Ideas that PUI could consider for next year...

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by BANGINBOX, May 19, 2008.

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    BANGINBOX New Member

    Hello all,

    I was just thinking about this season and what it has meant to me as a player and as a storeowner. I have several things I would like to see at least mentioned in the meeting concerning organized play for next year. I was one of the few people that were able to play while seeing things from the judging side as well. I also had a VERY different perspective of Pokemon organized play as compared to various other TCG’s.

    In the following article I would like to address some of my observations. Of course I would also like to see what many of you feel PUI can do to better the OP for next year. Please do not be selfish and give suggestions that will only be good for you. We need constructive ideas that are going to benefit the community as a whole. Please understand that I did not write this to address anything outside of the United States. I do not understand the way things are run there and would not be willing to offer suggestions for you.

    Again, this is the FIRST time to my recollection that any feedback has been given to PUI from the players PRIOR to organizing the following year. I am confident that they will read this and take all logical requests into consideration.

    First I will start as a PLAYER….

    I attended 1 city, 2 states, and 0 regionals. This is by far my WORST year as a player. Let me explain why I chose to attend so few events. After attending Hawaii last year and reading the tournament structure for 07’-08’ I made an immediate decision to put my fate of the 08’ season in the grinder. I did not want to have to stress myself out over rankings and have the fear of losing points in EVERY MATCH for the year. This game is first and foremost…. FUN!!! I felt that worrying about my points all year would keep me from obtaining my goal of having FUN. People, I want you to know…. I have been having a GREAT time with this game this year. Building decks and helping many people along the way has been great. No stress about who or what deck I am playing. Just able to go and actually ENJOY my hobby. I have however seen MANY, MANY people taking the fear of losing to an all-new level. I will not get into specifics but they were obviously NOT enjoying themselves. This was a sad state of affairs for me.

    Next I would like to offer my observations as a judge….

    I hosted 2 prereleases, 1 city, and countless weekend drafts. I will also be hosting 1 other event as well as a battle road soon. I love my casual weekend events. It reminds me of the days when everyone actually cared about how well others are doing in this game. The competition level is still high, but the randomness makes for some fun times. I actually had a 9 year old win a 14-player draft with all teenagers on the same day I taught him how to play. It was INCREDIBLE!!! Sportsmanship at its finest. We still tease the older kids about losing to a YOUNG GUN. Fun stuff indeed. Now on the other hand, I judged my city championship, and witnessed 2 state championships judged. CUT THROAT STUFF for sure… I was ashamed at watching some of the players bicker an complain about every little thing in hopes of gaining an advantage over their opponent. I seen cheating in the 11-14, parents coaching kids, 15+ trying to manipulate rules to get a game losses for their opponents. Just outright terrible things. It really reminded me of YU-GI-OH. Another sad day for me.

    Lastly I would like for people to see the struggles of storeowners concerning the game….

    The biggest issue I feel Pokemon has in comparison to the other games is LAG TIME between events. Lets take a look at the calendar from 1 locations point of view. We will start with Sept. 1, as it’s the beginning of the year for Pokemon. These are rough estimates of a typical event year.
    Sept-Nov….. 1 battle road. In a 3 month span
    Nov….. Possible Pre-release
    Dec-Feb….. 1 City Championship
    Feb….. Possible Pre-release
    Mar- May… no major events being held in store locations. (states and Regions being limited to 1-2 days)
    May…..Possible Pre-release
    May-June…. 1 battle road
    June-Aug….. no major events being held in store locations.
    Aug…...Possible Pre-release

    As you can see… Unless you are a MAJOR organizer, there is a serious gap between February and potentially November. It is hard to keep a game growing with only a league and possible pre releases every 3 months. For the little stores trying to grow the game, they are seemingly dangling the golden carrot in front of the players and then sending them elsewhere to play. Seems kind of crazy for storeowners to entice people to a game that they can’t support more frequently to reap the benefits of their hard work. Getting people to like new games is extremely difficult process. There are hundreds of games out there to choose from. Strong competitive play needs to be easily available to players to keep interest high. If we continue to limit opportunities to play, the players will surely leave.

