Hey guys, today I wanted to write a detailed post regarding how voting was handled for Danger Room 2017. First I want to say congratulations to our winners, and a strong thank you to all our participants for making it as close and exciting as it was. I can safely say I was glued to my screen the entire week waiting to see if anybody dropped bombs and boy did some people DROP BOMBS. I did not personally think voting would reach over 1k, so to see today's finale end with somebody having over 3k votes is ridiculous! I know it wasn't perfect, and I know we need to change some things so I'm here to detail the voting process and our thinking behind it.
Curleh Rank votes:
We definitely wanted to reward people who have been active in the circuit. I personally thought, man there's so many people taking the initiative and really putting their best foot forward with this that it makes sense right? Why not reward those who have been pushing the circuit, pushing the points and pushing their scenes ultimately? It was a nice practice and I stand by this, but what we did not foresee (which in hindsight was stupid) was the southeast region having so many votes. Let me say this right now, this is NOT their fault, its OUR fault for not balancing the circuit right. Now that Danger Room is over I will be proposing some changes, not to nerf locals but to buff majors primarily so that if you get locals, you DO get some points, but 2nd place at a MAJOR with 100 peeps should NOT be worth the same as like 3 locals. We're working on that and this is something that should of changed before we did curleh rank votes because what happened was with 0 paid votes Florida/Southeast pushed some people to the very top by a massive margin. It wasn't their fault, they just logged in and saw they had so many votes and used them accordingly. I stand firm that even without having as many votes Too Much Damage and Possibly Ronan would of been as high as they were because Florida/SE in general is so active and campaigned so hard. I've been smack talking Florida quite a bit lately, but its only because I know the potential the scene has and Danger Room really showed that. The strongest regions to campaign and move people to participate by far were Southeast and Midwest.
Votes just for entering a UMVC3 event:
Don't know if people knew this, but we distributed votes just for having entered a UMVC3 tournament with your smash.gg account at any given time. It was a split second decision while we were trying to figure out general account free votes (detailed later in this post). Honestly, I wish we could of done more. I wanted the scene itself to have the most votes. Marvel players voting on a marvel event should have the most impact. I know a lot of other scenes partake in this event especially when you have players like Flux, Apologyman, Wolf, etc who also play Smash, Anime, etc. I definitely wanted them to participate, but I wanted Marvel players to have more impact. We did give these out as mentioned, and I think it was only about 5 but in hindsight I wish we could of given out more. The reason we didn't was we were afraid that if we gave too many, the scales would be further unbalanced by certain regions having multitudes more smash.gg accounts with registered marvel players than others but in further hindsight this shouldn't of been a problem. They signed up, they participated, why shouldn't they get rewarded?
General Free votes:
This is the big one, or maybe the 2nd big one. I wholeheartedly believed the entire time right up until 1pm on Friday that we were going to give out free votes. It was my understanding from the day we decided to do a vote system that we would give out free votes. I wanted everybody to participate in some aspect, and then go from there to ensure that other scenes didn't have as much power. They would have some, but not as much i.e. 5 free votes, marvel players got 10. That right there would of been fine, since if a non-marvel player really wanted to push their guy they would have to support the non-profit shop to do it. Ultimately post-voting opening, Bear representing smash.gg and I had this conversation: http://i.imgur.com/UJ4BD8A.png . Here you can see that I was stressed as all hell about getting those free votes as quickly as possible, and keeping to what I told everybody that every account would get free votes. I said it in private to my friends, and even tweeted it out. Ultimately though the last line hit me hard. 1 MILLION votes. It had the potential to crush the event, the shop and everything with it. People could go to anybody who ever had a smash.gg and get free votes. It was a dangerous decision, and something not even the development team wanted to do. It was not ideal, but I made the toughest decision and ultimately the one that upset the most people and switched the voting. We brainstormed together until we came up with awarding votes for Nominees. It would let the non-UMVC3 people vote still, but not be too crazy as to break the voting and the shop. Here's us brainstorming the nominee votes idea: http://i.imgur.com/84d9rHG.png and ultimately approving it after finding out about 740 people participated in voting: http://i.imgur.com/rcSJLzr.png again this was not perfect, but it was better to the alternative 1 million votes floating out there. I'm deeply sorry for not committing to the free votes for every account, but the thought of that many free votes out there it would of definitely changed the competition into who could round up more unsuspecting smash.gg account members, some who have no idea what a fighting game is (smash.gg is also used for things like Rocket League, etc).
