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Title: Final ratings, not much movement but...
Posted: August 30, 2009 (10:04 PM)
You saw last week's. The only real shifts are what you'd expect. I drop for getting swept, Espiga goes up for 1-2 against Suskie, who drops slightly, and True flipflops with woodhouse.
suskie 2303 c
1 bbobb 2211 7
boo 2197 c
janus 2141 c
emp 2124 c
2 zig 2095 3
3 true 2094 8
4 venter 2079 6
od 2067 c
5 zipp 2065 1
6 woodhouse 2046 4
7 doi 2015 12
felix 1994 c
8 espiga 1980 13
9 wolfqueen 1964 2
10 aschultz 1956 9
11 sashanan 1930 15
12 de 1912 5
13 belisarios 1895 11
14 randxian 1876 16
dagoss 1875 c
15 turducken 1873 17
16 disco 1813 10
will 1798 c
17 vortex 1695 14
More final observations, by the numbers:
Janus was the best 2nd-best player on his team. True was the 2nd-best 2nd-best.
Espiga was the "best worst." I was the 2nd-best worst.
Bbobb was a fantastic pick. Disco1960 didn't work out so well, but looking through his reviews I didn't find one I disliked. And if Disco had beaten me in round 4, where Sportsman admitted to making a tough choice, Team Janus goes to the playoffs in place of Team EmP--all other things being equivalent. Team Janus had 2 of the very best and 1 at 2nd-bottom but seemed to lose at the exact wrong times.
DoI stumbled late while being a great pick before. EmP got the order wrong for drafting his teammates.
Despite bluberry being disappointed Espiga wrote nothing new, Espiga did well by the numbers. The numbers don't reflect that he may've been running on fumes after his best reviews were out there, though.
I'm not sure whether having such strong teammates helped me or hurt my individual ratings. I would guess it hurt me--I'd guess everyone brings their best against the team at the top of the standings. While I'd hoped to be 12th or better in these final standings, that vs winning the team tourney is a no brainer. My teammates helped me get better with their own reviews, their comments on mine, and their faith I could do my thing. And that's the sort of thing numbers can't capture, blah, blah.
I've mentioned I enjoyed my opponents' reviews vs me more than theirs in other rounds. Looking over things again convinces me I was pretty objective about this. I also enjoyed facing different people in the playoffs than the regular season. Again, I didn't get to mix things up as much as I'd hoped, but there will be future tournaments for that.
Woodhouse seemed to be clutch, and I'm surprised his rating was relatively low. Unfortunately I never tweaked the ratings so that it factors how much your wins mean to the team. I think footballoutsiders.com has a method for that, but it's beyond the time I have, and it's probably proprietary anyway. I just worked out expected value. Woodhouse's loss to disco1960 probably pulled him down significantly, yet Team Boo still won--bad luck again there, Team Janus.
I also summed up the team individual ratings to give an index, and the results are about what you'd expect. I dropped turducken/vortex to 24th--that's where their composite rating went--and bumped disco and Will up one.
1 suskie 24
2 boo 28
2 janus 28
4 EmP 35
5 overdrive 36 (overdrive overperforms: good team management got them to 3rd)
6 felix 39
7 will 50
8 dagoss 60
One other thing: ironically, in the playoffs, a teammate winning dropped one of your opponent's ratings. That is, if you had different matchups the next time around.
Title: Bluberry pancakes this weekend
Posted: August 27, 2009 (07:30 AM)
If you don't mind tire tracks stamped "Team Suskie" on them.
I think Bluberry picked good matchups--my little statistical whatchamajigger says there's a range of .12 expected wins, based on the ratings and so forth. Actually it had the ideal matchup for him switching True and me, but it was minimally better. Straight up matchups would've been best for Team Suskie, but with a close 1.64-1.36 match expected (in favor of the good guys,) a surprise good review--to either side--can tip the scales unexpectedly. So, as before, the numbers are neat and shiny but don't mean too much.
Team Suskie is in an interesting position, though, and it reminds me of the 1989 Green Bay Packers when I used to follow football. They vaguely needed three teams to lose in the last week of the season. Each was favored, though the chance all three would win was low, and each wound up winning. Eagles beat the Cardinals, Rams scored a late TD in a seesaw game vs the Patriots, whose QB missed a wide open receiver the last play of the game, and Minnesota held on against Cincinnati, in a Monday night game no less--the football gods strung me out til the end! Thus did the Packers lose the privilege of getting killed by the 49ers in the divisional playoffs.
