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 Featurer Suggestion 2021 Extravaganza Reflective

Extravanganza Accordian Demo
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Bug

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Team Delta
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oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
Suggestion: Whenever there's an event like the Ganza or the Summer Spectacular going on, there could be some kind of banner or sidebar widget near the top of the front page for the whole duration of the event with the schedule and links to the relevant threads. This would help people who aren't good with forums immensely, and it would also keep people from forgetting about the event after having looked at the thread once.
This is definitely more my field than feature team (since it involves the coding), so I will go ahead an reply directly! I really like the idea of a sidebar or widget. We've got the rotating banners, but I can agree that overall, the visibility leaves something to be desired and is probably in need of a loving hand. I will see what I can do to make this happen and make it accessible, but it's gonna be very bootstrapped like voting this year, so I request patience and love. Thank you for the wonderful suggestion and thoughtful feedback. ❤️
 

TheTRUEgge

three of them?? this has gotten out of hand!
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This Pokémon has too many ideas for their own good.
Jumping off that, it would be nice if you could send a site-wide PM or something when the Ganza begins, sort of like the newsletter! Maybe people can opt in to messages letting them know when the various Ganza threads open? Being able to more easily find threads would definitely help with engagement :D
 

Winterspheonix

Comic Secret Hoarder
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I am once again begging on my knees to add one more permanent category for Comics (without removing another). 🥺 This year I managed a completely filled in all unique comics ballot (last year I had exactly one repeat creator), and there were not nearly enough slots to fit in every creator who I think should get an award. As others already mentioned, a good candidate for a new permanent category would be Best Battle.
  • Last year, the response to this suggestion was that Written and SSWL runs would have to get an extra category too then, which isn't feasible with how little nominations they already get. But the question above just mentioned the option of cutting a category in SSWL, so it seems the need to have all mediums treated the same way isn't set in stone anymore. And also: Best Battle would totally work for all mediums. So maybe?
I'm seconding this!

At the very least an additional category that doesn't take out a previous one. A lot of the categories we have now are quite full, and while I understand why there is a want to make every medium the same amount of votes, it's fairly obvious on the comic side how much more comics/engagement there is in comparison. So I agree its worth putting in another slot!

Also I didnt say this before but i had a lot of fun in Ganza, so thank so much for making this and putting in all the hard work :D
 

Tookie

The Immoral Bard
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This user does not exist. All impressions to the contrary are propaganda pieces and not to be trusted.
We've had cases of users opting out after nominations have been tallied, mainly due to not expecting to have been nominated in the first place. This is a conundrum for them, as they may feel it unneeded or presumptuous to opt out and have their name up there saying they did. How best can we approach this? Is it a question of simply normalizing opt-outs as okay if you don't want to partake (for any reason), or is there a better system than the current one to move to?

so now that it's all said and done, and we're looking to troubleshoot;

hi everyone, i'm one of the people that dropped out after he was nominated for that exact stated reason- also because i haven't written for a Nuzlocke since early 2020 and everything about that run makes me cringe to high hell and back

i did feel like it'd be really presumptuous for me to say "yo i know i barely write shit to begin with and most of the forum probably doesn't know who i am anymore with how little i post, but can you tell everyone that I personally don't want to be in this forum-wide event?"

i do appreciate people thinking of me and putting me forward, and if you feel like that nomination was wasted i do apologise, but honestly i just feel really out of place in a Nuzlocke-centric event- this is probably just my brain on hell thoughts but unfortunately i'm the guy who has to live with this overcooked sponge

as for what to do, i'd definitely feel better if there was more emphasis on the fact that, yes, you can drop out and it's not a big deal, please normalise this at the very least
 

Gecko

Pure of heart, dumb of ass
Pokédex No.
2141
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Jun 20, 2020
Messages
126
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Hoenn
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Calm
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he/she/they
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  1. Grass
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An awkward lil reptile who is just trying her best.
Regarding the main questions:

This was my first year participating in the ganza so I can't speak much to the changes, but I did find it super convenient to be able to vote on the forums themselves. The process was very well-explained imo

As far as the opt-out situation, this might be too much work for the mods, but could the people who opted out be kept anonymous and then if people do end up nominating them, those people could be DMed and asked to change their nom? That's kind of a roundabout way of doing things and may not be the best solution, but it's just a thought. Otherwise, normalizing it is probably for the best, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. I try to be supportive of everyone's work regardless of whether they wanna be in the ganza or not

To me, Best Ongoing Conflict is really vague and confusing as a category. If this question is coming up because of the Best Antagonist noms for comics this year, extending that category to include abstract concepts could be considered, but Best Conflict feels like a category that would get warped and debated due to being really broad about what can be included in that. I personally like a Best Antagonist category that's specific to actual characters or evil teams, since those are in every Pokemon game (unless a comic takes heavy liberties and removes them) but I think it works fine as a rotational category considering there can be huge gaps between scenes where the villain is relevant for a lot of comics

Additional thoughts:

I would love to see Best Battle as a permanent category. Battles are the foundation of the Pokémon franchise and thus stories frequently include them and they can be major plot points. There would definitely be enough battles to nominate every year. I am only really connected with the comic side of the community so idk how common they are in written and SSWL runs, but I'd have to think that category could work for them too since, again, battles are a foundational part of the Pokemon games

Something I'd REALLY like to see and that other Nuzlockers discussed in Discord is self-promos specific to ganza categories. It's hard to keep track of what happened in so many stories over the course of a year. It would be great to have a period where people can post reminders of which categories they are relevant to, for example, "Here are the battles that happened in my story this year," "These characters got introduced this year," etc. I noticed that people had trouble thinking of best antagonists to nominate, not because there weren't any, but because people forgot which ones were out there. Me and a few others ended up making a list in Discord as reference since people were struggling to think of villains. I think a thread like this would be so helpful, or it could even be rolled into the promo portion of the event.
 

