First Step

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Hard data anyone?

Post  morgop on Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:03 pm

Is there anyone out there who has hard data from WOTC's perspective which directly led to these changes? Those are the main issues that we want to be addressing. Without that it's hard to come up with a mutually beneficial plan.

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Best wishes

Post  maarten on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:30 am

To all involved.

I just want to say I support this cause. I am a veteran magic player from Holland, play since 1994. I have played against people like Noah Boeken, Frank Karsten and Kamiel Cornelissen when they were still wet behind the ears. I know (or knew) every pro in Holland , although I never made it to their level (barring a few random PTs) But I always enjoyed playing at a PTQ level. I am not really active any more, but magic has been part of my life for a long time and it would sadden me to see it go. I still play on FNM level and always thought I might get back into competitive magic one day (as a hobby) One reason for that would be the fact that I would be playing against all those great names again. Sure I am not active, but I am just one ride away from competing against a combined total of a thousand life time Pro Points in the next Bram Snepvangers tournament.

When reading local dutch forums I get the impression magic is really on a decline. Many pro's declare they have quit altogether for work, studies or poker. On a local level I see the same, FNM and local tournaments only attract 50% of the audience of the past. people just outgrow the game. People started playing at an age of 15-25. Those people are now 25-35 and everybody has new priorities in life. So where are the NEW 15 year olds? I don't see them here. To get back on the Pro's: I played against the Noah Boekens and Frank Karstens in the world in PTQs when they were 14-15 years old schoolboys, driven by ambition and talent. You could already SEE back then that they would be great. Really! That's the only reason I remember this story. Because their dedication on such a young age made an impression.

WotC should try to sparkle interest in this game in new generations of 15 year olds. I am sure part of the reason Noah and Frank were so good at that age was because the Pro Tour with the heroes of the first age (Mike Long, Olle Rade, Mark? Justice, Bertrand Lestee etc) Also back in the day it wasn't just one Frank Karsten. If I take him as example, he was of course a member of an active local group, that played together all the time, Only one is remembered for his Pro results, the rest are forgotten. But they were essential for his development as a good player. Where are those local gangs of players now? Not where I live. We need more growth at the entry level.

I think part of this situation comes from magic online. But this is not the place to discuss that. I haven't bought a pack of cards from a shop in the 21th century. In the 1990s I used to buy a box of every set. Now? nothing. Never. Still I contribute a lot to WotC , but it is all in Draft and Sealed decks. I never buy packs just to open them. To be honest I think this goes for almost every player I know and certainly for everybody who reads this forum. Do we buy enough? all of us together, drafts and sealed decks count of course. so does magic online... And every Ebay play set has to be opened first somewhere. But do we still buy enough?

Well this is going nowhere so I'll just shut up. I'll end with wishing everybody the best in 2008 in magic, both WotC and the players. Good luck in KL! Some day I hope to be there again.

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Showing support...

Post  ShogunCharlie on Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:32 pm

I'm just a casual player, but I very much enjoy following the Pro Tour throughout the year, so I registered to show my support for your cause. This will likely be my only post here, but I'd like to take the opportunity to underline the importance of getting a Japanese representative. Being one of the strongest MtG nations in the world, having a representative on board will boast you credibility, and it might open up the communication lines more between the Japanese and non-Japanese communities as they are right now (from what I can tell) quite segregated.

Being a foreign student in Japan, even speaking half-decent Japanese, I know full well that communication can be tough at points (should have picked another country for my first ever FNM draft perhaps) so it'd be great if they could have a representative to keep them in the loop, in their own language.

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Re: First Step

Post  HRRNighthawk on Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:44 pm

Hello everyone, i've heard about the union and your goals, but i'm just going to throw my thoughts and ideas out here. Analyze them as you will.

1) A union is based off of leverage for negotiation. Being able to unionize a game's playerbase would seem impossible, and unionizing the games pros/PTAs wouldn't garner much leverage either (for reasons previous mentioned by other posters). So, in short, why should Hasbro give a dang about what players think? Money, pure and simple. Unless you can show them they're losing money by what they're doing, you might as well not try. WotC, on the other hand, i think actually cares about what their playerbase, and they're going to great lengths to keep us happy while keeping hasbro happy....atleast it seems that way from their actions and articles. So forget about 'unionizing' anyone. Just get a couple smart people who know the PT to crunch the numbers and find alternate payout options.

