I think the 13k default rank is doing harm [Closed]


after game with [?] rank changes by 0.2 kyu


But… Glicko DOESN’T need that, it’s just that the devs fiddled with it to find that this is more accurate.

Yes, it is simpler, but GaJ’s and ckersch88’s suggestions maintain the accuracy while removing the unfortunate effects…


Current system is very unfriendly to 30k.
First, they can’t get game because everyone cancel game with [?]. Then (I seen a lot of examples) someone strong plays with them, gets annoyed and resigns. So 30k becoming SDK. And then they need to lose even more games to get lowest rank. But there is rank cap at 25k, so 30k continues to lose and no longer plays Go again.


I feel bad for those who are validly somewhere around 12-14k and are trying to find decent games here.

I also feel bad for dans who join OGS and have to ‘prove’ their rank by beating bunch of weaker players before getting to play proper games.

And i also feel really bad for those absolute beginners who are tossed in the mix, and who have to see their rank dropping like a rock from what is the “default for newbies”

Hehe, thank god this ain’t my problem ^____^


A little bit of sandbagging is really not an issue for dan players, believe me.

It’s better than newbies constantly creating 6d accounts (or whatever max rank was at the time). If anyone is going to stop playing Go just because they lose 6 games before they get to their skill level, chances are Go is just not for them…

Besides, there’s absolutely nothing stopping new 13k? players from playing even games with established 25k players (just as there is little in the way of them challenging 4d to an even match).

If your point is that there should be more of an explanation of how things work when someone creates a new account,… now that would be very doable. A short OGS tutorial, if you will. I also like the idea of having tsumego to give people an idea of what their rank could be, but I would make it optional. “If you can solve this in x time, you’re at least _” is more reliable than “If you can’t solve this in x time, you’re at best _”.


Actually, you can’t start a ranked game with someone more than nine stones different than your ranking…


Good point. I just tested this on a new account… with the following result: After
Game 1 vs 5k (Resig): 3.6k ± 4.5
Game 2 vs 1k (Resig): 0.1k + 3.4

…and now I’ve run out of patience waiting for a dan challenge to come up. But yea, it’s possible to get within reasonable distance from even dan ranks within 3 games, as long as you find people who put up game offers without rank restrictions.

However, … I still can’t select a minimum rank stronger than 4k, so I’d again have to wait for others to offer a game.


It’s even worse. I’ve registered via google account - never been asked for the level and was assigned a 13k rank.

In order to play correct games (I believe ~ 25-27K) and not spoil others game, tried to play a quick match with Mantis 9x9 (since I’m terrible with fighting). And… won. Now I’m ~11k. :rage:

Yes, I understand that I can start other games with bots and just goof it out, but, it is overly complicated. Start games with real people at 11-15k and be totally destroyed (and spoil other’s game) - I don’t like this idea at all.

IMO there should be an option for the newcomer to adjust his rank down.


That’s how it works. No-one is asked their experience. That’s what we’re talking about. To be nitpicky, strictly correct, you were 13k? But yes, this is the exact problem this whole thread is talking about.


Yes, I was assigned 13K rank upon registering. And what is important, even never been asked about my experience (!) - probably I would answer that I’m a complete beginner and got my 25K.

This is quite contrary to my experince in sports - usually you should prove even a starting rank, like a white belt, upon entering.

And no, it doesn’t help beginners at all, quite the opposite. It discuourages them, since they will get crushed badly on auto match and possibly quit.

P.S. And this hyperinflates other’s ranks - say, I’m to challenge some 25Ks to rerank. I will get my correct rank, and they will get an unjustified promotion, since they will “win a stronger opponent”. And their promotion will cause other promotions etc.

It even could look like a marketing plan for the server, since such an infation will play to people ego (see, how I’m progressing, I like this, I will stay here and bring more newbies… etc etc etc).


I’d like to see it change, but it’s important to sort fact from speculation.

It is not a marketting plan for the server. It is a consequence of the way the ranking maths works for the ranking system we have (glicko).

And the problem you mentioned - hyperinflation - is not one of the problems of the system.

It doesn’t work like that because Glicko takes into account the uncertainty of your rank.

That’s why I said you were not 13k, you were “13k?” when you entered. In the ranking system here, you have both a rank and an uncertainty. When you join, your uncertainty is moderately high, which is a good thing. It means your games don’t affect other people’s rank much.

However, it is not high enough, which is a dubious thing, and it is not actually used in the get-a-game-system, which is at the heart of the actual problems.

However it is one of the problems: that new people have to understand all this! Among the other problems collated earlier in this thread.

To be clear: I think that the way it currently works is doing harm - a negative experience for new people, and existing.

And I think that the proposal on the table in this thread addresses the problems.

Having obtained some consensus both that there is a problem, and that the proposal seems to have legs, I’m hoping it will get an airing with the dev(s) , but I’ve just been waiting now until the time is right to raise this with the them.

I don’t think the time is right at the moment, given that @anoek just moved house, moved state, and has not been around the place much that I’ve seen.

But I guess it’s worth invoking him here (as I just did) in case he has a moment to consider it :slight_smile:


Ehm, sorry. I’ve rephrased my previous post. I mean that it could look this way, not that I believe that it is really so.

Rank - upon entering I’ve got “[?]” (and 13k in detailed profile). Ok.

But after a single ranking game I see my profile as “borkazz[11k]” without any question mark to mark ( :slight_smile: ) rank uncertainity. Yes, if look at the profile I see it as 10,7+/-4, but it doesn’t help much when browsing or assigning games.

