Community events, FAQs, Judgment and Staff. | Community Events…
Community events, FAQs, Judgment and Staff.
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    Thread created on 17:49:02 - 24/12/20 (10 months ago)
    Hello everyone,

    This is just a quick addition to answer a few frequently asked questions regarding Community Events, specifically regarding the judging panel, and why we will be allowing staff entries from this day onwards.


    When we first started these Community Events, staff posted them; however, they were subsequently posted by Duke and then myself to avoid any perceived bias. While the staff who posted events in the past never had any say in the winner, I feel it is important that there is no confusion over who decides the outcome.

    Torn's writing team and myself judge the events, and we often spend days or weeks going through a single set of contests to ensure we pick (in our opinion) what the best results are. These things are subjective, of course, but rest assured we debate the merits of your efforts in great detail. Chedburn is rarely involved in this process; however, if we reach a deadlock, he is always available to help - staff are not given the option to judge these events nor offer an opinion under any circumstances.

    Our judging process begins by ruling out any entries that don't meet the criteria specified in the entry post. The criteria may vary slightly from entry to entry, so it is your responsibility to ensure that you are compliant with those guidelines. I am always happy to clarify if you have any questions, and I will decide alongside Sugarvalves where appropriate. If, for example, you took a picture and the ID/year isn't clearly visible, but you have sufficient photos that provide additional verification, then we may choose to allow your entry to stand.

    We also rule out any entries which do not meet the social guideline requirements of Torn. This issue rarely comes up, but things like nudity or obscenity will disqualify your entry, and this includes any text present in your image that would otherwise be picked up by our in-game filter. Again, I am happy to clarify anything here, and I will also allow image editing to remove offensive content if it doesn't change the original purpose of the image itself. For example, if you took a photo that would not be feasible or easy to replicate, I have no issue with you blurring out or editing out the non-compliant parts.

    Once we have removed ineligible entries, we go through each one and form a shortlist of our favourites. This list takes into account factors such as originality, execution, and how well your entry fits the original requirements of the contest. We then gradually eliminate those we feel score the lowest in these criteria. Once we have a reasonable number remaining, we determine which we think are most deserving of the top three positions. In some cases, where our opinions are divided or there are too many high quality entries, we sometimes assign more than one player to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position.

    "Special mentions" are also chosen if we feel the competition's overall level of quality merits this. Whilst we don't always specifically mention who receives these items, we often send out consolation prizes such as donator packs, boosters or masks (if specified in the original post) to those we feel were deserving of recognition. The prizes we send to "Special mentions" will never be of greater value than those awarded to the top three.


    In addition to there being no staff involvement in the judging process, our previous position was that staff were also excluded from entering and winning Community Events too. This ruling meant that staff could never achieve certain things, such as the Champion honour bar, so I have decided to remove this restriction. From now on, I will be allowing staff to enter all Community Events, but there will be some strict conditions involved.

    This ruling covers only those who volunteer their time for Torn, including Helpers, Moderators, and Officers - admins and employees remain excluded. Staff entries will be more heavily scrutinised than player entries and need to be exceptional to place highly. If a staff member does place in the top three, we will not allow any other staff member a podium position for that contest. Staff members who place in one event will also be excluded from consideration for the top three spots in any other event. And finally, where prize pools are offered, staff members will not be eligible to pick these additional prizes - they remain eligible for the base prizes provided. We retain the right to add further caveats in future. These restrictions apply to staff members only.

    My justification for this change is that I feel it is unfair that staff are excluded from certain awards when they have volunteered their time for the betterment of Torn. I hope the strict restrictions we've put in place will assuage any fears of staff favouritism, while also allowing staff members to feel like full members of the Torn community once more. My goal here is to achieve a "best of both worlds" scenario, without kneecapping my staff team too much, and ensuring that continued transparency in the voting process is evident to all. I'll be happy to answer any questions to clarify these changes.

    Thank you all.

    - Joshua

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