Ladders are great concept but I’m not sure they are reaching their potential.
The big idea is that weaker players can challenge stronger players for a chance to take their position. Weaker players can play against stronger players and possibly win.
The problem is that the ladder position is not the only thing at stake. Playing even against a much weaker player is a dangerous proposition for the rank.
Because the ladder position is not only thing at stake, stronger players will simply let the game go to time out and annulment.
This does not help anybody. Few people are actually playing. The opportunity to force games against stronger players loses all the fun when the game is rated.
I know OGS did it this way and blah, blah, blah but, seriously, things can change.
Make ladder games free and you will not be able to challenge someone 300 places above you because there will be too much activity. Stronger players just playing against weaker players is good for the culture here and good for the game at large.
Maybe you can double check in your database how many ladder games go to annulment. Down the road, you’ll see all my games against weaker players in annulment. This is sad.
I’m not sure I agree that there is a problem. I agree with the original creators of OGS that ladder games should be rated. The stakes should be the same as playing a regular rated match on the site. If it makes you uncomfortable that anyone could challenge you to a rated match then perhaps ladders aren’t right for you?
One thing that will be coming up soon is that if you time out in a ladder game you will be removed from the ladder as I think that creates more of a problem for people who are trying to move up the ladder and are looking for a good match.
If you are worried about losing rating points from playing a weaker opponent in a ladder match then I’m not sure what to tell you, it’s just one of the facets about competing in a ladder. I think being able to force a rated game against someone stronger than you is indeed part of the fun of playing in the ladder.
You already can’t challenge people 300 places above you, there is a limit to how high up you can challenge.
If you are okay with losing a ladder place by withdrawing from a match because you didn’t want to face a weaker opponent then so be it.
I like the idea that timeouts are removed from the ladder.
I did not think of that which is cool. I’m not thinking about this as much as you are.
When I saw lots of 20 Kyu range players with nontrivial tournament wins and good records, it just occurred to me that the ladder may be a big contributor. That might be a Captain Obvious moment for me. I don’t know.
Anyway, I’m not trying to add any more stress than you already have. Thank you for responding.