Showing results for tags 'terms of service changes'.
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policy change Gallery Policy Changes
Tema posted a news article in News and AnnouncementsHello fellow Dreamers, In a previous announcement, we addressed some of the most common misconceptions about our gallery. If you haven't already, I highly recommend giving it a read. Subsequently, we introduced a new definition under Section 18 of our Terms of Service: As you may have noticed, we have been diligently working on enhancing our gallery policies, striving to make them more robust and less prone to misinterpretation (I will delve into the reasons behind avoiding vague rules later on). With that in mind, we are ready to unveil our most significant gallery policy change since the introduction of the "Character Only" gallery in 2021, which was changed, initially implemented as a measure to conserve disk space. One of the pieces of feedback I received was that this last major change was not properly communicated; which is fair and is why I am going to the length and effort that I am going to now. I believe in treating our community with honesty and respect, so I want to lay out the situation and the problem on the table and share our proposed solution. We understand that not everyone will be in favour of these changes, but we genuinely value your feedback, criticism, and suggestions. We are committed to listening to you, even if we may not always agree - your voices will be heard. Currently, in addition to Section 18 of the Terms of Service, the gallery has several rules in place: Do not upload GIFs - They are massive and take a lot of bandwidth to serve, something that our mobile users will not appreciate. Standard Gallery Rules Apply - See Section 18 of the Terms of Service. Do not upload images directly to the category - When uploading images please put them into an album to keep the EcchiDreams Gallery tidy. Character Pictures Only - Do not upload image dumps here, as they will be deleted without warning. Under these rules, you were allowed to upload any character-related content for roleplays. However, this also led to users posting numerous images for potential roleplay partners to choose from. For instance, Dreamer A could upload 120 random character images and "face claims" for Dreamers B, C, D, E, and F to select as their roleplay characters or for Dreamer A to portray as other characters. Some of you expressed frustration when we removed an album without warning, considering it as an "Image Dump," even if it might not have been the case. I'm not saying you're right or wrong to feel upset, as we understand we're all caught in a difficult situation. Whilst we’ve gotten good at identifying what is and isn’t an image dump: Our success rate is around 85%, meaning around 15% of what we catch are false positives. I think I speak for all the staff here when I say that the false positives rate is unacceptable and that we have to do something about this. In addition to this issue there has also been a lot of reluctance and hesitation with removing many such albums that have been in violation of the rules, as the last thing we want to do is cause unnecessary drama and animosity with the false positives. So you might be wondering, what exactly constitutes an "Image Dump"? That's an excellent question. The Terms of Service and the site itself don't provide a clear explanation of what an "Image Dump" is. Technically speaking, a collection of characters dumped into an album could be considered an "Image Dump," even if it doesn't violate any rules. To be frank, there is no definitive answer to this question, or at least I can't provide one based on anything other than our subjective perception. When @Aura highlighted this issue with the other staff and myself, we (The Community Administrators) very quickly saw the inconsistency. This kind of vagueness is not acceptable under my administration, and today, with the support of my colleagues, we are taking steps to address this issue. My administration strives to minimise ambiguity in the rules for the following reasons: Vague rules make it difficult for Dreamers to understand what is expected of them, which can lead to confusion and frustration. This can result in Dreamers unknowingly violating rules and being potentially unfairly punished or reprimanded. Vague rules have a greater chance of being applied inconsistently, which can create a sense of unfairness or favouritism. Users may feel like they are being targeted for enforcement while others are seemingly getting away with the same behaviour. Vague rules can be used as a justification for staff to abuse their power. Without clear guidelines, staff members may interpret rules in their own way, and use their interpretations to punish Dreamers for things that are not explicitly prohibited. While this hasn't happened under my administration and I don't believe any of our current staff would do such a thing. This being possible to the point where it could create reasonable doubt in the community, under any circumstance, is an issue. Vague rules can make it difficult for Dreamers to appeal their punishments. If the rules are not clear, users may have a hard time arguing against their punishment, as it is unclear where the boundary is for breaking the rules. The only advice that can be offered at that point is "don't push the boundaries" which is counterproductive to say the very least. Clear rules help establish trust between the community and the staff. When the rules are clearly stated and consistently enforced, Dreamers can have confidence that they are being treated fairly and that the staff is acting in the best interest of the community. I can't stress this point enough. Clear rules also make it easier for users to self-regulate their behaviour. When the rules are well defined, users are more likely to follow them, as they know exactly what is expected of them. Without clear rules, the community may become more toxic or hostile. If Dreamers feel like there are no clear boundaries, they may push the limits of acceptable behaviour, which can create a negative and unwelcoming environment. I firmly believe that having clear and specific rules that are consistently enforced is of utmost importance in maintaining a fair and thriving community. The term "Image Dump" itself presents a problem because it lacks a defined definition, guideline, or any specific information beyond our subjective perception of what constitutes an image dump. We needed to ask ourselves: "Is this level of ambiguity acceptable?" And the answer was a resounding no. Furthermore, we have witnessed repeated instances of this term being abused, either by malicious individuals or those who are unaware of its implications. Therefore, we are implementing a new policy change. Starting from June 24th 2023, we will start to enforce a new rule in Section 18 Sub-Section 1 of the Terms of Service which reads as follows: The above example has not currently been passed by staff and is being tweaked and voted on. It's subject to change and modification based on feedback, on the date. The final version will be in the first comment below this article. What does this mean? This change in our gallery policy entails a significant shift in how the system operates. We have made the rules explicitly clear, and we are now transitioning to a model where each character has its own dedicated album. This means that each album should be created exclusively for one character. If you have multiple characters, you will be required to create separate albums for each of them. It is crucial that each album explicitly states the name of the character it represents. In addition, we will be implementing limitations on the number of albums that can be created site-wide. The allocation of albums between clubs and private roleplay characters will be largely up to you. If you primarily engage in private roleplaying, you can potentially use all your albums for your private roleplay characters. On the other hand, if you are focused on club activities, you have the flexibility to allocate your albums accordingly. We understand that