Welcome, thank you for stopping by!
I just want to share some of my work to you guys here, and i'd love to hear your thoughts too, so please feel free to leave me a comment. : )
1) My first drawing quest from Lintara, after i visited the Loreroot. I was thinking sth like a historical remain/ ancient altar/ magic array…etc. with symbol/puzzle elements. I tried to match the MD art style, even used the similar fonts & texture!
2) MD Avatar Coloring Contest May 2018
The mysterious power & beauty. (Permission granted by Lintara for using her avatar)
Hi all. Since I produced quite a stupendous amount of text, this will come in parts (since I do need time to study and other things too). Please feel free to move, I was not sure if it was appropriate to post this in the "Quests and Contests" subforum.
Feedback is more than welcome, please try to stay constructive. If you feel that I missed something, point out where and what you think should be added.
Pardon fancy language. I may or may not have been under the influence of beverages at the time of production. Without further ado, here is the first part, about quest design and sponsorships. The part about judging & rewarding is still a work in progress. Text Wall ahead.
Questmaker’s Etiquette Guide
With various fantabulous tips, tricks, do’s and don’t’s
Here we shall look at 3 major topics regarding making, holding and rewarding a quest, particularly for the realm of MagicDuel, as follows:
What is good design? What is bad design?
Accessibility. Types of quests. Target audience. Tips for a few types of frequently-held quests.
How and when to announce quests. Miscellaneous.
Short tips about who and how to approach for sponsorships.
List of rough values of certain items and creatures (maybe).
Quest Judging and Rewarding
Single blinding, Double blinding and other judging paraphernalia.
Rewarding: do’s and don’t’s, who and how to approach for help.
"How to". Quick guide to help you jumpstart your quest. (This will be a skeleton only! To help you guide your own creativity, not to be used as given!)
Case studies (maybe).
I shall point to a few quests (mine, unless someone else volunteers their own quests and experience with them) and try to dissect out the good and the bad.
One thing to keep in mind is that throughout this guide I shall ask questions. These are to provoke thought rather than to demand an answer. There is no correct or incorrect answer in general (with a few exceptions), but there will be a correct answer for your quest. You just have to think how that question relates to your quest (think about how your quest would answer that question, not about what answer I want to hear, if that helps).
Briefly put, in MagicDuel there are a few things to keep in mind as a questmaker. Some are obvious, some are not, some are counterintuitive. I will also look at a few specific structures of quests that pop up frequently and suggest tips for them, if they are to be used as templates. I shall also attempt to discuss how to tailor your quest to a target audience while keeping in mind the idea of accessibility, and a few suggestions about how to make announcements regarding quests.
What is good design? What is bad design?
In a nutshell, a quest that is well designed will run smoothly. It will not need adjustments on the way, it will not need the direct intervention of the questmaker to resolve issues, it cannot be cheated, and there is no unintended interaction between participants (spoiling or sabotaging).
It’s vague, unfortunately, and it will vary for each quest types. But here are a few things you can do, or questions you should try to have an answer to:
Try and test whatever can be tested.
Do your clickables function, if any?
Is the quest goal achievable?
Does it require very personal information (i.e. specific relations of your character in-game)? Could others effectively know and solve it?
Is the amount of heat/resources/whatever obtainable in the time you give?
Could you do it? Could someone help you test it?
Is the time window feasible?
Will the quest take too long or too little time?
Does the quest heavily depend on everybody showing up, or on a specific number of participants? Can that become an issue? Can it be avoided?
Try and anticipate flaws or issues in your quest.
Are there ways to cheat/cheese it?
Can it be easily disrupted by a third party (movelock, attacklock, teleporting)? Do you want to change the design to avoid this, or rely on external help?
Are there any unintended progress-stoppers?
Is there a risk of participants spoiling eachother, or sabotaging eachother? Is it indended? Is it an issue?
How could you prevent these issues?
Is your quest transparent? Is your judging and rewarding transparent? Can people obtain details about judging and rewarding after the quest? The answers here should be yes!
