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View Full Version : Timing formats in HCO


Orpheus
02-19-2014, 05:44 PM
Some discussions on the subject of stalling have brought up that the current time format, i.e. a set clock running, plus a random timer, isn't the only option available.

I've also come to believe that it isn't the BEST option available.

The Heroclix core rulebook states that game may end when "a predetermined time limit / number of rounds for the game passes.

HCO has chosen the Time Limit, but I question the validity of that choice in the game's current state.

I can identify 4 ways a game could be set to end in HCO :

1. Basic Timer
As it used to be, just a clock and the game ends when it reachs 0.

Obviously this was very bad for online conditions, and led to solution 2.

2. Timer + unknown time.
A set clock, and a more or less random (or unknown) time after that, then the game ends abruptly.

It is the current state of the game, and raises many issues with stalling.

3. Timer + rounds
The set clock, then the current round ends up, and a new round is played.

We have played this solution at one of our venues for years, I've judged under such conditions, and it's worked greatly. Planning for stalling is nigh impossible, and this even solves the issue of unvoluntary stalling - players playing more or less fast without bad intent.

4. Rounds, no timer
Simply playing for an established number of rounds.

This solution is nice and elegant. It works in live games, but requires a careful tracking of the rounds played. In online games it would work like, well, a clock. ;)

So, the suggestion I present to HCO is the following :

- When a game is set, give the player creating the game the option (for now at least) to choose between Time Limit (as is now) or Rounds.

Of Course No Timers is still an option, and Timers can be used either with Time Limit or with Rounds. I see no reason why both Timers and Rounds couldn't be cumulated if one wanted, although I would choose one or the other.

- The default for Rounds can be 10. But it would be really wonderful if players could also chose from any number of rounds, for example from 6 to 12.

I believe that this would really better the game. It would give the new or slower players better chances, while still being limited by Banking Time if chosen, and it would reduce to nihil the Stalling problem.

Please consider this. Put as an option it cannot hurt the game, I'm pretty sure it would make it better, and it is in total accordance with the core Heroclix rules.

howard brock
02-19-2014, 07:40 PM
True on the rulebook but player gets last action. Judge is supposed to call time about ten minutes prior to game ending. Hence the extended time takes place of the Judge. The extended time is a good thing. The whoring up of banked time and using it in the final minutes of the game is bad in my opinion.

I would leave everything as it is and end banked time at the end of the game so that players do not exploit it as much. This only matters in league play and tournament play. Casual play can turn the timers off.

Differentiating ourselves more from Tabletop is bad. We have a hard enough time as it is making tabletop players attracted to HCO. That's why our community is so small. I can honestly say that if 3. or 4. were implemented into HCO that I would not play in those formats. I have seen 3. being played and players complained furiously about it. I started playing with 4. at my venue years and years ago. It is a whole other games. Totally different in the way you think and play the game.

dzebra
02-19-2014, 09:35 PM
In the current version, your banked time is used up twice as fast once you get to ??? time left and you cannot bank any additional time.

spider_ham
02-19-2014, 10:17 PM
In the current version, your banked time is used up twice as fast once you get to ??? time left and you cannot bank any additional time.

The crux of the issue is Banked Time after 00:00/???.

...

I would leave everything as it is and end banked time at the end of the game so that players do not exploit it as much. This only matters in league play and tournament play. Casual play can turn the timers off.

Differentiating ourselves more from Tabletop is bad. We have a hard enough time as it is making tabletop players attracted to HCO. That's why our community is so small. I can honestly say that if 3. or 4. were implemented into HCO that I would not play in those formats. I have seen 3. being played and players complained furiously about it. I started playing with 4. at my venue years and years ago. It is a whole other games. Totally different in the way you think and play the game.

I like the idea of a "10 minute warning," where banked time becomes 0 @ 30:00; the game ends on 00:00, period. Banked Time can be used between 40:00-10:00, where the majority of the game takes place.

Orpheus
02-19-2014, 10:28 PM
True on the rulebook but player gets last action. Judge is supposed to call time about ten minutes prior to game ending. Hence the extended time takes place of the Judge. The extended time is a good thing. The whoring up of banked time and using it in the final minutes of the game is bad in my opinion.

Well, with or without bank time, stalling is possible.

I would leave everything as it is and end banked time at the end of the game so that players do not exploit it as much.

Seeing Dzebra's Answer, this is already sorta taken care of, and it doesn't prevent stalling (or players playing too slow for the final logical actions to take place, even without intention to stall).

This only matters in league play and tournament play. Casual play can turn the timers off.

Of course.

Differentiating ourselves more from Tabletop is bad. We have a hard enough time as it is making tabletop players attracted to HCO. That's why our community is so small.

Sure, but this isn't a difference, as the rulebook allows it and some venues use it.

I can honestly say that if 3. or 4. were implemented into HCO that I would not play in those formats.

Which would be fine if it's just an option. Of course players would still stall in tournaments if they keep the "old" tournie, but at least in friendly games (and / or league) we could try something else and see what works better.

I have seen 3. being played and players complained furiously about it. I started playing with 4. at my venue years and years ago. It is a whole other games. Totally different in the way you think and play the game.

Our Mileage May Vary, as they say : we've had years of succesful tournaments with 3. (the venue closed but this isn't the reason lol), and 4. was nice but had two inconvenients which don't apply here : keeping track of the rounds, and it might be a bit too long (games are faster online, and timers will help against that).

So it seems that your opinion and mine are polarised due to our respective experiences. What do others think (including the "official word") ?

Orpheus
02-19-2014, 11:42 PM
The crux of the issue is Banked Time after 00:00/???.

I like the idea of a "10 minute warning," where banked time becomes 0 @ 30:00; the game ends on 00:00, period. Banked Time can be used between 40:00-30:00, where the majority of the game takes place.

The 10 mn warning, in real life games, is towards the end, not the beginning of the game.

The ??? was put there because players stalled way more when they knew the precise timing, so taking it back would be worse.

Taking totally out Bank Time would be very bad, because you have no way of knowing when you're running out of time, and you could lose like that. So it would require implenting a visible countdown for each action. Not sure I like that, and it complicates matters for the programmers.

I really believe that the turns (solutions 3 or 4) would solve most problems the easy way.

spider_ham
02-20-2014, 12:34 AM
I meant limiting Banked Time to 40:00-10:00, not 40:00-30:00. :D

More HCO members need to be vocal about what they'd like to see instituted. It's a shame that most use Global Chat to express their opinions, instead of posting, here-- there can't only be 4 players who want to see some type of solution to stalling (that is enforced by the software).

The 10 pn warning, in real life games, is towards the end, not the beginning of the game.

...

thebigham
02-20-2014, 12:51 AM
Can you elaborate Howard

It is a whole other games. Totally different in the way you think and play the game.

I can't imagine how its really any different?