Tailsimp

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1,833
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A Literal Desert
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Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
How did the unlimited promos work out for you not as a promoter, but as a reader of runs?
I think it was a nice idea, but the reality is that there were so many promos that nothing really got to shine. Plus, users felt stressed to add ever run they could think of for fear of ppl feeling unappreciated. I personally would like to go back to 5 promos, with a longer limit for each. I know some ppl would like unlimited space, but I think it could lead to a similar problems we had this year. The pressure to make sure you talk about everyone's work would be replaced with feeling the need to say a lot about each promo, and the fatigue ppl felt at seeing so many promos to read would be replaced with fatigue at seeing so much to read. I want ppl who post their promos on day 5, hitting the 3rd page of the thread, to still feel like ppl will read what they wrote instead of skimming it due to burnout. I also like the idea of a 6th slot dedicated to a self promo only, to encourage ppl to use it.

Did the forum-based forms work well as a voting system?
Worked well for me and I liked having it hosted here!

Were the process clarifications helpful, or did anything remain unclear to you?
Everything seemed clear to me save for the some confusion about the fact that you could vote for things from previous years in a category (like voting for saddest death even if that death was last year.) Maybe clarification on that next year?

We've had cases of users opting out after nominations have been tallied, mainly due to not expecting to have been nominated in the first place. This is a conundrum for them, as they may feel it unneeded or presumptuous to opt out and have their name up there saying they did. How best can we approach this? Is it a question of simply normalizing opt-outs as okay if you don't want to partake (for any reason), or is there a better system than the current one to move to?
I don't know if there is more we can do besides normalizing it. To go about that I def think a reminder about it during and near the end of the promo period would help- but it's also on us community members to remind and support one another to opt out if we aren't comfortable! Also, making it clear where/who to discuss about opting out. I know I had some friends opt out this year, but weren't sure where to go about it at first.

Also, I wonder if it's okay, or we can make it okay going forward to opt out of a single category in ganza? Someone may not feel comfortable being nominated in one category, but not want to opt out of the entire ganza.

Many runs don't have specific antagonists to point to. Do you think there could be a category that could act as a flip side to Best Antagonist, then? Best Theme, or Best Ongoing Conflict, or some such? Be advised, of course, that for a category to be viable it needs to be broad enough that there are plenty of runs that can be nominated for it in the first place.
  • Alternately, do you agree with keeping Best Antagonist centered around characters/organizations (with the gameplay/meta-based exceptions for SSWL runs), or would you prefer a broader approach?
So for one I absolutely think we should keep Best Antagonist centered around concrete characters/organizations.

I really don't see the need for something like Best Ongoing Conflict, as it's so broad I think it will just bring in votes from things like battles to antagonists to themes. Overall I think the racism thing was mostly a joke (at least I saw a lot of joking about putting it on their ballots) so I really don't think this is an issue that needs solving.

It's an obvious point to make that activity isn't equal across mediums. However, in recent years in both written and SSWL runs, we have had several instances of advancing participants to voting off a single nomination. We have also, in 2 of the last 3 years, had to cut a category entirely from SSWL. So the question is, how we can help this? Could it mean efforts based on engagement, or could it be down to tweaking the Ganza itself? You absolutely do not need to answer this one, of course; it's a hard question, and a broad one at that, but we felt it relevant enough to pose here for discussion.
I think one of the biggest issues causing this comes from the strange way we seem to have tied all the mediums together by having almost the same list of categories to vote for across the board. What works for Comics doesn't always work for Written or SSWL, and vice versa. I honestly think that for all mediums- but especially for SSWL, each ballot should be customized for the medium. For example, I think "Funniest Run" would be excellent for Comics and SSWL, as many of them utilize comedy- but i've been told that few Written stories do. I think in this instance, Funniest Run should be put on the ballot for Comics and SSWL, and the ballot for Written should have something in its place better suited for the medium. I think that taking this approach to SSWL, and allowing for more customized categories like Interesting/Difficult Ruleset or Smartest Play would do a lot to get more interest and votes to it in the Ganza (as well as just be good for Comics and Written runs as well). Though when it comes to exactly what those new categories should be, I feel it's best to ask the SSWL creators over ppl like myself.

Did you enjoy the event this year? Was there anything that made you enjoy it more or less than previous year(s)?
Overall I really enjoyed the event this year! It was easy to follow along with, easy to participate in, and fun to watch! Having the voting take place on the forums made it even more enjoyable for me personally. Any issues I had were addressed earlier, but overall it was a fantastic time!

What ideas do you have for rotational categories to vote on next year? We only had three options in the poll this year, so we could use some help!
So I really liked best worldbuilding as a category for comics, but I actually feel like it should be made into a rotational category going forward. I feel like there aren't actually that many comics that utilize much world building for there to be a big pool of contestants every year. Also I feel like most world building comes slowly through most comics, and as such, having it every other year would allow for a better competition pool because there'd be plenty of time for more world building to be established in works.

If we really wanted to do something like "Best antagonistic force" then I'm much more down for it being a rotational category than a staple.

Do you have any ideas for changes not listed above?
I am once again begging for a variation of "Funniest Run" to be a staple. Many if not nearly all nuzlockes use comedy at some point even if it's not their focal point- so there's a large pool to look at for it. If we feel "Funniest Run" is too limiting, something like "Best Use of Comedy" could also work, as utilizing comedy to balance out drama is a well known tactic.

Is there anything else you'd like to discuss regarding how we run the Extravaganza?
The only point I was going to bring up was calling more attention to it, but ppl have already brought up good suggestions about that!

[INSERT YOUR EXCELLENT DISCUSSION POINT HERE]
I think "Best Redesigns" would work best as "Best Redesign" so as to not be so much of a "Best artstyle... 2!"

As always, a big thank you to the mods and feature team who make this awesome event happen!
 

