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New Heroes Tournament
Rules Discussion
page 2
These are the new comments and some new ideas from the Heroes of Might and Magic players.

Last updated on the 26th of July, 2002
Wyrm's ideas about the tournament
I've just wanted to ask your opinion and perhaps the opinion of some other people about it. About a year ago we wanted to organize a kind of tournament as well, cause several existing ones are either hostile to newcomers, or have some unreasonable restrictions
(like a must to play each week), or have a very bad organization.

1) The idea to send the result of the games leads to a number of unreported victories, cause the losers just gave up on reporting and later change their nickname and start again. Why do they need TWO reports, I don't know! If a loser disappears - it's his/her own
problem. I guess it would be more reasonable to solve the problems of both victory-victory claims - because it's easier to check who was cheating and makes less problems.

2) Why do I need this tournament site if I found already 3-4 guys of my level willing to play when they and I HAVE time rather then some obligatory dates or deadlines for a game?

3) Live (in Internet clubs) competitions have problems as well. Those, organized recently, had the following unreasonable things:

a) The number of places was significantly limited by the number of computers available, hence a lot of people simply left due to bad organization;

b) A lot of rules trying to suppress the very idea of the game. I agree that some things like cartographers, starting 10 level heroes, well-defended basic mines must be forbidden. But why can't one use necromancy, portal of summoning, whatever? I think that the less
restrictions - the better the game, because on average all advantages spread uniformly over the players.

c) One tournament required to play the maps without underground. This is my native land! Why should I get deprived of +1 speed while others don't!

Thus, my notion of a good tournament is as follows:

The tournament is to be held on a special map like one that you see when start a campaign. All the land forms the valleys, separated from each other with mountains,
sea, forests, whatever, but with passes between them of course (maybe with underground entrances as well). And each valley is divided into regions. Each race is to reside initially in a valley and is composed of those players who chose initially to play in that race
(dungeon, humans, necros, etc.).

Each race plans their strategy taking into account the troops location of the neighbors and chooses aggressive/defensive style as they want. They can send some of them to occupy the adjacent lands or to intercept the invaders from the other lands. If the invader wins the game he takes the region of the valley into his own property and may move further to conquer or defend the land. If invader loses the defender may move to his region to possess it (if there is no more player of the invader race), fight with them (if they are) or keep his own possessions.

The player who got defeated must leave the game. So the more you lose, the less populated your race becomes. Each player may play only one game per cycle (one move on a global map).

There might be a lot of modifications to that, but idea is clear I hope. So, everyone really needs the host site to take care of the global map, all battles have their global picture rather than some arbitrary games and people really have to think about the strategy.

So what's your opinion about it? Is it doable, what's the drawbacks here and is it possible to overcome them? Actually, I expected some sort of this changes in campaigns (like one human and several computer players play against the other races - some win, some lose etc.), but they didn't change their policy.
BES's reply to Wyrm
About the Tournament.
Agree on all points.
However, there is one more problem in this issue.
A lot of people come to play on the tournaments only for the victory by all cost, not for the pleasure of playing and having fun. Like the real war or Olympics at that matter.
In my opinion, it is the biggest and the worst problem.
Idea about tournament was born in my head after I have participated myself in several contests and was extremely disappointed in them. People were playing only in the maps they knew by heart as the table of multiplications. People dropped the games when they felt that they would loose. Cheating on every corner. Sometimes it was even ridiculously -you would not believe it. I am playing online the map. My opponent calls me on icq. And says that his game crashed and we have to reload. In the same time, I see that he is still in the game, inside it. After I am replying him that *okay, if so - let's reload* by icq, he simply leaves the game. AFTER he told me on icq that he crashed. !!!!
I like your idea about the maps. Actually, I have had the similar idea in my mind too.
It is the interesting idea. I will send it to several people who play heroes and we will see what reactions we will get. I am really intrigued myself.
From my part, I have a couple of questions myself.
First, you write global map like in the start of the campaigns; i.e. let's take a map with 8 regions. Does it mean that 8 players will be playing this map simultaneously online?
Second, okay, a player lost his initial region/valley and left the game. What next? Will he begin a new map with new participants or will he have a chance for revenge?
Third, what do you mean by *Each player may play only one game per cycle (one move on a global map). * ?  I didn't get it completely. :)
Fourth, there is one more question, very important, which you do not touch in your idea. Personally, I did not find an answer to it. It is the question about the Prize for the Winners. Is it necessary? If yes - then for what? Terms of it - a win, points, annual, half-annual, a leader, there are too many options here. What prize it should be?
Fifth, how about the team contest or will it be only a single player event?
The issue is that to create a new and good tournament would be the great thing. Question how to do this. Personally, I understood from all this conversations with many people that nobody, or nearly nobody wants to do this, but everyone wants to participate in the good contest and certainly to present many complaints. At least, the last part is the good sign.
So, the question is in the team which will be able to create the contest.
Do you have the will and desire to do this? If yes, okay let's try.
I think that a lot of time will be required to prepare everything. However, I have one friend who does good maps. But the main problem will be again in the contest rules, their development. And the chief one - when it will launch, to do so that it will continue to live, continue to attract attention.
As you can see many questions that must be discussed and cleared out.
I think that the success will be when the golden middle will be found - good both for the administrators of the contest and the players and with the very strict rules that would not have any double meanings or interpretations. 
Furchtlos's opinion about Wyrm's Ideas
First off, I would like to agree that most online tournaments either being so poorly organized or having an "exclusive club" mentality which more casual, friendly players find obnoxious is a major problem. One that has never been solved, unfortunately. All the tournaments I can think of were either one or the other, if not both. Somebody needs to be the first.

