Tokens - Deflation, distribution, and other issues

Seteth

I have something to ask of you...
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
I'm sure you're all familiar with our Awards Tokens, but just in case you're not, here's a refresher: Awards tokens are a virtual currency that we hand out during the awards period, mostly as prizes for awards-sanctioned games/tournaments and as a gesture of gratitude for our presenters. At the end of the awards period, these tokens can be spent to receive prizes, such as Steam games or gift cards.

Last year, and in fact many years before that, we were having a problem. Many people would, instead of spending the tokens they won, just hang on to them indefinitely. This is something we finally need to address fully, decisively, and permanently, so the issue is solved now and remains solved in the future.


Why is this a problem?

Tokens exist as a means to reward people for their awards-related accomplishments that year. However, large sums of tokens carrying over from previous years largely make these rewards insignificant. Winning 100 tokens because you came in first in a tournament does not mean much if there's people with 500 tokens just from previous years. It shifts the power-balance away from active participants and towards people who are the most conservative with their tokens.

This creates a chain reaction in which we have to raise the amount of tokens we give out as prizes, which in turn causes more tokens to be in circulation. Since reward prices are calculated against tokens in circulation, this leads to these prices being raised, and if unchecked may lead to absurd situations in which you can't afford a decent prize even though you won at a tournament or did several presentations.

In short: It creates inflation. Inflation bad.


How do we fix the balance/curb the inflation?

I've given people a warning that something would be happening this year regarding carry-over tokens. What I propose is that, at the start of each awards cycle, the amount of tokens people retain from previous years is divided by 10. So a person with 500 unspent tokens from previous years will start the next year with 50. I don't know yet how we will handle rounding.


Isn't dividing by 10 too harsh?

No, it is not. What you have to understand is that tokens are a means to incentivise activity during the awards. That is their primary function, and it is our job to ensure that function is upheld. However, if the tokens handed out every year are rendered trivial by large carry-over sums, then that primary function is compromised. To allow this to continue is to fail at what we're supposed to do.

Carry-over tokens are meant to be a bonus, not the main deciding factor behind your wealth. Dividing carry-over tokens by 10 re-establishes their purpose and creates a nice middle ground between giving you a boost if you did well last year, without that boost being overpowering.

In short: Emphasis is shifted away from the past and towards what you are doing to help in the present.


Isn't dividing by 10 not harsh enough?

While it is true that we could theoretically just ditch the concept of carry-over tokens entirely and have everyone start with 0 tokens each year, I don't think that would be wise.

I like the idea of giving people a bonus to their starting funds if they did well last year. I see no reason to take that away from people. As I stated above, I think this is a good balance.


Will there be a minimum threshold, below which carry-over tokens remain untouched?

No, there won't be. This will effect everyone equally, whether they have 20 or 200 tokens. Creating artificial barriers like that will lead to unfair situations in which, for example, people with 100 tokens will keep 100 tokens, whereas people with 101 will be reduced to 10. That is not feasible.

Plus, there's value behind keeping a rule simple.


The economy doesn't seem that broken this year. Is this really necessary?

Yes, it is. We have been struggling with an inflated token economy last year and several years before. It's been a thing that's very commonly complained about. The fact that we are doing a little better this year is no reason to just throw caution to the wind. The problem could very likely be back in full swing next year. It is imperative that we act now, while we're doing relatively well, to ensure we keep doing well and this problem will never pop up again.


When will this take effect?

Immediately. That's why I gave people a warning last year: So that everybody would be ready and anticipate this move.



This thread is also here to discuss other token matters.
 

DragonFreak

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly!
I like this idea a lot as I already said. Dividing by 10 puts everyone at least 100 tokens within each other to start with, which is a fair and even bonus. Not many other dividing would make too much a difference either. like a /5 instead of /10 would put everyone most likely within 150 tokens of each other which isn't even all that much of a difference for most people.
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
I'll comment more when I'm not waking up late and going to work soon, but for any vague indication I do support this concept. As for rounding I've always favored rounding up if what's being rounded is 5+; that's what happened with the shroom tokens because those were halved when they were converted into awards tokens leaving some people having totals ending in .5.