So ironically, the Packers, who managed wonderfully BS comebacks against other teams' prevent defenses all year--the best being a loss actually, 38-7 to the Rams to "only" 41-38, couldn't mount the season-long comeback that put them in the playoffs. Next year, the NFL added another wild card team. Three years later, the Pack WAS that sixth team. They suffered the first of three flattenings by the Cowboys, who then punked out and lost to the third-year Panthers rather than let the Pack have some revenge in their Super Bowl year.
How is this possibly relevant? Well, one of True and me needs to win or Team Suskie is cooked--with the ideal matchup we'd both have a ~40% chance, so hoping Suskie beats Espiga (our best shot based on past results but obviously no gimme) it'd be bad to bet straight-up on either of us, but both of us--that's worth a straight up bet to break even.
Math trivia: if p(true wins)=p(i win)=p(woodhouse/blu both win) then p=1/the golden ratio.
Title: The penultimate TT ratings, for amusement only
Posted: August 24, 2009 (09:53 PM)
Provided with little comment and the usual disclaimer that anyone is capable of a whopping good review. Not much movement, which is not surprising with fewer matches this week AND with more overall matches stabilizing ratings. left = draft pick, right = rank. Nonplayers may lose or win a few points based on how their opponents or opponents' opponents did.
Only comment here is how well zigfried did despite everyone throwing their best at him. These formulas don't take into account who focused on which opponent or who saved their best review for when.
suskie 2332 c
1 bbobb 2207 7
boo 2168 c
janus 2137 c
emp 2116 c
2 zig 2092 3
3 true 2078 8
4 venter 2078 6
5 zipp 2070 1
6 woodhouse 2063 4
od 2062 c
7 doi 2019 12
felix 1995 c
8 aschultz 1977 9
9 wolfqueen 1972 2
10 espiga 1964 13
11 sashanan 1931 15
12 de 1913 5
13 belisarios 1904 11
14 randxian 1879 16
dagoss 1869 c
15 turducken 1862 17
16 disco 1820 10
will 1796 c
17 vortex 1697 14
Title: Gaming, and the helplessness of illiteracy
Posted: August 17, 2009 (09:46 AM)
So a fellow guide writer at GameFAQs mentioned an NES RPG called Shadow Brain. It's part Japanese, part English. It's pretty paint-by-numbers, so I'm able to figure out most of what to do. I was able to find which bytes did what--a lot of the game is, oddly, in English. It'll have text like "ID A" and so forth. So you know you have to get ID Card A. There are also lots of pictures with devices that hook up to a computer, and you have a sort of depiction of the Internet before it really existed. Games like that are neat, though Neuromancer did it better.
Still it's enormously frustrating not to be able to read stuff--or to know that you've changed something, because the letters look different and the numbers do, because you gained X hit points--and knowing that if you could, it'd be very easy. Like most people here, I've been literate from a young age. But I've always wondered what it's like to feel illiterate, or not be able to read.
In some of my work I run past Hebrew text or Arabic text, or other languages. I can just cut and paste all that now into Google translate. Games are one of the few places I can't cut and paste for, and given that there's an immediate emotional need to know--I just want to solve the darn game--I really do feel the frustration of not understanding the game. Coupled with being able to byte edit my character into gaining the items I want, being Japanese-illiterate leaves me quite frustrated & will hopefully spur me to make the small jumps to learn how to read the basic alphabets.
It's not the first time a Japanese game left me baffled, but at some points I realized mucking around with the game would be clearly less productive long-term than 15-30 minutes a day to learn things. There are internet resources, of course.
Title: GUTS's Lord of the Sword review
Posted: August 14, 2009 (04:53 PM)
Well Zigfried's topic finally pushed me over the edge. Some of GUTS's reviews go too far for me. But this one has something special. It's a swipe at Masters, but then they became friends a month later, so that's okay.
Archive.org is a wonderful site.
Unlike the other person that reviewed this title, I won't make you wade through 16 paragraphs of irrelevant ''wit'' just to read 3 sentences about the game. Want to know if it's good or not? Here's the lowdown.
Lord of the Sword is a side-scrolling action adventure game, the closest comparison I can think of would be Shadow of the Beast 1 or 2. You fight your way through action stages, talk to a few people in town, find some new weapons, you know the routine. It's non-linear in that you can go many different directions at any given time, it's up to you to figure which way is the correct path. If you're the type of person who just likes stage after stage of intense action without any RPG elements, you'll definitely dislike it. But if you enjoy an action game with some exploration and puzzle solving, you'll most likely dig it like I did.
