Newcomers Guide

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Newcomerstext by witherlings

Getting started in the game

The ThoseWhoWentMissing game is an original species ARPG that is inspired by the Esk species. You will earn points when you submit artwork and writing to the group and you can use these points to unlock game features and create or upgrade Esk characters. To provide ongoing inspiration we have prompts, events, and opportunities for character creation so there is always something to do. This guide will help you start off in the game.

What are esk?

Esk are the creatures that you can use in this ARPG. Esk are a "closed species" — you cannot make one without permission, but you can earn them for free by playing this game.
You do not need to own an Esk in order to start playing!


Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Aura Points (AP) are points you earn every time you submit art or writing. Gaining AP unlocks game features and MYO slots.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Growth Points (GP) are points an Esk earns every time it is featured in art or writing. GP can be used to earn rewards for your characters and create new Esk.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Player Level is determined by how much AP you have earned, higher player levels unlock features in the game.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! TWWM is short for Those Who Went Missing.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Esk-Masterlist  is an account that serves as a database for all Esk characters and their ownership history.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Player Profiles are used to track AP and other progress in the game.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Character Trackers are used to track a character's GP and other progress in the game.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! A Biome is the larger category of habitat that your Esk resides in. This is like your Esk's "type" (Forest Esk, Mountain Esk, etc).

Ready to begin?
Follow the steps below...

Long Sprout Step 1: Get to know the Esk world

There's a lot of information here, but it will help you get an understanding of what TWWM is all about.

Important Reading:
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Lore - this will help you understand the Esk species.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Species Information - a guide to the basic Esk design rules.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Boundaries+Biomes - helpful information about the lore and game mechanics of an Esk's environmental connection.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Group Rules - all members of the community must read this!
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Official Points Tracking Guide - see here when you are ready to set up trackers for all you need to know!

See what other players are making
Take a look through the group's Galleries to see examples of TWWM artwork and writing.

Join the group chat
We have an active group chat on Discord where you can get some guidance from other players and ask questions directly to the staff.

Long Sprout Step 2: Create your Player Profile

 Your Player Profile represents you as an artist and keeps track of your progress in the game. All players are required to have one.

Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Official Point Tracking Guide - see here when you are ready to set up trackers for all you need to know!

Create a designated journal entry for your profile
You can design it yourself or use one of these templates:
  [Player profile template]★Player Profile★
★ your name ★
Level icon goes here

Player Level

Aura Points
(Icon of the character + link to tracker)

★ History ★
(link this to comment for log/
  Sample Player Profilef2u sprout icon  Username f2u sprout icon 

Player level:
Aura Points:
{ C h a r a c t e r s }
(character tracker thumbnails/links)
{  A r t w o r k }
(art thumbnails)
{  A c h i e v e m e n t s }
(badges, treasures)

You can also use the AP and GP icons in the Resources folder.

Your profile must include the following information:
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Your AP score — include a link to your AP log that shows a clear breakdown of the scoring.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Your Player Level badge — you will be starting as a Newcomer (Player Level 1). Place this badge into your profile:
Lvl1 by Esk-Masterlist
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Links to your Character Trackers — if you do not own an Esk yet you can leave this section blank.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! Your Achievement badges — you will earn badges to mark your achievements as you play the game.

You can submit the journal to our Profiles Folder
If you host your tracker on deviantART, go to your profile journal and look on the right sidebar for the button that says "submit to group" — select ThoseWhoWentMissing and then choose "Player Profiles" in the drop down menu.

Using your Player Profile
Update your Profile every time you earn AP, advance to a higher player level, gain or let go of Esk characters, or earn achievements. You can also use it to feature your favorite submissions or keep an art log in your comments — this can help you keep track of your score.
View some examples here.

Sprout 2 It is up to you to keep your Profile up to date with accurate information, game staff cannot update it for you.

You do not have to submit your scores to the staff for approval or wait for staff to score your submissions — you will score your own work and track your own progress.
You must have logs of your earned AP accessible directly from your player profile. This includes links to all submissions that earn AP and their point breakdowns clearly shown. If these logs are not in the profile itself, there must be a link to a public log, such as a dA comment thread or Google Spreadsheet. 

Sprout 2 You are also allowed to keep your Profile outside of DeviantArt as long as it is public and can be shown to the TWWM staff when needed.

It must include all of the required information, and must not be password protected or require a website account to view.

Sprout 2 Your profile does not need staff approval.

You can submit your Player Profile as soon as it's done.

