Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

An informal group of proven reliable players attempting to avoid games spoiled by missed orders.

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Should access to Aspiring membership be possible from a Mentor game as described in the OP?

Poll ended at 28 Aug 2014, 16:17

Yes
23
79%
No
6
21%
 
Total votes : 29

Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby gareth66 » 19 Aug 2014, 16:17

Following the discussion of proposal by WHSeward in this thread...

viewtopic.php?f=118&t=45895

...purpose of this thread is to put the proposal to a poll to formally amend the constitution to incorporate this change.

Just to clarify, the proposal is that an alternative means of admission to the Aspiring membership category should be added for new players. At present there are criteria for admission to Aspiring membership for players who have completed 1-4 games and seperate criteria for players who have completed 5 or more games but who do not qualify for Bronze.

The proposal is that a player who has completed NO rank or norank games can still be admitted to Aspiring membership if he/she has completed a Mentor game and the Mentor (who must be a member of the Classicists) recommends him/her for admission.

To clarify: This facility would only be available to a player who has not completed a rank or norank game. Once a rank or norank game has been completed, the existing criteria would apply.

All existing members of the Classicists are invited to vote on this proposed amendment in the poll, a simple yes you agree or no you don't.
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby WHSeward » 19 Aug 2014, 17:35

Thanks for running the poll gareth! I have been meaning to get back to this thread and you beat me to it.

Personally I might have gone easier on the "...the Mentor (who must be a member of the Classicists) recommends him/her for admission" bit for fewer steps/people involved in the process, but if that is process you are comfortable with, I think it is fine.
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby gareth66 » 19 Aug 2014, 20:35

Well, it's a talking point and I'd be interested if anyone has views on whether the mentor should be a Classicist or not. Reason I put that in was because I figured that a Classicist would be better placed to judge whether the mentee had the required qualities to fit in with the ethos of the group whereas a non-Classisict may not fully understand what these are.

Also, I see we have a couple of no's in the poll, would be useful to have some input into what you guys are thinking and what the objections are. We have, after all, have missed something in the preceeding discussion.
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby Custer » 19 Aug 2014, 23:26

I think I'm gonna start a Classical Classicistististiss with much harder criteria for admission....... :ugeek:

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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby britneykay » 20 Aug 2014, 04:43

rshivy wrote:I think I'm gonna start a Classical Classicistististiss with much harder criteria for admission....... :ugeek:

Shiv


Given how quickly the Classicists and Casual Classicists games have filled up recently, will the Classical Classicistististiss only play one vs. one shorthanded games? :lol: Maybe you can get Rick Leeds to build a single player dip version for you guys? ;)
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby simblanco » 20 Aug 2014, 06:04

britneykay wrote:Maybe you can get Rick Leeds to build a single player dip version for you guys? ;)


I'll totally win that kind of game! Anyone up for the challenge? Oh, wait.....

ps i voted YES!
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby gareth66 » 20 Aug 2014, 13:03

Actually the more I think about this the more I am wondering whether it would be better for this route into Aspiring membership should be something that is actually insitigated by the mentor. It would go some way towards addressing WH's concern about the number of steps by removing the step of the player applying. Once a player has applied there would be an unstated pressure on the mentor just to say yes, as the whole role of the mentor is to support and no mentor is going to feel comfortable saying no, even if he didn't feel the player was ready for Classicist membership, because to do so would conflict with his role as a mentor.

If, however, the means of admission was not for the player to instigate the process by applying but rather for the mentor to instigate it by putting forward a recommendation, then that would remove a step and ease the process for mentors. They would only put forward a recommendation if they felt it was warranted and they had been involved in discusison with the player about the merits of Classicist membership during the course of the mentor game.

So, in summary, a mentor (who I still feel should be a Classicist but still open to alternative views on that) would only put forward a recommendation for a player who they knew was interested and who they felt from their mentor experience will be a reliable player and no longer needs hand-holding. The player himself would only be able to instigate the application process in the usual way when one norank or rank game has been completed (by definition without handholding and without surrender).

What do people think about this? Would this make the process more robust, and would the "no"s be more comfortable that we are not undermining the integrity of membership if we made this the procedure? I certainly think we need to make sure that mentors do not just rubber stamp a recommendation just because a player has got to to the end of a Mentor game, that in itself does not mean a player will be ready to play a game reliably without help. I just wonder whether putting the onus on the mentor to instigate the process might make it a bit more secure?
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby britneykay » 20 Aug 2014, 15:10

I guess I don't understand why mentor games are considered at such a low value by the community. If a player has regular entered moves, not surrendered, and completed a mentor game, why is that less valid for applying for aspiring membership than doing the same in a regular game? Mentor games are more demanding of time and commitment, in my experience, and given that every mentor game has lost a substantial percentage of players to surrenders - I believe the surrender rate is higher than normal games - I think other players feel the same way.