Bug

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I am once again begging for a variation of "Funniest Run" to be a staple. Many if not nearly all nuzlockes use comedy at some point even if it's not their focal point- so there's a large pool to look at for it. If we feel "Funniest Run" is too limiting, something like "Best Use of Comedy" could also work, as utilizing comedy to balance out drama is a well known tactic.
Do you feel that singling it down to something like 'Funniest Character' might work? We may not look at every run and think of 'funny' but I bet everyone can look at each run they read and think 'yes, that character, that one is funny' regardless of the overall tone.
 

The Tribunal

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Hello all! Thanks a ton for all the feedback so far, it's been super interesting to see what worked and what could use some tuning. Also, the sheer range of answers regarding Best Antagonist is wonderful and terrifying. Something we're absolutely going to keep looking into, if nothing else! Right now, there's two things to immediately address in this post, one as a question and the other as a statement:

1. It sounds like the most popular tweak put forward so far regarding activity across mediums is to better tailor the categories to each medium? Adding Funniest Run to comics + SSWL, for instance, or removing some categories that are ill-fitted to SSWL at this stage. While obviously we're the ones with the nomination/voting numbers, we'd still like to formally ask then: what categories would you like to see in each specific medium? Just as importantly: are there any that you feel could be replaced or removed, esp. as we’d be paring down written and SSWL ballots?

2. When it comes to joke nominations, there's a pretty core issue: there isn't a "joke nomination" label. Meaning, if something that's receiving joke noms gets enough to make it into voting, it's going to make it into voting. And just through that alone, not to mention however high it places in voting, it's done so at the expense of a serious candidate who will now not get the attention or acclaim it may deserve. Some may respect losing out to a damn good joke, but some would also be well within their right to feel aggrieved by that.

Racism in Finding Your Roots absolutely was on pace to make it into voting this year, even assuming it was a joke. And that's just the thing. It's not up to us to guess or discern what is and isn't a joke, we just tally numbers and run the polls. It's on you guys to set those priorities.
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
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Team Delta
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204
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Jun 30, 2019
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1,251
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Fochun
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  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
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The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
I think funniest run could definitely be replaced with funniest character in written runs! I guess it could be awkward for runs where the majority of the comedy comes from the narration, but hey, Narrator counts as a character!
(Apologies for the short post, but I don't feel I can add much more to the conversation lol)
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
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50
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Jun 15, 2019
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1,833
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  1. Electric
  2. Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Do you feel that singling it down to something like 'Funniest Character' might work? We may not look at every run and think of 'funny' but I bet everyone can look at each run they read and think 'yes, that character, that one is funny' regardless of the overall tone.
Oh that's a great idea! I would still love to see something more akin to Funniest Run to celebrate more comedy focused works, but foregoing that I think the more focused funniest character category would be a great addition!

I cant speak a ton to SSWL cause I only read a few throughout the year, but the ones I do read tend to have very fun or interesting rulesets. So maybe a "Most Interesting Ruleset"? Or maybe "Most Difficult Ruleset" could be one. Also I would pray funniest run is added back cause so many of them are so funny!

When it comes to joke voting my first thought is to ask ppl to not make them at all. After all you don't always know how on board a creator is to have their work joked about on a public stage like this- plus if its taken seriously, I would imagine there would be a lot of disappointment from someone when a bunch of ppl then switch that vote because it was a joke. Honestly it seems like a set up for hurt feelings down the line- and since its no secret that Ganza can cause some sore spots with ppl, it feels joke votes could easily exacerbate that problem for ppl nominated with a joke or ppl who lose to it.

If ppl insist on making joke votes tho, then asking ppl to just lable them as "joke vote" would hopefully curb this issue from the feature team's side?
 

localhoney

the smooth jazz of bastards
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
2002
Caught
May 17, 2020
Messages
365
Location
Miami, FL
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Adamant
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he/him
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  1. Electric
  2. Poison
After some time to mull over the questions, here's how I felt about this year's Ganza (thanks to the mods and feature team for running the show, by the way!)

How did you feel about the changes this year? Did they work as intended? Anything interesting stick out to you? Below are some leading questions with regards to some of them.
  • Forum-based voting was so fucking nice. So streamlined, super integrated, big fan.
  • Category definitions and explanations surrounding the process were good to have, and I think should stay going forward.
  • Most Improved as creator-based makes more sense to me, as it kinda takes a holistic view of their content rather than X improved more than Y over a stretch, even if their respective creator's differed. I like the change, think it should stick around.
  • Unlimited promos were a miss, in my opinion. The thread felt cluttered and the promos didn't really feel promotional? A lot of them felt a lot more like laundry lists, put together by people who didn't want to leave out their favorite creators. I think the limit on total promos should return, with a little flexibility on promo length as a compromise. Last year's promo thread felt like there was more care put into the promotions.
We've had cases of users opting out after nominations have been tallied, mainly due to not expecting to have been nominated in the first place. This is a conundrum for them, as they may feel it unneeded or presumptuous to opt out and have their name up there saying they did. How best can we approach this? Is it a question of simply normalizing opt-outs as okay if you don't want to partake (for any reason), or is there a better system than the current one to move to?
  • Normalizing opting out of the Ganza is probably our best bet, because all other ways of removing someone from the voting process that have been suggested so far seem too work intensive for something that's supposed to be a simple "Hey, I'm not participating this year, thanks!"
Many runs don't have specific antagonists to point to. Do you think there could be a category that could act as a flip side to Best Antagonist, then? Best Theme, or Best Ongoing Conflict, or some such? Be advised, of course, that for a category to be viable it needs to be broad enough that there are plenty of runs that can be nominated for it in the first place.
  • I think Best Antagonist should stay Best Antagonist. I think this year was an anomaly in that many runs either have yet to introduce their antagonist, or were far more flexible in the story's main conflict, but putting Best Conflict as a category seems a little odd to me. Best Conflict could potentially be repackaged as Best Concept, re: the world and the characters and the idea behind the story, but then that starts to cross the boundaries into Best Style and Best Worldbuilding. imo, keep it as a character/organization/etc rather than a theme.
  • I think Best Battle at least deserves some talk around becoming a fixture category. There are very few runs where it isn't applicable. Similarly, but with less priority, Best Dynamic/Relationship could also become a mainstay. Problem with the latter is the absolute medley of potential match-ups people could come up with, so could be worth considering as another author category rather than specific fic, to reflect the wide breadth of relationships that writer has developed instead of one specific one.
  • And on the topic of Funniest Run that's been brought up a lot, at least in a writing medium, I don't think it's a category that deserves a permanent fixture. There's hardly enough runs to qualify on a typical year, and oftentimes there end up being nominations for runs that are only tangentially comedic, which could potentially undermine how writers feel about their work and theming and what message is being put across. I could maybe see the case for rotational, but even then, I don't think the pool of potential nominees is broad enough for it to warrant a slot in the Written Ganza.
    • This brings me to something some people have touched upon: category changes for the three mediums. It already somewhat exists, but I think a full break so that the 3 medium Ganzas stand on their own is the best way to make it so that things like the below (advancing on one nomination, cutting categories) are rare occurrences. Categories like Best New, Overall, Style are easy to translate across the mediums, but trying to fit writing into the box of Funniest when, of the 3, it tends to have the least comedic intent starts to get finicky.
It's an obvious point to make that activity isn't equal across mediums. However, in recent years in both written and SSWL runs, we have had several instances of advancing participants to voting off a single nomination. We have also, in 2 of the last 3 years, had to cut a category entirely from SSWL. So the question is, how we can help this? Could it mean efforts based on engagement, or could it be down to tweaking the Ganza itself? You absolutely do not need to answer this one, of course; it's a hard question, and a broad one at that, but we felt it relevant enough to pose here for discussion.
  • If engagement is low, no tweaking of the Ganza is going to fix that. People are going to engage to the level that they wish to engage. I wish I could come up with some panacea for us to try and get both writers and SSWLers to engage more actively but unfortunately, I cannot.
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,046
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
How did the unlimited promos work out for you not as a promoter, but as a reader of runs?

