Ideas for Improving Future WoW Factor Events

Holy Crap, Look At Them All

Holy Crap, Look At Them All
11 FPS, baby!

So the WoW Factor Show occurred last night on Wyrmrest.  I’d like to take a moment up front to thank the organizers and sponsors for taking the time and effort to put on the event.  It’s no small feat to organize such a thing and keep all attendees in a circle for such a long time frame.

Attendance, however, has clearly grown past expectation.  Because I think way too much about things like this, I’ve cooked up some ideas that might improve future events.

1.) Hire an emcee.

While it would take several events to settle on the perfect candidate, the right emcee could drastically improve participant experience by filling dead time and guiding the “flow” of the event.  This would be especially true in situations with “technical difficulties” (see #2, below), but also for those souls who cannot connect to the livestream for whatever reason.  It is important to note that while he or she would be in communication with the judges, the emcee would not be a judge.  He or she has no time for that.

This person would ideally be quick typist, because a key function of the emcee would be to talk to random players about their outfits while judges are doing their judging thing.

“Whats-her-name here is wearing this awesome shirt!”, or “So let’s look at So-and-so here!  He’s got the Blah Blah Blah chestpiece.  Where does that drop, So-and-so?”

Time consuming?  Most certainly.  This is why the emcee cannot be a judge.  But the consumption of time would fill the moments that participants otherwise spend standing around being bored.  More importantly, it recognizes random attendees who have not and probably will not win for whatever reason.  This would significantly improve overall mood, I think, because every attendee, whether they admit to it or not, wants some recognition.  (Refer to point 8 in this post, and also every comment ever last night about how “nobody’s looking at meeeeeee.”)

As a side benefit, it would also cue in the clueless who walk into the area and insist on asking publicly, “what the heck is this?  Why are so many people here?”

1a.) And/or hire more judges.

As the number of participants increases, there’s a definite need to scale the number of judges accordingly to keep the process up to speed.

2.) Have backup for “technical difficulties,” because communication is key.

One of the biggest challenges the organizers experienced  this time around was in the form of a failing livestream.  Putting aside the time spent trying to get it to work, this was a huge problem for the pacing of the event as it was the primary mode of communication with attendees.  An alternative, perhaps, could be a combination of an emcee/quick typist in communication with officials over a “Judges’ Vent Channel.”  That way, organizers can communicate with each other while the emcee delivers relevant information to attendees.

It seems that, in the past, a very personal style was the standard mode of operation for WoW Factor.  Judges talked on the livestream as they were going about, which passed the time for participants while also making prize-awarding reasoning as clear as possible.

Unfortunately, once the livestream went down this time around, no modifications were made to the standard practice. This had the effect of turning the contest into three or four hours of waiting around aimlessly.  Periodically a judge would cheer at a person and shout they had won.  Oh.  Okay.  Wait, what?

In the absence of information, players are wont to make up their own reasoning so that it all makes sense.  This kind of thing is bad, because people are always likely to think of themselves as victims of the system (they are not being considered or they are being blatantly ignored), and as humans, they are inevitably offended by what they perceive to be  unfair treatment.

Telling the players what’s up via typing, in the case of livestream fail (or even in addition to a functioning livestream), works against this inherent tendency.  “This transmog has an amazing sense of character to it,” “These shoulders work so well with the color in the chest piece,” or even “OMG I LOVE THESE GOGGLES” would help.

While it can never silence all the naysayers and those who believe that favoritism is going on hardcore (rumors of judges giving prizes only to Real ID friends abounded),  it would do much to sway those who are not so damned cynical.  It would also help the people who are bored out of their gourds.  (While I don’t buy the Real ID conspiracy theory, I suspect there was an affinity for red/gold/black color schemes.  Must be the Silvermoon location influencing the judges’ subconscious …)

Obviously, the competition is subjective, and it will never be possible to satisfy everyone.  That’s not the goal here, however.  We want to preclude negativity in order to promote good times.

3.) Location, Location, Location

Two things seemed very clear to me: interest in WoW Factor has grown quickly past organizers’ expectations, and Aurosalia was going to drive me absolutely friggin’ mad.  (GAWD!  I should’ve stood on the other side of the room.)

Because the judges are primarily from different servers (and sometimes different countries altogether), they typically create level 1 characters on the event server and hold the event in a town.  Otherwise, fate would have one mob aggro all the judges and that would be that.  Awkward!

