Wizards of the Coast Pokemon Chat Log - Jan 3, 2002
by Team Compendium (special thanks to Magmar2000)


master_trainer_mike says, "Hi gang, welcome to a very special chat."
master_trainer_mike says, "This week we have the Pokemon Brand Manager, Keith Strohm here for the first hour of the chat to answer your questions and tell you about the future of Pokemon."
master_trainer_mike says, "He will try and make visits to the chat in the future as well."
darkmt_mike says, "Hello all. Hope you had a very Maple Holiday!"
master_trainer_mike says, "So, how was everyone's holiday? Hope you weren't bad and got Maplr Bars in your stocking..."
master_trainer_mike says, "They are cheaper than coal don't you know!!!"
darkmt_mike says, "They are the most delicious doughnuts around!"
master_trainer_mike says, "Sure......"
master_trainer_mike says, "So, without any further adieu (or trois) here is Keith the Brand Manager!"
master_trainer_mike says, "(applause!!!)"
wotc_keith says, "Greetings all. I'm very pleased to be able to speak with you and answer whatever questions I can. I know there are some very concerned members of the community, and I'd like to do my best to let people know clearly what is happening with the Pokemon brand. I'll be active on the message boards and also be present at various chats. I look forward to speaking more with each of you. Now that that is done, on with the questions..."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #298 from yoshi1001:
      So tell us about your normal day. Wait, you represent an electric mouse, a singing air sac, and a 6' 7" psychic cat-you don't have a normal day, do you?
wotc_keith says, "Well, that really is a normal day for me....however, you forgot to mention working with Dark Master Trainer Mike...that's much stranger than the other things you mentioned."
darkmt_mike says, "Much stranger:)"
darkmt_mike laughs hysterically.

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #305 from lizardotc:
      Is it TPC's vision that this game should be primarily for the 14- ages? If so, 10-14 (the package says 10+) is a narrow age range!
master_trainer_mike says, "(Keith is typing away furiously)"
master_trainer_mike says, "(FURIOUSLY I TELL YOU!)"
darkmt_mike says, "Still typing...."
darkmt_mike says, "I can hear his keys go!"
wotc_keith says, "There are som differences between TPCs target audience and ours. However, it is true that players of all ages can play and enjoy the POkemon TCG. Each of these age groups have different things (unique life experiences and perspectives) that they bring to the brand."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #309 from team_europe_golduck:
      Will the Challenge Series Events have Qualifiers with payed trips to a final event for the winners?
wotc_keith says, "Yes. There will indeed be paid trips for everyone who competes."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #316 from matt_moss:
      Will there be a 15+ championships/pro tour, and what are the details of it, if any?
wotc_keith says, "There will be a 15+ Professor championship, which will include great prizes and a paid trip to be an invited judge to the World Championships. We will have more details posted on the professor program later this month."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #318 from team_europe_golduck:
      will the "Professors" have their own tournament at the Challenge Series Main Event, just like we had the "Seniors Championships" on this year's STSs?
wotc_keith says, "They will have events at Stadium Challenges, conventions (such a Gen Con & Origins), etc,"

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #317 from daytongl:
      Keith, can you give us the "high level" overview of the Professor Program with possibly some implementation dates?
wotc_keith says, "Professor program will be a training and certification program for 15+ players, Tournament Organizers, and judges. The program will start in January and will continue to develop and add features throughout the year."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #311 from pikachu89:
      Any more info on a potential release date of Neo Destiny?
wotc_keith says, "Neo Destiny should release (to my great relief) in late February."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #310 from slowking_man:
      For Mr. Strohm: What's it like being the Pokemon Brand Manager? Is it difficult?
master_trainer_mike says, "(well he can be difficult at times)"
master_trainer_mike says, "hee hee"
darkmt_mike says, "Hmmm......"
wotc_keith says, "Brand Management is definitely challenging, but it's a job that is made easier by working on a game that I like and meeting committed members of the playing community. There are some days that I'd love to just cut back on the actual work and play games all day."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #314 from puritys_echidna:
      can you tell us anything about sets AFTER Neo: Destiny... such as VS, Web, etc...
wotc_keith says, "As many of you have probably heard, the they have released Card-E in Japan. We are currently working with the Pokemon Company to put the final touches on our 2002 schedule. It's an exciting set and we're looking forward to it."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #335 from indigomaster33:
      since the game is to be enjoyed by all ages, do you have plans to keep the larger pokemon events open to all ages to participate?
wotc_keith says, "The vast majority of Pokemon leagues and tournament will be open to all ages, however, certain programs, like the Professor program, will be open only to ages 15+ and the Challenge series will be open to 14 and under."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #320 from macross_master2000:
      Let me get right to the point, is the challenge series going to be anything like the magic pro tour? Might we even see cash prizes?
wotc_keith says, "The Challenge series is not like the Magic Pro tour, it is its own unique series of events for a rather unique set of fans. There are no plans for cash prizes."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #337 from sd_pokemom:
      Just what is the 15+ role now, and what is the Professor program going to be like?
wotc_keith says, "Fulll details on the Professor Program and challenge series will be available on the website in the next cuple of weeks. The Organized Play team has been working exceptionally hard on building OP events of the highest quality. This takes some time."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #329 from nickfifteen:
      Is there anything you can say about a possible Wizards-first/only Pokémon TCG set?
wotc_keith says, "This is something that we have been thinking about for quite some time. We are currently working with TPC to work out the feasibility and details of this. However, it's definitely something that we would like to see. In fact, it's also something that the POkemon Company would like to see as well."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #342 from somexguy:
      Will there be a paid trip for the 15+?
wotc_keith says, "There will be a paid trip and other prizes specifically for the 15+ Professor championship."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #350 from tehairyclefairy:
      will the Challenge Series Events have qualifiers in Europe with paid trips?
wotc_keith says, "Yes. They will absolutely have paid trips for the Challenge series in Europe"

