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Author Topic: The State of Vintage: Has Vintage Bled Out the Casual Players?  (Read 11925 times)
Smmenen
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« on: July 05, 2005, 12:06:49 pm »

In late 2003 and in 2004 there was a HUGE debate on the mana drain and elsewhere about the direction of Vintage.  I don't know how many of you remember those huge community threads (before the 2nd mana drain.com imploded), but there were strong opinions on both sides.

I even wrote an article characterizing the debate as the Old School v. The New School which I hope you take a look at once more to understand the fight:
http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/5978.html

This weekend at Origins was an eye-opener for many reasons.  First of all, the origins tournaments were always known for being casual tournaments.  The saturday event was almost always 50 people - the bulk of which seemed to only play Vintage at Origins: Chad Caldour, Chuck Depenti, etc - the same faces with the same decks slightly modified, if at all.

This year was completely different.  The casuality was gone from the tournaments, but they were smaller.

Is the casualness gone from Vintage?  Have we bled it out almost entirely?  The fear was always that cutting out the casual would lead to a format implosion since the player base wasn't big enough.  Has that proven true? 

I'm worried about what Gencon Vintage Championship will look like this year.  The first year we had 180 players (I was in europe at the time).  25 Sligh decks and 25 Keepers.   Last year we had 154 players.  I didn't see any sligh but there were plenty of 4cc (it was good last year!).  I'm afraid what it will look like this year.  Is it going to be 100 players?  Is it better to have 100 competitive players than 200 players with 100 casual players?  How would this look like to Wizards?  Would they see it as a steep drop in support for the format, or recognize it for what it is? 

Thoughts? 
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2005, 12:35:07 pm »

In my local environment, I definitely see an increase in the competitiveness of decks. Gone are the days where you would play multiple rounds of casual players with crappy decks.

But I don't think that the casual atmosphere is gone. While the quality of the decks has increased, these players still have a very casual attitude towards the game. They still play mostly to have fun, and winning is not necessarily their prime goal.

In my view, this is an excellent development: increase the competitiveness but maintain the positive and friendly atmosphere that is so typical of Vintage.

 

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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2005, 12:36:38 pm »

Is it better to have 100 competitive players than 200 players with 100 casual players?

In terms of quality, the winner of a 100-competitive-player tournament will be more recognized by our community than the winner of a 200 with a lot of casual players in it, as with more people you don´t go 7-0-1: you can make top8 going 4-0-1 and have 3 byes from sligh, while another player may have bad luck and only play good players.

Anyway, the fact that Gencon doen´t allow proxies makes that, as Vintage is more optimized this year, budget players have NO chance at all to make top8, even with luck, and that´s a good reason for some people not to play.

Maybe it´s the difference between a GP and Worlds.
Like a GP were only the best players have 3 byes (those 3 byes come in the first rounds by playing against sub-par decks - if not for the luck factor that could make you play against a team mate-), compared to Worlds, were only the Best play, all with no byes.

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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2005, 12:54:30 pm »

It is simply perception of the casual players that they can't compete with the tier 1 and 2 decks.  if you play rogue you will lose.  If you play fun you lose.  If your deck isn't one of the many named TMD decks you're not a serious threat.  The Slaver deck will simply out draw and out counter your fun deck.  The good blue cards (ie FoW, Drains, card drawing cards...) that will tear apart the casual non-blue deck.

The skill level that a serious type 1 player has over the casual player is another problem.  The casual player is playing a deck that was cool from 3 or more years ago or is a combination of new and old cards.  Uses more fun cards and ends up being more creative in card choices rather than using cost effective cards that bring the highest yield of advantage.

I think we may have killed the casual player...

Wayne
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2005, 01:05:37 pm »

I think it simply comes down to optimization.  A few years ago, a non-optimmized deck could still win games it shouldn't have. A sligh deck was still a threat to ANY deck.  These days, an optimized deck will consistenty crush a non-optimzed one and budget decks are not nearly as competitive as they were. 

The good news is that we have probably reduced luck and "oops, i win factor" and made playskill more relevent, however this has come at the cost of the player who dusts off his trusty control deck every year to "play t1."

