Fantasy wrestling is a creative output for those that both enjoy writing and enjoy professional wrestling. The fundamental basics of fantasy wrestling are pretty universal across all types of eFeds.
- One person, or a group of people, decide they would like to run a fantasy wrestling promotion.
- This is the fed head and staff.
- A group of individuals who want to take the place of a professional wrestler in writing join the promotion.
- Obviously, this is the handlers.
- The fed head and/or staff choose a day and book a card pitting two or more handlers against each other in a match.
- The handlers then write promos and/or segments (to be included in the show).
- These are typically given a deadline by when they are due to be turned in.
- The fed head and/or staff then write the show.
- These are usually given a date in which you should expect it to become available.
Fantasy wrestling in a nutshell huh? You may be asking yourself, “But Ben, I know how eWrestling works. Why break it down for me?” Simple, although we all have a basic understanding of how the game works, there is a lot more to look deeper into to find out what helps it continue to work, and what helps a fantasy wrestling promotion stay alive.
There are many reasons why an eFed closes/ends/dies/disappears/can’t find a roster. Here are some of them:
- No promotion of the eFed.
- The fed head and/or staff is full of dick heads that absolutely no one wants to work with.
- Burn out by the fed head and/or staff.
- Results that are always late.
The first two bullet points about are easy fixes, really. Promotion of a fed takes 15-20 minutes at least one day a week. Post on advertising boards or submit news articles to sites such as this one, E-Wrestling Illustrated, The Shark Tank, EWZine, etc. Utilize social media such as Twitter. If you find an eW related Twitter handle that has a few hundred Twitter followers, go and follow everyone of them and then start posting. You will get follow backs. Twitter and other social media is a quick and dirty way to promote that works. Here is a link to ours so you can get started: https://twitter.com/ewtorch/followers
How about the fed head and/or staff being dick heads, you can’t easily fix that can you? Well, not directly but the bullet point is a loaded one anyways. There will always be handlers who can get along with these type of people, typically because they are the same way. The bullet point is a representation of excuses others give for leaving an eFed or from the outside looking in, they just don’t fit in that demographic.
The third bullet point is typically when a fed head and/or staff just aren’t having fun anymore. Burn out is a major contributor to this, and there’s no real magic solution except try to keep things fresh for you. Sooner or later I will tackle this in an article, but for now I wanted it represented. The real point of this is the bullet point that focuses on the results that are always late. This one point intertwines on many different levels which connect with the first list.
If you look at list one, you will see that core fundamentals is the handler has a strict deadline of when their materials have to be submitted by while the show book almost always has a date in which it is to air. Quite frankly if it does not, this is one weird eFed set up. Back to the entire point of this, if you haven’t figured it out by now, the importance of on time results.
I’ll wait for your collective groaning to end.
We’ve established that results always being late is one core reason that eFeds close, or become less popular. Lets examine this a little bit more to see to get to the root of the problem. Hey, you, yea the guy about to his reply and go through a spew about how you’re fed is almost always on time and only occasionally has a late show, stop it. Just finish the damn article.
THE CIRCLE OF EWRESTLING LIFE
Lets take a look at the desired eFed experience:
^This is what should happen^
An eFed that delivers the above consistently, has a better success rate than one that doesn’t. What is my reasoning behind that you may be asking? Easy, an eFed that releases on time, books their next card on time, and handlers can expect consistency. When consistency is present, handlers aren’t stressed or thrown off and continue to meet their deadlines. When handlers make their deadlines, and fed heads and/or staff deliver the show on the due date, then the outside perception of said eFed, becomes positive. When that is positive, handlers are easy to find and there is a stronger desire to keep your fed going.
You will also notice that writing of the show begins about halfway between the timeline. I find that if you start the matches, leaving the end open, when it’s time to finish you just need to judge and add the finish. While this creates work for the card writers during the roleplay period, it allows for them to write at their own pace, and not be rushed on the last day to finish a show.
Now, lets look at a representation of an eFed destined to fail:
^This is just the start of an everlasting cluster fuck^
From the diagram above we go into an endless loop of late cards, more bitching, quality dropping and people across the board just not giving a shit. Your outside perspective is damaged, and no one wants to join. At this point your eFed is either dead or might as well be.
But what if they just skip a show and get back on schedule? Or how about a shorter RP deadline?
