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Thread: How can we all help the meta develop faster?

  1. #1

    How can we all help the meta develop faster?

    I think it comes down to more info sharing. I don't think we can be super secretive about teams (not saying that anyone is) and also have a healthy, growing, robust meta. The MTG meta shifts daily thanks to MTGOnline events. How can we push it here?

  2. #2
    I think the big issues we face with affecting the meta come down to two main things:

    Our relatively small playerbase
    And our lack of a united community/online presence.

    I would love to imagine that most avid players visit The Reserve Pool or other like sites, but I strongly suspect that most Dice Masters players strictly play/interact with their local scene. The only time everyone really gets together to broadcast matches and showcase plays that may shift the meta are organized events such as Nationals or Worlds. I don't think Solomon Grundy was really on many peoples' radar until they made it to the top of Worlds. In a similar way, I don't think we're going to see tumultuous change outside of the local level until we start organizing and covering more events.

    In that vein, if we want to see progress we need to start organizing community events. The Reserve Pool is in an interesting place as the most popular gathering point for the Dice Masters community at present, so it's really on us to move this ball forward. Whether we play on Vassal or Google Hangouts, The Reserve Pool has enough invested people to make an event happen. The real trick is going to be getting the information on the event out there and setting up our own commentary. Very few people are going to show up to watch dice move around a screen, but if we can emulate or even improve upon the commentary style of players like Jimmy O'Brien or David Walsh, I'm sure we can engage the audience.

    Information sharing only goes so far because many are inclined to view it as speculation. What really drives people is seeing dice in action and watching the results. This is why local meta's are so diverse, because the individuals playing there have been a little adventurous and the people they've played against have seen off-meta characters do great things. It's for that reason that I don't think many people are likely to implement any of the characters I blog about here on The Reserve Pool, because they haven't seen them in action. Putting on a broadcast and showing people how different characters can fit a role is what I think the meta needs.

    There are a few hiccups that we run into along the way such as how to ensure we see new and daring teams while still giving an incentive to play competitively, but the core of the concept remains. People aren't going to up and change their opinions on characters and branch out until they see what can come of it. 'The proof of the pudding is in the eating' and we need to give people a sampler of different puddings to get them acquainted with new tastes.

    That's how I see the meta expanding.

  3. #3
    Not enough coverage for Dice Masters. Even Smash brothers who have a decent large amount of people stream their locals. Its a small community and there arent that many or very few channels that stream Dice Masters. I can ask my local scene to see about recording our matches and uploading them.

  4. #4
    Here at our store we have every kind of players, the one proberty players, the 1-Time-in-Month also Ninja Players. They play only at home with 1 or 2 friends and show up only to buy something and vanish again.

    But here is what i am trying to do for my scene. I am the Information-Node for all this sites on the WWW(TRP,DiceAnon,BGG,Wizkids,...) and try to inform people that really would be interested for their cards or theme playstyle they have. Also i try to explain most of the guys around here some new meta/try-out things that can be done with Card X. And really it helps, because otherwise they would be afterwards not happy because they didnt know it was "there" or "possible".

    But i think the last Podcast about the Local Scene is a great start to get Community and all other stuff for Dice Masters to a next level.

  5. #5
    My local scene are just friends of mine that enjoy playing the game. They even recently moved the date from Friday to Saturday for me to play and attend tourneys.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    A question:

    Is a faster developing meta the desired result, or is it a more varied meta?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion0x17 View Post
    A question:

    Is a faster developing meta the desired result, or is it a more varied meta?
    I think right now, faster developing. It's taking some time to process older sets and I think we need more opportunities to see HOW things play out with different cards, what wins, what doesn't, why.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3
    More tourneys and a site that publishes results and team lists.
    Agreed. We have a place here for people to share what's winning in their locals - I'd love more of that to come here. I'd love to promote any and every solid tournament report article. We need more of it, and in traditional formats (draft, constructed) vs. some of the other kinds of things which, while good and interesting, aren't a part of the meta at large.

