Friday, January 08, 2010

Retiring to the Farm...

While my day isn't coming soon, it is coming eventually. Without naming any names to protect the innocent, Farmville has become a retirement home which is a whose who of former Fantasy Wrestling RRers. People who fell off the grid five years, ten years ago, hell, some even twenty years ago now have been turning up left and right in staggering numbers.

What is it about Farmville that is drawing this many older RPers?

For the most part, it is a nice and peaceful non confrontational game where you can go at your own pace. I've found that it has helped lower my blood pressure down a bit since I've started to play it. It just has a calming way to it.

You can style your farm however you want. While you do have visitors who come over from time to time to fertilize crops and feeds the chickens, you are the one basically seeing your farm the most so if you want to put a building here or an animal there, you can do whatever you want.

While it is a laid back game, there are masteries and ribbons for those who need to strive towards a goal which gives you something to shoot for and anyone can achieve it if they work long enough. There is day to day action to give you your fix like in the old days of Fantasy Wrestling on Prodigy, but not too much where it becomes a chore.

There is still plenty of interaction though, neighbors often leave messages on farms and send gifts to each other in order to get gifts back in return for their farm so it is great way to interact with everyone without having to churn out pages and pages of a pro wrestling cards.

I never really thought a game about Farming could be compelling. I remember cracking jokes about how Maxis put out SimFarm for the PC. Now, it is the biggest social app in the country and around 26 million people are playing it on a regular basis which is insane and I can even play it on my aging old machine that remembers the day Kennedy was shot.

When I do eventually upgrade to my Dell Studio XPS 8000 or 9000, I'm really looking forward to finally being able to see what is out there without my computer crashing.

Friday, January 01, 2010

I've been doing some scouting recently looking for talent outside of FWC and it seems like the ROH has created this whole generation of characters that are very dry and boring, 1980 IBM employee, like technical wrestlers. This always drove me nuts when I was RPing Marx because when I was in a league, because since Marx was a technical wrestler, he would get stereotyped and automatically get thrown into the ring with other technical wrestler on the planet. In hindsight, I really wish I didn't make Marx a technical wrestler. It is almost as bad as RPing a Japanese Wrestler because people don't understand how much wrestling and character over there have changed since the nineties, not that Meltzer helps that image any with his lack of proper coverage.

Don't get me wrong, I loved Dean Malenko in the nineties, but I wouldn't have wanted to RP him. There are promo on USA, which is the top rated cable network on the air today, which says "Characters so original, they stick with you."

I think for a large part, this new generation has forgotten this or they are rebelling against the current WWE product by trying to go as much in the other direction as possible, either way, while their promos are technically FINE, they are lifeless. What makes a character stand out from the pack is being larger than life and take chances with your writing.

In college, you are told and taught to write like they want you to write and since they are the ones handing out the grades, they can do that. When you have the freedom to write however you want to want, you should relish the opportunity to do so. You don't get that opportunity in life very often.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The FWC is a pretty closed community and we don't get a regular influx of new people on any sort of consistent basis. You would think that when a league comes around with a new spin on fantasy wrestling like SWIFT, FMLL, or LVW that people would flock to these leagues because they are dying for something new. That just never seems to happen though and they are all run by quality people who have a good mind for what they are writing.

As I become an older wrestling fan, the reason I've maintained my interest is that I make an effort to keep up with the greatness happening in the year and now instead of wallowing about how great things were in the past. My favorite three promotions this year are DDT, CHIKARA, and Dragon Gate which are all doing something different and all three are all fun and energetic enough to keep even an an old coot like myself interested.

People unfortunately aren't willing to give willing them a shot or willing to make the effort though to try something new. They either stick with what they always watch or they just give up without a fight which I find really sad because the goodness is out there. Take Holtz for instance, this is a man whose interest in had wrestling waned, but he made the effort and went out there and found something in CHIKARA that made him love wrestling again and he is back RPing for Empire with a new character.

All of us here are basically writers or we at least like writing. We need to show our creativity and give some of these leagues a chance to become something special.

Next blog I'll talk about my favorite characters this year outside of WFW:NE!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The myths about E-Mail

1. Myth #1: The email you are given is their primary email address. I have four (or five) different email addresses, AOL, GMail, Yahoo, Optonline, and if need be, can be contacted through Facebook messaging.

2. Myth #2: People check all their email addresses every day. I check my primary every day and Gmail every couple of days to a week, but sometimes I let my Yahoo and Optonline email accounts go dormant for months.

3. Myth #3: That your mass mailing everyone about your e-fed will actually be read. Lets be honest folks, I get around fifty to seventy five emails a day with all the different things I'm involved in a lot of my morning is sorting through and deleting the emails that I either don't have time for that day or are non essential. This is just my primary, I have to do this at my other email accounts as well and get to everything.

4. Myth #4: If you use a Yahoo or Hotmail account that your mailing will somehow make it through whatever spam filter is used on AOL or Gmail. I can't tell you how many emails I've had to fish out of there myself from those two sites.

What is the solution? While I still believe sending out email reminders are important, if at all possible, you really should make an effort if you want to run a league to instant message people you can and and let them know what is going on. It is much less impersonal and you know you've made contact with them. Plus, it also gives an opportunity for those people to communicate if they have a question or comment or are just wondering about something.

In some leagues I've been in, I've never got an instant message from the people who were running the league. You would be surprised how much easier and more fun things are for both sides with simple communications.

Monday, November 30, 2009

With so many new people starting up leagues, this is just my own personal advice I've learned from running RPWA, NGEN, BAD, and WFW/WFWNE over the last twenty years.

1. It is inevitable that you are going to make mistakes, the key however is learning from those mistakes and not repeating them.

2. In order for the league to be successful, it has to be fun for both the RPers and the owners. The two essential parts of this is keeping everything as stress free as possible and letting both the RPers and match writers to have creative freedom. If people feel like they are being held back, they aren't going to give you their all or worse, they will try to conform and lose their identity. Part of the reason wrestling has fallen on real life on PPV is that there isn't enough character that have a personality or look that stands out.

3. Understand your limitations and pace yourself. It is no good to anyone to burn yourself out. (I violated this one myself.)

4. Understand your RPers and don't burn them out. Back in the Prodigy days, you'd constantly have new people discovering Fantasy Wrestling Topic and you'd always have fresh new talent out there. It however is 2009. You have to stagger lineups and who is on each show and if cards are coming out too quickly, slow things down a bit.

5. Everyone on the card is important and you need to treat them as such, from top to bottom, you never know when someone who is lower in the card or in the midcard will step up their game.

6. Reward hard work. Every great league has "engines" which get things going. Without them, they become dead leagues.

7. Reward quality work. Some of the RPers I've read over the years deserve to be printed up in a book to be saved for prosperity.

8. Reward characters you enjoy writing for. If you as a match writing find characters that make you excited to write a match, that is half the battle with keeping a league going long term.

9. Try to make as many cards as possible feel special. Since match ups tend to repeat themselves, try to find new ways to put a new spin on the same match up so it doesn't feel like simply another repeat. Try to watch some older and modern wrestling DVD for ideas that you can use in your match writing.

10. Remember the history of your wrestlers and use it to connect the dots to tell cohesive storylines.

11. If at all possible, try to give every match on a show a reason for happening. Back in the glory days of Nitro, there were some great cruiserweight that have long been forgotten because on a regular basis, they just threw two dudes out there without a reason for having a match. It also makes a match much easier for the RPer to RP for.

12. There will be times when the person you want to push isn't the guy who should be pushed and in that case, you have to do what is best for the league.