@brianpk80 said in Brian Kelly is actually responsible for the Unrestriction of Mishra's Workshop:
I do object to the over-reliance on metagame % not only because it seeks to disparage subjective experience but because the raw data itself is corrupted by players' choice and attendance level. For instance, if I decide an afternoon nap would be preferable to playing a challenge, Oath of Druids suddenly has a 25-50% lower metagame representation. Who even knows what happens to the win rate. If two Shop players attend a wedding instead of a Vintage event, there is likewise a palpable decrease. Since these attendance variables happen all of the time, imagining that the results %'s prove whatever it is we might be tempted to believe is its probative value is absurd.
If that's how the DCI handled such data, you might have a case. But the DCI's use of data to inform it's management of formats is much more sophisticated. They aggregate data to statistically significant levels. The DCI does not use a single or even a handful of events to conclusively determine win rates. Again, look at Ian's July B&R announcement.
Even Matt and Ryan's (apparently now defunct) monthly analysis aggregates data from weekly to monthly and even quarterly data to wash out alot of statistically insignificant noise. Your complaint here is less to do with data itself, then the misuse of data, which is a valid complaint.
That's actually why win % percentage is a superior metric to Top 8s. Top 8 data is a function of representation and win percentage, but when win % can be got, and the DCI can and does get it - it's the next best thing. But the use of win % addresses one of the two key concerns you raise: if you aren't in attendance, and no one else is playing Oath, then Oath's win percentage isn't impacted by your 'nap.'
Ian's article illustrates that they can use MTGO to collect algorithmic win percentage for decks in any format at statistically significant levels.
The reason data is important is because it's objective: it's a way to go above the bleating din of shouting voices, who rarely seem to agree on anything when it comes to Vintage. And no wonder, as the Vintage player base is factionalized into competing "Schools." Such data sorts out what's actually doing well from what players perceive, since perception is so often wrong.
Contrary to what you are suggesting, in the long history of Vintage, the 'subjective experience' has, more often than not, been the standard for DCI management. And, it's resulted in countless absurd and unnecessary restrictions, impairing the well deserved fun of countless victims, players on the wrong end of these restrictions who suffered as a byproduct of them.
The darkest eras of this format were the times in which the DCI was more often than not captured by the loudest voices in the format, the bleatings of players like Oscar Tan or Brian Weissman, complaining about how "unfun" non-blue decks were, and resulting in surveys like this one:
Was there anything Weissman didn't want to restrict? From that table, it's hard to tell.
At one point, Weissman threatened a boycott unless Mind Twist was banned - a tactic that actually proves successful in 1996.
No one is trying to 'disparage' subjective experience. But the problem is that there is no neutral way to fairly adjudicate results on the basis of this. That's why it's subjective.
But even if we could quantify it, say, using a survey that asks players on a 10-point scale to rank whether they consider a strategy 'interactive' or not, there is a tension between regulating decks on that basis and the other aim for promoting strategic diversity.
The July Vintage Challenges Top 8s were as follows:
19% Turbo Xerox decks (Jeskai Mentor, Esper Mentor, Delver, and Pyromancer)
9% Dark Ritual comibo decks
3% BUG and BUGr Control decks and Aggro-Control Decks
Suppose I was taking a subjective survey ranked those strategies as follows on a 10 point 'interactivity' scale using your mode of thought, I might rank them as follows, with 1 being the least interactive, and 10 being the most:
Shops - 2
TX - 7.5
PO - 3
Eldrazi - 3.5
Dark Ritual Combo decks: 1.5
Dredge - 2
BUG & BUGr - 9
Basically "1s" are reserved for glass cannon combo decks and trinisphere like prison decks, and 10s are for highly interactive control decks.
As this exercise illustrates, a preference for what you call "fairer" or less swingy games is really just a gussied up way of expressing prejudice against fast combo decks, Dredge, and Shops, and a preference for blue decks. A format more centered around decks like Bomberman, Landstill, Leo decks, etc. may be your idea of a good format, but it sounds like dispiriting to me.
Part of what makes Vintage so special is its explosiveness and more bomb throwing than an ISIS convention. Similarly, prison decks like Shops today, Nether Void in the past, and Winter Orb decks before that, have always been a part of this format, although I wish there were fewer of them these days.
As between a format that has 6-7 very different strategies, some of which are highly 'interactive' according to a subjective scale or fewer starkly different strategies, but all or most of which are highly 'interactive' according to a subject scale, I would take the former over the latter any day of the week.
The logical conclusion of your complaints suggest that you want a format with a much lower power level over a format that is truly strategically diverse (that is, not all blue or grindy blue-ish decks) and that attack along very different dimensions.
Our long format nightmare, which really began around 2011 or 12, when Grafdigger's Cage and cards like that begin pushing out all of the great big mana decks from the format, is finally ending, and Vintage is finally escaping the grasp of the Turbo Xerox and Workshop hellscape it's been in for far too long. PO is really the reason why.
If I wanted to play a format of grindy games of Magic every round, I would play Legacy. The reason we play Vintage is because of the thrill of the format, and the tremendous strategic diversity. The myriad shades of blue decks don't make Vintage great. What makes Vintage great is the stark strategic diversity. It's that you can play against a Dark Ritual Bargain deck one round, Dredge the next, a big mana blue deck like PO after that, and a Jeskai deck and Landstill after that. A format in which I played against decks clustered around the control and aggro axes all day long, like BUG, Oath, Kolaghan's Command or Subterranean Tremors decks, Landstill, and Bomberman, would be a poor Vintage indeed. The only thing that I can imagine being worse than that is playing against Shops and Eldrazi all day long.
While I always thought Cabal Therapy was over the line, I never hated playing against Dredge the way I do this year.
Not even in 2009? I remember players really hating Dredge around that time. Back then, players had so few diverse answers to hate out Dredge. It was basically: Did you have Leyline and/or Jailer? If not, you probably lose.
If I were able to have surveyed players back in 2009, I imagine the hate for Dredge today, even accounting for your opinion here, is far less intense or extreme than it was back then.