Also a thing that would need to be solved too (not necessarily by you, but just in general) would be to figuring out new prize prices. The average equivalent we determined last year was that 1 token = $0.12 USD, which is the rate we used to figure out how much was donated to the Tommy Thompson Park. While this rate varied, it wasn't too dramatic, I think we had some wiggle room to go up enough to consider 1 token = $.015, but for the most part these prices were all fairly consistent except for the super expensive package prizes that I had to bring down several hundred or else literally no one could ever hope to afford them. While this isn't an immediate concern like agreeing on doing the /10, or something else, I think this is the next most important thing to tackle because it's the most visible and probably the most tedious.

Token Sheet 2016
2016 Prize List (After I raised prices)
2014 Prize List (Original pricing

And as another big general statement: yes, token hoarding is an issue, but some people do it because they do not or cannot select any of the prizes available, due to not having steam, already having what they want, or something else. If we're going to tackle the inflation issue I would like to simultaneously try to grow a culture of donating to the prize pool and encouraging variety. When the prizes started a lot of the prizes were donated almost entirely by Stooben, and when he started dropping his community presence and I came into awards it became me. I'm trying to move soon and don't know how much longer I can sustain this, and it'll mean nothing to fix the token economy if there's no prizes to purchase. I do know that I'm not 100% fueling it and I absolutely appreciate what other people have donated, and also do understand that not everyone has disposable income to do this kinda thing, so I'm not trying to shame or belittle anyone with this. What was successful last year was the generalized gift cards through PayPal, but the downside of that is that those are $10 a pop at an absolute minimum, whereas buying steam games could cost as low as a couple bucks during sales, or getting a whole bunch at once for $5 through humblebundle. There's also the issue that I can't exactly supply international gifts as much as I'd like, as purchases for things tend to be locked within the US for me. The most obvious solution to all of this is just having more people donate a thing or two, or just throw some money at me to fund a nice pile of gift cards, but maybe something else is needed to be changed.
 

Raymond

world's most valuable cat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Poll Committee
i fully support slashing kept tokens; it gives those new to the awards and those who spent all of their tokens a fair shot.

i'm also able to and willing to donate gift cards, games, and (possibly) physical items such as amiibos to the prize pool if that helps any with the variety issue.

question though; if all of this goes through, how will we go about notifying people?
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Likely in general discussion, and again when the prize thread is posted. Like Edo said this has already been forewarned with ample time for people to prepare for it or prepare their dissent, and with AC meetings public they can all see that it was discussed and get involved by commenting or joining the meetings.
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Also, due to the simple fact that I've been at work or asleep for the vast majority of the time since the meeting, I haven't had much chance to focus on this particular point of discussion, and instead have focused on building Critic Corner, drawing, the Shroom/User Awards merge, and eating cookies, but that doesn't change that this is something that needs to be taken care of sooner than later.

My question is: how soon? What should be the acceptable deadline for making this decision? That way we can work on it within a visible time frame that's with haste but not rushing, because we need to run numbers on /10, and I would greatly prefer to have it done for /5 and whatever other options we have as well to at the very least levy something up against /10 as a comparison to prove that it's really /10 we need instead of accepting it right away. If we're going to fix the token economy I would prefer to do it right, once.

I'm not seeing the issue as needing to be decided by next meeting, but if it's what's needed I can schedule some time for the upcoming meeting to discuss our approach to this? I'd at least like to see what this would do to everyone's tokens, as well as a proposal of new prize rates. As I said in the beginning I haven't exactly had the time or energy to do this yet myself, but I also don't exactly know how much energy is really needed to dump into this to solve.
 

Raymond

world's most valuable cat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Poll Committee
if it would help, i could make spreadsheets based on last year's token sheet and divide all of the tokens users have by 10 (i could also make an additional one for /5), which would show how many tokens each individual user would have along with the updated total. if i do that though, how should i handle rounding, since most token values will end up as a decimal when divided by 10 or 5? normally, always up/down, etc.
 

Lorenz Hellman Gloucester

absolutely the best boy dont even try to debate it
Anton said:
Also, due to the simple fact that I've been at work or asleep for the vast majority of the time since the meeting, I haven't had much chance to focus on this particular point of discussion, and instead have focused on building Critic Corner, drawing, the Shroom/User Awards merge, and eating cookies, but that doesn't change that this is something that needs to be taken care of sooner than later.

