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What to do with EQM?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Hall of Fame Discussion' started by Ozbenno, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Miraculix

    Miraculix Warlord

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    I only partly agree with Misotu and Sun Tzu Wu that cheesy strategies are self-correcting through crowded tables. First of all, there are examples of easy(cheesy) tables where the best dates tend to converge towards a certain BC date (e.g 2000 BC for Tiny/Conquest/Emperor/non-Inca). For such tables both elite and less skilled players can easily get more than 90 points. Second, cheesy tables are only self-correcting for those players who aims for the first place. However, if the only goal is to submit a game that qualifies for a certain table without caring about the score, self-correction doesn't apply. Cheasy tables will always be easier to enter than difficult tables, even if they become crowded with elite players at the top positions. The belief that some people would be more interested in the QM title than the score was one of the reasons why EQM was discussed in this forum about 16 months ago. There was a concern that some players might loose inerest in the competition as soon as the QM title was earned, now matter how low the score was.

    I believe that EQM only partially solved the various problems with QM:

    Easy tables
    Players who don't care about score could potentially submit most of their games on Dual/Settler In EQM, this problem was solved by banning Duel and introducing the various EQM difficulty levels.

    Easy settings
    Some settings (e.g. Future Space Race) were considered cheesy in the sense that it was considered relatively easy to earn close to 100 points on Huge/Deity without being a Deity level player. This is the reason why all Future starts were banned.

    Ower-powered units/leaders
    Most people seemed to agree that Incha/Quechua was over-powered and resulted in lack of diversity. Consequently, they were banned from the EQM.


    Although the most extreme cases have been banned from EQM, I would say that the problems above still exist to some extent. For example, consider the following Deity tables:

    Tiny/Religious/Quick: more than 90 entries
    Tiny/Conquest/Marathon: more than 50 entries

    It is reasonable to suspect that these tables are considered 'low-hanging fruits' for people who wants a quick route to Deity EQM without caring too much about the score. These are certainly the tables I would pick myself :). Also, most people seemed to be concerned about QM slots being dominated by Inca or Future Space Race games. I would be equally concerned about EQM slots being dominated by Tiny/Religious/Conquest games.

    I agree that the Machiavelly sub-event is sufficient to demonstrate skills in all victory conditions. However, I believe EQM should also be about diversity, and submitting more than 90% of the games using only one victory condition and map size doesn't demonstrate diversity.

    I would like to suggest the following changes to the EQM:

    Rewarding larger map sizes
    Rather than banning Dual and Tiny, I would have those map sizes penalized through a smaller scale factor. The scoring system of QM worked just fine (0.5 for Dual, 0.6 for Tiny, ... 1.0 for Huge). The exact value of scale factors can certainly be discussed, but in principle the scoring formula should recognize the fact that larger maps are more difficullt. I am aware of the fact that Huge is problematic on some computers, but rewarding people that can win on Huge is more important than taking computer problems into account

    Rewarding diversity
    I believe EQM should also be about diversity and I believe that should be reflected in the scoring system. Having a variety of victory conditions in other sub-events than Machiavelli should be rewarded somehow. The same principle could be applied to map types and leaders, but I believe vicory conditions are most important, since they are most likely to be unbalanced. I am not quite sure how this should be implemented through the scoring system though.

    Rewarding high scores
    It should be even more rewarding to be near the top of a HOF table. One way to achieve this is to have sub-divisions within each EQM level, e.g. Deity EQM division 1 - 150-200 average score, Deity EQM division 2 - 100-150 average score, etc. Another posibility is to require that for Deity EQM, a minimum average score of 150 is needed, for Immortal EQM, a minimum verage score of 120 is needed, etc....
     
  2. unclethrill

    unclethrill Why am I up right now?

