Combat Master #4: Deck the Halls with Awesome


Combat Master #4: Deck the Halls with Awesome


As is expected after a major ACC event followed by a major club-wide event and then coupled with the unlimited, cosmic powers of the holiday season... the Antei Combat Center is quiet right now. One might say "too quiet". Or one might not. Really, who am I to dictate what someone may or may not do. I'm just a simple man with a simple job.

I have been informed by my people that "simple" doesn't mean what I'm attempting to pass it off as. This is unfortunate. However, I do have a relatively short and sweet update to bring you all in my report this month! Without endeavoring to bore you all into submission, I will be touching upon two updates in the ACC that have been either under way or ready for implementation. By the time you are done reading this, that implementation will be complete for that one thing!

Also, we will take a brief moment to go over some of the feedback from the 'Guests' of the Matron event.


Table of Contents


Matron Feedback

Alright! The boring stuff gets to be dealt with upfront. I don't like tedium all that much, so I expect I'm not alone in that. Only 10 respondents provided their feedback, but hey... deal with what you got. First off, let's see how we did on that 5-star scale for the enjoyment of the event. Interestingly enough, it went over pretty well. We got a whole 4.1 stars out of 5 in there, with 4 members who loved it, 4 who liked it, and one thought it was just alright. That's cool. Opinions vary, but this was on the high end of the scale.

The 3/3 posting structure also got a fair bit of love with only one member who didn't like it, a couple in the middle, and 5 who loved it. Unfortunately, the judges didn't love it. The judgments took quite a bit longer than they would for a typical match, which is to be expected, but near the end of the event, we were definitely getting hit with burnout. It was a nice experiment, but I'm unsure we will be delving into it again for events any time soon.

I won't be delving deeply into the other portions of feedback, as that's more important for me and my staff than you viewers at home, but there is one thing I want to touch on. On the whole, the scoring system didn't go over well. In particular, timeouts were the topic of the day. In fact, timeouts are always the topic. To put it bluntly, members don't seem to much care for other people disappearing on them. They feel punished because they can't participate fully in the event and it becomes a game of Russian Roulette to see if you get a full match or another miss.

Frankly, we don't have the perfect solution. If we did, this wouldn't still be a point of contention. We are caught between the pendulum swing of punishing the members worse or rewarding the other member more. Finding that sweet spot is difficult. Even when given the chance to provide suggestions on how to address this, the feedback was often constrained to "this is an issue, and I understand I don't know how to fix it either."

So... know that we are listening and will be taking everything to heart for the coming events! Whenever they may be!


Hall Update

I have a funny feeling this is going to make some people happy. I dunno, just a tingly sensation. Before this starts... no, the Scenario Hall isn't open yet. There are logistics in the background that need to be resolved when we have a chance. Once that's been handled we will be good to go... so very good to go.

The staff has discussed this proposal and given it their blessing, then the Voice did so as well. So, without stalling, here are the notable reworks of the halls and their descriptions. The other ones are just wording updates that don't actually affect your experience as a user.

Training Hall

Say goodbye to this hall. It wasn't ever really used to begin with. That would be to there never being a clear explanation on how to use it. Allow me to explain... when investigating we discovered some fun in the code. Put simply, no one qualified for the ACC could select this hall when making a challenge. Why? Because it was only an option for unqualified members. Well, that's strange... and now it is gone! Bye-bye, Training Hall. We hardly knew you.

Cooperative Hall

Do you hear that? I hear it. It's the angelic chords of answered prayers. Well, not really prayers. More like grievances. Loud ones. Angry sometimes. Regardless, here it is! This newly added hall is the place to go for members that want to engage in 2-vs-Other (PvO) cooperative encounters! That's right. These ain't your regular duels. You work together against a common enemy. You've asked, we've listened, and here it is. Just like with the Duelist Hall, it falls on the first post to establish the scene. Hope you all enjoy it, but know that these matches will not be available in ranked format.

Scenario Hall

So, this is still a thing. You may be wondering why it isn't open yet, or why I have to deal with back-end issues. To put it plainly, this is the place for members who are looking for a dictated experience. The venues and options available in this hall will include scenarios that establish the setting and the threat for the members. These could end up with many different styles of matches, depending on the scenario selected. Right now there is no separation between regular venues and scenario venues in the system. That is what needs to be resolved before we can proceed on this. I hope that makes sense in why it is taking so long.


More or less, we just clarified the wording on this one so as not to be mistaken. These are still duels between characters. They may be odd duels, very odd duels, but they are still just that: 1v1 encounters. Hopefully, this will be very clear for everyone going forward.


Creative Writing Workshop Update

This probably has me more excited than anything else I have worked on in my tenure as Combat Master. You know what, let's revisit that phrase. This is the most exciting thing I've worked on since joining this club. It is the culmination of an idea I have had and attempted to get off the ground for so long that I never thought I actually would.