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #355 from skywolf9653:
      There has been speculation that 15+ won't be able to participate in the Challenge Series, can you elaborate, on WotC's position on the 15+ division?
wotc_keith says, "Yes, the speculation is correct. As I mentioned earlier, each age group of Pokemon fans brings with them different life experiences, skills, and talents, and we wanted to recognize that by specifically calling out events geared toward those age groups. 15+ can participate in Professor exclusive events/tournaments at Stadium challenges and open age side events at many of the Challenges."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #374 from y2ace:
      "There will be a 15+ Professor championship, which will include great prizes and a paid trip to be an invited judge to the World Championships. So you are saying that the winning "Professors" Wont be able to play in the World Championships?
wotc_keith says, "That is correct. The world championships are for our 14 and under players and the Professor championships are specifically for 15+."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #369 from starmiemaster:
      Re: #316 - What will the structure of this 15+ Professor Championship be, will it be an open tourney, or a qualifier tourney, or what?
wotc_keith says, "It will be a Professor-only open tournament held at Origins."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #386 from aquagnome29:
      Will 15+ still be able to play in DCI sanctioned tournaments once the Professor Program is in place?
wotc_keith says, "Absolutely. 15+ are very much members of the DCI and can play in DCI sanctioned tournaments."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #385 from matthewssandslash:
      So will there be no 15+ in future STS replacements? Are you like trying to stop older players from buying Pokémon cards?
wotc_keith says, "The exact opposite, in fact. We wanted to create something specifically for 15+ players, and give them additional ways to distinguish themselves in the Pokemon community. The Professor's program does that by allowing these players to take a leadership role in the community."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #381 from plasma_your_dead:
      Is the professor program only for 15+ or can there be some 11-14's in it?
wotc_keith says, "No. The Professor program is only for 15+. These players will be leaders in the community, and we want to make sure that they have solid experience in our POkemon OP events."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #394 from fleathemagician:
      will the 15 + "professors" become DCI sanctioned Judges?
wotc_keith says, "Because we believe that POkemon and Magic are two different games with entirely different audiences, professors will not be DCI sanctioned judges because the programs are different."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #397 from yoshi1001:
      So it's safe to assume that 15+ers will continue to have a respected place as players in the Pokémon TCG?
wotc_keith says, "Absolutely. We are looking to you to be leaders in the community. And in fact, I think I also need to extyend that not just to players but also to Tournament Organizers and Judges"

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #396 from dumbledore38:
      Will the Professor program take affect world wide?
wotc_keith says, "Yes. We are a global community and we will have a global organized play experience."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #434 from lizardotc:
      Have you given any thought to the role of families such as mine in which ALL members (including parents) would like to compete in the same large-scale event?
wotc_keith says, "We will be introducing team play, which has been built specifically for that, later in the year. Professors will get the opportunity to playtest and evaluate the new formats, as well."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #411 from skywolf9653:
      Mr. Strom, can you enlighten us as to the future of the Pokemon TCG after the release of Neo 4?
wotc_keith says, "As I mentioned earlier, the Japanese have released Card-E in their country and we are working with them to finalize our own schedule for 2002. Card-E is an exciting set and I'm sure the global Pokemon community will enjoy it."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #402 from daytongl:
      Will the Professor Program be similar to the DCI's current structure of judges (ie, Level 1-5 with the higher level judges mentoring and recommending advancement for the lower level judges)?
wotc_keith says, "The Professor program, while having some similiarities with DCI certified Judges, is different. However, there will be various levels of Professors (just like in a real University)."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #446 from matthewssandslash:
      Why would you want to split up the age groups? It's worked fine the way it is, and you're not going to lose any customers by keeping it the same way.
wotc_keith says, "I'm glad that you have had such a positive experience in the Pokemon OP community. However, we understand that each of our age groups bring with it their own skills and talents, and focusing on these things should actually improve the environment even more. In addition, focusing on the different age groups is a way to recognize their unique contributions to the Pokemon brand. Finally, by instituting the Professor's program we are helping to raise the quality of judging by allowing 15+ players to lend their talents and experience to the entire community."
master_trainer_mike says, "(gang, further details about the Challenge series and Professor program will be coming soon on the web, we won't be giving out specific details today)"

