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These Boards!, HoD, Penfold, Meta-Bashing, etc.

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#1 mathlete



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:30 PM

This will be my only post on these boards over the foreseeable future.

As many of you know, I have been playing this game since its inception and have traveled extensively to play this game over the past ten years.  I have play in tournaments, Regionals and Championships in 12 different states.  Next weekend, Worlds in Minnesota will be my 13th.  While I have had a lot of success over the years in this game, and have been lucky enough to win a World Championship, the #1 thing that I treasure most in this game is the number of friends that I've made in this game.  A large number of these friends are people that I stayed in touch with during my near-death illness, my almost three-year hiatus from the game and the two years that I've been back playing.  Many of these people have become true, longtime friends that I know will stay my friend whenever I quit playing this game or whenever this game no longer exists.

Over the last two years being back in the game, I've seen AGOT grow in many forms, thanks to the TV exposure.  This had led to a growth in the LCG.  I applaud Martin, HBO, FFG and everyone who has had a hand in this, because, in the end, this game has grown.  This year at Gencon, we had the second-largest Gencon showing (89 players, which only trailed the debut Worlds in 2003 by approx. 10 people) and this year wasn't even designated as a Worlds!  Over the last two years, my own meta in Los Angeles, San Diego and NoCal all have grown and I've made even more friends whose friendship I also cherish.  When I play this game with these people, winning is secondary.  The camaraderie and the time we have together mean so much more.  That's why I traveled to play this game in the past - the people I play with.  I enjoy competing, strive to win, but in the end, it's the people you play with that bring you coming back.

These boards have always been the same.  Communicating with the community, the joking/teasing (~) with a group of people you know, has always been what I like best about these boards.  I also enjoy the sharing of ideas, venting of frustration, the "sky is falling" (aka "this card is broken and is killing the game" threads are all a part of this community.  But lately, that is missing.  Too many people are making rash judgments before even trying out cards.  People are personally attacking and calling out other people.  People are stirring up the pot for no other reason than to cause trouble.  I was a high school Cheer Coach for over two years and lately this forum is more drama-filled and more-negative than my high school cheer squad!

In person (and on the boards), gaming is my escape.  I get a chance to hang out with a bunch of people who accept my old, fat ass as one of the group, even when I act like Beavis or Butthead though I'm almost twice as old as them.  Gaming (and teaching) give me a chance to stay young at heart.  This community is best and thrives when it's fun to visit the boards and meeting in person is something you look forward to.  But, in the end, this community is so large now that I prefer to talk and hang out with people that I enjoy playing with.  If you have a poor attitude and try destroying the game that I love, then I don't have time for you.  If you don't like me or have time for me, it's not the end of the world.  I've live.  "I'm a man, I'm 40"!

I'll be in Minnesota next week for Worlds. I know life is short-lived and fleeting.  I've been fortunate enough to have five more years of life that I almost lost in 2007.   If I haven't met you, introduce yourself.  I love to meet new people/players.  I wish everyone the best win or lose, because I'm going to Worlds to socialize with my friends, make new ones, play the games that I love and do my best to compete, win or lose. 

Let's take our game back and quit the personal bashing.  I will no longer respond to these threads.  See you in Minnesota!

#2 phoenixember



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:36 PM

 /signed. I won't be posting on here again any time soon. It's out of control.

Wish I could be in MN. Can't afford the trip this year. Don't envy the weather you'll have to deal with though.

#3 darknoj



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:40 PM

Hope to see you at worlds share a beer and play a few just for fun games.


PS: I find it best to just not read the drama posts.

#4 Traitor



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:19 PM

 As a new (to AGOT, though not gaming in general) player who's been lurking for awhile, I have to say that I agree. The tone of the posts lately while I've been lurking have been pretty horrifying. In fact, I'm not sure why I finally decided to make an account today.  I've frequented quite a few message boards in my day, but rarely have I seen things as gruesome as that Penfold/Damon thing. Some of the posts on the House of Dreams thread and the Hurricane Sandy thread are are shocking as well. 

So tell me, as someone looking to get into the community… are people here friends or at least friendly? I'm getting pretty skeptical.

