JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL



  • @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    I also agree with Hrishi that the poll is potentially biased. Its only going to be responded to by people who listen to your podcast, which lets be honest that will have a lean towards Gush players.

    A bigger bias that exists on both of these polls is that they only poll people who are are very into the format. This is the same problem that comes up every time people try to argue with WotC about their own polls: Most people don't care enough to vote in, or even see, these polls. I'm an avid SMIP listener and I never saw the poll. Heck, I didn't even see the poll in this thread until today because I try to block out discussion of B&R list because it tends to be two sides arguing at eachother instead of with them.



  • @thecravenone Yep, I listen to mostly every SMIP episode as well. I never saw the poll until Steve posted here.



  • Dunno, I would imagine that the people who are very into the format would be the exact audience WotC would want to please.



  • @BazaarOfBaghdad That doesn't grow the format. The people that are very into it are likely going to be playing no matter what.



  • @wappla You are bringing up the issue with the false dichotomy that the poll brings up. You are only given the option of Yes/No.

    In addition to not breaking out the No's to say what card they think should be restricted. It also does not break down the Yes category.

    There is no option of, yes I am fine with no decision, but the format would benefit from a restriction. Or yes, but I would be okay with a restriction. Or even yes, but I think a restriction is likely needed in the near future.

    38% is far from "as low as possible".



  • @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @wappla You are bringing up the issue with the false dichotomy that the poll brings up. You are only given the option of Yes/No.

    In addition to not breaking out the No's to say what card they think should be restricted. It also does not break down the Yes category.

    There is no option of, yes I am fine with no decision, but the format would benefit from a restriction. Or yes, but I would be okay with a restriction. Or even yes, but I think a restriction is likely needed in the near future.

    38% is far from "as low as possible".

    right... and because the poll didn't do the former, I don't see how you can assert the latter.

    It's perfectly possible that any change would increase the number of people who think another change needs to be made.



  • @wappla The poll results are that 38% of people currently want a change in the format. I'm not sure where you got that is the "lowest possible" or where you can come to the conclusion that some blue card is not what everyone wants to restrict. Its impossible to come to these conclusions.

    I pointed out Gush because that is a clear sampling bias that will result from Steve's listener base compared to the average Vintage player. If this was a poll conducted in New York by Nick, I'd have mentioned the bias towards Shops players.



  • I created the twitter poll because we were recording an SMIP show Monday evening on the DCI's B&R list update. We recorded it Monday, and many of the issues arising here are addressed in our podcast. That said, I'll respond to a few comments.

    @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @wappla You are bringing up the issue with the false dichotomy that the poll brings up. You are only given the option of Yes/No.

    I disagree that the poll question is a false dichotomy. I think the question posed is inherently dichotomous.

    I think what you are getting at, and perhaps getting tripped over, is that the survey only asks one question, and thus masks perhaps a great diversity and differences of opinion within each answer. That's a given.

    Anyone answering "No" to the OP question or the twitter poll question might have voted that way because they think something sholud be unrestricted rather than restricted. It's possible, although unlikely, that some voter thinks Necropotence should be unrestricted for example.

    If you were designing a rigorous research survey, and wanted to understand the spectrum of views within each group, you would create a set of layered questions such that one response can trigger a set of follow-up questions that can better understand those differences.

    If it wasn't obvious, I intentionally posted exactly the same question (phrasing and even punctuation) as the OP in this thread. That's why I posted the twitter poll results in this thread.

    The truth is that every survey approach has risks of bias. I never claimed that a twitter poll was a scientifically valid survey instrument. In fact, I explicitly said two days ago that "I never said it was a perfect sample of the vintage player base."

    I am not even sure how you would design a poll for a perfect sample of the Vintage player base, or even how you define "vintage player."

    The reason I posted the twitter poll response here was 1) I posted the exact same question as the OP here on twitter, and 2) the poll results, despite being two months later, were very similar. Surprisingly similar, I'd say.

    Many of the comments being raised, perhaps in objection to the twitter poll, are equally applicable to the OP poll. So, I'm not sure why they weren't raised in January.

    I also agree with Hrishi that the poll is potentially biased. Its only going to be responded to by people who listen to your podcast, which lets be honest that will have a lean towards Gush players.

    This is probably overstated or untrue. Before we moved to EC as a host, MTGcast internal statistics showed that SMIP was in top 3-5 of all Magic podcast downloads, meaning that a huge number of listeners don't even play Vintage. In any case, as I already noted, Kevin retweeted to reach a broader segment, so it was visible to more than SMIP listeners.

