Fellow Civil Warmongers,
While season 2 is still ongoing*, I thought it'd be a good idea to have another discussion related to next season so we can set everything up in time. Big Boss Man JDH will of course make the final calls, but we might as well see if we can reach a consensus here.
The things we need to decide are to the best of my knowledge the following:
- Participation rules: minimum requirements for signing up, team size, rules regarding non-pickers
- Team head-to-head, individual head-to-head matchups or team points AKA how do teams win?
- Playoff format & season length
- Trade rules, mid-season waiver wire
- Results & recaps
Follow the jump for details!
(*at least in theory ... we all know INEPT will hold on to first place, though)
1. Participation rules
- The total number of players will be highly dependent on the playoff system we choose (more on this later), but I think it's fairly safe to assume that the current team sizes are about right, yes?
- As for minimum requirements, the consensus reached in the last discussion was that while anyone should be able to play, there's not a whole lot of sense in letting guys with a handful of posts and no PG picks sign up. I think we agreed to be eligible, a player must either A) have 1000 posts on BE, B) have 500 posts as well as having picked a couple of events on PG or C) have picked a full season on PG. If the numbers seem a bit high we could adjust them down. It doesn't take more than one or two live-threads and a Nick Diaz/weed discussion to break the 500 post barrier, though.
- Do we need stricter rules on non-pickers? Eg. a one-season suspension from the CW.
2. How to win?
While the current system is great in its simplicity (every point counts), I think most people favoured a move away from a cumulative team points leaderboard to a Win-Loss record based type of scoring. Here are a few options:
A) The current system.
- Pros: Simple and fair
- Cons: After a few bad events, bottom-placed teams are virtually eliminated from playing a role. Very few fluctuations from event to event. Low-scoring events matter less than high-scoring events.
B) Team head-to-head. Each week, teams are matched up one-on-one. The team with the most points wins the head-to-head and gets a W. Total team points to be used as tiebreaker.
- Pros: Makes each event equally important and allows teams to make late runs despite poor starts. Should foster rivalries. Still very simple.
- Cons: Individual scores could get lost in the shuffle. No extra points (other than tiebreaker points) for winning matchups by a great margin.
C) Team head-to-head, individual matchups. Like option B, teams are matched up every week. Captain takes on captain, 6th round pick takes on 6th round pick, etc. and the team that takes the most individual matchups wins the head-to-head. Total team points to be used as end-of-season tiebreaker.
- Pros: Very high focus on individuals. The last-round pick matters every bit as much as the first-round pick. Every player knows which players he will face during the season, making for some potentially entertaining rivalries. Like B, this system would also place a greater emphasis on each event and allow teams to make late runs. Individual scores would become more interesting because we could list no. of matchup wins alongside total points.
- Cons: The draft becomes more important, teams could potentially win despite being outscored
Regarding the cons, even though a few people voiced their concerns about the draft playing too big of a role, I don't really agree. Firstly, we all know how volatile our scores are, so an above average score will more often than not be enough to win a matchup no matter what round you were picked in. And besides, imagine how interesting it would be to see the 1st round picks duke it out every week, not to mention seeing the rookies do battle? A hidden diamond uncovered in the 9th round could become MVP after winning more matchups than everybody else ... the level of immersion and potential for storylines would be massive.
D) A hybrid of B and C. Use B for the regular season and C for the playoffs, where teams would line up based on season scores (ie. highest-scoring player from Team A faces off against Team B's top scorer) or the captain of the highest ranked team gets to pick the matchups in advance (ie. a kind of home field advantage).
- Pros: Simple regular season format, interesting post-season format.
- Cons: Is moving the goalposts in the post-season a cool way of doing things?
E) Whatever you can come up with! I'm sure there are plenty other good ideas out there.
3. Playoff format & season length
If we decide to make the switch to a W-L type of game, it stands to reason that all teams should face each other once during the (regular) season. MMA Playground seasons last 10 events, and while we don't have to stick to PG's seasons, everyone (apart from me!) seemed to be in favour of doing so. This means that the number of teams depends on the regular season length and whatever league structures we come up with. Here are a few options (player count assumes 11-man teams):
1) 8 teams (88 total players), 7 event regular season, 3 event post-season. Playoffs identical to AFC/NFC playoffs with #1 and #2 getting a bye in the first round. 6 out of 8 teams make playoffs.
2) 12 teams split into two divisions (132 players). 7 event regular season, 3 event post-season. Five of the regular season games are against other teams from the division, the other two are against randomly picked teams from the other division. 8-team MLB-style playoffs.
3) 14 teams split into two divisions (154 players), 6 event regular season, 4 event post-season. Teams only face teams from their own division during the regular season. Playoffs identical to NFL playoffs. 12 out of 14 teams make it to the post-season.
4a) 16 teams split into four divisions (176 players). 6 event regular season, 4 event post-season. Teams face their divisional rivals in three of the regular season events and face one team from each of the other divisions in the other three. Division winners get a bye in the first round while #2s face off against #3s. The remaining 8 teams duke it out round-robin style. 12 out of 16 teams make the playoffs.
4b) Same as above but with two conferences with two divisions in each. Teams would face off against divisional rivals in three events and conference rivals in the other three. Playoffs either as above or NFL-style.
5) Your suggestions.
I tried to come up with systems where as many teams as possible make the playoffs without devaluing a 1st place regular season finish. Someone suggested consolation tournaments last time we discussed this but I am definitely not in favour of those (should we hand out participation trophies as well?). If 75+% of the teams reach the playoffs, I don't think it's that big a deal that a couple of teams don't have anything to play for in the last three or four events. Try sucking a little less come next season! Players should still be trying hard to finish as high as possible in the individual standings, anyway. Let me know if y'all disagree on this.
If we decide to go with a 12+ team format, we should probably consider decreasing the team size.
4. Trade rules
If we move to a playoff system, would it make sense to lock the teams for the entire regular season and do trades/replacements before the post-season commences? The introduction of minimum requirements for eligibility should make non-pickers even fewer and farther between, and with the next season only lasting 2½ months (as opposed to season 2 which will last 4 (!) months) there shouldn't be a great number of RolloTomasi/alicks type situations where a player has to leave the competition in mid-season.
5. Results and recaps
I've enjoyed doing the recaps this season but in the future, I'd like to solely be in charge of providing a spreadsheet that automatically generates results and stats instead of having to do recaps each week. Three reasons:
1. I'm not nearly as snarky and/or witty as the rest of you
2. Given that I watch most events the day after because of the time difference, I have to set aside time to watch the event & provide stats within a day. I can do this 8 out of 12 weeks (or 80% of the time) but not every single week. I can't do it for the first season 3 event, for example.
3. PG publishes the results RIGHT after the main event finishes. There is no reason why the recap shouldn't go up immediately after the event instead of 20 hours after.
Alright, that about sums up my thoughts. I'm curious to hear what everybody thinks!