Star system

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Star system

Post  Olivier Ruel on Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 am

I think there's one thing WOTC really miscalculated.

They have to assume that if, all of the sudden, all pros or most of them had to quit the game, they would be replaced by new ones. I don't believe that theory is correct.

They probably considered the past as a reference as far as replacing the pros is concerned. In the American pros (Finkel, YMG, Rose, Benafel etc etc) where replaced by Europeans, then the Europeans (Budde, Baberowski, Mello, Wallamaies etc etc) where replaced by Japanese, and now all the Japanese quiting (Oiso, Kuroda, Okamoto) are being replaced by other Japanese and by Brazilians. Yes, that's the way things used to work.

However, all the money cut from the PT means that less and less players will be able not only to remain, but as well to turn pro. And by pro I mean former level 5 and 6. If all the pros quit Magic, they're wouldn't be a large enough gap between the skills of the new players on the top of the game and those of the good ptq players, for the best to get regular good results.
Do you guys have any idea how many of his games a Level 6 win every year? About 64%. Trust me, a Rémi Fortier (no offense) won't win more than 60%, and 60% can't possibly make you a top pro.

The Magic stars #1 provider, Japan, is not organizing any PT next season. Meaning every Japanese player will have to pay a minimum of 1k to play in a non-JapaneseGP tournament this year. In this condition, it will be very hard for new players to emerge as they will need to win PTQs until they reach former Level 4. Pretty hard to find a new Osawa or Kurihara in this situation...

In two years, if things don't change, the very few stars left might become superstars, but even though, if the number of PTs keep on decreasing, and the number of players playing them increasing (which I highly doubt will the 50 or more level 3 and 4 quiting the game), it will be hard for players to stay pro.
MAGIC IS A RANDOM GAME. On a short period it is very random, on a longest one it is less. But what are 4 PTs? A PT player can expect a 10% appearance in PT Top 8. That used to mean once every two years, that is now one every three years. A PT Top 8 being the only way to remain pro, the only pros left of the game will be the luckiest of the best.

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RE: Star system

Post  kade on Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:25 pm

Although I think it is a good point Olivier, I have to wonder: do they really care? And with "they" I mean Hasbro, not WotC. The guys who put the money.
Richard Garfield's dream was for Magic to be at the same level of chess. To be considered a sport. The PT system allows this... or at least resembles it. But if it is not profitable, I don't think Hasbro cares much about Garfield's dreams.
So I think the point should be, can we convince WotC and Hasbro that the PT (and the star system as you called it) it is not only good for the game and good for the fanbase but also profitable for them?

My real worry is: how does it convert to money in their pockets that there are Profesional Magic Players at the end of the year? I am not sure how to answer that in a way that we can convince them. Because in my mind there will always be people trying to go pro, therefore attending the PTs or following friends to GPs. So how does the elimination of the star system affect the game in terms of money?

I think answering this question in the better way possible will help our chances.

K.

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Re: Star system

Post  bsushort on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:41 am

Olivier Ruel wrote:In two years, if things don't change, the very few stars left might become superstars, but even though, if the number of PTs keep on decreasing, and the number of players playing them increasing (which I highly doubt will the 50 or more level 3 and 4 quiting the game), it will be hard for players to stay pro.
MAGIC IS A RANDOM GAME. On a short period it is very random, on a longest one it is less. But what are 4 PTs? A PT player can expect a 10% appearance in PT Top 8. That used to mean once every two years, that is now one every three years. A PT Top 8 being the only way to remain pro, the only pros left of the game will be the luckiest of the best.

I think there is very little merit in this argument. This seems to make the case that it is a pro player's right to stay on the tour, and implies that they have no other way of getting back into the tour barring a PT Top 8.

I don't think anyone is going to argue that Pro Players, by their very definition, are highly skilled players. I don't think it is asking too much that if you aren't one of the lucky few to Top 8, that you have to occasionally win a PTQ to earn your PT slot. You are quite capable of it, and it isn't really unreasonable to ask more PT participants to earn their right to be there. After all, if you can't win a PTQ to earn your berth, were you really all that worthy to play there to begin with?

