Finished Big Brother 9: Arcade

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what's a move that you made that had a lasting effect on the game?
This is certainly a tough question, because i feel it is structured against me. That is fine, though. I mostly made a lot of small moves adn not large ones, so it is difficult to find a single move that had an effect in the game. I suppose that choosing to not evict turtwig early game was a move that changed the outcome, but there wasn't that many major decisions made by me.
Moves that effected the game-

Breaking the mod squad
Talking to most nominees and gain their token (3 times)
Approaching to different players to join forces in a common interest like evicting vom.
Convincing mora to nominate me and use the arcade pov to lock down another player

Finalists, jury. It's time to reveal the winner of the season. As the see-all host, this was certainly a season for the books, what with revolutionary twists, tons of new faces, and wildly different styles of gameplay. But it's all come to this. As is tradition, I'll start by evaluating our finalists:

Scattered, the Second-in-Command: A returning houseguest from a completely different age, Scattered was basically one of the new houseguests this season. Despite that, he performed extremely well, becoming Mora's right-hand man. Early on his game was strong, he was social enough to butter-up those walking out the door to get their tokens, and he managed to win competitions and make bold moves to better his game such as his flipping on the ModSquad alliance. He and Mora managed to win their way back into power with constant HOHs between them, and even though Mora held the wheel on strategy, his own HOH reigns were never dictated and he always acted independently and made his own decisions. Despite a strong showing in the early and middle portions of the game, Scattered's late game fell off hard, as his personal life began to take up his time. Despite this, he was still well-positioned enough in the game, and had made alliances with the right people that all but guaranteed him a spot in the Final 2. Scattered's game was certainly strong, but will the steam he lost towards the end cost him the win?

Shaymin, the Invisible One: Shaymin's game was certainly unorthodox. He spent almost the entire game laying low, and staying out of the house drama and conflict by allowing other's to dictate his own decisions. He threw almost every competition until the Final 6, not even bothering to send score screenshots until it became mandatory. However, when he was backed into a corner by the dominant duo of Mora and Scattered, he managed to win the competitions he needed to stay in the game. In addition to not playing the competitions, Shaymin was completely invisible when it came to socializing, as he spoke to other houseguests rather infrequently, and never pushed an agenda or any sort of plan on others. He was not socially, strategically, or competitively active in any meaningful way until the double eviction happened, and before that was a forgettable presence in the house. Because of this, however, Shaymin has had no issues with anyone, and no one actively disliked him, which is always a plus to have. Despite making zero enemies, will Shaymin's weak game on paper result in a loss?

Alright houseguests, jury, it is time. One of you has won this game. There are 7 jury votes, and so it takes 4 votes to win. I will read the votes...

First vote... Shaymin!
... Scattered!
... Scattered! 2 votes Scattered.
... Shaymin! We're tied again, 2 votes Scattered, 2 votes Shaymin.
... Shaymin! That's 3 votes Shaymin, 2 votes Scattered.
... The winner of Big Brother 9: Arcade: Shaymin! Congratulations!
The vote was 5-2, with 5 votes for Shaymin, and 2 for Scattered. Here is how every juror voted:

Cheez: Shaymin
Nola: Scattered
Turtwig: Shaymin
Vom: Shaymin
Amici: Shaymin
Almonds: Shaymin
Mora: Scattered

Thank you everyone so much for playing! To the newbies who tried it out, and to the returning players who gave it another spin, thank you all for playing! In the coming days, I'll be posting a conclusion here in the thread, which will contain my thoughts on the game. In the server, I'll also be posting full rankings of all 12 houseguests who played this season! Stick around for those, but for now, I hope everyone enjoyed the game!

- Lorde
Post-Game Thoughts:

Hi everyone. As seems to be something we do now in this new era of PokéBeach Big Brother, I feel obligated to issue some sort of post-game. I've voiced my thoughts to many of you in the server already, and I've also published rankings of each individual player there as well. By now, you all know what myself and the audience made of you all individually, so it's time to talk broad here. I didn't have one of these drafted well in advance, I just sat down and wrote for a couple hours about my thoughts on this season. Enjoy, I guess?

General Thoughts:
Firstly, I wanna start by saying thank you all for no unplanned exits! The biggest thing that can make the game hard to host is when people walk or are expelled from the game. Unlike Mafia, subbing in is not a valid form of replacing someone here, and so even more than in those games we have to put our faith in the players that they won't quit on us or break the rules. And I'm very happy to say that for the 2nd time in past 3 seasons (and only the 2nd time overall), we had no unplanned exits this season! Thank all 12 of you so so much for sticking it out, I appreciate it!

