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HeatherMarie

Give advance notice of sprite changes

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Posted (edited)

Editing:  tl,dr version:

 

This suggestion is for advance notice of sprite updates with *no discussion* until actual sprite-update. The easiest way to prevent drama with a suggestion like this is a News thread posted that's immediately locked, so no one can comment, *and* a notice that there should be no discussion of the updates on-forum until said updates actually happen. 

 

 

I figured it might be a good idea to make a specific thread for this, since it's been talked about in multiple threads recently. 

 

Many people don't like sprite updates, but this isn't about that. This isn't about whether or not sprites should be updated or how users might feel about that. This is simply a suggestion for advanced notice. 

 

Many users have lots of different feelings about sprite updates, but in general I'm fairly confident in saying that most users have some sort of attachment to the sprites they collect. Maybe they just love the 'feel' of the sprite, or the colors, or the pose, or maybe they have spent a lot of time making lineages with that sprite. Maybe they have spent years collecting a large army of that specific breed. Whatever reason, and regardless of any other opinions, generally users like the sprites they collect. 

 

It can be very jarring and upsetting to have something you love suddenly changed with no warning. 'With no warning' is key there. Of course there will be users who don't like a sprite change, no matter what the circumstances are. But I strongly believe *knowing* ahead of time could lessen the blow for many users. It would give people time to decide how they want to move forward, if they want to 'just wait and see' how the update looks or if they would rather abandon their lineage plans or whatever. It would give people time to 'bond' with those sprites they love before they are changed. It can even give people time to simply come to terms with the fact that things are going to change, instead of just coming online one day to suddenly see things changed with no knowledge beforehand. 

 

There is precedent for this, we *used* to get advance notice about a lot of different things, including new releases and sprite updates.  If there is concern about an advance-notice News thread becoming hostile/rude (the way many sprite update threads do anyways) I might suggest the announcement be locked immediately. Maybe with a notice about 'this is going to happen, when it actually happens you can discuss what has actually been changed, until then please don't start threads about it' or something. 

 

I'm going to ask that this thread not turn into a discussion/argument about sprite updates themselves. That's not what this is about. This is just about a way to help users better deal with the inevitability of sprite updates. 

Edited by HeatherMarie

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Posted (edited)

Having advanced warning is pretty much the only way that people have a chance to take screenshots of their lineages before any changes take place, so I support this idea.

I also agree that the forum post that announces it could be immediately closed/locked and not allow for discussion until later when the changes are officially made. That way people are informed, but no arguing takes place until we see the changes for ourselves. But if there's no advanced warning, people simply keep planning/breeding/catching and then might feel like the rug was yanked out from under them. A warning, even a week or two, allows people to switch breeding projects or obtain screenshots.

Edited by Silverwatermist

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I've said this in a lot of threads about this topic, but I genuinely quite like sprite updates so this probably wouldn't personally effect me either way.  However, several people have expressed this would make sprite updates easier for them so I do support this, especially with @Silverwatermist's idea of not allowing discussion in these threads until the update is actually out.

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Posted (edited)

As I stated in the other thread - Advanced Notice of changes is the best way to go and (hopefully) helps reduce drama.

 

I used to be a mod on another site, and massive changes were always announced/previewed to the community. Yes, this would lead to discussion/debate about it, BUT in the long run it helped all parties involved, even if they didn't like the change.

 

I understand it's not always feasible to be able to give notice or be able to offer a preview (ex. Sudden copyright claim and Sprite needs to be removed/updated ASAP) - but all in all, I feel this is the best option.

Edited by ShorahNagi

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I could support this if the thread was indeed locked immediately. Also, I feel only major changes should be given notice, like the reds or seasonals, but minor ones probably aren’t as necessary.

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I agree having notice would probably make a lot of people happy, but it would be smart to lock the announcement so people can't start arguments about it.

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Support this suggestion. I also feel all sprite updates should be announced (minor and big). I have no preference about when the thread gets locked. 

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8 hours ago, Falorni said:

I've said this in a lot of threads about this topic, but I genuinely quite like sprite updates so this probably wouldn't personally effect me either way.  However, several people have expressed this would make sprite updates easier for them so I do support this, especially with @Silverwatermist's idea of not allowing discussion in these threads until the update is actually out.

 

I rather hate discussion afterwards, which so often degenerates into "EEEW I HATE this put it back" which is rather hard on artists.

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I'm pretty neutral. I remember when we did get advance notice and it was usually just a double dose of upset feelings--people were unhappy when it was announced and unhappy all over again when it actually happened. I didn't see any lessening of upset between the way it was done now. 
 

