Ah, an admin corner again!
This time it seems like it will actually be published more or less within days of me writing it, so this won't be quite as horribly out of date as you are used to. :)
So, the most major thing that happened since the last issue was the announcement that the ladder and divx divisions will be shut down. While you can still play matches in those divisions, it is no longer possible to create new teams for them. At some point, all existing teams will be transferred to the unranked division and the divisions will be officially announced shut down.
While this change doesn't really affect that many people there were a few who felt a certain amount of loss over this decision. There were a number of factors behind the decision to discontinue these divisions. The primary reason behind this move was slightly different for the divisions. DivX was created a long time ago with the purpose of testing a ruleset that potentially would be incorporated into the LRB. Now, these rules were later scrapped but DivX remained alive but without a real purpose. With the declining and nearly non-existent activity in the division, the choice was between updating it in an attempt to revive it, or simply shut it down. The latter was chosen because, like I said, the purpose of the division simply didn't exist anymore.
For the Ladder division, the original intent was to try a challenge system. Before it was introduced, a number of people requested a challenge feature and even though I was sceptical to the success of it I decided to implement it - If only to see if I was wrong. After the initial wave of games the interest for the division faded, and I ended up modifying the system more than once to see if I could spark a more permanent interest in the division. These changes failed to produce a regular player base. So the decision to shut down Ladder was made because even though several attempts were made to spark interest, only a handful of people participated.
One of the questions asked after this decision was made was why I couldn't simply leave them around for the handful of players that actually did play in them. The answer to that is simply that their existance makes the website more complex for newcomers. They look at the team generation screen and see divisions which make no sense, or look cool but are incredibly difficult to find games in. This consideration to newcomers to the community might be strange to some, but I for one feel that new members to FUMBBL have enough to figure out without being subjected to more complexity. I welcome any kind of growth to the community.
And these newcomers lead me on to the next change. The introduction of the Academy division. This division is mainly inteded for the new members to the community, and is a way for them to play games while learning how the client works, and how the website and community functions. Of course, anyone who wants to is free to create a team and play friendly games with anyone they wish to face. I am hoping that there will be a helpful tone in these matches and that anyone playing in here are willing to discuss tactics or strategy during the game, even helping their opponent to win the game.
Obviously, a lot of people have ideas on how to improve this division and I do intend to listen to the ideas. However, for now I am simply stepping back and looking at what the community does with it.
Well, this admin corner turned out to be longer than average. Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of GLN. After all, you are the ones who make it possible!