#5 phoenixember



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:32 PM

 I can personally say that the California Meta is pretty damned amazing. The Midwest guys are pretty awesome too and i'm glad I've had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with many of them.

#6 Bronson



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:37 PM

Traitor said:

So tell me, as someone looking to get into the community… are people here friends or at least friendly? I'm getting pretty skeptical.

Absolutely. Through Game of Thrones I've personally formed tight friendships that transcend AGoT and I expect/hope they will last years after I stop playing. I know this to be true for many others. Though I've really only travelled outside of California to play AGoT 3 times, I've consistently been met with awesome people. If you're up for a longer read involving lots of match specifics, an example of a positive post is my 2012 GenCon report titled "Bronson's Awesome GenCon Experience": http://www.fantasyfl...=4&efidt=702939

That said, my advice to you or any other new player is to take the posts on this forum with a grain of salt. The regular posters represent a small fraction of the entire community and many folks either don't realize or simply forget that the forum is often a first stop to newcomers or even prospective players. When I first started, there was negativity--though I'll agree with Mathlete in that it seems more heated these days--and I too wondered if the game was full of jerks. Take my word that by and large that's not the case (three years of experience: not a little not a lot). Sure, every group has its knuckleheads, but although I'm no card game veteran I consistently hear that AGoT is one of the friendliest communities.

To other readers who are not in the new or prospective players category, let's try and follow Mathlete's advice and keep the AGoT community one of the best . Please.

#7 Twn2dn



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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:01 PM

Traitor said:

 As a new (to AGOT, though not gaming in general) player who's been lurking for awhile, I have to say that I agree. The tone of the posts lately while I've been lurking have been pretty horrifying. In fact, I'm not sure why I finally decided to make an account today.  I've frequented quite a few message boards in my day, but rarely have I seen things as gruesome as that Penfold/Damon thing. Some of the posts on the House of Dreams thread and the Hurricane Sandy thread are are shocking as well. 

So tell me, as someone looking to get into the community… are people here friends or at least friendly? I'm getting pretty skeptical.

The negative posts on this forum are definitely not representative of the community. In fact, having met some of the negative posters I would say it is not really representative of them either. For some reason, these have been more common than normal lately. I suspect it is less about sentiment though and more that actual substantive discussion has been low due to upcoming world's and the typical forum silence that precedes a big event.

Also, I think its important to realize that, in the past, these forums were the primary venue for discussions. As options grow, and many of them focused on content (three podcasts, several discussion websites that offer insightful articles, etc), it is natural that this "social center" for the online community will be at times more gossip and less substance.

#8 rings



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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:07 AM

I totally play the game now for the community - and Mathlete has done more than almost anyone to get the community populated, and populated with people you would like to game with - but more importantly have a beer (or soda) with.  As with him, maybe with older age (although I am nowhere NEAR 40 like him!) my competative juices have mellowed.  I am perfectly happy with a 4-2 record at Worlds and missing the top 16 to go get my drink on!

I am a little surprised at some of the newer metas/players.  Taking something seriously because you want to excel I understand.  But not so seriously that you shouldn't back off right away if it doesn't pass the smell test.  NOTHING is at stake here - names on pieces of cardboard at the most.  Magic I can understand attracting some of these elements - real money is on the line, and serious money has been spent on the game.  But not aGoT. 

However, there has always been a bit of this in the game - old-timers I am sure remember Melnick and the infamous smoke break incident.  But usually any drama wasn't actually around winning games, just human nature.  Between competative melee issues, entire metas bringing the same deck (fun!!!), and rumors of messing with playtesting groups…that sort of takes it to a weird level. 

As has been said, a high % of the posts here are still helpful and interesting.  I have learned things many times on the boards, and seen things in a different light.  Keep posting opinions please - just remember that is what they are.  Point/couter-point. 

Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#9 thedaffodilfish



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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:26 AM

What a great post. Thanks mathlete.

As a newcomer to this fantastic game and trying to develop a local meta, I read these forums as much as possible - it's nice to find a great community with outlandish personalities who can contribute some learning and humour to my gaming experience. These are the things I play for - the communnity, the banter and the depth of theme & tactics involved.

