As you must know, many members of our community have been clamoring for changes in our tournament structure. Already one significant change has been made: Marc Roca is eliminating the open qualifier round at Worlds 2009. However, I believe there are other ideas for change that have broad popular support from the community, and therefore should be passed by us. It may feel a little strange for our Council to be finally passing such dramatic changes to the game, but we are losing players faster than the United States economy is falling, so I believe we need to take proscriptive action, and try our hands at some solutions.
Therefore, I am making a motion which I call the “One-of-a-kind Proxy Rule”, that if approved should be effective immediately for all COE-sanctioned tournaments:
Motion for One-of-a-kind Proxy Rule: If a player has multiple copies of a card in his deck and sideboard, one of these copies must be original, but all other copies can be a proxy. The proxy card(s) can be any real MECCG card with a burning-eye back, and must legibly indicate the card title it is representing, such as by a piece of paper with the title or via a photocopy of the represented card. The thickness of the proxy card cannot be noticeably increased, nor should any paper stick out beyond the edges of the card, or that will be constituted as cheating. The Tournament Director has the final say in all decisions as to the legality of a proxy card.
Here is an example of the new proxy rule:
For example, if I had three Longbottom Leafs in my deck, one of these must be the original card, and the others may be proxies. If I had a unique card in my deck, it must be the original.
Note that this rule also prevents a difficult situation where one player needs to know the text of the card but the proxy does not have the text (just the title); by my suggested rule, the original card can now always be hunted for. I actually believe this is a pretty conservative solution to the problem (a problem that I’ve outlined extensively elsewhere in my “Saving the Game Letter”; see the end of this email). Wolfgang has offered another great idea—printing COE-sanctioned promo cards of hard to get cards like Longbotom Leaf which would be tournament-legal—but this needs more discussion because of the legal issues.
If you don’t want to vote on this motion immediately, but want to discuss it a little, that’s fine. To give you an idea of how the community feels about this topic, look here:
http://www.councilofelrond.org/forum/vi ... .php?t=976
My vote is: Aye.
Be careful how you vote on this, and the reasons that you give; it might come back to the community!
For those of you who wonder what exact problem my solution is addressing, here is an excerpt from my Saving the Game Letter:
--Frodo (Joe Bisz)
Problem area 2: New players
How do we reach out to them? Next, how do we continue to make them feel invited, and want to remain, so the game can grow?
B- PRODUCT AVAILABLITY, COMMUNITY AND ADVERTISING
Okay, let’s say we explained it well enough to some friends we’ve met, and—wow!—they like the game! Not only that, the rulesbooks have been streamlined and—double wow!—they say they can actually understand them. Now, the players greedily ask us… so where’s the CARDS?
This is probably the single-greatest challenge our game presents us. We can streamline or simplify the rules, we can develop demos all day, we can advertise like professionals—but there’s the product?? How do I play this game?
[…some text edited out]
Even hoarding the prize support will not solve all of our product problems, though it may delay Judgment Day a few more years. Therefore, I ask that we give serious thought to another long-debated solution: reprinting all of the cards (illegally). Or else, provide the knowledge and the methods so that players can print them themselves. Printing technology is getting cheaper and cheaper. Providing such methods—for example, 9 card image sheets hosted on a server—would be legal because we are not printing the cards, we are displaying the images/pieces of this game in order to give a perusable library. Players would be choosing to do the illegal actions.
[…some text edited out]
Proxies: Finally, I offer one other idea that I’m sure will also prove controversial. Current players, but especially new players, will feel a certain unfairness in the difficulty of obtaining particular hard-to-find cards, and this will only add to their frustration with tournament-level play. I believe that the GCCG model, where everyone can play with whatever card they like, has proved to be successful: you don’t see any players anymore claiming that you should actually “own” the GCCG card to be playing in GCCG tournaments, etc. Still some players in the real world (those with the cards, of course) might feel that having the hard-to-find cards should count for some kind of detriment when composing a deck for tournaments, otherwise the whole collecting market could change too much.
Solution: I propose a middle-of-the-road solution, which is thus. All Worlds, nationals, and local tournaments should implement the “at least one-of-a-kind proxy rule.” This rule states that: for any card that you have multiple copies of in deck and sideboard, one of these copies must be original, but all other copies can be proxied. For example, if I had three Longbottom Leafs in my deck, one of these must tbe the original, and the others may be proxied. If I had a unique card in my deck, it would have to be the original. This solution also prevents a negative situation where one player needs to know the text of the card but the proxy does not have the text (just the title); by my suggested rule, the original card can now always be hunted for.