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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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Outplay 2013 Feedback

Thanks to all who competed and contributed!

In an effort to help things be more awesome every year, I'd like to see your feedback: What did you like - or not - about the competition?
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 04:27 AM
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Thank you, once again, for taking the time to arrange this yearly event. Having had a bit of time to put everything behind me, here's my feedback:

Deadlines: I said this the first year, and it still holds true - it is good that you stick to deadlines, even if things do seem to end earlier in one week or another. Because this is a competition, people (like me) need to be able to plan ahead. This year I was at a conference in Cologne for one of the weeks, and it helped me immensely to know that there where set dates when the different rounds would end and start.

PvP: I liked that you allowed for it in one of the rounds, and I liked that you asked the contestants to agree to it beforehand. My own RPG-upbringing has been heavily influenced by intrigue games like Birthright and Vampire, but I understand PvP is not something normally used or encouraged so much on this site, so the amount of care that was put into making people be aware of what they where walking into seemed fitting. That only one of the three groups actually crossed blades (or bows, if you will) was a testament to the fact that with strong enough players, having the option to fight doesn't necessarily mean it'll happen. If you intend to do this again next year, I would suggest keeping it as one of the later rounds, just as it was this year.

Feedback: I know we shouldn't expect any from the judges, but when we do it is very very nice. Truly, what helps people improve the quickest is constructive criticism, and when it comes from the judge of a competition, it is more readily accepted than when it comes from your fellow player (at least this holds true with me). It takes a lot of time for the judges, I know, but I hope you would consider doing this more in the future. For me that added feedback makes Outplay a learning experiences as much as a competition.

Character Creation/Characters: Everyone here has a different way of creating characters, and while some might favor making strong builds that make for almost insanely powerful characters, other perhaps prefer something a bit more subdued but which helps create a more relatable person (guess which category I see myself as being in). There's not really any right or wrong there (at least not presently) and everything lies in the delivery of your character and how the judges find them. I am, however, concerned about min/maxing. For me, being among the best roleplayers doesn't mean being able to tweak the rules to create the most extreme character (which incidentally requires for you to have seven books open at once), but rather means being able to adapt to and help further along the best and most enjoyable tale/story/read. Characters failing is a big part of that experience.
I don't have any solution how to avoid one type of characters while promoting another, but I keep thinking back on the randomized traits from the first year with some fondness - even min/maxed builds will find themselves tested, roleplay-wise, if they have to work within a semi-randomized framework. Give the players something to adapt to, rather than completely free reigns with their characters. Be it a setting, a set of random traits or even rolled stats. That's what I'd like to see.

Overall: I feel that the competition is getting stronger and stronger, not only in terms of participants but in its structure and framework too. There was even more contestants too this year and more than one bracket as well, which only tells me that this is becoming increasingly popular. I am happy that 4th ed had a chance too (even if I don't officially recognize the existence of the edition). Compared to the last two years it seems there where even less bumps to iron out this time around, and if you look past one or two disgruntled contestants, it seems everyone had a good time. I will be looking forward to 2014
Father of proud children. Expect the next 18+ years to be erratic and/or chaotic.

Last edited by Thorsten; Sep 17th, 2013 at 04:28 AM.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 05:58 AM
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Yeah... Uh, ditto. I agree with everything that Thorsten said. It seems like the structure was much better this round compared to the past and the quality of competition is greater than it has been in the past.
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