The story is pretty lame, but what 8bit game had a good story? Phantasy Star? Yeah that's about it. Anyway, the control is actually good, I don't know what the other guy's problem was. For weapons you get a sword (which you will upgrade later on by finding a couple better ones), and a bow. The bow is good for taking out annoying flying things from a distance. You'll use the sword the most, obviously. I personally really dug the crouching animation, you draw and strike like a samurai, it looks pretty kick ass. I'd always kill guys from a crouch just cause it looked so cool, hah. Pressing up makes you jump, which works fine, I never found myself jumping on accident like in some games with the same control scheme. Perhaps if my thumb was swollen from perusing a thesaurus all day it might present a problem.
I really liked how the game was layed out, you proceed from one area to the next through action stages, and sometimes there will be multiple paths where you can go up stairs or keep on straight ahead. There's a map if you press pause that will tell you where you are in the kingdom. The nice part about the game is that, yeah initially you'll have to backtrack a lot to figure out where you're supposed to go, but once you discover the order of things you can get through it pretty quick. This is why it reminds me so much of Shadow of the Beast, it's all about figuring out where you're supposed to go and when.
Interacting with people is pretty minimal, so most of the time you'll be hacking your way through an action stage, but talking to people is important to open up new pathways and to gain hints on where to go. Entering and leaving houses regains your health, so anytime you're in town, just enter and exit a bunch of times and you'll be healed. You only have one life with no continues to beat the game, so be careful. It's not that difficult to survive, hell I did it and I can't even beat Strider! But I can see where a baby would start crying about halfway through the game because he wasn't watching himself and got smoked, requiring him to start over. This game is NOT a fast paced action game, if you try to rush through you're going to die.
The one drawback to the game is that there isn't a save feature of any kind. Welcome to the 80s! But once you figure the first few objectives out, the rest of the game is a breeze. It'll take you maybe a couple hours tops to beat it, which is very reasonable for one sitting.
Pretty damn sweet for 8bit. All the sprites are big, and they're very colorful. I'd say this is one of the better looking Master System games, and definitely puts most stuff on the NES to shame. It's worth checking it out just for the cool animations of the main character, he's like a cross between a samurai and a medieval soldier.
I'd say this game is pretty decent, nothing great, but most definitely NOT bad. Plus it's cheap as hell, so why not pick it up? At the least you'll get a little entertainment out of it, at most you may really enjoy it and want to beat it like I did.
As you can tell this isn't my favorite game in the world, but I couldn't let the game get a bad rap just cause somebody wanted to show off their vocabulary. Here's a tip to all reviewers: TRY ACTUALLY BEATING THE GAME BEFORE YOU REVIEW IT! What a concept! Don't play half an hour, then rush to the computer with your thesaurus and start typing out a hybrid comedy routine/thesis on your childhood with maybe a paragraph of actual information about the game. No one cares about you, your life, or your vocabulary, and you're so definitely not funny. The end.
Title: How much is TT home field advantage worth?
Posted: August 14, 2009 (09:14 AM)
To follow up on my post about ratings, I thought it'd be interesting to see how much home field might be worth. So with the ratings in hand from the previous post, I schlopped together all 6 matchup possibilities given 6 ratings. Here is what I found, in terms of expected wins based on the formula expected wins=1/(10^(diff/400)):
Suskie vs OD
1.812 = maximum (Suskie vs Venter, True vs Belisarios, ASchultz vs Overdrive)
1.713 = minimum (Suskie vs Belisarios, True vs Venter, ASchultz vs Overdrive)
Boo vs EmP
1.713 = maximum (Boo vs EmP, Woodhouse vs DoI, Espiga vs DE)
1.657 = minimum (Boo vs DE, Woodhouse vs EmP, Espiga vs DoI)
So home field advantage vs "on the road" offers a potential .06 to .10 shift in expected votes. Home field advantage is half that (neutral would be in the middle,) or .03 to .05. That makes 1% to 1.7%.
Compare this to college basketball, where home field is worth about 3.5 points, and teams average 70 points a game, roughly. Home field offers a shift of 3.5/140=2.5%.
Or compare it to college football, where I'd guess teams totaled 45 points per game, with HFA being 3 points. That is 3/45 or a whopping 7%.
Given that it's hard to quantify how good some writing is, or how to appeal to a certain judge(who may rightfully get tired of seeing too much of style X and say so,) or how ratings are still bobbling up and down, home field advantage would seem statistically insignificant. Especially since any one person can sit down and write something brilliant, or draw a blank, in any given week.