Good question, here’s a gold star! Lets say your eFed is always on time and this just happens once then this article doesn’t really relate to you. Shit happens, and occasionally a show might be late. No, this is for the fed that has a history or reputation for being late. Lets say you just push the show back and the deadline is shortened, then destruction is imminent. But, supposing you are “smart” about it and just skip a show to reset yourself on a solid schedule, what could possibly hurt?
When you start missing/skipping shows, eventually you end up with a lot less shows then you should have, which becomes apparent in event archives that could sway interested people away from your product. But that’s not even the worse part. Extra space between shows, means handlers who get bored. Bored handlers go elsewhere or quit trying as hard, thus putting you into another downward spiral of shit that sucks to encounter in eWrestling.
When handlers leave, or get sloppy, it shows and this is what, once again, hurts your outside perspective. In layman’s terms, late results hurt your fed. Simple as that, the explanation I have given is over advanced because it boils down to that. If you are constantly late or it re-occurs more often then not, you are only hurting your overall experience.
Lets use two eFeds as an example, one I will call “eFed Y” while the other we will just call “eFed X”. I’m doing this to protect the eFed’s current handlers and staff from getting more heat on them than they deserve as they are trying to change the way their fed works, and well, I think if I just call it “eFed X” it will actually be easy for many eFeds out there to see they are in the same boat and hopefully help motivate some of you to push to be better.
eFed Y has weekly shows, that are almost always on time. When I say almost always, I did research and active handlers can only think of once instance in the last year a show was delayed. Otherwise every week, like clockwork, there is a new eFed Y show which goes up at about the same time. Having this trend has greatly improved the overall appearance of eFed Y as an eFed as well as created a feeling of this is the place to get into. Internally, sources have told me that handlers are happier, the staff works together well, and moral is high. Every key point you want to make as an eFed to be successful is hit, and it shows in eFed Y. With over ten years running, there is no signs of slowing down or ending.
eFed X on the other hand has been around quite sometime and has a very passionate fed head. eFed X is constantly updating their site design, and delivering very good written shows. However, the delay between each show is horrible. Moral is low and arguments between staff and handlers is common. The fed head and/or staff is pushing handlers to help write shows, while handlers are tired of being expected to have deadlines for promos, and then be asked to write matches once a show date has passed. It is just sloppy.
Although the stories told are good, and quality of writing is above average, these constant delays in results being released has killed must of the pristine this eFed had when it first came on the scene. People are applying, but the eFed is lucky if they care enough to show up once they are approved. Now showing and handlers quitting is average life as they get fed up with not just days, but weeks between a deadline and the show actually going up. It’s just ugly to the point even the fed head wonders why he continues to do it.
This is an example of a fed being to the point were lateness is about to kill the eFed. That is unless they can turn it around, which they have been attempting to do. But then you almost have to retrain handlers and staff to meet deadlines and schedules, turning this from a hobby into a job, once again hurting moral and quality of work.
The morel of the story is this, being a fed head or on the staff of an eFed is a position not everyone is cut out for. You need to be dedicated, and enjoy to write. but you must also be able to deliver when you say you will. How would you feel if your handler submitted their promo or segment a week late? Wouldn’t work would it? Would make you feel less like presenting quality work, and would ultimately depress you. That’s how handlers feel.
They are expected to meet scheduled deadlines, that is their job in an eFed. yours is to meet a scheduled deadline for shows. It’s only fair, it’s only right. Being constantly late is a big fuck you to the handlers who every week meet your deadline and prove they spent time in their lives in this hobby and expect to be rewarded for their work by you living up to your end of the bargain.
THE DEADLINE EXTENSION
We’ve talked about the basic timeline of a fed and how going off course can turn disastrous. Another trend I want to cover, which can turn bad as well, is the deadline extension. This one really drives me bonkers and I’ve seen it a LOT lately. There are two ways this typically happens.
- The fed head knows he wont be able to get the show up on time, extends deadline in anticipation for late show
- Handler(s) unable to roleplay on time, ask and are granted a deadline extension that may or may not lead to a show being late
Let me beg of you, no matter what reason you feel it is justified, you should never extend the deadline for any reason. If you just have to have a late show, have it. An extension is not warranted and opens a can of worms you may not see until it is too late. We’re just going to skip bullet one above and assume you just deal with a late show but keep your original deadline. It’s bullet two that is the disaster button.
When a handler, or multiple handlers ask for a deadline extension it is because they did not get their writing done on time. Maybe something in real life came up through the entire roleplaying period or maybe even just last minute. It happens. The moment you agree to an extension you set yourself up for poor results.
