instead, there will be a huge incentive to maximize rating prior to the start of the tournament, just like in regular sports tournaments. This is something that can be tweaked to increase or decrease the seat advantage as desired (we may not want #1 to fight #2499, for example).

Below tier 5, we continue to fight wars as we do now, but with the added incentive that those fighting in tier 6 will be trying to get a high enough rating to enter the tournament next season. They won't deliberately lose during the season because that will cost them season rewards, and they won't deliberately lose in the off season because that could cost them a seat.

The main problem with this idea was always how do you choose who gets in, and how do you synchronize match making? Well, Kabam has already implemented fixed match making, and they have already drawn a line in the sand for me: tier 5 and above gets treated differently under the new rules, and the numbers work out. And the idea can be expanded to have, say, a "pro" tournament in tiers one through five, a "amateur" tournament in tiers five through nine, and then everything ten and below becomes the casual section with relaxed rules.

Comments

  • I have to say, this is pretty intriguing. Might take a bit of work to structure the guidelines, but I would be interested in seeing something like this occur. Quite complex @DNA3000 , and well thought out. Increasing incentive to go full swing without holding back would be something I would LOVE to see. Maybe this could do it.... although you know just as well as I do, if there's something that could be exploited, they'll find it. They always do πŸ˜’.
  • SandeepSSandeepS Posts: 212 β˜…
    I like the idea. Even with 1m alliances, it would be around 20 rounds and takes around 2 months as there is about a match every other day.

    Could first do it by number of battle groups (3,2 or 1). Then once entered have a knockout system. Prizes could be based on which stage you get knocked out, which would depend on how many entries there are. Alternatively, just change the winning reward for each match.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 8,636 Guardian

    I have to say, this is pretty intriguing. Might take a bit of work to structure the guidelines, but I would be interested in seeing something like this occur. Quite complex @DNA3000 , and well thought out. Increasing incentive to go full swing without holding back would be something I would LOVE to see. Maybe this could do it.... although you know just as well as I do, if there's something that could be exploited, they'll find it. They always do πŸ˜’.

    Nothing is impossible to exploit, but one big source of what makes the current system exploitable is that the victory bonus makes it sometimes advantageous to have a lower rating (because it helps win the next war). In a calculated tournament, it is possible to either reduce or completely eliminate that advantage. Instead of eliminating a way to manipulate rating downward, it simply eliminates the advantage of having lower rating altogether, regardless of how you try to get it.
  • Kobster84Kobster84 Posts: 2,898 β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
    DNA3000 said:

    I have to say, this is pretty intriguing. Might take a bit of work to structure the guidelines, but I would be interested in seeing something like this occur. Quite complex @DNA3000 , and well thought out. Increasing incentive to go full swing without holding back would be something I would LOVE to see. Maybe this could do it.... although you know just as well as I do, if there's something that could be exploited, they'll find it. They always do πŸ˜’.

    Nothing is impossible to exploit, but one big source of what makes the current system exploitable is that the victory bonus makes it sometimes advantageous to have a lower rating (because it helps win the next war). In a calculated tournament, it is possible to either reduce or completely eliminate that advantage. Instead of eliminating a way to manipulate rating downward, it simply eliminates the advantage of having lower rating altogether, regardless of how you try to get it.
    Think the problem with a tournament would be how 1 loss could lose you all rewards even if you were originally in a high tier
    Let’s say you lost a war at the start your out while in season you could lose a war at the start and win every other single one and still do really well
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 8,636 Guardian
    SandeepS said:

    Could first do it by number of battle groups (3,2 or 1). Then once entered have a knockout system. Prizes could be based on which stage you get knocked out, which would depend on how many entries there are. Alternatively, just change the winning reward for each match.

    That's an interesting modification to the basic idea. You could still have tournament rewards for first place, second place, etc, but you could also have escalating rewards for winning in each round. You could also throw the losers into a losers bracket, so they can still keep fighting for victory rewards and consolation prizes.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 8,636 Guardian
    Kobster84 said:

    DNA3000 said:

    I have to say, this is pretty intriguing. Might take a bit of work to structure the guidelines, but I would be interested in seeing something like this occur. Quite complex @DNA3000 , and well thought out. Increasing incentive to go full swing without holding back would be something I would LOVE to see. Maybe this could do it.... although you know just as well as I do, if there's something that could be exploited, they'll find it. They always do πŸ˜’.

    Nothing is impossible to exploit, but one big source of what makes the current system exploitable is that the victory bonus makes it sometimes advantageous to have a lower rating (because it helps win the next war). In a calculated tournament, it is possible to either reduce or completely eliminate that advantage. Instead of eliminating a way to manipulate rating downward, it simply eliminates the advantage of having lower rating altogether, regardless of how you try to get it.
    Think the problem with a tournament would be how 1 loss could lose you all rewards even if you were originally in a high tier
    Let’s say you lost a war at the start your out while in season you could lose a war at the start and win every other single one and still do really well
    My original idea for how to run this kind of thing would be that after initial match making, in successive rounds everyone with the same number of losses would be matched against each other. So after round one all the winners have a record of 1-0 and all the losers have a record of 0-1. All the 1-0 alliances are matched against other 1-0 alliances, and all the 0-1 alliances face each other. In round three, all the 2-0 alliances match against each other, all the 1-1 alliances, and all the 0-2 alliances.