As for a future lack of L5/L6 pros, we all know that will never happen. Even if you're right and it becomes impossible for the remaining players to achieve the current standards required for those levels, those requirements have always been fluid and subject to change at WotC's whim. If they become unattainable, then new standards will be developed that make them attainable. WotC can always respond to any change in PT climate that they happen to create.

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RE: Star system

Post  kade on Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:10 am

I think you misunderstood Olivier, bsushort. He is talking about being able to make a living of playing magic, not to continue playing PTs. It is not the same, now even more so. His argument is that now if a player doesn't make a PT Top8 every season, is very difficult he can make profit of playing magic. And that is really really a difficult task. Not comparable to winning a PTQ every season I think.

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Re: Star system

Post  mercenarybdu on Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:13 am

True.

If there aren't any pros left with the ethics, it could crumble and this will be nearly equivalent to the Roman Empire's Fall and the Greek Ideals from the past age. I don't want to see this great game go just like that, I want to see more action, more cards to be thrown into the pool, and more ear bleeding action at the top 8 tables as well as better coverage to cover the whole top 8 match rather than one of 4 of the tables.

I even want YouTube to throw their hat into the ring to help with video coverage. If Wizards isn't going to bring us the full goods from GPs in video form, we need a different team to bring back the goods. San Jose was part of a starting point with my hat thrown into the ring first followed by every other person who came with camcorders to show our support for the game.

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Re: Star system

Post  bsushort on Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:35 pm

I think people are overestimating the impact of the career pros, as this argument assumes that they are the cornerstone of the Pro Tour. While its true that there are some pros who expect to make a profit every year from the tour, the majority of PT competitors have no such expectations. There will always be a wealth of competitors, from those looking to get there chance in the spotlight, to those just wanting to prove they can make it.

Any theoretical losses at the top of the PT would not cause the system to crumble. Sure, it may not be exactly the same if there are fewer "career" competitors, but the honor, glory, and challenge that many players look for in the PT would still be there. At worst, it would be different, but it would not be gone.

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Re: Star system

Post  gleemax on Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:52 pm

mercenarybdu wrote:True.

If there aren't any pros left with the ethics, it could crumble and this will be nearly equivalent to the Roman Empire's Fall and the Greek Ideals from the past age.
Very Happy Lol, your talking about pro's with ethics in reguards to an Oliver Ruel Thread? Your joking right?

Look I'll be the first to admit that what they've done sucks big time, but I honestly don't know how much your going to convice "them" with this line of argument. I agree with Kade, Hasbro doesn't seem like they care at all. I think Hasbro sees WotC as a dumping ground for any and all gaming products, which is evident by their recent hand off of the heroscrape line. Hasbro cuts corners where it can whether it be by laying off factroy workers or cutting budgets for extras like the PT. I think the only crime here that WotC has done is not provide sufficant communication, which might not have been their fault either. It's possible Hasbro mandated the budget cut and sprung the new on WotC just like they sprung the news on us. I'll wait till KL to sort the my opinons of whose at fault.

Also, Oliver, I've seen some various threads where people are "misinterpeting/misreading" your statment. Some people are taking what you said as talk about the fall out of a strike. Praticuarly the part about all the pros having to quit all at once. I think you might want to clarify in here before some stupid hasbro excutive misreads it too and starts to look unfavorably on this union.

-Peace

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Re: Star system

Post  mercenarybdu on Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:25 am

gleemax wrote:
mercenarybdu wrote:True.

If there aren't any pros left with the ethics, it could crumble and this will be nearly equivalent to the Roman Empire's Fall and the Greek Ideals from the past age.
Very Happy Lol, your talking about pro's with ethics in reguards to an Oliver Ruel Thread? Your joking right?

