Shot Clock

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Shot Clock

Post by Watermelon » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:33 pm

Does Zealot Hockey League Mode need a shot clock?

Please read this post with an open mind. Change can be scary for some players, but it can also be necessary in order for the game to grow in popularity and overall entertainment value. I have thought long and hard about this subject, and I have done my own statistical research to formulate my opinion. Each section (A - D) builds on the last, so be specific in your comments and criticisms about which part you actually disagree on. For instance, if you agree with Sections A and B, but disagree at C, please make that clear in your response so we may have a more specific discussion as opposed to jumping to assumptions. Thank you ahead of time for considering this idea and giving feedback.








Shot clock: A timer that tells you exactly how long you have to get a shot on goal with your current possession, and if you fail to do so, the other team gets possession.




Section A. Why a Shot Clock?





To help frame the question, and answer, let's take a moment to think about real sports that have, or don't have, some type of shot clock, and why.



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-MLB has no shot clock. Why? Because in baseball, wasting time doesn't progress the game in any way. No matter how long a pitcher stands on the mound doing nothing, the game is not progressing forward. It's not like you can get a 1-0 lead and stand on the mound for 8 innings. The innings don't progress unless you are actually pitching, giving the other team a chance to come back.





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-NFL does have a shot clock, in the form of a playclock before the snap. Why? Because if it didn't, a team could get a lead and then just stand there while the game clock ticks away, indefinitely. No one would want to watch or play the game (no viewers = no $, and players would have no other reason to play cause it'd be boring as fuck).




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-NBA does have a shot clock. Why? Because if it didn't, a team with the lead could just hold the ball and do nothing. Before the shot clock was implemented, there were games in which a team would hold the ball for more than entire period. On November 22, 1950, the Pistons beat the Lakers by scoring only 8 baskets. The game was struggling to become popular because the stalling was so god damn boring. “The game had become a stalling game. A team would get ahead, even in the first half, and it would go into a stall. The other team would keep fouling, and it got to be a constant parade to the foul line. Boy, was it dull!” - Danny Biasone, owner of the Syracuse Nationals, before his death in 1992.




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-MLS does not have a shot clock. Why? From my understanding, the refs account for how much time is being wasted, and they add on that much time to the end of the game, extending the game. There are also other rules that make it difficult to waste possession time, such as the goalie's inability to pick up the ball if you pass it backwards. The game also doesn't end at a specific time like most sports, but instead will often extend to when a final shot is taken (I had to research this, I don't watch MLS).

See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fan ... -it-means/




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-NHL does not have a shot clock. However, it has a delay of game penalty, applied in many cases of lack of offensive progression. Why? Because if it didn't, a team with the lead could just sit on the puck and do nothing until they've won or are tired and lose steam.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VV1PrbkK3E




What is common among the sports that do have shot clocks? In games that require shot clocks, it is possible to waste time while game time progresses, without expending energy. Zealot Hockey fits this definition: You can skate around your own net, pass backwards, etc., until the end of the game. It expends no player's energy, the zealots have no fatigue, and the game clock progresses regardless of how you're playing. We call this stall tactic "bitchwalking".


Our community has almost unanimously recognized, to various extents, that bitchwalking is a problem. Some players think only the most extreme cases of bitchwalking need to be prevented (skating in a circle around the net). Other players think we need to be more broad in bitchwalking's reduction. Why is any bitchwalking a problem, exactly? Bitchwalking can shorten the gameplay in ZH by a significant portion, with a player dancing around his own net, passing backwards, and making the game as boring as possible for everyone involved. While bitchwalking could be considered "fair" because it doesn't contradict any intended game mechanics by the developers, it makes the game less fun to play, less fun to cast, and less fun to watch on stream. Games that are less fun attract fewer new players, and retain fewer current players, than games that are more fun. Hence, bitchwalking is bad for Zealot Hockey as a video game.


We've placed a bandaid on bitchwalking, but this bandaid creates an alternative problem, because it requires casters and league managers to make controversial, and often inconsistent, rulings on gameplay, which inevitably results in disagreement and salt. While a temporary fix, this "solution" to bitchwalking should not be relied upon. In fact, it's quite absurd that we should consider subjective referee calls "our best option". As players of a video game, we have a clear advantage over real sports. Video games are great because the code dictates and enforces the rules for us. We shouldn't need any referees making calls. The game should be doing all of that for us, so we can focus on the actual gameplay. Imagine if EA released a new version of Madden in which none of the on-field rules were enforced by the game's code. So when you play the new Madden against your friend, you need 5 people spectating the game over your shoulders, making sure your formation is legal, your players aren't moving offsides, and you don't wait to snap longer than their smartphone's timer. It would be ridiculous and no one would play the game, because why play a video game with code that doesn't even enforce it's own ruleset?



