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Season 4 Arena Games pre-draft discussion

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So Season III has wrapped up with Lady Pariah as the victor and Psybolt as the runner up. Congrats to both and an extra congrats to last season's second place finisher who managed to take it this season. 

But that now leaves us with some time to discuss what we thought of this season and desires for next season. 

In general I did miss some of the back and forth of a week long 1 on 1 but I do think the fact that things are different day by day is nice. Plus this does mean that the weekly win rate is less important and each individual day becomes more important. Likewise, I liked to some level the variety in the matches but I thought that with some limitations we found ourselves repeating battles more than is really that good. Did anyone else share this feeling? If so, do you have any ideas we can take to the Commish with to alleviate this? 

Off hand one idea I have is to make sure that all the combatants fight each other in a set rotation. Thus if there are 10 teams, Monday always see A v Z, B v Y, C v X, D v W, and E v V. Then on Tuesday we shift the teams one step so that it is A v V, B v Z, so on and so forth. Then come the next Monday it will reset to A v Z. While this system works neatly if it is 10 teams exactly, it can also work well even when there aren't 10 teams. All that ends up happening is that the rotation goes from a 5 day cycle to a X/2 where X is the number of teams cycle. If there is an odd number of teams we can slip in a freebie day. Then, rather than randomly assigning the character requirements (youth, ladies, etc), we could put those on a set rotation, too. That way the same two contesting teams will not have to fight under the exact same 'special' conditions twice in a row. Being under the "standard" condition being the one condition that is okay to repeat. Then the terrain can be either randomly assigned OR set on a rotating schedule. 

Next up, does anyone have any special ideas for draft rounds they want to see? So far we have had things like: color of victory, powerless, Animal / creature, Kirby / Stand Lee, etc. Anyone want to add something new or perhaps remove one? I personally don't mind what we had. I also don't have any particular ideas for a new category either. But it is something to consider. 

This season I started doing data collection. Part of the reason was that I had trouble accessing Log's link on a regular basis and thus wanted my own copy of the brackets. But it lent itself well to data collection. I basically focused only on the results blurb and not much else. I think next season I will also try to keep up with the win/loss rate of individual characters, too. This way we can easily know that info off hand. And since I have the experience of learning a few tricks with the data entry and functions, I might try to add in a function that shows what helped sway a victory in any given match. Collating that info into an extractable form so that I can make over-arching conclusions about the data might prove to be awkward, though. I will have to sit down and think about exactly how to do this. 

In that mindset, I was wondering if anyone has a good deal of experience with the function available in Google.spreadsheets? If so, I might hit you up with some questions as I start exploring more options. 

Is there any other data people would like tracked in this way? Also, to help track the day by day info (at least the "Which champion fought and won / lost" and "Which Champion did they beat / lose to" and possibly "which manager did you win or lose to"), I was thinking that independent sheets could be created for each Team that way the team manager could input the data and I could then simply aggregate it into a single sheet. But that puts some work off on other people so I am not sure how willing people would be to do that. I imagine I could easily pick up the slack for anyone who doesn't want to or can't. Would people be interested in tracking their own data? 

Next up, what did people think of the REC function in addition to the END? I liked it for three reasons - it is a nice nod to HERO, it helps me compensate for poor 'trivia' performance, and I had a large END reserve. But I know it can be or can feel like it is imbalancing. Perhaps having a system set in place to affect and predict out REC would  be helpful. This would bring it more in line with the END mechanic. Any thoughts on this? 

Lastly, does anyone have any ideas about what they want to do for next season as far as personal themes? At the end of season 2 I had essentially committed myself to the idea of the Science Buddies team. This time I feel the same way towards a villainous team. I obviously will have to wait to see what the specific draft pick by draft pick requirements are but I think that is where I will go this time. Anyone else have set ideas like that? 

Soar. 

 

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I was just an observer this time 'round, but I do like REC/END overall.  With trivia, I often didn't know the things I thought I knew, and with categories like Friends I was at a complete loss!  It might be nice to have teams with losing records get a slight boost to REC - sort of a golf handicap so that cellar dwellers (i.e. me) have a chance to climb out of the cellar!

