Random idea for the past-MOCs issue that might not work at all: perhaps some contests could have a retroactive deadline? So the contest has x months until voting over however many rounds, during which a set must be built/finalised/updated, but the overall design of any specific past-tense contender can have been posted within no more than x years of the contest beginning? This would soften the blow to newer creators, I think, though would require yet more moderation and could be terribly impractical.
I think new creativity should be prioritised in general to be honest. It levels the playing field, but I know that some people feel really strongly about having the ability to put forth their best work too. I don't think either camp should be excluded but I'm inclined to protect the prior far more, for reasons better said by others. I should be clear about my inherent bias as a member of that prior group, of course.
Additionally, I'm with @Dorek that I'd prefer multi-winner contexts, perhaps to flesh out the remaining Rahi/Dark Hunters/Orderdudes/Agori and so on, but there are still some amazing single-character contests that I'd love to see done well, like Johmak, Varian, Nikila, Lariska, That One With The Arms... Ladies' night, basically!
I like the idea that has been floated (assuming all is well on the legal front) that there could be a set "allowance" of custom parts. One or two, perhaps, but always the option to include none at all, because (imo) this contest should allow everyone to participate with their at-home buckets'n'drawers even if the winner or winners probably used bricklink at some stage. This would allow a custom part or two to be used in the set, likely used for the mask or weapon but possibly for something else cool. I'd also be happy restricting it to masks, and I'd be perfectly fine not allowing them at all.
To me, there's no set that really needs custom parts, given the wealth of constraction pieces, helmets, masks, System detailbits and so forth that we've had over the last ten years, but I acknowledge that some may prefer to use an entirely custom mask for an un-represented kanohi power, or an entirely custom weapon. It's a new form of art, and I like that, so I'm softening on this issue that I was initially against.
Besides custom parts, I know that some don't like the idea of using newer LEGO parts for masks, even if they look right, but I personally don't agree with the top-of-head/front-of-head issue unless it's very clear for story purposes that the mask isn't a mask (as with, say, the HF lion/eagle/rhino helms). It's just not relevant to the set representation for me, because we've only seen a tiny percentage of the possible physiology of GSR inhabitants and a huge variation just within that. Even if you disagree there, the G2 masks alone arguably work more like masks are described in the G1 story than G1 set masks do (unless Tahu had to eat an axle at some point). In that vein, the G2 heads are just as much like the G1 heads as the Metru heads are like the Mata heads.
I don't agree with Hordika/Inika/Mistika as good examples of my point because they're explicitly mutated/weirdos/mutated, but some seem to see that as proof enough. Varian's inorganic Calix is, in fact, an example of an possible exception to my assumption. It maybe should be shown mainly through a custom part, if it is generally agreed that it should look similar to Jaller's and obviously a different colour. Even then, Lewa 2015's golden mask looks like it could fit for a regional variant, to me. (I don't think that Varian should have to be a Metru build; she's not even from the same team as Norik originally.)
Of course, I'm still very against purchased bootlegs that support opportunistic competitors to LEGO because something something hand that feeds us something something legal issues, but mostly because it's not something designed by the community. This, I feel, is the thing that distinguishes custom masks from other bootlegs for our purposes, even if they technically... are that.
Thanks for the response!
I do agree with that point specifically, but Greg is only "wrong" as far as he as a person contradicts what is already canon as per the story team as a whole, or someone with authority (like himself) says he is. These issues don't seem so relevant here, and allowing another version of a previously-drawn character in MOC form seems no worse than canonising the comic portrayal of a character that we have a contrasting set for (as was the case with Jaller Inika's swords and Nuparu Mahri's aqua blaster blade).
In this case, certainly, he'd only be following the community consensus as far as the community as a whole wants its point to be made. It wouldn't be whim and any canon mishaps would be likely be caught prior to it appearing on his proverbial desk.
The data/viewership point I made was based primarily on the fact that I thought you had the authority to be speaking for BS01 as a whole, which, to be fair, you heavily implied/stated that you were (unless you often refer to yourself in the plural). Scepticism can be a powerful tool but, frankly, that's not what "draw some hard lines" means or implies. It sounded very much like you (and BS01, before @Swert's comment clarified the matter) were taking an immediate, reactionary stance to disallow certain depictions even if the consensus and Greg Farshtey (and thus all the canon we really have access to) was going to allow them. That's all that came across as arrogant, and I do appreciate that it wasn't intended as such.
I really, really appreciate BS01 as a resource and as part of the community that held things together in the "dark times", but, to extend that metaphor, I'm pretty sure Takua would have been laughed out of Ta-Koro if he had started saying that he'd only transcribe the Kolhii results if the teams matched his criteria for "playing well".
...If that makes any sense at all. I'm not trying to be overly pedantic, and I hope that's clear; I just want things to be apparent to all concerned, and to know that our chroniclers will chronicle whatever is decided to be canon at the end of the day. I do appreciate that you're being careful, but it's okay to take a hop of faith now and then.