Ladle-3/Feedback

Manta

Each ladle keeps getting better and I think we had a great turnout. It's nice to see so many different teams participating. However I'm beginning to think we should do a way with team captains deciding the matches on game day. Once again the first match started almost an hour late do to delays by team captains. And I'm not blameless here either. We really need to just go with the lineup we have already decide upon ahead of time in the challenge page. Many good players are sadly getting burned since they are told to show up at a certain time only to be informed to wait around for decisions to be made.

Also for my location the timing of this match worked out to being on a Sunday morning on one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year. Could there please be a little more consideration for players living in the Americas next time. WS was at 4 players because of this. Thank you to those who generously volunteered to help. It would also be nice to have it scheduled a few hours later on in the day but even as it is the players located in China can't easily make it.

On another point: I am beginning to think there is no fix for this issue of disparaging ping difference. After just a few weeks of hosting my own server I have noticed that most players located in Europe (but not all luckily) refuse to play on servers where they do not get a 50 ping. Their first comments are generally "this server is $@%&*, I have a 190 ping" and leave. Heck I play with 350!! of course not as well as I would like. Because of the size of the land mass many Americans average a 190 ping on THEIR OWN servers!!! I'm sadly beginning to get some VERY unfavorable impressions of certain players. And lets not forget there are some people left out not matter what such as the Chinese players. No one will play on their servers since we do nothing but bitch. but they "QUIETLY" put up with 300 - 400+ pings NO matter the server and they still play well. We could learn a lot from them.

The only way I can see to fix this advantage of pitting teams in the ladle with such different pings is for people to stop unilaterally refusing to play above a 100 ping. And the other is teams need to actively recruit members from all parts of the world. This is an internal game after all.

Sorry if I offended some people but I think this needed to be brought up and I tried not to mention any names.


Reply to above: I don't mind a high ping, I can play with that. What i do mind is servers that have sudden lag jumps for everyone that make it luck whether you win or lose.

For the ladle: First of all, it was fun. A lot of fun, actually. One thing that annoyed me was the fact that a certain someone started taking over all organisation just an hour before the thing started. Suddenly we had two conflicting brackets (2020 already posted his version ages ago, Ladle Brackets was useless), a certain someone joining the server my team was on wanting to tell us what to do, and other things that only delayed it IMHO. Of course, that guy wasn't in IRC which would have made it easy to communcicate, but went in and out of servers just at he liked.

In the end we still got great matches (though I sucked even more than usual). I think having the wiki more organized and have one IRC channel all ladle- related people are in will prevent such conflicting information. —Wrtlprnft 01:19, 4 September 2006 (CDT)