The format is healthier, the decks are better, and the casual player never really contributes to the health and advancement of the format anyway.  That said, nowadays there is no last haven for the old school players to play......
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2005, 01:48:47 pm »

Here are my thoughts after Origins.

I played against a wide variety of decks.  And by wide variety, I mean wide.  You'll see it in my report, but I played against White Weenie, Kobolds, U/W Control, Meandeck Gifts, Stax, and a slew of others.  Now, you'll dismiss a lot of these decks as terrible, but nearly everything I played against was powered, and had a lot of cards that were good against me (I played Long in most of the tournaments, and Long doesn't lose to decks, it loses to cards, but this is an entirely different discussion).  The fields have been larger in the past, but you used to be able to take for granted that you could count on playing a lot of decks that didn't quite have all the power cards they needed.  That didn't happen this year.  In general, a much larger portion of the field was powered.  This makes a significant difference.  When you go to a PTQ, you don't ever assume that the guy sitting across from you is missing some the optimal cards for his deck, as you often could when you played the first few rounds of sanctioned Vintage. 

WW with Black Lotus and Moxes in it can make your life miserable--not impossible to win, but much more difficult.  What do you do when it drops turn 1 Plains, Lotus, Chalice for 0, Savannah Lions, Sword of Fire and Ice, and you don't have Force of Will?  You have three turns to win.  Mana Drain isn't very good in that situation because your opponent isn't going to be playing any spells for the rest of the game.  All these random decks can throw your off your established game, forcing you to think way outside your normal lines, since you haven't tested any of this before.  But I'm digressing.  The long and the short of it is that players without the power aren't generally showing up anymore to play in events.  With all the proxy tournaments around, people who love Vintage but don't own all the cards are better served by playing in the other events at Origins--like the Amateur, which guaranteed them a prize of foil Lightning Bolt.  They can get their fix or Vintage at the SCG Events and such, where they can be a lot more competitive and have even more fun.

Ultimately, I can see Wizards recognizing that the proxy tournaments have let more people experience Vintage in a way that is more meaningful for them.  It is said that every Magic player wants to play Type 1, but most don't get the chance to do so because they don't have the cards for it.  Even veteran players with duals and Forces don't stand a chance walking into a tournament with an unpowered deck.  But those players can play at SCG, get their taste of Vintage, maybe win something, and go back to their other constructed formats happy.  It used to be that Origins and Gencon were the only places you could even play some Type 1 unless you happened to have a community that could support it (i.e., Columbus or the NE).  That's not the case anymore, and people  aren't seeing the need to play for fun in a tournament they can't possibly hope to do well in while they can spend the same entry fee, get a foil Lightning Bolt, and win more of their matches than they lose.
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2005, 02:46:39 pm »

I reallly dont think things have changed that much accept perhaps the opinion of what you call casual. I went to GenCon last year and of the 150ish people in the event I would say that well over 120 of the players were powered. Why? Because if a person has the money to travel to gencon they also probably have the money to own the cards, and I found that to be the case. In the 8 rounds of swiss I played 8 powered decks in a no proxy tourney.

About Casual. I dont think casual has died but the perception has changed. A type 1 player who could be considered serious 3 years ago could appear to be a casual player today. That is because the standards linked with type 1 are so much higher. Years ago you could run keeper and perhaps switch 2-3 cards in a deck every block and your deck was up to date, and you could be looked at as a rather serious player. However, with type 1 coming to see more play compared to the 30 people waterburys of 4 years ago to the 200+ that is now the format has come a long way. I am not sure if the format has carried the players or vise versa. Either way the perception of what is good (and what isnt) has changed ennough to significantly warp the view of what is good and what isnt (and this goes way beyound metagaming).

In essence I think that the # of casual players before were not as high as people thought, because today looking back a serious player could be considered a casual player in todays metagame.

Vintage isnt as responcable for the loss of casual players (if it really has occured) as much as other formats. Alot of casual players remain but preffer newer casual formats like 5c magic that didnt exist till rather recently.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2005, 02:59:37 pm »

I think that in the case of events like origins and gencon worlds (no proxies) that here in the US tourneys like the SCGs and waterbury are the culprit...

