i don't have issues with subjective contests. in fact, i've liked pr much all the crafting/writing contests that i've participated in. sure, i haven't personally won any, and while i think i submitted mostly good work, i'm not salty about losing. i am a little salty about the cooking contest that opened the celebration since there was a rule that was not clearly stated, and i really found your post addressing it disappointing, @Tiur. i don't know if maybe there was humor that was just lost on me because i don't have a sense of humor, but the line about "the contest isn't for looking cool for yourself or your friends" seemed in really poor taste. appealing to a different post in an OOC news section about a different contest as showing we should've known also seemed unreasonable to me, as did retroactively saying "well, Delve wouldn't like this about Duiran, or this about Spinesreach, etc". those examples are counterfactuals - interesting, i guess, but what actually happened is that all the Bloodlochian entries (that i knew about) were disqualified for the exact same """error""". the explanatory post, then, was pretty much directed at us - at three individual players - and it felt hella crumby to be accused of basically just trying to be edgy, etc.
to be clear, i'm not currently claiming there's bias in the Pools, just that y'all done goofed, and the 'explanation' just made it worse (at least for me). if we're going to have subjective contests - which, again, i'm all for - i simply want to see the rules and judging criteria spelled out better. you ever have a teacher or prof hand out their grading rubric for a paper or project? maybe do something like that. don't wait until it's done to spell out what you were looking for, or we'll all feel kinda tricked, and def don't give non-apologies that blame us for not knowing things you didn't say.
on an unrelated note, i'm a bit confused by how much 'love' there was for the ascendril aspirant. although no names were named, that npc's script pretty directly talks unicorns on someone specific whose identity was pretty immediately recognized by... well, lots of people, which felt neither appropriate in general nor appropriate for an exhibit intended for a foreign government.