Possible new ranks - Terraformer & Terraformer+

After a few discussions on Discord today, I’ve decided to open this discussion to the whole community.

Over the years, we’ve had the occasional person ask if they are able to help us with our terrain. We have plenty of work for people like this, but at the moment, the only way to build on the map is to create buildings on the plot world and then apply for Builder. This might discourage people whose main interest is terrain.

I think we are quite good at helping people to improve their builds and become competent builders and project leaders on the main map. This is because we have a well-established application and rank system through which people can gain experience and feedback. We have no equivalent for terraformers, and so as a result a lot of people see terrain as boring, difficult or even too complex to start working on.

To resolve this, I think that we could introduce two new ranks - Terraformer, and Terraformer+.

You all know that I am generally reluctant to consider adding new ranks to ArdaCraft. We’ve always been proud of our simple, build-focused rank system, and I don’t want to detract from that. However, I think that this slots quite nicely into our existing system. Here is a diagram:

How would this work in practice?

Players would apply for the Terraformer rank just as they currently apply for the Builder rank. We’d have a separate section in the Applications forum for this.

For their portfolio, they would be asked to build three small ‘scenes’ on their plot. Each would be of a certain natural feature of their own choice - a waterfall, a beach, a cave, a salt marsh, etc. Along with a couple of pictures of each, they would be asked to write a small paragraph on each feature, highlighting the research they did to make it realistic. Even with documents to help, terraforming on AC always involves some level of research, and it is important that any Terraformer is capable of looking up information for themselves.

If successful, they would be promoted to the Terraformer rank. At this point, they’d be given an area of the map to work in. The kind of work they’d do is essentially detailed in this document (though it’s not an exhaustive list):

This would achieve two things:

  • Prove their dedication to the server
  • Make natural areas of the map more detailed and interesting to explore

Once complete, they would be promoted to Terraformer+ and move on to larger projects which require WorldEdit/Voxel.

All of the above is of course up for discussion. Do you think we should introduce these ranks? How do you think the application process should work? Are there any modifications you would make?

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Sounds like a good idea! But here is what I think:
Terraformer should be like a sub role of builder. People should be able to choose whether to terraform or do a building for their builder app, and if they do terraforming, they get builder rank plus a little icon next to their name that says terraformer, a bit like the photographer icon.

That’s possible. The reason I’m proposing it as a separate rank is to make sure that Terraformers don’t get dragged into building POLs or whatever. If their rank still says Builder, it might be a little confusing for project leads, or for new Terraformers.

2 Likes

That is a good point. It would be quite annoying saying “Can you build a house here?” “Sorry, I specialise in terraforming.”

To fix that issue , you could have it like you do have, builder and terraforming separate. Yet you could be able to apply for both, at maybe separate times.

lets say once you get terraformer + you’ll be able to apply for builder, and vice versa, that way a player can have both terraformer rank and builder rank at the same time and it stops them possible mix ups,

edit: gonna explain my point a lil more, so you go from guest to builder, or guest to terraforming as it might be now, if you get builder, you could, if you want them also apply for terraformer, and the other way around too. now lets say you iyou have builder +, if you then go for terraformer, you can get straight to terraformer +

Considering Builder rank compared to terraform rank how do u see it working when someone is able to preform both ranks? we have a few builder(+) who are more then just competent with terrain. would these also get a terraforming rank or would the rank they already have (being builder or builder +) overrule the terraforming rank?

addition: has there ever been a consideration of making WE and voxel avaliable to lower ranks like Builder and Apprentice? or do u want to keep this exclusive to the + and higher ranks?

I’ll respond to you both since it’s kind of a similar issue/question.

I think people should hold the rank which they feel best represents their contributions to the server. For example, @wheellee is a great builder, but his main contributions are in terrain. So he’s agreed that the Terraformer+ rank is right for him. However this doesn’t mean he can’t build, because he’s made a successful builder application in the past.

So I suppose a Terraformer who also wants to build sometimes would have to apply for Builder separately. I know that’s a little complicated but I honestly feel that it wouldn’t be very common.

The reason we keep these away from Builder/Apprentice is because of trust. This doesn’t mean we don’t trust Builders/Apprentices, but it should take a lot of work before you’re entrusted with tools that could do a lot of damage in the wrong hands. I know it would probably make building more convenient for some people but I think the risk is too high.

edit: It also encourages people to lead projects.

1 Like

Fair enough.

But yeah the seperate applies for both ranks seems good. just think there should still be a sign like tobie suggested in the way we have a + or photo now for someone who is capable of doing both jobs. like the example u took Whee who is ofc quite a well know member to everyone so there wouldnt be this possible confusion with him. but with other newer members or less active members a project lead migth not be aware if someone who is a terraformer is also allowed to build houses. quick sigil in front of the name would be a lot quicker to recognise then having to look around on the forums wether someone has been approved to do both jobs

Maybe Terraformer [B] or something? I’d have to check if that’s possible with Fresh.

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yeah smth like that. seeing how it works on the server with where a + shows smth like [B+] Terraformer
or sligthly different considering B+ migth look a bit to much like builder +

I like the idea of separately applying for the terraformer rank and builder rank. e.g. I got builder, but I suddenly have moment of enlightenment and become good at terraforming and only want to do that, I have to prove it to the overseers and admins so that I can be given a rank that I want. So I’m all for separate criteria for terraformers. I’m almost certain there wouldn’t be many of them anyway. And concerning those that are good at both, well there is builder+ rank for a reason. It’s not like you will limit a terraformer if one starts building a house, it is just that they won’t be expected to do some things that builders do and vice versa.

