Thanks to everyone who took the time to offer their input on the subjects we presented for discussion. Although we weren't inundated with feedback, a lot of good points were made on either side of the issues.
The vast majority favored continuing to award vacant singles titles to wrestlers based on their battle royal performance. There was a little more support for giving vacated TV tag and six-man titles to the teams with the best strategy as opposed to the winners of the match with the highest point spread, but it was still a single-digit number vs. double digits for the status quo.
Regarding a lower federation cap rather than the current 50, opinions were split nearly down the middle, with a slight edge going to remaining at 50. As I stated, the number of responses was not exactly overwhelming, and with insufficient support on display for making such a major change, I couldn't justify reducing the limit at this time. Additionally, a number of excellent points were raised to which I had no good counter arguments. (Note that these are not direct quotes; I'm paraphrasing to avoid revealing anyone's identity.)
- When I instituted the current federation cap of 50, I forced those over the limit to "cash in" their violations in exchange for free matches. I purposely chose the number 50 because my research showed it wouldn't affect very many players. All of them were extremely understanding and cooperative with regards to the newly-imposed rule (I really appreciated that!). Reducing the limit to 25 or 30 would have a much greater effect, stripping far more managers of wrestlers they've invested a lot of time and money into, and it would also have a very noticeable negative effect on many leagues throughout the game.
- "I've spent a lot of time and money on my roster. You allowed me to create all those wrestlers, then you introduced the current federation cap. I didn't really think it was fair to suddenly change the rules like that, but at least you sought out a number that would cause the least amount of damage. Cutting the still-fairly-new limit in half, going down to a number based on nothing more than a gut feeling, would be cheating me out of that money. Yes, I may have more wrestlers than some other players, but I also paid more for the privilege."
- Another good point I encountered was the classic "slippery slope" argument: if we go from 50 per federation, which is the practical equivalent of "unlimited" for most players, down to 30 or even 25, why stop there? The number 50 was chosen based on the data of roster sizes at the time, but 25 and 30 are much more arbitrary. Since most managers have very few wrestlers, shouldn't we limit everyone to just a handful rather than 25? That may be more fair, according to some, but try to keep in mind that different people play this game in different ways, and I'd like to support as many styles of play as possible. Related to the slippery slope argument is that going from 50 to 25 could create the fear that further cuts would be inevitable, and that fear could prevent managers from enjoying the game the way they want to in the present. When your fellow players are having less fun, it tends to have a ripple effect.
- "If the goal is maximum fairness, the perfect limit is one wrestler per manager -- not per federation, but total. That's the only truly fair way to guarantee that everyone has the same chance at winning, since each player has a different amount of time and money available. Most players have very few total wrestlers, so 25 or 50 per federation are both huge numbers by comparison. Since changing the limit from one huge number to another wouldn't make a real difference to the majority of managers, why prevent anyone from playing the way they enjoy?"
- Managers of various roster sizes mentioned the fact that with the internet making coordination between stablemates so effortless, reducing the cap to 30 or 25 would do little or nothing to level the playing field of an individual or small stable versus a large stable operating as one unit, and would actually reduce a lone player's chances beyond what they already are. While a group will always have an advantage over an individual, it's undeniable that cutting the current limit in half would hurt an individual's opportunities for titles much more than a stable's chances.
- "There's already a maximum limit. It's not a minimum limit. If an individual or an entire stable wants to agree to restrict themselves to a lower number, such as 25, they're already free to do so. It doesn't need to be an official limit imposed on other players who prefer a different number."
- "I wouldn't ask that you require managers to have a minimum number of wrestlers, and I don't think other managers should be able to dictate how I play the game. Give players the freedom to have fun in whatever way they wish."
Just as with the matter of lowering the federation limit, opinions on changing or eliminating the six-holds-in-a-row rule were split closely down the middle, with a few more favoring a removal of the feature. Since we held an official vote on the issue just a few years ago (which indicated that most preferred to keep the rule in place), I think repeating the same vote would only serve to annoy the average player. But while there won't be a vote on whether to eliminate it, a suggestion from manager Kyle Devlin gave me an idea for a compromise, so there will be an official vote about the six-in-a-row rule this upcoming cycle!
I appreciate everyone who weighed in on these important topics, and offered such well-thought-out reasons for their opinions. This survey was a great reminder of how intelligent and insightful IWA managers are. I continue to be impressed by the caliber of the people playing this game. It's not easy trying to find a balance between so many styles of play which are often contrasting, so your advice really means a lot. Thanks again for all your help keeping the ship on course!
-- Johnny B