Scouts & Scythes Manual 2.0

eyewire scytheSince the Scouts & Scythes Manual originally premiered, Eyewire has undergone several UI changes and added many new elements to what it is for a player to act as a Scout or Scythe. To that end, HQ proudly presents the most current version of that manual. (Last update: June 6, 2019.)

Aquí tenéis la versión en castellano del manual, traducido por @Baraka. (¡Gracias @Baraka!)

Für Deutschsprachige Scouts: Hier eine von @susi erstellte Fassung des Handbuchs in Deutsch. (Danke @susi und @Manni_Mammut!)

If you are NOT a Scout or Scythe, but would like to become one, you can request a sponsorship in chat or use the button in your top right menu on Eyewire. You can also fill out the form for open, non-sponsored promotions, which occur approximately every two months during our major competitions.

Table of Contents
Scouts & Scythes, Defined
Video Summaries
Eyewire’s Advanced Features for Scouts
Cell Overview
The Toolbox
Inspect Mode
Scouts’ Log
Overall Scouting Tips
For Scythes: Reaping Tools
Changes to the Toolbox
Inspect Mode for Scythes
Scythe Freeze
For Scythes: The Completing Process
Fort Scythe: How To Reapgrow
Scything, Summary Version
Appendix: Hotkeys
Appendix: Using Player Scripts as a Scout or Scythe
Appendix: Missions

eyewire, scout, scythe, hero, neuroscience, AR, hologram, citizen science, science hero, superhero, Mystic

Scouts & Scythes, Defined

Welcome to the ranks, and congratulations! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assist the Grim Reaper in finding parts of cells that need to be extended and mergers that must be banished.

What does this generally mean? If you are a Scout…

  • You can now choose any cube in a cell and inspect it. If there’s an error in the consensus, you can flag the cube. This alerts Scythes or admins to check out the problem.
  • You can also flag cubes after you trace them, if you’re in Review mode.
  • You receive 50 points for each cube flagged. Beware overzealous flagging! You don’t want to court the wrath of the Grim Reaper.
  • Your new chat color is turquoise.

If you are a Scythe…

  • You can also choose any cube in a cell and inspect it for errors.
  • When inspecting a cube, you can make changes to the consensus, either to remove mergers or to add missing segments. Submitting these changes is what we call “scything” or “reaping,” named for the fact that removing a merger makes it wither and die in the cell overview.
  • You can also reap cubes after you trace them, if you’re in Review mode.
  • Using the Scythe Complete function, you can mark cubes as having a final, correct consensus.
  • You receive 150 points per cube that has been submitted with correctional changes. In rare cases where you need to reap cubes with no corrections, you receive 30 points.
  • You receive 25 points per cubes you have Scythe Completed, when the cell itself is declared complete. You receive a further 1000 points apiece if you reach 25, 50, 100, and 200 Scythe Completes on the same cell.
  • Your new chat color is glowing turquoise.

Video Summaries

Many of your new tools and activities are given a general demonstration in the following videos. Some features and steps precede our current user interface, but you may still find it helpful to watch real-time examples of scouting or scything in action!

Eyewire’s Advanced Features for Scouts

Let’s now take an in-depth look at what features on Eyewire you will now be using. First we’ll cover the cell overview, then we’ll cover the Toolbox for interacting with overview. After that, we will explain how to inspect a cube’s consensus, and lastly how to flag and log problems with a cube.

Cell Overview

The cell overview is the image of the cell that you see when you are not in a particular cube. When you are just playing normally, the overview doesn’t prove important, but now it’s your start point for everything else. You can also see something new at the bottom of your screen:

eyewire UI, citizen science, heatmap

On the left, you see one way to select a specific cube. Type or paste a cube ID in the empty field, hit Enter or the button displaying a boxed arrow (the “Jump” button), and you will select the cube in question.

To select any cube directly from the overview, just left-click on it and you will see it highlighted with a box around it. Normally this box will be completely transparent, but if it shows green and red walls, that means the cube is at the edge of the data set. Note also that when you have a cube selected, the bottom of your screen will change to display something like this:


Here you can see the cube ID, weight, number of Scythe Complete votes, parents, and children. This display is also interactive; you can click on the parents and children to highlight them. Green text indicates that those cubes are highlighted. In this example, Cube 644946’s 12 parents are currently highlighted. You will learn about cube weight and Scythe Complete votes later in this manual.

To the right of the Jump button, meanwhile, you have a dropdown menu that you can use to view different heatmaps on the cell.

  • None – What everyone sees in the overview
  • Created – Shows which branches have been created most recently
  • Low Weight – Shows which cubes haven’t been played enough
  • Scythe Vision – Shows where other people have flagged, made changes, or determined something is complete
heatmap, eyewire, citizen science, UI, UX, Scout, Scythe, reap, overview
Scythe Vision, the most commonly used heatmap. (Click to enlarge.)

