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  1. Temaelrin

    2018: Summer Updates

    Hello fellow Dreamers, It's that time of the year again, and this update has been focused on fixing as many bugs as possible, rather than adding new features or changing things. Some of you may already be aware of some of these changes, as I softly announcement them via my statuses, and this acts a sort of "This is what we did this season." This is not as big as the previous "2018: Spring Updates", but there have been a number of changes. This announcement will cover: New Staff Site Changes EcchiCredits Club Changes Chatbar (EcchiChat) Changes Official Discord Server Two-Factor Authentication Reminders Semi-Technical: Bug Fixes Known Bugs that Still Exist New Staff EcchiDreams is continuing to grow beyond our expectation, and as such, we took on new staff earlier in the season. It's with joy that I'd like to formally welcome both @Aura and @Sunstone to our site staff. Furthermore, I'd like to welcome @Kalvoras Vertal (AKA: Shuya) as our official Discord moderator. Site Changes We've made a number of updates both in the background and in the foreground this season. One of the main changes in the background is the transition over to HTTP2: this should now speed up the loading of site resources, as well as improve on security a little too, although the site is backwards compatible with the previous protocol. Most browsers happily accept HTTP1.1; although there is a bug for people who use BitDefender, where these browsers will not use HTTP2. This isn't a problem with EcchiDreams at all, as BitDefender does this to every HTTP2 site, thanks to it's "Scan SSL" or "Encrypted Web Scan" feature - which they say is more secure, but ironically they make things less secure when enabled because it disables HTTP2. Geniuses. To find out more information on HTTP2 and what it means, click here to see this infographic. In addition to this we've also tried to improve the speed and loading times of EcchiDreams, which has been getting to be a noticeable problem - especially if there are 20-30 people online at the same time - due to how resource heavy the site is, especially with the likes of EcchiChat. However these teething problems have been resolved for the most part, and everything is starting to run more smoothly again. EcchiCredits In the last update, I touched on an exploit with reactions for EcchiCredits, which you can click on and see in the article posted next to this text titled "2018: Spring Updates". But to basically summarise the problem: this exploit would essentially break the EcchiCredit economy, by allowing a group of friends to like and dislike each other's statuses. This would add the EcchiCredits to the accounts each time it was done, and not take them back if the content was unliked again. The developer of the original application had gone AWOL with there being a massive exploit that had been known about for quite some time; some people on the developers site had pointed this out way back in February, with some pointing it out in December of last year, and the developer had done absolutely nothing about it since then. When the exploit was independently found on here; I was able to find out who abused it, and to what extent, and deducted the ill-gotten gains manually. The feature was also disabled due to this. However, this has now changed. Another third-party developer (the one who made the background software behind the EcchiStore, which was originally two different applications made by two different people) has basically stepped in and introduced the features of the first developer to his application, which is properly supported and a well trusted source of our advanced development needs. He realised this problem and had already taken steps to preventing it, after he realised that telling the first developer was going nowhere. So TL;DR, what does that mean for us? Well I'm happy to announce that FINALLY reputation for EcchiCredits is back online, working, and not exploitable. The new developer is reliable, so should a problem like this crop up in future, and I cannot fix it, we can be confident that the developer actually will. Club Changes There has been a minor change to the amount of clubs that dreamers can open. Previously it was set to four universally; however after receiving feedback from certain Dreamers, we've changed this up very slightly. Now it is dependant on what user group you're in, so it gives yet another (albeit small) incentive to our premium dreamers. Currently it is set to the following: Dreamers: Six clubs. Gold Premium Dreamers: Eight clubs Platinum Dreamers: Ten clubs. This can increase universally (like +2 on each one), or in part (like +2 on just Gold and Platinum), later on, depending on how the clubs continue to evolve. To clear up yet another misconception: no, you cannot pay for premium membership with real life money; you pay for it via Ecchi Credits in the EcchiStore, which you get as a contribution credits. The reason there are limits is pretty self evident: we would rather have quality over