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Apollo
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Bake-off discussion Reply to this Post
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Both in the Viridian and Midnight bake-off event threads, there is some discussion on the format of bake-off events. I thought I'd open a discussion thread so that the actual event threads can continue unhindered!

My aim for a duty puzzle bake-off is to allow entry to as many people as is practicable, while keeping the event to a reasonable time, and keeping the support overhead at a reasonable level.

With the introduction of the massively-multi-station ships, I feel we've achieved a pretty good compromise. Participation levels have doubled or tripled from the old style bake-offs (depending on the puzzle), and the event duration is shorter than the previous format. However, the events (especially on Viridian, where I've run bake-offs the last three months) are still hugely oversubscribed, even with no broadcast for jobbing. People feel aggrieved if they don't get jobbed, even when they've applied in a perfectly timely manner. And I get streams of irritated / sarcastic / abusive tells from people who don't make it, which frankly I find pretty unpleasant when I'm doing my best to run an event for as many people as possible.

So what are the options? How do we structure the events to maximize the number of participants, minimize the administration, keep the duration reasonable?

We could restrict bake-offs with stat requirements - minimum of solid / legendary, for example. I'd rather not, as one of the good things about the bake-offs is that it's open to everyone to puzzle against the best, and I'd be sad to see all bake-off becoming Ultimate List contests.

We could make bake-offs pre-registered. This disadvantages those that don't spend as much time on the forum, though, and makes it more likely that the same people take part each time! Perhaps with this, we'd take a certain number pre-registered, job them first, then open jobbing generally once the pre-registered are done.

We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.

We could do qualification heats, perhaps 2, 3, or 4 of them at different times, leading up to the top 15 people or so from each going through to a single semi-final.

We could do more frequent sudden-death bake-offs - 150 people, a single round of 30 sea battle turns, top of the duty report gets the familiar (maybe make these tan familiar bake-offs!).

We could mix and match, one month having an open jobbing bake-off, next time having pre-registration of solid/legendary puzzlers only, next time having sudden-death bake-offs.

There are other ways, too. I'd like to know what seems the best for the people to currently take part in the bake-offs - and the people who miss out because they're oversubscribed! I can't promise that we can implement any particular suggestion, because the solutions would need to be viable for us as well. I'd be grateful for comments and ideas, though, to see whether we could optimize the process any. It could be that the general consensus is that we've got a reasonably good approach right now that works fairly well!

Ok, folks, over to you, and thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
[Jul 1, 2006 6:15:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
rixation

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Apollo wrote: 

We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.

This seems the easiest and most logical, therefore gets my vote.
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[Jul 1, 2006 6:50:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
metalnicka

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Apollo wrote: 

We could do more frequent sudden-death bake-offs - 150 people, a single round of 30 sea battle turns, top of the duty report gets the familiar (maybe make these tan familiar bake-offs!).


I really like this idea. It is much more simple than doing rounds, and is a lot less work for you running the event, meaning they could be done more often (with tan familiars!).
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[Jul 1, 2006 9:33:33 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kerix

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Epi wrote: 
Apollo wrote: 
We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.

This seems the easiest and most logical, therefore gets my vote.

I agree. And from the perspective of someone who didn't get into either of the recent sailing bakeoffs because of sending my tell too late (1:38 after jobbing starts is too late? that's insane) I want to emphasize that not getting to play in an event you were really looking forward to is very much not fun.

Also, the idea of getting to play against all the best only works if all the best get to play.
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Shuranthae

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I'm going to agree with Epi and Kerix. And not just because they're agreeing with me.



Okay, that was the real reason actually.

Edit: And I'm still in favor of either making it so the winner is determined by overall score (if you keep all rounds identical) or making the rounds different to reflect different styles of play. Even with the latter, you can mix it up by having it 10/20/30 turns from prelims to finals one bakeoff and then 30/20/10 the next bakeoff, or with bigger/smaller numbers.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Shuranthae at Jul 1, 2006 10:34:52 AM]
[Jul 1, 2006 10:32:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Apollo
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Kerix wrote: 
(1:38 after jobbing starts is too late? that's insane)
It really is. Some time I need to go through my logs to count up how quickly the first 150 send a tell, and then count up how many don't get in. I need to find myself a little more fruitcake before I can face that, though.

