General discussion

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General discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:38 pm

This is the thread for general discussion of MFT. I want to thank my co-editor Kurtis Droge, the other writers, Cody Voight for volunteering to edit the science, and the many people who playtested various parts of the distribution. Discuss away!
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Re: General discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:14 pm

Overall, I liked this set quite a bit. The science was, for the most part, more palatable than at VCU Open this year (and I think Regionals 2013 too, though I don't remember that tournament all that wel), so good on Cody for that.

The practice of relegating all trash to a non-regulation warm-up tossup is ingenious and I think is something more tournament writers ought to look into adopting. This way, if the trash question is good (cf. Ash Ketchum's dad), great fun is had, and if the trash question is not good, well, at least it didn't materially affect anything.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:47 pm

Where exactly did the editors intend this set to end up difficulty-wise? Between Fall and regular can mean a lot of different things, from the lower ends of "regular" with tournaments like WIT and something slightly harder than Fall like some MUTs have aimed for. Did the editors meet whichever standard you were hoping for here? I felt this set was somewhat harder than IFT last year, especially in regards to powermarks and medium/hard bonus parts, although not usually in tossup answerlines or easy parts.
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Re: General discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:56 pm

The goal was to make this somewhat harder than IFT, and to keep it accessible while also providing a challenge for good players in the hard parts and leadins. I think we were more or less successful in this, though there was some variance in how deep the hard parts and leadins went.
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Re: General discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:58 pm

I also really liked this tournament a lot. But there were some things that stood out to me.

Bonus variability was all over the place in this tournament. Bonuses that ask you to name Llewellyn the Great, the Last Man or Thomas Wyatt for a 30 or a bonus on Welsh mythology that asked you to name the Mabinogion for a 10 existed in the same set that asked you to name Okonkwo/Things Fall Apart/the Week of Peace for a 30. I also have a problem with the Degambara/Adam/Dokhobors bonus, as for a Regionals-minus tournament, I don't think Dokhobors is accessible at all.

Tossups: One of my teammates (she's a biology major) said that the giveaway to the Linkage tossup was worded weirdly. I'll ask her to elaborate more on this at practice on Tuesday.

The art tossup on Sea Scapes was worded very weirdly.

Dylan negged the Jung tossup with another philosopher very early (can't remember which one), so I'll ask him about that later.

The Prisons tossup got transparent pretty early in the question. I don't know if there's really anything you can do about that, though, since it's still a well-constructed tossup.
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Re: General discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:03 pm

women, fire and dangerous things wrote:The goal was to make this somewhat harder than IFT, and to keep it accessible while also providing a challenge for good players in the hard parts and leadins. I think we were more or less successful in this, though there was some variance in how deep the hard parts and leadins went.
I would say this variance went a bit deeper—bonuses in general included some very very canon fall-level bonuses (no discernible hard part?) and some bonuses that seemed to be stretching past regular difficulty. Also, I remember sitting on a few tossups until fairly late because they seemed incredibly too hard for this tournament (i.e./e.g. I'm sad that I didn't power Giant Steps for this reason). And a lot of tossups seemed to me to be pretty difficult (Derrida comes to mind). There were some pretty strange answerlines (why not make "seascapes" "the sea" and say things like "one depiction of this entity" etc.? This was really hard to figure out).

A lot of people I talked to thought that the first few lines often felt like they were just throwing out a bunch of very hard clues (I remember being repeatedly frustrated by hearing some pretty difficult clues on non-famous literature, or descriptions of incredibly obscure paintings, for instance). Maybe someone else who remembers wording better can elaborate on this.

I noticed a lot of India/Japan, and pre-1800 things (not that I mind this!). Also, tossups seemed...pretty long.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this set.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Make sure your seatbelt is fastened » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:15 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:I also really liked this tournament a lot. But there were some things that stood out to me.

