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Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after time


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thedarkness



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after time Reply with quote

Edit: So nevermind. Apparently TCs under j3 can't remove rating changes from matches anymore, and since matches decided by coinflip can't be rated, this is not a viable option.

I know that whatever system we try to use to determine the winner of a match that goes to time, the people who lose because of it will be upset when they do. But hear me out; I think I present a fairly strong case for why we should change the current system (matches that are 1-1 when time is called are won by the first person to have a higher life total than the other) to a coinflip.

First off, the issue of fairness. A coinflip will always be a 50/50 chance for each person to win. That means that if you're playing MonoW Martyr against Goblins, a matchup where Martyr will always have less life than Goblins on turn 4 and almost never lose the game, you will have a 50% chance to win the match, instead of a <1% chance. This means that in a sealed match, where archetypes entirely cease to matter when the game becomes "who can drop a creature first," neither player will have to worry about archetypes OR mulligans, and each will have roughly the same chance they would have had to win if the game had been played to the end (most of the time).

Yes, sometimes this system will result in games that one player had a staggering lead in, but lost anyway by sheer luck, but those situations will be much less common than the matches that get resolved more-or-less fairly, and if the losing player is feeling honorable, they can always concede the match instead of demanding their coinflip.

At the end of the day, in a diverse metagame, your deck hasn't got a 50% chance of winning the whole tournament anyway, so on a long enough timeline, coinflips really just balance the playing field.

Secondly, determining matches that go to time by coinflip reduces the number of people with a reason to abuse the timer, since sending the game to time now gives you a 50% chance to win a match you are otherwise certain you would lose. Additionally, besides reducing the situations under which stalling for time is advantageous, this change makes it easier to identify and penalize slow play.

Third and finally, matches called by coinflip are over sooner. The timer goes off, you take your opponent to #judges4you, you utilize a coinflip script, and the match is over. Boom, done. Pair next round. Never again will a Heartbeat of Springs mirror match take fifteen goddamn minutes because neither deck runs any creatures not named Sakura-Tribe Elder. Never again will Sakura-Tribe Elder win a game by hitting a goblin deck with a 3-mountain hand for 1.

So while I recognize that a coinflip finish won't be the most popular solution, and in specific situations it won't be the most fair one (you were going to kill them next turn, but time was called and you lost the coinflip(this will probably present a strong case for slow-play)), but by and large it IS the most fair solution.

TL;DR: coinflip > first-life-change. Also, read the post or your opinion is meaningless. Razz


Last edited by thedarkness on Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pringlez



Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rules for Single Elimination Rounds
In single-elimination rounds, matches may not end in a draw. If neither team has won the game after completing the end-of-match procedure, the team with the lowest life total is the loser of the game and the match. If both teams have equal life totals, the game continues until the first life total change that results in one team having a higher life total than the other. Should a game end in a draw during the end-of-match procedure, players start a new game and play until the first life total change that results in one team having a higher life total than the other.

Straight from the DCI, they are just following DCI rules.
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_Godica



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after ti Reply with quote

thedarkness wrote:
Secondly, determining matches that go to time by coinflip reduces the number of people with a reason to abuse the timer, since sending the game to time now gives you a 50% chance to win a match you are otherwise certain you would lose. Additionally, besides reducing the situations under which stalling for time is advantageous, this change makes it easier to identify and penalize slow play.


Either I'm reading this wrong, or you're very confused.

If sending the game to time has a 50% chance of turning a certain loss into a win, doesn't that increase the number of people with reasons to abuse the timer, rather than decrease it?

Under the current system, people with reason to abuse the timer = aggro playing against control or combo.
Under your proposed system, people with reason to abuse the timer = anyone in a game that seems likely to be a loss.

This does not reduce the situations in which stalling for time is advantageous -- it turns EVERY MATCH into one such situation.
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thedarkness



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after ti Reply with quote

Pringlez wrote:
Rules for Single Elimination Rounds
In single-elimination rounds, matches may not end in a draw. If neither team has won the game after completing the end-of-match procedure, the team with the lowest life total is the loser of the game and the match. If both teams have equal life totals, the game continues until the first life total change that results in one team having a higher life total than the other. Should a game end in a draw during the end-of-match procedure, players start a new game and play until the first life total change that results in one team having a higher life total than the other.

