Thursday, March 26, 2020

Online Multiplayer Competitive Matchmaking Beta, with New Ranking Points System!

We are thrilled to announce that a new "beta" version of the game is available on both Android and iOS devices that includes a new game mode for online multiplayer games: Competitive Matchmaking! To join the beta, [UPDATE: BETA IS NOW CLOSED]

This is the much anticipated change for online multiplayer that introduces a new points/ranking system for this new game mode as well, so it also includes a new "Top 50" Leaderboard for competitive matchmaking. You will still have all of your points from the "old" multiplayer points system (and that system continues unchanged here), those points are just now called "XP" (basically, experience points). Similarly, your old level in multiplayer will now be called your "XP Level". The name for these games is now called "Classic", to show the difference between that and the new game mode called "Competitive Matchmaking". We have also removed the "Lobby Chat" tab, as frankly it was rarely used and taking up valuable space.

In competitive mode games, you will now see your Competitive Rank (CR) and the corresponding level for that (CR Level). Before you can rank in competitive play, you have to be at least an XP Level of 5, and then play at least 5 competitive matchmaking games (placement matches) to earn your rank. Once completed, you will be awarded a rank and level based on your performance in those placement matches against others of similar CR/CR Level.

Some of this may change as we go through the beta, but right now here are the basic rules of Competitive Matchmaking.

All Competitive Games Are:

  • Best-Of-3
    • A single game is just not enough of a sample to determine your skill versus your opponent
  • Automatic Counting
    • Your skill with selecting discards and playing your cards is what we care about
  • 10 Sec. Turn Limit
    • Shorter than anything possible through the classic games, so think fast
  • Start Automatically
    • Nobody is responsible for "starting" the game, all automatic
  • Disconnect/Quit is Always a Loss
    • Don't try to get away with quitting, dropping your connection, etc. It won't work, and you will lose as a result
  • Classic XP Level of 5+ Required
    • You have to play in the classic mode for a little while to familiarize yourself with the game before you jump into competitive play

Finally, we will be having "competitive seasons" with this as well, just like you would see in a professional sports season. This means that on a regular basis (actual timing TBD), a new season will start and give everyone a chance to come in and participate on equal footing to see if they can take the title of the best player of the season!

We are very excited to get this release out to you for beta testing, and really want your feedback and suggestions if you try it out. We do need enough players to join the beta so that we have enough players to regular do the matchmaking with as well, so if you join please also encourage your friends to join and give it a try too. We plan on running the beta for a little while to gather as much feedback as possible, before we release this out to everyone in the general release.

50 comments:

  1. Being honest I don't get all this and I don't care crib pro is simply the best crib app by far I've so many crib pals on here it's just a great site few small niggles but nothing major oh fuller family I'm at level 93 worked hard to get there my phone that I have crib pro on is about to die if I get a new phone I'll have to download the game again will you be able to set my level back to 93 as it's taken so long great work great site thanks ochayeon

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    1. This new game mode is simply a way for those that want to take their game to the "next level" of competitiveness. The system will automatically find you a "Best Match" for you to play against, and the best players will float to the top of the Leaderboard. For your new phone, just make sure you know your Cribbage Pro username and password, and you will be fine on a new device. When you get the game installed fresh on a new device, select the Multiplayer button and when prompted to register select the "Already Registered" option and login with that existing account. You should lose nothing at all in that process. Email us with any questions: support@FullerSystems.com

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  2. In cribbage point counting is half the game. I always play manual and I still miss points. I would head to the new game right now but frankly I find automatic play boring. I am amazed how many players are unable to count their own points. If you can’t count you don’t know cribbage. Rather than have counting be eliminated it should be REQUIRED.

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    1. We debated that one a lot here too. Thanks for your feedback. Right now the feeling is that if you can't count your own cards, you also don't know much about the strategy of the game and will not be able to win against those that are a higher skill than you. We will see how it all pans out once we get enough people playing in the new mode. Right now, I would really appreciate your feedback trying it out and see if you find that the players you are playing against are challenging you, and seems to be a good matchmaking system, or if you are finding it too easy to win because it is automatic counting.