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #409 from professor_ooyamo:
      How do you feel about the Pokemon TCG fan base?
wotc_keith says, "In some ways, I really feel like I'm "home" among the passionate players of a hobby game. My original industry experience was with RPG players, and they have many of the same interests. In general, I have been very impressed with the level of constructive criticism and pure committment you all have for the game."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #442 from digiwarrior:
      Any reason why the Challenge Series will be reserved for 14 and under? What about the older kids who have worked so hard and enjoy the game as well?
wotc_keith says, "There hardwork has earned them a program built specifically around them. These are the leaders in the community and we need to recognize that. We built the Professor program specifically so that these players can share their excitement and love for the Pokemon game with others and help them grow and appreciate it as much as you do."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #450 from oldman_405:
      I'm already a TO and judge at my events. When I become certified what will that entitile me to that I haven't had before?
master_trainer_mike says, "You will have access to excuslive early information, you will be asked to help us playtest, there will be exclusive events held for you, and later on you will be able to elevate the K rateings of events that you judge at."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #461 from yoshi1001:
      So, wait, are Challenge Series and Professor Program events run simulaneously (like on the same day)?
master_trainer_mike says, "Sometimes yes, sometimes no."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #465 from martin_moreno:
      Will light pokemon be included in the american neo4/destiny set?
wotc_keith says, "Light Pokemon will indeed be present in the Neo 4 set."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #469 from pokesensei:
      So far you haven`t told us anything we didn`t already know. Are you going to release any new info or are you here to just try to appease the 15+ by dodging the questions and say everything is ok?
wotc_keith says, "Although some of the more active members of the community may know some of these things already, I know that the larger Pokemon community has had concerns about what is happening with hte Pokemon brand in the future. I think that I've spelled things out clearly regarding the general set up in our overall program. Since I only have a short period of time to talk with everyone, it is difficult to go deeply into details. But, I am always available via email and the message boards to discuss any issues further."
master_trainer_mike says, "(the chat also isn't the forum to go into excessive details, these programs are still being finalized, full details to come on the web site AS we have them)."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #477 from matt_moss:
      REQ#342 I know that there will be a paid trip for the winner of the Prof Championships, but will there be any paid trips TO the Prof Championships?
wotc_keith says, "No. There will not be any paid trips to the Prof. championships. However, we did set it up in the center of the country to make it as convenient as possible for all of our Pokemon Professors."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #468 from babboa:
      Are the tournaments mentioned for season 3 going to be open for the 15+ crowd to enter? If so, how is this going to be organized? Will there be a special age category or what?
wotc_keith says, "These tournaments will be open to any age."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #481 from scrye_fung:
      Pokemon obviously has a large international presence as seen at the WCSTS 2001. What sort of new things should Europeans expect specifically?
wotc_keith says, "They will be participating in all of the programs we have mentioned. They are already making plans for their own version of the challenge series."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #487 from edderz:
      Any news on development of an 'official' on-line version of the game over the current Apprentice way of doing things?
wotc_keith says, "We currently don't have the electronic rights for online versions of Pokemon. Right now, we are focusing on making the tabletop TCG experience the best it can be."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #510 from digiwarrior:
      so you are saying that all the work i have done to improve my skills will be wasted just to be a judge? What a waste of time.....
wotc_keith smirks.
wotc_keith says, "Well, I happen to think that becoming a professor, mentoring others, and leading the community is far from a waste. In fact, I think it's essential for the long-term health of the brand. Besides, we are offering Professor-only tournaments with new formats to test those skills you've been honing. Maybe sometime I'll gunsling with ya'!"
wotc_keith says, "I had a premature smirk there..."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #516 from calathon:
      what will be required to become a "Professor"? will there be a test?
master_trainer_mike says, "Yes, there will be an online test coming later in January."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #517 from michel1be:
      Will it still be possible for parents to play at the same big events (like the STS) than their under 15 kids, or will these events completely separated ?
wotc_keith says, "Yes. There will be events for players of all ages at most Challenges (Stadium and Gym). In addition, we are putting in to place a multi-player team format, so that families can compete together."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #494 from fleathemagician:
      RE: 355 what do life experiences have to do with skill level?
wotc_keith says, "Pokemon is not primarily about skill. It is a socially compettitve game, and people often have a great time pitting themselves against one another, but its also about community, the exchange of ideas, and just plain having fun. Older players bring a wealth of experiences that make this aspect of the POkemon game richer for everyone involved."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #531 from digiwarrior:
      We don't want to be judges, we want to PLAY.
wotc_keith says, "And you can. You can play at League, local tournaments, Professor-exclusive tournaments and championships, and in the future, multi-player team formats, and finally, at special open events during Stadiums and Gym Challenges"

