Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

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Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  Eelco1972 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:46 pm

Hi all,

I wanted to be prepared for any meeting in Kuala Lumpur, so I read through all threads on this forum (skimmed over some) and thought about some ideas myself and then wrote a structured summary of all issues and ideas to give me a better overview of everything. If you have some time, please read through it and tell me if you don't agree with something or whether I am missing an important issue. I hope that with some suggestions, I can take this summary to KL and then have all our important points in a few pages, which should aid the discussion with WotC people.

Why was this union created?

The players and WotC have the same goal: we all love the game, we are personally invested in it, we try to do what we think is best for the game, and want it to be as enjoyable as possible for everyone. However, lately a lot of negative policy changes regarding professional play have been implemented: 1 less PT, less payout for the remaining PTs, less payout for level 3s (now level 4s), MSS has been cut, Champs has been cut, no PT in Japan anymore, level 3s stealing slots in PTQs, one fewer PTQ season (particularly missing a limited or team season). It appears likely that this was done due to Hasbro budget cuts (in a recession, marketing is usually cut first) and/or due to weakness of the dollar (because of trade deficits, massive foreign debt, and inflation) and/or rising airfare prices (because of oil demand that is outpacing declining supply). Long-term macro-economic trends in the world signal that airfare costs will continue to rise and that the dollar will continue to weaken, likely leaving less Pro Tour payout budget in future years.
These changes will probably have been much discussed in WotC , which probably feels that these changes can maintain things as best they could. However, these changes have definitely harmed the pros, the PTQ players, and Magic in general. We are scared that players become less competitive and less willing to spend both time and money on the game because there is less to aim for. The union wants to explain - hopefully working together with WotC - to Hasbro why cutting a PT and announcing these changes unprofessionally does affect the image of the game in the long run and will negatively impact their profits. The union does not believe that Hasbro is familiar enough with the mechanics of the game, as Magic marketing is vastly different from more traditional game marketing and needs a steady flow of prize tournaments to keep the game interesting. The union feels that Hasbro is missing the point of view of the players themselves, based on years of intensive experience, when they are making important decisions. The players themselves are an untapped wellspring of ideas and they are certainly willing to help Magic survive. The union would like to explore other possible professional play angles that simultaneously maximize both the gains of the players and the profits of Hasbro. The union would like to have some influence on proposed changes, voice opinions, and share improvement ideas by speaking with WotC officials.

Who is this union representing exactly, and who are the spokesmen?

The union represents PTQ players (also referred to as Pro Tour Aspirants, PTAs) and pro players (20+ pro points), not the casual players, i.e. the people that are hunting for Pro Points and that are most affected by the changes described above. The spokesmen are Raphael Levy, Frank Karsten, Fried Meulders, Evan Erwin, Patrick Chapin, Ruud Warmenhoven, Luis Scott Vargas, Tobias Henke, Eelco van Ruth, and Paulo Vitor Dama Da Rosa (list is subject to change).

What is the goal of the Pro Tours and the Grand Prix?

From WotC’s perspective, which is a company and wants to make a profit, professional play is used as a promotion instrument. The ultimate goal of this is to increase sales of Magic booster packs via marketing. Based on our experience as players, we can view the mechanisms that achieve this as follows.

The goal of PTs and GPs from the PTA’s perspective:

