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SMT Open Online Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:12 pm
by Your Genie Felon, Me
I'm pleased to announce that there will be an online mirror of SMT to take place on February 24th, 2018, starting at 11 AM Eastern time. This is an open tournament intended to serve as a test for the in-person mirrors of the set that will follow. The full set announcement can be found here.

Our reasons for having this test mirror are the same as the reasons outlined in this thread for the EFT test mirror. People eligible (or who have been granted permission) to play an in-person site of SMT and able to plausibly attend will be encouraged not to play this tournament since we believe playing the tournament in-person is the best way to experience the set.

It will cost $15 per player to play this tournament. Preferred payment method is Venmo, but Paypal will work fine if necessary. Team signups can be found here.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (3/3)

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:29 pm
by CPiGuy
Your Feline Genome wrote:I'm pleased to announce that there will be a Skype mirror of EFT
erm, you mean SMT, right?

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (3/3)

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:43 pm
by Your Genie Felon, Me
CPiGuy wrote:
Your Feline Genome wrote:I'm pleased to announce that there will be a Skype mirror of EFT
erm, you mean SMT, right?
Fixed that!

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:52 am
by Your Genie Felon, Me
Because March 3rd is proving to be a popular date for CMST mirrors, we are moving the tournament date to February 24th.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:02 am
by Fucitol
I’m interested and some people have unironically described me as a science player.

PM me if you’re interested.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:20 am
by Mnemosyne
Will Alston made this post after EFT:
Have a variety of skill levels at your playtest mirrors, and ask some teams to break up if you need to achieve this. This year we didn't have a good ability to test for things that were too hard because every team in the field was scoring above 20 PPB.
Will there be any effort to weaken the teams in this mirror? I don't want to find out 3 days before the tournament that it's suddenly being made doubles or something like that.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:57 am
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Mnemosyne wrote:Will Alston made this post after EFT:
Have a variety of skill levels at your playtest mirrors, and ask some teams to break up if you need to achieve this. This year we didn't have a good ability to test for things that were too hard because every team in the field was scoring above 20 PPB.
Will there be any effort to weaken the teams in this mirror? I don't want to find out 3 days before the tournament that it's suddenly being made doubles or something like that.
For what it's worth, I plan on playing solo (for this reason) unless someone who knows a good amount of bio and/or chem wants to play as a duo. If we're charging per person, I see no reason to have this tournament be full of large teams of many skilled players and would definitely encourage having a mix of team and/or player strengths.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:00 pm
by Guile Island
I'm playing and seeking teammates. You know me, I do generalisty things. Will probably get >0 powers and >0 negs.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:09 pm
by tiwonge
I may be interested in this. Will try to scrounge up some local teammates (and maybe some other regional teams).

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:19 pm
by Progcon
Any way this can be run on Discord instead of Skype? I ran our pretty small WAO II mirror on Discord after Skype was giving me some problems and I think it went really well. I had one voice channel for me reading and a corresponding text chat to type "buzz". To join another "room" you would just have to join another voice channel and text chat. Moderators can kick AFK players from a voice chat so cheating should be pretty difficult (though still easier than in-person QB of course) Skype has broken down and crashed for me a few different times on multiple OS and multiple computers and the application itself is extremely bulky and buggy. Discord works fine in browser and I think the desktop application works at least okay on Windows (haven't tried the Linux one).

I am certainly willing to play this on Skype of course but Skype seems to take so long. Thanks.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:25 am
by Mike Bentley
Progcon wrote:Any way this can be run on Discord instead of Skype? I ran our pretty small WAO II mirror on Discord after Skype was giving me some problems and I think it went really well. I had one voice channel for me reading and a corresponding text chat to type "buzz". To join another "room" you would just have to join another voice channel and text chat. Moderators can kick AFK players from a voice chat so cheating should be pretty difficult (though still easier than in-person QB of course) Skype has broken down and crashed for me a few different times on multiple OS and multiple computers and the application itself is extremely bulky and buggy. Discord works fine in browser and I think the desktop application works at least okay on Windows (haven't tried the Linux one).

I am certainly willing to play this on Skype of course but Skype seems to take so long. Thanks.
Were the players at the WAO mirror also using microphones? If not, I personally dislike having to type for bonus conferring. It slows down tournaments considerably. There's really no fair way to do that without giving at least 10 seconds on each bonus part.

(In general I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't play one of these Skype tournaments if you don't have a microphone. It just makes the experience worse for everyone.)

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:12 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
I'd rather Discord as well, though I understand if Skype is easier to set up on the modding side. My main preference is because Discord has less lag and works perfectly from in a browser.