quantity and, if for whatever reason a club owner falls inactive completely, then the "damage" is rather contained. Chatbar (EcchiChat) Changes As you would have been aware, we've recently changed our chatbar software (EcchiChat) from Cometchat, a company that I can no longer recommend to anyone. As I announced here; we were in the middle of an active licence with them that entitled us to receive updates for their software, which we were also allowed to host on our server. This privilege cost us around $64 a year; reasonable eough in my opinion. Rather unexpectedly, this company suddenly changed their pricing and ceased to support the software on hosted solutions. It gets worse... Cometchat now wants $299 a month ($3,588 a year) for the same functionality we had before at $64 a year, and we were no longer allowed to host their latest software. They "have to host it", which means all messages sent are stored on their servers and not protected by the EcchiDreams Privacy Policy; this is absolutely unacceptable. Considering the software was extremely buggy and practically non-functional 'out of the box', and required lots of intense and heavy modification just to get it to integrate properly with the forums, most of the testimonials on their site at the time of writing were written way before this change happened, and they're claiming big name sites use their software - of which there is no evidence when you look up their sites. You can see why we dropped this like a hot potato... Sketchy business practices aside, I realise that "They're a private company and can do what they like" in regards to pricing; so I will say that "And I can choose not to accept it and move on to a better provider", which is what I did. Instead we're now using a US based solution that allows us to host it on our own servers, and unlike Cometchat; it actually works. Official Discord Server EcchiDreams now has an official Discord Server, which you can only join by linking your Discord Account up with EcchiDreams via this link here. In the past we had an unofficial one set up by @Kalvoras Vertal (AKA Shuya); however, it became very apparent that a closer integration with EcchiDreams and the Terms of Service was required. You don't have to come and join us, but you are welcome to. It's still very much a work in progress; but it's mostly up, and we're happy to take suggestions. Two-Factor Authentication Reminders Currently only one Dreamer who isn't staff has activated Two-Factor Authentication; this isn't good. You can find out how to do it here. We've added little reminders to sensitive areas of the site (for now), that will nag remind you to set it up when you enter it for the first time. This includes: Managing Authorised Devices Changing your Password Changing your Email Address You can absolutely choose to opt-out, but we'll try one last time to advise against it with the following warning message. If you click on OK, the site won't mention it again to you: Semi-Technical: Bug Fixes We have made the following bug fixes since the previous release: Changed: Moved the signout button towards the bottom of the navigation menu on mobile devices, due to the amount of times people were voicing their completely valid feedback that it was too close to the notifications/EcchiText buttons. This was a design oversight on the UI menu, and whilst it's not perfect right now, we'll look at continually improving it. Thank you. Fixed: All Cometchat related/caused bugs - Fixed by ditching Cometchat completely. Fixed: A MySQL Table limit bug when entering a description for a Gallery Image, which prevented roleplayers from entering more than 65,535 bytes (including formatting), which either presented a strange error message, or simply cut off the text. We also told IPS about this bug and they've included it as a standard fix in their latest IPS Suite release. Fixed: Rare bug with Avatar Upload that would cause a (ERR_NO_CONTENT) failure when uploading. Fixed and Improved: Performance of the Activity Stream has been enhanced. Fixed: Registration is now scrollable on mobiles. Known Bugs that Still Exist Sometimes there is a menu overlap with the new position of the Logout button and some menu elements on mobiles. We're working on getting this fixed and has become a top priority for us. When buying a lottery ticket, or really doing anything in the EcchiStore, it seems to automatically redirect you to the homepage. Which is annoying. Premium Memberships brought from the EcchiStore still don't appear to be working properly. Whilst they're actually usable this time, they're expiring, even though they shouldn't be. We can still manually promote people to Premium Membership status upon the purchase of a Premium Membership, so it's not so much a problem as an annoying bug. We hope to have these fixed by the Winter Updates (2018), and we apologise for the inconvenience. Source: けこちゃ For many of us in the northern hemisphere it's been way too hot to be cooped up indoors roleplaying and the like, so I thought a nice picture of a cat girl with a water gun might cool some of us down a little.
