The second World Championship for Star Wars: Destiny just wrapped up. It was a fantastic time, bringing together players from all over the world. I was fortunate enough to attend the first Worlds and was happy to see that Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) had made many improvements with very few steps taken backwards.
Before I dig into the Good and the Bad of Worlds, I want to make a few clarifications. Chief among them is that unlike other events run at Fantasy Flight Games Center, Worlds is organized and operated by Organized Play (OP). Most other events at the Games Center are run by the store management and staff. I will also be referring to FFG throughout most of the article, but most of the feedback is directed at OP.
Bigger Means Better
The most noticeable improvement was the extra Destiny players FFG squeezed into the main schedule. More people means more party, right? Both World Championships were played in the same space, but this year FFG added an entire extra day 1 to the main event allowing around 330 players to attend. This is a big step in the right direction but I think there is still room for improvement. Last year’s North American Championship had around 400 players – FFG has the space to accommodate at least that many if they didn’t run their event concurrently with X-Wing. The good news here is that it was announced during the Hyperspace Report that X-Wing is getting its own Worlds, which makes a bigger Worlds and more space possible for Destiny.
More Side Events
The extra Destiny players added this year needed something to do and FFG stepped up to the challenge with a bevy of side event options. If you were so inclined, you could grind tickets until your wrist cramped up from rolling dice. Drafting, trilogy, standard, sealed, multiplayer free-for-all, and build-from-box were all on offer, and you could find Destiny to do every hour of the day every day to get those tickets.
Those prize tickets could be turned into MUCH better Destiny prizes this year. I earned quite a few tickets last year, and didn’t walk away with a single Destiny related prize. Not so this year. The only thing that could have spiced up the prize wall even more would have been some marbled or sparkly Destiny dice. Oh, dare to dream.
Shorter Prize Wall Line
If you attended last year’s Worlds then you know how terrible waiting in line to get those prizes were. The real culprit was limited available quantities and FFG stubbornly keeping the prize wall closed until noon each day. Fortunately FFG did a number of fixes that vastly decreased the wait time and line size.
Didn’t Treat Media Poorly
FFG’s treatment of the media was markedly improved over last year and you could see the quality of coverage improvement that went along with it. Digging into this too much airs a bit of dirty laundry so I won’t go into details, but FFG went from an F to an A in just one year on this one.
Short-changing Day 2
That extra day 1 turned into kind of a cluster with how the day 2 top cut shook out. My minor heart break story was going 7-2 and missing top 16 by placing 18th – nine other 7-2s made the cut and ten other 7-2s didn’t. That feels bad, man, but not nearly as bad as the multiple people who went 4-2 on day 1 and 3-0 on day 2 and STILL didn’t make the cut. Having an undefeated day 2 player miss the cut is an AWFUL system and needs remedied. Both the North American Championships and the US National Championship use the standard Swiss/cut ratio, why FFG short-changes its own biggest event is a real head-scratcher.
Weak Stance on Cheating and Bad Sportsmanship
FFG’s stance against cheating and bad sportsmanship is just ridiculously weak. I understand you can’t ban a player without solid evidence, but when you have a known player who has been reported multiple times, maybe put them on a “judge must watch every game” list and not wait until they get accused again.
Not Collecting Decklists Before Day 1 Began
The amount of night before teching was just too real at this year’s Worlds. With day 1 spread over 3 days and deck lists only due at your day 1 registration, it was far too easy and compelling to tech in cards or entire decks against the upcoming field. While some may enjoy this hot-take meta game, I think its a far more fair system to have all players submit a decklist before play begins on the first day 1. FFG gave a pretty significant advantage to anyone playing on the second or third day 1, and Worlds should all be about a level playing field.
Long Side Event Wait Times
Side event wait times were just too long, with a couple pods I jumped into taking over 3 hours to launch. The demand far exceeded capacity, especially on the day when FFG lost the conference space to a wedding. That’s right. The hotel that is a 2 minute walk from FFG got booked out during their World Championships to a wedding, and the real funny bit is this was the second year in a row this happened. Hopefully X-Wing getting its own Worlds fixes the space issue so that side events launch faster, and hopefully someone at FFG already booked out the conference space for 2019.
Why The Fuzzy Dice On Stream
Destiny streaming is an art, and every artist needs a good paintbrush. Okay, I’m stretching that one a bit…but both Destiny streams at Worlds were using 1080P cameras. Those cameras result in fuzzy dice sides and just a sub-par experience for those of us watching in living rooms yelling and cheering at the TV each time those dice get rolled…followed by some serious squinting and guessery. The fix is easy: buy a 4K camera but continue to stream at 1080P. Heck, I’ll loan you my 4K camera for next Worlds since FFG won’t give us a media badge to do our own recording.
More Zwirn Please
FFG needs to learn to treat their design staff like celebrities. A live QA session with Jeremy, a signing, a panel discussion, really just anything to showcase their talent and get them more exposed to the community would have been fantastic – especially just to give the guy an opportunity for a little more applause for making such a great game.
If last Worlds was any indication then very soon OP will be sending out a survey to provide feedback. This little google form is going to drive a lot of decisions they make for next Worlds. If you attended, make sure you take the time to fill it out.
If you have direct feedback you’d like to send to Organized Play, hit them up here.
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