About Survivor and Online Survivor
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SUR202: Online Survivor Basics
Online Survivor has added so many twists and alterations over the years that, at times, the original format of the game can be lost, especially to those who did not experience it. The following is the standard format of the game, before it was altered in subsequent seasons. Although many of these things may not be true for the current game, this is the format that was used in the third season, which was the first game of Online Survivor that used the current format. It was the core structure that future twists would be based off of.
A game of Online Survivor consists of 16 people. The sixteen people are divided into two teams, called tribes, to begin the game. Each person is asked to set their font color to their tribe's color at all times to distinguish which of these tribes they belong to. Each tribe is then sent to a separate chat room to build their own society and officially begin the game. One game of Online Survivor lasts for 89 actual days. Over these 89 days, 39 meeting days are scheduled on a week-to-week basis, with three meeting days per week. These meetings are always scheduled on weekdays after 7:00 PM Eastern to accommodate school and jobs. Over the first half of these days, the two tribes battle against each other for resources and the right to remain in the game. At the halfway point, Day 20 (Actual Day 45), the two tribes merge into one team, and it becomes every man for himself. Each individual then battles for resources and the right to remain in the game. Like its counterpart, the game of Online Survivor is a very symmetrical game. The first of these symmetries is expressed in the layout of the meeting days and actual days in the two halves of the game. You are already aware of how the 39 meeting days are laid out, just like in the real Survivor. The 89 actual days are also laid out symmetrically:
Tribal: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 Transition: 45 (Tribal) MERGE 45 (Individual) Individual: 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
The 3-Day Cycle
Now that you know the setup of the game, it's time to delve deeper into the game's format. The 89 actual days of the game are divided into 13 weeks. 13x7=91, but weekends are never scheduled, thus the game begins on a Monday, then ends on a Friday. Hence the two missing days. For each week, the host and contestants vote on which days should be scheduled. Based on this, three meetings are then scheduled. Thus, like the real Survivor, there are three meeting days per week, and the "cycles" still exist. Just like the real Survivor, except for some rare circumstances, during each cycle the following events occur...
-Event #1: Reward Challenge (Meeting Day 1 of the cycle)At the beginning of the 3-day cycle, a Reward Challenge will be played. All types of challenges involve a live challenge within the chat room. This can be simple trivia, typing speed, puzzles, word games, endurance, or anything else that could conceivably take place in a chat room. The winner(s) of Reward Challenges will receive various rewards, such as SP (explained below), or items. Items allow contestants to view restricted stats, participate in a special challenge, or inflict some sort of advantage or handicap on themselves or others.
-Event #2: SP Challenge (Meeting Day 2 or 3 of the cycle)In the middle of the 3-day cycle, just like the real Survivor, nothing happens. To prevent contestants from getting bored due to no events, the SP Challenge (originally called SP-Reward Challenge) was added. This is an extra challenge played within a tribe (instead of against the other tribe). It can be cooperative or competitive. The winner(s) receive 10, 5, 3, or 1 SP, depending on their finishing position. SP stands for "Survivor Points". It is an element that only exists in Online Survivor, and was added to measure the worth of each contestant. Whoever holds the most SP at the Final Tribal Council is deemed more worthy of winning, and will receive the votes from any jurors who neglect to show up and cast their vote. Thus, SP could be the difference between winning and losing.
-Event #3: Immunity Challenge (Meeting Day 2 or 3 of the cycle)Also in the middle of the 3-day cycle, an Immunity Challenge will be played. Just like Survivor, the winner(s) will receive protection, and cannot be eliminated during the current cycle. Winning Immunity guarantees a free pass to the next 3-day cycle.
-Event #4: Tribal Council (Meeting Day 3 of the cycle)At the very end of a cycle, a Tribal Council will be held. At this meeting, all players must cast one vote for whom they would like eliminated. Depending upon who won the Immunity Challenge, certain people may not be voted for. Since this is a LIVE game, anyone who neglects to show up and cast their vote at Tribal Council has their own vote cast against themselves. Like Survivor, the person who receives the most votes at Tribal Council is eliminated from the game, and the next 3-day cycle begins the following week.
The 3 Stages
Although touched upon in the setup, the stage you are in completely changes the way the game is played, and must be emphasized even more. Like Survivor, Online Survivor is played in 3 stages, each drastically affecting the way the 3-day cycle is applied to the game. The three stages are described below...
-Stage I: Tribal (Cycles 1-6)At the beginning of the game, players are divided into two teams of 8 players each, called tribes. These two tribes meet in separate chat rooms and are responsible for building their own society. All challenges during this section, except for SP Challenges, are strictly tribe vs. tribe. If a tribe wins the Reward Challenge, the entire tribe will partake. If a tribe wins the Immunity Challenge, the entire tribe will be permitted to skip Tribal Council, while the opposite tribe must vote one of their own out of the game. Since after 6 cycles it is possible that a tribe could be reduced to only 2 members, making it impossible to vote, the game changes starting in the seventh cycle...
-Stage II: Individual (Cycles 7-12)On meeting day 20 (actual day 45), the exact halfway point of the game, the two tribes "merge" and become one tribe of 10 people. From this point forward, all contestants meet in the same chat room, and all challenges become individual. If someone wins a reward challenge, they will partake in it by themselves. If someone wins an immunity challenge, they will be given individual immunity, meaning they may attend Tribal Council and vote, but may not be voted for. Like the tribal stage, this stage lasts for 6 cycles. The game then changes one last time...
-Stage III: Finale (Cycle 13)At the start of the final stage, only four people remain. In this final stage, the three day cycle no longer applies, and a speed round begins, forcing the finalists to plan quickly and work even harder to survive. On Meeting Day 37 (roughly Actual Day 85), the finalists compete in the penultimate immunity challenge and immediately eliminate someone to form the final 3. On Meeting Day 38 (roughly Actual Day 87), the finalists compete in the Final Immunity Challenge. Since the two players who do not win immunity have no choice but to vote for each other, the winner of this final challenge has the sole decision of who joins them in the final 2, giving the winner complete control over the end of the game. On Meeting Day 39 (Actual Day 89), the final two meet for the Final Tribal Council. Half of the eliminated contestants (7 of the 14) return and, after hearing arguments, vote for the winner of the game. As stated earlier, any juror who does not show up and vote will automatically vote for the contestant with more SP. Putting everything together, let's take a look at the game's symmetry one more time, as knowing exactly where you are in the game at all times is crucial to victory:
TRIBAL Cycle: 01 02 03 04 05 06 Days: 01-07 08-14 15-21 22-28 29-35 36-42 Players: 16 15 14 13 12 11
INDIVIDUAL Cycle: 07 08 09 10 11 12 Days: 43-49 50-56 57-63 64-70 71-77 78-84 Players: 10 09 08 07 06 05
FINALE Cycle: 13 Day: 85 87 89 Players: 04 03 02
And lastly, keep in mind which finishing positions will be part of the jury and which will not, as it will become very important as we discuss strategies later on:
Finalists: 1st / 2nd Jurors: 03rd 04th 05th 06th 07th 08th 09th Non-Jurors: 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th
Notice the symmetry in even the most basic aspects of the game? They permeate every facet of this perfectly structured game. Keep them in mind, and you'll always remember where you are within this complicated game. Now, let's move on to some more complicated rules added for online play that govern this basic format.
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