  2. Hello fellow Dreamers, This year has barely begun and already we're working hard to improve the service for everyone here at EcchiDreams. Firstly we all hope you had a wonderful Christmas (Or holidays) and a Happy New Year. This update was focused mainly in the back end, which would affect the stuff you see, although there isn't that many feature changes... That's coming in the Spring Update. I also want to address the new influx of Dreamers that have found themselves making an online home here at EcchiDreams; Welcome to EcchiDreams! Thanks to you all, and some of our veteran members alike; we achieved 50 online Dreamers in the space of 24 hours; and for a small site like ours with next to no advertising budget, this is a big deal. We hope EcchiDreams continues to grow, and that you stick around. EcchiDreams has come a long way, and we hope that it continues attracting like minded roleplayers who want to RP and have fun. This announcement will cover: Server Side Updates EcchiStore and EcchiCredits (¢) EcchiChat Server Side Updates As part of our effort to increase the site's snappiness (speed) and decreasing response times (time you wait for a page to load, or even change when you click on something) we've made, what we feel to be a major breakthrough. This is why we wanted to go offline for 2 days, to get this done and to cover any possibility of the server completely crapping out. Not only did the server not "crap out", even once, but the updates went uncharacteristically and disconcertingly smoothly! I might be biased, but I've noticed an immediate speed improvement already. Take for example the Emoticons (Emoji) when making a post; when you click on that smiley face in the text editor, it used to take 10-20 seconds for it to load when hardly anyone else was on the site, 30 seconds to a minute on a busy day. This was untenable, and no doubt others had noticed this too. But since the update, it took between 4 to 6 seconds. It's not perfect - yet, but that's a massive improvement. Pages seem to load much faster, although we have no official metrics yet (because the sites we use to monitor those things can't see our site whilst it's offline), so when the site is online again I will be posting some information down in the comments, comparing the before and after. We very much hope that this makes everyone happy, including Dreamers who use mobiles, which has been especially noticeable on. I won't get too technical about it, but this should help with the influx of new Dreamers we've been having, so please let me know what you think - does the site feel faster to you? Do pages seem to load quicker, does it respond better? EcchiStore and EcchiCredits (¢) Before the Big Update on EcchiDreams, we had a feature called EcchiCredits and EcchiCash. EcchiCredits was the currency you earnt by contributing on the site (making posts, etc), and EcchiCash was where you could spend your EcchiCredits to change your display name (your username), your title, get premium membership, and items for your profile (like 'Dolls', or 'Cookies'). However, after the Big Update we pretty much lost most of this, due to the fact that the applications we used were no longer being updated by their third-party developers. And for a long time (nearly three years), EcchiCredits has been stuck in limbo, not useful for anything and barely collectable. Crippled, essentially. [The Currency Symbol for an EcchiCredit is: ¢ ] Not anymore. I am happy to announce that it's coming back, it's not quite at the glory it was in the olden days, but we're a massive step closer today than we were a few weeks ago, at the very least. Last week, I put out a sneak-peek update (slipped it under the radar, whilst no one was looking) and made a major improvement to the EcchiCredit system, that allowed you to bank EcchiCredits and earn them again, which people are starting to notice. Some have already asked me: "How do you get EcchiCredits?", "How much do you get?" and so on... Well, I'll tell you here. Of course, these costs might be subject to change but at the moment, they are: All Dreamers start out with ¢1,500 as a welcome to