Long Sprout Step 3: Earn some AP!

You can start earning Aura Points as soon as your Player Profile is completed. Earning AP increases your Player Level.

Here are some ways to earn your first Aura Points:
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! You can submit gift art or writing featuring Esk that belong to other players.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! If you have the owner's permission, you can use another player's Esk for Monthly Prompt submissions. A complete list of prompts can be found at the bottom of the Prompts page.
Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! You can complete free requests or commissions of Esk characters.Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! You can participate in events and activities. You can read about current activities at our Events page.Dot Bullet (Lime Green) - F2U! You can draw the Wanderers (NPCs). You can view the NPCs at the Wanderers page.

Sprout 2 The easiest way to start earning points is to post a journal to the Advertisements folder offering free artwork of other Esk characters.

You will earn bonuses for making gift art and this will help you meet some people in the game. You can also offer free writing.

Sprout 2 Not an artist or writer? You can also earn AP by commissioning others.

When you commission an artist to make Esk artwork or writing, you and the artist will both receive points for the submission.

Submit finished artwork or writing to our galleries
Please place your submissions into the appropriate folders. General artwork should go in the Artwork folder and general writing should go in the Creative Writing folder. The other folders are labeled specifically for the type of submissions they will accept, please keep things organized. Make sure any event-related submissions go into the Events folder or else they will not get the special event bonuses. If another artist has made art for you and submits it to the wrong folder you will have to ask them to re-submit it to the proper folder — staff is not available to do this for you.
You can keep some of your artwork or writing in your or outside of DeviantArt as long as you keep a log of it in your Player Profile. These submissions must be public and not require a log-in or be password protected. 

Use the Points System Guide to score your work
Here is an example:
Forest Boundary by witherlings
10AP  "Shaded Illustration" base score for submitting shaded/detailed artwork.
+5AP "Full Body Bonus" for depicting an esk's full body.
+20AP "Scenic Background Bonus" for showing a full/scenic background.
+5AP "Personal Work Bonus" (this artwork is not a commission)
+10AP "Other Esk Bonus" (this character is not owned by the artist).
+1AP "Enchantment Bonus" for illustrating an enchantment (halo).
51AP — this goes to the artist. If it was a commissioned piece of a buyer's personal character, the personal art bonus and other Esk bonus would be removed and the buyer would receive 36AP.

4GP base score for submitting shaded/detailed artwork
+2GP  for depicting the esk's full body
+6GP  for including a full scenic background
+1GP  "Enchantment Bonus" for illustrating an enchantment (halo)
13GP — this goes to the Esk character; add this total to their overall GP score.

Make sure you tag the Esk's owner so they get the GP for their character!

Sprout 2 Community-driven artwork and writing will earn you extra points!

Completing Monthly Prompts, giving gifts, and participating in events and activities will all give you special bonuses.

Long Sprout Step 4: Obtaining your first Esk

These instructions are for players who have never owned an Esk before and want to earn one using game points. If you prefer not to earn an Esk using points then you can purchase an Esk directly from witherlings or obtain them from other players by checking the Esk Sales + Trades folder for listings.
If you already own an Esk you can skip to Step 5.

Expand your Auric Field to Seed
You will have to reach Seed (Player Level 2) to qualify for a Starter Esk from the Nursery. You must earn 100AP  to reach Seed.

Sprout 2 Track the AP you earn in your Player Profile, when you reach 100AP you can update your Player Level badge and unlock the Nursery!

Obtaining a Starter Esk
Visit the Nursery for information about how to claim a Starter Esk.Starters are free MYOs that are available to first-time-owners. Follow the steps outlined in the Nursery to claim your MYO and create your own Esk character — once it is approved and added to the Esk-Masterlist you are ready to create a Character Tracker and start using your Esk in the game!
The Wanderer Prompts
Have the AP level to do a transformation but no esk to perform it? The Wanderer Prompts allows players who have the correct AP level to preform a transformation create an esk using a Wanderer as the creator! Creating an esk through the Wanderer Prompts will use up a transformation slot. For more information on how to receive an esk through this method, head over to the Wanderer Prompts page to learn more!

Long Sprout Step 5: Create your Character Tracker

Your Character Tracker is a place to log your character's progress in the ARPG. Make a new Tracker for every Esk you obtain.

