So I think I broke the system. And by that I mean to contribute articles to this fine site, you generally just click that "Submit An Article!" link at the top left there, put in your name and email address, and then ramble into the article field for an hour or so and hit the "Submit" button at the bottom of the screen. But look!
There's no button to submit! So how is this my fault? I'm glad you asked.
This site had a great system for a long time. Random people would do just as I outlined above to submit an article and then spambots would flood the regular comment sections with ads for Russian brides and the great editors would largely ignore any comment submissions (which needed their approval, of course) for a period of months at a time and then when they finally got around to checking it, they'd just go ahead and delete all the comments, guaranteeing that the fine contributors on this site would be free from any and all criticism. It was a perfect system.
Then, a few weeks ago, I pointed out that, instead of the spammers spamming the comments sections, they should just submit articles to the front page, ensuring many more viewers than they'd get by posting comments at the end of the latest 200,000 word analysis of the least relevant combo cards from 20 years ago. Around the same time, I also suggested allowing article comments to go directly into our forum, so that, if someone real ever did decide to comment on an article, they wouldn't have to wait 3 months for that comment to show up and another 3 months to see if anyone might respond and then another 3 months for a response to that response to show up. I figured if someone wanted to wait that long to communicate, they'd submit their comments directly to the authors via Pony Express. But no one wants to wait that long, which is why we all send telegrams nowadays. Stop.
So, anyway, the article comments got disabled and spam bots used their advanced technology to parse my words, which lead them to send all their spam through the article submission field. Now here's what really bothers me. I said they should submit articles. Writing one sentence touting the benefits of your illegal prescriptions or the quality of your undressed ladies, followed by an extraordinarily questionable hyperlink does NOT constitute an article! Put a little thought into it and try to tangentially mention Magic. (Which I just did by the way, meaning I've fulfilled my own obligations toward getting this article posted.)
So what happened was that we got a new flood of spam through the article submission page and now the article submission button is off. Which really bums me out.
Now, I'm pretty sure Spiderman provided some manner of instructions toward getting articles submitted without going through the submission page, but it just feels dirty. First of all, I don't want him knowing my real email address (which is a super-secret) and second, it would require me to copy and paste this giant chunk of text into some other format, which might tempt me to proofread it or something and that kind of flies in the face of everything I believe in with respect to writing articles for the CPA.
Moving on... this is my variant article. Let's talk about a variant. (Don't worry it shouldn't be much longer from here. Once I start actually talking about Magic-relevant stuff, I usually run out of thoughts pretty quickly.)
Here's a brilliant idea for a different format: it's called a LEAGUE. Here's how it works:
A bunch of players (of some base-2 number, like 64 or 128) join this league. They start with six booster packs from one particular block. (Do starter decks exist anymore? That's what they used to have.) Each player makes a 40-card deck out of the cards opened from those booster packs. In the first week, everyone plays a minimum of 5 matches, which count for the most points for ranking. Players can play additional matches to earn tie-breaker points. In fact, each player in the league can play as many games as they like for the entire week!
Now, here's the even better part. It doesn't end after a week! In the second week, every player gets to open a new booster pack, tweak their deck a little bit and then play as many games as they like (the first five still count the most). This final step is repeated for the next two weeks, making the entire format last four whole weeks.
Now you may be asking how is this any different from a sealed deck tournament? And I may tell you IT LASTS FOUR WEEKS! The two greatest things are 1) you get to play a ton of games for the money you spend and 2) you can play the games any time it's convenient. The problem with current draft and sealed deck formats is that you need to carve out a significant portion of time if you expect to have any chance of winning. You join, then wait an indeterminate amount of time for enough players to join to actually start the tournament, then go through the draft and/or deckbuilding process which can take anywhere from 30 to 80 minutes. Then you need to allot roughly 45 minutes per match, meaning the best case scenario when you make it to the finals is a 3-hour chunk of your time spent sitting in front of the computer. Ain't nobody got time for that. And, considering that best-case scenario, you only get to play THREE matches. (This number goes down to one, if you suck like I do, though the Swiss formats are more forgiving.)
So let's do the math. You spend three straight hours playing three matches for $14, meaning you're paying $4.67 per match. With my idea, you pay $26 up front and $4 for three more weeks for a total of $38 and you'll play a minimum of 20 matches, which comes out to $1.90 per match. And that's just the minimum. You can play as many as you like!
Now, since the MTGO people won't be getting nearly as much money from you since you've decided not to be a chump, the prizes will kind of suck, but that's okay because you suck and you don't win prizes anyway so everybody wins.
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