I love to support NES Zelda tournaments. To date there have been four and I’ve joined all of them. However because of some rules decisions I’m not joining the Legend of Zelda Randomizer Tournament 2. While as a player I’m disappointed, as a community builder and tournament organizer, I’m glad of this development.
Most tournaments I’ve been involved with as a player or organizer sought to bring in as many people as possible. That was the first goal: to have a grand event celebrating the game and the community. The LoZ Randomizer Tournament 2 I feel is the first of the NES Zelda tournaments to break out of that mold. That’s a positive and exciting step.
The rule set chosen for this tournament is much different from that used in the first tournament. The first tournament’s rules were fairly vanilla and inclusive, though they ramped up to be more complex and difficult over time. This tournament’s rule set starts off challenging, and will get even more so from there. Considering I was unable to finish either of my races last time, I see no realistic shot of finishing a race this time, so I’m out as a player.
My initial reactions in fact were wrong. I called the rule set “awful.” I did so for two reasons. First, I knew as a player it would be miserable for me. Second, as an organizer, I assumed the goal was to be inclusive. The first reason isn’t reason to call the rules awful, rather it’s just awful for me. The second is just an assumption I’m now convinced is false.
I was wrong. This is a tournament designed to cater to the regulars of the randomizer community, while hopefully bringing more people into that community. I’ve been watching the Randomizer community for a while, debating how to get more people into its races. Some have suggested there be more regular races that have more generous rulesets. This tournament is proposing a different idea: give new randomizer runners an incentive to come out into the deep end!
I think that’s great and that’s exciting. I’m not joining the tournament because that’s not for me. I’m one of those fringe people who shows up to take a few casual losses and laugh about it. To a randomizer community leader, I’m like a churchgoer who shows up for Easter and Christmas. You can’t build on me. You need people who will show more often. This tournament is aimed at finding those people.
This is an innovative step, and I look forward to seeing how well it succeeds.