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The QAT Gazette: June 2018

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A new month's worth of modding and mapping news is here for your convenience, with changes to Beatmap Nominator applications, Quality Assurance Team restructuring, and outcomes from the second public QAT meeting just some of this month's highlights. Read on inside to find out more!

Opening

Hello everyone, Protastic101 here, and it's that time of month again for modding and mapping news!

As already mentioned in the headline, there's been a lot going on this past month which hopefully more than makes up for June's slow start. In addition to all that, we also have news on a new BN activity scoring system, a new draft of the osu!mania Ranking Criteria, and as usual, all the latest comings and goings within our teams.

Before we get underway, a quick notice that the previously closed osu! Modding Association Discord server is now open to the public. In addition to just being an all-around nice place to chat and chill about anything mapping or modding related, the server features a mapfeed tracker for all your nomination qualification needs, regularly hosted game nights, and of course, all the news updates you could ask for if you simply need to know what’s happening, as it's happening.

With that out of the way, let's get right into the news!

Within the Beatmap Nominators

This month welcomes a fresh batch of eager osu!taiko, osu!catch, and osu!mania Beatmap Nominators, but also brings a few new changes to Beatmap Nominator applications while evaluations for osu! applicants are now underway. If you're curious to hear more, read on to find out how these changes affect you.

Changes to Beatmap Nominator Applications and Review

In wake of the recent migration of nearly all beatmaps to the new modding discussions system, we will no longer be accepting modding v1 (forum posts) to count towards activity after the current batch of osu! Beatmap Nominator applications.

This will be applied for the next osu!taiko, osu!catch and osu!mania round of applications in mid- to late-August, as the significance and contribution of v1 to modding score has diminished enough to not make a difference in the number of those applicants who meet or do not meet the required activity score threshold.

We will also soon be applying a scoring metric for current Beatmap Nominators, to help us evaluate the level and quality of their performance in the group, and will be taking a harder stance on the number and severity of disqualifications of beatmaps which they have taken part in nominating.

Still different from the BN score of pre-2014 days, this will take into account a more subjective and up-to-date view of disqualifications, so as not to punish Beatmap Nominators unnecessarily harshly for what may be minor or non-impactful changes.

New Beatmap Nominator Promotions

After three agonizing weeks of waiting, we're pleased to welcome nine new Beatmap Nominators to our big happy family of nearly one hundred members. Please give a warm welcome to the following people, whose friendly faces will be in the discussion threads of your favorite Qualified and Ranked beatmaps:

_Stan, DE-CADE, DoNotMess, Fii, Lenfried-, Nifty, qoot8123, Unpredictable and Yumeno Himiko

Many congratulations on becoming Beatmap Nominators, everyone – we hope you enjoy your time with us!

Beatmap Nominator Retirements

As always though, some of our hard working members have departed the team to pursue other goals outside of the focus of the Beatmap Nominators. Please give thanks to the following for their hard work and contribution to the wonderful mapping and modding community:

AyanokoRin, dsco, celerih, frukoyurdakul, Hailie and Kagetsu

Their unique perspectives and courage to explore the frontiers of mapping have beaten a path for others to follow and expand. Thank you for your contributions and good luck wherever you go next.

Within the Quality Assurance Team

June was a fairly hectic month for the Quality Assurance Team. We had our second ever public QAT meeting and from that, we emerged with a new vision and direction for the team, along with a slight restructuring of how responsibilities are shared.

As a result, we said goodbye to some old and long serving friends, and welcomed aboard a new member to the team. It's quite a lot to keep track of, but we'll head through one thing at a time, so please read on to stay on top of the latest changes and news!

Public QAT Meeting

On June 17th, we had our second public QAT meeting in the osu!dev server, after the success of the first back in April. This meeting was advertised much more in advance, and this was reflected by a considerably higher turnout with more community involved discussion.

Community members were able to share some of their opinions on a plethora of topics, including changes to the Beatmap Nominators subdivision system, beatmap veto mediation, tighter quality standards and review of our Beatmap Nominators, introduction of QAT interviews, and changes to Beatmap Nominator applications.

Don't worry if you weren't able to make it for the meeting – you can still catch up and get the lowdown using the Beatmap Management Forum summary article.

Given the meeting's success, we naturally plan to host more public discussions in the future, so stay tuned as we’ll make sure to announce them in advance right here in the Gazette before anywhere else. These are hosted in the public osu!dev Discord server's #modding channel, so be sure to join and verify yourself if you haven’t done so already.

osu!mania Ranking Criteria Draft

After three long months, the new osu!mania mode-specific Ranking Criteria draft is out for review now. We've taken community feedback and incorporated it into the current Ranking Criteria draft, including clarifications and additions that are hopefully less vague and more intuitive to read.

We've also added a few new Rules and converted some old Rules into Guidelines, to be more flexible and afford more freedom to the hard working mappers and modders who bring new content into the Ranked section.

Stop by and give the current draft a read, and drop your feedback and opinions in the discussion thread to help shape the future and direction of osu!mania mapping!

New Quality Assurance Team additions

This month, we welcome a new piano masher to the Quality Assurance Team. Formerly a long standing member of the Beatmap Nominators, Maxus will be assisting the Quality Assurance Helpers with checking and disqualifying beatmaps, and giving Feerum and myself a helping hand on the osu!mania community side of things. We're glad to have him on board!

On the osu! side of the coin, another new team member has arisen: Hobbes2. Hobbes' recent output of checked beatmaps in the Quality Assurance Helpers has been frankly astonishing, and we hope that trend continues in the QAT to keep on top of the ever-growing pool of osu! beatmaps making their way to the Qualified section.

Quality Assurance Team retirements

While not a retirement exactly, the Quality Assurance Team underwent a bit of spring cleaning this month, where we evaluated the direction and focus we want to have as a team, specifically one that is geared mostly towards disqualifications and beatmap checking.

As a result, Doyak and Kurai have been moved over to the Global Moderation Team, which better aligns with their previously moderation-heavy duties within the QAT.

Following a more traditional retirement, Kurokami has left the team after a faithful 3 years of service, rightfully earning him the 3 Year Quality Assurance Team badge to adorn his profile page.

His contributions to the Beatmap Spotlights and to the osu!catch community in particular have inspired many others to seize the initiative and further the projects they love. These efforts are greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten any time soon. Despite no longer being part of the team, he still continues to work and improve on Beatmap Spotlights, so continue to expect more from him in the future!

As the team's focus shifts, Asherz007 has also decided to take his leave from the team and return to the more traditional hands-on duties of a Beatmap Nominator. He can still be found modding and nominating the osu!mania maps we all love however, and is also helping to organize the osu!mania duties of the Mapping Mentorship Program, only with a purple name instead of a red one. There's sure to be more from him in the future as he shows no signs of slowing down.

Summary

After May's lull, it was nice to get some changes on the way to implementation, some old ideas moving, and there seems to be no shortage of news and events going on as we enter into July. New projects are always just around the corner though, so expect next month to have even more to cover!

Not that that's a problem of course, because I'll still be here, joined by others to keep on delivering all the spicy news from the community in another month. Until then!

–Protastic101