Marathon improvements

Hi all,

We’d like to let folks know about something we’re hoping to try for our next marathon to solve some of the issues that we run into during a lot of them, including this last one. These are the issues in question:

  • Very fast power players often run out of things to do on marathon cells
  • The GMs habitually have trouble finding enough of the right “kind” of cell to use for the marathon
  • A single marathon cell now typically takes under 24 hours no problem, but whenever we try to do more than one, there’s a decent chance of exceeding 24 hours, sometimes by a long time, which becomes inconvenient for scoring and keeping up competition “momentum”

To address all of this, HQ would like to attempt a marathon where we still launch a single cell that gives double SC bonuses, but we leave the weight cap on it, and we also leave other cells up. The primary goal would still be to complete the one cell in 24 hours, but people would get additional hefty bonuses for however many other cells that were completed in the same window. We would still also score how many cubes you trace and use that (plus Scythes’ SC count) toward renaming eligibility for the main cell.

Although it might elongate the main cell’s average completion time, we think that with sufficient bonus incentive and notifications we could help player activities stay directed toward the most productive areas. In the meantime, there would be plenty of cubes guaranteed, and it could be a fun twist on an older competition format. If folks are open to trying this out, we would probably give it a whirl during the marathon for April’s challenge week. Does this sound like a worthy experiment?


The marathon is probably my favorite event but I’d be glad to give this a shot

I think you have a better idea than me and I like your ideas @devonjones! I might need some digital version of pizza for this level of getting stuff done: Yas, I’m now on board :slight_smile:

Not sure, I understand all correctly. For me it looks like there are no marathon-cells anymore.

What you mean with “but we leave the weight cap on it” ? You keep it at low weight?

Special on marathon-cells is not only cube-count, but also that EVERYBODY played the same cell. kind of fun.

With other cells open as you intend to do, I would give double points to marathon cell as in relics, this should animate players enough to go there and speed up finishing.

For me marathons are attractive for the cube count and the additional sc-bonus. So extend the latter just over the whole 24h-marathon-time, independent of the cells we sc. (and independent of whether a cell gets finished or not in that period – not sure about your text as to that). So when a small marathon cell is already finished, when I log in, it wouldn’t frustrate me as much…

Alternative was (not my favorite):

Give a first marathon cell and handle as till now (all players have to play on that). Allow high weight cap on it, allows all to play on and not get out of cubes, and gives scythes time to sc.

Only problem then is, when cell turns out very small, only a few players can take part of it. To solve: Start marathons at let’s say 3 different times in three different marathon-events, so you could provide kind of a balance (US. Europe, Asia).

Thanks for the feedback so far!

Susi, I will try to answer what you’re asking about. That is a good idea to put a special bonus amount on points for the “official” marathon cell. It would be another way to direct people to it and try to get that particular cell done first. I’ll see what everyone at HQ thinks about that.

Re: increased SC bonus, I think the idea already was to include it for all cells within the 24 hour window. We’re suggesting additional bonuses on top of that for what specific number of cells are completed then, though, as an extra motivator. (There isn’t an exact scheme in mind yet, but just for the sake of argument, imagine something like getting double SC bonus for any cell finished in the window + 5k per cell for all players who traced or SC’d more than 20 cubes.)

I agree that the alternative you suggest is less preferable. With starting multiple overlapping marathons, we would have trouble with scoring, especially given auto-enrollment and our current competition architecture in the database. There are some other problems I can think of in that scenario, but that’s the main one.

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I agree with susi, that part of the specialness of the marathon cells are that everyone works on them together.

It sounds like what y’all are proposing is doing away with having a true marathon cell and starting a marathon where we try to complete as many cells from what is already launched as possible in a specific time frame. Which is still a marathon, just a bit of a different one.

I do wonder if lowering the spawning weight to 2 on marathon cells would alleviate the problem of power players running out of cubes to play.

I am not really seeing the point of having a special marathon cell at all if our normal play is going to count toward the marathon. You could make a competition where the point was so many cubes as possible like it is now, without the marathon cell. It would probably help getting more lvl 1 cells done faster.

I see some issues with giving out marathon bonus for every cell finished in the spesific time frame.