While proxies are with out a doubt the best thing to happen to the format IMO, they are also probably part of the reason nobody is playing these non-proxy events.  I know a number of players who have very little mony to play T1, they can proxy their power though so they can play in the big proxy events...however, they have spent all of their magic allowance on building around something like stax or gifts...these decks as you guys know are terrible if they have no power/drains/shops etc in them...therefore a lot of players cannot play, they cannot afford to switch for one tourney to something like fish or non powered oath or anything like that...its hard sometimes, something probably some of us dont realize. (I started to get it when people in my area were asking to borrow daze and phyrexian furnaces since they couldnt get any and were out of proxy room)
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2005, 03:33:37 pm »

I don't think that there's a middelway for tournament play, anymore atleast. Either one is "new school" and has a chance or one is "old shool" and does'nt stand a chance at all.
But there is more to it than that.
Since the "new school decks" have "out dominated" the "old school decks", the new school has made less broken decks less viable for tournament play. The decks that used to be viable and aren't anymore are decks like Sligh, RG beats, White Weenie, UR landstill and UR fish.
The above listed decks have some things in common:
 - they don't suffer much from playing without P9.
 - they all had okay chances in tournament play       
 - they are all  byes for any TMD-deck - except for fish
 
My point is that the innovation has made it harder (impossible) for non powered decks to make a top 8 showing. Making it harder to play decks like sligh and white weenie makes it harder to play on a budget. This especially has an impact in areas where with a no-proxy policy. Because the difference between a optimized (powered) Gifts list and an non-optimized (not powered, nor good) WW list is a lot bigger than the difference between a not optimized full powered old days keeper list and a not optimized WW list
The innovation has made it nearly impossible to compete unpowered in a non-proxy environment. This may be holding back some casual-players.       
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2005, 03:57:40 pm »

Is the casualness gone from Vintage?  Have we bled it out almost entirely?  The fear was always that cutting out the casual would lead to a format implosion since the player base wasn't big enough.  Has that proven true? 

I'm worried about what Gencon Vintage Championship will look like this year.  The first year we had 180 players (I was in europe at the time).  25 Sligh decks and 25 Keepers.   Last year we had 154 players.  I didn't see any sligh but there were plenty of 4cc (it was good last year!).  I'm afraid what it will look like this year.  Is it going to be 100 players?  Is it better to have 100 competitive players than 200 players with 100 casual players?  How would this look like to Wizards?  Would they see it as a steep drop in support for the format, or recognize it for what it is?

I think the casualness has been bled out of tournament Vintage, but not nearly from Vintage altogether. I still know just as many people that play Vintage once a month in their basement get togethers as I did 3 years ago. Possibly even more. We are just seeing the non-casual people get more serious about it, and with the rate at which information travels in the age of the Internet, the format will continue to develop and grow. I have a feeling the turnout for the 2 upcoming Legacy (T1.5) Grand Prixs that were recently announced will surpass expectations, and the more that Legacy develops, and the more Wizards' pays attention to it, the more carry-over to Vintage there will be (based on the ownership of Dual lands, Force of Wills, etc.).

In regards to the Vintage Championship at GenCon Indy this year, I believe there will be a tournout larger than 154 players, and I'm guessing the turnout for the smaller tournaments (especially the Vintage Championship 'Trial,' where 2 byes will be awarded), will be larger as well. There will be a wide variety of decks there, but there will also be relatively large numbers of the same decks (Workshop aggro, Oath, Fish variants of all kinds, Stax variants, many Gifts variants, TPS, Psychatog, etc.). I have seen an increase in 'mobilization' to large T1 tournaments this year (especially by the Canadian contingent), and I have no doubt that will continue, especially as larger and better tournaments are run.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2005, 04:05:41 pm »

Let me start by saying i am fortunate enough to have almost every card ever printed, so i am not in the position to argue with people who do not own the cards they want to play with.

I think proxy tournaments are both good for the format and bad. They are good so more people can play the format and in the end make it better. They are bad as they tend make more people play a netdeck and so have less innovation.