The idea of running an extended campaign like you described, however, just doesn't seem realistic to me, especially if you don't want scheduling to be a big deal. Individual battles are the best way to go. I can tell you that it is difficult enough already just to get four players to finish a single map. Expecting a large number of players to stay consistently involved and be available to play on a regular basis throughout a pre-determined series of maps sounds like it would be an excericse in futility, just judging by the couple of tournaments I've been involved with as a mapmaker.

The ideal tournament would be one where players can come and go as they please, though I'm not sure how that would be best done. I would be willing to help come up with some ideas if you are interested, though.

As for limitations, I agree that they shouldn't be arbitrarily decided up. They are best worked into the map itself rather than set out as rules which can be broken. SOD maps make good tournament maps since there is that much more control over the map, allowing the map maker to eliminate potentially unfair situations. That's the only way of imposing regulation that really works.
Lifetaker's Opinion about Wyrm's Ideas
When I understand it correctly then we have a map, with several teams (races) each team starts with lots of territories.. every player starts with one of them and first player starts.. he will attack player 2 (which would mean a MP game) The one who loses is out.. and the winner would get another territory and thus an extra life. I don't know how many players are participating in this...but if there are a lot, then in the end you will have like 3 players with lots of territories (lives).

And when I understand it right, then every territory is also a map...or is it like this: I attack the territory "B" from the south.. and I attack from territory "A"...considering that every territory is a map, would we play in map "B" since that is the territory which I attack or a mix from "A" and "B" since I attack from the south..

Then I see another problem...I quote: "or have some unreasonable restrictions (like a must to play each week)" well with this system it could happen that (let's say we have 20 players) I sometimes have to play once in the 2 weeks...but other times 4 times a week, depending on how often I have been attacked. I don't know how many time there is between turns.. but it should be enough time to make some free time for that game.. but if everyone has to make time free for this game, then the total tournament can take ages.

Example.. I won a territory.. now it's BES's turn.. BES will attack a territory from SIM.. but first they will have to discus when they can play.. let's say we are lucky and BES will play SIM two days later.. BES wins, Simon is kicked out. Next turn.. I hope you see what I mean. In a normal tournament games can be played simultaneously now they are played one after another.

I only showed the bad points right now, but I really like this system, I just see lots of problems.
Wyrm's Ideas: Further clarification
Last time I introduced only the main idea without going into details, since I wasn't sure if you'd like it. Now, (I hope) I'll answer all your questions and maybe will add some new stuff as well.

First of all, I try to stick by the style of Heroes just to make as little changes as possible. That's why I want the tournament to be close to the reality of Heroes3.

