General discussion

Old college threads.
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General discussion

Post by theMoMA »

First of all, thanks to the writers and playtesters for all their help on the set. It wouldn't have happened without your efforts.

I didn't have as much time to work on this set as I usually have, and it definitely showed. Thanks for the players at the early sites for putting up with a rougher-than-ideal set and to the early hosts for helping me make the necessary corrections.

Use this thread to discuss the tournament generally.
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Unicolored Jay
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Re: General discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay »

I was unable to make a list of corrections and send the mover to you after our mirror, but I'd like to take a look at the set as it is right now (not the incomplete one that I got on the 14th) and hopefully point out some things to fix later this week once I have the time to go over it.

The answerlines were, for the most part, appropriate, but there were a few outliers in difficulty, some of which Matt Jackson has already pointed out in the other thread. Aside from that and how unpolished it looked when I first got it, I generally liked the set.
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Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill
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Re: General discussion

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill »

I really think this set could've used one more packet. Obviously I'm a bit biased because I ended up with an awful number of teams to work with (9), but there shouldn't be certain numbers of teams that make it impossible to use a fair format.
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Re: General discussion

Post by AKKOLADE »

I liked the set's quiz bowl content. I think that the typos and grammatical issues really held it back, though.

I've already gone through the first five rounds looking for things to fix in terms of copy editing. If anyone would be willing to help out with that, please go ahead and start with round 6.

I also agree that 11 packets would be preferable, as we nearly had to decide between using half packets to conduct a proper ACF final or just reading one packet and if the trailing team won, welp, tie for first!
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Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur
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Re: General discussion

Post by Tale of Mac Datho's Pachycephalosaur »

I have no particularly original comments. The typos and repeats generally held back the set, and there seemed to be a lot of similarities between this year's set and last year's. Of course, I have nothing concrete, but this year's seemed more similar to last year's than last year's was to 2011's.

One particular bother, not exclusive to this set, is use of commas. I will admit that I occasionally overuse them, but it really helps to keep questions moving. Since I usually read about three words ahead what I am pronouncing, it really throws me off when there are so few indicators towards parsing. I'd actually be interested in other people's opinion on this, but perhaps under the "Theory" subforum is a better place.
Zach Pace
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Re: General discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

Pretty good job on answer lines / clues for the stated difficulty, already mentioned outliers notwithstanding. I would note a couple of trends that seem not as good:

1) Bizarre attempts to take clearly too hard answers and shoehorn them into this tournament by making the answer line different. Sometimes, this is a good strategy -- perhaps we feel that a lot of players know what La Violencia is but not its name, so we write a tossup on Colombia using clues about La Violencia, or stuff like that. This set had a couple ideas that really fell flat such as the "critiques" tossup. A "critique by Kant" is not really a "type of work" so much as "three books by Kant that happen to share a word in their title," and the contortions necessary to make this answerline not-really-fit probably confused anyone who knew the material. At this level, the number of people with any meaningful knowledge of Kant is surely slim, and the tossup didn't really do anything to address that.

2) Quizbowlese out the wazoo. Almost every question repeatedly described the answer as "a work" or "a figure." These are stupid, jargony terms that obfuscate meaning and bore people, and a tournament designed to pitch the idea of quizbowl to new players is the last place to be relying on them.

Still, good stuff in general, and the teams at the VT site seemed to be having fun.
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Re: General discussion

Post by theMoMA »

Thanks for the input. In past years, I've rewritten questions more aggressively than I did this year, again probably because I was working at a time disadvantage this year (which is obviously no one's fault but my own). I didn't really think about the pronouns being "this work" vs. "this novel," but your point is generally well taken and I think it's worth pursuing the idea that pronouns should be as listener-friendly as possible at the novice level, even if the result is a slight bit more transparency occasionally.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Lighthouse Expert Elinor DeWire »

Given the packet restraint, what is the most appropriate course of action after a 9 or 10 team round robin with a X-1 circle at the top?
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Re: General discussion

Post by Steak and Kidney Pie »

First off, my sincere apologies for deciding to play this tournament, I realized after the fact that it was a decision made in very bad faith.

Secondly, I found the bonus difficulties to be very inconsistent, I can't remember specifics off the top of my head, but that was the impression I got. A new player on one of our teams actually said he found the concept of bonuses unfair, which I think was as a result of the inconsistency in difficulty in this tournament.

Also, the eligibility rules should probably be tightened.
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Re: General discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I'll have a few comments in the question-specific area when I have the set in front of me, but there were a few bonuses ("few" meaning 6-10) that had what I thought were weirdly hard-ass third parts. I've certainly been guilty of this with Delta Burke, so I understand that it happens, but I thought it was worth noting. One that sticks out in my memory was a classical music bonus that included a part on Schumann and then a reasonable second part, but then asked for Max Bruch in the third part. I'm no music player, but that guy seems pretty out there for a novice tournament.

The other example is also from music; many years ago I wrote in some discussion here that Manuel da Falla might be too tough for ACF Fall, but I don't think that's true anymore--the canon expands, and he's come down to a (hard) novice level choice. But if you're going to ask for him in a bonus at Collegiate Novice, couldn't you include "The Three-Cornered Hat"? I was reading for a good Chipola team that had two players who responded to my announcement of the answer by noting he's the "Three-Cornered Hat" guy.

But these are minor points--answer lines were good, some tough clues were used as openers to give players things to learn, and I'm guessing a lot of the typos were cleaned up, as I saw very few. My teams had a great time, so congrats to Andrew and the writers for their work.
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Re: General discussion

Post by njsbling »

People at the Berkeley mirror greatly enjoyed the tournament and the set and it was definitely a great way to get many new people involved. Thanks to everyone who made Novice happen again this year.

One thing we noticed is that rounds 7 and 8 were more difficult than the other rounds.

For example: ... es/rounds/ ... es/rounds/ ... ts/rounds/ ... es/rounds/ ... ls/rounds/ ... ed/rounds/ ... ts/rounds/ ... 5D/rounds/

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