Since 2 weeks, you are enjoying a new mode on BGA: the Arena.
You are enjoying the new mode... a lot!
Statistically speaking, this is a huge success: you are more to play on BGA and you play more.
It also brought back to competition all the players who were at the top of the ELO ranking, and stopped playing for this reason. These players are very good, and it's great to have them back.
You gave us a very positive feedback on the Arena during our 48 hours survey: 87% of you liked this new mode, and even 38% said that the Arena mode was "perfect", which is very nice - but not entirely true.
The 3 problems we want to solve
However, we identified 3 points we need to improve:
_ we want to make it easy for players from the same leagues to match together.
_ we want to find a way to have a real competition for the least played games.
_ we want to reduce waiting time before Arena games.
In order to address this, we decided to move forward quickly, and to propose you a huge upgrade of the Arena mode.
We now that a change may be confusing because the Arena has been released only few days ago, but there is no reason for us to wait: Arena Season zero is a BETA, and we'd like to take advantage of this BETA step to test new things.
Introduction to Arena sessions
You may have notice that the 3 points above concern the realtime Arena lobby. Thus:
- The ladder / points / leagues system remains unchanged.
- The turn-based Arena lobby remains practically unchanged.
As you can see above, Arena games will starts at fixed time. Every 10 minutes for the most popular games, every 20/30/60/... minutes for the others.
By giving a "meeting time" to everyone, we make sure that at this time, there will be enough players together in the lobby waiting for a specific game. And this is fixing the 3 problems of the current Arena:
- We will have enough players to create several game tables, matching best players together and weakest players together. Thus, you will have more frequently interesting games against opponents with your strength.
- You will be able to find opponents for the less popular games. For example, all the fans of game "Tournay" will know that a game starts everyday at 19:34, and will be able to meet at this time.
- No more waiting time: the game starts at the planned time.
To participate to an Arena session, you have to be online on the lobby at the time indicated by the game.
Everyone have 1 minute to register to an Arena session. After that, a "matchmaking" is operated, and the games starts immediately (no need to confirm as everyone is there).
The timetables for each game is the same from one day to another, so you can remember it if you want.
Even for the least popular games on BGA, we will organize at least 1 session every 2 hours. Most popular games have 1 session every 10 minutes.
It will happens that we couldn't find a game for some of you during a session, because there are not enough players or because of the game configuration (ex: 7 players available for a 2p game => 1 player won't have a table). In such a case, you will get a right-of-way so it is unlikely that it will happen again during your next session.
For the turn-based games, there is practically no difference with today. The only change is that we start all Arena turn-based games at fixed time (twice a day), to make sure there is enough players in the lobby to make sure you get the right opponents for you.
We hope to release this upgrade in February.
Some of you may found that this idea is weird: why should I wait a given time if there are players available in the lobby?
However, we thought the benefits are superior: yes you have to wait, but you know exactly at which time your game is going to start, even for the less popular games, and you'll get good opponents so every Arena game can be a real challenge.
And remember: Arena mode is optional: if you prefer the "old fashioned BGA", the "Simple game" mode is still there