 

I'm actually thinking of a villainous team, too, since there are so many characters we've never seen before and it's fun to be 'bad'.   But we would be kissing our chances goodbye - they just don't win the popular vote.  We've seen powerhouses like Magneto, Doctor Doom and Black Adam go down to defeat time and again (I think Juggernaut had a winning record, though).

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Yeah, I imagine an all villain team would not get the popular vote for most matches, but since I already don't win the popular vote that doesn't sway me much. So it would be a throw away season for fun. 

SOAR.

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Exactly!  If nothing else, badguy teams would have endless fun with villainous monologues explaining exactly how pathetic their opposition is - perhaps even bringing up embarrassing moments from the past.  Make sure all those smug, self-satisfied heroes have feet of clay, I say!

 

Edit: Black Adam actually had a winning record in Season 3 and did respectably in the popular vote.  Of course, he's sometimes portrayed as an anti-hero who occasionally helps the Marvel family.

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First and foremost, let me say that I am looking forward to participating in Season IV of the Arena Games starting no earlier than February 1st, 2016. March 1st would work better for me personally, but I can do February. Any earlier than that will simply not be feasible for me.
 

 

But that now leaves us with some time to discuss what we thought of this season and desires for next season. 

In general I did miss some of the back and forth of a week long 1 on 1

 

I missed this not even a little bit. The 'back and forth' is fine a day at a time, but I simply have no interest in five consecutive days of "No, you're wrong because __________." If I really want that, I'll watch the US Presidential debates.
 

 

Likewise, I liked to some level the variety in the matches but I thought that with some limitations we found ourselves repeating battles more than is really that good. Did anyone else share this feeling? If so, do you have any ideas we can take to the Commish with to alleviate this?

 

I agree with this sentiment. I think the idea of Theme Matches is fine, but they should be special occasions (e.g., once or twice a week) rather than daily events.
 

 

Off hand one idea I have is to make sure that all the combatants fight each other in a set rotation. Thus if there are 10 teams, Monday always see A v Z, B v Y, C v X, D v W, and E v V. Then on Tuesday we shift the teams one step so that it is A v V, B v Z, so on and so forth. Then come the next Monday it will reset to A v Z. While this system works neatly if it is 10 teams exactly, it can also work well even when there aren't 10 teams. All that ends up happening is that the rotation goes from a 5 day cycle to a X/2 where X is the number of teams cycle. If there is an odd number of teams we can slip in a freebie day. Then, rather than randomly assigning the character requirements (youth, ladies, etc), we could put those on a set rotation, too. That way the same two contesting teams will not have to fight under the exact same 'special' conditions twice in a row. Being under the "standard" condition being the one condition that is okay to repeat. Then the terrain can be either randomly assigned OR set on a rotating schedule.

 

I understand the logic here, but I dislike the idea on the grounds that it takes even more control away from the owners. Plus, it could lead to some serious mismatches. Who really wants to see Zorro fight Black Adam?
 

 

Next up, does anyone have any special ideas for draft rounds they want to see? So far we have had things like: color of victory, powerless, Animal / creature, Kirby / Stand Lee, etc. Anyone want to add something new or perhaps remove one? I personally don't mind what we had. I also don't have any particular ideas for a new category either. But it is something to consider.

 

I jokingly suggested an Anthropomorphic Animals round a couple of weeks ago (Underdog vs. Mighty Mouse! Who wouldn't watch that?). How about a Golden Age round--character must have been created between 1939 and 1950? Or a Not Of This Earth round?
 

 

This season I started doing data collection. Part of the reason was that I had trouble accessing Log's link on a regular basis and thus wanted my own copy of the brackets. But it lent itself well to data collection. I basically focused only on the results blurb and not much else. I think next season I will also try to keep up with the win/loss rate of individual characters, too. This way we can easily know that info off hand. And since I have the experience of learning a few tricks with the data entry and functions, I might try to add in a function that shows what helped sway a victory in any given match. Collating that info into an extractable form so that I can make over-arching conclusions about the data might prove to be awkward, though. I will have to sit down and think about exactly how to do this.

 

The data you provided was really cool. I don't know if I ever thank you for doing that. So, thank you! 
 

