Behold! It is I once again! I'm on a long weekend this, well, weekend...so I'll make this brief and informative! While I got you reading the intro, there are other far more important reports out there right now for your purview, so I'll link to them for ease of use:
Well now, if you're still here then you are one of the ACC inclined. Or you're just into writing and you like the tips I have here. Perhaps you really like me?! (Let's not kid ourselves here :p)
I'm going to be leading off with the monthly ACC Intel drop, but then we have some things that are important! Namely, some members have noticed what might be referred to as "weirdness" regarding their character sheets. Illumination shall be provided! And to do so, we need to charge into the material below.
Have you ever heard the tale of Darth Plagueis the Wise? No? How 'bout Kelly Mendes? If not, you're about to. Our Intel this month focuses on her escapades. Thanks for your activity and we look forward to more!
Showing outdated info? Because of stuff and things! Mostly, there has been a bit of a disconnect between sheets and dossiers now that Snapshots and NPCs are implemented in the system. That means your sheet could still show you as a member of Clan Scholae Palatinae when you're now a member of Clan Naga Sadow. Or, perhaps, you changed your name. Well, your character sheet still shows the old one!
How do we change this ghastly inconsistency, oh Master of Combat? Rejoice, for it is simple, naive! You just gotta activate a new sheet whenever you change any of the dossier level stuff. Examples include but may not be limited to: gender, name, unit, and/or path!
It's a minor annoyance, and one we weren't fully aware of until recently. Due to how often it's come up in a short timespan, figured we'd drop a mention of it in this here report. It doesn't overly affect many outside the Snapshot system, but it can be confusing when you glance over someone's character sheet and it doesn't match what it should!
Now you know, it's in a book, and knowing is half the battle. Reading GI Joe Rainbow, yo.
Then we want to hear about it! Especially you. Yes, you. The person over there standing in the ashes of your previous venues and need to be replacing them. (stare at Scholae Palatinae and Taldryan intensifies) This isn't to say that an every day member can't contribute a venue idea, but in the early stages of the Venue Review, this is the most lacking of areas. Please keep in mind, though, that any Clan-based venues should be approved by your Consul first.
So, if you're going to send in your idea then you may want a template to follow. Might as well give you one to get an idea. Typically, we're looking for at least one image and two paragraphs worth of content. But, here are the basics:
Images: [Source] - [link]
Description: [Words and stuff]
Then you email it to [Log in to view e-mail addresses] and we'll review it for addition! Of course, the ACC/Voice team reserves the right to re-word anything that comes across our desk or enhance it, but a base certainly makes our life easier.
Some needs that we've identified are, mostly, neutral areas. For instance, we need a few more cantinas that are Human friendly. It wouldn't hurt to throw in some more historical and iconic locations either. For instance, I'm adapting the Malachor ruins from Rebels as a new edition. We'll see what others the team comes up with, but we're open to input!
Venues! I feel like I just talked about them, yet here we go again. Except it's a bait and switch! The subject is the same but the topic is new. More or less, when writing an ACC match it is pretty easy to focus on yourself and your opponent. However, there is a third character involved in this match and it ain't an NPC! It's the venue itself.
Each of these have been written with the intent of having a personality of their own. They are alive in the sense that the world around you is alive. There are other people going on about their day-to-day experience around you no matter where you are. So why narrow your focus to the point it becomes lost?
For some of us, this becomes easier. Those who rely on character archetypes that interact with the environment more than others will be thinking this way from the beginning. Sokan users comes to mind for this. The venue is a weapon they have to utilize. There's nothing stopping anyone else from doing it, however. Perhaps there is a crowd? Use that. Try to get lost in it or threaten them. Maybe the bird-rat you're fighting is deathly afraid of the vast void that is space and you just happen to be in a hangar? Open the window.
What I'm saying is, the venue is another tool to be used. It has life and can add to the experience. The same fight won't flow the same way in two different places. It really can't unless they are both empty arenas. We try to avoid that.
So, pay attention to the venue description. The Savannah is a good example. It mentions apex predators and other subtleties such as that. Look at it like Chekhov's Gun. Why mention it if you aren't going to use it? Create external threats beyond the obvious. Branch out and have some fun with it. Who knows what might happen.
This is a delicate balance and I daresay easier said than done. Masterful use of Aspects within a match can earn you props from the Judge and a more favorable score. That's something you want to happen, naturally, but you can run into problems if that's all you're thinking about. It becomes "painting by numbers" instead of an organic feeling story. That's obvious to the reader.
