Site News

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.

Updates to On-site Resources and Trait Guidelines

Posted 25 January 2021, 17:11:54 PST by Mowen

Hi guys! First off we just wanted to let you know we have moved over the Elnin Breeding Post from DeviantArt and added it to the Directory of Resources! Now you can get to know all the lore surrounding elnin romance, breeding, and kittoms!

We’ve been hard at work slowly updating a bunch of trait guidelines and resources. This has been an ongoing project, but here is a changelog of every resource we’ve updated since our last changelog post:

Inner Fire

  • Added: Because the trail of light matches the anima color, this also means it will reflect any mutations that affect the anima. Forexample:
    • An elnin with dual-toned anima would show both colors in a gradient.
    • If an elnin has heterochromia, odd-eyed, chimeric anima, or kaleidoscopic anima, the trail should match the color of the eye it is emitting from.
    • An elnin with starlit anima would have the starlit effect in the trail as well. The same goes for other similar effects.
  • Added: The trail of light should be thin and tapered, quickly dissipating as it gets further away from the eye. Please avoid making swirly, billowing, cloud-like effects.

Trinket Crowns

  • Added: The item should only be one distinct object. Not one object on top of or attached to another object.
  • Added: If it’s a food item make it clearly food and not just raw meat / animal parts
    • Exception: A bone or skull is OK

Horn Coverings have been overhauled, and renamed to Gilded Anima

  • Description
    • Gilded anima overlays a covering on the anima's surface, and can be applied anywhere anima exists apart for the eyes. Typically this just applies to the horns, but if your elnin has a fractal crown or a mutation like crystallization, gilded anima can be applied to those areas as well!
    • The gilded overlay typically appears as a metallic surface with metal hues. However, it can also be a matte surface with non-metallic hues.
  • Details
    • Gilding can appear on the top or bottom of the horns (or both). Consider it like a "cap" to the anima. Apply this logic to any other place the gilding can appear.
      • The gilding needs to be flush with either the top or bottom edge of the horn (or piece of anima) since the gilding originates from these points. There should not be a gap where the anima shows between the gilding and the edge it originates from. The gilding does not have to wrap all the way around the horn, it just needs to have a clear origin point.
    • Gilding can include engraving and detailing consistent with metalwork or jewelry. If your gilding has this sort of decoration on it please keep the theme consistent throughout the gilding. 
      • Overly segmented designs with many overlapping pieces are not allowed unless the elnin has the Scale mutation. Standard gilding should appear as one cohesive piece.
      • You may design the gilding so that it has gaps or areas where the anima shows through. Please do this in moderation and make sure the gilding overall feels like one cohesive piece.
      • There may be a couple of "floating" pieces that are separated from the main body of the gilding, but keep this to a minimum and keep it consistent with the theme.
    • Gilding should only partially cover the anima. Please leave at least half of the anima visible.
    • The color of gilded anima should be monochromatic. There can be slight color variance for aesthetic purposes but overall it should appear as one color.
    • The gilding should appear to be flush with the anima for the most part, but it can still show a tiny height difference or lip on its edges.
    • No embedded gems are allowed in the gilding, these can only be shown in horn glamours.

5MP Hybrid Crowns

  • Rule Update: 5MP hybrid crowns may now include 2 or more crown types, but lower MP hybrid crowns are restricted to only 2 crown types.

Fae Doe Eyes & Doe Eyes

  • Added: Keep in mind that since the large area in the center of the eye is actually the pupil, it always needs to be black or very close to black. You can have a tint of color to match your elnin's eyes better but it should appear black at a glance.
  • Added visual guide

Fauna Crowns

  • Added: The designs of the animals should be simplified, rather than true-to-life versions. For example if your creature is a snake, you should not be drawing every scale on it and nictitating eyelids.

Luminous Markings

  • Added: Luminous markings on the body can fade into the fluff at the base of the tail, but it should be a clear fade and extension of existing markings on the body (see blue section of mini-guide). Markings should not be present near the tips of long furred sections.
  • Added: The markings on shoal and grove tails may extend a bit further down the tail where the fur is extremely short (see the purple section of mini-guide).
  • Added mini guide

Anatomy Guide

  • Added: Elnin teeth are small with pointed canines. 
    • Note: Prominent Canines are a mutation, so please avoid fangs / long canines if you do not have it!

