There are some interesting potential merits to this idea regarding improved flexibility, transparency, specialization, reduced barrier-to-entry for high-level-contribution, and more-focused elective participation (where people can vote for the best candidate for each elective role rather than being stuck with a candidate who's great in one role but subpar in another). I think this idea could result in at least a few more badge-holders than current councilors, and I would like to see what potential lists of badges are proposed. In regards to transparency and clarity for what badge does what, it would be simple to have a written list of badges (with brief explanations for each badge) posted somewhere easily accessible to the public..
Restructuring FAF / Council of Setons
Discord Roles are tied to Discord user accounts, not FAF accounts. We have no mapping between those two types of accounts.
Optimally each badge would be just an icon (in forum and client), and if the users hovers over it it would show the badge name in a tooltip. But again, this only makes sense if we can sensibly integrate in both the forum and the client. This would be the big blocker.
To get an initial list of responsibilities i need an overview about all current responsibilities of basically any contributors, including ones that currently are outside of councillor responsibilities. And it would probably be good to take some inspiration from the Discord roles too. Anyway need some time for this, but to flesh the idea out some more here is the direction it could take:
Below, when i say "FAF" i mean all things concerning FAF infrastructure and client, when i say game i mean the game itself.
- Organizer Community Tournaments
- Organizer Official Tournaments (basically LOTS, not sure if we need 2 separate badges here)
- Tournament PR (things like makeing TD casting happen on Twitch, getting casters onboard)
- News & Announcements (populate news, maybe post important news to reddit/steam)
- Content Creation: Casts
- Content Creation: Livestreams
- Content Creation: Creative (Trailers, Interviews, Memes ffs)
- Map Pools Director OR TMM Director
- Map Vault Director
- Mod Vault Director
- Trainer Coordinator
- Technical Help FAF (not only tech support, but also how to install/join/get FAF guides etc.)
- Technical Help Game
- Game Rules Help (would know for example what ingame things are currently classified as exploit and answer questions around that area)
- Community Help (basically the kind of nice guy i talke about in the election thread)
- International Community Help (integrate the russians somehow probably?)
- Community Feedback (could be part of Community Help instead, not sure)
- Social Media Accounts Admin
- FAF Admin
- FAF Developer
- Game Developer
- Game Balancing (not sure if balance should be split of from Game Developer)
- Coop/Mission Developer
- AI Developer
- Mod Developer
- Chat Moderation
- Forum Moderation (not sure how or if to split moderation: are these always the same people anyway?)
(- Discord Moderation)
- Badges Manager (basically making sure that people who own a badge are actually still active in the community and otherwise remove the badge until somebody wants to own that responsibility or vote, see below)
I have probably missed a bunch. Delegation (sub-badges) don't make sense for all of these, but i see no reason to not leave that up to each respective main badge holder.
In fact i would in generally only vote on anything if multiple people want to own the same "Main" badge. This is where im a bit unsure. I think the Badges Manager should organize votes if necessary, but this is a lot of power in a single person. But maybe thats not too different from now anyway.
I get that you want to bring more transparency but:
On the FAF Discord, besides the opt-in roles that people can self-select for themselves to identify what interests they have (being a mapper, modder, interested in tournament pings, etc) we have a giant list of the variety of contributors as well as the Councillor that is responsible for organizing that area of FAF. If you want to join and help out with one of the roles in this segment, then you ping the person mentioned in the channel.
So basically, you have the variety of contributive possibilities laid out in the channel as well as the duties of said position as well as the person to contact to get involved.
Again, I get that you are basically comparing this new system to Discord roles, but I just don't really get the issue of there being a lack of transparency and how these badges would resolve it more than what we already have. I guess it would be present on the forums rather than just on the Discord in your proposal.
Also, how do you divide council roles from badges?
Let's say there is an election for matchmaker badge and PC loses it. Who is that guy supposed to be responding to? Does he just do whatever he wants with no oversight related to other parts of FAF? Can just any generic dude that wants to have the spot run for it? Is this guy just entirely unaware of what goes on between Councillors and does his own deal? Is he now considered a Councillor?
Is it possible for me to be PC while having all my badges elected away so that I have no rights to do anything anymore? Do you have elections for badges as well as council seats?
Personally, it just kind of sounds like the system that generally kind of exists right now. You have a Councillor with final control over a set area of FAF which has the ability to delegate authority to others as necessary. Don't really mind the idea of having badges to make it more known that somebody is considered say a "senior TD" or a "head of matchmaker" or "trainer of trainers" but in the end I don't see how you can make an incision from the Councillor and the badge to elect the latter.
I'm seeing now you just want to replace the whole Council with this, and that just sounds like complete chaos. How many people would now need to be consulted for a variety of adjustments? Like look at your list you posted already, look at how many people I now need to go and talk to in order to do anything related to LotS.
