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The Spyglass

Paths to Victory

The Puzzle Competition feature added during the last release enables Pirates to participate in OM-organized competitions from anywhere on an Ocean. Prizes are awarded either to the top performers during the competition or on a tiered basis, with prizes going to the best scores in each puzzle performance tier.

Unsurprisingly, there was much discussion internally on the best way to award prizes for the Puzzle Competition. In fact, the discussion continues: we may find ourselves adding additional variants to create more interesting (or fair) competitions in the future.

In the meantime, it seemed worthwhile clarifying a couple of the design reasons for going with the two variants we deployed at launch:

Our first assumption was that separate competitions for Pirates with different levels of ability would be challenging to implement without extraordinary complexity. We believe that Pirates will always want prizes and will apply their piratey talents to getting them, no matter how modest a particular prize might be (it's a prize after all!).

It's not hard to see how setting up a competition for those with less puzzling ability would create a tempting target for a talented Pirate that believes he's unlikely to win in an event with competitive adversaries. The steps required to prevent this did not, at first blush, seem appealing given the work and limitations on game play that it would require.

Our second assumption was that the new feature would allow many more competitions to be held. Regular participation in frequent events should mean that Pirates are assessing their likelihood of winning across many competitions. They will be looking at the trend in their performance rather than how they do in a single event. Our hope is that the tiered option will, over time, provide an opportunity for more Pirates to win prizes commensurate with their puzzling abilities.

This same logic also applies to Pirates that frequently score "incredible" while puzzling. Unless it turns out that the same Pirate wins every event we hold (something that will surely involve a serious rethink!), we hope that the tiered approach will encourage healthy competition from event to event among the group of Pirates that normally score well. It will become a matter of how many events are won rather than who wins a specific competition.

There will, of course, be some instances where the prizes on offer in a competition are particularly valuable, making for a special event. As has been pointed out on the forums, it would be unfair to award a substantial prize in a puzzling competition to someone other than the best Puzzler. As a rule, we plan to award bigger prizes like this using the "top performer" competition configuration.

Ultimately, we hope that the Puzzle Competition feature increase participation in OM-run events. They provide a fun opportunity to socialize and interact with other Pirates. But, as always, we're always on the lookout for improvements!

Comments:

Posted by kickmitri

yay im the first comment.. lol

August 08, 2008 at 12:49 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by oh shiz. skelrose

Honestly, I was very disappointed when reading the newsletter. I expected to see in big bold letters "FORAGING PUZZLE". Meh, the new puzzle competitions are a really good idea. I'm sure there are quite a few people who have just given up with tourneys and etc. because of the l337 few who end up winning every one. Let's face it, unless you are incredibly good at swordfighting or rumble, you pretty much have no chance at winning those tourneys. Idk, I still want to know when the foraging puzzle will come over to the regular oceans. It's quite addicting, let alone the fact that there's a dancing monkey in it. Well, time to go get a look at the events. Au revoir.

August 08, 2008 at 01:31 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by Shirato

Will we get to see some screenshots as of how you set a puzzle competition up? That'd be pretty neat.

August 08, 2008 at 02:26 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by Solos

I appreciate the intent but I think that the current tier setup doesn't make much sense. Based on the belief that it's silly to award the 1st, 43rd, 76th, and 111th (or insert other random numbers) place players, I think the following changes greatly improve prize distribution and sanity of the tiered option: 1. All players play a 1st round, DR rank divides them into classes. Play a 2nd round where players only compete against others in their class. 2. Award prizes to the top N or top X% players in each class. Still do not let players know precisely where they placed. 3. Shorten round 1 - it's only for dividing into classes. See forum post for comments about why underperforming on purpose in round 1 isn't that problematic: http://forums.puzzlepirates.com/community/mvnforum/viewthread?p=1609581#1609581

August 08, 2008 at 09:50 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by Boganed

wow

August 09, 2008 at 01:14 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by Cutejennifer

i want to win trophy so bad! but its so hard for me to get it even if i get increds and excellent! must be weird!

August 09, 2008 at 02:18 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by jozafe

hello............. i love the puzzle pirate becouse i never get bord of it never i love that game i cant live without playing it every single day thank you three rings for this awsome game

August 09, 2008 at 03:00 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by morgandykidd

If I am on a pillage with a crew and the compitition starts do I have to leave the pilly to start or do i just compete where I am at?

August 09, 2008 at 09:07 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by fortunee

I would like to know how the winners are chosen in each tier. If you play the puzzle the full 30 min., is it the totol number of fines (for the fine prize) you get or is it the average of how many fines, goods and excellents you get through the competition. Say you do 10 sailing puzzles and 6 are good 2 are fine and 2 are excellent, do these get averaged, or is it just the amount of goods you get. 10 goods out of 10 puzzles for the good prize tier. Its not clear.

August 09, 2008 at 12:23 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by Rana

Nice !

August 10, 2008 at 10:47 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by Fiercepirate

To answer questions: You do not have to leave the pillage. As for the scoring, that was described in the event thread in the Events forum, where it's best to ask any questions pertaining to the event, not here. (Loving competitions, by the way =])

August 10, 2008 at 11:53 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by Grimbottom

I think that the rules for playing and scoring in each level of a competition need to be made MUCH clearer. I have tried to follow them through the threads in the events forum and just end up even more confused. A page in Spyglass linked through the notice board in the game would be enough - as long as it was an 'Idiots Guide' so people like myself and all the younger players in the game could understand it. At the moment everyone seems to have their own interpretation of these rules. Just watch greeter chat to see how many variants there are!

August 11, 2008 at 12:35 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by Ladyocean

I agree with Grimbottom, the rules provided should be clearer to understand. People ages young as well as elderly should be able to understand and participate being confident about what would occor and able to remember the instructions.

August 25, 2008 at 10:29 AM PDT | permalink

Posted by JuanCarlos

Based on Nenya, Candymaan, Rapportus and their exploitation of the Competitions to win somethings need to be fixed to stop these people from gaming and in turn laming the competitions. Great idea but people who chose to exploit like these three have should be punished.

August 25, 2008 at 04:51 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by Juan Carlos

Also Nenya & Candyaam's clear account sharing should not be overlooked, they've commited clear grounds for banning.

August 25, 2008 at 04:52 PM PDT | permalink

Posted by acomplia

www.ipetitions.com/petition/buyacomplia/
buy acomplia here

October 08, 2008 at 03:49 AM PDT | permalink

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