#AskDuelCircle Clash ’19 Edition – December 12th

Welcome to The 5th Clash edition of #AskDuelCircle!

Have a question? Mention us on Social media or email us using #AskDuelCircle.

This is a space where we focus on your questions and give you answers. We’ll be doing these periodically from time to time so keep an eye out for future editions of #AskDuelCircle.

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Clash, we’re answering questions from the community specifically about the upcoming tournament. To learn more about Clash ’19, check out our megapost here.

Why is Christmas Clash now simply called “Clash”?

Over the past few years, Christmas Clash was typically held shortly after Christmas, hence the name. The name always was recognizable by the community and the tournament became a tradition to be hosted around this time of the year. Internally, we called it Clash since calling it by its’ full name all the time isn’t necessary. When we talk about Clash, everyone seems to be on the same page.

We also understood why some people preferred that the tournament shouldn’t be called Christmas Clash due to religious reasons. We try to do things without any religious and political viewpoints through our content and contests. This year, we decided to officially brand the tournament as Clash on its’ own. I will say though, in the somewhat near future we are considering to rebrand our flagship tournaments entirely with new logos, and of course new names.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer

Why is Clash so complex?

I should probably point out that if you consider yourself as a casual player, you probably should look elsewhere for in-game PvP events. We simply don’t cater to the casual player when creating our gamemodes. Casual players are just not our target audience. Our tournaments are built on the premise of creative playstyles.

History has shown (although things can definitely change) that casual players who have little to no competitive experience, usually don’t make it far in our tournaments. We’ve set the bar pretty high in terms of our flat out weird gamemodes.

If we were to ever hold an in-game event for casual players regarding PvP, it would probably end up happening at an IRL event like PAX. The convention scene is ideally where we would try to hold some sort of amateur shindig for anyone (PC Freeplay/the PC Lan Tournament area of PAX maybe?). Obviously we could never hold a tournament as serious as Clash in person, which you can find out why here.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer 

What’s new with Mander Bot for Clash?

One of the biggest challenges we have is keeping track of who’s assigned to which match and match specific details. You may be asking, isn’t the tournament bracket on Challonge good enough? Sadly Challonge doesn’t allow us to include the additional information we need to associate with each match and in a presentation style that is acceptable.

That is where ManderBot’s newest feature comes into play, streamlining the process of the bracket and anything extra we throw at it. Mander Bot is capable of displaying all the matches into a selected Discord room for the DuelCircle Team and Participants to view. What makes this different then our previous approach is that each match is displayed in an embed that can be continuously updated with reacting to the match with a specific emotion.

This includes the ability for referees, broadcasters to pick their match by clicking the right emotion; a universal way to keep track of time with a start, stop, and reset; easy match reporting and updating of our Challonge bracket; the ability for a participant to challenge their match results; setting that the result of the match was a disqualification; clear the assigned referee, broadcaster, and house used; and lastly the ability for Organizers to lock a match in.

If you wish to know the specifics on how Mander Bot works, the source code will be available sometime later in 2020.

Ryan @Thetechboy – Lead Technician

Is this the death of Wizard Fancy?

Unfortunately, Wizard Fancy is a thing of the past now. For those of you who don’t know, I am currently a senior at UTSA. One of the classes I was required to take for my PR degree was Commercial Publications. Although the class was super easy and most of the stuff the class taught was simple PhotoShop/InDesign features, I learned how important typefaces are.

Wizard Fancy is one of the most overused fonts in the community. You could compare Wizard Fancy to Helvetica since Wizard Fancy is a font we all know pretty well thanks to KingsIsle. I suggest watching this video about Helvetica’s downfall if you would like my point of view on Wizard Fancy.

In the near future we plan on releasing our own branding guide that shows what our signature fonts are and what our signature colors are. This might be a tangent but you might’ve also known that the branding for Clash is vastly different than what everyone is accustomed to. One of my big projects for the 5th Anniversary initiative is to go through a complete rebrand and define ourselves. Our new branding for Clash is meant to be simple and modern. You’ll notice on the Clash broadcasts soon that we’ve completely reworked our assets there. It’s something I’m really proud of since I was able to apply a course concept to what we do here at DuelCircle.

