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Proposal for changing TWDT lineup requirements

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  • Proposal for changing TWDT lineup requirements

    I've been brainstorming ways to create more parity across the board for this upcoming TWDT season. Before I begin, I also want to say that I share the intuition that things shouldn't be changed, especially with the draft coming up so soon. I've been hesitant to propose this idea, but the more I think this through with other people, the more I believe this is something we should seriously consider.

    In a draft league, we should be doing our best to provide every captain, regardless of variables like draft position, the possibility to assemble a team that can compete for the title in every league.

    As I see it, the current structure for adding lineups doesn't promote such parity. Let's take warbird/javelin as our example. The current requirements are:
    • Two high * players (9*/10*)
    • One 8*
    • One 7*
    • One 6*
    The first thing that doesn't make sense: There's no functional difference between a 9/10* player, even though we all know this gap exists (since we actually make that distinction in ratings.) Both Deadsorcerer (9*) and zidane (10*) are treated equally when adding lineups, but we know these players have a different impact on the results of matches.

    There's never enough 10* players to go around. Last season, there were five 10* javs in the draft. Two teams (zidane and dreamwin) had two 10* javs each. Under this current structure, zidane and dreamwin's teams paid no penalty for fielding duo 10's. Attacks and skyforger at the 6th draft spot never stood a chance.

    Here's the main problem: The elite 10* players have far too much weight in determining the outcomes of games, and in particular, the playoffs. Too many championships are decided by round one of the draft (or the first pick of the draft when you're zidane picking ease). There's no flexibility for captains to add lineups that make up for the disparities in the talent pool. The general rule has been if your elite players don't show, you're losing those games. And if you miss out on elite players early in the draft or free agency, you're not competing for championships in those leagues. Both of these cases are due to the current rule set, which could be changed with little effort. A team shouldn't be paying the maximum price for their best player celebrating their mother's birthday during TWDT hours. And a team shouldn't have to throw leagues by default because of their draft position.

    We could use a better equalizer that gives captains the chance to compete without relying so heavily on 10*s that aren't being weighted down proportionately. And we need to remove rigid structures that make high star players absolutely irreplaceable. But we need to accomplish these things without compromising the quality of competition.

    Here's my proposal: A total star cap limit for every lineup.

    In warbird and jav, the sweet spot would seem to be 40* total per lineup (or 8* average per player), with no dedicated requirements for adding specific rating tiers.

    All of these lineups would be valid: (Examples are in warbird, ratings taken from last season)

    Lineup 1 - 10/9/8/7/6 (Ease, Attacks, Wiibimbo, Cloth, destruct)
    Lineup 2 - 10/10/8/6/6 (Mythril, RaCka, Ogron, blt_12, finite)
    Lineup 3 - 9/8/8/8/7 (Jones, Lockdown, Skyforger, Cape, maketso)
    Lineup 4 - 8/8/8/8/8 (Trasher, Turban, Flew, Pineapple Express, Paky Dude)
    Lineup 5 - 9/9/8/8/6 (Beam, Geio, Jamal, Alextron, tj hazuki)

    All of these lineups, assuming ratings are done as accurately as possible, provide more parity than what we currently use. In this system, a 10* player would pay the penalty of being weighed down by a 6*, or trading their 8* for a 7*. A 9* player would be weighed down by a 7*. The difference between 9/10*s would actually be accounted for. Duo 10's should be penalized and weighted down more than duo 9's. Not doing so gives too much value to the elite 10* players, and they're always in short supply.

    You could still field a standard lineup (Lineup 1), but the overpowered lineup of 10/10/8/7/6 is no longer valid. There's far more flexibility and creativity once you stop forcing every lineup to fit the traditional mold. One size doesn't fit all here. If your normal lineup is 10/9/8/7/6 and your 10* doesn't show, it should be possible to fill his absence by adding an equally competitive lineup like a 9/8/8/8/7. If you missed out on elite players early on in the draft, you should still be capable of drafting a lineup that could compete by stacking 8*s in the later rounds. Also, higher tiered players would actually have to play up to their rating to balance out their lower rated counterparts.

    If a captain is gifted with creativity, imagination and better strategy, more of the playerbase will get more playing time than has been the case. Most importantly, there will be more avenues for captains to draft a winning lineup without relying on the first 2 rounds of talent as their only option.