I gotta go talk to the LotS tourney guy, then I gotta go talk to the tourney promotion guy, then I gotta go talk to the matchmaker guy about maps, then I gotta go talk to the community guy to talk about it on FAF, then I gotta go talk to the international community guy to go talk about it in russian discord, then I gotta go talk to the social media guy, then I gotta go talk to the game developer to make sure a patch isn't released right before LotS, and so on and so on.
Thats why you can hold multiple badges, if you can make the point that it would be effective for one person to hold multiple of these. At the the end of the day, one thing does not change: FAF is driven by consensus between long time contributors. The system above is just meant to make the official side of it a lot more flexbile, transparent, and unbundles the councillor positions.
Just using Discord roles would be nice but as i said, we dont have an acount mapping.
Right, but these badges are elected not allotted? Perfect recipe for total contributive chaos when you have the LotS tourney guy and the tourney promotion guy potentially entirely disagreeing about what is good for LotS and now they gotta go get the social media and community ambassador badge guys involved and debate who has the rights to do what.
I was imagining that some badges could be elected and some could be allotted with this system.
Also, perhaps a list like this might be more manageable:
Tournaments PR (things like making TD casting happen on Twitch, getting casters onboard)
News & Announcements (populate news, maybe post important news to reddit/steam)
Content Creation Manager (Casts, Livestreams, Trailers, Interviews, Memes)
Competitive Map Pools Director
Matchmaker Director (in charge of matchmaker things other than determining what maps go in the more competitively focused map pools)
Map Vault Director
Mod Vault Director
Technical Help FAF (not only tech support, but also how to install/join/get FAF guides etc.)
New Player Coordinator (focus on helping noobs and improving the overall FAF experience for new players)
Community Help (basically the kind of nice guy talked about in the election thread)
International Community Coordinator (would try to bridge the language barriers, integrate more translated content, etc)
Community Feedback Coordinator
Social Media Accounts Admin
Balance Team Leader
Discord Moderation Leader
Client Moderation Leader
Forum/Misc Moderation Leader
Badges Manager (basically making sure that people who own a badge are actually still active in the community and otherwise remove the badge until somebody wants to own that responsibility or vote)
If some badges are allotted then Councillors still exist and I don't understand what the point of having elected badges is.
Like what's an elected and what is an allotted badge here? Do you have a PC that is responsible for matchmaker that just loses the right to manage that and now the dude that manages matchmaker is left to do whatever outside of the rest of the player ecosystem represented by the PC role? Is this guy just left out of any council discussions on how operations are being done on FAF?
How about having elected community ambassadors that just flat out refuse to allow promotion of something they dislike in their area? Can they do that? What divides the responsibility of the promotion guys from these guys?
Katharsas proposed this badge idea, so perhaps he has more fleshed answers for you. However, I would think that determining which badges are elected and which are allotted is something that could be discussed. If nothing else, I would think that badges that are within the domains of positions that are currently elected could be elected badges, and badges that are within the domains of positions that are currently unelected could be allotted. However, that is just a default concept that could be changed.
I'd imagine that badges would come with their relevant powers and responsibilities, so the system would make sense. There would be a greater number of distinct roles (as opposed to a smaller number of composite roles) as well as more elected badges than there are elected council positions. So:
"There are some interesting potential merits to this idea regarding improved flexibility, transparency, specialization, reduced barrier-to-entry for high-level-contribution, and more-focused elective participation (where people can vote for the best candidate for each elective role rather than being stuck with a candidate who's great in one role but subpar in another)."
I'd just like a list of what dudes are supposed to be voted on because I see like 2 badges here I'd want to be elected in some general vote tbh
Like literally half these positions are just knowing who people are and asking them to go do something, why do they even exist? You need a guy responsible for casters JUST for tournaments and a guy responsible for casts IN GENERAL? What is an AI Manager even supposed to do? The AI devs tend to just operate on their own projects and consult with one another about developments they made. What are half these roles supposed to do, seriously.
I gave a default suggestion above regarding what positions could be elected vs allotted...
The above list was just a potential concept for what badges there could be. Frankly, I'd like to see other people's ideas for potential lists of badges. However, each of the badges would obviously have a clear purpose... ie: I imagined an AI manager would be in charge of managing which AI's are integrated into FAF, potential integrated changes to them and closely related matters. I would also once again like to point out that individuals could hold multiple badges, and the above lists are just potential example lists for this badges concept.
Also Mod Developer so useless:
Balthazar and I, are properly two most active modders who partipicate in FAF discord discussions in terms of helping people (Balth more than I, actually alot more than I). AND have a major mod pack. Oh and Marlo’s and his Mod pack.
And if you added a badge for SCTA and anytbing about SCTA elected I will give that guy the bird in every way I can. (And it be one of the reasons I’d nervous on giving SCTA as a featured mod).
And dividing Creative between Mods and Mappers? While mapping has generally an outsized influence in Creative. Biass has done a good job in making Modding a much more part of Creatives stewardship
I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.
Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project
The Councilor could be in general charge of the area (eg promotions) then he could subdivide into badges however he felt like (eg social media, project-promotion, news) and appoint people to the roles. A new councilor might come in and replace people in the badges, or might just remove the existance of the badge altogether.
