Hello fellow Dreamers,
This update has come a little later than we initially planned. Originally it was scheduled for Christmas as the End of Year Update for 2018, but we had various things not go our way, and we had to push it back with the Winter Updates Release. Whilst it is a meteorological spring time here in the Northern Hemisphere, it is still astronomical winter until March 20th. There are quite a few things to cover in this update, so without further delay I will get right to it.
This announcement will cover:
- An open letter to Sunstone
Terms of Services Changes
- Section 1
- Section 10
- Section 14
- Section 17
- Section 18
- Section 21
- Section 22
- Forum Software Update
- Dark EcchiTheme
- Emoji Changes
- Clear Indications of Bans and Account Deactivation
- Account Deactivation and Deletion Changes
- Homepage Changes
- FAQ Section
- Changes to Premium Membership
- Official Discord Server Updates
- EcchiLotto Draw
Semi Technical: Bug Fixes
- Known Bugs that Still Exist
It is with heavy heart I must announce that Sunstone has asked to step down from his role as a staff member here on EcchiDreams, after being with us for eight to nine months, which we have reluctantly but respectfully accepted. His resignation may or may not be permanent (as he is more than welcome to come back at any time), but for personal reasons he has decided to step down at least for now; after listening to his concerns, I can't say I blame him. However, I would like to include an open letter to Sunstone here in this announcement, to show that all of the staff stand by his decision, and are indeed saddened to see him leave. I want to make it clear that Sunstone was not fired, and there is no hostility regarding this departure. I am told that he will remain in the community as a Gold Premium Member, but not as staff for the time being.
An Open Letter to Sunstone
I want to personally and publicly thank you for what you have done as a staff member here on EcchiDreams. You volunteered your own personal time, to help us maintain order on here, and have contributed more than your personal time in to helping this place run better. Whilst we are saddened, we wish nothing but the best for you going forward. It was an honour and a privilege working with you. If you ever decide to come back, you will be welcomed back with open arms, and warm hearts, and I will keep your position open for you, always.
@Neptune also wanted to add to this message; in the hope that it finds a way of brightening your day.
"It has been a pleasure having Sunstone on our team. He has, as always, been kind to others and hard working. He brought something unique to the staff, and it's not going to be the same while he's gone. I wish him luck, and I hope he takes care."
Thank you again, Sunstone. With very kind regards,
Terms of Service Changes
Since November there have been a lot of changes to the Terms of Service that I'd like to cover. Technically under the Terms of Service, I don't have to do this, but I will in the interests of transparency and openness. We recently overhauled it and changed the formatting, so that you can see the sections and paragraphs in a Table of Contents and select which part you want to read, which it will scroll down to for you and take you to the relevant part. I will try to keep this part brief but I will also try to outline what changes we've made exactly.
Section 1 is the Acceptance of the Terms of Service. It is the most important of the Terms of Service, as it states what is outlined in the ToS and sets the tone of the rest of the document, as well as your obligation to accept it if you want to use EcchiDreams, and our obligations to you, contained within those terms. We changed a little of section 1 to keep in pace with updates and modifications made to the site since 2016.
The biggest addition to the Terms of Service under Section 1 is paragraph 1, something that we've been advised to add in for legal reasons, which is a legal disclaimer. It basically covers our asses if something goes wrong, but it also warns the user that whilst our site contains links to websites run and operated by third parties:
- They are not endorsements or recommendations.
- We have no control over them, nor do we accept responsibility over them.
- You visit external links from this site at your own risk.
- We reserve the right to remove, edit or delete links at any time for any reason.
Section 10 is our Harassment clause, and it's not one of the Terms of Service that I like to edit, because of how the word 'Harassment' is being used and abused nowadays. The bar of what some people consider 'Harassment' is so low, you can't even say "Hello" to someone. Well, not here. We always have, and always will - whilst it remains reasonable - follow the legal definition of harassment as defined under the law. That is one of the only sections in the Terms of Service to be clearly defined, and given a bar of acceptable evidence, and it is for good reason.
