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New Hatamoto rules

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So based on this article we have new rules for achieving Hatamoto for the new Kotei season.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2018/11/4/imperial-treasures/

To achieve Hatamoto you need to have a score of 52 (so 6 wins with a maximum of 2 as mod wins) or more points in the six rounds of Swiss . This will result in an average of 1 player per 64 achieving the status and sadly for many clans (looking at your Lion and Unicorn mostly) this means Hatamoto may as well not exist for now.  Is this a good or bad change for the game?

Personally I think its a bad one as the lure of achieving Hatamoto status was one of the things that kept players on what are perceived as weaker clans during the major events.  They knew they weren't there to win, but they would get to rep their clan and still had a chance at some sweet swag for their efforts.  Now that temptation is gone and I would worry that a lot of tournaments may devolve into should I take the best deck that gives me the best odds of winning which will lead to a general lessening of diversity in the field.  Now I'm aware that the counter argument was that if every clan is giving several Hatamoto titles at each major event it lessens the value of them but is that really a problem.

I personally hope that they revise this change before the start of the tourney season and I'd prefer to see something like all Undefeated players get the status regardless of clan, plus for those clans that did not have a player who went undefeated the highest ranked player with at least a 4-2 record earns Hatamoto status.  Yes you may have "lesser" players achieving the status but it encourages diversity of clans which may be a better thing.

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On the plus side, if there are only going to be around 12 new Hatamoto each year then FFG might bother updating their Hall of Honor. I mean seriously, 'Hatamotos last updated on November 17th, 2017'. 

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The new system to encourage attendance and continued matches will be koku and the prize wall. It is true that doesn't encourage playing less well off clans in Kotei. The number of hatamotos was probably too big during the Toshi Ranbo season, so I'm curious to see how these changes alter the feel.

The format is also changed with the Elemental Championships affecting role choice, but Kotei affecting Favor and Glory counts. Kotei are now also only one day unless a Grand Kotei so that makes attendance easier. I'm hoping they add a number of other regular Kotei to the schedule since there are not that many yet, preferably in the format like was done in Houston as a weekend outside of a convention. The number of Grand Kotei appears good to me.

Conventions that had small L5R attendance appear to be set up to run the Elemental Challenges instead of Kotei. Those play into the Elemental Championships and don't need as good attendance to feel worthwhile as Kotei do.

So a lot of changes to work through. If the number of hatamoto is too small and clan variety too sparse they can balance it out next year.

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2 hours ago, GM81 Protocol Droid said:

The new system to encourage attendance and continued matches will be koku and the prize wall. It is true that doesn't encourage playing less well off clans in Kotei. The number of hatamotos was probably too big during the Toshi Ranbo season, so I'm curious to see how these changes alter the feel.

The format is also changed with the Elemental Championships affecting role choice, but Kotei affecting Favor and Glory counts. Kotei are now also only one day unless a Grand Kotei so that makes attendance easier. I'm hoping they add a number of other regular Kotei to the schedule since there are not that many yet, preferably in the format like was done in Houston as a weekend outside of a convention. The number of Grand Kotei appears good to me.

Conventions that had small L5R attendance appear to be set up to run the Elemental Challenges instead of Kotei. Those play into the Elemental Championships and don't need as good attendance to feel worthwhile as Kotei do.

So a lot of changes to work through. If the number of hatamoto is too small and clan variety too sparse they can balance it out next year.

I'm not really upset with the change in format for Kotei and Grand Kotei as I agree the prize wall will likely encourage players to stick out to the end instead of dropping after one loss.  But I do worry that the field is going to be reduced to only a few clans seeing regular play as I see no reason to ever take a Lion deck for example to a Kotei right now since there is very little chance it would go 6-0.  If I had a chance of getting Hatamoto with an overall winning record maybe I consider rolling the dice.

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Yeah, the new Hatomoto requirement is harsh. It was already harsh that some Unicorn didn't even get a hatamoto at some events earlier in the year, I believe. This policy apparently escalated to where you need a perfect record (on paper) to get hatamoto status. I could only assume this is potentially a measure to save costs and prevent people from parading in a cape made of hatamoto mats. However, I do wonder what TOs are going to do with their other 6 mats that won't see the day of light, ship them back?

The prize wall is nice but this does further skew people to play the best stuff. Getting two koku is better than one, right?

Edited by Hordeoverseer

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It appears that FFG wants to make hatamoto a more high end status. It is basically the Kotei champion (or a Grand Kotei finalist) with the new rules. The current field of hatamotos represents a fairly wide level of skill, and while I don't mind either way I can see why FFG may want it to be a more meaningful rank. World's had one day with about thirty hatamotos and the difference between them was fairly wide, even if any of them easily slammed me.

As for Unicorn not making hatamoto at some events, that means that no Unicorn went at least 2-2 in the samurai stage which I can believe happened a few times. Especially at the small attendance Kotei. I think we would see the same with Lion this year if we continued to use the old system.

I do think something to encourage attendance by less performing clans is a good thing. Maybe instead of increasing the skill necessary to make hatamoto they should have just lessened it's importance and made a new rank like shireikan. Or maybe create a new rank like magistrate to fill what hatamoto previously meant, minus the challenge pins, favor points, and such.

Make sure and give FFG feedback. If we feel discouraged to attend some snail mail or email is the best way to be heard. And I'm sure they'll watch the results over the year.

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