preferences and character dynamics may change over time, and to provide you with greater control, we will be introducing tools that allow you to delete albums for characters you no longer wish to keep. However, please note that the number of albums you can create will be determined by your premium level. Normal Dreamers will have the capacity for up to 32 albums, Gold Dreamers can have up to 66 albums, and Platinum Dreamers can have up to 120 albums. Based on our observations, it is unlikely that many, if any, of you will reach these limits in the near future. However, we remain open to revisiting these limits in the future if necessary, taking into consideration user feedback and usage patterns, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone. It's important to highlight that the premium levels and associated album limits are not intended as a means for financial gain. Premium levels are obtained through the use of EcchiCredits, a contribution-based currency exclusive to our site. We want to assure you that no real-money transactions are involved, making it a fair and inclusive system for all our users. We strive to provide you with the necessary tools and resources to fully express your creativity and immerse yourself in the world of roleplaying. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding album limits or premium levels, please do not hesitate to reach out to our support team. We value your feedback and will consider adjustments to these limits if needed, always with the goal of enhancing your roleplaying experience. But I have multiple images to let people pick from! I understand that you may have multiple images for others to choose from, and we acknowledge that. We suggest using an external image hosting site for this purpose. While we do not have a specific recommendation, some users have utilised platforms like Imgur (which may no longer allow NSFW images) or Imgbox (which does). According to our Terms of Service, you are allowed to link these image collections or folders in your roleplayer preferences sheet's description, status, about me section, etc. However, it is essential to ensure that the hosting site you choose and the content you link comply with both our Terms of Service and the hosting site's rules (as stated in Section 14, Sub-Section 1 of our Terms of Service: You cannot link to sites that violate any sections of our Terms of Service). Some individuals have created private Discord servers to host their images, which they then embed the images directly into their posts. I cannot provide an official stance on whether this is condoned or condemned, as I am unsure of Discord's rules regarding linking to other sites. The key point is that it is still possible to share multiple images, but you must utilise an external image hosting site designed for this purpose. We will now categorise such posts in our gallery as violations of Section 18, Sub-Section 1. You don't want to limit creativity, yet you're going to limit albums. Why? You may be wondering why we have chosen to implement limitations on albums if our goal is to foster creativity and provide a free-to-use service. We want to assure you that we are committed to maintaining a vibrant and unrestricted creative environment. However, there are a few reasons behind this decision: Firstly, the album limitations are in place to prevent potential abuse by malicious individuals who might exploit the creation of infinite albums as a means to circumvent the new policy. By setting reasonable limits, we can ensure a fair and secure platform for all users. Secondly, as a largely independent platform without the support of external funding or monetisation options, we rely on our available resources to sustain and expand our services. While we strive to grow and improve, we also need to manage our disk space effectively to accommodate the growing community. At present, we operate on a modest budget, and the revenue generated from advertisements is primarily utilized to cover the costs associated with hosting the website. We want to be transparent in letting you know that we do not profit from these advertisements, as any earnings are promptly reinvested to sustain the platform. We value your contributions and want to continue providing you with the best possible experience while maintaining the integrity of the community. Our commitment to keeping the platform completely free from data sales, intrusive advertisements, and monetary transactions sets us apart from many other websites. We take pride in upholding these principles and offering a platform where creativity can thrive without compromise. When does this take effect? The policy will take effect one month after this announcement to allow time for community feedback and addressing any concerns. During this period, a top comment below the article will serve as an FAQ to address common questions. Once the policy is implemented and the Terms of Service change takes effect, a transitionary period will begin. The old category, "Private Roleplay Characters (Depreciated)," will be locked in read-only mode, and a new category will be created to replace it. The old category will remain visible for six months to facilitate the transition. During this time, you can move your images to new albums that comply with the new rules. Any albums in the new category that do not meet the rules will be deleted, and the uploader will receive an alert to review the rules and this announcement. I have insisted to the staff that: No punishments, warning points, or infractions relating to this policy change will be issued during the transitionary period. Albums that comply with the new rules on the effective date of the policy will be transferred to the new category, ensuring a seamless service. After six months of implementation, the old category will be removed, and enforcement of Section 18, Subsection 1 will begin. Infraction guidelines for Section 18 violations will likely apply, starting with a minor infraction for the first offence, which results in the removal of the content and an alert to the violator. Further offences will receive a zero-point infraction, and repeated violations may lead to minor warning points (usually 10 or fewer) with a cooldown period of six months or less. If, for any reason, you missed these changes and are within one year of implementation, you can contact us, and we will consider your situation. After one year of implementation, the old category with its images and albums will be deleted, potentially triggering a recount of content, reputation, and site experience points. Why is this a good thing? There are several reasons why we believe this policy change is beneficial for all parties involved: Clarity and Avoidance of Vague Rules: This administration aims to provide clear and specific rules that are easier to enforce. Vague rules can lead to confusion and inconsistent enforcement. By implementing explicit guidelines for the gallery, we ensure everyone understands the expectations and can adhere to them. More Efficient Moderation: The current gallery setup poses significant challenges for moderation. The new policy allows our staff to more effectively moderate the gallery, saving valuable time and resources. This enables them to focus on other important tasks and provide a better overall experience for the community. Enhanced Profile and Character Visibility: The new system brings benefits to the community as a whole. With the one album per character model, people can visit your profile and easily access your characters under the "Albums" tab. This improves visibility and makes it convenient for others to search for specific characters or explore characters in general. It fosters greater connections and engagement within the roleplaying community. Preparation for Future Development: This policy change aligns with our long-term vision. We plan to transition from the current platform to a new system, built for purpose, from the ground up. In the future system, each character will have its own profile page linked to your account, making searching and cataloguing characters even more seamless. By implementing the