Steemmonster New Additional Tourney Format?

in steemmonsters •  21 days ago

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Disclaimer:

First I want to say that I think Steem Monsters is an incredibly good and developing game. I have been around since the beginning, and have watched the progress firsthand. This piece is not in any way either a fanboy piece though, nor is it a post where I am going to grumble either. It is an attempt to add something to the game that I feel is missing (and add excitement with our cards).

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Additional New Format For Tourneys

Context

Before I go over the actual format and what I would suggest, I want to explain some reasons I have for my thoughts and give everyone the “context” of my thinking. Only in this way can people understand the purpose for the idea.

Emotional Attachment

In real battles in the real world, whether it is sports or war, there is a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort spent to have the people “buy-in” or “enjoin” to the effort. If you think of war, how many people get “vested” in supporting their side (whether directly or indirectly)? Also with sports, if you have ever been to a college football game, you will know that your arch enemies are your enemies and their fans are stupid/rabid nuts. The bottom line is there is an “emotional attachment” that occurs when you “pick a side”, so all great battles have that characteristic and people “involved with the battle” have much more passion than those that are distant.

Your Team Is YOUR Team

This attachment leads to a bonding with your army/sports team. As a result of that, almost all battles are fought with 2 sides (the good side and the bad side). Your team may have allies which will assist you, but you will not switch sides very often (if at all). You will have your group of troops/players, and the goal is that your side wins whatever is being fought over. Take the Super Bowl for instance, many people are rabid Patriot fans and they will definitely not switch to rooting for the Rams midway through the 2nd quarter. Similarly, if you believe in the purpose of your country's war with an enemy, very few will change sides halfway through the fight and fight for the other side. So the bottom line is there is natural mindset in a battle to “want” to fight your enemy team with your group of soldiers/players.

People Spend Lots Of Money To Support Their Battles To “WIN”

Finally, when people are vested in a group of soldiers/players you will notice they tend to open up their pocketbooks. From a serious decision to fund the “war effort” with “war bonds”, to the frivolous clothing and accessories that fans adorn themselves with, there is a massive infrastructure that gets built to encourage people to part with their money. Don't kid yourself, this is because people “LIKE” to root for a side and will do many things in support of their “team” or “country”.

Bread And Circuses Keep People Interested

The Roman Emperors were famous for the saying “if you want to keep people docile to rule them, give them bread and circuses”. Their version of circuses at the time were the “Gladiators”. They created these “battles” so that people would be “entertained”. And it worked for many many years, as people were entertained by rooting for their particular favorite gladiators in battle. The Roman rulers also realized that winning wars was good for the morale of their citizens. Their dominance in battle made their people feel “superior” and kept their attention on the Greatness of Rome.

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New Format For Tourneys To Reflect Real Life

The current version of tournaments are fine (and I'm not recommending to get rid of the format), but I do think there is room for another format that will enhance the game and capitalize on the issues discussed above. By adding another way to play the tourneys, I believe it will add a dimension that isn't currently available.

Single-Splinter Tournaments

For reasons discussed in the context, the idea would be to introduce single-splinter tournaments where people have to “pick a team” in advance of the actual battles starting. You can pick any of the splinters to take to your battle “in advance”, but you must play that team the whole tournament. The difference is you (or your opponent) can't take all the teams into the tourney and cherry pick which team to use depending on the games conditions. In essence, this format would force the player to "pick a side". I'll go over the rules in a bit, but first I'd like to go over the ramifications.

Ramifications

  1. Requires more skill with your deck, as you have to really understand the game AND your opponent.
  2. Levels the playing field by elevating skill versus the players that paid the most to get the best cards at their disposal.
  3. Increases excitement as players naturally develop their favorite splinters/cards.
  4. Increases card sales as players want their team to be the best at the levels they play, plus they can use their money more concentrated and will not feel they have to “buy everything” to compete.
  5. Last, but definitely not least, increases retention as game victories are seen as more attainable by specialization and skill, so benefiting those with limited assets to increase the player base.

