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Are ELO Rankings Moving Too Quickly?


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#1 GaryLShelton

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:10 AM

From below, I have been looking up at the Top 250 list on the Leaders and Ladders board since I have been here.  I have watched it, off and on, for a month as I got closer and closer to it.  Recently, I made my first attempt at the list.  I reached an ELO rank of 370 and noticed the 250th player was 374 at that time.  This was about two weeks ago.  I was a Bronze Colonel at the time, but then fell all the way back to an ELO 317 Captain.  Ouch!  

 

However, that only allowed me to regroup and try again.  I put together a pretty good run and yesterday reached my highest ELO ever at 387.  But was I on the Leader Board?  No.  The 250th person was up to 388.  So, feeling a push to get that one point I played one more game last night and won, moving up only to 396.  Again my highest level.  Amazingly, because of the tight bunching of players, that small 9 point ELO gain leap-frogged me all the way to #227 on the Leader Board.  It felt great.  

 

Tonight, however, after not playing a game all day, I noticed my Leader Board ranking (ELO: 396) had slipped to #230.  I also noticed that 250th person now had risen to an ELO rating of 390.   I am a Bronze Colonel again now.  It used to be, I am told by an older member on this site, that all one had to be was a Bronze Miner to make the Top 250 list.  

 

The point is, this site is growing.  Seeing the rankings going up and up makes me wonder if it is happening too fast.  I see the number of Silvers is tonight 38.  Just a couple weeks ago, it was only 27.  

 

Are the advances truly earned by the players or is the ranking system too inflationary? 


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#2 GaryLShelton

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:23 AM

Today, I tuned in again to the Leader Board and saw that the entry point today, Friday March 22, 2013 was 395.  I was chatting with someone who had been ranked 393 and just missed the board still today.  That person has since won and now has an ELO of just over 400 and has made the list.  

 

The way this thing is going, one's ELO will have to be 500 to make the list in six months.  Is there anything that we can do to slow this down?  Should we slow it down?  

 

System resources are taxed each time the leader board is checked.  It is kept up to the minute accurate.  But, I feel they should at least let it go a week at a time.  There will be so many people on the site, it will take increasingly more and more resources to run the board with more and more people checking it over time, seems to me.   I like the thought of a once a week new Leader Board List.  Anybody else? 


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#3 Midnightguy

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:38 AM

I'm very poor at math, but I don't need any complex math formula to tell you Gary that the more players the site has, the more likely we'll have higher ratings.  When there are more higher rated players, the higher raters will only play higher ratings assuming the program to have players only face people near their rating is working correctly.  Still it's going to take months for someone to even make it to the Gold area.  All it takes is one loss against someone who might be a lower rated who just got lucky, and they will taking a huge hit. 



#4 GaryLShelton

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:01 AM

My point with the ELO rankings being too inflationary is that the actual numbers don't really matter.  But--and here's an extreme example--if we get to a point where it takes 20,000 ELO points to make the top 250 Bronze players and we only double in our total number of players, then it has not been the number of players driving that upward rising ELO number.  It's the simple algorithm that gives too many points to the winners.  

 

If the ELO rankings of the entire community rise, it is either due to 

  1. An influx of new players causing more wins for established players, or
  2. An overly generous ELO points awarding program.

The total supply of ELO points to the community as a whole is much like the total amount of money in the economy.  Much as that supply needs to be sufficient to match the needs of production and commerce,  Stratego's ELO point supply needs to match the needs of the site's growth, but not be so much that it overheats the system's natural rise due to the influx of new players. 

 

Right now I question whether it is overheating the system.

 

The problem of inflation in the money supply in America today parallels the ELO situation because today a U.S. dollar only buys 3% of what it did in 1913.  In other words, everything costs 32 times what it did in 1913 solely because of the money, other factors being ignored.  Although it would take some time to increase ELO points 32 times, true, (U.S. money took 100 years to reach this 'notable' level), we at Stratego.com will still call a rose a rose (e.g., a Bronze Miner will still be Bronze Miner) a couple of years from now, though that rose (Bronze Miner) may then have an ELO rank of 600 or more points.  Spiff and the top players at that time may be dramatically higher too.  