    As to the other points, this is why we've done video for every event. I have three games from today's constructed OP that'll be going up on YouTube this week.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Necromanticer View Post
    In that vein, if we want to see progress we need to start organizing community events. The Reserve Pool is in an interesting place as the most popular gathering point for the Dice Masters community at present, so it's really on us to move this ball forward. Whether we play on Vassal or Google Hangouts, The Reserve Pool has enough invested people to make an event happen. The real trick is going to be getting the information on the event out there and setting up our own commentary. Very few people are going to show up to watch dice move around a screen, but if we can emulate or even improve upon the commentary style of players like Jimmy O'Brien or David Walsh, I'm sure we can engage the audience.
    Community-driven events need to be well attended in order for them to be a success and not just "another" op, and prize support needs to be tangible. Ideally, then, they're at least at first centered in areas where a few stores are within a few hours of one another and some cross-pollination could happen for these events. I have lots of ideas but for them to work they need to involve everyone from everywhere.

  10. #10
    @Dave

    I didn't have in-person events in mind. Rather, online events where people can play out matchups on a stream or watch games after the fact. There's simply no other way to "involve everyone from everywhere." Think of the Nationals or Worlds tournaments. Were most of the people who learned from those games present for them, or were they watching from behind a screen? By sponsoring an online community, we can engage people from across the globe and get people to bring together their local metas without any of the prohibitive costs of travel and time investment. This means people are going to be free to bring zany off the wall teams without any real repercussions, effectively throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.

    The key to broadening our horizons as a community is exposing ourselves to new ideas. Presently, this only happens when a major sponsored event happens and we get to watch as powerful teams unfold. If we want to spark that growth for ourselves, we need to create a platform for that level of exchanging ideas. I favor Vassal as it fixes a LOT of the problems surrounding clarity that video feeds suffer. Take for instance the countless times that we were unable to see exactly what face a certain die was on and what phase the players were in, not to mention the chat callouts it provides to make sure there are no misplays. Its one major challenge is that it's not quite as visually appealing, but I thing that's a worthy sacrifice that is becoming less and less relevant as Vassal receives more and more improvements (have you seen the new boards for 3.0.1? They're downright sexy! Thanks, @Wargfn ).

    We don't need to bring together a few people to a physical event in order to advance things. Instead, we need to make it viable for everyone to participate and show what unique ideas they have come up with. We all learn best by seeing things in action and if we can pull together events that allow us all to engage with each other and follow along as we try new strategies, we're going to see at least a few things that inspire us to change the way we view certain cards.

    I think the biggest challenges we're faced when creating an event like this is drawing in enough spectators/participants and casting the event itself, but these are problems that The Reserve Pool is in a good position to solve. With the biggest reach and influence among the online communities, we're sure to be able to overcome these obstacles and put on a show that's really going to shake some things up.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    It's taking some time to process older sets and I think we need more opportunities to see HOW things play out with different cards, what wins, what doesn't, why.
    Is that not achieved through greater diversity rather than rate of change?

  12. #12
    @Dave , @Necromanticer

    What about a "virtual" large-scale tournament, maybe through VASSAL or streamed on Youtube, that included actual, physical prize support? TRP is big enough and well-known enough, I think, that it would be able to be trusted to send out actual prizes through the mail. I know you already do that (to a lesser extent) with your random monthly OP contests (theme teams, haikus) and are planning on doing it for the Mega-Contest with Gravity Feeds.

    Would we be able to come up with something enticing enough to get people from all over to participate?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion0x17 View Post
    Is that not achieved through greater diversity rather than rate of change?
    Perhaps. I think one accomplishes the other. A faster-moving meta will find diversity as new teams rise and fall.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by pk2317 View Post
    @Dave , @Necromanticer

    What about a "virtual" large-scale tournament, maybe through VASSAL or streamed on Youtube, that included actual, physical prize support? TRP is big enough and well-known enough, I think, that it would be able to be trusted to send out actual prizes through the mail. I know you already do that (to a lesser extent) with your random monthly OP contests (theme teams, haikus) and are planning on doing it for the Mega-Contest with Gravity Feeds.

