ELO is a joke, sorry!



  • I have given up hope for this problem to FINALLY be addressed by the mods, however, it really got me quit playing on this site.

    I only play basic game and have a rating of about 1180 with 4 of 5 karma points, because I stopped quitting a while ago. I ONLY get matched against fresh starters and get 4 ELO for winning. Never more than that. OK.

    Needless to say, if I finish last, I get maximum penalty of -10. Fair enough.

    Now, if things do not go my way, and I DO NOT QUIT, I get punished for this to no end. I play against two guys, am in a comfortable lead, they team up against me, all good and well, it;s a really good game. At a certain point, I KNOW that I am not gonna win this, and although I could just quit, I secure myself at 9 points, willing to take minus 3 or minus 4 for coming second place.

    Other guy builds his last city, reaches 10, whilst I come second with 9 and the third guy with 8 points.

    The result is that I get MINUS SEVEN POINTS. For playing on, fighting and achieving the closest second place possible. Now that's the point that I rage quit.

    It would be EASY AS HELL for mods to establish a maximum penalty for players that reach 9 points to only get minus 1 to 3 ELO points, depending on the opponents' ranks. It is a VERY SIMPLE programming effort, and if communicated , it could lead for players enjoy the game and actually having a reason not to quit EVERY SINGLE GAME where the dice does not fall their way.

    And the best is, risking a massive blow to ELO even when you are in a comfortable second place, what does that result in?? I tell you: The result is THAT PLAYERS WILL QUIT RIGHT BEFORE ONE OPPONENT MAKES THE WINNING MOVE. Which is frustrating to no end, I can assure you.

    Anyway, I probably have wasted too much time with this game anyways. But this is a shame. Why did the mods put the effort to establish a great site for a great game, to utterly cripple any sense of fair competition? I just don't understand.



  • In this game ELO is something else than you might think. It indicates the probability that someone is a cheater. Sadly this game does not have a measure for player quality.



  • ELO is a joke overall, not only because the points are distributed unevenly. No, you should not get more or less ELO for getting 2nd, 3rd or 4th place. You lost and the place does not really matter. If someone steals your longest road as a winning move, you go down 2 points although you might have been almost winning at the time. This would also mean you might be last instead of being 2nd if the other player won in any other way.

    ELO is made to indicate the skill of a 2 player game with complete information. Catan is a 3-4 player game with incomplete information and the randomness of the dice and the development card deck. The amount of points you get in a game is fluctuating due to longest road switching owners. Only counting the player placements in the end of the game and defining that as the player skill level is wrong. If the game was not that random it would work but not for Catan. ELO is just plain wrong. There is nothing positive about it.

    The fact that ELO is "working" in the Catan apps is total bull as well. Nobody can even complain about the Catan apps effectively, there is no community there. No forums that I know of at least.

    But why even complain, the admins have already decided what they are going to do.

    As josq said, the only thing you actually need is player quality - how many games the player starts and how many he quits.

    ELO and experience are just pointless metrics which would keep players interested in playing. Try to get a bigger number because... human nature. It is just a game design gimmick. In the case of ELO you can already see how it brings down the quality of games.
    Experience is even worse - you just gain arbitrary points for playing. You have to grind the game online to get benefits. But... why? Playing Catan should not be limited by the amount of games you have previously played! Now that admin has told that joining tournaments will be based on your experience, it just baffles me. Who is making these decisions? Why would anyone want to pay to play this game when the game design decisions are quite... greedy.



  • This already has been discussed before in similar topics...

    Hopefully new fix + fine-tuning matchmaker will improve the matter. At the moment main source of the problem is that match-maker will match you pretty much with anyone. I just noticed a week ago that I am playing vs a player with ELO sub 950 while having almost 1100... so the interval for match-maker is at least 100+ points.

    @Administrator has not commented on my question so far about exact figures / ways how match-maker works so there is no more detailed info available.



  • IMO matchmaker is completely not related to this topic. ELO does not show player skill levels anyway. No matter how you "fine-tune" it, the actual player skill levels can not be even. There are not enough simultaneous players to consistently create games where players are evenly skilled. How can you match players within 50 ELO range if there are max 10 players waiting for a game at the same time? No fin-tuning fixes that.

    I would rather like it if the matchmaker matched based on Karma rather than anything else we currently have.



  • @Stroom after a lobby monologue now you get to "what ELO is" one? :)

    Dude people who want to "understand" what ELO is can do that by googling and reading about it, but people who don't, don't really care what ELO REALLY is.

    ALL they care is that one thing I cared / explained here in other topics - "fairness" of ELO system.

    People are reward driven that's why they play this game - they want to compete, win and get something for it.

    People dont like to lose in general. And they dont like to lose and lose something they got (ELO points) even more than just losing. Especially if gaining (in this case ELO) is so much harder than losing it.

    That's what probably moved Schaef to post here, that did move me before to post my thoughts on the same topic (and actually quite similar thoughts).

    People like us dont really care what ELO is, what it suppose to be and represent. We see ELO as a grading system here, as parameter which is used in matching people in game and as a REWARD.

    Given current system for us neither works:

    ELO is not grading people based on their actual skills
    ELO is not matching people with the same skill set
    ELO system is more penalizing than rewarding - one step forward to back

    So really Stroom stop posting all that bla bla bla what ELO is in your reality and what it is not here in CU, how it should go away etc. etc. Or at least do that AFTER you actually have understood WHAT IS PERSON'S PROBLEM who is posting a thread.

