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Player of the Year Competition

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#1
baragwin

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With all the recent discussion (including today) of how FFG organized play continues to fail us, I’ve been thinking about how we as a community can improve the situation.  I have an idea that I think could help the competitive Game of Thrones landscape and I’m looking for feedback from the community.   I’m also looking for people who would be interested in helping organize and run it.

 

The idea

 

The idea is to create a season-long player of the year competition for Game of Thrones players.  Each season will end with the two biggest tournaments of the year - the world championship in Minnesota and the Tourney of Stahleck - and the next season will begin immediately thereafter.

 

Players will accumulate points throughout the year by playing in all different types of events, with more points being awarded for bigger and/or more prestigious tournaments.  The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the season.

 

Why a player of the year competition?

 

The best way to grow a game is to get people to play more.  That’s the goal here.  Other games use ratings systems as an incentive to play, but a PotY competition has some advantages over a strict rating system.  First, you never lose points in a PotY system, so there’s never a disincentive to play.  You only ever gain points, and the more you play, the more you can gain.  Second, the seasonal aspect gives newer players a chance to compete on the same level as players who’ve been playing for years.  There’s no long-term accumulation of points… every season is a new competition.

 

In addition to giving players a reason to play more, a player of the year competition would also be a great way to keep people engaged throughout the year.  Seeing who and what deck won a regional is usually pretty unexciting, but if that win catapults the player up the player of the year standings, things get a little more interesting.  And as we get closer to the end of a season, every tournament takes on even more importance.  Having a seasonal championship would give us all something to follow throughout the year that (hopefully) feels like it matters.  

 

Multiple regions

 

Because of the differences in how the game is played around the world, it makes sense to have separate competitions for different regions.  To start with, I propose having a North American player of the year and a World (non-North American) player of the year.

 

Multiple levels

 

In addition to having multiple regions, we’ll have multiple levels of competition.  To start with, I think we’d have an advanced level and a beginner level.  A player would specify a level he or she wants to compete in for the season, and that player would then only be eligible to win that level.

 

The purpose here is to encourage newer players who don’t have a chance of competing against the best players in the world.

 

Scoring

 

There are countless different ways to do the scoring, but I see two key questions to answer:

 

  1. How do points scale as tournament size increases?  Of course larger tournaments should award more points, but how many more?  We want to reward success at big tournaments while also preventing those tournaments from completely dominating the PotY result.

 

  1. How are points distributed within a tournament?  Are they concentrated at the top or distributed more evenly throughout the standings?  Finding the right balance is tricky.

 

Does anyone have any insight on the above questions?  Is there an established scoring system used by other games?

 

Prizes

 

The North American winner wins a plane ticket to Stahleck and the World winner wins a plane ticket to Worlds.  Just kidding.  Sounds pretty great, though, right?

 

The truth is that I really have no idea what the prizes will be.  My hope would be to eventually persuade FFG to officially recognize the winners in some way, but in the meantime, we’d have to make do with the usual community-provided prizes… custom playmats, tokens, etc.  I’m open to suggestions here.

 

Website/infrastructure

 

To make this work, we’d need to create some infrastructure that doesn’t yet exist for Game of Thrones.  Players would need registration numbers, and we’d need a system that allows tournament results to be entered.  We already have a couple great tools that are similar to this (agot annals and jousting pavilion), so it can obviously be done.

 

If anyone is interested in doing any work on this end, please speak up.

 

Feedback

 

As a player, what is your general reaction to this idea?  Would this add to your enjoyment of the game?

 

Is anyone interested in helping make this happen?  What can you do to help?

 

Conclusion

 

Just to give some context here: I realize the above idea is ambitious and unlikely to succeed without significant interest and support from the community.  It’s definitely a longshot.  But after such a disappointing year from FFG organized play, I feel like the long-term success of the game is largely going to be dependent on us, the players.  I know there are people working on a series of player-run tournaments, which I fully support.  The hope is that having a PotY competition would help encourage players to play in existing tournaments like those, and the result will be a bigger, better community.

 

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#2
istaril

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Darknoj were discussing something similar again about a week ago. Well, similar is a bit misleading, but a lot of the broad strokes were the same: rewarding participation and placement in a way that was points based, and those points would have meaning. The problem as he saw it was that the OP structure didn't incentivize participation in many tournaments; once you had your swag from an event (say an SC), subsequent SCs carried a lot less meaning - and were therefore typically less well attended as the season progressed. 

 

I'd volunteer to help, but at the moment... I just can't. Too many balls in the air at the moment, and too many of them Thrones related. However, you should definitely have a chat with Darknoj about this. The approach he's working on and yours could be very complimentary, and rely on the same infrastructure.

