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Fist Report #23

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Message from the Fist

Short report this month. Notes on the GMRG, Rite of Supremacy, Brotherhood Gaming League, and a couple of admin related things.

Of note, this is my 23rd report as Fist. Two years in probably the best job in the club, next to being a QUA or CON. Next month I’ll do a full review of the past two years with some graphics and charts.

TL;DR

  1. GMRG is not changing to new format this quarter.
  2. RoS Gaming Competitions
  3. BGL on hold until after RoS is complete. Signups are extremely low.
  4. Tell people you are playing in DB Gaming. Don’t be a recluse. And definetly don’t set things up in PM or a secret Discord chat.

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GMRG Change Delayed

As you are all aware, 100% of the system changes or game addition recommendations to the GM are based on measurable data. When reviewing the GMRG Leaderboard, I felt it necessary to look into a new or updated system that does not reward based off of members’ available time to play games.

The data presented in last month’s report showed me that a swap to a PvP model would work, and that the member base would be able to shift to it with relative ease. That said, after watching multiple PvP competitions across the DB over the last 60 days (I included some clan comps as well), I am no longer certain that this model is in the best interest of the club.

So, for now the GMRG Leaderboard will remain unchanged.

I have a few irons in the fire on some options for updating the existing system to benefit playing multiple games with a broader group of gamers. Here are a few things I am looking into:

  1. Law of Diminishing Returns: At the core of this concept is a progressive reduction in the number of clusters members can earn by playing with the same group or playing the same game each day/week. This involves coding and algorithms and math and a great deal of James’ brain power to implement.
  2. GMRG “Bank” Method: This method would require members to choose whether or not to submit clusters for GMRG ranking. Right now, clusters are counted passively. Casual gaming and PvP Gaming all count towards one score. If you submit to a clan gaming competition? That counts as well. This makes the GMRG leaderboard an active event. If you want clusters to count for it, then you would have to submit them to the leaderboard. This doesn’t get to the issue of cluster farming, but it does create what is essentially a “competitive queue” for gamers.
  3. Removal or Change to Gorefest: Gorefest is where the vast majority of clusters are earned. To me, the main intent of Gorefest is like a special XP boost to help you get to the next rank. Here I’m considering two things. Remove Gorefest completely, or figure out how make Gorefest cluster doubling only count toward society rank up.

Let me be clear. None of these options have had any more than a white board level of thought put into them. But I do my best to be as transparent with you all as I can. So now you know what I am thinking.

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Rite of Supremacy

The Rite of Supremacy is coming! As you all know, there’s a competition hold. I deleted the October and November Monthly containers and both Gorefest competitions. Those will return in December.

I won’t tell you everything, because surprises are fun. Here’s what you can expect from the gaming side of things for the upcoming event:

2-3 Brackets that run event long. The bracket events will be 1v1 and randomly seeded, just like during the GJW. I will post signups for the bracket events in a supplemental.

Let me make something clear up front:

I WILL NOT ALLOW LATE SIGNUPS FOR ANY OF THE BRACKET EVENTS

The other events will consist of 12-15 binned gaming competitions that allow me to utilize the full depth of the gaming library and ensure that you have the ability to get maximum participation credit. These competitions will include mobile games, flash games, non-supported gaming modes, and one-off comps for our other supported games.

Just like the GJW, I hope to bring enough events to have something available that every member of the DB will enjoy.

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Brotherhood Gaming League on hold

With the RoS coming soon and the incredibly low signup rate for the final round of the BGL, I am putting the entire event on hold until mid-November.

I have instructed Alaris to begin wrapping this event up. I want to be complete with this inaugural season before the end of the year. This gives me time to review the data from the event and determine how future BGL events will be managed/executed.

A reminder for those who are participating: there is a title and a small accessory for each tournament. These titles are named in memory of Frosty, so they carry special significance. This will be the one and only time that four titles will be issued for any BGL event, so I hope that those of you who lost interest will decided to jump back into the fray.

