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The QAT Gazette: November 2017

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More flexibility for Beatmap Nominators, changes to how we handle metadata, and a further peek into to the future of mapping contests lie in store for this month’s issue of the QAT Gazette!

Hello again!

The past month has signalled a relative calm following significant changes brought about over the past two months. A number of concerns and problems have been ironed out (or are progressing in a positive direction), and thanks to that, we can get down to what we enjoy the most: progression and development of new things! This month we’ll be discussing improvements to Beatmap Nominator quality-of-life, mapping contests and opportunities to get involved with metadata checking. So without further ado...

Within the Beatmap Nominators

New Beatmap Nominator Promotions

We have been joined by a new wave of Beatmap Nominators for osu! After processing the recent round of applications, we are pleased to announce the names of our newly-appointed circle inspectors: celerih, Cerulean Veyron, Chewin, DeRandom Otaku, Halfslashed, MaridiuS, Kisses and Sinnoh. Please wish them well in the initial probation period and beyond as they help to push glorious new content to a Ranked section near you!

In addition, two current members of the Beatmap Nominators for osu!taiko have added proficiency in modding osu! to their repertoire: Chromoxx and neonat. Congratulations to them also on this impressive accomplishment!

Beatmap Nominator Workflow

In addition to simply adding new recruits, the Beatmap Nominator subdivisions system has undergone a recent revision. To make membership of the Beatmap Nominators more flexible for the wide variety of personalities and working styles, we’ve returned to a more loose form of supervision and organisational structure, to allow Nominators to choose a system of work that suits them the most.

As a result, membership of a Nominator subdivision is no longer mandatory, and full Beatmap Nominators are now able to found and lead their own subdivisions, without explicit need for supervision from a member of the Quality Assurance Team. This has been put into place to offer Nominators more freedom of who they work with and what projects they undertake, potentially increasing productivity. Self-determination can also be used in this way to develop useful leadership and organisation skills. Probationary Beatmap Nominators are still encouraged to work closely with a QAT or experienced Beatmap Nominator however, to ensure swift and healthy development through the initial probation period.

Within the Quality Assurance Team

Most of the major outputs of the QAT this month have already been covered, from the processing of and probationary Beatmap Nominators and new applicants, to the restructuring of Nominator subdivisions. These tasks will naturally be incorporated into the ongoing fields of work for all current QAT, allowing everyone to share the workload whilst still focusing on their assigned primary duties, such as organising contests and events, leading discussion on the Ranking Criteria, or checking reports on Qualified mapsets. More on those events below.

Developments in Metadata Checking

With the departure of IamKwaN last month, extra work has been funneled into metadata checking to assist our lone remaining specialist, Doyak. In order to alleviate some of this burden, we recently opened a Discord server to discuss and catalogue metadata across newly Qualified maps.

Anyone is welcome to join if they’re looking for advice on sourcing reliable information for their maps, but we are especially looking for knowledgeable and motivated volunteers to help out with searching for and verifying metadata. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in helping out with, please join the Metadata Heap server and make yourself known to the Helper team without delay!

New Beatmapping Contests

In addition to the Mapping With Rewards scheme discussed in last month’s issue, organisation towards more regularly scheduled beatmapping contests is underway. Quality Assurance Team member Irreversible and Global Moderator Chaos are currently finalising details and timelines for the self-styled “Mapping Olympiad”, which we hope will eventually incorporate a mix of conventional beatmapping contests, Aspire-type contests and still other themed or special-restriction mapping events across all of osu!’s four game modes.

I won’t reveal too much here, but you can expect a more-detailed announcement regarding this initiative very soon, so stay tuned!

Summary

So, a quieter month dawns on the Quality Assurance Team, yet we are never at rest for long. With moddingv2 likely bringing many exciting new changes, I look forward to seeing what the future holds for modding and mapping in osu! If you have any questions about where we might be heading next, or some ideas of your own for future development, be sure to make yourself heard in the comments below!

Thanks for reading once again!

—JBHyperion