 

I do think it's critical to reward more than just the #1 player. People need to be incentivized to keep playing, and rewarded for doing so, even when the top slot is out of reach.



#3
YEEZUS

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i like a lot of the ideas.  i have been pondering about if we can run an american series to send someone (multiple someones?) to stahleck


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#4
Buzz

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Could maybe be integrated in Jousting Pavilion.


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#5
OKTarg

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I would for sure lurk this.

#6
baragwin

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Could maybe be integrated in Jousting Pavilion.

 

This would be ideal, obviously.  I think I remember reading somewhere that the guy who created/runs it is Swedish.  Is that true, and do you know him, Buzz?



#7
istaril

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This would be ideal, obviously.  I think I remember reading somewhere that the guy who created/runs it is Swedish.  Is that true, and do you know him, Buzz?

 

It's run by Petter Nystrom, who can be reached through an email link on his site here



#8
Vorrt

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I like this idea.   

 

I would suggest you look at a couple outside resources as suggestions of the frame work for this.   One would be the points system Magic the Gathering uses for their Pro-Tour/Grand Prix tournaments.  The other would be speaking with the Netrunner community.   I know they had a very successful independent tournament series they ran for a while.



#9
14Shirt

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I like the idea of a national/world-wide points system where, as you say, points are not lost but only gained for participation and placement, for all players wishing to register. I would be willing to help in whatever way possible in terms of organization and workload, since as you say, it'll take a lot of community members working in collaboration.



#10
RandomMan

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I like the idea of this a lot.  There are some questions that I have about how this would work.  What software do we use for tournaments and where do we upload it to?  What would be the point structure for small local tournaments?  How many tournaments can I run a week?  Are the points given to only the winner of the each event or to the winners of each round?  What will the prizes ultimately be for the winner?  Is there going to be a visible leader board? Who would have access to player information and how would that access be controlled?

 

I have a lot of players, myself included, that have a lot of responsibilities in the local area so we cannot freely travel to events but we could grind the hell out of local tournaments.  We can easily play three or more tournaments a week and multiples on Saturdays.  I would be total down with a local hero for somewhere being player of the year by playing 100-200 daily events over the course of a season.  Of course, that kind of grinding needs to have a big payoff.

 

All in all, I really like this idea.  I am saddened that FFG can't be bothered with setting up something for its competitive minded customers but I am excited to help out in any way that I can for a player run operation. 



#11
RedSquadronK

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I'd also suggest trying to track the factions people play and award "Best of Faction" prizes to people. I've always felt those sort of prizes ensure that every faction is played by someone and can allow less hyper-competitive players a reasonable goal to compete for.


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#12
Elkerlyc

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Nothing to add but "I like"

(lurkmode re engaged)


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#13
Ironswimsuit

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Racing points systems seem usable. They scale well, and allow for bigger numbers which excites people. I've run tournament seasons before with my buddies, but I used soccer tournament scoring. It worked pretty well.

 

I don't like the idea of having beginner and advanced tiers, but I also don't like the way FFG divides up their event levels now.  Playing in a beginner tier can create some big fish in small ponds based on who enters at what level. If having an advanced tier wouldn't lend itself to elitism in the community,  it'd be ok.   One level across the board, or one level per game type seems the way to go. 

 

Scoring is tricky. People in larger metas inherently earn more points per tournament if points are based on tournament size while players in smaller metas earn less. Equal scoring levels with a minimum player count requirement for sanctioned status mitigates this some.  Do we want a situation where Bob from Nebraska is the best player in the country, but the top of the rankings is dominated by CA or NY due to size of the local player base? This isn't a slight against the skill level in those areas, just an example.

 

My opinions on OP aside, whether to include  SCs and Regionals or not for PotY is something that should be considered. FFG has no reason to change their OP system or recognize a community organized one if players are still flocking to their events and stores are paying for kits. If it's decided to exclude the events, be considerate to FFG about it. They do publish the game...

 

Expanding regions beyond US and World should be considered. For the US, see either the FFG regional map or the Decipher SWCCG regions for an idea. Canada should probably be its own thing.

 

OCTGN/Online events/invitationals. These should count toward PotY.

 

Big area tournaments should be promoted. This should be a natural occurrence with a program like this.  Scantrell has an event in Atlanta this weekend. Any competitive Thrones player in the southeast willing and able to make a road trip should attend, barring adult responsibilities.  I'd be there, but adult responsibilities.   The ATL meta is a great bunch and the organizer is the one of the most community-minded players Thrones has. More events like this one are good for all of us.



#14
dockellis

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This is a wonderful idea. 



#15
Jimorie

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I like this idea. I think it would be possible for me to support this on The Jousting Pavilion (http://thejoustingpavilion.com) if you think that's the best place for it.
 
