Perhaps AI finish position should count in the ELO calculation
Right now, if the AI beats you in a game, it doesn't matter, your ELO is calculated based on your finish position relative to the other remaining human players. The problem is that knowing this, it kind of encourages one to be a bit ruthless and game the AI and focus the remaining human players regardless of their likelihood of winning.
I seems to make more sense to include the AI finish position in the ELO calculation, that way you aren't encouraged to neglect the AI or make silly trades with it if you are just enabling the AI to win. Right now there is no penalty for that, only reward.
[I understand this makes calculating how much ELO quitters, or those who hit bugs or network issues, should lose interesting, but if we are going to make ELO work, it shouldn't encourage unfair gameplay]
Actually ELO is a pointless number that should not be used in Catan anyway. It creates a completely unnecessary pressure to play the game differently from how you normally play it.
@Stroom I don't disagree with you on that.
Do you think there should be any attempt to rank players? I would still like to play more experienced players, so it's more fun or more competitive for all, but how should that be accomplished?
Perhaps just a simple ranked system where after X number of wins at a given level you are bumped to the next level. Then you can chose between a ranked game where you only play similar or higher ranked players and wins count, or an unranked game where you play anybody so there are more people available to play but the win doesn't really matter to your ranking (nor does a lose ever reduce your rank)
You might jump up the first level due to lucky wins and good position, or inexperienced opponents, but after that you are less likely to move up due to luck. It would also mean you couldn't just keep playing within your circle of friends and move up ranks because you need to play more experience players, and that might come only from playing organized tournaments to find higher ranked players (which unfortunately online tournaments are currently only on the soon to be retired catanonline, if I understand correctly).
Not sure how to handle rank increase with someone who always comes 2nd, lol... because it's not like they are a bad player...
But yeah, ELO doesn't really cut it.
Plus, I miss the ability to have random games with friendly robber, for more social games.