EcchiDreams gift. You get EcchiCredits just for logging in; you get an amount daily. At the moment it is ¢20 a day. Which if you're on every day, that's ¢7,300 a year - just by visiting once a day. In addition to this you also get ¢20 every week as long as you log in at least once; adding ¢1,040. In addition to this you also get ¢100 every month, as long as you login at least once; adding ¢1,200. So in total, if you're on every day you can earn ¢9,540 a year, by pretty much doing bugger all other than logging in. You can get EcchiCredits (10% a Year) by storing your monies in your bank account. You get ¢10 for making a Status You get ¢5 for replying to one (With exception to the Sandbox Forums ) you get ¢10 for making a topic on the forums You get ¢5 for replying to a topic on the forums (with exception to welcoming new Dreamers in the introduction forums; which is ¢10) If you're the topic poster, and someone replies to your topic, you also get ¢5 (on the forums) Commenting/Reviewing Images posted using the Gallery, either by the Gallery or Clubs - ¢5 (At this time you do not get EcchiCredits for posting images.) You get EcchiCredits for reporting bugs! Depending on Severity (decided by the technician responding to the ticket) - please note the last three are so rare, there has only been one report of a major security-flaw caught by a Dreamer, and that was before my Administration (and I've been here 5/6 years). Low Severity: ¢100 Medium Severity: ¢250 High Severity: ¢500 Severe Severity: ¢750 Critical Severity: ¢1,000 Minor Security-Flaw: ¢2,500 Major Security-Flaw: ¢5,000 Critical Security-Flaw: ¢10,000 Reviewing/Commenting on Roleplayers via Preferences, Private Roleplaying and even the News Articles - ¢5 When someone reacts to your post: : ¢50 : ¢100 : ¢75 : ¢75 : ¢10 : ¢10 And so on... Making EcchiCredits is really not that hard; check out these fine Dreamers who've earnt a fair amount. Can you overtake them? As for the EcchiCash Shop - we've brought a basic version of it back with a different name; The EcchiStore. It doesn't have much in it right now: as I said, it was going to be a starting point that I hoped we could actually work on and expand over the year or so. Right now it has two things for sale: Change Dreamer Title - That little title that is usually under your display name. Yep! You can change that. ¢1,750 Change your Name - Change your display name at any given time. ¢2,500 The staff are already going through some ideas of what to include with the store when we can, so we're open to taking suggestions and such. We decided against most of the items that come with the shop, such as "Steal another Dreamers Reputation", because that's likely to start arguments that frankly none of us want. There were other things that were a problem too, such as "Reset Warning Points", which is understandable from a "Paying a Fine" point of view, but at this time none of our 'Non-Bannable' warning points are permanent; they self expire after time anyway. But we would have liked to have done some kind of profile items, stuff that is just stuff and has no meaning or effects other than it's just stuff. EcchiChat Just quickly here... The EcchiChat system has been updated: it's had a number of bug fixes and layout tweaks, yet it still somewhat looks the same. It should also be slightly better in terms of performance. And that's pretty much it. Please leave a comment below as I will read them. ------- Source: Ensemble Stars! I don't believe this was done by any artist in particular, but by the company itself as CG. I wanted a character of some description sitting on a pile of Gold, to celebrate the EcchiCredits coming back as well as the EcchiStore and my Image-Board Lurks didn't fail to please. Apparently this image is from Ensemble Stars; which I believe is a mobile trading card game (That you can download from Google Play / Apple App Store) and has had a novel and manga made for it and has an Anime show in production for it. I'm not paid to sell it, so if you like the sounds of it, by all means check it out, if not, don't. It's your choice.
  3. Temaelrin

    Clubs and Fixes!

