Transparency in the Drone Champions League
Transparency in the Drone Champions League
Note: For the purpose of this petition we will not make a difference between the real-life racing league or the virtual racing league done in DCL: The Game, with this years season being fully virtual there is no border left between the two.
Drone racing is a rather new sport, and probably the format on how this sport is done isn't fully formed yet. You, the business behind DCL are not only benefiting from but also promoting the sport we love, and we are grateful for that.
However, when becoming such a big player - creating one of the prominent brands of the sport, you also represent it to the public and shape not only the image, but also parts of its future, and how people perceive the sport will likely span further than your share of the market.
With this there comes the responsibility, not only towards your shareholders and sponsors but also towards the drone racing community itself.
We (the ones signing this open letter), are members of this community, we race drones, we race in your racing simulator, we teach new players, we help players who have issues, we create social media posts and videos - and with that, we create both, content and value in and around your product.
And we feel there are some core issues with the DCL at the moment, which manifest in various ways.
Many of the issues we see boil down to a lack of transparency, and seemingly arbitrary rulemaking and rule-changing.
- Specifications on the rules drones have to follow to be considered DCL legal are not published in a complete set of rules, they are merely presented in form of incomplete trivia on the website, with some components only being mentioned as provided by DCL for official teams, making it impossible for anyone else to build or train on DCL legal drones.
- Official Team selection seems to be arbitrary, there is no process on how to qualify with a Team for the DCL, there is no information on how the existing teams have come to be a part.
- Draft rules seem to be adjusted on the fly, with teams not having to pick members despite the rules announced having said they have to, and with a second draft randomly started this year.
- Wildcard Selection is a complete moving target
- before the US GP teams were challenged to compete as teams for the slot, and it was pointed out that other criteria than fastest times would be relevant, those criteria were not documented anywhere.
- For the China GP it was now announced that only residents of the 中华人民共和国 (People's Republic of China) will be allowed to take part in competing for spots in the wildcard team.Confronted with over this, a community manager stated: In the real life races, Wildcard teams are usually selected based on location. As we are trying to keep these races as realistic as possible despite being virtual, we're recruiting the team from China It's also a timezone thing
When it then was pointed out that this was not the case for the US, the reply was It was pretty much a US team for Proptown. A closer look reveals that indeed the majority of players in that team were from the US, but since this was not communicated as a requirement, many of the other teams had worked hard in the competition hoping to earn a spot.
- Ranking in the (virtual) DCL is highly problematic, being based on a point system that not only has a repeatable option to gain points (rather than measuring relative skill)
- there is no formula given on how points in challenges are created and distributed
- there is a "prestige" multiplier mentioned, but the values used for challenges are not published
- there is additional, player organized events, that give out ranking points as prizes
- Changes to the rules as well as the online game are not announced in full detail, it has happened that players have logged in without even as much as a patch to find the way how points are distributed, or the selection of ghosts they have to compete against dramatically changed.
There are more such issues, but this petition is not about creating a list and having clarifications on those past issues, or quick fixes and workarounds to make them look less of a problem, it is to shake you awake that we as pilots, racers and fans of this community need you to respect our sport, thus make sure your approach is making this a fair sport - and fairness can only come with clear and transparent rules