Ranking advice


PaizoCon General Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hi, all. I could use the advice of more experienced con-goers to help me figure out the lottery system.

I play the Adventure Card Game, and I decided to come down so I could get the new edition in my hot little hands as soon as possible, and to meet other fans.

I have never played an RPG of any description in my life. This event doesn't feel like the place to discover I hate it/I'm no good at it, and I would especially feel bad if I fluked into a lottery-based game to discover this.

It seems there's a number of events based on PACG happening, probably enough to keep me occupied at all hours of each day, but only one that's on the lottery, and it seems to be a three-day event, meaning I should put a 4 on all three days. Beyond that, I see maybe one event (counterprogrammed against the Saturday session, or against the info session at 9 am on Friday) that I'm interested in.

We've been advised not to put just 4s and 0s, and for good reason -- if my name doesn't show up on the list before that event fills, I get nothing, but I'm not sure what else to do here. Help?

Thanks.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hi
This is my second time going and I played 100% ACG last time
I to noticed there is only one series on homebrew games in the lottery everything else is just general signup
Just put 4s for those you and you can leave anything else as not answered or 0
If you miss out of any it is likely you will be able to trade them in
Most of the ACG is not in the lottery and you will be able to sign up for them as soon as they open
It was my best weekend of gaming last year and I know you will have a great time!

Contributor

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Hey, Axoq! The warning about only 4s and 0s is just because sometimes people rank everything at a 4 thinking that it will help them get events, but they end up with essentially randomized selections. If the only thing you want to play is ACG, then by all means, rank those games at a 4 and everything else at a 0!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks, Matsu and Kate. I guess that's how I'll have to play it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The ACG games you are talking about are on different days, so I'd rank each of those a 4. If you'd like to try an RPG game and see one that interests you, rank those 1 to 3. That way, if there is an opening in the ACG you'd get that; if not, the lottery assignment will drop down in ranking levels until it finds an opening for you.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

The system is specifically designed to work most effectively if you rank your events as honestly as possible.


Personal observation...telling gamers not to try and game the system is
like telling ducks not to waddle.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I don't think anyone is trying to game the system. They're trying to understand how it works and how to best articulate their preferences to the lottery system. There's nothing insidious in that.

There are only 4 priority levels. It's very likely people will find more than 4 games they're interested in a given day. Why is it odd that people might ask for advice on how to approach that situation?

Contributor

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I think Sara’s point is also that a lot of the ways people try to game the system end up backfiring. It doesn’t matter if you ranked an event a 4 while someone else ranked it a 2 if that other person comes up in the lottery before you. You really will get the schedule that you’re happiest with if you set your rankings as honestly as you can.

Paizo Employee Designer

Any system has ways that work better or worse, but like Sara said, being honest and accurate are the best ways to get what you want most with this system. Let me explain:

If you like more than 4 games on a day enough that you would want to get them in the lottery, clearly you will have to rank at least two games with the same ranking (if you have 4 or fewer, it's easy, just rank them in order). How should you decide how to do this? Again, by best describing your preference. If you actually have a full priority order in your head for each game, go ahead and start with that. Figure out which two games are closest in your mind, such that you wouldn't really mind too much if you got either of them, and then combine those two games into a set, then repeat this process, combining the closest sets with each other (incidentally, if there were any where you couldn't really decide, you already have some larger sets). Stop when you have exactly four sets, and label them 4 through 1. This process is mathematically guaranteed to result in the best possible situation for you no matter where you fall in the lottery order (some systems, like ranking your top 3 as separate numbers and then all the others as "1" could work better if you assumed you would always get top rank in the lottery but would completely leave you stranded in almost any other situation), given that you have only four preference numbers to give. It's also the most honest way to rank things.

Hope this helped!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
(some systems, like ranking your top 3 as separate numbers and then all the others as "1" could work better if you assumed you would always get top rank in the lottery but would completely leave you stranded in almost any other situation)

Do you say this because you assume those 1s have some kind of priority that's being ignored? That's pretty close to how I rank. I usually have one or two things that I'm really excited about and want to be certain that's where the system looks first—I almost always have a single 4, because nothing else is equivalent to that in terms of my preference.