Prominent Canines

  • Added Description: While all elnin naturally have pointed canines (just like a cat would!) they are rather small. Prominent canines are much larger than standard elnin teeth and can be seen even while the mouth is closed.
  • Added: The top canines can be elongated, the bottom canines can be elongated, or both!
  • Added: If you do not have prominent canines, but wish to draw your elnin's canines for the sake of expression or attitude, be sure that the rest of the teeth can also be seen. Standard elnin canines are not much longer than the rest of their teeth, and so they could not be seen without seeing the rest of the teeth.
  • Added: Single fangs showing out of an open mouth or closed mouth are reserved for prominent canines.
  • Added: You may feel free to stylize your prominent canines like an anime fang expression. 
  • Added mini guide

Upright/Forward Facing Ears

  • Added: Upright ears are naturally sleek, but fluffy upright ears are also an option
  • Added: Keep in mind that upright ears should mostly be facing forward. They can rotate slightly, but not to an extreme degree.
  • Added mini guide image

Extra Fluffy Cheeks

  • Added quick size guide image
  • Added: As a rule of thumb, if the cheek fluff is larger than the elnin's eyes it would be Extra Fluffy Cheeks

Capricious Shadow

  • Added: You may depict the shadow having a face / expression
  • Added: You may depict the shadow having altered versions of existing traits, but no traits it does not possess
    • Example: if your elnin has neat and tidy hair, the shadow could have messy hair. 

Moved gijinka notes from Prompt Guidelines to Anatomy page

Grove Tails

  • Added: Grove tails can have a little bit of fluff on the top of the tail base, but it should be kept short

Light Reactive Coat

  • Added descriptions and examples for the individual sub-classes
  • Added details on how to achieve the different effects / what we’re looking for, and also how to avoid conflicting with these effects

Updated Outfit and Accessories Guidelines

  • Added:  Accessories that arevery near, attach, or wrap around an elnin's horns should be avoided as they can be confused as part of the horn or its glamours.
    • In general, please avoid accessories that are meant to look like horns / antlers. You can have accessories that use horns / antlers but they should not be arranged in a way that they appear to be actual horns / antlers on the head.
    • Avoid living materials appearing to grow around or attach to the horns in any way, as living horns are exclusive to Royal elnin.
  • Added: Feathers, fins, or other accessories that might be perceived as part of the elnin's body must have their attachment clearly shown.For example, a feather stuck in the hair by itself would not be allowed, but if it is shown wrapped to the hair with a string or has a metal clip then it would pass. Just please make it clear it is an accessory and not growing out of the body!
  • Added link to this area from prompt guidelines

Crown Guide

  • Moved Common Crown Pitfalls from Anatomy Guide to Crown Guide

Anima Patterning

  • Added Details:
    • Can only be a darker or lighter shade of the anima color.
    • Can be transparent or slightly more opaque.
    • Must be uniform across the entire surface of the eye. The only exception being a "frosted"/"iced" texture which is holdover from legacy stuff but must at least be present uniformly across all eyes even if it's only across a portion of the eye.

Kittsunami 2021 Update!

Posted 9 January 2021, 20:37:05 PST by Starbask

Hello everyone! We’re here with our next update mostly focused around Kittsunami and guesting opportunities in the future!

Kittsunami 2021

As many of you might have guessed there are some changes to Kittsunami this year. We’ve thought a lot about these changes as well as the scale and scope of this event as a whole.

Notable changes this year are:

  1. We’ll have two “Pools” this year, a Primary (Limited) Pool and a Secondary (Unlimited) Pool.
    Rules for posting a pairing…
    1. To the Primary (Limited) Pool will be:
      • A user may enter a maximum of 4 times in this pool.
      • The 4 entries do not have to be separate elnin! A user can enter the same elnin, at the same time, more than once, but only up to a maximum of 4 times for the entire duration of the event.
      • Once a user has 4 entries submitted to this limited (primary) pool they cannot submit any more entries to this pool for the duration of the event, even if one of their other entries in this pool is picked. They may submit additional entries to the Secondary Pool as long as the elnin are not currently in any pairing in the Primary pool.
      • Single elnin can be submitted to this pool as long as the above guidelines are followed.
      • Examples:
        • 2 pairings where you own all 4 elnin
        • 1 pairing where you own 2 of the elnin in the pairing, and 2 other pairings where you only own 1 elnin in the pairing.
        • 4 pairings with other users where you only own 1 elnin in each pairing.
        • 4 pairings with other users where you own the same 1 elnin in each pairing.
        • 4 singles with no partner listed.
      • We'll be monitoring pairs posted to make sure they don't exceed the limit. If you're found violating the pair limit, we'll contact you to determine which pairs will be removed. This may delay your ability to be selected for a breeding.