We recently had to modify this, to change:
This shouldn't have to be said, however; using the Services in their intended manner (e.g. Followers System, Pokes, etc.), does not constitute as harassment or cyber-stalking institutional or otherwise.
This shouldn't have to be said, however; using the Services in their intended manner (e.g. Followers System, Pokes, etc), or staff contacting you in the course of their duties, does not constitute as harassment or cyber-stalking institutional or otherwise.
Because apparently when a staff member contacts you because you have broken a rule, that constitutes as harassment... Yes, someone did literally accuse one of the staff members of harassment when they contacted them about a very, very minor rule that they were breaking. If a staff member is contacting you in the act of their duty, you cannot pretend like you can get away with it by screaming harassment. That is not how this works; it doesn't work on the Police in real life, and it sure as hell won't fly here.
We also added two sections:
- Harassment against Reporters
- Multiple False Reports about specific Dreamers
This is because a couple of dreamers last year saw it fit to mercilessly harass someone who they had thought had reported their content and "Got them into trouble.", when it was actually in fact a staff member that picked up on it independently. You cannot go around harassing people who have, or you think may have, reported your content. That will now get you in even more trouble than you were in to begin with.
We will also not allow false reports (Persecution) against specific Dreamers. We have had a number of incidents where Person A has been slighted/offended in some way by Person B, and then Person A starts a campaign of reporting all of Person B's posts/content. On other sites, this is called "False Flagging", and it will not be viewed in a good light here; in fact we deem it as a possible form of harassment.
As I said. I didn't want to strengthen this any more than it already was, but there we go. Disagreement is perfectly natural, we're not bound to get along with each other all the time. That is why you can ignore specific dreamers, and tell them not to contact you. If they keep contacting you when you've asked them to stop repeatedly - then it becomes harassment. But at the same time you can't goad them into it by provocation either. Just block and move on.
Section 14 is our Advertising and Spam rule, and says what kind of links to other sites (external to EcchiDreams) can and cannot be posted on this site. It has recently been updated, as this hadn't been since 2012. Therefore, it's been completely reworked and reworded, and includes a new section that specifically addresses "Disallowed Links". This was a hard one to rewrite for several technical reasons, but eventually all of the staff agreed to the new incarnation of it. That's all there is to it, really.
Section 17 is our Roleplay Section. @Neptune had repeatedly warned me about this being grossly out of date, and I kept putting it off because the Roleplay section was going through periods of rapid overhauling and changing. The original piece was put in during the Big Update of 2015, and ever since it's been left well alone. However, at the end of 2018, it became quite apparent that this section was meaningless, because none of it applied anymore. It has now been completely re-written to reflect reality, and it's well worth reading.
Recently we've had to make an additional change to Section 2 as it contained erroneous information in that you can only have one Private Roleplay Bulletin topic, which is not the case. As long as you don't spam it relentlessly, you're fine.
Section 18 is one of our most broken rules, and perhaps the most hated by the community
It is, of course, our Gallery and Media Uploaded or Posted to EcchiDreams section. We have completely refreshed it, and made it explicitly clear on what we will and not allow on this site when it comes to images, animated GIFs, videos, and other media content. It is not something we like to enforce, but it's something that we do have to.
The most broken rule in this section is, of course, depictions of a cartoon/drawn/sketch/pseudo photograph of a minor (under 18) in nude or sexual situations. As I have discussed many time before: this counts as child pornography by law. Unfortunately this covers people who look over 18, but aren't (Such as Nekopara, for example). As a result we've had to make a flowchart, which I believe is helping people already, as we've had less violations on this since it became available.
Here is that flowchart if you want a copy of it:
To be clear: You can post cartoon images of minors, but they must not be sexual or nude in anyway. You can't post real pictures of minors under any circumstances, however. We highly recommend reading Section 18 to re-familiarise yourself with it.