• The PT gives the dream of getting a ticket to a cool place, where one can play a tournament with a lot of prize money. The PT offers a drive for investment and dedication and it keeps people immersed in the Magic culture. The elusive dream of qualifying and "making the Pro lifestyle" (where one sees the world and breaks even playing PTs, perhaps even make a living of it) fuels ambitions. With enough practice and time, the illusion is that someone can become pro. This inspiring illusion has to stay; the means to become a pro should look like an achievable step and more invites to a PT is not bad on itself. By giving these players a dream to live up to, they have an incentive to play more Magic and more tournaments in order to become a better player, fueling PTQ attendance. So thanks to the PTQs, people keep playing the game and buying booster packs.
• Furthermore, PTQ players want to post good results at PTQs and want to qualify for the PT, so they regularly buy packs to practice drafts (therefore, each set preferably has to be in some PTQ limited format) or buy singles when trying to build tournament decks (so a healthy alternation between Constructed and Limited is also preferable), which also encourages demand for booster packs. The Pro tour also makes the secondary market of singles sales survive.
• Furthermore, PTQ players motivate many casual players to learn to play and enjoy the draft format. A group of players doing a draft in a game store is free advertising for Magic. Note that the PTQ players bring more customers, spread the game to friends and family, write the articles, and organize play. Rather than paying for expensive ads on TV, the players advertise Magic themselves for free by talking about the Pro Tour. Moreover, newspapers or websites may catch on to huge GPs and PTs and cover them, once again for free.
• Constant competitive play gives the message that the game will stick around for a long time; there is no risk of the game dying out so players can keep on buying packs without worries. Therefore, Magic will continue to draw in new players and will continue to be relevant and profitable. Magic is one of very few games to ever have a permanent team working on its ongoing development and an organized play program over a long period of time, which makes it a unique and valuable intellectual property. A game which players stick with for longer and care more about will naturally draw in more recruits at a lower cost in terms of paid advertising.
• The prospect of money in the PTs and GPs showcases and legitimizes Magic as a skill-intensive mental competitive sport. The pros (that consistently place highly in these tournaments and potentially even make a living off it) give credibility to the game.
• The big tournaments give a chance of playing against the heroes/icons of the game. For promotional purposes the super stars are very important. Pros act as valuable ambassadors by being in touch with the rest of the community and by participating in the GPs.
• For the fans PT's could be called the ultimate level of spectator magic. Fans enjoy watching the matches of their favorite players at the Pro Tour and enjoy reading about the exploits of those at the pinnacle of the game, offering more incentive to keep up with the game and keep on buying booster packs.

The goal of the PTs and GPs from the pro point of view:

• The pros need money to cover their expenses. Preferably they wish to be able to make a living out of playing Magic, but at the very least do not want to lose money on playing the PT. If that happens, the pros stop traveling to events due to these cost factors and compete only in events which are convenient for them, which is bad as it then gives the message that only the people with enough money to pay flights and cards can win. The current system is sliding into this territory, especially for the non-U.S. players due to the weakness of the dollar.
• The pros wish for nice travel opportunities in exotic locations and for incentives to attend GPs. The current pro point system is not an incentive for attending GPs anymore, as many consider it likely that pro points will be devaluated in the next year again.
• The pros wish credible, timely, professional, respectful, clear communication from WotC about what can be expect in terms of professional tournaments, prize money, PT points and Player Club benefits. Confidence in a regular rewards system and certainty regarding what PT points are worth is needed, so that pros can actually strive for them.
• The pros wish that the Pro Tour must be about skill. Because of the top-heavy payout, randomness has to be reduced, by either holding many PTs in a year or by having many rounds per PT, especially when the amount of competitors per PT rises.

Taking all that into account, what are the goals of union?

We strive for a better communication policy with more professional and timely announcements. Furthermore, we pursue a healthy Pro Tour and professional play system that keeps the game sustainable and keeps the competitive drive of both pros and PTAs so that they are willing to spend money on the game. We would also like to brainstorm about potential improvements ideas with WotC officials and offer the player’s perspective. Lastly, the union’s website will function as the supervision/advice resource for players that won their first invite to a PT, helping with hotels, what to do, and so on.

Communication policy: Effects of late announcement changes:

WotC has set a dangerous precedent for implementing extreme changes on very short notice, showing little respect for pros. The timing of these announcements had harsh impacts for the pros. Many pros tried to level up in 2007 by attending GPs, which costs money and commitment. Pros make the choice to buy plane tickets for upcoming events and invest themselves, assuming that the level system and its rewards is set for the next year. However, now suddenly money that was counted on as appearance fees won’t be seen anymore. Players that had battled to reach level 3 suddenly found out they'd achieved essentially nothing. Players that had battled to reach a higher level now find out they're a PT down with the loss of potential earnings that brings. Many players had already booked their flights to Kuala Lumpur before it was announced that they would not be compensated for attending. Players were playing for different payouts at Worlds than they were expecting.
Through this, WotC has proven, more than once, that they will make changes that take away earnings all of sudden, with no warning. By making these announcements so late and so many in a short time frame, WotC have lost their credibility. The sentiments echoed amongst players is that putting in effort, commitment, time, and paying flight money to travel to GPs or PTQs is simply foolish right now. We cannot be expected to trying to go after higher levels and fighting for that all year, when there just is no guarantee that the rewards will still exist, or be worth as much as promised, in the next year. All we are hearing now is 'change is a constant, what you're earning right now may not be what you're entitled to after you've earned it … you might get $X next year providing all the rules don't change again in January again'. Because these announcements have destroyed all confidence in a regular rewards system, Pro Points have become essentially worthless, and now do not effectively function as an incentive for pros to attend events anymore.
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part 2