2) I'd like to see some demographics on the current age of serious magic players and if it's trending upwards or downwards. It seems most of the players in my area are getting older (atleast 40%, if not more) are 25+ years old. Every older player i know that gets introduced to magic online tends to really like it, simply due to family, work, and other time considerations. It doesn't make up for the lack of human interaction that you get from playing in person, but for people that are on the road, wanting to get on for a game after putting the kids to bed before they go to bed themselves, or just up late as heck after working 3rd shift (myself) you can get a match in. You don't have to move heaven and earth just to get to play magic, just log in and play. It seems like magic online, if properly fixed and debugged (*crosses fingers for v3*) it could likely provide an increasing source of income. If it were "stable" enough to host large events, it could even become the standard for playing "professional" magic. I know people don't like losing to misclicks, but just think of how much money you'd save in travel and hotel costs if you could just play the PTs from your home? Maybe the PTQs? I obviously haven't thought it out entirely, but i hope you get my point that magic online could be used as both an increased revenue stream AND a way to reduce costs for the players. How much money do you think they'd make if you could play PTQs on Magic online? How many people would buy cards just to do so? How then could that revenue be diverted into live PT events? Heck, even charge the $25-30 that the normal event sites charge already instead of $6 tix.

3) I've seen alot of talk in this thread about the viability of making money on the pro tour. Quite frankly, there wasn't a good chance of it two years ago, before they cut these two PTs and the rest. Nobody was making what i'd consider a sizable income, and i don't understand how anyone can call themselves 'professionals' at anything if you can't support a family (even just you and your spouse) off of what you're doing. I'm not meaning that as a jab at anyone, but put things in perspective. How many people earned 30k+ (Net after 'business expenses'). 10 players max? You shouldn't be trying to make a job out of this in the first place. If you want to make a job out of playing cards, go play poker full time. Playing on the Pro tour is just a less-risky form of that, but with a much smaller return on investment, minus expenses, when you truely are successful. You also state that many people were getting to play on the PT and travel for, essentially, very little or free. I personally disagree with this. Lets take PT-Valencia. There were 422 entrants for that event, and only the top 75 earned money. So, 347 people likely lost money by going to that event, especially if they were travelling over long distances (basically any non-western euro country), even if they get the $500 for appearance fees for being a level 3 pro player club member!

4) This leads me to my fourth point. A large number of those that go to PTs went solely because they won a free ticket via a PTQ, and that's fantastic. A free trip to a country they'd never go to otherwise. Essentially, they've already won and they're happy to spend a couple hundred on hotels. So my main complaint now would be the crappy locations the PTs are in now (obviously in places that will save money...Nashville TN for worlds?!? No other reason). Why do i care about winning a PTQ when i'm just gonna go to Hollywood or Nashville? That is a bigger incentive for me to buy cards and go to PTQs than the possibility of pro tour money. You know, that whole "play magic, see the world" crap they pushed for a few years? Well, lets just say they need to get back to that.

5) If anyone is getting screwed on this deal it's the non-US players. Less PTs, and it's already known that a greater percentage of them will be in the US and Worlds didn't rotate back out to a euro or asian location like it usually does. Anyone chasing the player of the year title will have to shell out alot of $ to do it to get to all the GPs this year too. Low prize support but the expense to get there is the same as a PT? Umm, no thanks. Oh, and lets not forget the talk about a legacy PTQ or PT season and the fact that it's nearly impossible to get the cards in their home countries. At this point, if there is a legacy PTQ or PT season, it'll probably feel like a boycott by the non-U.S. players. Really, why go out of your way to buy those cards at those prices for a PT or PTQ? It's just not worth it.


Ok, hope you find something helpful in all this, and good luck with saving pro magic Smile

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Re: First Step

Post  JeanCharlesS on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:21 pm

Hello,

My name is Jean Charles Salvin, I can consider myself as a PTA as I made 9 pro tours in my career, and tons of GPs including 5 top 8 finishes. Even if I made few appareance in some European GPs during the past 7 months, I consider that I droped playing seriously magic since Time spiral' release.

