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Author Topic: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion  (Read 10576 times)

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Insomniac

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Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« on: December 07, 2012, 12:10:25 pm »
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There's also the matter of some players like myself who play IRL more often than on Iso.  I mean, when I entered this contest I hadn't played on iso since probably September.  When I signed back in my level was down to 12, although I guess playing a few games got it up to 18 by the time seeding was determined.

As I said during the discussion about wildcard entries, I disagree with the ISO seed allowing high entries, I mean I guess it's better than nothing, but I don't think of myself as a bad player, but I mean I NEVER play on Isotropic except when these tourneys are going down, otherwise I play in RL or heaven forbid on goko.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 12:40:24 am by greatexpectations »
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soulnet

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 01:01:41 pm »
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When we have our Dominion Professional Tour rankings, we can use that to seed tournaments. In the meantime, Iso ranking is a pretty well approximation, with a small number of outliers (although they may be really important outliers, I must say).

On the opposite side, I would have been fine with pure random seeding, but watching two of the best players clashing in round 1 or 2 instead on an exciting semifinal or something its kind of sad.

Seeding has minor impact in Swiss system, but I guess the total number of games on a Swiss tournament is too big to handle (Challonge has Swiss brackets, so calculating the matchup should be no problem).
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popsofctown

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 01:49:12 pm »
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Games are simultaneous in Swiss though, and iso isn't going to crash because lots of people are on. 

We really don't have a good reason not to be using Swiss, besides easier administration (which, when that administration is being given on a volunteer basis I can't complain about)
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theory

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 01:51:38 pm »
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Games are simultaneous in Swiss though, and iso isn't going to crash because lots of people are on. 

We really don't have a good reason not to be using Swiss, besides easier administration (which, when that administration is being given on a volunteer basis I can't complain about)

Administration has a cost from a user perspective.  Swiss systems are better for something like IsoDom, with a small group of committed players.
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popsofctown

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 01:55:59 pm »
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I don't see a link between player commitment and tournament system.  Whichever player makes first will play about as many games as if it was Swiss.  Players who do not do well would be arranged into more games, but if those players are only interested in first place they can concede by PM. 
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soulnet

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 03:34:24 pm »
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You can use Swiss without simultaneous plays. I don't think revealing previous results will make you want to lose or tie to change your next play, but even then, results may be kept hidden until the end of the week of the round.

By "too big to handle" I was thinking on the people running the tournament. 128 games on Isotropic is not too bad, and also, as I said, they do not need to be simultaneous.

Maybe Swiss with some time to forfeit in between rounds? That way, people who lost interest due to not performing as good may withdraw without giving a semi-random set of people free points and one game less.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 05:40:08 pm »
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There's also the matter of some players like myself who play IRL more often than on Iso.  I mean, when I entered this contest I hadn't played on iso since probably September.  When I signed back in my level was down to 12, although I guess playing a few games got it up to 18 by the time seeding was determined.

As I said during the discussion about wildcard entries, I disagree with the ISO seed allowing high entries, I mean I guess it's better than nothing, but I don't think of myself as a bad player, but I mean I NEVER play on Isotropic except when these tourneys are going down, otherwise I play in RL or heaven forbid on goko.
Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

greatexpectations

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 05:57:39 pm »
+2

Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

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if you are bad then the 7919 of us lower down on the leaderboard must just be hideously awful.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 06:00:22 pm »
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Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

Level 43   51.721 8.108   20   10486   WanderingWinder

if you are bad then the 7919 of us lower down on the leaderboard must just be hideously awful.
Well, two things. One, please please please use mean skill, not level.
Two, I was originally going to make some complaint about Insomniac saying that he doesn't consider himself a bad player, because everyone thinks they are a good player - self-reporting bias! So i thought to myself 'who considers himself a bad player', and I was like, gee, I sorta do.

GigaKnight

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 07:05:04 pm »
0

Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

Level 43   51.721 8.108   20   10486   WanderingWinder

if you are bad then the 7919 of us lower down on the leaderboard must just be hideously awful.
Well, two things. One, please please please use mean skill, not level.
Two, I was originally going to make some complaint about Insomniac saying that he doesn't consider himself a bad player, because everyone thinks they are a good player - self-reporting bias! So i thought to myself 'who considers himself a bad player', and I was like, gee, I sorta do.

Sorry, but what's "mean skill"?  If it's something specific and well-known, I'm not Googling well.  Or do you just mean something like "for the amount you play, you should be better"?

More-specifically, what qualities about yourself or your play would lead you to sorta consider yourself a bad player?  As a player I look up to, I'm wondering if you have any insights I can learn from.

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greatexpectations

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 07:41:22 pm »
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Well, two things. One, please please please use mean skill, not level.
Two, I was originally going to make some complaint about Insomniac saying that he doesn't consider himself a bad player, because everyone thinks they are a good player - self-reporting bias! So i thought to myself 'who considers himself a bad player', and I was like, gee, I sorta do.

mean skill only changes that number by maybe 20-25 people, the overall point still stands. and it was (i thought clearly) meant as a joke, there is really no need to get defensive. if there is any doubt, i will turn it into a first world problems meme next time. i fully understand your intent, just realize that to some extent a comment like that from a person who has hit lvl 50 and the #1 spot is a bit dismissive of those of us a bit further down the rankings.

Sorry, but what's "mean skill"?  If it's something specific and well-known, I'm not Googling well.  Or do you just mean something like "for the amount you play, you should be better"?

mean skill is the first (leftmost) number you will see on the leaderboard. it is what trueskill thinks your level is. there is a degree of uncertainty there, and this uncertainty is subtracted from the mean skill to determine your level on the leaderboard. there is a little more detail here if you are interested.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 10:15:17 pm »
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Sorry, but what's "mean skill"?  If it's something specific and well-known, I'm not Googling well.  Or do you just mean something like "for the amount you play, you should be better"?

mean skill is the first (leftmost) number you will see on the leaderboard. it is what trueskill thinks your level is. there is a degree of uncertainty there, and this uncertainty is subtracted from the mean skill to determine your level on the leaderboard. there is a little more detail here if you are interested.

Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

EDIT: I should say I did read the Wiki and Iso FAQ (again) and saw that the Wiki said there was some debate, but I'm not familiar with that debate.  Is there a thread talking about why TrueSkill is/isn't better than TrueSkill + Uncertainty?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 10:29:36 pm by GigaKnight »
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greatexpectations

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 10:24:35 pm »
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Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 10:33:46 pm »
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Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.

I see the high-level reasoning there.  Shouldn't that be easily tunable with the Isotropic parameters?  I mean, couldn't it further reduce uncertainty as you increase in level / games played so that it was accurate at either end?  This is purely academic, I suppose, but I guess I'm just not understanding WW's seemingly-passionate preference of TrueSkill.  As you pointed out earlier, it doesn't seem to make too too much of a difference.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 11:02:52 pm »
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Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.
That's patently false. The mean skill is the best guess you have for the skill of anyone. BY DEFINITION.

WanderingWinder

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2012, 11:03:44 pm »
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Well, two things. One, please please please use mean skill, not level.
Two, I was originally going to make some complaint about Insomniac saying that he doesn't consider himself a bad player, because everyone thinks they are a good player - self-reporting bias! So i thought to myself 'who considers himself a bad player', and I was like, gee, I sorta do.

mean skill only changes that number by maybe 20-25 people, the overall point still stands. and it was (i thought clearly) meant as a joke, there is really no need to get defensive. if there is any doubt, i will turn it into a first world problems meme next time. i fully understand your intent, just realize that to some extent a comment like that from a person who has hit lvl 50 and the #1 spot is a bit dismissive of those of us a bit further down the rankings.
Man, that's the opposite of my point. My point is not to take yourself too seriously.

