It is with great sadness that I offer you my resignation as Boot Camp Project Leader. My decision to resign comes on the heels of a new job appointment. Many of you know that I work in academia. After completing my PhD in a month or so, I will begin a tenure-track appointment that will involve teaching, research, etc. This new job is a dream job for me, and I couldn?t be happier with the situation. Due to the demanding nature of this new position, however, I simply cannot give Boot Camp the time, love, and attention it deserves.
But my resignation is not the end of Boot Camp. In fact, Boot Camp is just getting on its feet. Our first cycle through the curriculum taught us some important lessons, and Boot Camp is already poised to provide students with a higher-quality, more seamless experience. We have just started advanced classes and May will see the restart of our ?regular? 4-step curriculum.
Naturally, the leadership structure at Boot Camp will undergo some changes. There will no longer be a ?Project Leader? (my former title) but rather a leadership council, comprised of three elected admirals (Drkfrontiers, Jedinikon, and Regulus) in addition to Kolln (founder of the Hungarian Boot Camp), who is a recently-appointed attach? to the admiralty. Coaches, of course, will continue to have a role in shaping Boot Camp as well. The leadership council will have complete authority to make decisions regarding the direction of Boot Camp. Apart from helping these leaders with the transition and making myself available as a consultant, I will have no formal decision-making authority.
I am very proud of Boot Camp. We as a community have accomplished a great deal together. Let me conclude by listing a few things about Boot Camp that make me proud.
1) Generosity: The heart and soul of Boot Camp is made up of coaches who generously give of their time to improve PvP. A story: I remember at the very beginning of Boot Camp, Deadpool and Kedric went out of their ways to make themselves available every time they were in-game to coach students on how to blow stuff up (what these two do best, after all). I even got a personal lesson! This little anecdote, however, is representative of the generosity shown by all coaches at Boot Camp. Many of them have spent dozens of hours investing in students, sharing their knowledge, and raising up the next generation of PvP stars. If you see one of Boot Camp?s coaches hanging around, take a minute to thank him/her.
2) Neutrality and Community: It was always my hope that Boot Camp would be a neutral organization whose goals transcended the aims and ambitions of any one fleet or person. I wanted Boot Camp to be a community project.
This is a passionate, competitive community. On our worst days, we use these energies against one another. On our best days, we direct those energies toward projects like Boot Camp, tournaments, RP-battles, PvP guides and resources, etc. that build the community rather than destroy it. Sometimes we fail?even epically fail. Sometimes we succeed. Because of the coaches? willingness to put the good of the many over the good of the few, Boot Camp has had great success. And I am proud of the fact that coaches who would normally never speak to one another actually collaborated on a common project.
On this whole matter of neutrality, Pheo (@nixtux) is also to be thanked for allowing Boot Camp to use his personal TS server. That server has become an important community hub?a common digital space?for tournaments, premades, meetings, etc. Nice work, Pheo. Boot Camp would never have worked without your investment in the project.
3) Player-Dev Collaboration: I am also proud that Boot Camp has been able to maintain a positive, 8-month relationship with Cryptic/PWE. Branflakes/Brandon is to be thanked for his endless support of this project. This level of collaboration has allowed for both parties?devs and players?to rub shoulders with one another.
With that said, PvP needs a lot of developer attention, and I think that Boot Camp, with its 650+ students, has at least demonstrated that PvP in STO has incredible potential. Boot Camp is not a ?fix? to PvP; it is an attempt to maximize what we have available to us and to help people enjoy the current state of PvP to its fullest.
4) The Delight of Battle: Boot Camp is about the joys of combat, not winning at all costs (see also Jorf?s Guide, which makes a similar point).
Some fleet mates and I played a pre-made vs. pre-made match the other day against players for whom I have profound respect. After about 1-1.5 hours of combat, the match ended at 16/13 (if memory serves), with the other team taking the victory (there were some missed scores, 16/13 is the ACT score). To be perfectly honest, however, by match?s end, I could have cared less who won the match. There was pure joy in watching the opposing team come back after being down a few points and seizing the win with clever strategies and excellent skill. What I have learned through Boot Camp is that victory is ephemeral, never permanent. Today?s victors can easily become tomorrow?s vanquished. What is permanent is the delight of fighting against a worthy foe. If you lose the joy of the battle, you have lost the most important part of PvP.
To lose in a match like the one I describe above is no loss at all, at least not for me. Boot Camp has helped solidify these lessons in my mind, and I have seen this spirit alive in the coaches week in and week out.
Over the next few weeks, there will be a gradual shifting of my former responsibilities to the leadership council. I ask only that you, the PvP community, give these leaders the support and encouragement you have given me.
Thank you all for making my time as Project Leader such a joy.
Sorry to see you leave.... although, as a fellow professor I can assure you that eventually once you get settled in and in sync with your new responsibilities you will likely be able to reprise your role in a year or so. I hope so anyways, it was very informative and fun and your guidance has been greatly appreciated.
May I ask what your specializing is in (PhD) and what you will be teaching in? I teach anthropology and sociology myself. Anyways, best of luck with your thesis defense... I have no doubt that you will excel. Enjoy the tenure-track position too, their few and far between.
"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." - Rocky Balboa (2006)
we are very happy for your real life job going in the direction you wanted, and are very proud to of been a part of this wonderful experiment that has become bootcamp. and we will try our hardest to pick up where your leaving off and continuing to improve bootcamp and and expand our teachings, and have alot of ideas and potential partnerships in the future..i would like to thank sargon and everyone involved in bootcamp . we the leadership council will not let you down and will continue the high standards we have already set forth...
On behalf of the entire STO team, we'd like to congratulate you on your PhD and career opportunity, and thank you for all your hard work with PvP Boot Camp -- you played an integral role and Boot Camp would not be where it is today if it was not for your leadership. We're going to miss working with you and wish you all the best.
Brandon "BranFlakes" Felczer | Former Community Team Lead for Perfect World Entertainment
No! You can't go Sargon! Regulus will go mad with power and take over everything!
If this is gonna be 'The Next Generation' that must mean...Regulus is Captain Picard, Jedi is Cmdr. Riker, and Drkfrontiers is Georgi La Forge.
So next round would be...Deep Space Pwn? Followed by us having to take Boot Camp to the delta quadrant in PvP Boot Camp: Voyager. Then there would be Pwn-erprise, in which Boot Camp coaches from the 31st century muck about with some of the first PvPers in the game.
Let's not forget all the movies!
PvP Boot Camp: The Motion Picture
Boot Camp 2: The Wrath of Bort(icus)
Boot Camp 3: The Search for Sargon
Boot Camp 4: The Pwnage Home
Boot Camp 5: The Final Pwning
Boot Camp 6: The Undiscovered AFKer
Boot Camp: Generations
Boot Camp: First Contact
Boot Camp: Insurrection
Boot Camp: Nemesis
All my joking aside though (except about Regulus ), sad to see you step down like that Sargon. I hope you won't be wholy disappearing through from the STO scene.