While it’s certainly nice to have an easily identifiable spot such as the Spire, the dramatic increase in attendance makes “indoors” an unsustainable choice.  It’s time to think of alternatives.

If the competition is kept in town: Take Silvermoon, for example.  Rather than crowd inside Sunfury Spire, another option might be holding the event in one of the more open areas, such as the Bazaar.  Alternatively, participants could be lined up on both sides of the street in any part of town (although one hopes not Murder Row, because it’s too dang small and also kind of seedy).

If the competition is moved outside: Event organizers could also consider an “outdoors” location in a starter area, such as somewhere in the wide plains of Mulgore, where the things don’t attack, the available space is large and the obstructions are few.  As long as there’s a flight path nearby, this wouldn’t be any more inconvenient than somewhere in some town.

4.) Just Ditch the Second Round

Why?  First and foremost, time.  Even setting aside the technical issues experienced at the beginning of the contest, we were a good two and a half to three hours in by the time round two came about.  With the increase in attendance, multiple rounds will become correspondingly tedious unless action is taken to decrease time spent in them (hiring more judges, instituting a level limit, having a competition devoted specifically to a type of armor, etc. etc. etc.).

Another reason to get rid of it: this particular round really, really gets people riled up.

Even if you didn’t win anything in the first round, you’re theoretically still eligible for the second.  On the other hand, if you did win in the first round, you are not excluded from winning in the second.  Accordingly, though the format of the event has changed over time, many of the winners in round two have also been from the pool of winners in round one.  At the Wyrmrest event, all round two winners were pulled solely from the winners of round one.

Therefore, this round is a more or less a waste of time for the majority of attendees.  They are not, in all likelihood, in consideration for the bigger prizes of round two.  At the same time, it makes them think they have a chance.  It also gives people dreams of easy money (you also have to consider that for some players, like me, the notion of a mere 1k as a reward is amazingomg), which are almost certain to get dashed in round one and then dashed again in round two.

Did I mention that as humans, we are invariably offended when things seem unfair?  It’s not that all folks believe that they ought to win money, or even that they ought to win in the first place.  Lots would be perfectly satisfied if they were convinced that they had a decent chance and the best won.  But waiting around for hours to see the same people get rewarded dreamy sums for decisions that are not understood can be a real pisser.

Therefore, rather than deal with this whole dynamic, just get rid of round two.  You remove a major source of discontent while saving organizers, judges and players alike their time and effort.

While I feel I ought to write some sort of pithy conclusion here, since those are my suggestions as they currently stand, I’ll just leave off and let the post be.  It is an open topic and I’m sure there are many other ideas for making every event a little better than the last!

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12 thoughts on “Ideas for Improving Future WoW Factor Events

    1. Prinnie Dood Post author

      I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the event on other realms. So this post is just based off my observations from the Wyrmrest Accord event, different threads and things I have read, and lastly my own experiences in cosplay contests. The latter have always had an emcee as a pace setter for the event and general comedian/ne to keep things light, especially during times of “crap, xyz isn’t working” or crowd unrest. It of course never solved all the drama, but the good ones were exceptionally skilled at keeping the crowd entertained. With as many people as came to the Wyrmrest Accord event, having someone to function as a professional distraction and public-smoother-over-of-problems could be handy.

      Reply
      1. Ironyca

        I see. The Wyrmrest Accord event was the only one with tech issues so bad we had to leave the stream completely, as such I’d argue it is not representative of our usual events.

        I’ll get to responding properly to your post soon, and we appreciate the feedback. I was actually curious about feedback on this event which is the only one without a stream, although several of your points we have addressed several times in the past.

        Reply
  1. Noelani

    Hello there,

    I’m Noelani, the organiser of the WoW Factor events. I appreciate your feedback and would like to address some of the points which you’ve raised.

    Firstly I’d like to apologise for the technical issues of the event and say that I admire the patience that so many of the Wyrmrest community showed. This was our first serious tech problem in over 6 months, but I suppose it was inevitable that something would jam the gears at some point. This brings me on to addressing your second point – backup (I’ll back-track to point #1 later).

    Given the issues yesterday, I fully agree that we need a firm backup. We did initially have my own twitchtv lined up for support, but my upstream wouldn’t accommodate a particularly high quality visual and would thus be unsuitable. Communication is also impeded by the fact that Ironyca and I have EU accounts and are unable to address participants on US realms, which placed the burden on our guest judge for the night. We’ve never before been without a core WoW Factor judge able to communicate with the audience, so our progress suffered more than usual. We’ll endeavour to have a firm technical alternative in future.