SirPeebles

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 11:20:22 pm »
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Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.
That's patently false. The mean skill is the best guess you have for the skill of anyone. BY DEFINITION.

You could say it's the most accurate guess.  To say that it's the best guess really depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your guess.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 11:23:48 pm »
0

Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.
That's patently false. The mean skill is the best guess you have for the skill of anyone. BY DEFINITION.

You could say it's the most accurate guess.  To say that it's the best guess really depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your guess.
What are you trying to accomplish with your guess?

greatexpectations

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 11:28:49 pm »
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That's patently false. The mean skill is the best guess you have for the skill of anyone. BY DEFINITION.

really dude? coming across a little harsh here. i know full well what mean skill is. i even purposefully left off the word 'skill' in my point about newer players, so i'm not actually sure that it is 'patently false'.

but that is beside the point. as i said in my post, i was trying to give gigaknight a 2 second explanation as to why mean skill is more useful at the top of the leaderboard vs the bottom. with newer players your uncertainty is so large that the mean skill is less valuable than it is otherwise. if anything i said was that far off then by all means i will change it. but i wasn't trying to be super specific, i just gave him a quick response and pointed him to where he could read up a little more.
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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2012, 12:48:18 am »
+1

Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

Level 43   51.721 8.108   20   10486   WanderingWinder

if you are bad then the 7919 of us lower down on the leaderboard must just be hideously awful.
Haha, most of us have learned to compare our skill to our peak skill--therefore those of us like WW are looking back at ourselves a year ago and going "Damn, where did all my skills go?"
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Piemaster

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2012, 12:18:26 pm »
+2

There are a million things that affect people's Iso level, and even mean skill, that have nothing to do with how good a player they are.

I mean when I play on Iso, I am often doing something else at the same time, sometimes only really playing attention when I get an audio alert.  And sometimes I quit games because I have to go out or something.  And some games I spot odd combos and think 'hmmm, I wonder if that will work'.  And then it doesn't and I lose.  I am currently level 24.  If I concentrated fully on every game and only played when I knew it would have my full attention and turned the TV off in the background and always played the strategy I thought would give me the highest % chance to win, then maybe I would be level 28 or even 30.  But would I actually be a better player?  No, in fact never trying anything new, interesting or fun could make me worse.
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2012, 12:30:05 pm »
+3

If I concentrated fully on every game and only played when I knew it would have my full attention and turned the TV off in the background and always played the strategy I thought would give me the highest % chance to win, then maybe I would be level 28 or even 30.  But would I actually be a better player?

Yes, clearly.
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rrenaud

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2012, 01:05:33 pm »
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I'd worry about definition and models.

If you talk about the definition within the model, then you are granting the models assumptions.  You even seem to disagree with some of trueskills assumptions.  And if you don't grant the models assumption, then all bets are off.

Yes, the mean is a great summary of a normal distribution. 

I am pretty sure that I can come up with some distributions of player strengths/#games played so that mean - 2 * std dev is a better measure for finding the best player than the mean is when sampled according to those strengths. 
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2012, 01:17:12 pm »
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I'd worry about definition and models.

If you talk about the definition within the model, then you are granting the models assumptions.  You even seem to disagree with some of trueskills assumptions.  And if you don't grant the models assumption, then all bets are off.

Yes, the mean is a great summary of a normal distribution. 

I am pretty sure that I can come up with some distributions of player strengths/#games played so that mean - 2 * std dev is a better measure for finding the best player than the mean is when sampled according to those strengths. 
Sure, if you don't buy trueskill, you can probably get a better estimate. The only way mean - 2*stdev as a single number will be better than mean, though, is if you take a skewed distribution, in which case you may really do better by taking something like median. Of course, in any case, you will do better if you can include more numbers - so mean & st dev is better than just mean, because it gives some indication as to the shape of the distribution rather than just the position. Mean is certainly not enough to define playing strength - certainly someone who hasn't played very much is going to have much higher uncertainty in our estimate than someone who has played a lot. So we aren't very confident in that guess, but the point is that it's still the best guess. I mean, there's really no evidence that mean + 3 st dev (and they use 3 rather than 2, yes?) is a worse estimator than subtracting. Your best guess is your best guess regardless, it's just how much variation you expect around that guess. Of course, you can argue with the methodology which assigns the best guess to the position it currently does, but that's a separate issue.

Piemaster

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2012, 02:13:35 pm »
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If I concentrated fully on every game and only played when I knew it would have my full attention and turned the TV off in the background and always played the strategy I thought would give me the highest % chance to win, then maybe I would be level 28 or even 30.  But would I actually be a better player?

Yes, clearly.

No, not really clearly at all.  Maybe I didn't phrase the example very well, let's try wording the question in a different way.

Hypothetically let's say I started a new Iso account, played 200 games and tried my absolute best and played with no distractions.  At the end of the 200 games I have a level of 25.  Then I play another 200 games.  In these I goof around, try some fun combos and unconventional decks, play while doing other things, and otherwise play sub-optimally.  After that my level has dropped to 20.  Have I actually got worse at the game?  Sure, I am playing worse, but if I entered a tournament I could play back at my old 25 level again so at that tournament my level really doesn't reflect my ability.

Or to use a non-Dominion example, every year the Williams Sisters turn up to Wimbledon seeded a long way down because they don't really play their best game other than at the majors.  They could probably try harder in the tour events and ply more to get a higher seeding for the slams, but it wouldn't mean they were better players at the slams, they would just have a higher ranking.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 02:17:12 pm by Piemaster »
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2012, 03:44:40 pm »
+1

No, not really clearly at all.  Maybe I didn't phrase the example very well, let's try wording the question in a different way.

Hypothetically let's say I started a new Iso account, played 200 games and tried my absolute best and played with no distractions.  At the end of the 200 games I have a level of 25.  Then I play another 200 games.  In these I goof around, try some fun combos and unconventional decks, play while doing other things, and otherwise play sub-optimally.  After that my level has dropped to 20.  Have I actually got worse at the game?  Sure, I am playing worse, but if I entered a tournament I could play back at my old 25 level again so at that tournament my level really doesn't reflect my ability.

Or to use a non-Dominion example, every year the Williams Sisters turn up to Wimbledon seeded a long way down because they don't really play their best game other than at the majors.  They could probably try harder in the tour events and ply more to get a higher seeding for the slams, but it wouldn't mean they were better players at the slams, they would just have a higher ranking.

I disagree for two reasons. The first is practical, the other has to do with how you try to separate two things ("playing" and "being" good at Dominion) when there's only one that matters.

Practical: if you play sloppy, pick bad strategies, don't pay attention etc., not only will you "play" worse at Dominion, you will actually "get" worse at the game. Practicing bad habits will cause you to play worse in all your future games then you would have if you had tried to play well. Dominion ability is not as simple as turning a switch on/off. Or if it is an on/off switch, leaving the switch "off" for some time leads to diminished effects when you turn it back "on".