Look I'll be the first to admit that what they've done sucks big time, but I honestly don't know how much your going to convice "them" with this line of argument. I agree with Kade, Hasbro doesn't seem like they care at all. I think Hasbro sees WotC as a dumping ground for any and all gaming products, which is evident by their recent hand off of the heroscrape line. Hasbro cuts corners where it can whether it be by laying off factroy workers or cutting budgets for extras like the PT. I think the only crime here that WotC has done is not provide sufficant communication, which might not have been their fault either. It's possible Hasbro mandated the budget cut and sprung the new on WotC just like they sprung the news on us. I'll wait till KL to sort the my opinons of whose at fault.

Also, Oliver, I've seen some various threads where people are "misinterpeting/misreading" your statment. Some people are taking what you said as talk about the fall out of a strike. Praticuarly the part about all the pros having to quit all at once. I think you might want to clarify in here before some stupid hasbro excutive misreads it too and starts to look unfavorably on this union.

-Peace

I see your point too, but when the PT started cracking down on specific areas of the organization some of the pros that had gotten away with cheating a lot in the past have either vanished or took it as a sign to shape up or be banned for life. One of those Pros who have had a High Profile like Oliver for a long time was Mike Long.

Some of the current generation might not have heard of him, but I've done background checks on him from every known source I've searched. According to a link from Wiki, YMG games have caught Long cheating on and off as well as people who have been to US Nationals when he was still qualified to do so in his long run on the circuit.

Although he has given some contributions to the game of his own, yet he has also left a lot of toxicity on Ethics around people who knew him best from the second person view. So what Oliver did in 2006 is nothing compared to what Mike Long did when he had chances to do it up until 2003 when he vanished from the scope.

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Re: Star system

Post  gleemax on Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:14 pm

now there's a interesting twist i hadn't thought of before. do you think that the cut of a pt could result in more players trying to cheat out of desperation? I get there argument about one less pt meaning they have 1 less chance to bomb out (which happens with crap like sealed all the time), so do you think this will actually encourage pro's to feel they might have to cheat to keep they're status? It's an interesting result of this whole mess that I don't think anyones really thought about.

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PTQs

Post  Dirve on Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:40 am

bsushort wrote:
I don't think anyone is going to argue that Pro Players, by their very definition, are highly skilled players. I don't think it is asking too much that if you aren't one of the lucky few to Top 8, that you have to occasionally win a PTQ to earn your PT slot. You are quite capable of it, and it isn't really unreasonable to ask more PT participants to earn their right to be there. After all, if you can't win a PTQ to earn your berth, were you really all that worthy to play there to begin with?

There are players who couldn't break their way into a PTQ win but were great in their own right. Alex Lieberman, within a one and a half year span where he won a GP and came one point short of old Level 4, cashed in every magic event he played. That's considered pretty difficult for most pros. He, after many, many PTQs, only one won, and he didn't day 2 that Pro Tour.

PTQs are hard. More than a hundred people play in a tournament where only one person comes away getting what they want. You have to be lucky to win them. Not just drawing the right cards at the right time; so many things have to go right for you on that day (matchups, deck choice, mulligans, yours and your opponent's draws, tie-breakers).

Additionally, PTQs are very rarely the same format as the actual Pro Tour that they qualify a player for. Block Constructed tournaments feed Extended Pro Tours and Sealed Deck PTQs feed Booster Draft Pro Tours.

I've won a few PTQs but I still hate playing in them. And I don't look forward to playing in PTQs again, but if it means established pros playing in PTQs taking out players who are hoping for a shot at the pro tour then it makes the task all the more daunting. I think new players should be given an easier shot at qualifying for the Pro Tour. How many Pro Tour champions were there this year who won a PTQ to get there? Imagine if they had lost to a pro in the PTQ and never got the chance to play for the big money.

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Re: Star system

Post  mercenarybdu on Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:51 am

gleemax wrote:now there's a interesting twist i hadn't thought of before. do you think that the cut of a pt could result in more players trying to cheat out of desperation? I get there argument about one less pt meaning they have 1 less chance to bomb out (which happens with crap like sealed all the time), so do you think this will actually encourage pro's to feel they might have to cheat to keep they're status? It's an interesting result of this whole mess that I don't think anyones really thought about.