    I would like to propose a few things that could possibly take our BELOVED game back to the days when EVERYONE was having fun first….

    1) Listen to the players…. We love this game and only want to see it strive for many years to come. Open up an official forum or some way for us to offer up suggestions that would be viewed by PUI directly. This way we can see that people are hearing what is being said. Open discussions are good for the game and can grow the relationships between OP and the players. As of right now we are counting on Judges or the Gym to try and get some ideas thru to be heard. All major companies have a means of listening to their customer base, I would just like to see some suggestions addressed by PUI, whether it be good or bad, and Why. I know that a direct email can be sent, but then PUI will get hundreds of repeat suggestions. No need to take away too much time from them, they do have a game to run. Just thinking how successful we all were in creating the rules for team play back in the Wizards days. It all started in an open forum.

    2) Open up more days for major events. This will help on MANY fronts. It will give the players many opportunities to play at a high level, while learning the skills it takes to compete at an event like Nats and worlds. It will also open up more opportunities for Judges to sharpen the tools they need to have prior to major events. In both examples, repetition will bring perfection and experience. Lastly, store owners would LOVE to see a game with such strong OP to show up in their venues more often. I will use PUI’s theory on switching judges at major events and their viability of the ranking system as the basis for my argument. SPREADING THE WEALTH IS A GOOD THING FOR THE GAME!!! That seems to be the reason rankings are still in place, as well as, seeing different faces judging at major events. I guess you won’t know till you try.

    3) ELIMINATE PLAYER RANKINGS!!! I am sure if you took a vote from players and judges alike, this system has long run its course. It has taken the fun from nearly every major event I have attended in the past 2 years. I would like to thank PUI for trying to implement new and exciting ways to grow the game and make it more competitive, this however has been a bust. I will use simple sports as examples here. In any sports playoffs, you are rewarded for being the best team for that particular day. This is how it has been and should continue to be. If a player wins a REGIONAL… They should get an invite. PERIOD. Regionals are MAJOR events and should have prizes to reflect that. I am not saying to give the winner a paid trip. Simply an invite. This would drastically increase attendance at multiple events. It’s the “any given day” scenario, sure sometimes the “Best Player” per se, may not win the event, but they had an equal opportunity to do so.

    4) Hold more MAJOR events throughout the course of the year…. Yu-Gi-Oh holds Regionals monthly and Shonen Jumps Quarterly. The Regionals travel within the region it is designed to cover. This way 12 local stores per year will be able to hold a major event that could possibly send one of his locals to their World Championship. I would like for PUI to rethink the structure they have determined to be the best for the game. The lag between major events is a serious drawback to this game and could at least have another look. I guess I really didn’t notice it till now how far apart major events are if you cant attend Nats or Worlds.

    5) Consider a training process for all Judges to pass thru at Nats or Worlds. This is the time when you have the most satuated amount of Judges from the country. Arriving 1 day early to teach them some things would be so beneficial to the players and overall consistancy of the game. This would also justify your reasoning to rotate judges at all major events. It could really make a significant impact on the quality of judging and overall fun of the game.

    I think this is long enough, I have rambled on too long. I will continue to add things as I remember them. I will not argue any points but am really looking forward to responses from players, Judges and PUI, as it is after all, for the good of our game.

    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  2. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    Vince's Counterpoint.

    Pokemon holds 7 events every year that are open to the store owners.

    4 Prereleases and 2 Battle Roads and 1 City Championship.

    There should be significant value there for any store owner. Over 1 major event every two months at their location.

    This is, I believe, more than any other game that it can be compared with.

    Regionals for Pokemon hold a much greater importance than Regionals for any other game. Pokemon's Regionals are set at a late part of the calendar, for the play year, and they are designed to mean something. They do.

    95% of Store owners will not have anything to do with a Regional. So be it. 100% of store owners will have nothing to do with Nationals or Worlds.

    States, are just that. States. Sometimes they are held at card stores, sometimes they are not.

    States should never be seen as a "gotta" for a card store.

    Pokemon is unique in one other way. Free events. "If you can't sell free, we got trouble".