Create a designated journal entry for your Tracker
You can design it yourself or use one of these templates:
Character tracker templateTracker -
Esk number:
Growth points:
Masterlist entry:
Notes/info -
Uncommon traits:
Rare traits:
History -
Player profile -
Art and species belong to:
Character belongs to:

You can also use the AP and GP icons in the Resources folder.

Your Tracker must include the following information:
Their GP balance — this number will vary throughout the game.
Their Biome — visit the Biome Sign-ups to assign your Esk to a Biome (if they do not have one already) and make sure you include the badge in your tracker. Trackers for Esk that do not have a biome will be rejected.
Their number — all Esk have an official number.
Their most up to date reference image.
 An area to log their achievements — sometimes your Esk will earn rewards or special badges, reserve a space on your profile for these items.
And a link to their official Masterlist entry.

You can submit the journal to our Character Tracker folder
Go to your profile journal and look on the right sidebar for the button that says "submit to group" — select ThoseWhoWentMissing and then choose "Character Trackers" in the drop down menu. Character Trackers require staff approval before they are added to the folder.
Remember to also put a link to your Tracker in your Player Profile.

Using your Character Tracker
Update your Tracker any time your Esk earns or spends GP, earns rewards in the game, or any time you wish to update their reference image. You can also keep a points log in the comments — this can help you keep track of their score.

Sprout 2 Have fun with your Trackers!

You can design them any way you like and include as much information about your character as you want. We encourage you to include information about their life, environment, personality, or backstory. Your Tracker can serve as a useful reference to other players who might want to make you some gift art.
View some examples here.

Sprout 2 It is up to you to keep your Trackers up to date with accurate information, game staff cannot update it for you.

You can also combine your Character Trackers with your Player Profile.
You must have logs of your earned GP accessible directly from your tracker. This includes links to all submissions that earn GP and their point breakdowns clearly shown. If these logs are not in the tracker itself, there must be a link to a public log, such as a dA comment thread or Google Spreadsheet. 

Sprout 2 You are also allowed to keep your Trackers outside of DeviantArt as long as it is public and can be shown to the TWWM staff when needed.

It must include all of the required information, and must not be password protected or require a website account to view.

Long Sprout Step 6: Explore TWWM

Now that you have some experience gaining points and obtained your own Esk character you can explore more areas of the game and get a feel for how you want to approach TWWM.

Important Reading
Points System - the complete scoring guide for artwork and writing.
Auric Field - this is a guide to the player levels and what you will unlock as you continue to play the game.
Uncommon Traits- a guide to traits that are somewhat easy to obtain.
Rare Traits - a guide to traits that are harder to obtain.
Abnormals - a guide to Esk that are created by special circumstances.
Esk Morphs - a guide to some types of Esk with unique appearances.
Character Mods- a guide to the many ways you can upgrade your Esk using your GP.
FAQ - check the FAQ if you have any questions. If the answer isn't there you can leave a comment on the FAQ page and a staff member will help you out.
Quick Reference - this page has some handy information all in one place.

Game Activities
 Prompts - making artwork and writing in response to prompts will earn you bonus points. Monthly Prompts are posted every month and are available to anyone, Origin Prompts are a set list of 10 prompts that are available only to Esk owners.
 Events - TWWM hosts large, themed events as well quick and fun activities including raffles, contests, and adoptable activities.
Transformations - this is where you will generate your MYOs. Reaching certain player levels will unlock Transformation slots which give your Esk character the power to create a new Esk. By trading in different amounts of GP at the Transformations page you can generate common, uncommon, or rare MYOs.
 Energy Exchange - this is where you can purchase character modifications and upgrades for your Esk using GP
 Biome Sign-ups - if your Esk does not already have a Biome you must assign it to one using the Biome Sign-ups
 Wanderers - this is where you will learn about the game's NPC and how your character can interact with them
 Conservatory - the Conservatory is a user-created environment within the game. You can design your own wing of the Conservatory or create a hangout for your Esk and their friends if you like.

Upgrading your characters
As you continue to play TWWM you will unlock special traits and items in the Energy Exchange that you can purchase with GP and apply to your characters. These character modifications include special markings, accessories, familiars, and types of magic. When you buy these mods you can add them directly to your existing character reference image (with artist's permission) or create a new reference every time you update your Esk. Keep this updated reference image in your character tracker so other players can see the most up to date version of your Esk.

