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VikTheSlick
06-22-2010, 04:15 PM
Hello all. For those who don't know me, my name is Vikram Sareen, I am 27 years old, and I have been a player of UFS since the beginning. I was and am still an extremely competitive player, who was fortunate to have some moderate success at the tournament level. I also was among the first to start writing strategy articles for the game and that is something that I think helped players or at least generated interesting tech discussions, something I am very proud of. All in all I can safely say that UFS has been extremely kind to me in a large number of ways, and I have been lucky to have the experiences with the game that I have had and especially meeting all the fantastic people who played along the way.

With that out of the way, for those who do know me - hello again. Yes, I am alive. Since the SAS I had a falling out with a former teammate, and of course UFS itself folded for some time. I have been keeping busy with my Masters and lots of work since, and I managed to get a much needed, overdue vacation to India in there for a couple months as well. When I left for India, UFS was deader than dead and though I heard whispers here and there about a potential resurgence, I did not pay them much mind. Frankly I didn't think it was remotely possible, let alone feasible, for the game to return in any ongoing form, and therefore I did not put much stock in that happening.

It seems, however, that I was greatly wrong. I am still trying to decide whether that is a good or bad thing, but I certainly admire the personal effort and specifically the investment that Jasco Games has put into acquiring the license and attempting to keep such a wonderful game going. I myself, a formerly prominent member of the community, have to admit that I missed UFS terribly for lots of reasons. I missed tossing attacks and enhancing them to hell, or working out subtle defenses to prevent imminent death, or discovering new and sometimes frightening interactions of cardboard, or discussing strategy with Omar or Drew or Matt or whoever else. One thing that UFS has always had an advantage on over many other games is the strength of the community, and the feeling of openness and friendliness that (generally) has filtered from the top level on down to the most casual of players. That, and the actual gameplay, I very much missed.

What I did NOT miss were the issues that surrounded the game itself. The lack of organized play in any meaningful form. The arbitrary and oftentimes idiotic decisions that seemed to spring from a whim. The unwillingness to adapt, or shift, or increase the visibility and player base of the game. The completely broken cards that were never fixed, and ended up killing formats, tourneys and most significantly the interests of the players themselves until it was far too late for erratas or bans to matter. The total absence of any communication whatsoever. The uncertainty of the game's health, and the way it was handled. These problems and others pervaded the game from the start, from the STG era to the FFG era. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

I have yet to talk to Jason, although I will. I am not sure if he even knows me but I have heard very good things about him personally and his plan for the game in the future. Also, his willingness to listen and discuss as appropriate. I can only hope that these problems will not be an issue going forward but my faith has been shaken before, sometimes violently and with at much personal cost. I would like to believe that this is a fresh start for a game that I love dearly, and another opportunity to develop new friendships and competitive rivalries with people I respect.

However, I remain cautious. Only for me personally, not in general. Yes, it is on my mind that getting back into the game, with fairly minimal cost, is not such a risk. It's probably one that I am willing to take, and likely will. Yet, I cannot help feeling that I have been down this road before. For the most part, my experiences with UFS have been stellar, not just "good". STELLAR. Along the way, though, I have had to deal with two teammates that have personally screwed me over more than once for lack of a better way of describing it. I have had my own investment of time - a LOT of time - and energy, and money, completely rendered obsolete almost overnight. I have had to deal with the vehemence, anger and frustration on the boards, totally warranted but still difficult to sift through. Most of all, I have dealt with two companies who extended me a warm welcome and gave me more than my fair share of information, and then pulled the rug out from underneath me as I became more involved.

And I'm tired of it. I am. My life has gone through much upheaval in the last 6 months and I am in a very good place educationally, financially and socially. Do I really want the added burdens that would result with me getting back into this game? Especially given my history with it, good and bad? Unfortunately I am in a position that I simply cannot just play, I have to restart a community and figure out where I stand within the competitive playground and a number of you have also asked about new articles from me. I have two jobs, school and teaching on a pro bono basis and I don't know if I have the time or desire to do that. Even so, I cannot and will not say a single negative word about what Jasco is doing. I will help to grow the game even if I choose not to play. I will make it a priority to maintain the relationships I have built as a result of my association with UFS.

And the purpose of this post is not to be skeptical. Though I may express skepticism, that is from previous experience and based on what I know so far I am more than willing to give Jasco the benefit of the doubt. No, the purpose of this post is simply to say, that those of us who are here and who read and write on this game and who play it just for the thrill you can get should proceed with the idea that WE have to make it work. If you care at all, I mean a single iota, about this game then it is in your best interests and the game's to get people more involved. To get people playing. To think of creative ways to promote the game. To seriously understand and apply the benefits of organized play. When these responsibilities were left to STG or FFG they failed at it miserably. I don't think it would be fair to Jasco to do that again.

