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 Post subject: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #1 Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:30 pm 
Oza
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This month I have been "promoted" into gamma IV. This has not been an unmixed blessing. :blackeye: So far (15 days into the month), my classmates and I have managed to play a total of 13 games, or a little less than 1 per day. There are still 10 out of 21 players who have not played any games. I have managed 2 so far. There simply is not enough activity = players online.

I believe that December gamma IV is an extreme case. However, if we look at past results, we can also see a pattern of quite uneven success in different gamma classes month by month. It tends to be a mixture of active and inactive classes. (So far this month gamma II has played four times as many games as gamma IV.) Since the classes are remixed each month with many promotions/demotions into and out of gamma as a whole, I think there is no way to predict in advance the relative activity that will result in each class.

What experience do people believe is appropriate to target for gamma? I think that somehow the present situation should be improved, but I wonder what other members think about how to achieve a better experience and what level of aspirations we should have. Please post your thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #2 Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:53 pm 
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I was going to hypothesize, based on personal experience, that you should expect low activity in December (people get back from Thanksgiving in disarray, and then need to focus on finishing work/school/Christmas shopping before the next round of festivities). But interestingly, the opposite was the case - in 2009 and 2010, higher activity in December than November.

I do think, though, based on a quick mouseover of the games, that most of these games took place after winter vacation started, and an usually high proportion after Christmas. (I think a normal month sees most of the activity in the first week. Both of these observations are very impressionistic, though.)

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #3 Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:46 am 
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I've squeezed in two games so far this month in Gamma, both with the same person who happens to live in the same country as I do and apparently has a similar schedule. I still think the gamma classes and probably the beta classes as well should be bigger. At the moment, I'm looking forward to being demoted to delta again so I can get some games.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #4 Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:09 am 
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i will look into expanding gamma to 25 next month, i see the same thing.

To get games in gamma i recommend you try the following things:

1. Put your days and times you are online in your info so ppl can try and see if they can get online on your time.
2. Pm players and make arrangement to play. Setting a date to play is what i always encourage but no one seems to do, you have a whole month to make arrangements so you can plan games well ahead imo.
3. Do not only play league games and sit there waiting endlessly! Its discouraging for you and its better to play a non league game vs another league member.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #5 Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:57 am 
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stalkor wrote:
i will look into expanding gamma to 25 next month, i see the same thing.

Personally I am thinking more like 2X40 than 4(or 3)X25 for gamma. I think it will take more than a couple of additional people to make a real difference. What do you think would happen if we made a pyramid type structure where the sizes were quite different so that by the time people made it to beta/alpha they had shown a real interest in playing actively?

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #6 Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:34 pm 
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i don't want to break down on the pyramid structure more, its a key structure and although it changed a lot of times in number of ppl per class, in total the number of games never dramatically increased or decreased. I even feel that when classes are smaller ppl try harder to get games and inverse try less when there is too much choice of opponents.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #7 Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:42 am 
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stalkor wrote:
i don't want to break down on the pyramid structure more, its a key structure and although it changed a lot of times in number of ppl per class, in total the number of games never dramatically increased or decreased. I even feel that when classes are smaller ppl try harder to get games and inverse try less when there is too much choice of opponents.


We should realize that if it is true that people try harder in smaller classes, that is the biggest reason for increasing the sizes! Why do I say that? The statistics clearly show that since "the change", the people in delta play more games per day than the people in other classes whereas in the past they played less. Even when we try hard, it is difficult to find games in the smaller classes unless you are lucky enough to be in an active class. "Lucky" is not necessarily the right word however. Alpha is consistently active as far as I can see. It is indeed "in a class of its own". :mrgreen: But Beta is significantly less so and Gamma is far less so. Participation is not consistent across the different levels. Therefore we should not expect that the same class size will produce the desired result.

To me the pyramid is the larger "pools" of people (as we move down the league) feeding qualifying people up into the smaller pools at the top. Thus currently we are structure:
Alpha 18
Beta 40
Gamma ~80
Delta all the rest but ~180

I can not see that the number of classes plays a significant theoretical role in the feeding process because the lower classes are not tied to specific higher classes - the promotion and demotion process randomizes the assignment to classes, AFAIK. The number does play a significant practical role in setting the limits on interaction between league members. To the extent that this limits the number of games that people can arrange to play to a lesser number than they would like to play, I would say that the structure hurts rather than helps the enjoyment of the league.

But that's just one member's opinion. :batman:

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #8 Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:21 pm 
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ez4u wrote:
But that's just one member's opinion. :batman:

+1

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #9 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:19 pm 
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when i introduced the pyramid system we had 14 player classes which could play a maximum of 3 games per opponent with a decreasing number of points per opponent. for example 11-2010 had 14 player classes but 20 player delta classes and only 53 players dropped out with over 1200 games! this means over the course of a year, we have gotten lazier in finding games or we arent that interested anymore.

Maybe im mistaken but i will go out on a limb here and say that league games have gotten "less valuable" as a game. i don't mean that the game you play is less interesting but:
-the win is worth less because the number of games available games is higher.
-it isn't worth it to focus more to get that win you so desperately need.

a league should still be a competition and should not replace all games you play on KGS. by making classes too big you destroy the players ability to win on quality and enable players to win on quantity. for Delta class its maybe ok to do it on quantity like a proving ground you have what it takes to be an acitve player, but the rest of the league should emphasize on playing quality games and not quantity.

going from 20 to 25 players is an increase of 25% and is imo a lot. i like to take babysteps rather then a giant leap and crash burning. also consider that the current poll on the site is about seeding players into gamma and currently it looks like 1d players will get the chance to start in gamma. this means about 10 or maybe more dans will get seeded EXTRA into gamma and will expand gamma classes to about 28 to 30 possibly each month.

related notes:
- We went back from 3 to 2 games per opponent to reduce the quantity of games and get more chance to play quality games (this was done via a poll on L19)
- expanding from 14 to 20 players i was against initially because at the same time players were complaining about quality of games losing out to quantity. there were even players wanting to go back to 1 game per opponent and then 10 to 15ish players per class.
- Its obvious that somehow the number of dropouts has vastly increased, what is the reason? not interested? no time (why do you sign up then...oh well:))?
- Overall alpha and beta are quite active, i myself say a class is active if it gets an activity of 20% games played (thats about 8 games per player on avg with 20 players) and on average we manage 15% in the old setting with delta classes (alpha and beta usually get well over 20%)

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #10 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:27 pm 
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stalkor wrote:
by making classes too big you destroy the players ability to win on quality and enable players to win on quantity.

