Well, it certainly has been a while since we have done anything related to competitions. Staff inactivity and just general disinterest have been quite a bad combination. It is probably time to change that.
I know that I personally have been on record often saying stuff akin to "I have no ideas on what to do" quite a few times. And that is, or was, entirely true. But, for once in my life, I have actually had what I am hoping is a decent idea. Over the course of the past few weeks I have been laying out the groundwork of a new system for competitions, and I would like to present it here for everyone's suggestions and criticism.
This new competition system would be very straightforward compared to the old one. If you asked me, the most significant flaw with the Clan Competitions lies in the first word of that name. You have four factions (Five counting Clanless) that have to compete with each other. Even when we were more active back then, this was not mathematically sound with the small number of members that we have.
There simply are not enough people on the forums to sustain four different factions. And this is a problem that I think is present with most of the GS boards. Anyone who joins the two non-dominant Clans is out of luck. Anything they work on is going to be a waste of time because they will have no chance of getting anywhere due to their lack of team-mates.
So, the idea was to essentially keep Clans as they are right this moment. Groups that affect the color of your profile, and allow you to access Clan-specific boards. Clans would have no connection to competitive elements at all.
Instead of having the four groups competing, there would only be two. "Team Isaac", and "Team Felix", or something to that nature. Each team would have a total point score that submissions could add to. These points would add to a team's progress bar, which would have a set point goal. Reaching this goal would constitute a victory, and a commencement of a new "Season".
Making submission for a team would be extremely simple. You literally just state which team you want your points to go towards. That is it. No sign-ups or anything complicated like that.
At certain milestones of point counts along the bar, certain events could be triggered. For example, you could have an event that activates once a team reaches 10 points or something. These events would probably be listed on the progress bar, but secret goals could also be present as well. But, either way, these would be the actual "Competition" parts of the competition.
Events such as these would be displayed on a progress bar like this shitty mock-up I just made:
Also, it is known that there are definitely people here, mainly in Mars but to a lesser extent in Venus, that would be upset at the lack of "Clan pride" in such a competition like this. But, the idea is that you would still essentially be competing as a team in all but name. The only difference would be that other people who are not in one of the big two Clans could also productively compete as well without their contributions effectively being wasted.
But, if that is not enough Clan pride for you, we have brought up the idea of at the end of a "Season" announcing which clan contributed to the winning team the most. So, if it really is that big of a deal to everyone, we can still have the "Mars Clan Forever" or "Venus Rocks" stuff if people want it.
In addition to this, the idea of using the existing character badge system to facilitate some kind of tie-in with this new competitive thing has been brought up. Something akin to being able to sign up for a team-themed character badge replacement that tracks your contributions to said team. And, of course, only those who sign-up would have the character badge changed so existing ones would be untouched. I personally am not a fan of this idea too much simply because of the dreaded "Sign up" part which I consider to be too much paperwork (Even if signing up would not be required to participate). But, I wanted to throw the idea out there in case you guys have a different opinion.
We have a good vision on how this is going to work, and honestly if you guys end up seeing this as a decent idea we are quite excited to start working on it and actually do something for the forums for once. Well... A good vision on everything except for one very troublesome thing. Voting on submission-based competitions. This is something that I have really been trying to think about, and honestly, I have no idea how we could overhaul it to be less complicated and confusing.
This is the one kink in this plan, and we would really appreciate suggestions for it. Currently, all that has been brought up is to either use a voting system like the old one (Retaining most of its flaws), or just try to find some way to side-step voting entirely (Which could unfairly reward spammy submissions).
We are proposing a new system for competitions. Two teams with score pools that anyone can contribute to regardless of clan. It is recommended that you read all the details above. But really, I would not blame you for glossing over that text wall.
Either way, feel free to voice your concerns or suggestions about this. None of it is set in stone, of course. And if everyone thinks that it is a bad idea, that is fine too.