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PvE - Protecting Natural Foliage

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During the last staff meeting, Neal brought up the discussion point of "Is it possible that people can ask for the natural foliage etc. to be protected as part of their area?". I would have put this topic in a more public area but it was brought up within a staff meeting (should admins be ok with it being moved to a public area then please do so).

 

I just wanted to keep this discussion going and to seek a resolution one way or another.

 

One consideration could be that the natural terrain of an area can be protected if someone has a build that qualifies for protection in the area and specifically requests the surrounding area to be protected too, up to a maximum of ___ blocks away, provided that there are no conflicting regions or builds from other people.

 

How does everyone feel about this?

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I think this is definitely something worth talking about, but I also think it should be something talked through with the community as a whole. Maybe start a topic like this on the public forum so that everyone can take part in it and give their opinions?

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I know the last couple revs with custom trees we've rolled back areas where people tore up the trees and left them partially harvested, or if people had marked them with signs saying "do not cut." I think the hard part is finding a balance between "protecting the landscape" and "blocking resources" - it would be the same as digging out a hill or mining a beach.

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This brings to mind the similar situation of beach evisceration that was brought up in yesteryear: https://redd.it/40faxw

The consistent consensus on this sort of thing in the past was that it was impolite and would be socially discouraged, but not a rule violation in any sense. If someone were to painstakingly fill the beach/tree/what-have-you back in, it would then count as a build and be protectable.

I am of the opinion that natural surroundings can be an integral part of a build and should be given more leeway in protection, depending on the regional demand for territory. We protect builds, not effort expended per se. This is a sort of regulation that works best with subjective interpretation imo, liberally applied.

+1 for move to public discussion

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This is a sort of regulation that works best with subjective interpretation imo, liberally applied.

+1 for move to public discussion

I agree. It'd be great if this was something that was left to the interpretation of whoever was doing the req, and not some "only things x blocks from player placed blocks can be protected" thing.

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I know the last couple revs with custom trees we've rolled back areas where people tore up the trees and left them partially harvested, or if people had marked them with signs saying "do not cut." I think the hard part is finding a balance between "protecting the landscape" and "blocking resources" - it would be the same as digging out a hill or mining a beach.

 

Yes, I have noticed even in this revision a number of trees on my journeys which are marked with signs to not remove them. Getting the balance right is a concern but as Torteela expanded upon, it can be left down to a judgement call per moderator handling a protection request. Beaches and hills are aplenty. This revision there are vast deserts available and most of the land on the map appears green. I do think that if in this scenario where people can protect some of the natural terrain that they would have to be careful not to encroach upon someone else's build with a region however, getting a second opinion can help as some already do for certain protection requests.

 

This brings to mind the similar situation of beach evisceration that was brought up in yesteryear: https://redd.it/40faxw

The consistent consensus on this sort of thing in the past was that it was impolite and would be socially discouraged, but not a rule violation in any sense. If someone were to painstakingly fill the beach/tree/what-have-you back in, it would then count as a build and be protectable.

I am of the opinion that natural surroundings can be an integral part of a build and should be given more leeway in protection, depending on the regional demand for territory. We protect builds, not effort expended per se. This is a sort of regulation that works best with subjective interpretation imo, liberally applied.

+1 for move to public discussion

 

Ironically it was a few 'the beach outside my build' requests that prompted some discussion in MB and inevitably leading to continuing Neal's thoughts here. We came to the conclusion that a claim fence would help but I can also see how that would ruin the view as much as a dug-out beach would.

 

It does seem a bit arduous to replace every block of the natural terrain currently just to move towards getting it protected. In terms of the rules, we have a few which touch upon these situations such as:

  • Modreqs asking for the protection of land that has had no or minimal edits made to it will be denied.
  • Requests to protect empty land or to protect a very large buffer around a structure will be denied.
  • Protections are not used for "claiming land". Mods will only protect builds (houses, rail, farms, etc.) and clearly established large projects, such as cities
  • Requests to protect empty land or to protect a very large buffer around a structure will be denied.

The last rule mentioned may need re-wording to explain how people can request that the natural area around a build that qualifies for protection can be requested via modreq, assuming the current policy is changed.

 

I agree. It'd be great if this was something that was left to the interpretation of whoever was doing the req, and not some "only things x blocks from player placed blocks can be protected" thing.

 

This would work great too, I think the qualifier that there is a build in the area which would pass for protection is the only fair criteria needed before someone handling the request can make a reasonable judgement on protecting beyond that particular build.

