Relegations/Promotions

Suggestions to improve the concept of a PlayDiplomacy League

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Relegations/Promotions

Postby boldblade » 13 Apr 2018, 15:34

I mentioned this in another thread where I jumped in with GPD to complain about some things. I think typically everyone has looked to the scoring as a problem but I think it may be the promotions and relegations that may be causing the problem. Now, I do think scoring is not quite perfect. So, I do hope we can make changes to that for the next season. This, however, could and should be changed for the current season. Or, to think of it another way we could just agree that the promotions and relegations, though a result of this season, are really more related to the second season and thus this change should be made so that season two is affected.

I hypothesize that with a whole third of a league facing the prospect of relegation people are playing far more carefully than they might if the risk of getting relegated was lower. Subconscious math is being done to tell us the obvious: the more eliminations you have the closer you are to getting relegated. With 7 out of 21 people getting relegated, each elimination seems costly. I think if you cut that number in half down to 3 or 4 relegations/promotions I think people are going to feel a lot more comfortable taking a few risks. If you take a solo shot and fail, often times you will be included in a draw if you get thwarted and stalemated. There obviously is some risk that you will get eliminated. But if that elimination is less costly in the sense that you can survive a few eliminations and not get relegated because fewer people will be relegated then I would think that subconscious math is going to calculate risk differently and let people go for it. Conversely, if you have the ambition to get promoted you probably can't three-way draw the whole way to the promo. With less than a handful of spots for jumping up you are going to need a more convincing resume.

Also, I think it is important to point out we don't change that much or lose much by making this change. 3 or 4 fewer people get promoted. Is that such a problem? Do we really want 7 guys with 4 three-way draws getting promoted to the highest league? While it is very hard to tell what is going on in everyone's head across the league I think there is so little downside to this change that the potential upside is without question worth it.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby V » 13 Apr 2018, 15:54

I disagree with this change & would vote against it next season & be alarmed if it were introduced mid-season specifically against previous statements that changes would not be made mid-season.
The major reason why I consider the proposal bad is staleness. With a pool size of 21 we are already often playing folks twice & unless new blood is introduced, in abundance, each season then the repetitive nature of playing the same opponents each year, often twice, will become a serious drag.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby duckling » 13 Apr 2018, 16:31

Why, would you say, is this “staleness” a bigger problem for Diplomacy than for the average sports league?
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby boldblade » 13 Apr 2018, 17:06

V wrote:I disagree with this change & would vote against it next season & be alarmed if it were introduced mid-season specifically against previous statements that changes would not be made mid-season.
The major reason why I consider the proposal bad is staleness. With a pool size of 21 we are already often playing folks twice & unless new blood is introduced, in abundance, each season then the repetitive nature of playing the same opponents each year, often twice, will become a serious drag.


I really do look at it as a next season change. I won't be upset if it were not to take effect until after the second season but whichever.

As for staleness... there are already players in your league that you will not get to play against if no changes were made and we are still talking about replacing a third of the league which is still a significant change that I would hope should fight off the staleness.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby V » 13 Apr 2018, 17:07

Because it’s Diplomacy, not a Sports League. This may only be a problem for me (the vote would tell us more) but I dislike playing the same opposition frequently. To only change a few participants then possibly play 90% the same players next year, for me at least would not be good. I also think it could be seen as limiting to folks aspiring to play in league 1.
In comparison to passing judgement on what results earned league newcomers promotion, it is much more significant. To be honest although getting a solo is a pleasurable achievement, I don’t really give a damn how many occur in other games.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby boldblade » 13 Apr 2018, 17:24

V wrote:Because it’s Diplomacy, not a Sports League. This may only be a problem for me (the vote would tell us more) but I dislike playing the same opposition frequently. To only change a few participants then possibly play 90% the same players next year, for me at least would not be good. I also think it could be seen as limiting to folks aspiring to play in league 1.
In comparison to passing judgement on what results earned league newcomers promotion, it is much more significant. To be honest although getting a solo is a pleasurable achievement, I don’t really give a damn how many occur in other games.


Well, it would only be 60%ish but I'm sure that isn't a meaningful enough change for you.

