Mudskipper wrote:NOTE: The ideas in this post are very rough, so feel free to voice any complaints you may have
I don't think people are entitled to really "complain"
It's a public forum and you voice your thoughts and ideas of how we could potentially work. Criticism however is another thing (and always good when it is creative
or otherwise anchored in facts) and the same goes for a dialogue.
I was looking through some articles on MTG pro players to get an idea of how top-level tcg play works,
I got curious about what parts of the top-level play you were researching: Was it the money part and how to earn of a CCG as a player, or other aspects? I haven't paid much attention to this myself eithe .
Would be nice to get more research on it written up properly. Some kind of paper on top ccg culture, who the players are, why they play, from where, what background class wise etc etc.
My own understanding is that it's usually 17 to 27 year olds that partake in pro ccg competition, usually white, middle class, almost only male, and with of course a really good understanding of the meta game. That's key.
what he said was a more lucrative job: streaming Starcraft II.
Didn't read the article, but if it's true he can quit a normal job by just streaming/commenting while other people work/play then creds to him.
Usually you can't get away with that if you don't already happen to have a huge company backing you with exposure OR a name in the community OR happen to "famous" already for some other lame reason like getting puke in your face on some docu-show.
So if people can make big bucks streaming Starcraft, why aren't people making more money streaming MTG?
Because of the form of presentation
- Tempo: SC is fast and furious.
- Visuals: SC is constantly moving and has nice animations etc.
- Audio: SC has relevant sound effects that enchant what happens, which seldom makes sense in any CCG I have ever seen due to the otherwise static nature of the visuals and the synergy visual-audio.
- Excitement: Due to mainly tempo paragraph it is hard to comment a game of chess, or MtG, Poker or Monopoly for that matter, in a way that stimulates excitement. Compare that with most other sports, including e-sports like RTS:s and FPS:s.
The truth is, while video games have developed new and innovative ways to stream and vidcast live matches, online card games and events have stagnated in terms of keeping up with current competitive gaming trends.
I don't follow: You don't need anything to screencast anything. You can record any game you want and just edit it and then slap it on youtube or equivalent. Obviously this isn't as cool as the real time thing, but what does the real time thing ADD to the viewer (other than the eco issue you present later)?
We could make an experiment. I could play a game of something, and ask you to watch. 50% of the times I would stream live. 50% of the time you'd see a pre-recorded game. In all cases you would never know what you were looking at, if it was pre-rec or live. How would it matter for your perception? It would be identical games played. (Given spectators don't chat or interact with players, which would be a disaster if they did in any competitive game anyhow)
but you'd figure there would be SOME WAY people could make a little dough streaming TCG gameplay.
I'm not sure why anyone would pay for watching others play computer games. Unless of course they happen to be players themselves and want to improve their technique etc. Paradoxically this can be done in SC partly by just giving people the summary at the end of the game, 3 screenshots of it, where your build order shows, and with 2 lines of text describing what each player did. Showing actual microing isn't necessary. It's suffcient to know "he microd casters half the game" to understand what the deal was. Same can be said about a ccg by looking at deck build lists. Usually I can tell you who will win a game before it even starts by just looking at the decks. (And that's a good thing, else it would be zero-skill)
Wouldn't be easier to get people to pay for premium crap that isn't really functional in a relevant way (for example: bigger avatar in forum, nickname in colour x, created games are listed first in lists, etc etc)? It seems it's easier to get an active persons money than a passive viewers, even if the two are probably the same in most gaming communities.
Basically, a "dynamic payout" is essentially a cash donation given to a player by people currently spectating his game.
What would happen more often than not is that people join games that they dont really intend to watch or are interested in, donate whatever, and split. "Spectator" mode becomes more like "entering the shop" kind of thing. I don't see it working, even if I think it would indeed be nice if people could donate to other players should they want to (but what's keeping them from doing that? Hey, my paypal is firstname.lastname@example.org
- gimme all your cash!
Now suppose you have upwards of 1,500 people spectating this thing, and many of them make a 1-10 buck donation. That could potentially be a HUGE draw for people in the MTG/WoW TCG scene who feel the game isn't lucrative enough. But you might be asking yourself, "why would people donate?"
To have 1 500 spectators you would have to have at least
15 000 players in the community, more or less active. Sufficient to say, this won't happen the coming 3-5 years for us. But hey, who knows, I actually hope I'm wrong about our growth once we have a release.
What I think is your goal here is to make WT a lucrative game to play in the sense that you can earn
money by playing it. I don't think that can be done in a way that makes it more lucrative than, say, Poker, for obvious reasons.. one being that poker was designed for that purpose. Nor would we be able to compete with MtG on that front. The payouts
are huge, and they have Hasbro backing them, and you can't beat those guys in those regards.