But that's a reason home field advantage can be wildly significant and decisive, as the home team may have a secret weapon review to spring on the Other Guys.
So it appears home field is nice, but it's absolutely no substitute for writing well. Which we knew. But I guess it's quantified a bit now.
Title: Final ELO-style team tourney ratings
Posted: August 10, 2009 (10:34 PM)
If you're curious how ELO ratings are calculated, look on wikipedia...basically, I estimated them with 200 runs through, giving everyone a 2000 rating to start. They don't seem to change appreciably after that, so here are the ratings and rankings. (c) = captain, 1st#=relative rating of draftee, 2nd#=order draftee was picked.
(c) suskie 2365
1 bbobb 2212 7
(c) boo 2147
(c) janus 2134
(c) emp 2121
2 venter 2093 6
3 zig 2092 3
4 zipp 2058 1
5 doi 2051 12
6 woodhouse 2047 4
7 true 2039 8
(c) od 2032
8 espiga 2003 13
(c) felix 1975
9 belisarios 1966 11
10 wolfqueen 1955 2
11 aschultz 1948 9
12 sashanan 1940 15
13 randxian 1901 16
14 de 1871 5
(c) dagoss 1865
15 turducken 1842 17
16 disco 1813 10
(c) will 1802
17 vortex 1729 14
People with better records may have worse ratings because they played weaker schedules. If you're wondering about relative strengths, a difference of 120 means an expected 2-1 win. 180 = 3-1(if 4 judges) and 240=4-1, 280=5-1. Basically the ratio = 10^(rating difference - 400).
Ratings are still pretty volatile as I started with 2080 or so, Wolfqueen with 1850, before this round. That changed, obviously! While the sample size isn't enough to be statistically significant, we can see some clear trends.
Anyway I hope people enjoy reading this, as I enjoyed writing a program to calculate this. Don't take it too seriously--rating is not a true indication of worth as a writer, which can't be calculated anyway, and all that.
If anyone has old tourneys and is curious, maybe I could crank out the ratings for them, too.
Title: Week 7 preview: bit late for a preview, eh?
Posted: August 09, 2009 (09:16 AM)
Especially if it's biased and deliberately slanted for maximum tiebreak advantage to Team Suskie. The judges are, apparently, almost done anyway. If they are not, they should strive to ignore this topic wholeheartedly, because they know what I am going to say.
First, I predict Team Suskie to beat Team Dagoss, because if I picked us to lose, I would be picking at least one of my teammates to lose. That would be no way to show faith in them! If 2-1, it would show that I think we'd just barely win, and psychological tests show that when people say their team'll barely win, they really believe they're going to lose, or their team tends to lose more than half the time. Ergo, I am morally obligated to predict a 3-0 match win.
In fact, I have a similar faith in my teammates to be morally obliged to pick THEM 3-0 individual wins as well, as a 2-1 prediction would be as above. I liked Wolfqueen's review the best of Team Dagoss's, but I think I noticed a sentence that set my inner Grammar Police siren a-wailin', so heck! I'm good enough, people like me, and...gosh, I feel up to picking a sweep for me, too.
Quick capsules--I found Suskie's review a good discussion of what a port of an old character's game should be, True's energetic and with good imagery. Dagoss and turducken's intros bring humor but are too labored and dance around and break the fourth wall a bit too much. Turducken's clever wordplay sometimes misses its mark and that's where a 3rd look through a review would help. Extreme conflict of interest prevents me from saying more on me vs Wolfqueen, other than that I think we both tried something different from the usual and I hope the judges were pleasantly surprised by both of us.
OVERDRIVE VS BLUBERRY
We need Overdrive to lose 2-1, so let's see...
I was really impressed with the Overdrive-Bluberry matchup. Bluberry's little cutesy writing tics drove me up the wall a bit, so in two entertaining reviews of a genre I can't stand, Overdrive gets the nod. Venter-Espiga is maybe not so much. I liked the reviews they used against me better, or I would've if they hadn't beaten me with them! Venter's Megan Fox gag/office gags seem a bit labored and I'd rather have read about if the challenge of level 20 tips off stuff on level 1. Espiga makes a great point about getting NPCs killed and the possibilites there but labors it. Still, both reviews interested me in the game. Espiga sidetracked less. BELISARIOS brings good condensed wit but in a game with limited range. Woodhouse is impressive with a police game the second week in a row. His work is always enjoyable but it's exciting and laugh out loud funny two weeks in a row.
...seriously, though, I think woodhouse wins with the other two matches being relative toss-ups.