Pretty much agreed with comments above that this was a swing and a miss. I feel like 3-5 per medium (Written, comic, SSWL) might be best, to keep things from getting overwhelming--but also encourage people not to duplicate promos! Limiting promos might lead to people feeling left out if they just see the same handful of top runs being promo'd over and over, but if we encourage people to check the promos already posted and promo different runs, that might combat it.

  • Did the forum-based forms work well as a voting system?

I think it did! It was a liiiiiittle glitchy but I think that came of the way I use browser windows :v I feel like the main benefit might be transparency--I'm absolutely not accusing anyone of cheating on votes through things like Google Forms, but bad actors in the past have used accusations of cheating to stir up problems, and integrating voting into the forums kinda prevents that.

  • Were the process clarifications helpful, or did anything remain unclear to you?

Seemed pretty clear and straightforward to me 👍

We've had cases of users opting out after nominations have been tallied, mainly due to not expecting to have been nominated in the first place. This is a conundrum for them, as they may feel it unneeded or presumptuous to opt out and have their name up there saying they did. How best can we approach this? Is it a question of simply normalizing opt-outs as okay if you don't want to partake (for any reason), or is there a better system than the current one to move to?

I think normalizing is the way to go, and I feel like we've made good progress towards that just by asking the question and getting positive responses!

Many runs don't have specific antagonists to point to. Do you think there could be a category that could act as a flip side to Best Antagonist, then? Best Theme, or Best Ongoing Conflict, or some such? Be advised, of course, that for a category to be viable it needs to be broad enough that there are plenty of runs that can be nominated for it in the first place.

I feel like Best Theme might be a bit heavy for the kind of stories we're telling here! I'm split between liking the idea of broadening Best Antagonist, but also feeling that an antagonist as an individual and an antagonist as a larger force are very different things that maybe shouldn't be competing. I'd be tempted to suggest "Best Villain", but not all antagonists are villainous, y'know? Especially when you have a villain protagonist like in BaPH. Best Conflict might be a good way to go for larger factional/social enemies, while keeping Best Antagonist for specific individuals.

It's an obvious point to make that activity isn't equal across mediums. However, in recent years in both written and SSWL runs, we have had several instances of advancing participants to voting off a single nomination. We have also, in 2 of the last 3 years, had to cut a category entirely from SSWL. So the question is, how we can help this? Could it mean efforts based on engagement, or could it be down to tweaking the Ganza itself? You absolutely do not need to answer this one, of course; it's a hard question, and a broad one at that, but we felt it relevant enough to pose here for discussion.

I think tweaking things based on medium is important. For SSWL, there've been mentions of this medium being used to promote new rulesets (like the lorelocke, the factorylocke, the apocalocke) etc. Best Ruleset might be a potential category, where the nominee isn't a specific run but a specific ruleset that's been used a lot this year? "Best manip" or something similar could also be good for runs that are definitely more SSWL than comic, but don't just use screenshots, either adding their own artwork to the screenshots or altering them in some way to tell a different story.
For written, I can't say for certain, but I do feel like we're a smaller group of users than comics or screenshot runs, and that's probably part of it? Not really sure what there is to do about that, I'm afraid. There was a lot of promotion effort on the writer's lounge, so I don't know that doing more would really help or if it would just become kinda obnoxious :v

Did you enjoy the event this year? Was there anything that made you enjoy it more or less than previous year(s)?

I feel like it went pretty well this year and that the community was overall pretty positive! Also shiny, shiny gold

What ideas do you have for rotational categories to vote on next year? We only had three options in the poll this year, so we could use some help!