My question is: how soon? What should be the acceptable deadline for making this decision? That way we can work on it within a visible time frame that's with haste but not rushing, because we need to run numbers on /10, and I would greatly prefer to have it done for /5 and whatever other options we have as well to at the very least levy something up against /10 as a comparison to prove that it's really /10 we need instead of accepting it right away. If we're going to fix the token economy I would prefer to do it right, once.

I'm not seeing the issue as needing to be decided by next meeting, but if it's what's needed I can schedule some time for the upcoming meeting to discuss our approach to this? I'd at least like to see what this would do to everyone's tokens, as well as a proposal of new prize rates. As I said in the beginning I haven't exactly had the time or energy to do this yet myself, but I also don't exactly know how much energy is really needed to dump into this to solve.
i personally think a good deadline would be about two weeks of discussing this. i think that gives us enough times to reach a conclusion to this predicament.
 

Deimos

do you ever yearn for the soft touch of a pancake
Core 'Shroom Staff
I say we should at least discuss this in the next meeting if time permits and come to a decision either then or between then and the next meeting in this thread. As far as I can tell, reducing people's tokens by a factor of something would be a reasonable thing to do, and looking at LTQ's spreadsheet I'm a fan of Ceil 8, which ensures that everyone at least has 1 token remaining but isn't as harsh a cut as /10.

More opportunities to spend tokens would be another way to curb inflation, I think reinstating the Thompson Fund again would give people a chance to drop more of their tokens, and as part of the Award's Staff this year I'm happy to contribute to some of the actual fund. Wish the forum was a little more high-tech to allow for custom smilies, etc. to be added to the prize pool but eh. If we're doing mafia again this year (and I'd be up for co-hosting that if we are), then even introducing a store for exclusive items in said game would be a fuckin hilarious way to get people to spend.

I can't say if limiting the number of tournaments people can join in one year would help, it would help curb the hoarding of some people who can join literally everything and hence get tokens for literally everything, but at the same time I don't think it would be right to prevent people from having fun if they want to and don't care about token values.

No matter what happens though the difference between the highest hoarder and the lowest hoarder will still be very significant. Maybe we could ensure a minimum value of 5 (or 10, but that seems like a bit much) tokens for every person?
 

Raymond

world's most valuable cat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Poll Committee
upon further inspection, it seems like /8 would actually be better than /10, since it still fulfills the task of curbing inflation while not being as harsh of a punishment on the users. i wouldn't mind /10 either, but /8 seems a bit more balanced. /5 is a bit too lenient though imo

should we make a poll asking which of those three options would be best?
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
I can't give any opinion on any of them until I know how it impacts prize rates; the numbers right now mean absolutely nothing without that context. The most I can say is that I'm sure /10 is what is actually needed to set this into permanence, while /5 or /8 would make me feel better about myself which isn't exactly the most numeric way of assessing this, and all of them in general at the moment are just feelings. I'm not exactly sure what would be the best way to do it, because while I'm not exactly the best at math, I'm sure that slashing the prize rates proportionally won't actually change anything. Would we just go back to original rates? Something else? Develop a new worth for 1 token:$X USD and base all prizes exactly on that?

So:
*Projected token amounts
*Projected prize rates
*Projected tournament token totals
*New conversion rate between Awards and Shroom tokens (can be worked on by Shroom staff but will nonetheless need to be jointly approved)
*Possibly other stuff I'm not currently thinking of

$2 = 15
$3 = 20
$10 = 50-60
$15 = 90-120
$20 = 120-170
$25 = 150
$30 = 200
$33 = 200
$36 = 300
$40 = 330

And of course the 2016 prize list.

Also limiting the amount of tournaments people can join would be super unfun so I'm not too comfortable with that. I know the concern is Cirdec getting 1st place in a bunch of tournaments but honestly ?? how many is that, he usually joins just Pokemon, Smash, and Mario Kart, and in all 3 he does have competition with other people and it's not always an instant win for him. There's certainly other tournaments that people can join or create to balance things out, plus other opportunities through presentations or shroom tokens. I know I've been particularly sour about this in the past but those were mostly rushed judgments as the result of being met with an issue after it's too late to take care of, but this time around we can plan around it and turn it into a non-issue so everyone can have fun without getting miffed.