The tournament is to start from registration. Everyone is supposed to submit his nickname, race, desired status, e-mail and MAILING ADDRESS. Desired status may be one of the following: will to participate, potential will to participate (for instance, in the next tournament or if there is some vacant place), discussion access etc. Mailing address serves the following purpose: after registration, all participants will receive their password via regular mail. (Why do we need it - I'll write later.)

The site presents the map of the tournament and declares the date to start round one of the tournament. During the next day the site accepts the claims to attack some regions from all participants (and prints the claims on the site). The next day the site accepts the claims (from the remaining participants to defend the regions that were attacked by some invaders).
After these two day the action of round one starts. Those who were left without a game do NOT play this round. Thus, everyone may play only one game per round (or none). The question who (person) is to attack and who (person) is to defend must be solved inside the race. For this purpose the site needs a forum and people need this site. If they can't come to a decision before the time is up - it's their own problem (like in real life if a lot of quarrels break out in a country, it can't defend itself efficiently).

The claims must be submitted by someone from the corresponding race (including the password from the letter he got via regular mail) and approved (confirmation message) from those who organize the tournament. If someone didn't receive the approval he should resend the claim to make sure that it was gotten by hosts of the site. If no message came from a participant he is assumed to skip the current round.

A race loses if there's no land that belongs to this race irrespective of the number of alive people in this race. A race loses if it lost all people who played for this race as well.

Initially we assumed to make instant death, that is if I lose I must leave the tournament. But you gave me an idea that the rules might be changed to support the very basics of Heroes3 like that: a person who lost a game may be "born" again in a number of rounds (say 3) if his race is still alive. This coefficient - "length of the death" - may be used to make the tournament longer or shorter and is discussible.

All games mostly have only two humans. Three are possible if two invaders rushed in the same region (which is rare because it's possible only at the corners of three countries and if two invaders submitted their requests simultaneously!) It is also discussible and can be avoided like this: two invaders fight against each other and then against the defender. But personally I don't like to make MORE than 1 game per round.

A game reports must be submitted ONLY by a winner. The other side might send an appeal to the site during 2 days since publishing the result if they think they were deceived. If players do not feel trust to each other, they have to save their game each turn. (It doesn't take that much time, in fact). In general, this is NOT the requirement to save the game each turn - it's advice. Saves each week are REQUIRED!. This is important only if you got deceived or framed up. If it's the case, you have to submit an appeal to the host site with attached saves. The other side will be requested to send his saves as well (so the other side MUST KEEP HIS SAVES until the result is confirmed). If the site has all saves, it's easy to clear up who was the cheater. If someone lost his saves (or doesn't want to submit them) he gets the defeat and cheating sanctions follow. If it is impossible to claim who was the cheater (like the sides trusted each other at first and didn't make enough saves) the site declares the tie and noone gets any land. Moreover, other players must be informed and have to be careful while playing against them.

Cheating sanctions:
If someone got caught with cheating, he leaves the tournaments for ever, his REAL mailing address is published on the site. If other sites change their policy according to that, they can simply exchange the information and such guys might get kick out of all heroes tournaments. Moreover, registering again would be pretty problematic for these guys again. It's difficult to change one's address so they will not have an opportunity to receive the password.

We can choose the policy that prohibit registration all the neighbors of these guys as well (because I guess they are pretty the same.) Mailing address of some company or other institution is INVALID one. If the site receives the application from someone with similar address (a friend of a cheater next door) we know the risk and may deny the request.
While registering the site has to inform everyone that they publish his address if he is caught with cheating as well as he will harm his neighbors and friend, because they won't be accepted and his address will be known to everyone in Internet. Moreover, since you don't know how often your opponent is going to make saves, you might be easily caught!!!

Possible problems:
There is cheating that can't be found out, for instance, using bugs in Heroes3:

1) Cast magic twice a turn;

2) Add three minotaurs using codes if he lost them in a battle during the same turn;

3) In hot-seat: When you start you turn with pressing Enter button, at the bottom of the screen (where your resources must be shown) you can see for a moment the resources of your opponent. Time is enough to see only half of them but still - it's a bug that lets you know when he built level 7 of his troops;

4) In hot-seat: when you start your turn you can see for a moment again that the location square on the small map jumps from the location of your opponent to your current location. So you know where he is;

5) In COM-port game (possibly in network game) in the version of Erathia: When your opponent is making his turn you can move your mouse pointer to your cities (on the right panel of cities) and press the right button to see information about YOUR city. Instead you see YOUR OPPONENT city with the exact numbers of troops there. Press on your first city - you see his first city, on second - second, and so on. If your opponent doesn't have the third city and you press on your 3-rd city, the game crashes.