 

I think only the Develpers can truly assess whether the rise in ELO points is too fast or not.  It is a complex matter, I am sure, to award points.  But keep in mind this:  If I earn a dollar a day, and a loaf of bread costs 3 cents; or I earn 32 dollars a day, and bread costs 96 cents...nothing has changed in real terms.  It doesn't matter the actual numbers involved there and the same is true for ELO points.  So what if Flaghunter once got 850 points?  It will very well be that 850 points could be won or lost in a single match if ELO point inflation is not kept under rein.  

 

So I ask the Develpers to please make sure that the points they award truly reflect the new influx of players and are not overly sweet to falsely sugar up the players.  Thank you for all your efforts behind the scenes in very complicated areas.

 

Comments from the community are invited.  GLS


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#5 SpacemanSpiff

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:00 AM

The economic analogy does not apply here. A Bronze General, for example, has a fixed ELO range of 420-504 - that's it. Inflationary analogies do not apply. The only thing that's going on here is we have a tsunami of new players which means we will have more players per rank i.e. instead of 50 Bronze Generals we have 100. They still fall into the 420-504 range - it's just that there are way more in the range which gives the illusion that the ELO baseline is going higher due to the 250 display limit.

From my observations, it's exactly the opposite - we have stagnant ELO growth. The growth in number of players in the Silver league is caused by the sheer volume of new players that have come to this site when they opened it up to the much larger community. The amount of players that are 800+ hasn't grown at all - we have only 3 now and two of those guys have had to play almost undefeated for over 100 games to get there. How sustainable is that? If the site continues to attract better players, they will find it more and more difficult to sustain a 98% win ratio and down they will drop in ELO. The ONLY way you will see players in Gold is if they maintain a 99+% winning percentage over a long, long period - an unlikely expectation. Therefore we have plateaued.

I had already communicated my observations to the staff in a past forum post. I believe that ELO rank ranges need to be re-calibrated down if they ever want to see Gold or Platinum players.

Spiff

#6 GaryLShelton

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:28 AM

Spiff, this is what I'm talking about.  Your experience at the top is clearly different than down below.  Yes, there's stagnation there.  Okay.  I only made the leader board recently and am plainly looking at the back end of the animal here.  I only take exception with your word "illusion".  It is absolutely no "illusion" that the baseline has risen near the bottom where I am.  What was 150 last November, and 374 two weeks ago, tonight takes 395.  That is, the 250th player on the leader board has to have an ELO rank of 395 tonight.

 

So whether the rise is due to sheer influx of players, as you state and I hope, the rise is definitely REAL.  

 

Let me ask you this scenario:  Assuming it is a bunch of new players that are making the bottom rise so quickly, will not this wave of new people continue to rise through the rankings, and make a lesser but resultant rise at your level?  If so, would this not make it easier for you and others to sustain silver and even rise higher at that point?  What if you had 250 solid silvers?  Would your requirement of the winning percentage required to rise, or even stay afloat, remain the same?  It seems to me that more players high players means more of a chance to gain more larger ELO point wins for you and less chance to lose as many if you drop a game.  Right?

 

As I pointed out at the beginning of this thread, the numbers of silvers is rising also, from 27 to 38 as of that date.

 

Finally, how long do you suppose it will take a wave of newbies to produce some silvers?  I mean, we're all learning here.  It's like there should be a new crop of accountants every so often or something.


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#7 justinhayward

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:44 AM

the worst fraud is that there are players with more than 1 nickname. they let them play together and let one of them always win so that this nickname gets a higher ranking than the person has brains for.



#8 trickz

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:49 PM

the worst fraud is that there are players with more than 1 nickname. they let them play together and let one of them always win so that this nickname gets a higher ranking than the person has brains for.

