Updates to Eyewire’s Competitions in 2020!

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Since 2015, Eyewire has followed a fairly uniform competition system: Happy Hours once a week, VS team challenges every two weeks or so, monthly marathons, and six challenge weeks per year. Now, five years since adopting this approach, HQ is pleased to announce some improvements and refinements to how competitions will happen on Eyewire in 2020! We’ve based these changes on feedback from our player survey last November, while also accounting for other suggestions we’ve received and what the GMs have observed over the past year. Thank you so much, Eyewirers, for your input. We’re really quite excited to see what 2020’s competitions will be like!

Without further ado, here’s what we’re projecting for next year, compared to our previous competition system. Please bear in mind that time frames listed here may be updated at any time, and also some of this scheduling will not be consistently followed due to factors like holidays and other conflicts. We’ll give advance notice if an event is going to significantly deviate from what’s described here.

A New Lineup of Monthly Activities

Monthly 48-Hour VS: Now With Better Bonuses!

Our VS face-offs are getting a facelift with the following changes:

  • One VS per month will now be taking place, for 48 hours.
  • Each VS will start at 11 AM US Eastern and run Monday to Wednesday.
  • Each VS will fall during the second full week of each month.
  • VS scoring has switched to the format used in the Eyewire Cup and the Grim-mas Cup: that is, with multiplier-based bonuses and a Starting Lineup scheme where a certain percentage of highest-scoring participants have their scores “weighted” higher toward the team score, while also receiving higher bonus multipliers. The full scoring system will be detailed in your notifications.

We’ve made some of these alterations in order to accommodate other plans, but we also hope that the longer time window will allow for people with busier schedules or less-represented time zones to have more flexibility about when they join in. Most of all, we hope that the new scoring system will fairly reward players on losing teams who still played really well, and that players can worry less about large teams’ average points being skewed by lots of lower-scoring members!

Accuracy Happy Hours Are Going Monthly!

You read that right! Our much-anticipated Accuracy Happy Hours are now going to happen once a month instead of just during challenge weeks. You can expect all three HHs of the week to become Accuracy HHs during the third full week of each month.

This means on that week of the month, you’ll have the opportunity to earn normal HH bonuses and also accuracy-based bonuses during these times:

  • 8-10 AM US Eastern on Thursday
  • 2-4 PM on Friday
  • 10 PM-midnight on Friday

Your best score of the three will be calculated and awarded the following Monday. The bonus and badge system will be the same as you’ve received in past Accuracy Happy Hours.

We hope you enjoy this chance to be rewarded more often for accurate tracing!

The Third Monthly Event: Marathons

Monthly Marathons are continuing, now specifically on the Wednesday to Thursday during the fourth full week of each month. Most of the event format is going to remain exactly the same, but take note of some alterations to the start times compared to the start times we’ve used in years past:

  • January: Marathon starts at 8 PM US Eastern
  • February: Marathon starts at 8 AM
  • March: Marathon starts at 2 PM
  • April: Marathon starts at 8 PM
  • May: Marathon starts at 8 AM
  • June: Marathon starts at 2 PM
  • July: Marathon starts at 8 PM
  • August: Marathon starts at 8 AM
  • September: Marathon starts at 2 PM
  • December: Marathon starts at 8 PM

We’ve devised this rotation in order to have a little more diversity in which timezones get to have first crack at the marathon cell. As usual, though, the 8 AM start times happen to correspond with challenge weeks, so now… let’s talk about those!

Challenge Weeks

Seasonal Challenge Weeks

Themed challenge weeks on Eyewire are well-loved, and we’re going to continue the standard lineup of events (for the most part) and a similar amount/variety of swag! However, we’re also going to make them a quarterly event, corresponding roughly to the seasons here at Boston HQ. That means:

  • February: Winter Challenge Week
  • May: Spring Challenge Week
  • August: Summer Challenge Week
  • October-December: Something special and different. You’ll see!

All themes are to be announced later!

Challenge Week Components: Featuring a New Hunt Preparation Method

All three of our February, May, and August challenge weeks will include Accuracy Happy Hours, a Hunt, Trivia, VS, and Marathon. Take note that yes, there will be a Hunt for all of these! Also, instead of having just two Accuracy Happy Hours for a challenge week, we will have three, converting the Happy Hour 180 in that same week. This means our challenge weeks will last nine days instead of eight, and as with the other months of the year, you’ll have one extra Accuracy HH opportunity!

