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