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Kelkelen

Let Breeders Know Which Sprites WON'T Change

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Hi!  As someone whose "play style" on the site involves collecting sprites whose appearance I love, and building lineages based specifically around the exact poses and exact colors of sprites, I would like to request the following: 

 

A list of sprites that are "permanent", whose appearance is done changing, that will no longer be altered.  I believe this would help several collectors and breeders immensely, and alleviate some of the dismay that's been felt over various sprites being changed unexpectedly.  Personally, I would tailor my collecting and breeding towards said sprites that I can rely on to remain the same.

 

The way I see it:


1. This is, fundamentally, a collecting game.  Therefore, I want to know that what I collect won't change, i.e., my collection won't be taken away or altered at random.


2. Even minor changes to sprites can have a major impact on a lineage.  Removing a thick line around horns, adding deeper degrees of shading, or changing a tail tip from a loop to a curve can completely alter how it looks in the lineage view, making it cease to match the other dragon breeds in the lineage.

 

3. The above-mentioned changes are incredibly discouraging to the many players who focus on lineages -- we put in weeks, months, and even years of time to build something that we find visually pleasing, yet the compositions can be changed in an instant, rendering all our play time misspent. 

 

4. Knowing which sprites are 'safe' to work with would give us great relief and, in my opinion, enable us to enjoy the game more, without fear of losing our collections and our efforts. 


If anyone agrees, please feel free to chime in!  Politely and constructively, of course!

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Thing is, as a artist grows and evolves, so does their work. As that grows, their opinion over their old art changes and they start seeing mistakes and places they need to correct, which typically is what results in these sprite changes being sudden. You can't expect a sprite to forever stay the same because they can be happy with it now and for years then suddenly gain new skills and start seeing where they need to fix said issues. I don't know if I can see this working at all, sadly. It's a nice idea but I never expect sprites to stay the same for forever on this website and a lot of the times the updates are very big improvements over old ones.

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I'm quite agreeing with demonicvampiregirl here, and as an artist of traditional medium, opinion and look over the old art is very much spot-on. The old art often gives me some insight on what used to be my weak points as an artist... and often leads to me thinking how I could actually improve the said art later. I am highly critical of my own art already in a sense, therefore my own policy over the matter is to archive the old one and make new one.

And as someone who indulges into world of spriting once in a while, I'm actually happy to work with things and have old versions of art I've worked on. Much easier to tweak the mistakes I made longer time ago.

 

To me, to put this bluntly (my apologizes if I misunderstand or end up upsetting anyone), this suggestion in a way screams "I don't want you to improve your old work because my precious project", leaving the impression that artist's opinion on their own work and "precious baby" shouldn't change, evolve or grow. Or matters to anyone who is working on the lineage project. Because how dare they improve work that artist acknowledges having flaws and having desire to fix them.

 

 

1 hour ago, Kelkelen said:

2. Even minor changes to sprites can have a major impact on a lineage.  Removing a thick line around horns, adding deeper degrees of shading, or changing a tail tip from a loop to a curve can completely alter how it looks in the lineage view, making it cease to match the other dragon breeds in the lineage.

Valid concern, but on the other hand... wouldn't this also give new things to work with? New possibilities one didn't think previously? What if this lineage was already done and one was looking for new lineage project? Wouldn't it be exciting to be able to work possibly new favorite sprite?

 

1 hour ago, Kelkelen said:

we put in weeks, months, and even years of time to build something that we find visually pleasing, yet the compositions can be changed in an instant, rendering all our play time misspent. 

While some may find the lineage is more or less "ruined" in a sense and makes one think this... maybe the misspent time was worth it to someone else who might be needing mate from said lineage and finds it appealing still? Unless, of course, you are not into trading away the offsprings, then you might have problem in your hands... but what is the solution then? Release everything? That truly would be time misspent if one is to release everything in lineage because of an update. Though once one is done with the lineage project... how often one looks at it anymore unless breeding everything from it weekly...?

 

1 hour ago, Kelkelen said:

Knowing which sprites are 'safe' to work with

With artists... well, there never really is "safe" thing to work with, given the evolution artists go through. So to gain "safe" things to work with, one may need to reconsider going to another site where this kind of evolution in art doesn't happen or isn't allowed. Otherwise, change is something one should expect.