And the rank is used in a get-a-game system! I see matches with 25k, but I cannot join, since my rank is too high. It is not correct.

I believe that we should have an exam, may be masked to not discourage us, newcomers :slight_smile:

  1. Questions upon entering (as in a first proposal) and/or quick quiz to help determine a starting rank if the person claims that she knows Go (for example, like http://play.baduk.org/go-test/start.php?)
  2. The rank should be clearly marked as unsettled and it should be allowed to break some conditions (for example, entering easier games).
  3. Qualifying bots. With current deep learning/neuTron network influx this will work, especially if we can restrict these special bots for the unsettled rank to balance a system load.
  4. More focus on the “Beginners” room, where these said bots will live. May be a pseudo-AI - like on this forum - that explains basics and challenges player for the qualifying matches.

TL;DR: mark newcomers, add separate rules for matching uncertain ranks, add an exam.


I was hooked on Go precisely because I lost all my stones in my first game, to make things worse, against an idiot (9x9).

Trained on yahoo and msn for a few weeks and got my revenge. msn was actually pretty good in terms of features and aesthetics but yahoo was horrible. I left after I could beat the guy who had 40"000 games played on 9x9… ah well.

I think it evens out. For everyone who leaves due to a few lost games, there are others who become (more or less) strong players since they hate losing. You can’t please everyone. I’d rather have a mathematically sound system than one that caters to the ego.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with offering newcomers an OGS tutorial.


Just to chime in here, I am certainly open to suggestions on how to improve the new user experience. Everything you wrote is true, I do think it’s the mathematically best way of placing folks quickly, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best user experience by any stretch.

I haven’t read through this entire thread but will do so and engage a bit more as life returns to normal. The move is behind me now (for the most part at any rate), though I am expecting a new child any day now and I’m currently recovering from surgery, so my presence is still going to be sporadic for a bit, but life-normalcy is on the horizon now at least :slight_smile:


You’ve had a busy month! Godspeed.


Doesn’t this only hold if people stop joining the site?

If you have a constant influx, 13k stays a mess and you just put the top higher and higher as they take a bigger and bigger share of the total points (since they constantly hoard the influx from new players).


I was referring to the specific individual player, who will in time play a real 13k and other, much stronger players and get knocked down to his or her proper level. This is likely to be a bewildering experience.

I did not mean that the problem we are all talking about would, in a general sense, straighten itself out, because, as you say, there is a constant influx of new players.


Mixed martial arts sports analogy of current OGS new user experience.

“You’re going to fight the state champ.”

“But I’ve barely thrown a punch before. Never been in the ring!”

“We’ll see how you do in a few fights against known local champs and adjust your future fights after that. If you’re great, you can then fight Conor McGregor, champion of the world. If you’re bad, we’ll let you fight the local scrum.”

“I’ll be dead by then. Can’t I please fight a beginner like me now? Pretty please?”

“Nope, sorry. The system won’t allow it. Oh, by the way…good game, have fun!”


Somebody who is coming to OGS after finishing something like “interactive way to go” or similar just looking for a start, and is then paired against players up to 17 stones stronger is not going to create a steady stream of new players or a helpful community. Instead, many players of the range towards 13k will get frustrated by the irregular occurence of players playing way off from their designated rank.

It is ok for everybody if the point made is, that glicko 2 requires this kind of starting placement to make adjustment of scores possible.

It is not ok to take that for granted and say "Ok well, taken that fact, we are doomed, sorry new players"
You should take the individual aspects into account and find solutions, not look for excuses.

Problem: New players are placed at a default rating for already advanced players, instead of a start position according to their skill

Possible Solution:

  • The idea to present new players with a question asking for their skill, like for example Jokes_Aside suggested and placing the new player accordingly

Here we are ignoring the argument, that we cannot do that on purpose, because the solution is valid, and we will not talk ourself out of a valid solution with a problem thats not inherently part of this problem, i.e. the need of glicko-2 to place beginning players at 13k.

Problem: Glicko-2 needs players to be set at 13k by default for glicko-2 to work, so we cannot set ranks for beginning players as we wish for.

Yes, we need to set a technical rank to start at 13k, and i am sure there are people that can explain why that is true over the length of a complete series of GoT. But even if it is true, it does not help to find a solution.
But OK, Let´s assume for now, we cannot absolutely change that. What could we do to archive our goal nevertheless?

One example could be to set new players to this fixed point, but internally nudge the rating according to the rank we want to let the player start, or what the new player selected. If we cannot change the rating value of the player directly,
there are other options to overcome this problem.

Possible Solutions:

  • Directly edit glicko-2 rating according to player selection
  • Let player start at glicko default rating, but add some losses to their rating to adjust for the selected skill
  • If further technical limitations block this, you could even go that far as for example let the new account play internally some games against leela to adjust their rating down, then clean the history of that account and hand the account over

Point made is, don´t hang up on arbitrary technical circumstances, but look at the root of the problem (“new players having problems starting on ogs”) and its effects (“players leaving, new players not staying”), define the solution you want to have (“We want new players to start at a rating and against players according to the strength they bring here”, “we want new players to have a first experience on our platform and in this hobby as positive as possible to make them stay for long”). THEN you can go look for a way to realize this plan and check for technical hurdles to overcome.


^ From what I understand, “new players need to start at 1500 ELO (13k) in order for Glicko-2 to work” is not so much a technical limitation as much as theoretical limitation. If I understand correctly, the argument is that unless all players start out at the same rank, the ranking system will be inaccurate. It would be nice to get some official elaboration on this, though.