We're doing a few things a bit differently here at Iron Blog, now that we've had 4 Battles to look at how things work.
First, on the cosmetic and UI side of things, the headline up top declaring what Battle is currently in progress is now a link to the Announcement post for that Battle, and beneath it are links to each of the posts that have been made to date in that Battle. As you can see, the Challenger's and Iron Blogger's Opening Arguments are listed and linked there, now. With each new post in the Battle, another link will be added. This is to make it easier to get right to where you want to go without having to skim a huge page looking for the relevant post. Also, our Fourth Battle is now listed in the Battle Archives.
Second, on the procedural side of things, we have a Third Edition Scoring Guide
for Judges, Combatants and readers alike, which can also be found above by clicking the Judges' Guide link. There are a few reasons for this revision.
To explain, I need to begin by telling you that the first version never saw daylight - it was scrapped early in our initial setup. It allotted 5 points per post and was almost binary in nature. It allowed for little freedom of subjectiveness by our Judges and was quite restrictive. Needless to say, I dumped it.
The second version, which is what we've been using, uses a 25 point per post scoring system, which we're retaining, but was both too vague in definition and too one-size-fits-all. It didn't explain what the real difference between a 6 and a 9 was in Substance, for example, and is the reason we've been seeing such divergent scoring lately. It's not that our Judges are obscenely biased, it's that, in an attempt to move away from the first, draconian scoring system, I gave too much room for interpretation. Too much gray area.
This new version I think meshes the two, allowing for value judgments from the Judges but with clearly defined boundaries and borders. It also takes into account the fact that Opening Arguments are not much like Rebuttals, or Closing Arguments for that matter, and that links aren't required in Closing Arguments. In short, it smoothes things out and fits better.
Judges, Iron Bloggers and present as well as future Challengers take note - it does NOT change the way Battles work, it simply defines the scoring in better terms. For Judges, it's a must read as this is now the scoring law. For Combatants, it's highly encouraged to give you better insight into how scoring works and the things the Judges are looking for most.
As Dean Esmay said, this is a game and there are always flaws early in any game's development. We're doing something no one has tried before, and there are going to be bugs. I likely haven't caught them all, yet, but with your help and continued patience and understanding, we'll get there. Feedback is welcome in the Comments section below.