Discussing Level X challenges

Discussing Level X challenges  

  By: Javex on Aug. 27, 2012, 10:03 p.m.

As this idea now has come up multiple times in different ways, the MTC3 team discussed an idea regarding level X challenges (thanks Theofanidis and Bart13 for inspiration):

We would like to announce that it is now officially allowed to discuss possible solutions of level X challenges publicly! This possibility is only allowed for level X challenges, not for challenges of level 1 to 3.

What is the intention behind this change?
Level X challenges are supposed to be unsolved (at least until someone here discovered the solution) and therefore we have many challenges where it would be very interesting to solve this challenge at all. So if the community gathers together and discusses their approaches, who knows, maybe you can solve "Help the FBI solve a case" as a team effort?

How will points be handled for these level X challenge?
This is the toughest part as we don't want to cause any frustration among the users. In the past, we manually assign each user points for level X challenges based on the time they needed to solve it and the presumed difficulty of the task. The points ranged from 100 to Level 10,000 points.
But if such a challenge was solved already, it is of course worth no points, so: So after a challenge was solved publicly in the forum, it is worth zero points. If only a minor step was missing, we will reduce the points.
Here's how we plan how you get points for level X challenges in the future: You participate in the solution of that challenge, i.e. you post your progress and ideas in the challenge's thread. As soon as the challenge is solved, we will evaluate all posts in the forum (and submitted solutions based on this) and will distribute points accordingly. So make sure, all your contributions are publicly visible. Private messages do not count and will not have an impact on the points.
Of course, it is still important that your solution includes a very good reasoning and we can verify its validity (same as it is now). And if you did 90% and someone else figures out the last 10%: Don't worry, you will get your fair share of the points, so it is not that important that you did not do the final step.

What happens with those level X challenges already solved?
Please do not discuss level X challenges that are already solved. The whole point of this new approach is to allow collaborative solving – which of course, is not necessary for those already solved. To find out which level X challenges are unsolved, visit the Level X challenges page and check the header of this challenge for a line like this:

[schmeh-08] - 3 users already solved this challenge.

This indicates a solved challenge. If, however, a line like this is found:

[hoerenberg-01] - 0 users already solved this challenge.

Then you can go on and discuss this challenge, as it is not solved yet.

So how to distinguish between a challenge solved before and after this date?
As of now, there is no perfect mechanism for this, but if a challenge was solved in a group effort, the solution will be in the forums and we will try to note it in the thread in a visible way. Keep your eyes open, as it is very frustrating to solve a challenge only to see it is already solved and worth zero points.

And the other levels?
This is very important: Other challenges are not allowed to be discussed up to the point where a solution (or almost solution) is posted. Please, do not ruin challenges for the others by posting the solution on the forums. This announcement does not change this policy at all.

I have a question / I (don't) like this change
Please, ask all your questions here or via our contact form and also send us your criticism and doubts. We will then try to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

Re: Discussing Level X challenges  

  By: be on Aug. 31, 2012, 8:44 p.m.

… that it is now officially allowed to discuss possible solutions of level X challenges publicly

After a discuss with George and the author of the challenge "Unknown Author", I'd like to start discussing a level X challenge to hopefully solve it in a team approach. See the "forum of the according challenge".
Best regards, BE

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