Reflecting On Mog Madness

Now that it’s over, I wanted to go back and share my thoughts on what I personally think was a successful contest.  For starters, in the beginning I had hoped for at least 12-15 entrants.  We got 26, so I was more than pleased with the interest and how quickly word spread.

I also want to quickly say to each and every entrant that your participation in this was beyond appreciated.  I never took any of you, or your outfits, for granted.  You made it incredibly difficult to be a judge because I recognized the passion and effort that went into the more than seventy outfits I got the pleasure of judging.  I hope my words never came across as personal attacks in any way nor were they interpreted as such.  The idea the whole time was to have fun and I recognize as it became more challenging some of that was lost and I’m truly sorry for it.

I mentioned in another comment to khizzara that we threw this thing together incredibly quickly.  I got the idea and told Effy and with Tome involved we made it happen.  Given the title, it was extremely important to me to launch it the same day as the NCAA March Madness.  If it looked like we had it together all along, then we’ll take that as a compliment.  But I admit in many ways it can be improved upon and I’m sure each of you would have done at least one thing differently (and possibly better) were you running it.  I’ve mentioned all along that I have something else in mind for the not too distant future and I think the groundwork I’ve put into it will make it better because it already includes things that have since been talked about during the contest.  There will also be more time and more judges (should they see fit).

Speaking of judging, One of the things I felt strongest in reading some of the comments was confusion over how we did things and voted.  I’ll explain the overall process and then tell you things from my personal process.  To start, once I received all the entries for a round they were put into a document with the details of the transmog, spots for each judge to score the three categories, and then a comments section at the end.  We never sat down together and talked about any entry aside from “wasn’t ‘X’ something neat?” after the judging was done.  Each judge opened the document on their own and entered their appropriate scores and comments.  When all was said and done it came back to me to wrap up the details in the blog posts you saw here.

I never looked at how the other judges scored an outfit.  There were at least two rounds where I was the last to score and comment.  I might see what Tome and Effy thought, but not their scores.  Speaking of which, never once did I play favourites with contestants.  Quite often, the way my window was set up, looking at the picture and entering my scores meant the name wasn’t in view so I didn’t even know who I was voting on half the time. When I posted the results in my blog, that’s when I found out the total scores and who was moving on. 

As for how I voted.  I apologize for any inconsistencies anyone felt in how I judged.  What I did was look at each outfit independently.  I never compared except in the cases where it was obvious due to gear piece or similar entries.  I didn’t look at Kuroma and compare to Cymre or anything like that.  I looked at an outfit, studied it, picked out gear pieces, checked the gear pieces, and voted based on my honest reaction.  For the three categories, I felt Originality was the uniqueness of the outfit’s look.  Creativity was the gear pieces used to reach that look.  In some cases if I felt someone went with the first shoulders that matched rather than a pair that made the outfit just that much better, I did hold back a bit in marks.  Overall Impression was my thoughts just looking at it.  That means I could still score you high for the other two categories even if I didn’t like the end product (or the other way around).

Let me wrap up this train of thought with two comments.  The first is that I created the categories, so feel free to direct your thoughts about them at me with applause or frowns.  I’m always open to improvement.  Second ties into the categories, the scoring, and results.  When I looked back on a round and saw someone was eliminated and I knew my judging pulled down their overall score…that felt horrible.  As in, I felt bad/responsible for it and that was at no point fun.  In hindsight I hated each and every elimination.

Now I know there was some surprise when it..erm…came out…that there was going to be a prize.  Now, while I’m not begrudging Effy at all for letting it slip out, I had planned to keep that quiet and for a reason.  Problem is, I never told the other judges that (or why) so it’s my own darn fault.  I’ve been in many contests and competitions for fun, and they’re just that.  However, with some people, the second you mention money or a prize, their perception becomes horribly tainted.  It becomes more personal.  They start reading into things that aren’t there and it just becomes a more venomous environment and that’s the last thing I wanted Mog Madness to become.

I do plan to hold Mog Madness again (and again?  lol), and will take much feedback during the process and there will be more time and effort into improving on it.  Honestly, hearing some people say the contest was less fun or stressful as it went on was disheartening.  But, I say that in a learning way rather than a negative.  So of course I’m going to want ways to make it better.

Having said that, there is something else I have laid the foundation for.  Yes, it’s transmogrification related, but from entry to process to end result it’s going to be different.  If you want to be a part of it as a judge (ok, well, that aspect is still there), please let me know by the end of the month.  For those seeking more details at this time, I will not be obliging you.  All I can say is keep checking in around these parts because it will be announced early so that word of mouth will draw in as many as possible.

