Title says it all. But before I go on to talk about my opinions of the event I want to say a few things.
First, I want everyone to do me a favor and get their heads out of their asses. Yes, you heard me. I'm sick and tired of people saying things like "Is ATF stupid? Why would they schedule it so early? And why did they take the Battle Spirits Core Championship over the Shonen Jump last year? Are they stupid?"
You do realize this is a business right?
If you don't understand what's fully going on, here is the basic gyst of the story. Granted it is not perfect because I only talk to Ed Evans from All Things Fun. I AM NOT his official spokesperson, nor am I him, so these details may not be set in stone. Just want to get that out there to cover my own ass.
Bandai gives All Things Fun a Shonen Jump Championship because they're the top selling/performing store in the North East for Naruto and they consistently show their support by carrying all of Bandai's products and attending their dealer shows.
Bandai decides to give the Battle Spirits Core Championship to another store besides ATF. For whatever reason, it fails. Perhaps due to the game not being supported or stores simply thinking it won't bring them much revenue/recognition by hosting it.
Bandai decides that if All Things Fun were to host the Core Championship, it would have a huge turnout and be a huge success.
All Things Fun, knowing full well that the player base for Battle Spirits is far less than Naruto (which translates to less people and less revenue), decides to ask something along the lines of "Well if we take the Core Championship, what's in it for us?"
Bandai responds with "How about you get the first Kage/Shonen Jump Championship of next season?" So after talking, that All Things Fun would take the Battle Spirits Championship in exchange for a Kage/SJC as well as a few other unnamed perks that you or I may never hear about. It was merely hinted at.
Then we, as a player base, cried foul when there wasn't going to be anymore tournaments until next spring/summer. So what did Bandai do? Try to fix it to keep their player base happy. So they decided to put an end to the off season as quickly as possible. . . and I would assume that by the time they got approval for a tournament structure to be approved for December 2010 - December 2011, we arrived at the end of October/early November.
As promised, the first Kage goes to All Things Fun. And I'm assuming December 11th was chosen simply because it is probably the only available weekend that isn't occupied by Yu-Gi-Oh (Which if you don't know All Things Fun's Saturday locals for Yu-Gi-Oh range from 60-80 players). Pretty much, the date is set in stone and there's probably no way to change it because of A) Holidays B) It'd be incredibly short notice to change it C) I'm sure they're locked into December since the tournament structure REQUIRES one a month, so if ATF doesn't take it they either lose it or pass it off to someone else and create the same scenario D) It coincides with Yu-Gi-Oh and at the end of the day YGO wins because it makes WAY more money. Their local would make more money than this Kage if they charged the same amount for an entry fee...so yeah it's very unlikely things will get changed.
So now that that's out of the way, here's the short lists of the Pros & Cons:Pros
-My local store. I can roll out of bed 10 minutes before the event and still be there on time
-It doesn't cost me or anyone else going with me any money to crash at my place. (By the way, spots at Costa del Tsu are filling up fast. Reserve yours now!)
-New format means that the playing field is a mystery meaning if you have an incredibly bomby deck (ala Respective Dreams) you'll basically dominate the entire field
-Small field. Most people aren't expected to show which means it is much easier to take the top spots.Cons
-Prize Support Cut. This is terrible. I realize that the prize structure has been cut down severely since events are much more frequent but they should have stayed at least the same. Seriously Viz? The game already has declining numbers because the prize support is just plain terrible. Why play Naruto when you can play Yu-Gi-Oh and win just as much at their regional events? I'm not saying you have to match YGO but if you EVER want to make a bigger kick back with this game, you need to seriously consider better prizing.
-Short notice. TERRIBLY short notice. With work, school & the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I'd expect that most of us have less than 2 actual weeks of play testing and gathering the actual cards we need. On top of this, many people aren't going to show up which not only makes it a small field (easy to top) but it gives the Jump a bad rep. No one cares that you topped or won a Jump with 30 or 40 people. That's like winning a large Chunin.
-Not knowing what deck to play. This is a question I think most of us are asking. There is nothing to look at since this has been the off season. It's incredibly difficult to figure out what to play. I expect most people to fall back on the obvious, which leaves room for someone to gut the rest of the crowd with another deck. It's just hard to assess the field right now outside of say... Water?
I want this event to succeed, but right now it just seems like it's in a shaky position.
So after going down to the store, basically this is how the Kage got scheduled.
*Two Nights Ago*
Store Owner: Let's check the good old email... Oh look a letter from Bandai. Hmmm. . . You will be hosting a Kage. . . blah blah blah... December 11th. . . . blah blah blah. . . Wait. . . WHAT!?
And so Christmas shopping weekend had to be scraped because apparently it was already set in stone that this would be the tournament date. The store is left scratching their heads wondering what the heck happened but they're gonna suck it up and host it anyways. Poor communication? Probably.
But onto more pressing matters. Prizing. Again. I know I said the prizing was bad but if you look at it: 12 Kages now instead of 10 Shonen Jump Championships. . . that's not justification for cutting the prize support. We're missing a PSP from each event, which is about $150~200 in prizing. 2 Extra Kages does not make up for the fact that $2000 is just missing from the prize roster. Doesn't anyone seem to care about that?
I know I said a few weeks back people over react to things, but I personally don't feel this is one of them. Remember how I also said that there is a time when the community should backlash when things aren't right? Now would be that time people! :D
Bad game balance? Fine. . . it can be fixed via restrictions/bans/erratas/new sets.
Changes in game mechanics? Fine. . . I can get used to it.
Cutting the already small prize support for this game? That's where you draw the line. It was BARELY profitable to travel for this game. A round trip bus/plane/train ticket and the $10~20 entry fee, the cost to find a place to stay, and the money you spend in food is going to end up costing you like $200 no matter how you slice it. You could have just bought the PSP rather than attemping to travel to compete for it. This is a step back and I really think unless they change things or offer some kind of Top 16/Top 8 incentive like specialized mats or exclusive alternate arts, these tournaments (unless they happen to be local like this one coming up for me) are not worth it. At all.
Labels: AllThingsFun, bandai, Chief Tsuzumiya Haruhi, Kage, Shonen Jump Championship, tsu