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Updating Competition Framework

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I'll be the first to congratulate Christian and ocaholics on the HWBot OC Challenge for November - that was a really impressive showing! Well done.


That win highlights the strength of strategy also - sandbagging scores until the last minute is a good strategic move. By not letting your best scores be known until the last minute, no one has time to react and take a run at them before the contest is over. OC Forums has used it in competitions in the past, as have other teams as well.




Eliminate the strategic advantage of sandbagging scores until the end of a competition.




As I've read from Massman in the past, the spirit of HWBot is competition and pushing the limit - we can all readily see and appreciate that everyday. It's about putting your best result out there and saying "come and get it"! By eliminating the strategic advantage of sandbagging, it would encourage greater competition and everyone has to push harder. That's what its all about.


In the current final scores take all format - everyone submitting scores before the very end has a good spirit, but its a dumb move strategically. If you want to win, why show your cards early letting the competition know what they have to beat?




There are a few options to eliminate the sandbagging strategic advantage. I would implement a 7 day grace period after a competition kicks off, where submissions are open, but the boints timer doesn't start. After the 7 day grace period, start the boint timer:


1. Award the winner of team competitions based on who holds 1st place the longest


Example: The competition runs for 30 days. After the 7 day grace period, the boint timer starts increasing for teams in the lead using a multiplier. For 1st place the boint timer increases by 2X, 2nd place 1.5X, 3rd place 1X, 4th place .75X, 5th place .5X - all other teams gain nothing. As teams gain and lose position their multiplier is adjusted, and the competition ends once the 30 days is up, or once it becomes impossible to catch up to the leading team in the time remaining for the contest.


2. Award the winner for who holds first place for X number of days total


Example: The competition has no end date. Each team has a boint timer for the amount of time they spend in 1st place. After the 7 day grace period, the first team to hold 1st place for a total of 10 days wins.


Team X may start off in 1st for 3 days, team Y takes them over and holds it for 5 days, team Z takes over and holds it for 1 day, then Team X takes over and holds it for 7 days - team X has defended 1st place for a total of 10 days, and they are the winners of the contest.


3. Any other idea you can think of


Example: Like idea 1 and 2, the contest rules are made in a way to require everyone to submit their best scores early, challenging other teams to "come and get it"!



I think the current system is fun, simple, and it works. This is just a suggestion - however, I do think if the competition rules are reworked, it could encourage more competition and better support the spirit of pushing the limits. :)

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Yeah, I am on your side for this, usually I post score directly after I managed them, but I see ''Snipers'' ''Sandbagging'' everywhere, so I admit I did the same this time.


However The stage 1 score has been done 3 days ago

The stage 2 score has been done 2 days ago

The stage 4 score has been done yesterday

The stage 5 score has been done 2 days ago

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Hi I.M.O.G., we are aware sandbagging is a valid tactic but makes competition less interesting sometimes. Massman and me discussed a similar approach as you suggested a while ago, but came to the following conclusion:

- it's a challenge to implement this in HCE, as the calculation and presentation of the rankings differ vastly from current competitions. It's certainly possible, but it would require quite some coding and design time.

- instead of making the competition exciting at the end, you make it exciting in the middle. Often the team/user who wins is already known halfway the competition as e.g. a team has hold first place for the first 16 days in a 30 days competition.


Your idea of not setting a fixed end date does fix the second problem though, which makes it a very interesting idea. :) I'll discuss it at the staff meeting tomorrow.

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Interesting idea!


The sandbagging 'problem' is annoying in some way, but the same principle that allows sandbagging to be beneficial also allows people to enter a competition in the last 24h and still win. Sandbagging works because we don't ask people to be active throughout the entire competition period, which itself is quite nice since most of the people competing have jobs and family to take care of (and therefore have to plan overclocking sessions).


I'll write a more elaborate comment this afternoon, but you have given me a totally different idea for this month's OC Challenge that should also get rid of sandbagging AND doesn't require any additional coding!

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Thanks for the comment Frederik, and others. The ideas are only half baked and could use tweaking, but I'm glad they got my basic idea across and made some sense.


The current competition format doesn't really develop a sense of urgency until the last couple days... I think option 2 could help start that sense of urgency early. I'd be excited to take part and kick ass early on. :)

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