 

In that mindset, I was wondering if anyone has a good deal of experience with the function available in Google.spreadsheets? If so, I might hit you up with some questions as I start exploring more options.

 

I have a little experience with Google spreadsheets, but not a lot. I'm willing to help where I can.
 

 

Is there any other data people would like tracked in this way? Also, to help track the day by day info (at least the "Which champion fought and won / lost" and "Which Champion did they beat / lose to" and possibly "which manager did you win or lose to"), I was thinking that independent sheets could be created for each Team that way the team manager could input the data and I could then simply aggregate it into a single sheet. But that puts some work off on other people so I am not sure how willing people would be to do that. I imagine I could easily pick up the slack for anyone who doesn't want to or can't. Would people be interested in tracking their own data?

 

I think this is the way to go, unless you just have HUGE amounts of free time you don't mind using on the rest of us. I track my own data, after a fashion, and it's enough for my needs.
 

 

Next up, what did people think of the REC function in addition to the END? I liked it for three reasons - it is a nice nod to HERO, it helps me compensate for poor 'trivia' performance, and I had a large END reserve. But I know it can be or can feel like it is imbalancing. Perhaps having a system set in place to affect and predict out REC would  be helpful. This would bring it more in line with the END mechanic. Any thoughts on this?

 

I wouldn't change anything at all about how END and REC worked this past season. Not one thing. 
 

 

Lastly, does anyone have any ideas about what they want to do for next season as far as personal themes? At the end of season 2 I had essentially committed myself to the idea of the Science Buddies team. This time I feel the same way towards a villainous team. I obviously will have to wait to see what the specific draft pick by draft pick requirements are but I think that is where I will go this time. Anyone else have set ideas like that?

 
I have four or five different ideas for themes for next season, along with one other that isn't really a theme. I'll have to see what the Arenas and Draft Themes look like before committing to anything.

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First and foremost, let me say that I am looking forward to participating in Season IV of the Arena Games starting no earlier than February 1st, 2016. March 1st would work better for me personally, but I can do February. Any earlier than that will simply not be feasible for me.

 

 

Absolutely. Most definitely. Without a doubt.  We're taking a good vacation from the Arena for a while.

 

In the meantime, discussion of what worked and what didn't is very welcome. I saw some problems arise, as did most of you. The competition committee and I have a lot to discuss. Several very radical proposals are on the table, but we'll see how we feel on those after gorging at thanksgiving.

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I kinda miss the character summaries we used to get with each match, but I know I complained to Commish at least once or twice about how they weren't completely accurate.

 

I missed the summaries, too.  Maybe next season when we draft a character, we could also include a short (~30 words or fewer) summary the Commish could use to introduce our characters. The Commissioner would, of course, have veto power over any erroneous, outrageous, or inflammatory statements in the proposed summaries.

 

A couple of examples from NQJL:

 

Captain Marvel (Billy Batson): Wisdom of Solomon. Strength of Hercules: Stamina of Atlas. Power of Zeus. Courage of Achilles. Speed of Mercury. And a heart of gold.

 

Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers): Gifted with immense superhuman strength and durability, flight, energy control powers, and a Kree Seventh Sense, Captain Marvel is one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

 

Jade: All the powers of the Green Lantern Corps, none of the tacky costume jewelry. (I actually posted something like this when I drafted her.)

 

I think this could work.

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I had another crazy idea: a Halftime Substitution.

 

I know several owners had characters who, to put it bluntly, underperformed (e.g., The Dash, Kitana, Super Commando Dhruva, etc.). This would be a way for each owner to replace ONE such character on his/her team to give them a better shot in the second half of the season. 

 

Let's say each team battles every other team four times next season.* At the end of the second round, those owners who wish to could release one of their characters and select a replacement.  The replacement character would have to meet the same draft criteria as the released character—a Youth Gone Wild character would have to be replaced with another Youth Gone Wild character, and so forth.  The new character would be available immediately and would remain a member of the team for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.

 

Every team that wanted a Halftime Substitution would have to do it at the same time; an owner couldn't decide to replace someone the following week, for example.  Whether or not released characters would be available for other teams to draft is something that would have to be worked out.