Side note, if you’re interested in graphic design but don’t know where to start, I suggest reading The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams. (Before you ask, not Robin Williams the late actor.) It’s a simple book with a ton of valuable information. This was my “textbook” for my Commercial Publications class and it taught me some awesome “C.R.A.P.”, you can find the book here.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer

What’s the logic behind the new challenge system?

For context, read the bottom of The Changelog. I realized that we never publicly discussed the new system and people would’ve only noticed if they read the rule document (since we usually never change the “Match Format” portion).

This change was primarily made to support the participants. After Luau, I had rethought the concept of “all calls being final” and didn’t think that was a good clause. If we’re being honest, that clause was there so that if we made a decision, we wouldn’t have to deal with any implications. We realized that the referee isn’t always right and there may have been some questionable decisions over the past few years. We’re putting an end to judgement calls with this new change.

I feel that the new challenge system will give participants the one thing they needed, which is equal footing. One of the new features of this upcoming tournament is that all matches will now be recorded/streamed. This allows us to go into the match VOD and do an administrative review. We hope that this solves potential problems in the future and we’re glad to offer this to our participants.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer

Will you explicitly list out penalties for broken rules?

Yes! This is one of the changes we’ve discussed over the “offseason” and will be posted onto the Rules page when the tournament bracket is released. We want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and we’ll be providing clarity. We’re restricting exactly what referees can do since one referee could do a light penalty for a broken rule while another could flat out disqualify you. If we want our participants to play fair, then we need to hold our referees to the same standard.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer 

What are the gamemodes that’ll be used for Clash?

ICYMI: For this special milestone tournament, gamemodes will be in-play during ALL rounds as homage to the 1st Clash tournament in 2015. We will be using gamemodes from each previous tournament since 2015, with a brand new gamemode to be released during the finals.

We won’t flat out give you the answer but you could definitely do some “research” and find a few of them that’ll be in-play. As always, we’ll release them 30 minutes prior to the start of each round on social media, Discord, and on the site.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer 

Even though some of the tournament houses look really nice, they cause lag. How are you fixing this issue?

This is one of the major issues brought up to us during Luau. Anyone who was selected to be a streamed match at the start of each round, would play at a special decorated house that is visually appealing to the community for broadcast. This would end up providing an unfair advantage to participants selected for broadcast vs other participants.

We’re solving the lag issue by using houses that are decorated much less for broadcasts. We care more about matches themselves than visually appealing houses on-air. In a perfect world scenario, if we had control to kick people from the actual “PvP Arenas” then we would definitely have participants utilize the practice PvP system.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer

What are you doing to help balance out the tournament with initial matchmaking?

One of the new changes we’ve implemented during the signup process is requesting participant ELO and the amount of ranked matches completed in the 4th age. This allows us to carefully adjust matches if there’s a serious gap between participants. We definitely don’t want a Warlord with over 500+ matches played to face a Sergeant with barely any matches played in Round 1. Hopefully this solution can positively impact the tournament.

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer

Do you plan on fully reworking Clash or Luau and if so, how?

We’ve made it to the most commonly asked question. This is something we’ve talked about (even openly) since the dawn of time. Our goal prior to Luau was to rebuild from the ground up, as you can see here.

Between Clash and Luau, we made some minor quality of life changes to improve the tournament while I’ve personally worked out the logistics for a full scale rework. I’ve mentioned this in numerous places but this upcoming Clash is the final “normal” tournament. On Friday, December 27th after Clash concludes, I will release an article regarding the new 2020 DuelCircle Tournament changes, which will be a year-long test (coincidentally alongside our year-long 5th anniversary initiative).

Mike @MikeFirehammer – Lead Organizer

Thanks for reading this rendition of #AskDuelCircle. Have a question? Mention us on Social media or email us using #AskDuelCircle. Please feel free to hit us up in the comments. The DuelCircle leadership team and content team will do their best to engage in a conversation with you. We want this to feel as if we’re offering a deeper insight into our work. Check out the last #AskDuelCircle here.