Post  Eelco1972 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:47 pm

Communication policy: Confidence has to be restored:

If there's going to be less money in the PT, so be it (although we nevertheless would like WotC to be honest about it), but everything should be announced beforehand (a lot earlier in the 2007 season; we believe that WotC could have known about these changes earlier). Credibility is one of the most important things for a company, and confidence in the PT point system has to be restored. Otherwise, attendance for big tournaments will plummet and many pros will quit Magic, and the same will hold for PTAs as well after a while.
When looking at potential solutions, in the perfect world WotC puts up a clear, official, timely schedule at the start of each season, showing the professional tournaments, prize money, PT points and Player Club benefits. This would also include the pay-outs and the meanings of Pro Points for the year afterwards (what you get with certain pro point levels in that year), with a promise that they will not change this afterwards. By announcing changes in the level system with at least a year lead time in advance, WotC will keep their professional appearance. Furthermore, the pro players that they want to use as ambassadors can at least be certain how much the pro points that they make this year are going to be worth in the next year, so that they can decide whether or not to attend tournaments based on that information.
However, we acknowledge that company budgets are often based around last year sales and promises regarding payouts may be problematic. Then, reasonable compromises could also work well. For example, a compromise where WotC maintains agreed-upon minimal financial levels for the PT through the end of next year, or where WotC makes the schedule and benefits for next year available at least in October after the Q3 results have come in. Furthermore, union spokesmen could be involved in the process of scheduling and budgeting, in a positive dialogue in order to finalize these things faster in the future.

Communication policy: improvements via the union and otherwise:

When major changes are implemented, first WotC should consult with the spokesmen of the union (by meetings at Pro Tours or by regular emails). This panel of players as a sounding board can give constructive feedback and useful ideas. Then, the changes should be sent to the affected parties in a professional manner. Announcing changes in an interview format where you have to read between the lines under thick sugar coating in BDM's column telling the "highly valued pro community" to be very happy, is not the way to do it. Better ways to do this would be to announce the changes in a prominent coherent press release with a single narrative voice, with a banner on the website front page, and emails to all players affected. WotC could also communicate anything that would affect the players to the union first, which can relay the information to the players (perhaps by means of a mail-list).

What about keeping the Pro Tour healthy?