Bonus variability was all over the place in this tournament. Bonuses that ask you to name Llewellyn the Great, the Last Man or Thomas Wyatt for a 30 or a bonus on Welsh mythology that asked you to name the Mabinogion for a 10 existed in the same set that asked you to name Okonkwo/Things Fall Apart/the Week of Peace for a 30. I also have a problem with the Degambara/Adam/Dokhobors bonus, as for a Regionals-minus tournament, I don't think Dokhobors is accessible at all.

Tossups: One of my teammates (she's a biology major) said that the giveaway to the Linkage tossup was worded weirdly. I'll ask her to elaborate more on this at practice on Tuesday.

The art tossup on Sea Scapes was worded very weirdly.

Dylan negged the Jung tossup with another philosopher very early (can't remember which one), so I'll ask him about that later.

The Prisons tossup got transparent pretty early in the question. I don't know if there's really anything you can do about that, though, since it's still a well-constructed tossup.
I'll disagree with your last point; the prisons tossup included the entire sentence "Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America was written while he was touring America to study these locations" in the power, a clue arguably too easy to be in the power for a high school question (HSAPQ has tossed up Tocqueville twice, and prisons are mentioned just before the FTP in the both questions), let alone a tournament advertised as being IFT difficulty.

Another question with a laughably easy lead-in was Margaret Mead, which mentioned the Arapesh; a quick search on Quinterest reveals that the Arapesh clue has been a lead-in (or a middle clue) in 8/19 questions in the database, seven of the eight being high school questions. On the other end of the spectrum was a Hudson River School question in which the first four lines of clues (out of a total of six lines) do not appear in any of the six Hudson River school questions found in the database. I didn't mind this question at all, because I'm all for new art clues, but it just seems unbalanced in difficulty compared to the prison/Mead tossups.
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Re: General discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:25 pm

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened wrote:On the other end of the spectrum was a Hudson River School question in which the first four lines of clues (out of a total of six lines) do not appear in any of the six Hudson River school questions found in the database.
I think that if you check for questions about the individual painters, you'll find that most of those clues are pretty well-known (if I remember what I was hearing somewhat correctly).
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Re: General discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:10 pm

I really liked the difficulty of this tournament; it was just easy enough that I didn't feel overwhelmed playing on a two-man team with my friend, but just hard enough that I felt reasonably challenged by the questions. I also liked the hard parts of bonuses, which got pretty hard at times but weren't awful most of the time.

