Archive for August, 2014

The (hi)story of XP

You enter the premises, it looks like Vegas! All the colors, all the shine! You see people running around carrying cents and nickels and dimes. There is someone in the corner bragging to be a newest Jackpot Winner. You see a big guy on the center stage, you disregard him, you move on. You go explore further, you see more people carrying some shield like stuff. You learn they call them badges. You see a calendar, and a reassuring sign reading “So far so good”. You decide to go back to the center stage and listen to the big guy. “HEY GUYS WELCOME TO CLICK TRACK PROFIT…!!!” he yells at the top of his lungs. You recognize the voice, it’s the same voice you have been listening to saying “Money badges… yeah… money badges”. You listen to his speech and decide to hang around. Maybe there is some gold in these dungeons.

Well, the story of XP does not start there. XP was conceived by by Dave Arneson as a mod for Chainmail game by Gary Gyrax (a precursor of Dungeons & Dragons). Arneson wanted to tweak an aspect of the game, the fact that it ended. You would earn an amount of XP based on your success in the game and your character would level up after accumulating set amount of points. So the stage was set for the XP based leveling system.
There is quite a controversy about who of the two is the real creator. But if you are long enough in the vicinity of the CTP teams, you’ve probably got used to.

You continue to look around, you see a sign saying “Training 0%” complete. You search for a training hall. You find it near the entrance, you enter and start training. The training is good. The fun is good. The loot is good. Suddenly! You hear a cry! You liken the cry to the wounded dragon. You go back to the main premises. You see nothing. You exit and see an adjanced building with a sign CTPTeams. You enter and see a big Orange Dragon with a childish grin, mildly saying “I TOOK YOUR KINGSHIPS! AAAARG.” You realize that was not the cry you heard. You turn around and see the sitizens of the realm crying “GIVE US OUR KINGSHIPS BACK!!!”
You can almost hear the Orange Dragon’s thought: “The Last ICOSAHEDON is not yet cast!”

You shrug and exit.

While going back to the main building you see two paths diverged that you were not aware of before. Both paths lead to the same main building. The paths are clearly labeled:

CTP                                               KORE4

Which path do you choose?

1408407720 Epoch Time (CC-BY-SA)

Dungeon Master: The Life and Legacy of Gary Gyrax
Chainmail [The Acaeum] [Wikipedia]

August 18, 2014

I am proud of the Lucky 13

We had a tough loss to deal with a week ago, and we did. Bound up our wounds, counted our casualties and moved on. Forward. No retreat in this team, none at all.

Not that we didn’t have “Strong words in the staff room”, we did. We had a very active after action report on what we did and when we did it and how we could do better. We improved as a team as a result of that. I improved as a leader.

We also have a long ranging discussion on the very way we are organized and function, and what our ultimate goals are. Some strong words were exchanged there, too. Go figure, a very strong team of very strong individuals might have some strong opinions and goals.

The net of the whole experience is a better appreciation by each member and for each member. Are some of the team angry? You bet they are. But one thing I can promise, we were defeated, not beaten. Not in the slightest.

Did I mention that I am incredibly proud of the Lucky 13? I certainly meant to…

The meaning of TEAM

Time for me to put in my two cents regarding the “Epic” finish to last weeks CPT Teams contest and how it played out.

I busted my ass, I surfed, I seeked, I was spent just like the rest of the team.  Poor Bob put up such a marathon of surfing the last day of the contest he actually decided to not participate in our weekly spreecast so that he would not have to stop surfing for the 90 minutes we are broadcasting each and every Sunday night.  Instead, this mild mannered all around nice guy had such a fire in his belly, he decided that trying to win was more important than talking about his passion..  Sports.  I hat to him, I was impressed with his dedication, as well as his determination to the goal of putting Lucky 13 over the top.  But alas, it was not to be, as the Surfaholics made a last second move to jump past us and win the week. 

The events of last week caused me to look at the entire picture of what we have been up against since the teams contest started.  What do we have to do to win?.. What is it we aren’t doing that the other teams are doing so that we can compete with them on a regular basis?  Well what I saw, at least in MY eyes was this..  The other top teams, whom which I will not name because we all know who they are, have a few quirks, or strategies in place that pretty much guarantees that they will be there week to week and, in this surfers eyes, petty much shuts the door on any other team ever coming close to their production in XP. 

First we have a team that splintered away from their original team and decided from the start that they would put together an elite team of mega surfers as well as people that in my eyes maybe have disposable amounts of cash that they can constantly feed into their bank and buy their victory if needed.  This team, from what I have seen in the surf and in chats is that you actually have to fill out an “application” to become a member, so right away if you don’t meet their “standards” you don’t get to become a member of that team.  They choose to “throw away” or “fire” any members that aren’t up to their standards, so if you plan on coming along for the ride, or if you maybe have a bad week, whether you have other obligations or outside interferences, you don’t belong to their group and will be discarded with out so much as a parting gift for your time. 

The other team in question has consistently finished first for the majority of the contest, and while I congratulate them the major issue I have with this is that they have the unique position of having what can best be described as a “farm team” that they can pretty much pick from and bring up to the “majors” in order to pad their stats if one or two of their members are not performing.  basically it is a team of 50, while the rest of us have 25 (27 if you count the surf slaves) so again they have an advantage over the rest, and in my opinion, have tilted the scales.

What is more astonishing is that the powers that be, allow this to happen, and they call it gamesmanship.   Well so be it, it’s their contest, they can run it how they want and I don’t begrudge them that, but there is a pattern happening here and the playing field is by no means level…

If you feel that maybe last week left a bad taste in my mouth over the whole CTP teams contest, well yeah it did.  Does it mean that I am considering quitting or leaving this team and the contest altogether and focusing on what I am doing in the business world? To that I answer an emphatic NO.  Why do you ask if I am so upset and pissy about it do I not just walk away and not sweat over it?  Simple…  The answer is THIS TEAM!!  I love this team of Lucky 13, the members are intelligent, funny, driven, and most of all…  the names, for the most part…  HAVE NOT CHANGED!!!  we are consistent, we have a solid core, and we don’t bounce people around like ping pong balls and change the names on a weekly basis, and that my friends is why this team is the best of all teams.  We have managed to stay in the top 3 for the entirety of the contest because we have stuck together, have worked as a team, and we know each other pretty well enough to know what the game plan for the week is going to be without having to hold a meeting in our Skype room or without having to introduce “newbies” to the team. 

So..  call me a whiner, call me a sore loser..  call me whatever you want to call me, I don’t care, because I know that I am a member of a TEAM, and we work together as a team, and I know that the faces I see in Skype each week will still be there NEXT WEEK an we wont have to bring in a ringer, or get rid of someone because they aren’t doing what we feel they should be doing.  we all contribute, from the Top of the roster to the bottom, we all want to win, and we will sink or swim with the roster that we have.  This is the meaning of the word team, and I wouldn’t change it or quit them for the world, cause they all know I would go to bat for each and every one of them. 

So in conclusion…  Lucky 13, in my opinion is the only team on the list of top three that have consistently shown that we can bring it week in and week out, and we don’t have to resort to parlor tricks to do it. 

Rant over….

Scott Wright…  “The Sports Nerd”

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