Would there be complete outrage if, in addition to the main scheduled bake-offs, I was to jump on a ship occasionally on the spur of the moment and broadcast "carpentry bake-off now, send tell for job, win tan octopus"? Having suggested it above in the context of having several shorter bake-offs instead of one big one, the idea has grown on me as an impromptu event instead.
[Jul 1, 2006 10:47:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
Shuranthae

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I kinda like the bakeoffs as big spruced up Events but if there'll still be planned and announced ahead of time bakeoffs, I suppose I can't really complain. As a side note though, I'm going to laugh at the number of pillages/events such an spontaneous broadcast would ruin (which is another reason for in my mind).

Btw, I miss your old avatar. Oh the pretty. =(
[Jul 1, 2006 11:09:30 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Apollo
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Shuranthingummy wrote: 
Btw, I miss your old avatar. Oh the pretty. =(

Oh the VERY pretty. All hail Kingpriam!

This rather luscious one is by Sky (Evermind) and is specially for the familiar Mystery Writing contest that's just started (see sticky in this very forum </plug>). They're portraying me as a suspect in a serious nose crime. Can you believe it? Me?
[Jul 1, 2006 11:32:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
ponytailguy

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We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.
I got to run a boat for Bia in a ?carpentry? (might have been bilge) bakeoff where we did just that for the prelims. It worked well enough, but the problem is consistancy... when you have two people handling two different boats, you get different treatment. It also creates gaping holes in the pecking order: which issues can I resolve without needing to bug the managing OM? Are there any issues I can resolve?

The upside is that if you go "top X from each boat moves on", then my management style being different from yours doesn't matter, since everyone who is competing at that point is only competing against the other people on their boat, who are all being treated (presumably) identically.

Personally, I liked how it worked out. I got a few compliments about how people preferred my CO style to the typical bakeoff fare, and had fun as an assistant. But Bia mentioned that she was mixed on the results, and that matters more than my perspective.
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The Ghost of Oceans Past
[Jul 1, 2006 12:07:36 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rixation

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Would there be complete outrage if, in addition to the main scheduled bake-offs, I was to jump on a ship occasionally on the spur of the moment and broadcast "carpentry bake-off now, send tell for job, win tan octopus"?

I'd love you so much for this. Er, not in a "happy" kinda way of course, but...yeah...much <3.
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[Jul 1, 2006 12:38:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Piplicus_BNO

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Would it even be possible for the developers to put together some code that adds a 9th (Pollo is 8th) class of ship, something that looks exactly identical to a grand frigate, but has a 600-limit capacity, and has the same bilge/damage rate as sloop (i.e. one person on bilge is enough)?

Normally, getting the developers to do things isn't really a sage thing. But this may be.
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What Pip tried to do was something totally unprecedent. He, in some strange way, used Midnight as a test server, without him even knowing. [Crap, it sucks I was not online when he did that :'(... pfft, anyways]


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[Jul 1, 2006 12:51:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.puzzlepirates.com    Intermission #3 - click here! [Link]  Go to top 
metalnicka

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Re: Bake-off discussion Reply to this Post
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Would it even be possible for the developers to put together some code that adds a 9th (Pollo is 8th) class of ship, something that looks exactly identical to a grand frigate, but has a 600-limit capacity, and has the same bilge/damage rate as sloop (i.e. one person on bilge is enough)?

Normally, getting the developers to do things isn't really a sage thing. But this may be.


