Thursday, November 15, 2012

A New Era of Communication has Begun!

I open up my e-mail to league discussion.  Obviously these are just "ideas" I had and some of them are pretty extreme but hell I figured it's worth putting them out there for duscussion at least as my one Posthumous commissioner activity.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Geney 
Date: Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Subject: FFL stuff
To: Josh Houslander < >, Nick Houslander < >

Ok so here's where we're at now in my opinion.  

Almost nobody wants to deal with FFL stuff because it's too time consuming. 

Nobody wants to update rosters with death info etc
Almost no one wants to write matches because they take hours to write if you're actually creating a story. 
And nobody really wants to be the commissioner because it's too much work.  

As it stands now, I don't want to deal with the league upkeep.  Nick probably doesn't have time or energy to deal with it. Seeney, Ryan, and Beckerman also have said they don't have time. 

 So here's what I see as the current issues with the league in its current form. 

A)  Rosters are too big.  Too many things to update between matches.
B) Weekly match lineups consist of Way Way. too many characters and they're an absolute bitch to write.  
C) Not enough Watchers.  Matches are a pain in the ass to write so why on earth would anyone want that job?
D) There's way too much league overhead.  Keeping track of who has how many deaths, who has what equipment,  etc it's all way too much bullshit. 

 It was amazing when the league was shiny and new and it being dumb was more entertaining because it was so dumb... but on a long enough timeline, one guy having to update the death count for immel #12 and sandworm #6 again becomes a chore that nobody wants to take on. 

Now for potential solutions:

A)  We slash rosters
100+ roster slots really?  
How about 25.  Oh what's that random team owner? How are you going to keep all your clone troopers, sandworms, predators and cock sneak goombas AND all your powerhouses if you only have 25 slots?  Looks like you'll be making some hard decisions friendo.

Oh by the way, we're also getting rid of commons.  If you want an army guy find a movie that has an army guy in it and draft that dude, I heard there have been a couple army movies,comics,etc made in the last 70 years or so....   Equipment and Vehicles should probably also be gone too since we're making changes, it's just one more layer of bullshit to keep track of and frankly it unbalances the league,  we're awarding "get more powerful" gear to the teams who are already winning.  Oh that team won 10 matches last year? lets give them 10 MORE green lantern powered characters next year, i'm sure the other squads will be able to keep pace somehow...

B)  Matches suck to write because there are too many characters.    Commons are gone so that eliminates a huge huge amount of bullshit fluff writing that has to happen...  Black Adam doesn't have to waste time flying at top speed through a team of navy seals because they never existed...   

Also, lets go ahead and reduce the match size again.  the big week is like 100 points now.   

"the Beyonder" or "The one above all" or whatever the fuck, yeah that dude is 100 points now.  Superman is like 75.    Or even better we could do away with points all together.    Each team is just a number of roster slots and you pick 1-5 characters per week.  That way the points don't mean anything and it becomes about actually creating a story.  Superman isn't already expected to win because he's worth 60 more points than Bishop...  Since whole team rosters are like 25 characters anyway it's way easier to look at what you might be up against and plan accordingly for that week rather than just filling out a point total in a relative vacuum.  

C) Not enough watchers?  how bout this,  if you run a team, you have to write a match, period.  Doesn't have to be awesome prose, it can literally just be a list of "This character kills the other one because this happened."   Luckily matches are like 5 on 5 tops so it won't be a long rambling stream of events that's impossible to get through.   The weekly squads would be so small it would take almost no time to write what happened to 5 characters.   

Point C accomplishes a couple of things.  It basically establishes a base line level of involvement.  They don't have to write a match every week hell they don't even have to write multiple matches, just one in the season.  But it also gives us the chance to offload a lot of the maintenance work involved in the league.  Maybe some of them will get bit by the bug of writing matches and volunteer for more.  Maybe some will volunteer to do something else...    Just submitting a team each week is way less stressful because you only have to pick a handful of characters from your 25 man team. Way less options, way less time needed to make decisions which frees up more time to actually read matches or contribute to the league in some other way.

D) Upkeep blows, way too much to track.  Cutting down rosters to 25 slots and having No Commons helps out huge here...  

I'd also propose this: one life per dude.  If they die in a match they're out for the season.  We can put a system in place to soften this a bit with resurrection points awarded as match rewards rather than "equipment and vehicles".  But those would be few and far between and very easy to manage across the teams. Resurrection points could be used in any given week to bring any dead character from your roster back to life... but that character HAS to be used that week. If the character survives he'll be usable in the weeks to come, if he doesn't oh well it was a gamble.

