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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 3:05 am 

Joined: 2015-Sep-02 2:49 am
Age: Drake
Location: Connecticut
I'm not sure hearing our voices should even be a concern of the RC. The only way Commander is going to continue to thrive is if it has something of an ivory tower element to its stewardship. The day Commander's governance gets opened up to the unwashed masses is the day it begins to die. The RC should continue to run Commander like they created it, because that's worked and continues to work. Don't fix what isn't broken. If people are complaining, they're playing. You don't need players agreeing with your decisions. You don't need players feeling listened to. You need players enjoying Commander, and ideally, you need more players enjoying Commander tomorrow than today. For the most part, that's probably the case. I used to take regular opportunities to try and convince the RC to unban liberally, at the very least, all the low-hanging fruit. I'd rather see a dozen new bans than see Commander go democratic. Stay the course. I didn't pick up Commander to feel listened to. I picked up Commander because I wanted to go where it was heading. Don't let the passengers change the destination.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 7:02 am 
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Joined: 2012-May-11 11:02 am
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papa_funk wrote:
There's a wide gap between "Commander is built for this type of play that we're interested in" and "You must play Magic in this way". You are welcome to do whatever you want; we're not coming to your house and making demands.


eh

Banlists mean certain playstyles and archetypes aren't allowed. And that's fine; that's the intent of bans and restrictions in every format of Magic.

And while you're not at my house, your rules are at my LGS, where your demands are functionally binding.

At my LGS, at least, everyone has their own ideas about what should and shouldn't be allowed. Since none of us can agree on changes, we agree to the baseline set by the RC because it's the easiest way to handle the situation and also play with any randos that happen to walk through the door. Still, the official banlist is like eating at a Denny's; we're happy to share a meal with each other but we all wish we could have agreed to go somewhere else.

Sheldon wrote:
Despite what some folks think, the RC listens to as many voices in the Commander community as we can. One of the reasons we formed the CAG was to extend our reach. Still, it appears as though some folks feel as though their voices aren't being heard.

I'd like to get your opinions on how you think that we might demonstrate to you that we're listening, especially when we do the thing that's not what you, the individual, want. It's easy to feel as though you weren't heard if a decision goes a way you don't like--but every decision is going to have people who dislike it. What would make you go "Well, they didn't agree with me, but at least I felt like they considered my position?"


I'm not heard because the major outreach considered in recent months is the creation of a committee of people I've never heard of who I have no points of interaction with beyond one of them posting in the shambling corpse of Sally where negative reactions to this update are largely sidestepped.

I'm not heard because Sheldon's recent SCG article clarifying the reasoning behind the July 2019 update was exceptionally poor. "Well they didn't agree with me, but at least I felt like they considered my position" is in no way how I feel after reading that. All that the article accomplished is reiterate with no further discussion of the merits of the cards! How could that hope to be illuminating? The RC explicitly used to see more merit in keeping Iona rather than PS; why not use the article as an opportunity to talk about how the dynamic apparently changed? No? Okay then

Sheldon, from the SCG article, about Painter's Servant wrote:
The CAG did a great job of helping us see the upside value of Painter's Servant. They made the argument that some players have made about it over the years in a quite compelling fashion—which is exactly what we had hoped they'd do when we formed them.


How on earth can I feel like I'm heard when the RC proudly admits that it never took players seriously about the exact same argument the CAG made?

Also, there's really no effort at all put into meaningful discussion post-update. I'll freely admit to being scarce on this forum in recent years, but there's a reason for that. This place is absolutely awful for talking about anything other than the status quo, and these are your official forums! Whatever the new reality of the format post-update is, the RC here talk as if the status quo really is the best, trust me, we ran the numbers! It's like y'all are a bunch of Sphinxes of the Final Word: "He answers questions as readily as he asks them, but his answer is always 'no.'"

Unless you're on the CAG, then suddenly the same words you've heard a million times over suddenly mean something


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 9:15 am 

Joined: 2019-Jul-12 10:30 am
Age: Wyvern
This reply from papa_funk exemplifies some of the reasons I feel frustrated and unheard.

Quote:
We don't tell people how they are supposed to play.


Yes, you do. Primarily through the banlist, which literally restricts what can and cannot be played in a setting where the official banlist is used - which is most places, especially events and public venues.

Secondarily through words. Sheldon (I don't know about the other members) have written articles with titles like "Cards you shouldn't play in Commander." The Philosophy Document makes attempts in fuzzy language to explicitly define what is or is not "acceptable" Commander pkay int eh eyes of the RC.

You try to "have your cake and eat it too" by adding disclaimer that says "do what you want, we're just advisors," but the way youre communicating is inconsistent and very, very clearly illustrates a bias on behalf of the RC as to what playstyles are "intended" for Commander.