The solution to this problem is clear to me. Zealot Hockey needs an in-game shot clock, for League Mode at the very least.




___________________________________________________________________
This break is here to signify that you may AGREE with League Mode needing a nerf for bitchwalking, but DISAGREE about using the shot clock method (Section A). Please make this distinction clear in your comments and criticism, thank you! <3
___________________________________________________________________








Section B. How is Possession Determined?




1. Your team gets counted as having possession when one of the following conditions is met:

a. Your goalie obtains the puck without receiving a pass (must be obtained from the other team via making a save or getting a pickup)
b. Your skater holds the puck for 1+ seconds.
c. Your team completes the first pass (this is for when you might one-timer a loose puck, or spam the puck in the direction of a teammate).


2. Shot clock starts. Shot clock resets (see #1) when one of the following conditions is met:

a. You get a shot attempt on net (goal or no goal).
b. You turn the puck over (other team gets possession, see #1).
c. The period ends.

This process of determining possession can be seen manually in the following video. Note that I gave a lot of leeway to possessions being established - if the other team touches the puck but it's not for very long, I kept possession for the current player. The game mechanic would do this automatically by accounting for exactly how long the defending player keeps the puck afer a steal (see #1):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHKQNL89_5M


3. Shot Clock Expiration

If the shot clock expires to 0 seconds, the game pauses play and gives the puck to the other team's goalie (RED clock expires, BLUE goalie gets the puck with 5 second countdown like a faceoff). Skaters are reset to some sort of standing position (TBD).






___________________________________________________________________
This break is here to signify that you may AGREE with League Mode having a full-court shot clock to nerf bitchwalking (Section A), and the conditions I have provided for determining possession (Section B), but DISAGREE on the following section. Please make this distinction clear in your comments and criticism, thank you! <3
___________________________________________________________________









Section C. Shot Clock Duration





I have chosen 30 seconds as a reasonable duration for a full-court shot clock in Zealot Hockey.


Instead of pulling a number of seconds out of a hat, I decided that I would actually conduct a brief, but informative, observational study of some Zealot Hockey matches. My goals with these statistics were as follows:
a. Obtain a feel of how long most possessions last in Zealot Hockey.
b. Infer whether or not there is any difference between possession duration resulting in turnovers, and possession duration resulting in shots on net.
c. Account for long possessions that still don't involve bitchwalking.
d. Account for multiple seasons of Zealot Hockey meta-game, looking for consistency in possession trends.

The raw data was taken from 4 different games of Zealot Hockey (all available on Youtube). To keep my workload reasonable (this took about 2 hours), I chose the 1st and 3rd periods from the first 2 uploaded games of CHL (Express vs Aces, Mallrats vs Titans), the first period of the S6 Finals (Aiur vs Char), and the first period of the S5 finals (Shakuras vs Korhal). This provided a sample of 147 possessions. I recorded how each possession started (faceoff, steal etc.), the timestamp of the beginning and end of the possession, the number of estimated seconds the possession lasted, and the outcome of the possession. There is a key at the top right for abbreviations used.

-The average time for all possessions was ~9.5 seconds, with an average standard deviation of ~5.4 seconds.
-The average time for possessions resulting in a shot on net was ~9.6 seconds.
-The average among recorded maximums was ~22.8 seconds, with the highest raw maximum being ~27 seconds.

Link to raw data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

It is with this data that I decided 30 seconds is a reasonable shot clock duration for Zealot Hockey, as almost all legitimate plays (even ones that are particularly long) fit within this duration, while it will absolutely nerf bitchwalking in a consistent fashion.



___________________________________________________________________
This break is here to signify that you may AGREE with League Mode having a full-court shot clock to nerf bitchwalking (Section A), the conditions I have provided for determining possession (Section B), and the proposed 30 second duration (Section C), but DISAGREE on the following section. Please make this distinction clear in your comments and criticism, thank you! <3
___________________________________________________________________






Section D. Other Benefits of Having a Shot Clock



While the main goal of having a shot clock is to nerf bitchwalking, a shot clock will also bring other benefits to Zealot Hockey gameplay:

1. It buffs the goalie position. The goalie gains predictive power when he knows how long the other team has to shoot. This helps him manage his abilities more efficiently.

