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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #41 Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:09 am 
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I can say I played more 4-7k players than any other grade. Of my 15 games, 10 were against that range...

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Post #42 Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:13 am 
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It's been 1 year since I've started running the ASR, and lots of things were said since then. Lots have been discussed.

But I'd like to clarify some points about the league.

What its purpose is :

Provide an environement worthy of interest for all players who want to learn from strong players in even games, for all players who are here to make new friends... and more (and as a sidequest : win prizes)

This whole ruckus about changing this, changing that is, in my opinion, futile.
Contrarily to other leagues, go schools, whatever, the ASR has to administrate an almost 200 players-structure. Who else can say this much ? no one.

So let us not be surprised when we have to face unexpected issues and let's be satisfied with the solutions we come up with. I don' t understand comments like "the Insei-league works this way, and it works very well" : That's just normal. You can't compare both.

Yeah, there are flaws in our current system. And yeah there are some good things about it.
But also yeah, it will be the same regardless of what changes we opt for. There is no way we can satisfy 200 player's demands. We try our best to satisfy the majority.
From this state of fact : The League is successful.

Also, instead of just seeing what's going wrong about the League, here is a reminder of what is going WELL :

- Creation of a new partnership with Insei League by Alexander Dinerstein,in other words new prizes ! (see the website news)

- Creation of an ASR Go School (details being discussed)

- A huge increase of games played (70% of all Alpha and Beta class games in august!) Overall, 1030 games were played in August.

- Our partnership with Atsumi is still going well.

- More and more players seem to be helping us, offering teaching games for the monthly winners.

And last, but not least....

I want to congratulate all players who had signed up for the league last year and whom I still see signed up, and whose ranks are, for some of them, 5 to 15 ranks higher than they used to be. Congratulations for the good work.


Matthieu, aka Cgbspender.

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #43 Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:32 am 
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What I like about the ASR league is that there is a mix of strong and weak players.

If the players were completely randomly mixed, let's assume that the rank distribution is like this:

Image

Most people are around the "mid-level" range. There are fewer very "strong" players, and fewer very "weak" players. It would probably be normally distributed for a random population.

Now, it is true that the people that are weaker benefit more from this type of a system: They can play against stronger players.

But the bulk of the population will be in the middle, so this is a good thing: Most people give some benefit to weaker players, and get some benefit from stronger players.

The people that get the "lowest benefit" are the people near the top part of the curve.

Now let's suppose that we change the ASR so that stronger players can enter at higher levels.

Now, instead of a curve like before, we might have sets of curves like this:

Image


Now, there are actually a bunch of different distributions, with a lot of people at the "high ends". Here, 10ks, 6ks, 2ds, and 9ds will always have to play mostly weaker players.

If it's totally random, there are still handfuls of people that are at the "high ends" of their levels (the top of gamma 1, beta 1, etc. in strength), but I feel that forcing the stronger players into stronger bands is worse for a couple of reasons:

1.) In the first distribution, where there's a random mix of strength, it's unlikely that you'll be at the "very top" unless you are the strongest of the strongest. That is, there are fewer dan players, so there are fewer people that don't benefit.

2.) Those that are dedicated to the ASR will (usually) be playing both those that are stronger and those that are weaker. If they play a lot and become stronger, they will be giving more benefit to the ASR by playing a lot of weaker players.

If we put the dan players in their own league to start off with, it becomes very difficult for weaker players to get the chance to play the stronger players, which is the primary benefit of the ASR, IMO.

The problem of having to play weaker players is simply because there are fewer stronger players, on average. I think it'd be best if we treated these stronger players as a valuable and limited resource and spread them out uniformly.

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #44 Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:44 am 
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Hmm, maybe my distributions for the second figure aren't correct. There will be a lot of people toward the mid ranges, so it might not be bell shaped for some levels. I will have to think about this a bit.

My underlying point of wanting to mix strong players, I still believe, but my analysis may be wrong a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #45 Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:51 am 
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Now that I think about this more, my analysis may have been wrong. I think that the distribution if we split up the classes by strength first might be like this:

Image

And this might not be a bad thing!

Groups "A" through "C" have mostly stronger players. Groups "D" through "F" have mostly weaker players in them.