They might face a bit of a lag problem there, though. There's lag on a full Grand Frigate, so this could lead to extreme lag. Good idea with the bilge/damage rate though. I'm sure the developers can do something.
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[Jul 1, 2006 1:00:17 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
z02

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I like the idea of spontanious bakeoffs, perhaps even on a 163 hour cycle, or whatever. If you could automate the process, even better. Then once every few months, have a real bakeoff for people who finished in the top 10 or so in the automated bakeoffs, with the prize being a colored familiar.

Automating would require more code, but it would save time in the long run. It would also be a great opportunity to code in duty reports to the chat log (as an option). :)
[Jul 1, 2006 1:24:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shuranthae

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Psst... that's not what spontaneous means.
[Jul 1, 2006 1:29:56 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
z02

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Psst... that's not what spontaneous means.


True, but if you harrass me for my grammar, I'm going to ask you to explain that further. For bakeoffs, is total points what determines the winner, or average sparklies (if sparklies had finer granularity)? Is it best to clear a board with triples quickly, or should you go for the biggest combos you can? Does it matter if it's 10 rounds or 30?
[Jul 1, 2006 1:57:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Apollo
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I should be absolutely clear that I see no chance that there will be automated repeating bake-offs. In my suggestion of the sudden-death bake-offs, they would have to be sporadic and unannounced.
[Jul 1, 2006 2:50:01 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
evilbob71

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I think the current setup is a good idea. I have not taken part in many, well, only 2, but I feel the current format used for the sailing bakeoff on Hunter and Viridian was a good format. Getting in required a tell a second after the jobbing time and ya I never made it to the next round because the competition was hard, but it was fun. I wouldn't be against maybe 2 boats to increase participation and then pull the top 16 from each boat and then have everyone go at it for the top prizes then and there. Like I said, I don't have much experience. The one thing I worry about is with different boats/heats is the pirate who feels jipped getting on the boat with all the people who have won this before as compared to his friend who got on the easier of the 2 boats. I am not greatly concerned with this as everyone tends to be ungodly in the puzzle.

My main concern is boosting participation. I think these are great events even if you don't win them. I have had the pleasure to do 2 sailing bakeoffs this week and I loved seeing how I stacked up compared to the best. I am an ultimate, but seeing the board, I can see I have a ways to go.

Hope this is helpful, look forward to the next.
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erm, Rebe, I thank you, I'm not really the person on the "hang you' bandwagon"

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I think mixing it up is the best way to keep everyone happy. Tan familiars for spontaneous ones sounds like a good idea too. I like all the above ideas, so do them all I say!

Of course, if you're mixing it up, that means there's room for an uber-elite one. I'm thinking it would have to be on Ice for true all-ocean uberness, and the winner could choose which ocean they get a familiar on. Those that want to compete would likely have to go to some lengths to make sure they have a character of suitable standing on Ice - well, so be it!
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Rubyspoon: [Midnight] BSP, Looterati; [Viridian] OD, Morrowind.
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manky

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I thought I posted here... I guess I ought to be in bed :/

I quite like them having varying length rounds, with one being short. A lot of good puzzlers can maintain an incred, but few can get it quickly. It'd be nice to continue to reward that level of skill. Also sending all the increds through to the next round regardless of number is a very good idea. Makes things so much shorter :D Plus if you use multiple ships, there's no arguing.

And tan? So is the plan to make most of the game familiars tan, and the forum ones coloured?
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taelac

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Apollo wrote: 

How do we structure the events to maximize the number of participants, minimize the administration, keep the duration reasonable?

We could make bake-offs pre-registered...


Once in a while it would probably be okay, but I wouldn't want to see it become the full-time option. I'm concerned that limited pre-reg spots plus limited on-the-spot jobs might increase the nastyness and/or frequency of those tells you're already suffering.

 
We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.


This one's definitely worth trying out, if you can get enough help. I'll volunteer to help on Sage, time permitting and not enough better qualified help available. No subscription, so no officer privileges on the blue oceans. I'd want to compete on Hunter or Viridian.

 
We could do qualification heats...leading up to the top 15 people or so from each going through to a single semi-final.


