Posted Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:15AM
In 2012 we want to bring life back into the Steel Cage. It's more than 6 years since we rebuilt the Cage. In that time we've had lots of epic matches and really incredible moments. But I think it's safe to say that it's gotten quiet in here.
People have talked about this in the thread about the 2011 Battle Royale. Che and Steve and I have talked about it amongst ourselves as well. We saw a lot of great feedback in that thread and for the most part it matched our feelings. I'd boil it down to this:
- Matches take a long time. A Steel Cage match takes up a month of your time. And its not an easy month - the three days you spend on each blow are pretty intense.
- The learning curve is steep and, coupled with the heavy time and effort commitment, discourages new comers. So as established Cagers drift away, there are fewer newbies
- The Battle Royale, while awesome, is gruelling to put it mildly. It is a fun event, it brings in a lot of people. But it very quickly puts most of those people on the sidelines and then murders the people who stay in it. I can also tell you that it is a demanding event on the handful of us here at HQ and elsewhere who oversee it. I love the Battle Royale, but it kills me.
I think those are the main points. There is plenty of minutiae I could get into of things that need improving and problems that need solving, but at the top level, those are the issues.
Che and Steve and I have been working with people at HQ over the last few months on what we can do to fix these problems. Because the Steel Cage is a really important part of iStockphoto and is too cool to let go.
Okay with all that said here are our goals for 2012:
- Give combatants some kind of control over match durations.
- Improve judging time and feedback.
- Introduce different tiers of competition, so that newbies can have their own space to learn the ropes, and the heavy weights can get some bigger spotlight on big time matches.
- Replace one massive marathon length annual event with several smaller and more manageable events over the course of the year.
Some of that involves technology and technology time is at a premium at iStockphoto. We need to find a way to do these things without taking time away from other projects. We've got ideas for that though and we'll figure it out.
We had hoped to drop a Cage update in January but it hasn't worked out that way - that's partly why it's been quiet on our end for the last while. The timelines haven't worked out that way but you guys need an update so I wanted to drop in here and let you know what we're working on.
What we hope to do over the next while is start dropping in the changes that we can do without needing any kind of development. There are definitely changes that we can make in stages, to work towards those goals.
(Edited on 2012-01-10 10:16:26 by rogermexico)
Posted Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:48AM
Thanks for the update. It's nice to hear the cage isn't just being left to die.
One additional thing that would be nice is if two people could restart their battle without bothering Steve. If they each had a check box where they could just click and the battle would automatically start again the battles would flow better. Having to wait days or weeks to restart a battle really bogs it down.
(Edited on 2012-01-10 11:50:12 by johnrich)
Posted Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:44AM
Thanks for the info! The changes you are up to do, sound good! Looking forward to them! What I would like to see, is email notification about these kind of things. The subscriptions to the threads expire in a short time, and lately I get less newsletters from iStock. Do you send less? I have to check out my subscriptions to them...
Posted Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:30AM
thanks for the update Andrew. It's good to see that the plans are still going to be an action I think those ideas for the new cage are great. Especially having different sections for beginners and more experienced cagers. Hopefully you'll get time to do these changes soon and we can all start battling again in the new and improved cage.
Posted Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:42AM
Hey everyone! It has been a while since I have been in here(about 2 years). I am really liking the changes that you are talking about. Looking to get back in the cage here real soon.
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:30AM
yay..looking forward to som fun.
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:02PM
That sounds fantastic Andrew!
Can I make a suggestion that the uber expert cage can choose their own dimentions and resolution? So if we wanted to do an extreme portrait hi-res battle we could - those of us who would be competing in the uber cage are experienced enough to deal with file sizes and dimentions - to offset the cost of hosting such large files on iStock (and providing hi-res images) you could put in the licence that iStock can use the works for promotion (as can we...)
Now I have to go sell a kidney to buy a new computer and PS licence...
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:11PM
Andrew, that sounds great, especialy the part about Battle Royale!
I am really looking forward to see BR in new format!... albeit I really loved the marathon too
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:15PM
Changes sound great Andrew!
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:43PM
Hm... maybe I come back to the cage then.... I have ben thinking abou tit for a while.
@hammerheadfx... maybe we can make a comeback battle? Wad'ya think?
I lovve the ideas you mention here for the Steel Cage and agree that it should be kept alive. This community here in the Cage has been my favorite for many years and would hate to see it go away. That said...
Would it be cool to create division system similar to soccer (Premier division down to 5th or 6th division)?
I think that would make this a great event, where you would enter as a new player in the Steel Cage at the lowest level and work your way up through the leagues.
Using the Leaderboard as it is now and split players into 5 or 6 divisions, where the lower division players (6th division) will have simpler or easier battles (this would be the learning stages) and win their way up. Each time a player enters a higher division (from 6 up to 5) battles get more challenging also with stronger players.
I hope you like this idea... it works in most sports like this and I think it would work great in this area also.
(Edited on 2012-01-13 16:08:55 by icelandr)
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:15PM
I'm happy to hear that we're going to try to revive the cage! And yay for the different tiers. I consider myself a newbie and am a bit intimidated to start battles based on that and the fact that they can be long (and because I'm a big chicken). I look forward to seeing more traffic in here
(Edited on 2012-01-13 17:16:26 by diane555)
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:28PM
I've been thinking, "I need to go back and have some fun in the cage."
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:27PM
@icelandr....Sounds like a great idea!!! Give me about a week and I willl be able to dig in to a fresh battle!
Posted Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:44PM
yup looking forward to this year in the cage... starting with a battle of my own very shortly
Posted Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:04AM
It all sounds good to me as well. I'm ready to jump back in. I was training to run my first marathon, which I did last Sunday (2112 Walt Disney World 26.2 HORAH!). Now that it's over I should have some more 'free' time and would be happy to kick some pixels in a new cage.
Posted Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:34AM
@hammerheadfx: I'll be waiting...
Posted Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:23PM
Ooh, not only is F5 in the buidling, but Hammer and Icelander are going at it.
'scrathes head' would this be a rematch??
In the meantime I will throw myself out there for a 'no-photo' battle. (moving my spam to the water cooler)
Posted Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:30PM
Sir Dsyl... How are you bro... it's been a while!
Posted Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:49PM
Great to see all the activity in the cage.
(Edited on 2012-01-15 02:03:27 by crazychristina)
Posted Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:48AM
Good changes, the cage seems to be near the CPR stage, so this will be like pulling out the paddles and WHAM!