# Expanded Leaderboard for theabsolute.plus

Thread in 'Competition' started by JBroms, 13 Nov 2019.

1. ### JBroms

Sup TC fam,
I've been chatting a lot in Discord lately about an expanded leaderboard for http://theabsolute.plus, one that would coexist with the main leaderboard. There are so many modes to be explored in the TGM series and as of now, only the six main modes award points for the overall leaderboard. I'm here to propose a list of modes that will be awarded points toward an "Overall (expanded)" leaderboard. A lot of people have had a lot of different opinions on this, so I figured I'd commit it to the public forum. I'm proposing 25 modes, with a maximum point total of 2500. While most of them are modes that exist entirely within the game, I tried to include a number of player-defined challenges as well, specifically ones that are fun and that people are already playing. The goal here is to promote activity, diversity, and specialization. We'd have to define the rules for the player-defined challenges but that shouldn't be a big deal.

Proposed list of 25 modes:
Code:
TGM1:

"Master"
20g
Rev
Big

TAP:

Normal
Master
Death
TGM+
Item (Master)
Doubles
Secret(w/ TGM1)

TI:

Master (provisional)
Master (qualified)
Shirase
Easy
Sakura
Random Sakura
Big Master
Secret

Player-defined:

Solo doubles
TGM1 score attack
Death series of 5
0-100 (TAP Master)
One handed TGM1
Avoid the Single

Feel free to share your opinions on this, everyone. I tried to cover as much as I could. I'm not entirely set on RNG Sakura. The mfm005 challenge has been proposed as a substitute for TGM1 score attack. I don't think any form of weighting would be required with this many modes. Much appreciation to @MaryHadALittle and @simonlc for all the work they do on the site.

2. ### Oliver

can we have a full section time leaderboard? could be difficult to collate and manage but id be interested in some kind of community sum of best for all the main modes

3. ### AmnesiaPiece of Cake

Years ago I had proposed a model like this, which was considering the size of the initial leaderboard to give a coef of importance, the number of leaderboard a player is involved in to reward a coef of diversification...The idea were not really well received. But I would help if you need !

Here are my disorganized thoughts, I'll try to frame it through the three goals you mentioned:
• Is points = (100 - rank) good enough per mode? Someone smarter than me could probably come up with a better way to calculate points.
• [+Specialization] Should we do something like the-elite which adds weight to 1st and 2nd place? 1st = 100 points, 2nd = 97 points, 3rd = 95, 4th = 94... What kind of problems has the-elite run into (@KevinDDR)? Is it also a case of being just "good enough"? (Good enough to last 20 years ) Pinball uses a similar system?
• [+Activity, +Specialization] There's a static jump in points for overtaking someone. Getting a PB is good, but now you can directly affect the players you pass. You might even cheer for other people to beat your rivals.
• [+Activity, +Diversity] Easy to calculate point totals. You can easily figure out what you need to do to get ahead of your rivals.
• [-Activity] Leaderboards with more than 100 players will have lots of players with zero points. Lower level players will not want to post their scores if they don't get anything.
• [???] Increase the point total based on number of total players? Point margins scale based on the number of players?
• [???] Other end of the spectrum, Leaderboards with very few players will inflate those players' point totals big time.
• [-Diversity, -Specialization] We occasionally dunk on World, but what about the World specialists?
• [???] Sorry for fighting it so much (my ego!), but what is the exact reasoning/math for not weighting modes?
• Gut-feeling discomfort with saying #1 in Item mode is worth as much as #1 in Master
• Counter-argument: If you want a "pure skill" ranking, the regular ranking already exists.
• Nitpicks:
• Why 25 modes?
• No TAP Big?
• Normal mode??? I say this as an Easy mode player
(Off-topic, new thread?) Aside from some ranking system, other ways we can fulfill the three goals:
• Streaming TGM has really died down, if it was ever lively at all. I think it's one of the best ways to build a community: to show everyone we're still playing, give people an outlet for conversation, and give new players someone to look up to. I'm guilty of solely playing off-stream even though I still play pretty regularly.
• A tournament format. Before CTWC 2018, we had a no-handicap TGM1 tournament and it gave me a completely different kind of rush compared to grinding out games for a PB. It could round out the single-player struggle that can burn people out.
• I imagine a multi-game system for a Bo3 can play out like this:
• Game 1: Player 2 (lower seed) picks a mode from an approved list of modes
• Game 2: Player 1 (higher seed) picks a mode
• Game 3: Random select tie-breaker
• We could modify the rules for larger groups by doing something like KAC/IIDX Arena
• This might be controversial, but we should make a TGM package (Emulators, ROMs, TI) for people to quickly download and play. If not that, a clone package that has a complete TGM experience, like Texmaster, but with a configuration application for keybindings.