 

 

1 hour ago, Kelkelen said:

Therefore, I want to know that what I collect won't change, i.e., my collection won't be taken away or altered at random.

 

1 hour ago, Kelkelen said:

without fear of losing our collections

In all honesty, I've never actually understood this argument. Nothing in a sense hasn't been taken away or lost from collection. To this, I'd like to actually hear more about what exactly is "taken away" or "lost" to further my understanding in the matter.

And although it seems like it, alterations really aren't that random when one thinks of it. Some are more obvious than others that we eventually grow to expect them, for example Guardian or Green. Then we get the more subtle changes like Snow dragon, where almost no one could tell what exactly changed before it was actually pointed out to them. Only those with more keen eyes would have noticed it if it wasn't announced most likely.

 

 

Sorry about the length.

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Moonlightelf said:

To me, to put this bluntly (my apologizes if I misunderstand or end up upsetting anyone), this suggestion in a way screams "I don't want you to improve your old work because my precious project", leaving the impression that artist's opinion on their own work and "precious baby" shouldn't change, evolve or grow.

This strikes me as a really odd (and honestly hostile) statement? Of course the artist's opinion on their own work can change, evolve and grow. That doesn't necessarily mean the on-site version of the art needs to change.

 

This site is a collectible game. Make no mistake, I've been very happy with most sprite updates to date - the then-controversial gold update made me want to stop eshewing the collection of golds, for example - but I still wish the updates hadn't actually happened, because it's broken people who were attached to the old sprite's hearts, and they'd collected the affected sprites in a game that's ostensibly about collection. In-character, these are dragons, and updates to the sprites just means updating how they're represented, but de-facto the users just have the sprites and those are the dragons for them. Coming to your scroll to see a bunch of sprites altered can be a very jarring experience and I have a lot of empathy for that, even if it's mostly gone well from my perspective and I appreciate most changes that were made.

 

That said, unfortunately, I don't think this suggestion is viable - opinions change over time. As long as sprite updates are generally a possibility, no sprite is "safe" from a future update.

Edited by pinkgothic

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Posted (edited)

46 minutes ago, Moonlightelf said:

In all honesty, I've never actually understood this argument. Nothing in a sense hasn't been taken away or lost from collection. To this, I'd like to actually hear more about what exactly is "taken away" or "lost" to further my understanding in the matter.

And although it seems like it, alterations really aren't that random when one thinks of it. Some are more obvious than others that we eventually grow to expect them, for example Guardian or Green. Then we get the more subtle changes like Snow dragon, where almost no one could tell what exactly changed before it was actually pointed out to them. Only those with more keen eyes would have noticed it if it wasn't announced most likely.

Well, to explain this a little more clearly, perhaps...
 

If I buy a painting, it's because I like how that painting looks.  If, one day after four years, its appearance changes, then I've lost the art that I liked, that I chose to collect.  I understand being an artist -- I'm a traditional artist with pencils, ink, and watercolors -- but I also think there's something to be said for leaving old projects behind and moving on to new ones, and permitting people to like my older art even if I feel I could do a better version, nowadays. 

One of my favorite sprites used to be the old Nilia pygmies.  But after their revamp, they have dimorphism and neither sex retained the pose of the original, and both are now a bit sprawling rather than contained in the smaller scale of other pygmies.  Basically, it's two completely new drawings with the same color scheme.  I didn't love them for their color, I loved them for their pose, the drawing.  That's gone, never to return.  And it makes me sad because they used to be in my top 10 and now I don't even like them.  That's what I mean by losing something from the colleciton.  Little things like the tweaks on the Snow's wing don't change the whole appearance of a lineage, but big things like changing the pose entirely, or the palette, absolutely do. 

8 minutes ago, pinkgothic said:

This strikes me as a really odd (and honestly hostile) statement? Of course the artist's opinion on their own work can change, evolve and grow. That doesn't necessarily mean the on-site version of the art needs to change.

 

This site is a collectible game. Make no mistake, I've been very happy with most sprite updates to date - the then-controversial gold update made me want to start stop eshewing the collection of golds, for example - but I still wish the updates hadn't actually happened, because it's broken people who were attached to the old sprite's hearts, and they'd collected the affected sprites in a game that's ostensibly about collection. In-character, these are dragons, and updates to the sprites just means updating how they're represented, but de-facto the users just have the sprites and those are the dragons for them. Coming to your scroll to see a bunch of sprites altered can be a very jarring experience and I have a lot of empathy for that, even if it's mostly gone well from my perspective and I appreciate most changes that were made.