Section 21 is our Account Termination clause, and due to a recent update in how our Account Termination and Deletion works, and the fact that it is mostly automatic now, we've had to change our Terms of Service to reflect this; this is a complete re-write. I will be going into more detail with this later in the announcement, but suffice it to say, this has been changed and updated to reflect the new options for all Dreamers. I have made it clear in the Terms of Service that during the deactivation procedure, if you delete your account, you must wait at least 14 days before opening a new account; if you deactivate your account, you are still not allowed to open a new account under Section 9 of the Terms of Service.
Section 22 is our Violations of the Terms of Service clause. It has been overhauled to include a new paragraph "Infraction Appeals", which gives you recourse if you genuinely think that a staff member made a mistake in issuing a warning or infraction; it is one of your rights, and our obligations. If you think that we've made a mistake, and you believe that there is an error with the ruling that you can point to the Terms of Service and contest with, you are allowed to state your case with an infraction appeal. However be warned: this does not apply to Section 8 violations, for which there needs to be extreme evidence before carrying out, because there is no chance of appeal. Also: ignorance of the Terms of Service is not a valid excuse, as its effect on your relationship with us is not contingent on whether or not you've read them.
Forum Software Update
I am pleased to announce that our major update from IPS 4.3.6 to IPS 4.4.1 was a major success, overall. This brought about a few small changes to the software that runs on this site and fixed a whole load of bugs (along with introducing new ones, naturally).
To go through the entire change log would be insane; instead I'll just go over a few key highlights:
- Major Performance Improvements
- Improved Application Security across the board
- Tags will now start showing suggested tags as you type them when tagging posts. I think it selects from tags that have previously been used in the community.
- Fixed a whole slew of bugs and quirks.
- For a full list, see IPS's announcement for 4.4.0 and 4.4.1; just bear in mind that not all of these apply to EcchiDreams, such as the GIF in posts feature, or the post before registering feature.
With this update came an update to all the third-party modifications that were used to customise EcchiDreams, all of which have their own bug fixes and feature additions.
Last month, I put up a poll in the EcchiMeta club for people to vote on. Every now and then, I get a request for a dark theme for EcchiDreams and I've always turned it down because of costs (that would be incurred every six months), and development times (that would be incurred every time I make major updates), and there wasn't enough demand to warrant it. However after putting up the poll, 40-50% of our daily users voted on it almost immediately, and the resounding answer was: Yes! You do want a dark EcchiTheme.
I am pleased to announce that this is complete and currently working. I am using the Dark Theme myself to try and spot bugs and/or flaws in it, and so far it appears to be working correctly; it is available for all registered Dreamers.
To change the theme: just go to the bottom of the page and press "Theme", then select "Dark EcchiTheme"
Guests and non-logged in users will not see this, and the Default EcchiTheme will be enabled by default, as indicated by the name.
Due to licensing reasons, we no longer use "Emoji One" Emoji's on EcchiDreams. Instead, we now use the free 'Twitter' style Emoji's. It is unknown if any of the old emoji's before the update will change, but from now on, the use of Emoji's on EcchiDreams will be Twitter's style, which is a small and very minor change.
Clear Indication of Banning and Account Deactivation
We have changed the way in which banned accounts and deactivated accounts are displayed due to some confusion in the community, and the fact that up until this point it has been majorly unclear. I will point out that accounts that are suspended (temporarily banned) still have nothing that indicates their suspension.
- For banned users; the name will become red, and a small red button will appear next to their username that reads 'Banned'. On their profile, there will be a small field that contains "Ban Reason" once their ban has been completely processed, which displays the reason that they were banned. You may have noticed this already.
- Deactivated users will also have the same thing. Their username; is normal coloured, but they will have a small orange button next to their username that reads 'Deactivated'. You might not be able to view their profile, send them EcchiTexts or anything of the sort, however.
We were thinking on including a small button for those that are inactive for more than 6 months, but at this time we have not finalised anything.
