Hello TCG fans!
In the background, we have been hard at work on a very exciting project, and I’m excited to announce that our Discord Bot, Mae, is ready and running – and that means we are now offering free, semi-automated, online TCG Leagues on our Discord server!
Please, allow me to explain…
Back in 2020, TCG gaming was tough, and to both alleviate things for players and to benefit our local FLGS, we attempted our first online league, for UniVersus.
Overall, this event went really well! We had a great turnout and people enjoyed the casual atmosphere and getting to socialize with other fans in the server. Our store got a nice little package of support, and our feedback was overall very positive from the event. We always wanted to run more, however, we did take note of two fairly annoying hurdles – one, our reporting system (via email) was both somewhat archaic and cumbersome to complete, and two, it required a more significant investment of time to keep up with player rankings and records that would hold them back a bit from being easy and consistent events to run for a hobby site like ours (when we have so many other areas to focus on as well, like content creation!).
We got a bit derailed as the pandemic went on, but as we returned to our passions here, it has still been a desire of mine to get regular league play going as we’ve been continuing to improve our Discord server. To be frank, it took me really becoming a regular discord user and experiencing the potential on other servers to realize the answer – we could solve nearly all of our problems if we just had a Discord Bot to handle things for us! And so, the wheels were set in motion.
Mae has been custom developed to serve our needs, and she will be exclusive to the Maindeck discord. With Mae, we are able to create and run the kind of events we think are largely missing from TCG play right now – long form, casual or semi-competitive events where players can play when they have time, and are rewarded for winning or losing. We want our leagues to be the perfect place to test new decks, with a low barrier to entry, and low stress. Our leagues will always follow the following format:
- Leagues will run for anywhere from 1-8 weeks;
- Players will be able to report a set number of matches per week;
- Players cannot record results with the same opponent more than once per week, however the same opponent can be played once each week if desired;
- Prizing will be provided with a light focus on top ranking, and a much stronger focus on simply playing the maximum amount of matches per week.
To that end, Mae assists with all of the backend work. Using Mae, we can create leagues that follow this structure, and players are able to use commands to:
- Enroll in a league
- Report a match result with an opponent
- See the current Standings of a league
- See their or another player’s rank in a league
- Get a detailed match history for a league they are in
- See all ongoing or upcoming leagues
Mae even handles the math on the backend – because of Mae, we were able to add a robust Strength of Schedule system based on that used in Magic: the Gathering to define tiebreakers for us.
By pushing all of this work on to Mae, it allows us more time to keep working on engaging with the community, playing in the events ourselves, creating content, and allows us to run multiple leagues at once for different games!
With all of that said, here’s how we are kicking off our new Leagues – with a special event for Grand Archive TCG with prizing provided by Weebs of the Shore!
Our first league, Grand Archive League – April 2022 – will run from today, April 11th, through May 1st, 2022. Here are the rules to know:
- Entrants must be in our Discord, obviously! Enter in the event by using the command !leagueenter GA01. There is no entry fee for this event.
- Entrants must report their weekly matches by the start date of the next week using the !matchreport command. Unreported matches will be missed.
- Entrants should play their matches on Tabletop Simulator (get the Grand Archive plugin here!) and should use voice communications in the Maindeck Discord.
- Matches are Best 2 of 3 games. Players can have up to 3 reported matches per week, win or lose!
- Players can adjust or entirely swap their deck freely in between matches. All Prelude cards are legal (see the Grand Archive Index)
As for prizing, we are very grateful to have been given Five more Starfoil Lorraine, Festive Night promos! These very exclusive sample card promos are obtained primarily through giveaways and events like these before the full launch of the game, so this is a great opportunity to try to score one. Here’s how we are giving them out:
First Place Player – At the end of the 3 weeks, the player with the highest score + tiebreakers will win 1 of the Starfoil Lorraine, Festive Night promos.
All Other Players – All other players in the event will earn a number of raffle entries equal to their number of reported matches (so up to 9 per player), regardless of winning or losing. The four remaining Starfoil Lorraine, Festive Night promos will be raffled to four unique players using those entries.
If you have any questions about rules for the event, please hit me up (@MaindeckDan) on the Discord server and I’ll be happy to help! We hope this event is a fun and exciting way to both kick off our Leagues, and rev up some excitement for Grand Archive! Stay tuned for more leagues to be announced soon!
The last thing I want to mention today is that Leagues are not going to be all Mae can do. We’ve got some big and fun plans with our custom bot, so we hope you can be patient and stay tuned to see what else we’ve got cooking up. However, we are going to first focus on refining the League functions to be as helpful and easy to use as possible, so we appreciate any feedback you can give!
That’s all for today – see you all in Discord and good luck in the Leagues!