It would be a nice mega-event, but this looks like it would get really old to run in short order. What about using (existing or new) event characters to run qualification bake-offs, with tickets to the finals similar to Booty or No Booty? Then, if the final wasn't at a time the qualifiers could make, they could turn their ticket in on a different final? I suggest this for once in a while - I'm not sure it would be feasible as a complete overhaul suggestion.

Regarding spontaneous sudden-death tan familiar bake-offs, where should I send the Fruitcake of Appreciation? I should warn you that any such broadcast might well subject you to adolescent squealing and jumping about followed by an emphatic virtual kiss on your non-existant nose from a normally much more restrained and definitely not adolescent pirate lass.

Edit: lookee - quote tags come in pairs!
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~Taelac
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by taelac at Jul 2, 2006 11:52:47 AM]
[Jul 1, 2006 7:12:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
imwamphyr

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Apollo wrote: 
Would there be complete outrage if, in addition to the main scheduled bake-offs, I was to jump on a ship occasionally on the spur of the moment and broadcast "carpentry bake-off now, send tell for job, win tan octopus"? Having suggested it above in the context of having several shorter bake-offs instead of one big one, the idea has grown on me as an impromptu event instead.
Outrage? Wrong end of the emotional spectrum.

Unless you propose that they'd only be spontaneous, with never any being scheduled.
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Selling my Grunion Collection!
174 ships, 164 sloops, ALL GRUNIONS!
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Apollo
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Muroni wrote: 
Unless you propose that they'd only be spontaneous, with never any being scheduled.
Absolutely not. These would be extras for people who are around and able to take part, but the normal scheduled bake-offs are the main bake-off route.
[Jul 2, 2006 1:41:41 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
nodrey

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I personally love these ideas, especially because it would mean more bake-offs. I love the chance to compete against the ocean's elite and would relish the thought of more competition to go around. Anything that adds more tough competitions are a plus in my book.
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The_Fume



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After jobbing for both the Hunter and Viridian events, I feel like a hypocrite posting this.

There needs to be a "home ocean" for each IP address, account or computer. The Devs have a system in place to "taint" your computer to the point where you cannot log on to any account from your computer. Why not use something similar to that to set a home ocean for each account and computer so that the Viridianers best go against Viridian's best and Midnighters goes against Midnight's best. The fact that the semi-finals had an "able” in it is a sure sign that ocean hopping is happening and is a problem. And before you say “I play on all oceans!” save yer breath. You set your home ocean to which ever ocean you claim as home. If you decide to “retire” your pirate, you can change your home ocean 30 days after you request an ocean change. The ocean change should not be able to be exploited due to the long delay on ocean change.

The home ocean does not preclude you from going over to different oceans to practice, pillage or anything other than participation in all tournaments (familiar or not) and bakeoffs.

This removes the problem of coordinating "stat only" or "experience only" bake-offs which are not feasible for the event planner. If a narrow/able viridian sailor wants a hand at the event, they should be able to. The issue only arises when a narrow/able alt comes over from another ocean and takes a viridian pirates place.

The Fume
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Bia
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As I noted regarding the changes to the tournaments, we cannot institute any development changes. Further, the advantages of such a system do not seem to be worth the amount of developer time it would take to implement.

Very often, if any players do win familiars on oceans they do not normally play, those familiars are used to run further events. Somewhat to my personal delight, these familiar events often take the form of ones we Ocean Masters could not run ourselves.

I have considered trying to run duty bake-offs in the same format as crafting bake-offs, but I am not sure if that format can scale well. While they have been quite manageable with the response I have received so far, it may be more difficult if the organiser has to deal with 200 people responding as they advance ranks.
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[Jul 2, 2006 10:45:43 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Apollo
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The_Fume wrote: 
After jobbing for both the Hunter and Viridian events, I feel like a hypocrite posting this.