With the Pros being able to play in PTQs once again under this new system, we have opened ourselves to some of the Mike Long days when you could get away with Half of the cheating on an on and off basis. The Ferret has monitored him for a long time and now after so many years of peace and prosperity we are heading backwards?

Who's bright idea was this locked under FTP? and when the ------ ---- are we gonna see an enemy fetchland in the card pool?

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Re: Star system

Post  antonino_derosa on Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:22 pm

Ill use myself has an example: I have 225 life time pro points. I have played in hundreds of PTQs. I have 3 PTQ wins.




Dirve wrote:
bsushort wrote:
I don't think anyone is going to argue that Pro Players, by their very definition, are highly skilled players. I don't think it is asking too much that if you aren't one of the lucky few to Top 8, that you have to occasionally win a PTQ to earn your PT slot. You are quite capable of it, and it isn't really unreasonable to ask more PT participants to earn their right to be there. After all, if you can't win a PTQ to earn your berth, were you really all that worthy to play there to begin with?

There are players who couldn't break their way into a PTQ win but were great in their own right. Alex Lieberman, within a one and a half year span where he won a GP and came one point short of old Level 4, cashed in every magic event he played. That's considered pretty difficult for most pros. He, after many, many PTQs, only one won, and he didn't day 2 that Pro Tour.

PTQs are hard. More than a hundred people play in a tournament where only one person comes away getting what they want. You have to be lucky to win them. Not just drawing the right cards at the right time; so many things have to go right for you on that day (matchups, deck choice, mulligans, yours and your opponent's draws, tie-breakers).

Additionally, PTQs are very rarely the same format as the actual Pro Tour that they qualify a player for. Block Constructed tournaments feed Extended Pro Tours and Sealed Deck PTQs feed Booster Draft Pro Tours.

I've won a few PTQs but I still hate playing in them. And I don't look forward to playing in PTQs again, but if it means established pros playing in PTQs taking out players who are hoping for a shot at the pro tour then it makes the task all the more daunting. I think new players should be given an easier shot at qualifying for the Pro Tour. How many Pro Tour champions were there this year who won a PTQ to get there? Imagine if they had lost to a pro in the PTQ and never got the chance to play for the big money.

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Re: Star system

Post  bsushort on Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:30 pm

All I was saying is that there are other ways to stay on the Pro Tour. The original claim that you have to Top 8 one of the PTs each year only applies for those players expecting to make a profit on each event (i.e. appearance fees covering the majority of travel expenses leaving any prize money as profit). Simply maintaining the pro status is easier, requiring a PT top 50, an appropriately high rating, or Level 3 membership. Yeah, these aren't particularly easy either, but if staying on the Tour was easy then it wouldn't be the grand accomplishment it makes itself out to be. Realistically, it should never be easier to stay on the Pro Tour than it is to get there in the first place, or else it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle more than a hard-earned honor.

My real issue is the argument implied on many of threads at this board that WotC has made a critical blunder if these policy changes result in a loss of some (or even all) of the elite echelon pro players. Even if those players do suffer enough to drive them from the game, I think people are drastically over emphasizing their importance on the game. By far, the largest group of core consumers for this game are PTQ level players and below (including those players who never even play tournaments). The changes to the Pro Tour and the possible loss of pro players has almost no impact on this group. Even a coordinated pro strike wouldn't put a significant dent it WotC's revenue as its just such a small portion of their target audience.

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Re: Star system

Post  iceage4life on Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:39 am

bsushort wrote:All I was saying is that there are other ways to stay on the Pro Tour. The original claim that you have to Top 8 one of the PTs each year only applies for those players expecting to make a profit on each event (i.e. appearance fees covering the majority of travel expenses leaving any prize money as profit). Simply maintaining the pro status is easier, requiring a PT top 50, an appropriately high rating, or Level 3 membership. Yeah, these aren't particularly easy either, but if staying on the Tour was easy then it wouldn't be the grand accomplishment it makes itself out to be. Realistically, it should never be easier to stay on the Pro Tour than it is to get there in the first place, or else it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle more than a hard-earned honor.

