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I agree that "mistress" on its own would be an inappropriate name in this case, but happily it's not on it's own. "Waterway Master" would raise no eyebrows, and it would be clear what was meant. This is just the reverse gendered version.
Having said that, "Waterway Master" would also be an odd name as it implies control (or attempted control) of the waterways, and this creature doesn't seem to do that.
Andrew Black wrote:
The Urban challenge is really going to show off the TOP 32 design skills. Not just anything will fit in the Urban scene and make sense. The ones who show us how the monster fits into "ecosystem" of the city are going to be the ones that get my vote.
Agreed. This is going to be at the top of my voting criteria.
Why does this monster need to be urban? And on the flip side, how does it survive as an urban creature?
A lot of pitfalls on both sides of that equation.
I don't care much either way about 1.
As for 2, picking and choosing comments to favorite is a form of comment, and certainly could be used to indicate when someone got your "intent" and did not, and that's exactly the kind of thing the rule is meant to prevent. I'd say don't do it.
And 3... Well, it might be allowed. And if that's you're instinct... Then I know not to vote for you. I'd never vote for a contestant that criticized the other entries during voting.
Once voting was over, I'd be open to constructive criticism from contestants, but keep in mind that many, many people would see it as negativity and it would hurt you.
Gossiper's Gourd is the most interesting of the Top 32 to me, and it's even more interesting to see it wasn't on anyone's exit poll.
Historically the contest hasn't had a lot of room for "roleplaying" items, but it seems like the Gourd bubbled up in voting. It was well done, and it filled a certain roleplaying need.
I ended up voting for it more often than not, but I assumed it had no chance of making the Top 32. There were a few other "roleplaying" items I did the same thing with. I'm happy to see one of them get selected. To me that's as it should be. The game isn't all dungeons and combat, after all.
I would be very surprised to make the top 32, so I haven't made a full-on monster design.
But the constraints this year are really interesting. Low CR is challenging in itself, but the Urban constraint is the real bear. Making something that genuinely needs to be in a town or city while at the same time figuring out why it's not eradicated by said city is tough. All while being cool enough for voters.
It's a real challenge, and I'll certainly be basing my votes in large part on how well the contestants meet it.
In the meantime it's been fun making concepts for fun.
For what it's worth, there's very little chance it could influence the judges. They already have exact rankings, as you said. Give that those rankings come from a thousand votes each, they know what the community thinks of each item. It's a bit silly to imagine otherwise.
I wouldn't make any assumptions about any item on that list. As I mentioned above, there were a number of items on it I voted against every time. Who knows what the real rankings were?
Here's how the ramble thread is valuable, negativity or no.
It gives insight into what the voters are thinking, *as they vote*.
The auto-reject info is valuable, obviously, but it's what the judges are thinking.
The voters are voting long before that point even comes around. If there are things voters don't like that the judges might pass (and there definitely are), it's helpful to know that. That is pretty much by definition going to be negative information, but that doesn't make it any less valuable.
My item this year was definitely shaped by voter reactions to my item last year. I wasn't happy hearing about it then, but it helped me this time around.
Of course, this year I saw comments I'm pretty sure applied to my item in a way I didn't imagine at first, but that's a lesson too. :-)
I agree, of course, that comments that make it very clear which item was under discussion were inappropriate. Trends, general likes/dislikes, cool. Specific items, not so cool.
I have to agree with those who said the overall quality is much higher this year. Some duds, but honestly it was relatively few. I think the open voting and the epic critique thread last year made a real difference.
I know it did for me, though I'm aware of mechanical issues with my item. I definitely got a better sense of what works for voters, though.
Donald Robinson wrote:
Yep, the next week is the hardest. Nothing is really safe to talk about until the judges reveal their top 32.