I've been thinking about making the Tommy Thompson fund a regular thing, yeah, it's just the main concern is actual monetary funding. I don't think future years will be as high as the last, but it's also hard to gauge or make assumptions of.
 

Raven Effect

That's what I call hamburgers
Core 'Shroom Staff
Retired Wiki Staff
No limiting people from joining certain tournaments would be a really bad decision that would actively punish people for being good at certain things.
 

Seteth

I have something to ask of you...
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
I would say stick to /10. It's a nice, round number that allows people to easily calculate how many tokens will remain at a glance (just drop the last digit). Our mathematical system isn't based around the number 10 for nothing. On the flipside, /8 doesn't create THAT much of a difference, but makes the whole calculating thing that much more awkward.

Everyone having at least one token remaining should likewise not be a priority for us. On the contrary, actually. A lot of people who would remain with 0 tokens this or next year are either retired or do not partake in the awards celebration anymore (and the ones who do will earn tokens this year anyway and thus remain above 0). In the long run, this will actually allow us to drop inactive people from the list, instead of having to keep them because they still technically have 1 token. It'll slim down the list, and short and concise lists are nicer than bloated ones.

This would also, during prize distribution, reduce the time Anton, or whoever is responsible, has to spend running around asking "Is this person still active? What's their status? Are they still interested in the awards?". This is a win-win situation both for the person doing the asking, and the person being bothered about something they do not care about anymore.
 

Turboo

Shine Sprite
Wiki Administrator
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Apologies for putting in a very, very late and nonsubstantial comment on this, but I feel we just need an idea of how this will effect prize rates, and especially a timeline of when we're pushing out the changes in order to really get the ball rolling on this.

I think this is something that will be able to be discussed more in-depth in the meeting that's today, at least.
 

Lorenz Hellman Gloucester

absolutely the best boy dont even try to debate it
Mr. Edo said:
I would say stick to /10. It's a nice, round number that allows people to easily calculate how many tokens will remain at a glance (just drop the last digit). Our mathematical system isn't based around the number 10 for nothing. On the flipside, /8 doesn't create THAT much of a difference, but makes the whole calculating thing that much more awkward.

Everyone having at least one token remaining should likewise not be a priority for us. On the contrary, actually. A lot of people who would remain with 0 tokens this or next year are either retired or do not partake in the awards celebration anymore (and the ones who do will earn tokens this year anyway and thus remain above 0). In the long run, this will actually allow us to drop inactive people from the list, instead of having to keep them because they still technically have 1 token. It'll slim down the list, and short and concise lists are nicer than bloated ones.

This would also, during prize distribution, reduce the time Anton, or whoever is responsible, has to spend running around asking "Is this person still active? What's their status? Are they still interested in the awards?". This is a win-win situation both for the person doing the asking, and the person being bothered about something they do not care about anymore.
i agree with this. last year there were like 132 people in total yet there were a lot of people amongst them who just didnt do anything/went inactive. about the token thing, i agree with dividing it by 10. 8 seems like an awkward number
 

Lakituthequick

Celestial Guide
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Regarding this part of the meeting:

[2017-03-18 01:29:37] <Anton{Politoed}> I had one kinda small question for Lakituthequick though since he's a person who knows things
[2017-03-18 01:29:46] <Lakituthequick> yeah?
[2017-03-18 01:30:02] <Anton{Politoed}> ltq do you know a way to copy the values of a column in google sheets from one document to another
[2017-03-18 01:30:03] <Anton{Politoed}> like
[2017-03-18 01:30:03] <Anton{Politoed}> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DB4IWiei2zdpO3sc--E0IgRFZscv6WvwYUKKe6Xus6M/edit#gid=0
[2017-03-18 01:30:11] <Anton{Politoed}> how you got that red column over from the tokens document
[2017-03-18 01:30:25] <Anton{Politoed}> I can't find an adequate paste option that gets the values from after the equation has been solved
[2017-03-18 01:30:33] <Anton{Politoed}> it insists on only posting the value from before, which seems useless
[2017-03-18 01:30:38] <Anton{Politoed}> and I don't want to manually type them out
[2017-03-18 01:30:42] <Anton{Politoed}> but if I have to I guess I will
[2017-03-18 01:30:47] <Freakworld> if it works like in excel you should just be able to copy the format
[2017-03-18 01:30:48] <Lakituthequick> Well I literally duplicated the tokens 2016 sheet and deleted everything else but you shoul be able to ctrl c ctrl v it
[2017-03-18 01:30:53] <Anton{Politoed}> it doesn't work like excel
[2017-03-18 01:31:03] <Freakworld> rip then
[2017-03-18 01:31:06] <Anton{Politoed}> and I've tried c/v
[2017-03-18 01:31:09] <Freakworld> i never use google spreadsheets
[2017-03-18 01:31:16] <Anton{Politoed}> it pastes the formulas
[2017-03-18 01:31:28] <Anton{Politoed}> which end up at 0 or blank because there's nothing for it to solve in the new document
[2017-03-18 01:31:40] <Anton{Politoed}> and right-click paste options don't provide anything that would be what I need
[2017-03-18 01:31:42] <Freakworld> does it not transfer the values as well
[2017-03-18 01:31:44] <Freakworld> jesus
[2017-03-18 01:31:57] <Freakworld> why dont we use excel online
[2017-03-18 01:31:58] <Lakituthequick> i did need to paste onyl values and succeded at that so
[2017-03-18 01:32:14] <Lakituthequick> (google spreadsheets is supirior to excel btw)
[2017-03-18 01:32:16] <Anton{Politoed}> idk why it won't let me but ____
[2017-03-18 01:32:20] <Anton{Politoed}> I'll figure it out later

I just added a second page to the spreadsheet with the plain values.
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
As discussed in the meeting, what's been desired is a timeline of what decisions to be made when, with a decision on /10 being made by or during next meeting. I will plan on holding a vote by then and will schedule anything else as determined by what more is brought up here.