    At the end of the season, the alliance with the best record takes first place, then the next best, and so on. Where two or more alliances have the same record, total points are the tie breaker. So a single loss doesn't cost you everything, you can still fight for second place. In fact, you could still be fighting for first place if there ends up being no undefeated alliances. If we limit to tiers 1 through 5, after twelve rounds it is possible no alliance remains undefeated. And if one alliance is undefeated, they probably deserve to place first.
  • klobberintymeklobberintyme Posts: 852 β˜…β˜…β˜…
    If this were 30 people sitting in a room playing a game with no communication allowed with the other "teams", and weren't allowed to leave the room for the entire duration of the tournament, that might make sense. Unfortunately, they're not limited to one alliance or account, there's nothing to stop collusion once matchups are set, and nothing really matters till you hit that 5 wars left milestone.

    The REAL interesting twist would be if individual accounts entered a draft, RNG randomly assigned everyone to a war party, that war party was sealed for 12 wars, best 30 randos win, no need for ratings or any of that nonsense. Hilarity ensues! Do it!
  • The_Stig9684The_Stig9684 Posts: 30 β˜…
    I like the idea, but in order for a tournament bracket to work, it basically needs a regular season, then a post season. Much like the NCAA basketball tournament. You could simply replace the off season with your "playoff" tournament for extended rewards. Question remains, how would you match up the bracket? Best way would be to compete against other alliances in the same tier as yours. IE, Gold 3 post season tournament. Problem I see is time constraints, because lower tier alliances have 2500+ participants. I think this thread actually merits some more consideration because it is a solid idea! Well done.
  • Putang76Putang76 Posts: 65 β˜…
    That’s a good idea!
    Maybe I would actually join an alliance if it was a tournament.
  • SlayerOfGodsSlayerOfGods Posts: 1,665 β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
    @DNA3000 I wish I had enough willpower to read all of this but I thank you for the TL;DR and I agree
  • SandeepSSandeepS Posts: 212 β˜…

    I like the idea, but in order for a tournament bracket to work, it basically needs a regular season, then a post season. Much like the NCAA basketball tournament. You could simply replace the off season with your "playoff" tournament for extended rewards. Question remains, how would you match up the bracket? Best way would be to compete against other alliances in the same tier as yours. IE, Gold 3 post season tournament. Problem I see is time constraints, because lower tier alliances have 2500+ participants. I think this thread actually merits some more consideration because it is a solid idea! Well done.

    In UK we have a football/ soccer tournament called the FA cup. Anyone can enter (you can form a team with your friends) and you can potentially play a giant of the football world. Its random and luck of the draw which is what makes it interesting.

    Could do the same here. There will potentially be David and Goliath matches, but in off season it would be a bit of fun.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 8,636 Guardian
    SandeepS said:

    I like the idea, but in order for a tournament bracket to work, it basically needs a regular season, then a post season. Much like the NCAA basketball tournament. You could simply replace the off season with your "playoff" tournament for extended rewards. Question remains, how would you match up the bracket? Best way would be to compete against other alliances in the same tier as yours. IE, Gold 3 post season tournament. Problem I see is time constraints, because lower tier alliances have 2500+ participants. I think this thread actually merits some more consideration because it is a solid idea! Well done.

    In UK we have a football/ soccer tournament called the FA cup. Anyone can enter (you can form a team with your friends) and you can potentially play a giant of the football world. Its random and luck of the draw which is what makes it interesting.

    Could do the same here. There will potentially be David and Goliath matches, but in off season it would be a bit of fun.
    That's one model, and I think the David and Goliath aspect would work better in a tournament. In the current system, matching against a way-higher alliance is just a lose-lose situation. You're unlikely to win, and the loss hurts you moving forward by potentially costing you multiplier. But in the tournament system I mention, the primary goal is to get the best win/loss record, and points are only a tie breaker. So whether you lose in round one or lose in round two, you've still lost one war. And if you hope to make it to the top, you're going to have to fight those high tier alliances regardless. Since you have to face them if you hope to finish strongly anyway, exactly when you face them is less of a concern. It is less punishing and more exciting to see how you do.

    In a normal tournament the entire bracket "tree" is fixed, but we can add a random element to it to make it less predictable as to who you will be matched against. For example, we could divide up the alliances into, say, one hundred groups of twenty-five (assuming 2500 alliances, this is just example) and then make a single bracket tree composed of one hundred spots, then randomly place every alliance onto one of those trees based on their group.

    So instead of, say, #1 fighting #100, it would be group 1 fighting group 100 and every alliance in group 1 would be fighting a randomly selected member of group 100.

    Of course, a detail I glossed over is that bracket trees are binary and thus normally have to be powers of two. But for non-powers of two you would just do the best you can in the early rounds and when you got to the late rounds the highest ranked alliances would get byes (an advantage of being the highest seats) while the others would be fighting in an essentially wild card round to reduce the pool down to a power of two.
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