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #496 from lugia909:
      These are some unusual changes; some of them, we were told would likely never occur. Do these changes we're seeing represent some changes in TPC's view of how the game has developed outside of Japan?
wotc_keith says, "That is a really good question. The short answer is no. They represent Wizards' own experience of the Pokemon game as it has developed over the past few years. These changes, I believe, will be instrumental in securing the long-term future of the Pokemon game."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #524 from skywolf9653:
      Are there any plans to release the Vending Machine series in English?
wotc_keith says, "Well...you might have the opportunity to see some of tese cards in the future, but wer'e still working out some details with TPC, so I can't comment in detail"
wotc_keith smiles.

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #529 from steelixownzu:
      So DCI sanctioned tournaments can have all age groups?
wotc_keith says, "Yes. They can."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #533 from soslowpoke:
      What is this "Amazing Promotion" for Season 2 of league?
wotc_keith says, "Well...if you promise not to tell anyone......Pokemon fans will be able to help us design the art for a card...who knows, it might lead you down another whole career path."
wotc_keith grins evilly.

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #541 from yoshi1001:
      So, the Professor Program is about providing leadership? Good, because from what I've seen today, we need some. I'm sorry if people have been rude to you. They're really nice people most of the time if you get to know them.
wotc_keith says, "Yes. The Professor program is about leadership. And thank you for the apology, but it's really not necessary. I understand when folks feel passionately about something and want it to survive and thrive. In fact, I think that it is this type of attitude that makes Pokemon fans so interesting and appealing to me. I have met some of you at STS's, and I know that you're nice people."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #545 from y2ace:
      DO you realize that the 15 + do not want to be judes at the world championships THEY WANT TO PLAY IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
wotc_keith says, "Good. Because they will have their own championships that will set them apart from the rest of the Pokemon community as something special. Also, we are working on building a team championship for later in 2003."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #556 from slowkingprince:
      how come the 14 and under crowd gets both the challenge series tournaments and the world championship and we (15+) only get the professor tournament and have to play in the "side events" in the challenge series tournaments.
wotc_keith says, "Don't forget the exclusive Professor-only alternate format tournaments, and the playtesting of future formats."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #561 from bigdaddysnorlax:
      Keith, will you be able to attend some of the larger tournaments this year?
wotc_keith says, "Yes. I was at the STS on the East Coast and the West Coast this year. Next year, I'm itching for some gunslinging."
wotc_keith grins evilly.

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #571 from skywolf9653:
      Are there plans to release the "VS" series in English, or just the E-Card series?
wotc_keith says, "We are looking beyond the initial release of Card-E now and are considering it. But we have made no definite plans."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #576 from matt_moss:
      What about families, such as the elite Brooks family, which has children in all 4 age groups. Will they have to choose between events? Are these events going to be held at different venues on drastically different dates? I really think this program is bad for families. Any opinions on this?
wotc_keith says, "Families are indeed important to us. That's why we are developing an entire new play format with that in mind."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #560 from martin_moreno:
      Will the Professor program allow "professors" to run DCI sanctioned Pokemon touranaments at will?
wotc_keith says, "They will still need to go throuhg the DCI sanctioning process, but these tournaments will be worth more in terms of their K ratings."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #587 from lizardotc:
      I seriously can not afford to take two separate vacations...one to play in the 15+ at Origins, and another so my kids can play somewhere else. How can you help me feel better about this?
wotc_keith says, "You can still play at the stadium challenges in new format Professor-only events. We needed to spread our events out over the country to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #579 from y2ace:
      This is insane so our whole modivation to play in professors is top win a trip to be a damn judge in an event in which we should be playing
wotc_keith says, "I would think that your motivation should be about sharing what you've learned with the entire community and making the play experience richer for everyone involved. Testing new formats, participating in Professor-only tournaments, and stepping up to be a leader in the community are exciting parts of the Professor Program, and ones that I would love to take advantage of."

