ImmaculateDeception wrote:As the actual version of me, I really am sorry if my tournament sucked. Everything in that set, I edited, so I am responsible for it. I gave it my best effort for as long as I could. As with every set I've worked on, there are things I was happy with and things that I know I should have done better; ultimately, the most important of these is making my field happy so, if I didn't do that, then I failed. I feel awfully about that.
I don't mean to quibble or compound the verbosity of discussion of tournaments so, if, like Demonax, this doesn't get answered, I'll understand. If I get more pith back, I'll understand and probably laugh.
That said, I do want to know, did IO reach IS set levels of suck, as I myself recently claimed? If it did suck, did it suck systematically, everywhere, or was okay in the mean and then made bad by some things that I ill-advisedly left in or wrote? If the latter, I... suppose I would say I have a tendency to want to keep things that people write me but, if that's producing bad results, I'd better reconsider how I'm doing things.
Finally, with regard particularly to the (apparently universally reviled) Demonax part, I put it in my tournament (and, apparently, will next year) understanding that it was a part on an obscure and probably unimportant figure, etc. I did so because it was written as the third part of a bonus with two parts on topics of unquestionable accessibility and, if nothing else, canonicality (Anaxagoras of Clazomenae and Zeno of Citium, as I recall.) Is that practice to be considered contemptuous in general, or just in this case, or did the question fail some other way? Is the problem perhaps just that it was employed too often at IO?
I don't think IO sucked systematically. I don't have the questions, I didn't write down answers throughout the day, and my memory is poor, but from what I can recall the first 5 rounds were good, the 6th round was okay, the next 4 rounds ranged from bad to almost-okay, and the two final rounds were okay to good. I really don't remember much from the last two rounds, but an Irish myth bonus sticks out in particular--the answers were Fergus, Finnabair, and Ferdiad. This seems unreasonably hard, even though Susan and I would have 30'd it (which doesn't make it an okay bonus, just as Adam 30'ing the Greek philosophers bonus doesn't mean that bonus was okay). I think Fergus is a middle-level answer, and Finnabair and Ferdiad are both hard. This seems like a bonus that most teams would 0, some teams would 10, and a very few teams would 30. I have trouble imagining a team that would put up 20 on this bonus, meaning that a bunch of teams with real differences in their knowledge of Irish myth end up getting lumped together at 0 or 10. I have pretty much the same criticism for the Demonax bonus (0, 10 or 30), which I don't think had parts on Anaxagoras and Zeno of Citium--I thought it had two harder parts, and only one of Anaxagoras or Zeno.
I don't think anyone's arguing against the concept of a hard third part to a bonus with an easy- and a mid-level part. I think the issue is that there were some bonuses (including, to the best of my recollection, the Demonax bonus) that did not fit that paradigm--usually these bonuses missed by having two hard parts, but sometimes they missed by having 3 easy/medium parts (e.g., the bonus on Blue Hotel/Maggie/Open Boat).
I think all editors of packet-submission tournaments want to make as much use as possible of the submitted material. Every editor's dream is getting a set of submitted packets that need zero editing, but that never happens. The question is then: when you go to a tournament and pay the entrance fee, are you paying to watch other people play on your questions, and to play on the questions written by other people, left pure and unblemished except for removing repeats? Or are you paying to play on as good a set of questions as the editors can produce, even if it means that they cut your beloved William Temple Franklin TU or mangled your great bonus on Demonax because they thought it wasn't appropriate? Personally, I prefer to have editors that are over-active on editing rather than editors that keep in dubious submitted material for the sake of keeping in submitted material.