Explanation of Ramifications

On point 1, right now a game's success requires a few things: 1) a good deck (ie. best decks tend to win) 2) understanding of the game (card characteristics as well as many scenarios and 3) experience. While obviously you need to have experience and understanding in the new format too, the one thing that would change is the reliance primarily on a good deck. I would argue right now in the current tourney format that a good deck is the primary determinant of success of those factors. Whereas if people had to a) announce their splinter selection pre-tourney and b) stick with the “same team” in all matches it would make the skill aspects much more valuable relative to the size of the deck.

What if you can't just pull out Selenia, or if you did, had to use the purple team in EVERY MATCH? Do you think it would be as devastating? Do you think you might find a way to counter it if you are the opposition? If you think this through, it will make people have a better knowledge of their decks and be more focused on strategy to overcome all types of opponents. Right now many people see the game and the mana, and have a “canned” selection of what to play in that scenario. No longer could this happen as knowing your opponents is way more valuable in every match.

On point 2, by elevating “skill” to win an entire tourney, a player can replace his knowledge for the requirement to have the absolute highest level of cards. As anyone who has played in a diamond tourney has discovered, you currently have no chance if you aren't at or very near max level cards. With the new format a player can “shock” his opponent by correctly understanding the likely cards to be played and put up countermeasures for more effectiveness. Think using magic reflect/void/silence against an anticipated Magic onslaught. Or beefing up the shields if you know your opponent plans to hit you with a Selenia air assault.

On point 3, it would be only natural that if people have success with a splinter that they will continue to develop it. They would turn into fans and have “favorites”. Also, when new cards come out for that splinter, they would be interested in obtaining them so they can use them as part of their arsenal. Right now, many players don't bother with some cards because they aren't necessary with an “optimal team” based on free selection of splinters in each game. But if you had only Death Splinter to fight with, most people will get every single one of the black cards to make sure they can handle anything that comes at them in a tourney. @yabapmatt has done a terrific job of making all the cards meaningful, but his genius isn't really shining through yet because people don't “NEED” them to win if they can always pick the optimal splinter to win. And when people feel they have a chance, then they have FUN playing. Its that simple.

On point 4, as mentioned above, it will help card sales. If a player can have a level 3 deck across the board, maybe they feel they could instead have a seriously good level 6 deck to compete in the gold league levels. Who knows, once they get a taste of level 6, maybe they even decide to max out that favorite splinter and go for the gusto. Its certainly easier to max one splinter out (including neutrals for support), than it is to try to max everything out.

In addition, as mentioned in the context, if players get “favorites” then there are many examples where they will spend money to support their team. If you favorite splinter was blue, do you think you'd have the Ruler of the Sea by now? And while the Exploding Dwarf might not ever get used in day to day combat, my guess is that someone specializing on the Fire Splinter will feel that card is a must. So I would argue that card sales will go up if Single-Splinter tourneys catch on.

On the final point 5, people have to feel they have a realistic chance of winning to want to play. It requires time, money, and/or effort to play most games, so feeling like you have a chance is very important for your mind to want to spend any or all of those resources. That gets infinitely more important when people have less resources. So in order to increase retention, the goal would be to give people a realistic shot of winning. As stated above, this format will increase those odds as people can substitute skill to make up for any shortcomings their decks may have versus their opponents. To me, its easy to get people to try something, the harder part is to keep them wanting to come back!

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How Would A Single-Splinter Tourney Work?

This is the easiest part of the post. It would work exactly like the current tournaments, but with a few changes to adapt it.

  1. Pick your Summoners before the tourney starts. It can be the summoners of any of the 5 splinters OR also the 6th splinter Purple. You would be limited to using only the summoners you select. For example, if you pick blue you can use Alric or Xia.
  2. Summon your Teammates from one of the 5 splinters. (NOTE: if you picked the Purple Summoners, then you can still pick one of the 5 splinters plus have your purple team too. With Selenia/Daria and not Alric or Xia) For example, you obviously will take the blue team if you took Alric or Xia; but you could also take the blue team (without Alric/Xia) with the Purple Splinters as well.
  3. If you can't play a game in a match because the computer didn't select your team as an option (or your opponents), then you just don't accept and submit a new challenge.

