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Salvation Draft League
2012-12-16, 02:04
Administrator
326 posts

Registered:
Jan 2006
Before we announce the third season we would like some feedback on Division 2. As you know this was the debut season and we did not know what to expect or how it would play out in all areas.

We really only had one problem team and very few walkovers, so I think it was a success based on that alone. Division 2 was also the first to insist on playing the bronze game, inspiring div1 to follow troop, so props for that. Now that we can look back at the season we did notice a few possible issues that could be looked at.

captains
In division 1 this is very clear. We try to find the top 8-10 4on4 players and seed them accordingly to be captains. This is very difficult for division 2.
We decided that div1 captains picked the div2 players as well, but apart from that had no obligations to that team during the season. With such a tight schedule, and most div1 teams practicing as well during the week there is just not much, or any, time to help, coach or manage, the div2 team. This is only at the willingness and expense of the div1 players who wish to do so.

I can see how some div2 teams were expecting more leadership on that front and didn't take much initiative on their own to make sure players came to games or handle other minor administrative things. In other teams however natural leaders quickly took matters into their own hands. Made sure all players were on board for games and organized pracs etc.

Our thoughts on this are as follows:
Now that we have direct performance results on a recent season we have much better foundation for picking players. The overall consensus is that div2 players are "unreliable". This manifests in the fact that we gave div2 teams 6 players each instead of 5, and they still had to use quite a few free agents. On top of that a whole team fell apart.

So our suggestion is that we proceed as last season but demand a little more from the players next season. It's strongly advised that each team promote one of their players, by internal voting, to a "manager" of sorts. Someone responsible for making sure all players are on board, identify idlers and contact the div1 captain to help get a free agent replacement, help organize pracs during the week if your team is up for it and report wins to the draft site.

I think in most cases there would be one or two volunteers willing to step up, and this would motivate the team to take it a bit more serious and show some effort.

If we are clear before the season that div2 teams are responsible for themselves more than they thought they were in season 1, we might see less of the issues we faced this season. Example with flintheart idling in the wrong channel for a week not showing up for games because he thought his team was inactive. This would never happen if his team would actively make sure all players were in contact with each other. This is a serious tournament, in terms that you signup to participate actively. You don't signup to "show support", then never play.

So what are your thoughts? Do div2 require their own real captains? Are there concerns with not being involved in creating your own teams? If there is, how could this be solved? One suggestion was div2 "assistants", that would help div1 captains pick players, but now that we have real performance to look at, I'm not sure this is really needed.

I think with this draft tournament, div1 and div2 are sharing IRC channels, exchanging experiences, and div1 players are much more in contact with the div2 scene than ever before.

free agents
Another testament to the stability of the div1 season was that not a single "free agent" was required during the whole season and we had 0 walkovers in div1.
On the other hand div2 did make use of the free agents quite a few times. This is encouraged because we want active teams and idling players do not belong here. There can occur problems as well where a player is not able to participate for personal or technical reasons during the season.

There were a few good players in the free agents pool this season but lets face it, once all teams are picked it's not really top of the pops that's left over. Mainly because we try to assess how many decent teams could possibly be made, with the current season signups. Never the less, it's pretty much guaranteed that at least some free agents WILL get a chance to join a team. I guess we can only encourage those players who signed up, but did not get picked, to be a lot more visible/available/vocal during the season. Especially during first week and the first Sunday. Idle in #draft.qw and be aware if teams need a player. We could perhaps have an open thread on the forum where free agents can post if they are really interested in getting picked up if a slot opens.
ready!
2012-12-16, 04:45
Member
382 posts

Registered:
Apr 2006
I like the idea of requiring a manager for each div2 team. I'm sure most div1 captains didn't feel directly involved with micromanaging their div2 teams since they had div1 teams taking up their time. Being a div2 player who gets chosen to play by a superior places you outside any position of authority, and that can make attempts to direct or assert control seem very presumptuous. Making "Manager" an official position gives responsibility for organising games where otherwise people would idle in complete lack of communication.

Picking the div2 teams is a different problem altogether, though. It certainly seems difficult for a top division 1 player to be invested in a second-division team he will never play for, unless he is particularly community-minded. Also, perhaps being so distant from these players in terms of skill can seem to make them all blur together into one category. Not to mention the fact that it is also incredibly difficult for anyone to pick players past the first two rounds of picking due to low levels of player-visibility making it near impossible to judge relative player skill.

Perhaps each div1 captain could pick his entire div1 team, then one player for the div2 team who would then be responsible for picking the remainder of the div2 team the next day. However, that might unnecessarily shift the priorities of div2 captain picking from "skilled" to "knowledgeable and responsible". Maybe a better solution could be a break between the div1 and div2 picking to allow for conferring with team mates, but still leaving the ultimate responsibility with the div1 captains? However, that would delay the picking while increasing the workload involved in presenting the show, while also reducing the visibility of the div2 league by segregating it into its own show. I'm not sure any of those solutions are particularly elegant or effective when compared with last season's method, and, as you said, there is now some performance data to look at for most of the players.