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    2. If you're a good enough player you automatically know every hands count because you've had every possible hand multi-times over. Auto count just helps the game flow.

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  3. I don’t anticipate that automatic scoring will afford any advantage. On the contrary it prevents claiming points when your opponent misses them. Likewise it prevents the award of overscored points (which should also be manual). Automatic scoring dumbs down the game and completely eliminates these aspects. I understand that most players don’t want to count their own points and you want to appeal to the greatest number of players. But do you have to completely eliminate the option for players to do their own scoring? Maybe 2 different game tracks? I welcome the addition of a competitive component but find that eliminating scoring detracts from the game to a point where it becomes boring.

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    1. We had on our original list of features for this, a separate queue for manual counting games, but they would have to be separated out across the board as you said and our estimates showed that there would probably not be enough players for the matchmaking process to work. We will see, this is just the first beta. If we can get enough players interested in manual counting so that when you try to find a match there are actually people there to play against, we may be able to add it in. We are watching things pretty closely.

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  4. Are there instructions? I installed testflight and then cribbagepro from there. I start cribbagepro from within TestFlight and other than the <TestFlight button on top left I see no difference from classic cribbage. On IPad.

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    1. If you are running the beta test version, there will be a new Leaderboard for the Competitive Matchmaking and when you login to the online multiplayer system, you will see a new Competitive Matchmaking tab/section. Hopefully it's self explanatory from there, but if you have any questions email us at support@FullerSystems.com

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  5. I found it. After choosing multiplayer click the Competitive Matchmaking tab on bottom of screen

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    1. Well I haven’t discovered any bugs yet. It does seem to take an inordinate amount of time for the top 50 stats to update for what that is worth. My biggest issue is finding a match

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    2. Thanks for the feedback. The Top 50 update every hour right now, but we may increase that in the future. Right now with the limited people in the beta, it will take a little longer than we hope to see in general release. Along with that, as you rise in rank, the number of possible players to match you against for a decent matchmaking becomes harder too.

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    3. That was going to be my next question. I have been lucky and have a 12 - 0 record. I have tried countless times to get a match and I have managed to get 2 all weekend.
      So good to know the matching algorithm is not random. That will tend to level out records over time.

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    4. First bug: after completing first game the notification came up “you won series is 1 x 0” or something like that. Clicked ok and then ... nothing. No way to start the next game. Then you are in a situation where the only way out is for someone to drop and get charged with a loss. I have seen this several times on classic too so I think this has been out there a while.

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    5. Hi, please report any bugs or issues to us at support@FullerSystems.com We will need to get the game log from your device and review it.

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    6. With a 14 - 0 record it seems impossible to get a match. Maybe you need to tweak your matching algorithm?

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    7. Yes, apparently it is lonely at the top right now. We will be adding a method to allow more matchmaking for those in that position.

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    8. I just watched an entire movie while continually hitting “find match”. Nada

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    9. We have not yet added the algorithm changes mentioned earlier, so it will be difficult for you to find a match in the beta right now.

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    10. Thanks for your patience. The update to the server to help you find a match is now live. Please let us know (through email is best) how it is working for you with these latest changes.

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  6. Hi, I was liking the new Competitive Matchmatching until I skunked someone and only got 1 point. I think a skunk should count as 2 points. :-)

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    1. Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to test our beta release and provide your feedback. It is extremely helpful! This is a complex question. Since these are a "Best of 3", there really is no concept of a "skunk", as anyone who wins that series will always win with 2 games to 1. It could be argued that if you skunk your opponent two games in a row, perhaps that should count as more in your stats, but we don't ever count skunks as more than one win or loss in your stats because that would skew the ratios of games played/won/lost. Instead, we track those skunk stats separately from everything else. So, for right now, we don't plan on making a skunk count as more than one game, particularly because these are a "Best of 3".