Tournaments like this do a good job of giving new players a segway to regular difficulty; IFT was supposed to be like this, if I recall correctly, but it ended up being around ACF Fall difficulty (in terms of bonuses), with tossups on somewhat harder. In that sense, I really liked this tournament, and was really disappointed that several well-recognized, nationally ranked generalists were playing this tournament at the Brown site.
vinteuil wrote:I noticed a lot of India/Japan, and pre-1800 things (not that I mind this!). Also, tossups seemed...pretty long.
I don't think there was a lot of either of these things, they were just really concentrated (packet 2 had three tossups with Japanese answerlines, packet 1 had one, and I don't remember any after that besides the really easy literature bonus). Also, I really liked the tossup length (7-8 lines), though some questions rambled on a bit with clues of the same difficulty towards the end.
vinteuil wrote:Also, I remember sitting on a few tossups until fairly late because they seemed incredibly too hard for this tournament (i.e./e.g. I'm sad that I didn't power Giant Steps for this reason).
Agreed, though I mainly did this with current events because the current events questions were both harder and more interesting than most tournaments (in particular, much better than the godawful current events at VCU Open); I should have powered WTO fairly easily but I was thinking "they can't possibly be talking tossing up the WTO, that's too hard by quizbowl standards" until the question mentioned agricultural subsidies.
The Two Hears of Quasi Boachi wrote:Bonuses that ask you to name Llewellyn the Great, the Last Man or Thomas Wyatt for a 30 or a bonus on Welsh mythology that asked you to name the Mabinogion for a 10 existed in the same set that asked you to name Okonkwo/Things Fall Apart/the Week of Peace for a 30. I also have a problem with the Degambara/Adam/Dokhobors bonus, as for a Regionals-minus tournament, I don't think Dokhobors is accessible at all.
Accessible to who? If this tournament is meant to be an introduction for newer players or high school players to college quizbowl, there should be some bonus parts on stuff they've probably never heard of before! If this is meant to be ACF Fall, where a good HS player will first-or-second-line nearly half the packet (like Penn and Harvard A did at this tournament) and instantly 30 nearly half the bonuses (again, like Penn and Harvard A did a good number of times), then I can see your concern. Given that this was not either ACF Fall or IFT, I see no problem with this. If anything, egregiously easy bonuses like Soseki/Mishima/Japan and Okonkwo/Things Fall Apart/the Week of Peace shouldn't be here because they may confuse people.
Excelsior (smack) wrote:The practice of relegating all trash to a non-regulation warm-up tossup is ingenious and I think is something more tournament writers ought to look into adopting. This way, if the trash question is good (cf. Ash Ketchum's dad), great fun is had, and if the trash question is not good, well, at least it didn't materially affect anything.
qft
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:20 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hears of Quasi Boachi wrote:Bonuses that ask you to name Llewellyn the Great, the Last Man or Thomas Wyatt for a 30 or a bonus on Welsh mythology that asked you to name the Mabinogion for a 10 existed in the same set that asked you to name Okonkwo/Things Fall Apart/the Week of Peace for a 30. I also have a problem with the Degambara/Adam/Dokhobors bonus, as for a Regionals-minus tournament, I don't think Dokhobors is accessible at all.
Accessible to who? If this tournament is meant to be an introduction for newer players or high school players to college quizbowl, there should be some bonus parts on stuff they've probably never heard of before! If this is meant to be ACF Fall, where a good HS player will first-or-second-line nearly half the packet (like Penn and Harvard A did at this tournament) and instantly 30 nearly half the bonuses (again, like Penn and Harvard A did a good number of times), then I can see your concern. Given that this was not either ACF Fall or MFT, I see no problem with this. If anything, egregiously easy bonuses like Soseki/Mishima/Japan and Okonkwo/Things Fall Apart/the Week of Peace shouldn't be here because they may confuse people.
I may have not represented myself that well then. Dokhobors are not something that anyone who specializes in Russian History studies all that much (like, I took a class on russian history and still talk to my professor from that class about stuff). I've heard of them, certainly, but that takes a lot of specialization (more than I expect a lot of the people playing this tournament has). Also, Thomas Wyatt and Llewellyn the Great are guys that come up at regular difficulty all the time now?

My bigger point is that the bonuses made me, for the most part, not know what kind of tournament this set wanted to be.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:26 pm

gamegeek2 wrote: really disappointed that several well-recognized, nationally ranked generalists were playing this tournament at the Brown site.
ITT Will Alston argues that it's not fair for good players to play a tournament where he finished 4th in scoring
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Re: General discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:28 pm

People playing quizbowl? Why I never.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:34 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:In that sense, I really liked this tournament, and was really disappointed that several well-recognized, nationally ranked generalists were playing this tournament at the Brown site.
This is a damaging attitude. This tournament didn't have any eligibility restrictions because the editors wanted everyone to play it. Just because the difficulty of this tournament was regular minus doesn't mean that elite players shouldn't play it, nor does it mean that the experience of new teams is harmed by playing them. If the editors don't bar them from playing, elite players (and teams) should be able to decide whether a tournament is appropriate for them or not without blowback because of what a few players decide is right.
Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:ITT Will Alston argues that it's not fair for good players to play a tournament where he finished 4th in scoring
Okay, but this is just dumb.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:49 pm

I'd also like to particularly thank Ben Forster, who wrote a little over a third of the science. He and the other Michigan writers were responsible for about half of the raw science submissions, and thus many of the answerline ideas or clues that you may have liked in the editor's rounds.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:33 pm

Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote:This is a damaging attitude. This tournament didn't have any eligibility restrictions because the editors wanted everyone to play it. Just because the difficulty of this tournament was regular minus doesn't mean that elite players shouldn't play it, nor does it mean that the experience of new teams is harmed by playing them. If the editors don't bar them from playing, elite players (and teams) should be able to decide whether a tournament is appropriate for them or not without blowback because of what a few players decide is right.
If that was the editors' intent, then I completely respect that. This may be Nick Jensen's attitude rubbing off on me, but from what I thought while playing the tournament, I did not think this was an appropriate tournament for nationally ranked generalists like Stephen Liu, Eric Mukherjee, and Neil Gurram to be playing, especially not with most of their A-Team (as in the case of the latter two)!
Cheynem wrote:People playing quizbowl? Why I never.
I wouldn't ever fault somebody for wanting to play quizbowl - that's why we're all here - but I don't think it's really a positive experience for new players when the opposing team utterly wrecks them (I mean 600-to-20 wrecks them) and they can't even get a question unless the opposition negs. I realize that this happens in high school a lot, but there's a lot more people in high school who are willing to give the game a shot than in college, and there are a lot more high schools with academic teams of sorts than there are colleges, so I don't think that getting rolled by someone like Anton Karpovich or Carlo de Guzman is as damaging to the quizbowl community as a whole in that context. The fact is, fewer people are willing to commit time to quizbowl in college, and turning away more of those few players is a really bad idea. People who like quizbowl will play at Penn Bowl (if they're eligible) regardless of whether they sit out MFT or ACF Fall, but people who get totally wrecked at tournaments billed with terms like "accessible" and "appropriate for newer players" (this was not one of them, but you get the idea) may not even bother showing up in the future.
Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:ITT Will Alston argues that it's not fair for good players to play a tournament where he finished 4th in scoring
Wow, I got fourth place in scoring while playing with only one teammate (albeit a fairly good one)! I'm pretty sure any of Saajid Moyen, Patrick Liao, Grace Liu, Aidan Mehigan, Wilton Rao, Jacob Reed, Raynor Kuang, Vimal Konduri, Stephen Eltinge, Anderson Wang, Jacob Wasserman, Basil Smitham, Nick Wawrykow, and probably a few others could have done similarly had they been in a similar situation, and several of them placed very highly despite having highly experienced teammates (notably Raynor, Aidan, and Jacob Reed). I sincerely hope you're not attempting to attack my character by insinuating that I wanted Stephen, Neil, and Eric to not play solely so I could claim first place in the scoring.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:My bigger point is that the bonuses made me, for the most part, not know what kind of tournament this set wanted to be.
That's totally fair and I agree with you.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:57 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:I sincerely hope you're not attempting to attack my character by insinuating that I wanted Stephen, Neil, and Eric to not play solely so I could claim first place in the scoring.
That's a bizarre insinuation to take from my statement, although I'm guessing you're not the only one who took it that way.

Your point is an outgrowth of an unfortunate attitude, present on both the college and high school circuits, that basically states "other people are good and shouldn't play things but I'm not that good so my criticism doesn't apply to me." You, Will Alston, are good at quizbowl. You scored nearly 90 PPG in the prelims on a set that was not quite regular difficulty, you had 30 powers in 11 games on Saturday, and while playing with only one (good) teammate you managed to hit 20 PPB and finish in the top half of a strong field.

Yeah Eric and possibly a whole bunch of other people are better than you, but if playing against those people at any time is so damaging to new players and teams, then I don't see why playing you is much better.


