• The League Tab, Part 1

    Today I'm going to take a quick look at the League tab. It's goal is to you find other people to play against in online matches.

    Feel like finding just how good you are compared to everyone else? The system allows you to do ranked competitive matches.

    Just want to play for fun? That's no problem too, you can find opponents to play casual or unranked games too.

    Eventually we will also use it to manage online tournaments. So how do you use this system? Read on.

    The first thing to keep in mind is that this system doesn't yet provide a way for you to actually play the games online. For that, people use use webcams and Google Hangouts or use VASSAL. What this system does provide is a way to:
    1. find opponents,
    2. record game results, and
    3. if playing competitively, rank players by the skill level they've demonstrated by their play/results.

    Requirements
    You must be logged in with your The Reserve Pool account to use the the League tab. Once you've done so, go ahead and click on the League tab button in top navigation bar.

    The main steps in using this system are what we're covering in this article.
    • STEP 1: Joining a "ladder"
    • STEP 2: Challenging other players
    • (Playing the game)
    • STEP 3: Reporting results

    More details will be provided in future articles.

    Quick Digression: Live Match Finder
    On the right side of the main screen, under the "Live Match Finder" heading, you will see a list of players who want to play a game right now. If you've joined a ladder (see below), it also provides a way for you to mark your availability for a match.

    On the left side of the screen, which is a bit bar at the moment, you will see two categories, one for ranked, competitive play, and one for casual play.

    STEP 1: Joining a Ladder
    To participate in this system, you have to join a "ladder." Right now we have three ladders available. You can join any or all of them:

    • Competitive / Video players: This is for players who like playing via a video connection, such as Google Hangouts. Games played in this ladder use standard tournament rules (20 life, choose any two 2 basic action cards and 8 other cards) and are ranked.
    • Competitive / VASSAL player: This is the same as the previous ladder except it is for people who like to play via VASSAL.
    • Casual / General play: A catch-all ladder for all other types of games. Games played as part of this ladder are not ranked. (Actually a rank shows up at the moment, but we're going to find a way to make that disappear).

    We will add more ladders if there is demand for them. We're especially interested in investigating ways to facilitate online play of draft games.

    So to join a ladder, select the appropriate category, click on the ladder and then click on the button that says, Join Ladder, and confirm that you want to join by clicking on "Yes." It's that easy.

    STEP 2: Challenging Players
    To play another person, you must challenge them first. The other player can accept or reject your challenge. One way to challenge someone is via the "challenge" link in the Live Match Finder (see above). The other way is by finding a player on a League's main screen, clicking on their name, and clicking "Challenge Player" showing all of the players in the league.

    When challenging a player, you can suggest a date and time to play or you can request to play right away. The player who was challenged will get a notification and an email asking if they accept your challenge. If they do (via the link they find in their notification or via the Ladder menu in the Leagues tab), it's GAME ON!

    STEP 3: Reporting Results
    After the game is played, go back to the challenge screen and click on "Submit Score Now!" At the top of that screen, enter the final score. At the bottom you can write a quick comment about the game (optional). Then hit submit. Your opponent will get a notification that you entered the result and given the opportunity to either correct an error accept the result.

    After that, if this is a competitive match, ranking will automatically be updated and you can see where you now place.

    So how does this ranking system work, and how can I do more things in this league system? Check back for Part 2, next week!