[2017-03-17 17:24:18] <Anton{Politoed}> 4next up would be token talk
[2017-03-17 17:24:33] <Meta_Knight> 10yeah if i have any questions about what im supposed to do or whatever i'll just ask anton and/or turb after the meeting
[2017-03-17 17:24:40] <Freakworld> still per the the /10 cut
[2017-03-17 17:24:45] <Anton{Politoed}> 4edo and I have talked about this quite a bit outside of meetings and the forum and we're a bit at ends on what to do
[2017-03-17 17:24:59] <Anton{Politoed}> 4the disagreement mostly is based on me not fully understanding what will be done and when
[2017-03-17 17:25:17] -->| ARFU (Mibbit@vb96799ia8.direct-adsl.nl) has joined #mwikiawards
[2017-03-17 17:25:18] <Anton{Politoed}> 4so most of my criticisms might not actually be valid simply because I'm not working with a full deck
[2017-03-17 17:25:18] <Freakworld> as soon as possible imo
[2017-03-17 17:25:19] <Meta_Knight> 10i understand that major concern is what this will do to prize rates right
[2017-03-17 17:25:25] <Anton{Politoed}> 4yes
[2017-03-17 17:25:26] <ARFU> im here
[2017-03-17 17:25:31] <Freakworld> hes here
[2017-03-17 17:25:35] <Anton{Politoed}> 4what I want to figure out is what will be handled when
[2017-03-17 17:25:54] <Anton{Politoed}> 4I asked edo to bring this up during the meeting if it became a topic but he's afk or something right now so we won't be making any decisions about it
[2017-03-17 17:26:08] <Meta_Knight> 10unfortunately i dont know a thing about how to calculate prize rates
[2017-03-17 17:26:09] <Anton{Politoed}> 4but what I'll do just for the next few minutes is open up for any concerns and questions regarding what we're doing
[2017-03-17 17:26:15] <Anton{Politoed}> 4refer to: https://www.marioboards.com/index.php?topic=38355.0
[2017-03-17 17:26:29] <Anton{Politoed}> 4my top thing I want to know is a timeline of what decision will be made when
[2017-03-17 17:26:32] <Anton{Politoed}> 4i.e.
[2017-03-17 17:26:39] <Anton{Politoed}> 4by when should we decide /10 or something
[2017-03-17 17:26:44] <Anton{Politoed}> 4by when should we determine prize rates
[2017-03-17 17:26:55] <Freakworld> [01:25] Freakworld as soon as possible imo
[2017-03-17 17:26:58] <Anton{Politoed}> 4by when should we determine how much tournaments are allowed to give out
[2017-03-17 17:27:01] <Freakworld> to the first one
[2017-03-17 17:27:03] <Anton{Politoed}> 4asap isn't a date
[2017-03-17 17:27:10] <turb> i mean we also need to know when we're rolling this out sequentially is the thing
[2017-03-17 17:27:17] <Freakworld> within the next meeting
[2017-03-17 17:27:21] <turb> like decide /10 one week, then prize rates, then etc
[2017-03-17 17:27:24] <ARFU> i think we should give the /10 thing a week or so to make sure everyone gets their thoughts in
[2017-03-17 17:27:25] <Freakworld> is my definition of adap
[2017-03-17 17:27:26] <turb> order and structure
[2017-03-17 17:27:32] <Freakworld> *asap
[2017-03-17 17:27:33] <turb> "asap" is a given
[2017-03-17 17:27:59] <Meta_Knight> 10at least one step of the process should be done at most the start of april
[2017-03-17 17:28:00] <Freakworld> so yeah a week for that
[2017-03-17 17:28:04] <Anton{Politoed}> 4my concern was that it's impossible to fully see how /10 will affect things without the context of its effect on prize rates and token distribution
[2017-03-17 17:28:09] <Anton{Politoed}> 4but edo assured me that it wasn't necessary
[2017-03-17 17:28:14] <Anton{Politoed}> 4I did not understand how
[2017-03-17 17:28:26] <Freakworld> and then get ready to communicate the change also as fast as possible before we get into calamities
[2017-03-17 17:28:29] <Anton{Politoed}> 4which is why I've decided to defer this topic to him
[2017-03-17 17:28:32] <Anton{Politoed}> 4and just OK big things
[2017-03-17 17:28:35] <Freakworld> with tournaments starting up or w/e
[2017-03-17 17:28:36] <Anton{Politoed}> 4afaik turb agrees with that
[2017-03-17 17:28:40] <turb> yeah
[2017-03-17 17:28:53] <Lord_Bowser> it would be best to wait for edo then
[2017-03-17 17:28:59] <Freakworld> y
[2017-03-17 17:29:04] <Anton{Politoed}> 4so yeah if there's any huge concerns just like
[2017-03-17 17:29:08] <Anton{Politoed}> 4lob them here right now or into that thread
[2017-03-17 17:29:14] <turb> anton do you want to do mario awards in the meantime
[2017-03-17 17:29:21] <turb> like, after people get in some more thoughts about this
[2017-03-17 17:29:24] <Anton{Politoed}> 4and I'll communicate with edo later on what we'll do and continue to have that topic active
 

Seteth

I have something to ask of you...
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
Very sorry about not making the meeting. For some reason I had it noted down for tomorrow, so I was asleep (it's 4 am here right now). I will try to explain why I believe worrying about price rates at this time is not productive.

The gist of it is that figuring out the economy and how much every prize will cost is the end goal, while curbing present and future inflation is an intermediary step TOWARDS that end goal. To determine the price rates, we need to know how many tokens will be in circulation this year. To figure out how many tokens will be in circulation, we need to know how many tokens will carry over from last year, as well as how many tournaments there will be that give out tokens.

Needless to say, we do not know either of these things right now. We're essentially trying to figure out an equasion that's composed of only variables. That's impossible. This is why I put forth that we focus on filling in one of these variables by making a decision about carry-over tokens and deflation. Once we have one constant in the equasion, we can begin figuring out the other variables and thus solve the entire thing.

