# CONTEST ZEJ Statistical Contest ~ Iteration 3

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Discussion' started by Eebit, Nov 12, 2015.

1. ~ ZEJ Statistical Contest ~

The Return! Out of nowhere, really. After a long hiatus, I think it's high time to give this another shot. I've kept the ZEJ Statistical Contest series in the back of my mind for quite a long while, and with the current lull in activity, it seems like an opportune moment to try and encourage a small-scale community activity. So, with the same intentions as before, I would like to reintroduce the ZEJ Statistical Contest -- a friendly competition to inject some fresh perspective and creativity into our forum's house blend of roleplaying.

However, rather than proceeding down the "standard" route of running this competition as a vehicle for profile creation, this time I'd like to set our sights on a different facet of the statistical medium -- one that maybe does not get quite as much attention...

Iteration 3: Arena Creation

That's right! This time, we are going to be focusing on the creation of an area that will be the house for our wonderfully-varied statistical units. It is easy to think about making an arena for a statistical roleplay -- after all, by the time the roleplay comes around, the GM will generally have a good handle on what their vision for the surrounding environment will look like for their players, and the environment is like putty to be molded carefully by a healthy mixture of player interaction and what the GM envisions.

What is sometimes less clear is a playing field for players that is fun, but also balanced.

There are an endless amount of environments to see, create, and draw inspiration from... but at ZEJ, when looking at making a statistical spar, there is something of a lack of preset arenas to visit for the purposes of duking things out in a what can be called a fair fight.

1. The TASK: Your task (should you choose to accept it) is simple enough -- design a competition-oriented statistical battleground. What I am aiming to do is use this competition as a potential way of "widening" the limited diversity we have right now in selecting balanced battlegrounds for a spar or a tournament, while at the same time providing a place for people to dip their toes in for the purpose of developing statistical battlefields. If you have no experience, then this will give you the chance to see what it's like to make a battlefield, without the added pressure of having to work with the people who populate it.

2. The SPECIFICATIONS:
- Obviously, these arenas must be entirely your own work.
- No particular size restrictions, but keep in mind that having an overly-large arena with a lot of blank space is less than ideal for players, who will (in general) have 3 Cells of Movement.
- (At least) two distinct starting zones, clearly labelled.
- Strive for balance! I encourage you to avoid using mechanics that might favour one side over another in a combat situation.
- Keep it fun and fresh. Particularly well-crafted entries might have interesting gimmicks that do not impact the flow of combat too much, but some degree of intended interaction with the environment is always a nice touch.

3. The DEADLINE: <IMPORTANT> The deadline for this challenge is going to be set on Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 11:59pm EST, 10 days from now. Before this deadline, you will be PMing your completed arena to me. I think that should be ample time for constructing and polishing a statistical battlefield, but I will accept feedback to this end (provided it's not asking for an extension the night before it's due).

4. BONUS ROUND: If you want to kick it up a notch, my bonus challenge would be to base your statistical battlefield on an existing character or locale that does not yet have a statistical arena to its name. It is not necessary, by any means, to do this -- but if you're looking for extra inspiration, maybe taking a walk through ZEJ's roleplay hall might give you a boost.

A good place to start might be to peruse the "current" (and I say that knowing that these arenas are quite dated) roster of and "theory" regarding ZEJ's statistical arenas. Below are a couple threads that I thought might be useful for the purposes of getting your head in the game, so to speak.

ZEJ Statistical Colosseum: Information ~ Arena Thread: >>
Statistical Battlefields: >>

And for good measure, the "standard" 9x9 blank grid.

{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } A
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } B
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } C
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } D
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } E
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } F
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } G
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } H
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } I
-1---2---3---4---5---6---7---8---9-

{ } - Empty Cell
Code:
[font=Courier New]
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } A
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } B
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } C
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } D
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } E
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } F
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } G
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } H
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } I
-1---2---3---4---5---6---7---8---9-
[/font]

[font=Courier New]{ }[/font] - [SIZE=2]Empty Cell[/SIZE]

#1
2. Oh, forgot to mention... it'd be neat if you guys posted here if you plan to participate. I don't really care all that much if people dip out at the last minute (although obviously that's not super ideal), but I would like to get a sense of whether there is interest in something like this on ZEJ at this point. Thanks!

#2
3. Oh. I'm participating. In fact mine's pretty much done, it's just a matter of making sure it's nice and polished.

#3
4. I'll be partaking.
But it's not because I like you or anything... baka

#4
5. Shit if you don't mind the polish and the aesthetics looking like shit I could probably whip something up.

#5
6. REMINDER: There are four days left in the challenge. Get those entries in~

#6
7. Tonight, Cerby asked me if submissions to the contest need to be given an Atmosphere and background music. Neither of these are necessary for the purposes of our competition here.

If you would like to include an Atmosphere to be judged, let me know that you intend for it to be part of the submission "package".

Music is not necessary but if you would like it to be there, then go ahead and add some.

#7
8. Just a reminder that there are roughly 9 hours left in the competition. @"The Kakuzato" and @CerberusLycan have both turned in their submissions (thanks guys!).

There is still time if you want to join the competition! The more the merrier.

#8
9. The Results

Alright! A little later than originally anticipated, I am here to herald the results. I apologize for the delay -- the dastardly combination of real life business to take care of and procrastination had put me off of posting these for quite a while. But as they say, the show must go on! This iteration had a pair of really great, neat, and unique entries, each with their own special flavour. I think you can really see the personal "brands" come to life in the entries that @CerberusLycan and @"The Kakuzato" put in here.

