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VHL SUGGESTS - Fantasy


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Welcome to our series VHL Suggests. We had an amazing amount of feedback in the S79 Deadline Suggestion Drive@Beketov and I spent a lot of time reading through your ideas, sorting them into common themes, counting how often they come up, and overall just appreciating the members and ideas we have here.

There's too much content to discuss all at once, so I'll be dropping VHL SUGGESTS threads here and there to discuss specific issues and ideas that came up in the massive thread. Use this place to fine-tune the big ideas, think logistics, and double-check that this is something we actually want to do.

 

Finally, a disclaimer: discussing /=/ implementing. Once we have ideas fleshed out further, we'll send them up and down the chain of command to determine feasibility, add some extra polish, or double check it's something that will add value to the community. Even at this stage, there's no guarantee anything we discuss will happen. We will do our best to approach the topic constructively from a solutions-based perspective. Just remember, we're still just discussing.

 

Part 1: Portal Player Profiles

Part 2: Fantasy

 

Another topic that came up lots both before and during the discussion drive was Fantasy and VHFL. These two topics are inherently linked, and discussing them together seems like a good idea.

 

Part 1: Weekly VHL Fantasy

 

First, a note on the S79 Fantasy. VHL Fantasy Manager @Domg5 stepped down, and VHLM Fantasy Manager @youloser1337 stepped up big time. He and I saw some excellent fantasy-related suggestions in the thread and decided to test drive them immediately, including:

 

  • putting VHL and VHLM fantasy on the same ballot, so everyone can participate in every competition
  • diversifying the 'games' included on the ballot, including picking goal-scorers, standings, and other prop picks

 

He and I will keep an eye on the public response to the changes, assess the success of it, hear the suggestions here, and re-evaluate what the S80 Fantasy Zone will look like. 

 

So, some guiding questions for part 1 (just conversation starters, don't feel like you have to answer all of them in order or anything):

  1. Do you like having VHL/E/M fantasy all on the same ticket? Why or why not?
  2. Do you have ideas for other 'games' to include on the fantasy ticket?
  3. Any other ideas or comments about the weekly fantasy zone?

 

***

 

Part 2 is VHFL.

 

This is another topic that has been covered in depth across the forums in recent weeks. We've heard people argue that VHFL is broken, or that there's a better way to do VHFL, or people that straight up agree to break the rules. It's time we examine what we have with a critical eye and see if there are ways to improve.

 

So, some guiding questions for part 2 (just conversation starters, don't feel like you have to answer all of them in order or anything): 

  1. Do you enjoy VHFL? Why or why not?
  2. What works with the current VHFL? What doesn't work?
  3. Have you seen fantasy done differently in another sim league? What could we poach from them?
  4. What's your game-changing idea for VHFL?

 

***

 

DISCLAIMER!!!!

There's one idea that I know will come up, and so we have to talk about gambling. 

We absolutely cannot, will not, implement anything that gets anywhere near looking like gambling. We've got minors here, and we've got people in a wide variety of legal jurisdictions. It's a legally grey area that we do not want to touch at all, so let's just avoid that whole discussion. 

 

Also, we absolutely cannot, will not, implement anything that has to do with Player Money. One way to get that Player Money is through cold-hard-cash donations. We can't have friggin  10 year old Elijah swiping his parent's credit card, sending a strange man on the internet money, and using that money to gamble on the outcomes of a random number generator. Nuh uh. 

 

With the legalese out of the way, what do you think about Fantasy??

Edited by bigAL
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56 minutes ago, bigAL said:
  • Any other ideas or comments about the weekly fantasy zone?

Fwiw, it should be renamed to "pick 'em" since it's not really fantasy, you're not selecting players. If you're just picking teams to win matchups and guessing the score, then I think the name should be "Pick 'Em & Guess the Score" or something, idk. I think "Fantasy" is the overarching title we give these meta games within a fake league lol.

 

56 minutes ago, bigAL said:

Do you like having VHL/E/M fantasy all on the same ticket? Why or why not?

I think the better question here is why should they all be lumped together? Mashing them together doesn't make people invested in other leagues - allowing everyone to participate in M/E Pick 'Em instead of limiting it to people in that specific league makes people pay attention to those other leagues. 

