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ArrestedDevelopment (29447)
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2020-03-30 20:10:00
rating 5.5
2020-02-04 23:58:41
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2019-04-25 08:37:26
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2018-10-06 23:18:42
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2018-02-10 10:02:48
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2018-02-08 16:45:25
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2016-12-22 18:43:50
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2020-02-09 22:53:07
30 votes, rating 5.1
"PLAY NOW?!" And other reasons you are a nuisance
(some of the content of this blog is from: https://fumbbl.com/p/blog&c=Azure&id=15803)

With the advent of discord, we now have even more ways to approach an opponent for a scheduled game, but it's still wise to stick to the tried and tested methods - should anything go wrong, it makes it easier for admins, and it means everyone has a paper trail to avoid doubt. Especially since it may very well be when you try to start your game up, discord might be down, and then you're left asking yourself whether your opponent is late or you got the time wrong.

For the avoidance of doubt - "I see you're online, play now?" or the like is abhorrent, irritating, and imposing.
But equally useless are statements like "I am free XYZ days" with zero hint of when.

Here is what Azure proposed in his blog:

1. Contact your opponent via PM & Scheduler ASAP. Give times that would work for you, and go ahead and suggest one via the scheduler right away as well.

2. Confirm the time/date with scheduler - so both people know when the game is to be played.

3. If you are the higher TV team - ready your team once the time/date are confirmed...do not wait until right before you play - this only delays the start of the game.

4. Show up a few minutes early. Respect that your opponent is taking time out of what may be a very busy schedule to play, so make sure you are on time, ready to play, team readied and good to go.

5. If something happens (and things do come up) - show your opponent respect by PMing them ASAP if you need to change the time/date of the game. Apologizing for any inconvenience can go a LONG way towards making sure that rescheduling the game goes smoothly.

Personally I think step 2 is a bit unnecessary, but you may wish to do so if you're in a major and wish people to watch your game.

Otherwise, here's a sample from a PM that I actually received:

"I see we are scheduled next.

I have the next two days off and it will be the best time to catch me.

I could play Friday starting anytime between 15:00-18:00 hrs.

I could play Saturday starting 15:00-24:00 hrs and on into Sunday morning from 00:01-03:00 hrs.

All times bb time. If any time in there works shoot me a message and I will meet you there"

In this PM is all the information I could possibly require for the initial stages of scheduling the match - when my opponent is free to play day-wise, and also his specific time ranges. Considering this was a cross-continent (and thus cross-TZ) game, this was necessary as well as just practical. It should be no surprise to anyone this game was played with minimal fuss.

It's often simple to omit information like this when you're drawn vs a coach you know (well), or have a very open schedule to the extent you can play at almost any time - but be aware simply asking your opponent when they want to play puts them on the spot without actually letting them know anything about your preferences: "I can play any time" usually doesn't mean you want to play at 3:30am your time. Simply including a reasonable time for games to start saves both of you headaches with back and forth PMs, getting ever closer to deadlines, and when this happens the chances of admin having a headache deciding who to forfeit if anything goes wrong increases exponentially.

It's best to stick to the server time when giving time ranges (it's UTC+1) as well, for obvious reasons!

Peace and love, enjoy your games and be responsible tourney participants!
Rate this entry
Posted by ArrestedDevelopment on 2020-02-09 22:54:29
Oh and for the avoidance of doubt, this blog was NOT prompted by anyone I played in WO.
Posted by FRSHMN on 2020-02-09 23:37:42
The usefulness of step 2 comes from the fact, that coaches possibly (live and) play in different time zones. Even if you are aware of that fact, you still could do some wrong math or other failures that lead to a misunderstanding.
The scheduler is individualized to your set-up time zone, so if you said: "Let's play at midnight." and hack that into the scheduler, it will automatically translate to the exact time in your opponents time zone. And, if there was a misunderstanding or wrong maths, it will be absolutely visable right now. So either you hit the correct time, and everything is just fine, or you (or your opponent) made a mistake and it now becomes obvious. "Hey, we did something wrong, let's check times once again."

Besides that, great blog post! ;-)
Posted by koadah on 2020-02-09 23:57:09
The scheduler seems like a bizarre thing. I am being given dates/times by a coach who does not appear to be visiting the site. He has sent no PM yet the scheduled time keeps updating.

I did wait for him on the first day. On the 2nd I checked in at game time but it appeared that he had not been on the site for two days.