So groups "A" through "C" will benefit the most from stronger players. Groups "D" through "F" will not benefit as much, but they are already strong. And I'm sure dan players would rather play with other dan players than kyu players, even if they are a bit weaker than them...

So scratch what I said before.

I think we should have entry levels for initial ranks :)

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #46 Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Hey CGB. I don't want to take away from the success that ASR has had. Obviously, if I were all that distressed I'd just drop out. As it is, I'm still a member, and have been for quite a while.

In terms of my own suggestions, they are meant to be thoughts, just that. I think that the success of the League speaks for itself. However, stalkor is active in trying to gauge players' opinions. There are people who find themselves in the lower leagues, for one reason or another, pretty much indefinitely. Even though there are stronger players in those leagues, they aren't always available to play ... so some players just don't get to play many games against the stronger opponents.

Like CGB said, though, there's no perfect solution. No matter what changes are made, someone won't like the system ...

I leave it to the admins to judge what, if anything, is ncessary. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #47 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:57 am 
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ive read all the ideas so far and im going to discuss some points with the other admins first to see if we can improve some stuff. were not going to change the whole league system again though, i think the system as a whole has merits and should be maintained and "tweaked" to keep in line with the league goals.

keep in mind we can not make a league that suits EVERYONE:)

keep posting your ideas, comments, complaints, cheers, successtories and everything about the league!!

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #48 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:12 am 
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stalkor wrote:
ive read all the ideas so far and im going to discuss some points with the other admins first to see if we can improve some stuff. were not going to change the whole league system again though, i think the system as a whole has merits and should be maintained and "tweaked" to keep in line with the league goals.

keep in mind we can not make a league that suits EVERYONE:)

keep posting your ideas, comments, complaints, cheers, successtories and everything about the league!!


Thanks for keeping us all posted stalkor :)

The only one I'd strongly like to see implemented is 3 up / 6 down. I think you guys are doing a great job, and your decisions will be fine I'm sure whatever they are!

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #49 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:28 am 
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i know you would like to see that but you also have to consider a steady amount of dropouts in the league.

Last month 35 ppl were kicked due to inactivity or wanted to quit. Of them 1 from alpha, 3 from beta, the rest gamma. because of this we had extra promotions for each class which was pleasurable for everyone:) instead of 2 promotions per class we had 3. Should we assume ppl always drop out or quit. i think its safe to say 1 per class will drop out every month at least.

with this information, changing to 3/6 seems overrated, especially the 6 demotions make that half a class will change every month

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #50 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:51 am 
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As I said in the previous proposal, I would include the dropouts in the relegation system. See viewtopic.php?p=28937#p28937 (point 1)

I think it is strange in a league of 14, to be placed 8th and be relegated when the bottom 4 get relegated just because 3 people below you haven't played enough games. If 14th and 11th or something play another game, you could switch from "relegation zone" to safe without playing. What if 7 people don't get enough games? That would mean 1st and 2nd get promoted and 4th-7th get relegated - 4th?? Your relegation shouldn't (IMHO) be so dependent on the activity of those people below you in the division.

In effect, if people are being inactive, this will make little difference other than guarantee that 3rd place is good enough for promotion for those fortunate enough to be in that position. If everyone is active, the fear of it being over half the division will never be substantiated - in fact, the current system has more of a chance that 50% of the "active" players will be relegated than the proposed system.

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Post #51 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:14 pm 
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topazg wrote:
As I said in the previous proposal, I would include the dropouts in the relegation system. See viewtopic.php?p=28937#p28937 (point 1)

I think it is strange in a league of 14, to be placed 8th and be relegated when the bottom 4 get relegated just because 3 people below you haven't played enough games. If 14th and 11th or something play another game, you could switch from "relegation zone" to safe without playing. What if 7 people don't get enough games? That would mean 1st and 2nd get promoted and 4th-7th get relegated - 4th?? Your relegation shouldn't (IMHO) be so dependent on the activity of those people below you in the division.

In effect, if people are being inactive, this will make little difference other than guarantee that 3rd place is good enough for promotion for those fortunate enough to be in that position. If everyone is active, the fear of it being over half the division will never be substantiated - in fact, the current system has more of a chance that 50% of the "active" players will be relegated than the proposed system.