 

Another question would be if mashing them together is a step towards reducing uncapped TPE opportunities. I believe a user with a player in the M could earn a total of 8 uncapped TPE a week from VHL/M Pick 'Em before the change, and VHL players could only get 3. Combining them in the recent change has dropped the max payout to 5, so we've lost 3 TPE. I get that the league wants to reduced uncapped TPE, but in my opinion, moves like these 1. reduce the differentiation between max earners' TPE and 2. point more people in the direction of paying money (donations) for uncapped TPE.

 

Personally, I'm not a fan of either of these, as I think having games that pay out uncapped TPE makes people more interested in those games, and therefore what's going on in all the leagues. As I've suggested before, if the perception is that too many people are getting uncapped TPE in these weekly games, increase the difficulty of those games. Instead of just having to predict 3 games, make it 5 games. Or if you want to make it proportionate to how people win, remove it as a weekly payout and make it a seasonal payout, and adjust the payout based on brackets of correct answers. 

 

TLDR: Overall, I think splitting them up gives more individuality to each league, but if you want people to engage with them, simply let everyone participate in them. If uncapped TPE inflation is the problem, increase the difficulty of the pick 'ems or make it a end of season payout and curve payouts based on right answers.

 

56 minutes ago, bigAL said:

Do you have ideas for other 'games' to include on the fantasy ticket?

DFS probably. I think Berocka had talked about using a certain amount of "money" to buy players to make VHFL rosters instead of drafting them, and someone else mentioned the EFL conducts fantasy the same way. Giving you a budget and assigning values to players. If organized properly, it's not difficult to calculate the change in stats of players week to week, so a weekly "create the best team" could be fun. Give 3-2-1 uncapped TPE to the top 3 users each week, so you're not over-inflating uncapped TPE.

 

56 minutes ago, bigAL said:

Do you enjoy VHFL? Why or why not?

Ya it's fantasy hockey and it's literally free uncapped TPE for participating.

 

56 minutes ago, bigAL said:

What works with the current VHFL? What doesn't work?

The draft system honestly works pretty well, when group managers enforce pick time. Maybe the threat of not receiving the extra 1 uncapped of GM pay would help solve the issue of some poor group managers. And you already know my thoughts about why scoring isn't working.

 

56 minutes ago, bigAL said:

Have you seen fantasy done differently in another sim league? What could we poach from them?

The SHL follows a very similar path as ours, with a draft format. The EFL uses a DFS style. Frankly, I don't think either of their processes are better than ours. The VHFL sheet is pretty simple to use and updates data daily. Maybe the only massive change we could make is putting VHFL calculation on the portal and set it up so anyone can view their group anytime, and then payouts are automatic. But it's a luxury thing to have, when what we have works fine.

 

56 minutes ago, bigAL said:

What's your game-changing idea for VHFL?

Eventually I'll get around to writing a media spot about my proposed scoring changes, but that won't be today lol.

Edited by Spartan
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I'll be monitoring this thread carefully. I want to ensure that I do my job to best of my abilities. That starts with getting feedback from the users actually doing them.

 

3 minutes ago, Spartan said:

I think the better question here is why should they all be lumped together? Mashing them together doesn't make people invested in other leagues - allowing everyone to participate in M/E Pick 'Em instead of limiting it to people in that specific league makes people pay attention to those other leagues. 

 

Another question would be if mashing them together is a step towards reducing uncapped TPE opportunities. I believe a user with a player in the M could earn a total of 8 uncapped TPE a week from VHL/M Pick 'Em before the change, and VHL players could only get 3. Combining them in the recent change has dropped the max payout to 5, so we've lost 3 TPE. I get that the league wants to reduced uncapped TPE, but in my opinion, moves like these 1. reduce the differentiation between max earners' TPE and 2. point more people in the direction of paying money (donations) for uncapped TPE.

 

Before doing the reduced format for the form (2 from VHLM and 2 from VHL), I was going to do the normal VHLM / VHL split (4 games / 1 bonus) on the same form but with different sections. This way the payout would have been 8 uncapped TPE for everyone. I was told to reduce it and only do the 5 TPE instead. Personally, I think having all of them on the same form would be good. Each pickem would have the normal 4 games + 1 bonus question per league like usual.