Currently PT points are almost completely worthless, GPs do not attract pro players right now, and it is impossible for pros to make a profit off Magic (less prize-money, more and better players at all tournaments, i.e. more randomness), so many pro star players will quit, only leaving some one hit wonders, which also destroys the dream of PTAs to live the Pro Tour lifestyle.
We would like to share ideas regarding a different professional play policy that is better for the players at the same budget (assuming that the budget allocated to the PT is fixed and can only be redistributed). All of these suggestions will be speculative, as we do not know exact budgets or constraints under which WotC is operating. We do not know whether a drop in sales, economic recession, a new vision on organized play, weakness of the dollar, or rising airfare prices are the prime reasons for the late changes. And we can only guess about the total costs of a PT including prize money, flights, venue costs, and logistics (perhaps about 4 times the prize money pool?), but if WotC is prepared to confidentially disclose any of this to union spokesmen, then better suggestions can be made for the benefit of everyone involved. Furthermore, we are very curious to the exact vision of WotC on keeping Magic sustainable and on the Pro Tour. What exactly do they want to achieve with it and how do they view it in five years? It would be nice if WotC would be straight-up about their vision on the future of the PT and explain this to the players. Nevertheless, we can still start with some brainstorming.
We suggest the following Pro Tour schedule and money distribution:
• Two Pro Tours per year. One Limited, one Constructed. Within one Pro Tour, multiple various formats could be played (for example, one day Standard and one day Extended). Furthermore, there is one World Championships per year. We are down to 2 Pro Tours per year, because the biggest cost of the PT is probably the flights, venue costs, and logistics, so cutting a PT gives more prize money to be distributed.
• Each Pro Tour and World Championships will span 4 days of play, with approximately 24 rounds of Swiss, and with a prize pool of approximately $300.000. The reasons behind the number of rounds change is that we wish to keep the same number of PTQs as in previous years, and the number of people of the PT doesn’t really matter so long as they don’t get too big, as long as there are the right amount of rounds to even out the random factor. By adding more rounds, the variability decreases. Adding payout makes better advertising for WotC, showing that the winner makes a big amount of money. The number of Pro Points given away can be improved slightly over the current system, but not by much. This will make the remaining PTs more special.
• Next to a regular Grand Prix schedule, there will also be 3 super Grand Prix (1 in Asia, 1 in Europe, 1 in America) per year, with a prize pool of approximately $100.000 and many rounds of Swiss. Getting byes for these super Grand Prix will be harder than for regular Grand Prix. The advantage of super Grand Prix is that they are cheaper to organize locally, while they still give away lots of prize money and pro points that players need to reach the high levels, and they ensure that pros still travel to at least some Grand Prix and interact with the local players. More GPs where anyone can play is also nice because Magic is all about the inspiring model, players wanting to get to the PT, and you still keep enough formats to be showcased on the highest level of competition.
• An interesting matter is the one of exotic locations. Some players have voiced that they don’t care where they are playing; some pros seem to prefer more prize money rather than a more extravagant site in a capital city. Others (the majority, it seems) have voiced that they want more excitement in events, with better experiences, and cool, interesting exiting locations. For example, Hawaii or Okinawa. Having the Pro Tours in exotic locations really adds to the dream, the glory, of attending one and entices PTAs more. Memphis is not exactly attractive for a prestigious event like Worlds. The location matters especially for the PTAs, as their main goal is to have fun going to exotic locations with a bunch of friends (and secondly having the chance of winning some money). In other words, the whole "play the game, see the world" thing. Lastly, people are much more receptive about the game if you can tell them about tournaments in exiting places like Hawaii or Okinawa; it simply makes for much better informal advertisement. Therefore, there should be a preference for exotic locations, while at the same time they shouldn’t cost much, so perhaps exotic locations in developing countries with cheap venues could be pursued.
• A system with Pro Player Club levels should stick, but with 5-step levels instead of 10-step levels (i.e., 35 points and 45 points should also constitute a level-up). This way, the differences are not that large and players will have more to play for at Worlds. Enough payout for the select few super top (~5 players) should stay, possibly by means of an end-of-year payout, such that the iconic top pros can make a living off playing Magic and the PTAs can still pursue that very dream.
• The amount of PTQs has to stay the same as in previous years, which means more PTQs per Pro Tour. The two PTQ seasons (Limited and Constructed) may be held at the same time and spread over the entire year. This way, a healthy alternation between formats is ensured, and each set still sees play in a PTQ Limited format. The flights for winners must still be paid.
• Another idea is sponsorship. Maybe Nike or Apple or Coke, or gaming shops or companies, or Ultra Pro sleeves, or major websites can sponsor players. There is a good amount of target audience for some major companies, especially at larger events, like PTs and GPs, which are visited/observed by thousands of people. Males aged 18-25 (i.e., the competitive Magic player) are a hard group to reach, while they are very interesting to banking or insurance companies as they are in the beginning of their active life. Sponsor signs at PTs, advertisements in booster packs, or commercials as a prelude to the PT webcasts could work to raise more money.
• Another idea is a buy-in system which would increase the prize pool and make the game a lot more attractive. A PTQ winner and pro with 20+ points gets his buy-in paid for. This adds revenue for WotC and allows (rich) amateurs a shot at PT fame. A similar idea would be to pay a little more money at GPs for more prize money.
• Advertisement should focus on a younger player group. The existing players already find all the information they need from the internet or just from plain word of mouth. The age group starting at 11 years should be targeted to reach out to potential new players and to ensure more growth at the entry level. This could be done by TV commercials that target this customer group or by giving away a paper copy of the rules of the game for free.
• An expansion of MODO; a more stable server, then big PTQs online, perhaps even PTs later on. MODO tournaments can give out a lot of prizes while not making a lot of venue and air travel expenses.


Frank Karsten
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instructions...

Post  Eelco1972 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:56 pm

Hey !

In the first two parts of this thread i have posted Frank Karsten's look on what has been posted in the Forums of this website. The purpose is to have some sort of an idea what should be discussed with WotC at PT Kualu Lumpur and Raph thought it would be a good idea to post this summary because people might have some more ideas about what should be brought into the discussion.

