Hello everyone, welcome to the August 2009 SOTG. It is one of the most important ones I have ever written, if not he most important. So please read it carefully take five minutes then read it again before you start posting.
OK lets get started. By now it looks like everyone has heard the news talked to people there or seen the video, etc. Now let me go into more detail and answer lingering questions I see on the boards.
Before I get into the big announcement I want to congratulate house UFS for winning team worlds and capping an amazing year with team member Paul Bittner breaking his finals curse and walking away the new world Champion, also big props go to Ryan Riley for taking the Legacy championship crown this year, well done guys.
First of all this was not a decision made on a whim or taken lightly as some people suggest. I have said for while now that the meta was a in a bad place and drastic measures needed to be taken to fix it. That is why james and I banned and errata so many cards the past couple of months, hoping that would make the environment healthy enough to get by until the next rotation. Rotating was a nuclear option only considered when everything else failed to work. Just think about it for a minute, making hasty decisions is not in our best interests, we have too much at stake.
Now before I go any further I want to point out that if your play group really liked block 3 you can still run all of your events that way every month ( I will explain how OP is changing to make that work below) the only tournaments that we saying need to be block 4 are the store championships, which I had already announced months ago so nothing has changed there. Let me say this one more time. If you want to keep running block 3 events (or any other format you want, legacy, 4 point only, etc.) in your store you can, all you need to do is make it clear beforehand so players are not surprised when they show up to play.
So as I was saying early rotation was only done after every other effort, including creating a mini block format to help stores and new players get into the game easily did not work. I understand why some people are upset and I’m truly sorry for that, if there was some way to make everyone happy of course I would do it but sales, tournament attendance, number of stores carrying the game, etc. showed why this had to be done for the overall health of the game. I’m making sure that you have a good, strong, healthy game to play 1, 2, 5, years from now. Already I’ve had stores, and even a distributor contact me to say they are seeing a renewed interest in the game. More excitement than I’ve seen in well over a year.
Now back to OP. We are making it easier to run whatever type of event, league, format you want. This is how it will work. Your scout or store signs up for tournament support and we will send out a support packet that you run run whatever type of event you want as long as you announce it before so that everyone knows what to expect when they show up to play. Your group only wants to play legacy go ahead, you want to run 4 star only events, alright, you want to stay with block 3, great here is your support, and of course you can run the new standard block 4 events, which many people have told me that is all they are running after Gen Con. I will announce full details in a few days but you can see it is a much easier, more comprehensive system.
I also want to say a few words about legacy. You can see from the above legacy will have more in store support than it has ever had and yes we will run championship events for it at US Nats and Worlds with trophies and other prizes.
Now just to make sure everyone is on the same page I am going to go over the announcement I made at Gen Con again. AS of September 1st, 2009 block 3 (4 point shuriken) will rotate out and the new block 4 format will become the new standard format. On top of that rotation is being reset to happen right after Gen Con every year going forward and with the reset of rotation 5 point shuriken cards will not rotate until after Gen Con 2011, just like the first few sets lasted when the game first came out.
One of the questions has been if I’m concerned about not having enough characters in the new format. No, for a couple of different reasons. First the block 4 characters are on a much more even playing field than has been the case for most the games existence, meaning that they are all much more playable. We have had times in this game where we had literally hundreds of characters to choose from but only a hand full that ever saw play because the others were just not good enough.
Also we just printed 13 new promo characters with the latest round of promos, only one of which (Astrid, who will most likely only be used to stack with the current one) is brand new. this gives us a total of 21 characters for the format Sept 1st (8 each from the base sets, 5 more from Tekken) The 12 new promo characters mentioned above that we will release as a priority, and 5 more SC4 characters coming in October which brings the total to 33 very quickly.
Other have asked about concern about the size of the block 4 card pool. Again we do not believe this is an issue as the 2 base sets are close to almost 300 cards plus promos, Tekken brings another 99 plus promos, add to that another 99 from the upcoming SoulCalibur 4 set, and the fact that future sets will get a bit bigger, which also means more characters. We strongly believe the game will recapture the same great feeling it had in the beginning and might even be more fun than even then.
Finally, people have asked why this announcement was done at Gen Con, well it is the biggest single gathering of players I had access to and it is a complicated issue that I believe was better to talk about face to face with as many players as possible.
That’s all for now, if you have questions post them to this thread and I will get to as many as possible in a couple of weeks during Septembers STOG.
See you in the arena,