This idea is so cripplingly terrible it's actually kind of amazing. Councilors can already subdivide responsibilities as they desire. This would create so many tiny independent fiefdoms that prevent any sort of meaningful collaboration or progress that the project might just collapse.
Can you imagine a world where their are 3 different moderation leaders each with different policies and rules? It would be insane.
@swkoll Yeah this either ends up in the exact same situation we have where say ftx for example has a bunch of badges and nothing is different or a bunch of people have the main badges and it’s chaos.
This seems a bit complicated, I skimmed the thread but my first thoughts were that it overcomplicates current system, and someone has to maintain that system as well. Micromanaging over a dozen of badges to various people might not feel like much, but I'm fairly certain those would almost from the get go be outdated and thus lose their value.
My main concern is that these 'badges' start to sound a lot like 'work'. Exactly as @nine2 describes, but then even having people 'work' for you. We're not a company - this is a community where the majority of us choose to spent our free time. There are only a few people that vowed to spent time and those are in the council. Everyone who decides to help a council member, or make content, does that because they feel like it. But as soon as you give that person a badge saying he / she is some manager then it becomes a responsibility. Read up about 'Hafta vs Wanna', see also: http://talks.ui-patterns.com/experts/jesse-schell. Alas: someone got the badge on a wimp, didn't realize the full impact, motivation drops, interests drops, things slow down.
I feel this resembles closely what @swkoll and @ftxcommando are saying: having to go to multiple people, all semi-motivated or unmotivated and maybe even unexperienced, then having to wait for those people causing something that could've been done in a day suddenly to take weeks. I can only see the community being (severely) damaged if this idea is applied.
Going back to the original post: you proposed this system for lack of transparency. With all due respect about transparency, why is it that relevant in a small community like this that things are completely transparent? As far as I can see, people get things done in a respectable manner - that is what matters most. Trading that for transparency sounds like a bad deal.
A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned
I think the only reasonable thing would be to make every badge votable (once a a year maximum because elections are tiring) IF it is contested.
Yes, i think by now that it doesnt'make sense to have this system and then still have councillors, too. That would just be combining the disavantages of both systems. Half of the point is to free us from having to deal with councillor election discussions, and instead have badge election discussions.
That would be better because a badge discussion can just focus on that single responsibility that comes with that badge. For example it would allow you to spend more time discussing one thing than wasting your time with every topic under the sun in the election thread.
Why do people have to go to multiple people, all semi-motivated? My system does not force responsibilities to be split up onto multiple people. We can have just as few people as we have now, but we clearly see the list of responsibilities assigned to each person. And we can discuss each one seperately.
Bias could still do both. Thats like my first point in the explanation of the system.
For me the most convincing arguments against this idea and for the existing councillor system are:
- Like @Giebmasse mentioned, the councillor system is so basic and simple that it can be kept working entirely without tool support or any other technical prerequisite.
- Transparency may not be the goal. I would like it to be a goal, but maybe its really not that important. And in that case of course we should not spend time on this idea.
Its seems like you have no trust at all that anything good would come from a seriously democratic system that just has the potential for the community to elect people that work against each other instead of with each other.
Is the reasoning here that the average voter is too stupid/unknowledgable to notice that a certain badge assignment is not likely work out well? That is interesting, and i wonder if you think that the PC position should stay an elected position in the current system?
Anyway, thanks everybody for responding to this idea with serious feedback.
At the end of the day, the proposed system is maybe an option for when the day comes that we have so many people willing to contribute that having a more finegrained system than now makes a ton of sense. But right now is probably not the time for it.
I don't want to sound pessimistic, but additionally to me this just looks like a lot of work and overcomplicating things (maaaybe there is a middleground). Instead of the annual elections of each badge and related energy spent on those, in addition to the managing of them and other created "overhead", I'd rather see the available resources (which are already constrained) be spent on actual work instead of trying to fulfill the ideals of this proposed system.
I'm just trying to be realistic and this seems a lot like micromanaging stuff for a negative net gain in the overall scheme of things.
Voting on all would enable votes on:
as per your list. Voting on these ranges from not being sensible to being a really horrible idea.
Anyway, you already said that right now the system is not worth the additional overhead.
Maybe we can still salvage some of the transparency ideas:
We already have an organization chart here: https://wiki.faforever.com/images/5/52/FAF_Organigramme.png
(Maybe there is an updated one, that one was the only one I could find on the wiki)
We could have an additional one that describes what each councillor position does. So kinda what badges are tied to the position. Maybe we can even integrate it in the forums in way that you get to see it when you click on the council of setons badge that already exists on the forum.
This way everybody gets to see what each councillor is working on. Or should be working on, so it would increase the accountability of the councillors and not be like it is now that most of the people forget what a councillor pledged to do when he got appointed.
Each new councillor could update the chart as his first councillor action if he wants to shift the focus of the position.
This way we have minimal organizational overhead and still more transparency.