The rest of this post is from before the Ladder was launched, left in here purely for continuity reasons.
I've been trying to resist posting about this in the open until we can actually let people use it, but to be fair - however arrogant it may sound - this might very well overshadow other people's attempts and it's never fun to see people work hard on something that never gets used. I'm talking from experience here.
There is a Multiwinia Ladder in the making, and it has been in development for about 2.5 months right now. Several beta testers are helping me with testing the system and pointing out all the things that need improvement - bugs of course, but also feature suggestions. It's current form is quite stable, however I'm afraid I can't present you with extremely good-looking screenshots right now. Don't worry, proper templates are being worked on. The ladder currently indexes loads of bogus test data to see how well it performs at realistic loads, nothing you see in these screenshots is accurate.
How does this system get its match data? Not by user input, as you might expect. The big turn off with many Defcon ladders was the fact that all the data had to be entered manually and people didn't bother too much doing it. Instead, I'm collaborating with someone else (I'm not sure if he wants me to give his name just yet) who is attempting to create a dedicated server for Multiwinia. Our current setup needs people to register their dedicated servers to the ladder, after which the servers can upload the data of matches played on them, which the ladder subsequently indexes. The registration system identifies people by auth key (don't worry, our current setup doesn't require you to actually enter that anywhere) and it is possible to link multiple keys to your account - people owning both a Windows and Steam version for example will not have to create two separate accounts.
The following screenshots shows an implementation of the actual Metaserver in the ladder, and it will probably get some more implementations later on.
I can hear you think "when are we going to get to use this?" and I can already tell you that I'm not sure. The fact that it's going to get released to the public is certain, it's just not sure when, and as you might have guessed this relies heavily on the dedicated server software mentioned previously. Until then, I will keep you people posted about our progress.
Smart people might already have seen it in the screenshots, the URI is http://www.multiwinia-ladder.net. Have fun looking at the blank screen.
What do you want the ladder to have?
This is a community project, made by but most importantly for the people playing this game. Hence, it's more than reasonable to ask those same people what features they'd like to see the ladder to have. If you have any feature suggestions, please post them in this topic.
The list of current features:
- Stats with ranks, scores, played/won/lost/tied matches, amount of premature disconnects, streaks, best/worst game mode
- Graphs depicting hour of day of played matches, game mode distribution (general and daily for past 14 days), game ranking distribution,matches per day (past 14 days)
- Leaderboard with full searching and sorting functionality
- Custom leaderboards for game modes and player 'environments'
- Possibility to stamp users as pirates or cheaters, strip people of rights ranging from comment posting to match submission
- Comments at user profiles
- Mail notification when someone comments on your user profile (can be switched on/off in profile)
- Map, players, game mode, score mode, player names, in-game team colours and scores, advanced settings
- Match replays for Dedwinia (unavailable until Dedwinia release)
- Match list with full searching and sorting functionality
- 'Ranked' flag which allows matches to be submitted to the ladder without affecting scores and ranks
- Comments at match details pages
- Mail notification when a match is submitted in which you participated (can be switched on/off in profile)
- Mail notification when someone comments on a match in which you participated (can be switched on/off in profile)
- Users can register their own servers
- Server details page with server name, owner username, match count and match details of all played matches on said server
- Graphs depicting hour of day of played matches, game mode distribution (general and daily for past 14 days), game ranking distribution,matches per day (past 14 days),player type distribution (general and daily for past 14 days)
- Server list with sorting functionality
- Up to three players can be challenged
- Challenges are private discussions like the comment pages to fully allow discussion of game type, map and other details
- Mail notification when you are challenged (can be switched on/off in profile)
- Mail notification when someone leaves a message in one of your challenges (can be switched on/off in profile)
- BBcode/smileys support
- 'Report comment' buttons along with a set of moderators
- Full custom map support (have to be added to the database first though)
- Users can register serials to accounts without having to enter the serial anywhere (yay for technology )
- Multiple serials can be registered to one account
- Dedwinia integration
- Users will be greeted with rank and score in registered Dedwinia servers
EDIT as of November 8th: Most of the above post is from before launch, so some comments are now redundant - however, for continuity reasons I refuse to edit those parts out of this post. The list with features has been updated to reflect the current Ladder status.
EDIT as of January 20th: Uh, right. When I linked to this post from the Sky release news post I figured it might be time to update, but to be honest I have kind of lost track of all the changes I've made. Don't take the above list to be an exhaustive list of features.