Hi Scythes! The GMs are putting this note on the forum instead of the Scouts' Log because it can have a little more longevity here. We will also be updating the Scouts & Scythes Manual to fully reflect these instructions, just to clarify official admin policy vs. "that thing an admin said one time in chat."
After almost a year of Fort Scythe activity and several months of incentivizing Scythe Complete, HQ has become aware of one significant obstacle to both reapgrowing and SCing in an efficient, equitable manner. Namely, nobody really knows where anyone is doing either activity on a cell! Neither the chat nor the Scouts' Log present a reliable interface for such purposes. Oops. The consequence is that Scythes can step on each other's toes, no matter how good their intentions, by reapgrowing or claiming a branch to SC when someone else is already there. There isn't any reason to have two Scythes doing the same exact work at the same exact time, not when they could be spread out across more branches and more cells.
So: among other things in the development pipeline, we are definitely going to build some cool ways of seeing where other Scythes are and helping you choose ideal branches to work on in whatever capacity. In the interim, though, the GMs have codified specific methods for reapgrowing and SCing, which we both hope and expect all Scythes can follow.
When reapgrowing, please:
* Do mention in chat which cell you intend to grow, as a bare minimum precaution. If you plan to start with a specific branch, specifying it is all the better.
* Do grow branches from start to finish.
* Do not use the "Start Playing" button to throw you onto random branches.
* Do periodically check the overview. Since it updates in real time, you can see if your branch is actively extending with someone else's scythed cubes.
* Do not stay on a branch where someone else is actively reapgrowing. Ideally, it's first come, first serve. You may not always be able to figure out who was first, but if it's fuzzy or you just love, love, love the branch you're on, please respectfully negotiate who will go and who will stay.
When SCing, please:
* Do check from parent to child, as always. Add your vote to individual cubes one-by-one, or use complete-parents to complete where you've already been. Use these functions repeatedly as you go. This way, the overview will show a trail of purple on "your" branch and it will signal that someone's SCing there.
* Do not claim a branch to SC by using the complete-children button. The purple color should only indicate a cube has already been checked and it's definitely good.
* Do not start SCing on a branch where you can see a gradually growing trail of purple, unless you can stick to reviewing the cubes this other Scythe has already checked.
* Only use complete-children when the branch is fully grown/nubbed/checked/fixed and the only non-SC'd stuff left is corner cubes. Obviously those cubes need to be locked at some point, and they'll maximize your bonus chances, but they can wait until the very, very end.
Because so many of our gameplay features are treated as experimental when we first release them, sometimes we don't have cut-and-dry rules about them and we encourage people to just do what works for them. Then we observe what seems to be the best way to help our data/efficiency, what's healthiest for the Eyewire community, etc.
Having thus observed how reapgrowing & Scythe Complete seem to work best for those purposes, we also have a better understanding of what challenges remain with these gameplay elements. Some of it comes down to tools HQ still need to build, e.g. what we've mentioned above. Some of it also comes down to recognizing that certain things we've allowed players to do before are not working out in the long run. No one is in trouble for what they've done in the past; please just note that going ahead, those practices are officially discouraged because of the effects that they have.
If you can tell a fellow Scythe is doing something that we've discouraged, you can remind them of this forum post and/or what it will now say in the manual. Gently, please, because someone can always miss a memo the first time.
Should you have any questions, we're happy to answer them below or in chat. We may also create a little video to further illustrate the methods we've described. Meanwhile, play nice, play smart, and we'll have the relevant gameplay improvements out as soon as we can manage! For science!