So yeah we can overhaul this bitch and reduce the amount of bullshit work needed by whoever is "in charge" by an absolute ton.  

the only "work" the league would require at that point would be setting up the draft,  tracking draft picks in the beginning of the year,  and then it's pretty much easy street as long as there are enough watchers.  

As it stands now, I'm pretty much not interested in writing large matches anymore, and I'm barely interested in submitting 200-300 point teams either so something has to change or we're going to gradually lose even more people as they get too busy to deal with all the work involved.



Ryan said...

In a way I love this, but it strays too far from all the work that we've already put in. I think there is a lot of work to be done with this league to ensure it's survival.

Some of the stuff, your point on with. The commons for the most part are fairly excessive. But we don't need to scrap the whole thing and start over.

I like the idea of maybe having all new Watchers. Breathe some new life into it. Even though I thought last year saw some of the best writing. I loved the evolution we saw from the old "he kill him, he destroy him" brawls to actual well thought out stories.

But even if the ideas aren't completely the correct road to go down, the fact that there are ideas at all is the correct road.

NFG Mike said...

I agree with scrapping commons, or at least cutting down. That would help the rosters a lot. Lowering points for matches may also be warranted. I love reading the stories, but writing stories and trying to keep track of endless characters is also a lot to ask of anyone. i do like the equipment and vehicles and i like the death count where it is. If im out of line, i apologize.

Ryan said...

Dude, you're not out of line. No need to apologize. You're opinion matters just as much as any one of ours.

NFG Mike said...

If that's the case, then i also recommend that Ryan be forever banned from the league, only because he beat me within an inch of my life in our match. All in favor?

Ryan said...

I said they mattered. I didn't say they were going to amount to much.

Take your beatings like a man.


Krisatu said...

Whoa. Whoa.Whoa

No commons?

Maybe limit the number of them, but I personally loved writing commons. It allowed a little bit more freedom and a chance to build something unique rather than just writing a story where Superman or Vader swoop in to save the day.

Look at what was done with the characters of The Backyardigans, Dora, Jen Linley, Hermoine Granger or "Butterscotch" McTwivent. Those were all low point characters that were evolved into something else.

Maybe we don't need 25 Xebel soldiers or 75 common Predators, but I feel that these characters DO have a place here. I'm all for limits and lowering point values, but I don't think we need to junk the concept of common characters.

Ryan said...

Yeah I'm for keeping some commons. Like maybe each team is only allowed, say 2 different kinds and there be a small limit to how many of said commons there are on a team.
I liked the focus you gave on the commons. It was a nice change of pace and made things more interesting.
I wouldn't consider Hermione a low point character though, dude. She is a pretty powerful wizard.

Krisatu said...

Hermoine just sprang to mind as a character that was given a pretty interesting story arc through last season. I think I associated her as lower points because of the role she was cast into as B3's team liaison.

Ryan said...

Ha. Ok, that makes sense.

Josh the Commish said...

This league is a bit "over the top" sometimes by design. I realize thst commons can be somewhat exhausting at times, but an all-encompassing league, is going to seem ridiculous from time to time if it is going to stay "all-encompassing". The problem with limiting commons, is: where do you start?? The common that you find ridiculous, may somebody else's favorite one. For instance, to somebody that isn't in to fantasy or rpgs, it may seem redundant to have more than one type of dragon; but if this is "your thing" you would be indignant about how many different dragons exist. Just a thought for all of you to kick around. I'm not saying that anybody is right or wrong.

Artifact said...

Lets get rid of unique characters. Commons only.

"BL#3&8 swoop in to fight NS#13-20 while CSG#6 and SW#7 are coming up from underneath. All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, AS#12-19 & 22 shoot a flurry of bullets into the chests of TT#4,9,56 & SST#45-49."

Slaves are victorious.

Krisatu said...

Roll all vamps.

It's a strategy.

Josh the Commish said...

Ha. And what a strategy it was!!

Krisatu said...

I think limiting the number of specific commons is what is needed, not necessarily cutting down on the specific types. Sandwoms and Seaworms are needed, but why does one team need 12 Sandworms? Or 15 brass dragons and 10 copper dragons? Why not set a limit of 3-5 commons of a certain type?

This could also lead to doing away with the "buy 5 get 1" rule which seemed to be forgotten about by owners before we moved the rosters to the spreadsheets. If a common complaint about match writing is having to juggle a bunch of different characters, I don't see the point in having a rule which allows owners to play characters which probably may not make a big difference in the outcome of a match. What's the difference if I roll out 5 Sandworms in the desert instead of 6? Or am playing 5 Stormtroopers instead of 6 against Jedi Master Luke Skywalker or some other overpowered character?