I clearly understand that Wotc made a bad thing in changing the system. It affects many players (level 3,4,5,6) for this year without any consultations. It is especially bad as it affects some of my really good friends who love the game and play for a living...

Actually I just wanted to point few aspects that have not been mentioned in the past topics. Everybody has given really good statements against Wotc policy. I think you will have good representants to attend KL and set a discussion with Wizards. However, who pointed the good things in this new system? Have you consider what their arguments will be before going there? because actually, there are ! :

Level 3: We cut the 500us show-off for lvl 3....hmm ok great, europe-us flight cost around 700-1000us, europe-asia flight can even go more than that. Conclusion -> level 3 is horrible, you can not play ptqs, and you get nothing to attend PTs -> I think many lvl3 players are satisfied from this.

Today, making top 16 or top 8 of a 1000 players GP tournament does not pay more than winning a 12 players PTQ in many countries -> bringing back the PTQs for level 3 is a good thing

Level 4: Now we give you 250us, I did not even look if you can still play PTQs, I hope they can, otherwise it is the worst level in the system. Otherwise, still good as lvl3.

Level 5 is replaces by 3*1250 instead of 4*1000 -> clearly no change, ok you just lose one shot during the year to smash a pro tour + additional PT points which can be obtained in other tournaments.

Level 2: You have 15pts, they bring you back for a Pro tour. I finished two years in a row with 15 Pro points, I would have loved this system. Especially as I never attended a Worlds championship.

Pt points at national: Excellent, Pros will not necesserally miss their nationals. Skilled poor players can now with 1-2GP + their nats make much better than before in terms of Pro tours invitation

As many people said, this system is done for one thing: bringing more players in the pro system. They did it with levels and free airplaine tickets from PTQs, and they make the process even now better to bring more people. And I believe it is a good thing. Bringing more players from Southern Asia, from China, or from South America is a good thing. These guys had absolutely nothing to attend the pro tours in the past years. Nobody had even a single thought about it, but there is a fact: Magic is made for rich people. Look at the 2007 race top 10: everybody is coming from a rich country. When I say rich, I don't mean rich with cars, jewerly, and rings. I just mean much richer than the average players from malaysia, indonesia, or even columbia, etc.

If I look at the new players in Paris which are good friends. They are 16-19yrs old, and they just have one dream: attending one pro tour. They don't give a shit of being level 6 for the time being. They just wish the same as I did when I was 19: taking a plane and attend one or two pro tours. Sorry to tell you guys, but these kids in the worlds are much more than you lvl3,4,5,6 all together.

Tomorrow, if Raphael, Franck, or Jelger does not attend a Pro tour, It won't affect the coverage. It won't affect the sales of booster, and I won't affect the fact that you will have 1000 players to the next GPs.

However, if tomorrow, lvl3,4,5,6 players decide to union and skip one pro tour. Then you would have a much bigger impact -> Magic Pro Player system would be dead. And from that point, Wotc would start losing money.

Final aspects you have not considered. Magic is a game on which we have the same pros for many years. What I mean is that the pool of pros is not changing that much, even if it actually does with what they did
on offering the plane-ticket at PTQs.

A PTA player can not practice and be as good as you guys. What are the good things for them? I believe that if they kill the star-system, maybe people would practice less as it would require them to get a job, or to do others activities to make a living. Less practicing for everybody -> worse level -> I have better chance to make a good result at Pro tours.

The new system is done for players who wants to attend 1 or 2 PTs during the year in an easier way. You believe it is killing the pro system, and that it will affect MTG's sales. I am 100% sure that even if you guys would quit the game, it would not affect anything. Things are made to change, if tomorrow you quit, then you will get a new pro player system. News guys are arriving on the tours, and they are the future stars. If Raph, Jelger, or Frank tomorrow quit the game. Ok fine tomorrow, Wotc will cover, Manuel Bucher, Remy Fortier, and a new guy from Brazil for example. And maybe that these guys for the time being will not complain of not getting tons of cash to each tournament, as they are much happier to discover the worlds and play pro tours for almost nothing.