By default, selecting a heatmap will pop up a color key in the lower left hand corner. If you do not want this key to appear (presumably because you’ve memorized the colors), you can disable this function in the Settings gear.

In any case, to begin your search for problem areas of a cell, first select a cell. You should focus on cubes with a weight of 3.0 or higher, so you can use the Low Weight heat map to make sure a cell is ripe for the picking. More on this in the next section!

This one looks pretty reasonable.
This one looks pretty reasonable.
  • Weight 0 = Red
  • Weight 1 = Light Blue
  • Weight 2 = Purple
  • Weight 3+ = Green

You can also use Scythe Vision to see whether the cell has been substantially examined already. Either way, once you have chosen your cell, leave Scythe Vision on… and begin! Choose any branch that is turquoise (normal) to examine. Branches marked in other colors have already been examined by other players.

Use these controls to move throughout the overview:

  • Left-click — selects a cube
  • Right-click — centers the cell where you click
  • Left-click + drag — rotates the cell
  • Right-click + drag — pans across the screen
  • Scroll — zooms in and out

You don’t need to check every cube on a branch. When you select a branch there are certain cubes that you can target. It’s most important to look at cubes with jagged ends or things that don’t seem to belong. If it’s a cube where the branch ends with rounded nubs or it continues smoothly to the child cube, it’s probably okay. You can also jump directly to a cube from the cubes listed in your Activity Tracker if you know something was wrong with a cube you played.

Once you find a cube that you’d like to interact with beyond selecting it, it’s time to bring up the Toolbox.

The Toolbox

You can bring up the Toolbox by either hitting Shift in overview or clicking on the “cone” icon next to your settings icon in the lower right corner. When the Toolbox appears, you can move it around your screen using left-click + drag.

The Toolbox as shown for Scouts
The Toolbox as shown for Scouts

What are the buttons?

The buttons on the left of the Toolbox perform particular actions on a selected cube. For Scouts, you have three buttons:

  • H = Highlight. This button will show the children or parents of the cube you have selected. (The three squares on the top always mean children, the one square on the bottom always means parents.)
  • F = Flag. This will change the color of the cube to orange, calling attention to it. Before flagging, you will need to create a Scouts’ Log entry, which is detailed a couple sections down.
  • I = Inspect. This button will bring you inside a cube so that you may inspect the consensus.

What is all this information on the other side?

On the other side of the Toolbox you have a bunch of text displayed. You can switch between seeing information about “Cube” and information about “Players.” Under “Cube” you will see:

  • ID = The ID of the cube you have selected.
  • Weight = Weight of the cube. This is the total weight of enfranchised players (weight 1) and disenfranchised players (weight 0.1) who have played the cube, plus weight added by Scythes (weight 3 for each scything) and/or weight added by admins (weight 1,000,000). Player enfranchisement/disenfranchisement is based on their 60-cube accuracy bars. Scythes have some special guidelines they can follow about cubes of different weights, but for your purposes as a Scout, you don’t really need to look at any cubes below weight 3.0.
  • Children = Number of children the cube has.
  • Parents = Number of parents the cube has.
  • Votes = Number of players who have declared the cube Scythe Complete. (If it says 1,000,000/2 it means an admin has declared it complete.)
  • Status = Whether the cube is active, frozen (unable to grow or be played), or stashed (no longer recognized as part of a cell).
  • Assignable = Whether a cube would be assigned in play. A cube is unassignable if it’s at weight 4.0, one or more Scythe Complete votes, frozen, or stashed.
  • Traces = Number of players who have played and submitted the cube. This is not the same as weight.
  • Parent Task = ID of the cube that directly spawned the selected cube.
  • Child Tasks = ID(s) of any cube(s) that the selected cube has directly spawned.

Meanwhile, under “Players,” you will see a list of usernames. Colors indicate what the player did to the cube. They are listed in the following hierarchy:

  1. Purple = Declared complete. Admins and Scythes appear in the same shade of purple here, though on the overview Scythe Complete is different.
  2. Gold = Admin reaped.
  3. Blue = Scythe reaped.
  4. Orange = Scout flagged.
  5. White = Admin or Scythe frozen.
  6. Grey = Played and submitted.

If a player both reaps a cube and declares it complete, they will be listed multiple times in different colors.