Will vs Felix
A very good match between two teams not about to give up despite missing the playoffs. Way to go. You guys took good chances and made sure things were entertaining to the end!
Sashanan's review may labor the joke too much, and though there are funny bits that flow together well, eventually it feels like complaints-with-a-smile. Felix's review has an interesting combination of looking at history but I have to pinch him a bit for missing one other thing Adventure did--slip an Easter Egg in! Sorry Felix, I just played Rocky's Boots and Robot Odyssey, so I know all that history. It's an effort that doesn't try too hard, as some of his previous ones did, and I think it shows off a good side of his writing we haven't seen yet.
Randxian has improved a lot but still drops the occasional phrase like "As mentioned previously, raising levels is quite the tedious affair." Will's 1701 review may be the best I've read from him so far! It was longer but more gripping than Randxian's, and I would've liked to read a comparison of Dragon Warrior vs which NES games after that failed, and why it was better. Will keeps his enthusiasm and humor focused and scores a commendable win in my book.
Zipp vs Zig is the titanic match of the whole week. I almost junked this preview because I couldn't decide. Zigfried's review dazzles, but I'm a sucker for nostalgia done right and with a recognition it may not be everything it was. Zigfried tangles with in-jokes a bit long, and so I give Zipp the victory in this very playoff-worthy battle.
I think Team Felix brought out some of the best reviews of other teams, and so they got swamped a lot more than expected.
EmP vs Janus
Let's see, Suskie needs Janus's team to win a game, maybe two if Suskie doesn't sweep. Team Janus has lost some very close games this tourney, so they should be up to it.
EmP vs Janus
EmP's risk with the whole drumming bit was something I had to read several times before understanding it. There's a place for it, but the stretch might be too much for a review. Would it have lost effect to go with something more truncated like "There's a lot of simple sounding stuff in drumming that's much harder than it seems. Missing every fourth beat (or whatever) creates a different sound..." If you ask if someone can see where you're going, you're in trouble. Which is too bad because the way the review ties up at the end, I'm very impressed. Janus convinces me that, yes, Space Invaders is not as old and moldy as I always suspected it was. It's more than the repetitive quarter guzzler that was awesome because nothing else was there, and I'm impressed at the variation he communicates in relatively short order.
Rad vs DoI
Radicaldreamer uses a red-light phrase(to me) "I kid you not" but despite that I really enjoy his ability to convince me that, yes, online multiplayer stuff is very, very interesting. DoI has always been impressive and while I found myself nitpicking a bit, with some stuff that could be tightened, it's a very good review--but Radicaldreamer has enough of a jump for a bold take on online play that I give him a win in a well fought battle.
Disco vs DE
DE's storytelling really works here. It's a bit flowery, but when it works and goes up against something more straightforward like Disco's review, it usually wins. Disco has a few tangled sentences which make his good observations gum up a bit so I will give the win to DE.
Title: GameFAQs achievement unlocked...
Posted: August 07, 2009 (02:04 PM)
...1 million FAQ hits!
I haven't been looking so much recently, but with the last of my Robot Odyssey graphics, I'm there. Well, almost. 999939 right now, so I'll have to wait a couple of hours. Figured I'd write before I forgot...and I wanted to get rid of the ad.
Title: Robot Odyssey: completed
Posted: August 04, 2009 (05:49 AM)
Well, this was an odd Apple game I always wanted to play. It's allegedly an educational game for kids but it should read FOR VERY SMART KIDS. You basically move robots remotely around a room, picking up stuff that's behind force fields. Later you have robots signal to each other. It's a very early version of Incredible Machine and a lot less aesthetic, and the puzzles even had me wanting to throw something against a wall.
If you want an idea of some of the solutions, go here or here.
Or, in a few days' time, this will be complete.
This is one of the games I'm proudest of writing for, because although it has basic generic graphics, the creativity allowed in solutions is astonishing, and there's probably a way to pare solutions down. And I still never got into the concept of building chips.
Maybe next time, oh, say a few years from now. But I'll enjoy it.
In the meantime, I think I just need to shoot a bunch of stuff with Star Blazer or something.
Title: ZOMG MORE IMPORTANT STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
Posted: August 02, 2009 (05:51 PM)
My record when my avatar is a Guy With Hair On Top: 3-0 (Mr. T, Chris Kramer, J Leman)
My record when my avatar is a Guy Without Hair On Top: 0-3 (Gene Keady--his combover half counted, so it got my team the win--Rastapopulous, Colonel K)
Donavan Freberg, annoying Encyclopedia Britannica boy, is my avatar this week. And what a beautiful mullet he is (rocking/sporting)! My successful playoff run and my team's are inevitable. I have unlocked the secret. The rest is detail.