Something else about the Hunt: we’ve discovered that instead of qualifying players to prepare the Hunt cell based on how they did in the previous Hunt, it’s simpler for us to switch to a volunteer list. If you are a Scythe and you have enjoyed preparing Hunt cells before or would like to potentially prepare them in the future, just fill out this form! You will be contacted when the next Hunt prep window is coming up, and at that time you can decide whether you’re interested! This link will also be provided in your notifications and a pinned forum post. Hunt preppers will still be rewarded with the Games Maker badge and a bonus equal to finding all 12 mergers at the closest distance. Remember that to prepare the Hunt, you must be a Scythe because you must be able to reap cubes.

“But wait! Where are Evil Cubes?” ask our Evil Cubes enthusiasts. Never you fear. Here’s the biggest change to our competitions…

Rolling Evil Cubes: A Never-Ending Teaching Tool

Based on player feedback and observations made during the Evil Cubes preparation process, HQ is happy to announce a much-improved way of experiencing Evil Cubes year round in a non-competitive, educational setup. You’re still going to receive the same badges and bonuses for playing a set of Evil Cubes, but sets will now be launched and taken down on an irregular but much more “present” basis than the old way (three weeks out of the entire year).

Here’s how it’s going to work!

  1. If you’re a Scout or higher, whenever you find a cube that you consider “evil,” feel free to submit info about it using this form! (For now, this link will be provided in your notifications and a pinned forum post, but we’re also working to add a button to the Scouts’ Log interface for automatically adding Evil Cubes to the form results sheet.)
  2. Each week, a GM will review the form submissions.
  3. Once there are 12 sufficient cubes for a set, the set will be created and launched on Eyewire.
  4. Players will be able to select the set at their leisure in the “Events” section of the Change Cell menu.
  5. The set will stay up for a fixed period of time, and a “last chance!” notification will be sent when the set is about to come down. A new set will be launched once it’s ready.

Players will be able to see how they did on each cube using Review Mode. Because of the rolling Evil Cube submissions, it will be possible for someone to play an Evil Cube that they personally submitted, but the GMs will make sure that no set has too many cubes by one person, so that there aren’t too many “freebies.” You also won’t be able to identify “your” Evil Cubes by their original IDs.

Remember that to submit Evil Cubes, you must be a Scout because you must be able to see cubes’ consensus in Inspect Mode, i.e. you must be able to see if the cube is “really” hard or not. The GMs also can’t guarantee that your Evil Cubes will be used for a set, because there can be technical problems with certain cubes, plus cubes where it’s impossible to find the right trace without viewing the cube’s relatives. However, for any Evil Cubes you submit that we do wind up using, you’ll receive a 2000 point bonus (so double or more than double whatever you earned when you played the cube itself), and you’ll also earn the Games Maker badge.

HQ is excited to premiere this new curated learning tool on Eyewire!

Open Promotions

Historically, open promotions (that is, sponsor-free promotions) have been tied to challenge weeks, but because of how the challenge week schedule is changing, HQ has decided to offer open promotions every month. We’ll send out a monthly reminder about the open promotion application, and at month’s end all approved players will get promoted after Happy Hour. Watch your notifications if you’d like to become a mentor, Scout, or Scythe without sponsors! And if you’re hoping to become a moderator or Mystic, you now have a more frequent time frame to be considered by HQ for those roles.

Competition Updates in Summary

To recap:

  • VS happen once a month, increase in length, and get a better scoring system!
  • Accuracy HHs replace the normal HHs in the third week of every month.
  • Marathons continue like normal, but with a new rotation in start times.
  • Challenge weeks have an extra Accuracy HH, and now always feature a Hunt.
  • Seasonal challenge weeks will take place in February/May/August, with something different and special going from late October to early December!
  • “Rolling” Evil Cubes still have badges but become more of an educational tool.
  • Monthly open promotions!

Questions?

If you have any questions about what we’ve covered here, please feel free to ask a GM in chat or write to support@eyewire.org. All of us at HQ are super stoked to see how 2020’s competitions play out, and we want to help you get stoked as well!