    Finally, the increase in cheating, sportsmanship, and the like screams two things...first, the venue has to be better staffed. It is much harder to cheat on a strong staff than a weak staff.

    Two, penalties need to be leveled at the players caught. A quick time extension on a stalling issue sends a message to the whole division...we will not tolerate this.

    Ratings points. They promote actually going and playing, and not sitting back waiting for a "home run" event like a gym challenge or Nationals. To go to Worlds, you have to play often and play well. There are problems with the system, but I REALLY prefer it to the "Gym Challenge Home Run" system.

    I do like the invite for Regionals idea.

    Improvements need to be made. They will be, we will move forward.

    Let's go POOOOKA! Come on BUBBA!

  3. Kabutops141

    Kabutops141 New Member

    I agree with you on just about eerything, Jimmy. I would LOVE to have something like Gym Challenges back. It was a fun, but competitive event that could earn you an invite (I think to worlds, correct me if wrong.) I just got started in organized play , and then they shut down Gym Challenges, making it much harder to get to go to worlds. I think that increasing the major events, as you stated, would help. Some people aren't able to play many tournaments really often, therefore, It's harder to get to worlds through rating points. I think that rating points are needed, but having Gym Challenges back would also be pretty awesome.

    Anyway, nice article Jimmy!
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  4. DarthPika

    DarthPika New Member

    I do think that there arn't enough tournements. If I go out and spend a lot of money to get a good deck I want to be able to USE it, and use it a lot with out having to go out of state. We really could use more tourneys (pre releases dont count) more on the CC leval.

    One thing I would like to add is for POP to consider LARGER top cuts for CC's and maybe even BRds. T4 makes it IMPOSIBLY hard to make it in for my area as we have a lot of players that come to all our tourneys.

    Personly I would like to see BR'ds done away with and have more CC's, as they are much more fun.
  5. Kabutops141

    Kabutops141 New Member

    I second this notion.
  6. ashinto

    ashinto New Member

    i think that they should have a lot more tourniments that count to your player ranking near your area. i only went to two events that would effect my ranking (one states and a regionals). losing hurts your ranking. i don't think i will ever get enough points to go to worlds. and about them rewarding people for just doing good, not having a better ranking, i second that notion. at my states i got third to last, but in regionals, i made twelveth place no problem, and i only lost to G&G (stupid gardilade). so i still have a really bad record. this just stinks.
  7. Gardi94

    Gardi94 New Member

    I may sound like a noob for asking this, but why were Gym Challenges removed?
  8. Kabutops141

    Kabutops141 New Member

    No clue. They were very fun events imo. Maybe they wanted to make it harder to get to worlds, so ppl would spend more $ trying to get there. I personally really liked GC's.
  9. Scizor

    Scizor New Member

    I can't say I really disagree with any of this, Jimmy. Everyone knows I'd chime in here, and I naturally have several ideas for a new tournament structure. I can't even describe how frustrating it is to be lower than people in ratings because I don't get to go to 2 City Championships and Battle Roads per weekend. On top of that, it's really lame that I'm "expected to beat people lower than me" every single match because my rating is higher than theirs. Such a flawed system. It's like I can't even ever test a deck in a tournament scene because I'm limited event wise, so it's simply forcing me to run my best deck and test on a flawed basis such as Apprentice. Without ratings in the picture, I can at least run something for fun at the lower events, and I think everyone would agree that's a very good thing.

    To Vince: I actually think that is somewhat untrue that other games do not run as many events. For some reason everytime I mention Magic: The Gathering people go crazy in here, but as far as I'm concerned it's the measuring stick for TCGs. Magic runs Friday Night Magic every single Friday at any participating store. It's like a league atmosphere, but it's also an 8 K-Value tournament. There are kids who play and it is definitely a fun atmosphere. If anyone thinks that Magic is some cuthroat game with no class players or full of rude people, then they haven't played. They also run multiple Pre-Releases, and stores are allowed to run 16 K tournaments whenever they want as long as they are in good standing with Wizards of the Coast. Why can't something like this be done in Pokemon?