    Base is a bit messier in finding the perfect * total for lineups. Right now, the current structure is:
    • Four high * players (9*/10*)
    • One 8*
    • Two 7*s
    • One 6*
    Let's use 8* as the average rating of player per lineup, as I did above in wb/jav. That total would be 64*. Let's imagine possible lineups in this scenario:

    Lineup 1: 10/10/9/8/8/7/6/6
    Lineup 2: 10/9/9/8/8/7/7/6
    Lineup 3: 9/9/9/9/7/7/7/7
    Lineup 4: 10/8/8/8/8/8/8/8/6
    Lineup 5: 9/9/8/8/8/8/7/7

    There are many more mixes. An immediate concern is the breakdown in practicality for captains and staff on any given sunday. 8 players is more difficult to sort through in real time. I also don't have the intuition of a pure baser to know if the talent pool would support 64 as the perfect number. Others might have a better idea.

    At the very least, if we don't make this change for base, we should at a minimum change the current requirement from 4 high * players to 3 and add 2 spots for 8*s. Last season, 8*s were over represented, but there were only 6 realistic spots each on any given sunday. That alone would utilize more of the player base and give less incentive to stack. If we go with a basing lineup * cap, if you want an elite terrier and 2 elite sharks, you're going to be weighed down by weaker spiders. And vice versa.

    Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. In the name of Thanos.

    My initial instincts tell me the 40* lineup cap makes sense in warbird and jav, but base might be better off just changing the lineup to 3 high stars/8/8/7/7/6. But nothing has been decided yet, this is just an idea. This has to be decided soon, so let me know your thoughts.
    PattheBat> steadman your name is literally "a mean std"

  • #2
    TL;DR version:

    For TWDTD/TWDTJ, instead of two high stars and 8/7/6, implement a lineup cap of 40* for each lineup. This removes the overpowered lineups of 10/10/8/7/6 and gives more flexibility for captains to draft and field competitive lineups.

    In base, we could use a 64* cap lineup, but that's more difficult to deal with in real time. We should at a minimum change the requirements from 4 high stars/8/7/7/6 to 3 high stars and 8/8/7/7/6.
    Last edited by Mythril; 12-29-2018, 09:56 PM.
    PattheBat> steadman your name is literally "a mean std"


    • #3
      I didn't read the whole thing since i am drunk. But i think team three would be vastly overpowered


      • #4
        this the zidane rule? whats next am i rated 11*

        but im down with whatever. TWDT 2019


        • #5
          5x 8 star would be overpowered imo.
          a 6 should always be included in my eyes. What you could do is 2x10 means 2x7 next to them.


          • #6
            Think this is a great idea. Actually proposed something like this back when I was involved. Do it!


            • #7
              It's time we stop pretending the zone has new players and accept that twdt is now the premier league of the zone. If people cared at all about being better at a league, they wouldn't be a 6 star in 2018. I'm all for this structure promoting competitive games over inclusion of 6 stars.


              • #8
                It's a good idea.

                That was how TWDT 2011 was done. The TWDT bots were programmed to ensure the star limits were in place. You either have to get Qan to set it up, or have Captains learn addition.

                The difference was they did overall star limits, which was a terrible system. Per league, it would work fine.

                I mulled implementing the system a few times as it is a nice change of pace, and gives captains more flexibility. I feel like I arrived at 38*, but I don't remember as it was long ago. So 8/8/8/7/7, 10/8/8/6/6, 10/7/7/7/7.

                It might be worth sketching out the signups shortly before the draft and only then picking a final star number, so you have a better idea of what makes sense. My guess is the right number is between 38* and 40* for Jav and Wb, and 60* to 64* in base.

                The more talent in the draft, the higher you can go. My gut says you'll end up with a goal of *40, and once you tally the signups, will drop it by 1-2*.

                You have to make sure you're not giving players charity 10s for being a former legend, since playing a 10* is fairly punishing. There's a few 10s who are probably 9s as there is a legit difference between, say, Zidane/Ease, and a few other javs. There's also the question of whether or not you have 5-Stars, or keep the lowest at 6-Star?

                I'm all for the change, I think it's a great concept and a nice change of pace.

                Go Myth!

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                1:Spezza> LOL


                • #9
                  Agree with the others, this is how it should be done. If this is the main league now it should be competitive and not some bullshit of forcing captains to insert shitty players.

                  If you really want these lower star guys to get more time, just add an extra game on Sunday for the low stars or shit even make it Saturday. Something like a lower star requirement or only 6s and 7s can play. If we are all carving out some time on sundays let?s make it competitive.
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                  • #10
                    We?ve done this in EG for our draft league and it has worked out great. Obviously there?s always going to be under and overrated players which makes it interesting.