My biggest hesitation for chosing The Jousting Pavilion is that it doesn't currently feature a way of storing only the final results of a tournament. The Jousting Pavilion is only storing and producing statistics for those tournaments that were actually using the site for running the event, and that means entering in every game result. I believe that's something that would have to change for this initiative to be successful.
 
Adding the necessary features to The Jousting Pavilion would certainly be possible, but it would then make The Jousting Pavilion a direct competitor with http://agotannals.com which already does this kind of thing. So, my question would then be to the guys running the Annals, what do they think about this? And wouldn't The Annals be better suited for this thing?


#16
baragwin

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone.  Please keep it coming.

 

Some of you are asking great questions as far as details on how a PotY competition would work.  I don't have the answers to those questions yet because I'm still figuring out the best way to do things myself.  Two things I will say are:

 

1) This is intended to be an on-going, long-term project.  My hope is that we can get something set up in time for the upcoming season (immediately following Worlds/Stahleck this fall).  But that will just be the beginning.  The first season will be experimental, and we'll learn what works and what doesn't.  We won't be able to make this everything that people want it to be right away, but that doesn't mean it won't eventually become those things.

 

2) Everything about the competition will be completely transparent to the community.  The rules will be established before the season starts, and all results will be updated and public for anyone to see (those who don't want their names published can be identified by number instead).

 

I completely agree on the promotion of big area tournaments such as Scantrell's.  The main goal of a PotY competition would be to encourage more people to travel to tournaments like his.



#17
Soylentsauce

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I am for it if it makes Corey play an entire Joust tournament someday.


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#18
sparrowhawk

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On the question of scoring, for an initiative that encourages more participation and does not penalise for attending and doing badly, where you can only raise your score by attending, I suggest tried-and-tested "Root Sum Squares".

For every tournament you attend, count the number of people you ranked above then square that number, sum these squares over the "season" then square root the total to determine your score.

Filter on the tournaments where you played faction X to find your score for each faction (for purposes of best faction awards for the season), so die hards will be rewarded here.

The ease of collecting tournament size, tournament rankings and faction played data is another advantage over ELO etc.

I used this when organising free-form multiplayer boardgames tournaments at conventions and a variant was used in the European Tour for Diplomacy (which also had its best country awards like best in faction here).

Whatever system you use, good luck. Seems a worthy fan-run venture when FFG OP are so crap.

#19
Vorrt

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For scoring, I feel like a flat tier system with bonus depending on cut size.

 

Examples:

 

GNK - 1 pt per win

SC - 1.5 pts per win

Regional - 2 pts per win

National/Continental - 3 pts per win

Worlds/Stahleck - 5 pts per win

Bonus point Examples:

GNK - 1 additional point for overall winner

SC - Top cut 4: 1 bonus point per win, 2 bonus points for over all winner; Top cut 8: 1.5 bonus point per win, 2 bonus points for over all winner; Top 16: 2 bonus points per win, 3 bonus points for over all winner

Regional - Top cut 4: 1.5 bonus point per win, 3 bonus points for over all winner; Top cut 8: 2 bonus point per win, 3 bonus points for over all winner; Top 16: 2.5 bonus points per win, 4 bonus points for over all winner

National/Continental - Make day 2: 5 bonus points (one time award) Top cut 4: 2 bonus point per win, 4 bonus points for over all winner; Top cut 8: 3 bonus point per win, 4 bonus points for over all winner; Top 16: 4 bonus points per win, 5 bonus points for over all winner; Top 32: 5 bonus points per win, 6 points for winning over all

Worlds/Stahleck - Make day 2: 5 bonus points (one time award) Top cut 4: 3 bonus point per win, 5 bonus points for over all winner; Top cut 8: 4 bonus point per win, 6 bonus points for over all winner; Top 16: 5 bonus points per win, 6 bonus points for over all winner; Top 32: 6 bonus points per win, 7 points for winning over all

**The bonus points per win are only awarded for wins in the top cut, not for all wins in the tournament**

 

 

These are numbers that I've just pulled out of the air, no basis upon any established system of scoring.

 


On the suggestion for prize support, some ideas I have thought of:

 

- Stipend/Reimbursement  for larger tournaments (i.e. food, lodging, travel, event fee)

- Custom acrylic tokens (for Banner house that FFG might not make tokens for)

- Playmats

- Championship Pins

- Custom deck boxes 

- Alt-art card with the PotY as the artwork 

- Card Sleeves

- Design a Tournament format (a way to spice up the Joust/Melee tournaments)

- Plaque 



#20
YEEZUS

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Put one dollar from every entrance fee at every event into prize pool. Would have 2k easily
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