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The Upheaval - Proposed changes to the BN/QAT

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Shiirn
Okay, firstly, I'll be summarizing my thoughts (and, hopefully, by extension, the community's feelings).

Let's start with a misconception.

GitHub wrote:

One T2 BN noted that in the process of forcing less experienced BN to only be able to bubble maps coupled with the more experienced T2 BN being pressured to solely qualify, the maps that were receiving the most attention were considerably safer, more uniform maps that may prioritize criteria 'safety' over creative exposition and general enjoyment.
This issue has been going on for years, and is more related to the qualification system as a whole rather than the most recent change, although admittedly the tiering change certainly exacerbated it.

In general, the protests regarding map quality have had nothing to do with map quality in reality, but instead in a perceived (and very real) lack of Variety and Expression. Players and mappers alike will colloquially refer to this as "maps suck nowadays" but they're not talking about the actual quality of the structure or the patterns here.

That said, I'm largely in agreement with much of what's been said in the overview.

Ephemeral, you have really hit the nail on the head when you said that the current ranking system contains people who have lost their fire. Props to you for being the first staff member to publicly recognize that the issues we face are motivational and directional rather than structural.

A more flexible system that allows for more active interplay amongst its members will absolutely be more chaotic and less organized, but you are absolutely right that the one thing the previous MAT/BAT system never lacked was passion. People still care as much as they used to, but they lack the capability of fully expressing themselves due to the nebulous nature of changes - there's no sense of agency at all, anymore.

I can get into the nitty-gritty of each individual idea proposed here, but that would sort of defeat the purpose and in general these things can be discussed much more thoroughly over time than in one big wall of text. I'll avoid doing that.


And... that's it. I can't really say much more here. I'm actually in full agreement with most of this and it's the first time I can remember in my entire history of this game where I say that I think this can really pan out and be an effective step forward. I was really hesitant about your general naunce of being "for democracy and community-driven systems", believing you to have become naive or overestimating the general capabilities of random people, but this is a much more balanced skeleton of a plan than I've ever seen in this game's history.


I'm happy about that.
7ambda
Woah, this sounds cool
Weber
posting in an epic bread

pretty cool stuff, i like it
PoNo
Oh my god this is awesome ! really good idea
Pachiru
I really like this idea
xxdeathx
TLDR: returning to newBAT system of 2014
cyprianz5
hej
Surono

xxdeathx wrote:

TLDR: returning to newBAT system of 2014
a la MAT,h
UndeadCapulet
sounds lovely
semaphore
bless
Weber
"The most active BN will be determined every 6 months via a composite consideration of successfully qualified beatmaps and overall modding activity, and will receive the Elite Nominator title plus suitable accolades for their efforts."

I feel like this should happen more often than twice a year. 2-3 months sounds more appropriate.
sammish

Ephemeral wrote:

[*] QAT will be encouraged to consider minimalist revisions of the current Ranking Criteria to promote higher quality beatmaps whilst also removing unnecessary roadblocks to alternate mapping styles entering Ranked
this is p neato
VoidCreeper345
yes please thank you very much :D
[Lilypad]
yes we need good mania ranked maps kthx :)
Percyqaz
I don't have a real presence in the mapping community but these changes sound good to me :-)
Pachiru

Weber wrote:

"The most active BN will be determined every 6 months via a composite consideration of successfully qualified beatmaps and overall modding activity, and will receive the Elite Nominator title plus suitable accolades for their efforts."

I feel like this should happen more often than twice a year. 2-3 months sounds more appropriate.
Indeed, that would be better I think, and that would encourage BN's to make a "better" work regularly (if I may say so)
squirrelpascals

Shiirn wrote:

GitHub wrote:

One T2 BN noted that in the process of forcing less experienced BN to only be able to bubble maps coupled with the more experienced T2 BN being pressured to solely qualify, the maps that were receiving the most attention were considerably safer, more uniform maps that may prioritize criteria 'safety' over creative exposition and general enjoyment.
This issue has been going on for years, and is more related to the qualification system as a whole rather than the most recent change, although admittedly the tiering change certainly exacerbated it.