    @wappla said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    Regardless, the assumption here that the entire 38% agree with this Gush/Mentor/Preordain/Probe/Misstep witchhunt is more flawed than any bias of the poll itself. We have no data about what change that "problematic" 38% would propose. Just as many might be for restricting Workshop as restricting Gush, even though these are somewhat opposed views of the format.

    In other words, we can't assume the 38% agree with each other.

    I think we are in accord here, but for the record, anyone who read the poll results that way would be misreading the results. It's possible that some people who voted that way want just Gush restricted, while others just want Mentor restricted, and others still want PO and Gush restricted. Or, that they want something unrestricted. Or something else entirely.

    I suppose if I were creating a layered survey, the second question for anyone who answered "No," would be:

    1. Do you feel that the DCI should have
      a) restricted a card
      b) unrestricted a card
      c) or both

    And then, the follow up question would be:

    1. Please indicate which card should have been restricted, if any:
      [insert a list and allow people to vote for more than one]

    2. Please indicate which card should be unrestricted, if any:
      [insert a list, and allow people to vote for more than one]

    @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @Smmenen That's 38% of people that think the format is not fun right now. Seems like a problem to me.

    I also agree with Hrishi that the poll is potentially biased. Its only going to be responded to by people who listen to your podcast, which lets be honest that will have a lean towards Gush players.

    It also has a bias in that people who are so disgruntled by what the format has become are likely not even going to be following anything at all.

    If that's true, I don't think there any survey that could overcome that particular problem. If someone quits the format because of unhappiness with the format, then they, by definition, do not count as a "Vintage player," I would assume.

    Aside from the methodology of either the sample taken by me in the twitter poll or the thread here, here's what I think are the key questions to consider:

    1. Assume that less than 50% of Vintage players think a change to the B&R list was needed this week (or, in January - and either claim is certainly a plausible view), should the DCI make changes to placate a minority view?

    I don't think so. I think that the threshold inquiry into any possible restriction should be at least some consensus among the player base that a change is needed. And consensus, at a minimum, is majority support. Otherwise, you are catering to a minority, and possibly a very vocal minority.

    In our epic B&R threads last year, I said that I felt that greatest danger to the format's legitimacy is the perception, real or not, that the DCI's B&R decisions are captured by a vocal minority. That led to some disastrous historical B&R policy, where it was obvious that the DCI was catering to Keeper pilots. When that happens, the DCI is managed to serve discrete and insular player segments rather than the health of the format as a whole, and the legitimacy of the format is destroyed.

    1. Assume that my twitter poll survey has a very large margin for error or is biased in some clearly directional way, is it really hard to believe that the results of a valid poll would be pretty similar to the results of the poll in the OP?

    Put another way, do we really think that any appreciable portion of the Vintage player base has changed their views of any particular restriction between January 9th and March 13? I doubt it. Even if some people have changed their views, there are probably offsetting segments.

    So, even if you think that my twitter poll was somehow flawed, the validity of the OP poll results serve as a stand-in.

    In any case, as I state in the upcoming SMIP podcast, I do think Vintage (and perhaps DCI policy in general) would benefit from more rigorously designed survey instruments. That was not my intent here.



  • @Smmenen

    My problem is that people, including yourself, seem to be making definitive conclusions based on this poll. Yes, your poll results are the similar to those in this poll. Maybe its true that of current Vintage players that are monitoring these polls that a majority favor no changes, and a fairly large minority want a change. However, there are numerous issues with both polls from a survey design and sampling stand point. This suggests that there is at the very least some sort of confidence band around that estimate of 38%. Maybe its large, maybe its small. We don't really know because there was very little put into these designs. Thus it could very well be that the true estimate is over this arbitrary 50% cut point you are setting us into. Its not not exactly like 40% (or 38%) are really that far from the median line.

    This brings me to my next point. Just because someone is in the minority does not make their ideas wrong. How many examples in politics and history have the minority been the ones that were actually right? Evolution? Earth being round and revolving around the Sun? "You are only 38%, we don't care what your opinion is." Just seems so incredibly wrong. I know for a fact that you do not believe in just disregarding minority opinions. Otherwise why would you be working the position that you are?



  • @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @Smmenen

    My problem is that people, including yourself, seem to be making definitive conclusions based on this poll.

    Then, I think it's fair to say you are reading into conclusions that aren't there and were never claimed. I don't think anyone is drawing "definitive" conclusions. These polls are suggestive, at best.

    However, there are numerous issues with both polls from a survey design and sampling stand point.

    Acknowledged - I've already stated several times that these aren't scientific samples. Take them with a grain of salt.