I agree with this completely. Dropouts should be part of the demotions. If you move to doing 3/6 promotions/demotions, you should be safe in 8th place, even if all 6 below you are inactive.

If playing in a league where there are fewer active players means more chance for demotion, there's more chance that players will get frustrated.

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Study Room
Post #52 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Marcus wrote:
Kirby wrote:
Actually, I like the current implementation of the ASR, and I'd be a little bit sad to see it change.

I understand the argument that it takes strong players a longer time to advance than they'd like, but I think that speaks to one of the unique aspects of the ASR: You can play stronger players in even games on a regular basis.

I think that it's good that there are strong players in the "lower levels", because having a mix of strengths allows for players to play against stronger people.

In my opinion, the ASR league is not all about dominating the levels to get to Alpha - we have regular tournaments to serve this purpose.

In my opinion, the ASR league is more about encouraging people to play one another and learn from one another. Therefore, I think that is makes a lot of sense to promote those that play the most - regardless of how strong they are.

I don't think that stronger players should be given special treatment.

If dan players have some competitive drive that makes them want to be in the alpha ranks, they can by all means do so - by playing people of weaker ranks. The people of weaker ranks will benefit, and grow as a result. I think that this is the beauty of the ASR. And I'd be sad to see it turn into just another tournament system.


I just had a discussion about this in the ASR, and the conclusion is that it is a much more complex situation than simply "encouraging stronger players to play weaker players".

Taka player of middling strength (around 4k or so). Drop them in the lowest league. Watch the games for 3 months.

Now, suppose that player makes an effort to be active, playing 15 games each month. Each month, of those 15 games, 2 are played with players of equal rank, or maybe one or two stones stronger. The rest are all games against players 4 stones weaker or less.

Will this person be promoted? Sure, there are stronger players who MAY be available to play the 4k, but usually they'll be playing the DDK players. Many of those DDK players have more time available to play more games. The stronger players will win their games, and two (or maybe 4) will advance, to be replaced by new players, leaving the balance of power more or less intact.

My guess is that the player will not be promoted, and after 3 months of playing various weaker players, begin to wonder "why am I doing this again?". There are many ways to get a few games against stronger players. If the goal is for weaker players to be able to play LOTS of games against stronger players (with the incentive for stronger players being competition for prizes), we're really not supporting the middle-rank players ... they aren't likely to win prizes, and they don't get more than a handful of games against stronger players, if that.

Anyways, just some thoughts on this one point.



You've nailed it, players who avoid playing games, who avoid reviewing their games, and avoid (basically) participating in the rather obvious spirit of the room, usually drop out or just fail after a few months. With that I would note that a PROPERLY run system is one designed to allow the cream to rise to the top.

If the current system isn't doing that, then fix that one thing and leave everything else as it is. The "Complex issue" is mainly that the system doesn't really want to be changed right now. And maybe there's a good reason for that. Maybe it's fine as it is. Maybe ;-)

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Post #53 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Kirby wrote:
Now that I think about this more, my analysis may have been wrong. I think that the distribution if we split up the classes by strength first might be like this:


If you want to talk distribution you need the actual data (I've provided it). The numbers have changed over the years but the distribution has not changed.

What we know from this data is:

20% of players weaker than 7k.
60% are between 7k and 2d.
20% are stronger than 2d.

So, looking at the problems and solutions from the standpoint of rank/rating distribution... (and these are just thoughts, not even really suggestions)

1. Rank requirements
If you put in a rank requirement of, say, 7k, you would exclude, 20% of the total player base. But probably less than 5% of the league composition is 7k. So if you look at it logically the rule is mainly there for effect. The effect is, to give the impression that this is the "advanced" study room and there is a certain level of skill present here. Without that kind of guranty, although some stronger players may be interested, most won't be. What's the point fighting your way up through kyus for months only to be placed in alpha with.. kyus? Not appealing. Yes it appeals to "everyone" - including a lot of DDKs. Who end up by their presence discouraging stronger players from joining. It's a little stuck up in some ways but it seems to be how people are. It's basically the same problem as the KGS Teaching Ladder. As a dan you basically teach 30, 40, 50 games, and get one back. Actually that is the reason why I created the ASR in the first place so seeing this situation is a little disheartening but..