Feel free to write your thoughts about this piece of work and i'm sure Raph and FrankK will evaluate it before going to the meeting.
I think it's important to know however that this is just a summary of Frank's thoughts on what has to be addressed, so it might be that you have different ideas; in that case, don't worry. Best thing you can do is to read this thread carefully, equally carefully write down some notes in a word document or something, read everything again (to make sure you don't post something already mentioned by other people in the time you were writing your stuff...) and decide if your thoughts are making glorious benefit to this message, to kinda quote Borat.

I want to thank Frank for taking the time to write this fine piece of work and i hope everyone will be able to appreciate it.

Thanks,

Eelco van Ruth
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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  Millimbar on Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:57 pm

It looks good. I'm happy with it. Thanks, Frank!

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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  Reindeercards on Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:38 pm

Eelco1972 wrote:
We suggest the following Pro Tour schedule and money distribution:
• Two Pro Tours per year. One Limited, one Constructed. Within one Pro Tour, multiple various formats could be played (for example, one day Standard and one day Extended). Furthermore, there is one World Championships per year. We are down to 2 Pro Tours per year, because the biggest cost of the PT is probably the flights, venue costs, and logistics, so cutting a PT gives more prize money to be distributed.

• Each Pro Tour and World Championships will span 4 days of play, with approximately 24 rounds of Swiss, and with a prize pool of approximately $300.000. The reasons behind the number of rounds change is that we wish to keep the same number of PTQs as in previous years, and the number of people of the PT doesn’t really matter so long as they don’t get too big, as long as there are the right amount of rounds to even out the random factor. By adding more rounds, the variability decreases. Adding payout makes better advertising for WotC, showing that the winner makes a big amount of money. The number of Pro Points given away can be improved slightly over the current system, but not by much. This will make the remaining PTs more special.

So far, cutting a PT hasn't given more prize money to be distributed. Its just reduced WotC's expenses. Your job in selling this plan will be to convince them to spend money on increasing the prize pool.

As things stand now, as best as I can tell, WotC does a terrible job of getting publicity/advertising out of the money that's in the prize pool. Do they try to get on local TV or have people show up on talk radio or anything? I mean, I understand that's not their core demographic group but just raising the profile of the game would be helpful. If parents have heard of the game, they'll be more open to their kids getting into the game and buying boosters as gifts for the kid in their life. I first heard about the game from a newspaper article then went to a store to find out more about it. WotC has made a ton of money off of me through my stint as a dealer & player and through the number of people I introduced to the game.

It'd be helpful if WotC had a publicity writer to contact every PTQ and regionals winner for a interview. Then the writer could contact the winner's high school/college newspaper and/or local papers and see if there's interest in publishing a short human interest article basd on the interview. At this point, there doesn't seem to be any mechanism for letting the community know when someone wins money or a plane ticket. Even if WotC occassionally had to publish the article as paid advertising, it'd probaby be worth the money because the ad would be directed at the people you want to attract to the game.

WotC depends on magic websites to distribute the information about the winners. But that's very hit-or-miss of it happening at all and when it does happen, it usually only gives the winner's name and decklist. That might be fine for people who already know about and are interested in the game. But its not the right solution for growing your base number of players.

Eelco1972 wrote:
• An interesting matter is the one of exotic locations. Some players have voiced that they don’t care where they are playing; some pros seem to prefer more prize money rather than a more extravagant site in a capital city. Others (the majority, it seems) have voiced that they want more excitement in events, with better experiences, and cool, interesting exiting locations. For example, Hawaii or Okinawa. Having the Pro Tours in exotic locations really adds to the dream, the glory, of attending one and entices PTAs more....

Exotic locations don't mean much to me but I understand it does to others. I thought it was a good publicity move to have "PT Hollywood" rather than "PT Los Angeles".

Memphis isn't even the most exotic city in its state. How much extra effort would it have been to have Worlds in Nashville instead? I'm not a country music fan but I appreciate the distinction between a city that's a tourist destination and a city that's an armpit.

Eelco1972 wrote:
• The amount of PTQs has to stay the same as in previous years, which means more PTQs per Pro Tour...The flights for winners must still be paid.

I agree with these two points. Assuming WotC actually starts to put effort into publicizing the game, winning a flight to an exotic location to compete for a large cash prize is just cooler than winning a relatively small cash prize.