For writelockes, "Best Narrator/Narrative Style" might be a good one to try out. As well as "Funniest Character", you could also go with something like "Best Joke" or "Funniest Moment", allowing entries that maybe aren't overall a funny story but have that one bit that just cracks you up. "Scariest Moment" might also be a good one for all three mediums--the reveal of the Shadow Pokemon in Wanted! will definitely make you want your brown pants, and the haunted house chapter in Ghost In The Machine still sticks out in my mind as being fucking terrifying. Any number of Screenshot runs also dole out scrrenshots with the goal of making everybody panic about that one unlucky crit. I also like the idea of "Worst Luck/Best Luck"; everybody who plays a run is subject to it, but I feel like the fickle hand of the RNG is most directly visible in Screenshot runs. I would like to see "Best Design/Redesign" come back for the comics, since some people put a lot of work into their rad character designs. Maybe some variation on "Best Relationship" across mediums, too--Best Romance, Best Friendship, Best Family Relationship, Best Rivalry? These feel like they'd be primarily for comic and written runes, but some screenshot runs put in a lot of character work that could make them worthy of nomination.
[INSERT YOUR EXCELLENT DISCUSSION POINT HERE]

[INSERT WITTY AND LIFECHANGING ADVICE HERE]
 

Leon Yorunaki

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Okay, being summoned forced into reinvited to add my cents to the discussion (it feels weird, because most of it is comparing to earlier Ganza and this is my first one so...), well, I'm here.

Not quoting everything because mobile, but I'll bullet my points regardless:

· unlimited promos are nice, sure, but I don't think it worked well. Sure, as a writer I got a couple of them, but as a reader I felt I needed to add the runs I was following close, not sure about the others but while I did like every run I promoted, I can't really say it was the most thought-out process. Worse: I ended up forgetting awesome runs below the top, which may or may not have happened if I was forced to think more due to limited slots

· Execution was flawless to me. Again, I have no base to compare with, but the process was really clear and easy to understand.

· However, category choices could be improved by a lot if they weren't the same for all mediums. Comics, Storyruns and Shots/Logs are quite different from each other for all of those to make sense; sure, they're all nuzlockes, but categories like Best Battle are more suited to Comics than Written (very few written runs do proper battles), while the opposite is true for Best Worldbuilding (not saying Comics usually don't, but is usually less tangible). The differences become more obvious when comparing to SSWL (and to think SS and WL are quite different from each other too!), so it could be made a point for splitting categories between mediums where they suit best. Of course, technical categories would remain active for every medium, say, Most Improved or Best Overall.

· this goes with things like Best Funny (run/moment), or even Best Antagonist. It could work better in one medium compared to others.

· opt-outs are weird in my PoV (and that's saying something since I'm terrible at interactions, my absence so far is proof), but should ofc be normalized and even stimulated (rather, having people be invited to speak up if they prefer stepping down, to avoid those "I didn't think I'd get votes but now I know you actually voted me I don't feel like joining this event" which is something bitter for both sides.

· I remember being here in the old times where SSWL overshadowed comics and written by amount (but in reality few weren't "more of the same") to the point it needed its own subforum, now they're fewer and hard to get traction in a Ganza but almost every run is really unique. I don't remember older Ganza but let me ask: did it change as much for those as the medium itself changed?
 

Gecko

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An awkward lil reptile who is just trying her best.
what categories would you like to see in each specific medium? Just as importantly: are there any that you feel could be replaced or removed, esp. as we’d be paring down written and SSWL ballots?

I already said it in my original comment, but I'm going to advocate heavily for it since you've directly asked the question: Best Battle should absolutely be a category, and I'd argue making it a permanent one. It's Pokémon. There are tons of battles throughout the games that get adapted to people's stories, and that's one of the exciting parts of Nuzlockes. Those are the scary parts of the run where your team is in danger. Those are some of the thrilling parts of stories where the characters are tested and anyone could go down. There'd be no shortage of stories to nominate each year. I can only speak to the comic side of the community, but this category could potentially work for written and SSWL too
 

crashcrashcrash

More like trashtrashtrash, amiright
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Team Delta
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GANZAAAA

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, I wrote way too much. Skim or skip at your leisure. Apologies in advance. Disclaimer that half of this is just my opinion and the other half is half-formed brainstorming to be taken as seriously or ludicrously as you like.

How did the unlimited promos work out for you not as a promoter, but as a reader of runs?
  • That’s a great clarification to make, because as a promoter (and occasional promotee, hehehe), I really enjoyed unlimited promos! Not having to narrow down choices takes away the pressure of deciding whether to promo [run by an already seasoned creator with the experience and resources to create their best content, though everyone already kinda knows about it] or [newish run by newish creator whose content is very great but not as praised as others, and needs to be promo’d in order to have a real shot at the ganza among its more popular competition].
    • Which, having typed that all out, takes me back to last year’s reflective and the discussion that led to this summer’s Hidden Gems event. Especially if we’re bringing back promo limits, should we be consciously reserving Ganza promos for runs that fall into the first set of brackets, while thinking of the second type as hidden gems, and keeping the ganza itself more outright competitive, “best of the best”-style? If that were the case, what’s the point of promos at all, since the runs that are being promo’d the most are the ones that are already popular? Obviously this entails the question of whether Hidden Gems is returning this year, which isn’t my decision to make, and instating it annually comes with the issues of 1. potentially affecting Ganza promos/noms/wins (for better or worse), 2. crowding up the calendar for other events, and 3. the feature team’s sanity.
    • Ok sidenote and then I’ll be done with this: on the other extreme, if promos are meant to be about visibility, would it be against the spirit of the event to put restrictions on the actual runs that can be promo’d, instead of how many? Using perhaps the same ineligibility guidelines that Hidden Gems used (just for promos, of course the runs in question would be eligible for noms, etc.)? Not counting self-promos of course, as we wouldn’t want to take away anyone’s ability to do that, that’s no fun
  • But as a reader, I have to second what others have said about the promotions thread being more textwall-y than it would otherwise be, and to be honest, I wound up being more motivated to read new runs after seeing the results than during the promo period - which could just be on me, but it’s worth saying I think
  • In terms of finding a happy medium? I’m not against reinstating a limit; something like five slots + one designated self-promo seems fair. Even better though might be five slots per category + one self-promo, which seems like a necessary change if certain categories are, as established, waaay overcrowding others.