Other thing: basically I think the only criteria that matters for describing ability is how well you perform. In my mind, a person who isn't focusing or is playing dumb strategies is not only playing poorly, but has "become" worse at Dominion. The fact that they might be able to turn it around quickly doesn't change that for me. I have no problem with defining ability so that it fluctuates a whole bunch depending on the individual game performance. I think that's exactly what happens, and as a result we see upsets between players of vastly different levels all the time.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2012, 04:32:06 pm »
+2

basically I think the only criteria that matters for describing ability is how well you perform

I think this is a short-sighted view of ability.  It gives you an instantaneous view, but it doesn't easily make provision for learning.  For example, if a player tries a new strategy and they lose, you might say "ah, not performing well - this means low ability".  But it's likely that player learned something from the new strategy that will improve their overall game.

Let's look at it from another angle.  Take a player who pours all their attention into the game, but isn't very creative.  So they have a couple of very strong BM strategies and they're really good at the obvious engines.  They win a lot - at the things they're good at.  But, by focusing so much on a narrow portion of the game, they've limited their ability to perform in the subtler scenarios.  I think this shows that choosing your personally-strongest strategy for each game does not necessarily make you a better overall player.  Sometimes the lessons that come from experimenting and losing are more valuable than another notch on the belt.
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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2012, 05:01:16 pm »
0

Other thing: basically I think the only criteria that matters for describing ability is how well you perform.

Yes, but how you perform when is the issue.  If I'm assessing a sprinter, I want to know how fast he runs on the track in big competitions, not how fast he runs when he's chasing his kids around the park.  In the same way if I want to know how good a player is at Dominion I want to know how good he is when he is actually trying.  I love Isotropic to bits, but that doesn't mean it's the be all and end all of Dominion.  Some people blatantly care about (and go to great lengths to increase/maintain) their isotropic rating a lot more than others.
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2012, 05:58:52 pm »
+1

basically I think the only criteria that matters for describing ability is how well you perform

I think this is a short-sighted view of ability.  It gives you an instantaneous view, but it doesn't easily make provision for learning.  For example, if a player tries a new strategy and they lose, you might say "ah, not performing well - this means low ability".  But it's likely that player learned something from the new strategy that will improve their overall game.

Let's look at it from another angle.  Take a player who pours all their attention into the game, but isn't very creative.  So they have a couple of very strong BM strategies and they're really good at the obvious engines.  They win a lot - at the things they're good at.  But, by focusing so much on a narrow portion of the game, they've limited their ability to perform in the subtler scenarios.  I think this shows that choosing your personally-strongest strategy for each game does not necessarily make you a better overall player.  Sometimes the lessons that come from experimenting and losing are more valuable than another notch on the belt.

You seem to think that experimentation and trying to give yourself the best chance to win are mutually exclusive. This isn't true at all, and I don't know why anybody would think that. And of course I think people can learn from their mistakes, you don't have to play absurd strategies to make mistakes though. Every single game has instances where your play can be improved.

Other thing: basically I think the only criteria that matters for describing ability is how well you perform.

Yes, but how you perform when is the issue.  If I'm assessing a sprinter, I want to know how fast he runs on the track in big competitions, not how fast he runs when he's chasing his kids around the park.  In the same way if I want to know how good a player is at Dominion I want to know how good he is when he is actually trying.  I love Isotropic to bits, but that doesn't mean it's the be all and end all of Dominion.  Some people blatantly care about (and go to great lengths to increase/maintain) their isotropic rating a lot more than others.

I don't know of a tool for measuring a person's effort. So, until I find one, I will continue to use performance as my standard of ability. This doesn't mean I think it's perfect, I think fluctuations will be common, and that's why we have upsets.

Nobody looks at the dad in the park chasing his kids and says "that guy must be a world class sprinter, he caught that 5 year old without breaking a sweat". So when he shows up and beats Usain Bolt, we are surprised. That's the nature of upsets. But we don't think his ability is high until he demonstrates it.

Also, I'm not sure who you're thinking of with your comment about isotropic level and the "great lengths" people go to increase/maintain theirs, but with the exception of a few cheaters, as far as I can tell the only methods anybody uses is "play some games of Dominion". I have not (yet) developed a complex training schedule/diet. I suspect -Stef- is genetically modified though, so yeah, that is taking it a bit far.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2012, 08:23:54 pm »
+1

You seem to think that experimentation and trying to give yourself the best chance to win are mutually exclusive. This isn't true at all, and I don't know why anybody would think that.

I don't think they're always mutually exclusive, but I think there will be plenty of instances where they are.  I'd say this becomes obvious when you realize that it's quite possible for the strongest strategy on a board to be totally different than the strategy you play the best.  In a case like this, trying to play the strongest board strategy may not give you the best chance to win, simply because you're not skilled in it.  But if you never play that strongest strategy because it doesn't give you the best chance to win, you're not going to improve in it.  So you have to be willing to take some losses in order to improve your long-term play.

This is a known phenomenon that happens in other games, as well.  I follow Starcraft / Starcraft 2 a bit and foreigners (non-Koreans) who go to Korea to train sometimes talk about a "breaking down" period where their overall play gets worse as they re-invent their game.  These guys realize they have to take a step backwards in order to break bad habits / ruts so they can rebuild into an even stronger all-around player.
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2012, 09:32:45 pm »
0

I don't think they're always mutually exclusive, but I think there will be plenty of instances where they are.  I'd say this becomes obvious when you realize that it's quite possible for the strongest strategy on a board to be totally different than the strategy you play the best.  In a case like this, trying to play the strongest board strategy may not give you the best chance to win, simply because you're not skilled in it.  But if you never play that strongest strategy because it doesn't give you the best chance to win, you're not going to improve in it.  So you have to be willing to take some losses in order to improve your long-term play.

This is a known phenomenon that happens in other games, as well.  I follow Starcraft / Starcraft 2 a bit and foreigners (non-Koreans) who go to Korea to train sometimes talk about a "breaking down" period where their overall play gets worse as they re-invent their game.  These guys realize they have to take a step backwards in order to break bad habits / ruts so they can rebuild into an even stronger all-around player.

Ok, I mostly agree with this. I don't know how it contradicts anything I said earlier. We agree that this kind of experimentation can result in a decrease in performance, hopefully with an upside later. And I never said that a person shouldn't try that sort of thing if they think the end result will be worth it. But there is still a decrease in ability.

And for Dominion, I honestly believe that if you play a fair amount of games you will be presented with plenty of opportunities to try new strategies which also give you a good shot at winning. So I think even fairly conservative players will become exposed to most strategies over time.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 09:35:36 pm by Mic Qsenoch »
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Piemaster

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2012, 12:31:27 am »
0

I don't know of a tool for measuring a person's effort. So, until I find one, I will continue to use performance as my standard of ability. This doesn't mean I think it's perfect, I think fluctuations will be common, and that's why we have upsets.

I sense that you have kind of lost perspective on the original point and are now just trying to 'win the argument'.  My only point was that there are a ton of factors that determine someone's isotropic rating and many of them have little correlation with how good they are (and hence how well they can be expected to perform in the championship).  Some players are level 20, but play like they're level 30 when it really counts.  Some people are level 30 because they essentially play their A-game every time they are on isotropic, so when it comes to tournaments they don't have 'a higher level' to play to and so play no better than the aforementioned level 20.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 12:32:30 am by Piemaster »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2012, 08:17:26 am »
0

I don't know of a tool for measuring a person's effort. So, until I find one, I will continue to use performance as my standard of ability. This doesn't mean I think it's perfect, I think fluctuations will be common, and that's why we have upsets.