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I think the separate application idea would work, only I think that when one becomes a builder they should be allowed to do terraforming work as well, because firstly, there won’t be many terraformers probably, and secondly because it’s needed with some builds/projects, so that they don’t have to ask a terraformers to do the job whilst they could do it themselves as well. It doesn’t work the other way around ofc, terraformers shouldn’t be allowed to build until they’ve made a separate application. (This fixes the problem Luc brought up as well, since the only people with the terraforming rank would be the ones that aren’t allowed to build POLs, terraformers that also have build rights would just be builders.) We could still have a T tag or something like we have the screenshot and contest tag to show that they’re more focused on terraforming, but still build the occasional house.

Tl;Dr I think only separate applications when one applies for terraformer first, not when you apply for builder immediately.

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Also a question, why not add an apprentice rank for terraformers as well? They’d still have to learn as well right? So why not have the overseers (or people that are known to be good at terraforming / nature stuff) check their stuff until they’re ready to be an actual terraformer?

Don’t need an extra apprentice rank for Terraformer, two ranks for it is already more than enough. The base rank without + would serve as an equivalent to the apprentice type where they learn.

There’s also nobody outside of Whe that is atm fully qualified and knowledgeable to give feedback as we do with builders, and simply being an Overseer doesn’t change that fact.

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Agree with using a tag rather than rank tbh. Don’t need more Ranks, this isn’t MCME.

If someone wants to exclusively build terrain, just have them apply for Builder with a terrain tag. Sounds like the perms will be the same, they’ll just apply for different projects?

Admin
Mod
Builder +
Builder △
Builder
Guest

And if someone earns Builder △ they can earn the + tag/perms when they prove proficiency like any other builder. No need to distinct them with separate ranks. And doubt they’d give a shit if someone asks them to build a house and they have to type out two whole letters to say “No”. I do it all the time.

Also, the entire point of the photographer perm is so you can load more chunks right? I’d scrap/replace the photographer tag with △ and have it inherit that perm. That way the tag actually has an exclusive perm, and serves a better use as those who focus on terrain need to load more chunks than average builders.

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This is fine for build projects which require some terrain work. However I think terrain-only projects should be exclusive to Terraformers.

Here’s the issue with this. Say you have a normal Builder who wants to work on a terrain project. They apply for the △ tag and get it. Now you have a person who’s demonstrated proficiency with both building and terraforming.

How would you distinguish between them and someone who applied as a Guest to become a terraformer? Would you have a [B] tag and a △ tag? It just becomes needlessly complex at that point.

Having a separate rank makes the division clearer imo. Just saying “hurr it’s like mcme” isn’t an opinion. Their issue is extra bureaucracy and non-building ranks, which this is not.

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I agree with Fornad, a terraforming rank won’t be a issue, but it would mean that we are making a clear distinction between building and terraforming, which means people with the builder rank dose not have the permission to do terrain work and vice versa.

But for us who is in the middle and likes to do both, there should be the possibility to wear both ranks, but maybe with a preference. I prefer building, but I have done a ton of nature stuff in the past.

[+][terraformer][b] - For terraformers who has applyed for builder permissions.
[+][builder][t] - For builders who has applyed for terraformer permissions.
[+][terraformer] - Has only permission to work on terraforming related stuff.
[+][builder] - Has only permission to work on building related stuff.
[terraformer] - Has only permission to work on terraforming related stuff.
[builder] - Has only permission to work on building related stuff.

It is quite simple, but it would be more to regulate. The question is more; do we really think this is an issue and to introduce the rank is the necessary means to fix this? I don’t think I’ve seen an issue where builders with no experience with terrain suddenly decides to do some and fails really bad at it. I guess the rank is more for the people who only prefer terrain work. But there is very few that only like to do terrain work, but there are plenty who likes to build and do terrain stuff. By introducing the rank it will mostly effect our current builders and make a line between terraforming and building, and then we need to define where that line is.

I have nothing to add in the discussion concerning rank etc. but I would like to add my thoughts on the jobs Terraformers can do without WE and Voxel.

I think that the list of jobs mostly contains very small detail terraining and doesn’t really show the abilities someone has with general terraining. So I think that the list has to be expanded with a couple larger projects (like the small caves) or perhaps Terraformers can go into apprenticeship (not meaning in the rank) with Terraformer+ who can teach them how to do larger areas, maybe even give them some trials with WE and Voxel. This way they can learn how to use these tools properly and and show they can use them before getting Terraformer+.

2 Likes

I see where you’re coming from Kem but I think this is too complex. All you need is:

Builder+
[B]Terraformer+
Terraformer+

Builder
[B]Terraformer
Terraformer

This is the problem though, because if you spend most of your time building and only do some terrain stuff, you’ll never be very good at terrain.

If builders want to apply for terraforming perms then they should get the Terraformer rank. It’s a speciality which should take up most of their time on the server. The aim is to create terrain experts that whee doesn’t have to supervise all the time, and the only way to get people like that is through time and experience.

This confuses me. Let’s say me for instance, right now I am working on a lot of terrain/nature stuff at Eryn Vorn, do I need the terraformer rank for this, or can I keep working on terrain as a builder? Or where is the line? Is the terrain rank for people who totally reshapes mountains like whe or for nature stuff in general?