There needs to be a "home ocean" for each IP address, account or computer. The Devs have a system in place to "taint" your computer to the point where you cannot log on to any account from your computer. Why not use something similar to that to set a home ocean for each account and computer so that the Viridianers best go against Viridian's best and Midnighters goes against Midnight's best.

Just think through some of the possible situations.

If four family members share a computer (and IP address), why should we rule that even if they have totally separate accounts on totally different oceans, they can only take part in events on one ocean? What about shared school addresses? Everyone has to play the same ocean always? It's better to play different oceans - because if there's only one PC, at least the events are at different times usually!

If I have three accounts, two subscribed on subscription oceans, and one buying doubloons on a doubloon ocean, all used from the same PC and IP address, why wouldn't each account be eligible for bake-offs?

If I have one account, subscribed and buying doubloons, and I play on more than one ocean, why should I be barred from all but one ocean? I pay for subscription, and I pay for doubloons. I have a right to the events on both subscription and doubloon oceans.

If I play for 40 hours per week, spread equally across five oceans, why am I less entitled to enter a bake-off on a particular ocean than someone who only plays 2 hours a week but just on one ocean?

It's just not viable, and as Bia says, it's certainly not within our ability as Oceanmasters to do it! :)

Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far, by the way.
[Jul 2, 2006 1:11:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
Peanutswench

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We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.


This is a great idea. You can have round one being two of these ships PvPing each other. The next round takes the top half of each onto one ship for a shorter round to establish the final ranking.

 
We could do more frequent sudden-death bake-offs - 150 people, a single round of 30 sea battle turns, top of the duty report gets the familiar (maybe make these tan familiar bake-offs!).


I really like this idea for tan familiars.. Perhaps (after the format has been tested) players could start to run these at some point to free up OM time, and allow for more to be run on all oceans. Because the bake-off goes by the duty report, a player volunteer (who has a proven track record for event running) should be able to accomplish this without fear of favoritism.
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[Jul 2, 2006 1:28:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Apollo
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Nuts wrote: 
 
We could do more frequent sudden-death bake-offs - 150 people, a single round of 30 sea battle turns, top of the duty report gets the familiar (maybe make these tan familiar bake-offs!).


I really like this idea for tan familiars.. Perhaps (after the format has been tested) players could start to run these at some point to free up OM time, and allow for more to be run on all oceans. Because the bake-off goes by the duty report, a player volunteer (who has a proven track record for event running) should be able to accomplish this without fear of favoritism.

Ooooh. Intriguing idea.
[Jul 2, 2006 1:32:19 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://blog.puzzlepirates.com/apollo/ [Link]  Go to top 
TheBeaver

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Apollo wrote: 

We could make more than one massively-multi-station ship in parallel, and pull the semi-finalists from both ships.

This seems the easiest and most logical, therefore gets my vote.


Agreed.
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[Jul 2, 2006 2:25:36 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Peter_Blood

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I don't have a problem with an experience stat requirement, like solid or weighty. Doesn't keep people that don't score high out, but will limit people just jumping oceans for familiars, or atleast make them spend time on ocean beforehand. I've got nearly weighty or more on 4 oceans, I go for the competition, love carping against people I usually don't get to.

I'd love an OCL style bakeoff with periodic bake offs accumulating points, with top 6 or so on a WB or other type of ship at end of month or so. Varying lengths of time, so not just tested on one time limit, but several. Pretty sure that'd take way too much work from people running it, having to run a bake off 4 or more times a month. Course the prelims could possibly be run by event people, not just OMs, with screenshots required to hand out points.

For some reason I prefered how bakeoffs were done before overloaded ships. One exception, it was very annoying seeing people with incs left out of semis, when people with exc would sneak in, just cause for some reason their round didn't do as well. I've yet to participate in an overloaded ship bake off yet, thought the carp one had lag problems as well as problems with carp bugs, but dunno.

Definitely want to see more bake offs, my only chance at a familiar, lol, after another first round loss in SF one today. Hope there can be some way of making them easier to run, sure enjoy them.
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Robberbaron

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