Can you manage the quest by yourself? Do you need assistance with:
Try the scripting section on the forums
Try contacting known scripters for help (please let me know if you want to be named here)
Do you know who might potentially disrupt your quest? Diplomacy works (most of the time).
Request help from friends, or protection under neutrality (Can MDA offer such help?)
Request help from your land leader (if any)?
Alter your quest design to avoid or reduce the risk of disruptions (hold it in a nojump location, for instance).
Effectively holding the quest?
Need a shady character that participants need to chase? Ask around.
Need another helping hand with distributing things to players during the quest (information, items)?
Need someone to supervise what participants do?
Is the quest engaging? Does it feel like an adventure, a continuous process or are there breaks and holes in it? Is it just a series of unrelated trials? Does it relate to MagicDuel at all? You could run a ‘good’ quest without this, but a good quest design will also make the quest enjoyable and fun, not just ‘doable’. One of the best things to do is to try and integrate it with the world of MagicDuel. Try and make it part of the game, rather than just a ‘task’.
Accessibility, Target Audience and Types of Quests
Though this may be subjective, one fundamental principle of quests is their accessibility. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody should be able to complete it, but as many people as possible should be able to begin it. This may refer to restrictions or requirements on:
Is your quest for a specific Mindpower only, or does it bias for/against a specific Mindpower? How, why, and is it intended this way?
Don’t think I’ve seen this one, but is there a restriction on active days? Why? Is it necessary? Why?
Land / Alliance
Can only people from certain lands/alliances participate? Why? Does your quest design bias against/for people from certain lands/alliances? Why? Is it necessary?
Obviously, saying “X cannot participate” will immediately be bad. This does not mean you cannot exclude people from your quests, but it should not be baseless (for instance, that person is a judge or a sponsor, or that person has a repeated history of trolling your quests, etc). But excluding people should be considered bad practice, and making such a decision should be taken extremely seriously.
Number of participants
Does your quest have a restriction on how many questers can begin it? Why? Is it intended or necessary, and if so, why?
Talent & Skill
Naturally, drawing quests are going to be fundamentally different from tournament quests. Keep in mind though that you can easily put talent into the backseat by adjusting your judging/scoring parameters!
Does your quest bias against players with specific stat values? Is this intended / necessary? Does it need adjusting (such as tiering participants)?
Keep in mind, many quests will often encounter at least one of those restrictions. These are not to be considered as deadly sins (or things to not do under any circumstance), but rather things that you should be prepared to explain if asked, or changed if not intended.
Moving on to the target audience. MagicDuel has a very mottled player base. Some are artists, some are grinders, some are roleplayers, some are coders, some are good with numbers and ciphers, etc. It is very difficult to design a quest for absolutely everybody, so you should at least aim to have a specific audience (whether it is broad or narrow). It is perfectly fine to make a quest for artists or grinders only, but it is good practice to try and make it as broadly available as possible. Think “roleplayers” rather than “that specific type of roleplayer”, if that helps.
You could also include multiple, different types of players by introducing multiple stages (have a combat stage, an art stage, etc)! This should be designed very carefully however, or it might discourage people from participating. Maybe make the quest for teams, and thus give them the possibility to include different skill types in their team? Up to you.
The Arts & Crafts Quest
The Tournament Quest
The Roleplaying Scenario Quest
The Clickie Chase Quest
The Cipher / Puzzle Quest
Tips about how to announce your quests, where to do so and how.
You should announce your quest preferably when you are certain you can hold it (this means you have found sponsorship for rewards, if necessary, or already designed and implemented the bulk of the quest). This is often done on the forums, here. Key elements you should mention in your quest release announcement should be:
Description of the quest requirements (registration - optional, only use if 100% necessary, or details you need for an application)
The task itself + deadlines
Judging or scoring methods (do not name your judges. Just say if there will be any and give a few details on what you will be giving points for, if applicable).
Keep in mind that for some quests it is better to announce later rather than earlier (when you want to prevent people from finding loopholes in your quest, for instance).