    This suggests that there is at the very least some sort of confidence band around that estimate of 38%. Maybe its large, maybe its small. We don't really know because there was very little put into these designs.

    I wouldn't say that. I specifically framed and presented the twitter poll so that it would be identical to the OP for comparison purposes.

    This brings me to my next point. Just because someone is in the minority does not make their ideas wrong. How many examples in politics and history have the minority been the ones that were actually right? Evolution? Earth being round and revolving around the Sun?

    Whether Preordain or Mental Misstep should be restricted is not the same type of question as to whether the Earth is spherical or whether the Earth or the Sun is the center of the solar system. The latter are objectively knowable facts. The former is a judgment that depends upon the underlying criteria. Let's be clear about that. Different people have different views about whether and when a card deserves restriction based upon their values and ideals for the format.

    Since this isn't a question that is amenable to an objectively determinable 'right or wrong' determination, there is an interest in ensuring that DCI policy is not anti-utilitarian. That is, the DCI does not want to be in the position of making a decision that makes 40% of the player base happy but makes 60% unhappy. More on this below.

    "You are only 38%, we don't care what your opinion is." Just seems so incredibly wrong. I know for a fact that you do not believe in just disregarding minority opinions. Otherwise why would you be working the position that

    I think you are confusing the issue and ignoring a point I've already made repeated.

    It's not that the DCI doesn't care what minority player segments think. The DCI's mandate is ultimately utilitarian.

    Moreover, it's that the DCI's legitimacy in managing the format depends upon the perception and the reality that it is not captured by vocal but discrete and insular minorities of player segments.

    I've witnessed periods of Vintage history where this happened, and the results were disastrous. I've already made this point in my previous post. There was even a time when Brian Weissman threatened a boycott if Mind Twist wasn't banned. There were periods of time where a small cadre of Keeper/The Deck players basically dictated B&R policy.

    For every player who wants one card restricted, the DCI needs to remember how other players are hurt or harmed. If the DCI appears to be catering to a vocal - but clearly minority - player segment, then it's legitimacy as a neutral arbiter and entity is destroyed, and the entire legitimacy of the format itself is destroyed.

    Because Vintage is often segmented into particular "Schools" or player bases, it's especially important that any B&R list decision maintain the appearance if not the fact of neutrality. This is accomplished, first and foremost, by only taking action when there is consensus that action is needed. It is also accomplished, secondly, by making sure that there is evidence for the decision, and that statistical data is available or has been developed to support the decision.

    Otherwise, it looks like one player segment has lobbied the DCI for a restriction that is really about using the DCI's power to neuter a competitor.

    Just look at the backlash that happened in April when Lodestone Golem was restricted. So many players were upset and severely so. Workshop players felt - and not entirely without evidence to support this view - that that restriction was the result of lobbying from some player segments and VSL complaining. To the Workshop pilots, it appeared as if blue players were lobbying the DCI to make non-blue decks weaker. Although it may have been the right long-term decision, the timing and the surrounding events were corrosive to the format.



  • @Smmenen said:

    The latter are objectively knowable facts.

    Only after hundreds of years of study were these accepted ideas. Nearly every revolutionary scientific thought was at some point in the minority.

    @Smmenen said:

    the reality that it is not captured by vocal but discrete and insular minorities of player segments

    I understand your concern with catering to a small vocal minority. However, 40% of extremely active Vintage players and an unmeasurable % of inactive Vintage players is not a small minority. Certainly it isn't one person like in your example.

    @Smmenen said:

    Just look at the backlash that happened in April when Lodestone Golem was restricted.

    Yet here we are a full year later and nothing has been done about it, which brings into question just how much the following statement is really being followed:

    @Smmenen said:

    important that any B&R list decision maintain the appearance if not the fact of neutrality



  • @vaughnbros said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @Smmenen said:

    The latter are objectively knowable facts.

    Only after hundreds of years of study were these accepted ideas. Nearly every revolutionary scientific thought was at some point in the minority.

    Again, it's apples and oranges. There's no question that scientific facts often begin as minority views (or persist as such).

    Whether to restrict Mental Misstep isn't a "fact." It's a judgment call. As I said, those are two totally different kinds of inquiries.

    It's the difference between 1) "What is Ice Cream?" And 2) "What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?"

    As I said, but with bold letters for clarity and emphasis: "Whether Preordain or Mental Misstep should be restricted is not the same type of question as to whether the Earth is spherical or whether the Earth or the Sun is the center of the solar system. The latter are objectively knowable facts. The former is a judgment that depends upon the underlying criteria. Let's be clear about that. Different people have different views about whether and when a card deserves restriction based upon their values and ideals for the format."