Inspect Mode

As you may have figured out from the mention of an “Inspect” button, the overview is not the only way to see what’s going on with a cube! We highly recommend viewing a cube’s consensus in detail before you flag it. To view a cube’s consensus in detail, you use Inspect Mode by selecting the cube and then clicking the Inspect button on the Toolbox, or hitting Enter. You can also reach this by switching to “Inspect” from Review Mode during normal gameplay. Once in Inspect, you cannot modify the cube’s consensus as a Scout, but you still have a few buttons available at the bottom.

Clicking the far-left “Show Parent” button will render the parent cube’s appearance in the 3D. Clicking the next button over, “Show Children,” will do the same with the children. On the right hand side, meanwhile, those other two buttons will deselect the whole trace besides the seed, or just the seed.

When you have the parent or the children shown, you can also jump directly in Inspect to one of those cubes. Just double click on the parent or child branch and you will be relocated there.

Hitting the “Flag” button will both flag the cube and return you back to overview. That said, because you can also flag while reviewing a cube you submitted instead, in that case you will be served new cubes for regular gameplay; and if you are reviewing a cube and do not wish to flag it, you can hit the Review mode’s “move on” button to continue playing without flagging.

The red button in the above image is the “Jump to Duplicate” button. This will only appear if you’re in a duplicate cube, which has one or more segments that are incorrectly shared with another cube (sometimes with more!). By jumping between the cubes in question, you can compare the segment(s) to determine where it/they really go. In the default in-cube color scheme, duplicate segments are highlighted as orange.

The main button you will use in Inspect Mode is “Flag.” Whenever you flag a cube, whether from overview or Inspect Mode, you will get a popup where you have to fill in information about the cube. This is the last, critical component of your new role: the Scouts’ Log.

Scouts’ Log

For general discussion of your scouting, you can use the Scouts channel in chat (type /gm scouts before whatever you want to say). However, each time you flag, you must explain why, so that your fellow advanced players are guaranteed to understand what is going on with the cube in question. Much of the current Scouts’ Log was generously designed by our player @eldendaf, and there have also been further improvements made by @KrzysztofKruk.

To understand the Scouts’ Log, let’s start with what it looks like in overview. When you become a Scout, you receive automatic access to the Scouts’ Log and you should now see a new icon in the bottom right corner, a little scythe. Click this and a new panel will pop up that you can drag around just like the Toolbox. Please note that in order to guarantee that you can see and use the Scouts’ Log, you should be using Firefox or Chrome, the only browsers that Eyewire officially supports.

Double-clicking the Scouts’ Log will change it to a vertical display with abbreviated buttons, if you would prefer something more compact. There is also now an option to Compact SL in the Settings menu.

What are these buttons for?

Each button will pop up a window for you on Eyewire with the following data.

  • Cell List = All cells that currently have entries.
  • Open Logs = All entries.
  • Admin = Any entries requiring admin attention. Notifications will appear here when such entries exist.
  • Scythe = Any entries requiring a Scythe. Notifications will appear here when such entries exist.
  • Watch = Entries that should be checked to see if they’re okay now.
  • History = Shows you all your submitted tasks and your personal accuracy on each task. This is a great feature for identifying cubes that might need to be scythed, and it gives you lots of feedback to help you improve your overall accuracy.
  • Cube Details = This button will only appear if you have a cube selected. It shows… cube details. (Shocker.)
  • + = Clicking this will open a new entry for the cube you have selected.

How do I make an entry?

When you hit “Flag” in either the cell overview or Inspect, the following screen will pop up. It will also appear if you click the “+” button in the Scouts’ Log, which may be helpful if you just want to make a note without doing anything else, although that’s more likely the case for Scythes.

Click to enlarge.

Issue types you can select for your entry:

  • Branch = Cube is missing a segment that ought to touch a wall and spawn a new cube.
  • Dust = Cube is missing some “dust,” meaning tiny segments that fill in the overall silhouette of the branch. It is not necessary to flag a cube just for missing dust. However, you can select this if you are already making an entry for something else.
  • Nub = Cube is missing a segment that “nubs out” (finishes) within the cube.
  • Test Extension = This is mostly for Scythes to use, but it can specify a possible extension to solve a missing branch that you aren’t sure about.
  • Merger = Cube has something that doesn’t belong, whether it touches a wall or not.
  • Fused Merger = An AI-created merger of 2 or more segments that cannot be removed by players.
  • Seed Merger = A merger in the seed piece of the cell, which cannot be removed during regular gameplay and must instead by removed by a Scythe or admin.
  • Wrong Seed = The seed in the cube is completely wrong. None of the seed segments belong to this cube.

You can further highlight very special issues with these markers:

  • Black Spill = Dye spilled on the slide and it’s hard to trace the branch through the mess.
  • Misalignment = The slides don’t “stack up” properly, causing a weird jump in the trace that can lead to either a merger or missing segments.
  • Duplicate = The system has flagged a duplicate between this cube and the other; you think the segment should be removed from this cube, i.e. the segment is a merger here.
  • Clone Dupe = This is mostly relevant to Mystics, but it means the entire cell has turned out to be the duplicate of another cell.