Now, the gameplay. As usual, it was a total mixed bag. There were a lot of active players this season, which was a pleasant surprise to me. This season's cast was mostly composed of newbies, and to see so many new faces at the forefront of the game was a new change of pace that I was very satisfied with. I was worried about this season being just as dry and boring as BB6, the last rookie-based season, but a lot of this cast stepped up and delivered. The majority of you brought something to the mix, and it was awesome to see unfold this season. Throughout the game it felt like there was something interesting happening at least once every in-game week, and if for nothing else, I do want to thank you all for not being a bore.

That said, there were a couple common trends throughout the season I have to make note of. One of which was that some players straight up did not use their DR at all to talk about your gameplay. If you're someone who did not like their ranking and the written review that came with it, there's a strong chance I would have seen more merit and intention behind your gameplay had you taken the time to explain the way in which you were playing the game. I said this from the beginning and urged you as a cast to use your DRs more, and that it would be vital to determining how I and the audience see you as a player. The rankings reflect what I see in chats with others, competitions and what you give me in your DRs to complete a holistic write-up for each one of you. To all future players, use your DRs! They are important and are a resource for your benefit. Another trend was confusion around the rules, and one specific rule misstep came in the way in which you all tried to transfer tokens. A lot of people did not know the rules regarding how to transfer tokens, and some others also tried to track how many tokens others had at any given moment (which made no sense when you consider this rule made them impossible to properly track). Guys, please, make sure you've read AND understand the rules of twists. Hosts are happy and willing to answer your questions, you just have to ask them. When it comes to this, I suggest you ask questions to your host. Even if you think you understand something, there could always be something you're missing.

Now, the bit everyone is actually reading this post for: the jury. Simply put this season's jury was unlike anything from the 8 juries before it. This jury was bitter, spiteful, and at times just flat-out mean. It was pretty uncomfortable to watch at times and the jury's mentality really soured the endgame for myself and a lot of the audience. Some bitterness is understandable, after all, a jury is obviously going to remember what the finalists do and jury management is the finalist's responsibility. But this jury took things really personally and got super dramatic over what's supposed to be a game we play for fun. I was very disappointed with it, and I very much hope we don't see anything even remotely like it again.

Competitions & Twists:
Competition-planning was actually really interesting this season, because unlike most seasons of PBB, every single competition post-jury was chosen completely on the fly and often only hours before I was scheduled to post that competition. It made for interesting discoveries as I was hunting for new games, especially in the latter third of the game as it began to come to an end. I got a lot of feedback, some games were frustrating, others were addictive, and I think I know which of this season's new competitions are great to come back if future hosts wish to use them.

Another thing about competitions this season was the continuing presence of live competitions. Live competitions are something that I was happy to see the cast generally liked and enjoying doing, because I think these types of competitions should be a game-staple, and used regularly. In addition, I also took it one step further this season and held a live double eviction, hosting a full week's worth of competitions, ceremonies, and an eviction in just about 2 hours at the Final 5. This is the first time anything like this has been done here, and so I'm happy to say I feel it was a huge success! This is something else that I think is a ton of fun for the houseguests and the constantly growing audience that sticks around to watch it unfold live, but I think future hosts should remember that the more houseguests you have when trying to plan these live competitions, the more scheduling conflicts you're likely to have. Lastly, another "change" I added to this season (Final 4 of last season technically worked out like this, but was not officially considered one of these): the special eviction, which is a live POV competition, POV ceremony, and eviction all in about an hour. This is something I decided to copy from Big Brother Canada, as it tends to make an exciting experience for the audience. I think this type of format is unproblematic and works well, and I think future hosts can continue this, especially since the way this series tends to go with having staple comps, Web of Lies can easily become the staple competition for that Final 4 POV, and the special eviction a fun event to have as every season nears it's end. The audience enjoyed the live comps and cycles, I enjoyed them, and the houseguests seemed to have no issues with them. I think after 2 seasons of having tried these out, they're something we should keep around and continue to use in future seasons of the game.

Now, the twists. This being a rookie season, I decided to take twist development in an opposite direction. Because this season would consist of mostly new players, I decided that you are were unlikely to have pre-conceived notions of what Big Brother was. So instead of keeping twists light as BB6 did in the past, I threw a very complicated and central twist at you all from the beginning: Play Tokens. As I'm sure a couple of you already knew, this twist was heavily inspired by Survivor: Winners at War and how the Fire Token twist worked in that game. There were ultimately some differences, such as the token shop, but there were other elements that resembled the show's original format more closely, such as the Storage Room. The Storage Room was ultimately combining Survivor's Edge of Extinction twist with more conventional pre-jury comebacks. I made this choice because I wanted any early boots that were new to the game to have an opportunity to keep playing and making choices, even if they weren't in the main game and even if they failed to get back in when it was time. Combine that with the pre-existing ability to throw Play Tokens in the mix, and it was an easy decision to include it in this season.