    Would we be able to come up with something enticing enough to get people from all over to participate?
    Stay tuned.

    What kind of prize support would be good for an event like this?

  15. #15
    @pk2317 , @Dave

    Exactly, we can run tournaments or group play events on Vassal or Google Hangouts. I think Twitch would be a better platform for streaming the event itself, but the recorded matches could be released on Youtube after the fact. That gives everyone a chance to follow along and see what comes of the affair if they miss it and maybe even follow along as the games are underway. All it would take is a few casters with OBS installed and we could have several matches going at once.

    As far as prizes go, I'm not even sure it's necessary. If we wanted, we could do anything from donated/purchased cards/dice, to standard OP's, to starter/collector sets. It all depends on the kind of interest we can get drummed up and what kind of turnout there is for the actual event.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Stay tuned.

    What kind of prize support would be good for an event like this?
    Can't wait

    Honestly? What would be totally ideal would be working in conjunction with Wizkids and making it an actual, official event. Of course, then you wouldn't be able to use VASSAL (since I doubt they would want to recognize its existence). For that it would have to be done via video, and it would open up to allegations of cheating (since there isn't someone available at each player's location to verify actual cards/dice, or prevent cheating).

    Second best would be getting official prize support from Wizkids, in the form of the Wizkids-exclusive prizes they give out at their tournaments (Full-art promos, Official Playmats, SR sets).

    Third place (and probably most likely) would be something that you really can't get anywhere else. A coupon for a custom playmat from InkedPlaymats (or other site)? A set of Custom Full-Art card from Melissa (professionally printed)? A custom full-art card of your choice (professionally printed)? Customized dice bags?

    Alternatively you could just go the more costly but probably simpler route of like a free Gravity Feed of the newest set, and/or some amount of booster packs based on tournament placement.

  17. #17
    I don't think you can force a meta to develop faster. It's just discussing things and playing which are both natural parts of the hobby. If something is good it will be good. If it's not it won't.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Scum View Post
    I don't think you can force a meta to develop faster. It's just discussing things and playing which are both natural parts of the hobby. If something is good it will be good. If it's not it won't.
    But the responses come faster if the events fire more frequently. It can't just spread word-of-mouth because it's too slow and it's all theory. We need concrete evidence. There was nothing more convincing on the usefulness of Grundy than Dean just using him and doing it. On the usefulness of Stirge than Trubie going Johnny Swarm.

    More frequent high-level events do move things forward at a faster pace. MTGO is the proof.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Perhaps. I think one accomplishes the other. A faster-moving meta will find diversity as new teams rise and fall.
    Will it?

    Or will it just result in an ever quick leaping from one bandwagon to the next?

    I guess I'm asking the same question as @Scum .

    Is a faster moving meta really what you want?

    Or is it a richer, more diverse, meta?

    Because I'm not sure you do achieve that through more frequent top-level events.

    I think you achieve it through a greater diversity of players.

    Think back to shortly after the release of UXM - I recall there seemingly being an explosion of ideas - it seemed that every few days a new team idea would emerge and spread, like wild fire, through the community.

    So what has changed since then?

    Are there fewer big events now?

    I don't think so.

    I think what has changed is that the player base contracted.

    Pretty much since the release of YuGiOh there have almost weekly incidences of people selling up and getting out, in the Facebook groups.

    And we're probably only seeing the very tip of the iceberg there.

    Though is does now seem to be on the rebound and growing again.

  20. #20
    I know that months between major events is far too long. The current pacing is not fast enough to keep up with sets. There are still major chunks of D&D that have yet to really be processed. And we have no idea what is "next" after Worlds. It's the lack of knowing that's even worse.

    You see evidence of people selling off, but I could point to the same evidence in a number of very successful games like Netrunner, among others. It doesn't actually mean much. It happens all the time in these games.

