by Alexa Bliss, Kyar Chi, Jenna, Heavenly Angel Moon, Gwynevery Golightly & Aero Bigboots
Thank you everyone who had a chance to respond to our SLCS Level System Survey.
We received a total of 30 responses and the results are below.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to reply to the survey and would still like to, you can fill it out here:
Q1 – Update Level System?
Putting the details aside for a moment, do you think the SLCS Level System (“rank controller”) should be updated in some way?
Q2 – Level System Yes/No?
Should we have a Level System (“rank controller”) at all?
Q3 – Hovertext
Should the SLCS Level System (“rank controller”) display Hovertext?
Q4 – Apparatus Points
Should the SLCS Level System (“rank controller”) award points for using Apparatus in the stadium?
Q5 – Points Multiplier for Service
With or without Apparatus Points, our Level System would award Interaction Points for being near other cheerleaders both at Cheertopia and around the SL Grid.
Should there be an interaction point “multiplier” (higher rate of points) for activities like: Being in a Formation, Driving, Training, Panels, and so on?
Q6 – Metrics Multiplier
If you live in a North America-friendly time zone it’s probably easier to attend more events and level up faster. Should there be a points multiplier for participation during “Metrics” time zones? (like late-night North America but Day-Afternoon for some Metrics time zones)
Q7 – Military Terms
The current SLCS Rank Controller uses Military Terms like “Lieutenant” and “Captain” for our Cheerleader Levels. Should SLCS continue to follow a military model or change to something more community oriented?
Q8 – New Levels
The current SLCS Level System (“rank controller”) has 6 Levels (Jr Cheerleader to Sr Co-Captain) with 6 Degrees (0-5 stars) for each Level, for a total of 36 possible degrees (bells)
Should we add new, even higher levels?
Q9 – Separate Level & Role (Job Title/Rank)
Some cheerleaders have argued that the many thousands of vault jumps to level up represent real achievement & commitment and should be celebrated & respected. Other cheerleaders say that “rank has no meaning” or that “rank should mean something”.
Could the confusion be that we use the terms “Levels” and “Rank” interchangeably? Should we separate LEVEL in the “SLCS Game” from Rank/Role/Job_Title in the “SLCS Organization”?
Someone whose LEVEL is “Cheerleader IX **” has earned many more Spirit Points than one who is “Cheerleader IV ****”. However, they are not necessarily a better Driver, a more sensitive Panelist, a more experienced Event Organizer, and so on.
By contrast, someone whose ROLE (Rank/Job Title) is “Co-Captain of External Events” or “Co-Captain of Stadium Operations” would have that Role because of certain qualifications, not because of how many Spirit Points they have earned.
Just because someone’s LEVEL is “Cheerleader IX **” doesn’t necessarily mean they can answer your technical question about Driving. However, if their ROLE is “Co-Captain Training” it would be reasonable to assume that they can answer your technical question about Driving.
Should we separate Level in the “SLCS game” and Role in the “SLCS Organization”?
Q10 – Start a New Game
We’ve said that any changes to the Level System (Rank Controller) would not effect anyone’s current Points or Level (Rank). If, for example, we reduced, limited, or eliminated Apparatus Points, no one’s current apparatus points would be reduced or removed. And that remains true.
Here’s a different thought. Something like 80% of the squad is currently maxed out at “Sr. Co-Captain *****” Is that good? Is that fun? If we did separate LEVEL in the “SLCS Game” from ROLE in the “SLCS Organization”, what would you think of starting everyone out as “Cheerleader I, 0 Stars, 0 Points”?
Q11 – Level System Fork
What do you think about creating a “Fork” of the SLCS Level System? That is, keep the current Rank Controller as is, but also create a new, alternative, optional Level System? Let cheerleaders choose to wear the one they prefer?
Q12 – What Points Mean to Me
We know that Points/Levels/Ranks mean different things to different cheerleaders. Can you say a few words about what they do or don’t mean to you? Are they important? Why?
In a way they are a distraction. Second Life is famously “not a game”. IDK if we need game mechanics to make it worth being a part of SLCS. Still, we all do love having some sort of status and “Bells” are a lot of fun. Especially when they happen at group times like Practice. Focusing Spirit Points more on Spirit Activities might make it all work better.
Rank is always the term that carries the most weight in the squad 🙂
Right now, Spirit Points mean almost nothing to me. As was noted, the vast majority of SLCS are 5 star Sr Co.
points ranks are great. great motivator.
A system where everyone ends up Sr Co Captain is meaningless – there could be a rank for experience that does not coincide with the leadership roles of traditional squads (Captain, Co-Captain, you could even do Treasurer, Event Manager, Social Coordinator, etc). This allows you to give recognition to the folks that are doing the leadership work of the squad, not just showing up to get points.
