Post Count and Username updates

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
As we prep to move this community to a new platform, there are a number of updates we will be running. The first will be that we are going to rerun member post counts. Why are we doing this? It will help us weed out members with no posts and further clean up a lot of the spam accounts that have accumulated here. This is a fairly big deal as we don't want to drag those spammers to the new platform when we go.

I know a lot of people make a big deal about their post count and get really touchy about it, but you will find that the new platform relies more heavily on what is known as trophies, which come from a combination of posts, likes and your time, than it does on post count alone. The only time post count could be a concern is if you are a new member who is approaching 50 posts (which would make you a full member) and for some reason, your post count gets knocked down. However, because we don't have very many people in that position, it shouldn't be a problem.

Second, we are also bringing member-names up to a common standard which is 3-15 characters with no non-alphanumeric characters. There are, sadly, about 1,200 usernames here that don't fall into that category which means we will have to modify each one of them. If you fall into one of those categories and are an active member, you can expect a message from us about this. If you aren't an active member (you probably aren't reading this), we are simply making the needed changes.

Change can be a bit awkward and frustrating, but please be patient with as we get everything ready for the move!
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
And I was so close to my thousand, too...

Oh well. Suppose it's a decent incentive for people to actually contribute to the forum in a meaningful way, and to actually use the Like function more. It's a useful feature a lot of members seem to forget even exists.
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
Just to be clear, this will be a recount of your posts, not a reset back to zero. As long as your posts haven't been deleted, when we do the recount, your post number should stay relatively the same. The only reason it would not is if many of your previous posts have been deleted for some reason.
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
The trophy system sounds interesting. And honestly I'm not too worried about whether the post count will be altered or not. I have a hard time believing mine anyway. When did I get so close to 900? Didn't think I had jumped into the conversations that often here.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
I know this is a little bit of a bump, but I'd like to learn more about the Trophy system, and how it works. If it's anything like as I think it is, and that the Trophies are capable of supporting custom thumbnails and images, I'd like to suggest the idea of using some of the Commendation images from Halo Reach. I've managed to get a hold of the files and, since they're in TIF format, they should shrink down quite nicely.

There are five tiers, ranging from clear (neutral) to Bronze, Steel, Silver, Gold and Onyx, each with twenty Commendations each - plenty enough to use, I should expect.
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
You can see the trophy system in action on Predatorium. It is VERY simplistic... basically giving you points for certain actions (primarily posts, time since registration and likes), and at certain threshholds, you get moved to a higher ladder. On Predatorium that ladder is name based.. giving you "ranks" based on Predator lore. I am not sure how those would be implemented here as we don't want there to be confusion between club officers and trophy levels, but we will figure something out.

http://predatorium.com/members/?type=points
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
You can see the trophy system in action on Predatorium. It is VERY simplistic... basically giving you points for certain actions (primarily posts, time since registration and likes), and at certain threshholds, you get moved to a higher ladder. On Predatorium that ladder is name based.. giving you "ranks" based on Predator lore. I am not sure how those would be implemented here as we don't want there to be confusion between club officers and trophy levels, but we will figure something out.

http://predatorium.com/members/?type=points
Ah, I see. Well, you could always utilise the Halo ranking system (Recruit > Private > Corporal > Sergeant > W/O > Captain > Major > Lt. Col. > Commander > Colonel > Brigadier > General > Field Marshal). I'd thought that the Trophy system awarded members based upon actions, such as giving a visible Trophy in a medal chest for... I don't know. A certain number of likes, or posts, or years served, or costume completed, or conventions attended.