    I've had enough pessimism in a thread that's about growth because I just reject the premise. There is an influx of players investing and that's evident at many events all over. We can spit out one-liners about what is good and bad but the proof is in action. WES tells me that just in events that were recorded, 612 people participated in a store OP event in the first week of July. Again, that's just what's recorded, and what was set to count for the leaderboard - and just that first week! My store, which usually draws 16-20, didn't get an event in until today, so we're not counted yet. I'm sure we're not the only ones out there who aren't counted. Over 3k in April - June! That's big for such a new game in an industry where just selling 10k copies of a game is considered a roaring success.

    So we can take action or we can talk about the reasons why it's hard. I'd rather roll up my sleeves and find ways to do rather than just talk. And I'd like to partner with as many people as possible along the way to get it done. In any game like this it's in the community's hands. We can either say "that's the tip of the iceberg" or we can own it and take it to the next level ourselves. None of these games get where they are on the back of the publisher alone. None of them. And we can do it! I know we can!

    Though is does now seem to be on the rebound and growing again.
    Exactly! And these are players who come in knowing that it's more than just Marvel. I think some bowed out when they realized that no, WizKids wasn't kidding that there would be additional IPs involved.

  21. #21
    I'm not being pessimistic. And not saying we can't improve the game.

    I'm not even saying that the game isn't currently growing. It, as you, and I, say, clearly is.

  22. #22
    Some ideas that will help achieve what I think you want:

    Competitions that encourage the creative use of lesser seen cards.

    Regular articles that explore the interactions between groups of cards.

    'Talking shop' podcasts or Hangouts that draw opinions from from as broad a range of players as possible.

    A database of card synergies, with links to a team database, and forum posts discussing those synergies and cards.

    A segment on weekly or bi-weekly podcast, say, in which listeners are invited to send in their teams for analysis.

    An area on a website, or forums perhaps, in which people can post links to videos of online play, teams lists, and discussion.

    A regular vlog in which commentary is given on selected such online play vids.

    Wiki entries on every card, that contain a section about it's synergies with other cards.

    A blog series on the theory of building a good team.

    Teams that are published and discussed in the forums being promoted on the front page of the site.

    I'm sure I could come up with many others too, but I am not entirely certain I fully understand what it is you wish to achieve.

  23. #23
    More events, the build hype and interest for the players, but generate discussion on the topics that you list, that gives people something to look forward to, that gives people something to prepare for, that introduces new ideas.

    There needs to be more done to showcase the creativity that we have in this community, and not just discussion because discussion is simply theory. As it currently stands, with so few major events, we see a whole bunch of creativity all at once which is quickly overshadowed by whatever it is that won worlds. We don't see so many people digesting Johnny Swarm, or the X-Men team based on the Kitty Pryde reward card, or Michael Le's dragons team because it all happened at once in a very short span and in a way that not everyone was necessarily exposed to it.

    It's a provide an example of what can happen, several people from my store went to an event a couple hours away the featured people who use some of these teams at the highest level of play. They clearly took so many ideas from it. When we came back and had our organize player than yesterday, I saw more kobolds that I did Professor X. I saw someone try to implement LoD/Ring. And so on. These are things that people talked about for a while but it wasn't until they really had the chance to see the possibility that it was made clear.

    I think it comes down to finding ways to establish more events that feature a high level of play. From there, discussion about many of the things that you list is generated.

    I apologize if I misread your tone.

  24. #24
    Yeah, I do think more play is part of the answer, but I don't think it needs, necessarily, to be big organised, top-level, events.

    Whilst there is creativity at the top there is also a lot of conservatism.

    Where as at grass-roots level you get a lot of creativity, but some conservatism.

    More of a 'dialogue' between the levels would allow ideas to both percolate up and filter down.

    That's why I included the ideas about Hangout games in my list.

    Hmm... Perhaps what we really need is a really good digital implementation, then we could see DM on Twitch...

    That's a pipe-dream though (VASSAL is great, and getting better, but it doesn't, and never will, have the sparkle and polish of an official digital version).

  25. #25
    And...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I apologize if I misread your tone.
    No worries. Tone is very hard to express and read in text.

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