You can use the “Notes” tab to add more information, if you find it necessary. If a duplicate occurred because of a split cell, for example, you may wish to mention “split cell.” Once you have described everything you want about the cube, next have a look at the screenshot that was taken. You can draw on the screenshot to indicate certain things if you click the pen icon. If you’re sure this and all the above are set, select one of these statuses:

  • Watch = Cube looks okay, but keep an eye on this cube/area in case things grow strangely. Use when not 100% positive about the current consensus.
  • + Scythe = Cube needs a Scythe’s attention. As a Scout, you should select this by default if you think there is anything wrong with the cube.
  • + Admin = Cube has an issue that only an admin can handle by now. Use especially if the cube has already been reaped by an admin, because then only an admin will be able to do anything else.

With that, hit “Submit,” and the entry is complete!

How do I update an open log entry?

As a Scout, it is unlikely that you will be updating log entries that other people have made, but it is not impossible. To do so, first get yourself to the cube you want to address. If you already have the Open Tasks list before you, clicking the cube number will take you to the applicable Cube Details. You can then click “Jump” to be brought to this cube in the overview. You can also use the Jump function at the bottom of your screen, or you may now see that cubes listed with a # before them in chat serve as a link.

From here, if you think the cube needs to be flagged again, you may do so, but you can also click the “+” to create a new entry where you just add your thoughts about the cube and that’s it.

If you believe the cube is under control now, without inspecting or providing more notes, you can go to its Cube Details and click “Set to Good.” When a cube becomes good, it will be archived and disappear from the available Open Tasks.

What’s the camera button in-cube?

Normally, the Scouts’ Log will take a screenshot of whatever is on your screen when you hit “Flag” or “+”; but if you would prefer to position things for the screenshot yourself, you can do so and then hit the camera button. This will save an image that is then automatically populated to the log entry you next create.

Overall Scouting Tips

The earlier explanation of the Scouts’ Log tells you what kinds of things you CAN report, but obviously it offers no guidance as to what everyone else expects you to report. Here are the clearest expectations that HQ can provide:

  • Mergers — Always report, but if they don’t exit beyond the one cube, you don’t have to worry about them getting out of control. Runaway multi-cube mergers are a big problem, though!
  • Missing Branches — Always report, but as long as they are fully extended before the whole cell is declared complete, there is no emergency.
  • Missing Nubs — Always report, but as long as they have been added before the whole cell is declared complete, there is no emergency, and missing branches are higher priority.
  • Missing Dust — “Dust” is what we call the tiny, speckling pieces in a branch that just fill in the existing shape. While the main branch may seem to have some little “holes,” they don’t highly affect our data. Since it’s not imperative to the overall structure of the branch, you don’t need to report cubes with missing dust. (Admins might add it in, and so might Scythes, but dust on its own doesn’t merit Scouts’ Log entries.)

Other words of wisdom from our overlord the Grim Reaper:

  • Because of vision differences, color settings, or preferences for using/not using Explore mode, it can sometimes be more helpful to not just describe segments in terms of color; you can also talk about shape, or the coordinates found through the /debug chat command. The image annotation tool is extremely helpful in this respect.
  • Eyewire has players who speak many languages besides English. Even though we mostly use English in the Scouts’ Log, not everyone is at the same vocabulary level. Simpler terms make for smoother communication.
  • Beyond all that: don’t worry too much about elaborate descriptions. If you’ve taken a good screenshot, often you don’t need to describe anything!

Most importantly of all, we encourage Scouts to go about their activities with confidence and conversation. You may encounter a learning curve, but you were promoted because you showed us attentiveness and skill. You won’t make as many mistakes as you might expect, and no mistake you make is going to break Eyewire. Admins, Scythes, and your fellow Scouts will happily (and non-judgmentally) help you out.

For Scythes: Reaping Tools

Awesome! You have joined the Order of the Scythe! Your shiny scythe is for making changes to the consensus, rather than just flagging. We call this process “reaping,” and you have now been given a few expanded tools and powers to help you reap.