  • The admins have to make sure every cell that is completed before marathon is completed before it.
  • the start and end time would have to be at the end of working time at hq to make sure there is admins to complete the cells that are finished doing marathon.
  • it sounds like this would be more a marathon in sc than playing as many cubes as possible? (this could be beneficial if there is a lot of unfinished cells in the need scythe list).
  • how will you find out how many cubes/sc was done in the cells during marathon and not before/after

I am open to try a new marathon version, but i do not really think naming rights to a cell would be the same reward in this layout

All right, I’ll respond to you and annkri in separate comments to keep things organized. Thanks for the feedback!

I think the reason we don’t lower the spawn weight is that it would probably wind up making more work for Scythes in terms of reaping. That + the overall difficulty factor have been why we always try to find/use Level 1 cells.

Re: doing away with a true marathon cell, this is not strictly the case if we would still be offering a “main” cell to finish. The rationale behind still offering that is that it would give folks something to still name. An alternative I thought of initially was to simply rename the cell that finished first, but having a special main cell to work on is what we’re proposing this time around. Susi’s idea to incentivize that cell through a bonus sounds good to us at HQ.

Does this make sense?

Thanks for the feedback, annkri!

To address what you’re bringing up here, first I think there’s the question of having a special cell to rename. We’ve been under the impression that this privilege is important to players, so we don’t want to take that away from anyone, just adapt it. As has been noted by others, properly incentivizing the one cell might be a challenge if we’re not deorbiting all the others, but what if it were a 3x points bonus, not just a Level 2 bonus?

In terms of special bonuses for finishing additional cells, I’ll try to answer your concerns point by point.

  • Yes, we’d probably try to make sure that cells which were done got completed the day before or at least a few hours before, depending on the marathon start time. But the special bonuses for this would be completely manual, and so would the higher SC bonuses. So if during the marathon we admin-completed a cell that was already complete before the start time, we would have an easy way to avoid including that cell in the total.

  • Likewise, if some cells were finished during the marathon but an admin wasn’t around to see, we would still be able to manually make sure they were counted and given the appropriate bonuses.

  • SCing would be important, but since cells need to grow and not all players are Scythes, that’s why we would still be counting traced cubes.

  • In terms of finding out everything that happened during the marathon vs. not, don’t worry, that’s what we already do for the current ones. :slight_smile:

I hope this helps clarify things!

Ok, I didn’t read through everyone’s messages, but will respond anyway. It would be cool to have 1 original marathon cell that has normal weight. Same rules as all other cells.

Now, there should be bonus, extra marathon cells for those who run out of cubes. These secret, endless, “peri-marathon” cells are also only available to those who run out of cubes - like they get a link or something. Then there could be a tally on the number of extra cubes were played by each person in that until the original marathon cube is finished. How does that sound? That might make everyone happy.

The ‘peri-marathon’ cubes could have even more bonus points. Idk, just an idea. If the # of cubes was converted into a length (could be made up, like 1/100th of a mile), then people could see how long they ‘ran’.

Also, these ‘peri-marathon’ cells could be shut down after a marathon is over and reopened only when a marathon cube runs out of cells. So they could be reserved only for post-marathon ‘runners’. Doesn’t have to be reserved, but just putting it out there.

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Another wild thought to hopefully get everyone to finish a marathon is to have teams or relays, where each team is trying to finish before another to the ‘finish line’, which is the end of a marathon. That way, if some people run out of cubes and others didn’t, then the ones who didn’t will feel motivated to finish their’s to not let down their team. Teams would win on how many total cubes they finish.

Just a heads up to everyone, the scheme we’re trying out is posted in the marathon event notification; let us know if you have any further questions!

Honestly i’m not sure I really understand what is going on with it. so we have a marathon, and it gives triple points, but cube counts don’t matter except for naming rights? and the “winner” is whoever gets the highest score for the day?

The cube count matters for naming rights and also the 3500 points per 25 cubes bonus, which you can still track on the leaderboard.

Re: the highest score for the 24 hour period, that is only a metric for swag winners. That special swag change was decided for the February competition and is also similar to a swag component that we had during the KT sponsorship; it’s not new for this particular event.

I hope this clarifies things!

The new marathon rules are cool.

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Thanks hawaiisunfun!

I just want to make sure people following this thread are aware that although part of the issue with finishing this particular marathon cell is the cell’s sheer size (yet again), we’ve determined another problem is that if one cell is supposed to receive priority without deorbiting the other cells, we do need to make sure that when you log in or refresh you are always served the marathon cell. This would make sure newer players or folks who don’t read their notifications are still able to contribute to that cell by default. We’d like to try this all again next month, but with that important modification added!

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most definitely!