However, not sure if Mike is suggesting that you can't use mic for bonus conferring in Discord? Because as far as I'm aware, that works just fine, too.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:05 pm
by Mike Bentley
UlyssesInvictus wrote:I'd rather Discord as well, though I understand if Skype is easier to set up on the modding side. My main preference is because Discord has less lag and works perfectly from in a browser.

However, not sure if Mike is suggesting that you can't use mic for bonus conferring in Discord? Because as far as I'm aware, that works just fine, too.
My question was around how good the sound was when multiple people were using voice chat in a room. In the summer we tried this and the moderator frequently was being quieted presumably because it was trying to pipe in audio from other people. If this experience is fine now, then that's great.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:14 pm
by Progcon
Mike Bentley wrote:
UlyssesInvictus wrote:I'd rather Discord as well, though I understand if Skype is easier to set up on the modding side. My main preference is because Discord has less lag and works perfectly from in a browser.

However, not sure if Mike is suggesting that you can't use mic for bonus conferring in Discord? Because as far as I'm aware, that works just fine, too.
My question was around how good the sound was when multiple people were using voice chat in a room. In the summer we tried this and the moderator frequently was being quieted presumably because it was trying to pipe in audio from other people. If this experience is fine now, then that's great.
FWIW, I definitely agree with you that all players and moderators should have a headset with a working microphone. I have said as much in the Skype quizbowl Facebook group. When I read, players just typed buzz in the chat and most did used the chat to express their answers but they would ideally unmute themselves and give an answer that way after I said their name. On bonuses, players could either confer via text or preferably over voice by unmuting themselves. I do not know why the moderator would be silenced as the only time when the moderator isn't the only person with their mic unmuted would be during a tossup or the reading part of a bonus. This wasn't a big problem while I was reading WAO II, and I think it's a small price to pay for the convenience of Discord over clunky Skype.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:30 pm
by adosreme
For what it's worth, Skype had trouble recognizing the microphone on my headset but Discord was fine.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:41 pm
by csheep
I played in the Discord WAO II (we did a couple of rounds over Skype but there were frequent issues with people unable to connect, audio issues, etc. and we switched entirely to Discord by the end).

I think most people agree with using mic, though some players would use the chat/type, and it feels weird if you're the only one on your team who is talking while your teammates are typing. I would sometimes just switch to chat without thinking about it because that's what my teammates (sometimes) used, leading to people arbitrarily switching between the two.

Discord is generally far more reliable for audio than Skype in my opinion, especially for handling more than 1 - 2 people, as is the case with a a quiz bowl match that can easily involved 5 -10.

I will also say the downloaded and installed desktop Discord client is far more reliable than the browser version. The latter is serviceable but is more prone to mic/audio issues.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:58 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
csheep wrote: Discord is generally far more reliable for audio than Skype in my opinion, especially for handling more than 1 - 2 people, as is the case with a a quiz bowl match that can easily involved 5 -10.

I will also say the downloaded and installed desktop Discord client is far more reliable than the browser version. The latter is serviceable but is more prone to mic/audio issues.
I'll second this. I wasn't partisan to Discord before, but after losing a game because a buzz got lagged out on Skype...

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:53 pm
by Progcon
Has there been a decision about the the format of this event like Discord, etc.? If there could be 10 teams, there could just be a 10 team RR which would be ideal for a Skype tournament.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:54 pm
by tiwonge
Progcon wrote:Has there been a decision about the the format of this event like Discord, etc.? If there could be 10 teams, there could just be a 10 team RR which would be ideal for a Skype tournament.
Seconded. If we use Discord, I'd like to install it and get it set up before Saturday, for example.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:51 am
by Your Genie Felon, Me
Hi, sorry for this late reply to the issues raised in this thread. I have decided to cap the field for the tournament at 10 teams, with the intention of making it a 10 team round robin. There are currently 9 teams signed up, so if anyone would like to sign up for the tournament, now is the time. A couple days before the tournament, if there's no 10th team signed up, we will split what Jordan and I decide is the strongest team into two teams so we won't have byes. There won't be any other modifications to the teams as they are right now. We will also host this tournament on Discord, given the discussion earlier in this thread. Details will come out in a logistics email that will be sent in the next few days.

Thank you all for your understanding and for signing up to play this tournament!

