Have Courage and Be Kind

The worst possible thing that can happen to any economy, is when the people lose faith in the currency.  Recently, I have seen users selling their Puca Points (PP) for $.32 per 100.  The conversion, was supposed to be close to $1.00 per 100, but over time, and with many factors, the value has plummeted.  This is actually a good opportunity for those who still hold faith in the system to take advantage.  I do not personally purchase PP, as I get more than enough by sending out cards.  You see, I am fortunate enough to have a desk job working from home, and a pretty great trading setup.  This allows me to be very productive in my professional life, and also trade on Puca. The ability to pop onto the Discord chat during breaks, or walk my shipment to the mailbox on a coffee break, makes for a pretty ripe situation. One of the most important things we can do as traders is actively try to restore the faith of the populace.

I have recently been called many names by the detractors and critics of PucaTrade. I have been labeled a Puca Apologist, and an Evangelist. Funny enough, this doesn’t hurt me.  I know there will always be critics.  To those who feel hurt, and burned by PucaTrade, I offer 2 choices.  Let me clean out your points by sending you cards, or give the new Puca Trade a chance. If you are willing to give it a chance, I will be more than happy to assist on your path to Enlightenment

imageThe first step to learning to live in the new world of Puca Trade, is to be positive.  Those of you that are familiar with Reddit, know that it can be a cesspool of negativity and terrible things.  If you have read anything on Reddit regarding Puca, you probably think that it is the work of the devil, and that Eric Freytag is the anti-Christ. (Spoiler Alert: He’s not.  He’s actually a really chill guy, and genuinely cares about the community. And doesn’t have horns.)

Coming off half-cocked and angry regarding PT will get you no where.  If you rant and rave about not receiving cards, it will become a self fulfilling prophecy, because no one who really cares about the success of the community is going to send cards to a toxic personality.  When I came back to the site, and joined the Discord chat community, I sat back and watched how people chatted and traded.  I noticed a trend.  The nicer, the more positive someone was, the more cards they got. I was genuinely surprised, because it has been my experience that this behavior was unique among magic players.  I quickly started to get to know the regulars, just by watching, and started paying attention to one particular trader.  His name is NimitzBlitz, and has proven to be one of the most selfless people I have met as far as sending cards to people.  When Nim is in the room, he rarely, if ever asked for anything in return.  If someone needs something, and he has it, he sends it.  It was obvious that this user genuinely cared about what happened with the community, and I wanted to emulate this behavior.

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So if Step 1 to my new found Puca Success is Being Positive. Step 2 is to Be Kind. I have found that the nicer I am to people, the nicer they are back to me.  This sounds silly, and probably something my 8 year old knows and practices, but when it comes to trading on Puca, if I do selfless things, people will reciprocate that kindness.

Step 3 is a lot less obvious. I advertise my trades.  I post screen caps of a lot of my trades in chat. Nothing huge, just a quick “Hey Bob, I sent you this, welcome to the chat!” One of the easiest ways to get people to look at your profile direct, is to be seen helping someone else out.  I have received more trades sent my way as a result of sending a new user something sweet than I have in any prearranged reciprocal trade. That benefit is actually secondary to my real reason for advertising trades.  I do it, to help people regain faith in the system.  If traders see that I sent so and so a Fetch Land, maybe they will be more apt to send their cards.  I have noticed within the chat imageon Discord that the room gets more active when sweet stuff is traded, and more people start sending out.  Once someone sends something cool, someone else wants to join in on the fun, and the end result is healthy trades. Not to mention, once someone brags about zeroing someone out (trading them enough cards to bring them to zero) it becomes a silly competition.

Step 4 to my recent success, is accepting what I cannot change. Some people are just grumpy and want out.  Not much I can do to change their mind.  I avoid the negative places where people gang up and bash the Admin.  Its easier to be Positive and Kind, if I am not surrounding myself by negativity.  If someone comes into the chat, and is really hostile or mad, I just block them and move on.  Trying to be kind. Other things that I cannot change, is the obvious problems that the site has had.  Yes, there was issues with Inflation.  Yes, Futuresite made things tough for many people.  I cannot change that, but am working to be a positive force.

Step 5, I never start a discussion without something to offer.  Reciprocal trading isn’t the worst possible thing going on right now.  But, as a personal rule, I do not start conversations with, ‘I have this for you, what do you have for me?’ I change the dialog a bit.  If I want to score a reciprocal trade to get something sweet that I want, I first make sure I have something to bring to the table first. One of the best trades I have had went something like this ‘Hey, I have this card and this card for you.  They are coming your way regardless.  But I have 3 Gideon’s, and I know you really need them.  I was gonna buy list them to a local shop, to try and score some fetches, but I’d rather toss them your way, and see if you can help me get what I need.’ BINGO.  He got his Gideon’s and I got my fetches. I truly feel if I approached this user with a ‘Hey I have this for you, what’s in it for me?’ approach, I would have had far less success.  I was able to hit Steps 1, 2 and 5 all at once.

Step 6, Send to new users. I always check the new user filter for people I can send cards to.  I read somewhere that a new user is 400% more likely to subscribe, if they receive an unsolicited trade while they are still a new user. If that is true, it is all of our best interest to encourage new users.  More subscribers means more people paying the bills, so these Puca Dudes can eat.  But more happy traders in the pool of Senders and Receivers also means a better chance of getting that super rare card that you want.  I have been known to offer bonuses to new users, instead of other users, when I get cards filled.
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So far, I believe I have made the Puca Experience better for those around me.  I will be evolving and adding ideas and concepts to this list as time goes on.  For now, the most important message I have to give:

This is our community. We can shape it to be what we want.  If we want to have a healthy and thriving space to trade our cardboard to get other cardboard we need, no one is going to hand it to us.  We need to make the community the type of community we want. Stop focusing on the past, and lets move forward positively as a group.

The best way we can restore faith, is to act.  Show people that the community is alive. Talk about the good experiences.  When you see someone post a disparaging comment, back it up with a positive experience you had. If you haven’t had a positive experience in a while, join us in the #trades-paper chat on Discord, and I will personally see to it that you have a positive experience to talk about.

Jeremy aka “Strictly Average” is an ‘average’ guy with ‘average’ plans. He is the creator and overboss of Strictly Average Gaming, which includes the Patreon group and StrictlyAverageMTG.com

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