To get back to Steve's original point, i think these changes in the environment have killed most casual decks and players. There are a few reasons for that i think.
First of all when somebody plays some kind of rogue deck, instead of complimenting that person about his deck, while working or not, people start laughing, dismissing and ridiculing the decks and the people playing it. (and this take place everywhere, even on this site) And while the deck may not be viable to win it could hold valuable innovations for future decks. I would think only once if people started making fun of me, i would not return there.
Another reason the casual player is dying is the level of play nowadays. Others have said it allready, and i think that a higher level of play prevents casual players from comming to events as their impression will be that the atmosphere will be the same as in protour environments. To them if this is true or not does not matter as the slightest hint at that kind of compatativement will result in them saying their assessment was right.

I think Steve was right that if you want a casual environment you create your own, with your own rules.
On the other hand i think people should be way more open to innovations. With the biggest cardpoole i think vintage players tend to be the most conservative of all people playing magic. The general assumption is that a deck is not good until proven good with some backing results. To this i can say 1 thing. Chances are that in a tournament with 20 players, when 10 players are playing the same deck, a couple of them making top 8 is almost guaranteed.

So when more people are netdecking, chances that a rogue deck will have a good result is not very big. So chances that the community will see such a deck and acknowledge it to be even near good are slim. However i dare say that a good player will make good results with whatever deck he plays if he knows the decks strong and weakpoints. I am not saying winning, i am saying good results. As every deck and every player can lose to brokenness.

If we have lost the casual players forever i am unsure as i try to keep my friends somewhat involved anyways. I suspect other people doing the same and in the end the game is just to much fun to stop playing altogether. I think also the casual players will start adapting a bit more, or just don't care about results. I say this with in mind that we as a community will have to keep a niche to stay open minded and courteous towards people thinking out of the box and playing out of the box. Vintage is about winning, but it is also about friendships and courteous behaviour.

If we stop being condescending the casual players will return. I am sure of it as the game of magic is fun in its core, and vintage players are good people in their core, lets just watch out for those condescending pricks poisining the format
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2005, 04:07:49 pm »

I think one thing that we may be missing out on here is the new formats for casaul players.  It is my belief that Type 4 and 5-color magic has attracted more of the casaul croud.  Even though I dont play it, it would seem that a lot of the old cards you cant play in vintage are somewhat viable in 5color.  On the subject of budget decks, didnt WTF and goblins take home lotus at major events this year?  I think that they are good decks, though they do have some bad matchups but then what deck has a great matchup against everything?
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2005, 05:27:01 pm »

Another reason the casual player is dying is the level of play nowadays. Others have said it allready, and i think that a higher level of play prevents casual players from comming to events as their impression will be that the atmosphere will be the same as in protour environments.

I think this is the biggest reason.  T1 tournaments were almost always still a little bit casual.  If you played in a side T1 tourney at a PT, you looked at it as a vacation from the rules lawyering, etc etc.  You just sat down to play some magic, and maybe win a few games. 

For old schoolers, this was the only way they could re-experience Magic from "the good ole days."  I think today's T1 tournaments intiimidate a lot of players who might have played a few years ago, but due to having "dated tech," are scared to play (or throw their money away) these days. 
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2005, 06:17:13 pm »

Zvi had mentioned that the SCG events should go up to REL 4 or 5....rather than 3...this would be bad for the "casual" players in the extreem...it seems we are torn between two types of players.
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2005, 07:33:27 pm »

Zvi had mentioned that the SCG events should go up to REL 4 or 5....rather than 3...this would be bad for the "casual" players in the extreem...it seems we are torn between two types of players.

The real question is are there really 2 different types of players??? I think the term of "Casual Player" has been taken significantly out of contest here. A casual player can either mean a player who plays casually in other words isnt that dedicated or that serious, or they dont play decks that are that dedicated or serious either. If the point of this thread is to say that out-dated decks or undedicated players cant win a tournement like they used to (If you seriously believed they ever could) then I geuss the point has been proven???

If your questioning if the casual player exists in type 1 I would likely say less, and not because of reasons such as proxies, but instead because of the price of tournement entry fees (from on average $10 a year or 2 ago to an average of $20-30), and the longer distances required to travel to get to major tournements. Casual players were always fine spending $10 to travel about half an hour to go have a good time at a local tournement. However, I dont think they would spend $25 and travel 2 hours to a major city to play "casually" against players who every year would appear to act more serious, uptight, and generally unplesant to be around in the eyes of a "casual" player who is just looking to have a good time.