This crazy person running back and forth was me (Durka). Either I was off on the time or you guys were, but I'm pretty sure it was me. As you say up above wrtl, you say that I started taking over all the oranization just an hour before the thing started. Well at 12:27 pm PST which is 7:27 pm GMT (3 minutes before the scheduled start) WS and WPN were gonna leave because nothing was going on. They had been waiting since around 7:15. At that moment I jumped into CT Wild Fortress and found meriton sasha wargasm and sebol and told them to go into a server to play in the ladle. I couldn't believe that 3 minutes before the Ladle 2 of the teams were just playing some CTWF and not participating in organizing the event. That match ended up working fine. Then as time passed by WS decided to go to Bugfarm - LoD server figuring that they were going to play an AW team. They went there, then about 5 minutes later some of them came back to my server asking where the hell AW was and they didn't want to keep waiting. Now 2 minutes after the start time I jumped into your server telling you guys that WS was waiting in LoD server. I kept saying it and saying it and I realized I got really annoying and left and went back to the server WPN was in. Now we were getting pissed off that we didn't know who to play. I jumped back into the server with the million AW's (by the way congrats again :D) and asked for the team captains from both teams (A and B) to come to my server. Then I left again. Thankfully, gari and lacks came to my server and I told them what was going on. A team went to LoD server and B team came to Wild West Fortress (which was the most unstable server when it came to lag...but we couldn't go to U.S. fortress because that was even more screwed up). Anyways, from that point on the Ladle worked well. SORRY FOR JUMPING INTO YOUR SERVER AND SHOUTING THINGS TO THE AW PEOPLE, but I guess you guys had the timing off. It wasn't an hour before, it was actually past the start time and people were getting annoyed. But again, sorry for being a jerk. --- Durka
According to this you created that brackets page at 6:39PM GMT, which is 49 minutes before the first round was supposed to be played. It did contain information conflicting to what 2020 had posted earlier, which confused at least me.
We were waiting for you, too. Most (or maybe all) AW players were in #armagetron on freenode for communicating. None of the captains of other teams was, although that was how it was supposed to happen.
IRC just happens to be a good way for a big amount of people to talk without depending one one single server and while being totally independent of operating systems and the like, and it was decided very early that this was to be the channel for team captains to chat with. Noone read it, apparently. I hope this will be more clear for the next ladle.
O well, what happened happended, no need to throw anymore accusations, we should just learn and organize it better next time. —Wrtlprnft 14:30, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
Ya I did that 49 minutes before it started, but I never went into Armagetron until about 20 minutes until it started. O well. I had talked to 2020 and he said he couldn't put up his T-Room as he did before so I offered to convert my server. I thought we would be using that. I did go into IRC but not #Armagetron. I used Joda's thing and went into #theladle about 15 minutes before the event and no one was there. I guess this is all a learning process. We will get it right eventually. --- Durka 17:28, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
That would explain a lot. We didn't use #theladle at all. We only created it last time because there was some other discussion going on in the main #armagetron channel, so we wanted to avoid confusion.—Wrtlprnft 17:39, 4 September 2006 (CDT)

I agree with Manta about team-captains... timing is tricky, I just opted for first sunday of the month; and in europe the final ends at round about midnight which is getting late for a Sunday night game... ping will always remain and issue, but it is best solved if players put in a little effort, research the servers they wish to play on, inform their team-captain, who eventually makes a decision as to what server to play on based on the average ping of the players... i like your solution about enlisting players from different geographic locations, but it is already tricky enough forming teams...

I agree with wrtl about ping-spikes, and I would have thought captains would choose servers that they know they can trust... and I like the idea of everyone being invited to IRC, with separate chatrooms for different teams... yeah... sounds useful... -- 2020 07.45 4 September 2006 (GMT)

2020

Wow... The standard of play was high... I was at the bottom of the scorecard in most games... The fact that we managed to play any games was, quite frankly, amazing. My team-mates were superlative in their skills. The first game against WPN was chaotic, and I subbed myself off half-way through because my ping was god-awful and my skills just can't cope; we won 2-1. Because of the confusion in organisation, I ended up playing in the second team-challenge versus Shadow League, which was a huge game; again we won 2-1. It came down to an all-AW final, and again the moves being pulled were astounding; AW won 2-1 ehhehe.

I had great fun, mostly because I was skyped with Ghableska. I was in hysterics with the initial dis-organisation, haven't laughed so hard in ages... didn't know who was in what team... who were the opponents... where we'd play... it was completely crazy... If I hadn't been connected to ghab, I think I would have ended up crying, but as it happened, I just laughed and laughed.

Man of the tournament for me was Alex, from AW. At one point, we were trailing badly in the third match against SL I think, and they had three against our two Madmax and Alex, and somehow, they held their nerve and turn it around for a win... Alex defended valiantly many times, saving the team from defeat. His defence was questioned by many, but if they can't break it, then it works, IMO. I can't say what the other team-mates were doing, especially offence, since I so rarely took part, and we won quite a lot... I would be happy for another player to be nominated for offence...

