Toa Hagah Canon Contest Survey and Final Q&A

PRELUDE NOTE: We are still waiting on a reply from Greg Farshtey about several hot-button topics discussed in the last topic, but we figured it’d be best to not delay this topic any more than it already has been. When Greg replies, we will update this main post with the answers he gave, as well as make a new post in this topic sharing the information.

We will allow for the creator of the Hagah designs to give individual consent on whether they allow the group shot artist to change the masks used on their Hagah for the final group shot. If consent is given, the mask can be replaced or given a fully custom design by the final artist. If consent is not given, the original mask choice must be maintained. This consent, or lack of it, will be reflected in the poll under each option. Masks in our “ban list” will be allowed to be used in MoCs, with the understanding that they MUST be changed in the final group art portion.
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

  • Keep the standard method: Hold all four polls for each Toa Hagah at once
  • Stagger the polls by character (Open Kualus polls, announce the Kualus winner, open Pouks polls, etc.). This option WILL have lightning-round poll durations (2 days for prelim, semifinal, and finals)
  • Mandate each creator design their Hagah as a “set” and enter all four at once for the sake of team coherence. Voting would, as a result, not be character-by-character but rather the full set of Hagah entered by the creator. Entries that enter less than four characters will be disqualified.

0 voters

Alright fellas, so here’s the deal. We’re going to have ONE FINAL TOPIC before we get these things up and running; some serious questions worth contemplating were raised in the prior topic, and we felt like they deserved a few surveys to gauge feedback on.

KEY WORD: “survey.” Not “binding poll.” I put that here because ultimately we’re going to make the decision we feel is best for the contests to run efficiently, but I want to gauge feedback to see how much certain things matter to people.

FOR CLARITY ON EACH POINT:

On the matter of the first subject, in the prior topic, @ToaKebaka made an appeal to mandate that the final artist must not be allowed to change the mask used in the initial design, so as to preserve the creative vision of the original MoCist/artist. In his own words:

He elaborates further:

Generally speaking, I agree with this perspective. Our idea was that we wanted the final artist to have a role in the creative process by being able to contribute their own unique mask designs, and I still agree with that idea. However, I also see the merit in respecting the original creative vision of the character design. That being the case, we present this compromise: Allow for the creator to dictate whether they’re okay with allowing their mask to be changed or not. We will mandate that the creator make a statement in the topic as to whether the mask may be changed in the final design, which will be logged in the entry list. This statement will also be included in the character polls, so voters will know what they’ll be voting for mask-wise. We believe this is the best middle-ground to respect creativity on both sides, and we’re curious to hear your feedback on the matter.

This would also allow for masks that were on our “ban-list” to be used as placeholder masks in MoCs, with the caveat that they MUST be changed in the final version. This should help alleviate some concerns people were having about build restrictions based on mask availability in certain colors.

Now, for the main event…

In the closing day of the last topic, @Hazash wrote up a large post regarding the notion of Hagah uniformity. His full post can be found here, but the summary is basically that he feels by allowing voting on all four characters at once, we run the risk of inadvertently voting in Hagah designs that function well independently of each other, but have potentially poor team cohesion. This is something we’ve considered, but ultimately feel like cannot be fully controlled. Even if we implement any of these solutions, there’s no guarantee that full team cohesion will be voted on. Even more, what exactly team cohesion means is different for each person. Certain people care more about certain elements of design parity than others, and I don’t think a future exists where we please everybody 100%. That being the case, we do have two proposals as a direct result of Hazash’s post (which I would heavily encourage you all to read).