    Bigger than all this to me is something that is seemingly overlooked and just not really taken into account: More prizes, invites and allocades based on attendance. Everyone says so often that the game needs to continue to be promoted and are always so concerned with boosting attendance at events. I don't really see much encouragement to continue playing in large tournaments for a newer player who even may be good if they're seeing 100 people in their age division for a State Championship which offers $300 to 1st if you pay for a $350 flight and what ever hotel costs to Ohio from the West Coast when someone in Michigan beats a smaller field and gets the same prize and lives right next door to Nationals. How that is rewarding anything based on attendance I'll never know. Again, Magic does it, I don't see why this game can't.

    Invites can be rewarded based on attendance, as well. I'm not saying they always should be, but it could at least be implemented for some events. Numbers do not always tell the story, but it is about rewarding areas for their massive attendance and helping the game grow. If potential players see that more invites are being given out for a bigger attendance at one particular event, it will encourage them to come give it a shot.

    As you can see here, I'm kind of hinting how I feel about State Championships. I kind of have said for the past few years that they're the most flawed part of the system. They are still, and I even won one. You know what it felt like to go through a 7 round, T8 gauntlet with 111 players in your age group? It felt like I won a trip or invite or something. But instead, it was $300 for me and very little to everyone else. Talk about cuthroat here on the West Coast.

    I think byes should be considered again, especially for States top finishers. This would add another much needed element to States events and probably increase attendance. They don't always work, but I could see them being implemented once again and working.

    This is the last thing I'm going to say for now before I come up with an actual event structure proposal post, but ratings do not encourage people to play. If they did, I wouldn't be able to 3-0 drop Nationals and get a Worlds invite and Ross and Kettler wouldn't be able to really not even play in the largest tournament in the World (Nats) and still gain an invite. End of post!
  10. BigChuck01

    BigChuck01 New Member

    I'd like to see chess clocks hit the game. Tired of my 2 min turns with Magsol against GG's 15 min turns.
  11. plaidlesspez

    plaidlesspez New Member

    I agree with alex about chess clocks, i think they are a great idea.
  12. Mew

    Mew New Member

    They were removed to make worlds more balanced. When we had Gym's, they were as common as a city championship. There were like 200 or so in the USA alone, so we got hundreds of trips compared to other countries getting something like 5 each. I'm glad they got rid of them, but the system that replaced it is starting to choke up on itself.

    The ranking system does alot of good, and bad. It makes everything fairer, but it promotes luck (If you win Regionals in Florida, or the Midwest, you'll easily walk away with for major points, but chances are that you won't be able to repeat that feat for some time) while for others it promotes consistant play (If you win every city championship within 400 miles of you, you'll rack up alot of points if you live in a mediocre area for skilled players).

    Ok so here's the good things that the RP system does:
    • Awards Consistancy
    • Promotes Competitiveness
    • Makes the tournament scene fairer for some. (I.E. you beat a good player, you get more points, as opposed to a person who beat all newer players for their trip to worlds)
    • Makes players go to tournaments

    And the Bad:
    • Awards Luckyness
    • Promotes competitiveness (this is a double edged sword; it can drive some people away from the game, and it can entice others)
    • Makes Players go to tournaments (If you can't get to alot of tournaments, say because of financal status, travel distance [California this goes out to you], ect.)

    As you can see, the goods are evenly weighed with the bad. I may not be 100% correct in all my statements, but all the things on these lists above are happing. The game is not being improved with this system.

    Ok some of these can be fixed. For example:
    • Makes Players go to tournaments - this can be fixed by holding more events (on the city level, not these Battle Roads which do nothing for the game IMO). Also if the dates for say regionals were expanded to 2-3 weeks instead of one. (Oh, you have to go to your Grandma's Funeral on the 1 weekend that they hold regionals? Well looks like you just lost your shot at worlds through rankings this year buddy)

    • Promotes competitiveness - again, if we held more tournaments, and they were more spread out over a few weeks, players wouldn't have to worry about a 1-shot chance if they got cancer or something that prevented them from playing the game they love.

      Also, remove top cut limits. I know that people complain that the game isn't fair if someone in Florida plays 2 more rounds top-cut, which equates to them getting more RP's, but it is very necessary for the cut-throat level to fall. This is a big reason for why the Rating system should be removed. The healthy state of the Tournament Scene, and Rating Points do not go together.

