Firstly I agree with not having a handicap system. It is difficult to implement one that is good, effective, and achieves the desired outcome. It is also incredibly difficult to determine how much a handicap should be depending on who's playing. I definitely do not advocate for one.
As for the rankings system. I will try to respond to each part of your feedback separately Bert.
"As far as the rating system, I as a newer and less skilled player and just as you (llrr) mentioned in a earlier post, don't care to have a number attached to my name indicating that. I am sure there are more players that feel the same way."
If this is the case, then there is no reason to care about the new rankings system. Just like currently where it is highly unlikely the same players would care about the current team rankings system.
"I was told while asking questions one time the "confidence is key". I think in some instances this can be harmful to a number of players confidence. This is also a great way to keep newer and less skilled players in obs, as the intermediate to better players would surely dominate the field during most of the popular playing times, with a lot less chance of the less skilled being able to get in. The intermediate to better players would then have their ratings to worry about and protecting it by making sure that the less skilled players only match against their own skill level or less or not match at all."
IMO there are two types of players in the league, the ones who want to get better, and the ones who want to just play FMs without caring about getting better, nor care about rankings. For the former, they will not be so easily deterred by a low ELO, just like in any sport. Those who compete in the sport but aren't very good yet have low rankings (think tennis), but they don't give up so easily. It wouldn't be any different in this league. If you care about your skills, getting better, and improving yourself, then the new rankings system won't stop you from doing that. For people who won't care about it, then it doesn't matter if a new, individual ranking is added, they still won't care anyway.
For the last sentence in this statement. I think we all have to realize that in order to have "balanced offis", that is exactly what has to happen. How do we not have balanced offis right now? By having anybody match anybody for the sake of activity. The only way to have a balanced offi is if people with similar skill levels match against each other. This however does not exclude players from matching against better players. In the new system, newer, weaker players are still free to match vs better players, and IMO better players will more often than not agree. Why? Because they're unlikely to lose and hence winning = more elo for them, so to the better players there isn't much to lose from doing this. In fact, right now pros don't actually want to match noobs anyways, because it's boring for them. For them, a 20mins match where the outcome is guaranteed 10-0 is a waste of time. You can't blame them for feeling that way.
"I also have stated before my concerns with this sort of thing, because it would hurt development of players in my mind if they don't get to match against better and much better players that often."
I hope my previous response address this as it's the same comment as the previous one.
"Then there is the part where player A from one team and Player B from another team is on the same team in a match. If we are going to do this, why even have teams? This means that the rating for a team is not achieved by the team but individual players. If there are no teams then what is the purpose of a league."
This is the whole point of the proposal. It allows anyone to match with anyone else, thus there doesn't need to be a teammate online in order to match. We still have teams, and team ELO is changed IF AND ONLY IF the match is between players from two teams, i.e. a team vs team match, OR one color of made up of players from a team, i.e. team vs individuals match (team ELO for the teams the individuals are on would not change). Please read the original post and my attached rankings logistics. Team ELO does not get modified by individuals matching with each other (that was the previous idea, based upon player feedback it has been scrapped).
"I think that the answer to this is to let the captains work on their teams a bit. SG has 21 members with over half of them consistently active. This is due to good work on the captains part of recruiting. I was pushing for this before the team was even formed. The other 6 active teams have 3 to 6 consistently active players on them. I think it would be good to focus on this and continue to fill these teams with active players. That is what has gotten us this far slowly. We are actually having official matches again where for a long time that didn't happen. This started slowly before SG and the things that you put in place through recruiting and pushing for offis has increased the amount of official matches. I am not for reallocating teams, but filling them with active players. The proposed system in my mind would increase activity for the medium-skilled players and up, and hurt the activity of newer and less skill players OR hurt their development into better players. Mentoring programs, practice/teaching sessions, etc. have all been discussed but not implemented successfully to this point. I am strongly for steps like these. It would help better achieve the goals, and build a better foundation for a long lasting league. This sort of thing does take time and energy, that seemingly the best players don't care to provide. They just want to play and not be bored. I admire the effort to come up with a better way, but this all seems like a band-aid that will result in the slowed growth due to not being able to retain the newer people and loss of the older players to boredom because at some point the same teams will always be winning until someone else wants to change everything again to make it different. We are still early in what I feel can be an actual take off of LU. To rip it apart and change everything seems a bit unproductive."
I honestly think that this is absolutely not the way. For several reasons:
1. It requires players to be interested in taking on mixed players in their teams, which many as you've seen are not.
2. As many have said, people cannot force players or active players to fill different teams in order to spread the activity.
3. Due to team vs team limitations, very few offis are balanced.
4. To be honest, I'm not sure how active the league was before I came back, but I felt like I single handedly revived it by creating SG. Now, I'm constantly online for hours a day right now. I've participated in 90% of our offis. What happens when I become less active again? I think most people can see that the current "activity" is fake. It is upheld by a few players (less than 5-6), and it required us to play offis "for the sake of it", without caring about team balance. To me, this really isn't a solution, to just wait for people to pick it up. Because of the waiting the league has been dying.
5. We need to not just think about activity, and helping newer players. Your thoughts seem to be biased towards that. We need retention of older players as well. Retention cannot happen if they all get bored. This is happening because there is no real competition left in the league right now.
6. I personally feel that the new system is hardly a "band-aid" as you've suggested, just by seeing the amount of positive feedback I'm getting from just about everyone who's active. The system is an addition to what we have now. It allows offis to be played with anybody. It allows FMs to still happen. It promotes competition. It still allows people who don't care about their rankings to play without caring. It allows people who want to get better challenge themselves against stronger opponents. It is not ripping apart anything, because the current system will still exist. You can still have team vs team offis that affect team ELO just lie now. It just adds something extra to retain older players and promote a bit of challenge between players.
I get what you're trying to say Bert, but I feel like what you suggest is just simply too conservative. If i become less active right now the league will hardly have any offi's again. Just look at the offi's page. 99% of it is vs SG, and 99% of the SG games have me in it. See what I mean? The league isn't as healthy as you think right now. What's happening right now with the increased activity etc. that's what I would call "band-aid".