 

That said, unfortunately, I don't think this suggestion is viable - opinions change over time. As long as sprite updates are generally a possibility, no sprite is "safe" from a future update.

I suppose what makes me think it IS viable is that the sprites are made by individual artists, and I don't THINK the site can go around changing the art made by spriters if the spriters themselves don't want/plan to.  This may be a wrong assumption?  But I'd be happy just to know which spriters were willing to say, okay, I'm done tweaking, no plans to change this sprite anymore.  Or to know which older sprites (whose spriters may not be active) will be allowed to remain as they are.

Edited by Kelkelen

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I don't think there's any way to properly assure that a sprite won't change or to produce a running list of them. I don't always like sprite changes, but this seems like an almost impossible request.

 

Even when sprites are in dragon requests and nearly finished or nearly ready to be released in cave, changes are made to make them "acceptable" to TJ or the artists or the cave standards. We just don't always see it.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with others that this would nearly be impossible to implement, given the circumstances. The sprites belong to TJ and the Spriters* and can be adjusted as they see fit [if not removed outright at times (see Bright Pink dragons [Aria])]

 

Perhaps the better solution would actually be an announcement BEFORE a change is made to sprites (sort of a "head's up"). There could even be a note/comment from the Spriter themselves saying what will change. For examples:

 

"Just a head's up - I'm going to be revamping the Horse Dragon sprites. The Male's mane is going to be reined in *sorry, bad pun* a little and the Female given more feathering on her hooves"**

 

"Hey, spriter here. The Albino is going to receive a dimorphism update. The male will keep the current pose (looking up), while the female will now be looking down and have her neck and horns shortened while still maintaining a nearly identical body pose."**

 

But that's just my thoughts on it. I don't do much with lineages, but I can understand how frustrating it must be for it to suddenly change and can understand a want for a sort of system to guard this.

 

*I say spriters as a way to encompass all parties involved in creation of a dragon. So artists, concept creator, spriter, etc.

 

**These are just the first two breeds I thought of. They are NOT actually being changed, nor do I have control over them. Everything I said was just made up based on looking at them to fit the examples I wanted

Edited by ShorahNagi
Clarifications

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I'm not sure this would be feasible, as one of the reason art gets replaced is because the original artists requests their work be removed which you couldn't really predict. 

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Sorry, this isn't something we can give you. It's probably safer to assume nothing is guaranteed and then consider your choices from there. Mercifully, most changes are made in such a way as to minimize lineage tile changes (no really, we shrink updates to tile size to make sure the color distribution and poses parse similarly) and I don't think any lineages have ever been objectively ruined. I'm sorry if the new full sized sprites aren't always to your liking, but the actual appearance of a lineage should be largely the same pre and post update, special circumstances non withstanding.

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I do understand the pain of seeing a beloved sprite revised! And yes, it can change how your lineage looks. I would honestly prefer that all sprites remain as they were when released. But given the current trend for "improving" old sprites, I don't think that a list like this could ever be created.

 

Marrionetta, most updates may now be done with respect for how they will look in lineage view, but there have been exceptions. The most notable is the Nilia, as cited by the OP. That update changed everything. It might as well have been an entirely new dragon. Same for the Gold. (Yes, I know that was a long time ago and things may have changed, but that one still stings!) Although I have ultimately come to love the new version and realize why it was changed, I was shocked at the changes. And the new one, female especially, still does not fit in lineages that were created based on the old one. So to say that no lineages have been ruined is not quite accurate.

 

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My opinion. Just my opinion. I am not trying to speak for anyone.

 

1. I understand the desire to keep the sprites "as is". They ARE the dragons we chose for ourselves. They are the images we have become used to seeing on our scroll. They show in a way " where DC has been - where it comes from".

 

2. I also understand the artists becoming dissatisfied with their old work and wanting to "update". I have come to a point where I can accept the artist making improvements on their work, even though this is not my preference.

 

3. What i do not understand and will never agree with is users making demands/suggestions/pleas for updates on sprites. I believe that what happens to sprites should be ENTIRELY up to the artists - not EVER the user base.

 

 

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So this suggestion isnt going to ever work. Why? Because the artists are human and capable of changing their minds. Can you imagine how people on the forums would attack an artist if they go hey I changed my mind I want to update the horse dragons. 