one album per character model now, we pave the way for smoother integration and improved functionality in the future. These reasons demonstrate the overall benefits of the new policy, including increased clarity, efficient moderation, improved character visibility, and preparation for future advancements. We believe this change will lead to a fairer, healthier, and more connected community. What motivates us to make these kinds of policy changes? In our commitment to transparency, we believe it's important to address this question that we have been asked before. As staff members, we have a core guideline that encapsulates our thought processes behind these decisions. We understand that the ramifications of policy changes can impact hundreds, if not thousands of people and have a significant influence on the overall dynamics of the site. Therefore, undertaking substantial policy changes is not a decision taken lightly. It's crucial to highlight that all policy changes and terms of service amendments go through a rigorous process. They are subject to voting and require a large majority agreement from all staff members. If a consensus cannot be reached, the proposal is either abandoned or revisited to ensure it is workable and aligns with our principles. We want to assure you that we do not make policy changes frequently. However, there are circumstances where change becomes necessary. This can be due to advancements in technology and evolving landscapes that we need to adapt to, or it could arise from a previous policy that, while well-intentioned on paper, proves to be impractical or detrimental in practice. Occasionally, we may relax certain policies if the existing tools are sufficient to handle potential issues, or we may strengthen measures to combat malicious actors. Often, it's a combination of various factors. When deliberating policy changes, we consider several key aspects, including but not limited to: Community's best interest: We assess the impact of changes on the overall health and well-being of the community. This encompasses considerations such as disk space, site speed, user interface, and functionality. While these aspects may affect individuals, our aim is to create an environment that benefits the community as a whole. Individuals within the community: We strive to avoid creating policies that create a labyrinth of rules where a single misstep could result in a complete ban from the site. That's why we make our Terms of Service as clear and specific as possible, outlining our zero-tolerance rules. Additionally, we prioritise education over punishment for minor infractions. When implementing changes like the one being introduced, we strive to make them as simple and understandable as possible for everyone. Community feedback and evolving needs: We actively listen to the feedback and suggestions from our community members. As the needs and preferences of our users evolve, we make adjustments to our policies to better serve the community and address emerging concerns. Your input plays a vital role in shaping the direction of our platform. Enforceability: We endeavour to establish policies that are enforceable and easy to moderate. Our goal is to provide our staff members with clear guidelines that enable them to determine whether an action violates the Terms of Service or not. While we greatly appreciate the reports submitted by vigilant Dreamers, our staff members also actively patrol the site, identifying potential issues and ensuring a safe environment for all. Logical sense and community protection: We carefully evaluate whether a rule or policy makes logical sense and genuinely protects the community and its Dreamers from harm. For instance, implementing a ban on users with @gmail addresses simply out of personal dislike would serve no purpose, harm the community, and lack any logical reasoning. Evolving legal and regulatory landscape: Policy changes may be necessary to ensure compliance with new laws, regulations, or legal requirements. We continuously monitor and assess the legal landscape to ensure our policies align with the evolving standards and provide a safe and secure platform for our users. Learnings from past experiences: A very important one. We value the lessons learned from past experiences and aim to continuously improve our policies based on those insights. If we identify areas where previous policies fell short or if certain policies have unintentional consequences, we make changes to rectify those shortcomings and provide a better user experience. As the saying goes, 'those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat their mistakes.' Rest assured, we are dedicated to learning, adapting, and evolving to create a better platform for all. Is it true to this community's core values: This is of utmost importance to us. In a diverse community where a wide range of roleplays and interactions take place, we firmly believe in upholding our core values. We strive to ensure that any policy changes align with the fundamental principles that define our community. While we embrace creative freedom and accommodate various roleplaying genres, we remain steadfast in promoting a safe and respectful environment for all Dreamers and yet allowing for free speech and expression. By staying true to our core values, we uphold the integrity of our community and foster a space where everyone can thrive. We will support you! We are committed to supporting you during this transition period. If you need assistance in moving your images to the appropriate albums, we are here to help. You can simply provide us with the links to the images you want to move and specify the destination album(s), and we will take care of the task for you. Don't hesitate to reach out for assistance! We want to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone, and helping you with the process is the least we can do. Your requests will not be seen as bothersome; we are here to support you throughout this change. Further Recommendations Here are some additional recommendations to enhance your experience and engagement with the community: Utilise tags: Tagging your images with relevant keywords, such as character attributes or traits, can greatly improve the searchability of your content. For example, if your character has blonde hair, tag it with "blonde hair." Leverage album descriptions: Make use of the album description feature to provide additional information about your character, their backstory, preferences, or any other relevant details. This helps others understand your character better. Use external image hosting sites: If there are supporting materials related to your character that cannot be directly posted on the site, consider using an image hosting site to showcase them. You can include links to these materials in the album description. Link to your roleplay preferences: Provide a link to your roleplay preferences in your profile or album description. This helps interested roleplayers understand your preferred playstyle and potential plot ideas. Connect with private roleplay bulletins: If your character is available for specific private roleplay scenarios, include links to relevant bulletins or advertisements in your album description. Provide detailed information: Share additional information about your character, such as their likes, dislikes, age, and other relevant details. This helps potential roleplay partners get a better sense of your character's personality and compatibility. Showcase character collections: If you have a collection of characters available for others to choose from, consider adding a link to your roleplay preferences' description box or incorporating it into your signature. This makes it easier for others to explore your character options. Engage in the community: Actively participate in the community by posting and interacting with others, especially during quieter periods. Engaging in friendly conversations and being approachable increases the likelihood of attracting potential roleplay partners. Make your preferences appealing: Ensure that your roleplay preferences are easy to read, friendly, and inviting. Your preferences serve as a gateway for others to gauge compatibility and determine if they would like to roleplay with you. Set boundaries: Don't hesitate to clearly communicate your boundaries and preferences. Being firm on what you are not comfortable with helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures a more enjoyable roleplay experience. By following these recommendations, you can enhance your visibility, attract like-minded roleplayers, and facilitate meaningful connections within the community. Thank you once again for being a part of our vibrant roleplaying community. We truly appreciate your understanding and support as we implement these changes to enhance our gallery system. Together, we can make this transition a success! We encourage all users to actively participate in the transition process. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the updated guidelines and ensure your albums adhere to the new policy. By updating your albums and utilising the available resources, you'll not only comply with the rules but also contribute to a more organised and immersive roleplaying experience for everyone. Engagement is at the heart of our community. We invite you to engage with fellow roleplayers, spark new connections, and explore exciting collaborations. Share your experiences, seek inspiration, and provide valuable feedback as the new policy takes effect. Your input is invaluable in shaping the future of our community. At our core, we believe in the power of collaboration, creativity, and respectful engagement. Together, we can maintain a vibrant and thriving roleplaying community that inspires and captivates. Remember, our support is here for you every step of the way. If you have any questions, need assistance with transitioning your albums, or simply want to share your thoughts, our dedicated team is ready to help. Reach out to us, and let's embark on this exciting journey together. Once again, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing commitment and enthusiasm. With your active participation, we are confident that our roleplaying community will flourish and reach new heights. Keep being awesome! Tema Image Source: 迪迪卡卡 I will admit, it wasn't my first choice, because I hadn't seen this image. My first choice was a glorious city scape that was very colourful, but it was used in a video game and plastered with copyrights all over the image. So that couldn't be used. But when I found this image, I thought 'Oh this is looking amazing'! The artist has made a good use of colours, and reflections in the water, and it's a really nice image that feels appropriate in the spring time, especially this unusually warm spring. The artist themselves seem to do impressive landscape/city scape images that if you're into, you should check out!
newsletter EcchiDreams Newsletter (September 2022)
Tema posted a news article in News and AnnouncementsHello fellow Dreamers, Quite a few updates have been made since our last announcement from just over two weeks ago, that we wanted to go over here. Table of Contents: A message from our Community Administrators Events in the United Kingdom More changes to the Terms of Service Section 14 Changes Section 18 Changes Section 19 Changes EcchiMates Loading Bar/Client-Server Comms Bar Roleplay Advertising Changes Roleplayer Preference Changes Discord Server Changes Other Small Changes A message from our Community Administrators It has been an extraordinary few weeks, and a very busy few weeks. I’ve been enjoying my evening sitting in the voice chat on our Discord server, speaking to and interacting with people of the community, and Neptune has made an appearance a few times too. We’ve worked pretty hard the last couple of weeks, even as our nation enters a period of mourning. There are likely to be more improvements over the coming months as we enter 2023. Events in the United Kingdom This might seem weird on some “Random Roleplay Smut Site”, but both of us Community Administrators are British. We were born in England, and will likely die in England. We’re British through and through, and we make no apologies for it. So on the 8th of September 2022, we were saddened to learn of the passing of our Queen; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Many of us felt like she was timeless, present throughout our entire lives; at least the majority of the lives of most people in this country. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family, as we mourn the loss of our longest-serving British monarch. We are indebted to her dedicated service to this country. She truly was a magnificent woman who endured much with dignity and decorum. It truly is the end of an era. More changes to the Terms of Service Do you know when you proofread something, and then you get other people to proofread it, and you all independently think that it's good so you send it up to go live for potentially hundreds if not thousands of people to read, and then - and only then - you find grammatical mistakes in it, despite going over it with a fine tooth comb? Yeah. That happened. We’ve corrected the ones we’ve noticed and we’ve actually made changes to Sections 14, 18, and 19, to clarify our stance on monetary transactions on EcchiDreams. We've also added "Not to add the other party as an EcchiMate" when it comes to NCO's, which makes sense with the new system in place. We've also changed a lot of grammatically incorrect sentences and changed most, if not all mentions of the word "User" to "Dreamer". This will not require reacceptance as most of it is stuff that was already against the rules before the update, and the NCO sub-section is agreed to upon taking out said NCO. So this announcement will suffice. Section 14 Changes We have added personal donations to the list of things that aren’t allowed, this includes - but is not limited to - things like GoFundMe links, Ko-fi or Cryptocurrency Addresses. We’ve also stated that the rule of thumb is if it asks for the money and the context is that dreamers should buy it, give to it, or donate to it, it’s not allowed. Section 18 Changes Very minor changes here. We added “Any kind of QRCode, Datamatrix, Barcode and other such things that contains anything that violates any Section of the Terms of Service.” Section 19 Changes We’ve changed this from “Commissions on Art” to “Monetary Transactions” which covers ‘Commissions on Art’ anyway. We have reaffirmed that all transactions on EcchiDreams are restricted to EcchiCredit transactions only. Content posted on any part of this site such as, but not limited to; commissions on art as well as donation services, and cryptocurrency are not allowed on this site. EcchiMates Some of you might have noticed; we’ve re-released a new system which we lost in 2015. First let's get the rumours out of the way: Yes, this is a friends system. No, it is independent of the followers system. With this comes a basic profile feature that allows you to set some new privacy settings. You can have a maximum of 300 EcchiMates. There is no difference between normal, gold, platinum members, or even staff, everyone gets 300, and that’s your lot. This number may change later down the line, but for the foreseeable future it’s capped at 300, universally. There were a few hiccups along the way such as the fact that it was sending out emails, despite being told not to, but this has since been fixed and we’ll be making improvements to it, with any luck as the feature matures and comes out of Beta. Why EcchiMates? Because in England, a friend is a mate. But “Mate” has other meanings depending on context. So it’s a bit of an innuendo too. I know, cheeky, isn’t it? But at its core it’s a friend system. Loading Bar/Client-Server Comms Bar Noticed that pink bar running across the top of the page? It’s been with us since around 2011 or so, in one form or another. It used to be a bouncing ball in the top corner but it slowly changed into the pink line that is seen today. Basically it’s your indicator when everything on the page is loaded when you navigate to a new page, or if you haven’t it shows communication between your device (Client) and EcchiDreams (Server). For a long time it’s been a pink bar regardless of which EcchiTheme you’re using but I’ve recently changed it to make it more noticeable, and have a bit more variation of colour, be a little bit thicker and to be a little bit smoother. Otherwise it still uses the same library and not much else about it has actually changed. Roleplay Advertising Changes In October 2013; we brought a little fun feature that essentially turned every link on the site into a rainbow link when you hovered over it with a mouse over it. One person (out of many) who really appreciated the Rainbow Links was Xander. This was back when >75% of our users were using laptops and desktops now it's on average less than 30%. However in 2015 with one of our biggest updates to date, we unfortunately removed it because it didn't work too well with the new system, and the fact is, today most people won't see it on their phones unless it was active all of the time... Which, yeah - no. But in that very same announcement it was also where the roleplay advertising thing started, here is how it looked back then: This obviously morphed and evolved as Roleplay Clubs became a thing. Now it's for roleplay club owners who want to advertise their club. As such it will now show an embed showing that club, which is a bit more rich than just a picture. It also means that people looking to advertise don't have to do as much work to make an image that fit our rigid specifications. All you need now is a club (That complies to the advertising Terms and Conditions) and more EcchiCredits than you know what to do with, and you can apply for it. In memory of @Xander this link is now a rainbow link, and you don't need to hover over it to get it to flash. It will just do it, with any luck (I've not tested this outside of Chrome). Roleplayer Preference Changes There have been a few minor updates to the roleplayer preferences section. Such as: People are now physically limited to one roleplay preference. If you try to submit more than one; you will get an error. There is now the option of a “Might”/”Maybe” field, which shows up as a yellow-ish orange in the preferences. (Thanks @Sinful Vampire, for this suggestion.) A rainbow link of your preferences, if you have one put on your profile, will appear next to your posts across the forums of the site. Discord Server Changes We’ve made a few tweaks to the Discord Server which is a place to socialise and talk in real time to other Dreamers from the site. Please note that it is not a roleplay server. Despite the fact that our Discord Server is protected by the same Terms of Service as the site, Discord has a few extra rules that we don’t have. Which meant that our server was technically in violation of Discords Terms of Service/Community Guidelines. This has been rectified. As such we’ve made a new channel called “#important-information” which outlines the extra rules on that server. We’ve also added a channel to counter “#memes-and-shitposting”. The new channel is for wholesome (completely SFW/SFW-ish) memes and stuff. A brief snap poll was announced on the server for the name of the channel and @Neptune's suggestion won by an absolute landslide. The new channel is called “#wholesome-shit”. No, I’m not kidding. We’ve added icons to the channel names. EcchiVoice Text Channel (The voice channels, text channel) has been removed as voice channels now have this built in. If you can’t see it - update your app. Our server, at the time of writing, is currently Level 2, thanks to the generosity of our Discord Boosters: @Mini Magi, @Azalyn, @Sinful Vampire and @Moon Hound Hati. Please note that of course we appreciate those that donate their boosts to the server, it’s not mandatory, and we don’t see a penny of it. It’s purely a Discord thing, but it still means a lot to us that you'd donate your boosts for the betterment of our Discord Server for others to enjoy. Thank you to those who have boosted the server! We might be holding a competition to come up with a server banner and invite page images at a later date. The prize pool is sitting at 20,000 EcchiCredits; this could go up (but won’t go down) when the actual competition is announced. Other Small Changes There have been a number of small changes too: We’ve added an Achievement/Award for people who have boosted our Discord Server. As a trial run, we’ve set out the default theme to the Dark EcchiTheme, and renamed the previous default to “Light EcchiTheme.” 86% of Dreamers who have logged in over the last six months have switched to the dark theme. I’d say that message was loud and clear. People prefer the dark theme. If you don't, the option is there to switch back to the light theme. The search box has changed a bit now. It now includes a drop down of the area you want to search in, within the box itself. Image Source: はちお (hachio81) This article wasn't really planned and for this one I was just looking at landscapes on Pixiv for something unrelated and I found this, and thought that it looked extremely beautiful, especially with the summer we've just had. It's a very beautiful and colourful image, it conveys a sernie, tranquil peace that is both neutral and unoffensive. It's very detailed too, and it kind of makes me wonder if it's a real place and the artist took inspiration and if I can visit there. Looks like it'd make a lovely holiday spot and the water looks inviting enough to lounge around in. I think the artist did every well with this picture, and I like some of their other artwork too and it's also as incredible as this one. I highly recommend checking them out!
newsletter EcchiDreams Newsletter (August 2022)
Tema posted a news article in News and AnnouncementsHello fellow Dreamers, I know I said this in the last announcement, but it bears repeating as I have made the same mistake… again. I am so very sorry that the last announcement was way back in April of 2020 (over two years ago!) I assure you - again - that this wasn’t intentional, at least mostly. We’ve still not gone anywhere either, so there is a plus. We’re still busy as ever. The only thing that I have done a better job of compared to the last announcement is trying harder to keep everyone in the loop, which I’ve done via Status updates. This announcement will cover: A message from our Community Administrators Terms of Service Changes Correcting the Record Previously Announced New Features So what new features are there? Achievements System Live EcchiTexts The EcchiDreams App! The Future of EcchiDreams Fixes A message from our Community Administrators In 2020 we stated that we understood the community’s concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and we even shared those concerns. We were going through some truly unprecedented times which we’re still feeling the effects of, and are only just starting to feel the consequences and the ramifications of. Two years ago, we said “It is extremely important right now, in a time where we must remain apart, that we must come together in spirit. Now more than ever, we need to bring comfort and love to help and support each other.