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 *[Meta] Payout Structure
Beaver
 Posted: Jan 4 2018, 12:03 PM
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So I caught the tail end of an interesting discussion in discord. Why is the NSFL media payout system the way that it is? It started when DeathOnReddit was frustrated that posting his 1200 word article as two 600 word articles would get him more money and flowed naturally from there.

There's no doubt that 600 words is the optimal article length under the current format as you can see here:
user posted image

You can think about it like this:
You are a very wordsy and verbose NSFL player and have 60,000 words of media bottled up inside of you that you want to unleash upon the league. You're also a min-maxer and want to post those words in the most efficient way possible. You have many options:
1. Post 1 article that's 60,000 words long - $62 million
2. Post 2 articles that are 30,000 words long - $64 million
3. Post 3 articles that are 20,000 words long - $66 million
4. Post 6 articles that are 10,000 words long - $72 million
5. Post 12 articles that are 5,000 words long - $84 million
6. Post 15 articles that are 4,000 words long - $86.25 million
7. Post 20 articles that are 3,000 words long - $90 million
8. Post 30 articles that are 2,000 words long - $84 million
9. Post 60 articles that are 1,000 words long - $96 million
10. Post 100 articles that are 600 words long - $100 million

Among articles that don't go past the maximum bonus tier (5,000 words) the least efficient article tiers are 2,000 and 5,000 words and 600 words is by far the most efficient - you would earn 19% more money for posting in 600 word increments than 2,000.

If that's what the league wants, that's fine. I'm sure nobody logs onto the NSFL hoping to open up the media section and find a 6,000 word novel - but I'm not sure that 600 words is where we should be optimizing either. As it says in the Payout Structure topic (emphasis mine):
QUOTE
This would mean a 600 word article gets their $600k base and the $400k bonus for a total of $1mil.  However if someone writes two 300 word articles, they would only get $600k.  This is to encourage longer articles and hopefully not so many people just writing the basic article to hit the word count.


These incentives do matter. I took a look at the 10 most recent topics in the Graded Articles forum that had their word count easily displayed and just two of them eclipsed 2,000 words. Four were fewer than 1,000 and the remaining four were between 1,000 and 2,000. The average of those 10 was just over 1,200 words.

Comparing this to other sim leagues, the last 5 SHL and the last 5 SMJHL articles averaged 2,000 words in a system where you get a flat $100k for every 100 words you write (though good articles are usually subject to a 1.5-2x multiplier for quality). In the PBE, the last 10 articles averaged about 1,600 in a system very similar to the NSFL but without the weird "never write a 2,000 word article" twist as their 2,000 word bonus is $1m instead of $800k.

Again, if we as a league want short articles then mission accomplished. This isn't a criticism, per se, but we should be aware of what we're incentivizing. So, taking all that into consideration I crafted some alternate pay structures to encourage different article lengths in case we want to do that:

600 words
Examples:
Week 6 power rankings - 770 words
Portland Pythons Week 5 and 6 Review - 653 words
Portland Pythons Week 3 and 4 Review - 608 words

Structure:
Keep as is.

1,000 Words
Examples:
Yeti New Co-GM - 1,031 words
D-Line Standouts: Week 6 - 1,156 words

Structure:
600 words - $350k (down from $400k) - $1583/word
1,000 words - $700k (up from $600k) - $1650/word
2,000 words - $1m (up from $800k) - $1600/word
$200k increase in bonus for each tier thereafter.

1,200 Words
Examples:
Cornerbacks : An Ongoing Analysis (1/14) - 1,218 words

Structure:
600 words - $300k (down from $400k) - $1500/word
1,000 words - $600k (same) - $1600/word
1,200 words - $800k (new tier) - $1667/word
2,000 words - $1.2m (up from $800k) - $1600/word
$200k increase in bonus for each tier thereafter.

1,500 Words
Examples:
Cornerbacks : An Ongoing Analysis (2/14) - 1,637 words

Structure:
600 words - $300k (down from $400k) - $1500/word
1,000 words - $600k (same) - $1600/word
1,500 words - $1m (new tier) - $1667/word
2,000 words - $1.2m (up from $800k) - $1600/word
$200k increase in bonus for each tier thereafter.

2,000 Words
Examples:
DSFL Positional Power Ratings (Offense) - 2,330 words
The Specialist: Issue 2 (DSFL, Vol. 1) - 2,202 words

Structure:
600 words - $300k (down from $400k) - $1500/word
1,000 words - $600k (same) - $1600/word
2,000 words - $1.4m (up from $800k) - $1700/word
$200k increase in bonus for each tier thereafter.