As darknoj says, just avoid the drama.

Looking forward to meeting some of you in Stahleck.

#10 fhornmikey



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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:19 AM

 I missed the Rings' drinking party at GenCon last year (new baby) and this year (idk how this happened) but I sure as hell am not going to miss it at Worlds this year.  Looking forward to seeing everyone in MN, even if it is balls cold.

#11 Danigral



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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

 ~And of course this wouldn't be the AGoT forums without someone every once in a while writing a farewell post and threaten to leave for good. 

@mathlete - I've only met you once, and haven't had the chance to play with you yet, but I'd love to sometime. Hopefully next Gencon. ~No favors though. 

@Traitor - I've met players from all over the US, and even Gualdo from Italia. Obviously I'm closest with the players in the DC meta, and the NY meta - but I know many in the TN, PA, and elsewhere on the east coast (Holla Kyle and Morgan!) They are all very nice, friendly, and sportsmanlike, and a lot of fun to hang out with. I haven't really had a chance to meet a ton of other players from the mid-west or California, although I really enjoyed meeting up with some of the Cali guys back at Gencon 2011 - Danny Machado and his brother were great guys. I've played with people all over IRL and I've never been disappointed in this community.

Caveat: I feel like I have to have some input as the guy strapped with the DC Meta boardname. I can honestly say that no one in the DC Meta has anything against any players out there. I am concerned, unfortunately, that that's not quite reciprocated (especially after hearing about these rumors floating around). Ultimately, I don't think it matters because as I said above, I've never come across anyone IRL that wasn't friendly. I'm not trying to air out everyone's dirty laundry or anything, because I'm sure (that is, I hope) that we'll all come together at Worlds and things will be great and this will blow over one way or another…

~until there's another incident in 6 months. lol

#12 RobotMartini



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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:27 AM

 At $500+ USD to purchase a major stake in AGoT's card pool, this 'excitement' isn't surprising. $500 is a lot in the current economy. $500 is not an unfair amount but it is a big enough investment to makes players edgy.

Players know that each new card has the potential to unbalance the game, which could collapse interest in the game, which destroys that investment. Additionally, each dead slot (or, at least, underpowered slot) makes players question their on going investment in the product. Lastly, by being large, complex and expensive, players are worried the investor pool will not grow, which may also lead to a slow collapse of the game, which again would destroy their investment.

This is where hot blooded debates over rotation come from: for or against, the investors fear the loss of player base growth and/or the destruction of previous investments.

This is why release schedule is debated: if cards languish unsupported for too long, they alienate investors but if everything is supported at once, the product may lose player attention and/or the financial momentum necessary for FFG to keep it going, which again destroys the investment.

This is also why Damon takes so much heat: every decision he makes can, potentially, destroy that $500 investment. Like any Mayor or CEO, it is both completely fair to hold him to a high standard and completely unfair (but expected) to have knee jerk reactions to his decisions in the short term.

In the long term, each player either has a strong enough connection with the product and/or other players who use the product, and shrugs the current hot blooded mania off OR they don't/don't, don't and stop playing the game. If they don't, they may not have a strong attachment to the community in the first place, which is an entirely different discussion that may not actually have anything to do with card design and game balance in the first place…

#13 Toqtamish



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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:55 AM

Thank you for your post Mathlete. I could not agree more, especially about the penfold thread. That was disappointing to say the least. Hopefully things can improve from here on out.

#14 Penfold



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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:28 AM

 More or less the reason I pop in to check things only once a every week or two versus once or twice a day as a did about 6 months ago.

Too many people forget ths is a game. Too many people feel that because it is online they don't have to treat someone with the respect they would having a discussion face to face with someone they don't know. Myopia and entitlement and a loss of focus. I'm traveling more and further for work and my time back home in Iowa is being spent mostly with my gf (though we game) I have other priorities now that I'm in my mid-thirties. 40 is approaching in a few years and I've got things in my life I want to accomplish, winning a championship in this game isn't one of them.

I don't think we ever got a chance to meet, but everything I've heard about you and your posts in general reveal you to be a pretty nice guy with a great sense of humor. Enjoy yourself, you've earned it.

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