    Otherwise you create a situation similar to this: I say that my hand is bleeding and F!@#!# hurts and you reply to me that actually bleeding is coming from my wrist and pain is caused by neurological responses which travel to my brain and create this image of trauma.
    What these to situations have in common - your comments does not help even though they are right/correct :)

    In regards to my comments - I try to suggest / fix CU rather than change the world. Yes maybe aiming small but I believe in "bit by bit" approach :)

    Nothing personal, you are a nice forum user!



  • Isn't having fun or just winning enough for you to keep playing? I do not see the benefit of imaginary points, especially when they are poorly developed.

    ELO is not supposed to be what you call a reward. It is supposed to indicate your skill level. You do not gain ELO as a reward but as a judgement of your skill level. There is already experience which works as a reward. And that is quite pointless too.

    Again, there are not enough players to match players fairly based on ELO. That's why you have to play with people who have less ELO and that's why you keep getting matches where you would lose proportionately more ELO than you would win. I showed you the math in other topics. The math side of ELO is fair. But the fact that Catan is not made for ELO makes it unfair for the players like you who actually care about ELO. This in turn makes you angry when you lose and creates negative environment in the games.

    Have you noticed that the developers are very slow here? The time between updates is 2 or 3 months. No matter how big the update is, they always wait a long time. We have been waiting for this to be completed for over a year now and it is still not finished and probably won't be until the next year. If you keep suggesting "bit by bit" updates, the game would never be finished. I see your suggestions and I see that they would not work. If the developers are working anyway, let them make big updates rather than fiddle around now until realizing that doing one big update in the beginning was the faster choice. Trading is still horrible, slow and inefficient compared to PlayCatan. If you can't make it better just copy it, god damn it!



  • The problem with ELO, as I've come to see it, is that it has become too many members' measure of their Catan manhood. :-P

    In reality it is a silly matrix that is not all that meaningful, and only acts to jack people's stress levels sky high. ELO proponents and those who obsess over it deprive themselves of the enjoyment of the great game of Catan. I petition, again, to make the ELO rating system private (for tournament use) and not display ELO earnings or losses after games; for peace of mind, if nothing else.

    BTW, I have the Catan app and had no idea there was a forum or a place to comment or complain, so I do not think it is a good proxy for stating ELO had been smooth sailing.



  • @Stroom totally agree that either CU ELO has to become different from original ELO or ELO just does not fit CU in general.

    And indeed developers are taking too long / keeping it a secret for too long what will be their next move regarding it.
    I really dont get why there is so few comments about the problem / questions regarding ELO, why developers can't just change a match-maker setting for a week or so and see how that works etc. Isn't early access all about testing, trail and error and trying things out?
    AGILE software development method is not in place here?

    I hope they at least see the reality and how current ELO system affects the community.



  • OMG MrOlimpia's worthless and unrelated comments. Gosh. ELO is a self correcting rating system, that is why you lose a lot if you lose against "lower" ELOs and you gain little if you win.
    This ELO system is not totally unaplicable to Catan @Stroom, but it has a great variance from your effective skills.
    Bottom line, it should vary ONLY in tournaments, so players would not make a big fuzz of losing, and quit all the time not to lose their ELO points.



  • @Delta915
    Using ELO in tournaments is also pointless - tournaments are just a bunch of pre-organized games. Also, mostly tournaments do not happen very often. Your ELO in there does not count for anything there.

    ELO does not represent a player skill level for multiple reasons:

    1. Even if you are a very good player, you still lose 1/3 or more of your games. No matter who the opponent is. It just happens. Probably because:
    2. Luck can determine whether you win or lose in the very beginning. In a 4 player game the map is so filled up that people will often block you. The first to expand to the specific location could mean that the other player is out of the game. Getting the correct resources is based on the dice rolls. In this case, any player with a low ELO could win over a player with high ELO. In my experience this happens a lot.
    3. There are not enough players online at the same time. The matchmaker can not place people with similar ELO in the same game. Then you have to play with people with much lower ELO than you. You have more to lose than the other players. ELO is supposed to represent a likelihood of you winning a game but if luck is involved, it does not really count for much. If people with a similar ELO could play together, the problem wouldn't be that big. But this does not seem to work for such a small player base.
    4. ELO counts your points in the end of the game. If you are in the last place, you lose ELO as if you lost to all the players. If you are 2nd, you only lost to the leader and "won" against the rest. The amount of points you get in the game vs other players in no way represents your skill level. What if you had 9 points and someone steals your longest road and the largest army in one turn? You have 5 points. Are you now suddenly so much less skilled because of that? Not really.
    5. If players want to test new strategies, they also have to risk with losing their ELO.

    Poker does not have ELO for very similar purposes. Why should Catan? The only indicator of a good players skill level should be how well he has performed in the tournaments. And even that does not need to be so much a public info.



  • @Delta915 your post was much more relevant + you really should consider changing a nickname to captain obvious. Thanks for explaining to me what ELO is - this will be attempt number 42342384234230423, really made a difference.

    Given Stroom already knows my point I will repeat it to you personally - I dont really care about ELO, I just want to have a good game, which is not happening and a major deal is ELO these days given how it affects:

    a ) matchups - due to match-maker settings (too high interval given I am matched with people which have more than 100 ELO difference);
    b ) people behavior - quitting not to lose ELO;
    c ) ELO rating being not accurate due to the loophole.


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