I'd had the idea of awarding members a status depending upon the costume they complete and have verified (eg: Spartan-II, Spartan-III, ODST, Marine, etc etc), but that's spitballing at this stage.
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
I'm just a little bit concerned about the non-Halo costume builders in this community. Budget/material wise a Destiny build is more easily attainable for many (not to mention any personal preferences for that armor over Halo, whether due to style, affordability, or simply being easier to wear and more mobile at conventions). Thanks to the herculean efforts of Zombiegrimm we have a massive Skyrim model library that has drawn a lot of builders. And there are many others. I know the primary focus of the 405th is Halo, but we don't want to alienate or even simply overlook the portion of the community that leans towards non-Halo builds. To my knowledge outside of the Facebook group "The Tower" and similar FB-based groups, there really isn't a 405th-esque community/forum for Destiny or Skyrim, or most anything else so specific, save for those alluded to in Art's signature banner. And I know speaking for myself and probably at least a few others, the 405th is where I really got my feet wet in the realm of cosplay and armor building. I like it here and I don't necessarily want to start from scratch in a new community to focus on Destiny builds, but at the same time I don't want to just be "spinning my wheels" here wit the Halo-centric member/rank system. Maybe I'm reading into it too much, or not enough, but particularly when it comes to the club guidelines, it feels like if you haven't built a Halo suit, it doesn't matter if you've made one or one million other full outfits, it's all null and void and you can't "be part of the club" because it wasn't a Halo build. Will there be any changes/exceptions made to be more inclusive or are we sticking strictly to "this is a Halo community, period?" I know this is something Art and I have butted heads on several times before.
 

SPARTAN II

Sr Member
I think since HALO was the main focus of this community when it first began, and was the basis for the core values of "Unity, Armor and Honor", the primary focus of this community will always be HALO.

That's not to say there isn't room for allowing other genres and types of costumes here, just that HALO is what got things started here and so is what will always be at its core.

As an example, I frequent another forum that focuses primarily on Star Trek props, but there are sub-forums within that online community for discussion, research, building and display of non-Star Trek items.

For the most part though, members frequent that forum to discuss Star Trek props, costumes and set pieces given there's really no other such community with that particular focus.

As far as a trophy/ranking system is concerned, I have yet to complete my first suit of SPARTAN armour (was Mk VI, now turned HALO: Reach), so I don't really have much of an opinion on the matter.
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
It's just kind of a kick in the pants to basically tell someone after they've worked hard on their suit "It's not Halo, so you are not welcome to rep the 405th at conventions in any way unless you ditch that suit and be someone else's handler, because THEY made a Halo suit." And again, maybe I'm reading too much, or too little, into it, but it almost seems like if it's not a Halo suit, we're not allowed to put the 405th logo, or even a 405th related logo (such as a regimental insignia) on our suit. I'd love to see such logos used on Titan Marks, Hunter Cloaks, Warlock Bonds, or as shield art for a Skyrim build...or quite frankly on anything non-Halo. Again, it just feels like a low blow to essentially tell someone they are not a part of the community (or at the very least will not be "officially recognized or acknowledged" as part of it) just because they chose not to build, or even simply not to wear a Halo-related suit at an event.
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
I'm just a little bit concerned about the non-Halo costume builders in this community. Budget/material wise a Destiny build is more easily attainable for many (not to mention any personal preferences for that armor over Halo, whether due to style, affordability, or simply being easier to wear and more mobile at conventions). Thanks to the herculean efforts of Zombiegrimm we have a massive Skyrim model library that has drawn a lot of builders. And there are many others. I know the primary focus of the 405th is Halo, but we don't want to alienate or even simply overlook the portion of the community that leans towards non-Halo builds. To my knowledge outside of the Facebook group "The Tower" and similar FB-based groups, there really isn't a 405th-esque community/forum for Destiny or Skyrim, or most anything else so specific, save for those alluded to in Art's signature banner. And I know speaking for myself and probably at least a few others, the 405th is where I really got my feet wet in the realm of cosplay and armor building. I like it here and I don't necessarily want to start from scratch in a new community to focus on Destiny builds, but at the same time I don't want to just be "spinning my wheels" here wit the Halo-centric member/rank system. Maybe I'm reading into it too much, or not enough, but particularly when it comes to the club guidelines, it feels like if you haven't built a Halo suit, it doesn't matter if you've made one or one million other full outfits, it's all null and void and you can't "be part of the club" because it wasn't a Halo build. Will there be any changes/exceptions made to be more inclusive or are we sticking strictly to "this is a Halo community, period?" I know this is something Art and I have butted heads on several times before.
Heh heh... we are probably going to butt heads over it again... ;) ... but, lets see what we can do.