    Point 1

    With regards to an MC, that’s also a valid suggestion, although somewhat more complex. At this point I feel that I should address one of the terms that you used with regards to MCs and judges, that is to “hire”. The WoW Factor is a non-profit project and all of our events have been run without funding, both regarding in-game and real-life currency. We have of course received many generous contributions from individuals to sponsor our events, but all of that goes back out as prizes.

    Taking that into consideration, we’re not in a position to actually hire anybody. Rather, we’re reliant on the support of those who’re willing to offer a substantial amount of their time to help our efforts. There have been a few so far that have taken to time to guest judge and/or help the process via /say and /yell, but asking them to act as an entertainer for 2 1/2 hours might be a push. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of an MC is fantastic, and is actually something we’ve discussed in the past, but finding a suitable and willing soul to put in all of that effort is quite another matter.

    Before I move on from your first point, I’d also like to quickly address the idea of having additional judges. This too is something we’ve discussed previously, but have rejected the idea as it actually complicates matters and lengthens the process. The more judges in attendance, the lengthier the discussion regarding an outfit will be, and a greater concensus is needed when determining a prize value in round 1. It’s also not feasible to divide the judging teams, as that will complicate the distribution of gold, of clarifying which outfits have been seen, and above all, it’d be impossible to broadcast via livestream. We’ve tried with five judges in the past and it simply didn’t improve pace.

    Point 3

    Next I’d like to address point 3, the location of our events. This is one that I’ve covered multiple times in the past, so I’ll keep it short. Events outside allow for people to mount up, allowing people to mount is absolute chaos for the judging process and the quality of the livestream. We tried it once, before we were even branded as the WoW Factor, and all it takes is one individual to show up and mount their tundra mammoth or drake, and it obscures half of the participants. Indoor venues are the only option to prevent this kind of trolling (and we pick up a lot of trolls along the way, Wyrmrest was extremely calm compared to our usual events), so we’re actually rather limited in our options. We used to conduct events in Garrosh’s room in Orgrimmar, but it’s considerably smaller than Sunfury Spire, so participants were event more cramped. In an ideal world I’d absolutely have events outside, at a different spot each week, but circumstances don’t allow for such luxury!

    Point 4

    Once again you’ve highlighted a point which is under discussion among the WoW Factor team, as we respect that the current round system does seem to confuse some participants. Interestingly though, this was never an issue raised in our first fifteen or so events, but has cropped up the past month or two.

    The initial reason for the implimentation of the second round was in response to requests from the earliest events run by Keelhaul, where all winners would be awarded an equal amount of gold, usually 1,000g. Often, participants would ask Keelhaul to pick “who was the best?”, and so the second round was added. We agreed that it was a suitable way to add some suspense and climax to the event, as opposed to ending on a very level note. Furthermore, as half of our events carry item prizes, such as mounts, we inevitably had to highlight the top winners on some occasions, so this structure has persisted.

    Recently, a few individuals have expressed their dislike at characters winning both in rounds 1 and 2, although we’ve established that it would be impossible for us to highlight an outright winner at the beginning of the event, and then proceed to talk to the rest of the participants for 2 hours before finally awarding the winner. We think of it as a competition with inclusion into the finale, rather than elimination, but leave the door open for latecomers who have amazing outfits. As you pointed out, everybody is theoretically eligible for round 2, and whilst many times the top picks are plucked from round 1, we have had numerous late entries scoring a top prize. Can it be a let down for participants to wait an extra 30 minutes through round 2? Certainly. But it’s impossible to cater to both the lovers and the haters of the current competition structure.

    We’ve constantly been tweaking various elements of the event and we don’t claim to have everything adjusted perfectly, but the majority of choices made at this point have been based on more than six months of experience. It’s entirely possible this setup will be altered, we do have a few ideas bouncing around for what we can do to improve, but round 2 was actually a later addition made due to popular demand.

    Once again, I appreciate your feedback on the events and your points will be duly noted, but I hope you’ll also be able to understand some of the choices we’ve made with regards to the above matters.

    Regards,
    Noelani

    Reply
    1. Prinnie Dood Post author

      Thanks for the lengthly response! I hate to think how many of my ideas are the same old, same old. I do understand and indeed appreciate that everyone who has put the WoW Factor event together has responded to experience in past situations. I simply wanted to toss my two cents in to see if it could make a positive difference.