Straight from the DCI, they are just following DCI rules.
That would matter more if the rest of the DCI rules that make it slightly more reasonable were also in place. Specifically, the aforementioned end-of-match procedure that we at Magic-League omit ENTIRELY from the process, wherein the active turn becomes turn 0, and at the end of turn 5, you go to life totals. That's more fair because it allows control and combo decks three full turns to play out their strategies and turn the game around before going to life totals, and if the timer goes off between rounds, it allows slower decks to sideboard and mulligan for hands that give them better odds.

Without the end-of-match procedure in place, the life total rule becomes far more biased than it is in DCI-sanctioned matches.

_Godica wrote:
thedarkness wrote:
Secondly, determining matches that go to time by coinflip reduces the number of people with a reason to abuse the timer, since sending the game to time now gives you a 50% chance to win a match you are otherwise certain you would lose. Additionally, besides reducing the situations under which stalling for time is advantageous, this change makes it easier to identify and penalize slow play.


Either I'm reading this wrong, or you're very confused.

If sending the game to time has a 50% chance of turning a certain loss into a win, doesn't that increase the number of people with reasons to abuse the timer, rather than decrease it?

Under the current system, people with reason to abuse the timer = aggro playing against control or combo.
Under your proposed system, people with reason to abuse the timer = anyone in a game that seems likely to be a loss.

This does not reduce the situations in which stalling for time is advantageous -- it turns EVERY MATCH into one such situation.
Wrong. A coinflip turns every match where one player either lost game 1 and is winning game 2, but doesn't think they can win game 3, OR won game 1, is losing game 2, and doesn't think they can win game 3 into a game where one player has an incentive to slow play.

That as opposed to now, where YOUR DECK determines whether it's advantageous for you to draw out the clock, because even if you lucksacked game 1 against control, you can win game 3 on turn 2.

Edit 1: Also, the current system is biased toward whoever lost game 2, because in a 75 card mirror match or an unwinnable matchup, having the choice to play first increases your chances of winning by itself.

Edit 2: Also also, since only those two fairly specific scenarios really offer any major incentive for either player to play slowly, and the second far more often than the first because of the reason listed in my first edit, it becomes a lot easier to tell when someone is playing slowly. You may recall that Stalling - Slow Play is against the rules, so if you call someone on their slow play and the judges agree, you don't HAVE to flip a coin.
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_Godica



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after ti Reply with quote

thedarkness wrote:
A coinflip turns every match where one player either lost game 1 and is winning game 2, but doesn't think they can win game 3, OR won game 1, is losing game 2, and doesn't think they can win game 3 into a game where one player has an incentive to slow play.

That as opposed to now, where YOUR DECK determines whether it's advantageous for you to draw out the clock


This is still the case though. Every matchup favors one deck or the other -- as you point out, even in the mirror going first is a substantial advantage. Every match that goes to a game three still fits one of those two "specific scenarios" you are describing, for one player or the other.

It is advantageous for the underdog in every match to draw out the clock. The underdog (in an evenly skilled match) is determined by the deck, or by who lost game two. It's the same problem.

It's worse, though, because since there's ALWAYS incentive to draw the game out, every math that goes to time becomes a potential Stalling - Slow Play case. If I have the favored deck in a match that goes to time, I will go to judges and say that my opponent had incentive to draw out the match, which is true. For every single match that goes to time.
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niknight



Joined: 14 Oct 2004
Posts: 261

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after ti Reply with quote

thedarkness wrote:
That would matter more if the rest of the DCI rules that make it slightly more reasonable were also in place. Specifically, the aforementioned end-of-match procedure that we at Magic-League omit ENTIRELY from the process, wherein the active turn becomes turn 0, and at the end of turn 5, you go to life totals. That's more fair because it allows control and combo decks three full turns to play out their strategies and turn the game around before going to life totals, and if the timer goes off between rounds, it allows slower decks to sideboard and mulligan for hands that give them better odds.
Without the end-of-match procedure in place, the life total rule becomes far more biased than it is in DCI-sanctioned matches.


