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Old 07-02-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
Creech
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Total Awards: 40 (more» ...)
Quarterly Review - 2Q 2013





Hello X360A members!

The second quarter of the year has involved a lot of time with RoutineX keeping his nose to the coding grindstone, one of the worst PR jobs in modern history, and lots of site activity. So what happened? Let's take a look!

Leaderboards

We actually started working on these in January, but did not feel like they were ready for release until mid-May. You can read the official announcement here, but the basics are that instead of a basic gamerscore leaderboard that is manually maintained, we now have a leaderboard that displays gamerscore, games played, completion percentage, and is sortable by genre. The best part from my perspective is that there is no manually adding and changing of people. If you qualify to be on the leaderboard, then you show up. I don't have to do anything. I am not sure why it took us so long, but these cool computer things are actually pretty good at doing tasks when we tell them to do so! Amazing!

The leaderboards tie into the different way of defining a game's genre that was announced last quarter. Instead of each game getting shoe-horned into one genre and sub-genre, The Pants Party suggested we have some basic genres (and we came up with 14 of them) and permit games to be included in multiple genres. This has worked amazingly well, and I think is one of the better approaches to sorting games that I have ever seen. In case I didn't say so last quarter, super kudos to Pants for that idea!

If we pick one of my favorite genres as an example, Simulation, go ahead and click here to follow along. As of this posting, smrnov is number one in this genre, right? Sadly, I am 15,000+ behind him, so clearly I have some work to do. At any rate, let's say you want to move up on the Simulation leaderboard. You obviously need to play games that are included on the leaderboard for this genre. To find out what those are, you simply click up at the top where it states, "Show all games in genre".

A quick glance down the list shows that it includes flight simulators, hunting and fishing games, coaching simulators, etc. You can sort this further down if you want by using the links at the top. Let's say you own a LOT of arcade games and decide you want to start by playing all of those that will help you move up the Simulation leaderboard. You could sift through the list looking at the gamerscore column to try to figure out which ones are arcade games by the points, but with Windows Phone and Windows 8 games, that can be less than clear. Instead, look above the game list where there are a variety of filters and click on Arcade. This shows you the (currently) 18 LIVE Arcade games that are going to help you climb the Simulation leaderboard.

There is another benefit to the leaderboard update as well...


Forum Gamercards

The original code for displaying the gamercards in the forums was a bit convoluted and had been patched several times to catch up with changes to xbox.com, but frankly it just needed to be wiped and started fresh. The updates to the leaderboards mentioned above gave us an opportunity to do so. At the moment, if you are on the leaderboards, your forum gamercards on your profile, to the left side of your posts, and in the upper right corner of the forum header, should all be reasonably up to date. They typically are updated every 6-12 hours, but should be good other than that.

We are still working on some bugs that crop up if you change your gamertag, and have not yet tackled the gamercards for those folks who are not on the leaderboards, but those are all in the works, so keep an eye out for the next quarterly update.

Green Thumb Awards




We uploaded the images for the Green Thumb awards back in mid-April, but didn't tell anyone what they were for at the time. It sparked a fun little discussion here, where various members tried to figure it out with staff members in the know dropping little hints. Eventually troy0891 x360a decided to take pity on the inquiring minds and announced the Green Thumb Awards at the beginning of May.

The Green Thumb awards are designed to award members who go through the Greenbook forum and help complete abandoned guides. To quote troy0891 x360a, "take existing unpublished (often unsubmitted) Guides and Roadmaps that have been abandoned by their original authors and finish them out to a level consistent with site standards." As many guide authors can attest, sometimes it is more work to finish up the efforts of someone else than to start from scratch and have a go. Let's face it, we have all started projects and then walked away with them incomplete due to loss of interest, lack of time, or even lack of necessary skill to beat the game. For those who step up and fill in the blanks, the Green Thumb Awards are a fun little way to recognize their efforts.


Community Gaming

Back in March we kicked off the Community Gaming concept, basically picking one game each week for all of us to get together in a lobby and try to crash the servers. Oh, wait, I mean to hang out and have fun, that's right! We started out with just co-operative experiences and have recently expanded it to include competitive as well. It has been a lot of fun and I was actually going to give the guy who suggested it one of our Bright Idea awards, but then it turns out he had cheated a bunch of achievements on his gamercard. Obviously we don't stand for that here, so I had to ban him instead, but I still appreciate him pushing for the concept.

The first game in July is GRID 2, by the way... I had a fun little essay about my driving here, but basically there is an award involved. Interested? Go click the linkity link and get some shiny while it is available! While we were doing this, one member on the site stepped up and put a lot of effort into helping out, coming up with suggestions, and generally being a cheerleader for the concept, which leads us neatly into our next topic...


Staff Changes

Grifter Reborn has been promoted to a sub-moderator, helping both with the X360A Ambassador program and the aforementioned Community Gaming.