So, what's the path we are to take on this? How do we integrate aspects while making things feel natural?
I don't have all the answers, but the first thing you're going to want to do is to familiarize yourself with it. Remember that an Aspect describes how a member goes about doing things. That's the first clue to what you should be writing. It's a blueprint for success. If you have someone with an affinity for manipulation, they are going to benefit from a venue that has more onlookers than another one would. Often they should at least make an attempt in this regard, and it will come across natural.
You don't want to hammer people over the head though. That means you should be looking for subtle integration. If someone is a berserker, you want to make hints to it throughout. Most likely anger issues or having to hold back from losing control. Foreshadow what is to come and then unleash it! General Aspects, on the other hand, are a bit harder to touch on. So don't force it. You got someone who's an intergalactic drifter and doesn't stay in place too long? That's fine. Maybe mention that they're beginning to feel antsy and it might be time to move on. That's the end of it, though. Don't keep hammering the point home.
It's really the same as the "Show, don't tell" philosophy. Don't tell me that a member has +4 Might and is therefore stronger than Mr. +2 Might. Same thing goes for Aspects. They should be describing how to write something, not dictating the exact terms to be used.
Duelist, for instance, is a simple Combat Aspect. It's all about focused one on one training. You can integrate that easily. You can make mention of how they seemed zoned in on their target, how they react to the movements and adjust. Simple things like that. You never have to say, "Atra is a duelist."
I mean, you can, but it needs to be for flow and style. Don't be too blunt.
Hopefully that clears this up at least a little bit. It comes down to practice and repetition. Never be disheartened if you aren't getting it immediately. Eventually, the pieces will just click in your mind.
Will the GJW ACC use a modified rubric? (e.g. one that emphasizes combat over story)
As far as I'm aware, there are no plans to alter the rubric. However, it is important to remember that in an ACC match, the combat IS the story. It isn't a matter of one over the other. Because we are dealing with word caps, often people might feel like the onus is put to the first member to throw out combat in favor of creating the story for the conflict. That's something we realize and we hope to structure this event in such a way that a thorough "backstory" isn't as required. The focus should be on the conflict between these characters.
When will we see new venues and are there any ideas or plans to make some unique ones?
When the review concludes! Which will have some brakes put on it when the Great Jedi War hits. Obviously, we'll all be busy little beavers! The review includes looking at the number of "types" of venues. They're broken into tropical, industrial, temple, ruins, so on and so forth. We're trying to add more unique flavors in each of these categories. If you have an idea, feel free to pop back up to the venue section of this report and put something together!
Any advice for people who get assigned to venues of other clans when not matched with a member of said clan? Are there any plans to prevent the aforementioned scenario from occurring?
Hope you don't get first post? Joking aside, it's going to take some research. Hopefully, the venue description has enough information that you can set up a conflict there, but it won't hurt to check out any wiki based information that may be available. As for prevention, currently only venues that are marked in a specific way get picked by the "auto" selector in Open Challenge. However, there is nothing preventing "Random Venue" from picking one of these as there is no code in place to prevent "random selection" of a venue. Given it involves coding, it isn't the highest of priorities at this time though that could change in the future.
Is space acc still on pause?
Mmmyup. And may get a further pause with the War hitting us soon(tm). The biggest thing holding this back is that, to do it properly, we need to make some coding changes. That's always a big "eeeeeehhhhh" from a project planning perspective because we don't want to waste Seneschal time or that of his staff. That's part of why I'm brushing up on Ruby On Rails in order to offer assistance, especially when it comes to projects I'm working on. This is something that's wanted, but stands to be as niche as Funderdome is right now. It will come, just not as fast as people may want.
Will ACC co-op battles with predetermined enemies and challenges be reintroduced any time soon?
Mostly the same answer as above. To do it right, we need to make some coding changes. Primarily, to separate Scenario venues from the standard fair. That's the most basic of implementations. My ideal world is a touch more complicated but the coding just isn't there and I'm not sure I want to ask for it. The worth needs to be weighed. Anyhow, yeah it will come...just not soon.
Any suggests for how people who aren't so good at Syntax can improve?
Grammarly is a good first step but it can only take you so far. I'm a big fan of Grammar Girl. Mostly, it's due to the way she breaks topics down in a super easy to understand way. It's a great resource and good for learning.
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,
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