In general, the protests regarding map quality have had nothing to do with map quality in reality, but instead in a perceived (and very real) lack of Variety and Expression. Players and mappers alike will colloquially refer to this as "maps suck nowadays" but they're not talking about the actual quality of the structure or the patterns here.
Want to speak out what i think because mapping vairety matters a lot to me

I think the only people in the end who decide the amount of innovation and creativity that go into the ranking system are the mappers themselves. A map that uses perfectly meta aesthetics, comfortable flow, very safe style, etc, is obviously much easier to rank than something that pushes rc boundaries. So if mappers feel more comfortable mapping in that way from experience then they'll do so, and push those for rank. The thing that will most stop them from pushing experimental types of maps is the boundaries that the ranking system provides- so it does have to do partly with the qualification system, but there can't ever be a perfect system (even though we can come as close as we can). There has to be some sort of quality assurance for ranked maps in the first place.

Removal of tiers will open up a lot of availability for bn mods and therefore qualifications, making it easier to push maps in general. So this availability will probably (and hopefully) give them more confidence to push something more-or- less against the mapping meta :)
_handholding

Weber wrote:

"The most active BN will be determined every 6 months via a composite consideration of successfully qualified beatmaps and overall modding activity, and will receive the Elite Nominator title plus suitable accolades for their efforts."

I feel like this should happen more often than twice a year. 2-3 months sounds more appropriate.
I agree with weber tbh, I do feel it should be slightly shorter. Perhaps 3 or 4 months, 6 feels a bit too long
Nozhomi
I don't really care about these rewards title and stuff, but yeah this draft is definitly a better way to handle map nomination by far.

Hoping we will see this soon in action~
Starrodkirby86
It's great to see active changes and reactivity to how previous changes have went. Though I can't help but think lots of these elements seem awfully familiar. ;) Where's our protobubbles at?!

I want to discuss one other point, but I may be entirely misguided. My apologies if that's the case.

I find it fascinating to consider this point here:
QAT will also be strongly encouraged to consider minimalist revisions of the current Ranking Criteria to promote higher quality beatmaps while removing unnecessary roadblocks to having alternate mapping styles enter Ranked.
There's a pretty bent homogeneity in modern mapping, that "alternative" mapping styles can get pretty scrutinized subjectively despite no apparent violations in the Ranking Criteria. These would be interpretations of "intensities", "emphasis", etc. I hope we can see QATs and therein, nominators and, most importantly, the everyday modder in the community to receptively treat a variety of styles openly through this.

I hope that the QAT leadership will be forefront, open-minded, and overall inclusive in this. The more toxicity and friction, the less motivating it'd be to eagerly discover and promote unique maps deserving to be Ranked and recognized.

I do hope that everyone keeps those thoughts in mind when moving forward.
Underforest
This thing is pretty cool, hope gets in action too owo
Nowaie
I think this sounds pretty damn good coming from the osu! staff :^) (/s) (please don't kill me)

But yeah, i see this pretty much completely as a positive thing for all of the mappers and nominators

The QAT changes would make more sense overall considering that they are supposed to be the finest cream of the modding (and mapping) community. Currently, as it reads on the draft, they aren't really working like that right now. Atleast that's my expression as a person from the std mapping and modding communities. And if people in the QAT desire that aswell i think it would be better overall.

Also i think this plus the suggestion that they would promote higher quality beatmaps (and some other stuff i noticed on the draft such as maps getting classified if they need revision) could be something that would ACTUALLY increase the map quality atleast on some level
Kilabarus
Agree with the others ( Werbee and Kisses ) about the idea of rewarding BNs
Just one through the half of a year isn't really so motivational to write many mods and do other important things. Maybe giving rewards every 2-4 months is better, or keep 6 months but give these rewards to more people, like 2 or 3 would be just great imo

Other than that is just great, hope it will be "ranked" soon xd
Myxo
This sounds very promising.

Though, the reason why QATs stopped disqualifying maps on their own was mainly the will of peppy himself, so I don't see this change reverting unless you can actually convince him.