Setting your own goals
TWWM is non-competitive and no one "wins" the game — how you define your success is up to you. You can use it as an opportunity to improve your creative skills or participate in world-building. You can also use it to make money, if you put some effort into modifying your characters you can resell them at a higher price later on as long as you follow the Ownership Transfer Rules (keep in mind that MYOs cannot be sold). You can also play as a collector and try to get Esk from different collections or Biomes, or you can strive to reach the Nature Spirit level and create Abnormals (the most powerful type of Esk). Your goal in the game is whatever you decide it to be... have fun!


Visit the FAQ for more information

Or comment here if you need help from the staff

A small movement catches your eye from the shade of a tree.
On closer investigation it appears to be a very unusual plant with a very unusual amount of energy!
Wobble plant by Esk-Masterlist
Collect this treasure for reading the Newcomers Guide!

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SoraTheDragonborn's avatar

Fshpt- im not gonna be able to set up a Player Profile until I get home from my Cousin’s— so sorry about that qwq

thenewbean1234's avatar

can I please have a link to my AP log?

KaijuRomance's avatar


We do not have logs of player trackers. Players are responsible for their own AP logs. You create and maintain it yourself. This is explained in Step 2 on the newcomers guide.

If you have any further questions, let me know.

AzrealJCHollabaugh's avatar

this is pretty confusing...can some one sum-it-up to make sence...?

KaijuRomance's avatar


We understand it is a lot to take in so take your time to read through everything!

Step 1. First learn about the lore and species.

Step 2. Then make yourself a player profile.

Step 3. Earn AP by drawing the esk of other players

Step 4. Once you have earned 100AP head over to the nursery to claim your free MYO

Please read through each step in full detail above to make sure you understand everything!

AzrealJCHollabaugh's avatar

Thanks! so, what is aMYO tho.

KaijuRomance's avatar

MYO stands for make your own.

So you get to make your own esk for free, if you reach 100AP and claim an ID from the nursery.

aDumbHybridNamedIxia's avatar

Hi, I was just wondering, where is my AP log or how to I make it? Do I just make a journal for it?

Icefall456's avatar

I read the newcomers guide, so am I allowed to collect the treasure for reading the newcomeres guide? Or does an admin have to approve it for me?

KaijuRomance's avatar

You can just go ahead and collect it c:

DaughterofSachmet's avatar

Hi, I have a question and after reading a lot of journals I couldn't find the answer.

My question: When I have an Esk, may I use it for prompts, events and contests outside this group, but on DeviantArt. Like the Thursday Prompt from @CoreMembers ?

KaijuRomance's avatar

Yes, you can use your esk outside of the game!

Buttered-pringles's avatar

Hi! I'm not necessarily understanding how the player profile thing works, how you can play in general, or how you can obtain esks. This is my first time doing something like this, so if anyone could help that would be greatly appreciated!

Kaosheen's avatar

Erm, can someone check if I did my player profile correctly? I know I did a more sidesweeped formating, mostly because I though it would look cleaner, but I am not exactly sure if it is fine or not.

nybird's avatar
Hi! This all looks fine layout-wise :> I really like the format you chose.
When you are ready to start creating and scoring artwork, just make sure you are aware of our point-tracking requirements and how it needs to be displayed. You can read all about it here: Official Point Tracking Guide
Welcome to the group! If you have any questions or need help with anything please don't hesitate to contact us c:
Kaosheen's avatar

Ah, I made my own tracker based on the official spreadsheet. I wasn't sure where I was supposed to put it however, even after reading the guide. ^^;

nybird's avatar
Oh I see! You can just link it in the "artwork" section of your profile. :>
Kaosheen's avatar

Okay, I will put it there then. Thank you for all the help!

nybird's avatar
looks great! If you are tracking your artwork in the spreadsheet there's also no requirement to post them in your player profile, unless you want to of course!
Springy888's avatar

Hey, i don't know if this is good news to you, but you all have reached an interested german. I don't understand everything you are saying, so I promise that I will return to this page when my drawing skills improved(for digital art), when I am more mature and when my english is more advanced. I already have the silhouette of my future esk in mind, till then, Farewell.

KaijuRomance's avatar
Hello c:

You can join the group right away if you would like to! This group is open for everyone, regardless of what their art level is : D

In case something is unclear, I can help you out in German c:
alexrexiscoolBoobs's avatar

heyo, I have a problem, I don't understand how to submit my Player Profile to the Folder, if someone could explain me would be great ;w;

Matsurik90's avatar

So I drew a picture of someone else's esk. Do I score the GP or do they? Also, it wasn't a prompt or anything, so do I just put it in the general folder and tag them?

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