EDIT: I should of started this post by pointing out that I do appreciate the work you guys have put into the Gold Saucer, and have so far been loving TT. So I’m not out to sound like an in-considerate ranter. Just that this is a real problem the way TT tournaments are being ran.
I’m going to put it bluntly before I go into details: It’s a broke system. I waited until the tournament actually started before posting this to see if my worries were just, and they were. Everything I feared has come to light. I was really looking forward to TT and playing against others in tournament, or what I thought was going to be a tournament. When I read the rules it had me a little worried due to how broken it sounded, but figured I would wait and see as maybe there’s more to it.
I’m going to number each thing that is wrong starting from the top. I have played CCGs and TCGs all my life including the tournament scene. I’ve played these both online virtual versions and real life physical versions.
1. Players can simply exploit the system by getting a group of friends or other players that do not care for it to allow wins after letting them win a certain number to make their rating higher, then letting you win the rest. Or you don’t have to lose any if you buy wins from players willing to sell them. I know this is legal in PVE with selling clears, but this is different being that it’s a tournament PVP that actually affects those playing.
2. It has no real tournament structure to it. It has the points awarded system similar to a modified swiss structure, but unlike a modified swiss structure you are not paired with players of a similar win record. Instead we choose who we play. On top of that we have no idea whether the person we challenge to a match has a higher or lower ranking unless we are only choosing to play one of the top 20 players shown on the tournament board. That is not a tournament. This brings me to 3.
3. Choose your matches wisely? By choose wisely you must mean only go against players in the top 20 ranks on the tournament board, since you can’t see anyone else’s rank. This brings me to 4.
4. Okay, so let’s say I want to play one of those top players. They can refuse to play you if they want, OR they may not even be around or available to play. You can try sending them a tell and hope they respond or happen to be on at same time.
5. This one is uncertain until you guys come forward about whether Lightning is exclusive to tournament. Awarding an award that actually affects gameplay is flawed. There’s a reason why every ‘good’ card game under the sun only awards special unique artwork of an already existing card to the winner, or winner creates a card, but card will still be available to all players. Winnings are always a currency amount, and/or card vanity. No affect on gameplay whatsoever. By having even just 1 card with exclusive gameplay affect that can only be obtained by getting top spots in tournament, you are essentially tipping the playing field in the winner’s favor and causing an unbalance by making the playing field slightly uneven, as the winners now have a permanent advantage by having access to all the same cards everyone else does, plus the tournament prize card. This wouldn’t be an issue if it was just artwork or something. This means the winners will always have more options now for deck customization and possible strategies. And releasing the card as an award in more than 1 tournament does not fix the issue, as it still requires winning top spots to get.
6. The players are suppose to know what special rules a tournament will be following before they enter so they know if they want to enter. I had to enter the tournament ‘before’ finding out what rules the tournament would be using. Basically I won’t enter any tournament unless it’s no rules good old fashioned big numbers take, and each player will have their preferences.
There is more than one solution. I am only outlining one here. Have actual player pairings. There would be a registration period, which includes the deck the player will use, which cannot be changed once tournament starts. Once registration ends no one else can join that tournament. Pair those players randomly, or even have a duty finder for TT tournament. First round players are randomly paired. Every round beyond that players will play a player of similar rating. Look up how swiss and modified swiss tournament structure works. Eventually the top so and so players move on to single elimination, which is always narrowed down to an even number of players. It doesn’t even have to be exactly like this, but something similar that is an actual tournament where exploits and unleveled playing can’t occur.
Bottom line, it is not a tournament if players can choose who they face. This allows exploits AND even makes it where they could win all 15 matches and still not get top 3 all because they did not know the ranking of the opponent’s they chose to play.