An example of a Banned Dreamer:
An example of a Deactivated Dreamer:
These buttons will also appear next to their names when viewed anywhere else on the forums, in the same way that all staff have purple names.
Account Deactivation and Deletion Changes
We have made it easier for you to delete or deactivate your account. As I briefly outlined in the Section 21 Terms of Service updates, previously the only way you could deactivate or delete your account was via contacting us on the contact us form, or by sending a staff member an EcchiText. We've now put in the ability for you to do it completely for yourself. If you want to deactivate your account (previously called Terminate) then you can, and you can re-activate it at anytime by logging in. Deleting your account is only possible when you have never posted anything, and you're still in the "Virgin Dreamers" group; after that it will not be possible to delete your account, only deactivate it.
It is relatively simple, yet it will require you to pass a security check just to see if it is you requesting this.
I've made a number of small edits to the homepage, such as swapping the recent topics piece with the community wall to fix a long outstanding bug where text would appear weirdly under certain common screen resolutions and conditions. In addition, I've made it easier to vote for the EcchiDreams Dreamer of the Month by adding a button to the box. I've also tested the functionality of including a poll on the homepage, as and when we need it, for logged in Dreamers.
We've added a new FAQ section to cover the most frequently asked questions we have. You can easily find it under the "Information" menu tab as "FAQ"... or just by going here: https://ecchidreams.com/faq/
If we start getting asked certain questions more, we will start updating this list to include the new questions we are asked. Currently they are split across 5 different categories:
- EcchiCredits and EcchiShop
Changes to Premium Membership
We've changed the benefits of premium membership, as I've announced in my status towards the end of last year. Premium Membership does not cost any IRL money - so please put your wallets, purses and credit cards away. They cost EcchiCredits (a contribution based currency), and can be obtained through the EcchiStore.
You get many benefits to being a premium member; the following is not a definitive list:
- Gold and Platinum: Customisable Profile Backgrounds.
- Gold and Platinum: Ability to insert Profile Videos.
- Gold and Platinum: Unlimited Gallery Usage (no Max Bandwidth per day).
Gold and Platinum: EcchiText Limitations
- Normal: Able to store 500 conversations, only allowed to start 60 a day (10 per minute).
- Gold: Able to store 5,000 conversations, only allowed to start 120 a day (20 per minute).
- Platinum: No limits at all.
Gold and Platinum: Max Number of EcchiText Recipients in one conversation.
- Normal: 6 Recipients
- Gold: 12 Recipients
- Platinum: 18 Recipients.
Gold and Platinum: Search Cooldown Improvements.
- Normal: 20 Second Cooldown.
- Gold: 10 Second Cooldown.
- Platinum: 5 Second Cooldown.
Gold and Platinum: Increased Clubs.
- Normal: Ability to run/own 6 clubs.
- Gold: Ability to run/own 8 clubs.
- Platinum: Ability to run/own 10 clubs.
There are more features being added over time, so this list can - and will - change.
(Desktop Users) You may have noticed that recently the Hovercard system has changed completely. It was actually introduced shortly after the Spring Updates 2018, but was largely in Beta. For those that don't know, the Hovercard is the information that appears when you hover your mouse over a Dreamers username or profile picture on EcchiDreams. We were one of the first IPS websites on the internet to test this new feature out, thanks to a friend of mine (the Developer) wanting me to test it for them. I think it's fair to say that Neptune and I fell in love with it, and we've decided to keep it indefinitely.
This is the old Hovercard:
This is the new Hovercard:
It displays the profile cover image, your avatar, and nearly all the information that the first one provides. It also displays a Hovercard Quote which you can set up by visiting your profile, looking for "Hovercard Quote" at the bottom of the sidebar, and clicking on the gear/cog icon. You can put whatever you want here (within the ToS and the 160 character limit). When you're on Leave of Absence, it will display a large orange button as well, letting people know easily and quickly that you're currently on LoA.