We used to use the complete DCI end of match procedure, but after a while, we took away the five turns for two reasons:

1. In an overwhelming majority, the players didn't want it.
2. From a judging perspective, it was impossible to enforce. There is no way to sync up the timers in the play applications with the round clock. This led to a series of disagreements as to whose turn it was when time was called.


Quote:

First off, the issue of fairness. A coinflip will always be a 50/50 chance for each person to win. That means that if you're playing MonoW Martyr against Goblins, a matchup where Martyr will always have less life than Goblins on turn 4 and almost never lose the game, you will have a 50% chance to win the match, instead of a <1% chance. This means that in a sealed match, where archetypes entirely cease to matter when the game becomes "who can drop a creature first," neither player will have to worry about archetypes OR mulligans, and each will have roughly the same chance they would have had to win if the game had been played to the end (most of the time).


The reason we don't use coin flips is very simple: we want match results to be wholly determined by playing Magic! Although life totals does bias against some types of decks, it has the advantages of being both very easy to track, and something that comes about as a result of playing the game.

It is significantly more frustrating to play a 50 minute round and lose to a flip of the coin than it is to play a 50 minute round and lose due to something that happened in a game.
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thedarkness



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Proposed change: coinflip to determine who wins after ti Reply with quote

_Godica wrote:
thedarkness wrote:
A coinflip turns every match where one player either lost game 1 and is winning game 2, but doesn't think they can win game 3, OR won game 1, is losing game 2, and doesn't think they can win game 3 into a game where one player has an incentive to slow play.

That as opposed to now, where YOUR DECK determines whether it's advantageous for you to draw out the clock


This is still the case though. Every matchup favors one deck or the other -- as you point out, even in the mirror going first is a substantial advantage. Every match that goes to a game three still fits one of those two "specific scenarios" you are describing, for one player or the other.

It is advantageous for the underdog in every match to draw out the clock. The underdog (in an evenly skilled match) is determined by the deck, or by who lost game two. It's the same problem.

It's worse, though, because since there's ALWAYS incentive to draw the game out, every math that goes to time becomes a potential Stalling - Slow Play case. If I have the favored deck in a match that goes to time, I will go to judges and say that my opponent had incentive to draw out the match, which is true. For every single match that goes to time.
You're only counting games that haven't started yet in your equation. The majority of games that get slow played and slip through the cracks are games where one player HAS the advantage of life totals DURING game 3, but knows they are going to lose, so they try to draw out the timer so they get the win anyway.

Changing to a coinflip COMPLETELY removes that incentive, which accounts for the majority of slow play calls, and also eliminates most other scenarios where a player might want to draw out the second game. What's left are two specific scenarios where it becomes much easier to tell what each player is thinking.

Niknight: Yes, it's true that individual matchups will still determine whether or not the 50% chance of winning represented by a coinflip are better or worse than your odds of winning the game if you play it out to the end, but the DIFFERENCE is that now, it becomes a lot easier to identify intentional slow play.

The point is that currently, you don't have to start playing slowly until you're losing game 3, and because of that, you have a lot more leeway to take 2 minutes of turn in the last 10 minutes of game. If an unfinished game 3 results in a coinflip, slow play ceases to be a viable strategy, even for the few situations in which it remains potentially advantageous.

You seem to be forgetting that intentional slow play is only a good idea if you don't get caught, and reducing the number of situations where it's even an *option* to 2 makes it much easier to identify.

Edit 1: also, just NO, Godica. Your argument is horribly flawed.

The way the system is NOW, any deck with small creatures with >0 power that don't think they can win game TWO potentially has an incentive to slow play game 2 and 3, because the system allows them to abuse the rules in place.