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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2005, 07:48:02 pm »

I think im speaking of the fact that ive noticed a lot of players who tend to think of themselves probably as tourney level players, who play like casual players...They may have a gifts deck with power, but they play like its a casual for nothing game...

personally I like this type of attitude and its part of the reason I play T1 magic (although I am a competitive T1 tourney player at heart)...however doing as Zvi suggests and switching up to something like REL 5 would completely ruin a lot of the casual play and attitude of these players at tourneys...I have no doubt that a lot of players would find this a good thing, improoved quality of play...I also have no doubt that more players would find it terrible since it would not allow for the kind of loose play you find now.  How many times do you have players tap, then untap mana sources...half play cards then say oops, wait...I generally dont have problems with this (unless its the finals for a mox or something) but a lot of T1 players that ive personally noticed arent ready for a no room for error environment.

I think I meant that it was casual play style and quality...not casual 5-color at home in the basement play...
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2005, 08:06:43 pm »

I think one contributing cause, though small, is that with the most powerful cards, even casual strategies can be overpowered. Look at Rich Shay's casual Atog deck - it still gets turn three and four kills. There just is no fair way to use Moxen.
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2005, 12:21:32 am »

I actually think that this is a larger pattern you can look at in Magic (and probably other games, but my interests aren't that diverse).

In completely separate venues and with no reason to think they're connected, I've heard people gripe that 5C, Type 4, and Vintage are each losing their fun aspect. My theory is that for an individual player, a format is like a puzzle or a mystery---once it's been solved, it's much less fun. As people come up with the "solved" versions of a format, many of them lose interest. 5C, T4, and T1 share a problem of not rotating cards out, which means that once they're "solved", their mutation rate is drastically lower than other formats.

You'd have to be blind not to notice that most speculation about new ideas comes in the wake of transitions like new sets, new restrictions, and rotations. Remember how part of the genius of Magic is that it expands its variety on a routine basis? That's what keeps people interested. MaRo doesn't mention Timmy, Johnny, and Spike every other paragraph for his own edification, he does it because they're the central theory of how to keep players interested in the game. Every format undergoes an inexorable march into Spikedom, I think. When something gets banned/restricted, Johnny gets another shot, and rotations are basically a mass-banning. But the Spikes always win, and that's fine. Johnny and Timmy just have to constantly look for puzzles Spike hasn't made into soulless repetition yet.

(PS: Append this to any and all comments I make about the benefits of banning cards in Vintage.)
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2005, 08:05:02 am »

I think the casualness has been bled out of tournament Vintage, but not nearly from Vintage altogether.

Yea, what JACO said.

Basically, I believe it is a non-issue.   Proxies have forced people to optimize their decks and their choices.  This has reduced the number of playable decks that you would normally see in sanctioned play, so I guess the more proxy tournaments there are, the less mediocre (read: casual) decks there will be.  Casual and tournament are terms that are contradictory in nature.   I can only hope the casual players have been bled out of the tournament scene.

Why bring your 'fun' deck to a tournament?  I thought winning was the fun part.

The fact that Vintage isn't showing any signs of slowing down tells me to damn the casual decks and not worry about attendance at  sanctioned events.
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2005, 10:49:16 am »

My guess is that Gencon Indy gets ~140 players for the World Champs. 

If you assume that Wizards is never going to give more Type 1 support than they do now, the format will slowly die as players just switch to Legacy.

If you assume that Wizards can and will be persuaded to offer more Type 1 support, there is hope.

Personally, I'm banking on the first (literally - I sold all my power based on this thinking).
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2005, 10:57:51 am »

David you sold your power?  That's crazy.

BTW, I started this thread not to suggest that the absence of the casual players is a bad thing.

I think it was a hard but necessary cleansing that can now make way for true but more difficult growth in the format.

I think you will find that Vintage will long outlast Legacy.  I promise it Wink
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2005, 11:26:41 am »

Why bring your 'fun' deck to a tournament?  I thought winning was the fun part

This is exactly what I was thinking about this subject.

Vintage hasn't bled out Casual players; the casual players are simply playing better decks at tournaments. Due to the rise of 'better' and 'more fun' budget decks (like WTF and Oath), those people buy those cards, play those decks in tournaments and hope to win something, and then get home, trow some insanely stupid creatures in their oath decks, and play casual with it. I've seen this alot.