Moral of the story: we have plenty of tournaments to spare new teams, nearly regular difficulty tournaments should be opened to good players, Will Alston is good at quizbowl
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Re: General discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:59 pm

Will, the problem I have with your argument (and I apologize for being a little flippant) is that this tournament was billed at "somewhere between easy and regular" difficulty. This has historically been a fairly nebulous difficulty associated with EFT and MUT and other tournaments in that vein. EFT was played by numerous excellent players, for instance. The logic here is that a regular difficulty tournament should be played by everyone, so a "in between easy/novice and regular" tournament should be played at players' discretion. Indeed, note that Penn played without Dallas Simons, for example, and that Matt Jackson didn't play for Yale. If a tournament wants to impose eligibility restrictions (as Novice does, as MUT does, and as I frankly believe Fall should), that's one thing. If it doesn't, then it is up to each individual team and player to decide. I think suggesting that "the best players" not play these types of tournaments will lead to trouble as defining "the best" and in what context that means is difficult. Where do we cut things off? Saajid Moyen got votes in the player poll--should he have stayed home? What about if good players choose to play solo or relatively solo, a common practice? Also, even if you are getting wrecked at a tournament, it is unlikely you will get wrecked every game (unless you are very inexperienced, and in that case, there's not much that field restrictions would do for you). Yes, Penn or Harvard may destroy you, but you will have competitive games with other teams in your bracket/round robin, etc. What ends up happening to some extent is that players end up policing themselves. Some great players will choose to play slightly easier tournaments, some won't. Eric Mukherjee and Matt Bollinger will play this set (nothing wrong with that, especially when you consider they haven't played anything in a while), Matt Jackson and John Lawrence won't. I think letting the fields police themselves rather than use restrictions or approbation is a better idea.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:59 am

I have sort of mixed thoughts about eligibility requirements and the "gentleman's agreement" setup by which the best players have typically kept out of easy tournaments for the past few years. Obviously, I recused myself from playing, and I think I'd go so far as to say I think some very good players are making an odd choice by insisting on playing this tournament (with the possible exception of Penn, because they'd otherwise not have anything to play until November). Is there some way to split that part of the discussion off, though? I think it's sort of tangential to the issues with the set itself. (But see below.)

My overall impression of this set was that it's the most EFT 2010-like set I've seen since EFT 2010, in terms of overall feel, difficulty, writing style, and types of problems it had. Most of the questions were pretty decent as individual questions, including a bunch of experimental/"fun" topics, and there was a large pinch of regular-ish tossup answers thrown in with the overall easyish difficulty. I feel like I would have enjoyed the experience of playing this set a lot if it came at an earlier stage of my career.

But, also like EFT 2010, there was a huge amount of inconsistency between questions which made the final set seem rockier than perhaps it ought to have been. I had a very hard time figuring out what the guiding editing philosophy of this set was, and there was a noticeably high number of pretty extreme outliers in bonus parts and tossup early clues, including some bonus parts that would make me flinch at Regionals. The seeming absence of length control was pretty noticeable as a moderator - I'm not sure why a set like this needed to be based largely around 8-line, 8.5-line, and 9-line tossups, and I think that a slightly more judicious process of cutting excess verbiage could have reduced tossups to a more uniform 7- or 7.5-line average without sacrificing much question quality or ability to distinguish teams. I felt as though a lot of questions in my areas of relative specialty had early clues or third picked in a relatively random way, rather than looking consistently for deep-but-important knowledge across the set (though many tossups also did ask for deep-but-important stuff successfully). Was this the sort of tournament where you can remember the jail from Scarlet Letter or Emma Bovary throwing the bouquet in a fire for a 30, or a tournament where someone had to watch the Oprah episode on The Historian or read up on their Hoggs? How many of these two-line-long leadins about secondary texts need to be there at all, and how many could be compressed down to one line without sacrificing any playability? I don't want to get bogged down in examples in the general thread, but there were some writing choices that really perplexed me for a tournament meant to look like the last two MUTs, and that I'm curious to hear more about from the editors.