5. ### JBroms

Pinball tournaments with open qualifying typically use 100-90-85-84-83-82... It's very top heavy. the-elite's system would probably work better.

We can solve the issue with the former by adding a "floor," where every submitted run is given a minimum number of points (10 seems like a good number...).

I think the latter will work itself out. Few players means easy points. Easy points means more people play the mode.

I had a day to think about this, and I think the correct thing to do is to separate World into it's own leaderboard within the Ti rankings. World specialists absolutely deserve recognition but instead of making them compete in a leaderboard where 90+% of the modes aren't what they play, I think it's best to just give them their own battleground.

I imagine it looking something like this:

From what you've sent me in the past and from pages that currently exist on ta.p, I see no reason why you couldn't do this.
I think your counter-argument sums up my opinion on the matter. While some of the modes in the list have drastically different gameplay (secret, sakura, big, rev) plenty of them are variants of the classic TGM formula, and I think the best players will rise to the top regardless of how things end up weighted. We can always monitor the situation and implement weighting if it becomes apparent that we need it.

I settled on 25 because I wasn't comfortable with the modes that I would have to eliminate to get the list down to 20, and getting up to 30 would mean adding 5 more player-defined challenges. Multiples of 5 are nice numbers.

Only one known person on Earth can clear TAP big. I don't think that would apply to any other mode on this list.

I think normal mode sux to be honest, but if it were removed (for TAP big? ) it would be the only mode with an in-game leaderboard that isn't included.

Responses are just my personal opinions on things.

6. ### xyrnq

I'm struggling to not let my personal bias get in the way of a rational decision, as someone who plays a handful of non standard modes reasonably well I think it's a great idea to include them, but with the current culture surrounding things like secret grade and a death series it feels less "pure" TGM in a sense, you can't go for both a time PB and expect a good series in death for example, at least in my experience trying to get a sub 3 minute M time, I lose a lot of runs in the 400s, but when I'm playing more conservatively I can string together an average of 689 levels over 5 games, the two PBs feel mutually exclusive after a point. Either way, if we do or don't change, I'm sure it's not going to negatively effect the community. I'll still grind death series, and at some point I'll grind master GM in TAP, I might even play some easy because MHL made it seem pretty fun at one point.

To throw an idea out for how to distribute points though, we could have something like points = (100 * n - 1) / (n - 1) - 99 * x / (n - 1), where n is the total number of players in the mode, and x is the position in the mode you are. This clearly gives floats, so a simple floor would give an int. This has the property that the first player will always have 100 points, the last player will always have 1 point,and is almost linear, with a few clumps throughout having the same value, for example, at the moment there are 190 scores on ta.p for master in TGM1, the following would be the distribution of points.

A possible disadvantage (I'm not so sure it's a disadvantage) would be having a variable number of points on offer for each game mode. Another disadvantage would be if you're playing a mode that isn't played very much you're punished quite heavily. For example, if you're playing a mode with 9 people on the mode leaderboard (such as TAP secret grade), and you end up 9th, then you'll only be getting 1 point for that effort. Granted, that's 1 more point than the at least 181 people who play TGM1 master haven't got though.

I'd also be a fan of some non linear curve to reward the specialist players some more, and again we could base it on the number of players in the mode fairly easily, so simply submitting for a mode gets you at least 1 point.