REASONS OUTSIDE OF TYPICAL SITUATIONS FED HEADS CONSIDER EXTENSIONS WHEN ASKED FOR THEM
- Not enough roleplays posted for the period and the fed head thinks extending the deadline will help
- Someone the fed head leans toward liking more ask
The moment you approve the extension you set yourself up for either the late roleplays being posted and you believe all is right in the world, OR the person/people still don’t get anything up and it was for nothing.
Either way, you have just set a precedent that you don’t want. Now all handlers think it is OK to ask for a deadline extension because they know you will grant it. But why is that such a big deal? Take into consideration this: This is a competitive hobby that is based on the simple fundamentals that you book a card, people roleplay by a certain time, and you get a show up at a certain time. Simply put, allowing a deadline extension for any reason goes against what adds sanity to a game in which really makes no sense when you truly think about it.
You also tell the handlers who did meet the deadline that they are not as important as those who did not. Now, this may honestly not be your intentions. But it is what is assumed by others, whether they tell you that or not. What makes this person so important they get an extra perk? Why do they get favorites when I did what is expected? Does this mean that the fed head plays favorites all the time and/or in other areas?
These are all things that go through the minds of most handlers who meet their deadline and see this happen in their fed.
Then, you have the situations where an extension was granted and that person wins.
Step back for a moment and put yourself into your handler’s shows. Can you do that for me?
- You’re a handler.
- You know when the RP deadline is.
- You write your roleplays, and max out, by this deadline.
- Shortly before or after the deadline, the fed head says there will be an extension because X handler asked for it.
- You’ve already roleplayed and this extension is nothing but more time you have to wait to get a sense of who wins the matches or when the show will go live. Frustration begins.
- Your roleplays are finalized and you see new stuff go up without a chance to try and counter.
- The new deadline hits and the show goes up
- The person who asked for the deadline extension beats you, or otherwise wins their match when the other person had already roleplayed before deadline.
Read that last line again.
- The person who asked for the deadline extension beats you, or otherwise wins their match when the other person had already roleplayed before deadline.
While maybe you, as the fed head, see no issue with this. I mean, they did write better roleplays than the people they faced, so they deserve to win, right?
Maybe they do. A winning roleplay is a winning roleplay. I wont fault you there. But your other handlers, the people who help keep your fed going… the people who talk to other people possibly interested in joining… might not see it that way. Distrust begins, people talk, they start looking elsewhere and maybe even start to dislike you and/or the fed. Am I saying that they are in the right? Maybe not fully, but you should see it from their point.
Would you be motivated to roleplay by deadline when you’ve seen that those who don’t play by the simple rules, for whatever reason, can win?
This exact situation happened very recently. Being friends with a lot of people in the game, a handler came to me and told me what happened. Not only were they upset, their friends also in this fed were upset, and they instantly began saying going to said fed was a mistake and they were going to go elsewhere. Maybe it wont matter in the grand scheme of things for this particular fed… this time. But what about the next? Or the next?
It’s a downward spiral and can be avoided by simply saying no to a deadline extension request. Maybe that person gets mad, but I bet they handle it better than the person who did what they were supposed to and on time. So what, they don’t get their RPs up and maybe take a loss. It happens. But at least then they will know that if they are going to play in your fed, they have expectations to meet. There is no controversy, as the rules say RP by this time and you followed it. If it truly is a real life situation that will cause someone who has either one full week or even two to roleplay and they hadn’t done it, then maybe they should consider a break until real life lightens up.
Those who just didn’t get one up because they had “more important” things to do during the roleplay period learn that they should make sure they prioritize their activities a bit better if it really bothers them. Telling you from experience, if I don’t get a roleplay up on time and take a loss because I felt like playing WoW more during the roleplay period, I’m not going to be mad. Hell, I am going to hope the fed head at least keeps booking me so I can try and get that win back.
Either way, once you introduce the roleplay deadline, all eyes are on you and how you handle it. Don’t set yourself up for failure, it just isn’t worth it.
Has this offended you in any way? Am I telling you not to do something you do? Well, the way I see it is you have one of two options. Ignore my opinion and do your thing and see what happens. Or you can realize that I may just be onto something and look at it from another perspective. Either way, it is up to you. I am just a guy in the hobby behind a computer like you, who has opinion as well.
I hope this article helps someone, somewhere. Maybe it will, maybe it wont. Maybe it’s just rambling with a couple pretty pictures, who knows? However, if you have made it this far, thank you for reading and spending a few minutes of your life with me.
I appreciate it.