I have a hunch that the editors left in a lot of the crazier outliers in the set (which, as I implied before, were a higher proportion than should exist in a MUT-type set) because they kept hearing that people like Eric, Stephen Liu, Matt Bollinger, and Chris Ray were insisting on playing. Is this true to some extent? I imagine it's more likely that I'd feel like "eh, some top player will get this bonus part/clue" instead of replacing overhard things if I knew I were getting several super-strong players, but I don't want to assume wrong things about the editing process.

I agree with Ashvin that the approach of having a low-key trash tossup before the game worked really well. It lets everyone (in this case, everyone who likes Japan anyway) enjoy the moment of excitement that a trash tossup can bring, while also giving everyone total security that trash cannot decide the outcome of the game after the brief moment of celebration. This seems like the best of both worlds for most college tournaments, in which there actually aren't that many people who enjoy trash writ large. You get to enjoy the rush of endorphins from recognizing a pop culture thing with zero consequences! (I think it is consistent to argue for this joke-trash, 20/20 academic setup at more college tournaments and argue that .5/.5 to 1/1 trash is still instrumentally useful to keep around in the high school game, by the way.)
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Re: General discussion

Post by Ringil » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:09 am

RyuAqua wrote:The seeming absence of length control was pretty noticeable as a moderator - I'm not sure why a set like this needed to be based largely around 8-line, 8.5-line, and 9-line tossups, and I think that a slightly more judicious process of cutting excess verbiage could have reduced tossups to a more uniform 7- or 7.5-line average without sacrificing much question quality or ability to distinguish teams.
Uh, weren't most questions around 7 lines without power marks? The power marks obviously will make the question seem longer, but that doesn't change the fact that they were around 7 lines in length.
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Re: General discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:02 am

I can't necessarily speak for all of the editors, but I know that my philosophy was to create a set that was very accessible, even to newer collegiate players, while also being challenging enough that better players would not be entirely bored. To me, that meant having tossups that were very convertible by the end but were also sufficiently deep to present new / difficult clues, while having bonuses with very canonical easy and middle parts where hard parts were not necessarily snap-30s even for those with decent coverage of say, the ACF Fall Canon. To me, this was independent of the fact that several top players in the nation were playing this set; I tried to make sure that hard parts were things that I could reasonably expect a better, but not top, player of this set to have a chance of knowing. I can understand if, at times, this tournament did not meet that goal, and I would like to know exactly which parts seemed egregiously hard (or too easy, for that matter). There were definitely times where the set tried to ask about core topics in ways that they hadn't exactly shown up before (my tossup on Italy from Forster novels, for example, or Will's tossup on Seascapes), though hopefully not to the point where the set became clogged down by the novelty.

I'd like to thank Will for his consistent work on the set, and for putting in a lot of time on editing, playtesting, and packet building, and Cody for handling the science, and for the rest of the writing team, who did a great job of producing quality questions for the set. I'd also like to thank those who submitted packets for this tournament and those who helped out in playtesting; in general, the submissions were all of a fairly high level of quality, and things that we didn't use were more than likely caused by issues with repeats than anything else. I will say that I expected more submissions than we got (I was aiming for say, 6 house rounds and 10 submissions), so I don't think the idea of running this tournament as partial-packet submission was exactly a success, and it required us to house write 2 additional rounds in the weeks leading up to the event.
RyuAqua wrote:Was this the sort of tournament where you can remember the jail from Scarlet Letter or Emma Bovary throwing the bouquet in a fire for a 30, or a tournament where someone had to watch the Oprah episode on The Historian or read up on their Hoggs?
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by bringing up these specific bonus parts- I'd consider the prison from the Scarlet Letter and the burning of the bridal bouquet to be just the type of deep-but-important knowledge that can be asked about, considering those novels. This probably belongs more in the question-specific discussion forum, though.
Ringil wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:The seeming absence of length control was pretty noticeable as a moderator - I'm not sure why a set like this needed to be based largely around 8-line, 8.5-line, and 9-line tossups, and I think that a slightly more judicious process of cutting excess verbiage could have reduced tossups to a more uniform 7- or 7.5-line average without sacrificing much question quality or ability to distinguish teams.
Uh, weren't most questions around 7 lines without power marks? The power marks obviously will make the question seem longer, but that doesn't change the fact that they were around 7 lines in length.
Before powermarking, no question was more than 8 lines in length, with the vast majority being between 7 and 7.5 full lines. Some tossups were as short as 6 full lines. I can definitely understand that verbiage can bog down questions, and should be trimmed if possible, something that we did try to do when possible in the editing process.
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Re: General discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:25 pm