I usually have a single 3 as well, I'll have a couple 2s, and a bunch of 1s. I don't understand why that would leave me stranded in any situation, given that I really don't care which of the 1s I'd get.

Am I missing something here? Even assuming I'm last in the lottery round, I think I'd still want them to see if my 4 is available, then my 3, before randomly selecting between open 2s or 1s.

Paizo Employee Designer

TomParker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
(some systems, like ranking your top 3 as separate numbers and then all the others as "1" could work better if you assumed you would always get top rank in the lottery but would completely leave you stranded in almost any other situation)

Do you say this because you assume those 1s have some kind of priority that's being ignored? That's pretty close to how I rank. I usually have one or two things that I'm really excited about and want to be certain that's where the system looks first—I almost always have a single 4, because nothing else is equivalent to that in terms of my preference.

I usually have a single 3 as well, I'll have a couple 2s, and a bunch of 1s. I don't understand why that would leave me stranded in any situation, given that I really don't care which of the 1s I'd get.

Am I missing something here? Even assuming I'm last in the lottery round, I think I'd still want them to see if my 4 is available, then my 3, before randomly selecting between open 2s or 1s.

No, and in fact the system I described of "Combine the two closest sets until you have only 4 sets" could actually lead you to have a single option as 4, a single option as 3, a single option as 2, and all the rest 1s if that's truly how you feel the distinctions lie in your preferences, in which case it's the optimal solution. But let's say that you have a definite top choice, 2nd best is certainly better than 3, but 4 is waaay more preferable to 5 and below. In that case, you should combine your 2nd and 3rd choice or your 3rd and 4th choice so that the system is able to separate out your 4th choice from the ones far beneath it if your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are all gone.

It's actually similar to problems in information theory, in that you have only 4 things you are allowed to tell the system (5 including ranking '0' to not receive that game), so how can you most optimally indicate the true range of your preferences? Turns out by being as honest as possible and grouping your numbers where the true biggest gaps in preference occur.

That being said, if you can sort the other three sets cleanly, if you have a clear frontrunner it doesn't hurt to have a single first choice for the day just in case you either go very early in the lottery or your first choice is actually not very popular. Conditional probability that your 2nd choice game is full when you get your pick given that your 1st choice game is full when your pick happens goes way up compared to the initial probability of it being full.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks, Mark. It sounds like we’re saying the same thing. I just always have some very clear front runners.

Contributor

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At the end of the day, you want to look at your rankings and have more-or-less the same amount of interest in each event with the same ranking on the same day, whether you get there by Mark’s method or a different method. If you have one clear first choice and one clear runner-up, it sounds like your rankings are exactly right!

Contributor

Hey, Axoq, a couple more ACG events were added to the lottery, so you might have some choices to make now!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Kate Baker wrote:
Hey, Axoq, a couple more ACG events were added to the lottery, so you might have some choices to make now!

Shoot. I was at another event this weekend and had no idea that the list at the beginning wasn't finalized. I'm not seeing events in the list that weren't there before, which suggests that events that were previously listed as impossible to register for were converted to lottery events. I'm worried that I'm going to have a lot of free time on my hands.

Contributor

It was only two sessions of one event! As you surmised, they were already on the schedule, but got converted to lottery events.

I think you won’t have trouble filling your schedule, though. There is a lot of ACG to be had!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I got two out of the three modules for the original lottery event, so I'll miss the one in the middle.

I'm at work, and everything is already full by lunch time, except for events that are running continuously, but are the same event over and over. There isn't a reason for me to show up on Saturday, other than the banquet that I specifically paid for.

There's one event I can sign up for, but it explicitly says that teams should expect to play all three days, and the others are booked, so even if I take it, I'm only creating a problem. I booked it anyway. What else can I do?

I suppose I can hope for a "trade" (not that I have any slots to trade back). Although that looks like, again, I have to monitor this forum constantly, hoping for something to come up? How do people get anything when they have other things in their lives other than watching this website? I have to say, I'm not terribly impressed.