wotc_keith presents the speaker with question #573 from squirtle_master2:
      Since you mention Proffesors playtesting formats, does that mean you are considering having other DCI sanctioned formats, or would these be just temporary formats like 15-3C?
wotc_keith says, "We are considering other DCI sanctioned formats including multi-player team format and some other surprises."
master_trainer_mike says, "Unfortunately gang, Keith has to go now, but he will be back in future chats."
master_trainer_pat says, "Thanks for coming by Keith."
wotc_keith says, "Well..it looks like I have to head out now. I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak with you. I appreciate your honest and direct questions, and the passion we all share for this game. I will be active on the message boards and back in the future for special chats."
wotc_keith bows gracefully.
master_trainer_mike says, "Ok gang, we will try and answer what questions we can help you with for the rest of the chat."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #586 from squirtle_master2:
      If Proffessors have different rankings would it be based mainly on experience, how many events they helped with, or what?
master_trainer_mike says, "Yes, the higher levels of the Professor program will only be attainable by running or judging events or leagues."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #590 from master_o_pokemon:
      Personally, although you say your recognizing 15+, it seems like your taking the HARD competition away from them. Why?
darkmt_mike says, "Actually we are giving you a harder competition level for the professors."
master_trainer_mike says, "The format for your events takes more skill than mere constructed tournements do."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #591 from martin_moreno:
      How many weeks are planned for each league session?
master_trainer_mike says, "5 weeks"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #592 from crazy_nut_man:
      Is the Professor Program going to be mandatory, if it is, why don't you just make it voluntary
master_trainer_mike says, "No it isn't. You may join it if you want to help Pokemon advance into the future."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #593 from martin_moreno:
      Has their been any response from Toys'R'Us on having Pokemon league year 3?
master_trainer_mike says, "Toys R Us is uncertain of hwether they will be running the league chain-wide or not. All interested stores though, should contact us here at wizards."
master_trainer_pat says, "Individual Toys R Us stores may contact us to get help setting up a league if they aren't already set up"
master_trainer_mike says, "They can call the Merchant Relations department at 1-800-821-8028. This number is for interested retailors (managers) only. Please pass it along."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #594 from slowkingprince:
      why dont you just leave it like it was this year at the sts but in the qualifiers or challenge tournaments, have trips for the 15+ as well.
master_trainer_mike says, "It has been explained already. This way, there are even more events and opportunities for people to play world-wide."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #597 from ninetales2000:
      Will all of the "mechanic" card promos be Trainers?
darkmt_mike says, "No."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #598 from matt_moss:
      I have many friends that are in the 11-14 age group that I often see only once or twice a year. With the 15+ having a seperate event, now I will not be able to see them ever- or until they turn 15?/ I win the Prof chalange? =\
darkmt_mike says, "You can still see them at the Stadium and other challanges just like the STS's."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #599 from y2ace:
      Do you realiaze that if you go through with this many will quit the game becuz our whole modavation to play the game will be to win a free trip to judge in a tournement that WE WANT TO PLAY IN NOT JUDGE
master_trainer_mike says, "Do you realize you will have just as many opportunities to play as before?"
darkmt_mike says, "Your missing the point there will be just as many if not more opportunities for you to play. More challanging ones as well."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #600 from digiwarrior:
      Will the pokemon league feature all of the elements in a holo-foil form? i.e. Grass and Fire, wtc.
master_trainer_mike says, "MMMaybe :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #601 from oldman_405:
      Will there be a new rule for this year that a player already winning a trip cannot enter another tournament that has a trip as its prize. There was a big stink about that this last year.
master_trainer_mike says, "If a player has already won a particular level of event, they will be unable to participate in another idenntical event."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #602 from somexguy:
      How will the Challenge events be distrbuted? State? Regional?
darkmt_mike says, "Regional. There will be Gym and Stadium challanges."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #607 from general_surge:
      You mention how much you think its great that the 15+ers can add more to the community and tournaments by holding them and helping people. I myself like helping people , but I also like to participate in these large level events. What I have gathered from your responses all the Proffesors can participate in are the Proffesor only tournaments and DCI tournaments. I am afraid that some people may not take this as weel as I. How do you feel about that, and what do you think will occur?
master_trainer_mike says, "There will be open age events held at most challenges. You will have exclusive tournaments held for you at each of the Stadium Challenges (these are the STS level events) AND exclusive Professor events held at certain conventions. This is already MORE events than we offered you last year."
master_trainer_mike says, "Then there will be tournaments ending every season of the Pokemon league. Again, thousands of more opportunities country-wide to participate in."
master_trainer_mike says, "I for one, will be living Pokemon to to our best to offer you everything we can in an age of limited resources."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #608 from fleathemagician:
      Re450 what is a "K rating"
master_trainer_mike says, "Basically, the K rating represents how much your Pokemon rating can go up or down in a match. So an event with a higher K rating gives you an increased opportunity to raise your worldwide rating and ranking (if you are good) :)"
darkmt_mike says, "You can still play with them at the Stadium events. Just like the STS's of the past."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #613 from pojothundachu:
      Will the 3 star Pokemon in Neo Destiny have 3 stars?
master_trainer_mike says, "sorry, dunno"