 

And that comes from a player that was in the Silver League and when they introduced the limitation of the draw-and pauserequests per game, he immediately fell off drastically.  Hmzzz, I wonder how that's possible, lol :)


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#9 PsychoPatty

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

Extend the leaderboards, problem solved you might think


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#10 GaryLShelton

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:45 AM

Psycho Patty, you are probably great. But I hate your avatar. Everytime I see it I think it's one of the Dev's. Guess I thought it was locked to them only. Obviously that's not true, so way to go. It's a cool one.


justinhayward, are you also justin$hayward? One of you is a Bronze General. The other a Bronze Marshal.
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#11 M-D

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:40 AM

Funnily enough, we've had a topic a while ago about ELO rankings moving too slowly. Good to see that people now think it's the other way around. It means the decision to not make any changes to the system back then was a good one.

 

The leader board is now pretty much exactly what I expected it to be right now. Because of the new wave of players we have a big amount of bronze players, pretty much any game with a ranking system will have this. This also means that being bronze, starts meaning less and less. Which is good! People will want to get a higher ranking and thus people will play more. Every time people play, one of the players gets closer to a silver (or gold / platinum) ranking.

 

The way people rank is something we're keeping an eye one, but so far the ELO ranking system seems to be working correctly. Although it is true that over time more and more people will hit the higher rankings, it doesn't mean we can just change the system to please the top ranking players. Everyone should be able to get to the platinum ranking, whether you're a veteran or a newbie.



#12 PsychoPatty

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:06 AM

Psycho Patty, you are probably great. But I hate your avatar. Everytime I see it I think it's one of the Dev's. Guess I thought it was locked to them only. Obviously that's not true, so way to go. It's a cool one.


justinhayward, are you also justin$hayward? One of you is a Bronze General. The other a Bronze Marshal.

 

Naah im just one of those fools who bought coins, i like this one;)

The Dev's should make a Dev only avatar, dont ya think.. The red signs aint good enough..

 

But as i said.. Extend the bronze leaderboards to 500 players would solve the problem, as there are by far more players bronze than silver, or soon gold


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#13 GaryLShelton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:25 AM

Naah im just one of those fools who bought coins, i like this one;)

The Dev's should make a Dev only avatar, dont ya think.. The red signs aint good enough..

 

I totally agree with your second line.  All parts.


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#14 SpacemanSpiff

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:55 AM

Funnily enough, we've had a topic a while ago about ELO rankings moving too slowly. Good to see that people now think it's the other way around. It means the decision to not make any changes to the system back then was a good one.
 
The leader board is now pretty much exactly what I expected it to be right now. Because of the new wave of players we have a big amount of bronze players, pretty much any game with a ranking system will have this. This also means that being bronze, starts meaning less and less. Which is good! People will want to get a higher ranking and thus people will play more. Every time people play, one of the players gets closer to a silver (or gold / platinum) ranking.
 
The way people rank is something we're keeping an eye one, but so far the ELO ranking system seems to be working correctly. Although it is true that over time more and more people will hit the higher rankings, it doesn't mean we can just change the system to please the top ranking players. Everyone should be able to get to the platinum ranking, whether you're a veteran or a newbie.

M-D,
I am somewhat perplexed at your comments and your interpretation of the discussion on this thread. Let me re-state my point from earlier in this thread:

"From my observations, it's exactly the opposite - we have stagnant ELO growth. The growth in number of players in the Silver league is caused by the sheer volume of new players that have come to this site when they opened it up to the much larger community. The amount of players that are 800+ hasn't grown at all - we have only 3 now and two of those guys have had to play almost undefeated for over 100 games to get there. How sustainable is that? If the site continues to attract better players, they will find it more and more difficult to sustain a 98% win ratio and down they will drop in ELO. The ONLY way you will see players in Gold is if they maintain a 98+% winning percentage over a long, long period - an unlikely expectation. Therefore we have plateaued."

I am not suggesting that the ranking be re-calibrated ONLY to benefit the top players, I am saying that the highest ELO scores have plateaued except for the very few players that have an unsustainable ~98% win percentage (3 players) - and even with that they have a looooooooooooooong way to go to Gold. As the site continues to grow, the average collective Stratego IQ will go up (more people tough to beat) which will make it even more difficult for these players to maintain the necessary 98% win percentage to continue to move up.

