Mis-Organized Play

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by GymLeaderPhil, Dec 27, 2003.

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  1. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

    Okay, okay, I'm going to receive a bunch of negative comments for this from those who are not as "deeply" involved with the matters of Organized Play. Make no mistake that Pokemon USA, Nintendo, and Pokemon Organized Play have improved in areas that Wizards of the Coast did not touch. During the DCI Era, Tournament Organizers were granted a bit more respect and benefits. Now as we start to move into the New Year, it seems the tables have turned, with players receiving much more than ever. But improved prizes at events, television ads, holiday greeting cards, the proposal of customizable tee shirts, and useless new additions to the "Fun Stuff" section on the official Pokemon TCG website (now officially down) has not and does not change the current Organized Play problems that are still looming over everyone:
    • The Ranking System is down, limited by password only.
    • Results are not listed on completed tournaments pages.
    • Professor Program has not opened for new participants and has not granted any improvements to those already involved.
    • Tournament Pairing Software is buggy, dysfunctional, and has caused plenty of errors in sanctioned events. There is no way to print out match slips or print out numerical results without ties.
    • Premiere Tournament Organizers did not receive ANY printed information prior to their EX: Dragon Prerelease resulting in problems with prizes, top eight information, reporting results, etc.
    • Reporting League/Tournament results online is a very large hassle and is still buggy.
    • Reporting League/Tournament results via mail results in delays.
    • POP IDs are given to TOs on a list with matching passwords. TOs now must give those POP IDs and matching passwords to players on their own paper versus the handy dandy DCI Registration Cards of days since past.
    • The Gym Ladder (beta and in testing) could possibly be used in conjunction with Sanctioned City Championships. Gym Ladder is not sanctioned, meaning league leaders (typically employees who could care less about recording results) will have major errors and could be fraudulent.
    • There are no Penalty Guidelines for Sanctioned Tournaments and Events.
    • No advertisements about the GenCon SoCal Convention.
    • Original Promos are so far limited to products such as Magazines, Tins, and DVDs. Leagues have not received ANYTHING original, only reprints from sets.
    • Organized Play Support from Distributors in Europe and other foreign countries is a mixed bag, either all or none.
    • POP IDs are far from being secure, anyone can print out a fake name and ID onto a POP ID Card from their online profile.
    • 2 on 2 games, Team Play, and Mutant Draft remain unsanctionable despite being mentioned in Rule Meetings and supported as unsanctioned tournaments (even at Conventions)
    • Outside of the Internet, Leagues were not sent any information regarding local Prerelease locations, nor were sent any information regarding City Championships Sign Ups
    Of course some of these things listed are very minor, but the majority of problems listed is causing many TOs and Judges to stop sanctioning events. It is too much of a hassle and it brings back little rewards for those who are searching for some. Most PTOs are loosing money on their Prereleases already, they dont need this sort of headache when the Pairings Program fails or when they receive instructions to record top eight's information after the event. Let's straighten out these IMPORTANT details instead of proposing customizable tee shirts. Hire whoever you need, just get things fixed before the OP support that was born from the Professor Program leaves this game for another "organized" company.
  2. )v(ajin_ipg21

    )v(ajin_ipg21 New Member

    AND I am only being FAIR *before NoPokes points out the obvious omission* ;)

    PUI has been emailed this? I believe you have.

    Just thought I'd mention it to you also BECAUSE I do not know why anyone @ PUI would be expected to SOLVE those issues within the confines of our humble board.

    *We saw what happened to ProfDave when he attempted to answer a few Q's*

    And if PUI does not reply back... you expect them to provide an answer that may be plastered all over the net?
    It may be just an email to you BUT to them who are responsible for the game?

    Aren't the new dynamics and facets of how a game progresses fascinating?
    *alas, the TO issues are IMO so legitimate a difficulty and obstacle to the game...

    BTW, I disagree with your original promo issue being limited too... I AM GLAD. One disappointment I had with WotC where the lack of limited run promos. Anyone could get them? They kept no value. In other ccg's some people pay handsomely for difficult promos to obtain.... some are playworthy and others are useless... oh well.

    It is all about Cathcing 'em all no?
  3. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    On the promo issue:
    Yeah, I like that certain promos have limited distribution. I treasure my Poketour Pikachu and PreRelease Clefable.

    However, I also agree with Phil's point that Leagues need to get some original, non-alternate art Promos.

    The reporting software needs to get fixed; and fast.
    That is not an extra, it's a basic need for TOs.