Changes to the Toolbox

For Scythes using the Toolbox, the Flag button is missing now, but you have the following layout instead:

  • H = Highlight. This works the same as for Scouts.
  • S = Show me me. This button will show you all the cubes you have marked Scythe Complete on your current cell. You will see any cubes you’ve completed appear in bright fuchsia.
  • F = Freeze. This button will stop the spawner from growing branches off the cube in question. If you use the children/parents buttons above and below, you will freeze the selected cube and also ALL of its children or ALL of its parents. You can hit the “Freeze” button again to unfreeze a cube, but only if you or a fellow Scythe did the freezing; you can’t unfreeze admin-frozen cubes.
  • C = Complete. This button will mark the selected cube as Scythe Complete. If you use the children/parents buttons above and below, you will mark the selected cube and also ALL of its children or ALL of its parents.
  • U = Uncomplete. This button will uncomplete the selected cube. If you use the children/parents buttons above and below, you will uncomplete the selected cube and also ALL of its children or ALL of its parents.
  • I = Inspect. This works the same as for Scouts, but as you will see, once you are in Inspect, you have further tools available.
  • J = Jump to Duplicate. This only appears for duplicate cubes, which are described in the section about Inspect Mode.

If the cube you are on has not been Scythe Completed by you, the “C” button will be highlighted in pink. If it has already been completed by you, the “U” button (Uncomplete) will be highlighted instead.

Inspect Mode for Scythes

Once you’re inspecting a cube, you’ll see this, with the “Flag” button now reading “Reap”:

Just like when you were a Scout, you have the same functions for viewing/jumping to parent or child cubes, and you can delete the trace or the seed piece.

After you have made any desired changes, hit “Reap.” This will override the consensus with your work.* You might still need to ask another Scythe for help if you are uncertain whether your reap solved the issue, or another Scythe may choose to re-reap the cube with something else if they think you were wrong. The most recent Scythe’s reap is the current consensus unless an admin chooses to override that in turn. Once an admin has reaped something, your reaps will have no effect; simultaneously, once a Scythe has reaped something, regular players will no longer affect it.

For this reason, we should ask you to spend the overwhelming bulk of your Scythe efforts on cubes with weight 3.0, because if you reap lower weight cubes a lot, you will run players out of cubes faster, in addition to wasting a bit of your own time. Technically a Level 2 cube will spawn at weight 2.0; so if you notice a growing merger in a weight 2.0 cube on a Level 2 cell, you should feel free to reap it before it becomes a big merger branch. But otherwise, please wait till weight 3.0 regardless of cell level.

As with Inspect for Scouts, you will see a red button and an orange-highlighted segment if you’re in a duplicate cube. The difference for you as a Scythe is that you can now not only decide where the duplicate segment belongs: you can also reap out the segment from the cube where it doesn’t belong! The exception is still if it’s an inter-half duplicate, which is covered in “Scythe Freeze” below.

Now that you can reap instead of flag, you will still get a new log entry popup after hitting “Reap,” but what you describe in the entry will be either what you solved or what’s still wrong with the cube. There are also now four statuses next to the “Submit” button:

  • Good = Cube now contains everything that it should, and/or all mergers have been removed. Use when you are confident that you have solved an issue. If you log a cube as “Good” it will not appear in the “Open Logs” list; there will just be a record kept of what previous issues had existed in “Cube Details.”
  • Watch = Cube looks okay, but keep an eye on this cube/area in case things grow strangely. Use when not 100% positive about the current consensus.
  • + Scythe = Cube needs a Scythe’s attention. Use this now if you want another Scythe’s help for sure, or if you want to make sure it get a second Scythe Complete vote (see the section on Scythe Complete later).
  • + Admin = Cube has an issue that only an admin can handle by now. Use especially if the cube has already been reaped by an admin, because then only an admin will be able to do anything else.

As a Scythe, you may also find that the camera button in-cube is now more useful. You can use it to get screenshots of problems you are about to solve, if you would prefer to show that rather than the fixed version.

If your reaping accuracy stays above 95% for the most part, you may be eligible to become a Mystic, our highest level of gameplay! Currently only admins have the tools to check your overall reaping accuracy, but you can always ask us about it if you’re curious, and in the meantime you can see your reaping accuracy for a particular cell when you receive its cell completion notification.

*Note: on cells launched before the middle of 2017, Scythes had to add their weight of 3 to the consensus rather than simply overriding it. If an issue crops up on one of those older cells, it is more likely that you’ll need help from other Scythes. Unless you are dealing with a situation like this where a cube needs more Scythe weight to actually change the consensus, however, please don’t bother to reap a cube that’s already been reaped. You will earn 30 points for it, but generally speaking, your efforts for inspecting the cube and locking its consensus should be rewarded via Scythe Complete, which is detailed after this little note about Scythe Freeze.

Scythe Freeze

If you have a runaway merger that you want to stop, this is the main way that the Freeze button comes in handy. Freeze the merger, find the problem cube, reap it, and then unfreeze to let the spawner correct everything. You don’t need to log the fact that you froze something, because this information shows up in the Toolbox, but you do still need to log your reap for the problem cube; and if you have to step away from Eyewire before you can resolve the problem, do please make an entry about why you’ve left all this frozen stuff. Remember that you can’t unfreeze something that’s been admin frozen, while conversely you shouldn’t leave something Scythe frozen once you’ve resolved whatever led you to freeze it.