I'm pleased to announce that this is out of Beta, and is staying, for as long as it is supported.
Official Discord Server Updates
Our official Discord server is going well, and we've gotten a fair few people who are registered to EcchiDreams on there. This was introduced in the 2018: Summer Updates and has now been improved, as we look at further expanding this project as it matures. It's not been without it's downsides; we have had more than our fair share of drama from members, myself included. But most of the time it's a pretty chill place, and it's a great way of getting your hands on updates that are happening before they're mentioned on EcchiDreams itself, as well as to talk to various other members and staff. I've not been on it as much as I would have liked, but then I've been rather busy lately; I think after this I will try to be more active there.
If the site goes down, it's a good place to get updates - if there are any - from staff, as it allows us to communicate with you on a secondary line. However the Discord server is open to EcchiDreams members only.
We have recently updated the EcchiDreams Site/Discord integration features, so if you linked your account with Discord before the 10th March 2019 (17:00hrs GMT), you will need to relink it, as we have come out of Beta with this application. We've also added a few new features:
- New topics on the forum are displayed in the #new-topic-notifications channel.
- You can update your EcchiDreams email address with your Discord Email address (disabled by default)
- You can update your EcchiDreams profile image with your Discord profile image (disabled by default)
- There is now a small banner on the homepage of the site displaying this Discord; although it is unclickable at the moment.
So if you haven't already: come and join us!
The draw for the EcchiLotto system that happened on the 1st January 2019 was somewhat of a success. There was only a handful of people who played, and so far 12,500 EcchiCredits have been claimed in prizes; however, there are still a number of unclaimed tickets that may have won the ~60,000 EcchiCredit Jackpot. Is your ticket unclaimed? The winning numbers were as follows:
7, 8, 19, 20, 46 and 51
If you didn't enter this years draw, you can enter next years draw, which will happen on January 1st 2020. At time of writing, the jackpot stands at 51,600 EcchiCredits, and each ticket only costs 100 EcchiCredits.
We have made excellent progress in this update at squashing all known bugs that existed before. I am ecstatic to report that all known bugs mentioned in the previous update announcement have been completely fixed! We had an event on shortly after updating EcchiDreams that doubled the bounty of all bug reports submitted to us pertaining to bugs on the site. The response was simply astounding! I want to thank everyone who did their part and reported all the bugs that they found.
So a big and special shout out to: @Imouto Kanna, @XenoSera, @LazarusLuna, @Whoreo, @Neptune, @SMFoxy, @Aura, @Bethany, and @Felixx, who all contributed to this by reporting them. Thank you very much for the help there, ladies and gentlemen.
So the list of EcchiDreams specific bug fixes are as follows:
- Certain types of PNG images would crash the gallery uploader, resulting in garbled data being outputted to the user or a blank/broken image being uploaded.
- EcchiStore and EcchiLotto would annoyingly redirect back to homepage for every action taken.
- Custom Activity Stream options would not save.
- Posts that were edited threw a "Template Error", asking for it to be corrected in the ACP.
- WYSIWYG Editor kept reverting to minimalist features.
- In very rare instances, hitting the home icon on Apple devices (Safari browser) resulted in being logged out.
Known Bugs that Still Exist
If you find any, please report them for a sweet bounty! There are a few open issues in the bug tracker, but these are more quirks that seem to happen extremely infrequently, and we don't have any solid information about them at the moment. There is one bug that will be affecting everyone, as far as I am aware, but we're certainly working on it.
Editor restores previous content in box regardless of if it was posted or not.
- Low Severity: It is more of an annoyance than a bug.
- Why is this a bug: It shouldn't be doing this. It should only restore the previous thing you wrote in there if it never posted like if there was an error or something.
When I first saw this picture, it somehow felt right for this announcement. I can't explain it. I think it's an incredibly well done piece, it doesn't contain people (Although there are versions that do), but it was somewhat perfect for this. I think the artist is incredibly talented, so by all means check them out.
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