    @Smmenen said:

    the reality that it is not captured by vocal but discrete and insular minorities of player segments

    I understand your concern with catering to a small vocal minority. However, 40% of extremely active Vintage players and an unmeasurable % of inactive Vintage players is not a small minority. Certainly it isn't one person like in your example.

    Of course. But I also said that the DCI's mandate is utilitarian. That's indisputable.

    If you are the DCI, you don't make decisions that may piss off a majority of players to placate a minority. Not saying that's the case here, just saying that minority support for an idea at least risks that possibility.

    @Smmenen said:

    Just look at the backlash that happened in April when Lodestone Golem was restricted.

    Yet here we are a full year later and nothing has been done about it, which brings into question just how much the following statement is really being followed:

    @Smmenen said:

    important that any B&R list decision maintain the appearance if not the fact of neutrality

    As I said, the DCI probably made the right long-term decision, even though the optics were less than optimal. In any case, the DCI learns. I think the biggest lesson was the HUGE backlash to the 2008 wave of 5 restrictions.



  • I would have liked a change because every time they change something there is more excitement about brewing in the new meta game. Even the small things like unrestriction of Frantic Search or Crop Rotation is enough to get someone, somewhere excited enough to build some creative decks.

    Old School has a rotation that's based on spicing up the format; why shouldn't Vintage have the same? So you can't play with Mishras Workshop or Gush for 6 months... wouldn't that just be a healthy change of pace for an otherwise stagnant game?



  • @desolutionist said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    I would have liked a change because every time they change something there is more excitement about brewing in the new meta game. Even the small things like unrestriction of Frantic Search or Crop Rotation is enough to get someone, somewhere excited enough to build some creative decks.

    I would be totally in to a change like this but they'd have to clarify ahead of time that the goal is to shake things up - some unrestrictions might be quickly re-restricted, etc.



  • @desolutionist said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    I would have liked a change because every time they change something there is more excitement about brewing in the new meta game.

    Which I would hate. And I know many others would as well.

    One of my favorite periods in Vintage history was the five years when nothing was restricted or unrestricted.

    Remember, some people literally play Vintage 2-3 times a year. This is a format that's supposed to serve those people, for decades if not a life time. While some people crave change, many others are grateful that the format changes slowly. I consider that a positive good.

    That's why I wrote this article: http://www.eternalcentral.com/so-many-insane-plays-notes-on-the-state-of-vintage-january-2017/ It illustrates the needs of different player segments, and reminds players acclimated or socialized to the MTGO rhythms that there is a vast player base out there that drives to Gencon once a year to play Vintage, or dusts off their cards for Vintage Champs or a Waterbury. The format serves those people as well.

    Even the small things like unrestriction of Frantic Search or Crop Rotation is enough to get someone, somewhere excited enough to build some creative decks.

    Old School has a rotation that's based on spicing up the format; why shouldn't Vintage have the same? So you can't play with Mishras Workshop or Gush for 6 months... wouldn't that just be a healthy change of pace for an otherwise stagnant game?

    Old School is a casual format. I hold Old School and Vintage to completely different restriction criteria. What you describe would be anathema to many Vintage players.


  • TMD Supporter

    My original intent for the OP poll was to see if there was some sort of discrepancy between what was posted on the TMD forums and what people might think even if they aren't vocal about it.

    Based on what I saw on the facebook, twitter, TMD etc. my assumption was that there was a vocal minority present in the vintage communities that I follow chanting: "we need to ban/unban X". I thought that surely most of the people feel like the B&R announcement was ok and they just simply don't have the need to take part on the discussion. I wanted to create a simple yes/no poll just to see if that discrepancy existed. And yes I know this poll has it's problems in many ways, but it shows how about 100 people on this forum was feeling about the decision: More people thought that their decision to make no changes was the right decision.



  • I didn't get to see the Twitter poll in time, but I've played enough Vintage during the first half of Aether Revolt to know I don't want any part of an identical second half. Hopefully Amonket will be relevant change. Sorry to all my Vintage-specific friends that I won't get to see until then, especially since this includes skipping Waterbury.



  • @The-Gremlin-Lord I do not fault you at all for wanting to take a break until the meta shifts.

    To me, this is the biggest issue that separates vintage B&R debates from literally every other formats; The fact that the hyperbole layden "I'll quit if this doesn't change" talk that you see for standard, modern, and legacy is very very real with vintage players, and it hurts the game in both the short and long run. Even if a relative percentage of standard players have "quit" over the rock paper scissor meta, it's a drop in the bucket relative to when vintage players decide to hang it up.