      Re: Backup

      I’m definitely not aware of all the multimedia options out there in the world, but I do encounter Vent regularly for raids and random runs for places like Naxx. Would it be possible to have a simultaenous “broadcast” over Vent? It might not provide the visual, but users could still hear the commentary of the judging committee.

      In a dream world, wouldn’t it be amazing to find someone who knew how to make add ons? A WoW Factor specific add on could translate spoken word into text, list who won prizes, etc. etc. etc.

      Re: “Hire”

      I apologize for the poor word choice here; I’m aware that Wow Factor is made possible only by volunteers, that there is no renumeration for the proposed position and that there is no “company” or organization behind WoWFactor beyond its core team. By “hire,” I mean something equivalent to recruit potential candidates via forums, postings or the like/guilt trip known acquaintances or friends/get lucky, and ultimately settle on a volunteer who seems promising. If you’re willing to consider or want an extra body to deal with, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is and give talking to people for two or three hours a go.

      Re: Additional Judges

      While dividing the judging TEAM does not seem feasible, what if each judge individually worked a portion of the room? i.e., “Judge Bob” is told to look at participants from the door to the first torch on the floor, and he is to pick the two he feels most closely match the given rules. Each judge would have a similarly spaced section and is limited to the same number of prizes. There could be a “head judge” (or the sponsor, or even the emcee) in charge of hanging out prizes. Judge Bob would simply tell the head judge the names of So-and-so and Whatsername from his section, and prize money could be given accordingly. It would simplify the first round if a set amount of money were given per winner, instead of different values based on the transmog.

      Judges could still communicate with each other for purposes of clarification – but the idea with this one would be that each judge is determined to be an equal, fair-as-is-humanly-possible person, and his or her choices are assumed to be OK with the other judges. Heck, round one could even be considered the equivalent of a “Judge’s Award,” if you will, where each judge selects his or her favorite(s).

      If the second round is kept, participants could be limited to those who previously won, and communal judging could be resumed.

      Re : Location

      Obviously, I didn’t even think of mounts. (I’m a terribly literal person sometimes, and since you can’t transmog a mount, the idea never entered my mind.)

      What about the outer ring in Undercity? People could line up on both sides of the “moat,” if you will. Wait, drat, they can still get on mounts there. Is the Throne Room in the Royal Quarter of Undercity any bigger? It might be easier for the judges, as they could stand on the center platform and pivot to look at participants, rather than run.

      Re: Round Two

      Certainly, you can never make everybody happy, and a functioning stream or its backup would greatly improve sentiment about round two simply by making information available. Based on what folks said either publically or what friends said to me while we were there, there were a fairly consistent set of related points where round two became confusing.

      1.) Some thought round two was exclusively for winners of the first round, and the fact that ALL winners of round two came from round one seemed to prove this to them;

      2.) Similarly, considering that the event was without the stream, lacked text communication due to the EU/US account issues (which I think many are unaware of), and had such a huge number of people in attendance, several seemed to think that Round One served as an elimination round (intentionally or otherwise) because there were just too many people for so few judges to look at;

      3.) Again, in the same vein, because of the lack of stream and text communication, there was zero way for people to tell that players who didn’t win in the first round were still in consideration, therefore, when all winners turned out to be from round one, that seemed to prove they hadn’t been in consideration at all

      Perhaps ensuring that at least one player who hadn’t been selected in round one is chosen for round two would also assist in keeping the fact that “you’re still in the game” clear. With the number of people in play, there are many equally good choices who have not yet had their 15 minutes of fame, so to speak.

      Reply
  2. Ironyca

    Here’s my additional comments.

    “Hire an emcee”

    – as Noelani said, we would love to be able to experiment with such a setup, but this task sounds quite laborious and I don’t know who would be willing to do it (as stated before, we don’t just hire anyone, real money is not involved).

    This brings me to the next point. I get the impression that people expect far more from us that what we can provide. We are not professionals, but your post has a certain expectation that we are supposed to be able to “hire” people and have back-ups ready, but this is a lot easier said than done.
    The emcee would certainly have been a great benefit last night, but for every other event when we’ve had a livestream with continuous commentary, I’m not sure how crucial they are.
    The livestream usually gets between double to triple the amount of viewers to how many characters are present. Even though it encourages this double mediated experience, it has a benefit of a wider audience that enjoys seeing what various realms have on offer in terms of transmog. And it was truly a shame they didn’t get to see Wyrmrest in action!