      Another Fantastic way to lower the competitiveness of events to a more... fun/ still competitive level would be to award invites to regional winners, as Jimmy said. I feel that this would improve the game tremendously!

    Ok, so there are some simple fixes to the rating system problem. A more drastic one, but one that I personally feel would have better effects would be to remove the rating system all together. In place of it:

    • Regional winners get invites (paid one's would mean a tremendous turnout, and could improve the game)
    • Do away with Spring Battle Roads, and Replace them with Spring City Championships.
    • And now for the best idea ever. Hold 4 Tournaments called Stadium Challenges. They would be spread out in a fashion as to promote the game in areas of people who have a heavy piece of ground to cover to get to Ohio. I.E. hold one in Oregon, one in Florida, one in Oklahoma/Texas Region, and one way up in the North East. The Top 2 at each should win invites. This single thing could improve OP so much, I can't begin to think about it. Of course they'd have to be on the same weekend, but that's ok. It takes away the distance to Nat's for alot, and for those that want to go to both it gives them 2 chances, removing much of the luck factor.

    As far as Jimmy's first point "open an official forum", I stand behind this 100%. It would improve communications, and could help the guys at POP figure out what to do to make the players more happy. In fact it could be a seperate section on the gym. There's no reason why 'Mom and 'Pop, Bulbasnore, BDS, et al couldn't moderate it. That way the POP guys can just check out that one forum, read and respond a bit, and then plan for the future.

    Then for his fourth point "hold more MAJOR tournaments throughout the year". I'm thinking that the return of Stadium Challenge (as stated earlier in this post)in a new as well as more spread out and in greater number, form could help this idea along.

    Finally to his fifth point. Judge qualification or something. There are alot of good judges out there, but there's almost as many bad these days. Perhaps if we had a better way of determining who gets to be a judge and who doesn't, we could deal with that. I've heard that even some PTO's have screw ups (Colorodo? No Coin Flips???) So I agree with this too.

    Hope this all helps improve the system, and that PUI/POP considers some of my/Jimmy's and others suggestions for next year.
  13. Bohn

    Bohn New Member

    Couldnt say better!

    If i could just comeback the season, i'd NEVER travel as much as i did. Next week i'm going to nats, its too risky to stay home and its even more playing! Like Jimmy said, i'd rather risk on the grinders, at last its not stressfull as it is right now (oh, and still no free trips for rankings!).
    Honestly idk whats wrong: the K value or... If nats wouldnt count on rankings, then i guess it'd be WAY BETTER. I mean, you win a CC undefeated and 6 months later you lose 1 round on nats, they drain AN ENTIRE UNDEFEATED CC.

    My first purpose: Nats being not premier.

    Based on that, best tourney structure imo should be mixed high and low K value events:

    Sep-Oct: BR's (K8)
    Nov-Dec: CC's (K16)
    Jan-Feb: Some random K10 tourney
    Mar: States (K32)
    April: The K10 tourney again
    May: Regs (K40) (USA/Canada) / Some K36 tourney for int players
    June: BR's (K8)
    July: Nats (non premier ranked)
    Aug: Worlds

    Second idea: The Standart and Extended format.

    This idea has been throwed in another thread. Some said: "we can't because the old players get advantage on the cards, plus the market is not feeded". Wrong! If such K10 tourneys would be on Extended format (lets say next year HP-on), the players shouldt be annoyed, as the impact is not high enough! Also, the new players can trade new to old stuff with others, we're still in time to do that. The format would be MUCH more fun.

    Thats all i can remember now.
    Nice idea to open such thread btw, Jimmy.

    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  14. My 2 cents-

    Rankings Good (Encourages Consistant Play), Gym Challenges bad (LucksacKk thrive here)

    Current Prizes Great with one execption.... make sure that there is at least 1 person from each country that has OP at worlds, I don't like how someone from Malta or New Zealand might not be able to make it to worlds due to not having money to pay there way, Can you really call it a "World Championship" if every country in the world (that has OP) is not in attendance?