CovertDog has had to step down from his duties as moderator. Life has simply overtaken his ability to contribute to the site, and trust me when I say his efforts will be missed. For a long time he was the king of spammer-banning, and also is just a great guy with a ready joke about maple syrup and mooses. Meeses. Whatevers, those big furry animals that Canadians keep for pets, you know what I am talking about. The Monty Python credit animals. Seriously dude, take care of yourself.

Creech (who will type in the third person for this paragraph) was promoted from super moderator to admin. This clearly shows that if you show up to the annual PAX party and pour lots of alcohol down Webb's throat, only good things can happen. Creech and CovertDog were actually promoted to moderator on the same day, waaaaay back in the stone age, along with The Pants Party and a few other select few. Ah, the memories...

DEG23 has been promoted from the guide team to a full moderator, and I would like to take this moment to express my gratitude to him for jumping in full steam and helping out with the chaotic XBox One forums! Speaking of which...
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Total Awards: 40 (more» ...)
Xbox One

So Microsoft decided to smash its face into a meat grinder with perhaps the worst public relations in the history of gaming. I truly think they would have had a better reaction from the gaming public if they had stood up at E3 and said "Yeah, we hate gaming and gamers. Go buy a PS4! By the way, here is our shiny new console." Personally, I think everyone at Microsoft involved in the debacle should lose their job, but it appears the management team there has lost my email address.

At any rate, it appears that people on gaming forums are passionate about gaming and new consoles and such. I am not sure why exactly... I jest, obviously. Unfortunately, a bit of that passion got out of control, and frankly it wasn't helped by a bunch of PS4 fanboys who joined the site simply to poke the bear. I ended up handing out a LOT of infractions to both new and established members, and at one point I simply gave up and deleted everything from the Xbox One forum.

At this point things are MUCH calmer, and most people are acting like adults again, and I greatly appreciate that. At any rate, it is safe to enter the General Xbox One Discussion forum, so if you have been holding off because of tempers flying, you can do so now.


Sub-Moderator Names

VBBS doesn't have a direct concept called "sub-moderator", but it is a phrase we came up with to describe everyone on the staff who doesn't have full moderator access across the entire site. Members of the Guide team, the Collectibles Guide team, the Club Directors, the Graphics team, the Press team, and the X360A Ambassador representatives. A while back (January, perhaps?) the club directors pointed out that our sister site has their sub-moderators distinguished with a purple name while on X360A we left them all as grey names. This made it harder for members to see who was staff and who was not.

It took a little while since our side of the house uses memory differently than PS3T, but RoutineX figured out how to adjust the code and permissions so that we could do the same here, and now all the sub-moderators have purple in their names. You're welcome, bplayak!


X360A Ambassador Tournament

The first tournament held under the auspices of the revamped X360A Ambassador program was a lot of fun to watch! As admin and final arbiter of conflicts I tend to avoid participating in site contests and such, but they sure bring me enjoyment watching all the posts and achievements being unlocked and such.

For the first tournament, Jappe x360a and Yunder tried something new, and it mostly worked well. There was a good - sometimes heated - discussion afterward about what our members enjoyed, what they would change for the next one, etc. Grifter Reborn is getting his feet under him and taking all of that into effect before launching the next tournament, and I am pretty excited to see what he comes up with. If you want to participate in the discussion, go here.


July Staff/Subscriber Genre Tournament

To celebrate the new genre leaderboards, the staff and subscribers are having a six-week tournament that kicked off on July 1. Every week another genre is selected by our good friends at random.org, and gamerscore unlocked during the week in that genre by our teams of two then contributes to a ranking system. Each week the teams are sorted and points are awarded by rank, and at the end of the six weeks, the winning teams will get some shiny awards (don't tell them yet, I haven't told them about the awards that Nozza came up with, so this is just between you and me...shhhhhhhhhh.)

This was designed to help people stretch their comfort zones a bit along with learning how to really use our new leaderboard system, and we started off with a bang. Random.org decided strategy was a good way to go, and I couldn't have agreed more. Apparently however, I was in the minority. There were lots of confused looks and posts that consisted of gems like "um, are there actually any strategy games on the Xbox?" For those of you who don't know me very well, I kind of like strategy games, and it helps that I am reasonably good at them. So all the confusion made me laugh. I did take pity on them and posted up some helpful hints on which games might be worth playing for fast points, but we may have some teams with close to zero...

You can check out the scores here and the discussion here if you are interested.

In Conclusion...

Another quarter down, and much more still to come. I am excited about the new Xbox One coming out later this year (although I sadly noticed that no strategy games have been announced yet...) and we have quite a few new features coming to the site to keep up. Speaking for the staff, we all appreciate you visiting the site and participating in the forums. We volunteer our time in large part because we take joy in seeing all of the passionate gamers who feel X360A is a great place.

Thank you for your time, and have a great third quarter!

Creech
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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It's definitely been a solid few months, well done to everyones hard work and let's make x360a a world power one day!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
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Oh my, how times have changed here. I remember how surprised I was when you guys started implementing all these new awards and now Creech is an Admin?
Not a knock on you... just I remember when you were Blue... not even dark blue... light blue
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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It's been a wild few months...