Also, I don't see the need for BNs to take part in the voting of a QAT leader - Simply because the BNs will never have the full insight on what each QAT is doing and how well they are doing it, it's going to be more of a popularity contest than anything.
Trynna
i kinda agree that rewarding BN activity should be done every 2-3 months, as 6 months seems such a long time
but overall looking pretty cool
Nao Tomori
I agree with Desperate, in the same way that many mappers may not know what BNs are doing internally, BNs do not know what QAT are doing. So it really would just be a popularity contest, instead of a meritocratic one.
Surono
Agree with Desperate-kun, Let keep it handovered to the experienced/authorized.
Ultima Fox
This sounds awesome, I feel like these changes, especially the removal of the tiered bns, well help a lot with the mapping scene and people's willingness to expand beyond the generic and safe style. Also it'll encourage BNs to be more active with the acknowledgement / rewards.

However I do also agree with Desperate, in which since the BNs don't have a ton of insight on what the QATs are doing, the choosing for a leader of the QATs will essentially be a popularity contest.
Monstrata
If the QAT became more transparent then it would be good to at least have BN insight. This is a fault of the QAT's not being transparent enough imo, not a fault of us "not being qualified to vote for QAT's".

Mappers may not know what BN's are doing internally, but there are methods to finding out, and what BN's are doing are not nearly as secretive as what QAT's are doing in any regard. As well, we can also comment on the actions of QAT's based on what we know, or what they have been doing on the public-facing front.

For example, we know pishifat does a lot of videos and gives a lot of insight into mapping theory. We also know he qualifies a bunch of maps, sometimes with minimal modding if any (and I'm sure there are people who've come to question these "yolo ranks"), we also know he participates in or had participated in BN test creation and that he is involved in helping with the Ranking Criteria changes.

I've always questioned why QAT's needed to be so secretive in the first place. Why weren't BN test answers released? People can learn from them, especially the Part A answers (considering they are not private information as anyone who participated in the BN Test received the answer sheet).

So no, I disagree with Desp, I think BN's should be able to vote, but I believe they should also be given a better insight into the behind-the-scenes actions of QAT's. We shouldn't be barred from voting just because "we don't know".
GaterRaider
An upheaval to me would require that the blatant favoritism amongst BNs is addressed. Quick bubbles are passed around as favors that will be returned in the future in some way or the other. I am not going to name people but public cases of this are well recorded and should be no surprise to anyone. I don't even want to know how bad this truly is when you are an insider that has access to these advantages.

The problem is that nominators are naturally mappers and have a lot of influence in the ranking process. This creates an obvious incentive for favoritism to help each other out with their own maps. When those who are in charge of running the system are actively participating in it as individuals themselves then there are going to be problems.

Connections are too big of a driver in the current ranking process. Those with access to the people in charge are highly advantaged compared to those that do not. When getting hold of a BN is incredibly frustrating for some, while others can simply post a short message in a private discord server to get things rolling quickly I do not consider it a fair system.
Nitrous

GaterRaider wrote:

An upheaval to me would require that the blatant favoritism amongst BNs is addressed. Quick bubbles are passed around as favors that will be returned in the future in some way or the other. I am not going to name people but public cases of this are well recorded and should be no surprise to anyone. I don't even want to know how bad this truly is when you are an insider that has access to these advantages.

The problem is that nominators are naturally mappers and have a lot of influence in the ranking process. This creates an obvious incentive for favoritism to help each other out with their own maps. When those who are in charge of running the system are actively participating in it as individuals themselves then there are going to be problems.

Connections are too big of a driver in the current ranking process. Those with access to the people in charge are highly advantaged compared to those that do not. When getting hold of a BN is incredibly frustrating for some, while others can simply post a short message in a private discord server to get things rolling quickly I do not consider it a fair system.
That may be true in the most part, but BNs are experienced mappers. We can't tell apart from what is made from connections and honest actions, I agree that we should also stop this from happening as it seems unfair with the majority of the mapping community. Monetary rewards such as supporter is enough for incentives.

What this needs to be addressed is to make a rule (if this does so happen and if this will ever so happen) to prevent this from happening. Things such has "icon for icon" should be discouraged as it is unfair already as BNs/QATs already bypass what we regular members have to go through (for example the modding queues). Suspicious activity should be discouraged and even be punished by doing so.

Some BNs may choose to indirectly help a mapper because of favoritism while the mapper he so chooses to help doesn't know it. There should be a lock to prevent a specific BN iconing one mapper's maps. This can't fully stop but at least prevent the idea of speedranking in such a way too.
Wutever

GaterRaider wrote:

An upheaval to me would require that the blatant favoritism amongst BNs is addressed. Quick bubbles are passed around as favors that will be returned in the future in some way or the other. I am not going to name people but public cases of this are well recorded and should be no surprise to anyone. I don't even want to know how bad this truly is when you are an insider that has access to these advantages.

