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Neal's Last Words


Neal's Last Words

by Byron "Neal" Massey

What the DCI can do for you

Ever since the original announcement (DCI Field Report), people have been wondering what DCI sanctioning really means for Netrunner. This week, TRC President Robert Flack finally went public with the answer:

DCI sanctioning means respect. The TRC has worked hard promoting Netrunner. WotC now recognizes that there is a dedicated player base for the game. The DCI is known world-wide as an official body for organized game play. Theyare willing to work with us and use some of their budget to rank players. Skip is working closely with the DCI to put official tournament rules in place. Matthias Nagy's rankings will be the basis for the ranking system. The DCI is looking to the TRC for expertise in Netrunner so organized play is implemented right.

DCI sanctioning means increased promotion. Netrunner promotion is the cornerstone of the TRC. By working with the DCI, Netrunner events carry more impact. Players of other games that are sanctioned by the DCI can see that Netrunner has official support. More importantly, players of games not sanctioned will see official support.

Yes, these are abstracts. But abstracts are important. Remember, the check you get is just an abstract for the work you did. ;-)

DCI sanctioning does *not* mean the end of the TRC. The TRC provides a way for Netrunner players to get together. It also promotes the game by helping players run demos and organize playgroups. The DCI will help on the tournament side of this work by providing a cost-free way of assembling player rankings and promoting tournaments.

Bob "Argi" Flack

It was nice, in a sad sort of way, to see that all the old Magic players were right. The DCI is not going to do anything for Netrunner. They are willing to add names to their player-ranking database, along with Battletech. That's all. Of course, there is no date specified for the DCI ranking to begin.

"The DCI might walk away at this rejection. They'll be back, when Netrunner is even stronger."

Which would be fine, if they were not asking anything of the TRC. Skipper Pickle, the DCI representative on the Netrunner mailing list, and the sole rules Czar for Netrunner, is not so lucky. He is under pressure from the DCI to issue an "official" version of the Netrunner tournament rules that conforms to their template for the Magic rules.

Pressure is the result of a force. The only force being applied here is the name of the Duelists' Convocation International. The rules are not being formed by the force of money, or tournaments, or new cards. So far, simply adding the DCI name to Netrunner has been enough force to produce some unuseable rules.

The TRC currently has a "cost-free way of assembling player rankings". His name is Matthias Nagy, and he is a hero. When the TRC starts generating income from its meatspace events, I assume some of it will be given to Matthias. Until then, he is cost-free.

You can guess where I am going with this. The DCI name is anethema to most experienced players of WotC games. Only those members of the TRC who do not share a history with the DCI view its contribution as positive. If the DCI is not willing to bring something to the table, besides their besmirched name, the TRC should not pay the slightest attention to their wishes. The hard, volunteer work of the TRC members is being given away for nothing.

By all accounts, the TRC is growing stronger every day. They are planning meatspace championships in Europe next year, and new players are added daily to the membership roles. Giving up control of the tournament system at this time is a horrible negotiating blunder. The TRC tournament rules should not be influenced in any way by the wishes of the DCI.

The DCI might walk away at this rejection. They'll be back, when Netrunner is even stronger. Perhaps they'll bring some tangible assets to the table. If Netrunner doesn't grow stronger, what is the point of following DCI wishes?

The DCI has a long track record of making mistakes. Assuming that their initials are an asset to Netrunner is yet another. If the TRC is fooled by the self-aggrandizement of the DCI, they begin on the slippery slope that made Magic the Medusa it is today. The rules template is only the first step down that slope.

Karl De Veres spent his last night with the Corvallis City Grid this week. He is moving to Mississippi, where he and his wife will pursue their formal education. He left us in fine fashion, winning a Swiss tournament. The single-starter tournament was proceeded by ten-mnute trading sessions in a round-robin format. I really, really liked this format and recommend that you try it. The details can be found in Beta Testing the Field.

Karl will be sorely missed. He is the author of the ultimate bitless stack, Bozomatic. He has also created hundreds of other creative, interesting deck designs, including PurgeTech(tm), which he describes in Deal with Purgetech(tm). He is the current constructed-deck champion of the Northwestern United States.

Good luck, Karl. May all your runs be free, and your forts secure.