This is a really big one, and something that I honestly can say did not expect to come out the way it did. Let's talk about the obvious: there is definitely a taboo I feel, personally, whenever I do something that involves asking for financial support in the community. Even something like running a small shop with some graphic tees, non-profit, I was hesitant because I knew people would slam it, and ask why they need to do it. That's not everybody though, and I know there are a few people out there who really know how much support events need sometimes and buy some merch. To those, I wanted to give some free votes. Hey man, you bought some stuff to give to the pot bonus? Heres like 5 free votes. It wasn't alot, and the shop was pretty humble. We had some tees, a signed poster (I honestly thought nobody would buy it) and some yipes shoutouts. Even with these humble items, you had to buy 100 dollars to come up with 70 votes. That's about the general equation, 70 votes per 100 dollars. Considering most marvel players had about 25-35 votes, we can safely say that somebody would have to spend a ridiculous amount of money, like 200 bucks or 140 votes to really try to offset the huge amount of marvel votes some people had. Honestly, I was wrong. It was NOT taboo and the amount you had to spend to make a difference did NOT matter. For reasons that were unknown to me, people went crazy and started to powerplay the votes. Swear to everything I hold true, I did not think people would buy stuff, nor that they would take it to this level. I woke up and people started to drop THOUSANDS of dollars for votes. This was foolish and inexperienced of me. All i was giving away was a free trip to this VIP training experience, I didn't give much more info than that why would people drop several K? I'm not sure but boy did it happen, and boy did it make a lot of people upset. A lot of dreams got crushed from legitimate competitors who ran honest campaigns when they went up against people with deep pockets. Honestly it sucks, it really does that it happens. The most popular feedback we've received is why not cap how many paid votes players can get? the answer is that we for sure have to cap free votes. That means theoretically you could have at tie or a player can reach their max (cap free votes, cap paid votes) and then the race becomes stale, or flops. Why not cap how many paid votes each person can buy? The answer is because smash.gg does not cost anything to make accounts, and it never will AFAIK so even if I said max 200 spent per acct, people would just make dummy accounts and drop the 1k anyways. This might still be an answer though and at least make it harder for people to do it. Would people still drop 1k if it meant they had to make 5 accounts? downside though is people like Justin who donated 1.2k to finish the documentary, it couldn't happen as well. This is absolutely the hardest thing we will be looking at in the coming days, and where I would want more feedback from the community. We took this model directly from the smash summit, and it ran well with these tool sets but with the FGC having limited, and apparently skewed funds it did not work as intended I feel to truly give everybody a fair chance.
All in all this was an extremely educational experience, and we (Myself and Smash.gg) have learned a lot. I can promise you that we're exporting all the data, and going over it with a fine tooth comb to learn as much as we can. I am very VERY committed to tweaking this and even more committed to running another Danger Room. The good thing to come out of this is that the numbers look great from a community/TO perspective. We funded a 4k Documentary, and got a really great pot bonus. The scene was mobilized, and we've proven we can be Esports if we want to be. Plus if we look at it, the people voted and supported their favorite marvel players and got them to the event, even if they aren't the best. I'm absolutely not going to let this experience, and the frustration of players go in vain, and will make it my life goal to ensure we get a Danger Room 2.0 with Marvel Infinite. I want a bigger house, 16 players this time and a much smoother voting experience. Its been a stressful week trying to reach out and get feedback, but I am glad I was able to detail this post so thoroughly to give you more insight into how things transpired. Please please PLEASE give me your thoughts, comments and opinions on the situation. I'm constantly learning, and as I saw this past week is that sometimes my passion for Marvel can blind me to some of my mistakes. I look forward to working more Marvel events for the community, and as always I truly believe in Marvel forever.
Armando "Angelic" Mejia