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ZEJ Statistical Tournament ~ Reloaded

Discussion in 'Interest Checks' started by Eebit, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. ZEJians of all ages... and those who are just lurking around! It's been a while since we've had a competition of a statistical variety, and I figure that now is as good a time as any to post a thread like this to start generating some interest and create a little bit of a buzz. Yes, that's right - as you read in the title, I'm interested in bringing back the Statistical Tournament. I found it to be a fun little event that we could share together as a community, showing off the cool things that we can create with our "flagship system," so why not go for a round two?

    I've been musing about this to myself for a little while, and I figured that I wanted to get some community input from the rest of ZEJ before I go about tinkering with the formula we followed last time. First and foremost, I want to know if there is any interest in running a tournament. I know things have been quiet lately, and I can imagine that it comes as a consequence of a lot of us being really busy with school. But I would definitely like to kickstart something with the good people of ZEJ; but of course, that relies on there being people who would be interested in engaging in statistical combat.

    I don't want to isolate people who don't statplay, so I would be more than happy to help walk through my Statistical Tutorial with anyone interested in doing so.

    Now, onto the talking points that I have set up... I would like for you guys to make a note in your "I'm interested" posts of which of these options are most enticing to you. Please attach a couple brief comments if you can.

    ~ R O L E P L A Y I N G ~

    First of all, I want to talk about the roleplaying aspect of the tournament. Obviously, ZEJ has the word 'roleplaying' right in the name (it's true! Look up at our banner!), and this has been a point raised multiple times by certain individuals - there isn't all that much roleplaying going on at any given time these days. So, for this tournament, I've started mulling over the idea of enforcing some degree of RPing in-combat. Would people be interested in bringing their characters to life and acting out the combat situations that these characters would undergo? Or is that going to be really polarizing, and exclude people who don't feel comfortable with the idea of adding more text than just their actions to the posts of combat?

    A solution that could be considered a 'happy medium' of sorts is simply creating an "IC-OoC" lounge. By that, I mean some kind of out-of-battle hub that houses the characters when they aren't fighting; where people can go to get to know the other characters. Talk shit. Get some in-character hype going. Sit down and have a drink with the fellow combatants. That sort of thing.

    Back in the days of yore, when The Ultimate Tournament series was alive and kickin', we had this in the form of "the Bellona Tavern," a futuristic bar where people could slake their thirst for in-character interaction in between matches. I want to know if that would be something of interest in the event that people are not cool with the idea of loosely-enforced in-battle interaction.

    > Yes
    > No
    > Between battles only

    ~ P A R T Y ~ S I Z E ~

    One of @"Flimzy"'s original ideas for the Statistical Tournament is that it would be held at Level 15 with three characters per side. Now, while that is all fine and good, it was ultimately knocked down to Level 7 with two characters in order to minimize the artificial difficulty of creating multiple profiles - and to actually start within a reasonable timeframe. I've had some thoughts about the "metagame" that developed around having two characters (typically, a support with a lot of buffs and a damage-oriented character), and I think that it could be expanded if we threw a third character into the mix.

    The simplicity of the "game" of statplaying is great; but it thrives on creativity. If we're seeing the same combination of Dual Wielding characters with a Haste buff and Critical Hit augmentations on them every time... well, it gets pretty predictable seeing who is going to win each match. Whoever out Damage-Per-Turns the other is obviously going to win the match. It gets decidedly more complex and intricate (from a strategical perspective) with a third character variable thrown into the mix, I think.

    But, of course, that comes with the trade-off of longer matches and more characters for each person to make. If people are prepared to make a third character, then I would be more than happy to GM the matches, but of course that all comes down to the interested parties. I don't want to put unnecessary pressure on people who are on the fence about it, but I would be interested in hearing what people think of party sizes. 2v2? 3v3? What do you guys think?

    > 2 vs. 2
    > 3 vs. 3

    ~ I N T E R ~ U S E R ~ P A I R I N G S ~

    When @"Zantok" proposed the idea of an Ultimate Tournament 4, one of the ideas that arose in the discussion was the idea of inter-user teams. I think that it is cool in that it encourages collaboration and mixes up the pairings of users, and creates a cool dynamic of two players working together to dominate the other team. Obviously, this idea has a lot of "sub-discussions" that come attached to it, but I don't want to touch those until there is a decision made regarding the idea of teaming up with other users. First and foremost, what do people think of setting up pairs of users to do battle on the statistical plane? Is it preferable to work on your own, or would we want to actually work with the idea of teams? Or, another option still would be to make a side tournament of people who are paired up together. Let me know what you (preliminarily) think, and then that will open the discussion up a little more.