    People also have to be aware that this competition can never be fair and never will be.
    We award gold to 30-40 individuals each event. This number is a constant because that is what time allows for. Wyrmrest had a particularly large crowd, but there is nothing we can do to specifically accommodate better to larger crowds, unless we go over 2-2½ hour, which is our general time frame. we usually have a crowd of around 100, so 1/3 chance I think, is actually quite high.
    As Noelani also addressed, raising the number of judges will not reduce time, it will increase it. We usually spend on average 2½-3 minutes on each mog in round 1, going under that I think will reduce the quality of the event (the 2½-3 minutes is even including the intro, updates and various questions answered during the event, so the actual number is even lower).

    “While I don’t buy the Real ID conspiracy theory, I suspect there was an affinity for red/gold/black color schemes. Must be the Silvermoon location influencing the judges’ subconscious …”

    – As you’ve linked to my post about the 29 points I have learned from doing these events, you must have read number 3: People suspect we are hugely biased and that the event is rigged. It’s incredible what people make up in their minds. The RealID friend thing is yet a new accusation. Judges come from different regions and different servers, we even bring in a guest judge to spice things up and add a new opinion, so it’s not just the same people every time. We must have an insanely high number of friends across realms, including German realms, for this to make any sense (I have 3 people in my RealID, in case anyone is curious, and I have no acquaintances at Wyrmrest that I know of).

    About the red/gold/black colors, I highly doubt this, last week we were accused of favoring bright colors. We get a new bias each week, which may in itself prove a point.

    What I can tell you about bias and what we hear every week about the patterns people look for, is that being blamed over and over again, creates a state of mind of self censorship. When we are accused of being biased, it asserts a pressure upon us to not appear biased. Ironically, by being careful not to appear biased, we would inevitably actually become biased. So every time we have to be very careful to not fall into this trap.

    As a last point to bias, I’ll also say that we are four judges and even more supporters who will also let us know their favorites for us to take into consideration. I had a short list of names, but I didn’t get to pick all of them out, time runs out, gold runs out, the other judges also have people they want to point out. When we have to pick the top mogs, even the judges don’t agree, we never agree! We agree on maybe 1-3 mogs, but after that, we have to resort to voting to find a winner.
    We agreed on the first three of the top mogs at Wyrmrest, but we voted for the last two.

    Reply
    1. Prinnie Dood Post author

      – as Noelani said, we would love to be able to experiment with such a setup, but this task sounds quite laborious and I don’t know who would be willing to do it (as stated before, we don’t just hire anyone, real money is not involved).

      As I mentioned in response to her comment, “hire” was the incorrect word to use. I’m very well aware that the event is made possible only through the effort and good will of a core group of people doing it for fun/for the heck of it/other personal reasons. As you mention, if the livestream functions, an emcee may not be necessary. Perhaps he or she might still be able to fill air time in situations where the judges need to confer privately. The emcee could still be handy like a TV anchor at a parade; that is, they just say what they see on everything and point out things on as much as possible, regardless of how dumb it sounds. While everyone under consideration certainly likes to have their outfit discussed, it’s pretty clear that pretty much anyone would be thrilled for any attention whatsoever, even if it’s just a “Hey, everyone, check out this shirt on So-and-so! It’s made of over five hundred roses and took the guild team fifty hours to put together!”

      Absolutely, the competition can never be 100% fair, as it is a subjective system of rules for a subjective activity (transmog), but I think for many people, the more clarification there is (even if it is repetitious), the less moaning about fairness there is likely to be. They were told what was up, after all. It kind of like waiting in a line. It sucks like hell, but it sucks a little less when you’re told up front how long you’re going to stand there. It sucks like hell when somebody cuts in front of you (this is So Unfair), but it sucks less when you’re told said person is, say, recovering from heart surgery (well, ok, it sucks, but there’s a Good Reason).

      It may also assist to clarify pre-existing rules further, such as the role of recipes or sets. One thing I did hear from more than one friend was a definite disbelief or even horror when players with transmogs composed mostly of set pieces won. There was, I think, an expectation that matching through “creativity” (in the sense of using as few pieces from the same set as possible) was to be a stronger consideration than matching through a set. This may be an RP realm thing, or it may not. I’ve only played and transmogged on WRA.

