-Hosting style. Any significant issues anybody had? Namely, I want to make sure that everybody felt that the game was run smoothly and objectively. Any feedback, positive or negative, is appreciated.
I liked the hosting style a lot. I felt both hosts were very accessible if needed. However, as others have said, something should have been built in to help keep the challenges on more of a schedule, so we don't have to wait for people.
-Challenge mix. Overall, do you think there was an appropriate balance of creative vs. trivia vs. puzzles? Non-live vs. live?
I thought this was excellent. When I was at college earlier on in the game, I couldn't always make it to live challenges, so I might have to sit out for my tribe. But I felt I had a strength in the non-live challenges. The one thing I would change however, is have at least one non-live challenge closer to the end of the game. The last handful of challenges were all live, and may have slowed things down a little in terms of scheduling. However, I agree with everyone else that the first challenge should not have required everybody as FreakyGeeky totally screwed us over.
Private forums for each tribe. Good idea? Bad idea? Did it enhance the game for you? Personally I like the format a lot because it gives us some more freedom in running challenges, but I know that some felt it may have made things less exciting.
Excellent idea! I found it much easier to check up on my tribe and participate. Especially sometimes I would go back and forth between the game thread and my tribe forum, which was easier than it would have been if the Minor Celebrities had to set it up off forum.
-Overall take on the season, taking everything into account (challenges, cast, boot order, etc.). One of the best? Worst of all time? I personally would say top 3 but I'm sure some will disagree.
It was an excellent season! Definitely my favorite of the two that I've participated in.
So now the big twists. I'll give my personal take on each one and I hope to hear from you guys too:
MIXING OLD AND NEW PLAYERS: My guess is that this is a necessity in the future given the pool of available contestants, but ultimately it's probably something that should be left up to the host of a given season. Unlike the real show, having "veterans" and "newbies" playing together doesn't seem to impact the dynamic, and I think this was probably the best cast ever, at least since season 1. Works for me.
I was fine with mixing old and new players. I was glad to get to play again, as I had a death in the family soon after the last one began, and thus didn't get to participate that much, so I was voted out early. I found that having everyone in on the game really added something to it.
RANDOMLY SELECTED TRIBES: Not a bad idea in theory, but didn't play out too well. Challenge-wise, I think the tribes were pretty balanced, at least on paper, but a lot of alliances were mapped out by luck of the draw. Plus, the nature of the first challenge almost guaranteed that the MIA FreakyGeeky's team would lose. Maybe a pick'em would've worked better.
I didn't mind this that much, other than FreakyGeeky's MIA-ness. I liked the randomly selected tribes, and even though they worked out with a lot of friends on the same tribes, I enjoyed it. The problem with FreakyGeeky was how he didn't show up at all. Change the nature of the first challenge, and things may have worked out better.
KIDNAPPING: Short-term it made for some neat strategies and moments, definitely. I don't think it had much long-term impact. Could be repeated with some tweaks; I'd rather try out something else though.
I didn't mind it so much. Granted, most people just went back to their tribes afterwards, so it didn't do a whole lot.
MULTIPLE PEOPLE WINNING IMMUNITY: Three people won immunity at the first individual challenge. I'm sure that something similar was done in the past, but this one was significant because it spared the two most obvious targets. So I guess it was decent, albeit not a groundbreaking concept.
Considering I got to be one of the three to win immunity, I didn't mind it so much.
But yeah, I have to admit, I wasn't crazy about this idea, especially as the first immunity challenge after the merge.
IMMUNITY CAN BE TRADED FOR CHALLENGE ADVANTAGE: Never came up.
Probably for the best because it would complicate things.
I was temped to go for it when I won immunity in the first challenge, but have to admit that I was a little nervous. Probably should have as I made it to the final three anyways.
REMOVING INACTIVES: This is the biggest question mark of the season for me, because I didn't have a plan for it in advance and I had to make a call on the fly pretty much. It's something we definitely need to come up with an accepted rule for...you don't want inactive players outlasting everyone else because they aren't threats, but you don't want to disrupt anyone's strategy either. My suggestion in the future: the first time a player neglects to vote, it's a warning. After that, self-votes become cumulative and add up every single round. So basically, players in the minority can use that to their advantage, but it doesn't disrupt the schedule either.
Yeah, something should have been done about this. I like your idea that you presented.