At one point in time, we were all first-time National Cyber League (NCL) players. We get excited, nervous, anxious, and all the up-and-down feelings that go with trying to play without knowing what we’re getting into. When the season begins, we get the Gym, and that is in place to get us comfortable with the platform as well as to give us challenges to stumble our way through. We answer our first question, and that gives us a spark of hope and satisfaction that we did it—we solved something!
When we get stuck in the Gym, we have those handy little boxes on the lower left that say, “Click to Reveal Solution Guide.” Since this is the Gym and only intended to help us practice and get comfortable, it doesn’t cost us any points to reveal a solution. While we were working out and getting strong in the Gym, we also were collecting resources, links, how to’s, tools, guidance from others in the Cyber Skyline Slack or from our coach or our school, and reading the CryptoKait blogs. If we got stuck, we could simply try to look at the guide provided or ask someone.
What happens, however, when opening hour of the Preseason Game begins, and we can no longer ask for help until after the Game ends? Remember all those resources you collected before the active Game began? Remember all the notes you took after you asked about the things you were not quite sure about? How about the blogs that you read and the Googling that you did because you just couldn’t quite get that last password set?
You can still use the notes, resources, tools, walk-throughs, Google (or DuckDuckGo if you ask ghostinth3machine), and conduct solo research! You can use hints, too (but you lose points if you use the hints). You just cannot ask another person, animal, fish, bird, rock, or whatever or whoever may be near. This is okay, though; you are still okay. You will be able to consult and collaborate with your own teammates when the Team event begins, just not during the Preseason or Individual events.
Are you positive that the answer you got is right and just dying to compare it to a peer’s answer? DON’T DO IT! If you are so sure that your answer is correct but you are being harassed by the platform, submit a support ticket. Are you compelled to reach out to an Ambassador via private message to check before you submit? DON’T DO IT! We cannot help you or anyone during the active Games—because we are playing the Games just like you are!
The rules are very clear on what is allowed and what is not. If there happens to be any confusion about this, I find that my teammate Taisa‘s blog (linked below) nails the list of what can and cannot be used during the active season. The active season, to be clear, consists of Preseason, Individual, and Team Games. The only time that you can get help on the challenges during this period is the Team event, and help may only come from your own teammates.
For a different perspective on who you can reach out to and who you cannot, browse on over to my peer’s posts:
- Everything You Need to Know About the National Cyber League Preseason Game (Resources) – Taisa
- Everything You Need to Know About the National Cyber League Individual Game (Tools) – Taisa
- Low-tech Tooling: Competing From a Device You Can’t Install Tools On (Online Tools) – Taisa
See you in the Game and forever stalking Slack ~ Hush1e