Merge the Oak Division Groups?

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Zankman
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Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Zankman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:40 am

Hey,

As of right now, there are six Groups in Oak Division.

Out of the six of them, five have 2 Teams; one so far has just 2 Team.

I think that these Teams should all be gathered into one Group.

There are two main reasons:

1. Help engage and interest the Managers; as of right now, I can't imagine any of those eleven Managers being particularly excited, interested, engaged or motivated - there is nothing to do for them, nothing really goes on between the Match Days.

In other words, the "gameplay experience of Quidditch Manager" is for them, so far, anything but compelling.

2. Realism; you know, so that there is actual competition going on.

---

I am not sure why these Teams are not all in one Group in the first place - I don't remember it being like this... Is it a bug?

So, bossman, if you can change this on the fly, I humbly - but heavily - suggest that you do so!
Legacy of the London Dynamo
Founded:
Season 30 - Sapling 8.
Promotions (first season in new league):
Season 31 - Oak 5.
Season 32 - Iron 4.
Season 34 - Steel 3.
Season 37 - Bronze 2.
Season 38 - Silver.
Season 41 - Gold.
Season 44 - Honour.
Titles:
Season 48 - Club World Cup 1st Place.
Highest Honour Placement(s):
Season 44 - 5th.
Rivals:
Isle of Man Hood, Gillingham Giants, London Asswinders, London Ravens, Exeter Patronum, Dudley Dursleys...
Inspiration
London Inquisitors (RIP, S24 - S40).
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Cygnus
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Cygnus » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:52 pm

Hi Zankman,

This topic is a big dilemma of the pyramid league system.

Let's say we fill divisions group by group. At the end of the season we have e.g. 18 Oak teams. The 16th team wouldn't get promoted, but the 17th and 18th would, which would not be fair at all.

Also the last group to be filled would have the newest and theoretically worst teams and it would be much easier to win the last groups than it would be in the first groups.

What we could do is to have some sort of "low population" mode. Here in Brazil there is a crazy group stage mode for the São Paulo state football championship. 16 teams get divided into 4 groups and during the group stage a team plays a round-robin against all teams that are NOT in their group. So they play 12 games in the group stage.

So we could have a mode, where you play teams outside of your group until your group has X teams in it. Maybe half full?

Let me know your thoughts!
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Zankman
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Zankman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Ooh!

I am a big tournament format enthusiast and theorycrafter , so, I will gladly get into this topic with you once I get a bit more time.

As a quick note, I'll just say that the flaws of the "classic" system you mentioned are, in my opinion, worth the benefits I alluded to.

In other words, the negatives I talked about - two Teams per Group and the Managers not being engaged - are bigger problems.

Ultimately, this is a game, not a real sport; keeping the Managers (Human Players) engaged, interested and entertained is extremely important.

A slow, uneventful start where you don't get to do anything is not that!
Legacy of the London Dynamo
Founded:
Season 30 - Sapling 8.
Promotions (first season in new league):
Season 31 - Oak 5.
Season 32 - Iron 4.
Season 34 - Steel 3.
Season 37 - Bronze 2.
Season 38 - Silver.
Season 41 - Gold.
Season 44 - Honour.
Titles:
Season 48 - Club World Cup 1st Place.
Highest Honour Placement(s):
Season 44 - 5th.
Rivals:
Isle of Man Hood, Gillingham Giants, London Asswinders, London Ravens, Exeter Patronum, Dudley Dursleys...
Inspiration
London Inquisitors (RIP, S24 - S40).
Engelbert
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Team Name: Sheffield Owls

Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Engelbert » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:04 pm

As a manager of a team from Oak Division and a new player I agree that is deeply demotivating to play most games against Bye. I think you have not discussed the easiest solution. All groups could be filled with teams controlled by AI. Those teams would use players in wrong positions and a messed up strategy, therefore a human win would be expected every round. When a new player starts in the game it would receive one of those teams (probably the best ranked among the non-human teams) and continue their campaign. This method is both fair when considering the game and more motivating than the current one.

Another important thing to maintain the new players starting the game would be a tutorial, with rewards to tasks accomplished. This is an easiest and more entertaining way to discover the game and get used to everything. I think the low amount of new players is something that needs to be considered and, in this week of experience, the biggest problem that I have seen. New players are essential to a health growth and development of any game, specially simulation ones.

I hope you consider my opinions useful!

Cheers.
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Cygnus » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:28 pm

Thanks for your input, Engelbert!

A tutorial mode would be a great way to show new users around the menus and pages of Quidditch Manager and maybe some tasks with a little cash reward at the end, so there is a motivation to complete them.

Implementing AI teams would be possible with some effort, but I don't see this happening in the near future. They would have to be generated whenever a league opens up and deleted whenever a new human team enters that league. Also, they would have to be treated differently from human teams, to avoid that their players don't evolve, age or retire and stay inert.

As mentioned above, it is difficult to decide how to present a rewarding gameplay experience in empty tiers. Please continue letting me know your ideas, so we can continue improving.
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Engelbert
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Engelbert » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:46 pm

What usually happens in other management games is that those teams are not destroyed or their players evolution avoided, they simply develop as any team would do. When a new player starts, he/she receives the team (the points, the players, the stadium, everything) and improve them. The crucial point is that those AI teams are penalysed for being artificial - the players simply play worse, either because they are out of position or simply by artificially reducing their strenght when running the game engine. You don't need to generate new teams and destroy them - those who don't receive an human player simply keep losing games and stay at Oak Division. It's not a hard solution to implement in the game engine and create a more equilibrated game.