Let's make a bet - I bet that at the end of 2013 you will have ZERO Platinum league players. That gives you 9 long months. I don't care if you have 5000 site users. C'mon, I dare you - let's bet.

You make the incredulous statement: "Everyone should be able to get to the platinum ranking, whether you're a veteran or a newbie." ??????? That is nothing but pure and utter nonsense - how can a newbie get platinum when the 98% winning percentage folks are languishing in mid-Silver? Please explain your logic.

Spiff

#15 GaryLShelton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:16 AM

Stratego.com has stratification, that's for sure.  At the 250th position, there is rapid rise of rankings.  One win for me and I can vault 15 to 20 ranking positions, while Spiff has to win 98 games just to stay even...and an unbelievably difficult proposition, that is.  It is quite a contrast.  


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#16 M-D

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:57 AM

"From my observations, it's exactly the opposite - we have stagnant ELO growth. The growth in number of players in the Silver league is caused by the sheer volume of new players that have come to this site when they opened it up to the much larger community. The amount of players that are 800+ hasn't grown at all - we have only 3 now and two of those guys have had to play almost undefeated for over 100 games to get there. How sustainable is that? If the site continues to attract better players, they will find it more and more difficult to sustain a 98% win ratio and down they will drop in ELO. The ONLY way you will see players in Gold is if they maintain a 98+% winning percentage over a long, long period - an unlikely expectation. Therefore we have plateaued."

 

The more people are in higher rankings, the faster people will rank. The way ELO works is that you get more points if you win from a higher ranked player. This unfortunately means that in the beginning it will take a while for people to get to a higher ranking.

 

 

I am not suggesting that the ranking be re-calibrated ONLY to benefit the top players, I am saying that the highest ELO scores have plateaued except for the very few players that have an unsustainable ~98% win percentage (3 players) - and even with that they have a looooooooooooooong way to go to Gold. As the site continues to grow, the average collective Stratego IQ will go up (more people tough to beat) which will make it even more difficult for these players to maintain the necessary 98% win percentage to continue to move up.

 

Win percentage doesn't mean anything (don't forget quick games also influence the win / loss / ties). With ELO you can win 10 games from a lower ranked player and still increase less points in ranks that someone that one 1 game against a higher ranked player.

 

 

You make the incredulous statement: "Everyone should be able to get to the platinum ranking, whether you're a veteran or a newbie." ??????? That is nothing but pure and utter nonsense - how can a newbie get platinum when the 98% winning percentage folks are languishing in mid-Silver? Please explain your logic.

 

I meant veteran / newbie as in the the time you've played on a website. It should all be about how good you are, not how long you've been playing on the website. Obviously you'll still need to play to increase you rank, but your ranking should not be influenced by how long you've been a member.



#17 Sohal

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

At the moment you enter ranking as a bronze colonel. Where are all others bronze guys ?

out the rankings

 

hielco who is #1 is only major silver.

how could he reach the platinum ??

being lotto by a newbee and you'll get -22 points.

you need to beat 22 of them to get +22 points back

Do you think you can win more than 22/23 lotto games ? of course not

 

Elo is not the best, Krach is much better, but ok just let's deal with ELO

You need to move hielco to platinum, so a bunch of actually unranked players will enter the bronze league

Why having 2 leagues empty ?



#18 trickz

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:55 PM

I wanna make a bet,.............the first guy that enters the gold league will be Satan.

Or will it be Regurgitate?  My money on Satan :)


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#19 Sohal

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:40 AM

as Regurgitate said, hielco is better.

no doubt hielco will enter gold league first, if one single player will enter that league one day



#20 SpacemanSpiff

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

Sohal/PD3A - I've been preaching the same story to site administrators but they just don't GET IT - as you can see by M-D's response. I'm tired of reasoning with them - time will tell the story. Notice how M-D avoided my bet that there will be no Platinum players by year end? Maybe not even Gold if Satan slips up a bit.




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