6) And so on...

I guess, there's no way to stop people from using that stuff, so it's better not publish that stuff anywhere. But I would recommend to use the last "Shadow of Death" version of the game.

Advantages of my view of the tournament:
1) All people need the site;
2) We are all pretty busy, so if someone can't play this round he may skip to let someone else to play;
3) It models the reality, not everyone has an opportunity to rush to fight at all times and people have to be well-organized and have strategic skills to stand against invaders;
4) More cheater hostile than other (known to me) sites.

Sorry, I didn't think about rewards so far. The game with someone who is better than me is the best reward. In general, I guess there must be race rewards (if a troglodyte dies to get the last remaining heap of sulfur to build the dragon cave - he must be rewarded as well) and personal rewards. So ranking must take into account race achievements as well as personal ones.

Anyway, if we can make a tournament, I'm not going to participate at first, because I won't have enough time. I can design the rules based on what I wrote above, but I need others' opinion to attract people and I can do something else except for playing. In the middle of August I'll have more free time, so we'll see.

My game views:

Map can be middle with underground with 2 computers (4 players altogether) (MU4), large without underground with 2 computers (4 players altogether) (L4), large with underground with 2 or 3 computers (4 or 5) (LU4 or LU5).

Map must be saved by both sides after generation (Day 1 Week 1 ...) and further according to the trusts. (Sometimes it really crashes if video card or processor is weak. Crashes like to happen when you want to save the game, so your current save will be screwed up and you'll have to load the previous one)

Computer players, castles, whatever must be chosen random.
It is forbidden to attend cartographers and change the race. Human hero and starting resources - upto human players.
No help is given to anyone except for race compensators (I don't know yet what it should be but lizards are weaker than others). There should not be Conflux race - they are unfair.

Game may be asked to be replayed (no more than 3 times, no later than the first week is over):
1) if a player didn't find one of two basic mines;
2) if at least one basic mine is defended by shooters or monsters of the level higher than 1 or monsters of the first level if they are 100 and more;
3) if a player is locked by strong monsters in a valley that fits into the screen size.
In fact, I would prefer the rule: no more than 3 times during 1-st week without any explanations - cause it's difficult to check the truth here.

OK, that's in general my idea of the tournament.

And some more clarification...

Sorry, it seems that I didn't make the point clear. My idea was completely different.

First of all, there is no BES's land. All land belongs to dungeon, that is to all dungeon players. Other land belongs to all tower players and so on. The games with more than two human are unlikely.

There is one large (tournament) map with multiple lands (belonging to dungeon, necropolis, etc.) divided into regions. Players do NOT divide this land (dungeon land) among themselves. All this land belongs to all of them. This regions are needed to prevent the whole land from capturing as a result of one defeat. So each such region is only a part of what all of them have.

Battle maps must be random, so there's no need to draw a lot of maps. Even if you fight at the border of the same regions later - the map will be different. (My point - I don't like predefined maps.) The global land (consisted of dungeon land, towers' land, etc.) is needed to find out if there is a pass from dungeon land to (towers) region B. If there is such a pass, one of dungeon players may attack region B of towers land. If there is no such a pass from any of dungeon regions to the (towers) region B, no dungeon player may attack it.
Take a look at the attached picture.

Let red regions belong to dungeon. From the red region A you can attack green (necros) region B, cause there is a pass there and can't attack blue (towers) region C, cause there's no way to go there. Certainly, a map should not be rectangular, and passes might be narrow rather than taking all the border, but this is to clear up the idea. All dungeon players live in all their lands, so traveling along their own land is not the question and they can attack from ANY of their regions.