    2. To the Secondary (Unlimited) Pool will be:
      • An elnin can only be submitted in one pairing at any time for the Secondary Pool.
      • That elnin must not be in any active/unpicked pairings in the Primary Pool as well.
      • There is no limit on the amount of times an owner can enter this pool if they have multiple elnin and those elnin are not currently in an unpicked pairing in the Primary pool - the restriction is only tied to individual elnin.
      • After an elnin gets a finished breeding, if that elnin is in no other active pairings in either pool they may re-enter that elnin to the Secondary pool if time permits.
      • Single elnin can be submitted to this pool as long as the above guidelines are followed.

  2. GAs will be allowed to do up to 2 litters per week for 7 weeks from the start of the event.
    1. Last Kittsunami this was not initially the case, we upped it with support from both the GA side and the moderator side, however the last Kittsunami did push the team. Not everything we thought would be easier was. While there were great improvements that enabled us to still follow through with the second kittsunami’s scale it definitely was not something we foresaw as sustainable.
    2. Things came up in personal lives and we were at times short staffed, which can happen. That has definitely impacted both above and below decisions in some way! We have a slightly bigger team this year but learning from last Kittsunami’s strain points we have not scaled the event to triple the size this year, our projection for the event’s maximum potential size is about the same as it was in 2019.

  3. This year’s GAs will be picked from a pool of users who have guested for us before. (Please read our “Future Guesting Plans” section further down below for more info on why we made this decision please! We’ve made conscious choices about how much we can handle and we hope you’ll respect our choice.)
    1. Due to the potential large scale of this Kittsunami being in play we have decided not to have any completely new guest artists for this Kittsunami event. Some may be new to Kittsunami, while others will not be.
    2. We factor in a lot when deciding on GAs, and with newer artists there are a lot of pressures and unknowns for both the mod team and those artists. Especially with an event as big and as fast-paced as Kittsunami is! We do want to explore new guest artists but with that in mind we’re saving involving uninitiated GAs for later smaller scale events to alleviate potential pressure.
    3. We have already compiled a list of GAs to invite, however we will not be announcing who they are in a larger public way until the event officially kicks off!

  4. Litter sizes will be smaller overall, 3-4 kittoms depending on which pool you enter in.
    1. The Primary Pool will have 4 kittoms per litter, the Secondary pool will have 3. Regardless of if you’re entering as a single elnin or not. 
    2. GAs will be required to pick their first breeding every week from the primary pool, after which they can choose a second breeding from either Primary or Secondary Pools.
    3. The Secondary Pool will also have slightly higher prices than the Primary Pool.

  5. ‘Free for Use’ single elnin will have their own journal this year. This journal will be specifically for users who want to lend their elnin up for pairings for no charge but will get no kittom in return.
    1. This won’t count against a user’s limit to the Primary pool.
    2. This pool is purely goodwill for anyone wanting to lend an elnin to pair up with singles in either journal that couldn’t find a pair and if a GA does not like the options within those pools.
    3. GAs will not be allowed to pair singles cross pools. You won’t see a GA pair a Primary pool elnin with one from the Secondary pool. Pairings will need to be made within their respective pools, unless a ‘Free for Use’ single elnin is being used for that breeding.

  6. Users will be expected to have an account on the WoE site to participate in this Kittsunami if they want to submit a pairing.

  7. Pairing forms will be required to use WoE masterlist entries to be eligible for claim by GAs seeking to draw pairings this year.