Option 1: Stagger voting on a character-by-character basis. For instance, we could open the Kualus preliminary polls, have them run for their allotted duration. Then, we would open the Kualus semifinals, and do the same. Finally, we’d open the Kualus finals, announce the winner, and THEN open the Pouks preliminary polls. This way, the voting preference of the community could be altered based on how the designs are shaping up on a character-by-character basis. However, this method is not perfect, as there still is a risk of parity not being achieved in the end (as I already mentioned). Also, this would theoretically drag out the contest voting for… an extremely long amount of time. Our solution for this would be to have LIGHTNING-ROUND voting, with each round of polling only lasting for about two days. We know this element may be controversial, but I feel like it would be important in this context to keep things moving along smoothly. In this hypothetical, the full voting process for each character would last about a week, culminating in a month to determine the designs for the four Toa Hagah.

OPTION 2: Mandate all four Toa Hagah be designed and entered as a unit for the sake of team cohesion. Currently, we allow for people to enter an individual character or all four, depending on their preference. However, if we opted to go this route, the Hagah would be designed as a set, and voters could elect to choose the designs with the most cohesion between themselves. The obvious negatives to this being that people would be forced to build four MoCs rather than one, and there would be no option to vote on a character-by-character basis: you would have to vote for each Hagah as a full set.

These are the only options we’re willing to consider here. We recognize it’s a difficult problem to solve, but those are the best methods to potentially alleviate this problem if it’s something people actually care that much about having alleviated; personally, I could go either way. I get the irritation having dissimilar Hagah could cause, but as there’s nothing lore-breaking about it, I could just get used to it if that’s how it shakes out. We’re not willing to consider things like allowing the final group artist to make sweeping changes to bring the characters in line, because at that point, it violates the prior concern about maintaining the creative freedom of the original designer.

I’d love to know your thoughts on these issues! Please feel free to share them and discuss all this stuff in as much detail as you want, and remember, we’ll update the main post and give another update when Greg gets back to us!

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I just want to give a warm congratulations to the winners of the Toa Hagah Canon Contest Rules Contest for designing rules I grudgingly agree to but also support enough to live with them

By all means stick with the original format; force people to come up with four entries that better fit whatever common perception of a Toa Hagah is and also have up to four distinct, separate winners.

Wow I got first post whaddya know

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I’d be pretty disappointed with forcing an entire set, as I am sure most would. It would probably knock out a very large portion of those planning to enter singular designs that have been in the works, even potentially limiting some of the more honed and unique builds that may have had more care put into.

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Unfortunately, I missed replying to the old topic by just a few minutes, and I have some issues with both of these ideas:


My big problem with Option 1 is that you basically give the first Hagah “first dibs” on all the new concepts. Even if someone wants full-on, official-set-level team cohesion, the first contest can still be pretty much anything; if the metallic armour doesn’t match Norik or Iruini, that’s okay because maybe it could be a 2/2/2 split. Same goes for new shoulder armour ideas, waist height, shins, etc.

However, by the final contest, anyone wanting perfect cohesion will basically be locked into a single combination of shins, colours, shoulders, height, etc. if they want 3/3 or 2/2/2 splits.

And this isn’t just a problem of certain voters being locked into a design, it’s also a problem for the entrants. Any creativity will be gone for anyone entering the last contest who wants cohesion.

Plus, the order in which the contests are held would also have a massive impact on the results: say that Gaaki and Kualus both end up with gunmetal armour in their respective contests. Then, we come to the fourth and final Pouks Contest and there’s an awesome Pouks design that everyone likes, but no one wants to vote for it because it has gunmetal armour and would wreck the 2/2/2 split.

If the Pouks Contest were held first, then this model would have won, but it doesn’t because both gunmetal slots were already filled in previous contests.

So how do you decide which Hagah should get these “first dibs”?


My problems with Option 2 are much simpler. First, mandating four models is inconvenient for a lot of people. Secondly, and most important, you end up with situations where people are forced to compromise on individual Hagah.


I have an Option 3 in mind that lets people pick and choose based on the other contests without extending the time and fixes the “first dibs” issue, but the original post says that only these two options will be considered…

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Pitch it to us.

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So I propose Option 3: Open Voting

Run the polls simultaneously, but let the votes be visible. By seeing what everyone else is voting for, and what’s popular, people can adjust their votes accordingly.