Try and give a decent amount of time, but do not give a stupendously distant deadline. This means people will have to wait very long for their rewards! Give too short a notice and people won’t participate, as they will fear their effort will be wasted.
During the quest, keep in mind that you announcing details about any of the participants (who is participating, if they have any score so far, who is leading, etc) may lead to their sabotaging! Do not divulge information about participants that is not public by quest design, even if you think it’s harmless!
Be wary that information leaks. Try to tell as little as possible about the quest prior to its release. You might give details to third parties helping you set the quest up and while said third parties may not participate, they may pass the information further to potential participants.
Sponsorships and Rewards
Quest rewards can be varied, but can usually be broken down into 5 major categories:
Wishpoints. Arguably most valuable.
Coins (Gold or Silver). Arguably most versatile.
Creatures. Can vary from extremely valuable and rare, to very mundane.
Items or Resources. Some can be valuable and usable (spellstones), other are for RP purposes only. Some resources can be used to create other items or creatures.
Other rewards. This may include things such as nightmode, dreams, melodic charm, medals, group memberships or spelldocs. These can perhaps be some of the rarest rewards, but their value will vary wildly on the perception of the receiver.
For 1-4, you can approach the Treasure Keepers (namely Eara Meraia in-game). You can also ask for sponsorships from just about any player! However, by the time you ask you should already have:
A clear quest structure in mind
An idea of how difficult the quest would be
An idea of what sort of rewards would be suitable for it
For 5, you should approach the players responsible for those rewards (for instance, myself for nightmode - Aeoshattr in game)
Players who can give special rewards (in their own quests and/or as sponsoring):
Nightmode - Aeoshattr
Dreams - Jubaris (?)
Melodic Charm - Burns (debated currently, I believe)
Spelldocs - lashtal, *Nimrodel*, Intrigue
You can always award part of your own items or creatures. If you want to be able to award Wishpoints on your own, you will need to obtain Wishpoint Reward Codes, which you can get from the permanent Drachorn Quest, but are sometimes awarded to questmakers by admins for particularly good quests.
Keep in mind that rewards should scale with quest difficulty! There is no “here are some average rewards” guide. You should be able to assess the difficulty of your quest and have a rough idea of the type of rewards that should be given. You can always use past quests that you can find on the forums here as a reference.
If you are unsure of the value of a specific item or creature, you can consult past prices by searching the forum here. Make sure you look at the time and date of the transaction! Prices change in time! If still in doubt, you can always ask veteran players in-game or post on the forums.
Quest Judging and Rewarding
While I cannot provide direct instructions as to how to judge each and every quest, I can provide some principles that are good to follow when thinking about how you select your judges, how you send the quest information to those judges, and subsequently how to distribute rewards. Luckily, some IRL principles can be applied here very successfully! Without further ado…
Single Blinding. This means that your questers do not know who your judges are. This is extraordinarily simple to implement and I dare say it is something that you must do in all of your quests. How?
Ask for judges publicly, but ask for applications to be sent to you privately.
Go directly to someone you know does judging and ask privately. Make sure you ask them not to divulge their judge status.
Do not accept judge applications that are made publicly.
Why is this good practice? Think about questers potentially influencing judges. Telling them “look for a submission like this one, see if you can give it extra points”, etc. If your questers are unaware of who judges your quest, then that is much more difficult to achieve. Always try and go for reliable, reputable players, whenever possible.
Double Blinding. This means, like single blinding, that your questers do not know who their judges are, but it also means that the judges do not know whose quest entry they are judging! This may sound a bit trickier, and it is, but nevertheless it is not very difficult to achieve. What this means is that you need to take these steps, in order:
You apply all the principles above when selecting your judges
Ask for quest entries to be sent to you privately (forum PMs?)
Make sure you keep a record of which entry belongs to whom (privately). Microsoft Excel (or Google Spreadsheets) is great for this.
Anonymise each entry (remove player names or revealing details, such as titles, ID, etc). Replace them with “Participant X”, where X is a number you assign so you can undo the anonymisation later.
Send each anonymised entry to your judges.