  8. Strange Coin Merchant Potions
    1. These potions will be undergoing a little repricing, rebalancing, and renaming. We’ll also be adding an additional potion to the shop that allows you to permanently adjust your elnin’s sex if they are below noble rank, tentatively called “Everlasting Effervescent Potion” until we decide on renaming things.
    2. Potions will be renamed in hopes of separating them out a bit more! Just so they’re less easy to confuse / don’t all end in the word “Potion”
    3. Potion roster this year:
      • Scintillating Potion - 10SC
        • This potion will not be able to be bought with EC
      • Unstable Potion - 14SC
        • This potion will not be able to be bought with EC
      • Effervescent Potion - 10SC or 10EC
      • Everlasting Effervescent Potion - 14SC or 14EC
    4. Potions will still functionally either boost or add mutations, or adjust an elnin’s sex (temporarily or permanently) depending on which potion you’re using.

  9. This year we will be requiring links to your WoE elnin masterlist entries on pool forms.
    If we require links to dA masterlist entries we’ll notify individuals when the forms for event pools go live but until then just the WoE ones should suffice. ovob

Things that will stay the same or very similar compared to previous years:

  1. Event Journals will be on dA for this Kittsunami. We had some ideas about shifting the event off of dA more, however given timelines, cost, and long term goals for breedings at this time we’re not in a position to be implementing the number of features required to host something like this event fully on site.

  2. The Secondary pool is primarily directed towards users that want to submit more breedings than they would otherwise be able to in the Primary pool and functions more similarly to our pairing pool for Kittsunamis in past years. Given the numbers crunched to try to balance goals for this event though the Secondary pool is not intended to be the focus for this event.

Future Kittsunamis and Guesting

2022 & Future Kittom Breeding Plans

After much deliberation and assessing the group’s growth over time as a team, we have decided this will be the last large scale Kittsunami we host. This doesn’t mean there will never be another Kittsunami but this will be the last year we are able to make a good faith attempt to try to reach as many group members as possible with pairings. While not a guarantee, we will try to encourage this! Future Kittsunamis after this upcoming one will be limited and downscaled significantly to leave room to work on other plans in tandem.

There are about 340 users on our website. We understand not all of our group members may have adult elnin, however, if we paired up each of those 340 group members (assuming they have at least 1 adult elnin) with unique owner pairs we would have about 170 pairings. If all of those pairings were 4 kittoms each (the largest litter size for this Kittsunami) we would have about 680 kittoms. We have factored in as well that many users own multiple elnin, and at times have queued them up with secondary (or more) pairings. When you start to do the math and double that number for group members hoping to get 2-3 breedings either per elnin or across even 2-3 of their elnin the numbers scale to anywhere from 1360-2040 kittoms.

Needless to say, as the group grows the goal of trying to “spread the love” across elnin in the group owned by our users becomes significantly harder. It will not be sustainable next year. We also recognize that creating 800 kittoms every year is also not sustainable for the group.

Future Regular Guesting Opportunities

With the above in mind, we will be planning smaller scale guest breeding opportunities, as well as more regular guesting opportunities in the group as the year goes on. We have a 2 month long Kittsunami ahead of us, a modcation following for any mods that need it, and then plans for summer/around June or so already, though they are not finalized. Starfall Faire is predicted to return as normal this year as well. So it will likely be significantly later in 2021 that we do more guest breedings, if not 2022.

We enjoy the large Kittsunamis and the excitement they foster, but we want to try to pursue other endeavors too. The moderator team has a tendency to be ambitious and our year is already quickly booking up with ideas of what else we would like to do volunteer time permitting. Events regularly take at least a month or two to plan and implement, so aside from modcation you can imagine we’ll be out of one event and quickly back into another given the timeline. That is a lot of how our behind the scenes works, keeping as much going as we can sustain while still doing more by adding events on top. It’s a lot. We’ll continue to see improvements but it will take time.

This past year we’ve tested what keeping approvals open for “smaller” large events looks like with this past Winter Wonders event’s planning, implementation, and execution phases. Assuming the events we do in the future aren’t as large as Kittsunami typically is, we're hoping we can do more in other areas. Exactly what yet we aren’t entirely committed to. We have some ideas of things we know the group (and the mod team/Mana) have wanted to see come to fruition for a long time so likely we’ll focus there first.

Until then we hope you’ll be patient with us for this last larger scale Kittsunami. Improving guides and implementing new opportunities and features in the group will likely be a larger more arduous goal. It will not be quickly accomplished but we’re looking forward to it, and hope the community is too!