If there is any place that WotC really needs to inject money back into the game, its to go back to paid flights. Whether a pro can make a full-time job of playing Magic or if he has to do some other job in addition, the concept of a Pro Tour as we know it will survive. But players not being able to afford the trip to the PT suppresses PTQ attendence, suppresses the number of PTAs, and suppresses card sales. Why buy cards, build decks, and practice to win a slot at a PT you aren't going to be able to attend? Or for a PTQ which was never scheduled?


Eelco1972 wrote:
• Another idea is sponsorship. Maybe Nike or Apple or Coke, or gaming shops or companies, or Ultra Pro sleeves, or major websites can sponsor players. There is a good amount of target audience for some major companies, especially at larger events, like PTs and GPs, which are visited/observed by thousands of people. Males aged 18-25 (i.e., the competitive Magic player) are a hard group to reach, while they are very interesting to banking or insurance companies as they are in the beginning of their active life. Sponsor signs at PTs, advertisements in booster packs, or commercials as a prelude to the PT webcasts could work to raise more money.

"Sponsoring the PT" and "sponsoring a player" are two very different things.

I'm sure WotC has worked on sponsorship deals for themselves. And the lack of sponsors is more of a function of lack of interest on behalf of potential sponsors more than a lack of interest by WotC in some other company giving them money. I might be wrong on that.

WotC doesn't have any financial interest in lining up another company to give a player money. If they could get the company to do a sponsorship in the first place, WotC would prefer for the PT itself to be sponsored and for WotC to get the money.

As for the idea of companies sponsoring players, understand that most pro magic players aren't professional. They say rude, crude and socialy unacceptable things in public. They show up to PTs as much to go out and get drunk with their friends as to play cards. In short, they act like teenagers or college students.

Companes might put up with a certain amount of that kind of behavior with some superstar who is bringing in a measurable amount of star power. But for people who are marginally known, its not worth the risk to tie the brand name to a Magic player. Most pro magic players don't attept to protect their own image so why should a corporation think the player would protect the corporate image?

Some Japanese players might be abe to pull off some kind of corporate sponsorship eventually because gaming is more socially acceptable over there than in the US.

Eelco1972 wrote:
• Another idea is a buy-in system which would increase the prize pool and make the game a lot more attractive. A PTQ winner and pro with 20+ points gets his buy-in paid for. This adds revenue for WotC and allows (rich) amateurs a shot at PT fame. A similar idea would be to pay a little more money at GPs for more prize money.

I really like the idea of the buy-in.

Player's would have even more incentive to get their own sponsorship deals whether from businesses or even from a group of friends.

It'd have appeal to local players for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do a PT.

Might get some of the former Magic back into the occassional PT. If someone has moved on to a more profitable post-college or poker career, paying money to play cards isn't much different than paying for his vacation.

Are we at a point where we can talk about the dollar amount for a buy-in entry fee? Or are we trying to avoid mentioning a number until after the meeting?

Eelco1972 wrote:
• Advertisement should focus on a younger player group. The existing players already find all the information they need from the internet or just from plain word of mouth. The age group starting at 11 years should be targeted to reach out to potential new players and to ensure more growth at the entry level. This could be done by TV commercials that target this customer group or by giving away a paper copy of the rules of the game for free.

Let's just go the Pokemon route and make a MTG cartoon series. If the Weatherlight story arc had been done in a cartoon series simultaneously with the release of the related card sets, can you imagine how many card would have sold and how big today's player base would be?

You wouldn't want to do the Weatherlight story arc as a cartoon series now because the current card sets don't match. So come out with a new story arc for the next 5-6 years with a set of heroes, villains, allies, enemies, locations, artifacts, etc. and work them into both the series and the cards.

Eelco1972 wrote:
• An expansion of MODO; a more stable server, then big PTQs online, perhaps even PTs later on. MODO tournaments can give out a lot of prizes while not making a lot of venue and air travel expenses.


A lot of objection to having official tournaments on MODO is that players can get outside help. I suggest bypassing that problem completely by having the online tournaments be only in team formats. If you are doing two-headed giant in real life, for example, one player can make all the decisions for both anyway. Its only one step from that to letting your non-playing team members kibbitz on the match in progress.

And you wouldn't have to have just two headed giant. You could set up the traditional 3 man team tournaments also.

By making it explicitly OK to get team help, it'll put all the players on an even footing.