Right... as for the organisation... A shambles. With all this technology, we have tiny little one-liners, at some point I had to have a server open to chat, another window to look at the servers, a window to IRC to chat, another couple of windows to check brackets, challenge boards... it was complete chaos. Before the event I was heartened when I saw the challenge board was finally being used.. but the course of play was not followed... team-captains did not stick to the plan... they ended up wandering about challenging other teams, telling players where to go and who to play... I have to thank those involved who actually managed to get anything happening, I think special attention goes to Lack for trying to keep things together, Van and wrtl. We had weeks of preparation, feedback invitations, and yet... chaotic... I am tempted to agree with the detractors of self-organisation, and agree to sign away my trust in human beings.. in blood...

However, I think we can learn from this. The more active people are, the more experience we get, and the more we can learn. I intend to contact various players, talk about things, and develop a system which is flexible, yet easy enough to manage that it can work. I believe the central weakness is that players panicked, team-captains did not get their teams together, nor did they register together at the right times, and make essential decisions together. I believe one or two individuals took it upon themselves to try to organise everyone, and not just their own teams. Self-organising only works if people share the responsibillity of organising, and this comes down to team-captains, at least in the current configuration. I resisted the urge to take charge, since there were too many cooks already IMHO, and I had put plenty of effort in setting it up with wiki et al... on the night, I just want to be a player, play with my team-mates, and trust my captain...

I think there is hope. I had a laugh, there were a few good games, and all done within a few hours. A little unstable, perhaps, but I think the toddler is taking a few first steps...

No knocking how well Alex did play (without him, AW-A would never have gotten to the finals), but how could the "Man of the Tournament" come from the losing team? I guess you could say that AW-A had to play a tough game to get into the finals while AW-B had a bye. So I'm going to say that Alex and Lackadaisical were "Co-Men of the Tournament." Lackadaisical was the one that was getting into my def when WPN played AW-B in the first round. Mazuffer did get in once, but it was always lacks. Twice by pwnage, 3 times by holing. But still, AW-A would not have been in the finals without Alex. WD both of you guys. --- Durka
Sounds good to me... Lack and Alex... the question is, what is their reward? A little mention here on a feedback page...? Perhaps a post on the forum...? We need something real! hmmm.... --2020 07:33, 5 September 2006 (CDT)
~}{Alex}{~

I soooo enjoyed myself that night, havent played games that difficult in ages. I find organised tournaments a lot more fun than some random game in a normal server, although I have found recently a lot of the "Bugfarm crew" seeming to regroup in certain servers, like mine for example :P.

Thanks for the praise guys, much appreciated, and I feel honoured to be nominated co-MVP with, in my opinion, one of the best fortress players there is. Great tournament guys, but I dont know if I'll make the 4th :(

On a slightly less serious note - so a bit more common for me then - I'll close with this: So, what do I win then? :P

Organization

meriton

I was acting captain for SL. The chief issue I had with organization was there were many channels for organization. Specifically, there is the wiki, the team captain server, the IRC channel and in-game chat. The channels disagreed on many matters, sometimes even with itself (For instance, there were more teams on the challenge board than in the brackets page.)

Documentation was so bloated and disorganized everyone considered a different subset. Some team captains were also not well prepared (in my case, this was because I was elected replacement captain 10 minutes before the first match). Also, some channels are inadequate for coordinating stuff. For instance, in-game chat on a full server where everyone is talking, and where the other team captain is busy playing most of the time. A team captain room that is empty most of the time. An irc channel announced in a poorly visible location (buried under tons of other stuff). And the wiki that isn't updated and buries essential info under tons of nice-to-know.

I suggest to consolidate and purify these sources of information and dispose of the inadequate ones:

  • abolish the team captain chat in favour of the IRC channel
  • no in-game organizing except for trivial matters
  • clean the wiki. Let's create a single page with all rules and only rules.

In terms of infrastructure, some servers listed appeared not capable to host a full team without lag fluctuation. It would be good if the servers could be checked in advance.


