Hello, dear Domain!
So- over August, the staff worked tirelessly to do some general behind-the-scenes maintenance and rework some group mechanics that needed some revisting after having been an evolving organism for so many years. We wanted to give you a little progress report to alert you to the things that are either updated or changing slightly, now that we’re getting back into the swing of things. This doesn’t necessarily cover EVERYTHING that was done over August, but we’ll do our best to abridge the things that may affect gameplay in minor ways so that you’re aware of them, moving forward. These will also be added to the group’s existing rule and info pages, though it may take a while to work through everything!
Group Input: The staff is always open to input in suggestions regarding group in a healthy, open discourse. You will see below that we have indeed incorporated many facets of member input into the reworking of some of the mechanics we’ve been working on. That being said, we’re starting fresh this September. For any input given to the group, we ask that it be free of past baggage. We have done our best to address past concerns. Please address any suggestions as new input for a new organization. We also ask that any such suggestions regarding anything of a group-wide (not character specific) nature be brought to the group staff as soon as possible. There is no reason for someone to be stuck feeling frustrated and building up feelings that don’t need to be there!
Staff Response to Input: Depending on the nature of the input, we may have an immediate answer, or it may be something that needs to stew longer for another large-scale organization revisit like in August. We will very rarely give an out-right “no”, but may not always have an answer right away for the previously-stated reasons, and we cannot guarantee implementation of something at any point, but it will always be discussed and considered.
Staff Shuffle: This may not greatly impact from an outside perspective and general feel of the group, but we believe it’s important to mention nonetheless! Just like in the past there had been a switch between who’s the Admin, Halk has decided to step back from such spot. Now, don’t worry! She’s not going anywhere and will merely shift back to a regular admin! As of now, our new “leading admin” is the one and only Ramala (a.k.a Rams the Shrimp Queen).
Pack Organization/Permanence: We as a team think it’s important to always leave the opportunity for individuals to bring in their brain-child packs and retain ownership of them and their fates, and believe that a certain level of come-and-go for packs is important to keep ideas fresh and the world exciting (this is not a new or revolutionary idea amongst wolf arpgs). That being said, especially after the recent slew of packs disbanding in quick succession, we do acknowledge the desire for some IC stability amidst the potential whiplash. As a result, we will be experimenting with the possibility of a certain number of permanent or provisionally permanent packs, amidst and not as a replacement for packs that will be left to the creator’s discretion. We may outright make such a permanent pack in the future specifically designed for this purpose, but will be for now provisionally experimenting with the permanence of both Aryn and Vektren as “fixture” packs. In these two cases, the ownership and primary creative control will remain with their creators; but they have agreed to having their packs remain indefinitely within DotW, even if the owners themselves choose to step down from the alpha role, and/or need to leave the group. Because these are existing packs that WILL remain owned by the creators, in the event that an alpha change occurs, the nature of the organization of how that will happen would be case-by-case and bespoke to the pack, the creator, and any new leadership that takes it on. Hence, we do not have any specifics regarding that, as it will have to be cemented if/when that occurs. If we see the need for a specifically-designed, permanent “fixture” pack in the future, the guidelines and architecture of that will be tackled and rolled out if/when that happens.
Pack Applications: Please hang tight, as more specifics regarding applications for owner-maintained packs will be rolled out when we are closer to being ready to open for applications. Sponsorships are still on hold.
Character Activity: We have decided to do something a little different to manage character activity. Player’s activity checks and loner prompts will remain the same, but we will no longer require individual characters to make monthly activity checks - that means, no more slashes. As an alternative way to make sure the characters that are in the game are the ones we’re using, we will be lowering the maximum character cap from 10 characters per player to 7. While this unfortunately may jar a few players, our experience is that very few even hit this character count, and as a whole it will be an emotional/organizational burden off of most of your shoulders. We will see how this works, and it may get revisited. If you already have over 7 characters, you will not be made to get rid of any! This rule change goes for character additions moving forward.
Waitlist: As per some great input from members, we have decided to split the difference of a few of our waitlist-related solutions. We are phasing out the waitlist- but we are empathetic to the amount of time spent, especially by the people on the top end of the waitlist, so we are only cutting it down to the top 50, and will work through those last 50 people before moving on to the updated method. We will likely send out a notification for the top 50 so you know you’re there, but you are free to note to ask in the meantime. Do note that we will no longer be accepting deferment of waitlist positions, due to this change. If your name comes up on the list, you must be able and wanting to join the group then, or you forfeit your spot on the list permanently (meaning you won’t be invited again the next time 10 slots open). If this happens, though, you are still free to apply during future group openings!
Group Openings: Once we phase out the waitlist, we will be moving back to a model that looks a lot more like our old group openings. However, we’re going to be doing pack-specific openings. More details will come out the closer we get to this being implemented, but basically, we will have a certain number of slots per pack to fill, and a number of applications per slot. One pack will open and bring in their new members, then the next pack will open and bring in their members, and work down the line that way. This way, applicants are potentially able to apply more than once per opening, which in turn gives us more of an opportunity to not have to turn away great apps due to limited spots per pack. Again - more info on this as the time gets closer!
Greyscale Pieces: Greyscale (black and white) images have consistently been a point of confusion for members and staff alike. We are cementing a rule that we WILL accept black and white pieces, but they must be just as finished or polished as a colored piece would be, and we may even expect a little more in terms of what constitutes a background, because of the descriptive shortfalls of B/W. So, long story short- we’re accepting greyscale pieces, but they must be extremely polished and possess a clearly described BG (no skies with gradient-y clouds, for example.) Please note that because B/W images are a little sketchy with the rules to begin with, acceptance for bones will be up to the staff’s discretion.
NPC/PC Parentage: Firstly, please note that this has actually come up a lot recently, so it is not directly pointed at any one conversation on the topic. It’s simply come up enough recently that we felt we needed to make an unspoken rule… spoken. XD So PUPS that are brought into the group must either have 2 NPC parents, or 2 player character parents that have gone through the proper pregnancy process. Scenarios that result in 1 NPC and one PC as parents are not allowed. Characters that come into the group as adults may have 1 PC parent and one NPC parent, if their conception occured BEFORE the parent character entered the domain. This may sound like an arbitrary rule, but it was made because a) an NPC parent would be bordering on a loophole regarding pup/pregnancy bone costs in most cases, and b) we want to foster those player and IC relationships that are simply not going to happen with random NPC hookups. XD
Player Age Limit: We did not previously have an age limit, but as a group that is designated “mature” and does frequently deal with adult topics, and is also largely populated by people in late highschool or early-mid adulthood, we felt it was best to cap an age limit to a minimum of 16 years old. We cannot always be certain of someone’s age because online profiles are not always true, but the staff may be compelled to make current or future membership decisions based on the age cap if concerns are brought up.
OTHER: There are some smaller changes that we’re making that may not require a blurb to themselves, but we encourage you to go over our information pages when you want to do something, as little things may be different (a few bone price changes, etc.)
We worked hard on these, we hope that they will aid us in running a smooth ship moving forward! 8D We also appreciate you all sticking through August, and are happy to have you all back. Welcome back to DotW, but updated!