Ideas for Class Restrictions

#2354
Topic created · 9 Posts · 119 Views
  • Hi, I’m Sunnyy. I’ve climbed through HL divisions the last few seasons and have some strong opinions on offclassing rules & restrictions. Although I’ve mainly played HL, these suggestions fit all formats of RGL. There are four main points I would like to go over, and this is no means of me saying “this is how things should be” but more of a conversation starter. I won’t mention any names in this post, but may refer indirectly to teams, this is not to slander teams, but only to give examples and strengthen my points.

    The first main point I would like to make is there needs to be better rules set in stone about off classing across all divisions. Right now it feels like class restriction rules are very blurry and every class restriction is to admin discretion, which leads to big differences in what is allowed and what isn’t across all divisions. This of course needs to be discussed further, but an example of a more fixated rule would be: If you placed in the top 50% in the last 3 seasons in a division on a class, you can not drop down to the division below on said class. You can not drop down two divisions under any circumstance. There are going to be more rules I suggest in my other points, but I would like to emphasize having stronger guidelines for class restrictions first. Subs and players who are rostered for over half the season should not be an exception to these rules. My last point goes into more depth about top divisions.

    The second point I would like to discuss is about what classes need restrictions. I have a controversial opinion here and think all classes should be equal when it comes to restrictions. Sure certain classes don’t make as much of an impact in games, but they still are part of that team, and can make differences in multiple ways. An example that is possible now is an advanced level player could play medic for an intermediate team, main call, and can greatly change the strength of a team by the knowledge & calls they bring mid game. There are also examples of players winning a division, then being able to play in that same division without restrictions, because they were not playing a “power” class. This combined with the first point, should make restrictions no longer a guessing game for both players and admins.

    The third point I would like to make is about how many class restrictions a player and team can have. With the current lack of solid rules around class restrictions, there becomes the opportunity for full teams to be off-classing in a division below their actual skill. Not only does this create a worse environment for other teams in the lower divisions, but it doesn’t encourage players and teams improving. There should be guidelines for how many class restricted players can be played in a match, to the same, or near the same extent of how many ringers are allowed to play in a match. (currently 3 for HL, 2 for 6s & PL). This would encourage less sandbagging, and teams not encouraged to pick up multiple sandbagging players. Having players follow the same guidelines as teams, based on classes, should also encourage personal improvement, and create a more healthy competitive environment.

    For the last point, it is required to understand that I am of the firm belief of round robin being the better system over swiss. I think both the highest division & second highest division should be round robin formatting, with both having qualifiers. With this in mind, I think that there should be only class restrictions on the top 3 teams ( of 8 ) of these divisions. Any team that would want to drop down would still be playing qualifiers of the division they played before. If those players lose qualifiers and did not play the same classes they played in the higher division, they would be restricted from playing the classes they played in the division above. An example of this goes as follows: A team made of all invite players from the previous season would like to offclass in advanced. They would still play invite qualifiers on whatever class they want, but if they did not play their invite classes in qualifiers, and did not qualify for invite, they could not play those invite classes in advanced. If they did play their invite classes, and did not qualify then they would be allowed to play those classes in advanced. These teams also would be exempt from my third point of how many class restrictions a team could have. This would make more sense than complete admin discretion in the top divisions, and would allow top teams/players to shake up rosters & classes without worry.

    Reminder, these are meant to be invitations for conversation around class restrictions. I’ve said my piece but would also love to hear yours. No disrespect to the RGL staff that has tried their best throughout every season around this topic, but I think it could be easier for both players and admins with stronger guidelines in place.

  • I know you don’t mention my team from last season by name, but I assume you are partly referring to us since you played against us. I would like to point out that even with your “new” rules (I believe most of them are essentially already in place), my team would still have been allowed to play in adv with pretty much the same roster on the same classes.

  • It’s very difficult and delicate balance to manage in a team setting where teammates play styles can enhance or hinder your own performance.

    Would you restrict a beast player that’s playing on the worst team. That teams isn’t going to make waves anyways so it would be mute point to proceed.

    What if you have a player that reach grand finals in a division and it’s obvious they are not at that level. Would you restrict them because they got carried the season after?

  • the only current issue with class restrictions is when it happens in lower divs really… most admins/mods have generally good judgement what invite players should be restricted from their main class in advanced. i feel like whenever a player isn’t restricted in advanced when maybe they should be is when nobody brings it up to the admins.

  • Speaking as a player on the team I assume you’re talking about, legit the only player who meets the criteria you mentioned was dlphn on engineer. The rest of us had not placed in advanced or invite on our classes.

  • @Sunnyy said in Ideas for Class Restrictions:

    The first main point I would like to make is there needs to be better rules set in stone about off classing across all divisions. Right now it feels like class restriction rules are very blurry and every class restriction is to admin discretion, which leads to big differences in what is allowed and what isn’t across all divisions. This of course needs to be discussed further, but an example of a more fixated rule would be: If you placed in the top 50% in the last 3 seasons in a division on a class, you can not drop down to the division below on said class. You can not drop down two divisions under any circumstance. There are going to be more rules I suggest in my other points, but I would like to emphasize having stronger guidelines for class restrictions first. Subs and players who are rostered for over half the season should not be an exception to these rules. My last point goes into more depth about top divisions.

    This, in my opinion is a terrible take. You say later on that you love RR over swiss.