 

7 minutes ago, Spartan said:

Overall, I think splitting them up gives more individuality to each league, but if you want people to engage with them, simply let everyone participate in them. If uncapped TPE inflation is the problem, increase the difficulty of the pick 'ems or make it a end of season payout and curve payouts based on right answers.

 

I'd argue that it is much easier to predict the VHLM compared to the VHL, hence why it was always 3 TPE and was limited to the VHLM players. I tried my best to pick the toughest to pick (basically full teams vs full teams). Also I believe people like doing this because they get immediate payouts. I can see people losing interest in the pickems if they aren't being paid immediately. Obviously this format was fluid from my first chat with al. I can change it when we go into Season 80.

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1 minute ago, youloser1337 said:

I was told to reduce it and only do the 5 TPE instead

Yeah nothing I said was directed at you specifically, I had a feeling that you were told to do that, which seems to be correct. That's why I had the lil spiel about reducing uncapped TPE and all that, and why it could be done in a different manner, re: raising difficulty (1/2 more games to predict) for the same payout.

 

3 minutes ago, youloser1337 said:

Also I believe people like doing this because they get immediate payouts. I can see people losing interest in the pickems if they aren't being paid immediately.

For sure agreed, I was just spitballing about end of season claims if the actual payout amounts were the issue. They're much more scalable if you look at the distribution of how many questions each user got right over the course of a season, and then assign payouts. Granted, I don't want this process either, but I would rather have end of season scaled payouts than to have games watered down or payouts reduced.

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1 minute ago, Spartan said:

if you look at the distribution of how many questions each user got right over the course of a season, and then assign payouts

Doesn’t EFL do something like this with their trivia leaderboard, or am I imagining that?

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Just now, bigAL said:

Doesn’t EFL do something like this with their trivia leaderboard, or am I imagining that?

I think trivia there is the number of your right answers divided by 2, but they have changed it up every so often. They do have another sort of guessing game (ex. which of these 3 teams will score the most in week 14?), and that turns into the scalable payout at the end of the season. It brackets the percentiles of users and then splits up the payout.

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7 minutes ago, Spartan said:

Yeah nothing I said was directed at you specifically, I had a feeling that you were told to do that, which seems to be correct. That's why I had the lil spiel about reducing uncapped TPE and all that, and why it could be done in a different manner, re: raising difficulty (1/2 more games to predict) for the same payout.

 

 

What if it was 6 games for the VHLM since its easier to predict / 4 for VHL / 3or4 games for VHLE? At the same time you don't want it too difficult for new players coming into the league. A good example of this is @Moon_50joined Minnesota a while ago. They didn't know how to answer our press conference or what teams to pick for fantasy. I just said to follow the majority if he wants. There has to be a balance. 6 might be good for VHL players who know the VHLM but new waiver players might be scared of it and not be sure who to pick.

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3 minutes ago, youloser1337 said:

 

What if it was 6 games for the VHLM since its easier to predict / 4 for VHL / 3or4 games for VHLE? At the same time you don't want it too difficult for new players coming into the league. A good example of this is @Moon_50joined Minnesota a while ago. They didn't know how to answer our press conference or what teams to pick for fantasy. I just said to follow the majority if he wants. There has to be a balance. 6 might be good for VHL players who know the VHLM but new waiver players might be scared of it and not be sure who to pick.

I mean, it's all a toss-up at a level, and I'd expect GM's to be more hands on with those newer players now that 200+ TPE players are in the E and rosters are a bit smaller. The intention would still be for it to be difficult to predict, and they'd still be able to see other people's answers. Increasing the amount of games per week makes it harder for everyone, not just newbies. But I see your point, could have to be balanced a bit.

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4 hours ago, bigAL said:

Do you like having VHL/E/M fantasy all on the same ticket? Why or why not?

 

Kinda sorta. I don't feel strongly either way, but I think it's good to have some VHLM stuff mixed in because otherwise I'd literally never look at which teams are doing well in the minors unless I'm writing an article or something.

