Commendations, Orders, and Titles

by Gower

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Commendations, Orders, and Titles
A Beginner’s Guide

This article was updated 2/27/2017, and then again 4/22/2022
By: Seto, StrykerL and Mizal; and then by Gower.


What are Commendations?

Excellent contributions to the website are highlighted by administrators with commendations. Forum posts, storygames, comments on storygames, and articles can be commended.  You will receive a notification that you have been commended.

How are Commendations different from Points?

While points measure general site activity, commendations are earned through writing content worth reading. Commendations cannot be lost or wagered like points. Each day, the first time you get a commendation you will get 3 points.

The user who earns the most commendations in a 24-hour period gets an additional 10 points that day as well as the coveted "Spirit of Avon" title.  See below.

Can I see what a user has been Commended for?

Every commendation that is earned can be tracked from on the user’s Profile, with links to the commended content. Also, on the Orders’ pages, Commendations are tracked for all members of the Order.

Can I see what a user has been given Points for?

Point gain and loss is tracked through a link on each user's profile page.  You may see a running list of both the amount a user has earned or lost, as well as the reason for the change.  These reasons are at times hilarious.

How many Commendations is X worth?

An accepted article is worth 10 Commendations.

A commended (featured) comment on a storygame is worth 2 Commendations.

A commended post is worth 1 Commendation.

The number of commendations given out for a story is usually much larger, and is calculated on a story by story basis, with longer stories earning more.  The exact formula is slightly mysterious and probably not worth delving deeply into.

Note: Only the primary author of a commended story receives any Commendations for it.

Anything posted before 2017 is not eligible for a Commendation.

What are the guidelines for earning Commendations? 

All commendations are made solely at the discretion of the administrative staff. 

Forum posts that might be eligible are those that are writing related and contain detailed and useful advice, or exceptional creative works such as short stories or poems. In addition, commendations are given out for re-writes that show writing improvement.

Articles receive a thorough review before they are accepted, and once accepted immediately earn the author commendations.

A detailed and thoughtful storygame review is most likely to be featured and thus receive a commendation. 

For a storygame to be eligible for commendations, the work must be well written, entertaining and complete. In other words, a story that the site would make a point of recommending to visitors. As this is a site for choice-based fiction, a certain amount of branching is expected as well. 

In all cases, competency in the technical aspects of writing is a given. 

The Spirit of Avon

Users who accrue the most Commendations on any given day will earn a special order-specific profile suffix (‘of Avon’) and their username will display differently in the forums. Additionally, they will receive 10  points. These are updated nightly at the same time as the trophies.

The reason you care about this is that it makes you better than everyone else for 24 hours.

If two or more users have the same number of Commendations, points will be used as a tie breaker.

How do I know I’ve received a Commendation?

You will receive a notification whenever your content earns Commendations.

When were Orders, Commendations, and Titles added to CYS?

January, 2017

What are Orders?

Orders are teams a member is randomly assigned to.  Some say that the site has an uncanny knack in knowing where a new member is best placed.  The strength of an Order is measured through the number of Commendations its members earn in total. Orders are meant to encourage writing worthy content, through friendly rivalry amongst the factions.

There are four orders: Architects, Marauders, Sages, and Wardens.

Members of the Order that earned the most commendations in a day will get have their usernames in a different color on the forum. This is refreshed around 2 AM EST.

Where can I see which Order a user is in?

A user's Order is listed on their Profile page. Every user is in an Order.

Can anyone change their Order?

No, they are permanent once assigned.

Where can I see how the Orders are doing?

The total points earned by all Orders can be found in Help & Info / About Us.

Each order also has its own page which tracks Commended activity by members of the Order. This can be reached by clicking on any member’s Order in their profile.

What are Exemplars?

Exemplars are users who have written a Top 100 story on CYS. To be eligible for Top 100, a story needs to have at least 50 ratings. Exemplars have the Exemplar title in their profile page.

What’s the advantage of being active in an Order?

Being active allows you to show your mettle and illustrate the virtues of your Order.  Additionally, the highest Commendation earners in each faction earn special Order-specific titles. These are updated nightly at the same time as the trophies.

Order Specific Titles (Order Commendation Leader | Top 2 through Top 5 members by Commendations)

Architects: Pre-Eminent | Esteemed

Marauders: Immortal | Notorious

Sages: Ordained | Lauded

Wardens: Sovereign | Infrangible