Did the forum-based forms work well as a voting system?
  • Yeah, no complaints here! I didn’t have any technical difficulties, at least, though it seems others might have
  • But as for why this question is being asked, I... do have a confession to make. I was (or presume I was) one of the new users last year whose votes were thrown out in order to keep the ganza truly forum-contained. For the record, I wasn’t directed here from another site just to vote for runs, which was the concern - I’d just been reading runs without an account for a bit beforehand, and the day I finally got off my butt and joined happened to be halfway through the voting period. So uh. My bad there! This isn’t really a suggestion, more of a belated apology that I was way too new and shy to give back when that issue was being discussed in that year’s reflective ^^’

Were the process clarifications helpful, or did anything remain unclear to you?
  • In terms of process, nope! All clear, thanks for the rundown!
  • This may be nitpicky, though there is one voting category that I never really understood and kinda still don’t tbh. Best Written Log muddles me - what’s the difference between that and Best Commentary Style, or Best Overall SSWL? Especially since it’s a permanent category, I have to wonder what it accomplishes that those two don’t. (I would refer to the clarification yall gave in the noms thread, since that seems to be what this Q is asking about and I’m still confused, but being part of the noms thread, it’s no longer accessible T.T)
  • Also, this is very nitpicky, but echoing this:
The only thing that was unclear to me was that you can nominate deaths/battles that happened before the particular year, I was surprised to find out about that. Makes sense, but I actually don't think I want this added to the clarifications since I'm worried that if it's more broadly known, people will dig up old stuff from the most popular creators over and over instead of nominating current stuff from a variety of creators.

We've had cases of users opting out after nominations have been tallied, mainly due to not expecting to have been nominated in the first place. How best can we approach this?
  • Yeah, this is as tricky as others have said. In terms of “normalizing” opt-outs, most of that work is already being done right here by everyone agreeing that it should be, well, normal. The feature team itself can only do so much wrt that, though mentioning it in the announcement thread next year wouldn’t hurt
  • Idk how much of a difference it would make in practice, but for the users who don’t want to participate and want to be quiet about it, would something like unofficial opt-out announcements within run threads do anything to help? As in, saying in an A/N or even a profile post “hey the ganza is a thing rn and i’m not really into it, so if you were thinking about nomming this run i’d rather you didn’t” - basically getting the message to anyone likely to nom you, but nobody else because it isn’t super public? Obviously official opt-outs should stay as they are, and normalizing them is great! But idk, if I was more shy than I am and didn’t want to partake, that’d probably be what I’d do

Do you think there could be a category that could act as a flip side to Best Antagonist? Alternately, do you agree with keeping Best Antagonist centered around characters/organizations, or would you prefer a broader approach?
  • ...Honestly, I’m leaning towards keeping Best Antagonist as it is, especially given that it’s a rotational category. It’s a fun one, but - since, as established, not every run has a concrete, character-based antagonist - I don’t think it’s super necessary to have every year
  • I do vibe with making it more broad though, if enough people agree on that - extreme weather is one of my personal favorite kinds of antagonists, for example, though it’s not a super common thing to see in nuzruns.
  • And re: Best Conflict/Best Theme - yeah those strike me as way too broad, tbh. Especially without the context that it replaces an antagonistic force, since themes especially aren’t limited to that. My opinion, of course, but they’re just not as compelling as “Best Antagonist”

It's an obvious point to make that activity isn't equal across mediums. How can we help this? Could it mean efforts based on engagement, or could it be down to tweaking the Ganza itself?
  • Another tough question, yeah, and I’m not against shaking up the permanent categories for individual mediums; more on that in a min
  • Also this question is hard to answer without implicitly discouraging people from reading/creating comics in lieu of the other categories, so take everything that follows with a grain of salt, I still love and care about you artists, I’m literally just typing everything that pops into my head here, some of it may be stupid but I dunno, maybe some of it’s interesting so whatever, blah
  • But if you want “efforts to promote engagement” throughout the year (ignoring hidden gems for a quick sec), if the goal is to get written/SSWL more popular as mediums, what about medium-specific events? I don’t reeeally know what that would look like, but there have been some cool events in the writing discord; maybe making those forum-based would get more traction here? Again, I’m grasping at straws a lil, apologies
  • Alternatively, what about an event that encourages interacting with/reading(/creating??) runs outside of one’s typical medium? Thirteenth’s Comment Corner gave bonus points to comments on runs outside of one’s most common medium to read, which definitely encouraged me to branch out during that time! Even just. Doing another ComCorn would probably help engagement, even a little, with lots of runs. (No matter who is running it - I know 13th is a bit busy with life rn, hence the lack of ping ^^)
  • And I know not everyone’s got another documented run lying around to start posting in another medium they don’t know too much about, nor do people have the time to commit to doing a whole new run for the sake of an event, NOR are people inclined to show off their first steps outside of their comfort zones to people with more experience than them (ie art is hard & lots of us can only do stick figures with any degree of confidence). Sooo maybe like a “reimagine [a reasonable part of] your run in a different medium” event? Like, “here’s what my comic would look like as a SSWL” or “my SSWL as a written” or “my written as a comic” and any variations thereof. It’d be completely judgement-free as everyone would be outside of their comfort zone, but could also lead to some surprising adaptations, I think! (Granted, this is a tad more self-focused than forum events tend to be, so the idea deeefinitely needs tweaking before it’s ever taken seriously for sure)
  • woof I wrote too much

