I would like to propose something very simple: Changing the number of Beginner and Standard games running at the same time to two for each. In many ways this change is a simpler, easier to implement version of the changes I proposed a while ago for Standard (which can be found here
). For whatever reason those were largely disregarded, and although I still support those, I think this would be much easier to implement and achieve roughly the same effect. Allow me to explain how I see this change affecting the Beginner and Standard tiers:
-There seems to be an influx of Beginner game ideas recently, and this would ease that.
-It would allow the multitude of Beginners who have been pushed into Standard play due to lack of Beginner games to play with more people of their own skill.
-It would provide more opportunities for Expert or Standard players to just sign up for a "casual" game.
Conclusion: The level of play and interest in this tier would increase greatly.
-There has been a lag in game quality recently, and many of the current Standard hosts would have an enticing reason to make their game a Beginner game rather than a Standard game: they wouldn't have to wait in line for as long.
-It would allow for a more thoroughly check of each game, meaning that many of the bad games of recent memory would either never happen, or be moved to Beginner.
-It would attract better players to sign up, because many of the true Beginners will be able to play in the Beginner tier again.
Conclusion: The quality of Standard would increase, many of the current problems would disappear, and it would become largely what I believe it was meant to be: a middle ground.
Let's also look at this numerically:
-Before the changes in the tiering system, there were three total games in what would now be the Standard and Expert tiers. Afterwards, there was expanded space for four. I realize this was because there was an anticipated influx in the player pool, but what I think was overlooked was that many of these new players would not be experienced, or necessarily ready for Standard. However, these changes would reduce that number back to three between the Standard and Expert tiers, allowing the Player List in every game to be of a higher quality as a result.
-Standard is supposed to be something of a middle ground, but right now it is really not there at all in terms of the quality of games being hosted there, in a mathematical sense. Allow me to explain; there are 6 games that can be run at any given time, 1 Expert, 1 Big (More or less an Expert game), 3 Standards, and 1 Beginner. What this means is that Standard encompasses the range from the 2nd to 4th games, out of six. It should have been expected that the overall quality would decrease dramatically. If this were to change to the proposed format, however, the Standard tier would encompass the 3rd and 4th games out of six, clearly the mathematical middle ground in the current six-game system.
I would also like to bring up again one of my previous propositions, as I feel it would work wonderfully with this change:
"A new user is required to play in at least one Beginner game before joining a Standard game."
With two games going on concurrently in the Beginner tier, a new user shouldn't have to wait too long for the next sign-up thread to pop up.
Now, for my main concern with this: Not enough Beginner hosts. Sadly it is human nature that hosts want their games to be Standard rather than Beginner. Of course, chopping off a Standard game also means that many of the lower Standard games should be hosted at the Beginner level, and hopefully people will figure this out soon enough. There are easily enough games between the Standard and Beginner queues to fill the four spots that are currently available, and I am not suggesting cutting spots; in essence, what I am suggesting is partially redefining what a "Standard" game is and what a "Beginner" game is. Here is one last possible change to the rules that could help with this, although I realize that it is contingent on too many other propositions in this post to reasonably be considered at this time:
"In order to qualify for hosting a Standard game, one must first host a Beginner game, except in rare cases. The definition of "rare cases" is up to the discretion of the Moderators."
To be honest I didn't expect this post to turn into as much of a mammoth as it did, but I felt it better to outline all of my thoughts here rather than just one. I feel that changing the number of Beginner and Standard games is an incredibly easy change to make, one that could be made smoothly, and one that would greatly help both the Beginner and Standard tiers.
Thanks for reading, and looking forward to any comments!