Of course, part of the reason blind voting was implemented in the first place was to prevent two or three entries from getting early leads and having everyone else just vote for those because they see them as the only real option; this problem would only be exaggerated in these contests.

To fix this, perhaps it could be a half-blind-half-open vote, where the votes are blind for a few days to let frontrunners emerge naturally, and then opened so people can adjust their votes around these frontrunners.

By running everything at the same time, the total voting time is the same as it was before, and no single Hagah gets first dibs on anything.

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This was not entirely the reason. We restricted visible voting as to avoid meme or joke entries from gaining traction because people saw they were winning and wanted to be in on the joke.

We are also not opening voting up as visible ever again. Full stop. Period.

Appreciate the suggestion, but yeah, it isn’t happening.

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Well, that’s that, I guess. Fair enough.

In that case, I’d prefer Option 2, because at least then all of the Hagah are being judged by the same criteria, rather than depending on the order of individual contests. Plus it’s faster, and there’s less total polls.

Would this “group entry” allow for collaborations?

We haven’t discussed that in this context, but I believe we’ve remarked on collaborations in the past and said it’s okay so long as credit is made very clear.

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@Mesonak Thanks for addressing my comment. I would again recommend everyone to read my original post regarding the risk of running these contests simultaneously.

There’s already people voting for the ‘do them all at once’ option and I am genuinely curious as to why that’s the case. If your only answer is “We’ll get through the contests quicker”, I strongly recommend you consider all sides and realise this is not a trivial issue. To me, voting on the basis of wanting things done quicker holds less weight than getting a more agreeable result to the contests. As Meso has mentioned, there are ways to make it run quickly, and lose nothing by doing so.

Meso is correct, in that staggered voting doesn’t guarantee consistency (and a consistency everyone can be satisfied with), but it’s much better than nothing. I will resurrect an example I made previously:

Personally I voted for the ‘enter all four’ option because my agenda in this contest is first and foremost about getting a consistent team. I think we’ll get enough entries for people to look at at least a few of the groups and say “Yeah, these Hagah all look great individually and as a team”. However, I can see the potential controversy, and there may be people who feel as strongly about individual entries as I do about staggering the contests, so I’m more than willing to change my vote to ‘stagger by character’.

@Mesonak I hope you (and the voters) will keep in mind that because there are two ‘stagger the polls’ options in the poll, even if ‘run all four polls at once’ has the majority, staggering could still be the preferred option.

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A reminder:

This was the case with the previous “poll,” which people misunderstood.

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About Hagah uniformity I have to say one thing - why would they be uniform at all?

Like, we have Norik and Iruini, but the only things they actually share is Metru-build, colour distribution and equipment. Their armor is pretty much completely different, and they also have different armor colours.

Given that the Hagah would have hailed from different places in the MU, can’t they all have a unique style of armor? And as to armor colours - based on what we actually know, having it split up evenly is just as likely as having silver being the leader, Bomonga as the deputy having some other metallic colour, and everyone else being gold. Or it denotes their function in battle. Silver for the ones in front, gold for the ranged attackers. Or any kind of distribution, really. As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing indicating a specific armor colour distribution in canon.

I’m all for a certain uniform look, but in regards to especially armor style and to a lesser degree colour distribution between Hagah, I’d prefer variance over uniformity/a system.

Hence why I’m for holding the contests individually, and simultaneously.

Ceterum censeo agonem esse terminandum.

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Surveys still hold weight to the decision making, though. We need to make sure we’re representing people’s opinions accurately.

On the subject of representing people’s opinions accurately, I’d also suggest anyone that votes to post their thoughts here as well. We need to gauge how strong people’s voices are relative to each other. If 50% of people who voted in the survey are ultimately unconcerned if their preferred option doesn’t happen, we need to look more closely at the other 50% to reveal the best option (assuming they have clear concerns about the outcomes of the options they didn’t vote for).