I am sad for what is happening to you guys because i know it is your life and your passion, but I really want to have my 17-18 years friends to get the same chance as I had at their age. Playing pro tours and travel sometimes all around the world to play Magic is awesome. I would not recommend anyone to go in Magic for living, but I really hope that my friends will get the opportunity to travel as I did in the past 7 yrs in addition to school or work. I hope they will make lot of friends and have fun, and not feeling bad as you would when your PT results impact what you are going to eat on the next months.

If you have something to sign, I will support you for sure by signing it. Good Luck in KL for your discussions. My only advice is to think about the advantages of this new system. If you don't, you won't be able to win this negociation. It is not 15 players complaining that will affect Wotc, but a true Union with arguments that clearly represent the whole crew that can change the thing.

Thx

Jc

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Re: First Step

Post  eunck on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:09 pm

I don't understand the argument that the new system makes it easyer for anybody to qualify for even one PT. The number of PTQs has decresed, since there is one less PT. The new Level 2, that qualifies you for 1 PT if you get 15 points, does not affect anybody who hasn't played at least 1 (more likely 2 or 3) PTs, because it's almost impossible to get 15 points without playing PTs. They haven't announced how many points there will be at nationals, but it's only top 16, so probably less than at a GP. And if you think about getting the points from GPs, it won't work without making Top16 or better and then you're q'ed anyway. You could argue that there are a few more GPs now, but it's only a very few for the whole world and making top 16 means you still have to pay for the flight so this is not the way you want to qualify for a PT. There's really only the PTQs and they are fewer than before.
So I don't think it's easier for anybody to q for a PT. It's more difficult!

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Re: First Step

Post  Icewolf on Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:07 am

How many countries do support the top PTQ player with an airplane ticket? Because I know that here that is not the case, thus your point about level 3 is not unified.
Reaching level 3 would enable me (as a minority example) attend those PTs that I would otherwise miss because of the financial side.

Imo the biggest obstacle in this unions way is the absence of information whatsoever.
1. Why was this change required?
2. What are the figures, the costs/return factor of a PT?
Without those two, there is no way that anyone can make a precise decision on what to propose. And without one, no compromise can be made. Sure, you will try, but without that information, the whole statement will not have any weight with WoTC and more importantly, Hasbro.
I am sure WoTC knows exactly what the PTs are for the game, and that they do know about how everything is connected. The whole Pro Club and etc. are made to promote the stars of the game, to whom all look up to.
I know I do, and I've been to two pro tours myself, and been brought back to the game thanks to another well-known former pro.

On another note, I am not sure that Magic Online will be able to cover for some of the more attractive aspects of the PT, PTQ and the whole "Pro". Winning against Kenji_Tsumura does not seem, at least to me, as attractive as defeating him in person. Also PTQs (at least around here), are more or less a social affair. Because our country does not offer airfare, we travel abroad to attend PTQs, GPs and etc, and that is some pretty important socializing, at least from my point of view. It is just so much memorable, no matter what events you attend, to do it with a company around you.
Also having the Pro Tours in exotic locations really adds to the dream, the glory, of attending one. When I talk about the game I enjoy, and try to play at a higher level than at this moment, I find a lot more understanding when I mention I visited New York or Japan.

And the third point :
Living of Magic should not be easy of course, and it will never be as profitable as poker, or a real job. But it is essential for that "Star" appearance of the game - you need the pros to be able to work their way to the star status, without having to worry about income from another source. And than again, without the figures of the income/cost of the PTs, Pro Club levels etc. it is very hard to make a point in this too. Just how many Pro Players should/can the game support? As it stands now, it seems insufficient. Also the loss of another limited PT will really hurt everything around it. Less packs will be bought, less packs will be open. Some local initiatives [We have a Limited League here, which offers travel/accommodation to the top ranked player every 5 months for a limited event in Europe] will also suffer because of that. A very good limited set without the Pro Tour to make it mobilizable? Will anyone remember there were slivers in TPF, if it was not for the 2hg PT?

Great idea Levy, and I do hope you reach some common ground with WoTC in KL.