Basically, a rudimentary timeline I am proposing is this. We would go through the timeline in order and move on to the next point once the previous one has been finalized and they become relevant:

1. Make a decision on how to handle token deflation
2. Gauge interest in hosting tournaments, map out a tentative list of likely tournaments from that, and try to determine how many tokens that will add to circulation
3. Figure out how many shroom tokens the Shroom will give out, and how many awards tokens we will allocate to that
4. Roughly determine the amount of prizes there will be (this may take a while)
5. Use information from 1,2, 3, and 4 to make an informed decision on how much every prize will cost

There are no definite dates because the exact dates depend on various external circumstances. The public would be officially informed about token deflation once we have finalized point 1, which ideally would be some time next week.

tl;dr version:
Finalizing token deflation is one step in figuring out how prizes will work. Deflation and price rates are NOT in opposition to each other, rather they are part of the same progression, with the latter actually being the end goal. As such, one should not be treated as an obstacle to the other. Let's go through the steps one by one, instead of taking all the steps all at once.
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Anton said:
As per a decision to tackle the problem of inflation plaguing our awards token economy, we've taken the first step in our restructuring of token worth, distribution, and prize rates. The timeline we have for this is:

Credit to Edo for spearheading this said:
1. Make a decision on how to handle token deflation
2. Gauge interest in hosting tournaments, map out a tentative list of likely tournaments from that, and try to determine how many tokens that will add to circulation
3. Figure out how many shroom tokens the Shroom will give out, and how many awards tokens we will allocate to that
4. Roughly determine the amount of prizes there will be (this may take a while)
5. Use information from 1,2, 3, and 4 to make an informed decision on how much every prize will cost
Step 1 was finalized in the meeting tonight, which is to deflate the token amounts, dividing by 10, and rounding to the nearest whole number. We realize that at first this looks like we are confiscating tokens, but I assure you that the following steps will result in prize prices being decreased and fall within range for everyone to have a good chance of achieving without necessitating joining every single tournament and dominating.

If there are any questions, comments, or concerns please let us know! We are doing this to make the whole process more fair to everyone, so we appreciate any input. Feel free to check our public meeting logs and the Full List document for the rest of the decisions we have made so far.

2017 Token Sheet
So hey, we need to get on this soon. Right now is Step 2 (and Step 3, really).

Mario Awards Killing Game
Pokemon Tournament
Anniversary Scavenger
MK8 Deluxe Battle Tournament
MK8 Tournament
MK7 Tournament
Awards Mafia 6
Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth Tournament
Guess The Results
SSB Wii U Tournament
Art Contest
Minecraft Games
Presentations
Shroom Tokens

afaik this is everything that is running and will run, potentially a pokemon doubles and ssb 3ds, but I'm going to doubt those at the moment. How should we exactly go about determining how many tokens each tournament would potentially give out? There isn't exactly a solid formula to this so just guessing won't work. Base it off previous years / similar tournaments? Just have the hosts do tokens as normal?

As for Step 4, I can see into the future and that being potentially few things being added this year to what already is left over, thanks to Steam being a pile of shit and ruining this for us, leaving few options left such as praying Humble Bundle will have a summer sale and spending a ton on individual gift cards that are grabbed up very quickly.
 

Seteth

I have something to ask of you...
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
Anton said:
afaik this is everything that is running and will run, potentially a pokemon doubles and ssb 3ds, but I'm going to doubt those at the moment. How should we exactly go about determining how many tokens each tournament would potentially give out? There isn't exactly a solid formula to this so just guessing won't work. Base it off previous years / similar tournaments? Just have the hosts do tokens as normal?
Wait, there isn't a set of guidelines that determine how many tokens are allocated to each tournament??

I... didn't really expect that. That's a rather huge oversight that should be addressed. I mean I get that hosts should be allowed to distribute the available tokens to their winners as they see fit, but the total amount of tokens available to them should really be controlled by a centralized entity. Otherwise there's not really anything stopping people from exploiting the system by hosting a tournament and giving themselves whatever amount of tokens they want.

I'll have a look at some data and get back to this.
 