(And a small note Resonance Questing will be open during the event but we will be considering approving claims for Resonant status as a low priority item for the duration of the event. If we find ourselves short on time and resources it's possible we may not approve any resonance quests during this time so please be patient with us on those!

Transfers for eligible elnin will also still be open but again please do not rush staff on these. We have intent to check regularly, but much like we ask community members to wait minimally a week before asking us if a design approval has gotten feedback, we ask you not follow up the day of on a transfer. It does not typically take us multiple days to follow up, but we'll be pretty busy! Thank you. ;v;b )

Timelines Between Now and Kittsunami

Posted 10 December 2020, 19:51:28 PST by Starbask

In response to some questions about timelines coming up relative to Kittsunami in 2021!

The December prompt this month ends on the 28th for anyone trying to get the potential 2AP from that. ovob

In terms of Kittsunami we're tentatively aiming for some time around mid February to host the start of the event.

What this means for prompts in January/February. We're going to aim to have January's prompt span 2 months long, running through February as well. There will be 2 submissions total for that prompt. So if you're prioritizing getting growths done and don't need the AP you could in theory put your growths first and not worry about the prompt until February. Or inversely if you're relying on February AP for a growth you could start on doing both submissions early January to get those in before we close new approvals.

 

So what does this mean timeline wise?

A few things...

  1. January 15th is the latest we recommend getting in questing/prompts for AP.
  2. January 23rd will be the last day we'll be accepting any NEW design update submissions to our queue. We will be closing design updates at this point meaning it will not be possible to submit any new edits/growths/etc.
  3. January 24th - February 7th. In this 2 week window of time we'll only be addressing any feedback for things already in the queue.
    - The first week will be focused on trying to get the bulk of feedback to people.
    -
    The second week will be focused on final edits. Specifically if you've submitted something and it has just minor tweaks needed and is resubmitted ASAP we'll try to get to it but no promises.

 

Things we want to emphasize:

  1. We're going to do our best to address everyone’s approvals and quests in a timely fashion but given the team is entirely composed of volunteers our work is most commonly done during our free time, usually on the weekends, so don’t worry if some time has passed and you haven’t heard back yet.
  2. We're trying to talk with team members now to get a sense for how busy they will be around deadlines. We know midterms for some of our staff are around then so we will be down 2 staff early February. At least 1 other staff member is considered an essential worker, meaning if the pandemic gets worse they may be busy as well. If anyone else on the team has circumstances pop up we'll be working around those too.
  3. The pandemic is in full swing still, and unfortunately it's currently directly impacting Mana and her family. To be supportive we are expecting her focus to be on her family at the moment. So what does this mean for stuff currently waiting on her? We'll be doing our best to try to address what we can to get back to users with what we know for sure will work approval wise. This means we may recommend edits that we know for sure we can approve based on the current guidelines we have. Otherwise stuff currently waiting on her will likely be impacted.
  4. We can't stress getting in things early enough at the moment. If you're confident you will have currency by Kittsunami please get in any WIPs you have ASAP. Those without payment attached will still be considered lower priority but the more time we have to review the better.
  5. We expect a lot of approvals to hit us on all fronts (design, prompt, and questing wise) in January. We've had approvals open since September and will do our best to try to do what we can in January but please understand we will not be making last minute exceptions or rushing last minute to approve things that need a lot of edits.
  6. We know there has been concern about the number of mods and that hiring more mods may resolve the issue. However the same concerns still apply in that at the end of the day, being a mod means volunteering your free time and we will always ask mods to prioritize their RL life/health first and foremost.

    We may consider the option post-Kittsunami when there is less of a time crunch for planning, but as bringing more mods requires input from Mana as well as training which is not feasible during events or Covid, this is not a solution we can consider until the distant future.

 

Hopefully this gets everyone on the same page! Some of our staff between now and then will be focusing more heavily on the planning side of Kittsunami. We will do our best but we're definitely not superhuman without limits. It's a lot of pressure and we don't want staff burning out before the event even starts. Thank you for your patience!

December Gift Art Prompt and Raffle!

Posted 3 December 2020, 18:04:41 PST by Starbask

Hello everyone!

The monthly prompt is now live! There's a lot of stuff going on this month and so I wanted to cover a few things. The event schedule on dA will be updated to reflect deadlines for the prompt shortly. This update will be cross posted on discord and dA too. ovob

Notables you'll probably notice this month as you look over the prompt:
1. The gift art prompt will only run until December 28th at 11:59 PST this month. That's 3 days earlier than the month's end so we can wrap up raffles between the holidays.