The exception to not leaving things frozen? Inter-half duplicates. Fundamentally, all that really needs to happen with an inter-half dupe is that someone should freeze the cube that hasn’t grown yet, because then the spawner will stop looking at it and getting confused. So if you spot an inter-half duplicate, you can just freeze the non-grown cube. However, it is a good idea to log these cubes as “Need Admin” because of how a fellow Scythe may accidentally unfreeze (and fail to re-freeze) the cube you just froze, whereas once an admin freezes it the status can’t be player-modified.

For Scythes: The Cell Completing Process

Besides fixing issues with individual cubes, Scythes are responsible for reviewing the branches of a cell to declare them as complete, which locks those cubes from play so that they are no longer assigned. When a cube receives one vote saying it’s complete, this locks it; a second vote is required to make sure more than one pair of eyes has checked the cube; and once an entire cell has two votes on most/all cubes, admins know that most of the issues on the cell are under control and the Grim Reaper himself can take care of the rest. At that point, the cell is considered done!

If you intend to Scythe Complete a branch, please check from parents to children, going from the cell body outward. 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 pinkish purple on “your” branch and it will signal that someone’s SCing (Scythe Completing) there, minimizing redundant activity. Please do not claim a branch to SC by using the complete-children button. The SC color should only indicate a cube has already been checked and it’s definitely good. Only use complete-children when the branch is fully grown/nubbed/checked/fixed and the only non-SC’d stuff left is corner cubes.

When you are the second Scythe reviewing a single-voted branch, your votes will cause the branch to look more purple. You should look just as closely as the second Scythe as if you were the first, and if you find a problem in a cube, reaping will undo the previous vote, because that vote was not correct. (The one exception: if the consensus difference between your reap and the cube’s previous consensus is 2% or less, the old vote will remain, to account for differences of opinion about dust.) Once your reap has solved the problem, you can add your own vote. Assuming the troublesome cube was on a branch that hasn’t otherwise received two Scythe Complete votes, you can just log the cube as “Good,” and the Scythes who wind up checking the majority of the branch will add a second vote later. If, however, the cube was already surrounded by cubes with two votes, you can log it as “+ Scythe” to draw another Scythe’s eyes back over there for final confirmation.

+1 Scythe vote, +2 Scythe votes, +1 Admin vote

Here’s an example of what might happen when declaring a cube complete.

  1. Scythe #1 is doing a first check on the branch and declares the cube complete. The cube is now unplayable.
  2. Scythe #2 notices at random that the cube still has a merger. This Scythe reaps out the merger and updates the log to say that they made a change, setting the status to Good and adding their own complete vote.
  3. Scythe #3 is double-checking the whole branch, comes across the cube in question, agrees that it’s all right, and declares the cube complete.
  4. Later, an admin comes by and sees that this branch and all the others are double-voted. The admin takes a look at the cube if they’re suspicious about it, but otherwise they declare the cube complete before finishing the cell.

Here’s another example of what a branch would look like in various states of completion:

As you can see, certain cubes have been declared complete by one Scythe, others have been declared complete by two Scythes, and the parent was declared complete by an admin.

Please avoid Scythe Completing cubes without weight 3, and please uncomplete any SC’d cubes under weight 3 unless there are any special notes in the log. Otherwise, “underweight” cubes may have been locked before they can spawn.

Just to reiterate, don’t Scythe Complete something unless it’s really okay; if you have reaped a cube already, it’s not worth declaring Scythe Complete until you know the problem is gone, or if you can tell from either the overview or inspecting that a new problem hasn’t been created. When in doubt about a reap, set the log status to “Watch.” But at the same time, remember that if you do make a mistake, another Scythe or an admin will look at what you’ve done and adjust it as necessary. Again, we haven’t promoted you for nothing!

If you Scythe Complete an average of 200 cubes per month, and if your reaping accuracy stays around 95% (as mentioned in the earlier section), these two components are the main factors in whether you can become a Mystic.

Fort Scythe: How To Reapgrow

Because Scythes add a weight of 3 to any cube they reap, and because cubes spawn children at weight 3 (or merely weight 2 for level 2), this technically means that if a Scythe inspects and reaps a cube that previously had a weight of zero, they will cause the cube to spawn children even without being traced normally by anyone. Such an action is called reapgrowing. When you reapgrow, you receive your initial reaping points; then, like a trailblaze, you receive retro points to acknowledge that you reaped an entire trace from scratch.

