MtG Players Union and Representation

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MtG Players Union and Representation

Post  occisor on Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:18 pm

I am relatively new to the debate over the PT changes, and the reasons for the formation of this union, (new baby means I've been away from mtg for a while), but it seems to me that a union like this can only act at best as a focus group for WoTC rather than an actual force for change. The biggest threat that the union can use against WoTC would be a boycott of an event, and you can't tell me that should this happen no-one who is quailified would turn up? - to an event where there is prize money and all the competition is away!!!

For one thing, only a tiny fraction of the actual MTG community is represented by the union or is even aware of it's existance. A disproportionately small number of players (mostly with a vested interest), are trying to change a decision taken by WoTC to affect a much wider community. I would be intersted to understand the proportion of sales of product from a) PT - Qualified players, b) PT - Aspiring Players c)Semi-casual players and d) Casual players. I suspect that the overall proportion of sales increase as you go through that list, with the bulk of the product purchased by people who do not visit the website, and do not even attend PTQ's.

If this union is truely intended to represent the interests of the magic community as apposed to the pro/aspiring pro community, then how can redisdributing money from events only attended by a minority of players, to events (such as gateway and FNM) attended by a much greater proportion of players be a bad thing?

One argument against these changes seems to be that many people believe that higher- level pro players attract people to play magic in much the same way that sports stars attract interest in the game - hence the printing of the pro cards. The fact is, that the vast majority of players don't even know who these people are - or even care. I suspect that 90% of those pro player cards end up being dumped. Funding higher lvl pro players seems a very cost-ineffective way of encouraging newer players to get involved in the tournament scene.

Paying Pro's an appearence fee is a new development - I can understand that to attract the big names WoTC may want to pay these fees, but how low down the ranks should this go? I'm aily sure that paying an apearence fee for a pro going along to an FNM event would generate far more positive press/intrest than an event which the bulk of players pay no attention to. Having a pro turn up and help new players build their sealed deck or discuss tech seems a far more positive use of the money.

I suspect that I will be dismissed as a forum troll, but if this union truly wants to represent the wider magic community then I feel my points are justified - after all, this is thr MtG Players Union, not the Pro Tour and Aspirants Union.

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Re: MtG Players Union and Representation

Post  rickiep00h on Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:41 pm

Have you read any of the actual content on the forums regarding what it is that we want and what we're trying to do? Or are you just parroting the "big name" Magic writers from the past few days?

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Re: MtG Players Union and Representation

Post  Reindeercards on Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:57 pm

rickiep00h wrote:Have you read any of the actual content on the forums regarding what it is that we want and what we're trying to do? Or are you just parroting the "big name" Magic writers from the past few days?

Poly want a cracker?

then how can redisdributing money from events only attended by a minority of players, to events (such as gateway and FNM) attended by a much greater proportion of players be a bad thing?

I wonder if he has any evidence that this is happening? WotC has declined to present any evidence this is happening.

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Re: MtG Players Union and Representation

Post  occisor on Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:03 pm

Have you read any of the actual content on the forums regarding what it is that we want and what we're trying to do? Or are you just parroting the "big name" Magic writers from the past few days?

I would like to think that agreeing with someone is not parotting them - and asking questions rather than stating that things are wrong seem far more productive than flaming. In fact I do not agree with everything that these "big name" Magic writers are suggestiing - I don't think PTQ's ares suddenly going to be great and I think that scrapping champs is completely counter-productive. My point is that whilst both non-pro and pro- players are detrimentally affected, the main focus of peoples outrage seem to be focused on how this is going to hurt the pockets of pro players.

As to the redistribution, of course I have no evidence that this is happening, at no point did I suggest I knew this was happening, I was actually asking a question:
"how can redisdributing money from events only attended by a minority of players, to events (such as gateway and FNM) attended by a much greater proportion of players be a bad thing?"

As someone not completely understanding the purpose of this union, I am asking question and seeking some sort of rebuffal to the "big name" magic writers opinions - I checked out the SSG forum thread from yesterdays article and thought I'd go straight to the horses mouth since there wasn't much there to answer the sort of questions I was asking.

If this union wants to represent the widers community of MtG players, flaming someone who isn't following the party line is hardly productive. My opinion isn't set in stone, convince me this is a good idea and I'll support the union all the way - shout it from the treetops to all my friends if needed.

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Re: MtG Players Union and Representation

Post  rickiep00h on Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:24 pm

My point, though, is this: all of the questions you've asked and points you've raised have been addressed in earlier posts and threads. Many of the bad press people have been giving to the PU are people that are only vaguely aware of its existence. Rich Hagon is simply the latest in a trend of writers who dismiss the Union as elitist and full of spoon-fed whiners. And his article has spawned a lot of negative commentary from people who, likewise, haven't done their homework. So I apologize for sounding like I'm flaming you, but your questions seem pointed, biased, and unnecessarily cynical.

So perhaps Raph or Eelco should make a sticky of our position, to answer the questions of the newcomers.

But as it stands right now, here are the best posts I've found so far as to what we want, where we're trying to go, and what we've accomplished so far:

Frank Karsten's summary for PT:KL

Bateleur's Non-Pro stance

The results of the PT:KL meeting (from our side)

These should get you started on the questions you're asking about. Also, somewhere in the discussion for Bateleur's topic is a link to a very good article by Zac Hill, which I also hope you read.

The point is that the PT, States, and MSS/JSS changes affect all Magic players, whether directly or indirectly. You can debate the veracity of this claim if you like, and you can complain about how this group was formed by high-level pros... but without them, would WotC listen to the rest of us? Really? I know I can't hop a plane to Kuala Lumpur...

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Re: MtG Players Union and Representation

Post  occisor on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:49 pm

Thanks for answering post - I appreciate you taking the time to answer a born cynic!!!!

I think stickying these posts would be worthwhile, I had read a couple of them but not all - I was faced by a wall of posts when i joined and probably should have taken the time to read more before posting.

Having read the threads I think I understand a little better what the Union are trying to do - better communication from WoTC is without a doubt a Good Thing™, I also think that killing the Pro Tour would ruin the game for all players. I'm not convinced however that there is no merit in the changes IF WoTC actually follow through with their stated plan of keeping investment at the same level, but sinking it into grass roots players.

In fact rather than being biased against the Union I would like to feel better represented by it - it is after all a Players union.

To put my views in contect I should probably explain a bit more about myself - I'm a 28 year old ex-PTQ-playing-Amateur living in the UK. I've never quilified for a PT, and with the changes in my family life I now mainly play Legacy. The two nearest card shops where I use to go to FNM have both shut down as players quit and no new people have come through. Anything that encourages new people to play MTG is a good thing, whether it's from noticing the Pro tour, or the new Outreach programmes WoTC are suggesting. My feeling is that prosepctive new players are more likely to get intrested in the game through things like WoTC goin in to schools than a Pro Tour for something they barely know how to play.

I think that the Union is a great idea, provided it's influenced by a broad representation of the MtG community - otherwise it should be called "MtG Pro Players Union" rather than claiming a much wider mandate. I'm not suggesting that the Union should be addressing the concerns of players who like "90 card all giants" types of formats or even things like Legacy or Vintage, rather that in order to be a really successfull force for change, getting the maximum numbers of players backing it seems wise. The best way to get this extra support is to include those players that care about the game, but are not involved in the PTQ and PT scene and try to represent thier thoughts and opinions too - and they will think that the reallocation of funds from the PT to their level of play is a good thing.

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