I sense that you have kind of lost perspective on the original point and are now just trying to 'win the argument'.  My only point was that there are a ton of factors that determine someone's isotropic rating and many of them have little correlation with how good they are (and hence how well they can be expected to perform in the championship).  Some players are level 20, but play like they're level 30 when it really counts.  Some people are level 30 because they essentially play their A-game every time they are on isotropic, so when it comes to tournaments they don't have 'a higher level' to play to and so play no better than the aforementioned level 20.

Actually, I think you're the one who has really lost the thread, as your argument is basically entirely geared toward 'we just shouldn't have a rating system at all'. I wouldn't say so much that you are trying to win the argument, more just that you are trying to argue something that nobody was really arguing against, at least until you brought it up.
A good rating system will have some measurement of the variability with which a player plays to try to account somewhat for things like what you're talking about.

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2012, 09:10:48 am »
+1

I suppose my rating is the most extreme. Level 36. Skill 58.175 with 21.208 variance. How did I get that? All my matches on iso over the last however months have been in this tournament or the previous 2 IsoDoms where I reached the final each time. You can make different arguments as to whether my skill range or iso ranking is more accurate. It's still fair to use an isotropic ranking for an isotropic tournament.

In terms of seeding I would suggest that next time the seeding is not quite so precise. We're seeing 1 vs 64 or 32 vs 33 and this seems to be providing a lot of whitewashes for the lowest ranked and very competitive games for the mid ranked. This is fine for the lower-mid ranked players but perhaps a random draw across the pool of 33-64 would have been better for everyone else.
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Piemaster

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2012, 11:21:19 am »
+1

Actually, I think you're the one who has really lost the thread, as your argument is basically entirely geared toward 'we just shouldn't have a rating system at all'.

I wasn't trying to argue that at all.  If you look back at the start of the discussion people were saying how certain players were under-ranked due to not having played much in a while.  All I was doing is extending that to say there are a bunch of people that are under-ranked and over-ranked for all kinds of reasons and we can't necessarily read too much into people's rankings.  I'm absolutely fine with the rankings being used as a 'best guess' for the purpose of seeding.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2012, 11:29:22 am »
0

Actually, I think you're the one who has really lost the thread, as your argument is basically entirely geared toward 'we just shouldn't have a rating system at all'.

I wasn't trying to argue that at all.
All of your arguments have the effect of supporting this decision, so while you haven't explicitly stated it, you are effectively doing so.
Quote
If you look back at the start of the discussion people were saying how certain players were under-ranked due to not having played much in a while.
Sure,, because level is a lousy measure compared to mean skill....
Quote
All I was doing is extending that to say there are a bunch of people that are under-ranked and over-ranked for all kinds of reasons and we can't necessarily read too much into people's rankings.
i.e., ratings don't mean anything (or very much), so you should largely just ignore them, basically what I was saying. If there's some important nuance here, I genuinely can't pick it out, so assume I am very very thick and try to explain it simply. Because there must be something I don't understand here.
Quote
I'm absolutely fine with the rankings being used as a 'best guess' for the purpose of seeding.
But the problem is that the rankings are based on level, which is a measure that isn't really the best guess, but a guess of the minimum ability, extremely biased to the minimum, which is basically just a big scheme by whoever made the rating system (guys at Microsoft) to encourage people to play more.

Piemaster

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2012, 11:46:35 am »
0

i.e., ratings don't mean anything (or very much), so you should largely just ignore them, basically what I was saying. If there's some important nuance here, I genuinely can't pick it out, so assume I am very very thick and try to explain it simply. Because there must be something I don't understand here.

Nope, no nuance whatsoever.  We're basically arguing the same thing, that player levels don't mean that much.  I wasn't arguing with you at all, only with Qsenoch, who for every example I gave of how a person might be better (or worse) than their rating suggests he tried to flip it around and make an argument that their results actually reflect their true ability.  Some of the later ones seemed rather far-reaching illustrations of how, for example, a player who tries out new or unconventional strategies makes themselves a worse player as a result, which seemed to me to be an attempt to win the argument rather than actually make a point, hence my post.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 11:47:54 am by Piemaster »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2012, 12:06:58 pm »
0

i.e., ratings don't mean anything (or very much), so you should largely just ignore them, basically what I was saying. If there's some important nuance here, I genuinely can't pick it out, so assume I am very very thick and try to explain it simply. Because there must be something I don't understand here.

Nope, no nuance whatsoever.  We're basically arguing the same thing, that player levels don't mean that much.  I wasn't arguing with you at all, only with Qsenoch, who for every example I gave of how a person might be better (or worse) than their rating suggests he tried to flip it around and make an argument that their results actually reflect their true ability.  Some of the later ones seemed rather far-reaching illustrations of how, for example, a player who tries out new or unconventional strategies makes themselves a worse player as a result, which seemed to me to be an attempt to win the argument rather than actually make a point, hence my post.
Okay, except now I don't think you understand MY position. I am not saying that ratings don't mean much - that's my characterization of your position. My position is that ratings DO mean a fair bit (though they have some inherent uncertainty) in general, but LEVEL doesn't reflect this.

Stealth Tomato

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2012, 01:35:35 pm »
+2

Jesus tapdancing Christ.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2012, 01:57:35 pm »
0

I think if you guys were in the same room actually talking about this, you'd quickly realize that you agree with each other.

I think Piemaster's saying the "Isotropic levels" used for seeding will be inaccurate for a variety of reasons (he's not saying "ratings don't matter", just "Isotropic ratings (levels) can be misleading").  And I think WW is saying ratings are useful, but that "Isotropic levels" don't do a good job of capturing them.

So you both agree that "Isotropic levels" aren't a particularly good ratings metric.
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Insomniac

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2012, 02:08:02 pm »
0

Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

Level 43   51.721 8.108   20   10486   WanderingWinder

if you are bad then the 7919 of us lower down on the leaderboard must just be hideously awful.
Well, two things. One, please please please use mean skill, not level.
Two, I was originally going to make some complaint about Insomniac saying that he doesn't consider himself a bad player, because everyone thinks they are a good player - self-reporting bias! So i thought to myself 'who considers himself a bad player', and I was like, gee, I sorta do.

I get that, but that was never my point personally (didn't see this response till today). Let's say I had never joined f.DS until this year. I go to one tournament a month in the city I live in and always rank near the top if not the top. I rarely if EVER play on ISO I haven't played much on ISO since Dark Ages came out and even before then I only played on there as a way to play dominion with my girlfriend when we couldn't get out the actual game (I was travelling for work or what have you). Now if I registered for F.DS to participate in this tournament and registered early enough to be in the 240-256 area and got bumped by someone who was still playing on ISO I would be totally choked.

I get why theory put it there, I just don't agree with what it might cause if someone who is high ranking actually misses the sign ups bumping someone who may or may not be high level just because they are ranked poorly on ISO. It will push them away from our community and is not the point of these tournaments.

I used myself meerly as a metric to demonstrate my point. While I do think I am a good player I do not think I hold a candle to the Marins, Stefs, WanderingWinders etc.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2012, 02:12:28 pm »
0

Funny, I do sorta consider myself a bad player...

Level 43   51.721 8.108   20   10486   WanderingWinder

if you are bad then the 7919 of us lower down on the leaderboard must just be hideously awful.
Well, two things. One, please please please use mean skill, not level.
Two, I was originally going to make some complaint about Insomniac saying that he doesn't consider himself a bad player, because everyone thinks they are a good player - self-reporting bias! So i thought to myself 'who considers himself a bad player', and I was like, gee, I sorta do.

