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Author Topic: How to optimize player level?  (Read 383 times)

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kirkbauer

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How to optimize player level?
« on: September 01, 2022, 01:09:24 am »
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Back in the isotropic days, I was in the top 100 players, and in fact, I think perhaps the top 50 at one point. Well, 12 years later, once I found out that Goku was dead, I tried dominion.games. It isn't isotropic but it's pretty nice, and of course, there are a whole lot more cards out there.

PS - WanderingWinder was in the top 10 back then too, right? I remember the name, and playing against them in some games.

Well, now I'm bothered by my level -- I have got pretty close to 47 a few times, and then start falling back down to 46. I am having trouble figuring out how the system really works. I don't have hard numbers, but here are my impressions:
  • If I play a significantly higher-ranked player, and lose two and win one, my level goes down.
  • If I play a lower-ranked player, when I win my level goes up slowly, but if I lose just once it drops pretty quickly.

What do I need to do to improve my level? Playing lower-level players seems pretty risky -- if you lose here and there it really hurts your level. But playing higher-level players also doesn't seem to really improve my level much either, given that I'm going to lose some of the time.
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Ingix

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2022, 01:51:43 am »
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The system is simple at heart: If you tie against a player with the same strength, you both stay at your strength. If you win a against a much stronger player, you win more points than if you win against a stronger player, which still gives you more points than if you win against a weaker player a.s.o. The same goes for loosing: you lose less points vs. a stronger player than vs. a weaker player.

To improve your rating, you simply need to win > 50% of your games against (at that time) same level players. Of course, likely 40% against slightly stronger players will also work, as 60% vs. slightly weaker.

The point is, if your rating is not consistently going up after let's say a bunch of 20 games against random players say at +-5 around your current strength, than you are most likly not that much stronger than your level indicates.

This is not a slight against you, but most not top ranked players think they are better than what their level indicates, that includes myself. They only want to play against better players because when they "inevitably win", they go up faster than if they "only win" vs. weaker players. If you are a good player and start, that will work, becasue you are better than the starting level. But at some point you reach a plateau, and that is likely what your current strenght really is.

So I wouldn't try to have a strategy to "game the system". Play against player that are around your current strength, and then you should rise if you are better then them.
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kieranmillar

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2022, 02:27:56 am »
+1

At this point it sounds like your only option is to actually get better at Dominion.

Arguably you're more likely to learn how to play better by playing higher ranked opponents.
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dane-m

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2022, 07:02:19 am »
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It's also worth pointing out that the rating decays (by maybe as much as 0.1 per day?) if one doesn't keep playing games.
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Awaclus

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2022, 07:15:11 am »
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It's a Glicko-2 based rating system and you can find the implementation details here. Basically you can improve your level either by improving your estimated skill (which requires you to play better than you have so far) or by decreasing your uncertainty variable (which you can do by playing more games). There is a limit to how much your rating can improve just by playing more without playing better, though, since the uncertainty variable can only go so low.
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kirkbauer

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2022, 10:13:05 am »
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OK, thanks, everybody. Yes, I should have stipulated that the most likely answer is that I'm not nearly as good as I think I am, or perhaps I'm not nearly as good as I used to be.

I don't remember the number of ranked players on Isotropic, but I'm pretty confident I was easily in the top 1% if I was in the top 50 players. Now, I'm struggling to get into the top 3% (assuming there are about 150,000 total players from what I can find out). Although I do wonder if there could be more inactive players on dominion.games than back in the Isotropic days -- so perhaps I'm even lower than I think, percentile-wise.

The most likely answer is all of the new cards -- there are even many new cards in the core set. Since I don't have a subscription, I mostly play with the core set, which for now, I think is good, so I can fine-tune my skill on those cards. But when I play with somebody with a subscription, the challenge level goes way up, and I tend to lose more often when surprised by newer cards I don't know. But I think that's ultimately a good way to learn.
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Ingix

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2022, 12:31:16 pm »
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Yes, I think it should be clear that when you are confronted with many new cards, figuring them out will take time. If you mostly only know the base cards, that's currently less than 10% of cards. Good luck and most importantly, have fun!
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traces Around

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2022, 11:56:05 am »
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If you haven't played in 12 years or even 6, the kinds of things that separate top level players from those below them have changed well beyond the card pool. Depending on how you like to improve, I suggest joining the Dominion Discord (linked in signature) and poking around a bit and asking questions - it is much more active than these forums are now.

IsotropicWasBetter

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Re: How to optimize player level?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2022, 07:07:09 am »
+1

Back in the isotropic days
#isotropicwasbetter
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