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    The problem here is that now you require people to not only win all the games required but to win them twice (only way to get over 100) and then both wins have to be near the top of the rankings against all other games at that level. That seems a bit ridiculous. Making Deity EQM hard is one thing but why make suggestions that make it virtually impossible. I guess if you make something so hard that nobody is even interested in trying then you do effectively remove the 'cheesy' games but you also remove all the other games too. Lets go one further. Lets say that you have to achieve every VC on every map with every civ. Lets make it so that it has to be done twice too (we want good scores right?). That would effectively remove the cheese factor. So that's about 33*17 = 561 Space Colony wins, 561 Time Victories, ... . I think you see my point. If we just want to make it so hard that no one can achieve it then you remove the competition factor. And you reward only those that have a huge amount of time to run MF and find the best starts and can play hundreds of games until they finally shave off those 2 turns in that SC game so that they beat WastinTime and can have a high enough score for everyone else to consider them worthy. Look at the ranking of the gauntlets, how do you know that the winner was the best player or the one that played it enough times to get the perfect start and have all the fights go just right, etc. You don't but either way that win gets tehm a 100 score. Again, you aren't necessarily rewarding the best player. The game of the month tried to fix this by forcing everyone to play the same map and start. We all know that the problem then became that you can play through the game, find the best resources and locations and then move to a different computer. In fact you can do that just as easily in the HOF. I know at least a couple players that have done it. Does that make them better players? I'm sure they will have better scores than those of us that start a game and play it out despite the substandard start or less than great city spots.

    My point here is that the HOF and EQM in particular attracts lots of different players: ones with lots of time to play, ones with very little time to play, ones with so strong a competitive nature that they will cheat to be the highest scorer, ones that will find the shortcuts and paths of least resistance, etc. EQM was designed to gauge players on as level a playing field as possible. Players are ranked by their scores at each difficulty level. I think that the system in place is possibly flawed but not just towards the "cheesy AP wins" but also towards those players that have lots of time to play the game. I say leave it how it is. If someone wants to win a bunch of cheesy ap wins to be the first Deity EQM then let them. If someone wants to roll MF for 48 hours to get the perfect start, then let them. If someone wants to play a gauntlet 20 times so that they can be number one then let them. The HOF accepts all players for who they are and how they play. Can't we just concentrate on supporting Denniz in his making of a new mod for 3.19?
     
  3. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I like the idea of having a minimum score to consider an event "complete". Probably 100 (not 150). We don't want to make it too hard, just force people to try a bit harder to play a good game.
     
  4. unclethrill

    unclethrill Why am I up right now?

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    Based on that, it would remove from EQM all of the following:
    5 Settler
    6 Chieftain
    7 Warlord
    7 noble
    5 prince
    4 out of 10 monarch
    3 out of 7 Emperor
    3 out of 5 immortal
    All Deity including everyone that is 1 event away and all but 1 person that is 2 events away.

    Again this minimum score doesn't prove that they are necessarily good players just that they played lots of games. To get to 100 by playing 2 of all the games would not be that difficult but would a score of 100 because I played >100 games mean I'm a better player than my score of 62 because I played one of each game.
     
  5. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    So, you're not entirely happy with the EQM Free Market. Your EQM score is like a company's stock price. It will go up and down as players submit games inferior and superior to your's respectively. The Market will determine what is and what isn't a good score. Anyone with a EQM Score of 180 at a particular difficulty level will have earned the respect of his fellow players and may have to continue to play to maintain that score.

    Anyone who's game is within a few turns of the #1 game in that category deserves about 90 points. If the difference is more than a few turns, then the game earns them maybe 80 points. If a category still has easy points, more people will play games in it to grab them and as a result that category will get harder to get a high number of points per game. Those that got an easy 90 points for their game will see it decline in value as better games are submitted; depending on how strong the game was, it may drop to 80, 65, 40, 25 or maybe even 10 points.

    Isn't it easy (or at least easier) to Win a game in any category when the goal is to simply Win. I suppose it depends on how one defines easy. For example, one could pick a Civ with a later unique unit and beeline to the Tech that unlocks it, using appropriate GP bulbs, and conquer the world with a rather late date.

    Why do you care that a player is EQM at a particular difficulty level with a Score of say 0-25? EQM at a Score of less than 25 is quite meanless when the maximum Score is 200. Again, why do you even care?

    Are you suggesting some settings allowed in EQM are still too Cheesy? We need to draw the line somewhere and where it's at now seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    Do you want to ban more Civs and Leaders? Do you still consider EQM defective in this regard?

    How is many entries in a category a problem? I'd say that categories with very few games are equally problematic. However, I'd say there's no problem in any category, because people are choosing the games they want to play in the categories they prefer to play. So its natural that some categories are flooded and others are sparse. What's the problem with allowing people to play the games they choose, regardless of what their reasons may be?

    EQM has enough diversity! 8 Different Victory Conditions, 18 Different Maps, 7 Rock of Ages, 4 Different Speeds, 33 Different Empires! Double this to get the maximum potential EQM score!