“ As a whole, on the most part you all did! We had a few bumps in the road… More than a few. But we all worked past it and made it through. Neptune and I want to thank you all for this, sincerely. Keep being awesome. We hope that this announcement, or newsletter, finds you all well (considering the circumstances right now) and we will try to make these more common. Regretfully, some of you lost family members during the recent events, and it wasn’t necessarily from COVID-19, but the pandemic still affected those of us who lost friends, close-friends, lovers and family. For you; we offer our sincerest condolences and we are terribly sorry for your loss. We know all too well how this could affect your life, as we were also affected by it. In addition; It's with heavy heart to announce, that I have been made aware of two Dreamer’s who have passed away. One of them has requested privacy and for us to just quietly deactivate that account. We will respect their wishes. But the other Dreamer was @Xander, who passed away on the 26th of January 2021 because of COVID-19. He was someone who wasn’t quite as public, but still engaged and interacted with his close circle of friends via EcchiTexts. I have spoken to his sister over the phone and she has allowed me to memorialise his profile. We are saddened by their losses and our thoughts go out to the families of the two individuals who were a part of this community in very different ways. I’m sure I speak for the entire community when I say: May you both rest in peace. Terms of Service Changes You may already be aware of this, but we've pretty much completely overhauled our Terms of Service. However I've covered this in a separate article that you can view here: This includes a new feature under our Terms of Service called 'No Contact Orders' (NCO's) which helps victims of harassment from a specific form of unwanted contact, and it's well worth a read, even if it's a little boring. Correcting the Record On the topic of the Terms of Service, I can’t speak for the other staff members, but I have had some insane interactions with people on EcchiDreams in regards to the Terms of Service. Worse yet, I have had people melting down and going into a fit of utter hysterics (for lack of lack a better term) in EcchiTexts and even in the EcchiDreams Discord over a perceived notion that they will be outright banned for the slightest of infractions. Many take this as a zero sum game and then start going absolutely ballistic; thinking if they’re going to get banned for their comment anyway, they might as well go all out. I have no idea where this is coming from and frankly it’s patently absurd behaviour that I wouldn't expect from adolescents, let alone adults. We have a solid and refined Terms of Service and we can only take action against your account under those Terms of Service. The Terms of Service are deliberately written to be as unambiguous as possible, a lot of sites make their rules extremely vague and open to interpretation - we do not. Also I’d directly challenge any notion that we’d ban your account for simply telling me something like “I don’t like the way X works” or “I think your site sucks” or for breaking a minor rule. This is not how we work. Every action we take against another account is open and transparent to all staff, and we all know that all actions have to actually be actionable under the Terms of Service. There’s even precedents set so we know what is heavy handed and what is lenient. Under my administration; no staff has ever banned or even warned someone just because we don’t like them. The idea that we do is utterly absurd and unfounded. There has to be a ToS violation and evidence of that ToS violation and even then, there are avenues of appeal and redress. No staff member is above the minimum standards required for evidence: not even me. All ban reasons are a matter of public record within their profile under “Ban Reason” in the sidebar. They point to the specific Terms of Service violation, as well as a brief summary of the rules violated. Another problem that’s become quite commonplace is people who are very angry at us for enforcing our Terms of Service on the people that they’re role playing with. I don’t see how this is our fault, and I suggest that people take a step back and strongly reconsider their actions. We don’t ban for no reason. We’re not allowed under our Staff Policy Agreement to ban for arbitrary reasons. Each ban can be scrutinised by any of the staff, it doesn’t matter who made the ban and what their rank is. Even then, for some things we opt for a more informative approach rather than punitive. Take for example Section 18 violations; when someone posts loli or shota in the gallery, we delete the content and then send them a message to tell them that this kind of content isn’t acceptable here, and help them avoid getting in trouble with it in the future. There are many who can attest to this. We also paradoxically have the opposite problem. Dreamers who aren’t violating the Terms of Service that everyone else wants to see banned. Again; unless they violate the Terms of Service - we will not do anything of the sort. We do not ban people we dislike, and we certainly don't ban unpopular people - just because they're unpopular and maybe because they're an asshole. Even if they make a single minor infraction, we won't take that as an excuse to ban them into the ground. It's heavy handed and goes against our core principles for moderation. I hope this puts this to bed. I quite frankly find this situation, as I have said many times already, utterly absurd, completely baseless and frankly ridiculous. I have my EcchiTexts open to anyone who has questions, I listen to feedback, I help people, I do everything I can to be there and open to all Dreamers. I think all the staff do. We will happily listen to rational, calmly put feedback. None of our staff - including myself - however, should be expected to take hysterical abuse spammed over and over again, just because you don’t like the way things are done here. If you are that upset with the Terms of Service that you can’t agree to them, you’re well within your rights to deactivate your account and leave. We’re not going to force you to stay, and we’re not going to sit here and take rabid abuse either. In these situations we will just simply ignore you or tell you that the conversation is over. If it - like it has done in the past - enters the region of violating ToS (Such as Section 20, Sub-Section 2: Abuse Towards Staff Members or Section 10: Harassment) then it will be dealt with accordingly as if it was any other Dreamer. Previously Announced New Features Unfortunately in the last update announcement made back in 2020, I detailed three upcoming features that still have not been implemented. These were “Profile Items”, “Profile Enhancements” and “Roll the Dice!”. The reasons are: Profile Items: Image Licensing; I want to use images that I would need to purchase a licence for and I would like the images to be uniform (as in not radically different from one image to the next). The system is installed, it is in place and ready to be used. But unfortunately I don’t have any suitable images that I can use, and places that allow me to easily purchase a licence for these images don’t really have anything that I’d make full use of here on EcchiDreams. So whilst this project has been put on hold for now; it’s something that can be done here. It’s also incredibly basic. Profile Enhancements: I still haven’t been able to find a way of doing this in a format that I am happy with, and anything I’ve been able to draw up doesn’t work under the limitations of the IPS Framework. Roll the Dice!: Never worked as intended, the RNG system was utterly broken. Let me explain. I did these tests using the same conditions for each. Ten tests of 1,000,000 (one million) rolls of a D20 dice over five days for a ten million rolls total. I was expecting an average of 10.5; I know I wasn’t going to get exactly 10.5 but I knew it had to be as close to 10.5 as possible. Both tests were done on the exact same computer, under a Linux Operating System. The EcchiDreams version rolled an average of 7.8999148 which is a massive deviation of -2.6000852 from the expected average of 10.50. It also took a very long while to simulate these rolls on an Intel Core i7 8700K processor. The other project that I’m working on which rolled an average of 10.4999328 which is -0.0000672 deviation from the expected average of 10.50, under the exact same conditions. It took next to no time to simulate these rolls on an Intel Core i7 8700K Processor. So use that then, job done! Right?! Well, no. Our server is not set up to run C#. EcchiDreams uses PHP the other project will be in C#. I’ve shelved it for EcchiDreams and I will be implementing it on the other project that I am working on; that I will talk about at the end of this newsletter (See EcchiDreams in the Future). So what new features are there? We did however release some new features over the last two years, and let's talk a little about them shall we? Achievements System The Achievements System was introduced last year in an IPS Update and it didn’t exactly launch without an incident. It also