I’m well aware that some people are having issues both with using and understanding the new systems. Sorry it’s a bit confusing; hopefully with time it will get clearer as more resources become available.
The new system uses a Context Free Grammar tree based system to try to expand and elaborate on ages when you first visit them. It uses a rule based system that basically writes the age much like you do, only it’s more clever and has access to all the symbols.
There are some balancing issues with the rules at the moment. This means it is sometimes a bit overzealous when adding symbols in some places, like phases, periods, colors, and terrain modifiers (it gets too many caves, ravines, and tendrils). These are balancing issues, not bugs. I really needed a big team of testers to evaluate the latest changes, but didn’t have that. Instead, it’s a balance-as-we-go thing. It’s a huge, free mod, what did you expect?
What I really need from the community is some patience, understanding, and general feedback on how the elaboration system feels. What needs to be tweaked? What is too common? Are there some features which the grammar system doesn’t seem to add many of? In your random travels, what has been very frequent? What have you barely seen at all?
Thanks for your understanding of this on-going balancing project. Remember that Mystcraft isn’t version 1 yet.