Very thoughtful suggestions, Swoosh Factor. In the interest of providing more feedback for later drafts, I'd just like to comment briefly on your comments.
Swoosh Factor wrote:Draft order: I think future drafts should use a straight draft order (1-10, 1-10, etc.) rather than the serpentine order used last night (1-10, 10-1, etc.).
While I agree that everyone's interests were pretty varied and left little advantage to being first to pick, I disagree that the serpentine method was either difficult or slower. The serpentine method creates advantages and disadvantages to being in any particular spot in the order, and therefore necessitates a bit of strategy in the drafting process. To me, it's more interesting than a cyclical draft order (and more fun) but is still pretty straight-forward.
Swoosh Factor wrote:Proxies and in person drafters: . . . I think that anyone attending the draft in person should also be in the chat room making their selections, rather than relaying them through Ryan. . . Basically, I think that all drafters should be represented by separate entities in the chat room.
Agreed. This was a bit confusing for me at times, too. I think last night's draft may have flowed a little better if everyone had their own voice in the chat room.
Swoosh Factor wrote:Timeclocks: This one might be a little harder to implement, but I think it would really speed up the process. . . The timekeeper would need a stopwatch and a spreadsheet with the draft lots in one column and the ranked selections of each drafter in subsequent columns.
Once the moderator announces the next drafter, the timekeeper starts the stopwatch and the person on the clock would have a preset amount of time (say 20-30 seconds) to make their selection. While the clock is running, the timekeeper would use the spreadsheet's sort function to determine the drafter's highest remaining ranked lot and if the drafter does not make a selection before time runs out, the timekeeper would select that lot on behalf of the drafter. Once a lot is selected, the timekeeper would delete the entire row from their spreadsheet, ensuring no duplicate selections were made.
Again, I respectfully disagree here. This seems like a tactic to speed up the process, but I can also see it taking more time. Also, it's much too business-like for my taste and would suck all the fun out of doing a draft. This could be equated to playing a friendly board game with your friends/family, but your mother-in-law takes your turn for you because she thinks you're taking too long. Or when your opponent is badgering you to "just play already!" while weighing your next Scrabble play. Out of 130 total turns in last night's draft, I felt there were only 2 or 3 turns where there was some waiting.
Also, this method would essentially require one person (the time keeper) to act as a proxy for all 10 parties, which would be a real headache!
My own input to improve the draft process would be to have the start order put together beforehand so that the draft can start right on time. The mods/admins/organizers had anticipated the draft would take 2 hours, and that's just what it took (including a 15 min. intermission). But we were drafting until late in the evening because we didn't actually begin until 7:30 PST or so. Also, it would've been fun to do a "guess the last lot" game and so forth. Keep those in mind next time!