I just hope it doesn't mess things up if he's lost a lot of hair since then. It was twenty years ago.
Title: The final Playoff and Seeding Preview
Posted: August 02, 2009 (12:08 PM)
IMPORTANT IMPORTANT BULLETIN: I may post an ELO rated(chess-style) list of the contestants later, if anyone is interested. Basically, it pretends a vote is like a win in chess. I'm pleased I was able to write the program so quickly, and I'd love to show off, but then, people at the bottom end might not be too thrilled. We'll see. This all should be fun, after all.
Well, nobody was out yet last week, and the playoff teams are all decided this week. We'd have seen more drama if Team Felix would beat Team EmP and Team Will would beat Team Overdrive. If either had won, there'd still be something to fight for. The two sweeps really shook up the tiebreak.
There's still seeding to fight for, so I'll look at this, but this one'll be nice and abbreviated. I think I finally weeded out the errors that I had, just in time for the season to end. Last Week I gave Suskie an extra vote and subtracted one from someone else, and the Reviewing Gods struck us down with some close decisions. COINCIDENCE I THINK NOT?!?!
WL=win/loss +=home = = neutral -=road
An individual match can impact playoff seeding at this point, even if the Fab Four are set.
BLUBERRY can almost lock up a #1 seed with a win, after his team's playoffs seemed in jeopardy a few weeks ago. He needs to win at least as many individual matches as both EmP and Suskie. Also, if he wins 2-1 2-1 2-1 and EmP wins 3-0 3-0 3-0, then EmP manages the #1 seed.
EMP cleared up a lot with that sweep, didn't he? A loss could drop him to 4th or could keep him in 2nd. He moves ahead of Overdrive if he wins and Overdrive loses. Then I've explained the Bluberry tiebreaks. EmP vs Suskie works as follows if they have the same result: Suskie wins more individual matches, Suskie wins tiebreaks. If not, EmP does.
OVERDRIVE needs to win to be the #1 seed, but you probably knew that. If he loses, he drops to 2nd and has a good chance of sliding to 5th or 4th--the best he can do is 12 individual wins and 35 votes. He'll be behind Bluberry, who'd have 14 individual wins. If EmP doesn't get swept, Overdrive drops another notch. Suskie winning would drop him again. No time for overconfidence.
SUSKIE's the 4th seed right now but a win assures him of 3rd, because one of Bluberry or Overdrive must lose next week, even if everyone there writes his review of the year. Suskie wins the tiebreaks then. He'll have the wins over Overdrive if Overdrive loses. He'll have the votes against Bluberry in case of a tie, too. A loss and he is probably in 4th, though if he wins an individual match and Bluberry/EmP does not, he'll move up. Losing a sweep sucked, but the losses were all 1-2 and that turned out to be worth something. If only it'd been 0-3 1-2 2-1, he'd have the tiebreak edge on EmP, as with similar results he would have had the points edge. Now Suskie needs to win an individual match more than EmP to get ahead of him.
Well, why not have fun here? We saw some good reviews from eliminated teams last round.
DAGOSS needs a win to jump above eighth. Even then, Janus has frozen him out on tiebreaks. Will vs Felix means fifth is not possible. So Eighth is likely, seventh possible, sixth remotely possible. If he gets two more individual wins than Felix, he jumps another place. He needs to win 3-0 8-1 to tie Will, assuming Will goes 0-3 0-9. So Dagoss's best hope is Will in a blowout.
FELIX is behind Janus by two wins in the tiebreaks right now. Beating Will gives Felix more votes and sixth place. But he needs Janus to lose for fifth. A win freezes out Dagoss.
JANUS can lock up fifth with a win. Unless he wins 2-1 2-1 0-3 and Will wins 3-0 3-0 3-0. A loss drops him to a tie for sixth at worst--IF will loses 1-2 1-2 3-0 AND Janus loses 0-3 0-3 0-3. How's that next tiebreak go again, folks?
WILL can freeze out Dagoss with a win, as well as Felix. But probably not Janus, unless Janus loses. A loss and Will could tumble below Dagoss, or Felix. He probably can't catch Janus.
Title: Playoff Prospectus, wit-free for speedier completion!
Posted: July 26, 2009 (02:04 PM)
...and of course I had the skeleton up from last week.
