Issue#10: Team activity and ranking
Stories of the Past, #4
So, I had built a “long turn” management game, but despite my best efforts, it may happen that some Users quit playing it. I know, it’s astonishing, hardly believable, but it happened 😱
What to do with those User’s Teams? The obvious answer was “remove the inactive Teams”… but that’s a bit simplistic. When is a Team declared to be “inactive”? How would that work exactly? These are very important and non trivial questions 🤔
In this issue, we’ll talk about the activity system, and its implications on the ranking.
First of all, we have to remember that we are talking about Team’s activity, not User’s. A Team is active when it’s setting up both lineups and tactics.
The User may indulge in other areas: auctions, trading, rituals… but at the end of the day, what matters most is the brawl: it’s the core of the game, and it’s the place where it’s most annoying to have inactive Teams 👎
Disparity and weight
Forgetting to set up the tactics was considered to be more influential on the game than forgetting the lineups, so I assigned it slightly more weight 🗿
Forgetting them both in the same match was even worse than both of them combined and carried additional consequences, such as earning no gold at all from that match: it’s not the kind of game where you can expect not to play and progress despite that 🦠
The older a match was, the less it would have an impact on your activity meter. The rationale was that if a Team missed some early matches and did play the later ones, it’s more likely he “came back” and will stay there for the next season.
Threshold and consequences
There was a certain threshold of inactivity: at the end of the season every Team behind it would get kicked out.
The effect was to prune the Conference from inactive Teams, making room for others to rise.
The reason was that playing against an idle Team is not fun at all: it’s not satisfying if you win, and it’s humiliating or infuriating if you lose 😠
A Team kicked out for inactivity could sign-in again later, but it would have had to start again from the Feeder. Surely you wouldn’t expect active Teams to make room for an idler when it finally comes back, would you?
Most of its Brawlers would be still in its possession, most of its gold too, so it shouldn’t have a hard time to get back to its former division 📈
A few idlers have an effect on the relegations, while many idlers have a large effect on the ranking of the whole Conference.
If a Team is removed from a division, other lower ranked Teams will advance to replace it. Which are the “highest ranked” Teams among the lower division? Those who should have been relegated.
So basically every kicked idler causes one almost‑relegated Team from their same division and every division below that, to be saved instead. If the idlers are too many, there might be no relegation at all, and this has a negative impact on the weaker Teams 😑
Relegation allows a Team too weak for a division to go back and face more affordable opponents: winning is better than losing, after all! If there are no relegations, a Team might be forced to keep playing against superior ones, losing and losing hopelessly.
If the idler Teams are way too many, highly‑ranked saved Teams from the divisions below will be promoted. Strangely, this is actually somewhat better: if many Teams are promoted from below, those who dodged relegation will now face other weaker Teams, more on par with them 😊
Of course this is not sustainable unless there’s a huge influx of new Teams every season, otherwise the Conference will just dry up, out of Teams: too many idlers means that some Leagues will be cancelled, too many cancelled Leagues and some Divisions will be scrapped too…
And we wouldn’t like that. New Users are important, but loyal Users are also vital: too much turnover may kill many games 🤒
And that’s a good thing! 🎉
Well, the point is that we don’t want Team to leave: we want them to stay and have fun, enjoy the game! 😍🤩
It would be wrong to plan too much on how to handle something we don’t want to happen, it makes much more sense to try to prevent it from happening in the first place as much as we can!
The real solution is just to create a game which is so good that few people will leave, and that’s pretty much it 😎
While the core of this system is still there, there are a few small differences ☝️
We no longer have timing discounts: every match counts the same. Why? Just because it’s simpler, and we are no longer sure it was a correct thing. I mean, nice idea, but shaky.
Formerly we counted “inactivity”: the more a Team missed matches, the more that inactivity grew, and you should try to keep it low. Now we count “activity”, using percentage points. And you have to keep it high. Same thing, just much clearer 👌
We also tweaked a bit the weights. We accidentally removed the extra malus in case you miss both lineups and tactics, and we will likely add it back.
And… that’s pretty much it. May your coaches never forget about your Teams’ matches! 🤦♀️
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