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    2. That makes sense. If I got skunked, I would only want it to count as one. :-) I wish more people would try it. Most of the time it just spins with "Finding Competitive Match" and I never get a match.

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    3. Yes, it would be nice to get more people in the beta, but we are seeing some early results. Ask all your friends to give it a try too, and hopefully by this weekend it will pick up some more. Not everyone wants to "test", so a vast majority will wait until it is fully released.

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  7. I just noticed the Multiplayer - Competitive section in Statistics, however, I have skunked multiple people and I have been been skunked once and it shows zero in the Skunks and Skunked section. Also, I love the new "Win/Loss Streak" stats, however, in the Total for All Opponents section, it only shows 8 for my Best Win/Loss Streak, when I know I've won at least 11 in a row before. Is it only effective since the feature was turned off and not historical through all my games ever played? Thank you.

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    1. Hi, as mentioned earlier, since these are a "Best of 3" only currently, there really is no concept of a "skunk", as anyone who wins that series will always win with 2 games to 1. So with that model, there are no skunks in the competitive games right now. Yes, the new win/loss streaks are only being tracked from about 1 week prior to the beta release and going forward. It was not something we explicitly tracked before.

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  8. I like the competative matchmaking; mainly because of the 10 sec limit (would preferr 7 sec ;)) but also due to better quality players/match. Do your wins in CR count towrds your classic XP? I think they should. Thanks.

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    1. Hi, thanks for participating in the beta testing and for providing your feedback! We decided to keep the two systems separate with two different Leaderboards, stats, etc. As such, just like the regular games don't count towards competitive games, the opposite is true that competitive games don't count towards "classic" games XP.

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  9. Very difficult to get a game. Have tried multiple times. Guess we need more players to join.

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    1. Yes, having more players will definitely help with that. There are only a relative few right now. When matches are found, it is usually done in less than 30 seconds, but we may make some changes to that algorithm.

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  10. I tried to play a match, but the server was so tediously slow, I quit during the 2nd game. Make it faster.

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    1. Hi, we have had a record number of players yet again today, over 3x to 4x what we have seeing as pervious maximum during this crazy time in the world. We will again increase capacity if needed.

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  11. Let all players play when on line, stop friend groups, and let everyone play everyone.

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  12. I, too, am frustrated by the long wait times to find a match. It seems that the time it takes to find me match has actually increased. I lost the first four out of five games due to a series of really bad hands and now I wonder if because my seed is so low I'm not getting anyone paired up with me.

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    1. That is a hard question. It could just be bad timing with other players being available. Email us with your username and the last time you looked for a match and we will check through our logs to make sure nothing strange is happening.

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  13. There is a contingent that believes the deals are not random. They believe that deals are engineered to produce better cribbage hands. Are the deals random or no?

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    1. Yeah, we get that a lot, just like any other electronic card game out there. The fact is, it is entirely fair, honest and a randomly shuffled deck in all cases. No exceptions. Read through the links in the FAQ and the blog posts about this for more: http://www.cribbagepro.net/faq-how-to.html#q5

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    2. That is what I thought. But some people can’t resist a conspiracy theory

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  14. Some ideas to make the "waiting for match" time less frustrating
    1. Include a countdown clock.
    2. Display the number of people looking for a match. Eg if there are 0 looking for a match then it's likely to take longer to find a match than if there are already people waiting
    3. Display the average time to find a match

    Apart from the time to wait, enjoying the new feature...

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    1. Hi, thanks for trying the beta and for the feedback. Here is our current thoughts on this:

      1) The maximum wait time is technically variable, so we don't show a set amount to count down from today. We may make it a hard set amount in the future, and then this could make sense to add too.

      2) With Matchmaking, we are trying to find the best match for you, so even if there are many others also searching for a match, none of them might qualify as a good match for you. Similarly, if nobody would start searching for a match with zero showing, then nobody would ever start looking for a match and it may only take one other player to find a match. Essentially, the number of others looking for a match would probably be deceiving with respect to trying to indicate how long the wait may be.

      3) This is something we have on our list to consider and it may be able to get in before the full launch.