2. Banding by rating
Not interesting as a rule; I think seeding by rating is pretty universally rejected as long as we can fix the problem of the league being bottom heavy. However, creating space for perceived rating is somewhat interesting, and can be used as a justification for a pyramid system. In fact it "is" the pyramid system. If we assume that 20% (1/5th) of the players are in alpha, there would need to be the next 40% (2/5ths) in beta (two rooms) and the rest (3/5ths) in gamma. Now, as it turns out we have more gamma and delta classes than this simple analogy shows; it would seem again that the league is a little bottom heavy in that regard.

3. Using distributions in a new way;
The actual distribution of players would seem to suggest a pyramid system with a faster expansion:
-- alpha
-- beta I - beta II - beta III
-- Gamma I through VI
However the current system is ALSO fine.

4. How to get around the bottom heavy issue without limiting by rating:
a. Choose how many rooms you want (I suggest eleven; 1 alpha, 2 betas, 4 gammas, and 4 deltas - no more)
b. Don't allow people to join until the next month. And, pick the highest rated players from the waiting list first.

5. There's something else I wanted to say but I will make a more in-depth presentation for it later.


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Post #54 Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:53 pm 
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we've made a small change to promotion/demotion for the lower classes, read it here http://www.stalkor.nl/ASR/

were still talking about the relegation but i think there is a flaw in the relegations. i was thinking of top 7 staying in their class, but strategically the moment can come that players wont play games because they are in that relegation zone, this is a flaw that can be seriously abused i think.

i already heard from mrznf that last month the 2nd placed player didnt want to play him because he was in third place and didnt want to lose to him and lose his 2nd place. strategy is another form of playing league and if you look at the korean insei league its a known issue that is horrible for the playability of the league.

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Post #55 Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:29 am 
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How does one get those KGS numbers? I can't see any way to get the ranks of all players through the website, is there some API? I can see a way to get some similar information from DGS using web calls, I'm not sure if that's the best way...

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Post #56 Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:31 am 
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i have no idea how to get those statistics, maybe looking on senseis or something will get you some answers.

We've closed the league because delta classes have already reached 20 ppl and having more creates more monsterclasses, which isnt ideal for everyone in it.

so sign up for october!!

also another announcement:

I've been working a bit more on the ASR school and i hope to launch it soon. So far ive made it possible for ppl to register, teachers can make events and you can view upcoming events. hopefully i can finish registration for events this weekend and add some more options in the events.

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Post #57 Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Hi,

I joined the ASR League in September and I am loving it.

Of course we humans always find things to "complain" about, it is a natural behavior. I talked to stalkor and then he told me I could come here. Most of what I will write here has already been told to stalkor.

There has been an ongoing discussion about the structure of the league and whether changes should be made or not.

I like the general structure of the league, the way everyone enters at delta, how players are promoted/demoted, etc.

The only thing I find very sad and inefficient is how hard the system makes it to find an opponent.

In September, there were 6 delta classes, that's a lot of players.

Let's say we have player A in delta I and Player B in delta III.

I still don't get why if A and B are on at the same time, they can't play a league game. They are in the same class type.

Imagine how easier it would be to find an opponent if you could play anyone in the same class type. I don't think The fact players in the same class competing against each other would play games against different people is unfair. On a smaller scale that is already happening in the league.

Stalkor told me that such a change would only make active players play even more games. He is very suspicious of players taking advantage of the flaws in the system to get a good ranking and very intent on limiting them as much as possible, even if it means decreasing overall fun for everyone by making it so hard to find an opponent.

I think that the solution to this problem is as simple as setting an upper limit in the amount of games played. You guys seem to like the number 39, so why not set a limit of 39 games a month, and you can play against anyone in the same class type, and you are still competing against the ones in your own class, nothing changes about how the league works, still the same constraints, the same classes, the same way to get promoted/demoted, but you increase your chances of being able to play more games by increasing the number of opponents available.