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #614 from ninetales2000:
      Will the "Light" Pokemon be called Light Pokemon?
darkmt_mike says, "Dunno."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #617 from martin_moreno:
      Could you explain to us the new mulligan rule? Many haven't cought on yet.
master_trainer_mike says, "Geez, thats a bit complicated for the chat. Feel free to write in to customer service at custserv@wizards.com and they will answer your questions :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #618 from pikachu89:
      Have all locations received their league kits? Why not tell us what the instructions are in the league kits, so that we know what to expect?
master_trainer_mike says, "Many stores are still in the process of signing up for the league. We are sending kits out to each and every store that contacts us and is interested."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #620 from michel1be:
      The community will be divided between 15- and 15+. Was is not possible to keep the categories like it was before, with the same 'treatment' for 15+ and younger players, and simply add the Prof program for the 15+ who could be interested in that inst
master_trainer_mike says, "Please understand that Pokemon was never meant as a highly competitive game. I'm sure some of you are aware that how we can deal with competition and winning and losing differes as we grow older."
darkmt_mike says, "Folks, you will still be able to participate in the Stadium Challange series just like you did at the STS. There will be events for all ages there."
master_trainer_mike says, "We recognize that the older players still want competitive opportunities and we are offering you more than ever."
master_trainer_mike says, "However, for Pokemon to survive we also need your knowledge, maturity, and help."
master_trainer_mike says, "There simply are not enough of us here at Wizards to run every league location, local tournament, and main events throughout the world."
master_trainer_mike says, "Pokemon is not the fad it once was, now it is coming down to the core players."
master_trainer_mike says, "We want to recognize and reqard you in all the various ways you help keep Pokemon alive."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #624 from fleathemagician:
      before you mentioned soemthing about "origins" what is that?
darkmt_mike says, "It is a large convention that takes place in Columbus Ohio the first part of July."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #626 from michel1be:
      REQ#477 : how is Europe concerned in an event organized in the middle of the USA ?
darkmt_mike says, "They will have their own Challanges and Events."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #630 from digiwarrior:
      Any exact format that we will have to follow at the Challenge Series?
master_trainer_mike says, "No details on formats yet."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #632 from skywolf9653:
      It has been rumoured that DCI will no longer be sanctioning Pokemon? Is this true, and if so will another sanctioning entity be picking up the rights to sanction Pokemon Tournaments?
darkmt_mike says, "Not true."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #633 from pkmnx:
      Any news on when the League Locator on the wotc site will be working?
master_trainer_mike says, "We are working quickly on it and hope to have it up in the next 2 weeks. In the meantime you can call customer srevice at 1-800-324-6496 and they will be glad ot help you."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #634 from starmiemaster:
      Re #468: Season 3 tournaments? Are these the end of the season tournaments held for individual Pokemon Leagues?
master_trainer_pat says, "We have a very limited list of League stores here a Wizards Customer Service...give us a call."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #635 from daytongl:
      Will the season ending tourneys at League be open only to members of a specific league location only or are they open to anyone who may want to walk in the door on tournament day? I ask because the prize support for these tourneys is limited to 32 people.
master_trainer_mike says, "Those tournaments are open to league members only. If you want to participate, join the league."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #636 from matt_moss:
      Any date available yet? Even like vague/the general Month of the event?
master_trainer_mike says, "Sorry guys, details still being worked out, nothing to say yet."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #637 from sqntx:
      If the Challange Series and Professor Program events are not run at the same time, what events do you have planned for the Dads (me) while the Challenge events are taking place?
master_trainer_mike says, "The Professor events are being held at the same time and place as the Stadium Challenges."
master_trainer_mike says, "As for the local Gym Challenges they will be similar to last years QT's."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #638 from squirtle_master2:
      A large tornament at years end has been mentioned, what should we expect of this?
darkmt_mike says, "Details to come."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #639 from matthewssandslash:
      Why would you split the divisions up when it's already fine?
master_trainer_mike says, "They already were slpit, 10 and under, 11-14, and 15 and up, remember?"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #640 from oldman_405:
      New formats are being tested, ie. Hybrid & Neo only. Whats the chance of 1 of them happening at the challenge or professor tourneys?
master_trainer_mike says, "You never know."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #642 from pug89:
      Can 15+ year olds play in league and participate in the Challenge Tournaments?
darkmt_mike says, "Yes. In the Proffessor challange."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #644 from bommerman0234:
      So where are theses events gonna be held
darkmt_mike says, "Watch the Website!"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #648 from generalraikou:
      well a lot of the players think its just a big waste to play to win a trip to be a JUDGE....I know over half of the 15+ community wants to be able to play in something like a worldchampionship playing is fun...judging is not
master_trainer_mike says, "You can still play."
master_trainer_mike says, "You don;t have to help us with Pokemon."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #649 from crazy_nut_man:
      online test eh, don't you have to worry about people trying to cheat the test?
master_trainer_mike says, "Yes, we will do our best. Cheaters never prosper."
darkmt_mike says, "Gengar is watching."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #650 from professor_ooyamo:
      Is the test hard? What kind of stuff is on the Professor test? If I flunk, can I take it again? And how much will it count [LOL]?
darkmt_mike says, "Very hard!"
master_trainer_mike says, "It will be difficult as it will test your knowledge of the game. Hoiwever, it is also there to help you learn more about the game. If you do not pass it the first time, you can certainly take it again in the future."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #652 from daytongl:
      Time for the big man's opinion on this one. Are maple bars donuts?
darkmt_mike says, "Why yes they are thank you very much!"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #653 from the_maple_bar:
      Do you have a general date of when these "Challenge" things will take place?

