Proposing a change to the rankings formula

I don’t think that the formula used in the UK Rankings Site works as well as it could. Having spoken to a few others, I think this view is shared quite widely, so I’d like to propose that we tweak how the formula works.

The Major Issue

The biggest issue with the rankings as a whole is that it’s formula is heavily weighted towards two day events, which are few and far between with Kings of War. That is what it was intended for, being derived from a WHFB rankings formula where two day events were the norm and one day events were seen as minor practice events. KoW events in the UK however are overwhelmingly one day affairs.

The weighting of the formula means that someone can attend a couple of two day events, get an average-ish score and be placed well above someone who consistently gets top placings at one day events. While two day events should be rewarded more than one day events, the points awarded seem over the top.

While the rankings are there to help encourage people go to tournaments, unfortunately the formula at the moment can dishearten people. If you can’t go to two day events at all then you’ve basically got no way of getting a decent ranking score. If you miss even one of the two day events then you’ve got a real uphill struggle.

Example

Simon Clifford came 8th at South West Clash 2, which was a 2 day event with 28 players. Matt James came first at Tides of War 9, a one day event with 20 players. Simon got more ranking points.

Yes, there were 8 more players at SW Clash 2. Yes, it was a 2 day event. Can you honestly tell me that despite that, Matt should have received fewer points than someone who came 8th?

The Double Whammy

Technically there’s just one modifier in the rankings formula which differentiates between one day and two day events – number of rounds. If a tournament has four rounds instead of five (i.e. a one day event vs two), then the points earned are reduced by 20%. That in itself is quite a big hit to the points, but that’s not the only thing.

Practically, the number of players drops significantly from a one day event to a two day event. While 30+ players might be average for a two day event, the number of players for a one day will likely be around 20-24. That’s a massive reduction in the number of points available again and therefore effectively hitting one day events twice.

My Proposal

I’ve tweaked the rankings formula and come up with something that I feel is a better representation of how the KoW Community runs its events. I’ll go through the exact formula below if you’re interested in the sheer calculation side of it but to summarise; I’ve simply reduced the effect that a 2 day event and the number of players has on a player’s rankings score.

In the table below, I’ve calculated what the top 10 players would achieve at 3 event archetypes:

  • One day event – 22 players at 4 rounds
  • Two day event – 32 players at 5 rounds
  • Clash of Kings – 50+ players at 5+ rounds

I’ve listed what the current formula calculates for a player’s score and what the proposed formula calculates for it:

The biggest and most immediate difference is that the score for a one day event jumps up significantly. Whereas before, winning that event would net you 65.6 points, now you would earn 77.4. This closes the gap between a one day and two day event. Winning the two day event still gives you a significant increase over the one day event (+18% more points) so the two day events still offer large rewards ranking wise.

Looking closer and you can see that under the current formula, all of the players in the top 10 for the two day event score more than the person who wins the one day event. That feels very wrong.

Under the proposed formula, the top 5 players at the two day event will score more than the winner of the one day event, but the sixth will score less. This feels a lot better.

The technical explanation

Skip to “When to Implement” if you don’t care about the technical explanation.

I’ve created an Excel template which allows someone to edit the various parts of the rankings formula and see how that would affect results. You can download a copy here.

Player Points

The first part of the rankings formula works out a maximum available score based on the number of players attending. The formula is:

[Number of players] + 60

The number of players has a minimum of 10 and is capped at 40. Effectively this means that an event will have a maximum score of between 70 and 100 ranking points.

The changed formula is:

( [Number of Players] / 2 ) + 75

The cap is also changed to 50. This means that the score is now between 80 and 100:

The gap has now closed significantly between medium and large (for KoW) events. 20 player events now have a maximum score of 85, while 30 player events have a maximum score of 90. I bumped the cap up partly so we could keep the 100 points as a maximum, but also to make a further split between Clash of Kings (the only UK event with over 50 players) and other two day events.

Round Modifier

The next part of the formula applies a modifier based on the number of rounds at the event:

Under the current formula, an event with 4 rounds would be worth only 80% of the ranking points. To help close the gap, I bumped this up to 90% and 3 rounds from 60% to 80%.

The Changes In Tandem

Neither of those changes in isolation look particularly massive on their own, however because one day events were being hit by both calculations (both with fewer players AND fewer rounds), they were scoring very poorly compared to two day events. Now with the gaps changed, one day events are still worth less than two day events, but you don’t end up with situations where someone getting 10th position at an average two day event gets more points than someone who wins at an average one day event.

When to Implement

I’ve written this article to explain the changes in detail to the community, looking for feedback. I’m definitely open to amendments to this formula (a couple of notes on some of those below) and I’m seeking approval from the community to push through with these changes. I’ve proposed them in a private TO group and have received good feedback, now I’d like to make sure that the community is happy.

If the community is happy, I would look to implement these changes at the start of the new season after Clash of Kings 2018. We shouldn’t change them mid-season in my opinion.

Other Changes

Smaller Events

At the moment there is no modifier based on the size of the event. This is normally fine, however smaller events can skew the formula. You can, for example, run a five round 1200 point tournament very easily within a single day. Even though it’s a one-day event, the formula would give it full points rather than 90% points because it has five rounds. I would suggest having a cut-off based on the point level of an event. Any event under 1500 points has a 90% modifier applied on top of the round modifier (this essentially brings the round modifier down from 100% back to 90%).

6+ Rounds

At the moment the formula doesn’t differentiate between 5 round and 6 round tournaments. Personally I’m in favour of this, though I fully accept that it’s largely my personal feelings and preference for the 3 games + 2 games two day format, rather than 4+2 or 3+3. I go to two day events for the social aspect more than the gaming aspect and I find 4 games in one day to be very tiring and have a negative impact on the social aspect of an event. I would rather play a 5 game two day event than have a TO decide to make their event a 6 game affair purely for the ranking points.

If there were to be a 6+ round modifier instead of just 5+, we would need to revisit the player cap because I feel this would unfairly skew results from the Clash of Kings tournament.

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