2. It creates more hype. Up to now, casters have only been able to hype shots taken at the end of each period. A shot clock will provide more opportunities for last second goals and saves, making the game more exciting to both play and spectate, while preserving the regular gameplay we've all come to love.

3. It adds a new layer of strategy to the game. Time management has never really been a "skill" we attribute to teams/players. With a shot clock, it will be.




Conclusion


A. Zealot Hockey fits the criteria of requiring a shot clock. Bitchwalking needs a nerf.
B. I have laid out some guidelines for possession in Zealot Hockey, which can act as conditions for when a shot clock would begin and reset.
C. I've recorded statistical information on many separate periods of Zealot Hockey to determine that 30 seconds is a reasonable amount of time for a shot clock.
D. A shot clock provides additional benefits besides nerfing bitchwalking.
Last edited by Watermelon on Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by htcp » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:48 pm

Excellent post, interested to see more discussion on this.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by Cubs » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:58 pm

Originally, I was against adding a shot clock, but given the data provided I can't see anything wrong with it. The only point I might raise are if you found 27 seconds to be the maximum possession length while 9.5 was the average, I would say 30 might be a bit too much, perhaps something along the lines of 25 or even 20 seconds might be more reasonable. Otherwise, great post, think shot clock is A1 idea.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by Tenkz » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:07 pm

I was opposed to the shot clock at first (since i hold the puck for a long time), but this was really well done and I can see the need for one now.
It clearly won't be too excessive as proven by the data, but will still significantly reduce a team's ability to bitchwalk.

@Cubs
I don't know how much lower you could go. I tend to hold the puck for long periods of time and could easily hit 20 seconds just looking for a decent pass.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by Marker » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:10 pm

Watermelon wrote: -NHL has a delay of game penalty, applied in many cases of lack of offensive progression. Why? Because if it didn't, a team with the lead could just sit on the puck and do nothing until they've won or are tired and lose steam.
I've never seen this actually enforced in any meaningful way other than throwing the puck over the glass.
Watermelon wrote: Imagine if EA released a new version of Madden in which none of the on-field rules were enforced by the game's code. So when you play the new Madden against your friend, you need 5 people spectating the game over your shoulders, making sure your formation is legal, your players aren't moving offsides, and you don't wait to snap longer than their smartphone's timer.
Honestly this sounds like a cool idea. I know in some of the tennis games I play the code is made to simulate shitty line calls so you have the ability to challenge, adding humans to make shitty calls sounds like an even more real-life experience and having a potential for more fun.

I disagree that that a full-court shot clock is the answer, but I am not putting forth a solution so I'll let that rest for now.
Watermelon wrote: 1. It buffs the goalie position. The goalie gains predictive power when he knows how long the other team has to shoot. This helps him manage his abilities more efficiently.
I don't agree with this. The amount of predictive power is so worthless that I feel it makes no difference. For example, take a look at shootouts. Lets assume if a goalie shields he is completely unscoreable. Shield lasts a total of 2 seconds. Goalies can't even manage to stop a 1v1 a majority of the time with a supposed 2/10ths of the time being completely un-scoreable. Lets even assume it takes about 10 seconds to get it out of the defensive zone and so that we have 20 seconds of full out offensive (which is clearly more than average according to your statistics). Thats 2/20ths of the total time the goalie has the ability to be assumability unscoreable. That is a very very small amount of time that a goalie gains such predictability. Even moreover, you also said the average shot was 9.2 seconds into possession. If the shot clock is 30, how does this give predictability power? All be it shields cooldown is about 7 seconds (game clock isn't the same as real time if you haven't noticed), so at max the goalie can shield 4 times, so 4/20ths, which gives us the same fraction as the shootout, where goalies get scored on a ton.
Watermelon wrote: It adds a new layer of strategy to the game. Time management has never really been a "skill" we attribute to teams/players. With a shot clock, it will be.
Does it? If most people were doing things under 30 seconds anyways, does this really create a new skill? If anything, doesn't this encourage bitchwalking more? Take for example my team is up 2-1 at the end of a game with 60 seconds left. What is to stop my team from bitchwalking the puck for 28 seconds, then icing the puck towards the goalie? Clearly if it is on net the goalie has to save it, and the other team needs to score two so they really want possession. So then they come back and lose possession again, and thats it the game is over because theres under 30 seconds left, just bitch walk it! Like you said the highest raw maximum was 27 seconds, so 30 seconds is either way too high, or a shot clock is not the answer.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by stealthmeh » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:27 pm

I like all sections A-D, especially that it doesn't just go to face off so bitch walking team can just win face off and continue to bitch walk another 30 seconds. However I am not sure if this is enough of a nerf to bitch walking since 30 seconds 1/8th of a period in zealot hockey and being able to legally kill 25% of a period with 2 possessions sounds like it might still be an issue.