      As far as crowd numbers go, I operate under the simple assumption that the success and/or popularity of the event will increase the attendance over time (it felt like far more than 100 on WRA, but that could’ve been my low frame rate talking!). So some of my ideas (such as removing round two for timing reasons, increasing # of judges, changing judging structure) are mostly intended for future events should this take place. I like to address challenges before they turn into fires, that’s all. If, however, you foresee the attendance remaining stable, then that’s that.

      “While I don’t buy the Real ID conspiracy theory, I suspect there was an affinity for red/gold/black color schemes. Must be the Silvermoon location influencing the judges’ subconscious …”

      Forgive me, I was being facetious here. It was an attempt to insert a bit of humor into what is, for this blog, an unusually thought out and generally serious post. (I typically talk about dungeon finder, transmog yay! and things like rocket camels.) Of course, if you have to explain the joke, it’s totally failed as a joke …

      Reply
  3. Ironyca

    Once again, thank you for your feedback!

    Vent:

    Ventrilo requires a login which could be rather time consuming for a casual viewer. The servers are often capable of holding a maximum of around 200 people, whereas our highest viewership has been over the 500 mark. It’s also very pricy at several hundred dollars per year for a larger server. I realise you were just passing a suggestion but I felt I should highlight our reasons against that option (we have considered it before).

    However, finding another audio channel to alternatively broadcast would definitely be a good idea, as long as it does not cost a fortune, because it will after all just be a backup.

    “each judge individually working a portion of the room”

    -There’s a few points to address in this suggestion, first how judging is working in our setup and how picking out people works.

    We used to have a method where people either got gold, or they didn’t. Referring to my comment earlier, We learned that due to not agreeing, and because at that time, winning in round one was the only way to become eligible for round two, we had to keep in mind, not only whether this mog was “worthy” of a prize, but also if it was good enough to compete for top spots. Generally, judging took so much longer, and we spent far too long on one mog alone.

    We changed it to a system where each judge votes on how much they would award an outfit, which meant we could meet half way. This result also seemed more fair between us as judges, because the result of the competition would be an average of what the four of us thought. If we were to put it down to one person to decide and divide the room up, I fear the competition would both be more unfair – as in, my section would be subject to -only- my taste, and if I didn’t spot a certain individual, no one else would.

    I guess this point leads me to explain the round two reasoning:
    As I wrote above, we used to have a closed structure, where winning round one was the only way to also win a top spot. Even though this actually makes our job easier, it has caused several issues in the past:
    – Someone changed their mog, and their second outfit is amazing, but they didn’t win round 1, so now they can’t win a top spot either.
    – Someone shows up late enough to not make it into round 1, but they look amazing, but still can’t win round 2.
    – Someone was just not spotted in time/we ran out of gold before we could award this individual a round 1 prize, and now they can’t win.
    – everyone wants to be looked at as soon as possible so they can leave if they know they will not win round 1, so we would get -a lot- of whisper-requests from people who wanted to know their chances. We had to, and still have to, ignore personal requests because we are too busy with running the actual show.

    The first two situations were really common back then, and it was absolutely painful to be forced because of this rule, to pass some really good mog by, so we decided, if you’re in the room when we award top mogs, it shouldn’t matter whether you were here the whole time or not, you deserve to win.
    Basically the rule is an open door for us based on experience. I think the round 2 issue is just a communication issue, not something that needs actual restructuring. Part of doing these WoW Factor events have been a learning experience in explaining sometimes complex and confusing rules to people. Sometimes it’s hard to even explain why the rules are not tighter 😀
    I think people conclude that this rule means that somebody who did not win in round 1, -will- win round 2, whereas it’s simply a way to prevent shutting people out at any stage during the event.

    Generally, you can probably see we have had an overall move towards a lot more flexibility, both in how people can enter and leave without ruining their chances completely, and in how we award prizes, which has been changed from “in or out”, to some kind of average.

    The idea about the rule of picking one person who has not won round one to win in round two would be an act basically. It would be something we would have to do to get a point across to people, but it would require for us to spot that person early on, to then ignore them for over an hour and hope they stick around. This is not a chance we take. It has happened several times in the past that someone wins round two without having won round one, but it has never been planned. I’ve had people who left really early and I thought to myself “I would point to that as a top mog”, but they left before I could bring them up. There’s an amount of chaos to these shows, as there will be with 100 people participating, and it can’t be worked around without compromises elsewhere.