In and of themselves, the points and ranks and levels mean nothing. We tell our new grads, and even trainees, if you have a question, seek out a senior member, defined as 18mos or more. I’m not sure that’s wholly accurate. If, like some, I’ve jumped 20,000 points worth per day, every day, for a month, I will have the Sr. Co Captain ***** rank, but I will have little experience beyond many thousands of jumps. There is no ideal system; time since panels is meaningless- Aero, you are proof of that, and I don’t mean that badly, just that you were gone for a long time, but your Roman numerals kept accumulating. If a hypothetical cheerleader (Let’s call her Susie) did that also (had rushed to rank up AND had gone idle with the squad), she would have the numbers on both sets of measures, but perhaps no measurable experience. Maybe the answer is to consider the Active Awards as well, such that someone earns her “rank” by being present, either jumping or being around other cheerleaders… Earns her Romans by time passing.. and earns, I don’t know, let’s call it “clout” by her active awards. That can be “gamed” too, by just popping in once a week, or by camping out in the Cheertopia sim, but there is no system that can work automatically that cannot be “gamed”… Just as there is no manual system that cannot be subject to favoritism. I think we need a healthy mix of subjective and objective criteria, and perhaps a list of people somewhere so the noobs know whom they should approach. Hell, maybe a list of RoH members, posted somewhere, filtered by recent activity, so no one goes looking to talk to Py or Srooc.
i have been a cheer sister for 4 years now and due to time in RL i have organically risen ranks (nabbing spirit from other sisters hehe!!) – to be honest i would not have changed a thing – if some want to blitz it like speed games, let them be but my only gripe is how its linked to permissions – sorry to moan !
they honestly mean nothing to me. I am nearly maxed out on ranks and do not care if i get one more point tbh.
I’ve been with SLCS for a long time and I’m still just a Co-Captain because I don’t like just vaulting over and over and over… I’m actually in favor of just doing away with them entirely.
It’s not about the rank it is about the celebration and sorority of celebrating bells of fellow cheer sisters
Earning ranks is a very cool aspect of SLCS but I think it becomes completely meaningless with being able to use the equipment at the stadium. I feel like it should be more of a status showing what you’ve contributed to SLCS for example, participating in practices, events, or just hanging out with other cheerleaders. Or, also organizing events, doing interviews, hosting games.
It is a measure of participation.
Any meaning is diluted greatly by the somewhat trivial way these are managed.
I worked super hard for mine, and while lots of people say that it means nothing, it means the world to me, and for a lot of people who aren’t senior co-captains, too.
To me the points show that someone has been involved in the squad activities.
Let me be honest here… I’m unable to come up with an answer to this question. I really don’t know how to answer this question.
The points, levels and rank is, in my opinion, an integral part of the cheerleading experience and more importantly gives everyone a sense of purpose, being and belonging. It gives us opportunities to progress and to practice on the equipment. Equipment like the springboard should be used and practiced with and awards like points make the experience enjoyable.
I worked really hard to get the points to get to the rank I am at now. I don’t have a lot of time to join in on a lot of things but I try when I can!
They don’t mean anything to me and are not important because there is no value to them. If everyone is maxed, what makes the special?
I’m still very new to cheerleading and don’t really understand the ins and outs of the rank system. For me i do enjoy the achievement side of it but am also just happy to be a cheerleader. As a new cheerleader i do find it very confusing as in what role people have and who does what as the rank system doesn’t show that. Like I know Catherine runs the Metrics so technically is the captain of that squad but the rank controller doesn’t show that.
I do like that having the rank controller at least gives new people some idea who has been around a while, etc. And earning the levels & stars gives you a bit of a sense of accomplishment.. almost like being kid in school and getting a gold star.. its fun!
I do like the role vs rank idea and this system would certainly allow trainees and rookies to better know who might be able to answer questions or address concerns. Time spent with the squad, promoting the squad values, to me is more important than a rank.
If someone points in time and effort it should be recognized and rewarded.
The current rank system does not have any practical use really. It is more an emotional thing. Linking rank and role is not a good idea: a junior with just cheerleader rank could for example be managing the event board and so needs the capability to do that.
At the end of the day ranks on a controller mean nothing in terms of being knowledgeable and being able to help others. K great your a Sr. Co-Captain, but you can’t tell me anything about how to do a dual drive or even how to change dances in the HUD. Congrats you spent all your time doing nothing. But hey you made it to Sr. Co-Captain, great job. Too bad all you cared about was a title and not the others around you.
Q13 – Other Thoughts
Any other thoughts, ideas, preferences you’d like to share?