I’m going to close things out by saying Mog Madness did turn out better than I had imagined.  Spur of the moment things can work or fail and I didn’t know which end we’d created when we first launched.  When it showed up on WoWInsider, I really wondered what we were in for.  That was like putting a spotlight on an alley mouse as far as I was concerned.  But I thank Anne for it.  I thank Effy and Tome for jumping on board to judge and the three of us making the positives of the event what they were.  I thank each and every contestant for laying it all out there each round, and for outfits that were just so incredible and diverse.  Also, for those who weren’t participating but read along the way (biggest Cheerleader was Mrs. Amateur…who by the way probably would’ve made a solid judge in her own right), thank you as well.  So many people on so many levels made this worth doing and I’m proud of it.

20 thoughts on “Reflecting On Mog Madness

  1. Carla Doak April 23, 2012 / 8:37 am

    Mrs. Amateur here *waves*

    I can attest to Mr. Amateur’s painstaking attempt to make things as fair and neutral as possible. Many hours were spent on each round, judging, calculating and then drafting the final post. Often I’d hear him mutter “Wow” or “Damn” as he viewed another spectacular entry, or made the final calculations of scores. I could see his disappointment each round when eliminations were announced, knowing that less than half a point would mean someone wouldn’t move on.

    Thank you to Effy and Tome for your hard work, and a HUGE! thanks to all the entrants and ‘spectators’. I know that Mr. Amateur appreciates it greatly 🙂

    /Cheers everyone!

  2. Töki April 23, 2012 / 10:07 am

    I haven’t been up-and-about a lot in the WoW blogging community lately and I’ve only followed the weekly Sunday round up so I’m very surprised to hear there was some negativity surrounding it.

    It was great fun for me to see the entries develop throughout the different rounds – the bloggers who posted “also-rans” also comes to mind – and read each of the judges’ commentaries.

    Also, I haven’t mentioned this yet – between trying to keep my blog alive and reading what everyone else is doing at the same time – but I’m very glad you decided to keep on blogging! It’s a very good decision on your side, one thing I sort of regret about my childhood is seeing my parents so very little because of work – it’s good to hear you’re putting your free time into family quality time (maybe after a while you’ll be able to find a midway – though it was only today I read somewhere on the eu forums, “a good way to keep your children entertained is letitng them watch a movie, the bright colors and lights keep them quiet for hours” and I remembered what you’d said about the tv raising your children)

    What I mean to say is, thanks for doing this, all three of you – looking forward to another edition, and to find out what the something is you’ve laid the foundation for!

    By the way, did you see the WoW Factor stream where Keelhaul mentioned this contest? Even if not in the best light, I think that was some serious free advertising!

    • Carla Doak April 23, 2012 / 10:15 am

      What was his comment? Do you have a link?

    • Töki April 23, 2012 / 11:19 am

      http://www.twitch.tv/elvinemod/b/315031006
      Around 1h23min in the stream – he mentions the difference between making an outfit in MogIt/Modelviewer and a live contest on the realms, Ironyca argues it has a different target/purpose and goes on to praise Kamalia with her designs. 😀

      • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 12:05 pm

        Hrm, I’ll have to watch it later and respond to it. Thanks for sharing it though!

        (and no, even if he rips the contest for that reason, I’ll still reply in a kind manner)

      • kamaliaetalia April 23, 2012 / 12:48 pm

        I think that while Keelhaul does make a good point about how a Transmogrification Template Kit takes on new life once you actually get into the game, he TOTALLY MISSED how the tight deadline aspect of the contest pushed everyone into using WMV/MogIt to assemble their entries. The ONE WEEK deadlines for each round of Mog Madness would have made it very, very, VERY hard to assemble nice outfits for each of the pieces we were asked to use. I imagine that most of the contestants didn’t even have most of the prompt pieces in their current character inventories — I sure didn’t! — and there’s no guarantee that they would have been able to farm up the prompt piece — let alone everything else to go with it! — within the tight contest deadlines. If the rounds of Mog Madness had been done on a one month timetable, perhaps it would have been reasonable to ask for in-game screenies for each entry. But with a one week timetable for each round? No way!

        I am totally FALLZ OVER DED that Ironyca discussed my work! /faint

        I do intend to assemble the outfits I created for Rounds 1 and 2 in-game eventually, and I plan to make something closely related to my cloth also-ran outfits for Round 4 also. I probably won’t be making up my outfits for Rounds 3 and 5 in-game, though, because they use raid drops that the alts I would choose to make the outfit for probably will never be able to obtain.

        • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 12:50 pm

          As I suggested, I’ll be making a post about this now that I’ve had a chance to hear it.