    For example, let’s use me, and I’m pretty open about this hypothetical. I’ve played invite and placed 3rd last season. What happens if my team dies next season and I can’t find another sniper spot in invite? Am I just screwed out of playing my main?

    Obviously, I have no intention of creating a super team or anything in advanced, I just wanna play sniper regardless of my team. Are you saying that I’m just shit out of luck?

    There are only 8 of each class allowed in invite and people are pushing for 8 of each class in advanced.

    Imo, the whole class restrictions thing is probably in one of the best spots it has ever been tbh. It’s the community’s stigma of “I played main this season, I am advanced level now” that is fundamentally wrong. Playing in a div and acquiring a season’s worth experience does not automatically make you the next division’s skill level.

    If for some reason, we had a hypothetical where KND, Squirtyay, AD, HOOD, Help, YEYE, Amigos, WCF, RIB, and shovel were to all comeback a season, do you really just say, only the top 8 of you get to play and the rest get screwed? Obviously this would never happen because these teams have a lot of common players, but where do you draw the line in so black and white like you say.

    This is why I believe RGL has started placing teams that have high experienced gamers into qualifiers to see how they match up. If a team is deemed not to throw and loses qualifiers fairly, then they’re allowed to play in the div below without restrictions (which makes sense). Obviously “playing fairly” is another topic of discussion.

  • Imma be honest looking through advanced last season very quickly all these restrictions seem fair, maybe a bit harsh if anything (why tf is marty restricted on engie lol).

    I think having set in stone rulings as a general principle is a fair stance but in highlander especially, alluding to Johnny’s point, when you have 8 other players and not all classes are created equal it’s pretty easy to have rather disparate skill levels on the same team. Creating a purgatory for a player who just so happened to place well but now can’t find another invite team and is locked out of advanced sounds painful, and making exceptions for edge cases kind of loops around to the case-by-case basis thing.

    I also think comm-diffing in HL is way harder than something like 6s; you have to corral 8 other idiots, people can just randomly feed to dumb shit (sniper primarily), and HL as a whole has a lot more defensive play which is much more flowcharty. Outside of the game these players can provide good insight, but any team really could find a mentor or something to demo review so I think that’s not really something to consider.

  • @Rebel get backpacked

  • I really appreciate the initiative in taking your time to make a post like this. I think having community conversations about things like this is super important, and echo what you say about getting others involved in this conversation as well. I can’t speak for the admin team as a whole before this discussion has been had in more depth, but I do want to give my personal thoughts on this topic.

    On your first point: in principle, I totally agree. I don’t think class restriction patterns and paradigms are something that should change from season to season, or even, except in qualitatively different divisions, from division to division. I think, however, that it is the way it is right now because of certain edge cases that don’t fit neatly into the system you’ve proposed. I do agree with the idea of having general rules for who should be able to offclass, and in fact, there are such rules:

    [1006.3.3] - Sandbagging and Class Restriction Guidelines

    In general, we will class restrict:

    • If a person has made the top 3 in the same division
    • If a person has made playoffs in the division above
    • If a person is demonstrably better in a class than everyone else in a division

    But the wording here is deliberate, even if a bit intentionally vague, and I don’t agree with putting in rules more set in stone. Consider, for example, the case of someone who has placed in a higher division, but is unable to find a team in that division because the skill range has shifted drastically (which I know past cases of - just don’t want to name them to avoid putting them on the spot). Consider the case of skill decay, where someone has played in higher divisions but is no longer as good, if because they haven’t played tf2 in a while or just because they stopped having as much time to devote to the upkeep of their skills. Consider players who want to play a division they’ve placed in before, but their teams get placed in a lower division because they aren’t good enough. Should all of them be restricted? These are some of the edge cases that lead the rule to be vague and only speak in generalities as opposed as to for every case.

    I do have a minor nitpick with your proposed wording - top half of a division can be exceedingly big in larger divisions such as Main - playoffs or placement would be a better bar instead in my opinion. With that said, another reason I don’t agree with having clearer, more codified rules is because divisions are inconsistent with treatment. Newcomer, for example, has super strict guidelines: you cannot play Newcomer at all if you’re not new to comp, and you cannot be class restricted in Newcomer - you can either play the div or not play the div. Then, do you think restrictions in Amateur, a division meant for people to have a fair place to work on their skills, and Advanced, a division meant for people to prove themselves and prove that they’re Invite worthy, should follow the same guidelines? It makes sense, to me, for different divisions to have different ways restrictions are handled.

    On your second point, I once again agree in principle but not totally in practice. It does make sense to me that, for example, a medic from a higher division may still be able to maincall in a lower division. I also do agree that all classes can have huge impacts on the game in their own ways, even less powerful classes. But again, we already take this into account. Players are routinely restricted from Engineer and Spy just as they are from classes like Demoman or Sniper, and even though the same is not true for Medic, players are still generally outright denied from playing certain divisions - usually, for example, placement Invite players cannot even play Medic in Main, just because they can’t roster in Main to begin with.

    Your third point I agree with the most. I think that offclass teams generally don’t have much to contribute to healthy competition. If people want to offclass in lower divisions, I think that’s great and should be encouraged, but entire teams of higher division players offclassing is just a recipe for sandbagging.

    The way I see it, players have different skill levels: class-specific skill, and game skill. When they offclass, the former may change but the latter does not. When you put enough offclassers together on a team, their average game skill is still at a higher division. So I like to think of it this way: a team belongs in the division its players’ average game skill is, irrespective of what classes they’re playing.

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