And yeah that is the only drawback of this is that less people who want to move up will be able to. But I don't see this as a problem. If you want to move up you have to go for it and do something a little more impressive than carebear your way to 4 three-way draws.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby V » 13 Apr 2018, 17:32

It’s not 60%ish in league 1 or 3. If you only promote 3/4 players that is only 15-20% change in personnel. Assuming the fixtures mean you don’t get to play at least one of those, then there is every chance 85%+ of the opponents will not change in the subsequent season. League 2 has both promotion & relegation, but the others don’t. (If it were 60% I’d be fine, but to achieve that you’d need to promote at least 7).
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby boldblade » 13 Apr 2018, 17:59

V wrote:It’s not 60%ish in league 1 or 3. If you only promote 3/4 players that is only 15-20% change in personnel. Assuming the fixtures mean you don’t get to play at least one of those, then there is every chance 85%+ of the opponents will not change in the subsequent season. League 2 has both promotion & relegation, but the others don’t. (If it were 60% I’d be fine, but to achieve that you’d need to promote at least 7).


Hmmm indeed. I was thinking specifically in the context of my league. Although League 3 also has both. It is really just an issue for the top league.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby mhsmith0 » 13 Apr 2018, 18:06

fwiw, i think that having a more substantial reward for first place outright in a league (hop 2 spots instead of 1, be protected from relegation the next year, etc) would all help to structurally encourage people to be more aggressive in their approaches, presuming that we collectively think that's a good idea.

I remember my "have the winner jump 2 instead of 1, have dead last drop 2 instead of 1" idea was rejected... maybe we should consider that again? Adding in relegation protection for a first place finish would also be helpful i think?

As for the rest, I don't think it ought to be a super big deal to cut down the promotion/relegation slots. Even if you have ZERO promotion/relegation, you're still dealing with a rotation that will put you up against every possible opponent 0-2 times a year, which strikes me as not all that bothersome. Throw in some non-trivial amount of promotion/relegation, and I think it really is fine. Maybe 3 is a bit too little... but 4 should be fine? 4 forces people to be more aggressive if they want to move up; as it stands now, four 3-way draws essentially guarantees promotion (barring super bizarre circumstances like the same 8-9 people each 3-way every round in a league)... but if promotion is just 4 people, then you potentially need to try for more to advance, as you'll be behind anyone who solo's just once, and a 2-way draw outpaces you by a lot as well.
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Re: Relegations/Promotions

Postby mhsmith0 » 13 Apr 2018, 18:12

boldblade wrote:
V wrote:It’s not 60%ish in league 1 or 3. If you only promote 3/4 players that is only 15-20% change in personnel. Assuming the fixtures mean you don’t get to play at least one of those, then there is every chance 85%+ of the opponents will not change in the subsequent season. League 2 has both promotion & relegation, but the others don’t. (If it were 60% I’d be fine, but to achieve that you’d need to promote at least 7).


Hmmm indeed. I was thinking specifically in the context of my league. Although League 3 also has both. It is really just an issue for the top league.


A bit more detail:

if my #s are correct (they might not be), there are a handful of different splits of how many people you draw in the league:

Model A (12 of 21 people have this type of draw)
4 people you play never
8 people you play once
8 people you play twice

Model B (6 of 21 people have this type of draw)
6 people you play never
4 people you play once
10 people you play twice

Model C (2 of 21 people have this type of draw)
2 people you play never
12 people you play once
6 people you play twice

Model D (1 of 21 people have this type of draw)
8 people you play never
0 people you play once
12 people you play twice

None of these structures seems inherently stultifying and boring? And even by just a simply rerand of who is in which slot, without any promotion/relegation, you ought to see a reasonably interesting remix of opponents year to year (particularly if encouraging remixing was explicitly part of the rand structure... and being able to do this with promotion/relegation helps even more).

PS side note: I've worked on an adjusted rand structure, where you have three people in model D, and everyone else in model A, which by nature makes it easy to cross-pollinate more, even more so if you put the "model D" slots as promotion/relegation slots.
Last edited by mhsmith0 on 13 Apr 2018, 18:15, edited 1 time in total.
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