    Hello fellow Dreamers, We have some more information on the clubs thus far and we're very keen to share these ideas with you, as well as keep you up-to-date on what's going on around the forums, as well as the future direction of the Roleplay suite, which was updated only a year ago. This is a' follow on' from the Summer Update news article we posted a few weeks ago. Thanks to the feedback we got on the article itself, in EcchiTexts and the Chatbar, and though internal discussions between @Neptune and I, we have both come to the conclusion that the clubs will indeed be kind of a multi-use feature on our community. For example, we spoke about the clubs different "Genre's" if you will, of clubs which is filterable in the actual application (We've attached some pictures below) these genres, are: EcchiDreams Specific Community Club - For things that are highly specific to EcchiDreams; such as "Poke War Warriors" for people who take part in Poke Wars, or for "American Dreamers", "British Dreamers" etc... Fan Club - Specific to a certain fandom, such as the Nekomimi Fan Club, Kitsunetsuki Fan Club, Startrek Fanclub, or I don't know: PHP Fan Club. RP Club - What was once either a public or premium RP, something we're going to talk about in a moment. Social Club - A good example would be general interest or product clubs, such as the Hentai Connoisseur Club, PS Gamers Club, or PC Master Race, Headphone/Audiophile, Anime Junkies, etc... - Other - - If your club doesn't fit into the above categories it'd fall under other. Although we will be listening out for suggestions and adapting as time goes on. We'll look at how this useful feature evolves on our community, going forward and try to improve it based on real world use of it. There will have to be some changes however to the Premium Membership feature; that is, it's been two years waiting for a reliable Credits system; that allows you to earn Credits on EcchiDreams through contributing, (Posting, getting likes and leaving likes, coming on once a day, etc). Since the Big Update however this functionality has never materialised, and the developer of it seems to have attracted a lot of real life priorities that has left him unable to develop the next version. The one we have in place, the Basic Points that still lets to accumulate EcchiCredits has not received any feature updates either and thus has become remarkably useless and unusable. Less than 1% of our members are premium members, and a lot of that has something to do with points not being added to people's accounts (According to some reports I've gotten and are looking into) despite posting, liking and getting likes. So it's very on the rails at the moment as to what is going on in this area and I can only apologise. Premium members have next to no benefits of being a premium member other than a sparkling tag and increased Gallery Bandwidth limits. We're also going to go into the process of moving all the Public and Premium Roleplays over to the Clubs system; luckily this affects absolutely no one, other than staff because Staff are the only ones with these in the first place, and no one has posted in there, yet. Premium members will still have some benefits over this; such as an option to have their own Articles System but there isn't much else. We will have to update our Roleplay Guides to reflect this change before it's released, but the Public Roleplay Forums and Premium Roleplay Forums are pretty much closed at the moment. We will also need to re-write parts of the Terms of Service; and fix things on the site as well as Ecchia's welcome EcchiText to reflect these changes. So please bear with us as this will take some time. That said we hope to have it online and running by the end of the weekend, with all the changes made too. (Sunday the 13th of August, or Sunday the 20th of August 2017 at the latest). Now that's out of the way, here are some screenshots of the Clubs feature and I hope to explain them as I go along. When you first go into the clubs you'll arrive to the front page as you can see in the image (Click to Expand). You can of course filter these, say for example you only want to see certain types of clubs, well with the button next to "Sort By" which in this picture above, is above the EcchiTown (RP), club, this will allow you to sort and filter the clubs so you can display only the ones that fit what you're looking for, we're thinking on having it that the Public Roleplay Link on the forums will redirect to a filtered page that shows only RP Clubs, but you can view all with exceptional ease. Making a Club, is exceptionally easy, and open for you to play around with, as follows: Obviously the name; is the title you want to use for your club, your clubs name, if you will, the "Privacy" is the type of club you want, as you can see it lets you know what each setting means. The Description is the brief introduction which is seen on the Clubs Frontpage, the Icon (Although I recommend making the club first then setting an icon, although nothing stops you from doing the icon again) as it's like a profile picture. The reason I say that is because it squashes the picture where as if you change it after, you can crop the icon to fit what you're looking for. This way around works very well. The type of club, which as I stated earlier is the "Genre" if you will, and what features do you want to automatically create. I'll show you them in a moment. Managing your club is exceptionally easy; there is a "Manage Club" button that club owners can use to modify the club structure itself. Such as adding Topics, Images and Calendar features. You can edit the club settings, invite members, activate and edit the homepage (Which will split Home and Activity up and allow you to customise your clubs homepage), add members *Maybe*, change/transfer the owner of the club to another dreamer, change it's type or manage it's features, such as disabling sections, deleting them, or just re-organizing them, to put them into a new order (I will touch on in a moment). The Topics are useful for creating sections in your club roleplay, for example such as OOC, Roleplay, Extra Information and so on, as you can see you can again customise how you want the page to be displayed as if