Anton

kero?
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
It's only ever really been based on what other people are doing, and kinda doing what everyone else is, but nothing formal has been set up because it wasn't exactly needed until icemario decided to exploit the system like how you said. tbf, I don't think anyone really expected the token economy to become like...an economy. This is really the first year of me having a part in Awards administration that there's even been time to address this as a topic on a substantial level because of how lax we did the poll discussion. And tbh, I see it undergoing a substantial change anyways now that Steam is out of the picture. If gift cards end up being all we can do, we might have to shift to giving prizes only to winners or Top 3 in tournaments because I don't have that kind of money and I doubt anyone else is going to step up to just dish out a few hundred dollars for prizes when in the past Steam allowed quickie $3 game grabs by the bundle.
 

Seteth

I have something to ask of you...
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
So I thought this over for a while and here is the conclusion I came to. Off the top of my head, here's three ways tournament tokens could be handled:

1. Let the hosts set the token total themselves

The most straight-forward approach. Have tournament hosts walk up to the committee and be like "Hey, give me 600 tokens for my tournament". This is the way that requires the least amount of effort on our part, but also the most exploitable. There's really not much stopping you from hosting a tournament, thinking of how many tokens you would want to receive from it, and then manipulating token distribution to get that amount. Like, say I want 100 tokens. So I'm going to host a tournament that I can expect to place highly in, ask for 400 total, and distribute tokens in a way that'll ensure I get at least 100. But whoops, something unexpected happened and I placed lower than I anticipated. I now can't justify 100 for my position, because then there'd not be enough for the people who placed ahead of me. No problem though, I'll just ask for 600 tokens total instead. I won't have to justify the increase because nobody knows I was originally only going to ask for 400.

So I don't think that's a good idea.


2. Give every tournament a flat amount

This would be the easiest to calculate. We have 14 tournaments. Every tournament gets 400 tokens total. Boom, 5600 tokens we need to account for. However, this is also the most terrible way to go about this. Tournaments vary in scope. Some tournaments are just smaller or bigger than others, and it wouldn't be entirely fair to the really large ones to get the same token amount as everyone else. Which leads directly into the third point.


3. Make the total dependent on the number of participants

This way involves having a set base amount of tokens for tournaments, and then multiplying it by the number of people participating. With this approach, the token total increases proportionally to the size of the tournament. In essence, say the base token value is 30. 10 people sign up for a tournament, thus it gets 300 total. 15 sign up, it gets 450. Et cetera. This would ensure that the tournaments that attract the most interest are also the most rewarding. In theory, it should also incentivise people to sign up more, as the higher the amount of participants, the larger the payout if you win. This makes sense to me, since the more competitors you have to deal with, the bigger your prize should be.

I've ran this approach against some numbers I collected from last year (I apologize if there are any errors), and here's how the approach would play out (assuming a base value of 30 tokens per participant).

Art Contest
Participants: 21
Token total '16: 704
New total: 630

Pokémon
Participants: 16
Token total '16: 571
New total: 480

Mario Kart 7
Participants: 14
Token total '16: 324
New total: 420

Mario Kart 8
Participants: 16
Token total '16: 324
New total: 480

SSB4
Participants: 14
Token total '16: 500
New total: 420

Yu-Gi-Oh
Participants: 8
Token total '16: 265
New total: 240

I think a base value of 30 works out best because it's close to last year's figures, with a bit of subtraction to account for the deflation that will be going on. The final amount can be set later; for now this is just a proof of concept. Minecraft games is also not on this list, because that's something I'd have to get into later if we decide to go with this.



So in the end, which approach should we go for?

Personally, I think the most effective way to go about this would be a combination of 1. and 3.. Something along the lines of us making the calculations like in 3., and then giving the result to the hosts as a guideline. Like, send them a message like "We've calculated that the optimal total for your tournament is 480 tokens. Please plan your payout accordingly." This would give hosts the chance to reply to the effect of "With the way I am distributing tokens, it would be more convenient for me if I had 495.", to which we could answer with "That's reasonable, here's 495 instead.". It also reduces exploitability, since if a host decides to say "480 isn't enough, give me 700 instead", we could just be like "nope". It would ALSO give new hosts who have no idea what amount of tokens is appropriate for their tournament a suggestion to start with.

This approach would give us tangible numbers we can make plans with, while also being flexible enough to allow hosts to make reasonable adjustments as they see fit.
 
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