      One key to remember right now during the beta is that there are relatively few people participating in the beta and so wait times for a match will be at least a little higher than when fully released. We also made some changes just recently that will help find "good enough" matches more often too.

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  15. How is “CR” calculated? I am even at 16 - 16 and my CR is 3396. I am not in the top 50. So far so good. But then I notice a player ranked 47th with a 16 - 17 record and a CR of 3860. Something seems off.

    What does CR stand for?

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    1. Hi, check the post on the full release that should answer your questions: http://blog.cribbagepro.net/2020/04/multiplayer-competitive-matchmaking.html

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  16. Can you provide more detail as to the calculation that goes into the Competitive Ranking and placement matches. It seems to me like there is a flaw in the calculation. There are now 5-10 players you rank in the "top 50" that only win 52% to 54% of their matches - even after playing 150 - 200 games. Why aren't these players knocked down to lower levels? It's clear they're not "top" players. Why have a placement system at all? Create competitive matches and let the good players who beat other good players rise to the top. Love the competitive match concept - thank you!

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    1. Read through the blog post on the full release and the links to the similar systems mentioned there (specifically the Glicko system): http://blog.cribbagepro.net/2020/04/multiplayer-competitive-matchmaking.html The key here is that your ranking is not about win percentages, it is about who you are playing against. Like you said, "let the good players who beat other good players rise to the top". The matchmaking system tries to find a match that is challenging (someone roughly equally ranked) to play against, and as such a win percentage would be a poor ranking factor by itself. In short, that means you could lose to someone roughly equally ranked as you and not lose that many ranking points, but if you win against someone higher than you, then you will increase ranking faster even though your win percentage may not be as high as someone else.

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  17. Is it possible to know how many competitively ranked players there are? Would be great to know where I stand in the pack relative to the rest of the players

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    1. Hi, we are considering ways to show a "percentile" ranking as well, but nothing firm yet.

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  18. Some thoughts as you contemplate changes for season two.
    - I absolutely love the competitive match format. It is a great forum for good, competitive players to test their skills against other talented players, thank you for the hard work that went into it. But, to evaluate skill and for the best players to rise to the top, you really need to require MANY matches for the law of averages and law of numbers to play out. Requiring only two matches a week (that's only a 26 match minimum over a 13 week season) is not enough, you need at least 15 - 20 matches a week IMO. Long streaks of good and bad cards can and do happen, I've won only 45% of the deal/cut over the last 200+ games I've played. I know that will correct itself but it might take another 200-300 cuts! As the top 50 ranking sits now, I think you do have players not competing and sitting on their position waiting for the season to end. Weaker players who got great cards may be sitting on their ranking. I've found that when I win a competitive match (on average), I usually win 3 points, when I lose a competitive match I lose 4 points. So one needs to win about 57% of matches to increase their point total- a tough winning % against good players. Note that the point totals and "Grand Master" status of top players has steadily declined over the season. Others have noticed this too and have opted to play fewer matches each week, "sit" on their point total and watch other players who rankings and points totals decline because they play more. Let's make this a format for good players and require more many matches per week. If that's too many for some, they can always play Classic format. Thanks.

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    1. Hi, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and suggestions! All feedback is sincerely appreciated, and I do agree that it would be best if more games were played by everyone for the sake of the quality of the rankings. We will be making some changes in the next season, but we are also trying to be careful to not turn too many knobs and make too many changes too quickly as we work to make this the best cribbage skill ranking system out there. Your feedback is critical in achieving that!

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  19. Does the algorithm for online competitive play factor in whether you won or lost the deal? I’ve only won 38% of the cuts in my last 95 games. Wondering if that’s calculated in assigning points? Thanks.

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    1. The short answer is "no". There were some things we played with early on to account for different factors in-game, but ultimately have so far decided that we will keep it a simple win or loss based calculation and let the "Best of 3" help take care of the other factors for now. Understanding of course that a "Best of 3" doesn't perfectly account for your example and a few others.

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