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For custom trees in particular, part of the dilemma to me is down to the difficulty of rebuilding custom trees without a schematic of the original or a close copy on the map - it is relatively easy to infer where missing blocks go (at least aesthetically if not exactly) if only a few blocks were taken out of a tree; this gets harder the less of the original tree there is to work with (though arguably the ability to make logs with bark on all sides solves the unobtainable blocks issue).  Holes and beaches are comparatively easier to restore.  Otherwise I thought it straightforward that natural terrain was otherwise not eligible for protections on the grounds that nothing is built or modified there to warrant it; claiming unaltered land that wouldn't otherwise fall in a build protection to be part of a build was, to me, equivalent to claiming land with protections, which under current policy is illegal.

 

I sympathize with the desire to prevent alteration of nearby terrain and its features (I've handled a few modreqs like that even since way back then), but I'm a bit hesitant about using protections to prevent taking down of trees and other things though, especially if the requirements for it are nebulous, partly due to the latitude of interpretation and partly due to mismatches in player and staff perception of the rule (and maybe attempts to get nearby terrain protected by minimal effort modifications of a build to make that possible...would depend on what the final policy looks like).  Undoubtedly it would also require a change to the stated purpose of protections, which is currently to protect builds, not land.  

 

Certainly, at least in the vicinity, it might be feasible to protect with larger buffers on the grounds that anyone who builds in the protected area would be too close to the protected build to be legal without builder's consent.  (I was going to say that it would defeat the purpose of "do not build up against another protection without consent", but on looking at the rules page, the closest I found was "do not build very close to other players without their permission."  It would still be consistent with that, just that allowable proximity to other builds without permission would then be enforced by protection rather than relying on player discretion - might save on land disputes but might also feel like too much staff intervention and/or implicate staff in case the protection is perceived to be unfair?)

 

That being said though, I am not sure if an unquestionably objective method exists to achieve the same goal.  

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We could consider some light requirements on whether or not something natural should be protected, e.g. area no larger than x blocks by x blocks - perhaps with the exception of the solitary mega-trees, only features that are above (and including?) sea level.

 

I don't think we should seek a truly objective rule statement with this one, it's not going to be possible because there are too many variables.

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Just a quick bump to this post: It was just moved from PMC for further discussion by the public.

 

Personally I would be against over-expanding regions to protect natural landscape; we also have land claims which act as an unenforced land protection.

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This was brought up mainly because (as Troop said) your foliage is already kind of protected with your claim, but then there's the issue of claim fences littering the place. A lot of people never remove them because they want to keep parts of their claim in the natural state as a buffer. At the end it would be nice to have a more seamless (fenceless) experience of the map, in which case protecting the claim after the build is mostly done, would give the incentive to remove the claim fences. So in this case just saying the claim is your protection isn't really a proper argument for the issue. 

 

I do think it would need clear rules of how much "foliage buffer" people would be allowed to have. The normal 5 blocks from a build that's currently going on isn't enough for most of the people. Nobody wants foliage destroyed that close to their build. The option always ofc is to then just fix it and after that it would be terraforming and thus protectable. Basically it would mean you could just dig up the ground and hack down the trees and put everything back together as they were and it would be protectable.

 

On P we're not really hurting for space to build at so some sort of buffer doesn't seem too unreasonable, though protecting claims right out when they're made would be ridiculous as so many of them go unused. Maybe this could be something that could only happen later in the rev and also follow the claim rules in the matter that nothing close to spawn would be allowed this (claims don't really have official power there anyway, only the normal build rules).

 

I think it's worth discussing instead of dismissing it without any proper arguments, since people seem to be bothered by the claim fences being there through the whole rev and then littering the view on the save.

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While I agree with the ideas you propose, my concern is that region protections are too open to interpretation. For something like this to work there would need to be more unification of the region expectations.

 

Example. One rev I built a compound starting with the walls and building in. The moderator who created the protections for me protected the walls in 4 child regions, leaving the centre unprotected. This rev I did the same thing, but the staff member protected the whole lot and then some.

 

Or, instead of using claim fences to protect foliage, up the expected buffer without having to go stupid with regions.

Edited by twilexis

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While I agree with the ideas you propose, my concern is that region protections are too open to interpretation. For something like this to work there would need to be more unification of the region expectations.

 

Example. One rev I built a compound starting with the walls and building in. The moderator who created the protections for me protected the walls in 4 child regions, leaving the centre unprotected.

 

This rev the same thing happened, but the staff member protected the whole lot and then some.

 

Or, instead of using claim fences to protect foliage, up the expected buffer without having to go stupid with regions.

 

This happens, because as of now the protections are strictly meant for grief protection and moderators should only be protecting builds and heavily terraformed areas. I do agree with you that areas like that should be protectable, since if someone would come and build there the build would eventually be removed anyway, so why go through the hassle and not just protect it. It's just that how things are supposed to be protected per the guidelines.

