Individuals Sharing a Common Goal
by, 09-17-2015 at 10:36 PM (3237 Views)
Dice Masters surely is not the first game to have an awesome community that sometimes has trouble finding a groove, fluctuating in attendance, and seeing two vastly different styles of play (casual and competitive) vying for time and attention. For me, though, it's the first game I've loved so much that I've been a big part of the community. So of course, it's also the first time I've struggled with these issues. As the person coordinating the Dice Masters play at my FLGS, where I also happen to work part-time, I want the game and community to thrive. So how on earth can we please most of the people most of the time and keep the dice rolling?
I listened to the tournament players. I listened to casual players, to new players who never joined the community., to those who quit, and even to my own instincts. What I heard was a mixture of painful, enlightening, frustrating, and funny stuff. Sometimes it even made me want to take my dice and go home. Thankfully, I didn't, and in the end I listened to (or maybe grilled) my colleague Tim about how he had taken Pokemon at our store and made it huge. With every answer or idea, Tim inspired me, and now I think we're on to something big.
Adjusting our schedule to have both open play and tournaments weekly instead of offering casual play some weeks with competitive play others was an immediate improvement. For tournaments, we get the same level of participation just more often. We shifted our prize support to booster packs, since promos are awarded for League participation, and less pressure on winning to get OP cards resulted in more willingness to try new combos and teams. That in turn has allowed us to alternate between unlimited constructed and all the other formats we've been dying to try. The paupers (commons and starters only) and affiliation constructed tournaments so far have been huge hits, and I'm already getting requests for other formats to try.
With League, we are getting participation from folks who haven't played competitively (...yet), and they are excited about choosing promos once they've earned their points. We encourage them to play in at least the big event at the end of each season with a special prize drawing, so the idea is to eventually convince the casual gang that tournaments aren't really intimidating. With our new program, they truly aren't! We're laughing so much, enjoying great games, marveling at unexpected combos, seeing characters in play that you don't see in the meta, and still ending with bragging rights for the winner plus packs for everyone to open up.
How We Roll
I'm a worrier, so I am not going to rest easy on this new venture. I'll keep working at it, but this confessed neurotic is crazy optimistic about our Dice Masters League. To fully embrace our goal, I checked out the definition of “league,” and there's one that struck me as most fitting - “individuals having a common goal.” That is a perfect reflection of our community. Both the competitive players and those who are playing simply for fun and camaraderie have more in common than I thought when I first started listening. The underlying truth is that we all really love Dice Masters and want to enjoy the hours we spend at it with other folks like us. Like in life, things may not always roll your way, but it's easier to handle the defeats and more fun to celebrate victories when you're doing it with friends. That's League.
I'll write more and share our journey as we move ahead. Please let me know what you think of our League adventure, and may the dice rolls be ever in your favor.