Another thing that smokes out Casual players are Proxy tournaments, because fact is that you simply cannot win a tournament without power, and in a proxy tournament, you'll have access to power. So if you build a good deck, you have a shot at winning the damn thing. so why play some retarted fun deck if you'll also can grab a good deck and have a chance at winning? This is what I think alot of casual players think.

Personally, I don't play casual. I don't get to see my friends very often, and if we do meet, we want to test serious decks. It isn't that I don't want to play it, it's simply that I haven't got time for it.

Greetz,

Hugo
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2005, 12:41:28 pm »

David you sold your power?  That's crazy.

BTW, I started this thread not to suggest that the absence of the casual players is a bad thing.

Yup - the power is gone.  Well, actually I sold my power but have since won 2 moxen back.  Also, it's not all that bad, since I sold it to a fellow team member and still get to borrow it when needed.    Very Happy

I actually think that the driving out of the casual players will prove to be a "bad thing".  The Wizards support just isn't there for a highly competitive format to sustain itself.  Yes, non-Wizards Power 9 events have proven successful, but in my mind they are still an experiment and we have yet to see whether it will remain in folk's interest to hold these events on an ongoing basis.

Unlike other formats where the Pro-level stuff gets funded by a large casual player base purchasing new cards, it seems to me that Vintage events are funded in large part by entrance fees (and to a smaller extent by card sales and satellite events).  So using your example, I think going from a 200-player tourney with a good mix of casual/competitive to a 100-player competitive tourney is a move in the direction of choking the format.
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« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2005, 12:42:42 pm »

If not having power is a reason to not play vintage, they created legacy for that. If casual players play casual so they dont need power and the scene is more casual, that is only untill it becomes a really serious tournament scene. Then the same discussion can be started about legacy.

The point of playing vintage is to play broken cards, collect them to play them. What is the fun of having cards and not being able to use them. For that reason alone vintage will never be dead.

I consider myself a casual player simply because i do not have the time to play more often. Even so, casual players can win tournaments, i am living proof of that. And sure owning power helps, but it is not all that wins, it just helps, you still have to play it out right. And casual players can make the right calls and play good, you do not have to be a tournament player for that, you just have to understand your deck really well.
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2005, 01:33:21 pm »

There are way too many individual quotes for me to respond, so I'll just be blunt:

If you think cleansing t1 of casual players is a good idea then you're retarded.
(Read my entire post before responding)

Casual players are the lifeblood of T1, they always have been.  Flashback a little over two years ago, T1 was nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It was a handful of serious players who played in whatever tournaments would pop-up.  Then the implosion happened.  Hundreds of players cropped up to play t1 one, the majority of which who were casual.  Suddenly T1 is its own format.  Writers are being hired quicker than a small child running out of Michael Jackson's bedroom.  Not coincidentally, the value of power suddenly doubles.  Then it triples.  In some cases it quadruples.

Dozens upon dozens of individuals are now able to make a living off just dealing in type 1 cards.  They make a very decent living.  Tournament circuits prop up and the mana drain sees an influx of hundreds of new faces.  New decks, serious and budget alike, pop up all over the place and several discussions spark up over each deck.  T1 is well on its way to becoming a defined format with a giant player base.

Flash forward to now.  Origins attendance is down.  Waterbury attendance is down.  Gencon's attendance will most likely be down (I hope I'm wrong there).  Why?  Because people are trying to turn T1 into a 'serious format' in the hopes that it will gain respect like the other 'real' formats do.  Many competitive type 1 players hate being saddled with the label of 'big fish in a small pond'.  They want to be recognized as a real pro in a pro format. 

Not gonna happen.

If you try and turn type 1 into a pro atmosphere, t1 will wither back to where it was a little over two years ago.  Type 1 needs casual players in order to survive.  It is not a wizards supported format.  Casual players are why you can buy a car after selling your T1 collection.  Casual players don't want to deal in a 'pro format.'  Take the last SCG for example.  SCG thought it was clever by drumming up interest by advertising dozens of real life pros versus t1 stars.
It was the lowest attended SCG to date.  Why is that?