    Larger Map Sizes already have a very large bonus within EQM! Because Larger Map Sizes are harder fewer people play them for EQM. However, those that do play Larger Map Sizes will have a better chance at a higher EQM score because of much lower competition. As a result, the Score on a Larger Map Size will be more stable over time. I see no point in giving a larger score for a Larger Map.

    The weighted Map Sizes in QM didn't work in my opinion. For maximum score, one was forced to play Huge Maps. That makes no sense at all, especially from the perspective of diversity.

    EQM needs to be flexible enough to appeal to all players. Most players focus on a particular Victory Condition or two that they enjoy. We don't want to change that.

    EQM is Elite enough already. A EQM high score is reward enough.

    What happens when a player's score goes from 151 to 149? Are you going to kick such a person out of Division 1 into Division 2? Or is the honor sticky; once given it can never be taken way?

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  6. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Well, of course it would. That's because of all the cheese. There's currently no incentive to avoid scores like 0.5 and 2.3, etc. Those players would find a more honorable way to be EQM without that much trouble. Maybe 100 isn't the right #, but it's the right idea.
     
  7. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    I agree with unclethrill, requiring 100 points means nearly everyone will need to play two games as opposed to one game per subcategory.

    Be careful in requiring 100 points per the 72 different subcategories. Unless, someone is a very good player at Every Victory Condition, Every Empire, Every Age and Every Map like WastinTime, this could greatly increase the number of Games a player may need to play per subcategory, because they just can't seem to complete two games whose combined score exceeds or equals 100.

    Just for WastinTime, let's make it > 100, so he has to play two games per subcategory just like everyone else! NO, let's just keep it at > 0 where it is now. A Win is a Win after all!

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  8. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    I'd like to see a 50 score average per game (not counting zeros!). That way you can play just one of each instead of both. And playing both doesn't effectively lower your threshold to 25.
     
  9. PaulisKhan

    PaulisKhan Physicist

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    Get rid of EQM/QM and focus on pure HoF!
    Problem solved and everybody wins (and by everybody I mean me). Need more love for HoF.



    Alternatively I'd like a system where I can hold peoples Space Colony EQM/QM Q scores hostage if they try to ban my beloved Inca from HoF. I'll play a bunch of Darius games under EQM conditions and threaten to submit them whenever people start grumbling >.>

    Hmmm, maybe I should get a Machiavelli award for this.


    :p
     
  10. unclethrill

    unclethrill Why am I up right now?

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    Let's get rid of the HOF too. Then maybe we can all grow up and stop playing video games.:crazyeye:
     
  11. PaulisKhan

    PaulisKhan Physicist

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    I wish I had come-back for that =(

    :)
     
  12. PaulisKhan

    PaulisKhan Physicist

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    In all seriousness, I'd like to see EQM/QM being tied to the HoF in a more significant way such that it rewards gaining strong positions on the board (rather than just completing a game), not because I have any intention of going for EQM/QM myself but because it would improve the HoF considerably.
    It's purely a selfish reason on my part though so if it doesn't catch on I won't cry.

    The currently weak categories would be picked off rapidly bringing up the average quality of the board, and increasing the level of competition which is what makes it fun.
     
  13. berserks01

    berserks01 Obviously Very Confused

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    The only problem is that there are people (like me) who just doesn't know how to increase their score no matter the number games they played. And there are people (also like me) who are happy that they can win the game on a certain level with certain settings that they don't care about the score so much.

    And then there are people (not like me, but more like you :( ) who can win on any level and can concentrate on getting higher scores.
     
  14. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    Hmm...maybe if you can't get a 50 avg on Immortal, for example, then you would not be able to achieve Immortal EQM.... sounds perfect! a system that actually works! Being an EQM would actually mean something!!! Instead, anyone with enough time/patience can get Immortal EQM with some religious games.

    I'll put you down for a yes vote on having a minimum score.
     
  15. FiveAces

    FiveAces Emperor

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    I'd sugest using a minimum completion date (except for time and score obviously) rather than the scores.

    IIRC if every single game in the HOF were submitted on settler level, then IIRC a "below-average" player by definition will not average a 50. Ignoring ties and effective minimum achievable dates of course. But I see no reason why anyone who completes whatever the EQM requirements are cannot be a settler EQM, even if they are below average on settler level compared to all the HOF players.

    Agreeing the minimum dates is a different story however :mischief:

    EDIT: Another thing against using score - it does not fairly account for weak leaders, map types etc. Good luck on scoring a 50 with a space victory as sitting bull etc. on a boreal map in a table with a bunch of well played Liz etc. inland sea and great plains games.
     
