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Voice Report #8: Maximum Effort

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I’m going to keep this brief. Time is short, and there is a lot of work to be done. There will be no TL;DR. Please just read the report. (Read all the things! - blind Preator)

M:Voice Applications: Open

Due to real life tissues, Justinios has resigned his Magistrate position. It saddens me to see him go, and we’ve held back on opening applications while I tried to find out more. We wish Justinios the best, and hope he comes back to us and the DJB soon.

With that said, we are now looking to fill the empty Magistrate slot, especially with how busy things will be getting in the upcoming GJW for me. I'm writing the plot, working logistics, supporting the other Dark Councilors' events, and running multiple events of my own. It will be important for the Voice Staff to be functioning even while I'm focused elsewhere.

Magistrate to the Voice

Taken from the Voice Staff Expectations document (internal), the duties of M:Voice include but are not limited to:

  • Administrative action on Character Sheet approval and remands.
  • Administrative action on Fiction Competition approval and remands.
  • Provide feedback on Guideline or System changes/proposals.
  • Work on and complete assigned projects/tasks.
  • Proofreading Voice Staff documentation
  • Read and stay updated on Voice Reports and Updates

Applicants should:

  • Have a working knowledge or comprehension of the Character Sheet system and the various documentations used such as the Character Sheet Guide and the Character Sheet Approval Guidelines. Any Magistrate selected will receive training on how we go about approving Character Sheets, but having a baseline understanding helps a lot.
  • Have less than a 24 Hour turn around time on email.
  • Maintain active presence and regular communication via Telegram, the Brotherhood's main communication platform. The Voice staff discusses a lot of things over our Telegram channel, and allows us to quickly answer questions and help each other out to make sure we’re turning around Character Sheets for members as quickly and effectively as possible.
  • Confidence in proof reading both fiction and technical writing.
  • Familiarity with the Wiki (helpful but not required).

Please submit all applications to my Praetor and I: [Log in to view e-mail addresses] and [Log in to view e-mail addresses]. Applications will remain open until Monday July 10th 2017. The selected Magistrate will start right away and work closely with the Praetor to get situated.

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GJWXII: ACC Phase I

ACC Phase I is underway. So far, we’ve seen a staggering amount of matches. Most impressive, however, is the rate of completion so far. Per my last update from the Combat Master, the numbers are looking like this:

  • Active Matches: 47
  • Completed (including Awaiting Judgement): 34

(As of this reports publish date) 34 Completed matches is no small feat, considering we’ve been live for 12 days or so. There are roughly 11 days left until the July 16th cut-off for new match creation. This means that when the site changes over to July 17th, no more matches will be allowed to start. Beyond that point, ongoing matches will have until July 24th to finish out. All matches will close at that time. Please see the competition details for more information.

I just wanted to take a quick moment to let everyone know how pleased I am to see the reception here to the event. Even when I know some of you dislike despise the format and rules, I appreciate everyone that has thrown in to compete anyway. I’m also excited that I get to see a lot of characters I’ve only gotten to observe or learn about through Fiction Chat questions over the past few months. So, it’s been enjoyable to read these matches.

That said, there are a few things I’d like to cover before I let you get back to fighting mercilessly bathing in the blood of battered bones and flayed flesh one another.

smile

Additional Judge

After discussion with the Dark Summit, and as some of you may have already learned, members of the DC were asked to volunteer as additional judges for ACC grading.

I’d like to formally congratulate Farrin on becoming a certified ACC Judge. Farrin has gone line by line through three ACC matches now, with direct guidance and communication (usually about 1-2 hours per match) working with myself, Mav, and Atra. I am confident that Farrin is as qualified now to judge matches as any member of the ACC Staff, and we’re grateful for him jumping in and eagerly lending a hand. He will be invaluable towards the end of the event where Mav and Atra are both away. Thank you again, Farrin, for coming on board to help. We appreciate it.

Tips from the Judges

Judgestats

As you can see, we’ve been hard at work. Mav has been slacking, because he is the worst, obviously. Kidding aside, here are my notes to participants after grading my first few matches:

