Happy May everyone! Well. Yes. It's May. There's not a whole lot of special things going on in May usually. And unfortunately, that mostly goes for us too, but now that our staff are looking at some more available free time, we do have some changes to announce to you while we're on a break waiting for our next event.
new shop item
As you can see, we've been rather busy tinkering away with our shop items to try to craft a good set of systems for our members. Last month, it was expansions to our mechanics for powered original characters (for more details, please see the addendum post in our April Newsletter). This month, we're tackling next generation characters.
Original next generation characters will remain banned - we will not be budging on that. However, we recognize that our systems right now might leave canon next generation characters in a tricky bind where they can essentially be trapped in limbo for months on end waiting on that one character to be apped, which isn't necessarily the fault of the person waiting to be able to app. With this in mind, we've opted to try to address this shortfall using a brand new shop item: a Next Generation Bypass.
And how does this item work? Basically, much like the character slots or the powered original character items, you purchase the item from the site store on your Player account and then hold it in your inventory. Just as it says on the tin, the item will then tell the staff when they're reviewing your biography that you have clearance to bypass the current generation canon character restriction for characters who simply aren't applied for yet. However, in doing so, you're accepting that we will be expecting you to make a want ad for that bypassed character after you're approved and that we're likely to take slightly stricter scrutiny in regards to characters who are bypassed in this way (especially for characters who are canonical children of other characters). Purchasing the item will apply it per applied character, not per missing canon character - meaning that it doesn't matter if you're using it to bypass one missing canon or four, you only need one bypass purchased.
This all being said, this item cannot be used to get around characters who are already approved or applied for. We already have a mechanism in place for allowing people to get around potentially inactive members (allowing a bypass after an attempt was made at contacting them with no response after a week), and that will still be our rule of thumb. We will not be allowing this item to get around a roleplayer's permission either. Thus, it will only be very narrowly applied to be used in cases of next generation canon characters who are disqualified from approval solely based on the current character roster but otherwise have no restrictions. We also will not be allowing this item as a debt waiver for first characters, as we want to encourage current generation characters to actually be applied for rather than regularly bypassed.
character activity survey
As we mentioned last month, we've been having some concerns about people who are taking characters and then not really being active with them. As might be imagined, we've been talking a lot back and forth among the staff about the issue, because while we do try to make sure that our requirements are low-stress (since we care more about making sure everyone's doing okay than we necessarily do about being super active), at the same time, we're starting to get concerned about people possibly sitting on claims, especially on bigger or more popular characters.
We don't want to force anyone off the site or put a noose around their neck. Heck, we're not even sure if we will be touching activity requirements and such. But we do really feel like there needs to be a conversation about activity, and as such, we want to ask for you guys to fill out this survey on activity, since we would never want to push through a change without actually gaging how the community as a whole feels about it. The survey will be anonymous, so we ask that you be honest about things (just, y'know, don't rip into us massively, we will be looking at all the responses).
some character concerns
Okay everyone. We have to level with you here, staff to members.
We know that having powerful characters is fun. But that being said, we're starting to get concerned by the sheer number of powerful apps we've been getting recently. These apps take a long time and energy for you to write, but they also take a long time and effort for us to read through and judge - as well as a whole lot of time and work when we have to pend them, and they almost always need some tweaking to be acceptable.
With this in mind, we're going to temporarily put in a few disclaimers. For characters who are extremely powerful or have exceedingly long or detailed power lists, we're going to ask for a grace period of 1 week before you go poking us to look at your application. These applications likely will also be skipped over if we have "weaker" characters who are also submitted, provided that they're easier to deal with. We're also going (to continue) to be making use of the denial option for applications, sometimes to a stricter standard than we have been, simply because these characters take a lot of resources from the staff to go through and deal with. You can still apply for them, but keep in mind that we're going to be slower to deal with them, we may "skip" review for a while, and we may utilize a lower threshold to pass for denial.
Like we said. We know that it's fun to have powerful characters running around. But that being said, we've been seeing and reviewing a lot of applications lately that have us concerned for a number of reasons. We don't want to put in a hard ban list, because we feel like some cases are more arbitrary than others, but we also are getting worried about seeing large-scale world manipulations with no consequences or attracting the kind of community that tends to follow when people get into superpowered dick-measuring contests in threads.
Just. I guess, in conclusion, please be patient with us and remember that it takes a lot of our resources every time that you're applying for powerful characters. And when you apply for those very powerful characters, we need you to be able to accept that higher level of responsibility. Thank you all for understanding and working with us so we can try to keep the site fun for everyone!