 

Making the buffer larger basically is the idea here that we're talking about.

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This issue in one of several forms has come up a few times on C. Back in Rev. 13 when every space on the map was filled near completely this was unconscionable, of course you could only ask to have your build itself protected back then too, as without flying making claim boxes was impractical. If you wanted, for a short time, to have a view of open land you needed to build near the edge of the map, and there was frequently a rush to do so when the map expanded.

As time has moved on, with lower server population density it has become more practical to grant players the ability to preserve the aesthetics of the land their build survey's, but I find the old philosophy to be both the easiest and most fair. If you want a preserved view, take a screenshot, it will go away eventually and that's how building blocks with friends works. If we really wanted to grant player's preserved views we'd have a server where each player get's their own MultiVerse World. Just my opinion. 

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Guest Former Staff

Just to reiterate the concerns from my viewpoint:

  • Land claims are perfect for plotting out larger areas for future development.
  • For much smaller areas surrounding builds (or even inside of builds as Twilexis' example mentions) which have been given protection, it seems petty to have to remove all of that landscape and recreate it block by block to have it considered for protection.
  • Having claim fences up to mark off a small area of landscape in the vicinity of a build ruins the view.

There would need to be some fair way for this type of protection request to be considered. Having a build that does qualify for protection in the area seems like the obvious first step, as to letting individuals detirmine how much more to protect beyond that (which is great until someone gets preferential treatment over another) or a set boundary of up to X blocks (which is fair for all but doesn't adapt from each individual request) is where I was hoping to push the discussion towards, we've drifted too much into dismissive posts and reminiscing about creative. :-P

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Yeah, there would need to be some type of scale for region sizes.

 

Say the consensus is to bump the buffer from 5 to 25. Would a figg hut that qualifies for protections get that buffer size? Would a larger collection of builds qualify for a higher buffer size, say 50 blocks? Would towns have different treatment to solo builders?

 

And to throw in my 2c; this isn't something the general server population should be weighing in on. This type of decision should be made at admin level.

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I feel like the only way we'd be able to allow this would be on a case-by-case basis. I am NOT in favor of protecting land without a build, protections are only meant to be for actual builds. I would say, however, I'd consider protecting some natural areas if the person building there could show that it's important to the build, such as a house being built into the side of a mountain, or at the top of one of those large trees. But it would have to be case-by-case.

 

this isn't something the general server population should be weighing in on. This type of decision should be made at admin level.

 

I disagree in part. I see no problem with getting feedback on things. The decision will be decided at the admin level, but no reason to not see how people think about it.

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Trying to stay on-topic here (because of reasons), it would be cool to see the natural foliage (trees, bushes, etc.) which is not in a region be protected, just to keep it there. Then eventually when there's a wood shortage (it will happen at some point) in a region, they could ask the Padmins if they could cut down a tree or 2? Beats me on this topic. But, still, that rule will have to let loose during chaos (if there's one this rev, I really missed chaos last rev).

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Unless the rule around claims is going to be changed, they're explicitly not for protecting anything and expire after 2-4 weeks. When I think of protecting natural foliage/terrain, I think of protecting things that, were they hand placed, would be considered part of a player build. For example, someone who builds in a forest and wants to keep a ring of natural trees around the edge of their build, or someone who builds on the shore of a river and doesn't want someone else to come fill it. Someone shouldn't have to spend time removing and replacing blocks that are already there just to qualify it for protections. It's not like P is hurting for space either, so throwing another 10 or 15 or however many blocks on a region isn't a big deal.

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The only rule related to this should be "Don't cut down unnatural looking trees if they have a 'please do not cut down' sign on them". Otherwise people could claim anything is a custom tree except for the blocky ones that no one here likes for some reason. You don't have to protect them with world guard or whatever, just have to see that something that the tree is important to someone.

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Then eventually when there's a wood shortage (it will happen at some point) 

 

This would never happen, too many towns have tree farms set up to prevent that (to the detriment of my plan to eradicate acacia from the map forever).

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Two things come to mind going through this:

1) is there any technical way we could replace normal tree generation with the smaller custom templates (not the larger custom ones)

2) what could be done around being able to preserve land claims without the requirement for a fence the whole time - something like you have to do the fence initially, but once you've built up enough to have structures protected with in, the fences could be removed except for the 3 fences in each corner (to indicate direction) and occasional signs indicating where you're entering? That way we could preserve the request to rollback within that area without granting protection and ruining the view

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This would never happen, too many towns have tree farms set up to prevent that (to the detriment of my plan to eradicate acacia from the map forever).

That is true... besides, it was posted at night, must of forgot about that. silly me. ;-;

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