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Magna Quatro Masters

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by thbrown81, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. thbrown81

    thbrown81 Chieftain

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    Lexington, KY
    I'm currently back in grad school and on my winter break, so I'm taking time to try and bang out some EQM games, and going through the tables I was reminded of an old discussion on the issue of cheese in EQM. I went back and skimmed through a lengthy discussion two years ago on possible changes to EQM which eventually led to the HOF Challenge Series. However, a lot of the issues brought up still seem to be present in EQM and I wonder if it might be worth revisiting adding a third QM level since 1) a lot of people have stuck with Civ IV over Civ V) and 2) the current bargain basement price of Civ IV has introduced a lot of new people who were not participating two years ago.

    I really enjoy the competitive aspect of the Civ HOF, and I understand that in the HOF you are really competing against other people, so even if it has a lot of cheese, those who cheese best still rise to the top, and those are usually the best non-cheese players. But the current QM rewards specialization, and to me the greatest appeal of Civ as a game has been the emphasis on generalization. For example, I have one Top 10 rated HOF game, a Standard Noble Conquest game that I completed with SB in 2025 BC for one of the Challenges. And I can honestly say that that game was the least enjoyable game of Civ I've ever played. I didn't build anything. I moved my settler until I found an opponent, settled and walked a hut popped warrior into a defenseless city while another warrior was doing the same thing somewhere else. I then whipped and chopped DWs and fog busted as quickly as I could. That's how you win a Conquest game on Noble. But I didn't feel like I was playing Civ at all, and it certainly wasn't fun. I would also argue that the players who've submitted 50 different iterations of Tiny Religious Diety wins didn't really enjoy most of those games either. They just developed a specific victory formula and repeated it. Same with settler/ Pangea conquest. Use settler to hut pop, pop more settlers, settle next to empty cities, capture, rinse and repeat.

    So EQM rewards specialization and volume of play. Which is fine. It still showcases players who are really good at the game. But I think it would be nice to find a new way to showcase players who can play a balanced game, or are flexible in their ability to adjust their games to less than optimal conditions. Obviously the Challlenge Series do that, but it would be nice to see a longer running cumulative contest that rewards it as well.

    So I'm suggesting that the HOF reexamine the possibility of a new QM entitled Magna QM with the following adjustments.

    1) No Religious Victories- EQM already showcases people who are good at this, and it's obviously the fastest VC to pursue on higher levels when you can't run the table with ancient/ classical units for a quick conquest. We want to reward balanced game play.

    2) Barbs must be on- At higher levels, playing without Barbs makes a huge difference in strategy. Obviously not having to worry about Barbs makes it easier to pursue specific VCs earlier, but we want to reward people who can manage barbs while still developing infrastructure. The current static 0.05 modifier doesn't really do that, especially since barbs are much more of a factor on the highest levels.

    3) Speaking of highest levels, I suggest that MQM only consider games that are Monarch or above. QM and EQM already provide lots of opportunities to play on whatever level people like to play on. I would recommend Monarch as the lowest level because it is the first level where the AI starts with an extra defensive unit and you can't just walk in to their capital with no-city-razing selected.

    4) Link Map Size and Play Speed- Quick & Small, Normal & Standard, Large & Epic, Huge & Marathon. This accomplishes two things. It eliminates the Tiny games that form the vast majority of high level EQM games. It still allows participation from people who don't have a lot of time, but prevents the mixing of slower speeds that make it overly easy to rush a small map with ancient UU's. I realize that this takes excellent gameplay, but it is SPECIALIZED gameplay that is already highlighted by QM/ EQM.

    5) Limited map selection- As mentioned earlier we are looking to reward balanced game play, which includes maintaining a army and NAVY while pursuing different VCs. This means limiting maps to B&S, M&S, Continents, Hemispheres, Fractal, Global Highlands and Terra. Archipelagos and Pangea might be added, or the B&S and M&S could be eliminated to maintain some balance. Obviously waterless maps are fun to play if you want to focus on certain VCs without worrying about a navy (and those DAMNED BARB GALLEYS) but you can already to that on the other QMs. It would also be interesting to consider weighting different maps for different VCs, assuming we have enough data to accurately predict average finish date per map.

    6) Weighted opponents- Speaking of weighting scores, I assume by now the HOF has a mountain of data to use to identify the average finish date for each leader as an opponent. This would enable a scoring system that rewards people who play with random opponents (rewarding adaptation/ flexibility) or those who intentionally choose difficult opponents. Hopefully these could be weighted based on VC (Gandhi is a cupcake for Dom/ Conq, but can be a bear if you are pursuing a Cultural win). This weighting could be dynamic and able to adjust as people began using a wider variety of opponents. Obviously there is always going to be an unavoidable random element (Ragnar much more difficult when he spawns RIGHT NEXT TO YOU), but it seems to be an improvement over the current QMs that encourage selecting the weakest opponents for a given VC.