 

4 hours ago, bigAL said:

Do you have ideas for other 'games' to include on the fantasy ticket?

 

My main idea is more reactionary than anything else. I liked the old format (pick winners, then pick a specific game) over some of the new questions that were put out there this week. Absolutely nothing against trying new stuff (and I think it's important that we do to see what's best), but at the moment I'd prefer the questions staying how they've always been.

 

4 hours ago, bigAL said:

Any other ideas or comments about the weekly fantasy zone?

 

One thing I'd like to address is something that's been mentioned in this thread: the way EFL runs some of their games (the whole "play every week and every week adds onto your final score) is TERRIBLE (in my opinion) for anyone who isn't super active and won't see things go up every week. As a semi-active, and even as a fairly-active for a while, I found their games very difficult to track and would often find myself losing interest in keeping up with them after missing a week or so, because that meant I could no longer do as well in them as I would have liked--and the best final payout was only like 6 TPE, something I'd be lucky to end up with even half of at the end and nothing I'd stress myself out over trying to get over an entire season. I'd much rather see wins and payouts happen every week than have us experiment with something like that.

 

 

4 hours ago, bigAL said:

Do you enjoy VHFL? Why or why not?

 

Yes. I always kind of figured that I liked it because I was good at it, but my team is trash this season and I still had fun.

 

4 hours ago, bigAL said:

What works with the current VHFL? What doesn't work?

 

Unpopular opinion: VHFL is mostly fine as is. Certain players will always be favored in certain ways by the sim engine, and that's OK. Knowing which players are going to be favored in which certain ways is and will always be the key to winning, like it or not.

 

4 hours ago, bigAL said:

Have you seen fantasy done differently in another sim league? What could we poach from them?

 

EFL ran with a budget-based system for a while, which I thought was interesting. I know @Berocka mentioned this in a recent article and I think it's a cool concept. Instead of they way they've done it--everyone picks their own team individually--I'd like to keep the drafts and add budgets, if we ever try it that way. I'd much rather draft than not.

 

4 hours ago, bigAL said:

What's your game-changing idea for VHFL?

 

Lower the effect of SB a little. Good defensive play should be rewarded, but not almost on the same level as points. That's about it, though--I'm not super against the way anything else works.

 

I do have a proposal for DQ'd teams, though--I think there's a lot of potential drama involved with missing picks and being removed from the lineup. Our current system is (I think):

 

-Miss a pick, get skipped

-Miss two picks, get DQ'd 

 

...while what I'd like to see is something like this:

 

-Miss a pick, get skipped

-Miss two picks, get skipped again

-You don't go on the clock any time you're up to pick after that; you just get skipped again (and preferably pinged with it).

-At any time up to the last pick in the draft, you may come in and make all the picks you missed. Your team then goes back on the clock when you're up to pick.

-If you don't have all your picks made by the end of the draft, you're DQ'd at that point.

 

It keeps things moving while making drafts more relaxed and accessible (and it makes others feel less weird about skipping you and takes away the "I don't want to be that guy to say you're out" issue among group managers).

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8 hours ago, Spartan said:

I think trivia there is the number of your right answers divided by 2, but they have changed it up every so often. They do have another sort of guessing game (ex. which of these 3 teams will score the most in week 14?), and that turns into the scalable payout at the end of the season. It brackets the percentiles of users and then splits up the payout.

 

5 hours ago, GustavMattias said:

way EFL runs some of their games (the whole "play every week and every week adds onto your final score) is TERRIBLE (in my opinion) for anyone who isn't super active and won't see things go up every week.

That’s a great point, rewarding season-long activity and commitment is the kind of “rich getting richer” thing we want to avoid wherever possible. 

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5 hours ago, GustavMattias said:

Miss a pick, get skipped

-Miss two picks, get skipped again

-You don't go on the clock any time you're up to pick after that; you just get skipped again (and preferably pinged with it).

-At any time up to the last pick in the draft, you may come in and make all the picks you missed. Your team then goes back on the clock when you're up to pick.

-If you don't have all your picks made by the end of the draft, you're DQ'd at that point.

 

I didn’t quite get this at first but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I’m a fan of that bolded bit - “if you’re going to go MIA that’s fine (ugh), you can still play with us, but we’re not going to let you slow us down anymore”.
 

