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  #1  
Old May 18th, 2009, 01:41 AM
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Default Dominions 3 Ladder

Dominions players seem to be a competitive bunch, and there's nothing competitors like more than clawing their way over each other on a ladder. So I thought I'd initiate a ladder system without any expectations around how popular or unpopular it may prove to be.

Simply put, anyone may start a ladder game under this system by declaring it as such at startup, and conforming to the few simple rules set out below. When the game is completed, the game administrator should forward the results to the Ladder Administrator (initially me) who shall score them according to the ladder scoring schema set out below and update the ladder accordingly. The current state of the ladder shall be maintained and displayed here.


Ladder Game Rules

1. All games should run on the llamaserver, organized in the normal way by calling for players in this forum. For clarity, the name of the game should be "Ladder EA-1" or similar, identifying the age and sequence number of the game. The Ladder Administrator shall keep track of the next available sequence number for each age in this post.

2. To prevent experts in obscure mods and/or settings gaining an advantage, all ladder games should be run with default settings (except renaming on, of course) and the latest version of the CBM mod (only) enabled.

3. Certain nations commonly regarded as overpowered (e.g. MA Ashdod, LA R'lyeh, LA Ermor) may need to be banned. I'll take the forum's advice on whether this is necessary, and (if it is) what the exact list of banned nations should be.

4. Consecutive stales or going AWOL without notice is severely punished. It's left to the game administrator to grant turn extensions when they are requested, but if a nation stales twice in succession, that nation will be set to AI before the next turn runs and the offending player will receive no credit for the game. Substitutes may not be used in a ladder game. A second double-staling offense will result in the offender being removed and banned from the ladder altogether.


Ladder Scoring Schema

The scoring system is designed to reward a player for beating higher rated players, and to punish him/her for losing to lower rated players. Simply playing a lot more games than anyone else will not automatically move you up the ladder. Finally, the schema ignores the fact that, regardless of how good you are, you're gonna die if all your neighbours gang up and dump on you from turn 1.

Two points are awarded to you for each player with an equal or greater number of ladder points than yourself that is eliminated before you in a ladder game. One point is subtracted (but you cannot go below zero ladder points) for each player with fewer ladder points that is eliminated after you. No points are awarded or subtracted for players eliminated on the same turn as you. Finally, five(5) ladder points are awarded to the winner.

The turn of elimination is the turn after your last (if you are actually eliminated) or the first turn played by the AI (if you go AI). No points are awarded (although they may be subtracted) if you are eliminated or go AI in the first year (12 turns).


Next Available Ladder Game Names

Ladder EA-1
Ladder MA-1
Ladder LA-1


Current Ladder

(empty)
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  #2  
Old May 18th, 2009, 01:51 AM

Frozen Lama Frozen Lama is offline
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

Sounds interesting. With a game like Dominions though, luck has a big influence, and the games take long enough that you end up with a small sample size to compound the problem. Still, sounds cool.
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  #3  
Old May 18th, 2009, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen Lama View Post
Sounds interesting. With a game like Dominions though, luck has a big influence, and the games take long enough that you end up with a small sample size to compound the problem. Still, sounds cool.
Absolutely. This is just a bit of fun, and not a serious attempt to identify the strongest Dom3 players around.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 02:04 AM

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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

I understand that this is a suggestion that individuals can take or leave, however..

I'd hate to see a system like this lead people away from different and interesting choices in terms of nation, strategy, pretender etc in order to boost their ranking.. One of the nice things in this game is the diversity of choice people take, if we start really monitoring performance this way competitive spirit will tend to push people towards safe choices. What's that, Sauromatia, Niefelheim and Mictlan already taken? No thanks.

We might also find that while people are generally happy to play with whoever, they might start being choosy.. will a top player want to jump into a game full of new players who will all jump on him year 1 to get the bonus points?