Something that could be done better is basic coverage, even though I know you're short on willing writers, etc.. Streams of matches were never provided from a centralised location where commentary was done, and I think that having an official salvation or quakeworld.nu twitch channel where people can subscribe to check out videos of previous matches would make things a lot simpler, although that sounds like a job for a responsible stream admin who wouldn't be playing at all. I thought the recap shows were a really good idea in principle, but even they were a little underpromoted. There was no post regarding the Week 3 recap show, resulting in around 100 fewer people seeing the vod, and there was no finals recap show at all. Did they prove too much trouble to produce? Were they just too long and too much of a timesink to present? Critically, there wasn't even a post on qw.nu or the salvation site announcing that the season was over or that anyone had won. One basic schedule post and one basic results post each week are all that is necessary. They could be made from a short template to minimise effort. Consistent reporting raises awareness of the tournament by far more than the effort required. It also allows for easy, regular linking from sites like esreality by interested 3rd parties.

Niggling whine aside, my main feedback from season 2 is that I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, both as a spectator and a player. I liked going back and watching all the demos, and I especially liked how readily available commentary was in the later stages. Commentary from the knowledgeable players selected to do it made every game better. Also, as a player who was too busy during the match-day to watch anything live, the demo and commentary packs made sure I could enjoy every moment of the tournament. Thanks for another great season!
2012-12-16, 05:31
Administrator
326 posts

Registered:
Jan 2006
You are right on most accounts. Our coverage isn't always up to par, infact it rarely is. I really despise having to do long factual articles so that's why I decided to do the recap shows instead. They are more fun and interactive. The fact is all of the admins are active players, I guess it doesn't come as a big surprise. But what we burn for is to play. All this admin stuff is a choir. Sure it's nice to arrange it, see it grow and come together, but beyond that we really just want to play. So some things really lack. Consistent coverage articles, match predictions.. wrap ups after the tourney is over, when everyone is like "wow great season". But we don't think so much about people following it, it's already over for us.

We did get some unexpected help from adde who did a tremendous job with the commentaries as you noted in your post. I was afraid I was gonna have to do that as well, and then you can be sure they wouldn't have come online as fast or professional It's a pretty open tourney. If you think you can contribute some way, step up. Share the workload. We really just want to play in a great environment, so we tried to create the framework to do so. All the extra fluff is just that ... fluff. But fluff is nice and it gives it that extra that makes it all more enjoyable. We are just not kings of fluff, even though swi really does his best and we humbly try to accommodate.

I think this season was better than our first, I think the next will be even better and we hope everyone participating will make it so.
I should stop also speaking for all of the admins, cause I bet not all I say is representative of their opinions, so take much of what I say as personal statements
We hope to get more feedback in this thread and all admins will review it and discuss it when we have time.
ready!
2012-12-16, 11:29
Member
192 posts

Registered:
Feb 2011
Stev wrote:
my main feedback from season 2 is that I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, both as a spectator and a player [snip] Thanks for another great season!


I echo Stev's comments, I had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the next season! Thanks for making it happen

Stev wrote:
It certainly seems difficult for a top division 1 player to be invested in a second-division team he will never play for, unless he is particularly community-minded.


Regarding getting div1 players more involved in their div2 team, you'll need to provide an incentive. Just brainstorming, but maybe something like one of these options:

1- Right now, seeding determines which team picks the first map. Instead, you can say something like "whoever's div2 team won their match will pick first (or choose to pick second)".

2- Similar to #1, you can say "in the event of a 2-2 tie, the tiebreak map is selected by the team whose div2 team won their match".

These options depend on the div2 matches being played on time and before the div1 matches, so they can get messy.

Another idea is that in addition to declaring div1 champions and div2 champions, you can declare a "Grand Champion" that takes into account the final results of both divisions. For example, if your div1 team finished second and your div2 team finished 3rd, your overall result is better than someone whose div1 team finished first and whose div2 team finished 5th. You'll still have the individual teams trying to win their respective divisions, but there will be more interest in both divisions following and rooting for each other. The div1 team will also have incentive to help their div2 team so that together they are the overall champions. Not everyone will care, but some might. It also gives you more to talk about in your commentary and recaps

Essentially, add up the final standings of both divisions to get the overall score (lower is better). E.g. if div1 is 2nd place and div2 is 4th place, overall score for that team is 2 + 4 = 6. If there's a tie, then use the div1 standing.
2012-12-19, 11:34
Member
35 posts

Registered:
Feb 2011
I had a great time while playing this season and also got to know some really nice people.

First of all, thanks for everybody who organized and spent their own time to make that happen.

I agree with with bloog_dog's idea and I think that if we could think in a way to make the div2 and div1 more integrated, we will have more effort from either sides. By more integrated, I mean, similar things as he suggested, that makes the results of both divisions be important for an overall.