Is the goal to make admissions standards more strenuous and difficult for new players of the game? Because if that is your aim, I think disqualifying mentor games is a good idea. BUT, I also think that you should get rid of aspiring all together if that is your goal for the community.

If your goal is to appeal to new players, revitalize the Classicist group, instill your value of perseverance and reliable play even when losing to other members of the community, then I think mentor games should be accepted. Even asking the mentor for an endorsement, in my opinion, is a bit much. You can see if the player surrendered or stopped entering moves without asking the mentor.

They would only put forward a recommendation if they felt it was warranted and they had been involved in discusison with the player about the merits of Classicist membership during the course of the mentor game.


So, if a player has completed one game, finds the Classicists groups on their own, reads the constitution, and applies for aspiring membership because they agree with the values, they are in. If a player does the same in a mentor game and doesn't ask their mentor about the community, their mentor would have to say no, they hadn't discussed the merits of Classicists membership and therefore couldn't endorse a player from joining. To me, that is unreasonable.

I certainly think we need to make sure that mentors do not just rubber stamp a recommendation just because a player has got to to the end of a Mentor game, that in itself does not mean a player will be ready to play a game reliably without help.


I guess I haven't experienced this in my mentor game or the one I am subbing in. In my understanding a mentor explains the rules and how to enter orders. I haven't had a mentor check in and make sure I am reliable in my orders - in fact, we have had a lot of NMR players. I have not had a mentor "help" with my tactics or moves beyond rule clarification - which I would like to point out is not limited to mentor games at all. The chatbox is a stream of questions. There is a whole forum for rules questions. Do you check and see if aspiring members have posted there to ensure they can "play a game reliable without help" as well?

To me this is just making a system biased against players who participate in mentor games, and honestly I think it is insulting. I'm in the chatbox every day, answering questions and making sure new players know where to go to get help. I know I am a new player myself, but I think its made me empathetic to the overwhelming feeling the site can give at first.I guess the question is, should I stop referring new players to the mentor games, so they can get into the Classicists or should I stop referring new members to the Classicists group so they don't find out their first game was a waste in the eyes of the community here?
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby gareth66 » 20 Aug 2014, 15:41

It's nothing to do with to what extent a type of game is "valued". All types of game, including Friends games, have a role to play in the community. But only in rank and norank games are players required to play by themselves in accordance with the site's house rules. Also, only surrenders in rank and norank games are included in the surrender stats, so someone could surrender in a mentor game without the mod vetting membership knowing about it easily. The purpose of mentor games is to teach players about the game; they are not playing by themselves they are being helped, they are not subject to the site metagaming rules, and so it does not necessarily follow that a player will be able to reliably play a rank or norank game, by themselves, just because they have completed a mentor game. They may well, but equally they may not. The mentor will know. We are giving the question of mentor games very serious attention by having this discussion at all, but if we do decide to allow playing one as a means of admission to the Classicists then we need to find a way of doing so that preserves the integrity of the group and does not undermine confidence of existing members in the significance they can place on the fact that someone is a member of the group.
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Re: Proposed Constitution Change - POLL

Postby Alman » 20 Aug 2014, 16:42

I appreciate the thoughts, insights, and passions of this whole discussion and see great value in both what BK just shared and Gareth's response. For what little it is worth, here is my thought.

Having been in a couple Mentor Games as a Vet fill-in, I concur with BritneyKay that a Mentor game really is a good test in many ways. While I know help is available from a Mentor, my experience (limited as it is) is that most of the players are playing on their own. The deadlines are longer, the game is often longer due to weaker strategies and more poor/inexperienced play. It seems that there is a higher rate of surrender with the need for the game to pause and the disruption of a rotating cast of players with all the new dimensions of diplomacy and the fact that as replacements come in, they tend to be more daunting players who make the game harder just by their experience.

If a newbie survives all that without surrendering, I would say that we have pretty well at least approximated the same level of commitment to make it through a non-ranked game. To answer the issue of checking in, perhaps if we simply require that Aspiring applicants list their mentor game number and maybe their mentor's name so that it can be easily checked by the Mod.
If the standards for "full" membership, (Bronze & up) stay the same, I don't feel adding Mentor games for Aspiring really in anyway dilutes the standards. Some of the non-ranked games with surrenders could be actually much easier and shorter than a Mentor game, and we are good with that.
So that is why I voted yes.
Great discussion. I will support whatever is decided without complaint. :)
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