RyuAqua wrote:Was this the sort of tournament where you can remember the jail from Scarlet Letter or Emma Bovary throwing the bouquet in a fire for a 30, or a tournament where someone had to watch the Oprah episode on The Historian or read up on their Hoggs?
I agree with your overall point that there was a problem with inconsistency in this set, although I think this is an odd way of framing it. I think hard parts and leadins should reward different kinds of deep knowledge, so as to reward people who have broad knowledge of harder works and people who have deep knowledge of easier works. The Historian is a best-selling novel which lots of people have read (and you get the author), and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is also pretty major. Indeed, of these four bonus parts, I think the Scarlet Letter one was the one which playtesters had the most trouble with.

To answer your question, I wasn't really thinking about the fact that top players might play this set when I was writing or editing. (For most of the process, I didn't even know what the fields were going to be like.)
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Re: General discussion

Post by Chimango Caracara » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:56 pm

I would also like to express appreciation for including trash questions that don't impact the game. I really hope that this becomes a standard practice.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:01 pm

Just my two cents on the trash questions that don't decide a game--I see nothing wrong with this, but it is an additional bit of time sink and I don't see anything wrong if you choose to have actual trash questions in your distro. This is of course a much larger issue of discussion.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:06 pm

I'm not sure whether I prefer more or less trash in the distribution, but I did like the quality and quantity of film questions that presumably were classified as Other Fine Arts. At WKU, we only heard a pre-match trash question before the final, so I didn't realize before reading this thread that there was one for every round. Was there really a tossup on Ash Ketchum's dad? If so, that is fantastic.

It seems that there is a lot of discussion about whether some of the answerlines were too hard. In my opinion, a tournament which aims to be between ACF Fall and ACF Regionals difficulty will naturally include some questions at ACF Fall level and some questions at ACF Regionals level. I think there were more issues with repeating subject matter (e.g. Finn McCool letting water run through his hands instead of healing Diarmuid, which came up before the powermark in two different mythology tossups) than with difficulty level.

Overall, I really liked the set and I think it was a great kickoff to the season.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:21 pm

I'll second Ashvin that I strongly preferred this tournament's science to that of last Regionals.

I also liked how there seemed to be a decent amount of social science on banking and finance. I assume this was Kurtis' doing, and I think he did it much better than he did at KABO. For example, the tossup on banks, or the bonus on Lloyd's.

This tournament also has some weird distribution issues. Kurtis said that writers were allowed to pick answers in packets, which I think led to things like "the Saul packet", for example.

On the whole though, I think this was a solid tournament that accomplished what it said it would do.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Beast Mode » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:39 pm

Madagascar Serpent Eagle wrote: This tournament also has some weird distribution issues. Kurtis said that writers were allowed to pick answers in packets, which I think led to things like "the Saul packet", for example.
I don't know what you mean by "pick[ing] answers in packets." On the answerline spreadsheet, I'd claim all the (e.g.) history in a single column (each column being labeled as a packet for, I thought, convenience's sake), because that made it easier to keep track of what I had to write. Are you saying that a column of (e.g.) "Saul history" became all the history in one of the tournament packets? If so, I'm sorry I missed the memo to spread my questions around; a "Saul packet" isn't something I'd wish on a quizbowl player.
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Re: General discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:42 pm

Kurtis said that that was basically what happened for one packet, yes.
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