That's it. Pick your Summoners, pick your teammates, and work around the fact that sometimes a splinter is excluded.

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Test Tournaments?

If people like the idea and want to try it out, I will set up 2 tournaments for next weekend. I will have one Silver Level Tournament and one Gold Level Tournament on the same day and players have to pick one tournament or the other but not both.

On prizes, the gold level tournament will get 2x the silver level tournament so that people with better decks get somewhat higher rewards. But I will also “pay as deep as I can”, meaning that I will try to get as many prizes as possible to players, so the payouts be a bit smaller for each position finishing at/near the top.

I will donate all the liquid money from this post, plus add in 30 steem myself as prize money, IF I feel that I get enough interest in the idea. I don't want to waste my time or money if people don't want to test the idea of course.

I will also accept any money from any other people that like the concept and want to donate to the prize pool. I didn't ask @aggroed and @yabapmatt for money from their prize pool because I figured they will donate if they want to support the idea, but I didn't want them to feel pressured to do so.

I don't know how this idea will be received, but obviously if people like it, then I will be encouraged and proceed. If not, then its ok too as I have faced being wrong more than once in my life. ;)

So if you are interested in playing in a test tourney, or want to comment about the idea, or have any questions, feel free to hit the comment section. I look forward to hearing what the thoughts are and embrace opinions and feedback. And btw if you really like it, then let @yabapmatt and @aggroed know too. :D

ps... if anyone is willing to donate, please just give me the expression of interest (versus sending the cash) as we won't know for a couple days whether or not we will go forward with the idea.

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I agree. You get a real sense of ownership and tribalism from specialising in one splinter.
We could do 'Red vs Blue' tournaments, with 16 per side.
If Blue wins, then the 16 blue fighters are invited back to take on the winner of the 'Green vs White' tournament.
The West End brewery here in Adelaide paints their chimney with the colours of the champion football team each year. SM.com could host monthly Splinter-off tournaments and have a special background theme colour for the site based on the current champion splinter.

In the meantime, changing your challonge avatar to the colour of your chosen splinter would be a handy workaround for a test tournament.

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That's a great idea on the avatars Matt and I like your ideas of the "battle of the splnters" too... very creative! Its great to know what you think as I know you've been involved all along and are a big supporter of the project! Thanks :)

Very interesting idea Dave!

  • Taking it one step further might add even more interest. ???
    Teams of people consisting of 1 member per splinter...
    That might allow people to focus on building 1 splinter again. I did very well the first couple of seasons building just my water splinter.
    • I've now got a decent, balanced deck and can end up in the top 50-100 every season so far. To end up in the top 50 would cost about again as much as I've spent on this deck. I don't want to do that. However, I could trade some cards and finish maxing out 1 splinter and the important neutrals.
      • Then it would just be a matter of finding teammates that have built other splinters.

I suppose some might call this a guild?

Just thinking out loud...

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Nice to hear from you Dave and thanks for the feedback... I do like your idea as well... I think you are right in that it will be part of a guild (which you are invited to join @teampossible if you like since you brought the guild idea up)... I am definitely excited when we get far enough developed to have those kinds of tourneys... then people can ccontribute pieces to the whole pie and feel a big sense of "team"...

I'm happy to see that you would give the test a go, just don't go leveling too much until we see if this even is an idea that people latch onto. I don't want to change your strategy as I've seen you out there kicking ass all along! ;)

Thanks again for the feedback and let me know if you want the link to the teampossible discord invite! You would definitely fit right in ;)

This is really interesting idea @davemccoy 😊 the single summoner is really worth to try.. no matter what rules applied during the tourney. I want to join the trial tourney maybe the silver one (hope that I won't missed out again)

tourney with skill is more interesting than tourney with high level deck when you particularly on training against the bots everyday, sometimes the finger and mind automatically not ready against the human player

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:) ... thanks Cici! And yes I agree with you that if we use our mind it will definitely make it more interesting! I will put you down as someone to contact to play in the test tourney... I'm happy to see you'd like to try it!