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Re: First Step

Post  Chatter on Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:36 am

For one of the first times in recent memory, everything I wanted to say has been said. I'm not "angry" with the changes as much as I am "disappointed," and they've taken the wind out of my sails. I went from being jacked about a solid season and anxious to compete--for a year at least--at the top of my game, to contemplating retirement because it was difficult to prioritize a shrinking payout schedule. At the same time, I love Magic and want what is best for the game. As excited as I am about World Championships in Memphis, this is not the image that Magic needs to promote. Memphis is not Paris or New York, and (21-year native that I am) I know the prime reason for the relocation is that venue space here is cheap. Is the financial situation that bad?

Anyway, I think the goal of the union should, at the start, primarily be about gathering information. We know what we want, mostly, but before we can begin making demands we absolutely and vitally need to know the constraints under which WoTC is operating and how much leeway they have in altering their policies. The only way we can get this information is if we present a front of representatives to them that is clearly rational, clearly doesn't have an "agenda," and is clearly realistic in its demands.

To that end, I nominate the following six-member "delegation" to meet with WoTC at KL. Bear in mind this is of course only tentative, and more than anything else I would simply like to get discussion started.

-Raphael Levy
-Frank Karsten
-Luis Scott-Vargas
-Paulo Vitor damo da Rosa
-Some "up-and-comer" with good communications skills. This reflects Jean-Charles' point about demographics. Manuel Bucher or Fried Meulders would be perfect--are either of them "Union" members?
-One of the Japanese with solid English skills, or with access to a translator. I'd nominate Kenji or Shuuhei from personal experience, but again, communication is essential and (despite the tremendous importance of the Japanese player community) we have got to have access to a two-way information exchange.

Feel free to e-mail me, IM me, or forum post in the column. I'd obviously be willing to meet and talk with anyone, but I am not by any means broadly representative of the Magic community so I don't know how much good I could do.

Thanks to Raph for his devotion to "the cause" and to everyone else for participating in good, healthy discussion. When I was informed about the "Union" I was skeptical, because I know how "discussions" among Magic Players tend to devolve into shouting fits and cries of the Apocolypse. This, though, seems to signify a change for the better.

-Zac

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Re: First Step

Post  GerryT on Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:28 am

I would just like to point out that I don't think that less Pro Tours means less PTQs. The Hollywood qualifier season is three months long instead of the usual two.

I'm not going to KL because its much too expensive. I qualified in Valencia and even sent Larabee a page long email asking if I could rescind my invite so that I could play in PTQs to win a free flight, otherwise I wouldn't want to spend the money to go. His response was a one word answer. However, I'll spread the word and do whatever I can to help. Them just taking all of this prize money (US Nationals, one less PT, now this...) and making it disappear is pretty loose. I'm not sure that this is the end of the Pro Tour or the end of Magic, but I hate that it impacts a lot of my friends very negatively.


Last edited by on Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Everything is up on TCGplayer.com

Post  Falkor on Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:46 am

Well, I have posted the information about the Players Union on TCGplayer.com, in both the News and Standard forums. I also posted a blog there, so hopefully larger numbers of players will get a sense of what is going on.

You all have my full support, and anything I can do to help to pass along information.

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Re: First Step

Post  aprosak on Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:30 pm

When I read the BDM "announcement", I could not help but think of Vs, a game I used to play at its highest levels. UDE (the company that makes Vs) made a similar announcement about 6 months before they eliminated their entire Pro structure. announcement

Basically everything in that announcement turned out to be a complete lie. I truly hope WotC isn't walking down that same path with Magic. I've made a grand total of $0 at Pro Tours, but I wouldn't trade my Pro Tour experiences for anything.

For the most part, I am constantly amazed at how professional WotC is as a company, and how organized Magic tournaments and programs are run. The changes they've made to the Pro Tour strike me as very uncharacteristic of WotC.

I'll lend my support and my voice to whatever goes on here.

Adam Prosak

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Copied here after I posted it on Gleemax...