I'll think about more things to add.
2012-12-19, 13:25
Administrator
326 posts

Registered:
Jan 2006
I don't think it's a matter of division 1 captains/players not wanting to help the div2 more, it's a matter of time and priority. There just isn't that much time during a tight season like this, to coach two teams at the same time equally. As I said, it's really up to the div1 players discretion, how much time and effort they want to devote to their div2 team. I don't like to force div1 to be dependent on div2 results either. On the other hand I don't really have that good ideas as to how or IF we should integrate div2 with div1. div1 thrives very well, without being dependent on anyone else really and I hope div2 could as well. I would like to have live streams every Sunday of both some div2 and div1 games, possibly commentary for both. More participation from div2 players in recap shows and some match analysis. I'm planning to move the weekly recap shows to Tuesday so we can prepare it better if needed.

The two divisions are naturally integrated to the degree that div2 players try to do well and get noticed enough to be picked next season in div1, and div1 players try to not end up in div2
Apart from that I don't really see the importance. The fact that the div1 and div2 team are sharing the same IRC channel will already make them talk together. maybe play some internal games, make use of div2 as standins vs other div1 teams that also use standins. That's how we did it last season and it worked pretty well.
ready!
2012-12-19, 15:16
Member
46 posts

Registered:
Jan 2010
+1
2012-12-19, 16:44
Member
35 posts

Registered:
Feb 2011
I agree with you Para, but I don't mean only the captains.

We had a situation that was a bit weird in my opinion :

Our team (div2) had 3 players and we were looking for someone else to complete for us in a training before a match. Then we asked somebody from our div1 team, and this person went to play 2v2 instead of complete for us.

In the end we didn't prac because we couldn't find a complete and the other team didn't want to wait.

I understand that maybe for some div1 players, can be quite boring/easy to play with div2, but that was not the case at all.

And of course, I totally understand that nobody has obligation to play or to help and I don't blame the person who did that. It was just that we all had the feeling of "fuck that div2".

Anyway, I'm not sure if I could express myself correctly, I'm just saying that it might be interesting the idea of somehow integrated the div1/div2 teams, if not for points, maybe then in another way.

Also, I'm aware that I'm bringing up a problem, but I don't have a solution. I've just raised the point because perhaps someone else can bild ideas on top of my ideas.

But as I said, in general, I had lots of fun.
2012-12-19, 17:27
Member
286 posts

Registered:
Sep 2012
I kinda liked this setup, Rikoll, Pericles, Skillah, etc let me play with them even though we were not in the same div, and through teamspeak/mumble i learned a lot.
If the div1 players have some time to spare, they can just teach stuff to newcomers, who will later be able to play with them, and maybe everyone will stop crying this scene is dying.
But if you keep playing elite only mix, well, just die in your own shit, on your 3 boring maps !
2012-12-19, 20:40
Member
219 posts

Registered:
Aug 2011
overflow wrote:
I understand that maybe for some div1 players, can be quite boring/easy to play with div2, but that was not the case at all.


In my case, I tried to be there for my team as much as I could. My div2 team even pracced my div1 team, and that mentality won them the season. But as far as standing in for my team went, I tried to avoid it as much as possible, just because I didnīt want them to start slacking off and relying on somebody else to do the heavy lifting. Good practise games makes good official games.

But more to the point, itīs unfortunate that the div1 player rather played a 2on2. But the draft itself canīt really take a stand in that matter, since itīs very thin ice and it can easily become awkward. Plus, we donīt want to add responsibility to anyones plates. We want to keep it as simple as possible for all participants; if you sign up, you have the chance of getting picked. If you get picked, you have the chance to play. If we start meddling with the micro-managing there is no telling where it will end. So yea, not everyone in every team will be community-minded and helpful at all times, which is unfortunate, but if we can give more incentives for the div2-players to show up and want to prac (somehow), the problem might solve itself. Or maybe even try to shave off the players who arenīt motivated. Itīs tricky though, and there is no real quickfix solution.
carrier has arrived - twitch.tv/carapace_
2012-12-21, 20:27
Member
382 posts

Registered:
Apr 2006
Oh, I almost forgot. I find it a bit silly that a team with a win:loss record of 3:0, who beat a team with a 2:1 record, can be behind them on points. A system should emphasise either map-wins or fixture-wins, and this does neither.

If you're making map-wins the focus of the group stage, then make teams play 3 maps regardless of the result, and give 1 point for each map-win. Otherwise, just give 3 points per win. You could give a point for a 1-2 loss if you still want to reward map-wins, but be aware that it negates your decision to prioritise individual results for tiebreakers (except in cases where a 0:3 team are equal on points with a 1:2 team that beat them), while increasing the importance of the order in which maps are played. It makes 3-way point ties less likely, but that's purely a cosmetic thing, since map-wins would be the first factor in deciding a 3-way tie anyway.

That got complicated pretty quickly, so feel free to correct me if I've made a mistake somewhere. But, assuming I'm correct, I think either a system that rewards points for a fixture win and none for a fixture loss, or 1-point per map win where all 3 maps are always played, would result in the clearest and fairest systems. The order of maps is irrelevant in both systems, and both are easy to understand. I would imagine that public opinion would favour a fixture-oriented points system.
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