Quote:
We created a format for a style of game we wanted to play, because the available options weren't what we were looking for. It turned out that a whole lot of people also wanted to play it that way. What we do is tell people how we envision this format, try to point them towards what we believe is best, and give them a lot of latitude to mold it as they see fit.


We understand that this was your intent in creating teh format. But you've moved past the creation phase - Commander is now possibly the most popular format of Magic the Gathering. There is now a significant disconnect between the community at large and the RC, specifically relating to how you "envision the format."

And please also remember, you're not "giving them a lot of latitude." I dont want to be rude, but this is nonsense. There are no rules you could possibly create that would affect kitchen table games - this is why many of us find the RC language around Rule 0 to be a copout. Rule 0 is an inherent fact of any game where there are no judges and no tournament rules to enforce. This isn;t some special feature of Commander - the same fact was in place when I started playing in Revised.

The issue seems to be that teh RC is trying to view the Philosophy Document, the banlist, and their words and articles as gentle suggestions. This is problematic because the banlist is the de facto actual banlist, not just a suggestion, when playing publicly. If you guys were just making suggestions and expressing the way you personally prefer to play, there would be no issue at all. But in reality, you have a lot of authority, your words carry great weight, and this means you have a level of responsibility to the community to make sure the official rules of the game are maximally inclusive and do not dictate a specific sort of playstyle is to be preferred or avoided.

The way your response came across (and giving the benefit of the doubt, I'm going to assume this was not what was intended, but this is what it felt like to me) was that you are saying "we created this format for us; it is ours, and not yours, and we are making decisions according to our own preferences." Which is precisely the criticism the community lays on the RC.

Quote:
There's a wide gap between "Commander is built for this type of play that we're interested in" and "You must play Magic in this way". You are welcome to do whatever you want; we're not coming to your house and making demands.


I'd like you to consider the ramifications of your rulings and statements. Again, the RC determines the official rules and banlist for Commander. This affects not only you, but the entire community whenever we want to play in a public venue like a game shop or Magic Fest. We are indeed "welcome to do whatever (we) want" at home, but we are more constrained when using teh RC banlist in public. And while I would be happy to just ignore any bans or unbans I don;t agree with if I only played with a specific group of people consistently, I don't actually have that consistency. I play at public venues, where any "rules exceptions" I make with friends would not apply. Decks made with such house rules would not be legal, and so I do not invest time and money and creativity in making them.

The RC has a great deal of power over the entire Commander community, and we all know that with great power comes great responsibility. In this case, it is the responsibility of the RC to grow their perspective beyond the original intent of the format, beyond the preferences of the individual members, and address the community as it stands today, as a whole, without exclusions. Yes, I'm including cEDH players, but I'm also talking about everyone else who has different play preferences from yours. There are a lot of Johnnys and Timmys who fell just as excluded as the Spikes right now. This is necessary for the continued health and growth of the format.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 10:11 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
The question I have in response to these points, which are very fine points, is what do you propose? Given that this is a casual format that encourages players to tailor it to their own play groups, how do they solve this? Because if the next rules update they banned another 50cards in order to codify the rules to their preferred play sstylethen how many players do you think would up and quit the format altogether? Do you think Wizards would lose faith in them and stop supporting the format?


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 11:17 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Onion Souffle wrote:
The RC explicitly used to see more merit in keeping Iona rather than PS; why not use the article as an opportunity to talk about how the dynamic apparently changed? No? Okay then
I mean, the dynamic had changed a loooong time ago. The first time Servant was even involved in the banlist at all was back when the RC was still making the mistake of banning 2-card combos and Grindstone got banned. Then when Iona was printed, they felt that switching out Grindstone with Servant would be killing 2 birds with one stone.

Now they don't ban 2-card combos, so keeping a card on the list that was only there because of 2 card combos makes no sense. Iona on the other hand is a card that honestly should never have been printed in the first place, independent of its interactions with Servant.

There was no dynamic change regarding the cards, and while I won't say the banning and unbanning are entirely unconnected, there's a strong rationale for banning one and unbanning the other without taking their interaction into account. It's like if the recent rules update banned Time Vault and unbanned Voltaic Key. Sure the two cards are related, but regardless one deserve to be banned and the other doesn't.

Quote:
Sheldon, from the SCG article, about Painter's Servant wrote:
The CAG did a great job of helping us see the upside value of Painter's Servant. They made the argument that some players have made about it over the years in a quite compelling fashion—which is exactly what we had hoped they'd do when we formed them.


How on earth can I feel like I'm heard when the RC proudly admits that it never took players seriously about the exact same argument the CAG made?

To quote myself on a different thread:
First off, I don't think there's anything to gain in nitpicking the wording of a short post by an RC member.