I get that, but that was never my point personally (didn't see this response till today). Let's say I had never joined f.DS until this year. I go to one tournament a month in the city I live in and always rank near the top if not the top. I rarely if EVER play on ISO I haven't played much on ISO since Dark Ages came out and even before then I only played on there as a way to play dominion with my girlfriend when we couldn't get out the actual game (I was travelling for work or what have you). Now if I registered for F.DS to participate in this tournament and registered early enough to be in the 240-256 area and got bumped by someone who was still playing on ISO I would be totally choked.

I get why theory put it there, I just don't agree with what it might cause if someone who is high ranking actually misses the sign ups bumping someone who may or may not be high level just because they are ranked poorly on ISO. It will push them away from our community and is not the point of these tournaments.

I used myself meerly as a metric to demonstrate my point. While I do think I am a good player I do not think I hold a candle to the Marins, Stefs, WanderingWinders etc.
Sure, and I don't have a problem with that.

theory

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2012, 04:42:29 pm »
+2

I get that, but that was never my point personally (didn't see this response till today). Let's say I had never joined f.DS until this year. I go to one tournament a month in the city I live in and always rank near the top if not the top. I rarely if EVER play on ISO I haven't played much on ISO since Dark Ages came out and even before then I only played on there as a way to play dominion with my girlfriend when we couldn't get out the actual game (I was travelling for work or what have you). Now if I registered for F.DS to participate in this tournament and registered early enough to be in the 240-256 area and got bumped by someone who was still playing on ISO I would be totally choked.

I get why theory put it there, I just don't agree with what it might cause if someone who is high ranking actually misses the sign ups bumping someone who may or may not be high level just because they are rankede  poorly on ISO. It will push them away from our community and is not the point of these tournaments.

Isn't it far more likely that someone high ranking will miss the signups without the wildcard policy?

Isn't the point of the tournament both to encourage participation (for 240-256 registrants) and to encourage the best to play?

Isn't our community improved when high ranking Isotropic players participate more in the community?

Isn't it much more likely that the high-ranking wildcards are more likely to be good players than the ones they are bumping?

Aren't there 240 guaranteed slots for these hypothetical very-good-but-bad-on-Isotropic players to sign up in?

I'm being contentious here because I really want to know if this is a bad policy.  I am convinced that it is an unequivocally good one, and I can't even see why it could be bad.
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theory

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2012, 04:53:59 pm »
+4

I think the other reason this debate might be a bit contentious is that it comes very close to the traditional intelligence debate.  It really pisses me off to listen to people talk about how smart they are "if only they tried at it", as if "just trying at it" is something that you can just turn on.

I think it is far more likely for someone with a low Isotropic level to be bad rather than good-but-goofing-around.  In my experience, if you play badly and lose a lot, that just means you are bad.  I've never cost myself the equivalent of 10 levels or whatever just trying new things -- if I actually did lose that many levels (like 45 to 35, rather than 45 to 44), then it is much more likely that I am just getting bad rather than "I'm still a theoretical 45, I'm just screwing around right now though".

Of course sometimes your level underestimates your skill, but I don't ever think it underestimates it by all that much.  At most 5-10 levels.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2012, 05:05:06 pm »
+6

I support the objective of getting high level players to play.
Maybe less people would have a problem with it if presented differently.
For example:
Open sign ups: 240 slots.
Seeded sign ups: 16 Slots.
Reserve list: if anyone drops out or not enough seeds sign up.

The above leads to the same result, but with different player perception of the event.
I think it is the feeling of being "kicked out" that most annoys people.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2012, 05:05:52 pm »
+1

I think the other reason this debate might be a bit contentious is that it comes very close to the traditional intelligence debate.  It really pisses me off to listen to people talk about how smart they are "if only they tried at it", as if "just trying at it" is something that you can just turn on.

I think it is far more likely for someone with a low Isotropic level to be bad rather than good-but-goofing-around.  In my experience, if you play badly and lose a lot, that just means you are bad.  I've never cost myself the equivalent of 10 levels or whatever just trying new things -- if I actually did lose that many levels (like 45 to 35, rather than 45 to 44), then it is much more likely that I am just getting bad rather than "I'm still a theoretical 45, I'm just screwing around right now though".

Of course sometimes your level underestimates your skill, but I don't ever think it underestimates it by all that much.  At most 5-10 levels.

I think the bigger issue here is that a lot of Dominion players don't play on isotropic.  This forum is very isotropic-centric;  I get that.  But the vast majority of Dominion players have probably never heard of isotropic.  Admittedly, this is probably much less true for those who compete in tournaments, but I entirely sympathize with the sentiment that someone is essentially being marginalized simply because they choose to play with either the official physical copy or with the official online implementation, and not with the preferred unofficial online implementation of the tournament organizers.

That said, people aren't being bumped from the first 240 slots, which I feel is more than enough.  If the organizers opted to have only 128 slots without reservations, then even more of the latecomers would be denied a slot.  But they wouldn't feel marginalized.  I think a big part of what rubs people the wrong way is that they seem themselves on the list, and then they get bumped off by someone who knew about the registration long ago, but didn't bother registering sooner because they're a high iso-level big shot.
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jonts26

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2012, 05:12:53 pm »
+4

I think the other reason this debate might be a bit contentious is that it comes very close to the traditional intelligence debate.  It really pisses me off to listen to people talk about how smart they are "if only they tried at it", as if "just trying at it" is something that you can just turn on.

I think it is far more likely for someone with a low Isotropic level to be bad rather than good-but-goofing-around.  In my experience, if you play badly and lose a lot, that just means you are bad.  I've never cost myself the equivalent of 10 levels or whatever just trying new things -- if I actually did lose that many levels (like 45 to 35, rather than 45 to 44), then it is much more likely that I am just getting bad rather than "I'm still a theoretical 45, I'm just screwing around right now though".

Of course sometimes your level underestimates your skill, but I don't ever think it underestimates it by all that much.  At most 5-10 levels.

I think the bigger issue here is that a lot of Dominion players don't play on isotropic.  This forum is very isotropic-centric;  I get that.  But the vast majority of Dominion players have probably never heard of isotropic.  Admittedly, this is probably much less true for those who compete in tournaments, but I entirely sympathize with the sentiment that someone is essentially being marginalized simply because they choose to play with either the official physical copy or with the official online implementation, and not with the preferred unofficial online implementation of the tournament organizers.

That said, people aren't being bumped from the first 240 slots, which I feel is more than enough.  If the organizers opted to have only 128 slots without reservations, then even more of the latecomers would be denied a slot.  But they wouldn't feel marginalized.  I think a big part of what rubs people the wrong way is that they seem themselves on the list, and then they get bumped off by someone who knew about the registration long ago, but didn't bother registering sooner because they're a high iso-level big shot.

1. Iso rankings is the best possible seeding we can use for an online tournament. No solution is perfect but this is definitely the best.

2. I really doubt any high level iso players were thinking about how they would wait until sign up filled up so they could bump a lower level player. Most people signed up when they saw the sign ups. Registration closed after what, 4 days? That's not a long time if you don't constantly hang out on these forums.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2012, 05:17:11 pm »
+1

I think the other reason this debate might be a bit contentious is that it comes very close to the traditional intelligence debate.  It really pisses me off to listen to people talk about how smart they are "if only they tried at it", as if "just trying at it" is something that you can just turn on.