If this is too technical and dry, chalk it up to me being a great guy not stealing the thunder from zippdementia's preview. However, in the big picture, NOBODY IS OUT YET.
SUMMARY: we had an upset with a 1-3 defeating a 3-1, and a 3-1 used home field well to squeak by a 4-0, which makes things interesting for the last few weeks at the top AND bottom of the table. EmP made my banging on about tiebreaks that much more rubbish now; an EmP-hatic (may this pun make nobody but Team Overdrive groan :) ) 3-0 win will do that. The game with Felix will be for lots of marbles, but not all, re: the final playoff spot.
Top row = 1st initials of team name, wins/losses, opposition remaining record, individual matches won and individual judge votes gained.
WL=win/loss +=home = = neutral -=road
BLUBERRY's two losses mean he could miss the playoffs. The loss to will was a big opportunity squandered. He's got the teams with the two best records up next, so nothing's a given. Still, a win and he's in. See the Suskie argument below--not quite as many votes(he'll get at least 2 wins+4 votes for a win) but it's enough. If everyone goes 3-4, though, and he loses 1-2 in each match, he should be ok.
EMP can pretty much wrap things up with a win, eliminating Felix, Janus and dagoss. Will is down 3 individual wins to EmP for tiebreaks, so he will need a sweep somewhere. He can win out, but sweeps seem unlikely, so maybe the throwaway review will be more damaging than originally thought. Also, EmP can maybe count on someone dropping from above. His tiebreaks are the best--as many matches with one less win. Bluberry vs Overdrive is nice for him, especially if Bluberry loses.
OVERDRIVE is still down on tiebreaks (2 games, 8 votes) from Suskie and needs someone else to beat Suskie for a 1-seed. Overdrive going 3-0 8-1 and Suskie 2-1 4-5 would make a tie, but I wouldn't count on that. Most of this tiebreak is due to Suskie's 14-1 votes, though True and ASchultz both have one more 3-0 than 0-3. Still, Overdrive is in if he beats Will. He can probably lose both matches 1-2 and be okay.
SUSKIE has the inside track to the #1 seed. An overdrive win puts him in the playoffs and an overdrive loss gives him a great shot at a #1 seed if he wins either final match. So, how would Suskie miss the playoffs? Suskie has frozen out dagoss and janus, and one of Felix and Will goes by the wayside in week 7. The remaining team must make up 5 matches in 2 weeks, then either 12 or 14 votes. Amusingly, Suskie could carry his team with two late round wins and even if True and ASchultz go 0-3 both, that'd shut out the last team. Suskie may wind up rooting hard for Bluberry in week 7 if he loses to Bluberry in week 6, though. If Suskie wins and Overdrive loses next week, Suskie's clinched #1--UNLESS EmP wins both his games, and decisively, AND Suskie loses to dagoss. EmP doesn't have the votes now, but if he can somehow clinch 3 wins more than Suskie(say, 3-0 3-0 vs 2-1 1-2) then we have a surprise comeback #1 seed. Still, Suskie's big tiebreak edge mean his team just has to take care of business. Though that is not trivial.
JANUS can still make the playoffs if
DAGOSS can still make the playoffs if
WILL can make the playoffs at 3-4(similar scenarios as above, helped by Bluberry losing twice, assuming Will's loss is to Overdrive) but he has a chance to win both remaining games. I'm pulling for him to take out Overdrive to make the final week pandemonium. This is for general interest and has nothing to do with last round's heartbreaker. I just want it things be interesting for everyone!
Note WILL can miss the playoffs at 4-3 if EmP wins once, Bluberry wins once, and Overdrive wins enough matches. For instance, will going 2-1 would be shut out by Bluberry's two wins and Overdrive losing 1-2 in his other game, too. That random review this round may cost them!
FELIX needs to sweep EmP to gain the tiebreak edge. However, two wins put him in pretty good position, and if bluberry loses once, Felix could win that 3-way tiebreak. It's a situation where he has 40% chance of winning a tiebreak with EmP or Bluberry, and a 40% chance of losing to both of them. Losing to will next week wouldn't kill everything, but he'd obviously need help--and he'd need to avoid a sweep.
So 1 of Janus and Dagoss will be eliminated next week. Felix has a must-win game. Will is most at others' mercy. EmP and Bluberry probably are safe with a win. And Overdrive and Suskie can take nothing for granted in their current horse-race for the #1 seed.
Well, I should probably go proofread my review instead of this, but if there are errors, let me know. Everyone else, hope you enjoy this! Especially Bluberry's team, to the point of forgetting to proofread/refine/write your own reviews.