    The notion that a stagnant (or steady, for the glass half full crowd) meta better serves a community that only gets to play big events 2-3 times per year is an outdated view that went out the door with MODO. If even a third of the 38% of people who disagree with the B&R over the past year stop playing, that is felt in Dailys that never fire and TOs forced to cut prize support. Sometimes a change, even if viewed by a population as "a change for the sake of it", will shake things up enough to Jumpstart the format.



  • @p3temangus said in JANUARY 9, 2017 BANNED AND RESTRICTED ANNOUNCEMENT POLL:

    @The-Gremlin-Lord I do not fault you at all for wanting to take a break until the meta shifts.

    To me, this is the biggest issue that separates vintage B&R debates from literally every other formats; The fact that the hyperbole layden "I'll quit if this doesn't change" talk that you see for standard, modern, and legacy is very very real with vintage players, and it hurts the game in both the short and long run. Even if a relative percentage of standard players have "quit" over the rock paper scissor meta, it's a drop in the bucket relative to when vintage players decide to hang it up.

    For everyone "I'll quit if this doesn't change" there are at least as many "I'll quit if the DCI restricts X."

    Restrictions have driven more people from the format than stagnant metagames. Look at how upset some Workshop players were when Golem was restricted. Nick Detwiler posted that it almost killed his interest in Vintage. Rich Shay claimed in a VSL broadcast that the restriction of Brainstorm and co. wrecked the New England Vintage community.

    Every time a card is restricted, the DCI takes away some player segment's favorite cards. I saw many Workshop players apoplectic after Golem's restriction, especially coming after Chalice, claiming not only that the DCI overreached but that they made a decision to placate a vocal minority. That kind of policy making alienates far more players than a "stagnant" metagame.

    In any case, the notion that we inhabit a stagnant metagame is pretty absurd. Paradoxical Outcome (a relatively brand new card) was in 12% of MTGO daily decks in February, and in a constantly evolving set of archetypes. This, after just 4 daily appearances in January. And Walking Ballista is a brand new card that is seeing tons of play, a printing that was only legal as of mid-January.

    The notion that a stagnant (or steady, for the glass half full crowd) meta better serves a community that only gets to play big events 2-3 times per year is an outdated view that went out the door with MODO.

    What happened to those people? They just disappeared? Not at all.

    That's why I wrote this article. It's so that MTGO grinders might remember that there is a large player base out there that doesn't play in daily events, but plays in local tournaments that may occur once a month or even once a quarter. And there are many other players that only go to the annual big events like Gencon, Vintage Champs, and Waterburies. You all know who these people are.

    Vintage is an eternal format. That doesn't mean that the format has to stay the same forever, but there is much less of an imperative to make sure that the format is constantly changing than for other formats. In fact, that's the whole point of the format: it's a format that you don't have to constantly buy into, but you can play for decades if not a lifetime.

    Just because MTGO arrived doesn't mean that we throw that concept out. The people who play in paper vintage tournaments at least once a year dwarfs the number of people who play Vintage on MTGO. Vintage B&R list policy should not be geared primarily towards MTGO players, just so that they can play fresh decks every week. That would be disastrous for paper players.

    If even a third of the 38% of people who disagree with the B&R over the past year stop playing, that is felt in Dailys that never fire and TOs forced to cut prize support. Sometimes a change, even if viewed by a population as "a change for the sake of it", will shake things up enough to Jumpstart the format.

    Well, for starters, January and February 2017 both had 24 daily events reported, which means at least 24 dailies fired. I think that's more than have ever been reported per month before. As a point of comparison, February, 2016 had only 14 reported daily events. So, by that measure, there has been a 40% increase in the number of dailies that fired from February 2016 to February 2017.

    Restriction is a tool of last resort, and should never be used to "shake things up." "Shaking things up" inevitably means driving some players from the format.



  • @Smmenen

    Restriction is a tool of last resort, and should never be used to "shake things up." "Shaking things up" inevitably means driving some players from the format.

    But it hasn't been implemented as a tool of last resort. Mind's Desire was restricted preemptively and never came off.

    With the exception of Flash, all the restrictions made while I have been playing Vintage have been to shake things up. Could hardly say that Gifts, Lodestone, Chalice, Brainstorm, etc. we're restricted as a "last resort"- as in they've tried everything they could and they just had to restrict it. Every time they restrict something it's basically a complete surprise. If something is so distorting that it needs be restricted as a last resort, then I feel it should be more obvious.


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