I certainly understand where you are coming from and where you concern lies and can appreciate them. While I appreciate, even more, your passion for this particular community, there is simply no getting around that this is a community that is focused on the HALO franchise. Does that mean we don't allow other things? Certainly not. Does that mean we refuse to allow other pep files to be uploaded? Certainly not. Does that mean we discourage members from venturing out into other interests? NEVER! However, as we work on solidifying the club aspect of this community, there HAS to be a focus. Why? For consistency. For order. For uniformity. Can you imagine the 501st allowing a member to join with a Star Trek Costume? Can you imagine us showing up at a Microsoft event with 20 Spartans and a My Little Pony? While inclusion sounds good on the lips, in practice, it simply doesn't work from a club aspect. Now, I have no doubt we could take a million hammers and try to pound that square peg into a round hole, but I am going to save us the trouble and simply make a blanket statement that for the foreseeable future, we are not going to allow non-Halo costumes to be used to become Deployed members. Now... as I have said before, if we see such a massive outpouring of a particular franchise and such and overwhelming number of costumers with a need, we will address that appropriately at that time, but until then, while we welcome people who are interested in building any prop or costume, when it comes to the club, our focus is Halo.
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
No one has said anything about not putting 405th stickers on anything and everything you want. Feel free to promote us as much and as often as possible. However, what you are essentially saying is that is a "kick in the pants" to walk into a bank, hand the teller an ice cream sandwich and ask for 2 twenties, a five and 3 ones. There has never been any question about the nature of this community. As @SPARTAN II said, it has always been a Halo community and continues to be so. Trying to be everything to everyone and trying to live by a policy of "acceptance of anything" is a sure-fire way to anarchy. Moreover, this is all anecdotal at this point. If there comes a time when it is an actual issue, we will address it, but in addressing it, the same points I have made here are simply going to be brought up again as they are difficult to refute.

As a final note, if you have an account here, you ARE a part of the community. Whether you choose to be a part of the club, will solely be up to you, but the entry fee? Not an ice cream sandwich. ;)

It's just kind of a kick in the pants to basically tell someone after they've worked hard on their suit "It's not Halo, so you are not welcome to rep the 405th at conventions in any way unless you ditch that suit and be someone else's handler, because THEY made a Halo suit." And again, maybe I'm reading too much, or too little, into it, but it almost seems like if it's not a Halo suit, we're not allowed to put the 405th logo, or even a 405th related logo (such as a regimental insignia) on our suit. I'd love to see such logos used on Titan Marks, Hunter Cloaks, Warlock Bonds, or as shield art for a Skyrim build...or quite frankly on anything non-Halo. Again, it just feels like a low blow to essentially tell someone they are not a part of the community (or at the very least will not be "officially recognized or acknowledged" as part of it) just because they chose not to build, or even simply not to wear a Halo-related suit at an event.
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
I'd had the idea of awarding members a status depending upon the costume they complete and have verified (eg: Spartan-II, Spartan-III, ODST, Marine, etc etc), but that's spitballing at this stage.
There will be something for that on the club side of things, but that will be a manual process whereas the trophies system is an automated one.
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
Maybe it's just my inner cynic picking up his megaphone again, but I just have a hard time imagining very many people putting much of an effort into anything "overwhelming" enough to catch your attention after being unequivocally cut off at the knees because "If it's not Halo, it's not important." Sure, you don't shun people for having other interests, but neither do you encourage them. Before Destiny even launched I proposed that we, as a community, take into consideration the likely influx of modelers, builders, and other enthusiasts who wanted to focus on Destiny over Halo, you dismissed the whole thing as a "flash in the pan" deal that you didn't see having much of an impact. I'm sure Crimmson, Elusch, and several other modelers, extractors, etc. would tell a different story as they are constantly inundated with requests for Destiny models. Heck the one model I unfolded and uploaded has 55 downloads in a little over a month's time and I've been getting PMs from people asking what other Destiny models I have access to and can unfold for them. Zombie's thread is full of files, requests, and people sharing their builds and feeling that's the only place they can do so because that seems to be the "only acceptable" place to post such a non-Halo builds in their minds. Maybe because Zombie actively invited them to share their builds.