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:53 am
by adosreme
First, let me mention that I appreciate your running this mirror and allowing us the opportunity to play it. That said,
Your Feline Genome wrote:A couple days before the tournament, if there's no 10th team signed up, we will split what Jordan and I decide is the strongest team into two teams so we won't have byes
Maybe it will not end up being relevant, but I have a strong personal preference against this. A big draw to this online mirror for me is getting to hang out and play with people that I've known for a long time (in fact, I've basically known all my teammates for the entirety of their quizbowl careers) and don't get to play with often as an open-only player. Some of us have also already made plans to meet up and play this together (i.e. in the same physical location). I can't speak for others, but I imagine that there are others who feel the same way and be similarly disappointed at having to split into half teams.

Again, maybe this won't end up mattering in the end, but that is just my opinion.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:18 am
by Your Genie Felon, Me
adosreme wrote:Maybe it will not end up being relevant, but I have a strong personal preference against this. A big draw to this online mirror for me is getting to hang out and play with people that I've known for a long time (in fact, I've basically known all my teammates for the entirety of their quizbowl careers) and don't get to play with often as an open-only player. Some of us have also already made plans to meet up and play this together (i.e. in the same physical location). I can't speak for others, but I imagine that there are others who feel the same way and be similarly disappointed at having to split into half teams.

Again, maybe this won't end up mattering in the end, but that is just my opinion.
I am sympathetic to this concern, and have contacted the teams that would be candidates to be split up to see how they would feel if they had to split. Given that they expressed similar sentiments to you (somewhat less strongly, but they were the same concerns), I will consider the alternative of having byes in the schedule and not forcing a split to have 10 teams if the field is okay with it – I will likely leave that decision up to a vote that will go in the logistics email. In the meantime, anyone who is interested in playing should sign up a 10th team as soon as possible!

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:17 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
If needed, I can drop instead. Also happy to take on more folks if more teams want to join to expand field size beyond ten.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:47 pm
by Mike Bentley
I'd be okay playing solo if we need to form a 10th team.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:58 pm
by Pilgrim
I'll sign up a tenth team under the assumption that I can get some other Albertans interested. If I'm wrong about that, I'm willing to play solo or give up the spot, depending on what's most helpful.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:28 am
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
In gross violation of a post I made earlier in this thread, I'm now playing with Stephen Liu (EDIT: heavily depending on his availability)

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:09 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:In gross violation of a post I made earlier in this thread, I'm now playing with Stephen Liu
With all due respect, this seems like a...very strong team, given that a 10th team still needs to be created.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:59 pm
by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:In gross violation of a post I made earlier in this thread, I'm now playing with Stephen Liu
With all due respect, this seems like a...very strong team, given that a 10th team still needs to be created.
I would have no issue with my team being split up. For what it's worth, this team is tentative - Stephen might not be available all day to my understanding. I have no issue with the editors requesting some sort of split, assuming Stephen's available on Saturday (otherwise, having a team of zero is not ideal).

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:41 pm
by gyre and gimble
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:In gross violation of a post I made earlier in this thread, I'm now playing with Stephen Liu
With all due respect, this seems like a...very strong team, given that a 10th team still needs to be created.
I would have no issue with my team being split up. For what it's worth, this team is tentative - Stephen might not be available all day to my understanding. I have no issue with the editors requesting some sort of split, assuming Stephen's available on Saturday (otherwise, having a team of zero is not ideal).
Aren't there 10 teams signed up? Am I crazy? Assuming I'm available I'm happy to do whatever makes the tournament work. I just asked Will because there were 3 spots open on his team and I don't think I've ever played on a team with him before.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:01 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
Yeah, my bad, it looks like a 10th team was formed in between when now and when there was an open request to split people off into a 10th team.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:53 am
by Your Genie Felon, Me
Hi guys, sorry for the logistical hiccup here but I currently have 4 moderators for the day and am in (a somewhat desperate) search of a fifth moderator. The tournament will start at 11 EST and should be expected to go on until around 6 PM EST, fingers crossed. I can offer $40 to anyone who would be willing to read, and can (possibly) negotiate a higher price, though I hope someone will pull through out of the goodness of their heart? (hmm…) I'm hoping to find this fifth moderator by today so that I can comfortably send out a logistics email and solidify plans.

Apologies, and thank you all for understanding!

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:03 pm
by Your Genie Felon, Me
As an update, because of the overwhelming amount of people who can only staff for the first half of the tournament, i.e. until 4 PM EST or so, we're looking for people who can staff for after that time! Please contact me or sign up on the spreadsheet if available!

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:00 am
by UlyssesInvictus
Robert can't end up making the mirror, so we have a fourth slot now available on our team. First person to fill their name in gets it.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:25 pm
by Mike Bentley
Is there going to be a logistics mail sent out?