Therefore, the questers will not know who judges them and the judges won’t know whose entry they are judging. This is one of the fairest things you can do. This also ensures that the only one who knows whose entry belongs to who is you. Obviously, this can be cheated, but it is much more difficult than if you don’t do it at all.
For the more visually inclined, here is an example of what you would receive by forum PMs and what you should send to your judges (using real player names, for the sake of it):
Other bits and details, in no particular order.
Google Spreadsheets is a great tool to be used for judging. Here are a few things that it can do (automatically) to make your life easier:
Maths. It can calculate averages and just about any other formulas you might need just from values you input.
Easy Sharing. Just send a link to your judges. Make sure you set the document to request permission to view from you by e-mail, don’t let everybody with the link see it!
Hiding. You can hide certain parts of a sheet, or certain sheets from your judges, so they don’t see either your own scores (if you give any) or they don’t see the totals and rankings so far, so that it will not influence their judging!
Think of it this way, if one judge sees that he can make the difference between 1st and 2nd place by his choice, it might influence him in the scores he will give in order to put one participant in front of the other.
Selective Editing. Google Spreadsheets can be set-up to allow each user to edit only a specific portion of the entire spreadsheet. This means you can have a single sheet for everybody, and each judge can edit only his own little section. No changes in the formulas you put in or in the layout, etc.
This works very well for quests where specific score break-downs are needed (such as an arts & crafts quest, where the total score is composed of many little scores awarded for different criteria).
You should post your score break-downs, where there are any. This is for transparency. You may or may not want to reveal the judges at the end, and if you do not want to reveal their names (also ask them if they want their names out or not), then simply use Judge X, Y, Z, 1, 2, 3, etc.
You should double check your scores and calculations. I know it’s very tempting to just take what Google Spreadsheets gives you, but at least look over it once to make sure there are no blatant errors.
You should aim for two judges for most quests. If you apply double blinding by default you cannot be a judge, unless someone else does the anonymisation for you (which I don’t recommend, I would prefer depending on myself only for this kind of thing).
Each judge should have an equal weighting in the final score. This means you can’t have 3 judges, but in total their opinion is worth 10% and yours is worth 90%. Each judge should have an equal weighting.
Make sure your ranking criteria are defined at the beginning. This means if your quest isn’t a simple hierarchy of scores but has some sort of tiers or thresholds, you define those clearly from the very beginning and maintain them at the end of the quest, regardless of how many people ranked in each tier (or didn’t). You should always consult your sponsors, if you think there is a problem with how many people ranked (or didn’t) in a certain position.
Make sure you provide the judges with your marking scheme. This means be sure that you send them the entries you get from the questers, but also exactly what they should be giving points for, how many and how! If the quest is a puzzle, you might need to send them the puzzle solution. If it’s an arts & crafts quest, you might need to send them the criteria (such as creativity, originality, design, relevance to quest, etc). Always send marking schemes after the quest is finished and when no further entries can be submitted. Just to be extra-safe so your answer doesn’t get leaked before judging starts.
When i'm 'playing' MD, i'm usually bored. With no contest/action, it's up to us to 'make' the action and guess what? People are lazy. Maybe not all, but i sure am. When I'm not playing MD, i remember the strange interesting times in it, and it all looks so attractive and aloof, i wanna come back. Then I open thr browser and i'm bored again. And so, in an endless cycle, i oscilate. Should we call it confusion or the movement of a pendulum?
answer to first question; gonna stop here
You also lack foresight in most mechanics you're creating, and ignore critics too long. You've given a perfect example of that recently, you need eon to tell you what's broken about combat now, rather than have lightsage and no one tell you a week after you introduced tokens.
I (me alone) see my alliance like this :
SoS: We, too, are a collection of misc players with advanced MD knowledge in its many areas.
Yes, you may consider us Evil but you are wrong, we are "THE Necessary EVIL".
Our role is simple: keep MD alive (and kicking). We (with help from our friends) do what no other wants to do (or even admit) to force MD out of routine ... to advance.
We pride ourselves for what we do as we are building your future.