        • khizzara April 23, 2012 / 2:23 pm

          Exactly what Kamalia said — there’s no way on earth I could have participated in this contest if we actually had to farm up the outfits. For one thing, I would have had to bow out as soon as there was a round involving classes I don’t play. (Because seriously… there’s no way I’m leveling a toon just for a transmog contest.) For another thing, there’s no way I’m willing to spend hours grinding out gear to match a specific item for a transmog contest either. I may not have much of a life, but I don’t want to completely give up what little of my life remains for a random contest.

          If this contest required you to have the items in game it would have to be structured entirely differently. I don’t think they’d be able to base rounds on specific items, because then bad luck with drops would eliminate people. All the rounds would have to be like the first round, where you just send in an outfit you’ve already made for a particular armor type or class. Otherwise the winner would be mostly due to luck in drops or AH availability.

          I’m not saying that one contest format would be better or worse than another. There’s something to be said for using sets that people have actually put together and are using in game, but there’s also something to be said for allowing people to show what they can do when not limited by time and luck. However, once the decision was made to base Mog Madness rounds on specific in-game items, and to give one week to create each set, there really was no choice but to let contestants to use Mog It/WoW Model Viewer/etc. The contest would have simply been too onerous otherwise.

          • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 5:09 pm

            You’ve summed up what I believe most are thinking in terms of the logic behind Mog Madness. I’ve given the subject a great deal of thought and will actually address it later tonight or in the morning, simply because I feel a duty to do so, as well as being a blogger and just having a general opinion on the whole matter.

    • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 12:01 pm

      Oh my lots to comment on…

      It was great to have you with us, even following along at the end! Glad you enjoyed it.

      Thank you for the kind words regarding my stepping away from the game and also the support in me sticking around in the blogging community.

      I didn’t see or hear Keelhaul’s comments. Based on your description I don’t know whether it was something positive or negative.

  3. Karegina April 23, 2012 / 11:08 am

    I know that you tried to talk to me last night and I am SO SO SO sorry that I wasn’t very responsive. My only excuse is that I was literally exhausted from my insane weekend and my attention was else where 😀

    I loved this entire thing. It was so so fun and something exciting to do when I had time. I was so happy to make it to the final 5! 😀 I’m gonna do it again when you do it again and honestly, I missed that there was going to be a prize.

    😀

    • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 12:04 pm

      Yeah, we didn’t mention the prize thing until it slipped out after Round 4 in the comments section. I still kept it somewhat quiet.

      But, now that it’s over, I’ll use you as an example of what I was afraid of. Had people known from beginning there was a prize, and either you or Kuroma won (both guildmates, though different guilds), I could see people suggesting favourites. Not that I doubt the character of anyone involved, it was merely a concern of mine based on past ventures.

  4. Troutwort April 23, 2012 / 12:45 pm

    One improvement I would have liked is to see individual scores a little more closely rather than just 14.3. This is because i like things broken down and enjoy seeing things like this scored a 5 on color coordination but only a 3.5 on uniqueness…or whatever. So it helps me understand better what the judges are looking at. I sometimes thought that certain outfits should have gotten higher or lower scores, but was left boggled at how the final score was achieved, so having this categorical breakdown helps me better understand the perspective of the judge.

    As for fairness though, I thought the whole thing was great, I was silently watching and really thought you guys did a great job and had a good plan for the contest. I liked the way it advanced. Very fun!

    • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 12:49 pm

      I kept the files with the full breakdown actually. I just thought it easier to give our complete scores…and honestly wasn’t sure how many people like statistics like I do. I never thought of it the way you’ve explained here and it’s a very good idea.

  5. Bttf (Deb) aka Lunanox April 23, 2012 / 1:00 pm

    I just have to say that this contest made me realize that I wasn’t as crazy as my guildies thought I was. I’ve been talking about transmog ever since it was first announced and still will log in just to look at new gear combinations. Thank you very much for doing this and I REALLY hope there will be more friendly competitions in the future!

    • JD Kenada April 23, 2012 / 1:25 pm

      There will, there will. I promise!

      No, you’re not alone. That’s what I think is the important thing here is that the moggers are a definitive community.

  6. tomeoftheancient April 24, 2012 / 7:23 am

    I really enjoyed Mog Madness JD, you did a great job. I admit to bouncing up and down waiting to see what everyone came up with each week with anticipation, so fun to see!

    I usually didn’t know who was who either, although Kam’s outfits sort of have a Kamalia signature, can usually tell on her outfits. I put them all in Photoshop to match lighting to give the darker shots at fair shot.

    • JD Kenada April 24, 2012 / 7:34 am

      Thanks for the kind words. Couldn’t have done it without you and Effy though.

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