it was a normal post or topic on EcchiDreams. This allows a great number of options such as displaying the rules of your roleplay, or club, in this case the images above is showing it in an RP situation. In the previous news article, I discussed how moderators and even the club owner themselves can "Hide" content, this will appear as what you can see with "Rulebreaking Topic" in the second picture. As owners you should be able to pin any topic you want to the top of this, that will mean they will always appear on the top of the list above all other topics below regardless as to which topic is newer or more recently posted in, unless that is also a sticky... When you create the forum section of your club you can select one of two options "Discussions" which as featured above, or "Questions" where people can ask questions, and you - or other members of your club can respond. This doesn't have to be used for giving support to your members for your RP or club, but it could be used in a tech club for example as a place for people to ask tech related questions. What you choose to do with it, is on you. A club homepage is a great way of telling Dreamers who come to check out your club, what your club is, is it a RP club, and so on. I've, for this example, have shown the first page to the EcchiTown RP visible here, which tells people it's a Club RP, as would '(RP)' in the title, and as much information as I can for them to read and decide if being apart of that club is for them. You'll want to impress prospective users if you want them in your club, so making it look sleek, and awesome is the best way of doing this, as an ugly, janky and messy homepage will probably put people off. As you can see above, if you choose to turn the homepage on; you'll get an Activity Tab, which separates it from your club homepage (Which is default). The Activity Tab will also show a small "About the Club" for your club. Similar to adding forums, Image Areas are created for storing images in albums, or as is depending on your set up. For example if you have people who have multiple characters, in the above examples; of making an image area you have a few options. In the description you can pretty much do anything again, as well as set a standard as to how you want images to be posted for character IDs in your club. If you don't want people to post up a character ID with their images and you think it'll be fine to dump the images straight into the directory then you are more than happy to do so, you might not need albums for your needs so you can turn it off. You can also turn comments and reviews off; depending on your needs. For the above example. I have made character ID's non-requiring of Albums (that split up who's characters are who's) because EcchiTown will probably only see one character per person, due to design choices I made. For something like Blackberry Falls however, you might see a system where people have to make an album for all their characters in your RP club and character ID's are posted with the images themselves - which is indeed possible for everyone under this system. For something like Extra Informations though; that's typically something that will be used for an Extra Information Topic so you might just make it a dumping place (and put it on the end of the club) and allow people to use it to upload the images they need for their threads - again that's completely up to you and how you organise your club. So make your club your own. This is an example of changing the order; disabling or deleting any sections that you don't require; this makes editing your clubs no matter what the type of club you're hosting, easy. In "Closed" Club scenarios The first image above; is a request notification that I spoke about in the last update topic, once you click it you can choose to accept or reject. Accepting or Rejecting is as simple as a sweet short click, and is honestly as easy as it can be. As you can see above. If you're trying to join a club that is closed, you're told on the home page of that club, that it's closed and are given the option (Twice) to join the club. If you've clicked that, but the request is pending, you'll be told on the club page (Above image) that you're request is still pending. As the message says if you're accepted - or rejected (Trying to say positive, lol) then you'll get a notification, that looks like this: In other news... We are aware of a number of bugs that have been present in our update; we hope that most of them are addressed as of today, such as the Leaderboards Bug when trying to filter by content type. We're also looking at making the help section more intuitive, as well as putting in a process where people can appeal their infractions, and so on, so this is something we're looking at doing after sorting out the clubs and RP sections which are going to require some migration time. I wanted to keep you all up-to-date and hopefully by this or next weekend we'll have a better RP section on EcchiDreams, with something easier to understand, use and is much more controllable, by YOU the club owner. Finally I'd like to remind all dreamers; to please DOUBLE CHECK what images you are uploading, before you upload them, far too many people got their accounts banned or given infractions last week over major terms of service violations. We do not allow Beastility, Lolicon or Shotacon (Child/Minor in Nude or Sexual Situations). Thank you. As always please leave comments, suggestions and feedback relating to this article below, I read every single comment posted and it's my pleasure to. Article Image Artist: Wolp Links: Deviantart There is no reason I chose this image, its not related to the article in anyway shape or form. I purely chose it because I like the picture and I think the artwork, something I'm not usually a fan of, but it's actually very well done. Such simplicity of detail oddly suits it, and I think the Artist has managed (with this and a few other pieces) of getting me to like a kind of style that not many can seem to do very well. It's a very stunning image, and I highly recommend checking his work out if you like it. It's in my opinion one of the best I've seen from this artist.
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