Reapgrowing has pros and cons. The pros are that a single Scythe can grow out an entire branch (or an entire cell) all on their own, which speeds up Eyewire’s cell completion and gives that Scythe a sense of well-deserved pride in such an accomplishment. The cons are that if Scythes reapgrew every available cube all the time, regular players would quickly run out of cubes to trace normally. But because more completed cells are always better than less, and because Grim trusts his noble acolytes, there are special cells available to play entirely by reapgrowing. Such a cell is called a Fort Scythe. This is the only context in which you can reapgrow; do not reapgrow on non-Fort cells unless designated by an admin, or unless it’s a duplicate cube.

A Fort in various stages of completion

Basic instructions for reapgrowing:

1. Mention in chat which cell you intend to grow, to reduce redundant activity. If you plan to start with a specific branch, specifying it is all the better.

2. Grow branches from start to finish, beginning near the cell body and working out.

3. Please periodically check the overview. Since it updates in real time and you can see where other Scythes are working with the floating scythe icons, 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.

A Fort Scythe can be either a level 1 or a level 2 cell, so the scale of reaping retro points you receive there may vary. Either way, only Scythes or Scouts can view or choose these cells in the “change cell” menu. If you are a Scythe, reapgrow these cells to your heart’s content. There’s really no need to trace normally within them, because then you’ll only be giving the cubes weight 1, not weight 3, and Fort Scythes are about speedy and accurate cell growth. If you are a Scout, you can flag cubes here and join the Scythes in making sure there aren’t any mistakes, but please trace cubes yourself on other cells, although it’s not the end of the world if you forget this.

Fort Scythe cells have automatic log entry disabled for reaping, so you can reapgrow quickly and only add new, manual entries for specific problems.

All Forts are considered “hands off” for admins until Scythes conclude that each cell is ready for an admin to give a final review. That means it’s up to Scythes to check the Fort branches after they’ve grown out, reaping or Scythe Completing as necessary. Don’t Scythe Complete as you reapgrow; as with any other cell, make sure you’re adding your votes only when you’re positive that the cube is okay, which often means waiting on a whole branch to grow for an entire picture. Please also be courteous to fellow Scythes and wait to Scythe Complete what they’ve reapgrown until they’re done, unless you want to directly coordinate with each other. (Note also that in a Fort, your purple SC color will cover your Scythe blue for a change, not the other way around. This way, you can tell what’s just been reapgrown vs. what’s been both reapgrown and verified.)

Although you do have the option to turn off player activity icons in overview and/or hide your own activity from overview, HQ strongly advises that Scythes keep the icons on and their activity unhidden in Forts. This is the ideal practice for normal cells, too. We have found in the past that without seeing where other Scythes are in the overview, it can become all too easy to play redundantly and step on each other’s toes by reapgrowing or Scythe Completing where someone else was already doing the same thing. Watching where other Scythes are and letting them know you’re there is the best way to avoid this problem!


New Scythes, you should notice that upon your promotion, your profile got some extra columns.

Screenshot from 2016-02-26 15:36:18

This player has received 53,043 Scythe points in total, and 85,553 Completed points. These points are earned by the cube. This means, for example, that if you reaped 4 cubes, and Scythe Completed 10 cubes, you would receive 4 Scythe points, and 10 Completed points. These points are separate from your regular game play points.

Scythe points are received instantly, but you will only receive Completed points once an admin confirms that your cube is complete. This may happen several ways. An admin can color over your cube with the dark admin complete purple; these cubes are totaled at the end of every day (midnight ET). Alternately, if an admin never colors over your cube, you will receive such Completed points when the cell is officially declared complete and taken down.

If an admin finds a cube that isn’t really done, they will “nuke” that cube. The cube will no longer be purple, and any Completed points for it will be nothing more than a memory.

(Scouts: you may notice that the column reading Scythe exists for you too. This is where all your flagged cubes are tallied.)

Scything, Summary Version

(Hat tip to @susi, @Nseraf, and @baraitalo for their work that inspired this section!)

If you just got started as a Scythe and want to double-check a fast overview of what you should be doing— that is, without reading alllll the above material again— here are the basics. Review this section whenever you like!

Your mission:

  • Check grown-out cell branches and mark cubes with correct consensus by using the Scythe Complete function.
  • Fix cubes with incorrect consensus by using the reap function.

Reaping, completing, and logging:

You already know how to use the Scouts’ Log, for the most part. If you see any notifications there about open tasks, especially under “Need Scythe,” feel free to jump to those cubes and reap the necessary changes, automatically updating the log with new statuses. Should you find that 3+ reaps by Scythes have not solved a problem, feel free to change the status to “Need Admin.”

