Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Future of MPDC

This past Monday, I was sitting online once again, watching as the same dozen or so players slowly filtered into the #MPDC channel and registered for our weekly event. I hate to sound an old timer, but it's hard for me not to reflect on the days when this event was drawing 40+ players every week. In fact, we just barely had enough players to make the 8 person minimum for the event, and only because someone who was planning on playing was willing to jump in to make sure it happened.

After reflecting on this trend, I sent out the following Email to everyone who participated in the Standard Pauper Double League - over 60 players in all:

You are receiving this E-mail because you participated in the Standard Pauper Double League. As I mentioned at pdcmagic earlier this week, I am seriously considering changing our weekly Standard Pauper tournament to a recurring league-style event, where pairings are played out at each person's convenience rather than everyone having to show up at a particular time and place.

With our weekly attendance averaging only around a dozen players, it's clear that most of you don't participate in this event. Back when I did my survey, it did seem like the most common reason for a lack of participation was simply how hard it was to make any particular time and day of the week work for a majority of players.

If we were to make this change to MPDC, would you be interested in participating in such an event long term? And if so, would you be willing to play out multiple matches in a week? How often would you like the league to end, award prizes, and then start up again?

As I consider this change, your feedback is very important to me. I would love to facilitate as many people as possible playing Standard Pauper on a weekly basis, and maybe this is the best way for that to happen. I'd love to hear back from each and every one of you, even if it's just to say that you wouldn't really be interested.
Thanks for reading.

I've already heard back from over a dozen players, and for the most part the response has been fairly positive. It does appear that running a league-style event is much better for many people who remain interested in Standard Pauper. 

That said, there are still several details that would need to be worked out:
  1. What is a reasonable number of matches to expect people to play in a week?
  2. How often would the league reset - only once Standard rotated, or once a new set was released, once every four weeks, or something else?
  3. How would the event be organized - using a spreadsheet like the recent Zendikar Unified Sealed League, using the built-in tournament software on Gatherling, or something else entirely?
  4. Would the league feed into some sort of in-person event, like a Top 8 or something similar?
Now I certainly don't want to give the impression that my mind is made up yet. However, I certainly see the advantages of moving from a weekly event to a league-style approach. Sure, it has its disadvantages. But on the whole, they might just outweigh the disadvantages.

If you've got an opinion on the matter, I'd love to hear it. Drop me an email at gwyned at gmail dot com, or reply in the comments below.


  1. I would ask to see if you can use Polyjak's website to host and run the league. He's working on getting it as automated as possible and the match scoring system is great.

    W = 3 pts
    L 1-2 = 2 pts
    L 0-2 = 1 pt

    Play up to 5 regular matches per week. No penalties if you only play 4 or less, you just get less points. Play more than 5 matches to get some bonus (he hasn't revealed how that works yet for the next league).

    If the format is standard pauper then the rotation would happen when standard rotates, just like it does now.

    If you want to take the top 8 players at the end of the week or month or one per set rotation and host a separate tournament and give the top 8 byes at Worlds or something that could work to. Everything is predicated on having numbers in the 20s, 30s, 40s, or more though. Easier to find league matches when tons of people are in the playing pool.

  2. I think doing a few different formats would work. From there you could take top XXX players from each format and run a top 8. You could plan on doing this 3 or 4 times a year. or based the number of times around the set rotations for standard, this way you already have a time frame set.

  3. What about sponsors? Will they keep it up whatever?
    One late night event run is different than a several weeks run attendance.... different challenge !
    I would keep MPDC as it is, but considering my inability to attend anyway, it's just an opinion.
    Depending on the league's rulings I feel like league is in favor of the regulars anyway.
    The basic objectives regarding regulars Vs Newcomers are to be once again written down so they fit everyone's expectations of what the format and event shaping should be.
    Don't mean to shake it all over but that choice is important and i'd keep it as it is now, if you still can afford it scheduling things as they are.
    Thx for reading !

  4. I dont see the sponsor being an issue.
    Anything that helps the growth of the player base is good.