  1. Lightsaber wounds. - Be careful with these and how your character “continues fighting”. My best advice would be to re-watch the lightsaber duels in the films on Youtube. I’d pay close attention to Finn vs Kylo Ren fight especially, as you learn a lot about how lightsaber “grazes” can be described. (Finn screams in agony as Kylo presses the ignited cross-hilt of his saber into his shoulder, Anakin passes out when he gets his arm cut off by Doku, etc.).
  2. POV switching - POV, or Point of View is when you write from the perspective of one character. It can be jarring to the reader to suddenly be switched to the other character’s point of view without some kind of transition. I prefer line-breaks, personally, but even a “meanwhile” can sometimes make a huge difference. This would falls under the Story category in grading. In a lot of popular published science fiction/fantasy novels, authors tend to use a chapter or subchapter to cover a point of view. Game of Thrones, for example, each chapter is named by the character it follows. (Jon, Arya, Jamie, etc.). Authors like Brandon Sanderson will even change their writing style based on whose point of view they are covering (hello, Wayne).
  3. Proof reading. Always. If you can’t find a proofreader, try reading your posts out loud to yourself. Your ears will catch things your eyes miss. Trust me. It’s a trick we used in Screenwriting class and with working with actors.
  4. Please Read the documentation. I’m serious. CS Guide, ACC Guide, the Fiction Center, and the Resource hub are all at your disposal. Most of the Realism errors we are seeing pop up are not semantic. They are pretty obvious, easy mistakes to avoid. As a general rule of thumb, for example, Force Powers need to be at +3 to be “combat ready”. That is to say, +3 is where the powers tend to be able to be triggered fast enough to be useful in a combat situation.
  5. Force Power levels - A +1 Force Lightning and a +4 Force Lightning have the same power and duration. The difference in levels is “ease of use,” or how readily you can draw on the power.
  6. Endurance - Endurance is not your resistance to pain. That is a combination of different Skill attributes (Endurance, Might, Resolve, etc.), feats, and Force Powers if you have them (Control Self, Healing). In short, Endurance is how long your physical attributes stay at their peak. How long can you stay at your +4 Athletics before tiring? Time is a really hard thing to get critical on in ACC writing, but it is up to you, as a writer, to control pacing. If you have someone with +1 Endurance panting heavily after three saber swings...you might be over exaggerating a bit. If you’re curious, just ask. We will do our best to answer your questions.
  7. Please make sure to read this FAQ section of the CS Guide. Most people forget about it, but Atra brings it up all the time.
  8. Word Caps - I know they suck. I know that some people struggle and that sometimes you get into a flow and the words fly. For people who struggle with block, this can be harrowing and crippling. I get it, and I'm sorry. On a positive note, what I can say is that people are finding ways to make it work. For the best results, my advice is to not think of the word cap as a limitation. Think of it as yet another challenge. I know not everyone thrives on banging their head against an obstacle until it cracks like me, but it is true and has helped me deal with things I haven't liked in the past. Find a way to make it work. You can do it. If you have questions, ask.
  9. Second Poster - A time management trick I've shared before: if you have the second post, you are technically following up your own post for the final post. With that in mind, you can technically just write one longer post, and then cut it in half and have your final ready to go when your opponent posts. Just be mindful of where you decide to break it off. I hope that helps a bit.

That’s all I have for now.

Atra adds:

Biggest tip would be to focus more on a simple yet powerful hook and then carry us through the fight with a mixture of emotions when you have the first post rather than a lot of build-up without much payoff.

Also, don't be afraid to ask questions when you aren't explicitly sure about Realism.

Never "count yourself out". There's been a couple times where it seems like a member gave up for their second post when they had a real chance at winning, and that lack of effort became a factor.

Also, to reiterate: "participation" means actually managing a post.

Atra raises some excellent points. The Combat Master is wise and sagely.

Mav says:

I've noticed several posts have almost a throw away combat line.

Mav may be the worst, but he is the former CM/Voice. He trained me, so you could consider him the “grandfather” of the current CS’s and ACC. (Because he’s old, you see).

To follow up on Mav’s point: in short matches like these, it is good to make a conscious effort to include action in your posts. It’s very important to set the stage quickly and get right into the conflict. And since you only have two posts to tell your part of the story, only having a single line of action can work against you.

Farrin adds:

Something I've noticed more than anything else judging these matches is that clarity is key. You want the grader (and anyone else) to be able to read your prose without any kind of issue. It might make sense in your head, but we're not in your head.

This is nice to hear from a fresh set of eyes. Clarity is indeed king. Again, one of the easiest ways to catch awkward phrasing or wording is to read it out loud to yourself. You'd be surprised how many things you catch that way.

Please read the ACC Phase I - Launch news post for more details.

If you have any questions, please contact myself or Atra through:

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Ask The Voice

I hate doing these, but made an exception for once. These are actually very good questions.

Archenskov asks: Will participants in Phase 2 of the ACC tournament be given an opportunity to change their loadouts between matches? I.e. if I'm fighting Turel in my next match, do I have a buffer to switch to a Turel-centered loadout?

This is an excellent question. We will have an answer for you by the time Phase II is reviewed and finalized by the DC and Consuls . We need to check in with James on some coding related things, but right now the answer we are leaning towards is "no". Members will most likely be asked to create a "Tournament" loadout that they will stick to for the duration of the event. Members will be free to utilize their other loadouts for Fictions.

Blade asks: I was told that droid weapons had to be in your loadout. Does this apply to the [IG-100] MagnaGaurds, or do they come with their weapons?

Atra answers: There's an entire Droid section in the ACC Guide that explicitly states the weapons come from their Loadout if it's not listed as part of the Droid. The description for the Magnaguards in Possessions only says they're known for using the staff, not that they have one included.

Slagar asks: How much will all the Clans be featured in the GJW story arc? The mad Pravus/Lotus arc has seemed to focus on a smaller cross section of units, and I know I've had members making the inquiry.

