Proposed Changes to the Overseer Rank

I want to begin this thread with a forward, thanking our Overseers for doing such an admiral job in helping lead our server so far—the rank has served its purpose well, unlike other ranks on other servers. I understand we can all be busy from time to time, and this server is first and foremost a hobby and not a job.

Besides Ori, who is off on an adventure with some enlightenment tour of Asia with beautiful lady boys in Taiwan, absences are expected and cyclical in nature. Holidays and vacations, study crams and exams: we are all victims.

But it wouldn’t entirely be unfair to say that we do need Overseers who are, at least while in the position of responsibility, needed to be more active. So I do believe the rank needs to be as flexible as possible to fit the dynamic and changing nature of our lives.

Currently the Overseer rank is rewarded to those who have been observed as vital and responsible leaders who show commitment to the project. That’s a wonderful thing and should be the main factors that decide who has earned the rank.

But the one draw back is that the rank seems to also be held as a status symbol for being a long time member of the community and not as a utility. Our ranks are utilities. The person who holds the rank is just that, a person, the rank is separate to the person. The ranks are part of the toolkit of the individual—and that kit is meant for one purpose: Building on the map. An overseer is not a long time friend of Beathaven or Fornad—though an overseer can certainly be held in that regard.

So, long chapter into why I think there needs to be changes aside. Here’s what I’m proposing.

Key Component: Overseers are still chosen by the admin. This still isn’t a democracy. Well liked Overseers are a plus, and opinions on who should lead are quite alright—but an admin has to have that authority. However…

  1. An overseer must be actively leading a project that may be at any phase. The overseer may be researching for a future project that may not start for another month—but they must be leading one.

  2. Their overseer status must be limited to a term that includes their overall project time(The Folde, Thorin’s Halls, Dunland, etc).

  3. The Overseer can volunteer to keep their rank after their project is over; but, they must apply for another project or co-lead another project to maintain their tenure.

  4. If no projects are available and we have more Overseers than projects, then the Overseer(s) needs to be involved actively in the community, in some measure, that is appropriate to accommodating the build process. Sorry to any overseer involved in map making, social media, account posting, or shitting up the memes channel—but those tasks aren’t activities involving building in game.

  5. If an Overseer hasn’t been online for more than 30 days to actively lead a project without reasonable accommodation being supplied to continue progress during that period, then the overseer needs to be demoted to builder+ and a replacement found.

I have tremendous respect for Overseers who stick to their position despite putting all their efforts into projects that they alone may be working on with little help (Lindalher has my respect with Isengard while I’ve been about as useful as a wet napkin.) But I don’t respect anyone who has an overseer rank and has only been online 4 total times this past summer while their project nosedives.

Lastly, these changes will require an active Admin who dutifully reacts to and manages the server. So if this seems like a burden, imagine how much more of a problem this will be if we reach a wider audience with our builds by partnering with YouTube creators, or move into massive territories with more difficult builds in Gondor.

While these changes are directed at Overseers, as it would be impractical to have these standards for builders+ or builder, this is also a call to action for project leaders and builders to keep these same principles in mind. This is a hobby, but there’s no excuse for anyone of any rank leaving their project to hang for 6 months with no progress and no one to step up.

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100% agree with everything said here; having overseer as a more dynamic rank, especially in this period of the server’s lifespan, will be immensely beneficial.

Do itttttt

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Agree with most of what’s been said here. I’ll sort it in a few days.

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Thanks for bringing this up! I totally agree and there is several issues we need to figure out. I have not done my overseer job for the past months or maybe this year. In this inactive period I shouldn’t take a overseer spot for someone else who could be more active and do a better job.

However I am sceptical on how your suggestion would work in practice. The overseer role has mostly been a sub-admin role regarding applications, promoting and administrational work. With the overseer rank, you have a lot of power, you can eventually deny potential builder applications or abuse your kick/ban permission. In all honesty I think if the rank is only determined on projects ingame it could have a bad effect on the administration part of it. Which has been the main purpose of the role, but I agree. The overseers job is to make sure progress is being made and to contribute on an active level.

In the past we have struggled with choosing new potential overseers and because of the administrative side of the role not anyone could get the rank. And it would also require a really active admin to find and promote new overseers.

What if we find 4-5 new potential overseers and the first day or last day of each month the overseer needs to take a short survey that determines if they will have the rank for the next upcoming month. We have 10 potential overseers, but only 5-6 will wear the rank for each month. Could something like this work?