    On the other hand, I have patience with their getting the Prof Program up and running. I'm sure there is a lot more to it that we see from the outside. I do know that there is work going on to get it moving.
  4. marril2k

    marril2k Member

    Phil, you listed Tournament Manger on there... I say that statement shouldn't be in there if you listed TM ;) . Seriously, I have received a copy of this software, and played it into the ground... and even sent feedback mutliple times to Jimmer and Dave... with only 'its being worked on.' I have yet to hear of another version release... this software is just flat out weak and buggy... and should be one of the top priorities...

    Personally I like all the online ordering and reporting for the league. When BattleZone started up and I got my current league going last year, my store managed the kits though their distributor... and although the store is nice to me and everything, their are seriously unorganized when ordering such things. I got 5 january kits to last me until mike mailed out the extra kits in July(?). With the new order/reporting system, it puts more power into the league leader's hands... the onlything the store does for me now is offer me playing space which is what I had during BattleZone too... just I have kits now... :)

    Sure there are some bugs, but overall, I think the system is the best it has been in awhile... still waiting for the POP Professor program though...

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2003
  5. Freddy K.

    Freddy K. New Member

    Although the International sections are FAR FROM being 'internationally-friendly' I've found contact with the UK distributors VERY helpful, they've offered to have a way to bypass the 'buggy' and not-so-updated webpages on pokemon-tcg.com so that we can order the promos through them for our leagues to start on schedule, in January 2004 by email. They pretty much know who's running what in the UK following meetings last year and I just suggest you work through and with PUI for these issues as it's helped here.

    Just want to balance things out, maybe you can ask why the UK has things sorted out but the USA doesn't... :p

  6. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    I will reserve my wholehearted praise for POP in the UK, talk is cheap as we have seen and leagues, advertising, regular promo's and league listings are still to be delivered.

    However the websites are getting better, I can sanction online now and order kits and see my players rankings go up... BUT when POP UK can't tell us the dates of pre-releases far enough ahead that we can avoid clashing our existing OP with them then I am a little miffed to say the least.

    So we have POP UK, leagues are yet to be delivered and we still have to cope with that software ... not everything in the UK is lovely but we're working on it!
  7. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    OK, you HAVE to be kidding.

    If there is a PTO who is losing money on this, I would really like to know it. Given that Phil is not a PTO, he may have some idea as to the program, but in reality, I do not think any of us are hurting given their systems. PTOs in my mind are well compensated, and quite frankly, I am looking to expand my area, not drop out at all.

    Can anyone remember a better series of event than those we are looking forward to in 2004?

    I don't think so, even in the era of Gym and Stadium Challenges, there was not a complete program such as there is now.

    Yes, there are some bugs with the rating system, but let's face it, unless you all want to see California and Missouri dominating the charts, there is no point for you all taking a hard look at the rankings.

    As for the software, there are some issues, but until there is a better version, I will use it for my City Championship, Pre-Releases and other big events, and will use the next version of the software for my events as it comes out. Realize, we are less than 3 months into an OP program.

    Also, anyone seen the TV Dragon TCG commercial? When was the last time we saw that? Anyone, anyone? POkemon Rocks America, Pre-Releases and television commercials, I would say that PUSA is putting their full effort into bringing this game back.

    Just my 2 cents. This glass looks almost full, and not almost empty. Kind of exciting, I now have both of my leagues well over 30 members. Can only see this growing in 2004!

  8. HypnosProjectHQ

    HypnosProjectHQ New Member

    M45, you're totally right. PUI is doing there best to bring the game back and they are doing a fine job. I've heard from many that the TO's software is pretty iffy (being that I'm too young to run tourneys or be a professor). I've also heard about the Professor Program not starting on time. I was even disappointed about this because I wanted to take the test myself just to see how I did. All I can say is, "Oh well. PUI made a couple mistakes in 2003. I'll forgive them as long as they fix them in 2004." Now we have more to look forward to in 2004 as well. :)
  9. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

    Yeah, Dave really was slammed into a corner. I don’t expect answers and if they are released to the public, I won't 100% trust that the answer is correct. When I see results in action, my mind will be made up. I've gotten into that state of mind where I just ignore all the announcements and promises made. I'd rather have no date than to have an actual date posted and not see that deadline met. I'm all about seeing results here and I'm sure that requiring someone from PUI to post here is taking away time that could be spent fixing the problems. We don't need that right now. We're on the verge of opening Sanctioned Tournaments to the masses this February; can you imagine all of those City Championships with inexperienced TOs? Not everyone who wants to run a City Championship has the answers to the problems I listed above and I think we're going to be pending results from those events up until Worlds. I certainly hope that those VIP Packages (not even POP knows what's contained) do not include byes.