 

Anyway, that's just an idea. Take it for what it's worth.

 

 

 

--

* All together now: "Each team battles every other team four times next season!"

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Every team that wanted a Halftime Substitution would have to do it at the same time; an owner couldn't decide to replace someone the following week, for example.  Whether or not released characters would be available for other teams to draft is something that would have to be worked out.

 

 

For what it is worth, I'd say no to other Players drafting substituted characters, after all why would you want an under performing character? 

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Another idea is introduce a win-and-hold-territory element. Each set of matches occurs on a stylized map, with N (my initial thought was N=3) distinct locations on the map being contested "simultaneously", so that heroes have to be declared to be specific locations, without knowledge of who is where, and possession of those locations changes based on who wins which skirmish. A week's contest is an N-match set.

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Another idea is introduce a win-and-hold-territory element. Each set of matches occurs on a stylized map, with N (my initial thought was N=3) distinct locations on the map being contested "simultaneously", so that heroes have to be declared to be specific locations, without knowledge of who is where, and possession of those locations changes based on who wins which skirmish. A week's contest is an N-match set.

That's WAY too complicated for our little non-professorial minds. :think:

 

You should continue to push the mud wrestling thing, though. :D

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I understand the logic here, but I dislike the idea on the grounds that it takes even more control away from the owners. Plus, it could lead to some serious mismatches. Who really wants to see Zorro fight Black Adam?

No, I don't think you do. And I think that is in part due to my less than clear explanation. The system I suggested for pairing off is likely the exact same system that was just used. We all face each other in a set rotation - "we" meaning "managers / teams" and not "champions / contestants". After that rotation has completed a set number of cycles we then compare accumulated results. A "Round Robin" style system, I believe it is called. I was stating that we should have that system AND set in place a rule that says something to the effect of "If A v Z match up has already had the "youth gone wild" modifier, then all subsequent A v Z match ups can NOT have that." And since the Mods are set to days, it should be relatively easy to ensure that they do not repeat for particular re-matches. Thus SKJAM and I will not have Red Sonja and Black Panther face each other 2 or 3 times just because we got stuck on the "powerless" matchup whenever we fought. As was the case last season. As was the case for your Zorro facing down Captain America (I believe that was the match up). 

 

Foreign Orchid. 

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The data you provided was really cool. I don't know if I ever thank you for doing that. So, thank you! 

 

I have a little experience with Google spreadsheets, but not a lot. I'm willing to help where I can.

 

I think this is the way to go, unless you just have HUGE amounts of free time you don't mind using on the rest of us. I track my own data, after a fashion, and it's enough for my needs.

 

 

You most certainly did and it was appreciated. But thanks again and I am glad to be of assistance. 

 

When I get some time in a couple weeks to sit down and start landscaping some spreadsheet ideas, I might send you a message if I get flummoxed by something. 

 

Yeah, while I am not a dearth with time even I have my limits. So imputing individual win loss data for each combatant for each day could cause some slowdown - especially if I get sick like I did a couple weeks ago. So yeah, farming out some bits would lead to an easier flow of data collection. The hardest point then would be getting everyone to use a simple pre-defined spreadsheet so that I could just copy paste data.

 

But all of the data issues will just need to be ironed out with a bit of time. Again, if anyone has ideas on data they want to have tracked, please let me know. The earlier I know, the earlier I can plan how I will arrange things. I know that simply moving where I put "Arena bonus" and "Dice roll" greatly increased my efficiency since I could simply transpose a single function rather than re-writing it several times. 

 

SOAR. 

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No, I don't think you do. And I think that is in part due to my less than clear explanation. The system I suggested for pairing off is likely the exact same system that was just used. We all face each other in a set rotation - "we" meaning "managers / teams" and not "champions / contestants". After that rotation has completed a set number of cycles we then compare accumulated results. A "Round Robin" style system, I believe it is called. I was stating that we should have that system AND set in place a rule that says something to the effect of "If A v Z match up has already had the "youth gone wild" modifier, then all subsequent A v Z match ups can NOT have that." And since the Mods are set to days, it should be relatively easy to ensure that they do not repeat for particular re-matches. Thus SKJAM and I will not have Red Sonja and Black Panther face each other 2 or 3 times just because we got stuck on the "powerless" matchup whenever we fought. As was the case last season. As was the case for your Zorro facing down Captain America (I believe that was the match up). 