    7) Make MQM an ALL LEADER CHALLENGE- Currently we know which players are fastest at using Sitting Bull/ Darius/ JC for Conquests and Gandhi/ Louis/ ?? for culture. But there's currently no specific acknowledgement of the best games with Saladin, Chuckles and Toku. So I would recommend that the primary method of completing MQM would be to achieve a win with all 52 leaders. Assuming we grandfather in current qualifying games, a lot of people would already have a lot of the games finished, especially those who've been participating in Challenge Series games.

    So optimally, completing the MQM would just require you to win an ancient start non RV game with each leader. Separate tables could be kept for each difficulty level, and all finish dates would be adjusted based on VC/ Map/ and opponents (as well as games that use huts/ events/ PAs). Games of different sizes would be ranked separately as they are in the existing QMs. I have no idea how much extra work this would be for the moderators, but I think we have more moderator worthy people in the forums than we did two years ago, so there might be enough people to pull it off. I thought I would just throw the suggestion out since it doesn't look like it's been discussed in awhile. I think a new QM would allow people who like playing a less predetermined game to complete the existing QMs while being rewarded for not planning specific VCs for every game. Thoughts?
     
  2. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    52 leaders?
    no
    Why not focus only on the hardest ones?
    that eliminates the romans, inca, persia, egypt, india and 2 out 3 english. at least.
     
  3. thbrown81

    thbrown81 Chieftain

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    But the point is to try all the leaders, and people are ranked based on how they do with each leader. Or scores could also be weighted based on the average end date for the leader used. But using all 52 would encourage people to try different leaders that aren't as popular. Plus, if it kicked off the first week of January, completing one leader each week would still finish the QM in exactly one year. And that would be for people who hadn't completed any yet. But most people can manage one game a week, the active players do more than that already.
     
  4. Denniz

    Denniz Where's my breakfast? Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Interesting idea. :goodjob:

    The decision criteria for creating a new QM competition:
    • Potential participation. (i.e. the level of interest from the community for it.)
    • Some consensus on the details within the community.
    • Positive dissussion. (being civil, collaborative, on-topic, etc. is good.)

    If anyone has any specific questions, I will be happy to answer. Otherwise, I will just lurk for now. :cool:
     
  5. thbrown81

    thbrown81 Chieftain

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    Awesome! So would the next step be an official poll to gauge interest?

    As a starting point I would ask who is interested in a new QM that requires Barbs, disallows Religious Victories and Tiny Maps and adjusts the end turn date based on the relative difficulty of opponents. At very least this would create a new QM that rewards more adaptable game play. Additional rules such as linking specific speeds and sizes and other items would be secondary.
     
  6. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    You placing too many restrictions and your banning of Religious Leader Diplomatic Victory and requirement of Barbarians is arbitrary. Restricting maps type to less than the 18 allowed by the HOF? Weighted opponents is simply impossible, because the HOF data is too thin; Players play leaders they are comfortable with for the earliest win, but that doesn't mean there isn't a better leader for a particular VC. I have addressed my other concerns in your poll post.

    I suggest that you put a link from your poll post to this one, otherwise players would not completely understand what you want (you seem to define that better in post #1 of this thread).

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  7. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    I would think that 1 requirement would be to be already at least quattromaster,
    so eliminating the need to play the easiest leaders wouldn't remove all of the thing

    I think it's not about score really. I did play for quattromaster points, and it was tedious at best.
    So weighting isn't important in my eyes.

    But proposition 1,2, 3, 4 are good IMHO
     
  8. shulec

    shulec Grrrrr... I AM the force! Hall of Fame Staff

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    The best way to eliminate the cheese would be to incorporate the below setting:

    Speed
    Accept only normal speed games. Possibly allow only epic speed games based on the communities desires, but i would not allow different speeds. Marathon could be viewed as cheese. Quick speed is just generally not preferred.

    Map Size
    Make all maps standard size. The smaller maps are usually easier than the larger.

    Victory Conditions
    Require a conquest or domination for every leader that is required. I think it would be a good balance to require a diplomatic and/or culture victory too.

    Permanant alliances
    These must not be allowed. They are serious cheese!

    Vassals
    I think vassals are an integral part of the game and should be allowed.

    Difficulty
    Difficulty adjustments are not balanced in the QM. They need to reward the higher levels much more.

    Weighted score based on opponents
    I think this would be too difficult for the HoF staff to score. The HoF doesn't seem to track this.

    Barbs
    I thinks barbs scores should be weighted, not required.

    Goodie Huts
    These should be required to be turned off.

    By the way, I am #4 on the QM and just completed the Deity EQM (#2). As you can imagine, I do know a bit about these competitions.
     
  9. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    Congratulations, shulec!

    Deity EQM #2 is awesome! :goodjob:

    I didn't know you were #4 on QM. That's a great accomplishment too!

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  10. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Yes. He has spread the word to me too in a PM. Of course, I did checked the stats, then... :)

    You have become quite strong since...hmm...like that ol'thread I've found while reading daily deeper and deeper in S&T subforum.

    If I can come up one DAY to be first in gauntlet quattromaster subsection, that would very nice and satisfying to me. Oh wait...I have to play more games first...derp. All those deity and immortal gauntlets lost...*sob*
     
  11. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    OK, I'll start playing again ;)
     

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