Slightly tangential MHL asked me a while ago while streaming if there might be a good way to compare two players to determine who might be better, and I've thought about it occasionally in my free time, and I still haven't came up with even a passable solution, let alone a good solution, unfortunately.

As for the streaming, I too am guilty of not streaming despite saying I would (and not even playing TGM games at the moment). A possible solution which I just thought of (so it's not thought out at all) would be to have a somewhat loose community schedule of streamers. That way we have some kind of accountability and hopefully an idea of when people will be streaming. For example we could break the week up into 1hr slots, and we could nominate to play in a slot regularly, we could have a twitter account promote each streamer when they go live for their scheduled slot (you could always stream outside of your slot as well), and if you don't stream 3 times in your slot, then you give up your slot so other people can claim it and the schedule can be maintained. Again, literally thought of this paragraph as an afterthought, so it's probably full of plenty of holes!

7. ### xyrnq

Another idea that just popped into my head while chatting with JBroms, maybe something like a rival section on each profile, something like two people, one of which is just in front of the profile, and one of which is just behind them in terms of points (or something like that). I've noticed that over my few years playing that having EoN as my benchmark, then JB, and most recently trying to chase down MHL's death series total, has really helped my motivation. While it's not entirely healthy to be comparing yourself to others (I'm sure JB was stressed about the death race we were in as well), it definitely made me want to play every single day, and I improved as a result. So maybe not straight "you have to be better than this person" but something to keep an eye on people around your level would be a nice feature.

Muf likes this.
8. ### user401730

include shiromino somehow. already scores from emulated or pirated or modified versions preclude purity.

Condensing the range for points means there's less incentive to post PBs if you'd still be at the minimum. Of course, this line of thinking implies points are the main motivator for these players, which I don't think is necessarily true, so a point floor is still something to consider.

I've had many reservations on some of the ideas here but it's just something I need to get over; we don't have to get it right on our first try.

I definitely have plans for a rival system, still brainstorming!

I disagree. As much as I like Shiromino, I like it more for pentaminos than its cloned capabilities. Including clones on their own leaderboards would just fragment the playerbase (aside from clone-specific modes, which shouldn't be a priority now). Including scores on the existing leaderboards... I'd say you may as well play the real deal instead of an approximation.

10. ### xyrnq

I just realised that one handed TGM1 is vastly different on the input type. At this point I've tried playing enough solo doubles with my right hand being on the numpad on a keyboard that I'm quite confident I could get a one handed GM within an hour or two using a keyboard. It's also not too difficult to get a right handed GM on stick, but the left hand only on a stick is much harder in my opinion. I haven't actually tried that much, but it's somewhat annoying playing with my left hand on stick while playing solo doubles. So we'd have to resolve this input problem I believe.

As for the point situation, could we have a variable number of points per mode? But that adds to confusion and can just allow you to grind modes with more points on offer. I've also just been running with the assumption that we don't want anything but integers, is this a safe assumption to make, or should we look into floats as well?

11. ### JBroms

As you've pointed out in PM's, it seems like we're at least in "good enough" territory. Might be a good call to just implement a beta version of what was discussed and see how it looks. I'm sure the-elite has changed things over the years.
I'm not 100% on a lot of things....but I am 100% sure that we don't want floats. I think variable numbers of points will only make things needlessly complicated.

I was already going to advocate for logging left/right on the one-handed TGM1, I think logging input method on top of it seems fair. In the end I still expect better players to get better times. We'll have to address the rules and verification criteria for all of the player-defined challenges.

Last edited: 16 Nov 2019
xyrnq likes this.
12. ### user401730

thanks for the reply MHL.

i did not suggest adding clones.

i should have anticipated this misreading. i only suggest adding a single game; shiromino.

i am agnostic about how it is added. perhaps all records are kept separate, or perhaps that is only the default view. these choices will readily dissolve your worries about fragmentation.

it is plain that the majority of players and records are in violation or infringing copyright or whatever. a libre game provides a clear alternative. and more positively: a great site accepting scores from a great client is liable to drive the development of both.

13. ### AmnesiaPiece of Cake

7 years ago...I am so lazy to remember how I was calculating this :