Gatherling Anticipation

WoCoNation has been working extremely hard behind the scenes to develop a database that will eventually house all the PDC information you could ever want or need. The ratings system (which, as you’ve probably noticed, is sorely out of date) was just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is coming. (And don’t worry, the ratings will be back soon enough, and better than ever. And WoCo has given Classic hosts a way to get all the back events into the database this time.) Pretty much all the information gathering and sharing we currently do is going to be either revolutionized or made obsolete by this new database system.
Let me explain.

The database is called GATHERLING. It will (eventually) contain records of every PDC event: dates, URLs, metagame information, winners, all players, all matches played, all medals earned, the trophies, even who hosted. It will contain decklists, and the interface currently auto-detects what colors are in the deck, as well as all formats the deck is legal in. (Formats are defined elsewhere in Gatherling, and there’s a host control panel for that, too.)
Players will be able to input their own decklists in due time. You’ll be able to provide a deck title (your very own!), as well as an archetype (aggro, combo-control, etc.) for easy categorization. Gatherling will track the success of that decklist, just as it tracks the success of each player (in ratings). WoCo eventually plans on developing powerful search capabilities for the deck database, too. But that’s on the horizon.
A login system with three access levels (player, host, admin) will allow for data input from all members of the PDC community at a level that fits their respective roles in the community. This measure of protection is aimed at preserving a high level of data quality. (One of the pitfalls of’s open database is that data quality and consistency were lower than desired, which made search functions and other capabilities of the database less potent.) A long-term goal is for each player to see his or her own Player Control Panel, which will include such data as “My Matches”, “My Medals”, “My Decks”, “My Events”, and so on. That view will be visible only to a player; for anyone on the outside, you’ll see a Player Profile with less data. Again, this is a long-term goal.
We already have a Host Control Panel in place. Our current PDC hosts have access to input event information, match results, and decklists. The sidebar on the main page view (UPCOMING EVENTS and RECENT WINNERS) is already tied to Gatherling, which means that hosts now have control over what is displayed there. If a host has input his/her event into Gatherling, the upcoming events list will display it. If a host has input the matches for an event and provided the first place decklist, a winner will be displayed for the event in the recent winners list.
Ratings will be updated next. When the ratings are tied to Gatherling, each inputted event will have an immediate effect on the ratings display. (Our access levels function as added security to make this possible; whereas before we had the security checkpoint of approval from WoCoNation, that is no longer necessary.) It is my expectation (or at least hope) that, with this highly visible and very significant “instant gratification” in place, hosts will be extra motivated to enter events and matches.
The bells and whistles are coming, but first we need the raw data in the database. With WoCo as the workhorse and me barking commands from the comfort of my armchair, we are putting modules in place that will allow more and more members of the PDC community to do their part to fill Gatherling with useful, quality data. We are keeping things host-only right now as we tinker and debug the Host Panel and the database at large. But the time is nigh when all players will have a hand in the process.
We’d love to hear from you regarding Gatherling. What are your comments? Questions? Concerns? How excited are you about having the ratings and the deck database in working order? Do you love the automated main page? (We’re almost caught up with in that regard…) And, if you find yourself with a ton of spare time, would you be willing to help the hosts catch up on a huge pile of data entry for the back catalogue of PDC events? Leave us a comment here, see the Gatherling thread in the forums, or PM WoCoNation or Polyjak!

4 Responses to “Gatherling Anticipation”

  1. SypherSun says:

    Are you guys trapped in one of Tolarias slow time bubbles or something. Where do you get the time?
    So some questions; what will be expected from both player and host? As I can see it both can enter deck data, so who’s “job” is it? Will posting decklists in Gatherling replace posting them in the eventthread, because they serve the same function? Not that I mind posting twice, especially if it’s easily done.
    If WotC would’ve hired you guys, we would’ve been playing v3 bugless for months now. *standing ovation*

  2. Polyjak says:

    I’m sure MTGO 3 has a few more problems than we’re dealing with right now… ;)
    Players will basically just have to post their own decklists. The host tools are set up to make it as easy as possible for hosts to input all the matches for each of their events. Hosts don’t have to input any decklists except maybe the winning one (to get recent winners updated), but eventually they won’t even have to do that. (It’s in a first place winner’s best interests to put in the effort to input his or her decklist to show up on the main page.)
    With many events turning to a team of co-hosts, things should become a lot easier for hosts to handle this added work. As a bonus for them, it’s possible that in the future, Gatherling will be able to automatically handle season points, power rankings, and the entire master document. But that’s up to WoCoNation; I don’t want to make TOO many promises on his behalf. ;)

  3. plainstrider says:

    this looks so legit. Awesome work.

  4. kaityson36 says:

    Looks similiar to what does. Great Job and Good Luck!

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