It looks like a phantom to me. :)

p.s. I found having the scheduler time set to GMT a bit confusing having go used to using server time. ;)
Posted by MenonaLoco on 2020-02-10 00:01:30
Scheduling is a mess in general, that's why i commit to as few leagues and tournaments as possible.
Posted by Spence on 2020-02-10 00:10:44
I have a dream. A dream of hope and paradise. A dream of a world where "hi, when can you play?" as the whole of an initial contact message results in an automatic 7 day ban.
Posted by ArrestedDevelopment on 2020-02-10 00:16:48
@Menonaloco: The answer to "scheduling is a mess" is not to play less, it's to spread common etiquette and practice to make the whole thing less of a mess.
Posted by Arktoris on 2020-02-10 00:57:23
If timezones are quite different, start by pursuing a weekend day/time that works well for both of you.

Always use scheduler. It eliminates confusion of day/time to start.

As a default, use bbtime in your day/time offers. If declining a day/time offer, always suggest one in return.

In the event there is no convenient day/time for both of you, the one that plays at a nonideal day/time should be whoever blew off the weekend, didn't initiate discussion, or was a no show.
Posted by Arktoris on 2020-02-10 00:58:39

I try to limit my commitment to two tournaments a week for that reason.
Posted by koadah on 2020-02-10 01:46:22
"hi, when can you play?" is often a sign that a person does not know when they will be available. If you can first tell them when you are available, they may be able to move or plan things to make that work.

Good etiquette and practice will help. But committing to too many scheduled games is probably the main problem. Sometimes, one is too many. ;)
Posted by Dominik on 2020-02-10 02:58:21
I am amazed of the people who willingly schedule games a certain time ahead.
I did that for many years and found myself more than once in a bad mood for Blood Bowl when the time finally has come.
Therefore I prefer to let the coach know what times I am usually available for a game and in case our times are similar keep it vague.
Posted by stowelly on 2020-02-10 09:00:31
People keeping "vague" schedules and "maybe this evening, we will see" are the whole reason i stopped most of my scheduled leagues and official tourneys Dominik! I usually have quite good availibility, but need to plan ahead. so sitting around for an hour just incase the guy will show up is a complete waste of time!
Posted by Strider84 on 2020-02-10 10:00:06
if you're not willing to commit to a time properly in advance you should get tourney banned imo.
few people have so much time to just wait for a good moment to play. and those who do have the time usually just need to schedule 5+ games per week so it gets tight as well at some point.

also please get that email notification set up for yourself. push message on your phone, reply next bathroom break, done...
Posted by Dominik on 2020-02-10 13:20:51
Of course I keep it vague only if the coach is fine with that. If he wants a schedule I comply with it.
Posted by razmus on 2020-02-10 13:39:08
I love scheduled games. I know who I will be playing and when without having to 'put on my red light' as it were. And one time in fifty, I can respond affirmatively to 'Can you play now?' I don't mind scheduling a game a month in advance if I know we're gonna play. (And yeah, real life does sometimes interfere... making reschedules a real thing.) I do have two suggestions though.

Use the scheduler once you and your opponent have agreed upon a time to play; even if it's not a major, and even if you don't think anyone else will have any interest in watching. I make mistakes. (Anyone who has ever watched me play knows that.) The scheduler gives you and your opponent one more chance to catch each other's mistakes in scheduling, especially those which require timezone adjustments.

(And hey! It's almost time to alert North American coaches that our freaking clocks are changing again on March 8th! And DST is yet another reason to use the scheduler; it does adjust for DST too! AD says server time is UTC+1... but for a little while after March 29th it WON'T BE. :-( )

Unless you have a strong reason to not do so, please set your profile timezone. That's the time YOUR Fumbbl scheduler will use. In addition, it'll let folks know what time zone you (usually) use. If I see a coach uses MY timezone or one close by, I'll usually try to express my available times based on their clock. But when you give your opponent your available times... always let them know what timezone you're using.
Posted by koadah on 2020-02-10 14:25:09
'For the avoidance of doubt - "I see you're online, play now?" or the like is abhorrent, irritating, and imposing.'

I've just read this again. Is it really abhorrent? It has a question mark at the end. It is a question. Not a command.

IMO it's worth a try. If people can't play, they don't have to.
Posted by lautrehamon on 2020-02-10 16:13:19
Agree with everything AD said except the "can you play now ?" comment, cause hey, when you see that your opponent is online and you have the time to play, I guess it worth the shot to ask. Usually, I just give my other options for scheduling in the same message,to let opp choose the best for him.
Posted by ArrestedDevelopment on 2020-02-10 17:02:15

The reason "play now?" is annoying, and actually in that situation specifically "i see you are online..." Is that it makes several base assumptions about your opponent, and imposes a situation that is suitable for you by putting them on the spot. It should also be easy to discern from the context that it's abhorrent when it is the ONLY message you send, which it not infrequently is.