So far, this is the only good counter-point I’ve seen to staggered voting besides Meso’s point about lightning-rounds being controversial (@Mesonak is there a particular reason you think this?). However in this case I would argue the benefits will most likely outweigh this.
In the example you gave about a gunmetal Pouks, I actually suspect (as much as I hate to admit it) that more people will vote for the cool but inconsistent Pouks than the decent but consistent Pouks. At least in this scenario people are still able to vote on the basis of which entry they think will make for the best-looking team, whereas simultaneous voting cannot do that - unless comments reveal that people are so unanimously in favour of single designs that there’s no doubt of them winning. But even then, most people won’t read all the comments before casting their vote.

Correct me if I’m wrong @Mesonak (and forgive the excessive @'ing), but I think the plan would be for entry periods to run fully or mostly at the same time, so people can still get creative. Some people just won’t vote for their entries. However, if entry periods for subsequent Hagah are kept open while other winning Hagah were being announced, there will be a select few, like me, who would be inclined to modify their designs to be less creative but more consistent. I don’t think this is too much of an issue personally, and I reckon entry periods will be the same for all Hagah anyway. However, as I said in the last topic, extending the entry periods to after some of the winning Hagah have been announced will give people another opportunity to alter their designs to best fit with the growing line-up. Then again, managerial demands would be much higher if you ran entry and voting periods for different Hagah simultaneously.

I think if this ends up being the only counter-point that is presented for staggered polls besides “it’ll get things done quicker” (which is a concern Meso has already said can be limited), all things will essentially be equal. At that point, I would see very little reason to not stagger voting.

(Could someone pls post something so I can reply to @Gilahu without double-posting)

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Thank you @Mesonak for adressing my comments and reasoning.
I am fully in favor of the compromise you proposed and have voted for it. It seems to be a perfect solution.

As to the other part of this topic, I prefer for the voting to stay as you originally pitched it - all 4 polls at once.

The restrictions in the rules are already strict enough and tailored to maintain great level of cohesion. Forcing entrants to make all 4 Hagah would be way too limiting.
It would create a potentially steep imbalance in favor of artwork entries which are not limited by parts availability. Not everybody has sufficient resources to make all 4, and much less to make all 4 worthy of victory. You can run out of parts, but you cannot run out of pencils/digital art software.
This is supposed to be free-for-all with equal footing.

I’ll address the more important discussion point first in hopes that more people will read it.

Why do you think simultaneous voting is necessarily better than staggered? So far, the only downsides that a staggered voting system has over a simultaneous one seem to be @TheJerminator’s point and maybe that it makes the contests run too slow or fast. I’ve yet to be persuaded that either of these are significant issues, or that they are worse than the alternative. If we run voting simultaneously, it’s practically impossible to vote on the basis of what design looks best alongside the other three Hagah and the team as a whole. It’s called the Toa Hagah contest, yet we’re entertaining the idea of playing bingo with individual designs and hoping we get a good-looking team at the end. We’ll vote for what we think are our favourites, the winners will be announced, and some people will regret voting for some of them because they don’t work together as well as other combinations would have.

Maybe you voted for simultaneous because it increases the likelihood of getting inconsistent designs, but then you admitted you’re ‘all for a certain uniform look’ so I don’t see why it’s preferable. I honestly doubt that staggered voting will result in Hagah designs that are so uniform that it’s impossible to believe they came from different regions, as you say - purely from a statistical perspective. It could very well prevent inconsistent colouring, but I doubt it will prevent minor inconsistencies like leg type.

As I said earlier, between staggered voting and simultaneous voting, all other things are essentially equal. For that reason, staggered voting seems inherently better.

Onto Part II

You haven’t persuaded me to change my mind personally, but this argument has alleviated some of my fears about an inconsistent team. I think if I can make up some justification for inconsistent colouring, I’ll be a little happier if there is inconsistency. I’m less convinced I could do the same for identical spear heads or masks if those were completely inconsistent, but we’ll see.