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I like the idea of a survey in practice, if used In conjunction with just common sense feeling about an individual that’s so far proved good enough for picking overseers—but in short, if my solutions don’t fully satisfy an answer to the needs I presented or (over emphasized, potentially) then it might be better to see what anyone else has to say on the matter. I don’t have a perfect solution, and the admin part is tricky.

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@Guan, your time has come :+1:

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@MrBanana nah yours has come m8

I’m not sure this idea is entirely feasible. I mean I obviously agree with some of what you said; Overseers obviously need to be included in the community, however, they have responsibility to check applications and keep in touch with current apprentices as well. I think to pin this on to the server’s already growing responsibility is inessential. I wholly suggest a new team of overseers who can be more active and have more permanent leadership. I don’t think such a dynamic system would work in the long run. We wouldn’t need a full new team of leaders, but as the server changes the leadership should as well, according to who deserves it and is noticeably active. Besides, it’s basically an unwritten rule that an overseer leads a large (most of the time lore substantial) location.

I’m open to more conversation but as it stands sounds like a purposeless complication.

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I guess I need to approach this issue with the understanding in mind that we’ve always worked on a simple system and the more simple and less bureaucratic, the better. In that sense, is my solution a complication? Absolutely.

Of course Overseers are in charge of more than just building. I get that there’s administrative responsibilities and apprentices/applications to manage. To have to be even more conscious of their time spent in game–might seem like an undue burden. But I’d hardly call allowing MORE flexibility to our Overseers a purposeless complication. Can we do that with less complex solutions? Absolutely, I’ll be glad to hear a better idea than mine.

In which case, the only purposeless complication I see here is trying to dance around being accusatory and appreciative at the same time. I can’t make this post without stepping on toes. In order to suppose that more accountability is needed, I’d have to presuppose that there’s not enough to go around.

But that’s not my purpose for starting this thread. If the Overseers are over-burdened with either server related tasks or real life ones, then the problem isn’t accountability. And with that, there’s no need to accuse any Overseer of being unfit for their position, and probably no need to remove/change who currently holds the rank. I think we’ve got a perfectly good set of people leading the server efforts right now. I just don’t want current Overseers losing morale and the project suffering more as a result.

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Don’t want to come of as disrespectful, just curious. What administrative work are you talking about or is there other than the application process to apprentice and following to builder? Moderation? I somewhat see that as a non-issue with our approach to community and rules and everyone accepted to lead a project should be capable to moderate the few really grief situations on the server and discord.
So it really is only the application process and there is actually the benefit to this system. The most capable in the respective style and reviewing has to look at at most a few application plots per week. Apprentices building in the respective building would get the highest quality feedback to their builds. They also know, who is good in the style and could potentially guide the apprentices with co-op builds or tips through their apprenticeship and teach them.
Abusing overseer to deny builder apps, what stops the current ones to do so? And again, the new system could be even less abusive, since two to three overseers judge one application, each his own style.

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It evidently comes down to resources and admin burden. Personally, I think the new system, and more generally change, would be too difficult to implement and would stray from what I think the point of the server is anyways–building. Personally, this whole idea sounds mcme-tier. The entire problem could be simply solved with a new team of dedicated and active Overseers, whomever they may be. I don’t see the need to change the entire bureaucratic structure that’s been prevalent for five years. Reinvigoration is what we need–not reinvention.

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Accusing heart’s proposition of being mcme-tier is quite funny to me. You and kem have posed legitimate questions to heart’s position, but I think using a different server to invalidate someone else’s point is a bit silly, especially in a forums setting. MCME is actually known for designers and enforcers holding onto their rank for inordinately long amounts of time, regardless of activity…

All the proposition is asking for is a rotating group of overseers based on the most relevant projects that accept apps and have a grasp of the style of the apps they accept. It’s really not that difficult of a proposal, and honestly would be quite beneficial to the server. The current overseer lineup wouldn’t even change for a while. From what I see currently (aside from you), the only people who have taken umbrage with it in this thread are those who either hold the rank themselves currently, or those who have not played an active role in the community or build server for a while (not referring to reasons why, which I’m sure are valid, more just a plain blanket statement).

I’m honestly surprised you take such a stand against it, considering if anything it would relieve stress off of you given your current IRL job and encroaching responsibilities there.

if anything, it’s a westeroscraft-like system, a server which views ranks as utilities, not titles. Which is essentially what heart is proposing here.

The overseer rank has also not been present for five years either. It was introduced later in the project, as a means to allow the admin to not be stretched as thin, in a time period in the server’s lifespan that was very much different to now.

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Calm down you fucks I said I’ll sort it

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