If an unfinished game 3 goes to a coinflip, something like 80% of games cease to see ANY benefit to slow play for either player, because they can now only play slowly for the remainder of game 2, making it much more obvious, and at BEST only bringing their chance to win game 3 up to 50%, as opposed to a potential 99% or higher.

Edit 2: Also, niknight, I could argue that mulliganing to 3 to get a land and a 1-drop isn't really "playing magic." If your goal is to make games end through means that occur in-game, I don't see any compelling reason to use game 3 at all; you could just give the win to whoever won game 1. That would arguably make more sense than going to life totals, because while it wouldn't be any more fair, it would mean that the results of the match are determined by an entire completed game, instead of the first few turns of one.


Last edited by thedarkness on Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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_Godica



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Premise 1: in any matchup, one deck is the underdog (it has <50% chance to win).
Premise 2: playing slowly can give any deck a 50% chance to win.
Premise 3: a 50% chance to win is more advantageous than a <50% chance to win.
Conclusion: playing slowly is strategically advantageous for one player in every match.

Please explain to me where the flaw is.
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thedarkness



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_Godica wrote:
Premise 1: in any matchup, one deck is the underdog (it has <50% chance to win).
Premise 2: playing slowly can give any deck a 50% chance to win.
Premise 3: a 50% chance to win is more desirable than a <50% chance to win.

Please explain to me where the flaw is.
The flaw is that in any matchup, one deck has a <50% chance to win THE MATCH. Giving that deck a 50% chance to win THE LAST GAME doesn't increase their odds of winning THE MATCH to 50% unless they REACH game 3, AND do it without stalling. Currently, it's possible for the people who have an incentive to stall to do so without being penalized, and by doing so increase their chance to win the match BEYOND 50%.

Do you see now? This reduces, not only the NUMBER of situations where slow play is advantageous, but ALSO the actual advantage successful slow play grants.

Edit: Actually, each deck in a game has a more or less than 50% chance to win each game, resulting in a higher or lower than 50% chance to get to game 3 in the first place.

Also, all of these percentages assume both players making the perfect plays in every circumstance, so obviously they get further skewed by differing player skill.

But the POINT is that if the match isn't decided by time, a 50/50 chance is the most fair way to decide the match, because in the absence of any potentially biased game state information, the game could always go either way, and if you DO use game state information, it ALWAYS has the potential to be inaccurately biased. 50% accuracy is always going to be the second highest possible result of guessing how a game will end, behind the 100% accuracy of playing the whole game.


Last edited by thedarkness on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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niknight



Joined: 14 Oct 2004
Posts: 261

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you completely ignored the relevant portion of my first post, I'll give you an [O]fficial answer:

Coin flips will not be utilized as part of an end of match procedure because it is our opinion that matches should be decided by playing magic.
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GreenBear



Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 899

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not a big fan of the life total rule, its such a red or white (depending on which way you view it) of seeing things. The person who has drawn the most cards should win the game if you ask me, blue through and through:D.
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Gracco



Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Life total method is flawed....

poison counters exist....

so I have 2 life and you have 20

you have 9 poison counters

so 10 poison to lose

so 20 life to lose

1 poison = 2 life

if opp has 9 poison then technically that is the = to having 2 life left

opp would win by having 20 to my 2 when in reality we are both tied at 2 with poison taken into account....

what now?
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magicman85



Joined: 22 Aug 2009
Posts: 555

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they should use chess style clocks where each player gets 25 minutes to complete the match. If a players time runs out, he loses.
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Bairdsy



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

magicman85 wrote:
I think they should use chess style clocks where each player gets 25 minutes to complete the match. If a players time runs out, he loses.


This is the way MTGO does it and is really the fairest option. Anyone want to petition for this to be added to MWS?
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warwizard87



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bairdsy wrote:
magicman85 wrote:
I think they should use chess style clocks where each player gets 25 minutes to complete the match. If a players time runs out, he loses.


This is the way MTGO does it and is really the fairest option. Anyone want to petition for this to be added to MWS?


i actually hate the idea, since some decks become kind of unrealistic at that point.

especially ones that take several turns in a row or just take awhile to win, i feel it adds another hindrance to deck design.
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