Scheduling is not a big deal if we have enough participants as I explained in the last message. If there is not enough players for some land (say, lizards) it might be erased from the global map. No extra lives, land is not responsible for the number of lives.
Wyrm scheme of the world map
Everyone has only one life. The more you play, the more the probability that you'll get defeated, but at the same time, you'll get a lot of victories that will increase your rank(rating).
If you don't have time to play this round, skip it or find someone else from dungeon race to stand against the invader, so simply give way.
In my previous message I explained why there is no more than one game per round, since each round will take about a week (1 day - attack negotiations, 1 day - defense negotiations, 5 days to play the game), you will not play more than one game per week, in addition you may skip the round. We can make it two weeks if you want.
BES's reply to the second Wyrm's message
As there are many questions here I will present my suggestions one by one.

1. Mailing Address

Actually, I am not sure that it is really a good idea to require the real mailing address from people. Let's take me for example - I would never give it and I never gave it to the net with the exception of extremely few cases. The same reaction will be from a lot of people, in my opinion. There are e-mail addresses for such things, including for sending passwords.

2. Tournament Map and participants' claims

a) one day for claims

After the site published the information - there is no way that people would place their claims during only one day. It is simply impossible.
For example, a player knows that on the 1st of the month the info with map will be published on the site. This player wants to play, but exactly at the first week of this month he has an event, he is busy, his wife is giving birth, etc.. Minimum it should be one week, otherwise for whom then the tournament is? It should be convenient for both sides  - players and administrators.

b) defending and attacking claims

Who decide who attacks and who defends? You mean that for example, there are 30 players and say among them 10 want to play Necro. These 10 must come all together and decide who will be the attacker and who will be the defender? It seems absolutely impossible for me. I can list several reasons - everyone in the heart thinks that he is the best and wants to be the attacker. At least half of them do not know each other and do not know the strength and weakness (to the contrary in the real world when you know the neighboring lord of your realm).
I think it should be casting. And casting done by the administrator.

Also, did you think about the time zones in all this? It is much bigger problem than you could think from the first glance. It is really very big difference - 12 hours.

One more thing - there should be no phrases like *it is their's problem* in the tournament. Tournament is created for the players, not for the administrators. Then, absolutely all problems popped out in the tournament are the administrators' problems and the sign of the good tournament (and the tournament rules) is that there are no such problems, or very few of them.  

3. left without game in the round one

What does this mean - that the players left without the game?
For example, there are 30 willing participants. The map is for 8 players. What the other 22 will do? It should be several maps that every who listed will play the first round.

4. password and confirmations

I am confused - again password (the one the participant got by regular mail when he registered in the tournament?) - why is the necessity of this password and a lot of bureaucracy? There are a lot of fixing and arrangements to be done without these extra problems, both for the players and the administrators, in my opinion.

5. A race loses if there's no land that belongs to this race irrespective of the number of alive people in this race.
I didn't get it.
Example: The race lost its native land but conquered the neighboring land - then what?

6. player's reborn

In my opinion, the player should always have at least one chance for a rematch. It could be a bad day, quarrel with the wife, just big unluck or tired and made a stupid mistake - could happen with anyone.

Example - with me in a game with a strong player, difference in time 9 hours, it is 5am my time, I am really tired already and sleepy - in the decisive battle of the game when I attack his castle I aim meteor shower not to the army units but to the castle tower. I had to retreat. What is this? This is the time difference, tiredness, sleepiness, etc. We must take this into the account too because the tournament is online not in the physical world.

7. two invaders versus one defender

It is absolutely out of the question. How you envision this. You are sitting in your country and have to fight back and survive one attack of the invader, then another invader came and another and another... There is zero chance that you survive even after two invaders simultaneously.
The variance that two invaders first fight with each other on your territory and then the winner attacks you (the defender of the land) doesn't work either. One invader defeated another invader. Yes, he got experience, artifacts, but he lost army, spell points! This way the defender will deal with him as piece of cake because the defender has the fresh army and ready to fight.

8. Cheating and saves

I think that in this question the rules must diminish the risk of such situations as much as possible. First, everything that could be should be mentioned in the rules, and the main thing  - it is the time of the game play itself - how much time the player must spend for the game if he intends to play the tournament.

It is very hard to prove cheating. For example, people played. Each has the saves. After the game one of the players goes to the game and with the codes opens the map and looks at it. Naturally, he has an advantage.  How can you prove this? You even never knew about it.  