What categories would you like to see in each specific medium? Are there any that you feel could be replaced or removed?
  • I already expressed my confusion over Best Written Log, and maybe I’m just missing something by not understanding it, but if we’re cutting categories for more useful ones, that one strikes me as redundant
  • It’s weird - I remember a lot of support last year for making Funniest Run (and best dynamic, the other rotational one) a permanent category for all three mediums, though it’s a lot less of a consensus here. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing it return! Idk about permanently, that could go either way - but there has been talk of funniest moment/character/etc and my two cents is that I’m not sold on that rebrand. Voting for funniest moment (best joke?) seems a bit broad, yknow, a whole run could be a joke in its own right. And as a clown humorist myself, I worry that voting on funny moments would kind of just... ruin them for anyone who hasn’t read them yet. If we take for granted that every moment that moves on to voting is the funniest part of their respective runs, that kinda puts a ceiling on what to expect from the rest of it, aye? Which may not be an issue for runs that don’t focus on humor, sure, but I still think it should be treated the same way as Saddest Death/Departure currently is: spoilerboxed into the clown car and back.
  • I like the idea of Best Character Design (singular) a lot! Definitely sets it apart from Best Artstyle while still giving attention to the talent of design specifically. And it can apply to human characters too, including ones that aren’t adapted from canon. Lots of freedom, without being more broad than Best Main or the like!
  • Re: Best Battle - I’d be down for sticking that permanently in all three. Seriously, I complain about writing battles alllll the time, so when I see it done really well, I get super impressed! Plus, the battles that make it to voting are a great place to start looking for ways to improve that skill, which IS pretty vital by nature of Nuzlockes.
  • Something like Best/Worst Luck has been brought up, which sounds like a spectacularly fun rotational category, I love it.
  • Finally, I am super duper down with the idea of Most Interesting/Creative/Difficult/Best Ruleset. This seems like a more recent development (though to be fair I haven’t quite been around long enough to properly know that), but it seems that a LOT of new runs - maybe even a majority at this point? - bring with them a fresh set of rules that make them stand out from the rest as creative people look for more compelling ways to play video games. I LOVE seeing stories shaped by their gimmicky rulesets, it’s glorious.
    • Though tbf, it would take some thinking to hammer out the way this is implemented. In my understanding, the Ganza is strictly confined to Lilycove Museum runs - that is, FCR, Creative, and Events - while extended rulesets are PCD entries. Not to mention that playing with someone else’s ruleset is totally acceptable, so what’s the protocol for nomming one Lorelocke over another (for example)? I still believe it’s worth thinking about for sure, just that it will. take some thinking.

Did you enjoy the event this year? Was there anything that made you enjoy it more or less than previous year(s)?
  • yeah i won something this year that slapped /j
  • But yeah, though this was the first ganza I actually participated in (despite following the last one as it happened, tbf), I can say honestly that I really enjoyed it!! I already said in the discussion thread after the results were announced, but the Ganza is such a cool way to get the community together, and provided me with a lot of motivation to create my run as quickly as I did. Big big thank yous to each and every one of yall featurers for putting this together <333

I'm sure I'll think of more things to say but I'd better post this before that happens lol, hope this was at least a little helpful ^^
 

Bug

👉😎👉
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oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
And I know not everyone’s got another documented run lying around to start posting in another medium they don’t know too much about, nor do people have the time to commit to doing a whole new run for the sake of an event, NOR are people inclined to show off their first steps outside of their comfort zones to people with more experience than them (ie art is hard & lots of us can only do stick figures with any degree of confidence). Sooo maybe like a “reimagine [a reasonable part of] your run in a different medium” event? Like, “here’s what my comic would look like as a SSWL” or “my SSWL as a written” or “my written as a comic” and any variations thereof. It’d be completely judgement-free as everyone would be outside of their comfort zone, but could also lead to some surprising adaptations, I think! (Granted, this is a tad more self-focused than forum events tend to be, so the idea deeefinitely needs tweaking before it’s ever taken seriously for sure)

I was talking to some artists about something I think jives well with your ideas! An event that has multiple users swap mediums to recreate a scene from each other's run. This would inspire that collaboration aspect that makes these events fun. The only limitation I see with it, as it usually tends to be, is that SSWL isn't gonna have a way to nudge itself in there.

That doesn't make it a non-starter, however. To me, at least, it still sounds like a fun as hell idea! It's just that making fake screenshots is a huge pain in the ass. Like, absolutely massive. Bonkers. It can actually be really unfun to do, and that's really the last thing I'd want to impose on somebody I'm wanting to enjoy something. (Though I admit, it would be cool to see some sswl moments taken for a spin in different mediums. I just don't see a good solution at the moment.)

But if you want “efforts to promote engagement” throughout the year (ignoring hidden gems for a quick sec), if the goal is to get written/SSWL more popular as mediums, what about medium-specific events?

Essentially, this is where I'm at right now. I love events a lot, and I love working on my comic, but comics people are running their own comic-specific events across different websites and don't need anymore. There are so many events people have to pick and choose what to be a part of, because there is just so much. (Of course what manages to stick around for more than one go varies, but it doesn't matter since people just kind of throw themselves out there and try with wild abandon.)

It's fun, people are enjoying themselves, and it'd be nice to know everyone is getting a chance to cultivate that experience. So that's my +1 for yes, yes, hell yes I want medium specific events to be a conscious effort.
 

Flop disc

Johto League Champion
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31
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Having some issues logging in on my laptop so please bear with this more shortform post! Speaking as an individual, there’s a couple of changes I’d love to see made to written stories for the next extravaganza:
  • Changing “saddest departure” to “most impactful departure”: more a tweak than anything else; this will pull us away a bit more from the classic “saddest death” but I think it reflects the variety of ways characters impact on written stories.
  • Cutting or redefining “best writing style”: I think this one has historically been a little ill-defined and feels redundant beside “best new story”, “best overall story”, and “most improved writer”.
  • I would love to see “best dynamic” as a mainstay; I think calling it “best relationship” would bias people towards looking at romantic pairing when the intent is broader
  • In general, seeing the low volume of nominations coming in, I would be interested in slimming down categories further — perhaps cutting or combining the teammate + supporting character categories, as an example. Feedback I’ve seen on discord commonly reflects a similar sentiment: that users generally feel bad when they can’t fill out a ballot, and this often hampers them for making any nominations or votes at all. Year after year, I’ve seen the feature team do their best to encourage and persuade individuals to nominate and vote regardless — but I feel we need to make broader changes as well as continuing to encourage people to participate when they feel comfortable.
 

pikafan96

That Little Yellow Rat
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So, I don't really have too much to say with regards to the questions stated in the first post of this thread. That and most of my thoughts have sort of already been said by others, so not really too much for me to add. But there is one thing I'd like to chime in on.