Post  morgop on Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:48 am

From http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=14966721&posted=1#post14966721

As much as is said about this game being about luck, Magic tech has progressed such that pros can expect to win much of the time. Large tournaments consistently draw certain names to the top because by and large, these people have spent the time to research the best decks, to play matchups enough to understand the important factors of each, to get the cards they need for the decks and then finally to travel and play in the events. The average pro will outplay their opponent enough to overcome random factors most of the time.

There are enough individuals who basically make the choice to consider Magic as their job to put all of those who don't at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to levelling up enough to get on the tour. Those who are blessed with the time and resources to do all of that start far ahead of the average joe with a 40hr/wk job and a Magic hobby on the side.

For those who can't achieve the ‘train,’ magic becomes financially -ev. Now that airfare and appearance fees are gone, most pros are indicating that the train is now unfeasible. To some, it's fine to consider Magic as simply an expensive hobby. A few even reach a PT, play some pros, see the world and have an experience they'll always remember. To others, they don't have the money, yet still have the dream. Or they won a PTQ, and then can't pay the airfare, etc. to realize it. What good does it do to win an invite to Kuala Lumpur if you can't pay the $1,500+ to pay for the trip?

So it's not as easy as saying just get a job- you might as well tell a lot of players to give up on their dream and to only play magic for fun, seeing the pro tour as some inaccessible fairy tale. Do we want Magic pro tours to become elitist events or should they be viable based on aptitude?

In one sense, this is an entitlement issue, since the carrot dangled at the end of the Pro Tour stick throughout last year and WOTC could have chosen to communicate information that would have caused players to practically reevaluate the risk/reward potentialities. Regardless of the reason, they chose not to and those players discovered at the end of the year that rather than working toward and then realizing value from their achievements, they had instead been gambling for potential prizes which now are being belatedly removed.

If someone won a prize from a lottery ticket, would you consider it fair for the value of the prize to be reduced without explanation? Our Magic pros suffered this and a PT also. That was money in the bank too.

In another sense, these changes affect the Magic economy in a fundamental way and concerns players at all levels. The PTs keep the dream alive for a broad swath of players who aspire to attend PTs. Those players in turn open packs during testing, which feeds the singles market and holds down singles prices, or they buy singles for constructed decks, which helps stores and card collectors/traders. These players also support stores through event fees and ancillary product purchases, incentivizing stores to deal in singles and hold more frequent events. Lower prices and more frequent events bring new players into the game.

I could go on, but you get the point. The pro tour carrot adds crucial liquidity in terms of available product, low prices, store sales, new players and an aspiration to achieve a dream that keeps all of the varied interests satisfied. Take away the prize that comes from achieving the dream and you affect much more than just those currently qualified to compete for the prize.

There are other side affects, as well, such as high profile tournament results which allow all pro tour aspirants to see into the decks which many pros would otherwise keep to themselves. Affecting card availability or desirability also affects card collector markets. Taking away JSS prizes removes a valid reason for younger players to play, potentially shrinking the size of the future magic community- in a time when many players are already getting older and moving on to those dreaded jobs. The pro players also have a loud voice when it comes to bringing in new players to the game. If they are reacting negatively, it degrades the game as a whole.

This issue is far more complex than 'WOTC could have said earlier' or to think that only pro players have been affected. This is a question of how WOTC is positioning itself to succeed in the future marketplace. No one wants Magic to fail, since we have invested ourselves into the game- hence the passionate arguments. If WOTC won’t communicate why the changes were made that many people feel negatively impact the game, then it becomes the players who have to find a voice and represent their own interests. This shouldn’t be seen as being the players vs. WOTC, rather this is the players + WOTC= something better for all of us.

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Re: First Step

Post  mercenarybdu on Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:12 am

All is true, but then again you have to keep in mind that the USA is already having an Economic Crisis at the moment.

-The USD is losing value
-The Housing Boom has finally went bust. The most heavily hit is CA. (all predicted perfectly by myself)
-Companies around the world are feeling the burns
-Although the Economy looks fine, it isn't at all


....there are others but those are the things that are happening right now that are affecting the way payouts are handed out at events.

