PHDays CTF Quals Rules

There is not much time left until PHDays IV CTF Quals, and it's time to reveal the rules and game mechanics.

First of all, the new mechanics are all meant to bring some additional fun to CTF. The game is balanced in such a way that you receive most of the points (more than 90%) for solving the tasks. So you still have to be the best hackers to make it to the top.

However, for those who wish to get the full game experience, we prepared the Quest part of the contest: basically, you will have to find some information on the Internet and submit it to the jury system by answering some questions. The Quest legend continues the storyline featured at PHDays III CTF Finals. You will play as the members of the GOLEM task force, investigating the Detcelfer incident.

Solving the Quest does not directly affect your CTF rating position. However, you will have to pass at least some of the Quest challenges. Here is how it works. The Quest consists of several questions you have to answer. Each answered question will give you some cluepoints. You can spend cluepoints to open a new task for your team. Tasks are just normal CTF tasks which you probably got used to. The number of cluepoints that you should spend to open a task depends on task difficulty, each answered question will give you enough cluepoints to open up to 2 tasks.

Solving a task brings you points (the exact amount also depends on task difficulty), which directly affect your rating position.

The maximum number of cluepoints you can get in the Quest is much bigger than the number needed to open all tasks. Moreover, if you complete the Quest (i.e. answer all questions), you will get a bonus (in points). Here are some numbers to illustrate the game balance:

Reward for solving a task:                    1000–4000 points
Price of opening all tasks:                     50% of all cluepoints
Reward for completing the Quest:       5000 points

We added the Quest as an experiment, so we tried to make it easy-to-solve. We just hope this will help you get involved in the legend and have more fun from the CTF process. Anyway, your feedback is highly appreciated!