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #654 from chrisbo:
      You mentioned that there will be different levels of Professorship; any details yet on how those different levels will be attained?
master_trainer_mike says, "Sorry gang, full details not available yet. I know you really want to know, but we don;t want to make stuff up, we want to give you te facts. And when we have them, we wiull."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #655 from slowkingprince:
      what's the difference between "stadium challenges" and "gym challenges"?
master_trainer_mike says, "Gym Challenges are smaller local events similar to last years QT's, the 3 Stadium Challenges scheduled (including one in the Mid-West!!!) will be larger almost STS sized events."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #657 from matthewssandslash:
      Online test to become a professor? Are you overlooking that just PERHAPS maybe some people don't have internet access?
master_trainer_pat says, "Nope"
master_trainer_mike says, "There will also be opportunities for interested players to test for their Professorship at the Stadium Challenges as well."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #658 from the_maple_bar:
      How will the Challenges work? Will you win one Tournament here, win the next there, and the Tourneys will gradually get bigger, then the "STS-like-Event?" I don't seem to understand how the Challenges will work. =\
master_trainer_mike says, "see previous amnswers."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #661 from blacjac:
      When wil we know the rules for Team Battles?

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #662 from digiwarrior:
      Can the multi-player events be open to all age groups?

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #665 from bommerman0234:
      In modfied you banned sneasel how come you cant ban oak and restrict super energy removal item finder ect
darkmt_mike says, "We are very careful with what we ban. To many cards banned cause to many problems later."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #666 from somexguy:
      Are the World Championships going to be invite only?
darkmt_mike says, "Yes."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #670 from matthewssandslash:
      My area has no sanctioned stuff in it (as a result, there are 7 registered players). Will areas like mine have sanctioned stuff at our Leagues?
master_trainer_mike says, "Yes, the tournament that ends each season of the league can be sanctioned if the Gym Leader wants to do so."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #671 from toysruskid:
      Are the Pokemon Center,Lucky Stadium Promos going to be released to a wider audience. Like league?
darkmt_mike says, "Not likely."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #672 from hartwig_bill:
      Any info about Pokemon VS coming here?
master_trainer_mike says, "There are no plans to release VS."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #673 from fleathemagician:
      RE:533 if we can design the card art does that mean there will be more wizard only cards?
darkmt_mike says, "Possibly...."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #674 from oldman_405:
      With the lack of details so far... a lot of people will still have negative reactions. I am looking forward to the changes & what I can do to help the game go further.
master_trainer_mike says, "Thank you. We ask you all to help us keep Pokemon thriving :)"
darkmt_mike says, "Good point. There are many things in the works. Great things that will make this game a lot more exciting in 2002."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #676 from traveling_man:
      Are you saying that 15+ will not be able to compete in the Stadium and Gym Challanges?

