Wrapping up August and September Ahead

Posted 1 month ago :: Last edited 1 month ago by Starbask

Hi all! We're coming in with a bit of an update to wrap up the busy month of August. ^^

Turnaround Times

It's been a bit since we've said anything about turnaround times, so we just wanted to clarify specifics a little more. There have also been some areas where turnaround times are fairly vague, like where unpaid or partially paid design approvals submissions sit.

General Clarifications

  • Turnaround times are internal goals we aim for, not hard deadlines.
    • We ask that users not ask about a submission during these turnaround time periods. Once the turnaround time period passes, users may check-in on a submission.
    • Try not to think of these turnaround times as hard deadlines, where the second they pass we'll have feedback to send. We set turnaround times to try to manage expectations a bit. They're meant to add breathing room for the team and still give users the space to request an update if something's taking a while.
    • We aim to try to keep communication open, but still recognize internally that most moderation work is occurring during limited hours outside of our day jobs and other real life obligations.
  • Submission wait times start from when something was last submitted.
    • For example, you submit a design approval the first week in a month. It could take 2 weeks for a response to come, but instead you get a response after only 1 week. At that point, the turnaround time would reset to potentially 2 weeks of waiting for feedback again.
  • We count 1 week as 7 calendar days.
    • Our team's work schedules vary, some of us do work weekends in real life, and for others on the team, weekends are free time that gets split between moderation work for this group and other tasks in life that need to happen.
    • Since it's come up as a confusion point in the past, we just wanted to clarify this so that everyone is aware; we do not consider a week 5 days, like you would think of typical "business days".
  • We generally respond to things as fast as we can. If something is taking a bit longer, it might be that we need Manaberry's input, or that some team members are busier on a given week.
    • Most approvals are a team effort. We have multiple moderators review each submission for better accuracy in our review processes. Sometimes multiple people look over an approval and we still miss things, but for the most part we run under the premise that a few eyes looking over things are better than one!

Currently these are the turnaround times our team aims for...

  • Design Approvals (paid submissions): 2 weeks + 1 week if we’re in a busy period (21 days)
  • Design Approvals (unpaid/partially paid submissions): 1 month (30+ days)
  • Resonance Quests: 1 month (30+ days)
  • Masterlist Transfers: 1-2 weeks (14 days)
  • Prompts: 1-2 weeks (14 days)
Design Feedback via Discord

The #design_feedback channel was never intended to be used for questions for a specific elnin with no design update submitted. Priority for design update submissions is still dictated largely by whether or not something is paid for or able to be paid for immediately (whether it's EC/SC/USD doesn't make a difference as much as if the currency is fully there). So coming into the #design_feedback channel without any related submission on site gives us zero context on how to prioritize feedback for these requests.

For example, if we were to get 20 questions in #design_feedback for various approvals but only 5 were fully paid for, those 5 individuals that are 100% ready would potentially be waiting for us to answer the other 15 questions, that may not be anywhere near ready to be paid for. It's also possible those 15 questions could be theoretical/tentative edits that might never come to fruition. So for us to be able to prioritize a growth/edit/etc. that is more certain vs. potentially uncertain is important.

We are still willing to review things that are unpaid. We know the ability to have those checks is valuable to the community for pacing reasons and to help guide how our group members choose to potentially use their time/prompt submissions. That said, we still want to try to respect moderators' volunteer time and the time other group members have already put in to save up currency fully. This is the reason why we require design updates to be submitted alongside elnin, so we can keep track of payment in a clear way.

Since there's been some confusion on what the #design_feedback channel is for a few times, we've updated our first pin in the #design_feedback channel of discord to clarify this a bit.

We've updated that pin to include the following:

"We will no longer review inquiries that don't use the following forms below. Design inquiries for a specific elnin/MYO slot MUST have a design approval submitted on-site first for review. If you are trying to ask a question to get a specific elnin's design art updated/checking if something is ok for a myo/art update/growth then please submit a design approval first! We check there initially, and anything submitted here that is specific to a certain elnin should be follow up on an existing submission."