If you are in a reap-happy mood, you can put your powers to use far beyond what others have already flagged. Just start SCing in general, working from the cell body outward, and correct bad cubes as you go! Now that you don’t just need to flag what you find wrong, the moment that you see mergers or bald patches, you can inspect and reap them if required. Leave low-weight cubes alone; go with 3.0 or higher for any cell. And whenever you see any cubes that look correct, you should give them your Scythe Complete vote.

For logging a reap, log as “Good” if the problem is resolved; log as “+ Scythe” if the problem is resolved but a second SC vote is needed and other Scythes are unlikely to normally notice the cube (usually if it is reap-blue and surrounded by double-voted cubes); log as “Watch” if you’re not sure whether your reap was correct, and don’t SC a “Watch” cube until you’ve confirmed that it’s okay now. If you just SC a cube without doing anything else, there’s no need to log. And remember that you will more likely need help from other Scythes on cells launched before the “last Scythe wins” consensus override rule.

For the visually inclined, to understand the full scope of how reaping and Scythe Completing works as a process, we’ve sometimes had a flow chart; this is under revision, but it will return!

Scythe-related points:

  • You receive 150 points per cube that has been submitted with correctional changes. In rare instances where you reap without changes, you receive 30 points.
  • You receive 25 points per cubes you have Scythe Completed, when the cell itself is declared complete. You receive a further 1000 points apiece if you reach 25, 50, 100, and 200 Scythe Completes on the same cell.

Fort Scythe protocol:

  • There’s no normal playing, only reapgrowing.
  • Check chat and overview to see if someone else is reapgrowing any branches; do not take a branch from someone else if they’re actively working on it.
  • Announce in chat which branch you’re going to start on.
  • Wait to Scythe Complete your and others’ branches until they’re basically grown out.
  • Admin will declare the cell complete when it’s fully grown and fully SC’d.

Appendix: Hotkeys

If you just can’t get enough of keyboard commands, you (Scythes especially) can use the following hotkeys to assist you in all the tasks detailed above.

Eyewire keyboard Shortcuts Image

Appendix: Using Player Scripts as a Scout or Scythe

As of January 2018, there are a number of officially supported add-on scripts you can run on Eyewire. These scripts were created by some amazing player-developers! For a full rundown of what’s available (and instructions on how to enable scripts), check out this post, but here’s how some of them become more interesting for you to use once you’re a Scout or Scythe.

Eyewire DLC (developed by @crazyman4865):

  • The additional chat commands available through /help are primarily useful for promoted players.
  • Since you have extra chat channels now, the tabbed chat function can keep everything organized between different channels.
  • Viewing the spawn border within a cube can be helpful when reapgrowing or generally trying to reap in a complicated gap extension.
  • The Toolbox stays in the same position in your tab as you left it, even after a refresh; the usernames in it also become clickable profile links.
  • You can jump to cells by cell ID, not just cube ID, at the bottom of your screen.
  • If you have difficulty using the standard heatmap colors, you can customize them with the Color Picker. Please note that when you are first training as a Scout and then as a Scythe, HQ strongly advises sticking to the standard heatmap colors so that your fellow Scouts, Scythes, and admins have a shared color reference point to use when talking together.

Profile History (developed by @KrzysztofKruk): Once you are a Scout and higher, new stats are available here, in accordance with the other new data in your profile.

Utilities (developed by @KrzysztofKruk): You may find the “autorefresh Show Me Me” function useful as a Scythe. You can also use the Quickreap buttons to make reaping and logging go even faster. This script also allows you to compand/expand the Scouts’ Log in new ways, adds buttons “Regrow Seed” and “Remove Dupes,” show child cubes’ IDs when showing children in Inspect, and more.

Scythe Complete History (developed by @KrzysztofKruk): The “change cell” menu will indicate the cells where you have SC’d cubes, plus how many cubes are available to SC there.

Custom Highlight (developed by @KrzysztofKruk): This tool lets you mark cubes in overview with a color of your choice that only you can see, if you want to highlight a branch and leave it that way while you look at another one. The custom color overrides all other colors on a cube except the standard highlight function’s color. You will mostly find this helpful if you’re a Scythe prepping a Hunt cell, but there may be other possibilities.

Appendix: Special Missions

Over the years, we’ve noticed that Scouts & Scythes often love being sent on special missions. If you are the same way, keep your eye on the Scouts channel in chat! Admins may offer you unique opportunities to rack up your stats, help with cell prep, or insinuate yourself further into the Grim Reaper’s good graces. Mission types can include:

  • Partially growing new cells before their official launch, to rate their difficulty
  • Suggesting split points for large cells
  • Behind-the-scenes projects, usually offered by our neuroscientists

You may likewise be recruited more often for beta testing of new features.

Sound like fun? We hope so.



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