During our discussions with that player base, several ideas, critiques, and options were thrown around, and we discovered that the idea of Rankings in general could be quite contentious. However, from these discussion, we believe that we can create a system - or rather set of systems - that can provide a wide array of services to the community, while mitigating some of the negative effects of the previous RHQ system.
Our vision for these systems is as follows:
Phase 1 - The WWPD Rankings SystemPure and simple, this system will follow the general course set and followed by the RHQ system over the past several years. We will streamline the event submission process, and hopefully make it less time intensive for Tournament Organizers to submit their results for each of their events. Our formula for scoring events will also change slightly - mainly to improve the relative scores generated by smaller events.
One of the critiques of RHQ was that it drove players away from local events to large, 40-player plus events so that players may maximize their scores in the system. Also, players that didn't have large events nearby were often left out of the top rankings because they could not travel to the large events.
While player count will still factor into the overall score, we have made the relative gap smaller between the maximum points earned at a large event versus a small event. We have also decided to give the BF Nationals events a higher weight, as these events tend to draw a large percentage of skilled players and bring 6 rounds of play to provide as competitive of an event as possible.
Our formula for this system is:
76 + (# of players [max 48])/2 + (5, if a BF Nationals event)
This change gives smaller 8 to 12 player events a fighting chance compared to big 40 to 50 player events. While the score of someone that attends all large events will still be higher than that of a player that only attends small events, a player that finishes well in 3 small events and 1 large event has a much better chance of landing in the top 20 of the rankings charts than with the old RHQ formula. Just like the old system, the WWPD Rankings System will count your top 4 placements in any reported events, and those scores are valid for 365 days after the tournament date.
We also have the results of all submitted events since September 1st, 2013, so we can continue to provide an active listing of ranks without starting completely from scratch.
Most importantly, we were able to team up with Pete and Jack Dunn over at www.TheFieldsOfBlood.com (who carry the torch for Flames of War NZ rankings amongst other things at rankings.thefieldsofblood.com) to create a first-class site for hosting the results.
You can see the fruits of our (mostly their) labor at rankings.wwpd.net - we are 100% live!
And that means send us your results! We have a recommended results spreadsheet here, but you can send your results in anyway you can - scanned notebook pages, scribbled on cocktail napkins - if it's got rankings on it I'll take it! We've set up a new email at TheRiha@WWPD.net to receive results, along with any questions or comments about the system you'd like to send our way.
We have two immediate plans for this system: to have a mechanism in place to allow players to "Opt-Out" of the rankings list and to create additional sections for Best Army and Best Sportsman placements.
If you play in a submitted event, your placement would be recorded, but you wouldn't show up in the Overall Standings. If you'd like to Opt-Out ahead of time, you can send a friendly email over to TheRiha@WWPD.net and let us know.
In addition to some thoughts we have for Phase 2, we'd like to add Best Army and Best Sportsman awards/rankings to the basic rankings system. These are completely optional for any event, but if you happen to give out a Best Army/Paint/Etc. and Best Sport awards you can record it in your spreadsheet. These players will be given additional tags on the website (and possibly a separate "rankings" table). We are also investigating how we could use these "soft rankings" to drive WWPD awards and/or invitational events.
I like the sound of a WWPD "Nice Guy" Invitational - I'll see what I can do to make it happen.
Phase 2 - The WWPD Achievement SystemThe WWPD Achievement System is something we'd like to add in the medium-term, meant to add a little fun to an otherwise strictly competitive system. Similar to what you might find on Xbox Live or Playstation, "points" are earned by completing Flames of War related objectives. You might earn badges/points/etc. for playing in 5/10/15/20 tournaments in a season, playing all the major powers, "Best Army at a Nationals" or silly things like "Played Estonians Before They Were Cool" or "Beat Bill Willcox".
This system is still in the brainstorming phase, but I think it's something that can help celebrate all aspects of the hobby rather than just the competitive side.
Phase 3 - The WWPD Professional SeriesWhile some of the feedback we received looked for ways to celebrate the non-competitive side of the hobby, some players were looking for a more granular way to collect statistics and compete at a higher level. The WWPD Professional Series aims to provide that support. We envision this system as a player-managed system, where players that are members of the Series can elect to play a Ranked Game if they meet each other in a tournament or decide to meet for a one-off game.
The Series would be free to sign up and open to all players, but members would have to agree to a relatively strict set of guidelines (play hard, play fair, report truthfully) to maintain good behavior in situations where there may be some increased tension. We want folks involved to enjoy the competition, not engage in win-at-all costs behavior.
All reporting for this system would be self-reported by players, with emails back and forth to guarantee the quality of the results. No additional work or reporting burden would be placed on Tournament Organizers - they have enough work to do as it is!
This Series would also use a more advanced Elo or Chess-style point system, but the details of it all are - like Phase 2 - still in the works. Our goal is to have something operational by 2015, and possibly even use it to create a similar WWPD invitational event for those competitive folks.