    Top Cuts.... Allow a PTO to run a bigger top cut (If they have the venue for enough time)

    Increase the number of days States and Regs can be ran on.

    Change tie breaker for top cut; "1 game complete, time is called, ONLY COMPLETED GAMES COUNT"
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  15. Mew

    Mew New Member


    Back to back posts merged. The following information has been added:

    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  16. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    Meganium45: What would be better for the game? Making tournaments harder to cheat at, or reducing or removing the originals reasons why players are cheating in the first place? Both seem like good ideas, but there is one constant; Cheating will always occur. If you reduce the reasons why people cheat, there won't be as much of a need to develop ways to crack down on cheating. There will never be a tournament where someone won't be able to cheat because judges are human and can miss stuff. So the only logical answer (imho) is to approach the reasons why people are cheating in the first place and try to fix them.

    If you count out Pre-Releases, there are very little tournaments that stores can hold. Sure, they can hold regular old sanctioned tournaments, but what draws players are the premier events like Battle Roads and Cities. It would be nice if Battle Roads could be held more often and be more of a fun, entry-level competitive event that was held each month. Make it so any TO in good standing with Pokemon could hold it, and I think it would help grow the game. Of course that would mean more prizes, but the prizes could be lowered because of the level of the tournament. I know it hurts to hear, "oh you didn't do well at battle roads? well come back in 6 months". If anything, this is an idea, and it never hurts to suggest ideas.
  17. mattalvis

    mattalvis New Member

    I have been back in the game with this new style of organization and structure for almost two years now and I can conclude two things that seem "amiss" with the structure.

    First is how the tournaments are spread out. From November to January a lot of players can go to a City Championship or Battle Road almost every weekend, sometimes two in a weekend. A lot of players are able to go to 7 to 9 of these tournaments at the beginning of the season. Then there is a huge wait between City Championships and State Championships, almost two months of dead time. Then there are two weekends of State Championships and then another month or so of dead time, then one weekend of Regionals and more months of dead time. Something just feels strange about how this is all laid out, but I have not given much thought to how it would be addressed, so I won't bother with making up some solution right now, I'll just leave it at there seems to be a problem.

    The second thing I don't like is the rating system. Again, I have no solutions and I am not even sure what exactly the problem is, nor do I have the time at the moment to go into what it may be. However I can point out that fact that SOMETHING must be wrong with the system when you look at this comparison. Chris Fulop and I played a very similar amount of events this season but have seen some fairly different results. Fulop won several City Championships and one Battle Road, as well as second place at Ohio States and Top 8 at Great Lakes Regional. I on the other hand won only one Battle road and one City Championship, Top 8 at Illinois States and Top 16 at Midwest Regionals. On paper it would sure seem like Fulop has had a better season than me, yet some way I am ranked 8 places ahead of him. I am aware of the reason for this, but I don't think it makes much sense when you look at the results.

    Just my thoughts, I may post more tonight.
  18. Regarding chess clocks.....

    Lets me point out regional attendance

    At 15 regionals.... all happing on 1 day.... 2409 unique players...

    Lets round up to 2500.... that means 1250 chess clocks are needed... who is going to buy those? Who is going to buy replacements when chess clocks break? Who is going to buy replacement battieries?

    I don't see POP buying that.... and I certinly do not see PTOs buying X amount of chess clocks for thier events.
  19. mattalvis

    mattalvis New Member

    speaking just from the money stand point i dont see them buying them either, unless you would be happy with them cutting your prizes chuck :tongue:
  20. drmario

    drmario New Member

    Well this makes about as much sense as an elephant in Antarctica. The point of rankings is that you get rewarded for doing well. Are we supposed to give the people who lose the worlds invites and let the rest of the people fight it out at the grinder?

    Think about what you said for a minute. How can you possibly time this? Have a judge sitting at each table? A chess clock system will NEVER work. And using the clock to your advantage is perfectly legal. If you don't like it than that's just too bad. Maybe you should learn how to use the clock to your advantage, or use a different deck.

    Back to back posts merged. The following information has been added:

    And I also agree that it would be a good idea to increase the maximum top cut at battle roads and cities.
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
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