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Tharkis
03-07-2012, 11:42 AM
Integrated Tournament Platform



I. About this thread

This thread aims to describe a concept without entering too deep into details (such as specific cases like what happens if player X disconnects at the exact moment when an action from him is required).


II. Overall description and goal

The Integrated Tournament Platform (ITP) is a conceptual idea to improve Heroes of Newerth (HoN) gaming experience. It’s a new feature that gives players the possibility to participate in online tournaments without leaving the HoN UI.

A lot of community sites already organize plenty of HoN tournaments. The problem is that you have to know these communities, check their websites often so as to be aware of the upcoming tournaments, create an account to be able to register your team, be quick on the registration because of the limited number of slots… Most players don’t want to bother themselves with all that, but would still like to experiment the excitation of a time-limited competition (the MM ladder being endless).

Also, the MM system allows playing “alone”, which is a great thing, but on the other side doesn’t favor the creation of strong links between players. Tournaments would incite them to regroup, while inducing the use of in-game public channels to find partners to participate in a tournament, reinforcing the community aspect of the game.

The objective is to democratize a new way of playing for all HoN players, bring a new challenge that is complementary to the MatchMaking ladder, and make it a specificity of HoN (as of today, the main competitors League of Legends and DOTA2 haven’t implemented such a feature).


III. Time problematic and solutions

a) Duration of a tournament

The average game length of a HoN game being around 25 minutes, a tournament involving many teams can last way too long to be reasonable.
One way to lower the time of a tournament is to spread the registered teams onto smaller tournaments which would be called “clusters”.

For example:
Tournament #1 starts with 340 registered teams. Automatically, the system will create 16-slots clusters and spread the teams in (could be randomly or using a specific tournament ranking): it would create 22 clusters, 10 full with 16 teams and the other 12 with 15 teams only (one team being qualified for tour 2 directly).

b) Waiting time between 2 games

In some cases, one team could be winning his game in 15 minutes while another one would take more than one hour to win. If these two teams were to play against in the next tour, the first one would have to wait one hour between the 2 games!
As to limit this fact and in order to help the overall duration of the tournament not to last too long, a limit of game length can be put. As a default, 40 or 45 minutes looks decent.
If a game isn’t finished when the timer ends, a point system would determine a winner.

For example (to be balanced):

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/8464/tablepoints.jpg


With this limitation, the idea is to have rounds of 60 minutes exactly, synchronizing all the rounds for everyone. So as to respect the round time, each phase would be time-limited:

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/4884/tableduration.jpg


c) Players who can't play the whole tournament

Even with the time limitations set up in III.a and III.b, a tournament can still last quite long for teams who reach the finals of their cluster: if the clusters size is set to 32 for example, that means 5 hours of playing. Not everyone can play 5 hours straight!
Therefore, the system must give some flexibility to the constitution of the team roaster for each game: the idea is to make it possible to pick up different players as the games go on, with the restriction that a player can’t participate in two different teams in a same tournament.
The invitation system mechanics is described in paragraphs IV.b and IV.c. 

Tharkis
03-07-2012, 11:43 AM
IV. Functioning

a) Administration : creating a tournament

Administrators can schedule a tournament using a dedicated interface that allows them to tweak several options for the tournament.
Options include at least:

http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/9185/tableoptions.jpg


b) Registration to a tournament

The HoN User Interface is modified: creating and joining a public game now can be done from the Public game screen, and the “Create game” button is replaced with a “Tournaments” button that allows to access to the Tournament screen.


http://www.mobaworld.com/img/ITP/Tourney_button.jpg


The registration period starts at the Starting date & time specified by the administrator when creating the tournament. It lasts for [Registration duration] minutes.

When registration is open for a tournament, the Tournament screen shows an invitation interface similar to the Team Matchmaking’s one where players can invite people to join their team. The only difference with the TMM interface is that the player who invites must set a name for the team. He can only confirm the registration for his team when there are 4 people invited and ready (more players can be invited later, see IV.c), and he has set an available team name.


http://www.mobaworld.com/img/ITP/Tourney_invite.jpg



It costs non-legacy players one token to register to a tournament.
As soon as he is registered to a tournament with a team, a player won’t be able to join any other team for the same tournament.

At the end of the Registration time, teams are shuffled into clusters (if the option was selected) and all tournament trees are generated. Each player can see the tree where his team is situated in the tournament screen.



http://www.mobaworld.com/img/ITP/Tournament_tree.jpg



This is the overall look of the interface with tournaments (I put a link because I would have to downsize the image too dramatically here):
http://www.mobaworld.com/img/ITP/Interface_avec_tourney.jpg (http://www.mobaworld.com/img/ITP/Interface_avec_tourney.jpg)


c) Playing a game

During the Joining the game period, every team captain can:
- Join his team’s next game
- Invite new players to his tournament team
- Give the captain status to any of the players of his team

Meanwhile, players in a team can join their team’s next game.

At the end of the Joining the game period, if any of the teams don’t have 5 players that joined the game, they forfeit the tournament and the team they would have faced is qualified for the next round without playing.

Tharkis
03-07-2012, 11:44 AM
V. Around the system ideas

a) Tournaments types and frequency

As a basis, there could be 2 “classic” tournaments a week, for example one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
The first Sunday of each month, a tournament finals is organized with registration limited to players who won at least one classic tournament (or more precisely, one cluster of a tournament).
As a one-time event, special tournaments with specific rules would be organized (intelligence heroes’ tournament, 3v3 tournament, watchtower’s tournament, country-limited tournament, etc).

b) Rewards

A player receives his team’s reward (if the team achieved one) only if he played at least one game with his team.

Example of rewards

For classic tournaments:
- A nice amount of silver coins
- A ticket to register for a tournament finals
- An account icon “tournament winner”

For tournaments finals:
- A special name color
- A certain amount of gold coins
- A ticket for another “finals” tournament

For other special tournaments:
- A unique hero skin
- …


VI. Note from the author

Lastly I applied to the Game Balance Designer position at S2 Games, as Maliken posted on the General forum that they were looking for one.
So as to make my application something more than just a simple "resume + cover letter", I also added some personal design work.
Sadly my application wasn't selected for further consideration (I guess it means they just looked at the resume and weren't interested), so I feel like my work would not be read. I post it here so it can be of use nevertheless.
The ITP is the second part of this work. The first part is a rework of Gemini, you can check it here:
http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?t=398212


I hope you enjoyed it, I'm free to discuss it and I hope to get a lot of Yes votes so that we can play in-game tournaments !

Tharkis
03-08-2012, 06:33 PM
Bump

Tharkis
03-19-2012, 05:55 AM
Bump.