Last online tournament I played there wasn't one and it resulted in problems like teams and moderators not showing up on time.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:58 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
Mike Bentley wrote:Is there going to be a logistics mail sent out?

Last online tournament I played there wasn't one and it resulted in problems like teams and moderators not showing up on time.
Whoops, sorry, I didn't consciously realize the other people on my team hadn't gotten the email and neglected to forward it. (It didn't help that our team was constantly in flux.)

It might be a good idea for Young to just post it here, too.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:20 pm
by Milhouse
Here's what Young posted into the moderator chat:
Hi everyone! Thank you all so much for signing up to play the online open mirror of SMT. Now that we have sufficient moderators available to staff, I can finally send out this email. I’m excited to be holding the first mirror of the set, and am glad we’ll be getting feedback a couple of weeks before the in person mirrors. We’re grateful for all of your help!

We’ll be using Discord for this mirror, specifically this server I set up specially for this tournament: [URL redacted upon further consideration; ask me, Young, or your team's contact for it--EW] Please join the server before tomorrow and preferably install the Desktop app for Discord (anecdotal reports say that the desktop app generally works better than the browser version). The way rooms will work is simple: join the text chat and voice chat channels that correspond to your game room [I think we're going to be doing something where you'll only be able to see the channel where you're playing at any given time--EW]. All of the channels have been set up for all of this (I pinned the schedule for each room in each channel!) so hopefully that should all go pretty smoothly.

The format will be a 10 team round robin, with up to 2 finals rounds as necessary (depending on the time, and how the teams in a potential finals situation feel about playing for longer). The tournament will start at 11 AM EST, and we are looking to have a lunch break at around 1:30 or 2 PM EST (though the time will likely be ad-libbed). If you plan to use the lunch break to eat, (which you should!) try to have some food handy so the lunch break doesn’t go on for too long.

Last thing: There are a couple of free agents, and there are more than a couple of free slots in the teams, particularly in Raynor’s team, Alex Shaw’s team, Jonathan Tran’s team, and Trevor Davis’s team. I will try to allocate those free agents to one of those teams (likely filling Trevor Davis’s team first) – if you have strong objections to adding anyone new to your team, though, please let me know so I can take that into account.

Thank you all for your patience, and I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!
Also, people should arrive a bit before 11 EST--10:50, maybe--so we have time to assign everyone to the team roles we're using to prevent people from looking at games other than their own. Alternatively, we can assign the role any time after you first join the server if you do so before then

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:56 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
Tournament was fun, thanks for hosting.

I think some lessons were learned about Discord's reliability for large numbers of people in the server, but I don't think the tournament ended up going too long.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:35 pm
by UlyssesInvictus
Also, for those who can pay by Venmo, what's your venmo username.

Re: SMT Open Skype Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:16 pm
by adosreme
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to play this set! It was a lot of fun and I definitely recommend it 100% to anyone who can make it to a physical mirror.

Re: SMT Open Online Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:03 am
by Your Genie Felon, Me
Thank you all for the kind words! As for the actual results of the tournament, team Stable Genii and RIP RIP Hooray played a two-game finals that RIP RIP Hooray won. Given the records as they are in the stats I just uploaded, they were actually supposed to play a one-game final, but there was a protest in a game Stable Genii played that, if resolved in their favor, would have given them a better record. The decision on the protest was to play a replacement tossup, though, and the team they played against already left, so we just pretended it was an advantaged final. So that's why the stats look kinda funky.

On behalf of everyone who worked on SMT, I'd like to thank everyone that came out to play the mirror! Special thanks to Ophir Lifshitz, Eric Wolfsberg, and Catherine Qian, who generously volunteered their time to moderate even though they're not directly involved with SMT – Eric especially helped out a ton with setting things up on the Discord server, which was a huge help. We received a lot of really helpful feedback from people at the mirror itself, and we're glad a lot of constructive criticism came out of the event. Hopefully it was somewhat fun, too? A discussion forum will be opened up soon so that everyone who played at the mirror can post their thoughts. Thank you all again!

P.S. Pay me if you haven't already! On the signup spreadsheet, I italicized the names of the people who have paid me. If your name isn't in italics, please send your payment soon! If you don't know where to send it to, PM me.

Re: SMT Open Online Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:21 am
by Your Genie Felon, Me
FZ this

Re: SMT Open Online Test Mirror (2/24)

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:11 pm
by Your Genie Felon, Me
A private discussion forum has been opened for everyone who played the mirror. To join the private forum, go to User Control Panel -> Usergroups -> Select "2018 SMT Discussion" -> Click "Submit". Thanks!