This is another great question but it is hard for me to answer it right now. The Great Jedi War plot hinges heavily on the storyline we’ve been working with for the past few years, and a lot of that is tied to Pravus, the character. With a cross-country move, Sarin has been busy IRL, so we’re still working out details of how the events of the War will play out, but are getting close to figuring it all out. It’s one of those chain-reaction things that once we narrow down what we want, we’ll be able to streamline and quickly execute.

That said, my goals for the GJW are as follows:

  • Provide a storyline that drives the main conflict while giving flexibility and freedom for members of all archetypes and backgrounds to feel like they were a part of it in some way. I don’t care if you’re a Light, Gray, or Dark Jedi. I don’t care if you’re a Loyalist or Merc. A War is the single largest and most impactful event the Brotherhood has, and if I accomplish one thing with this storyline, it will be that there is something for everyone.
  • Ensure all seven units feel like they have a stake in the War and are included in equal parts. This will come as a result of communication and consent between the unit leaders.
  • Make sure that active members and leaders have cameos and features.
  • No GM vs GM saber fest.
  • No Vong.

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In-Closing

Keep up the great work, everyone. Keep completing those matches. Make us sweat. (Atra looks much better wet than I do).

If you have questions about your Character Sheet, please check in with Atty and the Magistrates. They can be reached at: [Log in to view e-mail addresses].

Oh, and one more thing.

Great Jedi War XII officially kicks off August 1st. This is a hard date. Stamp it, book it, mark it, scream it, check it, now upgrade it. Thank you, everyone, for your patience. I promise to share more details from the fiction side of things when I have more details. Promise.

In closing, I know that many people wonder what we actually do on the DC, so I figured I’d share a glimpse into our “process”.

lol

For real, though, everyone on the DC is working very hard to make this War something special. We haven’t had one in 2 years, and want you, as members and leaders, to have the best experience.

Thanks everyone. So much for being short, I guess.

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fiction character sheets wiggle voice report voice staff applications phase i acc acc event great jedi war war star wars

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 4:27 AM
Img 20161201 005258

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Come talk to us, folks! If you have questions for the event, hit up Wally and Atra, if you have questions about your sheets, hit up the staff! Do the thing!

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Farrinavatar

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the result of that important DC meeting you've pictured was the decision to nuke all of the Clans fleets and give them all some model rockets, right?

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 6:47 AM
Terran avatar zoom

I've noticed several posts have almost a throw away combat line.

The ACC has been emphasizing that story (especially backstory, plot beyond the combat, etc.) is key for at least two years now. With only 750 words per post - meaning two posts are far less than a single chapter in most genre fiction - something has to be sacrificed. It's only natural - and proper - that people are going to do exactly what the ACC has trained them to do and prioritize story over waving glowbats around.

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 6:52 AM
A lora by z a i n a d9k49cz box resized

I want the one with blue stripes, then.

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:17 AM
Marcus matoshi avatar 100

Thanks Justinios! My condoleances Farrin, and good luck to all in Phase I and II.

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 10:33 AM
Larenavatardjb100x100

Good luck to all, and to all a good luck, or something like that.

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 11:09 AM
Ugh

#FriedShrimp

Posted on Jul 7, 2017 at 9:51 PM
Avatar4

The ACC has been emphasizing that story (especially backstory, plot beyond the combat, etc.) is key for at least two years now. With only 750 words per post - meaning two posts are far less than a single chapter in most genre fiction - something has to be sacrificed. It's only natural - and proper - that people are going to do exactly what the ACC has trained them to do and prioritize story over waving glowbats around.

Hi Terran,

I understand that it can be hard to incorporate everything into the stringent word requirements of Vendetta-level ACC, but that is part of the challenge of the event. Combat is an integral part of the Story category, as outlined in the rubric, and ought not be sacrificed in the Combat Center. Combat is always important to battles, and lack/hand waving of combat will get you dinged regardless of the event. On the other hand, a lack of anything but straight forward combat where individuals stand in place and trade blows with the same repetitive actions can be detrimental as well ('waving their glowbats around'). As Atra points out, it is best to find some interesting 'hook' - often a feature of the venue - and utilize it to make the combat interesting and carry the reader through the ensuing conflict with some sort of emotional investment.

Posted on Jul 8, 2017 at 7:58 PM
Terran avatar zoom

Hey Mav,

While I understand where you're coming from, as well as the intent you're trying to convey, my point was that the word caps as they stand (750 words, the lowest word cap the ACC has ever seen in a tournament) mean you have to cut story or combat significantly. There's not enough space to include both a compelling story and well written combat, and the ACC has trained most participants that story (i.e.: the part that makes you care about the combat at all) comes first. Just food for thought in future events. One thousand words was harsh but doable. We're past the breaking point now, though. Might be worth considering in future events.

Posted on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:57 AM
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Farrin adds:

  • Something I've noticed more than anything else judging these matches is that clarity is key. You want the grader (and anyone else) to be able to read your prose without any kind of issue. It might make sense in your head, but we're not in your head.

Omg, so very true... hi everyone, hope you're all doing well.