    We have had many suggestions that are all aimed at working around some of these chaotic elements, with the answer being more complexity and organization on our end. More complexity means higher chances of failure and that something won’t fit into the “procedure”. Trying to organize 100 people in greater depth, including trolls and people who are quite clueless about what is going on, would be a nightmare.

    In terms of a “judges award”, we actually have had to do this in the past when picking top mogs. It’s a back up method for us to prevent us from going over time, and when we resort to this method, it’s because we don’t agree. Personally, I like a judges award because I can get quite attached to a mog I find great, and I’d really like to award them, so it’s a straw of ultimate power for me, but you can argue again, is it optimal?

    On the point of picking people out, there’s an idea that someone has not -really- been looked at unless they have been inspected, but it’s not hard to recognize black mageweave / full tier 4, just as examples. None of us need to inspect, but of course we do it when pointing someone out, as much to go in depth with their assembly, as to make sure it’s mogged/not white gear/slots missing/mail gear on a warrior etc.

    The fear of being overlooked, I believe, is exaggerated. Between 30-40 people will always get a prize and some of that is random in the sense that we take turns in pointing someone out, and well, I didn’t exhaust my list of candidates, neither did the other judges, I’m sure, but 30-40 people still got a prize.

    “the more clarification there is (even if it is repetitious), the less moaning about fairness there is likely to be.”

    -This issue is normally resolved using a livestream.
    Funnily, mass communication is a b****, we explain as much as we can on the livestream,
    -we still get misunderstandings,
    -some people are hugely misinformed,
    -most people don’t bother reading the actual rules beforehand,
    -some just didn’t know the event was happening, and step right in completely unknowing, with all the expectations every individual brings with them.
    Believe me, moaning can never be “fixed”, it can only be reduced, but only so far as people are willing to inform themselves and are actually listening to what we say.

    “There was, I think, an expectation that matching through “creativity” (in the sense of using as few pieces from the same set as possible) was to be a stronger consideration than matching through a set.”

    – We try to capture both creativity, effort, personality (Vinterson fx), effort, completeness (refer to: http://wowroleplaygear.com/the-wow-factor/#Criteria).

    When a recipe is getting a prize, it’s because they have done something special with accessories, such as cloak and weapons. You can argue there are degrees of recipes including full recipes to shoulders being from another set etc (clothies wearing robes would struggle to really get out of that category). We always explain on the livestream how we deal with full recipes, nonetheless, it’s not uncommon for someone wearing heroic gear or even full tier 5 to expect recognition for the effort alone, regardless of how much personal input they’ve added or should I say, not added. We’ve even had someone who was unhappy because they were not rewarded for their hard work they put into farming a quest reward shield from the Barrens, the list goes on.

    One of the things that can be difficult for certain realms, is that we also bring with us the experience of having visited and seen an average of 100 mogs on 20 something other servers. We’ve had certain servers absolutely love a set that we have seen several times elsewhere. On one hand we try to take into account that every server has it’s blazing light golden paladin and black/red mixed rogue, but that we see very similar versions of them on each realm, versus pointing out outfits that we’ve not seen before, and thus rise above the rest. You could argue that those two values are in conflict with each other, and I can tell you that we as judges don’t agree on that either. Elvine, for example, will try and see things more local to the server than I.

    Emcee:

    While we appreciate your brave offer to give emceeing a shot, and you would no doubt make a good entertainer, we feel that you perhaps would lack experience with our protocol
    and guidelines, and may not be adequately prepared to answer some of the questions which the audience would inevitably field.
    That’s not to say that you would never be welcome, but that we feel it would be best if you experienced an event under normal circumstances first, as opposed to the 1 in 23 mess-up which you witnessed.
    You are more than welcome to come along to our next event, and please do whisper us to say hi if you decide to do so!

    Reply
    1. Noelani

      For clarification, Ironyca is posting this on behalf of us both, as we felt it might be somewhat less confusing if you only have to read through responses from one individual.

      Reply
    2. Prinnie Dood Post author

      I think at this point, anything else I could add would probably be beating a dead horse for you guys (or at the very least, based off a situation you feel was out of the norm), so I’ll let it be. My friend Tab and I are planning on coming to the Deathwing one, though whether or not we’ll be actually be transmogged is another question entirely.

      Vinterson is one of Ailabeth’s Forsaken heroes … such a dashing Mad Scientist! /swoon

      Reply

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