I played with the “CherryMeter” and I like it. I think the idea of having a “Blue SL Menu” to pick whether you want your levels to be “Captains” “Fruits” “Cheerleader X” or something else is great.
be cautious in changing any of our structures – and KEEP it a meritocracy – no shortcuts allowed or exceptions for any cheerleader within the rank and levels
Now that you’ve made me think about it… I think there could be an option in the hover text to say something like “Ring of Honor Member”
an addition to the rank controlled showing favourite RL sports team 😉 – just for giggles !!
There should be a bonus to spirit points or whatever replaces them, for length of time in the SLCS. I’ve seen brand new cheerleaders suddenly Sr Co-Captain in a week or so. It kinda takes the importance out of them.
Thank you all for taking the time to put this survey together!
Rank controller more or less works. Service awards do not. Personally I would have thought they were more of a priority to fix than enhance the rank controller.
I think attaching field equipment time to Cheertopia destination rankings leads to false answers on that question. Also, I DO NOT like the military ranks, but we should definitely keep the ranks that RL cheer squads have (like Captain, Co-Captain). Also, there’s usually only one squad captain.
None at this time.
I do have an idea for the apparatus used in earning more spirit points… If you’re alone in using the apparatus, the amount of points you get from them would not be much at all. But if there are other cheerleaders just standing around near you while you’re using the apparatus, you’ll get a bit more, but if the other cheerleaders are actively using the apparatus with you, then the amount of points you and the other cheerleaders will get would be multiplied by a decent amount, depending on how many cheerleaders are around, so the more cheerleaders present and actively using the equipment, the higher the multiplier would be. We could also include cheerleaders using different apparatus than you with the multiplier, but I think the multiplier should be bigger if they share the same apparatus as you. Also, what if we introduce a cap on the points from apparatus that would increase if more cheerleaders are present and actively using equipment to the point that the cap virtually disappears if an awesome number of cheerleaders are present? You’re welcome to hit me up if you’d like to talk more about these ideas. Kimberly Lemongrass
I have heard a few suggestions and ideas regarding the points system, leveling up and titles. None of these things are broken and don’t necessarily need to be fixed however, like other people, I also have a suggestion. Why should we stop at co-captain? We could create more levels for people who want to keep achieving points and it doesn’t need to stop but the levels could increase. Furthermore, I suggested this a long time ago to a fellow cheerleader but was shot down for even thinking it. Why don’t we have a system that allows for people to lose points as well as earn them. For example, a cheerleader loses x-amount of points per day for not visiting the stadium for say five minutes per day. This way, we not only keep a flow of traffic but more importantly, everyone has something to work towards. It doesn’t need to be a huge lose of points, maybe five or ten points per day. None of us can be inworld twenty-four seven and that is okay too. This is NOT a suggestion to punish people but just to motivate and participate to keep your points raised. It just feels like once you hit the top with the points system, that’s it, you’ve completed the game. But Cheerleading is not a game and should be worked at without people being punished for non-attendance.
This bring me to my second thought. There are people on the squad who have been a member of the squad a lot longer than their achievements show. Real Life should always come first – no matter what. But to discriminate a cheerleader that has been part of the squad for over two years but only just received her first year trophy is completely unfair. There are too many reasons why someone might need to take a break from Second Life for a long period of time and the current system does not set a positive environment for cheerleaders. I am not suggesting giving something for nothing however Real Life affects us all and for different reasons and lengths of time. Trophies for time served as part of the squad should reflect that no matter how long someone may have been absent.
Not at this time.
If it’s possible to do this, I don’t think you should get ‘time’ credit for months that you don’t show up. I’ve seen ‘returnees’ come in giving out 10 spirit points after being gone for years and that doesn’t seem right. Also perhaps there could be special symbols for certain accomplishments, such as ‘experienced driver’, ‘diva’, ‘trainer’, ‘mentor’, etc.
There are a couple answers marked, “I could go either way” These were selected because I am unsure and need to talk it out more, get more information, rather than being apathetic on the topic
I have my doubts about the practical implementation of the “multipliers”. Who will provide/install them? Let’s say we have practice, and somebody gets whatever stage out of her inventory to use. Who will arrange the multiplier for that practice? Will everybody have a multiplier to add to events she takes care off?
Keep up the great work in getting the changes that need to change!
Thank you Cheerleaders for your valuable feedback!
~ Alexa Bliss, Kyar Chi, Jenna, Heavenly Angel Moon, Gwynevery Golightly & Aero Bigboots
I’ve worn many hats and tried on many identities as an avatar. I’ve been young and I’ve been old. Skinny and full-figured. Black and white. And red and green. A cheerleader and a derby girl. A barista and a host. I’ve seen so much love and beauty, so much desire, so much hunger for love and connection in the virtual world. I’ve seen that hunger and need expressed in unhelpful and destructive ways. Ways that can make living in this world as frustrating as living in the first life we came from. I’m touched by the tiny acts of kindness that surround us every day. If we can make it here, we can make it anywhere.