I don't understand. How does the quality of a game suffer if a player raises the quantity of games? Isn't it just one of the goals of the ASR league to reward activity? If you think that the activity should have less influence, wouldn't it then be an option to give three points to a win without diminishing the chance to get games more easily?

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #11 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:40 pm 
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its actually a mix, not only activity. activity in my opinion just means that you put in an effort to get games and try and help eachother. Along the way that translated into a number. core tenet of the league is to play serious games with a long time setting,

it's the same with every community. for example senseis, if no one or only a few put in effort to maintain the site it becomes less attractive to be there and contribute. in the league this is the same. it hurts the league to not be actively involved.

btw a really good example is the Korean insei league right now. group B has 20 players and not even 20 games played, the players in that class either are very annoyed because they cant find opponents but payed good money for it, or they dont see the korean insei league as something they want to participate in and pay their money for lectures and wotnot.

since the league is free and available for everyone the motivation must come from other factors like a friendly environment or active players or prizes. a dead league is not an attractive league so acitivity is needed and therefor should be rewarded:)

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #12 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:42 pm 
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stalkor wrote:
since the league is free and available for everyone the motivation must come from other factors like a friendly environment or active players or prizes. a dead league is not an attractive league so acitivity is needed and therefor should be rewarded:)


I think that's why you're getting so many suggestions to go to bigger groups. You get more activity when the odds of finding someone in your class online are higher.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #13 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:48 pm 
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oren wrote:
stalkor wrote:
since the league is free and available for everyone the motivation must come from other factors like a friendly environment or active players or prizes. a dead league is not an attractive league so acitivity is needed and therefor should be rewarded:)


I think that's why you're getting so many suggestions to go to bigger groups. You get more activity when the odds of finding someone in your class online are higher.


how many games can you play in seriousmode each month? if its lower then the maximum number of possible games then there is too many possible games. i feel strongly that players should take more effort into pming opponents and setting dates to play, this happened way more in the past and is virtually non existent now. the new gamma will have 48 possible games with 25 players, thats 2 per day (thats 2 hours a day at least!)

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #14 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:03 pm 
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stalkor wrote:
how many games can you play in seriousmode each month? if its lower then the maximum number of possible games then there is too many possible games. i feel strongly that players should take more effort into pming opponents and setting dates to play, this happened way more in the past and is virtually non existent now. the new gamma will have 48 possible games with 25 players, thats 2 per day (thats 2 hours a day at least!)


I know when I played in the league with the smaller classes, most of my opponents were in Europe. PMing and setting up games was not going to substantially help since the times rarely overlapped.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #15 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:09 pm 
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funny comment because when geser won his teaching game with yilun yang, they managed to set a time when they were the ultimate 12 hours apart! its always possible if you plan ahead! overlap is convenient but not a must.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #16 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:11 pm 
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stalkor wrote:
funny comment because when geser won his teaching game with yilun yang, they managed to set a time when they were the ultimate 12 hours apart! its always possible if you plan ahead! overlap is convenient but not a must.


Yilun Yang's job is teaching go. It's a lot more flexible when you have a 9-5 job most days with commute times on both sides. I don't think you should view this as a common ability for people to work around. Anyone who plays who has serious school or job issues has at best 3-4 hours in an evening and some weekends.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #17 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:15 pm 
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and you want to increase the number of ppl in a class when time is limited? lol either way you turn it there is a flaw:)

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #18 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:24 pm 
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stalkor wrote:
and you want to increase the number of ppl in a class when time is limited? lol either way you turn it there is a flaw:)


The reason to increase the number of people is to make the odds higher that people are around your time zone and are likely to be available to play online. I don't see anything flawed at all about this?


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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #19 Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:44 pm 
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oren wrote:
stalkor wrote:
and you want to increase the number of ppl in a class when time is limited? lol either way you turn it there is a flaw:)


The reason to increase the number of people is to make the odds higher that people are around your time zone and are likely to be available to play online. I don't see anything flawed at all about this?


while that is true you also say that you need more possible games -> more dependant on activity -> less emphasis on quality.

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 Post subject: Re: December Gamma Experience - Could it be better?
Post #20 Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:26 am 
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stalkor wrote:
funny comment because when geser won his teaching game with yilun yang, they managed to set a time when they were the ultimate 12 hours apart! its always possible if you plan ahead! overlap is convenient but not a must.

Yes, it is possible. I have also managed to set up a time with someone 9 hours behind. But that's an exception of course. Naturally I don't want to get up regularly at 5.30 in the morning at the weekend :roll: :D

stalkor wrote:
while that is true you also say that you need more possible games -> more dependant on activity -> less emphasis on quality.

I still don't see a correlation between the number of games and their quality. The number of serious games that someone can play per day varies for each player. As for me I am knocked over after three games a day (and two serious games a day are actually enough for me), but I don't have a problem if someone can play 5-7 serious games per day. It's fine for me if they advance more quickly.

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