2. There is a MYO slot raffle component to this month's gift art prompt. That raffle will be rolled on December 30th. You will need to submit 1-2 google forms (depending on if you do one or both of the submissions this month)! Read the prompt as there's a lot more info there than I'll cover here!

3. You are able to earn up to 2AP for this month. AP submissions will be backgrounds/writing about a given region, and they will be submitted separately from the gift art itself. (There are benefits to this, like giving us the ability to wrap up the MYO slot raffle and remain flexible on edits for AP backgrounds/writing)
Please read the Regional Affinity section for this month's prompt to learn more!

We will be keeping an eye on submissions and keep the community updated if we have concerns or anything changes!

The guest artists have worked very hard to contribute some lovely elnin to the event! We don't want to undermine the effort and the time they've put into helping us make this event really pop with some truly beautiful designs. Therefore, please consider any moderator-run raffles held during this event to be a little something extra we wanted to add to the event. They will not be grandiose in terms of traits.

This event has definitely grown in scale as its progressed, so we greatly appreciate the continued support and willingness to work with us. Thank you for sticking with us as we've navigated this difficult year!

The "Festive Gifting Spirit" Prompt can be found here!

Winter Wonders Event!

Posted 28 November 2020, 19:30:27 PST by Starbask

Hello everyone! The Winter Wonders Event schedule is now officially up. You can read more about it on our group deviantart journal!

View the Event Schedule here!

A Chill in the Air

Posted 24 November 2020, 15:44:32 PST by Starbask

While Eyre itself does not get particularly cold during the miasma months, some flyers seem to be floating around that are giving elnin the chills! They're cool to the touch and still have a crisp smell to them as though they were hurriedly sent out from the far reaches of Strynhalde. It sounds like some marvelous guests will be gathering to put on a display of Strynhalde aesthetics that elseworlders would readily call "Winter Wonders".

Join us in greeting some wonderfully wintery elnin! Look forward to the event schedule going live on Deviant Art on November 28th. (We will be cross posting a link to the journal here via news post on that day as well.)

The first sale will be a flaffle on November 29th. The flaffle window will be open for 24 hours so there will be plenty of time to review the sale information and ask questions!

If you're just looking to get into the spirit of the season though keep your eyes peeled for the gift art prompt that will go up around the beginning of December!

Winter Wonders Flier

(See the Eyre Script Key to decode the flyer)

Flyer by Starbask

Addressing Feedback on Design Approvals

Posted 18 November 2020, 15:01:13 PST by Mowen

Hey guys, we’ve been getting a lot of feedback on the approvals system since it opened, and a lot of people are feeling frustrated by the strictness of masterlist art approvals. We hear you, and we have some thoughts on improving the experience for everybody.

The main reason we have been so strict on masterlist art, is because the masterlist is the place most people go to see what traits and mutations look like. This puts us in an awkward position of knowing if we let things slide it’s likely to slowly push mutations, tail lengths, etc, further and further away from the standard Mana has set forth. We’ve been grappling with how to make approvals less of a pain without pushing Elnin traits and mutations in a direction Mana may not want.

Here is our plan moving forward:

  • We’ll do our best to be more flexible on design approvals
  • Guides and encyclopedia entries will continue to be fleshed out to give more details on traits as well as the best examples of the trait we can find (example: Starlit Anima)
  • We’re still in the process of updating our resources, but as they are updated they will be the main point of reference for traits and mutations.

What you can help us with:

  • Send in sketches for approvals before final art. We continue to get complaints when we request changes on final art, even though we received nothing leading up to it. Please save yourself and ourselves some pain and send in a sketch first.
    • This is not a requirement. It's up to you how you want to work, as long as you are able to make any adjustments needed. Just a strong recommendation - especially if you are newer to Elnin or are commissioning someone not super familiar with the species.
  • If we let you know a trait or mutation is out of line and needs changes please do not go “yeah but this elnin has this! [link]”. We do our best to be consistent but we are human and inevitably there are going to be inconsistencies. Designs approved in the past don’t guarantee future approvals. It is fine to point out inconsistencies with the resources that may need to be fixed, but please do so in a separate support ticket.
  • Please encourage your fellow community members to use the correct resources for reference (Guides linked in the Directory of Resources, and the Trait and Mutation encyclopedia). If people are pointing to outliers in the masterlist warn them that it should not be considered a proper reference and to follow the official resources.