I think it is far more likely for someone with a low Isotropic level to be bad rather than good-but-goofing-around.  In my experience, if you play badly and lose a lot, that just means you are bad.  I've never cost myself the equivalent of 10 levels or whatever just trying new things -- if I actually did lose that many levels (like 45 to 35, rather than 45 to 44), then it is much more likely that I am just getting bad rather than "I'm still a theoretical 45, I'm just screwing around right now though".

Of course sometimes your level underestimates your skill, but I don't ever think it underestimates it by all that much.  At most 5-10 levels.

I think the bigger issue here is that a lot of Dominion players don't play on isotropic.  This forum is very isotropic-centric;  I get that.  But the vast majority of Dominion players have probably never heard of isotropic.  Admittedly, this is probably much less true for those who compete in tournaments, but I entirely sympathize with the sentiment that someone is essentially being marginalized simply because they choose to play with either the official physical copy or with the official online implementation, and not with the preferred unofficial online implementation of the tournament organizers.

That said, people aren't being bumped from the first 240 slots, which I feel is more than enough.  If the organizers opted to have only 128 slots without reservations, then even more of the latecomers would be denied a slot.  But they wouldn't feel marginalized.  I think a big part of what rubs people the wrong way is that they seem themselves on the list, and then they get bumped off by someone who knew about the registration long ago, but didn't bother registering sooner because they're a high iso-level big shot.
This is probably true. But on the other hand, this isn't a 'the best dominion player' tournament. It's the DS tournament. So if DS is iso-centric, then doesn't it makes sense for the criteria to be a bit that way too?

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2012, 09:40:47 pm »
0

I want to say theory that I mean no ill will and I 100% get the intention of both the wildcard and the seeding by iso. I take no issue with either.

I'm simply expressing that while I think a player ranked highly on isotropic is undeniably a good player I do not think a player ranked low on iso implies a bad player as this forum tends to imply. When I played my match this week I was level 3 on iso. I like iso but its never been how I want to play the game. Goko is closer even with all their bugs. And I'm ranked highly there.

All I'm saying is there is always exceptions. I do not think that high level players were more likely to miss sign ups as I think a majority of them are here frequently. And if I joined the forum and was bumped from the tournament based on my iso rating I would not think this community is as welcoming as I know it to be.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2012, 12:43:32 am »
0

It probably doesn't help that on top of the 'reserved slots' the tournament seems a bit slanted towards the top iso players in other ways too.

1.  Non-random draw designed to give them easy early round matchups.
2.  First turn advantage in their first few rounds at least
3.  Non-random shuffling so a lower ranked player is less likely to 'get lucky' against them

I can see the logic behind all of these rules individually and I understand why you want keep the 'name' players in the tournament, but there comes a point where this gets outweighed by the perception that the lower ranked players are not really supposed to win.  Would it be really be so bad if Stef played WW in round 2?  Or if little Timmy took a game off Marin through opening 5/2 on a Mountebank board?

This isn't really a complaint as such, but just stuff to think about to make the tournament even better next year.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 01:07:55 am by Piemaster »
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dondon151

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2012, 02:48:33 am »
+1

I can see the logic behind all of these rules individually and I understand why you want keep the 'name' players in the tournament, but there comes a point where this gets outweighed by the perception that the lower ranked players are not really supposed to win.

Are the lower ranked players supposed to win a skill-based tournament? Sure beats me.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2012, 03:23:39 am »
0

I can see the logic behind all of these rules individually and I understand why you want keep the 'name' players in the tournament, but there comes a point where this gets outweighed by the perception that the lower ranked players are not really supposed to win.

Are the lower ranked players supposed to win a skill-based tournament?
If they're more skilled than their opponents, then yes.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2012, 03:35:37 am »
+2

If they're more skilled than their opponents, then yes.

Piemaster's perceived disadvantages (save for the first player seat one) only hold under the assumption that lower ranked players are less skilled.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2012, 06:32:38 am »
0

I want to say theory that I mean no ill will and I 100% get the intention of both the wildcard and the seeding by iso. I take no issue with either.

I'm simply expressing that while I think a player ranked highly on isotropic is undeniably a good player I do not think a player ranked low on iso implies a bad player as this forum tends to imply. When I played my match this week I was level 3 on iso. I like iso but its never been how I want to play the game. Goko is closer even with all their bugs. And I'm ranked highly there.

All I'm saying is there is always exceptions. I do not think that high level players were more likely to miss sign ups as I think a majority of them are here frequently. And if I joined the forum and was bumped from the tournament based on my iso rating I would not think this community is as welcoming as I know it to be.

I agree with many here that iso ranking is still the best we have.
Let's say a pretty good Tennis player who only played privately amongst friends attends one tournament, wins it and has therefore the possibility to attend the World Championships (I have no idea if this is possible, but let's just assume). His rating is still low because of only playing one tournament and will be seeded low. This is probably not fair, but the best thing to do. There is no reasonable other way to seed the games in a single elimation bracket. You either have to choose a different system, like Swiss or Round Robin or a mixed form of all these. I generally don't like single elimination, but we have seeding which makes it at least way better than random. I think future tournaments should be double elimination or some mixed form of Round Robin and single elimination (Group System) like in Soccer World Championships.

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2012, 08:13:04 am »
+2

I want to say theory that I mean no ill will and I 100% get the intention of both the wildcard and the seeding by iso. I take no issue with either.

I'm simply expressing that while I think a player ranked highly on isotropic is undeniably a good player I do not think a player ranked low on iso implies a bad player as this forum tends to imply. When I played my match this week I was level 3 on iso. I like iso but its never been how I want to play the game. Goko is closer even with all their bugs. And I'm ranked highly there.

All I'm saying is there is always exceptions. I do not think that high level players were more likely to miss sign ups as I think a majority of them are here frequently. And if I joined the forum and was bumped from the tournament based on my iso rating I would not think this community is as welcoming as I know it to be.

I agree with many here that iso ranking is still the best we have.
Let's say a pretty good Tennis player who only played privately amongst friends attends one tournament, wins it and has therefore the possibility to attend the World Championships (I have no idea if this is possible, but let's just assume). His rating is still low because of only playing one tournament and will be seeded low. This is probably not fair, but the best thing to do. There is no reasonable other way to seed the games in a single elimation bracket. You either have to choose a different system, like Swiss or Round Robin or a mixed form of all these. I generally don't like single elimination, but we have seeding which makes it at least way better than random. I think future tournaments should be double elimination or some mixed form of Round Robin and single elimination (Group System) like in Soccer World Championships.
This would be nice, but it would take FOREVER.

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2012, 09:49:17 am »
+3

It probably doesn't help that on top of the 'reserved slots' the tournament seems a bit slanted towards the top iso players in other ways too.

1.  Non-random draw designed to give them easy early round matchups.
2.  First turn advantage in their first few rounds at least
3.  Non-random shuffling so a lower ranked player is less likely to 'get lucky' against them

I can see the logic behind all of these rules individually and I understand why you want keep the 'name' players in the tournament, but there comes a point where this gets outweighed by the perception that the lower ranked players are not really supposed to win.  Would it be really be so bad if Stef played WW in round 2?  Or if little Timmy took a game off Marin through opening 5/2 on a Mountebank board?

This isn't really a complaint as such, but just stuff to think about to make the tournament even better next year.

This is how seeding works. Think of normal Iso as the regular season, and this as the playoffs. Better teams in the regular season get better matchups and home-field advantage. In the end, home field is the only edge these higher-ranked players are getting, and assuming a FTA of .6, they're only getting a 54%-46% edge.

