PokéClass Episode 41 – Possible Changes to the 2011-2012 Season

Hey everybody,

This week’s episode focuses on some rumours that have been floating around the community lately about the possible changes to our current ELO rating system. I explore two of the possible changes that could be made to the system and also see what’s wrong with what we have now.

One More Idea..

Just as an extra note, it’s just been announced in the Magic: The Gathering community that their points system has changed and Wizards have decided to completely scrap the ELO system.

What they have now looks like this:

  • Win = 3 points
  • Draw = 1 point (not as common in Pokémon)
  • Loss = 0 points

company.wizards.comThis means that there will be no risk for playing more and more Pokémon across the year and that’s never going to be a bad thing! Players are feeling that they have to take some form of risk at the moment and makes them feel like they have to make the decision whether to drop before going further into a tournament since there can always be that one unlucky game coming up next to lose you the points you just gained.

There are also other things such as points just for going to tournaments and obviously, the amount of points up for grabs will rise with the larger scale tournaments. I think this is a really great option for Pokémon to consider, but what do you all think? Do you like the ELO system or do you want to see it scrapped and replaced by a system where only points can be gained and not lost? I know which one I would choose..

The ELO system to me feels unbalanced since it was designed for Chess players, a game which derives entirely from skill and doesn’t really mould well into any TCG, not just Pokémon, since there is always an element of luck involved. With the above system in place, no one would be dropping from tournaments because even if you go 2-6 at a tournament, you’ll still be gaining points. It’s a win/win situation for all..

Hope you enjoy the episode and let’s see if we can get some discussion up in here.



Reader Interactions

14 replies

  1. Ian Sedelow

    Yeah wizards knows what they are doing. Expect pokemon to follow the PWP system in about 5 years.

    • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Ian

      Like when they abolished the 15+ division and let a mistranslated Slowking ruin the format ;)

  2. Anonymous

    Regardless as to whether or not those changes are the “right” ones to make, I do believe the current system is flawed. 

    Something has to be done when You can lose 35+ points to someone with a score in the 1500’s because they donked you. It’s not fair to you, your opponent, or a testament of your skill. 

    As for the argument about “noobs” getting points just by playing a lot, in the area where I play, I have seen “good” players sit out of tournaments with stiff competition and play in those where there are nobodies because it’s easy points. 

    Maybe give more points for the larger tournaments. That way people like Quaziko can miss out on a few BRs and some CCs, play the last half of CCs and a couple of States and earn points at twice the rate. Offer a bonus for those who win in the top cut as well. 

    I miss the WoTc days where even though every tourny lasted freakin’ 12 to 14 hours, all the rounds where best two out of 3……helps a lot with the “luck.” Perfect example:

    I made topcut with “Terraforming” Machamp from I believe EX expedition and was playing against the all powerful Feraligatr “Riptide” deck. Despite the odds, I won by a land slide due to early gust of winds and his dead draws. He had the chance to make up for it though the next two rounds and I knew from the get go there should have been no way for me to win. 

    Just some thoughts.

  3. Anonymous

    You could also make the stakes higher for CCs/ States/ Regionals by adding a subtraction of points for every round loss. I am not going to sit here and figure out the formula and/ or math for this. But it could work. That way people still try and realize that they can lose something at the tournies of higher levels. 

    BRs should be whatever……

  4. froggy25

    If it can increase the attendance at tournaments, that’s a good idea.

    I think the number of points your opponent have should count in the number of points you win.

  5. Joshua Hall

    Not a huge fan of there being no penalty for losing.  As for myself and many other people, I don’t have the chance to make it to a lot of tournaments, but if I can make it to say one city and all the big ones, (states, regionals, nats), then I still have a shot of shooting up the rankings with some victories and top cuts.  With no detriment to losses, some noob could go to a million battle roads and cities and have a ridiculous rating, simply because he/she won a few games at each tourny.  Maybe if they started CHARGING for tournaments, then people wouldn’t abuse that so easily, (AKA Magic), but that ruins the whole “attracting a bigger audience” thing. I dunno, the system in place feels fine to me.

    • Daniel Middleton  → Joshua

      Thanks for the comment, some very nice points made.

      About the whole attendance thing, it really is hard to make a system that balances out attendance, some people are just lucky enough to attend. Even it the points were capped, I don’t think there would be any way of making it fair enough and let’s face it, Pokemon want people to go to more tournaments so I don’t think there will be a maximum :)

  6. David Wiken

    This new system for calculating rating-points seems to be an awful invention! This will simply help those who raid tournaments across the country, and will leave a skillfull player that doesn’t have the money and/or time to travel around that much helpless. At the end of the season, we’ll se a World Championship with a 50/50 money/skill split, regarding the qualified crowd… ELO on the other hand, although it’s not perfect, does at least provide a system for those who bank on skill, prior to quantity. We’ll just have to face the fact that there’ll always be flaws with the prefered system. ELO just seems like the most stable…

  7. Stephen Mills

    I don’t like the system as it is now; HOWEVER, the system MTG now has also looks like it would lead to general dissent. 

    Obviously, the problem we have is creating a balance of points being given by win number and win percentage- if win percentage is valued too high (as it is now), people drop, and events become less fun in general. Luck takes part, and losing to a bad player due to a bad start or maybe a donk is killer. But on the other hand, if we just give points for winning, people who have time to go to more tournaments will naturally do better regardless of skill level. Even if it’s not a great player, with the system MTG now has, any player who goes to a BR or Cities will never lose points, and most likely gain at least 6 points. 

    So where the perfect line is between valuing win percentage/number of wins is, I don’t know. I think it would be more fair if it were +3 points for a win and -1 for a loss, because then at least you could take the players who win 1/4 or or worse of their games and make sure they aren’t rewarded for going to more tournaments.

    In fact, even making it +4 for a win and -3 for a loss would be great (with +1 for a draw, not that that would matter much in Pokemon)- probably the best scenario I can imagine. You have to win 3/7 of your games to stay at your original rating, and if you lose, it doesn’t hurt too badly. But on the other hand, you can still gain a good amount of points by going to tournaments.

    It would make sense for larger tournaments to be worth more points, but I don’t know how that would be implimented- maybe 0.25 more weight per game for Cities, 0.5 per game for States, 0.75 for Regionals, and 1 more weight per game at Nats. It could be interesting, I just dunno.

  8. Anthony Smith

    Haha, you got two Lugia tops.

    I got two lugia bottoms in my first lot of codes.

  9. tim h

    If they changed to gaining points through winning and not losing, it would be bad for those who have less people to play against.

    If there’s no deficit for losing, the winners are the people who play the most games – the more people, the more rounds… 

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