It's an interesting idea, but wouldn't we just see a lot of the same splinters. There are very few that are balanced for most game formats.

For instance, black and red no longer have the depth and dominance they once had, due to some shiity reward card designs.

So I'd be thinking White, Green and Blue in that order.

No one will play dragons (crap in low mana games), so you might as well discount them.

But you won't know if you don't give it a try.

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Whatever splinter I get for my daily quest
becomes my new favorite splinter after completing the quest. haha
With consistent play of a splinter you learn the nuances of how to best play those cards,
even with those rule sets that you would prefer to play another splinter.

And it never fails, just when I think I've got a splinter figured out,
someone comes along with their team and wipes me out!!! haha
Ugh! Why didn't I think of playing a double sneak attack under those circumstances...
or
Holy Cow! How in the world did their cocatrice "tank" last that long!!! haha
or just the other day, I forget who it was shared their battle using the 1 mana Exploding Dwarf as their tank and it worked! I was flabbergasted!!! haha

The more I think I'm getting the hang of this game, the more variations I run across that shouldn't, but do work...

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That might've been me. Exploding Dwarf as a pre-tank has a lot of potential, particularly when he's unlikely to get clipped by magic or ranged (in 'Ranged and magic always snipe' for example). Excellent example here.

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Yup that's the battle. haha That's pretty amazing!
Until I saw that I was only using him for Melee Mayhem and Super Sneak.

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Thanks for the feedback @just2random... I think it would be ok if that happened (playing only one of 3 splinters), because remember whatever team you took into the whole tourney you are "stuck with it"... So if you took white, green, or blue, then I would at least know which one you took if you are my opponent so I could develop a countermeasure to your team. I also think that many people will find out that this is MUCH harder because right now everyone can "cherry-pick" the splinter that works best for each match. That wouldn't happen in a "single-splinter" tourney because you would have to choose from the team you entered the tourney with...

For instance, let's say you went white and I went red, then "broken arrows" comes up, you will be scrambling to find a team against say my red team that normally get its ass kicked by white (yet you would still have to play the white deck and couldn't opt out for a more suitable splinter)... That is only one example, but I think people will find that they will use ALL the cards more if that happened (plus get a truer picture of skill).

And on the Purple, in the Single-Splinter Tourney, you could still take the Dragons AND still pick one of the 5 splinters to go with it like you do now... The real disadvantage of going that route is that every opponent will know what you are likely to play and can develop countermeasures more easily.

And thanks again for the feedback and encouragement... would you like me to notify you if we do a test tourney?

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You could certainly try me. And I misunderstood about purple. If i can use Selenia's dragons plus nominate another splinter then I know exactly what I'd choose :-D

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lol... already getting my counter-measures ready for you ;)

and good... I will do that... I don't even know for sure if we will have enough interest, but as long as we get more than 10 I think its worth a try.

I like the idea, although I'm afraid my lack of skills will become even more visible, lol.

What do you mean with

(NOTE: (...) Just no Selenia/Daria)

Do you mean you have to pick on or the other?

And do you have access to the chosen splinter ánd the dragons then?

I think it is definitely worth a try, and I bet the tournament results will look entirely different for a change :0)

One risk: everyone playing Life...

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First, thank you for finding my sloppiness and helping me to correct it... I should've been with Selenia and Daria... And you could take either purple summoner for each match during the tourney, just not the natural summoners with the Regular splinter you took... So if you took the white team with the purple summoners, you would take either Selenia or Daria for each match and use the white team and purple team for players on their teams. Purple would be powerful, but I think it wouldn't be as powerful when people know its coming ...

Cool on you thinking its worth a try, and yes I think people will find a major difference in the people that win... This would definitely shake the leader board up each week.

And you and @just2random both expressed that feeling that people will mostly choose the same splinter, so its noted... I personally wouldn't take white with my deck, so at least one player would not have white :P

I would like to TRY novice LEVEL 1 SPLINTER vs SPLINTER tourney.

I welcome anyone to send me a challenge for 1 booster pack wager...

Posted using Partiko Android

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Awesome to hear @powermaster... do you think there would be more demand for Novice Level than Silver Level based on people you've spoke with?