    > Individual user vs. user only
    > Pairing up between two users
    > Team battles as side event only

    ~ X ~ G A U G E ~

    Ah, the X-Gauge. A classic function of Shadow's system that brings a lot of flexibility to the system in the form of the mega-buffs of E-Triggers, and the game-changing nukes that are the X-Abilities. Typically, we would only ever see one of those in the way that we had the last Statistical Tournament; people would charge up to five X-Levels and unleash their E-Trigger... a rather binary playstyle. What I want to know is whether people are interested in seeing the X-Gauge return in this new iteration of the Statistical Tournament, or whether it is a passable function that need not return.

    Beyond that, I want to know if people want to see our X-Gauge become more "central". Last Tournament, I had the X-Gauge reset in between every match to give everyone a balanced playing field. But it really didn't highlight anything beyond who made the most powerful E-Triggers to augment the playstyle of their main DPT character, in my opinion. X-Abilities also went almost invariably unused since only one battle made it to the point where there was even a remote possibility of using them. So, would it be more reasonable if X-Levels carried over between battles and didn't undergo a refresh between battles? Then there would be more of an emphasis to give your "carry" characters the kills, and play strategically in that sense.

    > Yes, enable the X-Gauge and let it carry over between battles
    > Yes, enable the X-Gauge, but do not let it carry over between battles
    > No, disable the X-Gauge altogether

    ~ E Q U I P M E N T ~ B O N U S E S ~

    Something I had been considering when I was going to run the "redo" (aka balance-fixed) Tournament the first time around was tinkering with the Equipment bonuses. As seen in the first iteration of the Tournament, I had only allowed people to give characters the equivalent of "Level 1" bonuses (i.e. a single stat point for Weapon, Armor, and Accessory). This was met with a decent amount of pleading me to consider allowing more freedom and customization due to the characters being Level 7; after all, in a regular statplay setting it would be likely that they had improved Equipment by that time.

    I'm still on the fence about whether I want to allow people anything more than those simple L1 Equipment stat boosts. It's a really delicate "balance" to begin with, and I don't want to see it go overboard by allowing people to manipulate things like Added Effects (on-hit effects if you're more familiar with the MOBA terminology), Elemental exploitation, and the like. A solution proposed to me would be to allow people access to a couple extra stat points per Equipment piece. If that would be more "satisfying" then I suppose I could allow that. I do want to hear the pros and cons from you guys, though, so I'm not the only voice being heard.

    > Level 1 bonuses only
    > "Higher-Level" bonuses, including Added Effects
    > Higher-Level Stat Points, no Added Effects

    ~ ~ ~

    ...Aaaaaaand I believe that's all I wanted to bring up. Again, let me know whether or not you would be interested, and make sure that you guys vote/weigh in on the other stuff that I have put out there. I'd be more than happy to explain my own points of view if needed. Let's try and make a great site event, hmm?
  2. --=ROLEPLAYING=--
    I'm down for all the roleplaying options.
    But I'm not down for requiring any of it, seeing as how people get very stuck with that these days.

    --=PARTY SIZE=--
    To address both issues, 3v3, level 5.
    I think 5 is the perfect level for something like this. By the nature of skill points it sits on a perfectly awkward conflict of interest between A, S, B and R abilities, leading to more interesting character choices.

    I'd be 100% down for a round robin 2v2 level 7 matchup (like the last tournament) where I'm paired with a random buddy each time. I think it would avoid the repeat of the support/DPS meta, and it would be an interesting dynamic. It would be more difficult to figure out than an elimination tournament though.

    If I had to choose I would stick with single user for now though.

    I support the X-Gauge existing, as I think it adds and interesting "the clock is ticking" dynamic to fights, particularly ones where something is slowing them down.

    It's absolutely vital they don't carry between matches though. That would be extremely silly and involve a strange metagaming/luck based aspect to fights. Moreover, X/E-abilities are too powerful to let people start the fight with, and having them so early eliminates the dynamic I wanted them for in the first place. 