EDIT: Also, Creech, if CovertDog isn't a mod anymore don't forget to make the appropriate changes I'm updating my thread now.

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Old 07-02-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Great year so far guys, things can only get better!
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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Awards Showcase Staff - Administrator   Thought, Precision and Planning Club - Tier 2   Thought, Precision and Planning Club - Tier 1   Adhere to the Creed Franchise Club - Tier 3   Toilet Bowl Challenge Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - Andrew x360a   Adhere to the Creed Franchise Club - Tier 2   Micro Guide - Gold   Achievement Guide - Emerald   Road Map - Emerald   CABS Beta Tester   Artist of the Month
Total Awards: 40 (more» ...)
Quote:
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Oh my, how times have changed here. I remember how surprised I was when you guys started implementing all these new awards and now Creech is an Admin?
Not a knock on you... just I remember when you were Blue... not even dark blue... light blue
I actually remember being gray...
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:10 PM   #8
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Very nice. Well done everyone

What about Gackt? I thought he was given his job back at the same time as Grifter.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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Very nice. Well done everyone

What about Gackt? I thought he was given his job back at the same time as Grifter.
He's come and gone so many times... is it even worth mentioning anymore? No offense, Gackt, you know you're my buddy!
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:18 PM   #10
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He's come and gone so many times... is it even worth mentioning anymore? No offense, Gackt, you know you're my buddy!
This... 10
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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He's come and gone so many times... is it even worth mentioning anymore? No offense, Gackt, you know you're my buddy!
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This... 10
Haha, fair enough. So its just a given that he is graphics team for life.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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Creech (who will type in the third person for this paragraph) was promoted from super moderator to admin. This clearly shows that if you show up to the annual PAX party and pour lots of alcohol down Webb's throat, only good things can happen.
Nice...
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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I thought Shukuzen Kiraa was staff now...
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #14
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I thought Shukuzen Kiraa was staff now...
He's staff and user every other week.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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I thought Shukuzen Kiraa was staff now...
Who's that? I know a "Xiahou Yu"
https://live.xbox.com/en-US/Profile?...ag=Xiahou%20Yu

When it comes to Gackt, I just got a random image in my mind. He's like that super famous-washed up dude who randomly stumbles in drunk and creates a masterpiece, then disappears in the middle of the night.

No offense Gackt, it was just a random thought process
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:27 PM   #16
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Nice review, Creech.

I appreciate you taking the time to make these.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #17
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I thought Shukuzen Kiraa was staff now...
Surely you guys are talking about OrbitalDelegate?

I remember when I was a noob on this site 10 months back. My, my, how times have changed since then.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:03 PM   #18
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It's definitely been some of the most productive months in a long time.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #19
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Oooohhh. Look at how much was accomplished!

*hears whip crack*

Break's over. Back to work.

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #20
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Surely you guys are talking about OrbitalDelegate?

I remember when I was a noob on this site 10 months back. My, my, how times have changed since then.
I don't think you read my post. he changed his GT again
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:17 PM   #21
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Nice review, Creech.

I appreciate you taking the time to make these.
The whole team contributes, but I am glad that people appreciate them. I actually get a sense of perspective when typing them up that sometimes gets lost in the day to day routine.

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:29 PM   #22
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Great year so far...Can't wait to try to win the shiny awards for the Genre tournament this month.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:43 PM   #23
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I don't think you read my post. he changed his GT again
No wonder I couldn't find him on my list

Then I also noticed he removed me. How dare he!
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #24
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The whole team contributes, but I am glad that people appreciate them. I actually get a sense of perspective when typing them up that sometimes gets lost in the day to day routine.

Like forgetting to mention you became an Admin
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No wonder I couldn't find him on my list

Then I also noticed he removed me. How dare he!
Same thing for me... I had a message from him that I clicked to see his new GT. Sneaky sneaky Gackt, no disappearing now!
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #25
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No wonder I couldn't find him on my list

Then I also noticed he removed me. How dare he!
He's added and removed me 3 times now lol what goes on in his head!
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:31 PM   #26
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I think that it is better we don't know.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:11 PM   #27
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Its been a good first half of the year for the site, years to another great 6 months
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:39 PM   #28
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It's definitely been some of the most productive months in a long time.
Indeed it has. Alot of new buzz/activity. Times definitely have changed since I first joined. Now I'll just go back to being quiet and watching.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:21 AM   #29
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I actually remember being gray...
Oh gray!.... glad I re-read this before replying...
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #30
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Does our site have any history buffs? Maybe a look into how we (the site) went from humble beginnings to where we are now (loud and obnoxious ) similar to the Quarterly Reviews. It could be a big project, but an opportunity to create something that's never been done before (as far as this site is concerned). Would require a lot of research and maybe some interviews... Maybe interview Webb ... In any case, sounds awesome or do I just need to go away?

Also, before someone says "Grifter should do it"... No Grifter shouldn't do it. He has too much to do already.
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