Trying to understand ZP

yes, i’m a fan of them, even if eric is not my biggest fan. personally i would like to see them spread over 2 hours allowing for mostly full recovery between efforts (and therefore no need for sniping DQs) but i like them all the same.

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Yes. As long as the results affect the same ranking, it will be like apples and oranges, and an apple will equal an orange even if they are very different. But if you split racers by how many fruits they have, it does not matter :slight_smile: (OK - silly analogy, I know)

@S_A_Cestria_CC You are the school book example of a specialist racer. How would you have liked to be placed in the same category as racers with similar ZP ranking, or even ZR ranking for that matter?

EDIT: I’m not sure why my ramblings were moved to this thread. My posts are not about trying to understand ZP, but more about the ZP and ZR rankings.

based on my peak zp race rank of approximately 89pts… if it’s a super sprint, i don’t mind who shows up. but anything longer than 10km and i am probably tapping out or riding on my own. i’d need another 20 watts on my FTP to compete with riders of that calibre and that is probably never happening

Yes. There are many of us who don’t have the time, training intelligence, or physical abilities to improve much.
There would be a very limited number of races you could enter where your ZP ranking would be right compared to the other racers.
I think splitting by ranking will lead to racers having to race even more to their abilities. Of course, racers should do exactly that, but I like to race a variety (to a certain degree) of races/leagues. An enforced category system will have to handle that use case.

Good conversation. In my mind it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. Ranking is overall. Race organisers then have choices. If they are organising a AdZ race, they could split by rankings which will lead to one type of dynamic, or they could split by 20m w/Kg for another type.

There seems to be an obsession with grouping riders as closely matched ability wise as possible. But that’s not what makes fun and enjoyable racing. If you only have 40 entries and you have 5 pens, it is impossible to achieve it anyway.

Repeat and reinforce: customisable (and enforceable) pen boundaries has the biggest value of any change that could be made. Followed by a ranking system that acts as a another optional but important input, and gives all riders something to play for in any given race scenario.

I think we are on the same page now @gloscherrybomb. I’m just worried that Zwift will only implement a ranking based on ZP’s ranking system with no other options to split into pens. That would be a disaster.

Flint has said that won’t be the case and we are on the same page. My main concerns are that one naturally extrapolates past performance (the shambles of the current, easily resolvable, CE situation) and applies it to future performance. The fact they are, as far as I am aware, developing it purely internally almost guarantees that it will miss the mark, and they are unlikely to have the flexibility or willingness to make quick changes to iterate and evolve it that we can with ZR. I’d love to be proven wrong

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I really hope that is the case. From what Flint has written, it seems like they have a long way to go. First, they will have to implement a good ranking system (not ZP ranking), then they will have to implement splitting by different values and enforce the categories.

Splitting by different values should really be the first priority. If they could enable race organizers to provide the values and pen splits from an external API or similar, they didn’t have to rush the development of a ranking system. ZP is already becoming the go-to ranking.

If ranking is not going to be used primarily for splitting racers, as is common in other games, one has to ask what the purpose of the ranking is. I have found it interesting to check my ZP ranking after a race. It mostly goes down during the indoor season. Lately, I have been looking at my ZR ranking and it hardly moves. So for motivation, I would pick the ZP ranking, but for the accuracy of my current overall level, I would look to the ZR ranking. Maybe we need both types of rankings for different purposes? If we also had a point-based ranking for sprint/climb/rolling, etc., I would use them for motivation.

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How does your ZP ranking go down? Because efforts time out? I disagree on ranking different race types. But have explained the rationale for that before.

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I mean my ranking points :slight_smile:

I want the ranking to be something that motivates me. I don’t get motivated by seeing that I beat a higher-ranked rider when I place second last, but that could be different for different riders.

Your ranking increase, naturally, as you improve. Isn’t that motivating? If a ranking increases for a different reason, isn’t that false?

I’m not improving anymore, but I sometimes place high in some races. I would be motivated if I saw my ranking increase in those cases.

Interesting. Ok.

We are all different :slight_smile:

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I think you’re touching on the difference between ranking, and a ‘points’ or ‘achievement’ system.

Indeed they are two fundamentally different things.

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Yes, and I think we maybe need both. Different purposes.

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yeah. i’ve spent probably 3 years hanging out with the top end of B on and off, and a lot of them are using races daily, myself certainly included… obviously it’s not possible to race daily like your life depends on it. nobody is entering a non-league affiliated 30km flat race because they are expecting anything other a z2 ride with a sprint at the end of it for example

so of course, there are races that people use for training (your average daily 3R race or ZHQ race or for example), and there are also races that people race because they want to win or compete more seriously (leagues like FRR, and ZRL, where people are apparently willing to make a pact with satan in order to unlock a dumbass looking ingame helmet)

so in my opinion… a range of systems from static power based categories (these are nice for training because you can generally predict how a race is going to go, and it’s much less tedious than doing an erg workout or a free ride) to a hopefully well designed ranking system for competition’s sake would be best. in fact, the more options the better. i even think there is still a place for the old 3x20min zp system

all of them are going to have flaws and strengths in them somewhere, but as long as i know what i’m signing up for when i join an event i’m personally happy.


So looks like the race you did before the one you have highlighted you got a points reduction of 10.81, putting you currently at 166.42 (which is what you underlined).

Based on what I can see on your ZP profile, this doesn’t seem like it’s unfairly ranking you because it suggest to me that you’re joining races that are of a competitive quality for you, meaning they’re challenging in the right ways.

Your ranking is currently 166.42, which puts you at 2,252 overall in the rankings. Not bad!

Couple questions for you (so I can understand and because I have some points of curiosity as well):

  • Was the race before where you got the 10.81 points one of the 4x6 races? What about the three below?
  • Do you prefer seeing a points loss as opposed to having no points awarded?
  • When you’re signing up for a race do you take into account the potential points you stand to gain based on race quality on ZwiftPower? Do you look on for the predicted quality now instead? What influences your decision to do a race, and are points included in that?
  • When you’re looking at race results for ranking or scoring changes, what are you looking for first? What values changing mean the most to you?

As has been suggested, there is the difference between ranking and scoring, and if those two get conflated it could lead to confusion.

I’m not asking these questions as a way to try and convince you that one way is right over the other, I’m merely looking to understand where you’re finding it isn’t meeting your needs relative to another ranking system.

Not answering on behalf of @OleKristian , but this is interesting as we have been having much the same discussions.

What we have now with is a really great ranking system, which accurately places riders, gives incentive for improvement, and something to fight for in every race. It’s brilliant as an input to sort riders in to pens. What we don’t have is a points system that rewards achievement - i.e. you start from 0 at the beginning of each season, and can gain points through doing well (stronger fields = more points of offer) and rewards frequency of races. It can also be modified based on race length and variety. We think a system like this could complement the rankings as a rewards/achievements system but they cannot really be the ‘same’ system. For example you could be the best gold rider based on your points in the season, but not in terms of ranking… as the best gold rider in terms of ranking is just the one that is 1 rank point away from being the worst platinum rider.

@OleKristian’s points are nice rewards for his racing. If you sorted him in to pens with other riders ranked around 166 I don’t think he’d be enjoying life much.

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