But I guess I'm asking the wrong questions and going down the wrong path. What WOULD it take for a non-Halo subject to warrant recognition? What would it take, for example, for Destiny builders to be allowed to rep the 405th and have their hard work and passion recognized? I know it's not my barbecue here, but personally I don't understand what the big deal is. From a community standpoint, we're all gamers/geeks/artists/what-have-you. From a "marketing" standpoint, the more people flashing your logo, the more exposure you get, and the more likely you are to attract new members. Because let's face it, not everyone is into Halo. Heck, not every former Halo fan is into Halo any more. But show a little diversity and people will be more likely to give it a try. From a convention-goer's point of view (speculation here as I've never had the good fortune to attend a convention yet), a group that caters to several of their interests is more likely to draw attention than one that is laser-focused on only one.

And honestly, all the "can you imagines" are wasted on me. I'm a customizer. A frankensteiner. If I can blend two or more of my interests into one project, I'm gung ho about it. I've looked at a few Halo helmets and wondered "which of these could be used for a Warlock, a Hunter, or a Titan?" I've looked at Destiny armor and pondered which ones might make awesome additions to a Spartan rig. The thought of a Warlock robe-wearing cosplayer wielding a lightsaber in one hand, a type II phaser in the other, and capping it all off with a Deadpool mask appeals to me even as it nags at the part of me that appreciates true-to-form accuracy above all else. Some people feel the 405th should be strictly Halo, and that progression/recognition should only come from Halo-related projects. I say, why limit ourselves and the creativity of this community?
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
As a final note, if you have an account here, you ARE a part of the community. Whether you choose to be a part of the club, will solely be up to you, but the entry fee? Not an ice cream sandwich. ;)
I guess I'm still trying to figure out why the heck we even need a "club" to begin with. I still get this bile rising at the back of my throat and a tension balling my fingers into a tight fist every time the subject comes up because right along with it that inner cynic always yells "elitist pricks incoming." And quite frankly, that's the impression I get when I read the guidelines. All these rules about not being allowed to stand at the 405th Table or "officially" rep the 405th in anything other than "product placement" unless we have an "officially recognized, scrutinized, and approved" Halo suit. I mean, I get it. You don't want "amateur hour" being the first impression people get when they are first introduced to the 405th. But seriously, let's pull up our big-boy shorts here. The 405th has been around for years. People know us, people know of us, people know what the members of this group are capable of. If you're that worried that one cardboard carton Spartan is going to completely ruin the reputation and expectations for the 405th, I, for one, would say you don't have the confidence in this community to be at the helm. But that's just me, and this is just speculation. I still don't see the point in a "club" at all and find it far more likely to be divisive rather than conducive to the community as a whole. There's already a problem with skilled builders feeling they aren't "good enough" even for elite build status, several more who won't even post projects because they feel they "can't compare" to what others are doing. Add a club with all these strict rules and guidelines just to be recognized and considered, much less actually accepted, and you'll find even more people feeling swept under the rug thinking they just can't measure up so why even try. Sure, you might get a few "don't tell me I can't do it" types, but they'll be greatly outnumbered by those who feel they just aren't good enough. Or those like me who get the feeling that if it's not Halo, and there's little to no reason left for it to BE Halo, why even post it here. Sure, other members might be interested, it's a chance to showcase what I can do and maybe provide inspiration or, better yet, tips and tricks for others who might have hit a rut in their builds, but at the end of the day it wouldn't mean squat because even if it was any other video game com to life, it isn't Halo, so it's "worthless." I mean it kinda feels like my last job interview. I hand in an application for an assembly line position (something a marginally-trained chimp could do), he looks over my work history, sees no previous "official" assembly work even though I've done far more complicated and intricate work tinkering on my car or even pepping a helmet, and he says "you've never done this kind of work. Get out of here, get a REAL job for at least six months, then maybe I'll consider you." Doesn't matter how much effort any member puts into their work here, if it's not Halo, it gets shuffled off to the "non-Halo catch-all" forum and disappears.
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
And honestly, all the "can you imagines" are wasted on me.
In one sentence you have summed up a ton of typing and undermined your entire argument. :(

