Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A State of Emergency

              Naruto has come a long way. From the hay day of fire to the dominance of Earth, this game has certainly been an adventure spanning over 5 years of rises and falls in every aspect. We have witnessed much success in our small world, however the game has seemed to have plummeted into a dark abyss of failure. It's clear, we are in the "dark age" of Naruto with no end in sight. This article is here to identify the factors of this disheartening truth in hopes of change.

1.Prizing I hate to beat a dead horse, but time and again this still remains an unresolved issue. Post set 24 we were promised an increase of prizing, however we have been given even further cuts as shown in this years Gencon prizing. NO itouches for top 8, NO product, and most important NO prizing under 8th place. How can you justify people spending anywhere from 500-1000 dollars to attend the biggest Naruto event of the year and receive nothing? The competitive scene is the one aspect keeping this game afloat and sufficient prizing is the core of that. Bandai's has exhibited it's lack of player's perception and understanding of its consumers.

2. Organization Bandai is in complete disarray. They post contradictory and wrong information, have no idea how to coordinate events , and half the time they don't even agree on Q and A answers. The event schedule for Gencon has been posted in at least 2(maybe 3) different places and each one says sometime very different, deterring people away from attending. The whole mid western Naruto community, namely the lower states, has died due to Bandai's negligence. Out of 11 events planned in a year, they could not satisfy the area with even one SJC. As for Q and A, Laughing man will give you an answer, however that doesn't mean it actually right. We're at a point in the game where we cannot take what the company running the game's word for truth. I played in a Chunin last week where people changed their decks mid way through a tournament, players substitute other players in top, and really made a mockery of the idea of rules. I believe this anarchy is a direct result of Bandai's lack of leadership and organization as people now take this game as a joke. If Bandai doesn't take this game seriously, why would their players?

3. Apathy Although we all express our opinions, Bandai does not seem to be concerned in the slightest. It doesn't take a genius to understand the mediocrity of it all as it is reflected in a number of outlets whether it be pojo, blogs, or maybe their own website. The problems of Naruto receive zero attention from Bandai, as they have yet to address or resolve any pending issues they expect us to overcome. A few months ago I compiled these questions into an interview with Tylar Allidar, which at the time he seemed dedicated to his vision of Naruto, however this affection has come to be short lived. Bandai's idea to revitalize the moral of players is setting up a voting tournament which is just a way to maintain the elephant in the room. They clearly have the ability to bring about change, but without a idea and a will to carryout that idea the game will die.

4. Stale This game is frankly boring and not in terms of the metagame. We have seen no new additions to game play of any kind, nothing has changed to draw interest to the competitive scene, and local play is at an all time low. Currently there is no reason for anyone to begin playing Naruto which is seen in top cut of almost every major event and lack of academy play, but how can you blame them? Prizing kits are absolutely atrocious, nobody wants to waste time and money to play for a coin, and higher level tournament prizing just keeps getting worse and worse. Players have been remaining faithful to Naruto, but it's dwindling with ever month of constant disappointment. It appears the only change we can rely on is the downsizing of prize support.

5. Banning players When a game is in such a decline, its just shooting yourself in the foot by barring players who support your game from playing it. The games competitive scene, as previously stated,  is the only lifeline this game has left and by decreasing this small group is counter productive from preserving the vitality of the game. The jeopardy of morals is an issue for another article, however the task at hand is keeping the game alive. While I am not suggesting that Bandai should overlook any act of indecency or cheating, I would like to see a system that would penalize offenders without completely deter them away from the game. In a game with incomparable levels of popularity, such as Yugioh, excommunicating the problems is not such a bad idea. In a game with a dedicated playerbase of under 100, every single player matters.


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