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World Championship Format Announced

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

20th June 2008

In January 2008, when we were putting The Continuing Committee together and planning for our first year, one of the hot topics was the development of Virtual cards and their effect on organized play. There were concerns that people would abandon organized play (and the World Championship) if Virtual cards were introduced; thus, the Traditional format was conceived and put into place.

Traditional format was created in response to the early criticism of the development of Virtual Expansions; to allow those play groups that were vehemently opposed to "paper cards" the ability to play and participate in the organized play programs we'd planned. Even so, the idea was put forth that our "first" Worlds would be held as a Traditional event, keeping Virtual cards out of the 2008 World Championship.

I believe that a lot of this concern was because of how "unknown" things were at that time. We'd only barely started development on The Undiscovered Country, and people were (justifiably) worried that Virtual cards would be over-powered, dream cards, or otherwise unplayable and cause significant damage to the environment. I would like to believe that now, after TUC is out and Brad and his team have proven their skills and commitment to a healthy game, a lot of those fears are no longer felt. In fact, recent weeks have shown serious opposition to using the Traditional format for worlds. This led to a dilemma and we sought out more information.

We've been collecting data (via our survey) about how people currently feel about the format choice for Worlds 2008. Based on this data, we have decided that the 2008 World Championship will be Standard format. This means that the Virtual Expansion The Undiscovered Country will be legal, as will the use of cards in the Virtual Errata File.

Here are the results of the survey that we used to make this decision:

Of those players planning on playing in the 2008 World Championship, 55.6% of them preferred Standard format while 44.4% chose Traditional.

84.6% of the players said they would play in the World Championship even if the format they preferred was not used. Of those that said they would not play, 75% preferred the Standard format and 25% preferred the Traditional format.

96.3% of the players attending GenCon said they would participate in Trek side events.

If Worlds were to be Standard, then 100% of the people that would still attend GenCon would play in the World Championship, and 56% would be playing with their preferred format.

If Worlds were to be Traditional, then 88.5% of the people that would still attend GenCon would play in the World Championship, and 46.2% would be playing with their preferred format.

This data indicates a slight numerical advantage in the use of Standard format over Traditional format. The Continuing Committee is impressed that almost thirty (30) people are planning on playing in the World Championship of a game that's no longer being made. This game is far from dead!

I am looking forward to seeing you at GenCon this year. This is going to be an important year for us and the game we love, and it is vital that we support one another even when the tides do not take us the way we'd prefer. This is going to be a big event and we hope that you will choose to be part of it.

If you would like to discuss this decision, please do so on our World Championship forum.

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