Every concern you have expressed truly is a "can you imagine" issue.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
I guess I'm still trying to figure out why the heck we even need a "club" to begin with.I still get this bile rising at the back of my throat and a tension balling my fingers into a tight fist every time the subject comes up because right along with it that inner cynic always yells "elitist pricks incoming." And quite frankly, that's the impression I get when I read the guidelines. All these rules about not being allowed to stand at the 405th Table or "officially" rep the 405th in anything other than "product placement" unless we have an "officially recognized, scrutinized, and approved" Halo suit.
And why not? The idea here is that reputation is something you earn rather than expect. The 405th Charter isn't about excluding people - far from it. There's a role here for everyone, regardless of suit quality, or even if you have a suit. And frankly, having certain barriers is more likely to encourage people to work harder on their costume rather than simply accept a "this'll do" standard and expect to follow through to the higher positions - if you want to reach the top you're going to need to work for it. And, while it's nice to have some 'weekend Spartans' who threw their costume together in a week at the back of their garage, and we recognise the work that's gone into even those builds, we're also about recognising the truly exceptional builds that certain members take months or longer to put together.

Likewise, I expect that costume grading is going to be completely fair - we aren't going to get very far if we all sit around judging costumes harshly and accepting only the top cream of the pile.

There's already a problem with skilled builders feeling they aren't "good enough" even for elite build status, several more who won't even post projects because they feel they "can't compare" to what others are doing.
Modesty's a fine thing. Regardless - the Elite Forum became riddled with favouritism, and generally didn't fulfil its purpose. This scheme is intended to give members the incentive to drive even harder to finish their build and do it to an exceptional quality, without brokering with favouritism. We had a lot of Elite builds that weren't finished, or were ongoing, when the purpose of that section was to recognise finished builds of an exceptional standard.

Or those like me who get the feeling that if it's not Halo, and there's little to no reason left for it to BE Halo, why even post it here. Sure, other members might be interested, it's a chance to showcase what I can do and maybe provide inspiration or, better yet, tips and tricks for others who might have hit a rut in their builds, but at the end of the day it wouldn't mean squat because even if it was any other video game come to life, it isn't Halo, so it's "worthless."
I think you missed the point of this being a Halo-based costuming forum. We have a section dedicated towards non-Halo costuming, but if you're complaining that non-Halo costumes don't find as much attention on a Halo-based forum.... well, I think you might need to re-read your statement and rethink your position somewhat. Regardless - you could have the exact same complaint if you posted your build at Obscurus Crusade, Predatorium, TDH or on the 501st's forums. You're complaining that interests not relevant to this forum aren't being recognised... well, to counter your point: it wouldn't be much of a Halo-based costuming community if we had Iron Man, Destiny or Warhammer builds deploying alongside Spartans and ODSTs, would it?

If you're looking to post generic, non-Halo costumes I would suggest the Replica Prop Forum.