It also builds excitement for the later rounds, where the dominant players start facing each other, and the upset artists start becoming a big deal. A low-ranked player who breezes through easy matchups and then gets trounced in Round 4 by Robz isn't interesting. One who upsets a #1 seed and then gets trounced in Round 4 by Robz is.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #56 on: December 10, 2012, 10:14:09 am »
0

This is how seeding works.

I know how seeding words, I just question whether seeding really adds that much to the tournament.  I can see why they do it in professional sports, because TV revenue will be damaged by good players/teams getting eliminated early in the tournament, plus they need to incentivise the better players to actually show up for the minor events (or, in your football example, ensure the regular season actually means something).  But in grass roots sports you don't get a whole lot of seeding and there is a reason for that too.

I think the fear is that the top seeds will all eliminate each other in the early rounds and we'll end up with a damp squib final with one great player and one relative nobody.  But I think the odds of that happening are extremely slim.  In fact I don't know if your tournament software can do this, but I would suggest running a few simulations with an entirely random draw, assigning nominal win percentages based on difference in rankings and then see what happens.  I wouldn't mind betting that the final eight of the tournament is nearly always eight very strong players.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 10:18:55 am by Piemaster »
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theory

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2012, 10:26:40 am »
+3

I don't think the reason for seeding is as cynical as that.  For example, can you point me to any major bracket tournament of any kind that doesn't seed even though it can?  Video game tournaments seed.  Fantasy football leagues seed.  Internet book competitions seed.

The other reason for wanting seeding is that it enhances the legitimacy of the tournament.  You can point to each division winner as having earned it, instead of just stomping on weak competition the whole way through.

There's also no independent verifiability of random bracket creation.  Suppose I randomly generate a bracket that happens to put everyone good in the same division.  Do I hit "reshuffle"?  Regardless of whether I do or don't, someone can accuse me of reshuffling.

Finally, what's the purpose of not seeding?  To give lower-ranked players a fair shot?  Why don't we also give higher-ranked players a fair shot?  Let someone in the 30's get to where they are supposed to be, instead of having to face a top seed in the first round and never get anywhere.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2012, 11:00:53 am »
0

I don't know how much of this is from me or not but I think seeding is fine and using iso for that doesn't bug me I think the brackets are fine. I was only ever mentioning taking exception to exclusion based on iso
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2012, 11:01:03 am »
+2

I can see why they do it in professional sports, because TV revenue will be damaged by good players/teams getting eliminated early in the tournament, plus they need to incentivise the better players to actually show up for the minor events (or, in your football example, ensure the regular season actually means something).

Oh, you can't possibly know the clandestine ways theory generates revenue from this site... He's only a lawyer on the surface...
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2012, 11:03:02 am »
+1

This is how seeding works.

I know how seeding words, I just question whether seeding really adds that much to the tournament.  I can see why they do it in professional sports, because TV revenue will be damaged by good players/teams getting eliminated early in the tournament, plus they need to incentivise the better players to actually show up for the minor events (or, in your football example, ensure the regular season actually means something).  But in grass roots sports you don't get a whole lot of seeding and there is a reason for that too.

What on God's green earth are you talking about? I have never played in a league of anything that didn't seed the teams, and I've played rec-level roller hockey, flag football, and softball (plus fantasy football), both in college and post-college, in multiple cities. It is the single most fair-to-the-players way to seed a tournament, because nothing would suck quite so much as being the second-best team in the league and getting bounced in the first round because random draw put you up against the best.
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theory

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2012, 11:09:09 am »
+4

I can see why they do it in professional sports, because TV revenue will be damaged by good players/teams getting eliminated early in the tournament, plus they need to incentivise the better players to actually show up for the minor events (or, in your football example, ensure the regular season actually means something).

Oh, you can't possibly know the clandestine ways theory generates revenue from this site... He's only a lawyer on the surface...

Did I forget to mention that the final is going to be televised live on ESPN?  (The semifinals only get ESPN2 though.)

With all the TV money I plan on signing Zack Greinke to play Dominion next year.
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dondon151

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2012, 11:09:53 am »
0

Which round gets ESPN8?
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Piemaster

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2012, 11:24:21 am »
0

I don't think the reason for seeding is as cynical as that.  For example, can you point me to any major bracket tournament of any kind that doesn't seed even though it can? 

I guess soccer 'cup tournaments' would be the most obvious example.

Anyway I did write a big long reply to this but I deleted it because, quite frankly, I'm tired of getting dragged into long arguments in this thread on issues that, when all's said and done, I don't really care about all that much.  I do understand all the merits of seeding, I said as much in my original post.  I just think it has it's pros and cons and isn't strictly 'better' than a random draw.  I'm just gonna leave it at that.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2012, 11:27:23 am »
+2

This is how seeding works.

I know how seeding words, I just question whether seeding really adds that much to the tournament.  I can see why they do it in professional sports, because TV revenue will be damaged by good players/teams getting eliminated early in the tournament, plus they need to incentivise the better players to actually show up for the minor events (or, in your football example, ensure the regular season actually means something).  But in grass roots sports you don't get a whole lot of seeding and there is a reason for that too.

What on God's green earth are you talking about? I have never played in a league of anything that didn't seed the teams, and I've played rec-level roller hockey, flag football, and softball (plus fantasy football), both in college and post-college, in multiple cities. It is the single most fair-to-the-players way to seed a tournament, because nothing would suck quite so much as being the second-best team in the league and getting bounced in the first round because random draw put you up against the best.

Heck, my local, very low competition curling league seeds our playoffs. Curling. The one where you push rocks on ice and sweep in front of them.
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theory

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2012, 11:29:37 am »
+1

Which round gets ESPN8?

The ranking/seeding/skill debates, of course!
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2012, 11:31:48 am »
+1

Even in soccer, there is some measure of seeding - with groups, teams are seeded into pools so that the groups have one team from each; with tournaments like the FA Cup, different tiers come in at later rounds of the tournament. The analogy here wouldn't be "pair up all 256 players totally at random", but more like "give everyone level 35+ three byes, and pair them up at random with anyone who survived that long".
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greatexpectations

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2012, 11:58:52 am »
+4

what this all boils down to in the end is that this is probably the single largest dominion tournament in the world. and it has a prize for the winner. and it features many of the top players in the world. and it costs nothing to enter. and it is played via a medium which costs nothing to anyone with an internet connection. and it is being played with every expansion except one. and it is entirely DIY and community organized, actively taking input on how best to try and run it.

feel free to compare this to any other dominion tournament out there. i won a small tournament last year that A. cost money to enter B. featured only the base set C. had a structure biased heavily against previous round winners and D. had rules made up as it went along. no joke, the tournament organizer was going to use deck size (larger>smaller) as a tiebreaker.

or maybe look at the world masters tournament. some don't like the bias for isotropic players here, but how about the location bias for that tournament?  the nearest qualifier to me that i was aware of was about 550 miles away. each feeder tournament sort of made up its own rules as it went along. and the final rounds featured a totally random player just to fill up a spot.

i'm all for trying to opitimize the tournament, but let's all just keep some perspective. and in the end, most of this won't matter anyway, as isotropic probably won't be around for us to even use a year from now.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #68 on: December 10, 2012, 12:27:11 pm »
+2

I want to say on the record again that I'd like to thank the people running this tournament, it is still hands down one of the best tournaments, I meant no ill will to anyone with my statements was merely talking about my opinion.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #69 on: December 10, 2012, 12:29:53 pm »
0

I want to say on the record again that I'd like to thank the people running this tournament, it is still hands down one of the best tournaments, I meant no ill will to anyone with my statements was merely talking about my opinion.