Title: I cheated at googlewhack
Posted: July 25, 2009 (01:15 PM)
The children's game Rocky's Boots was much tougher than I thought, and given the paucity of solutions for the game, I decided, why not write a guide?
Yesterday I sent a Rocky's Boots guide here and to GameFAQs. 10-12 hours later I searched for one of the puzzles, "Cori's Catastrophe" and...
...1 hit, right here at HG.
If you forget the quotes, you will find, incidentally, a young lady named Cori Catastrophe on myspace who is into body piercings.
Title: Follow to zipp's post: Team Tourney Playoff Scenarios
Posted: July 24, 2009 (02:59 PM)
Based on discussion here, which is probably more interesting than below, I present the team tourney prediction table. I offer no crystal ball because I don't want to anger the weauxf gods, as stated by Oliver's Woofing Theorem.
So, before the judges render all this speculation moot, here goes! Oh, and if anyone can figure how to get rid of the space below here, I'd be grateful.
Top row = 1st initials of team name, wins/losses, opposition remaining record, individual matches won and individual judge votes gained.
WL=win/loss +=home = = neutral -=road
First things to note: all teams are in control of their own destinies, except dagoss's team. They could go 3-0 and be locked out by EmP going 3-0. The people in the upper echelon could all trade losses, and it'd be a 4 way tie for 5-2. If dagoss wins in week 7, and Suskie/Overdrive/Blueberry go 1-1 in their little round robin in the next 3 weeks, and EmP wins...that'll do it. If will defeats Bluberry, then if Bluberry wins vs Overdrive and Suskie and Overdrive beats Suskie, boom.
Will's team, if they go 4-3, will have to wait on tiebreaks. But going 4-3 gives Bluberry/Overdrive 2 losses each, and those two teams still have to meet.
But what about Janus and Felix?
Well, they have a little 3-way of their own (oh stop it) with EmP, so they can't ALL go 3-0. This of course discounts match and point differential, etc. We have an interesting dynamic where 3 of the top 4 have a round robin and so do 3 of the bottom 4. There will be bloodshed.
So who looks in best shape? I'd say EmP, but just barely. I think will and dagoss are in big trouble because 1) EmP can shut them out and 2) they each face two teams with winning records. Past performance is not a guarantee of future blah blah blah, but as a side note, they can't knock out their competitors for that last playoff spot so easily.
The match with Felix will be huge in determining playoff running. EmP has home field advantage, and a win there would make it very hard for anyone to catch up. But I wouldn't underestimate Zigfried just pulling out an awesome review or two, Felix is a very good writer, and randxian's done well as a 2nd rounder. They just haven't put it together yet.
But what about tiebreaks?
Janus: 1 win, 5 individual matches, 18 points
EmP: 2 wins, 6 individual matches, 15 points
Felix: 1 win, 4 individual matches, 18 points
Dagoss: 1 win, 4 individual matches, 15 points
Wait! Why is EmP in second with the most matches won? Because any team that wins gets a net of 2.19-0.81(average score of matches so far) = 1.38 wins, putting his guys below. Incidentally, the average score of a match is 5.94-3.06 for the winner. So if felix/dagoss do get the roundup, gaining 2 matches, they'll probably jump over EmP. If not, they don't. Lots of tiebreaks to consider. And of course if Janus wins 1 match less than Felix, Felix probably jumps ahead on points won.
So EmP's one-game advantage in the standings is not so towering as it looks. There's a lot to play for, and blowouts can change the complexion of the playoff picture. Every vote counts! For want of a grammar editor, the playoffs were missed...or something!
Also, Suskie has a sizeable advantage in the tiebreaks, as of now. A 3-0 loss to Overdrive might change it, but if you consider each team's remaining match against the other 5(Bluberry being #3) Suskie would have to lose 0-3 and either Overdrive/Bluberry would have to go 3-0 to turn the tables. Since only 3 of 16 matches have been 3-0, with Team Suskie compiling two sweeps(vs will and Felix,) this is highly unlikely even though Bluberry owns the other--over dagoss.
Incidentally, in a worst case scenario, Team Suskie can still miss the playoffs, but everything and I mean EVERYTHING would have to go a certain way. Dagoss going 3-0, Team Suskie losing lots of tiebreaks, and EmP beating Felix/Janus and losing to dagoss.
Also, it is possible we will have a 3-4 team in the playoffs.
*note: I think I have the math right. I checked with Jerec's chart for the points. But if there are errors, and there probably are, let me know. This can be updated easily for next week.