Liberty's Edge

There's a table when at the con, in the main lobby near the ballroom(smaller one) used as the store that is set up for tickets people don't want to use anymore. If you are lucky you might find the ticket to that event if you cannot get a trade into it before the con itself.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
MidknightTopaz wrote:
There's a table when at the con, in the main lobby near the ballroom(smaller one) used as the store that is set up for tickets people don't want to use anymore. If you are lucky you might find the ticket to that event if you cannot get a trade into it before the con itself.

Thanks for the tip. It's something to keep an eye out for.

As a separate question, do people just play? Is there space for people to just sit down and go through scenarios from one of the many copies of the game that are likely to be floating around the convention, without it being an Event?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yes, you'll find people playing throughout the con. Many people grab tables in the upstairs rooms when they're not in use.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

That's good to hear.

I've been going through a lot of frustration figuring this system out...

Axoq wrote:
There's one event I can sign up for, but it explicitly says that teams should expect to play all three days, and the others are booked, so even if I take it, I'm only creating a problem. I booked it anyway. What else can I do?

Turns out that event, Ruins of Bonekeep, is just blocked for the later days so no one can sign up -- you sign up for the first and you get all three. (Judging by that thread, everyone knew this but the new guy.) Except this created a scheduling conflict for me that the website couldn't detect, and now I feel like I need to clean that up, but I don't know how... I've asked in the Bonekeep thread what the organizer would prefer, given that these two events conflict in several ways.

I'm working at making this work... but it is work.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Manager

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Axoq wrote:

I got two out of the three modules for the original lottery event, so I'll miss the one in the middle.

I'm at work, and everything is already full by lunch time, except for events that are running continuously, but are the same event over and over. There isn't a reason for me to show up on Saturday, other than the banquet that I specifically paid for.

There's one event I can sign up for, but it explicitly says that teams should expect to play all three days, and the others are booked, so even if I take it, I'm only creating a problem. I booked it anyway. What else can I do?

I suppose I can hope for a "trade" (not that I have any slots to trade back). Although that looks like, again, I have to monitor this forum constantly, hoping for something to come up? How do people get anything when they have other things in their lives other than watching this website? I have to say, I'm not terribly impressed.

The ACG Open is a learning experience, as we work to make a competitive aspect to a cooperative game.

The big take away I can give you is that we can work to get you the games you want. We have base sets and copies of scenarios for check out that you can take and play on your own, outside the scheduled events. We will add tables until we reach capacity. Come to Organized Play HQ when you arrive and the team will do whatever we can to make sure you have games to play.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I appreciate this. My big source of frustration has been that it's felt like Events with a capital E are all that are going on (though based on what's been revealed here, that's far from true) and it's been hard for this newcomer to figure out the ins and outs. I've trusted when people have said in various places, don't worry, it'll be great, but the preparations have been... worrying. The fact that there's a lot going on that's more unstructured gives me assurance that I'm not coming down there just to sit idle. I'm looking forward to this. Thanks, Tonya!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Tonya - If I can suggest the Open for future listing needs a bit better description. It doesn't really covey what it is.

Axoq - The ACG Open is really cool if you do it, but I would highly suggest you know the game before you sit down to play it. It is a timed tournament where the team is trying to score points (every year the scoring mechanic is different) before the end of the slot. The top X teams move on to the next slot and so forth. I don't think the Open is a time to have the 'this is the ACG and here is how it is played' conversation. As most of the time the conversation goes, "You got a blessing?" "Gods?" "Works thanks. I passed next turn and remember to do <odd mechanic for the open here that will drive everyone crazy>."

For scheduling my husband and I lottery into the Open but for the other sessions we book things so that we can skip events if we need to participate in the later open slots.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hmm, then I'm confused (again). There are only four team slots open on Friday, each allowing four people, and all four have scheduled times throughout the weekend. If there's team elimination, why are there four slots scheduled on Sunday as well?

I'm familiar enough with PACG itself, or at least the version before the new Core set. I'm my group's rules enforcer most of the time. They tend to take their time with decisions, though, so playing for speed may be a shock.

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