    I don't think it's an issue that this means we'll see more E's than Xs. X abilities feelings rare is perfectly acceptable.

    We should have level appropriate stuff, no effects.
    Having level 1 equips felt really weird and dumb last time.
    Effects might be nice but I ultimately think they're an added level of complexity we don't really /need/ to be adding to the already complex set up process.
  3. - Yes to roleplaying if the player wants it, definite yes to an IC "lounge", no to requiring roleplaying in battles
    - 3v3 at level 7+ if it's user vs user, 2v2 at whatever level if tagteaming
    - Tagteaming pls
    - Yes to X-Gauge, no to carrying it over
    - Level-appropriate equips with added effects
  4. Roleplaying: Y'already know that makes it more fun. I agree with Flimzy though, it shouldn't be required in fights, but I think there should be a tavern where IC posting is required at least once between each match your character is in--even if that's only the character walking in and taking a seat.

    Party Size: I like the idea of 3v3 tournament. However, I think it would be fun to have 2v2 and 1v1 brackets as well...Maybe have different rounds of each combination? Level 5/6/7 I think is fine, but I'm fairly new to statplaying so I'm probably not the best to ask about that.

    Inter-User Teams: Not really sure I like the idea. I've always liked entering as a team and keeping the team--the more you play with the same people, the more ideas and strategies you'll come up with--it also means your playstyle will have to evolve to keep your spectators from constantly outsmarting you. Ultimately, I don't like inter-user teams in a 3v3 situation, but I think 2v2 round-robin would be fine.

    X-Gauge: Definitely resets between every match. I'm fine with the x-gauge otherwise.

    Equipment: Adding on-hit effects could be unnecessarily complicated, as previously mentioned, but I think having a point system for what your weapon has could handle it effectively (adding a point of damage is X points, adding element/status is Y points, etc.). If that becomes too cumbersome, then just level-appropriate base damage/resistance to your character's equipment. 
  5. > Yes, but completely optional

    Having both the option of an IC Lounge (ala Ultimate Tournament 3) and in-battle RPing (refer to crazE's match in the previous iteration of this tournament) should be guaranteed at this point, but as Flimzy stated, it should be an option as opposed to a requirement, to eliminate the risk of people getting stuck between posts.

    > 3 vs. 3
    > Level 7

    This one should go without saying: adding variability to the team setups is essential. I also believe Level 7 is fine. 6 Skill Points to spend should offer just the right amount of purchasing options for this low-level setting while restricting what you can potentially do. Should I spend 3 Skill Points on my R-Ability, or save those for A-Skills and instead buy an S/B-Ability? Or should I get full R/S/B coverage? I hope that gets the point across.

    > Team battles as side event only

    Let's not detract from the purpose of the Statistical Tournament. However, a side event of team battles would be definitely be of interest.

    > Yes, enable the X-Gauge, but do not let it carry over between battles

    Letting it carry over would be a mistake in many, many levels. Ignoring the blatant possibility of having your enemy start with a full X-Gauge, it introduces external factors into a battle that would otherwise be decided by strategy alone. Did your opponent breeze through the last battle without spending X-Levels? Perhaps securing the victory during your previous match with an X-Ability was a terrible idea considering your opponent will most likely start with E-Triggers ready? Yeah...

    > Higher-Level Stat Points, no Added Effects

    Balancing every possible Added Effect would be practically impossible for the purposes of this tournament. Meanwhile, Equipment offering more than a single Stat Point in bonuses would be akin to allocating more specialized "Stat Points" for your characters, which would promote higher variability in builds.
  6. I agree with the stances of @Shadow and @Flimzy regarding the roleplaying aspects-- both in-combat and the lounge interactions allowed or available, but not required.

    3 vs. 3 would be pretty fun and would lend itself to more strategic variation, and I see no reason change from Lv. 7.

    I don't have too much opinion on the cooperative play, but in the end I guess I'd say having team battles as side events only might be best, for now. It looks like we'll be going with 3 vs. 3 for this tournament, and that should be enough variance from the tourneys of olde for now.

    > Yes, enable the X-Gauge, but do not let it carry over between battles.

    > Higher-Level Stat Points, no Added Effects
    because Added Effects can just make balancing harder; I'd be content with just increasing the variation among each contender's stats.

