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Author: Subject: JUNE 2011 Newsletter

Mood:  Bemused
posted on 7-5-2011 at 01:46 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
JUNE 2011 Newsletter


Misery of a Fair Game Part 4 Mactonight

Last time, I talked briefly about the reasons why people log onto the wizard site to play a game of wizard. It was outlined that, whether they are playing just for fun or to gain Master Points and improve their standing in the ranking system, all players play with the hopes of winning. A very profound statement, I know. However, I then briefly indicated that, although everyone is there to win (profound statement), some players hold winning in higher regard. To some, winning is essential in order for their continued success, and therefore, when unfair play creeps into the game, it has an effect on them.

What I want to look at this time is one of the effects of unfair play, and well, pretty much play in general… The Rant. You’ve seen it a thousand times (and if you haven’t, you should play more games with Mactonight): you’re in a game, something happens, and a player starts to spew all kinds of nasty words in chat. Sometimes it’s so bad that the nasty words continue onto the Wizard Portal site, and at times, there’s a back and forth that causes players to dislike each other, to disrespect each other to the point where the terms “Never join my host again” or “I won’t play with you ever again” are expressed in big bold letters, and sometimes even in Technicolor!

Usually, no one else knows why they are ranting, but it’s fun to read. I call this the “Angry Rant” (clever, I know). The “Angry Rant” is the most reactionary of the rants that I will talk about. What exactly is the point of the “Angry Rant”? Does it show the passion that players have for the game? Is winning so important that people forget that they are playing an online card game? Are players really affecting other players to the point of such anger? I guess so, eh?! I have never understood the “Angry Rant.”

Sometimes the ranting isn’t really ranting at all, or isn’t meant to be. Sometimes a player is simply trying to understand why a player did what they did, or the player “feels” that they need to teach another player what they should have done or how they should have played. I call these “teachable moments”. These “moments” are usually the result of a player who saw something that another player didn’t see. “Oh man, we had the leader scratched. Why did you save him (or her)?” Or “Dude, if you played the jester, then the queen, followed by the wizard, and then rubbed your rabbit’s foot, and then played your two, I would have won. Why didn’t you do that?” I must admit that I am a big fan of the “teachable moment”, and most of the time, I am simply asking why they did what they did. It’s more about me wanting to learn than me trying to teach, but either way, this form of “ranting” is a direct result of another person’s choice. If you saved someone, then another player is going to want to know why, and they are going to ask, and usually not in a tone that I would want any of my children’s teachers to use.

Sometimes the ranting occurs because one player has done something that another player feels is unfair, or targeting, or purposely intended to ruin another player’s game. I have now written 4 segments of an article based on trying to educate players into understanding how much this kind of play is just disruptive. I’ve talked with a few “good players” who have concluded the following about targeting, etc: “It’s part of the game now. You have to watch who is on your table and who might try to do things” One player said: “There are certain players who I won’t even “hit” or cause to scratch, because if I do, they will spend the whole game going after me. Once they start to lose or fall behind, they give up and just target and attack”. And I’ve said a few times “I have more zero bids per game than most players, because it’s easier for me to dump cards on players, because if I bid them, then players will just take them and force me to scratch”. And when that happens, it’s hard not to express frustration. This is what I call “annoyed ranting.”

The problem with “annoyed ranting’ is that it’s sometimes mistaken. Sometimes players ASSUME that they are being targeted. Sometimes they think that someone is out to get them, when in fact, that was not the intention at all. I was in a game recently where I was taken out by a player and was about to subject them to an “annoyed rant”, but before I did, I let the round play out. The player in question made his (or her) bid, and in fact, by “targeting” me, she (or he) got the first place person, and moved from 4th to 2nd and closed the gap. That’s not targeting, that’s good strategy. Remember, if winning is the point of the game (profound statement), then one of the best ways to win is to make your bid while causing others to scratch or not make their bids. So before ranting, check first to see if the player made her (or his) bid. “But, but, but, Mac, sometimes a player will save another player and still make their bid, and target me and make me scratch instead of the other person. I want to express an “annoyed rant” because that’s not right.” Yeah, I know. To quote a friend I respect, “suck it up buttercup”. Sometimes you’re going to lose your bid, and that doesn’t mean that you’re being targeted. And sometimes you’re going to lose your bid because you’re being targeted. What can you do? Someone is going to miss their bid, why not you?

Ranting in whatever form is one of the consequences of the game. The type of ranting will vary depending on what caused the reaction. Was it an unfair play? Was it a player who did something that someone else thought they should have done differently? Whatever the reason, the chat bar is starting to affect players. Hosts are asking me: “Mac, is there a way to turn off chat?” I have heard players express “I wish people would just play and stop typing.” I think players are starting to get annoyed at the chats altogether. Which leads to the question, are the use of chat, ranting, and teachable moments a strategy? Can someone use chat to get inside another player’s head? Consider trash talking? How about manipulation? Distraction? Can I chat you up and make you a friend so that maybe you don’t take my tricks? Can ranting cause you to change how you play? Much like the “good player” quoted above? If you change how you play in order to prevent some yahoo from targeting you or to prevent someone from ranting nonsense, is that other player’s strategy working? Matze-Katze!!!!….it’s time to come back. I’ve missed you.

Next month, we’ll discuss the differences between regular play and tournament play.

DisneyWorld 2011 September 23-24

Wizard’s complement of 27 rooms is now fully booked and there is a list of standbys hoping for a cancellation. There will be 40 players in the tournament. The tournament itself will consist of tables of four players. Everyone will play 5 games at different tables. Players will be awarded "Matrix Points" and will be allowed to 'drop' his/her lowest score. The player's final score is the total of his/her best 4 Matrix scores. (There is no elimination)

Ap Sirius……Karl Anderson
Merlin………George Wellesbury
Karl and George will be representing North America at the tournament in Budapest on October 1, 2011.

Pulsar Points A new category of Master Points is established effective March 12, 2011 for tournaments that are invitational and in effect limited to players of exceptional skill and/or accomplishments. These points are known as "PULSAR Points". Both Karl and George will have the first opportunity to acquire “Pulsar Points” at the Budapest Tournament which limits entrants to 2 per country.

Medieval Wizard: Medieval Wizard is scheduled to be available in late August/

WOW (World of Words): The new word game is scheduled to be available in August.

Local Wizard Game Nights: Stuart Kaplan of “U.S. Games Systems” has worked diligently in promoting approximately 300 “Wizard Game Nights” across the United States. They have proven to be very popular and successful. Many of the players attending the event in Disneyworld have been drawn from players who participated in the “”Wizard Game Nights”.

Have a great summer

Ken Fisher

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