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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  mercenarybdu on Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:52 am

Awesome Smile Just seeing how this coming together is just delicious Very Happy I hope to see the final result from both Frank and Levy. Hope they will add a possibility to expand the PT into the Middle East and other places that haven't had an event yet.
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About sponsorships

Post  Reindeercards on Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:40 am

The British Olympic committee has a pretty good looking site for guiding athletes through the process of finding sponsorships. If you think you might be looking to persue that avenue, this will give you an idea of how to start.


http://sponsorship.uksport.gov.uk/


The purpose of this site is to help guide you through the process of seeking and securing personal sponsorship.

We’ll describe the different types of sponsorship, advise who to approach, how to approach them and recommend what to look for from any sponsorship agreement. We’ll also warn you of the pitfalls and highlight some of the tricks of the trade.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just setting out in your sport, Get Sponsored! will guide you through the sponsorship process from start to finish, offering advice and useful tips and providing feedback from athletes who have been there and done it.

So make this your one-stop, online, resource to help you Get Sponsored!

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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  kcolloran on Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:21 am

I don't think going in to things with the idea of giving up pro tours is a good idea. From my perspective as someone who'd like to play on the tour, but isn't interested in all formats it's not a good thing. Ideally there would be limited and constructed PTQs spread out throughout the year. Otherwise if something personal comes up there goes your whole PTQ year. As an example as a limited focused player I got really sick the weekend of the last limited PTQ of the year and wasn't able to go and now there are no other PTs I'm interested in the rest of the year. With only two pro tours I think the same thing would happen. More PTs simply allows for greater diversity in PTQ scheduling it would seem.

Also as a fan I'm of course opposed to the idea. Only two PTs would basically kill the idea that the Pro Tour is meant to be enjoyed from a fans perspective. That's bad news for those of us who are fans, and I think puts the Pro Tour on unstable footing.

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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  mercenarybdu on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:46 am

If the PT would just go to South America then we could see 4 stops again since they haven't gone there yet and with the Middle East; 5.

But then again you have to take into accountability that with more PT events comes the usual problems that come with the turf.

-a Site
-an Organizer with accurate information
-a format they are going to showcase (Draft, Block, Extended, 2HG, T2, Legacy, ???)
-judges
-who's going to cover the event?

...I've learned that Wizards only picks the person who has the most ties to Judges over the one who could post up accurate up to date information (information source: Tim Gin Owner of Cards and Comics Central up in SF when explained why Matchplay was able to host the GP over someone who would have brought out a better turnout).
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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  sin_plague on Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:26 pm

mercenarybdu wrote:

...I've learned that Wizards only picks the person who has the most ties to Judges over the one who could post up accurate up to date information (information source: Tim Gin Owner of Cards and Comics Central up in SF when explained why Matchplay was able to host the GP over someone who would have brought out a better turnout).

Conan is able to run larger tournaments like that because he has a monopoly on tournaments in norcal... he is the only large-scale TO that consistently runs things all of the time... which means he has networked with many, many judges, players, and WoTC itself... it has nothing to do with accuracy of up-to-date information... things get entered into the computer just as fast as anywhere else...

as for FK's points... pretty spot on... I'm happy with the time you've taken to researching and hammering this out... thank you

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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

Post  mercenarybdu on Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:17 am

sin_plague wrote:
mercenarybdu wrote:

...I've learned that Wizards only picks the person who has the most ties to Judges over the one who could post up accurate up to date information (information source: Tim Gin Owner of Cards and Comics Central up in SF when explained why Matchplay was able to host the GP over someone who would have brought out a better turnout).

Conan is able to run larger tournaments like that because he has a monopoly on tournaments in norcal... he is the only large-scale TO that consistently runs things all of the time... which means he has networked with many, many judges, players, and WoTC itself... it has nothing to do with accuracy of up-to-date information... things get entered into the computer just as fast as anywhere else...

as for FK's points... pretty spot on... I'm happy with the time you've taken to researching and hammering this out... thank you

People up here are still very upset about his information. Sometimes he would have information on an event that wouldn't even be updated for as long as 6 months at most. Although he has all of those other things in place what really pisses people off is the information part. He always has half of it accurate (cost, what to bring, swiss rounds, duration), but his message was the same about the location which could be said in the following "we are going to hold an event in SF when it is going to be held in SJ" something that never made sense in the first place along with other little details (like artists appearances).
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Re: Frank Karsten's summary for the purpose of WotC talks at PT KL

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