If you even can prevent the more obvious cheating you can't prevent looking at the map if the game is not finished for one evening.  This is the main problem of the cheating in the tournament. If it can be solved it by the tournament team - it will be great.    

9. cheating sanctions

I do not see the sense in this - friends, neighbors... What is so irresistable with the mailing address? There is the system of IP reading. It could be said that the IP could be changed by the program. No, only the last thee figures, and the provider, system, country are always the same.
Of course, the system of the real mailing addresses and all the stuff you are talking about could be in the rules and it even would work. BUT, only in the case if you will put the prize for the tournament at least USD 5000= - 10000=. Otherwise, what's the point for people? So many restrictions and privacy violations and for what?

But again with such a prize it is not the tournament for fun, it is like the Olympics with the prize fund and where all means are good as long as they lead to the win.

Yes, there are the tournament with the prize funds in Russia going on right now. And they are really interesting. Both the rules and the tournaments themselves.

Personally, I like the following thing in the rules there. Every participant can donate (absolutely voluntarily) a certain (not big) sum for the fund and the best player according to the results of the tournament among all those who donated to this fund will receive the collected amount of money! Fun! And everything is fair  the best player gets the jackpot collected by the common efforts! And very good incentive.

10. exploiting bugs

Never heard that the hero can use magic twice per turn in battle.
Moreover, how possible a player can use such codes in MP game when the system always say *Cheater!* and they are not working in MP at all. It is not the single scenario with AI. Or am I wrong here?
Hot-seat? We are talking MP here, are we?
Seeing the opponents towns... Confused never heard... never experienced.

To make the tournament everyone who wants to participate should all have the same version of the game - SOD 3.2. No others versions, say Heroes 1.4, AB 2.2, nothing, only SOD with the patch.

11. Advantages

a) people need the site
What does this mean?

b) someone could play instead of me???
How do you see this for yourself. Look from the pint of view of the player. He achieved a lot, accumulated resources, built the heroes and the army. Then someone else came and played badly and lost all this???? It is out of the question that any player in the world will agree to this.

c) coming and going to the tournament
If you enlist, then you are expected to dedicate time to the tournament, not coming and going as you pleased.

d) cheater hostile
Yes, it could be, but it doesn't guarantee that you will avoid this problem.

12. Awards

So, you speak about a mix of single and team tournament, where race=team?
I don't know is it possible. When you play single you have one strategy, when you play in the team - another, where you could sacrifice yourself for the best of the team, but it is impossible to happen in the mix of single and team, when single interests will always prevail. 

Again, we return to the system of awards, prizes, rankings and incentives - it is really very hard issue for which I didn't find the optimal answer yet.

13. Maps
AI in the tournament maps? Why? Why do we need them? According from the above you want to exclude human participants from the round one because there is no available places but you have at least two AI in each game? AI should not be present at all!

14. Saves and crashes

Always there is the autosave. Do you really want to check all saves of all maps played by all players? Have pity to the administrators! There should be some other rules for the saves which must be checked.

15. Hero choosing

As we do not have AI, then of course the human player can choose whatever hero he wants. But, about the maps - for me random is perfectly all right. But for many it is unacceptable. Because there is always the chance of unbalance in the random map and the player who got worse position on the map could be the weaker player - there is unfair situation for him then, and it is bad because he is the participant willing to play, who must be provided the same terms as anyone else.

Because of this, my opinion is that there should be the specially designed maps for the tournament. Made by mapmakers specifically working for the tournament, not downloaded from somewhere.

To make this maps good, the mapmakers should first receive from the tournament team the clear and precise features they want from the map.

Level of difficulty of the maps. As there could be different level of strength of the players the maps should be Expert level. Perhaps, there should be the contest inside the tournament - for the real masters on the impossible level and completely random maps.

16. Race compensators???

Did not get it. And Lizards are not that weak actually, they very good in biting.

17. Conflux

Absolutely disagree. Conflux should be in the game. You don't like it - don't take it. And Conflux is very good balanced the same way as any other town. 

18. Replays

See the above - there should be specially designed maps.
About contest in the tournament for proffis - well, unluck! You can have you revenge next time. It could be a restart, but once and only once.
Thank you all for your time and shared views.

Do you have comments?
Have you any ideas?
The little green dragon is waiting.