Secondly, as one of those people who's been advocating for Servant's unban since basically the instant I knew there was a banlist, I'll gladly say better late than never. Sometimes you hear an argument 100 times and hold your position steady, and then the 101st time causes a shift. And while there were a lot of people that wanted Servant unbanned, any serious discussion on it has been largely at a ceasefire since about 5 years ago. When you get badgered by the same argument over and over in a short period of time, it starts to sound like white noise. When you hear it again later after not encountering it for a while, you get to reconsider it as though it were the first hearing.

And that brings me to my third point, which is that I see nothing wrong with the RC valuing the input of the CAG more than the input of random forum posters. Especially as one of the functions of the CAG is specifically to try to bridge the gap from the average player to the RC and get just a teensy bit more representation.

It's also worth noting that the support for unbanning Servant was by no means unilateral. Based on papa_funk's phrasing, it seemed that Servant's unbanning was more or less a consensus among the CAG, something vastly different from the format at large. In that case, you've got the format as a whole divided on an issue and then have the six people you trust to give you solid feedback all supporting the same side of the division. I think that's a perfectly legitimate reason on which to base a decision. It'd be like if American citizens were divided on how a particular court case should be ruled, and despite that the SCOTUS ends up ruling 9-0.

Tl;dr:
1. People don't always change their minds at the speed we want them to.
2. The CAG managing to get through to the RC on something that the playerbase hasn't is the exact reason it was formed in the first place, so getting mad about it doing just that is like getting mad at a rehab patient for getting better during rehab as opposed to earlier.
3. The opinion that Servant should be unbanned was nowhere near unanimous amongst the playerbase, but apparently was amongst the CAG.
4. The CAG are quasi professionals/experts, we're just a bunch of randos with an internet connection.

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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 11:59 am 
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Joined: 2012-May-11 11:02 am
Age: Drake
Phone postin' and I don't feel like wrangling with nested quotes

Cryo: the likely unsolvable problem is that as much as EDH maybe be intended as a format that's pliable at the local level, it's largely not. For a whole heck of a lot of people the rules are the rules, period.

Uktabi Kong: you spent more time and effort explaining Iona's place in the format in a post for these lonely forums than Sheldon did in his article expressly written to better elucidate the reasoning for her ban and that makes me sad

Also, it makes me sad that in a thread expressly established to discuss feelings of disconnection in the format the simplest answer is that, as you say, the CAG is worth more. We can say as much as we want as often as we want but if we're not the right people it doesn't matter.

It's how a lot of the world works, truth be told. But it does make me wonder what kinds of feedback the RC were expecting here. Some of us feel silent because we're not important enough for anyone to listen, and it's simple as that.

I'm not mad that the CAG got through. I'm mystified that this update occured the way it did and the powers that be find themselves stunned by the backlash.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 1:16 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
rahvin2015 wrote:
There are no rules you could possibly create that would affect kitchen table games - this is why many of us find the RC language around Rule 0 to be a copout.


And therein lies the rub. What you view as a copout, we view as a fundamental pillar that has been crucial to the success of the format.

Onion Souffle wrote:
I'm mystified that this update occured the way it did and the powers that be find themselves stunned by the backlash.


We're not stunned by the backlash. There's backlash every announcement where something happens. There's less backlash here than there was over, say, tuck.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 3:42 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jun-06 6:25 am
Age: Drake
papa_funk wrote:
And therein lies the rub. What you view as a copout, we view as a fundamental pillar that has been crucial to the success of the format.

What an eloquent way to say it's just a matter of opinion and you don't have something serious to back it up

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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 5:28 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-05 10:26 am
Age: Hatchling
In every interview I have ever heard, the rules committee comes off as extremely dismissive of dissenting views. Rather than have a discussion they reference rule 0 and end the conversation. Rule 0 is not the answer to people who disagree.

You have expressed your concern about echo chambers, but then proudly proclaim that the committee is in lockstep with regard to your views on the rules. There is definitely a problem when you don't see the disconnect.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 5:29 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-05 10:26 am
Age: Hatchling
There is also the matter of the RC totally avoiding reddit because it has been deemed negative. I cant help but wonder if that isnt a self fulfilling prophecy. When you totally ignore people, you can't expect them to support you the way people here do.

Not to mention, we are talking about the website that Wotc has chosen to talk to the community, but you actively ignore it.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 7:06 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
Sheldon wrote:
I'd like to get your opinions on how you think that we might demonstrate to you that we're listening, especially when we do the thing that's not what you, the individual, want. It's easy to feel as though you weren't heard if a decision goes a way you don't like--but every decision is going to have people who dislike it. What would make you go "Well, they didn't agree with me, but at least I felt like they considered my position?"