    You are a PTO right? You know that you have to guess and estimate your attendance at your Prerelease in order to purchase enough product. For example, Karl Batdorff who runs premiere events around the California area sanctioned and organized tournaments at GenCon SoCal. GenCon's expected attendance was high; POP expected a small percentage of that attendance to be Pokemon Players. So Karl had to order enough product in case that estimate was true. It turns out that GenCon SoCal's attendance was very low and few Pokemon Players showed up to play. Now Karl has cases of extra product that he has to sell in order to make ends meet. With Prereleases, TOs with extra product have to wait until the actual product release date to sell. So not only are they in the hole for two to three weeks, they then have to compete Pokemon USA/Nintendo's distributors. It's always a constant gamble just to organize a simple sanctioned premiere event.

    The difference is that three months into the program POP is proposing these large, grand, and awesome ideas for future events, but there is no way to support them at this point in time. Nobody is apparently doing the grunt work to support those ideas. We're all living in the concept world, with a very high feasibility. The reality is that the estimate to support all of these grand ideas required de-scoping. That's apparently not happening. Support is needed from the PR/Ads end AND inside the infrastructure.

    I'm certainly not bashing anyone for the efforts and results being made. We're doing better than ever in SOME areas, not all. We can improve and we have to invest some time into fixing the major things like the software. Otherwise we're going to lose more TOs.

    However, one of the things I am enjoying about the new management is the limited run of promotional cards, as mentioned above. Promos are the only thing I collect now. I really treasure my E3 Hoppip and Pichu cards now... Though I think PokePop is having one heck of a time on eBay for GenCon SoCal stamped Bagon, the person auctioning those five cards at the last minute said "Oops these are actually Scrye stamped". What a scam artist!
  10. Broken Lizard

    Broken Lizard New Member

    All I can say is that the software issues are the only reason the tournaments I run are not currently sanctioned.

    I'm running 2 tournies this week (draft and MF), and if I could use DCI Reporter to run them, they'd be sanctioned.

    As soon as the software is up to basic quality standards, there will be sanctioned play in SE WI.

    Overall, I am very pleased with most of what PUI has done, and especially the prereleases!

    I have applied for a City Championship, and I will struggle through that with the current software if I have to... but all I want for Chistmas is version 2.0!
  11. Sensei

    Sensei Team Compendium Emeritus Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    Some valid points being raised on both sides of the issue but I won`t go into them all now.I do want to just remind everyone that a)They won`t be back in the offices until Jan.5th and b) even though it`s been stated many a time that you won`t get things fixed from PUI via this board it still is a good thing to discuss the problems that we are still having.Maybe someone will see something that someone else is doing and be able to correct their situation.Also,if we get lucky and someone from PUI does come on here,let`s treat them with more respect than last time...

    As for the tournament software being buggy,I believe Jimmer had mentioned that a newer version will be released soon.Hopefully this will iron out what problems people have with it.Hmmm..maybe it`d be a good idea for someone to list all the problems that are currently "bugging" the software and a solution for each one(or did someone post those already?).I have encountered a few bugs myself,but I was able to get around them or resolve them.Lizard,don`t let this stop you from letting your players get their rankings started.If you run into any,just come on here and find out any possible solution.I know DaytonGymLeader can offer some help from his experiences as well as a few others.If others can sanction theirs,why can`t you?Don`t deprive your people.:)

  12. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    "All I can say is that the software issues are the only reason the tournaments I run are not currently sanctioned.

    I'm running 2 tournies this week (draft and MF), and if I could use DCI Reporter to run them, they'd be sanctioned.

    As soon as the software is up to basic quality standards, there will be sanctioned play in SE WI."

    The only problem I am having is with the reporter, and I enter those results by hand.

    I would not let the lack of a fully functioning program stop you from sanctioning tourneys.


    I feel for Karl and his product issues with Gencon Socal, I heard that was an absolute train wreck. I just know none of the pre-releases have gone underwater.

    Sure, we all ended up with extra product at the pre-releases (except for Texas LOL) , but if you can't move the latest release, this game is in deep, deep trouble.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2003
  13. Sensei

    Sensei Team Compendium Emeritus Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    You enter the results by hand?More power to you meg! :p

    So far,the only bug I`ve ran into lately was when I had two players with an ID from another TO that was not "released" at that time.As soon as the TO did,I had no problems uploading the tournament.I upload them directly from the store so the follwing morning the players see their updated ranking.

  14. annisarich

    annisarich New Member

    Sanctioning /wo TMS Softare

    I have sanctioned a few events and we have used another method ...paper...to run the events.
    You can enter results via the www...just dont do it very late at night before traveling for the holidays...I need to mail two corrections.