My real issue is the argument implied on many of threads at this board that WotC has made a critical blunder if these policy changes result in a loss of some (or even all) of the elite echelon pro players. Even if those players do suffer enough to drive them from the game, I think people are drastically over emphasizing their importance on the game. By far, the largest group of core consumers for this game are PTQ level players and below (including those players who never even play tournaments). The changes to the Pro Tour and the possible loss of pro players has almost no impact on this group. Even a coordinated pro strike wouldn't put a significant dent it WotC's revenue as its just such a small portion of their target audience.

You don't seem to understand how this works. PTQers (at least many of them) want to get and stay on the train. They look at people playing Magic for a living and wish they could do that. Many pros spend very little on Magic cards. What matters is the promotional aspect which is the main goal of the PT. Having stars that travel around the world playing Magic give people a goal to shoot for. Guess what, in perusing that goal people are going to blow tons of money on Magic.

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Re: Star system

Post  atomsmasher on Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:58 am

iceage4life wrote:
bsushort wrote:All I was saying is that there are other ways to stay on the Pro Tour. The original claim that you have to Top 8 one of the PTs each year only applies for those players expecting to make a profit on each event (i.e. appearance fees covering the majority of travel expenses leaving any prize money as profit). Simply maintaining the pro status is easier, requiring a PT top 50, an appropriately high rating, or Level 3 membership. Yeah, these aren't particularly easy either, but if staying on the Tour was easy then it wouldn't be the grand accomplishment it makes itself out to be. Realistically, it should never be easier to stay on the Pro Tour than it is to get there in the first place, or else it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle more than a hard-earned honor.

My real issue is the argument implied on many of threads at this board that WotC has made a critical blunder if these policy changes result in a loss of some (or even all) of the elite echelon pro players. Even if those players do suffer enough to drive them from the game, I think people are drastically over emphasizing their importance on the game. By far, the largest group of core consumers for this game are PTQ level players and below (including those players who never even play tournaments). The changes to the Pro Tour and the possible loss of pro players has almost no impact on this group. Even a coordinated pro strike wouldn't put a significant dent it WotC's revenue as its just such a small portion of their target audience.

You don't seem to understand how this works. PTQers (at least many of them) want to get and stay on the train. They look at people playing Magic for a living and wish they could do that. Many pros spend very little on Magic cards. What matters is the promotional aspect which is the main goal of the PT. Having stars that travel around the world playing Magic give people a goal to shoot for. Guess what, in perusing that goal people are going to blow tons of money on Magic.

right point! if there are no examples of players who make it to the train, just a random winner every tour, it becomes a lottery and takes much meaning from the tour its self. pros put the pro in pro tour. on the other hand i can not see why there are not more amateur players complaing about the lv. 3 issue or the lost amateur prizes in gps. i think cutting a tour is bad, but the damage done to the ptq and gp players is far worse

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Re: Star system

Post  bsushort on Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:44 am

atomsmasher wrote:on the other hand i can not see why there are not more amateur players complaing about the lv. 3 issue or the lost amateur prizes in gps. i think cutting a tour is bad, but the damage done to the ptq and gp players is far worse
It's because most (not all, most) of the amateurs on these boards have one of two stances:

1. We are against all of WotC's recent changes to the Pro Tour structure.
or
2. We don't play Magic with expectations of money, so none of the changes bother us.

Obviously, I'm in the second group. I strive to reach the Pro Tour, but as a challenge to myself and the pride factor. Any money I would happen to get is great, but not the reason I was interested in the first place.

Besides, amateur prizes always seemed a little odd to me in general. The idea that an amateur that barely misses Top 8 can earn more prize money than a pro who finishes second seems unfair. Despite being one of the potential beneficiaries, I always felt it was unnecessary and would have rather seen that money used to pump up the general prize level rather than being reserved for the top amateurs.

Most of the amateurs who object to the changes you mention are opposed across the board, no need to really harp on just those few issues.

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