 

Foreign Orchid. 

 

Ah, that makes more sense. Thank you for the clarification.

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That's WAY too complicated for our little non-professorial minds. :think:

 

You should continue to push the mud wrestling thing, though. :D

Well, I tried too abstract a description. Here's a more concrete example, which also includes an implied minimum 2-match cooling off time after being used in a match.

 

This week, the matches feature Maximum Evil (managed by Sauron "the Great") versus Numenoreans and Friends (managed by Gandalf Some-Color-or-Other). The three locations being contested this week are Minas Tirith, Osgiliath, and Cirith Ungol.

 

Sauron decides to swing for a knockout blow and sends Witch-King to Minas Tirith, the old reliable Shelob to Cirith Ungol, and Back-Up Nazgul #2 to what Sauron considers the relatively unlikely to be seriously contested Osgiliath. Of the dozen points Sauron has to spend that week, in keeping with the all-out attack on Minas Tirith, he puts one point (one point here can be thought of as a few thousand orcs) into Cirith Ungol, two points into Osgiliath, and the other nine into the big push at Minas Tirith. Mouth of Sauron, the other Back-up Nazguls are held on the bench. Heavy hitters Saruman and the Balrog were used last week and two weeks ago (respectively) and are unavailable.

 

Gandalf has a pretty good idea of what's coming, so he sends himself to Minas Tirith, Aragorn to Osgiliath, and Frodo to Cirith Ungol. He splits his points 7-3-0 respectively (shepherding strength for next week, only spending ten) at the three sites. Galadriel and Elrond and Radagast sit on the bench. Dain of Erebor was used last week; Boromir was knocked out two weeks ago.

 

The voting ... well ... you work it out.

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Well, I tried too abstract a description. Here's a more concrete example, which also includes an implied minimum 2-match cooling off time after being used in a match.

 

This week, the matches feature Maximum Evil (managed by Sauron "the Great") versus Numenoreans and Friends (managed by Gandalf Some-Color-or-Other). The three locations being contested this week are Minas Tirith, Osgiliath, and Cirith Ungol.

 

Sauron decides to swing for a knockout blow and sends Witch-King to Minas Tirith, the old reliable Shelob to Cirith Ungol, and Back-Up Nazgul #2 to what Sauron considers the relatively unlikely to be seriously contested Osgiliath. Of the dozen points Sauron has to spend that week, in keeping with the all-out attack on Minas Tirith, he puts one point (one point here can be thought of as a few thousand orcs) into Cirith Ungol, two points into Osgiliath, and the other nine into the big push at Minas Tirith. Mouth of Sauron, the other Back-up Nazguls are held on the bench. Heavy hitters Saruman and the Balrog were used last week and two weeks ago (respectively) and are unavailable.

 

Gandalf has a pretty good idea of what's coming, so he sends himself to Minas Tirith, Aragorn to Osgiliath, and Frodo to Cirith Ungol. He splits his points 7-3-0 respectively (shepherding strength for next week, only spending ten) at the three sites. Galadriel and Elrond and Radagast sit on the bench. Dain of Erebor was used last week; Boromir was knocked out two weeks ago.

 

The voting ... well ... you work it out.

 

This sounds like a great idea for an NGD Superdraft.

 

Which month shall I put you down for....?

 

:winkgrin:

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How about an Animal-themed round? Not actual animals--Streaky should remain safely at rest on Lady P's mantle--but human(oid) characters with animal-themed names?  A few examples:

 

Black Panther

Diamindback

Mockingbird

Vixen

Zorro

Batman

Spider-Man

 

And so forth.  Thoughts?

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In the meantime, discussion of what worked and what didn't is very welcome. I saw some problems arise, as did most of you. The competition committee and I have a lot to discuss. Several very radical proposals are on the table, but we'll see how we feel on those after gorging at thanksgiving.

Just out of curiosity, what was the tiebreaker you used (19, 17, 15) to determine playoff serving this season?

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