    Did I get the Good End?
  7. Everything Shadow said. That is all.
  8. Definitely what Zio said.
  9. So from the replies, I gather that we're sitting on seven participants, with a possible eighth in Kuori. That sounds like a reasonable amount to me, though it's certainly NOT too late for others to join in and put their hat into the ring. If time constraints are an issue, I want anyone reading to rest assured that there is currently no deadline in place.

    I'll leave this thread open for input on the discussion of the specifics of the Tournament, and I encourage you guys to create more of a discussion on the matter (although it sounds like we're mostly at a consensus of the way to go).

    I'll also start putting together a timeframe of when I'd expect the Tournament to start, and a deadline for submissions as well. Then we can get this show on the road!
  10. If it's not too terribly late, I'd like to throw some characters in the ring!
  11. Not too late at all! I don't imagine we'll be starting for quite a while yet - the 'deadline' for profiles will probably be sometime in the next couple months. The format and 'special parameters' still need to be set up, after all. Thanks for expressing interest, Silver~
  12. Quick question... with regards to the ruling on X-Gauges, should E-Triggers/X-Abilities be single-use (each) per battle? i.e. if a battle goes on long enough that you use an E-Trigger and accrue enough X-Levels to again activate your E-Trigger, should you be eligible to use it more than once?
  13. Alright, if there is no further deliberation on the matter, then I may as well set a deadline.

    We're going to be looking at three profiles per customer, each at Level 7. Each piece of Equipment will grant your character the equivalent of 3 Stat Points worth of boosts, which you can spend to your liking (as long as it makes sense, which is at my discretion). There will be an optional roleplaying component, which can be used to organize in-character team events (in the vein of The Ultimate Tournament... details to follow). The X-Gauge will not be carrying over between battles. There will be a cap of one use (per Excess Process) on the X-Gauge.

    The deadline is going to be Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 11:59pm EDT. Any later, and I will not be accepting your profile, barring any major technological meltdowns (or some sort of family/irl crisis. I am not unfeeling). This is a hard deadline otherwise. If it happens that you were just lazy and procrastinated, then tough luck, schmuck.

    That should be all. I look forward to receiving your profiles. The profile template can be found within this spoiler:

    [b]+ Skill #1:[/b]
    [b]+ Skill #2:[/b]

    EDIT: Removed Skill and Upgrade Points. You won't need them where we're going.
  14. My, where does the time go? I hope everyone has been working on their profiles for the Tournament which are due NEXT WEEK. If this is a problem for anyone who has expressed interest, please let me know! Otherwise, I'll assume that it's business as usual and that you guys are just chugging along on the profiles.

    If the deadline needs to be extended, I'll be pretty nonplussed, but also not surprised.
  15. As a final reminder, profiles are due to me tomorrow at 11:59 PM EDT. I will not be accepting any after that time for any reason.
  16. every time I attempt to work on my profiles I go "aaaaaaaaaa effort" and go do something else

  17. Profiles remain incomplete. Designation to fulfill them today thwarted due to not one of my 3456789987y39536 family members being able to tell me my sister was graduating college today and there'd be an all day celebration... so yeah. That's what I did today.

    I'll see if I can utilize my remaining time in the day to finish them~
  18. As I'm sure everyone is well aware at this point... unfortunately, I did not receive enough profiles by the deadline to run the Tournament with a sufficient amount of people to form an interesting bracket.

    Special thanks to @"Flimzy", @"CerberusLycan", @"Silver", @"CodasterTheDisaster", and @"Muddy" for going the distance and making their profiles and turning them in. Sorry to disappoint you guys in spite of making solid efforts to get the Tournament off the ground. In spite of the Tournament not running as a proper 'formalized' thing, I would be interested in GMing a series of casual party-vs-party spars between you guys with your submitted profiles, if that is of interest. Feel free to post a separate 'challenge thread' in the Interest Checks section (something like "[Statistical] PvP Spar ~ x vs. y" will suffice) and I'll be sure to set something up. Perhaps that will begin to revitalize the statistical combat aspect of ZEJ!

    Overall, I'm a bit bummed about having to cancel the Tournament, but I can see that right now just isn't the best time to be running one. Hopefully another time, another Game Master will try their hand at running it. Until then~

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