Ditto for me. 

I'm one of those people who likes to question things, and say "what if we tried this, or did it like this instead?"  I hope nobody took it to mean I am dissatisfied with the tournament.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #70 on: December 10, 2012, 12:31:01 pm »
0

I want to say on the record again that I'd like to thank the people running this tournament, it is still hands down one of the best tournaments, I meant no ill will to anyone with my statements was merely talking about my opinion.

no worries, i'm not trying to hate on you or anyone else. i'm just pointing out that despite the shortcomings we are still a couple steps ahead of the alternatives.
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #71 on: December 10, 2012, 02:02:23 pm »
+1

I do understand all the merits of seeding, I said as much in my original post.  I just think it has it's pros and cons and isn't strictly 'better' than a random draw.  I'm just gonna leave it at that.

You mean they can be worth the same in coins? Or would you just use Potion based cost for one of them so they are incomparable?
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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #72 on: December 10, 2012, 07:33:03 pm »
+1

what this all boils down to in the end is that this is probably the single largest dominion tournament in the world. and it has a prize for the winner. and it features many of the top players in the world. and it costs nothing to enter. and it is played via a medium which costs nothing to anyone with an internet connection. and it is being played with every expansion except one. and it is entirely DIY and community organized, actively taking input on how best to try and run it.

feel free to compare this to any other dominion tournament out there. i won a small tournament last year that A. cost money to enter B. featured only the base set C. had a structure biased heavily against previous round winners and D. had rules made up as it went along. no joke, the tournament organizer was going to use deck size (larger>smaller) as a tiebreaker.

or maybe look at the world masters tournament. some don't like the bias for isotropic players here, but how about the location bias for that tournament?  the nearest qualifier to me that i was aware of was about 550 miles away. each feeder tournament sort of made up its own rules as it went along. and the final rounds featured a totally random player just to fill up a spot.

i'm all for trying to opitimize the tournament, but let's all just keep some perspective. and in the end, most of this won't matter anyway, as isotropic probably won't be around for us to even use a year from now.

I cringed when I read about the world masters tournament and also the lack of tournaments nearby to even qualify for the world masters tournament really sucked. Man, what we have here is a million times better than any other Dominion tournament out there.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Re: Upsets
« Reply #73 on: December 10, 2012, 09:41:04 pm »
0

Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.
That's patently false. The mean skill is the best guess you have for the skill of anyone. BY DEFINITION.

You could say it's the most accurate guess.  To say that it's the best guess really depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your guess.
What are you trying to accomplish with your guess?

Hey WanderingWinder, I missed the response earlier, sorry about that.

First a disclaimer.  I'm an algebraist by trade, not a statistician.  I also don't know the details of how the True Skill system works.  My guess is that it's effectively the following.  Your "skill" is considered probabilistically.  That is, in the most encompassing sense, the best and most accurate "guess" of your skill is really a probability distribution.  You can't exactly totally order probability distributions in a meaningful way, and so these distributions are distilled to a mean and a standard deviation.  Your mean skill in the mean, and your level is the mean minus some multiple of the standard deviation perhaps.

Now, if the probability distribution which best describes your skill is normal, then sure, mean skill is the best single number estimate in a reasonable sense.  However, if your distribution is bimodal, for instance, then the mean skill may extremely unlikely to be your actual skill, but rather is roughly the average of two other skills which are likely.  As an example from the recent US election, Nate Silver presented his prediction of the electoral vote split via a probability distribution.  The two most likely outcomes, by his model, were that Obama would win 304 or 332 electoral votes (I may be slightly off, by this principle I'm illustrating is the same).  The mean of this distribution?  It was about 314 if I recall correctly, but his model gave a VERY low probability of Obama getting precisely 314 electoral votes.  This illustrates how the mean is often a terrible guess in and of itself.

Now, if you have a reason to believe that the underlying distribution is normal, then the mean skill would be a fair choice for best guess.  But it certainly isn't by definition, as illustrated above.  Now, I imagine that True Skill probably assigns a new user a default distribution, and then updates the distribution in a Bayesian manner each night based on the results of the day.  Maybe True Skill only assigns normal distributions?  In this case, I suppose by a quirk of the system, yes the mean skill would always be the "best" guess.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Ranking, Seeding, and Skill Discussion
« Reply #74 on: December 10, 2012, 10:05:49 pm »
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Ah, thanks!  I knew about the levels and uncertainty; I just didn't realize it was also called "mean skill".

But now I'm confused why WW puts 3 pleases before asking you to use it instead of level.  :)  Is it vastly preferred in some circles?

i am going to oversimplify here, but basically mean skill is a more accurate measure for skill for people on the top end of the leaderboard (or who have a ton of games played) and the isotropic level is a better measure for less skilled or newer players.
That's patently false. The mean skill is the best guess you have for the skill of anyone. BY DEFINITION.

You could say it's the most accurate guess.  To say that it's the best guess really depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your guess.
What are you trying to accomplish with your guess?

Hey WanderingWinder, I missed the response earlier, sorry about that.

First a disclaimer.  I'm an algebraist by trade, not a statistician.  I also don't know the details of how the True Skill system works.  My guess is that it's effectively the following.  Your "skill" is considered probabilistically.  That is, in the most encompassing sense, the best and most accurate "guess" of your skill is really a probability distribution.  You can't exactly totally order probability distributions in a meaningful way, and so these distributions are distilled to a mean and a standard deviation.  Your mean skill in the mean, and your level is the mean minus some multiple of the standard deviation perhaps.

Now, if the probability distribution which best describes your skill is normal, then sure, mean skill is the best single number estimate in a reasonable sense.  However, if your distribution is bimodal, for instance, then the mean skill may extremely unlikely to be your actual skill, but rather is roughly the average of two other skills which are likely.  As an example from the recent US election, Nate Silver presented his prediction of the electoral vote split via a probability distribution.  The two most likely outcomes, by his model, were that Obama would win 304 or 332 electoral votes (I may be slightly off, by this principle I'm illustrating is the same).  The mean of this distribution?  It was about 314 if I recall correctly, but his model gave a VERY low probability of Obama getting precisely 314 electoral votes.  This illustrates how the mean is often a terrible guess in and of itself.

Now, if you have a reason to believe that the underlying distribution is normal, then the mean skill would be a fair choice for best guess.  But it certainly isn't by definition, as illustrated above.  Now, I imagine that True Skill probably assigns a new user a default distribution, and then updates the distribution in a Bayesian manner each night based on the results of the day.  Maybe True Skill only assigns normal distributions?  In this case, I suppose by a quirk of the system, yes the mean skill would always be the "best" guess.
What I mean by the definition is that it is the 'expected value', which is of course not the most probable value. Further, TrueSkill (quite wrongly, I believe) assigns a normal distribution to everyone's skill. But you don't need to have a normal distribution to get mean = mode (=median) = any unimodal symmetric distribution will do. And I think this is quite reasonable prima facie for a distribution of skill, which is quite different than something like projecting electoral votes (though you probably don't want to open the Nate Silver can of worms here). But the thing there is that there are big discrete units that fly around with different states, whereas skill is something which is essentially continuous, insofar as it's measurable. Which makes an enormous difference. Anyway, the mode=mean is not at all a quirk of the system, but a design FEATURE of the system, and one that I believe is essentially correct.
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