 

This kind of list that you want is just asking for trouble and drama. No it's much better to leave this up to the artists and their discretion. After all it is their art in the first place. That triumphs any of us players who have said art on our scroll.

 

And having an announcement of what sprite changes are coming again is just asking for drama and trouble. You'll have people immediately start complaining and begging and bargaining to not have those sprite changes. 

 

I'm sorry. I get where you are coming from. But as seen with the most recent sprite changes, the artists are taking forum feedback into account and trying to keep the new sprites in spirit with the old sprites. Because they have learned since the nilia and gold update. 

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As someone overwhelmingly in favor of artists updating old sprites they're no longer happy with, I can agree that a heads up a week or so beforehand could be a nice compromise - that way people who are bothered by these things would have time to screenshot their lineages etc

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4 hours ago, Kelkelen said:

One of my favorite sprites used to be the old Nilia pygmies.  But after their revamp, they have dimorphism and neither sex retained the pose of the original, and both are now a bit sprawling rather than contained in the smaller scale of other pygmies.  Basically, it's two completely new drawings with the same color scheme.  I didn't love them for their color, I loved them for their pose, the drawing.

I agree with that one. That was not just a sprite update, that was a change of creature there. However,

4 hours ago, Kelkelen said:

That's gone, never to return.

I think the artist tried to bring it back with the Avea Pygmy? Doesn't help much with old lineages, though.

 

Personally, I'd prefer that, if someone is so unhappy with their art that they end up changing *everything*, they make an entirely new creature with the new look. Kind of the opposite of what was happening with Nilia and Avea.

 

Still, I don't think this suggestion is even feasible. People change, and artists are people. *shrugs*

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4 hours ago, Jazeki said:

I don't think there's any way to properly assure that a sprite won't change or to produce a running list of them. I don't always like sprite changes, but this seems like an almost impossible request.

 

Even when sprites are in dragon requests and nearly finished or nearly ready to be released in cave, changes are made to make them "acceptable" to TJ or the artists or the cave standards. We just don't always see it.

Yeah - very much this.

2 hours ago, Marrionetta said:

Sorry, this isn't something we can give you. It's probably safer to assume nothing is guaranteed and then consider your choices from there. Mercifully, most changes are made in such a way as to minimize lineage tile changes (no really, we shrink updates to tile size to make sure the color distribution and poses parse similarly) and I don't think any lineages have ever been objectively ruined. I'm sorry if the new full sized sprites aren't always to your liking, but the actual appearance of a lineage should be largely the same pre and post update, special circumstances non withstanding.

NOW that is generally the case, but not always. But yes, sadly (in some cases) the artist's view has to trump that of the players.

 

44 minutes ago, purplehaze said:

I do understand the pain of seeing a beloved sprite revised! And yes, it can change how your lineage looks. I would honestly prefer that all sprites remain as they were when released. But given the current trend for "improving" old sprites, I don't think that a list like this could ever be created.

 

Marrionetta, most updates may now be done with respect for how they will look in lineage view, but there have been exceptions. The most notable is the Nilia, as cited by the OP. That update changed everything. It might as well have been an entirely new dragon. Same for the Gold. (Yes, I know that was a long time ago and things may have changed, but that one still stings!) Although I have ultimately come to love the new version and realize why it was changed, I was shocked at the changes. And the new one, female especially, still does not fit in lineages that were created based on the old one. So to say that no lineages have been ruined is not quite accurate.

 

YES. I still haven't recovered from the golds; lovely though the new ones are they are NOT the ones I was desperate to collect (and still would if I could.) And the nilias don't bother me especially, but no-one could say they were at all like the originals. I would respectfully  ask artists please to try and stay as close to the sprites as introduced as they possibly can when improving their work. As Kelkslen said, we collect sprites we love, and it is disconcerting when they cease to be the ones we loved any more - even if they are "better".

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2 hours ago, ShorahNagi said:

 

Perhaps the better solution would actually be an announcement BEFORE a change is made to sprites (sort of a "head's up"). There could even be a note/comment from the Spriter themselves saying what will change. For examples:

 

YES. Yes. Please. Pretty pretty pretty please?