  16. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Use EQM Score as a differentiator between Players that have achieved an EQM Difficulty level.

    Do not use EQM Score as qualification for entry. There are many reasons not to do this:

    EQM Score is not static: It changes over time. Out of 72 subcategories, nearly everyone that has earned EQM at a particular difficulty level will have one or more scores that are just over the proposed 50 point average threshold. Then, one or more people submit some better than average games and now several people who met the 50 point average threshold no longer do and lose their EQM status. This is reason enough to torpedo this idea.

    Adding a qualifying score requirement is contrary to the whole original concept of EQM: Win a set of games defined by EQM rules at a particular difficulty level and one becomes an EQM at that level. If you Win a Game, no matter how late a date, it should count for EQM, unless you used a prohibited setting (like Inca).

    Discourages EQM participation: EQM is hard enough as it is. Saying that all your EQM games must on average be better than half of all submitted games is would be bad enough. Saying that every single game that counts for EQM must be better that half of all submitted games in its category is quite different and difficult to achieve for a competent Player. How many dozens of Wins per the 72 different subcategories would a competent Player need to play before he gets that 50+ Win or gives up in the attempt.

    Changing the rules of the competition after it has already started is simply not fair and not done: Many players have invested huge amounts of time under the current EQM rules and would be very unhappy about such a change. Also, there are already many Winners; do you strip them of their titles after they have done everything required to attain them? Doing such a thing could nearly destroy the HOF. A competing web site may well take its place that changes its rules more fairly.

    There are other reasons, but the four listed above should be more than sufficient to shutdown this dangerous idea about qualifying scores.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  17. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    WastinTime, please have more respect and compassion for Players that admit less skill than you. Please, absolutely don't dare pretend to speak for them as you just did. From reading what berserks01 wrote above, I got the distinct impression that he was against a qualifying score. It was arrogant of you to suggest otherwise.

    Sincerely,

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  18. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    It was sarcasm. I was joking. I forgot to put the little mischief face. I know he votes against it. I apologize for how it sounded. berserks01 is an old team member of mine. He's used to my abuse.:p
     
  19. WastinTime

    WastinTime Deity Supporter

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    EQM Score is not static:
    What's the big deal if you have to keep your avg score up to hold on to EQM status? Why does it have to be something that is granted and never taken away? Just because QM status never goes away? Players shouldn't have to much trouble reaching the min score and keeping themselves well above it anyway.

    Adding a qualifying score requirement is contrary to the whole original concept of EQM:
    Of course it is. The original concept needs fixing. QM was set up to allow any game. Score was meaningless and helped to differentiate the better players. EQM tried (failed) to be elite by banning cheesy games. Instead the solution to the problem could be to have a minimum score:50 (TBD). (min dates will be hell to try to set, I think score works better.) It is an elegant solution. Now you could penalize Tiny maps in score, you don't have to ban them. (you could even un-ban duel ?) Remember, you don't need a 50 score for EVERY game, just an average.

    Discourages EQM participation:
    It would encourage me to participate. More fun, more competitive = more participation.

    Changing the rules of the competition after it has already started is simply not fair and not done:
    Normally not done. But it's obvious that EQM has design flaws. That's why we are discussing how to "fix" it. The beauty of my suggestion is that we DON'T ban all the tiny/religious games submitted already. All we do is take away the (meaningless) EQM title from those who don't meet the minimum score. They're still listed on the Deity EQM page as completing all categories, but are still "1 away" from the EQM title because they haven't met the minimum score.

    The more I defend this idea, the more I love it. When you find something that works, it just feels right. Inca could even be un-banned!! Just give them a score penalty!

    Summary:
    MAKE SCORE MATTER IN EQM! It's what makes it E instead of just QM.
     
  20. babaBrian

    babaBrian Rock Chalk!

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    The problem with limiting score is that it effectively puts a cap on the number of people that could achieve EQM. Suppose that 100 people submitted enough deity huge map, normal speed games to all become EQM. Clearly all 100 deserve huge kudos for such a tough feat. But many would be excluded from being recognized because of their relative performance to the other 100. I don't think we are in immediate danger of encountering such a situation, but such a system just doesn't feel right to me.

    If the scoring needs to change so that the theoretical self-correcting system more often self corrects in reality, then so be it. I have no problem with that (also no clear ideas on what those changes would be). But I think an overall score of 0.01 still gets you on the EQM board.
     

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