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #675 from lizardotc:
      So, if I read all this right...I get to pay my own way to Challenge events, where I get to JUDGE events for free, so you don't have to pay judges, AND WotC saves money because I, and the other 15+ people, are not playing? Or am I wrong?
master_trainer_mike says, "WRONG! You can go to the Challenges and play, period. TThere will be Professor only tournaments but we are NOT asking you to judge at these events."
master_trainer_mike says, "You can help if you want, or you can just keep asking for more like you are doing now."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #678 from oldman_405:
      In the next couple of weeks more details will be available. Wil this include any dates for the premier tournaments? Some of us may want to make vacation plans.
master_trainer_mike says, "They are still being worked out, I promise we will get the up as soon as we can :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #679 from chrisbo:
      RE Q545: It's good to know that the Professor program will have its own championships, but will they be as prestigious and luxurious as the "World Championships"?
darkmt_mike says, "I will be there so...yes."
master_trainer_mike says, "Well, WE will be there! That's pretty prestigious!! :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #682 from slowkingprince:
      what do we get for playtesting future formats?
master_trainer_mike says, "Guys, you can be a prt of Pokemon's future."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #684 from tehairyclefairy:
      Will older (15+) European players need to expect anything different from what is being organised for the US players, Keith?
master_trainer_mike says, "Keith is gone but I can say that this is the vision for Pokemon worldwide."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #690 from skywolf9653:
      Are their any plans to get different sanctioning types for DCI Pokemon Tournaments?
master_trainer_mike says, "Too many formats can get confusing, there are already 3 and you know of at least 1 more coming (multiplayer)."
master_trainer_mike says, "And of course, over time Modified will be "modified.""

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #691 from whatever360:
      Team play question: How many people are needed to build a team?
master_trainer_mike says, "We are looking at 2 player teams."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #699 from starmiemaster:
      Re: #579 - But we have only ONE Professor-only tournament. And no one remembers who came up with it, they only remember who won with it.
master_trainer_mike says, "What? There are at least 5 that I know of so far!"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #701 from feraligatr14:
      What happened to family events where parents and their kids could participate in the same event?
master_trainer_mike says, "You can now."

darkmt_mike presents the speaker with question #702 from squirtle_master2:
      Are there any plans to release Pokemon Web since it has a lot of cards we don't have yet?
darkmt_mike says, "Not at this time."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #703 from fleathemagician:
      I would just like to say personally that I cant wait to be a professor in this program
master_trainer_mike says, "Thank you :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #704 from master_o_pokemon:
      y2ace was right, you are segregating us 15+ players whether you admit to it or not, im sorry if I am being rude but I think I speak for the majority of the 15+ age group when I say that we dont want to "judge" a tournament, we want to be in it, its th
master_trainer_mike says, "One last time gang, we are offering you MORE opportunities to play than ever!!!"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #706 from codey:
      Were will the next West and East Coast Super Trainer Showdowns be located?
master_trainer_mike says, "We are looking into various locations, we will post them as soon as we know (don;t forget the Mid-West Stadium Challenge too!)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #710 from whatever360:
      Can you tell how many WotC organized events will be held in Europe this year? And how many of them are open to all ages?
master_trainer_mike says, "They are also still being worked out."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #711 from yoshi1001:
      (I really need an answer) For the non-holo legendary dogs, does the "discard trainers attached to this Pokémon" work everywhere or just when the Pokémon is active?
master_trainer_mike says, "Just when it is active."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #713 from starmiemaster:
      Hey MTM, did we get any word on what exactly is an effect against the Defending Pokemon for the purpose of Holo Suicune?
master_trainer_mike says, "nope, not yet, sorry :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #715 from evilmewtwo1:
      are the formats for the season ending turneys decided by you or the gym leaders. If you can you tell me the format for this season
master_trainer_mike says, "They are Unlimited (so far)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #717 from crazy_nut_man:
      when are we supposed to get b-day pikachu? Was are gym leader suppose to get it? he didn't give them out.
master_trainer_mike says, "Birthday Pikachu was sent out in the Season 8 kits for the Year 2 league."

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #718 from ipnuaj21:
      So if Holo Entei is put in play and Howls BUT a Neo 3 Parasect is in play CAN the fire energy be attached to FIRE pokemon or does the FIRE remain in the discard pile?
master_trainer_mike says, "Good question! Not sure, we wil have to check :)"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #743 from slowkingprince:
      RE: Q#599 I realize that there will be just as many opportunities to play as before but the opportunities will no longer be for large events where we can also get recognition for winning. What do you have to say about that?
master_trainer_mike says, "You have your own Professor Championship."
master_trainer_mike says, "More than you had before I have to say."
master_trainer_mike says, "There will be tournaments for older players at every large event."
master_trainer_mike says, "......................."
darkmt_mike says, "Folks it's 5pm. I will go on the boards and start a topic. If you want to talk about this more(in a civilized way) I will be happy to respond the best I can. Bye for now!"

master_trainer_mike presents the speaker with question #738 from squirtle_master2:
      Is the plan for each league season to have a foil energy, a new promo, and a classic promo, like the first season does?
master_trainer_mike says, "Yup!"
master_trainer_mike says, "Ok gang, I have to go work on the Professor program for you all."
master_trainer_mike says, "Thank you for coming!"
master_trainer_mike says, "I will ask that you wait and see what we have upcoming for you. We didn't even get into the Pokemon Player Rewards program that is coming out later next year for you all!"
master_trainer_mike says, "Check out our message boards for some more details in a bit."
master_trainer_mike says, "Bye!"