Archr5 said...

Limiting Commons was exactly what I was getting at. I don't consider any character with a name a "Common"

Just Look at the roster of the Murderflies 7 point characters are my stock and trade.

But do I need 20 Clone Troopers? Why not just draft Captain Rex, or Niner, or Fi, or Darman or any of the hundreds of other clones that have been given a name in various forms of fiction.

Why is ShadowDragon #3 better for us than Shimmergloom (Real name Haerinvureem)?

I totally identify with commons giving us room as writers to come up with personalities, but frankly we can do that with nearly any named character... Look at Dora... her personality was developed with total lack of regard for her actual behavior on TV.

A significant chunk of our population are characters created solely to sell action figures, so in all honestly there are a LOT of nearly blank slates out there.

I am personally bored with writing common characters. Which is why my instinct to remove them generated that as an idea, especially given the point values in the weekly matchups...

Sure I could pick out a random common in a weekly roster of 30 of them, and develop it into an actual character, but why randomly imbue some common with personality (and therefor probably considerably more power than was originally designed in its point total.)

To one of NFG's points

I like the equipment and vehicles as well, I think they're awesome. But they do present some trouble. A) they give the person in charge more things to keep track of. B) they unbalance teams because they don't cost anything. Katniss is an 8 point character (which is insane to begin with) and she has a green lantern wing...

So the question becomes, how do you fix a system where the winners get bonuses and the losers get a reduced roster and a Tic mark in the L column?

Archr5 said...

Except for Chicago native and rapper/entertainter "Common" who is a Common who I would consider a "Common" but not a "common"

Figured I'd clear that up before the questions came pouring in.

Ryan said...

I recommend that the rapper, Common, be added to the Draft List. He should also come with 20 Common Rappers. Just to really confuse things.

Ryan said...

What if we had something like...hear me out.... a Salary/Point Cap for each team/roster?

Granted this could be a big undertaking, but might be worth some thought.

Archr5 said...

A salary Cap would totally work (assuming we also adjust point totals based on real character value between seasons).

It's more book keeping instead of less but if someone's willing to police that cap during the draft then it's definitely not a bad idea.

Ryan said...

Yeah it seemed like a can of worms when I thought of it. But it could be something along the right idea.

Real Man said...

I would like to enter a vote of "no confidence" regarding the current Commissioner and in turn, request that Mike Geney, the TRUE Commissioner take his rightful seat as the head of this league! So says Real Man!

Real Woman said...

I second!

Krisatu said...

What about this as a sort of "common compromise". IF you decide to draft common characters you realize that

1) There's a limit of 4 common characters of a certain type.


2) Whoever drafts the commons must at least name them.

That way teams who want to roll the dice playing these blank slates still can do so, and we're putting it on the team owner to contribute in some small way to the overall fabric of the league by helping create some characters.

If you don't have the time or the desire to at least name your common characters, then you don't draft any and you're not forced to use them. It's a bit of a gamble for any owner who decides to play a common they've named against established characters, BUT it allows a little more creative freedom.

Just a thought.

Real Boy said...


Real Girl said...


Real Dog said...


Real Cat said...


Ryan said...

As much as I like the concept of limiting the commons on teams, it seems like unnecessary paperwork.
I'm against getting rid of commons altogether, so it doesn't make much sense to all of a sudden to have to go through and eliminate commons off of teams.
Just don't start them if you don't want to. That seems like the easiest solution. I doubt there will be a whole lot of commons coming in future drafts.

Josh the Commish said...

I agree with everything Ryan says. And I admit that when this league was being created, I was just as clueless as everybody else when it came to what characters would be totally necessary. One of my many early mistakes, was making the number of certain commons far to many (Why I thought 200 Storm Troopers was needed, I have no idea). With that being said I am not going to go out of my way to remove characters, especially characters from other people's teams (if they don't want them they can remove them themselves). I feel like there is a strange misconception that commons are required to be on your team. This has NEVER been true. It is true that there is a unique maximum of 200, but you are not required to fill the other spots at all, so if commons are something that you don't want feel free to leave those spots open. This same concept goes for anyone that believes that the rosters are to large. You need not fill your entire roster if you do not wish to. Whatever number you think is appropriate for your team is totally fine.

Josh the Commish said...

The draft will be posted soon, but just to let people know in advance, there is only a total of 6 commons on it (and they were a request from one of the team owners).