However, as it is a "contest," I do have to pick one over the other. Before anything else, I want to say thanks to each entrant for taking the time to add to ZEJ's repertoire of Statistical Arenas. For judging purposes, I placed emphasis on the "Player versus Player" aspect of the arenas, their aesthetics, and also the implications of balance.

Second Place: @"The Kakuzato"

Bridge Connecting Many Fates

{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } A
{~} {t} { } { } { } { } { } {w} {w} {t} B
{~} {~} { } { } { } {t} { } {w} {w} {~} C
{~} {~} { } {t} { } { } { } { } {~} {~} D
{t} {~} {~} { } { } { } {t} {~} {~} {~} E
{ } {=} {=} { } {t} { } { } {~} {~} {t} F
{ } {~} {~} { } { } { } { } {~} {~} { } G
{ } { } {~} {~} { } {t} {~} {~} { } { } H
{ } { } {~} {~} {=} {=} {~} {~} { } {t} I
{ } {t} { } {~} {=} {=} {~} {t} { } { } J
{ } { } { } { } {=} {=} { } { } { } { } K
{t} { } { } { } { } { } { } { } {t} { } L
{ } { } {t} { } { } { } { } { } { } { } M
-1---2---3---4---5---6---7---8---9--1 0-

Cell Legend

{ } - Empty Cell

{ } - Starting Zone

{w} - Wall:
Indestructible. Cannot be occupied or moved through.

{~}- Water:
Entire movement command must be used to exit this cell. Decreases all attacking and defending stats by 50% when in the cell.

Hidden until someone walks through one the first time: {~} - Shallow Water:
Uses 2 MOV to exit cell.

{=} - Bridge:
??? HP
?? DEF
?? SPR
Can be occupied. Cannot be entered from a Water cell. When destroyed, turns into a Water cell.

{t} - Tree:
??? HP
?? DEF
?? SPR
Cannot be occupied. Trigger command: Shake the tree!

First of all, I want to applaud Nate on his creativity and aesthetic sense. The unnamed arena he turned in (upon which I bestowed the name "Bridge Connecting Many Fates") is visually quite interesting to look at, not to mention a cool idea overall. The Shallow Water Cells ensure that no player knocked into (or otherwise forced to traverse) the river will be stuck wading forever, which is a nice addition. Introducing a new layer of strategy, the threat of falling into the river further places a strong emphasis on control over the Bridge areas for tactical advantage

Nate reported when he entered that he "made it more for something in the middle of a statplay," and that he had initially not realized that the competition was rooted in creating a balanced PvP environment. Sadly, this is where he loses the upper hand in the competition (and he acknowledged this to me himself). With all the emphasis placed on the control -- or destruction -- of the Bridge areas, the upper hand is decidedly given to the player or party starting on the south side of the map.

I have to say I agree with Nate's personal reflection; this map would certainly make for an awesome battle in an actual statplay. To this end, Nate accomplished what he set out to do in spades! The arena is perhaps best suited for a random encounter, and I can see it making for an intriguing one at that. Given an environment where strategy and coordination are paramount (such as fighting against a powerful enemy/enemy party), I think this map would be a veritable challenger with top marks!

But as this is a PvP-focused contest, I have to give the victory to...

First Place: @"CerberusLycan"

Superstrata

BGM: ~Boss Fight 1~

{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } A
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } B
{ } { } { } { } {s} { } {s} { } { } { } { } C
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } D
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } E
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } F
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } G
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } H
{ } { } { } { } {s} { } {s} { } { } { } { } I
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } J
{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } { } K
-1---2---3---4---5---6---7---8---9--1 0-1 1-

Cell Legend

{ } - Team 1 Starting Zone

{ } - Team 2 Starting Zone

{ } - Empty Cell

{ } - Nonexistent Cell

{s} - Open Sky
--- Cannot be Occupied

{ } - Mistral Cell
--- While Occupied: Occupying Unit's Base Damage Output is constantly increased by 10%. Unit can also be subjected to Trigger Command: Blow Away! [Deals 80% of the User's Dominant Offensive Stat in the corresponding Type of Damage, and Knocks the Target back by 1 Cell.]

{ } - Zephyr Shrine
--- An Occupying Unit below 50% Max HP can use Trigger Command: Summon Tailwind! [For the next 3 Turns, Ally Units take 10% reduced Damage Input while Occupying a Mistral Cell. Also activates Trigger Command: Blow Away! on applicable Enemy Units on use. Causes both Zephyr Shrines to disappear for 4 Turns.]

Cerby's submission, for me, depicts pretty much exactly what I was looking for in crafting this challenge -- an arena that favours two combatants/parties equally, with a unique flavour that could change the landscape of battle around. Perhaps it is not as visually interesting as Nate's arena, bonus points have to be awarded for symmetry -- although it wasn't explicitly stated to be a requirement, the symmetrical nature of this battlefield provides equal opportunity to both parties. The so-called "Superstrata" also has a control component in the centre of the arena, which makes the placement and action of each individual unit all the more important.

It's interesting to see a mechanic entrenched in the arena that favours the player who falls behind. The Zephyr Shrines are a neat flair for this arena, as they allow the (presumed) losing party a chance to regain their footing and catch their breath. As "zone control" is an underutilized aspect of statistical roleplaying, I think this arena shows that Cerby likes to take risks even in a relatively simple arena.

Once again, thanks to both of you for entering, and congratulations to Cerby for the victory! I hope that this is just the beginning and that more statistical contests come up in the future.

#9