Addressing Kittsunami and Discord Concerns

Posted 20 February 2021, 09:55:16 PST by Mowen

Hey guys. This news post is to address the recent heated discussions that have been happening in Discord. To start with, we are not going to be publicizing our stats or underlying mechanics. However, we are going to do our best to lay out what the expectation should be from breeding events and hereditary mutations.

Elnin breedings were originally only done by Mana, and completely up to her discretion or what she felt like doing at the time. Breedings were very highly sought after and in very low supply, and very few people got the joy of being able to have a breeding done. A breeding event was proposed by the mod team, one that could be run with little to no input from Mana, and that is how the first Kittsunami began. Mods spent months of their free time building the system, creating the breeding mechanics so that guest artists could join the event, and balancing odds of numerous traits and mutations to be in line with Mana’s wishes. Comments we have seen implying that mods don’t care about the community’s needs are pretty hurtful, to say the least.

The original intent of breedings was, and still is, the excitement of being surprised by your new batch of baby elnins, and the joy (and agony) of choosing one to take home. It is meant to be a fun event focused on building relationships between your characters and other community members. We have stated many times that the group is centered around building your characters at a casual pace and having fun exploring your elnin and their stories. While we understand some members would like to crunch numbers and min-max their breedings, we have never wanted that to be the focus of breedings, and thus the underlying stats will remain hidden for this reason. In the spirit of keeping things a surprise we even included a hidden “lucky” roll with a small chance of a mutation appearing in a breeding that can either be from the parents or a completely new mutation. This is just one of the ways we have tried to make the breeding experience fun and surprising.

We have also gone to great lengths to make the costs of breeding fair and accessible:

  1. $40 for a kittom is undoubtedly the cheapest way to get a new elnin, and you get to choose between multiple designs that are likely to appeal to you since you chose the parents. I think it would be hard to argue getting a breeding isn’t an amazing deal. We have always kept the price capped to make this event accessible to everyone.
  2. Crystal feathers are priced at 14 SC, and you are guaranteed to get at least an uncommon mutation (worth 16 EC), with a chance to get a rare or even exotic mutation which is worth up to 42EC + 1AP. 
    1. This item was rebalanced this year to make the odds scale more evenly with the rarity of the trait, but also to remove the potential of getting a common mutation so that you always get a mutation that is worth more than you paid for.
  3. Bottled luck costs 10 SC. While it is not a guarantee, if you get even one mutation from it you will have gotten something that is at least 16 EC in value, and with the ability to pick up to 5 mutations to boost it is more likely you will get more than you paid for.
    1. This item was also tweaked for this year to make the odds scale more evenly with the mutation rarity, and to scale with different litter sizes (since that was new this year), but overall it's odds are very similar to last year. Please be aware that, like everything in breeding, mutation rarity is factored in. The boost in chances is relative to the base odds, so exotic traits are still quite hard to get, and uncommon traits are much easier to get. We have updated Bottled Luck’s description to be crystal clear on this, since there seems to be the most confusion and concern around this item.
  4. Lastly, but most importantly, you get a 50% discount to purchase almost any hereditary mutation that is present on either of the parents. Even if you are unlucky, there are systems built into the group to make it easy to pick up mutations that you are sad you missed out on.

For patrons, Patreon has always been intended to provide an alternate route to earning currency through group activities. It is an option for those who have the money but not the time to participate. However, regardless of whether you chose to purchase mutations with money, or earn mutations through questing and EC, the result is the same. Hereditary mutations are not a guarantee. The odds of passing a hereditary mutation is reflected in its rarity, so naturally it is much less likely to get an exotic mutation passed than an uncommon mutation. It is not unusual or abnormal for rare mutations to not appear in the kittoms, and is part of Mana’s wishes to keep rare mutations rare. As has been said, if you were really keen on a specific mutation, there is an easy solution to get it with a 50% discount through the EC edit system. You can still get this discount in future Patreon purchases even if you never participate in group activities. The only exception to this is faenin traits, and while we know everybody loves them, they are intended to be the rarest traits at the moment and that is by design. Still, getting a breeding is always a good deal and gives you a lot of tools to work with to get a design you are happy with.

Lastly, we simply are not going to adjust an on-going event. For one thing, all of our time and resources are going into keeping up with the event, and we are at max capacity. When we went into this event we spent months and months discussing and hashing out our thoughts and approaches. Some of the concerns raised have already been discussed long before they passed through suggestions, and decisions for this Kittsunami have already been made. The other reason that we have never made adjustments mid-Kittsunami is that we feel it would be unfair to anyone whose breeding got done before (or after) the change had been made. If any changes will be made, it will be reviewed and discussed after the event is over. We're sorry if this seems harsh or if we seem unresponsive but please understand we are genuinely that busy.

 


 

We also need to address how concerns are being hashed out in Discord. There have been some heated discussions this past week that are burning out staff and causing distress among the community. While we understand the need to discuss concerns, we ask this be done in the suggestions channel rather than the lounge. We’ve received a lot of feedback from members that they are feeling the Discord is increasingly toxic and not a place that they want to be. We need to keep the lounge a place to have fun and hang out, not air your grievances with the group. If someone begins to start in the direction of negative criticism towards how the group is being run, consider directing them to #suggestions. We can pin an exact sentence if it empowers our group members to keep this out of the lounge and other channels if that's what it takes.

It is not up to community members to make a final call on how facets of the group are approached, everyone is entitled to their opinion and nothing more or less. Do not attack other members' opinions. We cannot express how important it is that these conversations remain constructive and respectful. Try to re-read what you type before you post it and be considerate that there are those who will agree and disagree.

We're sorry for the tension in the lounge the other day, and that it wasn’t promptly put to a stop. Our moderator staff is not 24/7, but more significantly we are not all thick-skinned nor are we robots. For those moderators who deal at times with anxiety or emotions that would cripple them from approaching such a large and seemingly hostile conversation, we would never expect them to take on that task at risk to their own well-being. We are volunteers with lives that we absolutely cannot ignore. Not all moderators are fit for Discord moderation. Sometimes the overall tone of the group is too much for some of us to handle. Sometimes the weight of the sheer amount of group members and expectations are a lot for us.

In general, this first week has caused some of our moderators who have had free time to not even want to be in the space of the group and some guest artists as well. This means less motivation directed towards Kittsunami. If you've ever faced apparent hostility before, intentional or unintentional, please know that it is crippling. This is clearly becoming a concern of toxicity towards the group as a whole and damaging the success and enjoyment of Kittsunami and the group. This cannot continue. If it does it will only serve to make things worse for all group members. Thank you for your understanding.