 

I generally dislike sprite updates (and in some cases get very upset over them) but even I know this suggestion isn't possible. What *could* be possible, and *very* helpful, would be if we had advanced notice that things were going to change. Instead of just getting on DC one morning to see our beloved sprites changed forever with no notice, giving us *time* to prepare for that change and know that it's coming would go a long way towards helping users 'grieve' and such. (And yes, that's the correct word, losing a beloved dragon due to changes *does* involve grieving for many). 

 

We *did* used to have advanced notice of most things, actually. When Frills and Bright Pinks were discontinued, we were given advanced notice and time. I *think* we were also given advanced notice of the big Dimorphism update, though I'm not sure. We used to have advanced notice of new releases! 

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1 hour ago, RainDear said:

3. What i do not understand and will never agree with is users making demands/suggestions/pleas for updates on sprites. I believe that what happens to sprites should be ENTIRELY up to the artists - not EVER the user base.

 

This, so much. I HATE seeing threads saying "Please can x dragon get an update; it is so ugly because..." It's so rude.

 

If you think it's ugly - don't collect it. Simples. (Heck, I even miss the Hollies' hangbutts !)

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I guess I've never understood why so many people seem to have such strong opposition to updates. Almost every sprite update has looked better than the old versions in my opinion. I like making lineages, but I've never seen any problems arise with them when sprites have been been changed. Some even look better than they did before.

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Though I'm speaking as someone who has never disliked a sprite update (except for the Val 09 losing her smoke thing-- but that was apparently just forgetting it, iirc!) I want to just poke a couple of notes in here:

 

1. I would absolutely support a warning ahead of time when a sprite is getting changed, though keeping a list of sprites that will NEVER be changed is not and never will be feasible.

 

2. Sprites aren't always changed because of a style update. There's been a few cases where a sprite had to be changed for reasons unrelated to style or skill.

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I don't think an idea like this would fly very well.

 

I also don't find the gallery analogy a fitting one. It is not a personal gallery here that you are creating. You are gathering images on an image collecting site, a site that can update it's ui, the breeds available by adding or removing said breeds, or can add or subtract the available features depending on what will improve the site. And, additionally, it can change or update the images on site if the site creator feels that it will improve the site overall.

 

Not all sprite updates are the result of an artist presenting an updated sprite to TJ. Some updates are started by TJ himself, if I remember this correctly.

 

And in the instances that it is a sprite artist, and especially if they're updating their own work, I feel they should be allowed that, as they volunteer and donate their work, they deserve some say over whether it gets updated or not. They still have the rights to their own art.

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2 hours ago, UnicornMaiden said:

I guess I've never understood why so many people seem to have such strong opposition to updates. Almost every sprite update has looked better than the old versions in my opinion. I like making lineages, but I've never seen any problems arise with them when sprites have been been changed. Some even look better than they did before.

 

You weren't around for the golds. IT still hurts.

 

1 hour ago, Sextonator said:

I don't think an idea like this would fly very well.

 

I also don't find the gallery analogy a fitting one. It is not a personal gallery here that you are creating. You are gathering images on an image collecting site, a site that can update it's ui, the breeds available by adding or removing said breeds, or can add or subtract the available features depending on what will improve the site. And, additionally, it can change or update the images on site if the site creator feels that it will improve the site overall.

 

Not all sprite updates are the result of an artist presenting an updated sprite to TJ. Some updates are started by TJ himself, if I remember this correctly.

 

And in the instances that it is a sprite artist, and especially if they're updating their own work, I feel they should be allowed that, as they volunteer and donate their work, they deserve some say over whether it gets updated or not. They still have the rights to their own art.

 

Update - OK. Completely change (as in nilias) not so OK....

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31 minutes ago, Fuzzbucket said:

 

You weren't around for the golds. IT still hurts.

 

Yes, I was. I joined in 2008, and I really liked when the gold sprite got dimorphism. I thought the new sprites looked so much prettier than the old one. I've never understood the complaints.

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I would be in support of a thread announcement that changes were coming. I think it would be slightly less of a shock and users would have time to process what's coming. 

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I would not support an announcement, all it would do would be prolonging the complaints, starting before the sprite's even seen. All it might do is push spriters to remain anonymous so people don't go after them for daring to do an update.

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Posted (edited)

TJ has announced sprite updates in the past. See here. I really doubt it will force spriters to go anonymous because of an update, save something very serious. They usually choose to remain anonymous on their own accord. 

Edited by Jazeki
Reword

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