There's also the Token Shop, which I think was the biggest way the Play Token twist saw use throughout the game. You would be rewarded for either winning competitions, or for your social gameplay (bequeathing) with Play Tokens. You could ideally accumulate them by excelling somewhere in the game, and then cash in your tokens for things that could help you later. Personally, I've always loved the idea of currencies in these games, and had seen them in different ORG communities I've been in over time, but I never considered adding them to this season until I connected you have tokens to play with at an Arcade. Before I switched to include Play Tokens, this season actually only had 2 twists, which were more in line with the vanilla-esque approach from BB6:

- Helping Hand -- This one is simple, throughout the pre-jury phase, the 2nd-place finisher in the HOH competition would be immune for the week.
- Arcade POV -- A series of clues, puzzles, and criteria would need to be met in order to earn the Arcade POV. It's the same power you were all offered on week 5, but I had originally planned for it to be earned through a long series of piecing a bigger puzzle together. At the end of the day, I never came up with an idea I liked, which made it easier for me to just jump ship to working with Play Tokens.

Overall, the Play Token twist was gargantuan, but it's a twist I heavily enjoyed and would not mind see return at all. I think there are plenty of different ways for hosts to tweak this twist for it to work in ways that they want it to, and they can explore the twist in different ways as well. I don't regret including and emphasizing this twist at all, and I'm happy I decided to go for it.

Lastly, there's the Blue Button. This was a last minute addition to the game through the Count to Ten POV competition, and I didn't settle on whether I wanted it included until right before it was time to host the comp. I had every other power locked, but it was either this power or simply nothing for that slot. I decided on including it, though, and I'm ultimately... neutral on it. The task to actually stay in the game was intentionally very difficult, as I wanted the benefactor of this unplanned twist to really earn their way back in the game if I was going to make such a shift in my game planning I hadn't fully prepared for. Ultimately, Cheez never actually attempted the task, and so nothing really ever came of this twist and it was quickly forgotten.

Overall, though, I think something future hosts should take from this is don't be afraid to make a twist on concern for the houseguests. My biggest concern with the Play Token mega-twist is that there would be far too much confusion among the players to really understand it or even use it. This season proves a cast of new players can still tackle a new twist head-on.

Closing Thoughts:
Thank you everyone for sticking with this straight from my feelings and unfiltered essay, for real. I'm happy I've had the privilege of hosting this game that I love 4 times now, and though I don't see it possible in the near future, I would love to do so again.

This season was insane. Lots of gameplay going on, lots of people playing their hardest and really playing to win and I appreciate that more than anything as a host. That said, this game got really dramatic and really personal towards the end. After the way both this and last season ended, I'm truly worried about relationships really being destroyed over something that's supposed to be fun and enjoyable for those involved. This is a game and you should do what you can to win it, but the lines blurring between what's game and what's personal really has me worried for the future of PBB. I'm hoping and expecting in these aftermath days that people can forgive, forget, and move on, and that it won't be an issue moving forward, but I would be lying if I didn't say this is something that concerns me for the future.

That said, the PBB community as a whole is growing. A lot. I brought Big Brother to the forums in December of 2016 and to see it still alive and thriving almost 4 years later has been an absolute joy for me to watch unfold. The PBB community is a group of people I continue to get closer and closer to over time, and for the past 3 and a half years, I've enjoyed being a part of that growth.

I want to give thanks to a few people before I wrap this up. I wanna thank @Fiery_Lugia for being my co-hostess! Some would say she didn't do much, but she was always helpful in DRs when needed, was eager to help me out, and a much needed sanity check that caught me slipping all the time throughout the season. I want to thank @VioletValkyrie for hosting the Jury Roundtable, and doing her absolute best to put on a show that would captivate and entertain the jurors and the audience alike! Lastly, I want to thank @NinjaPenguin for all the work he's done on this season's live competitions, and for being the sanity check I used to review my final rankings. You all are awesome, and this experience could not have been completed without you guys in my corner, much love. <3

With that, my job here is complete. Thanks everyone for playing, watching, and/or helping! With that, BB9 is officially over, and I look forward to seeing what @Celever has in store for BB10!

- Lorde
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