I'd like to float the idea of setting up ranked play as well as a continuing series of tournaments for Spellcraft as detailed below.
1. Players would join a separate page/site as participants and receive an initial ranking, using the Elo rating system that is used in chess.
2. Players would be able to use the separate page/site to locate opponents for ranked multi-player contests, each of which would take place under one of several deck construction rule sets and be played as a set of best three out of five games. The set is three out of five games in an effort to minimize the effect of luck and good/bad draws of cards.
3. Each players rank would be automatically recomputed after each ranked game is played.
4. Regular tournaments would be held on a monthly basis and any player would be able to join any tournament unless such tournaments are specifically being run for higher or lower ranked players.
5. Tournaments would use the ranking system to match players and be run under the following rule sets: A) Standard Deck Construction, B) Single Faction Deck only, C) No Rares. Tournaments might also be either single or double elimination and would use the same “best three out of five” formula to determine a winner.
The biggest potential drawback I can see to my proposal is that it would, of necessity, require all participants to be on the honor system as there is no way that I know of (and please correct me if I'm wrong) to verify the outcome of a game played between two individuals.
On the other hand there are a lot of benefits to setting up such a system. First and foremost it will increase not only the amount of games played but the overall level of skill in the player pool. Secondly it can be used as a recruiting tool to bring in more players, especially if some sort of reward system can be implemented with Three Goblins such as winning goblin gold for finishing in the top three of a tournament. Third it should encourage more player vs. player play as people participate in ranked games outside of tournaments. This should also increase traffic to the message boards and live chat. And finally this should increase the amount of money that Three Goblins makes on the game which in turn benefits players as increased revenue will allow for more and faster faction additions, additions of more cards to existing factions, the option for game upgrades such as better animations, more and different music and so on.
So what are your thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Derisive comments?