You still compete against people in your league to get a spot for the next step, but you are not limited to playing people in your own specific class. I know some of you will say that this is dumb and defeats the purpose of classes, but that is just your opinion and it is very easy to find examples of such systems that work. (Take as an example the NHL, national hockey league, to get a spot in the playoffs you compete against your conference, but during the whole season you play against all teams). Another solution could be to decrease the "weight" of games played outside of your specific class, but I honestly think that would only be overdoing it.

I am not here to impose my personal preferences, I am just thinking of a way to make it overall funnier for everyone by pointing out the fact the number of available opponents is unnecessarily limited in the league as we speak. The only change my suggestion would bring would be regarding the result tables, we would need 1 extra table per class type and for each specific class the table would be a bit different I guess, but technically speaking, those are not big changes to implement. Computer science is my field, I know what I am talking about.

When talking to stalkor, he insisted that he wanted to limit the chances of very active players to take advantage of the system. I don't see any real problem. We are here to have fun, not be suspicious of one another. Active players is what makes the league work in the first place, and we have to be very patient to be active when it is so hard to get an opponent. This league is very simple when we look at the bigger picture: you need to be active, and for 2 equally active players the strongest one will get the advantage. If stronger players are not willing to be active, that's not our problem. If a weaker player sneaks in the top classes by playing many games, is that really a problem?

I don't care about the prizes, may be some people get really motivated about it and the admins just want to make it fair regarding those prizes, but I am just here to play serious games to improve, I would still be in the league even if there were no prizes (and I never win anything anyway, I am not lucky :)). If you think some players are here for the wrong reasons and are being unfriendly and only looking forward to prizes, ban them instead of limiting every other player so much.

I don't mean to be rude or anything and for sure I don't want to be banned from this league, I am a very direct guy (many of you are very direct too, even some of the admins, so I think we can understand each other and remain polite), please don't take it personal.

I am confident this system would work and would be funnier, of course many of you will disagree and I am not here to argue. I said what I had to say, do what you want with it.

Thank you for reading my post and thank you for this league.

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Post #58 Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Frango wrote:
I think that the solution to this problem is as simple as setting an upper limit in the amount of games played. You guys seem to like the number 39, so why not set a limit of 39 games a month, and you can play against anyone in the same class type, and you are still competing against the ones in your own class, nothing changes about how the league works, still the same constraints, the same classes, the same way to get promoted/demoted, but you increase your chances of being able to play more games by increasing the number of opponents available.


Except people will deliberately try to get all 39 games against people weaker than them. At the moment, the system is well enough balanced for this not to happen, because eventually you have to start playing stronger people.

I know it's not that easy to get a vast number of games played, but last season we had up to 33 people in Gamma leagues and it kinda ruined the competitive element.

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Post #59 Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:03 pm 
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topazg wrote:
Frango wrote:
I think that the solution to this problem is as simple as setting an upper limit in the amount of games played. You guys seem to like the number 39, so why not set a limit of 39 games a month, and you can play against anyone in the same class type, and you are still competing against the ones in your own class, nothing changes about how the league works, still the same constraints, the same classes, the same way to get promoted/demoted, but you increase your chances of being able to play more games by increasing the number of opponents available.


Except people will deliberately try to get all 39 games against people weaker than them. At the moment, the system is well enough balanced for this not to happen, because eventually you have to start playing stronger people.

I know it's not that easy to get a vast number of games played, but last season we had up to 33 people in Gamma leagues and it kinda ruined the competitive element.


As I said in my post already, you guys are really suspicious of one another, isn't it supposed to be a friendly league? May be you make this comment based on experience, but still, I don't think it is enough of a reason to prevent everyone from being able to play more games.

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Post #60 Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:29 am 
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Frango wrote:
Hi,

The only thing I find very sad and inefficient is how hard the system makes it to find an opponent.



This is the abouyt the only probelm I have with the leauge also. If I have the time to play on line it is always going to be about the same time and for some reason at that time there are genrally no players from my group on.

I take that back actually. There is one player on all the time and I played a couple of games against him. I did not want to play the same person over and over again so I did not ask for more games. Literrally I probably signed on to KGS 15 times this month and barring the 1 person that was always on there were only 2 other times when another person in my league bith of which could not play a game at that time.

I love the idea of the leuage and I think it is set up fine. However I couldnt meet the requirements to stay in the leauge even if I wanted to.

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