That is until I got a volunteer slave force all my own! The ACC Judge staff has been great in so many ways. They not only discuss all the nuances of our various judgments, but also fight for the best experience our members can have. Even as I wait patiently for the day that Turel finally doesn't bring his soap box to the meetings, I am grateful for their input.

So, before I wax poetic up in here, I'll give a brief breakdown of where we're at: Syllabus Breakdown. This stage is pretty straightforward. We have compiled a list of exactly what will be covered at each stage in the process, where the assignments will fall, what those assignments could be, and roughly how long the process will take. As it stands right now, the entire workshop would span the course of about 4 and a half months.

Understandably, that is quite the time investment. It's worth it, though. Let's look beyond the simple fact that the members in charge of these workshops will be investing that much of their time doing their utmost to help you all not only learn, but improve. What sort of time value would you put on the experience? Keep in mind that these groupings would be roughly 5 members in size at any one time. You'll all be growing together, discussing the topics actively and reviewing the assignments. At the same time, you could opt to not discuss those topics in the group itself but take it aside with the instructor for some one-on-one feedback. At the end of the day, you are sharing the time of this individual with others. Even as a small group, in order to do you all justice, the time is necessary. In fact, as we go through content reviews, this range may increase. The current projection is the bare minimum.

I know from talking to many of you that this is an exciting prospect, and I hope to truly reward that excitement with an experience that deserves it. That's all I'm really looking for in the end.


ACC Exams

Remember, any questions on ACC mechanics, the CSs, or features, email [Log in to view e-mail addresses]. We do check this email, and often. Best way to get a proper response with all the staff on the same page.

Thanks for reading,


Excellent report and updates to the ACC Halls, Atra. It's great to see member feedback being taken in and addressed.

As one guilty of being horrible and timing out, maybe we need a "how to read clocks" S.A. course. I can't seem to ever tell time when I do A.C.C. matches...or someone needs to have me on speed dial and wake my ass up a few hours before I ruin someone's match. Maybe both! I always feel bad after and really need to break this TO habit. :(

cooperative sounds nice. one doesn't always have a reason to fight someone 1v1.

Are you trying to say you don't like scones in the Duelist Hall?! Racist.

Seriously, though, I am extremely excited for co-op and for this workshop! Fantastic stuff!

Even as I wait patiently for the day that Turel finally doesn't bring his soap box to the meetings

At least one of my bosses apprecitaes my soapboxing. runs to Jac :P

Seriously, great report. Looking forward to coop being a thing.

The problem with timeouts was made worse because of the fact that we were limited to a maximum of 2 active battles at any one time. Without such a restriction, timeouts wouldn't have mattered so much.

Funderdome. Right. Message received. No more Rick Rolling the CM in standard matches.

Do it anyway.

Quiet, Steve.

The problem with timeouts was made worse because of the fact that we were limited to a maximum of 2 active battles at any one time. Without such a restriction, timeouts wouldn't have mattered so much.

Except timeouts have been a problem in every event we've run, even before me. In fact, some of the feedback felt the problem was made worse when I introduced the 2 active battles in the last week instead of keeping it to 1.

Oooooh workshops. Color me excited!

Looks like exciting things in the future with the workshop and I look forward to seeing what we might do to discourage timeouts. (though I can't say I am guiltless there)

Goddamit, Steve

I didn't care for event. First, the waiting to get an opponent took too long, and then he timed out and never got another opponent.

Events like these should have automatic dq from rest of event if people time out and the other player automatically given not only the win, but a new opponent.

Maybe that incentive will stop timeouts. Also, a ranking system like sa has should be implemented and people lose points for timing out.

Just became more disheartened as the event proceeded

I like the idea in the above comment concerning a rank system.

Harsh punishments for timing out might not work. Incentivising keeping in a match might be more of a better option. Such as giving more rewards for staying in a match, or subranks of some sort like Brimstone mentioned. People who time out more often could be placed with together while those who complete matches would be grouped together. Neutral would be neutral.

Creative writing course, a new age DSW?


I didn't care for event. First, the waiting to get an opponent took too long, and then he timed out and never got another opponent.

As per the made public sign-up sheet, you didn't enter the queue until the 1st of December. The event sign-ups began on the 12th of November. At that point, matches were ongoing and someone needed to re-enter the queue for you to get a pairing. After that match you never signed up again, so you never got another pairing. I suppose it may not have been as obvious as we thought it was that you needed to enter the queue each time you were ready for a match, so sorry if that was missed.

As for a ranking system (this goes to Bentre as well since he commented on it), the ACC already has this. There is an ELO ranking system built into it. The rankings can be seen here: ACC Ranking Leaderboard

Not all halls will count towards ELO, but main ACC events and the Ranked halls typically do.

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