There has been much whinging across the internet regarding the most recent hunt and its late finish. To me, most of it sounds like, "but Hunt is supposed to be hard and frustrating for OTHER PEOPLE, not amazing solvers like me!" and the unnice part of me can only think, "welcome to my world." I am sorry some people didn't have fun, but much of the complaining seems like a few individuals overgeneralizing their experience and taking it excessively personally.
I found this hunt less frustrating than most I've participated in, myself. It was too large to see it all, but that is always true. This year I never spent six hours looking up Encyclopedia Brown stories only to discover that that was the entirety of the "puzzle". It didn't feel like the only thing standing between us and having all the puzzles solved was an army of elves. Nearly every puzzle was intellectually challenging, which I much prefer (in RP terms, "high damage, low hit points" scaling.) Every puzzle I did solve was satisfying. I only encountered one puzzle that I thought was inelegant and many more that were very nice.
(Side note: I suspect the only way to even the playing field between very large teams and medium-sized teams is a smaller hunt with stricter gating and a similar difficulty level to this. Even then, all the very good solvers could form one uber-team, but I think that is less likely given the dynamics of solving. Note that this comes into direct conflict with "make the hunt newbie-friendly and accessible": I don't think it is possible to achieve both aims at once without writing two hunts.)
So it was too many puzzles for the time allotted and some repeated dynamics; I still think there are vastly worse crimes in hunt construction. This hunt left me sated and was enjoyable all along; I appreciate that. Once we figured out that other people also weren't chewing through metas and it wasn't going to end on Saturday my team was upbeat and positive well into Monday. Last year I was pretty disappointed when the hunt ended so early (I am motivated by competition and the "we're all winners!" solution isn't particularly appealing to me), so I was glad to see a hunt that did fill the time allotted.( Collapse )