That’s a small but really consequential change. No one gets salty they got booted for sleeping in one day. New members have more leeway (so many sign up because it’s what you do, and then immediately get overwhelmed and DQ’d by round 2). VHFL staff have to draft far less teams, and if they do pick DQ teams, it’s at the very end when a) you can easily see who’s left, and b) they aren’t likely winning your group. 

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9 hours ago, Spartan said:

I believe a user with a player in the M could earn a total of 8 uncapped TPE a week from VHL/M Pick 'Em before the change, and VHL players could only get 3. Combining them in the recent change has dropped the max payout to 5, so we've lost 3 TPE

Er, no. Both games pay out 5 TPE each, so the new game

also pays out 5 TPE. And, paying out might be the wrong word - it affords the opportunity for 5 TPE. I haven’t seen a VHLM pick em that has more than one person collecting 3 in a week this season. No one is getting rich on Pick Ems, and that’s fine, it’s a fun little weekly bump. 
 

 

9 hours ago, Spartan said:

think the better question here is why should they all be lumped together? Mashing them together doesn't make people invested in other leagues - allowing everyone to participate in M/E Pick 'Em instead of limiting it to people in that specific league makes people pay attention to those other leagues

I can see the benefit of this one. Each league has their own Pick Ems manager that’s invested in that league alone. Other people can pop in and play if they want to follow along, that’d be the new change, but it’s still specifically designed for the people in that league. 

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7 hours ago, bigAL said:

Er, no. Both games pay out 5 TPE each, so the new game

also pays out 5 TPE. And, paying out might be the wrong word - it affords the opportunity for 5 TPE. I haven’t seen a VHLM pick em that has more than one person collecting 3 in a week this season. No one is getting rich on Pick Ems, and that’s fine, it’s a fun little weekly bump. 

Ah ok, I had never seen someone get more than 3 either lol. But I suppose that proves my point a bit, that the opportunity to get that other 5 uncapped TPE has gone out that window. A chance at 10 has dropped to a chance at 5. I don't think you've clarified why the potential payout dropped, whether it was because too many people were winning, or because the goal is to reduce uncapped TPE opportunities.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Spartan said:

Ah ok, I had never seen someone get more than 3 either lol. But I suppose that proves my point a bit, that the opportunity to get that other 5 uncapped TPE has gone out that window. A chance at 10 has dropped to a chance at 5. I don't think you've clarified why the potential payout dropped, whether it was because too many people were winning, or because the goal is to reduce uncapped TPE opportunities.

 

 

It has been 3 uncapped tpe *for vhlm* since I started the vhlm fantasy. I dont know where 5 came from lol

Edited by youloser1337
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  • Senior Admin
On 8/26/2021 at 4:45 PM, Dil said:

VHFL on portal.

 

I've looked at this a bit and I think in its current form we could do some VHFL tracking on the portal but I can't see us implementing the drafting, that would be a pretty big job. Something where the fantasy manager uploads the final rosters and then we track VHFL stats in real time would likely be manageable but I think people are more or less doing that with the API already so not sure if that would be a valuable addition or not. Might be able to do something nicer with a different format. 

 

For weekly fantasy zone - I was actually pretty far into working on a fantasy system in the portal before my little hiatus.. It's a bit obsolete now with these changes and VHLE but I will look to modify and finish that once I know what the requirements are. 

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9 minutes ago, Will said:

I've looked at this a bit and I think in its current form we could do some VHFL tracking on the portal but I can't see us implementing the drafting, that would be a pretty big job.

Meh not really. I started VHFL on portal before I… died. Since it’s not necessary to have it refresh every seconds like a real draft it’s not really going to cause lag.

 

The main (and only) issue with it is the 12h pick forfeit. The obvious answer is to have a background task running every hour that the VHFL drafting is open to check if any pick has crossed the limit and auto, but I doubt Josh would be into that idea. Another option would be to have the fantay zone manager click either a skip button directly on each draft page or one for the entire league which automatically checks whenever the button is pressed.

 

Im very close to completing the VHL android and iOS apps, and would love to be able to set up VHFL on the portal when done.

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