required everything to be re-indexed and rescanned so that the achievements could be retroactively applied which took days. But it’s been working away ever since and has really become part of the community. We’re looking at expanding it in future, with more things to get achievements over so be on the lookout for that. We have tried to implement this before back in 2015, they were called “Awards” and “Badges” but the system never worked properly, and was developed by a third-party developer who has since gone on to other projects and so it was never updated nor maintained and never worked properly for us after the Invision Update. This is a core IPS feature, meaning you’ve probably seen it on other forums running Invision Power Software. In the interests of being completely open and transparent about this system; here is the list of achievements as of this update: Great Support: No set goal, yet (Manually Awarded) Helpful: No set goal, yet (Manually Awarded) Superstar: No set goal, yet (Manually Awarded) Great Content: Given out to people who's content is so good that it ends up on the homepage (under Our Picks, Manually Awarded) First Post: Made your first post on EcchiDreams Conversation Starter: Made your first topic on EcchiDreams Collaborator: Made ten posts on EcchiDreams Reacting Well: You have received five reactions Problem Solver: You have provided ten answers which were selected as the best Well Followed: You have at least ten followers Dedicated: You have signed in (or been on the forums) for seven consecutive days Week One Done: You have been registered for at least a week One Month Later: You have been registered for at least a month One Year In: You have been registered for at least a year Very Popular: You have received one hundred reactions Posting Machine: You have posted five hundred replies to any given topic. A badge is "Rare" if less than 5% of the community has that badge. There is a level up mechanic with ranks as well, but at this time I'm not going to go into that other than you can't earn more than 50 points per day. I might consider adding more to this later down the line, as a possibility. I might not, but the option is there and this is an IPS core feature, so it'll be interesting to see if this matures over time into a bigger feature or if that's it and the rest is left up to us. There is some customisability to it, but not a lot, which is a shame. Live EcchiTexts As mentioned here (Status) Implemented on Desktop versions of the site by default, Live EcchiTexts replaces the EcchiChat System. If you've been around long enough to remember EcchiChat, a live instant messenger at the bottom right hand corner of the site then you'll be delighted to know that this will hopefully be replacing it going forward. In 2020 we removed EcchiChat from the site because of how heavy it was on server resources, often causing problems for everyone because it'd stop people from using the site when the server inevitably shat itself. If you also remember we had record breaking numbers of people online everyday (250 at one point, if I remember correctly) so it was hardly surprising. Over a million messages were sent back and forth between people in a single month and I had two options - hide it off the page and let people go to a specific link for it, or fork out hundreds of dollars per month just to keep it running and upgrade the server to prevent it from shitting itself. It was a tough decision but considering the site was - and still is - completely non-profit, not even donations, it had to go. Earlier this year it was quietly retired completely, and I attempted to replace it with this back on the 28th May 2022. People were... How do I say it nicely? Less than amused by how buggy it was, and how it invades the navbar at the bottom of the site on mobiles. Which was totally fair feedback, and completely warranted. If you're one of them and you're reading this I can safely say you are not the only ones who complained, people did it on Discord, on the statuses here on EcchiDreams and even in my EcchiText inbox. The feedback was universal and loud and clear. "Give us the option to enable/disable it on mobile!" Well. Now you have that option. Mobile users won't see it by default, unless you go to Account Settings > Live EcchiTexts and enable it there. Desktop users can choose to disable it there too, and it will remember these details for your account. The third party-developer and I have also fixed the bugs that plagued the original. And I am happy to say that it is now in a releasable format. Play around with it, if you don't want it, disable it. If you do want it, enable it. If you find any problems let me know and I will listen to feedback. EcchiChat was never perfect, it was never part of the system, as such if you blocked someone on it, it didn't block them from sending you EcchiTexts. Likewise, if you ignored someone on EcchiDreams, it didn't block them on EcchiChat. It looked out of place and didn't fit with the core features, theme or really - anything - with the site. This however; does. It's properly and tightly integrated. It also gives you a feature that you don't get in the EcchiTexts. Indications if your message was delivered, read or not read, and if it doesn't have a tick; then you were not the last sender of the message. The EcchiDreams App! As mentioned here (Status) A number of you wanted EcchiDreams as an app, and on the 29th of September 2021 it became a thing! Well, sort of. Only under Windows, Android and maybe Linux. You may have been told by your browser already (Especially if you're on Google Chrome) that you can install EcchiDreams as an app. It's essentially still your web browser; but otherwise it's what it is. I believe the technical name for it is Progressive Web Application (PWA). Anyway, once installed as an app, you can go to your notification settings (Here: https://ecchidreams.com/notifications/options/) where at the bottom you will see "Push" (If your browser supports it) a setting to enable push notifications. This means notifications will be pushed to your device as and when you get them. This will not work on Apple devices because... Well, Apple. Take it up with them, as it's 100% their problem. I am told that this might change soon, but I’m not sure. I have an iPhone as a developer phone so I will be able to check, with some luck. The Future of EcchiDreams I can’t really talk about the future of EcchiDreams; without first painting a picture of the current situation. Please bear with me here. EcchiDreams currently runs on a piece of software called Invision Power Suite (IPS) from the folks over at Invision. Despite my many complaints, the software is extremely good at doing what it does, and it’s a fairly modern looking suite that is quite feature rich and relatively very secure. However… In order to get the software to do what we want it to do, to do what we need it to do, we have to customise and modify it in ways it simply wasn’t designed for. In the past being able to modify things to add features and functionality to the site was fairly easy, and the needs of our dreamers were met as best as possible by using third-party modifications available through their marketplace that we’d sink shit loads of money into, and then take those modifications and often times customise them even further, again, often using these things for things that they were not designed for. Over the last few years it’s gotten harder and harder to do this, and the costs to make it happen are starting to get to the point where they’re spiralling radically out of control. For example: Someone wanted $250 (USD) an hour to modernise and make our Roleplayer Preferences better, surpassing the quality and functionality of quite a few of our competing sites, and there was no telling how many hours they’d need to sink into it. I get that these people have families to provide for -- and I don’t begrudge them that at all! But then to have the cheek to want to sell it to others on the market place where IPS take a percentage and they get the rest, instead of developing it exclusively for the person who paid for it, was a very bitter pill to