So, I want to thank Jason for his tremendous work so far, and for his tremendous faith. I would like to reward it, and the best things I can think of doing to do that is to keep getting the word out. Keep posting discussions. Keep talking up a great great CCG. I can do that at least, while I make my decision. My question to you all in this forum is - are you really willing and able to do the same? If so, along with Jasco's efforts I think this could work. If not...then please tell me now, because I can't take the heartbreak again. I'm too damn old for that!

It's good to be posting long, rambling things once again, and I look forward to doing it more in the future. Some things never change, I guess. I sincerely hope that the lifespan of this game never does, either. Till next time...

-Vik

TripsEX
06-22-2010, 04:35 PM
As long as you stay on the boards Vik, as long as you stay on the boards. <3

ATLDrew
06-22-2010, 05:11 PM
You sir are a conundrum. How is somebody so amazing and yet so garbage at the same time. Vikramas, you, my dear brown friend, are paradigm breaking.

Regardless, like i told you man, getting this game going in Cape Coral/Fort Myers is going to be rough. You and I both know that. But at this point in the game, its essentially brand new. Market it as such.

I can relate with the not wanting to get dumped again mentality. I invested a LOT into the game right before forced rotation with the hopes that FFG was going to pull it from the ashes, only to have my face proverbially pooped all over. But I was super skeptical when I heard an independent game store owner was taking over the license. But having talked to Jason extensively, i can tell you he is 100% genuine. UFS, for the first time since its inception, is a game by the players, for the players. Development is headed by Jasco and top players are being consulted for all major moves the game makes. It's not like the wanton, poorly read garbage heap that were the playtesting boards. It's direct one on one contact with players.

The thing that makes me the most excited about it Vik is that i no longer have to worry about FFG's asinine decisions and its general bastardization of the game. Steve and James got UFS thrust into their laps with FFG basically saying "Have at it and good luck" with little to no support from the company itself. Jasco has paid lots of money and spent tons of resources acquiring the game out of a passion to play and a desire to get people to play. Plain and simple. It's a new game.

You and I have talked about this already and we know where the other stands. I see your point of view and I can definitely feel where you are at. It's a lot of work for what could potentially be a HUGE waste of time and glaring hole in your wallet. But if your UFS experience has been "stellar," as you put it, why not give it another go? You have a Masters your working on. You have a time consuming job. You have your millions of adoring teeny bopper fangirls that want nothing more than to be the next brown Jonas brother groupie. I understand that.

But, to be frank, you're a wuss for not trying. If you love the game and love the community, you'll build it up and play it whether it's easy or not. If you would like some tips on community building, call me and I'll direct you to some good gaming community literature. Regardless, the band is getting back together. And Jasco is looking like they are trying to make it work for real.

VikTheSlick
06-22-2010, 08:08 PM
Like I said, I haven't decided yet. I will try, for sure. I think you missed some of what I said Drew. And I do see it as a new day, potentially. So despite everything I will give it a chance. BUT I also recognize the hazards that the game could have in such a fragile position. Isn't it worth trying to avoid some of those? Which is why I posted this. I want to know what others think. I want to see if the community realizes the hard work that will be involved from all of us if we want to share Jason's dream of seeing a 10th anniversary. And yes, I am concerned because I have been burned in a variety of ways before. But fundamentally I am cautiously optimistic and I think it is only fair I be totally honest, no?

We'll talk more. I still love the game too much and have really enjoyed it to not be able to squeeze it into my life somewhere.

HypeMan!
06-22-2010, 08:40 PM
Well, for lack of something better to say, welcome back to the fold for whatever it's worth, God knows we'd be happy to have ya >:D

ShadowDragon
06-22-2010, 08:43 PM
I do recommend talking to Jasco at some point, he's always willing to help or just talk about UFS. As for revitalizing your group, maybe start reaching out to former players and let them know that the game is back will help things out a bit in your area. Oh and you'd better be at GenCon this year, the community missed you!

Target X
06-23-2010, 08:49 AM
Welcome back to the fold Vik. Things are looking up for the game even if only for the smart bans and errata we just got.

Baranor
06-23-2010, 10:57 AM
I'm glad you are thinking about it, Vik! I missed playing you at ECC in 2008 and Worlds in 2009. You have to come back so we can get a game in!

ScottGaines
06-23-2010, 02:39 PM
come back vik, we have never played, we gotta sling some legacy jank.