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    College Park, Maryland, United States
  1. Sorry for a late reply. Here is what I wrote for agotcards.org discussion forum some time ago in regards to drafting procedures: If a person wants to draft and can only find 2-3 people around to draft (or just wants to try new draft versions), then usually alternative drafting schemes used. They pretty much reproduce the drafting archetypes of standard drafting scheme with some minor caveats (less consistency in drafting pools and for types like Sealed much less chance to get combo decks going). The names of schemes are: 1. Sealed pools (any number of players, from 2 and up) - Each person opens X booster packs (fo MtG it's 6 packs with total of 84 cards, so for AGoT it will be probably 2 booster packs of 50) and builds best deck they can out of the provided pool. Pros: Speed, Cons: Sometimes you just open a bad pool 2. Solomon drafting (best for 2 players, minor modifications for 3 or higher) - 2 times X boosters (X=3 for Magic, X=1 for AGoT) are open and shuffled together in 1 pile. Then each person takes turns picking up 4 cards from general pile, looking at them and separating them in two 2 piles. Second person selects one of the piles and first person takes the left pile. Process repeated from start by second person next and so on. Pros: Very skill intensive, Cons: Very skill intensive 3. Winchester/Winston/Rochester drafting (usually 2 players) - Similar to Solomon, but harder to explain..Easier to Google.=) Pros: Rochester is considered the most skill intensive drafting format in MtG (99.999% sure it will translate the same way to AGoT), Cons: Skill intenstive, hard to scale to more than 2 people Alternative Draft Schemes (usually standard number of players, but can be done as 1-3 versions of standard drafting): 4. Cube drafting - You know what it is, but for other people, cube drafting is handcrafted draft pool either based around some subtheme, e.g., only Stark cards in the pool or no cards cheaper than 5 gold, but usually just most broken and strongest cards of the whole card pool. 5. Backdrafting - the LOLZ of all the drafting formats: Each player tries to draft the WORST deck they can, because after the draft, decks are given to other people at random (so you are playing not the deck you drafted) Pros: fun to draft the worst decks ever, Cons: not fun to play the worst decks ever.=) 6. Rotisserie draft (any number of people) - people have access to all the pool (one of each card from all possible draft cards) and all pool is visible. Each person takes 1 card from the whole pool, then next person and so on, till necessary number of cards has been drafted. Pros: fun to draft, Cons: takes ridiculous amount of time (could take 5 hours with enough people involved) 7. Team drafting (Usually 6 people - two teams of 3): Seat in position A, B, A, B, A, B. Draft as usual draft, drafted pools are not shared, but teams play team matches and can discuss deck building and what cards they saw passed between team members. Team matches proceed as follows: Member of team A is paired against random member of team B and so on, making it 3 total games. Team that wins 2 out of 3 games or more wins the match. Pros: Allows you to play as a team which is often more fun than playing for yourself. Cons: Skill intensive, requires some strategy within the team. 8. For true aficionados of draft and people who drafted more than is healthy: Cube Solomon Backdrafting and so on (all possible combinations of 1-5) Pros: if you draft every day, get tired of drafting and still want to draft; Cons: only truest of the drafters will be able to appreciate the complexity of such monster draft formats
  2. My 2 cents to discussion. Mark Rosewater (head designer of Magic, has been working on design of Magic for last 18 years) wrote an article in 2011 about the problem that Magic had about 6-7 years ago. It was dying under the burden of its own card pool and complexity of the rules: outflux of old players leaving the game stayed the same, but new players started to avoid the game. The article discusses the solution WotC chose. http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/172 Bottom line: What WotC found was that game became too complex to get into and board states became unnecessarily complex as well. They chose to streamline card designs (less words, less mechanics), revamp the rules (rewrite the whole rules from scratch, remove a few things from the game completely, such as mana burn and damage on the stack).
  3. There is also an AGOT draft event in Rockville, MD on May 24. Most if not all of local (MD players) will be there probably, so you can stop by and see whether there are people in the area close to you you haven't heard about.
  4. You can try looking into how original CCG boster drafts worked (not sure if you can find more details online, but there are still people around who drafted in those times and can tell more about that) and try to make booster packs based on original draft concept. After that you will still have a lot of work to do (and enough people willing to stick to drafting for 2-3 drafts before things get balanced and proper draft pool is developed). PS. You can also find booster boxes from various editions of CCG blocks on ebay (or maybe in your local store) for about 50-60 bucks for 36 boosters and those can provide some direction, ideas or can be used for drafting.