Another idea to improve the new users experience (and this is simply related to the community, therefore is easy to implement) is to older players "adopt" the new ones and teach them about the game - strategies to develop your team, how the transfer market works, etc. This mentorship program is simple to old users and creates a stronger community.
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Zankman
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Zankman » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:22 pm

Hello Cygnus and Engelbert,

I am happy that more discussion is going on and I apologize Cygnus for not providing any further input thus far.

However, I'll just pop-in now to say that I agree with Engelbert, quite a lot actually.

---

I play only two other Browser Games at this time - and I have tried many, with few being good enough in my estimate - and I think I have the perfect example for you.

Both are by the same developer, as their simple yet deep formula is basically perfect for me. They are Rocking Rackets and Rocking Soccer (Tennis and Football Management games, respectively).
Both utilize AI Players (Managers?), however, Rocking Soccer is the better example to use and contrast the Quidditch Manager game system to - for the obvious reasons of it being a Team Sport, as opposed to Tennis' individual/dual nature.

----

So, let me present you with the "Bot teams" page from Rocking Soccer.

Before that, important note: I'd say that Rocking Soccer's overall game system is more complex/has more features/moving parts than Quidditch Manager. So, in theory, recreating the AI systems from RS in QM shouldn't be too difficult (with all due respect to your time!).

You can view it here: Link to the article

I think that this method could definitely work and, along with a mini-Tutorial mentioned as well, would be a great help to get more players (to play for longer).

Like Engelbert said, the Teams should be persistent and, as my linked article implies, they should simply be very basic, functional teams that just kinda endlessly drift along the lower leagues (until a Human player gets appointed).
You can give them some simple Line-up, Strategy, Friendlies and Tradelist behaviors (a few different variations if possible) while, for example, giving them static Academy, Stadium and Sponsor settings to ensure that they remain functional yet weak, competitive only for new Players.

Of course, it would be important to also make them in such a way that they interact efficiently with not only Human Managers, but also with other AI Managers (especially when it comes to selling).

I'll only disagree with Engelbert in that I don't think they should purposely play Players in poor positions.

Of course, you'd give them randomly generated names (we have a City list, so, just add a bunch of generic words a la "Warriors").

Interesting thought in all of this: Human-run Teams that get deleted due to Contract issues would in this proposed new system instead become AI Teams again.

If you have trouble viewing the link, please tell me and I will copy+paste the text here.
Last edited by Zankman on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Legacy of the London Dynamo
Founded:
Season 30 - Sapling 8.
Promotions (first season in new league):
Season 31 - Oak 5.
Season 32 - Iron 4.
Season 34 - Steel 3.
Season 37 - Bronze 2.
Season 38 - Silver.
Season 41 - Gold.
Season 44 - Honour.
Titles:
Season 48 - Club World Cup 1st Place.
Highest Honour Placement(s):
Season 44 - 5th.
Rivals:
Isle of Man Hood, Gillingham Giants, London Asswinders, London Ravens, Exeter Patronum, Dudley Dursleys...
Inspiration
London Inquisitors (RIP, S24 - S40).
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Cygnus
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Team Name: Cardiff Corgis
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Cygnus » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:36 pm

Very interesting! Thank you both for the ideas!

This could actually work to a degree where we only keep the bot teams alive for a single season. Their players start out with a 1 season contract and at the end of the season the team gets deleted through the already implemented scripts.
This would avoid big skill differences among bot teams.

New managers would automatically be assigned to the oldest existing bot team, unless they are the first to enter a new league tier (no bot teams left). They would naturally still pick the team name, colors etc. just as in the current system.

Bot team players would gather experience normally from league matches, but would not have any academy buildings or friendly matches (for now, due to exploit opportunity). So, if a manager joins later in a season, they would already start with a team that got a chance to evolve a bit, with less difference to other teams in their league.

I like it...
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Zankman
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Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Zankman » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:39 pm

I updated my post, jsyk.

I'm happy that you're open to the idea and I'll gladly help if there is any way to do so (I'm long overdue on making a donation...).

I will say that a more persistent option, in terms of the Teams not being deleted and having some basic Academy and other settings, would be desirable, if possible.
Legacy of the London Dynamo
Founded:
Season 30 - Sapling 8.
Promotions (first season in new league):
Season 31 - Oak 5.
Season 32 - Iron 4.
Season 34 - Steel 3.
Season 37 - Bronze 2.
Season 38 - Silver.
Season 41 - Gold.
Season 44 - Honour.
Titles:
Season 48 - Club World Cup 1st Place.
Highest Honour Placement(s):
Season 44 - 5th.
Rivals:
Isle of Man Hood, Gillingham Giants, London Asswinders, London Ravens, Exeter Patronum, Dudley Dursleys...
Inspiration
London Inquisitors (RIP, S24 - S40).
User avatar
Cygnus
Site Admin
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:47 pm
Team Name: Cardiff Corgis
Contact:

Re: Merge the Oak Division Groups?

Postby Cygnus » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:46 pm

I still think that bot teams should be something temporary.

Players with expired contracts should become available to the human players and bot teams should only be a placeholder for new human-controlled teams in the lowest leagues. I wouldn't want a bot team to win the Club World Cup or take away a spot from a human player in a higher division.

Also, there is a load of more important things to add to the game instead of writing an AI that trades players from one bot team to another, for example.
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