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The Kolossium is starting its 4th season, and there are some changes in store for the scoring system. Don't wait: read all about them right now!

Kolossium Leagues were introduced in September 2018. Since then, as part of our efforts to improve the Kolossium in-game experience, we've made a few adjustments to the matchmaking system. We've also taken the time to analyze your feedback in order to confirm whether the league system as you currently know it is meeting your expectations.
Of course, to be sure that this analysis was worthwhile, we had to let you play for a long enough time to develop a coherent opinion. We're now ready to refine the way leagues work so that we can offer you a consistent system that more effectively meets your needs.
 

Why change the system?

A lot of you have been participating in forum discussions or making videos about your experiences in the Kolossium. This feedback is important to us, and is a part of what we looked at when deciding on the changes to be made to the Kolossium. Of course, that's still not enough on its own, which is why we did a survey in March 2019 about your motivations and your level of satisfaction with the league system.
 

Our analysis of the survey:

The results of the survey were cross-referenced with other data available to us so that we could analyze what you like about different aspects of the current Kolossium system, such as:

  • your overall satisfaction
  • your sense of progress
  • your interest in the rankings
  • your interest in end-of-season rewards
  • your preference for competitive leagues vs. leagues based on investment

From the survey, we decided on the following orientations:
  • Move toward competitive Kolossium Leagues
  • Provide a real return on investment in fights
  • Maximize your sense of progress

The current Kolossium model:

To get a better understanding of what parameters to manipulate in our management of league points, we set up several different simulations of the current Kolossium system and of several alternative design options.
We examined each of the current calculation rules in order to understand their effects on how league points change over time.
 

Description of the simulation process:

We simulate a player A with a fictitious rating that is provided by the simulation and varies over time, allowing us to simulate the player's actual progress. We then monitor how their rating indicator and their league points develop over time.
This player will go through up to 6000 Kolossium fights over the season (yes, that's a lot) against opponents with a random rating (actual and rating indicator) that is roughly similar to their own, in order to simulate conditions that are similar to the matchmaking you experience every day.

Several different situations are examined: decreasing performance, increasing performance, stagnation, etc. All the combinations have been studied in different types of designs.

We then examine how league points evolve over time in relation to changes in the player's rating indicator.
The simulation is then run on a population of 1000 similar players in order to smooth out the random effects of matchmaking.


This process allowed us to determine the precise impact of Kolossium rules on how league points currently develop over time:

  • The +10 -5 rule (more points awarded for winning than are deducted for losing) shifts the equilibrium point higher, and causes league points to increase even if the player doesn't progress (fixed rating).

We observe that the number of matches is the primary factor causing league points to increase.

  • This effect stops after a large number of matches, thanks to the rule that reduces the number of points awarded for a victory as we diverge from the character's rating. An equilibrium point is therefore reached after about 4000 matches.

This equilibrium point was not meant to actually be reached. We knew when Kolossium Leagues came out that most players would always be in the growth phase.

  • Finally, the rule that reduces the number of points deducted for a loss (the player doesn't lose more than what they can win) tends to slow players' arrival at the equilibrium point. This rule is activated when the player has a league-points total that diverges from their rating. When re-running the simulations without this rule, we reach the equilibrium point in about 200 matches, as opposed to 4000 matches before.


This last rule also prevents league points from decreasing. When the player's performance declines, their rating readjusts very quickly (in less than than 20 matches), and the matchmaking will make them fight against players of their own level. The player will therefore have a win ratio of about 50%. Since their rating diverges from their league points, they will alternate between +1 and -1.
A negative consequence of this is that in case of a loss of performance (a drop in their rating), the player has to wait to come back to a rating level similar to where they were before the drop in order for their league points to start progressing again.

So there's an inconsistency here in causes and effects:

  • In a progression phase at the start of the season, league points will increase
  • In a progression phase after a drop, league points will stagnate

which can make it fairly difficult to understand how league points are calculated.
 


Consistent with these simulations, our analysis of the player population (real players this time, outside of the simulation) also revealed that:

  • Two players with identical ratings can have radically different league points
  • Two players with identical league points can have radically different rating points

depending on their number of matches, which is the primary variable affecting how league points evolve over time.

 

Advantages of the current Kolossium system:

  • The more matches a person plays, the more league points they will earn. This progression phase will continue throughout the season if their rating is holding steady or increasing.
  • When starting a match, a player cannot lose more than what they can win
  • The more you play, the more you win!

So the Kolossium was designed exactly as we had intended: it provides an environment in which you will make progress, and which makes you want to play and increase your league points in order to earn end-of-season rewards. The more you play, the more you are rewarded!

Nevertheless, in light of the simulations, we have also identified certain effects that go against the preferences you expressed in the survey:

  • League points are too slow to change, which can become a problem in cases of poor placement at the start of the season (we all have a bad day or two occasionally...)
  • In case of a drop in performance (a drop in your rating), there's no feeling of progress until you get back to your earlier level (+1/-1 for a long time)
  • The Kolossium is based on investment and not on competition


 

Alternative model

Following our simulations of the current Kolossium, we tried some alternative designs.
Our strategy here was to replace rules with "non-competitive" consequences in the original design.


Our goal is for the progression of your league points to be directly tied to your performance.
That way, when you're progressing, even after a drop in your performance, you will still be rewarded and you will actually see your league points increasing.

In order to meet this goal, we decided that *it will be possible to lose league points*.


The new way of calculating league points will now be based on the following principles:

  • The system for calculating league points is strongly inspired by the Glicko rating system (http://www.glicko.net/glicko.html)
  • Calculation of league points is influenced by your own performance and by that of your opponents, in order to reward victories in difficult battles.
  • Calculation of league points is influenced by the difference between your rating and your league points, allowing you to progress more quickly in case of poor placement.


With these calculation rules in place, league points will evolve in a way that reflects and rewards your performance.
 

What changes will we see in version 2.52?

The changes mainly affect how the player's ranking evolves over time. They are based on the following principles:

  • For a victory against a stronger opponent (as determined by the system), the winning character will earn more league points. The amount of league points earned will vary slightly. In case of a drop in performance, league points will go down, and this can eventually cause the character to be demoted. Depending on how big of a difference there is between the character's league points and their rating, league points will change more quickly or more slowly to better represent the player's level of performance.
 

So what's next?

We will continue to monitor your feedback about the Kolossium on a regular basis, and we will pay close attention to your feelings about the changes made in version 2.52 to the character progression system in the leagues.
We're still working on fine-tuning the matchmaking system, because we realize that it's an essential part of an enjoyable gaming experience.

Finally, here's a look at the new harness that will be available in version 2.52 in exchange for Kolossokens:
 

Categoria: Game design