I think I'm qualified to answer that.  I've played in hundreds of ptq's and went to 4 GP's in the last 6 months.  'Pro-level' magic is an absolute nightmare.  You have to bring your A-level game and more importantly, you need to watch the overwhelming majority of your opponents like a hawk.  The fun element is thrown completely out the window.
Casual players come to type 1 to avoid that.  They know they're probably not going to win, but they also know they won't have to deal with their opponent trying to mise a win off the match slip after they lost thet match.  They won't have to worry as much about someone drawing extra cards.  They won't have to worry as much about someone taking 20 minutres to play a turn. 

That's not the case anymore.  Type 1 is losing casual players because the competitive ones employ tactics such as the above that the format hadn't seen a few years ago.  I don't want to have to deal with the assholes that I deal with regularly in other formats.  I play type 1 to relax and to have fun.  With that said, I also win money in this format.

To whoever said you can't play a casual deck and still be competitive, you're dead wrong.  I regularly play buidget green decks for the hell of it.  I've won over $1,000 in this format.  True, I could play better decks and probably win more, but that's not why I play type 1.  My goal for playing type 1 is different from others.  I understand alot of players on here want to exclusively win power and as much of it as possible.  That's all well and good.  But your lavish prizes and 15 minute fame go out the f'n window if you 'cleanse' the format of casual players. 

Seriously, this format needs casual players more than any other in the entire game.  Type 1 can still be considered legitimate and competitive with casual players.  With or without casual players, it will never be on the level of a Pro Tour.  Quite frankly, I don't think that's something you want to be striving for anyway.  If T1 turned into an all-pro format, there would be no more type 1. 

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« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2005, 02:39:47 pm »

I've bounced between casual and tournament player for almost 4 years now.  That changes based on having people around me who play a specific format, since I've moved alot.  Around here (Madison), it's mostly 5C and limited, with very little constructed play going on except for the random PTQ.  As a result, playing any T1 is basically limited to random apprentice games unless I want to travel.

I could drive a few hours to play in T1 events, but honestly I don't see the point right now.  For example, I went to the last SCG in Chicago having read as much current stuff as I could about the format, but having done very little actual testing.  I went like 2-2-drop because there was little point in sticking it out anymore.  I could play for fun or do a side event, but why spend more money?  Basically, I dropped $25 on an event because I didn't have the time to really test for it.  I still played because I wanted to.  However, I highly doubt I'll be going back for the next one.

Even if the casual (or less competitive) T1 player loves the idea of being able to proxy power, you're not going to hold their interest long at these high stakes big tournaments.  Why?  Because all they're going to do is scrub out because they don't have the latest tech or the benefit of a team to scout or whatever.  They can NetDeck, but are they really going to understand all of what they're playing.  I went up against a guy playing Dragon at one event and I had to explain after the game that he could have won (this was round 1).  He'd borrowed most of the deck and had barely played it.  Attendance will drop because the risk is not worth the lack of reward they'll probably walk away with.

I should note, I've been playing for 10+ years and have had full power at many points in time.  I still have all my power (except for my twister) and probably will hold onto them for the time being.  I played at GenCon last year and have traveled to a few bigger tournaments in the region.  But the tournament scene has really changed too much for it to remain worth it for me right now.  I used to play in Saturday afternoon T1 tournaments down in Decatur, IL.  For like $5 you got to play 5 rounds and maybe win some packs.  You just don't see those T1 tournaments very often anymore.  Lately, all I ever hear about is the next $20+ 10-proxy your chance at mox extravaganza.  They may offer decent prizes for the T8, if attendance is high or enough people show to even have a T8, but sometimes that's not even going to happen because some people are just scared away by the fear of over-competitve players who will take it all anyway.

Playing is a big gamble for some people in this format who have already shelled out big bucks for their decks for just some of the basic cards they need.  If I blow $5 on some constructed event and walk out with nothing, I don't care much.  It's just a random FNM or whatever.  But if I spend $20 on something and just get my ass handed to me, I'm going to think twice about doing it for fun a second time around.  Vintage needs the small events to even have a chance at getting people interested in being competitive in the first place.  Some areas have those, but I'd wager that most just do T2 or draft when they don't have a mox to give away.