There are 2 types of questions we handle in the design feedback channel:

  1. Design approvals questions for a specific elnin or MYO slot (where a design update submission on site is required.)
    • Example: Is the tail size on this growth good enough for 1MP now? (With use of the "Design Feedback Form for A Specific Elnin/MYO")
  2. General overarching questions that are in no way related to any sort of approval, but clarify some specifics relative to a trait in a broader sense.
    • Example: Can grove tail tips be styled at all? (With use of the "General Trait / Mutation Question Form")

Hopefully this clears up our process a bit. We're sorry if there's been frustration on this, just remember if you're going into the #design_feedback channel with a specific elnin in mind that you're asking the question about or for, we will expect there to be a related design update submission on site. Any questions that are broader should be asked generally about a specific trait, with the intent to clarify existing trait guidelines further.

We heavily advise users to re-submit any changes requested for design approvals on site and discuss feedback there first, as this process is generally quicker and easier to track for both parties. Discord can be helpful for design approvals where there's not many aspects of a design to check, usually follow up on art where less changes are happening.

We don't bar anyone from submitting follow-up checks via discord, however the more things there are to check the higher the chance the post will get buried while it is all being discussed. In cases where there are a lot of checks being made, we may still ask for a submission on site if we're concerned it will take longer to compile feedback. We have multiple moderators look over the art to ensure stats and mutations are represented, and multiple mods review the draft feedback before it is sent out to try to ensure it doesn't miss anything. This means that one mod can't look at a discord post and reply immediately.

Modcation Reminder

We'll be taking a slower-paced approach to September. This was mentioned in a prior news update but we wanted to toss it out there with this one as well.

The first and last weeks of September (9/5/22-9/11/22 and 9/26/22-10/2/22) will be considered weeks "off" for staff.

We're putting it out there publicly because moderators could use a well-defined break. Some mods will occasionally work during designated break periods, but we do not ask them to during these times. Please be patient during the weeks we've marked as off for staff and not to ask for status updates on things. Some of us are workaholics and find it difficult not to want to respond. /v\;; Again, we really want to continue to help the community, but it takes a lot of energy too.

Guidelines Updates and Inclusions

There have been a few trait and lore updates we've gotten feedback and finally moved onto the site.

Trait Updates

  • Overwild (Aquatic) tail style clarifications
    • Included info addressing leafy sea dragon and lobster/crayfish tails.
    • Added in examples and clarified wording for when hydra is needed in conjunction with tentacle styled Overwild (Aquatic) tails.
  • Lore additions made to Hallowed and Infernal Gaze traits.
  • Starlit Suffusion star shapes and star trail clarifications.
  • Luminous Markings and Luminous Suffusion glow coverage clarifications.
  • Inner Fire minor wording updates and clarifications
  • Crystallization mutation updates and clarifications to flesh out the description more and add examples.
  • Capricious Shadow updates and clarifications for this mutation's details.
  • The Heart of the Void mana flaw now has a description and examples.
  • The Extra Fluffy Cheeks mutation is being renamed to Facial Fluff with updates to allow for adult elnin to show beards, and mustaches.

Lore Updates

  • Regional Zevija and Bellmoril elder tree clarifications.
    • Both of these trees feature white trunks and autumnal colors to their leaves
    • Bellmoril has been clarified as being closer to a yellow maple with predominantly yellow leaves, other minimal autumnal leaf color inclusions, and a pure white trunk.
    • Zevija has more recently been clarified as resembling a large birch tree with violently red ember leaves and a trunk that is mostly white and black.
  • Regional Silveil boundary clarifications relative to surrounding regions, mentioned under "Notables:"
    • There's a ring of twilight that exists as you pass over the water surrounding Silveil into surrounding regions!
  • Updates to the general lore page in the "Technology & Magic" section FAQ to cover airship transportation

Prompts, Acts, and Regional Affinity Updates

  • Clarifications about species permission usage and copywritten characters
    • On the General Prompt Guidelines page (This note has also been included under a few other areas like the Questing and Acts pages, and "Elseworlder Orientation" and "A Peculiar Self" acts specifically.)
  • Regional Affinity lore clarifications under " Do elnin know about regional affinity?"

As always, this is an ongoing process so we'll be updating stuff as we go! Thanks everyone for the patience with us as we get through this!

Starfall Faire Wrap Up

The Annual Starfall Faire has come to a close! Raffles wrapped up smoothly this past weekend. Thanks again everyone for all the fun and participating in our event this year! ^^

We'll be keeping the Starfall Faire frame in the Card Frame Merchant's shop for one more week, until 9/12/22 at 11:59pm PST time! So get your frames while you can. >v<b

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