We know getting things off the ground has had its share of bumps, and we appreciate everyone for working with us and letting us know how they are feeling. We hope this clears up the reasoning behind our approach to Design Approvals. We will do our best to make getting your designs approved more fun and less of a headache (it hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs for us either). We ask that you keep working with us and do what you can to make the process smoother such as sending in WIPs and pointing new members in the right direction.

Thanks again for the patience of everyone who has sent in design approvals so far, and to those who have provided polite and thoughtful feedback. We ask that you continue to have patience with your approvals since the mod team are volunteers, our schedules vary, and we juggle a lot of things. Thank you!

Events, Prompts, and Limited Card Frame Updates!

Posted 2 November 2020, 18:04:08 PST by Starbask

Hello everyone! The modberry team here with some more updates. ^^

Update on November's Monthly Prompt

November's monthly prompt is now live (you can find it here). This month prompt has returned to the format most of us are familiar with. As our attention shifts more to focus on event planning and our thoughts on next month's prompt we'll not be doing anything too out of the ordinary for November's prompt.

 

Upcoming Events / Event Planning

This year we'll be having a Wintery themed event in December. It will be a combination of Guest sales and possibly some other activity depending on what we can manage. Guest artists have already been picked for this event, all of which are familiar faces we hope you'll look forward to seeing back. We spent a chunk of last month planning this event, this month will be a lot of following through with design approvals for the event and current group approvals.

A few moderators will also end up pretty heads down in planning next year’s Kittsunami as there's more than a few months worth of work to be done. Timelines need to be put together and the event itself this year needs to be rediscussed, as we do every year, to try to ensure we're responding to changes within the group. There's also potential website development / features we're hoping to get running with enough time to test to ensure by Kittsunami 2021 we can rely on them to help us out. While the coding will be done by Cy (who continues to be amazing to work with) there's a lot of headspace that needs to be poured into making sure we're aware of how decisions will impact the community.

Approvals will be open during this Winter event. We're really trying to keep things open as much as possible with the knowledge that during Kittsunami 2021 approvals will be closed. We will be opening back up approvals promptly after Kittsunami, even if there may be a bit of slowness in our responses initially with event wrap up and recoup.

 

Limited Time Card Frames

Sometimes we wish it were October 31st every day of the year. You might notice the card frames weren't removed two days ago as promptly as expected. That said we had planned to give a bit of forewarning about their removal. With that in mind Limited Time Card Frames will be available for another 48 hours from this post. They will be leaving the Card Frame Merchant's shop on November 4th, at 6:00pm PDT.

EDIT: Due to the site being down for most of today (the 4th) and yesterday (the 3rd) we'll be leaving the limited time card frames up an additional 24 hours. So they will be removed November 5th at 6:00pm PDT. ^^b

Mindfulness

I just wanted to add in here a (possibly not so) quick thank you to community members for sticking with us as the group continues to grow and develop, even just by stopping in and chatting from time to time! There's a lot going on in the world right now and we recognize everyone has a lot on their plate. It can be difficult to read between the lines at times and fully grasp what each and every individual might be going through. Some are transparent about it, and others are not. Please be mindful of one another in our public spaces. As always supportiveness and positivity are encouraged.

And lastly be sure to take breaks when needed. Not everyone is good at this (I know I'm not most of the time) but it's important. If you're ever feeling stressed out within our group please take a break and take some time to be kind to yourself. There's enough pressure out there right now, so please don't let the things you feel you should enjoy add to that.

Updates for User Feedback and this Month's Prompt!

Posted 13 October 2020, 23:03:26 PDT by Starbask

Hi everyone! The team is here with a few more updates this month!

TOS Update

A message from Manaberry: "Hey all! I'm back into worklist things and first up this week was making some adjustments to the ToS wording in areas where there was some concern. Specifically a section regarding the revoking of designs. I just want to clarify a little bit that the original purpose of this rule was always a last ditch failsafe in case another member was doing things excessively and deliberately harmful to myself or the community (primarily speaking to a member trying to explicitly swindle people or profit from designs at the expense of others). In other words, it'd be pretty dang unlikely that anyone would ever trip over this punishment without doing some pretty obviously heinous things. That being said, it is never ever my intent to cause unnecessary worries so I've removed the revocation note."