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On DB Gaming

I want to remind everyone that you absolutely must set up PvP matches in DB Gaming. The bot prevents people from going over match limits, and it also does a fair job of preventing match dodging. What the bot does not do is announce that you are in queue and looking for matches. The only way that happens is by you stating in DB Gaming that you are in queue and looking to play. That’s how we ensure that everyone has the exact same opportunity to play PvP games. If you don’t want to stay in DB Gaming all the time, the link is always available on the DB site and you can come and go as you wish. That is 100% OK.

What is not OK is people who are clearly setting up matches in via private message, in clan chats, or in non-official places like the clan Discord servers that I am fully aware exist.

Know this. If I don’t see a note from a participant that they are looking for PvP matches, and I see people suddenly match up in the bot, I’m going to automatically assume that a match was set up in private, and I will simply reject it.

Please do the right thing.

For those of you that stick to PvE and PvO gaming, it’s still not required for you to matchmake or even include people you don’t want to play with. That said…be cool. This is supposed to be an inclusive community. If someone is looking to play a game that you enjoy, include them in your session from time to time. If you don’t want to talk to them over Discord or in-game chat, just don’t wear a headset. There are plenty of times I’ve played with people and I haven’t felt like talking.

On the flipside, if you don’t want to talk, don’t expect people to want you as part of their raid group. I hear those kinds of events require at least a little bit of team communication.

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Admin and Policy Reminders

All current Gaming and Fist Policies can be found on the Gaming Information page. I suggest that all members read this page as it has some great info. I will make sure this page stays updated to reflect all current office policies. I do not want to confuse anyone, especially with what is and is not allowed in the DB Gaming Telegram room.

Other items of note:

  • The staff has 24 hours from the time you submit gaming activity to approve it. If your submission has been sitting for longer than that, there is a problem. If it hasn’t, there is no problem. The staff do their best to process gaming submissions as quickly as possible, but they are real people with real lives. I do not expect them to sit behind a computer processing gaming submissions all day, and neither should any of you.

  • Solo submissions are never acceptable for Clusters of Earth/Fire. My staff and I will reject any that come in. You must play with at least one other DB member, no exceptions. This is not changing any time in the near (or far) future.

  • Pendants of Blood are not acceptable for submission to cluster-counting competitions. If we see them, we will remand the request.

  • Reminder: Feel free to run Gaming competitions DB wide. Gaming is a slightly different community, and is one of the few that consistently brings club members together outside of the competitive environment. Most of the people I currently game are all in different clans. By opening up your event DB-wide, you increase the pool of possible participants, which could allow for a crescent upgrade!

  • Reminder: While I sincerely appreciate having proposals/great ideas sent to me via telegram, please email the staff list (email is at the bottom of this report). I ask that your House and Clan leadership take a look at your proposals before you send them up. This isn’t to add a layer of bureaucracy, it’s because I’m sure they’d like to know how you are trying to help the club improve...helps with award and promotion recommendations and all that. Feel free to cc them on your email to me and my staff.

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The Rite of Supremacy is my main focus for now. Much like the GJW, I will have my phone on me as much as possible to ensure that if you have an issue or concern that you can reach me. The staff will continue to process gaming activities as normal. I will not do any staff changes until after the RoS is complete, but I will be rotating some staff in the near future. If you have ever wanted to work on a DC staff, and you are a fan of gaming, I encourage you to apply when I call for applications.

Thanks, and good luck to all in the upcoming Rite of Supremacy.

-Dracpool, out.

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Posted on Oct 1, 2018 at 5:18 PM
Kelviin avatar

THANK YOU AM VERY EXCITE FOR PVE WITH SPACE FRIENDS

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 at 7:08 PM
Farrinavatar

Could you speak as to why you're considering your Law of Diminishing Returns option?

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 at 7:41 PM

Tl;dr, I support a GMRG that minimizes the three month cluster grinding.

I think one of tbe main problems with PvP is we don’t have a platform like Pazaak that is easy to jump in and play with ecperienced players. I don’t think this is because we are not supporting the correct games but more that I do not know if that type of game exists. Not much money nowadays for a game that has a low skill curve and little progression (aka the grind).