I totally agree with that. I also think we somehow need to make sure information from different tournaments doesn't get confused. I suggest we create new pages for every ladle, like:

Ladle-4
Main entry page with information like the date and where to sign up
Ladle-4/Team List
List of all teams, with a short blurb on how to sign up, but not more
Ladle-4/Rules
That's the page meriton referred to.
Ladle-4/Brackets
Information about who will play who. This should be the only place where brackets are published (besides IRC, but please keep it up to date as stuff can get lost easily in a crowded IRC channel)
Ladle-4/Navigation
The template to navigate inside the 4th Ladle, and only there

This would also eliminate the need to delete all the old information or ban it into the history, it would still be available. —Wrtlprnft 06:12, 4 September 2006 (CDT)


Sounds good Meriton. Perhaps there is too much information... which is why I have deleted things. I think we could probably ascertain what the guidelines might be now... the problem will remain if team-captains don't know what's what. The problem is essentially human, how they make use of any system. With self-organising, this problem multiplies; much easier to have authority, centralisation, and rules and judges, etc... which just sounds like too much boring, serious, work-like, stuff...

Indeed, Wrtlprnft, that sounds much more efficient. So far we have the root page, Tronic and the main branches, Spoon, Ladle, Bowl, and Cup. I originally had the whole Ladle thing all on one page, but I think this confused people so I separated it out. I like Meriton's call for a single page. Hmmm... We can put in links to the root page, Tronic, to the various versions of the competition, including the current one, Ladle-4. Regarding sections... I have a few questions...

  • We need Team-list, but remember this is provisional and is not accurate to the actual players who turn up that night... how do we compensate for this...?
    • I think the team list can't be a replacement for captains keeping track of their teams, but it can help teams asses how many players there are and if they need to recruit more or maybe split the team if it gets too full. The date needs to be fixed and in a prominent spot, maybe directly on the team list page, so people who sign up know the time they're supposed to play. —Wrtlprnft 07:44, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
  • We need a challenge board, so that captains can determine provisional play-offs... again this is not accurate because it depends on the teams that turn up...?
    • The layout I posted above isn't meant to be fixed, it's just my idea. Feel free to add pages. I think the Main Ladle Page should clarify exactly what the pages are for, similar to my post above —Wrtlprnft 07:44, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
  • I think we need a place for captains to gather... I have left it up to the teams to self-organise how they get together... what is important is that team-captains turn up somewhere and register their teams, say how many have etc, and confirm they are ready for the play-offs. Can we create chatrooms for each team on irc?
    • There isn't a limit on how many chatrooms you can have in IRC, so you can have as many as you want. Maybe a #tronic-ladle for everyone involved and then a room for every team. More doesn't sound sensible to me as following multiple chat rooms takes time to get used to. It would just end up in conflicting information. —Wrtlprnft 07:44, 4 September 2006 (CDT)
  • Can the Ladle-4 page contain the simple procedure captains and players follow, with links off to the team-list, challenge-board, and irc?

The basic problem as forseen by many, is not knowing who actually turns up. So, if the brackets are determined too early, there is not enough flexibility in the system to deal with present and actual situation. Essentially:

The Basic Problem: the difference between preparations and actual events
Preparations for the Event Actual Event
team-lists with prospective players actual players who turn up, including unaffiliated players
challenge board for provisional play-offs actual brackets: who plays who and where
players arranging their own meeting team-captains only room to register

How is that information, number of players and groupings, gathered? My solution is based on trusting team-captains. I tried stressing this point, to the point where I was accused (perhaps jokingly) of spamming the forums, but still captains don't quite understand their role. 2020 4th September 2006, 14.23 (GMT+2)

    • Spammer! Heh. Um, there are some mediawiki extensions that might help. In particular there's a countoff extension that lets you countoff until a certain date/time, and a couple of different calendar widgets. There is also at least one complete php-based web application for handling lan parties that I looked at as possibly being useful for running the ladle (and other tournaments). The only problem with that one is that it's setup for LAN parties so it may have certain security flaws that aren't important in a lan party but are if you want to run it on the internet. Anyway, if you guys think there's software we can throw on any problem to help fix it, I'm game to do it. --Lucifer 00:11, 5 September 2006 (CDT)