  5. I think it's photo of Penfold. Though I can't say that for sure..=/
  6. I think the original definition of Tier 1 decks (MtG) stems from ability of a deck to have a consistent average win rate of 50% or higher against other decks. So you just wait for a few Regionals to finish and you have yourself candidates for T1 (my favourite example being Maesters as an archetype that had 63% win rate in good old times based on ..don't even remember what. I either crunched data from Regionals or Regionals + Spanish tourneys). With second option being to play all decks with all decks and find one that outperforms. PS. Related but almost never discussed question is whether AGoT has rock-paper-scissors situation.
  7. Depends on how much room for error FFG has. After all they can try any of these suggestions for one-two cycles (or one-two packs) to figure out the community's response without adding an overcost (if FFG has money for that kind of gamble). This way you can think of any kind of experimentation as some version of game night kits. You don't have to force everyone to buy the new version of product, but offer it as a way to try to get new people in a game. E.g., let's say a booster cycle is added to the next cycle based on same cards, but providing foils/alternative art cards/any other extra initiative to buy those (cards signed by artists/CCG days cards). It can be done in small run the same way night kits are done and I'm pretty sure that people interested in drafting and/or foils/alternative art will buy such product. So no overcost to regular CP buyers at all.
  8. Now I have a bit more constructive suggestion regarding draft. What FFG can do is to start releasing booster packs at the same time as chapter packs. This way, people will get a chance to draft if they want to (and those who ever drafted cube draft, regular draft, CCG draft, MtG draft, etc. will agree that it's a looot of fun!) and people who don't will just buy regular chapter packs. If FFG does it let's say for the whole cycle and finds that it makes profit this way, we'll get a drafting community going at the same time as constructed one. If not, that's life.=)
  9. I'd say that foils could be a cute addition to the packs, but question is whether there are that many people who would really go busting packs to get foils. In the end Magic boosters are not about foils (IMHO), but about randomness (I have a feeling that most of Magic players are much less happy when they get foil Illusionist's Bracers compared to opening non-foil Domri Rade in their pack). Randomizing packs just goes against the whole concept and selling point of LCG - no rares, no randomness, specific content per pack. That is the reason why AGoT does not have to compete against MtG for new players or for keeping old players. If you remove that, you are left with too-complex for large market version of MtG with no real tournament support, smaller gamers base and, let's be honest, way weaker R&D deparment than WotC have. So if you try to go that way AGoT will lose its current gamers base, won't get new gamers ('cause they'll probably choose Magic anyway) and will happily collapse on itself.
  10. Danigral said: Wait, I'm confused. So if I play Thrones with my wooden house card and regionals champ playmat, and my alt-art cards, does that make me childish, or douchey…or a troll? All three?! A counterargument might be that if you don't want these things, or don't find some sort of childish glee in them (maybe not for foils, granted), then you are the Thrones equivalent of a hipster. A Thronester. A Thripster… ah, you get the idea. I'd draw a line at foiled wooden House cards with alternative art. Now those are completely unacceptable! @Vaapad: my bad.=)
  11. @mdc273: I'd say that you are overestimating how many people in Magic open packs to get foils. If they get foils, they are happy, but it doesn't make a lot of people to buy more packs for foils (major reason being to draft or to get more rares/cards they are missing for set, deck, etc.). @Vaapad: I'd say that foils, boosters AND new art(hehe!), not to mention playing a card game - all fall into category of being 12 year old by default. Some people can run around 'cause they got new art Cersei, while others will be in tears of joy 'cause they got foiled version of Cersei. Pretty much both of them behave as children.^_____^ So by default, I say everyone on this forum is a 12 year old. QED.
  12. 2 nerds 1 geek. That should be the name of new podcast.=)
  13. Wrote post, deleted, rewrote in concise form. 1. Everyone who plays Standard seriously knows that you never, never, never, never, never get cards by opening boosters. 2. When Standard rotates, people usually sell cards and buy new ones. They lose value, but if done right, you don't lose too much. 3. Average cost of Pro level deck is about 700 bucks. The one that won latest Pro Tour $40K tourney costed 650. 4. When we speak about Pro level, we speak about tournaments that (as above) give large prizes and have 500-1500 people. 5. If you play at your local FNMs with about 20 people per tourney (that's more or less a lower limit on number of people at FNM tourney), you can win with much-much cheaper decks (I won't be surprised if one can show up with 100 bucks deck and just win) PS. Flame war it is. :-P
  14. I've heard from a trusted source that regionals announcements will be shipped from Europe in a few months after they clear the European customs. :-P
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