And I think people can see that bold challenge, I hope someone takes you up on it... Let me know how it goes if you try it :)

And thanks for the feedback!

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I would like to see newbies/beginners who don't have the $10 for a starter pack be able to play/challenge other people or PRACTICE for FREE since the @steemmonters platform allows this at the moment.

For anyone reading this you can log into steemmonsters.com with your POSTING KEY and navigate your way onto the platform without paying the $10 starter set!

Posted using Partiko Android

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That is a very good point and one that doesn't get discussed enough... You are right that people can play steemmonsters without the rewards any time they like without a starter deck... I do encourage people to try it out for sure... Btw, if you find someone that is truly excited about the game and doesn't have money for a starter deck, then our guild has level 1 common and rare decks available. You are welcome to join us and help others, plus be in the company of some pretty down to earth awesome players too!

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Thanks @davemccoy

I am trying everyday to get my family and friends into playing @steemmonsters

I actually bought several starter sets and booster packs and gift cards during the holidays.

Most of them played it for a few days and rarely play at the moment.

I was hoping that the new CHALLENGE feature would be USEFUL so they can CHALLENGE one another.

It will most likely take a few more months for them to come back to @steemmonsters and try again...

BTW I enjoy reading ALL your SM post/comments daily. I can tell you are very passionate about SM and have GREAT IDEAS and DISCUSSIONS.

Thanks @davemccoy

Posted using Partiko Android

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wow... that is a very awesome comment about me at the end! Thank you very much :)

I think its terrific that you are trying to get others involved. If I can help in any way, just let me know... We have a group of probably 40 people and most are regulars... plus we have people from the beginner levels to a few in the top 20... We don't have many big decks for people to play, but we do have some level 1 decks that we let people use to learn and hopefully earn some themselves. I love that you took the initiative and bought your family/friends in... And the thing to remember is this game is still super new, so they are adding new cool things all the time.

Thanks again for the very nice compliment and have a good evening @powermaster :)

omg...you got a curie upvote??!! You did always say you would get one from them, one of these days. It happened on a SM post, of all things. Congrats on the achievement! ;)

I'm not opposed to one splinter tournaments. The system at the moment requires too much investment to keep up for simple game playing. Even I have a hard time keeping up. I think you mentioned one-team splinter battling in the chat once and Matt said that could be a possibility, after auto tournaments. All rules could be a possibility, this is one of them. Not sure if the game would ever take to this one direction though since we seem to be on a different path. Will be interesting to see!

Life has been too busy and tiring for me to be on much, aside from "me" time before bed that I use to play some SM, but I'll help if I can. It's the same people entering tournaments so I think you should just keep prizes simple just to piqued interests or not..imo.

I think deck size is very important....you know what they say - it's what you do with it that counts.

I really like the single splinter idea myself and it will add a lot more intrigue and strategy to the game, which in turn will make it feel less 'robotic'. So yes from me...

Also the guys at steemmonsters will find out the hard way, that if there aren't more prizes spread out amongst participants, that player retention will severely suffer and many will simply give up. I have already noticed a drop in real players.

Have a look at the poker world (which I have direct experience in). They had huge problems with the big fish constantly gobbling up all the money and then the money dried up which hugely affected the player pool and prizepools. So they resorted to measures to protect the poker economy in a way that pays a wider spread in tournaments to keep people playing longer....And it works!

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Hey PK.... Good to know you'd be a yes... You are one of the bigger players out there and knowing your thoughts is important from that aspect too... I agree that this would make it seem less robotic, and frankly that isn't a problem with the game but more the format... When you can pick from any splinter in your deck, its just normal that certain combos will be best... And those with the most money will buy those cards and play that combo over and over... Only a few can even challenge that, and even then since they know each other they will also know the tendencies of each other. If we had a format like this, I would put some money on you turning out to be a superstar on this... Not necessarily because you have the top cards, but because you are a student of strategy and have a great head for it.

