Aloha, DB Gamers! I have a few things to cover as we move into 2nd Quarter. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the new GMRG scoring model is working. There are some balance tweaks I will go over below, but overall I think the new method works. It rewards all gaming activities vs. only clusters, and that’s a good thing.
This report will be more of a policy/commentary post. I want to address some of the more hot topic things I’ve seen in DB Gaming over the past month.
Here’s the TL;DR.
There was a pretty passionate discussion on Cluster Races during the #AsktheFist session today. I shut it down before it became too heated, but I do want to address my reasoning for why I don’t run them, and to give my thoughts on why you should.
I am responsible for running the GMRG Society. Think of it as me running a persistent Clan or House competition. If I ran the same things over and over, you’d probably get bored. If I ran events that the same people won over and over, you would probably get bored. The shift from counting only clusters to the broader focus on competitions AND clusters for GMRG placement meant that I had to re-look the type of events I put out. Prior to the change, the GMRG was a passive event. You didn’t have to do anything except game. You didn’t even have to submit anything, as someone else could do it for you. All you had to do was play video games with DB Members. That’s activity, and it’s a good metric to see what people are playing, but you can earn clusters outside of a competition. The same cannot be said for Clusters of Ice or Graphite. So, I absolutely see Clusters as a metric of casual play.
I removed cluster races from the GMRG because originally, the GMRG was just one big passive cluster race. Based off nearly two years of discussions and feedback, I shifted the event from a passive competition to an active one. I want the GMRG to focus on individual effort, and I am happy with how that is going. By adding cluster races back into the mix (which I secretly tested twice during this past quarter), I am moving back to a passive system. I don’t think that’s the right move. Now, with that said, I absolutely think that clans, houses, and individual members should run cluster races if they want to. They are very good at providing an incentive for casual play outside of clusters. They are very simple and are a great tool for masters who are shepherding new members through the JM ranks to test the waters on setting up and running a competition. I have no problem with cluster races being run club wide, but for the events that I and my staff focus on, I do not intend to offer them for a competitive event like the GMRG, a Rite of Supremacy, or a Great Jedi War.
The only exception to this is Gorefest. The quarterly Gorefest event is a cluster race. It (no longer) provides placement points for the GMRG leaderboard, but it does provide a sort of XP boost for GMRG members who are working toward Rank X and leaderboard eligibility. Since it is only run four times a year and has a very specific purpose, I have no problem with running it. I want to incentivize taking part in the GMRG, and since access to the society only requires taking a simple Shadow Academy exam, this event helps newer members boost themselves on the path to leaderboard eligibility.
Going to be my usual blunt self here: you have to participate in these competitions if you want to see a game added.
ESO had a pretty sizeable interest level (26 at final count) when polled. The process for submitting to the event was simplified and required site submission of screenshots the same way all other regular gaming is done. By the time the test was over, a whopping six people participated. ESO had easily validated screens, planned difficulty modifiers, and would have made a very solid addition to the DJB’s supported games library.
The turnout for the test made all of that irrelevant. Apex: Legends is in testing now. By all accounts, it will be relatively easy to support (I already have a draft cluster reward model complete). To date, five people have participated. A total of seven activities have been processed. If 20 people (the bare minimum for support) do not participate, the competition will close, crescents will be awarded, and Apex will be another failed test. I’d prefer to not see that happen. There is only one way to prevent it: You have to participate.
I am actively looking for the next game that will have Overwatch and HotS levels of activity. Apex and ESO both gave me hope. I’ve been wrong once. I hope I’m not wrong again.
One good thing came from running an Overwatch Cluster Race: I had a lot of data to review in terms of match times. On average, Overwatch is awarding a little over than twice what it should for activity completions (assuming 5 min AVERAGE time per cluster earned). Therefore, the following adjustments have been made to all Overwatch modes (modifiers remain unchanged): Overwatch Base: Reduced from 2 to 1 CF OW 6v6: 1 CF per submission OW 3v3: 1 CF per submission OW Competitive: 2 CF per submission In addition, as Team Deathmatch is no longer a persistent game mode (and I’ve seen it placed twice in the entire time it has been available), I have removed it from the list of supported modes.
Top Platforms for month of March:
No. 1 - Overwatch with 61 Activities.
No. 2 - Heroes of the Storm with 37 Activities.
No. 3 - Diablo 3 with 11 Activities.
17 - 22 February 19: No Matches Played
24 Feb - 1 Mar 19: Matches forwarded to following week. Not enough participation.
24 Feb - 8 Mar 19: Matches forwarded to following week. Not enough participation
24 Feb - 15 Mar 19: Aurora
17 - 22 March 19: No Matches Played
23 February 19: No Matches Played.
2 March 19: No Matches Played.
9 March 19: No Matches Played.
16 March 19: No Matches Played.
23 March 19: No Matches Played.
If you haven’t joined the ranks of the GMRG, head on over to the GMRG-History course and pass the exam within the Shadow Academy. Get an opportunity to gain exclusive items, compete on the leaderboard to choose a Dark Council member to protect! (Get their accessory!)
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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I want to make sure you all understand something: I listen to what you say. I am well known for being blunt and dealing only in facts and data. I do that to remain as unbiased and fair as possible. But I do listen to the club’s gamers. I pay attention to what you say you want, and I will always strive to run events that I think you will enjoy. My staff does an exceptional job of coming up with new and creative events to challenge and entertain you. That’s why we exist. Contrary to popular belief, I want you to have fun. I want there to be casual gaming. That’s why there is a reward for it (hello, clusters). I respond to every PM (eventually). I will give you reasons for the decisions I make or recommend to the GM. If you ever have a question or a concern, you may reach out. My answers may be short, but they will be as clear and concise as possible.
Thanks for reading, and keep on gaming.
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