I just wanted to vent a few things to you guys and ask for advice on what to do in this situation and how to move forward from it. This is mostly about my participation in a certain closed species group and then reflecting on how I run my own. If this isn't your cup of tea, I understand - no hard feelings if you're not interested in reading.
So I'm in a closed species group that I've supported for a few years now, adopted many designs, and invested thousands of dollars into. However, I find myself very unhappy with it overall - and have been for a while now as well (2+ years). Here are my reasons why:
- It is a highly exclusive species. You either have to shell out hundreds to thousands of dollars on a fast internet speed or have insanely good luck to adopt designs from this species... or both. I commend them for doing regular flatsale raffles, but common designs are increasingly getting more expensive, and baby designs still need to be "grown" via years of participation or (again) spending money for growths/upgrades. MYO slots are hardly ever available, too, which is something many groups use to increase availability and accessibility to interested parties.
- Group features are (mostly) unavailable to players. I don't know if this has changed since I've distanced myself from the group, but as far as I'm aware, MYO's and baby growths have been unavailable for a little under a year now. The growth block prevents some members from fully being able to enjoy their characters, being restricted to designs that are most likely temporary, because there is an expectation to "grow" the baby designs as part of the game.
- The owner is not receptive to feedback. I have heard time and time again of people voicing similar - if not these exact concerns - to the mods/admins/owner, only to be dismissed. I understand that the group staff members can only do so much, but it leaves a lot to be said about the owner to not even address the concerns of their member base.
- The owner is irresponsible and hardly visible. I am a patron of this species, and have been from the very beginning. Updates used to be more frequent and made it worth it, but I can tell you 100% that it is not worth it currently. We can go months without an update, but the owner still charges their patrons monthly for subscriptions up to $15. When there is an update, it is usually a life update about mental health, real life, etc. Which isn't wrong to do - but when you're having so many issues, you gotta admit that you can't keep up with the patreon or the other commitments you made when you took your patrons' money upfront. And by that, I mean I am still waiting on a custom from over two years ago, for which I paid several hundred upfront. I also never received a response (or invoice) to a growth/upgrade purchase from early this year.
- The culture is almost cult-like. The community is overall very cult-like. People rush to defend the owner when under heat or question, and overall, no one wants to speak up about their concerns about the species for fear of backlash. If you so much as voice concerns in the community, it's not uncommon to be brushed off by the staff members and owner - and no one bats an eyelash. This is really scary to me, raises super big red flags, and makes me very uncomfortable in the community.
Because of these reasons, I've been feeling like leaving for a while now, but I just... can't. There are many things that tie me to the group, like my attachment to the designs I've adopted, the friends I've made, and the fact that I know I will not get these designs back if I sell them. BUT! I already sold a couple and don't miss them. I don't know if I should just bite the bullet and go... or if I should try to stay. But I can't justify having so much money invested in a species that makes me so uncomfortable/uneasy. But I love the designs. But money. I don't know what to do. What would you do in this situation?
Now... for a more personal vent:
Lately, I feel like I've become this type of species owner. I feel self-conscious because I, too, take a while to finish comms, I bite off more than I can chew, take random breaks from the internet, release content like once a year, etc. But my members still support me. It makes me feel really uneasy because I don't want to be this type of owner. I just don't know if my members are feeling about me like I feel about this group. I don't want anyone to feel like how I feel right now. It's not a good feeling. So please, if you're feeling this way about Mothcats, please come to me and talk to me. I own up to it that I haven't been 100% on my game for the past couple of years. Grad school took a toll, then real life, job, etc. I don't have the time I used to have to devote to the group, and I've had trouble rebalancing my schedule so that I can keep up with it.
So... I need to bite the bullet. I need to stop making excuses and just Do Things so that my mind can rest easy - and my members as well.
Moving forward, I will do my best to:
- Adhere to a regular release schedule, whether it is to post adoptables, lore, or just general quality of life updates for the group.
- Balance my schedule so that there is time for personal stuff while still maintaining commission/group stuff.
- Be more on top of answering growth requests, group submissions, and general contact.
- Do my best to make sure that my members are happy and feel welcome to speak up when they have something to address.
If you have advice on anything I said here, or thoughts, or anything, I have an open-door policy. Feel free to comment, note, DM me @ Misa#2222, or have a friend contact me if you're uncomfortable speaking to me directly.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!