I've decided to write a little bit about how I came to OGF, because why not, and I figure it can shed some light on the recent discussions about new users, considering I joined only a few months ago.
How I came to OGF
I've always loved to make maps. I love seeing the world or country that I'm drawing come to life, to see it become something that could be real. In November of 2019, I was looking for ways to create my own country, ideally in a map maker of some sort. I didn't find OGF, instead, I came across Nationstates. I got involved in that, and still am, but I wanted to make a map of my Nationstates county, Zentata, more specifically the capital of Zylan (I was surprised to learn about Zylanda when I came here!). I searched, and searched, and eventually stumbled upon OGF.
When I first saw the opening popup, I thought, unlike most, I want to learn more (despite the fact that I thought that this was the best thing in the world). I've always been cautious with online accounts, because I don't want to create one that I won't use. I read the FAQ, and found a blue country, Midistiland, where I proceeded to map a slightly disturbing, sort of off scale town named Canthet I knew it was sort of off, so I asked for help. I got it. It was a bad scale, and strange looking, but could be worse. It was mostly delivered well, but I wanted to be part of more of the world and community, so I asked for a territory in Archanta. I asked for AR119, not having read the Territory Request page in enough detail. I then asked for AR054, but because of the fact that I didn't want to map in asian theme, I got shunted to Ardencia.
Conque, or, The Disastrous Mess
Trust me, I tried. I tried to have a good scale, but failed because I didn't use the OGF scale helper, which I now use a lot. I didn't look a OSM, because I didn't seem to realize how important that is (This should be emphasized when talking to new users). And I used all tertiary roads, a horrible error. My curves on the railway leave something to be desired. Okay, a lot to be desired. I did some decent rural mapping, but it was just too bad for me, I needed something more. I requested what is currently Elxity, but got rejected due to it not fitting the plans I submitted. During this time I also got repeatedly rejected a wiki account for good reason. So, I turned to collaboratives. I got involved in Alormen, and tried to pretend that I didn't own Conque. I mapped a much better town, which is in progress, and then decided to get a county in the Massodeyas. I succeeded.
Bloomfield County and Collaboratives
I got Bloomfield County and began mapping. I was still interested in more collaboration, a desire to help map a country, so I requested to be part of the Iondalba and Woolonia projects when they can be set up, and edited a bit in the Moonshine Islands, and did some stuff in Phoenix, as you all know. I tried to get the current Aperia, but was inevitably rejected, despite my plan, because I need to do more mapping, and I do, no doubt about it. I am curious when I'll be able to fully join the community, because I feel as though no matter how involved I try to be, until I get a state/territory, and a wiki account, the community is mostly closed off. It's sad, but with all the time I have, and my drive to improve, I hope that I'll soon feel like, if not an equal, then maybe a true OGF mapper. This website is amazing, and I'm so glad that I can be, in any respect, a part of this wonderful community, despite its flaws (for example, with the recent application process change, certain users have territories that they would not be able to get today. In response to this, I suggest going back to the old way partially. There would still be requirements like blue territory editing, but anyone could get a small-medium territory or state, but get put on a month or two probationary period where they would demonstrate proper values and mapping, and if they can't, they can be moved to a downsized beginner territory to improve. Obviously, this would need refinement, but would be better then the current system I think.). To finish, I'd just like to say that I love this unique, beautiful website, which is full of creative, and beautiful, and amazing realistic countries and mappers, and no matter what happens in the future, I'm glad I got some good edits in.
Any feedback is accepted. I promise to take it into account, because otherwise how can I become greater.