I don't need to win power to have fun.  I'd be just as happy playing for a dual land and having cash left over to buy dinner after the tournament.  I doubt I play in any Vintage events until that time comes around again.
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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2005, 04:57:57 pm »

Quote from: Dxfiler
SCG thought it was clever by drumming up interest by advertising dozens of real life pros versus t1 stars.
It was the lowest attended SCG to date.  Why is that?

Im pretty sure thats 100% incorrect...in fact hasnt it been the biggest of the SCG events (or at least near the top, it was something like 173 players right?)

one of the SCG events had like 60 players due to a snow storm if I remember correctly.

In fact I disagree with a lot of what you said...by all accounts T1 has become more popular at a steady rate over the last two years, a lot of which seems to be due to the amount of competitive T1 that has been showing up.  While I love the casual atmosphere that T1 entails, I think that this more competitve side to T1 will be better for the format overall for the next few years...Casual players did help, and continue to help define our format, but only by embracing competitiveness can our format grow IMO.  Personally I would hate for things to go back to the way they were, T1 is more accesable now than ever before (well recently anyways) I am a player willing to drive several hours to play in a large tourney (although a flight to the east coast is too much) and ill play all the rounds (usually) even if im in the X-2 bracket just cause I like playing magic.

Ill play in competitive tourneys regardless of if im doing well at them because I like to play magic, and I love to play T1 magic. If a large tourney is where I can get legitimate games, then thats where I will go.
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« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2005, 05:01:28 pm »

A casual player is still a PLAYER... and type 1 needs all the support it gets whether your playing a first turn tinker to a first turn scryb sprite.
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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2005, 05:16:41 pm »

I am really going to have to agree with dxFiler on this one guys. Vintage will never be an extremely succesful competitive environment until it is backed as a pro tour/grand prix format.

The reason type 1 seems to be loosing players is because you simply can not make a competitive format without a pt/gp prize structure (which will attracts crowds and crowds). Many of the vintage players play vintage for its casual and relaxed atmosphere. It is my opninion that these people don't mind the very competitive decks--like gifts and cs, it is the competitive atmosphere that is created by power tournaments that throws many of the casual players off.

People need to take a step back. There is no reason to play power tournaments for the prize--it's all about fun. Wait!? What the heck!? Theres no reason to want that prize--shade are you crazy!! No, I'm not. What I mean by saying this is that Type 1 power tournaments are not tournaments players should go to solely looking to walk away with power and nothing else.

Let's use an example. If there is a 50 player tournament that plays 5 rounds and cuts to top 8, with prizes like the y last power tournament I attended ( 1st: time walk, 2nd: 65 store credit, 3rd-4th: 35 store credit, 5th-8th: 20 store credit, there is no mathematical reason to support playing competitively, solely for the prize, unless you plan on finishing in 1st place. In the 6+ hours it takes you to play the tournament, you could have been simply working at California's minimum wage of 6.75 and made $40.5, which, at the end of the day, is what 48 players should have done--unless they are playing for sometheing more than money, like fun and a great atmosphere.

So what point am I trying to get at? You simply can't force a format to be cutthroat competitive when the means simply aren't there. If the prize structure was different, something like a pro tour, like frances recent vintage championships, being very competitive would not only be justified, it would still be a good environment, because people would know what they're getting into.

When a tournament doesn't make sense to be competitive in, because you are simply loosing money if you take that attitude, unless you are an extremely good player who consistently top 4s, it will create a bad attitude for everyone there because a lot of the casual players understand these simple mathematics--that it doesn't make sense to play type 1 just to win power or workshops.

Until type 1 has a backing from wizards of the coast, the format must always casual at heart, and competitive in nature-for the purpose of winning a game, not a prize.
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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2005, 01:08:37 am »

Quote from: dxfiler
For example, I went to the last REGIONALS/PTQ in Chicago having read as much current stuff as I could about the format, but having done very little actual testing.  I went like 2-2-drop because there was little point in sticking it out anymore.  I could play for fun or do a side event, but why spend more money?  Basically, I dropped $25 on an event because I didn't have the time to really test for it.  I still played because I wanted to.  However, I highly doubt I'll be going back for the next one.
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