Yes, the format's health is an important issue and I believe everyone should be entitled to their opinion. However, a single weekly event should do little to affect one's view of the metagame. I even tried to start those monthly reports to provide a medium for a more holistic metagame review - that's part of the frustration. We could go through this every week. "Shops won again; clearly is overpowered." "Mana Drain and PO won, the format is fine and everything is glorious". "Oh, Shops won again, time to restrict Shops." Magic is a game of variance and there will be swings...there will be anomalies. That's the nature of our hobby.
First of all, I appreciate the apology.
But this description of how some people are reacting - a micro-focus on a single Top 8 - is not at all how I've couched my objections to DCI policy or the state of the format.
Take a look back at the 6/10 Challenge thread. My first post in that entire thread wasn't until post 59. I'm not saying that there weren't people doing what you say here, but it wasn't me. You might say Josh did. But I didn't do you what you are talking about, and it seems like I'm getting the blame for that kind of assertion/claim. My claims have been far more carefully developed and framed, I believe.
In fact, to that point, my third post in that thread (post 68) aggregated all of the challenge results into a single table, specifically as a response to the objection you raised, which is that people were making too much of a single 50 player tournament.
I agree it would be ridiculous to draw broad based conclusions about the state of the metagame based upon a single tournament.
But, when you now have 1) six of those tournaments, 2) all of similar size, and 3) and key results, in the main, are very similar, or follow a clearly observable pattern, the confidence in the data grows stronger. That's why I created the table. Comments by some people were masking what I feel is a clear pattern now, with enough data to give us some confidence in it.
So, let me phrase my objection in what I hope is a non-confrontational form. The previous iteration of The Mana Drain had a policy that limited banned and restricted discussions to a specific forum. I imagine they ran into similar issues like we've encountered here. Even if @Brass-Man does not want to take a similar step (and I'm not saying he should), I think that we should try and limit such discussions to threads specifically concerning them. While we call these "metagame reports" they are really snapshots of a specific metagame and not necessarily indicative of the overall trend.
I used to write quarterly metagame reports for Starcitygames on Vintage, so I appreciate both the work that goes into them and their value. But individual tournament results that fit a broader pattern as well as metagame reports are fair game for critiquing B&R policy.
Vintage has just undergone a massive B&R list change, and one that was deeply divisive and contentious. These results are a critical data point in the overall assessment of the effects of those restrictions, especially upon their necessity and efficacy.
If those restrictions were based upon erroneous premises (as I believe) or otherwise do not have the intended effect (as I believe we are seeing), it is absolutely essential that we critique them, and more.
Silencing discussion on that point would, in essence, serve as a shield to protect those decisions from critique, in at least some degree (although we might disagree about how much).
Now that Gush is restricted, these metagame reports of the Vintage Challenges and the larger monthly or quarterly ones, are our main avenue by which to understand the impact. Restricting conversation about the effects of the restriction of Gush within metagame breakdowns does not even seem possible, as that's one of the main things that these metagame breakdowns do. They show us the effects of the restrictions on the metagame.
The flip side is that these metagame reports, individually and in the aggregate, point towards possible B&R issues. Suppose some deck becomes 50% of the the metagame (without supposing what such a deck might be). It would be unreasonable to ask people NOT to raise the issue, in these threads, if a B&R response might be warranted.
However, my concern I'm seeing is negativity (to the level of detriment) and people start yelling at each other. I'm not saying you or anyone in particular. I would love to go to these posts and see people discuss the actual decks. Maybe between this and the Facebook group, I've seen so much "WOTC sux" posts that have little to no merit, that I've gotten beyond frustrated and annoyed.
I disagree with you. I don't think negativity is a bad thing, especially here. That's how people register their anger with the format and DCI B&R list policy.
Shawn's poll shows that there is alot of unhappiness with the decision. Not taking into account the various "yes, but" or "no, but" answers, 81 people voted that they were NOT happy with the restrictions compared to just 37 who were happy, so far.
Even as a sample of a much larger population, that illustrates a huge amount of discontent in the Vintage community.
That discontentment is the only way that things can improve. When the DCI last overreached, a ton of people quit Vintage, and that let the DCI know that they overeached. Tournament attendance in some quarters cratered, and the result of that was we had 5 years of much better B&R management.
These concerns about "negativity" do little more than stifle legitimate grievances that people have. I say: bring on the negativity and open the floodgates, if people are unhappy with DCI policy.
Where I do agree with you is that people should not engage in personal attacks. That's inherently inflammatory and antithetical to discussion not to mention illogical anyway.