I think maybe you collectively do enough. You (Sheldon) publish lots of commander philosophy. Papa funk chips in here from time to time. The rest of the RC seem to sit in the shadows.

Also, we (the players) tend to react negatively to minor changes.

On the other hand the current rules are polarising. Plenty of players in my local group will not sit down at the same table over differences in interpretation of the format. Maybe you need to host a daytime reality stream where guests can thrash out their differences on air :P


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-13 11:16 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
paragon_deku wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
And therein lies the rub. What you view as a copout, we view as a fundamental pillar that has been crucial to the success of the format.

What an eloquent way to say it's just a matter of opinion and you don't have something serious to back it up

Of course it's a matter of opinion -- they have a view on how they want the format to work and are structuring it accordingly.

What exactly do you expect them to back up and how?

What do you suggest as an alternative? How do you back it up?

I'm concerned because the reply you made there seems to be just kicking someone in the shins because you can. I'd like us to be a bit kinder to each other than that, even if we might be frustrated with each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-14 12:14 am 

Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
Age: Dragon
Harken_Blitz wrote:
There is also the matter of the RC totally avoiding reddit because it has been deemed negative. I cant help but wonder if that isnt a self fulfilling prophecy. When you totally ignore people, you can't expect them to support you the way people here do.


Reddit isn't meant for long term discussions,now with that said I put up a poll last night and currently with 41 responses,so far a whopping 61% have never visited mtgcommander.net. Now it's a "If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain " type of thing.

Now who is the mountain and who is Muhammad is a matter of opinion.

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onlainari wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-14 1:29 am 

Joined: 2019-Jul-12 10:39 pm
Age: Hatchling
Harken_Blitz wrote:
In every interview I have ever heard, the rules committee comes off as extremely dismissive of dissenting views. Rather than have a discussion they reference rule 0 and end the conversation. Rule 0 is not the answer to people who disagree.

You have expressed your concern about echo chambers, but then proudly proclaim that the committee is in lockstep with regard to your views on the rules. There is definitely a problem when you don't see the disconnect.



This has to be the most relevant message in the entire thread. Not once in this entire discussion have the RC even made even the slightest attempt to consider any other view other than their own, or admitted their might be issues regarding the contradiction that is rule 0 and the existence of the ban list itself. The format belongs to you less and less each and every day, and what the spirit of the format is belongs to the majority, not the minority.

This thread is titled "having your voices heard". While you might be hearing, you aren't listening. The ban list is the default rule of law for almost every play group, simply because it's just easier doing things that way, and you know it. No one thinks that any of you are dumb, so please let's stop pretending you aren't fully aware that rule 0 counts for exactly that amount when it comes to playing anything outside kitchen table magic.

The most recent bans show more than ever you want to take the format in a specific direction. Is it fair that, before buying magic cards for our favourite format, we have to ask the question "does this card fit with what the RC want in commander?" Or "do i need to sell my cyclonic rifts now, because it's clearly a card marked for a potential ban in the future?" Honestly, is that what you want? Because that is what you are creating.

I understand some cards really are better being banned. PE and Iona are banned from the format, and I like the rest of my playgroups will adhere to that, because its easier to listen to a ban list we don't necessarily agree with then discuss what and what not should be played with. We get together to play commander, not to spend 30 minutes before every game discussing rules and what is and isn't banned today. All I ask is that when the next ban list discussion takes place, consider there are many other people out there who play the game a different way than you, and play it quite happily. Let me make people miserable (in the very best way) with bitter-blossom and contamination in peace.


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 Post subject: Re: Having Your Voice Heard
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-14 3:58 am 

Joined: 2016-Feb-05 10:26 am
Age: Hatchling
trappedslider wrote:
Harken_Blitz wrote:
There is also the matter of the RC totally avoiding reddit because it has been deemed negative. I cant help but wonder if that isnt a self fulfilling prophecy. When you totally ignore people, you can't expect them to support you the way people here do.


Reddit isn't meant for long term discussions,now with that said I put up a poll last night and currently with 41 responses,so far a whopping 61% have never visited mtgcommander.net. Now it's a "If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain " type of thing.

Now who is the mountain and who is Muhammad is a matter of opinion.


You're somewhat correct that it isn't for long term discussion. I don't think that matters when the exact same thread on reddit has 10x the comments in the same time period. Not to mention the fact this thread has RC members participating in it! If there were RC commenting on reddit I guarantee it would have more comments.

As for people coming here, this website is not as user friendly as it could be in 2019. I know updating a website can be expensive, especially one with so many historical threads, but you can't blame people for not wanting to use a website straight out of 2005.

I'm not even saying the RC has to use reddit either. I'm just pointing out that when you ignore possibly the largest online community for the format and call them names instead, you shouldn't be surprised that they aren't your fan club.


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