The updated section now reads:
Violations to any of the terms listed on this page will first result in warnings from staff and clarification of rules if there are areas of misunderstanding. Repeated blatant violations can thereafter result in greylisting or blacklisting depending on severity.

Greylist: Currently the greylist is managed privately. If you are on this list, it means that you are on a temporary ban from one or more of the following: purchasing or trading for new World of Eyre designs, joining community events, posting on the discord, and/or making use of payment plans on adoptable design sales. Penalties for each individual may be different depending on the type of activity that landed them on the greylist.

Blacklist: Blacklist will be made public in the event we actually have to add anyone to it. If you are notified that you've been put on the blacklist it means that you are henceforth permanently banned from participating in any World of Eyre community activities, including purchasing or trading to obtain new World of Eyre designs. Any existing elnins owned by a blacklisted member will still be transferable/sellable according to their individual transfer rules, but they will be considered "frozen" and unable to obtain new edits, growths, rank ups, etc until they have been transferred to a member in good standing.

 

Support Tickets

Next up... Support Tickets!

We now have a way to communicate with group members on site! The ticket system is intended for immediately actionable / resolvable issues like questions or requests for wording clarifications! The ticketing system is not for suggestions. Any tickets that have a suggestion in them we will redirect to the appropriate place to submit those suggestions. We will be touching upon where suggestions will live in this update below so please bear with us here. We will not respond to suggestions like we do questions, as they are not immediately actionable / resolvable and often include broader group considerations and follow up! We consider suggestions in aggregate to understand how the community is feeling, and don't necessarily respond or take action on each suggestion.

Support Tickets are broken down into the following categories:

  • Community
    • Anything relating to our Discord
    • Questions regarding species, ARPG, direction of community, etc
    • Report issues / concerns with other community members
  • Design Updates
    • Submissions / Process
    • Mutation or Trait Questions / Clarifications
    • Status of Submission (please wait 2 weeks before asking)
  • Patreon
    • Issues with receiving Patreon rewards via the website
    • Questions
  • Prompts & Quests
    • Submissions / Process
    • Regions / AP
  • Masterlist & Ownership
    • Report issue or error
    • Rules regarding trading / reselling
  • Website
    • Bugs, typos, usability issues
    • Wording improvements on specific pages (only existing content/wording, not
      suggestions for new resources / pages / features)

Please select the best ticket category that seems to fit what you're asking about when submitting a support ticket.

 

Suggestions

And on to...Suggestions!

We've been discussing how to bring back spaces for suggestions in the group. For now we're going to try a hybrid model. Our discord will have a public #suggestions channel, while our site will have a private suggestions form. This form can also be found on our Group Staff & Resources page. We're hoping that between these two spaces the community will have some way they feel comfortable submitting suggestions and feedback.

We will definitely read the suggestions submitted via public suggestions channel and private suggestions form but we will not respond to suggestions unless there's a need for clarification or we are pursuing a specific suggestion. This is not to be assumed that we won't consider suggestions, but replying to hypotheticals can take up a lot of resources we could better spend implementing features for the group. We do want everyone to feel like their voice is heard so please feel free to use the channel and form freely.

As the nature of both channel and form are for suggestions you'd like to see, please keep the conversations and feedback constructive. Different ideas and views are welcome, please just be respectful of everyone. If we observe conversations slipping into feedback that is not constructive or aggressive towards other users or staff we will be forced to re-evaluate how we handle suggestions for the group.

While the private form is up now, we will be adding the discord channel in the next day or two just to make sure we get everything set up right. Thank you for your patience on this!

 

October Prompt AP!

The October "Ghoulish Gifting" prompt has been updated with information on how to earn AP for this month! If you do 2 gift art pieces and 2 region themed word searches you will be able to earn a maximum total of 2AP this month. Please read the prompt details closely to make all requirements to qualify for this month's AP are met. Word search solutions must be submitted through claims separate from their approved prompt submissions, but must link back to their corresponding gift art submissions. (Examples of what this should look like are linked in the prompt description.)

See this month's prompt here — Show details for more info.