Considering we've been doing more training under Valoryn than we did under your command says more to his leadership than yours. He's only had the alliance 2 months. You "had to leave" because you were too busy. Remember dumping the festival on Krioni because you had to leave?
Just because we didn't jump at every suggestion you made doesn't me we resisted your ideas. We didn't move fast enough for you.
Aeo has a point. I could sit here and point out how little I see other alliances do as well. In fact, that could be done to the entire realm. To say that the Guardians are the one that's slacking accurate. Some of us are in different time zones than the rest of you. Just because you don't see us doesn't me we aren't doing something.
Activity seems to be the trigger word. First off, if you're looking for activity, why are you saying that an alliance meant for defense needs to be more active. Why isn't your alliance attacking the Guardians so we can defend? Your lack of activity is equal if not greater than ours.
Defend the herbs. We had been trying that a while back. When Mur mentioned something about them changing, we stopped until his changes are made. Then we'll put new actions into place.
Ary Endleg make an excellent point. The real purpose of an alliance is to bond people together. To unify them. Even if we don't "see" each other every day, we as a group are there for each other. All any of them have to do is reach out, and they are there.
Considering that majority of alliances were poofed into existance "just because" or to be "main" alliances. Tell me what exactly you see as their "role"? If we really go down that road of logic then I can pretty much prove that not a single alliance has any purpose, not even SOTIS.
By the looks of it Rophs is already on your boat to get rid of them all.
I on the other hand don't think that if alliance isn't fulfilling it's "purpose" it should get thrashed. To hell with your imaginary purposes, alliances and citizenships have only ONE purpose in my eyes, to bond people together into certain groups and that purpose is doing very well.
Though a few may hate you, please dont ever forget there are still those that exist that love you.
Sadly, i think that on some miniscule, highly diminished scale of my past pain to your current one, i can relate.
Ive lived most of my MagicDuel life hated by half of the community, like some bad rash on MDs rear end that just wont go away no matter how much topical ointment gets applied
And at the same time, loved fullheartedly by the other half that treat me and (some) respect me as some earth walking deity gift from Aphrodite and Zeus themselves.
Whenever i was feeling at my lowest, the ones that still loved me, wanted me here, and cared for my well being, in and out of my head, kept me sane and normally quite happy.
So i guess what im saying is, dont give in just yet Mya darling, as the one thing that those that hate can never take away from you, is the love that you receive from those truly worthy of being called your friends.
Having an official capacity does not prevent you from posting as a person. In the same way that a Forum mod can weigh in on a discussion they have an opinion on as a person, and not as a mod, a land leader can speak out on a topic without being a land leader - the same as I am doing now.
This topic might mention land stuff, but it is on a personal level, not on a leader level. And its also in the general forums, not the land forums.
It ought to be plain from the way it is written that this is a post written by the person behind Mya, not the Land Leader that that person plays the role of. As someone who I generally consider intelligent I'm surprised you did not make that distinction yourself, although given you have in the past expressed the difficulties of English as a non-native speaker (and yes, English is an awful language, even if you *are* a native speaker), I can understand why you failed to.
Hopefully I have helped clarify this point for your future perspective.
I know I have't killed you so that "You've killed me." is not referring to me.
I don't think you were referring to me when you said : "You've destroyed the Guardians of the Root." or you're misguided.
Anyway, leaving aside that, from your post, I feel accused of something I don't feel guilty of ... so, I ask you: what is your problem ?
I know I am kind of out-of-touch with MD, but I read the forum and you are not in it.
So, please mind your manners and behave your MD role and state your problems. (*)
Also, as a suggestion, if you accuse someone of something please provide some proofs too. (*)
So, having the 2 (*) points above in mind, I think you should rephrase your post so that you don't sound like ... something you don't want to be.
[spoiler]scared , 2 face ..., unfounded accuser, unworthy ruler and all these just from the above post [/spoiler]
Oh, and on a more personal level :
Sharing in "front of everybody" like that your RL problems, no matter how small or great they may be, it only tells that you are lame. Are you ?