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Re: First Step

Post  Reindeercards on Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:43 pm

TobiH wrote:# It is impossible to come up with one definite suggestion for a better system without knowing the facts. In Wizards' own forums the speculation has been posted, that each PT would cost up to 5 million $. (I seriously doubt the cost is as high as that!) But as long as Wizards does not disclose any definite information about that, all the Union's suggestions can be guesswork at best. WotC will in all probability keep that information confidential, so the Union will have to come up with quite a lot of different options for a better PT-system – one for every possible amount that a PT might cost.

That's a very good point.

Some pros will have connections to former WotC employees (or Upper Deck employees in their tournament system). If pros are willing to make some discrete phone calls, it might be possible to get ballpark figures.

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Re: First Step

Post  atomsmasher on Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:53 am

while thinking about all facts i got the idea, that of the developments are no coincidents. may be the changes are not clumsy, but just a sneaky way to get rid of the pt circuit. i used to talk to an employee of ude on regular basis. he is, or was involved in organised play and came to ude after working for local event organiser and wotc as a judge. he used to say that he believes that all companies with a pro tour circuit, are hoping to abandon the circuit. after all these companies live from booster sells and boosters are sold to casual players rather than tournament spikes.

i dont want to discuss how accurate this assumption actually is. but my point is, may be wizards or more likely hasbro is looking for an exit from the tour with the slightest possible image loss. raph says that it is becoming nearly impossible to make a living out of magic. i think the group of players that is affected the most by these changes are nearly pros, people fighting to stay on the gravy train or struggling to jump on it. being a level 3 pro meant that one could afford to actually attend the pts u are qualified for. the new level 3 is rather pointless. beeing qualified for kuala lumpur is nice, but it means nothing if you cant go there due to money issues.

loosing the level 3 entry fee equals erasing the former lv. 3 status. therefore they make it even harder to attend pro tours, because you now have to reach level four to go to pts. they try to compensate by allowing these players to participate in ptqs making it even harder to qualify for a tour via a ptq, because the competion gets even stronger if lv3 are participating.

in the meantime they are cutting amateur prices at gp, making it even more pointless for aspiring new players to attend such events.

so they are attacking the pool of pt participants from two different angles. by cutting a pro tour they make it more difficult to stay pro and by changing the lv3 status they make it next to impossible to enter the gravy train in the first place or jump back one the train if you fell off. this decreases the number of players on the tour and some day they may say, ok the pt system dont work anymore so we abandon it. and nobody can disagree to stop organising pro tours were only ptq winners participate.

just look at wow. they hand out 100.000 for the world champion, but no other money prices. by this, they get the "hey i can win lots of money feeling" for the joes without having to feed the pros. nice deal, if you consider that one pro tour has more than 200.000 dollar cash prizes plus players club, etc...

i hope i'm utterly wrong, but we should consider the possibility.

one can make educated guesses if you find out how many plane tickets are send out for each pro tour (counting all players club members that get one and finding out how many ptq slots are given out) and finding out what a it costs to rend an appropriate location. add the price money and you have a quite accurate idea what a pro tour costs.

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Re: First Step

Post  LightningRider on Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:35 am

My name is Grahm, and I have played for about 7-8 years now. My only accomplishment is 5th place at 2006 regionals, so I can't really speak for the pro community. But I do have some things to say in order to show my support for the program.

First of all, Thank you to everyone taking interest in this topic and I hope it succeeds to it's fullest potential.

It is terrifying hearing about how much some of you guys have paid to travel to these pro tours over the years you have played professionally (oh boy how that term is wearing itself out LOL PT = promotional...oh god I read that 4 hours ago and I'm still cracking up about it).

Well, there goes my hopes of getting anywhere with this game. I mean, as hard and skill intensive as it is, I think that is time and money consuming all on its own, the dream is no longer there. I have not been to a pro tour, but attending one still sounds fantastic to me. However, if I ever have to pay several thousand to travel to one, then forget it.

From the most shallow point of view (mine) I think what they have done is cruel to the game itself. I read every post in the thread, and I actually enjoyed reading it. No matter what anyone thinks of this operation (prepares camo gear), I really hope you guys never give up until you win, or somewhat come to a reasonable solution.

You let mr randy beuhler (probably spelt wrong) know that I am supporting this Union!

After all, the only thing keeping their company(ies) afloat is their customers. Never let that leave their minds!

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Re: First Step

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