Plenty of people (myself included) are quite willing to play a pickup game in circumstances we would prefer not to play a tournament game. I like to have an hour free at least (preferably 2) in front of a tournament game so I can be rested, take on water, have a light snack etc. All "play now?" tells me is that it suits you to play now and you don't really care too much about my schedule or preferences.
Posted by MenonaLoco on 2020-02-10 17:55:03
AD, THE answer to the problem is for everybody an individual choice.
You try to improve etiquette of others, thats fine. I will try to show etiquette myself bit also try to avoid an overdose of scheduling issues by having less scheduled games.
Posted by MenonaLoco on 2020-02-10 17:56:19
Keeping it vague on purpose and schedule properly only if opponent insists is just crappy attitude.
Posted by MenonaLoco on 2020-02-10 18:08:21
Play now is no problem when it comes after scheduling offers as a "...or can you play now?"
Posted by Malmir on 2020-02-10 18:18:05
People not doing the above has gradually worn me down over the last year to the point where playing tournaments began to feel like a chore. I seemed to have to go to the admin at least once every tourney with people just not showing up to agreed times, cancelling 15 min before (I have made plans for my evening to fit this in) or just being hard work to pin down. I haven't entered xfl and only entered warpstone at the last minute on a whim. I'm probably going to sit out at least the next major for the first time in over a decade. I should add both my warpstone opponents were spot on and easy to schedule against.
Posted by Popcorn on 2020-02-10 18:28:21
Anyone can play now? Ranked my Dwarfs your gobbos. Inexperienced coaches only!

Seriously thou, I prefer "can you play now" right after tournament draw. If the answer is no, then we schedule.
Posted by Bazakastine on 2020-02-10 19:10:06
Simply put you need to show respect to your opponent.

"Play now?" or "When can you play?" does not do so as it doesn't advance the conversation in any way. There needs to be some information for them to work with otherwise you are just putting everything on your opponent. Adding a "I can also play now if you are available?" to the end of the message after giving them your times on future days is fine but otherwise you are basically making assumptions that just because you see your opponent online they have time for a game right now and not leaving any room for the conversation to advance if you are wrong.

In addition if you are entering official tournaments you should be checking the site daily for at least a few minutes. There are very few situations where its impossible to get to a computer or phone and spend 5 minutes checking if you have any messages about your tournament games.
Posted by razmus on 2020-02-11 12:45:18
Oh! And one more reason to put your game into the FUMBBL scheduler... it might just keep the TO or League Commish from having to PM you and your opponent to make certain you've found a time/date to play.
Posted by Arktoris on 2020-02-11 16:20:23

I bet you're the victim of duck and dodge.

When they see you and/or your team, they get intimidated. At that point, playing the game becomes low priority for them and they string you along, making sure you jump through a few of their hoops before getting your easy win.

in fact, that's the twin topic. "How to spot and deal with a duck and dodger".

I hear ya on the XFLs.
Posted by Loew on 2020-02-11 16:25:04
and this is the reason I seldom play in the tournaments and have left almost all leagues. I would leave even CIBBL/BIBBL, if they were just a little less awesome.

I simply have very few timeslots for which i can say with 95%+ certainty that I will be able to play...most times it is 70-80% in a timeslot that may be difficult for european coaches, or even less for more standard times, which leads to multiple rescheduling, which leads to bad blood...

the best i usually can offer ist something like "i can play probably on days xyz 19-00:00, let's see if we catch each other in discord, if not we have to try bad time xx"

OF course I know that in an ideal world precise scheduling is the best.
The most annoying is a certain north american coach that often agrees to try OKish times for both, doesn't make it to all, which forces us to play 02:something my time, after which he brags how much better than me he played while I somehow tried to stay awake
Posted by koadah on 2020-02-11 18:00:29
@Loew: Razmus's Isle of Misfit Teams is very good.

Two-week deadlines and very relaxed. There is even a Secret League version.

Posted by Java on 2020-02-11 21:10:52
I didn't think a "we can play now" when we're both online and currently messaging about scheduling was that awful; every time I end up reading through a discussion about etiquette/netiquette in english I am reminded of how rude I must sound all the time, both IRL and online.

I agree that scheduled times can be confusing sometimes, as we generally talk about server times when arranging games, and then the scheduler gives us our local time.
Posted by Arktoris on 2020-02-12 18:32:08
I think that's the beauty of the scheduler. You arranged the game in bbtime (or some other Timezone), but what you put in the scheduler...is the time you are actually showing up.

the scheduler let's you both know if one of you screwed up in calculating the time and can take appropriate action before accidentally ghosting your opponent.