I avoid JA like the plague because playing really good players, which is usually what happens if you queue in, is a slaughter. Plus, you die so fast it isn’t like you are learning anything. I have noticed the same with HS, I am decent and even when I limit the cards in my deck the matches versus new players are basically unfair because of the skill gap.

With that said, I do not know what the answer is. I liked the idea of a PvP GMRG as an incentive but I get that some people will just never PvP no matter the game. I highly support a GMRG that isn’t a grind, now in my mid-30s I just don’t have the time for all day gaming sessions that I used to.

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 at 9:23 PM
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First, I fully and sincerely appreciate Drac looking at the data again and reconsidering the move to a PVP score system. I also wholly appreciate him sharing his early ideas with the community because this is a pretty fundamental issue that almost all agree needs addressing. I won't comment on what Drac has proposed in detail since we're still at the "whiteboard" phase but there are some things I think we should consider and at least one course of action I'd like to see on the proverbial whiteboard.

I think there's a more fundamental question we, as a community, need to ask ourselves before we dive too deep into the "how" of fixing the GMRG. What do we as a club want out of the GMRG/gaming society and what do we want the leaderboard to promote? I think most agree that pure cluster grinding isn't exactly what we want to solely promote with the leaderboard. Looking at how the fiction and art societies are structured it's clear they are set up to promote activity, especially participating in competitions. They are based on a point system and you get more points for entering and winning competitions with even more points given for higher levels of competition. So those societies reward the amount of activity as well as the quality of the activity with more weight going toward quality. I think we can do something similar with the GMRG to promote activity and entering into gaming competitions by adopting a point system similar to the art and fiction societies with the scope of the query for calculating the points being for a quarter instead of being cumulative over your entire career. The details would need fleshing out but you could weight the point values toward PVP score and competition victories (with weight given for higher levels of competition) and some points given for clusters. This would reward both quality and quantity of gaming activity. This also pushes people to do more competitions which club-wide is something we try to promote. Adding competitions to the mix opens up things like speed runs, high score, and bracket tournaments being a part of the leaderboard instead of it being purely about clusters or purely about PVP score. Such a system seems at least as feasible if not moreso than some kind of diminishing returns system.

I'd also like to address something I see crop up a lot in these discussions and that's poo-poo'ing on 'cluster grinding' or whatever you want to call it. I can't think of a single avenue of club activity where we look down on people for being too active like we seem to want to do with gaming. We don't deride people who take too many SA exams in a quarter or write too many words of fiction or take too many ACC matches (well maybe a little glares at Kord). Point is, activity is activity and gaming submissions don't occur in a vacuum. Members have to play together and that builds up the community. If you look at the "same people who always win" the GMRG leaderboard, of which I am one, you'll see they are the people who will also play with everyone. Pull my submissions, I will play Overwatch with just about anyone who asks and will almost always ask for people to join in DB gaming. Yeah, the board absolutely needs to change but let's tamp down on the cluster shaming :P Another thing. Gaming will always be about time invested. You can't get away from it. You go PVP score, those with the time to grind out the matches or even spend time to git gud will usually win. The winners of gaming competitions put a lot of time into it. Look at the gaming league comps we've been running. If I pulled the winner's gaming records on those games they'd almost certainly have 100s of hours invested in those platforms. It's a fact of life. "Skill," as nebulous and hard to define as that is in a gaming context, is still a product of time invested.

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 at 10:01 PM
Sarvatar

Nice report Drac. Glad to see the transparency.

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 at 10:25 PM
Maricktar new1

Awesome report Drac. Transparency for the win, thank you for the time and thought put into decisions that look to improve our club.

Posted on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:32 AM
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@farrin

I never go into a problem with a single solution. I believe that I need to look at how to balance overall cluster earning as a part of this process. While balancing the leaderboard is the goal, there are other things that come up that I must consider. That option (of the three I listed) gets to one of those issues.