-snipped - Destiny models-
See above. Again, we welcome builds from other interests, but at the core of this forum, we focus on Halo costuming. You're basically driving a Chevrolet up to a Chrysler fan-club meeting, and then wondering why you're not getting as much attention. We have sections in the File Archive for a number of other interests - just a few days ago I finished uploading the Crysis Nanosuit set. For a Halo-focused costuming group, you'll find we've made exceptionally large allowances for other interests, when we could have easily said 'not Halo, pack your bags'. Please reconsider your argument and realise that what you're complaining about has literally no grounding here.

Some people feel the 405th should be strictly Halo, and that progression/recognition should only come from Halo-related projects. I say, why limit ourselves and the creativity of this community?
Yet again - Halo-based community. We represent the Halo universe, not Star Wars, or Destiny, or the Marvel universe. Nobody has ever said 'you can't build an Iron Man kit' - just check out Sandbagger's amazing work and tell me that we don't recognise other universes. However, at the core of things, ad infinatum, ad irritatum, ad nauseum, we are a HALO costuming community. If you want to advance within the club, it's going to be from a Halo build - however, if you're content to be a member who stays on the 405th as a generic member and posts off-universe builds, we're still more than happy to have you.

We are not excluding members because their builds 'aren't Halo'. We are putting an emphasis on members creating Halo costumes, however, and we're putting emphasis on members doing their absolute level best to make their costumes to the best standard they can, and offering incentives for above-average work.

I hope this has cleared a few things up for you.

EDIT:

There will be something for that on the club side of things, but that will be a manual process whereas the trophies system is an automated one.
I'd thought as much. Glad to see that there's going to be an opportunity for members to get further recognition.
 

RobTC

Member
On a slightly more practical note than "Why can't I put Halo insignia on my Iron Man suit?", what about prop builds? All of this has focused around suit builds, which are admittedly the heart of the community and convention attendance, but there are some glorious weapon and helmet builds here which will likely end up in public somewhere at some point, whether their builders ever attend a con or not. What about the people who are more interested in creating objects than cosplaying?

How does their work go about representing the 405th; how do they get their credit if their work is used to complete someone else's suit? And what if that cosplayer chooses not to represent the 405th (maybe they're not a member, for some reason?) but the builder is?

In that same vein, I suppose; what about second hand suits? I've seen a few for sale over the last few months, so how would credit be distributed there?

I have no idea if any of this applies to me, since I can't predict the future, but they do seem like possible "gotchas".
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
What about the people who are more interested in creating objects than cosplaying?
I'd assume there's a distinction between 'convention credit' - the people attending conventions in costume - and 'community credit' - people who may not attend conventions, but still provide excellent service or display excellent builds. I'd assume that's one of the reasons we're having a Trophy system implemented, to allow members with decent reputation to be better-recognised even if they don't actively deploy.

In your personal case, since I'm assuming you're not interested in costuming, we'd ask to cultivate a culture where the members will actively Like/Thank your works and help you to develop the community recognition you deserve even if you're not taking your weapons out on deployment. Again, this ties into the Trophy system - you'll earn a community name even if you're not on deployment, meaning that we end up with a stronger sense of community even between those that don't attend conventions and those that do.

How does their work go about representing the 405th; how do they get their credit if their work is used to complete someone else's suit?
That seems to be more an issue on the part of the individual, than something the 405th as an entity is responsible for. It's considered good etiquette to provide credit to the people who provided the content you're using, but we can't actively enforce that rule. I'm happy to say that, here on the 405th, we've a good habit of posting credit where it's due - at least online - but offline, it's very difficult to track who's doing what with your stuff. The best we can realistically expect is that people will have the presence of mind and the good manners to say 'oh, this costume/weapon was made by XYZ' if they're asked, and not take credit for the work of another person.

And what if that cosplayer chooses not to represent the 405th (maybe they're not a member, for some reason?) but the builder is?
See above. We can't force every person who cosplays in Halo costume to represent the 405th, but it's considered good practise to provide credit for the materials you used in your build even if you don't. The best we can do is encourage those who use our resources to join in with the community and represent.

