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TOP and the new client blues

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:13 am
by Sailing_Away
The Tournament of Players (hearts) has been around for many years, even pre-dating its arrival on Silver Creek. A handful of players still play who remember when it was hosted on MPlayer and had the ability to hear peoples voices and talk to each other using their computer microphones. Its founder, Melinda (Mush), set the rules of this tourney to make it fun, competitive and fair as best she could.

I've been using the new client as much as possible to give it the best tryout I can and to show my support for this site and my interest in keeping it around. Therefore, I don't want what I have to say to be taken as "oh, it's just another lousy complainer who we can't possibly satisfy". I believe you had to change to survive, but I see some potential landmines, and some of these affect our tourney.

Mush wanted the games to be rated and not social, with one reason being that people will care about whether they do well if the game is rated. One issue tourneys deal with (or games in smoots even) is that people sometimes throw games. If the game is a "social" one, throwing a game has no consequence at all. This rated game rule helps mitigate that to a point. However, in playing version 2, I have found that if my wife and I end up in the same room in the tourney, we can't play (she plays version 1 still) unless I bail out and sign back in with version 1. We don't use the same account... we each bought our own at different times and before we knew each other, yet we face this restriction. While the host can try to not seat us together, sometimes this could be unavoidable if we both end up in the finals. If it becomes impossible to play in the tourney, people who are here for the tourney may leave, and this may force the tourney admins to look elsewhere or fold.

Another issue which is mitigated still by the fact that version 1 is still usable is that the tourney hosts in TOP use special host nics (i.e., I am 1TOP Sailor when I host, Sailing_Away when I play). If our ability to use version 1 ever stops, I will be unable to use my host nic, have host powers, and neither will any of the rest of us.

However, while there is all this compelling reason why we depend on version 1 to get around restrictions placed in version 2, I don't think it's a good idea to keep both around forever. When you place restrictions in version 2 to fix some of the issues with the Hardwood games concerning bad behaviour by some players, but allow these behaviours to continue anyway, tying only the hands of those too new to have version 1 or who have voluntarily jumped over, you end up with an unpleasant site when a few bad apples have the power to torment the rest and drive them away. I saw this happen during the last days of Uproar's Acrophobia when the backdoor hackers would spoil the players rooms with multiple simultaneous nics and destroying game play and crashing the overloaded server. There must be a pathway to one version here that allows us to have our tourneys be playable according to best and established practice without driving the people who are here for good card games away.