                    • #11
                      Let's do it then. Qan isn't back until the draft (Jan 13), so I don't think we'll be able to program the rating database into the bots in time. Maybe have the captains perform a 2nd grade level aptitude test.

                      64* probably won't be the number for base, as the average skill level per league does seem to go wb > jav > base. We still might have to do 3 high stars/8/8/7/7/6 out of practicality. I'm going back and forth on it. I'm also not sure if the total average should be the goal, esp since this is the first time experimenting with this. The 40* cap equalizes the value between 8, 9 and 10*s, which levels out the playing field and maintains the quality of competition that we've expected from the best teams of past seasons.

                      The main question is, do the ratings feel like they're distributed equally down the line? Is a 10/6 pair realistically equal to a 9/7? Or 8/8? I think it is, but we probably do need to reduce the floor back to 5* for some players. 6* covers too big of a talent spectrum, and would potentially nerf 10*s past the point of being fair against 8*s and 9*s.

                      We should also stop giving out 6* ratings to players who are a 9* in either warbird or javelin. If you've reached that level of skill, it's ridiculous to assume none of that talent translates into the other leagues. Beam (9* warbird last year, performed like a 10*) shouldn't be a 6/6 in jav and base while competing against cyclones at the same rating spot.

                      I know there used to be some arbitrary definitions for ratings when humid was the head op. But here's a decent sketch:

                      10* - Elite player. High floor with the highest ceiling. Expected to carry the majority of games. No glaring weaknesses. 13-15 kill average

                      9* - Fringe top-tier. High level talent and understanding of the game. Ability to single handedly shift outcomes, but not as often as the elites of the game. 11-13 kill average.

                      8* - Trustworthy, good player who's capable of hanging with the above tiers and has a sizable advantage over the lower tiers. Expected to hold their own against any team and impact several games throughout the season. 9-11 kill average

                      7* - Intermediate player. A good grasp of league play and solid talent. Not expected to ever carry but also shouldn't be freebie kills for opposing teams. 7-9 kill average.

                      6* - Serviceable player who has reasonably enough experience to participate in high level game play. But for all intents and purposes, the weak link of the lineup. These players should almost never reach 10 kills in a match, but they also shouldn't be an auto forfeit when added. 5-7 kill average.

                      5* - The novice. Verging on being unplayable in competitive leagues. Players who are free kills for almost anyone in the above tiers. The player who specs vfx in elim for the past 20 years and thinks, "That's not the definition of insanity at all." 2-5 kill average.

                      The average numbers from 10-6* put the kill totals at 50, or 20 total for any pair of 10/6, 9/7, 8/8. And although the average kill numbers seem like they fit too perfectly, I think they're actually consistent with the rating criteria we've been using since claus took over.
                      PattheBat> steadman your name is literally "a mean std"


                      • #12
                        I agree with all of your post above mythril. There needs to be a wider gap in ratings and having a 5* is necessary and I?m sure some could actually even argue adding 4* would not be unreasonable for people like cyclone, etc. Judging if 10/6 is better than 8/8 is a part of the fun in being a GM. I also agree that people that are 10/9 are ALMOST certainly a 7* in other leagues. Beam has been an overpowered 6* in base for the past few seasons in agreement with your example.


                        • #13
                          What about the borrow rules? Are only 6 stars allowed for borrowing still or what? Should def clear this up before season starts. Also are player ratings made for this season yet? Where can we see ratings? Remember last season there were illegal borrows allowed to stand that pissed off a few squads.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jessup View Post
                            What about the borrow rules? Are only 6 stars allowed for borrowing still or what? Should def clear this up before season starts. Also are player ratings made for this season yet? Where can we see ratings? Remember last season there were illegal borrows allowed to stand that pissed off a few squads.
                            Changing the goal posts back and forth was a peculiarity of Henry. I trust that Mythril will stick to whatever he decides to go with which is all thats needed to avoid a mess. Some word on borrows is needed since with every TWDT season borrows (if allowed) will play a larger role as the player base thins out but team/lineup req count remains same.


                            • #15
                              I think this is a good idea, I'm sick of getting shafted by the lineup restrictions.

                              Have you thought about this:

                              What about lineups that don't use the maximum allowed number of players. E.g. 10/10/10/10
                              Such a lineup (if someone was pro enough to draft it) would smash any 5-player valid lineup.