Bimodal
This isn't a mutually exclusive situation. If you think that both 600 word articles and 2,000 word articles (for example) have a place in the NSFL then we could craft a system for that, too.

Structure:
600 words - $400k (same) - $1667/word
1,000 words - $600k (same) - $1600/word
1,500 words - $900k (new tier) - $1600/word
2,000 words - $1.3m (up from $800k) - $1650/word
$200k increase in bonus for each tier thereafter.

You could do this for whatever lengths we as a league would prefer.

Suggestions
These are based on my own personal preferences and are premised on amending the current system separate from changing to a structure posed above:
1. Add another bonus tier between 1,000 and 2,000 words and if you want to keep the number of tiers low and manageable kill off the 5,000 word tier. I think 1,200 or 1,500 words make the most sense for this threshold.
2. Add another bonus tier at 2,500 words and if you want to keep the number of tiers low and manageable kill off the 4,000 word tier. I imagine the vast majority of articles never hit 3,000 words and almost none hit 4 or 5k since there's no incentive to which means those tiers are better served in the relevant range.
3. Flatten the $/word disparity between tiers. Set word counts that you want to incentivize at $1650-1700/word, the tiers around them around at $1600/word, word counts that you want to disincentivize at $1500/word, and have the rest somewhere in between. This is the basic pattern I followed in crafting the structures above. The whiplash of going from $1600 to $1400 to $1500 in successive tiers sets up weird incentives.
4. Alternatively, scrap the ax+b (where a is the base $1000/word, x is the word count, and b is the tiered bonus) payout system altogether and go to a simple a*x system where the $/word payout changes depending on your word count. Example:
Tier 1: 0-599 words - $1000/word
Tier 2: 600-999 words - $1600/word
Tier 3: 1000-1499 words - $1625/word
Tier 4: 1500-1999 words - $1650/word
Tier 5: 2000-2499 words - $1675/word
Tier 6: 2500+ words - $1700/word
This would get rid of the weird mechanic where typing past a word count threshold feels like wasted effort since each successive word is making you less and less efficient (which is exactly what it's doing to me right now) but, naturally, would incentivize really long articles so I would also suggest bringing the top tier down a bit to prevent novels. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

What say you, dear reader? When you open an article how big does the word count have to be to make you think "ugh" and back out rather than brave the wall of text? What word counts are so small it makes you wonder "why would they even bother posting this?"

Fuck I should've posted this as 2 articles to get that extra $200k.


GRADED

This post has been edited by bovovovo: Jan 10 2018, 12:02 PM

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DeathOnReddit
 Posted: Jan 4 2018, 12:25 PM
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hey look i was @d.


Cool article for real though.

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bovovovo
 Posted: Jan 4 2018, 12:28 PM
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Really really good in-depth stuff as always.

QUOTE (Beaver @ Jan 4 2018, 02:03 PM)

Tier 1: 0-599 words - $1000/word
Tier 2: 600-999 words - $1600/word
Tier 3: 1000-1499 words - $1625/word
Tier 4: 1500-1999 words - $1650/word
Tier 5: 2000-2499 words - $1675/word
Tier 6: 2500+ words - $1700/word


This is actually a lot like what I was thinking would be best, and I'm glad you brought it up. Gets rid of arbitrary tier pay bumps, no real "efficiency exploits," and is pretty fair imo.

It's also similar to how income tax brackets work lol

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Beaver
 Posted: Jan 4 2018, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE (bovovovo @ Jan 4 2018, 02:28 PM)
Really really good in-depth stuff as always.



This is actually a lot like what I was thinking would be best, and I'm glad you brought it up. Gets rid of arbitrary tier pay bumps, no real "efficiency exploits," and is pretty fair imo.

It's also similar to how income tax brackets work lol

Yeah making it a marginal increase would be even better. I was thinking just multiply all the words by the new multiplier but doing it like taxes would get rid of huge jumps at the new rates. Might be a bit complicated for writers to figure out exactly how much they need to write to get $x but it'd be easy to whip something up to put into the payout thread as reference.


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bovovovo
 Posted: Jan 4 2018, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (Beaver @ Jan 4 2018, 02:44 PM)

Yeah making it a marginal increase would be even better. I was thinking just multiply all the words by the new multiplier but doing it like taxes would get rid of huge jumps at the new rates. Might be a bit complicated for writers to figure out exactly how much they need to write to get $x but it'd be easy to whip something up to put into the payout thread as reference.


Yup. Graders use a Google sheet that automates the pay anyways so it wouldn’t be too hard to write up a nice little formula to automate it

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