I was talking to some artists about something I think jives well with your ideas! An event that has multiple users swap mediums to recreate a scene from each other's run. This would inspire that collaboration aspect that makes these events fun. The only limitation I see with it, as it usually tends to be, is that SSWL isn't gonna have a way to nudge itself in there.

That doesn't make it a non-starter, however. To me, at least, it still sounds like a fun as hell idea! It's just that making fake screenshots is a huge pain in the ass. Like, absolutely massive. Bonkers. It can actually be really unfun to do, and that's really the last thing I'd want to impose on somebody I'm wanting to enjoy something. (Though I admit, it would be cool to see some sswl moments taken for a spin in different mediums. I just don't see a good solution at the moment.)

I really like the idea of sort of "swapping run styles" as an event.
As someone who does screenshot runs pretty much exclusively, I do agree that it would be a bit difficult to make fake-screenshots for an event like this, but personally I think that actually sounds like a really fun challenge! I already tend to edit my own screenshots a bit in certain instances to tell a better story though so I might be a bit biased. It would also be a lot harder to make a fake-screenshot for say, a run of a 3D Pokemon game rather than a sprite-based one though.
Of course I can't speak for everyone in the SSWL medium, just myself, but I just wanted to throw my two-cents in the ring.
 
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The Tribunal

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All right! Thanks so much to everyone for your feedback, because there was a heck of a lot to ponder and boy, did you guys ponder. This wrap-up post will serve to close the thread via a recap of discussions, noting of ideas and sentiments, etc. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1. How did you feel about the changes this year? Did they work as intended? Anything interesting stick out to you?
Most of the changes this year went over really well! There were some glitches with forums-based voting, but for the most part it worked quite fine. The category changes did well, and process clarifications also did what they needed to. A couple folk have brought up the saddest death quirk, and uh… yeah. We would rather not officialize saddest death not being tied to that year. If anything we may have to officially rule that it’s only for the year in question, not sure.

As for the unlimited promos, though… it was a worthy experiment, we’d say. Yet, it was a bit much for many people, both in a pressure to throw the kitchen sink into their efforts and for an overwhelming number of promos to read through. It sounds like 5 promos plus a self-promo is a sweet spot, and we’ll likely go with that for next year’s Ganza.

2. [Regarding user opt-outs]
With regards to opt-outs, normalization is the way to go. We will make sure to be loud and clear about this next Ganza, but it’s okay to opt out for whatever reason! We would definitely prefer to have that process taken care of before going into nominations, of course, so it seems to just be about awareness and knowing that it’s okay to just not want to partake.

3. The Best Antagonist Discussion, aka Conflict About Conflict
Hoo boy. From our vantage point, there are three routes to take here:
  1. Keep the status quo with Best Antagonist as a character/organization-specific category
  2. Split into Best Antagonist and Best Theme or Best Conflict
  3. Broaden it to some degree, which may require changing it to Best Antagonistic Force or Best Conflict.
This may be something we bring back to you all, possibly through a poll or some such, because the room seemed pretty split, or at least, there was very much no consensus on a direction. All three options above were brought up in some form, all with valid reasoning. This, of course, is concerning a rotational category that will not even be in the Extravaganza next year too, so we have time to sort this one out. We really appreciate your feedback on this topic, and apologize for the need to make a hasty clarification in the middle of the nomination period regarding it.

4. Written/SSWL Run Ganza Activity
There’s two points here: one, it’s hard to gauge how to engage, and two, it could be time for major structural change within the Extravaganza. You know, simple stuff, these.

In all seriousness, one thing that was brought up was engagement via events. Something like a run swap, a commenting event, some live-readings, etc. could definitely get a little more love for these two mediums.

The main point discussed here, though, was changing the categories up. Ever since the Extravaganza split into different mediums, we have had a standardized set of categories for each medium with few exceptions. That sounds like it will change starting next year. SSWL runs especially could see a vastly different slate of categories that better relate to their format and sensibilities, while both them and written runs may see a contraction of categories in accordance with their lesser activity. It’s obviously incredibly hard to figure out how to go about that, which categories can be axed or merged or what have you, but it seems a worthy endeavor. Of course, that means you’ll have to bear with us when those decisions are made; for example, it’s a bit of a tough ask to add Best Battle as a permanent category when we’re looking to shrink things! Regardless, expect experimentation on this front next year, and expect that to be a prime discussion point in this space as well.



Some other points that were raised:
  • The opposite of the above: adding to the comic ballot. We’re always wary of ballot fatigue, especially for those superstars who read nuzlockes in multiple mediums, but this is something we’ll for sure be considering while we’re shaking up categories as a whole!
    • Categorical suggestions, whether permanent or rotational, include:
      • Best Character Design
      • Best Battle
      • Tropes. All The Tropes.
      • Funniest Character, rather than Funniest Run?
      • Best Dynamic
  • Better advertising of the Extravaganza! We certainly can try to do so, with banners and sidebars/widgets on the forums to call attention to it.
  • Asking joke voting to be made explicit? There could be issues with creators feeling a bit miffed about this, though, or some people nominating a particular thing jokingly while others nominate it more seriously. It’s a weird grey area we’ll discuss.


If you have any questions or if you want to discuss anything further (whether it's something brought up or something missed), absolutely slide into the DMs of any of the featurers on the forum or discord. If you've got any concerns for us, you're also welcome to DM us, or open a suggestion for the feature team in the suggestion box. With that, this thread will now be locked! Thanks to everyone who's given us their input, suggestions, experiences, et al, and we can't wait to see you soon with some more feature team action!
 
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