As an aside, given that games take months, and that players' scores will change through that period, do you calculate ladder points based on starting, time of death or finishing rankings?
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Old May 18th, 2009, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragar View Post
I'd hate to see a system like this lead people away from different and interesting choices in terms of nation, strategy, pretender etc in order to boost their ranking.. One of the nice things in this game is the diversity of choice people take, if we start really monitoring performance this way competitive spirit will tend to push people towards safe choices. What's that, Sauromatia, Niefelheim and Mictlan already taken? No thanks.
I did think of this, but its really only an issue if people start taking it too seriously. Even so, one way of mitigating it would be to control the order in which signups get to choose nations, with lower-ranking players allowed to choose first. In fact, with that system in place, there's probably no compelling need to ban overpowered nations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragar View Post
We might also find that while people are generally happy to play with whoever, they might start being choosy.. will a top player want to jump into a game full of new players who will all jump on him year 1 to get the bonus points?
The top post explicitly acknowledges this. If you're the top player, don't expect to remain so for long And if you stay out of games for fear of being dumped on, you'll soon lose your top spot anyway - the scoring system is not zero-sum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragar View Post
As an aside, given that games take months, and that players' scores will change through that period, do you calculate ladder points based on starting, time of death or finishing rankings?
For reasons of practicality, all scores would be calculated at game end, based on the state of the ladder at that time.
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Last edited by Zapmeister; May 18th, 2009 at 02:23 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

This would be interesting. However it would probably also be the most slow moving ladder of any game ever due to the nature of Dominions. Hell, it'll probably take you a few months (or more) for enough games to be completed for a fair assessment of scores to be possible.

Still though, it'd be fun to see and I'd definately take part.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:43 AM

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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

maybe there can be some factor in the scoring to account for wins accrued with higher powered nations.

also, I don't think limiting to default settings is a great idea. First, understanding the influence these settings have on game dynamics is no different from understanding how to compose armies or script commanders. Second, I don't find anything particularly 'normal' about any of the defaults; they are fuzzy middlepoints at best. Lastly, tweaking these settings is a great way to make a more interesting game or bring out different aspects of the nations.

Most games modify magic settings. Many of them modify research. Some of them modify supplies, resources, or gold.

In the end, modifying settings is another dimension of dynamics in the game that is no different from choosing a map or deciding what nations will be in the game. If you want to minimize exploitation through superior knowledge... well wait a minute, being good at the game is exploiting superior knowledge. It seems to me limiting settings to default is an arbitrary limitation based upon something that 'feels' less normal, but really isn't.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

To get around the time problem, perhaps have 6 players on a smallish map with fast research - that should turn things around abit.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fakeymcfake
However it would probably also be the most slow moving ladder of any game ever due to the nature of Dominions. Hell, it'll probably take you a few months (or more) for enough games to be completed for a fair assessment of scores to be possible.
This actually doesn't bother me at all. Some things take a long time. Take the series of movies "7n Up", for example. What are they up to now, "56 Up"? Patience, Grasshopper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnirizon
maybe there can be some factor in the scoring to account for wins accrued with higher powered nations.
Yes, this is another idea I've been playing with. The idea is to allocate ladder points to nations e.g. Ashdod +0, Bogarus +3 etc. These are the bonus ladder points you earn just by playing that nation (provided you don't double-stale or lose in the first year).

EDIT: May have to add the condition that you play the nation to elimination (i.e. you don't get the bonus points if you go AI) to stop people from milking the points by bailing on turn 13.

I'd need someone more experienced than I to go through all the nations and assess their points value. It also mitigates the problem of the overpowered nations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnirizon
also, I don't think limiting to default settings is a great idea. First, understanding the influence these settings have on game dynamics is no different from understanding how to compose armies or script commanders. Second, I don't find anything particularly 'normal' about any of the defaults; they are fuzzy middlepoints at best. Lastly, tweaking these settings is a great way to make a more interesting game or bring out different aspects of the nations.
Well put, and I agree. Consider that limitation scrapped. I'm still not real keen on mods (other than CBM) though.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Dominions 3 Ladder

One thing you might want to take a look at, is (unfortunately) going to require a bit more math involved. The problem is, some players are MUCH more active than others. For most of the last year, I averaged 8+ games going consecutively. Recently I was in -13- games, and now I don't have the time or focus to play competitively at all, so I've almost dropped them all. Meanwhile, I've known people who regularly play 4-5, and a number of vets whose hard limit is 2 at a time.

If 1 player joins every single ladder match that's up, they'll simply dominate the page, even if they lose every time.
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