Question is what the point would be to do so in the first place? What is the objective? I assume, maybe wrongly, that you want WT to be economically interesting for players since you believe that it will get us more players(?). So if you can win a million dollars by being the WT champ, then we will get more players.
I agree with that notion, but if you compare the trouble and efforts we would have to go through with how many new players that will come to us that wouldn't have come otherwise if the money-winning wasn't around, then I think it won't be worth it. At least not if you consider what this implies: Would we really want to build people's interest in the game on the basis of them earning cash of it? I'd say no.
People that come to a community, no matter if it's sports or e-sports or boardgames, for the sole purpose of earning cash, will more often than not really contribute to the community in ways that people that are a part of it for the fun and loving of it probably do. I don't think "i'm here to grab cash"-attitude empowers a community. Maybe that's also why I haven't heard of the great solidarity or "tightness" of the poker community?
Communities and player bases should in my opinion be built on the quality of the game.
That is the center of a game. Cash prizes etc are merely artificial stimulators
that the community could in some cases benefit from, but that in the long run doesn't really matter much - once the cash crop is emptied they are gone.
If we want more chess players in the world we could stimulate growth of interest in chess with huge cash prizes, as if they aren't enough already. But would those that seek out chess really be in it for the game? For the fun of it? For the liking of it? Or did it become just another dayjob, much like some pokerplayers try to earn a living by playing poker online 24/7? What groups do we want to attract and why?
I think those are all relevant community building questions and that it paves way for an interesting discussion. Again, research and better understanding of community building would be required, as I'm not stating it is like I suggest. I just point out what I fear and see as probable.
Besides - WT people that want to earn cash can do so of each other. Say we arrange a championship and it costs 10 bucks to partake. Say we keep 10% for arranging it all, and that the what we keep goes into creating new cards for the world (no profit), and that the rest is divided by the top x players depending on rank.
So... say 100 players sign up. That's realistic and modest and easily achieved.
100 players x 10 dollars = 1000 dollars - 100 to us (yay, one new card!) = 900 dollars total prize pot
Rank / cash prize
1. 500 dollars
2. 300 dollars
3. 100 dollars
... all just an example. You can arrange any torunament you want with any entry fee you want, like for example one for adults only that can probably afford higher fees in ranges of 100 dollars per person.
Sure, it's not the 40k the top mtg player gets, but keep in mind how and why he can get those money: A certain company has tricked thousands of other people into buying useless cards from booster packs etc, kept most of the profit, and now hand out some of the crumbs back to the community as a "thank you for making us richer". It's kind of ironic.
Well, to get Treasure Cards!
We will allow faked rarity in whatever system WT will run, but, and this is a huge but: No real rarity will exist in WT. All cards will always be free and easily obtainable from the site. That however, doesn't mean they have to be the same within system x.
Example: I code an app that runs on crap-phone (no brands mentioned, they just have labour that rather commit mass suicide of the factory roof than work in their sweatshops..). It's a single player WT app that allows you duel the phone. You can if you are stupid enough pay me to unlock new better cards that will improve your decks, since you, in the app, won't start with all cards in the first place.
Above just shows one way of somehow implementing fake restrictions within a framework/system, while it in reality affects nothing of our open nature as a project: WT will still be free for all to play on whatever system somebody ported it to and made it runable for free. Today that would be gCCG, lackeyCCG and maybe OTCGN3. All would allow you to play for free, always, with any cards you want, and zero rarity. Then again, gCCG allows faked rarity in addition, and also a market for cards etc, should you want to "collect". And other systems can easily be devised - it's a just a matter of programming. And "somebody" doing it.
All is in accordance with the GPL. Officially though, no cards that cost will ever outpower, outmatch or somehow offer anything at all that is not already offered by it's free version. Meaning, treasurecards or such wouldn't be official WT cards, even if they could exist within the realms of a system (say the craphone app's). If we ever release "rare" offfical cards, and I think we should, then the only thing that would ever be different on them is their visuals. Never stats, never name, never wording. They'd just have alt visuals.
The biggest potential problem with WT is the fact that, while you're eliminating the biggest balance issue in TCGS (high prices and card rarity), you're also getting rid of a huge draw for them (collecting, rarity)
"Forge" allows you to play MtG against an AI and it fakes rarity. You begin with scarcity and have few cards, and you only get new ones at random when you beat an opponent. That can easily be made in WT. It can already be done in gCCG as well, and in any system you implement it in.
Us giving out all cards doesn't hinder the collector from collecting. Trust me on that.