In that same vein, I suppose; what about second hand suits? I've seen a few for sale over the last few months, so how would credit be distributed there?
Again, see above. Sean Bradley has produced a good deal of ODST kits for people - his builds are very iconic, and most people will instantly be able to pick out an SB set from a custom build, but thankfully those that buy his products have a very high rate of providing credit for the person who originally created those kits. Following from that - again, all we can do is expect that the people who wear 'bought' costumes and gear will refer back to the original creator with full credit.
 

RobTC

Member
I'd assume there's a distinction between 'convention credit' - the people attending conventions in costume - and 'community credit' - people who may not attend conventions, but still provide excellent service or display excellent builds. I'd assume that's one of the reasons we're having a Trophy system implemented, to allow members with decent reputation to be better-recognised even if they don't actively deploy.

In your personal case, since I'm assuming you're not interested in costuming, we'd ask to cultivate a culture where the members will actively Like/Thank your works and help you to develop the community recognition you deserve even if you're not taking your weapons out on deployment. Again, this ties into the Trophy system - you'll earn a community name even if you're not on deployment, meaning that we end up with a stronger sense of community even between those that don't attend conventions and those that do.

That seems to be more an issue on the part of the individual, than something the 405th as an entity is responsible for. It's considered good etiquette to provide credit to the people who provided the content you're using, but we can't actively enforce that rule. I'm happy to say that, here on the 405th, we've a good habit of posting credit where it's due - at least online - but offline, it's very difficult to track who's doing what with your stuff. The best we can realistically expect is that people will have the presence of mind and the good manners to say 'oh, this costume/weapon was made by XYZ' if they're asked, and not take credit for the work of another person.

See above. We can't force every person who cosplays in Halo costume to represent the 405th, but it's considered good practise to provide credit for the materials you used in your build even if you don't. The best we can do is encourage those who use our resources to join in with the community and represent.

Again, see above. Sean Bradley has produced a good deal of ODST kits for people - his builds are very iconic, and most people will instantly be able to pick out an SB set from a custom build, but thankfully those that buy his products have a very high rate of providing credit for the person who originally created those kits. Following from that - again, all we can do is expect that the people who wear 'bought' costumes and gear will refer back to the original creator with full credit.
Ok, I think I'm following. I suppose I'm just trying to pin down how the manual checking will work, though if for weapons and helmets that all happens online prior to any conventions, and armour gets verified in public, I guess that makes sense. That way whether someone chooses to credit or not becomes irrelevant to the Trophy system, only to the individual for marketing purposes- and their progress photos kinda prove that they built it themselves. Plus, in terms of propmakers, their utility to the community really lies in their writeup and photo recording abilities, since just putting a good prop kit out there only really serves a handful of people- it's the "give a man a fish" thing, I suppose. So I assume that the information density and presentation would be the primary factors in the online verification process, balanced I guess by the overall quality of the finished product (since that dictates the "level" of the instructional content as a whole).

I'd also give a throwaway suggestion there of adding into the equation whether anyone at the 405th uses the finished product on deployment, and the quality of their suit build. So not only the build and instructional capabilities of the individual, but also their contribution to the public face of the 405th. I say this is a throwaway suggestion because who buys something, how they use it, and what their build abilities are, are all entirely beyond the control of the original member. But a "Teamwork!" Trophy with build quality levels or whatever could separate that out into something that may or may not matter, but be kinda cool within the community. Plus, if managed right, it could encourage lending or hiring or the higher-quality props and suits, improving the public face of the 405th but without undue pressure to overperform on the parts of the less experienced. At the same time, you don't want that to simply become an ecosystem of temporary ownership and more limited individual effort.

What about armour that's created for display purposes only and will never leave its mannequin? Same as other "static" props, I assume?

The likes system I think is good, though as always there's the danger of it being used as an "I like this poster" or "I agree with this" button rather than "I found this useful and informative", but I suppose that's the sort of thing that gets culturally adjusted over time. I try to be consistent with how I use it, at least.

Just some thinking out loud, anyway. :)
 
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