    So dont rob your players from starting their rankings
  15. Prime

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

    I agree with all of it. Nintendo is doing a grand job, they just need to establish some stuff. But I do agree that Nintendo hasn't even been working on the tcg for a year so maybe in a year we will see all of this getting fixed and even more. Rome wasn't built in a day.
  16. Broken Lizard

    Broken Lizard New Member

    PUI is affiliated with Nintendo. Nintendo's primary business seems to involve writing sophisticated computer code.

    Ergo, Nintendo could quite easily provide a solution to the problems with PUI's software.

    And, I'm just curious... of what exactly am I depriving my players by hosting tournaments which happen to be unsanctioned? Please point me to a URL that gives any specifics on the benefits to a player with a high ranking.

    In the meantime, running these tournies unsanctioned is the only way it's gonna happen at all. I have enough stress in my life without compounding it with software headaches. As it is, I'll be playing along with everyone else and just enjoying the game.

    For sanctioning to be worthwhile:

    • The tournament software must be user friendly
    • The benefits of player ranking need to be explicitly stated somewhere
    • TO's need to know that PUI appreciates their efforts
    • Players need to be able to easily see their ranking in a city/state/world context

    I understand that some of you do not share my viewpoint or my hectic schedule. Using a condescending and judgmental tone will not goad me into seeing things differently. :nonono:
  17. HypnosProjectHQ

    HypnosProjectHQ New Member

    Don't worry Lizard. I may be the only one on your side in this situation, and I think its fine for you to hold unsanctioned tourneys so you can play as well. I mean, its only fair if the TO is able to play once in a while.
  18. Michel

    Michel New Member

    Leagues, promos, tournaments, premiere events, prereleases, reporting software, ... all these things seem to come from another World, or from another time.

    I wouldn't talk about mis-organized play in some European countries, but about no-organized play.
  19. DaytonGymLeader

    DaytonGymLeader New Member

    We've sent in a rather lengthy and detailed bug list about the software. No reply from anyone at PUI, not even an auto-responder. The pairing algorythm needs the MOST work - folks who play in events that we happen to be staffing will get the liturgy about possibly not getting points for Byes or being highly ranked and getting a Bye with no points, the rest is easy to work around with screen prints and something that's needed as much as a rehashing of the pairing algorythm, education on the software. Our biggest complaints about the software right now is that there has to be a way to access someone's POP ID Number without access to the Internet AND that the application does not store age groups in the individual tournament file. However, even with a rewrite of the pairing algorythm, I'd consider the application still sub-par. It still needs to be able to handle draft pods, results entry cut sheets, pairing sheets, and correct standings.

    I happen to know a few TOs who got soaked on product for Pre-Releases, not just a box or two, but multiple cases. Once the pre-release has happened and the public has access to the product, the resale value goes in the toilet (at least that's been our experience - and no, we're not Premier TOs either). Take a look at eBay if you doubt the validity of that statement. Speaking of Premier Events, Nintendo hasn't got the shipping right one single solitary time for any event we've been involved with, that's NINE PREMIER EVENTS SO FAR.

    I do understand that MOST of the online stuff is being held up by COPA. The one thing I don't understand that is "being held up by COPA" is the Professor Program. COPA, in its majority, concerns those aged 12 and under. The Professor Program is supposed to be for those 15 and over. I've read COPA and maybe I don't understand the hurdles that Nintendo is trying to get over, but I'm not seeing them.

    There are some other issues we're dealing with that would make the OP System better for those who are involved with it at the Organizer/Judge level, but we will not go into them here.

    Overall, there is a HUGE amount of room for improvement.
  20. Sensei

    Sensei Team Compendium Emeritus Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    Most definately,their needs improvement in quite a few things.Using common sense,these issues will eventually be fixed but in the meantime,we have to grin and bear it.However,on the local level,for what we were suggesting, there aren`t as many problems and anyone with some knowledge of running tournaments can run sanctioned tournaments easily.I know you personally and know that you have the knowledge to do so and are intelligent.

    Jared,if we go by what you say,then why are people playing in sanctioned tournaments in the first place?If there is no reason for rankings,then what`s the point in having it?Just because you hear about the glitches that some people have experienced,doesn`t mean you will have the same headaches.By stating to you to let your people start their rankings like the others,does not mean you will have all the headaches.I upload the results directly from the store after the tournament which takes me all of one minute and as I stated above,I have had only one "problem" which it turned out was easily rectifiable and I know why I had to wait to upload it.You should be able to do the same thing so don`t get testy when we suggested for you to start sanctioning.We only wanted to see your people start their rankings and meant nothing to cause ill will.Don`t run them sanctioned if you don`t want.I guess they`ll either have to go to someone who cares to do it or,if they don`t have anyone else to sanction tournaments,then I guess they won`t have that chance.

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
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