swallow. I kindly rejected that offer, of course. In addition updates from IPS seem to - at least at one point, seem to absolutely break everything, and how long will it be until the developer can develop and update to that modification? If they even do it all. And how much will that cost me? If that didn’t look bad enough; there has been in the last few years an exodus of good third-party developers from IPS, a few of them who have done modifications that we use, that get taken over by other third party developers (if we’re lucky), or are completely abandoned. One third-party developer, who, bless him, took over a good chunk of modifications that another developer sold him already had like 80 or 90 different modifications of his own that he had been either making on his own, or took over from other people. Updates from this developer are understandably slow, and this slows down our update processes. Again, I’m not trying to bad mouth anyone here. I think this situation that we are all in, is not optimal, to say the least and we’re making do with it. I love the IPS software, I really like a lot of the third-party developers and I am extremely appreciative of their hard work. The time they put into their apps, the speed that a few of them respond to bug issues, it’s downright first class. But I have other issues and concerns that for professionalism's sake, I won’t go into in this announcement. What a lot of people, I feel, tend to forget is that EcchiDreams is run on a shoestring budget. It’s free for everyone - we take no money from our users, we don’t even beg for donations and we don't plaster every little space with adverts. Premium Memberships are earnt with EcchiCredits. Money made through advertising immediately gets spent on advertising our site. On the most part I’m okay with this, but I have licensing fees, domain costs, server costs, and now on top of that, over 40 modifications that require renewal fees if I want updates for them. It’s becoming a problem. Those issues aside, I now come to the meat and potatoes of the issue. What we want to use this software for isn’t what the software is designed to do. We are hitting limits in what we can modify more and more frequently. Bitch-basic features like an actual blocking system that has some goddamn teeth for example. If I sound frustrated at this, it’s because I am. I have been using this system for well over a decade now. I know how it works, to quite a considerable degree. I am comfortable with it, I don’t want to change it… But I’m being pushed into a situation where I have to. Which is why on March 26th 2021, I softly announced that I was teamed up with a developer outside of the IPS Ecosystem to write a completely custom job that is built and developed by us so that we can cease our dependence on IPS and their third-party developers and become self-reliant. I stated: This was then followed up on April, 29th 2021 with: Well, since October, my brother-in-law and I have been working hard in making the third Alpha release. I’m going to be very cautious about what will and won’t be possible, at this time because I don’t want to build a ridiculous amount of hype so I will say right now to keep expectations grounded. Most of this software is being coded by two people from the ground up. We’re usually extremely busy working away at it every weekend (our spare time). Alpha 3 of this will see some significant changes. We’ve already implemented a basic messaging system for it, as well as implementing a lot of the Account Settings functionality. It also already supports 40 different languages (Although user content isn’t translated, obviously) which is far more than EcchiDreams supports right now… Although the translations used Google’s API - so it’s a work in progress. The site will be built for both mobile phones and computers, as well as everything in between. We know that there are a niché amount of people who use certain modern games consoles to access EcchiDreams; and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to support that, but we’ll try. (No promises). We’ve worked on a number of core features already such as character profiles. Character’s can have their own profiles that will look like typical user profiles but be marked with “Character Profile” in their actual profiles. This is somewhat what we wanted to do here on EcchiDreams but it never worked properly. This will allow you to enter out information specific to that character. All roleplays would be created through the specially crafted roleplay manager; including private roleplays that would traditionally be done over EcchiTexts here. The messenger system is not really going to be designed or built for this, it would be built and designed for discussing plots and what nots, and then taking it to a private roleplay in the manager where you can invite as many or as few people as you like. The Roleplay Management suite is a lot like the clubs featured here on EcchiDreams. You can essentially create your own universe and have different collections of stories in them and if you don’t want to put some time in hand-crafting your own roleplay section there will be an option to create a lite roleplay. The more fuller feature should in the end allow roleplay owners (Gamemasters) to make their own user groups and assign roles and permissions and then assign users to those roles. Basically a fully customisable permission set. With some sensible defaults, so if you’re happy with those defaults you won’t need to worry about it at all. We’re both working on image handling at the moment for avatars, profile banners, and so on. It’s being worked on in C# and of course our plans have only gotten bigger. As for if EcchiDreams will run on it or become it; at the moment it’s still too early to say, but it could go either way. But at the moment it’s looking very much like it’s happening. We do want a tighter integration of Roleplayer Preferences with the user’s profile, in that your preferences will be displayed on your profile for all (who have permissions) to see. Later down the line we hope to make this completely searchable, so you can find the roleplayer you want rather than have to search through each preference sheet one by one to figure out if that person is right for you or not. Progress is happening and again, if you’re a Gold Member or Platinum Member and you’re interested in being a part of a very early build of the future for EcchiDreams please send me an EcchiText, and I will surely consider you. I appreciate that it might not be as well polished as EcchiDreams is (It’s still in early Alpha) and it may not be after release. But over time we hope to continually polish it, refine it and update it. Fixes Finally solved the resetting premium membership problem Whichever bugs have been fixed in IPS updates (spoiler: lots) Theme Issues (CSS/JS not loading sometimes) Server Configuration related Issues (Such as EcchiDreams wasn't serving pages on the H2 protocol, and just defaulting to HTTP1.1) iPhone specific page rendering issues Misspellings in the Mood System Unable to change avatar from profile (UI overlapped the buttons) Various other minor bugs that would fill this list out excessively Additional Bulletins: Problems with Microsoft Based Email and EcchiDreams EcchiDreams now requires signin with Email Address, instead of Username The death knell for the EcchiChat Bar (The old one) Image Source: ハリケーン (Hurricane) When I started writing this it was spring, and when it was posted, it was summer. This picture reminded me of both. The artist makes excellent use of colour, the water looks and feels like it should be cold, yet the surrounding areas look and feel warm, and it summed up the first sentence for me very nicely. The amazing use of light and shadow gives the picture a surprising amount of depth and you can almost feel that this is not just a ‘thing’ that they do, but a labour of love. They seem to specialise in background illustrations and say that they aim for a “background that conveys the actual atmosphere” and I’d say they do the job well done here. I personally think that they are underrated. Why not give them a follow on Pixiv?