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?