One suggestion I have is to make shot clock go 1.5-2x faster when behind your net (or on your side of the ice) or something like this so that they cannot burn 25% of a period behind their net in 3rd period with just 2 possessions. Other than that I think its a good idea and going in the right direction just needs a few more adjustments to make it an effective fix.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by poopeybutt » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:48 pm

#stopthebullshitguerandfableplaystylebecauseitispussyshit
I might be on in a week or so...
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by Bulbasaaur » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:57 pm

tl;dr
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by Watermelon » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:58 pm

Marker wrote:
Watermelon wrote: 1. It buffs the goalie position. The goalie gains predictive power when he knows how long the other team has to shoot. This helps him manage his abilities more efficiently.
I don't agree with this. The amount of predictive power is so worthless that I feel it makes no difference. For example, take a look at shootouts. Lets assume if a goalie shields he is completely unscoreable. Shield lasts a total of 2 seconds. Goalies can't even manage to stop a 1v1 a majority of the time with a supposed 2/10ths of the time being completely un-scoreable. Lets even assume it takes about 10 seconds to get it out of the defensive zone and so that we have 20 seconds of full out offensive (which is clearly more than average according to your statistics). Thats 2/20ths of the total time the goalie has the ability to be assumability unscoreable. That is a very very small amount of time that a goalie gains such predictability. Even moreover, you also said the average shot was 9.2 seconds into possession. If the shot clock is 30, how does this give predictability power? All be it shields cooldown is about 7 seconds (game clock isn't the same as real time if you haven't noticed), so at max the goalie can shield 4 times, so 4/20ths, which gives us the same fraction as the shootout, where goalies get scored on a ton.
I don't think your comparison between a shot clock and the shootout timer is very reasonable. You have no defense in shootouts, and the shooter starts with the puck at halfcourt. In actuality, you would have defense covering particular angles, slowing the offense down the whole way to the net. 30 seconds may indeed be too long, but I don't see this point as a rebuttal of the entire shot clock idea.

Marker wrote:

If most people were doing things under 30 seconds anyways, does this really create a new skill? If anything, doesn't this encourage bitchwalking more? Take for example my team is up 2-1 at the end of a game with 60 seconds left. What is to stop my team from bitchwalking the puck for 28 seconds, then icing the puck towards the goalie? Clearly if it is on net the goalie has to save it, and the other team needs to score two so they really want possession. So then they come back and lose possession again, and thats it the game is over because theres under 30 seconds left, just bitch walk it! Like you said the highest raw maximum was 27 seconds, so 30 seconds is either way too high, or a shot clock is not the answer.

I think having a shot clock that guarantees the losing team at least 1 more possession is a lot more reliable than the "honor" of the winning team, and casters who only call bitchwalking when it's extremely obvious. Also, as the losing team, you'll know that at a certain point, you will get the puck back, so you don't necessarily have to commit 2 players chasing someone around the back of the net, leaving your goalie wide open for a dagger goal.





Most concerns seem to be with the duration of the shot clock itself. I'm glad you guys are open to this idea. 30 seconds might be too long, but I wanted to start with a higher duration as opposed to one that is too short. A better duration might be in the ~22-25 range. From my recollection, possessions longer than 20 seconds usually result from players passing backwards and accidentally missing their 3rd man, sending the puck back to their half of the rink to start the possession over. This also highlights the main reason I would advocate to put the shot clock into league mode, but make it optional for public games, since newer players obviously won't be as comfortable with the game and won't be able to execute plays as quickly or efficiently.
Last edited by Watermelon on Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Shot Clock

Post by DerrocK » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:10 pm

Watermelon wrote:
-MLS does not have a shot clock. Why? Because the refs account for how much time is being wasted, and they add on that much time to the end of the game, extending the game. The game also doesn't end at a specific time like most sports, but instead will often extend to when a final shot is taken (I had to research this, I don't watch MLS).
Unless football is different in America, time waste isn't bitchwalking, time waste = delaying the taking of a free kick, delaying the time of a throw in, delaying the game because of an injury, if there are a lot of fouls in the game etc but there are legitimate tactics to waste time while in game.

An example of this in europe is barcelona, they are known for their posession play (70%+ of ball posession) with the theory of I have the ball, you can't score.
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