On the rewards, I get it and your point stands on its own (glad you made it relative to your experience with poker too)... I think there is a balance of paying "deep" and paying "big", but if people don't feel they can win anything they will stop playing. Which is a shame because there are ways to keep it interesting and fun for all. That's why I hope this idea is embraced by enough people, because frankly to me there would be a ton more strategy.

Thanks again for the feedback PK :)

I'll play any tournament that's going and it's a good idea. Having to really think about which splinter gives you the most options and being able to set it up in different ways to defend and to give a few surprises. If I'm around I will try it out. Silver is my competitive level but I can win the odd match in gold.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Awesome @niallon11... Thank you for the response and I will definitely include you. I might change the tourney levels based on the feedback, but it seems good so far that we are getting some positive feedback :)

While I like the idea on a conceptual level, the current tournament process using Challonge or other 3rd party option is already painfully unfriendly. I think banking the idea until built in tournaments can be launched.

Posted using Partiko Android

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thanks for the feedback Spark... and yes I have debated that too... The only reason I brought it up early was because I don't know if they are going to add the ability to do this... So then I thought, hell its manual anyways, so why not see if we can just add another manual action... Its not optimal for sure though. I'll see the response overall and see what mood is and go from there. I'm not in a rush, but definitely wanted to know what people's thoughts were. Thanks for the feedback as always :)

I love this idea @davemccoy but was a bit was surprised you went for silver and gold. That's level 4 and 5 summoners isn't it?

That counts me out along with many others I would think. But maybe I'm wrong given how often I'm still playing the bots in the lower leagues.

I think it's a great idea though and hope you get enough interest for it to take off. 😍

Why not try and get SM sponsorship for it? I can't imagine Aggroed or Yaba would feel under any pressure to say "yes" or "no" to you.

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Hey Gillian, I have been given the same feedback that maybe Bronze and Gold would be the best place to start... So its not definite by any means, in fact I'm leaning to Bronze and Gold myself... The reason I originally picked Silver is I thought many people would have at least one splinter close to level 4 summoners (even if just daria)... the fact that they could compete successfully at that level might've given them confidence overall. However, if the other side of that is that if people don't enter because they don't even think they have a chance, then maybe Bronze is a better starting point. So I haven't made the decision, but your opinion matters and right now as I said I'm leaning to shifting it lower without further feedback.

Glad you like the idea and I look forward to you playing it :)

And on the SM sponsorship, I am not sure they want to sponsor test ideas... I do hope they pay attention to the reaction (both on the post and after we play it), because if people like it then it would be something that could be additive to what we are doing.

And the point about "pressuring them" is more making them feel obligated. If I ask and they said "yes" then they might've just said yes to support me (instead of the idea). But maybe they read the post or hear about it and like the idea, then of course I would love them to kick some steem in to make it more appealing... I'm giving out 30 steem just to make sure there's some prizes, but of course I know that's not much for a tourney!

Thanks for the feedback as always Gillian! :)

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Once you decide @davemccoy, are you going to add them to the tournament announcement discord? That should be a good judge of how interested people are and you could always remove it if necessary. 😁

I was surprised you went for silver and gold @davemccoy . That's level 4 and 5 summoners isn't it? That counts me out.

I think it's a great idea though and hope you get enough interest for it to take off. 😍

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I addressed this point in my other response, but based on feedback I'm now leaning to Bronze and Gold tourney. Thanks again for the feedback :D

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Sorry @davemccoy it looks like my edited comment didn't replace the unedited one. 😱

Great idea Dave!
I'm sure the updates are coming.
I love seeing how quickly this game has taken off and how it is improving.

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Hey Doc! Yes me too... It continues to change and evolve at a rapid rate and sometimes we lose sight of the total speed. I'm glad you like the idea as you are a valued opinion for sure and hopefully if we do it, I will see you there ;)

Hope all is well and thanks for the feedback, its always great speaking with you!!!

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I like the idea, there is room for lots of different formats imo. I ran hundreds of poker tournaments with different quirks to them so I am not short on ideas. Along with what you suggested Bounty tournaments would be another great way to go. These can be run multiple ways for example : KO one of the founders in the Beat the Boss tournament and win X card.