Since the Hagah contests were announced, I’ve come around to the idea that things like shoulder armour, leg types etc. could be inconsistent by virtue of the fact that they do come from different places in the MU. However, ultimately, I believe LEGO would have designed them with very clear consistency as they’ve done with all their clone sets, minus some occasional but minor exceptions (e.g. two of the Toa Inika have Metru legs for arms, the other four having Vahki legs; Kongu and Nuparu have native chest colours instead of metallic, the other four having metallic). That, and a team of guards that aren’t reasonably uniform doesn’t seem thematically right to me.
Keep in mind also that the Brotherhood gave them their metallic pieces, and established a precedent for uniformity with their spears and shields - so it’s unlikely that they would be markedly inconsistent in other aspects.

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I know I’ll probably be proven wrong, but it should in theory not be possible to mess up a Metru build enough for it to not fit.

Besides, Norik and Iruini give a clear comparison. If the entry looks wrong next to them, it won’t fit in. If it looks right next to them, it likely will also look right next to all other winners, if they adhere to the same principle.

So because I think a Metru build cannot really be messed up, I am all for getting as much variety out of the armor as possible. Worst-case scenario in my eyes would be in staggered voting only voting for an entry because it “uses the ‘correct’ chestpiece to go with the others” or something such. I think that can be avoided with either of the other two voting options. I do not prefer entering whole Hagah teams because that will probably exclude a lot of less-experienced people with limited collections who actually stand a chance in this contest.

But remember that the masks were given to the Toa by their past teams who do not have a connection to the Brotherhood. So which came first? Mask or armor? I’d say mask.

I see the Hagah sets as specials, though. If there had been all Hagah, then yes, they would have been clone sets at the core. However, Norik and Iruini always seemed to me like showing off what can be done with other parts that existed on top of this clone base. So who’s to say any other Hagah would not have followed a theme of using different parts for different special looks?

Ceterum censeo agonem esse terminandum.

I think it’d be interesting if all four were mandated in “one entry”, but people were be allowed to do collabs.

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Could the Hagah contest potentially be broken apart into 4 smaller contests, that are dispersed in between contests for other characters?

For example:
Pouks
Toa Tuyet
Lariska
Kualus
Toa Orde
Toa Zaria
Gaaki
Toa Chiara
Toa Nidhiki
Bomonga
Toa Varian
Gold Skinned Being
Group shot artwork
Marendar

(I put them in that order to avoid having multiple similarly-colored characters in a row)

I think that something like this would make the Hagah contest a bit less monotonous. It might be tiring to see so many similar builds at one time.

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I’m not quite sure what the “yes / no” indicates in the first question

Yes/no, creators can give consent?
Yes/no, they should be required consent?
Yes/no, consent for mask changes should be noted?
Yes/no, they shouldn’t be allowed to use banned masks?

That’s a lot of variables in one incredibly long paragraph, and it’s not explained what we’ve answering.

Generally, I disagree with the concept that control would be ripped away from the artists, forced to go with the winning moccists decision.
But I do agree with the idea that moccists should be allowed to use banned masks, as they will be corrected for in the art portion anyways.

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But then you’d be protracting the similar designs over a much longer period of time, and people would be sick of that as well (even though I personally disagree with the perspective, people have already complained these contests are taking too long and should be sped up). With the contest as it is now, you’d get the similar designs over in like a month, rather than spreading it out over months/years.

This. This is exactly why they should look similar. As someone in the OG thread said, these are basically the praetorian guard: they’ve been hired specifically to do a job, and so should look as similar as possible. Quite literally for all we know, before being recruited by the BoM, Pouks and Gaaki were Inika builds, Kualus was a Mata build, and Bomonga was a wholly cutsom build. But that doesn’t matter, because now they’re Metru builds, specifically given armor to resemble their new role as protectors of Makuta.

In other words, the armor given to them is their uniform, hence they should look uniform.

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