The problem is that nominators are naturally mappers and have a lot of influence in the ranking process. This creates an obvious incentive for favoritism to help each other out with their own maps. When those who are in charge of running the system are actively participating in it as individuals themselves then there are going to be problems.

Connections are too big of a driver in the current ranking process. Those with access to the people in charge are highly advantaged compared to those that do not. When getting hold of a BN is incredibly frustrating for some, while others can simply post a short message in a private discord server to get things rolling quickly I do not consider it a fair system.
your right that thats not fair. but theres no way to prevent some people simply having more contacts or connections with people as long as the system isnt entirely automated. hell in pretty much anything in life those who have the contacts are usually better off in some capacity.
heres hoping the incentives for more activity amoung bn's in general make it easier for those frustrated people to get contact with bn's on account of them just being more active.
Atrue
I like this change, and already can see some positive respond from mappers and modders I know. Hope we can get to details soon and try this scheme out. These days I'm not mapping or modding due to graduate school works, but this encourages people like me to think about if we get some time to do some thing to serve our mapping and modding community again.
Okoratu
But what you are suggesting doesn't exactly apply to what we currently have, Monstrata. If we were totally transparent about what we do today then we wouldn't call public voting on who is to lead our team into question based on the public not knowing for 100% of what we do. The transparency thing can be fixed though going forward - just depends on the timing of that vote then - really.

The tier split was a measure that was trialed and labeled as optional from our side so I am not too sad about seeing it go away. A probationary system itself seems all right, but i'm not sure how to detail it - i.e. determining how someone "fucked up" because then we would like need to have bad performance incurr actual punishment and thus would need to measure individual performance in some way which i don't know how to do in a scalable way yet.

I mean the other way suggested is just jinxing people based on vast majority vote within qat in which case i can already hear the accusations of being biased for kicking BN x in my inbox?

The reward/acknowledgement stuff was repeatedly asked for so no qualms there.

One idea for subdivisions working better was not doing this in a top down manner and just throwing people into teams because that's usually how teambuilding irl works - you get thrown somewhere and either get along or you dont. That is BNs choosing which subdivision they wish to be in (which would probably need like a "you can only change subdivisions once every 3 months so you don't troll the living hell out of everyone responsible for the scoring" which I could probably foresee happening).

As we've said multiple times the QAT are not discouraged from bubbling or qualifying maps as of right now. The formal authority for vetting qualified was revoked on Asymmetry so if you want to bring that back we also kind of go back to the community relying on the QAT to check all the maps they dont like

Which i have mixed feelings on personally.

I don't know how the future scope of what QAT does is different from what QAT currently does because almost all of what is listed is things that we do already and we don't actually do much more than that
Nifty
Something something this rewards system is gonna fuck over non-std bns

maybe have an averaging system? Possibly concerning the total mods per mode, taking the amount done per capita to have a more balanced representation of which members are contributing more relative to their mode's activity.

delet hybrid bns
Litharrale
Regardless of the changes that go through or any criticisms of the proposed ones, I'm really glad that the osu!team is taking action to help BNs. Keep it up! 👌
Monstrata
QAT's checking beatmaps again is a step backward though yes. Current dq system is better in that regard.

But what do QAT"s even do at this point now? Perhaps now that we're pushing for more transparency it would be nice to actually get a breakdown of what you guys do? (Preferably more than a 1 sentence summary like on the osu blog xP)
Absolute Zero
I'd also like to ask (Nifty sniped me) about how exactly non-standard gamemodes will be handled, especially concerning the "Elite Nominator" title. There's a large chance that the other modes will naturally fall behind due to mapper/modder count and activity. Personally, it might be nice to separate standard from osu!catch, osu!mania, and osu!taiko--like how we treat BN applications now. This would create two (possibly) evenly matched groups of people with a "fairer playing ground". Also, with two elite nominators, we avoid the "this mode is easier because it has x BNs". Of course, if this has already been considered, feel free to ignore this comment.
JierYagtama
Yehaj this is better boi
Sotarks
Really great idea, I support that.
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