If it is done probably best to do it relatively close to when the updates will occur (like a week) so there isn't a double dose of outrage.

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3 hours ago, Jazeki said:

Support this suggestion. I also feel all sprite updates should be announced (minor and big). I have no preference about when the thread gets locked. 

 

Agreed. Even 'minor' changes can drastically affect the feel of the sprite (and what some consider 'minor' really does change the entire sprite for others!).  And again this is about helping users deal with the changes better. It's no help if some are announced ahead of time but some aren't. 

 

I agree the changes should be announced relatively close to the actual change, there is no reason to upset people months ahead of time or anything. As far as a double-dose of upset, sure that's bound to happen, but there are ways to limit the on-forum upset (locking the thread, asking for no thread-discussions until the update happens, etc). And of course I don't know how everyone else feels, but personally I can manage my 'upset' much better if it's something I know of ahead of time. Unexpected changes are usually worse than known changes when it comes to emotional responses. 

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1 hour ago, HeatherMarie said:

Unexpected changes are usually worse than known changes when it comes to emotional responses. 

 

Agreed. Adding my voice to support having advance notice for changes. I am also in the camp for locking the announcement right away to prevent knee-jerk reactions and give everyone time to absorb and adjust before discussing. 

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As long as the thread is immediately locked, I don't see why not if it helps people. I also think just any sprite update thread in general should be locked immediately; they never seem to remain civil and end in everyone feeling upset. Not much point there.

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19 hours ago, angelicdragonpuppy said:

I'm pretty neutral. I remember when we did get advance notice and it was usually just a double dose of upset feelings--people were unhappy when it was announced and unhappy all over again when it actually happened. I didn't see any lessening of upset between the way it was done now. 
 

If it is done probably best to do it relatively close to when the updates will occur (like a week) so there isn't a double dose of outrage.

^This.

 

It seems no matter how it's done, there will be drama. A brief notice a week or two before a change may help buffer some feelings about the pending change and give time to adjust to the new ideas.

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3 hours ago, KrazyKarp said:

As long as the thread is immediately locked, I don't see why not if it helps people. I also think just any sprite update thread in general should be locked immediately; they never seem to remain civil and end in everyone feeling upset. Not much point there.


I think it's good to let people let off steam, and I think discussions have been much more civil than before. I also think letting people voice their feelings had some real positives; spriters who once admitted they never even thought to consider lineages when making updates now specifically state they've worked with lineages in mind and tried to keep things very similar in overall placement / feel / etc. There will always be people who don't like updates at all, but myself and I think a lot of other people can appreciate how much more faithful sprite updates tend to be now then they were in the past. If those concerns had never been allowed to be expressed, we might very well still be getting Nilia type updates every time.

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On 4/12/2021 at 2:55 AM, HeatherMarie said:

Of course there will be users who don't like a sprite change, no matter what the circumstances are. But I strongly believe *knowing* ahead of time could lessen the blow for many users. It would give people time to decide how they want to move forward, if they want to 'just wait and see' how the update looks or if they would rather abandon their lineage plans or whatever.

+1 support for this. These are generally my feelings. I still remember many many moons ago coming

home from vacation and finding that the gold sprites had been changed. It was not a great feeling. 😩

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On 4/12/2021 at 3:56 AM, Silverwatermist said:

Having advanced warning is pretty much the only way that people have a chance to take screenshots of their lineages before any changes take place, so I support this idea.

 

This reason makes a lot of sense so I'll go along with it too.  However, I wonder if a week is really a long enough time for everyone to see it given that not everyone comes in the forum every day. 

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12 minutes ago, Stormcaller said:

 

This reason makes a lot of sense so I'll go along with it too.  However, I wonder if a week is really a long enough time for everyone to see it given that not everyone comes in the forum every day. 

 

That's true, though if a user is active at all on DC during that week there is the 'recent news' on the main DC page that would show the sprite-update-announcement. (Unless people don't actually go to the main page, which I know I don't always do either...)

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1 hour ago, Stormcaller said:

 

This reason makes a lot of sense so I'll go along with it too.  However, I wonder if a week is really a long enough time for everyone to see it given that not everyone comes in the forum every day. 

 
I actually agree that a week is nowhere near long enough for people to see it. But I figured that a week or two might be the longest notice we can hope for? Personally I think something like 3 weeks, with a locked thread, would be better and give more time for the shock of the upcoming change to wear off too, so that by the time the updates happen, a number of people are used to the idea (and others will be hyped/excited as well!) but I'm not sure if the artists prefer to give any warning let alone a longer one... Not sure what's reasonable for us to expect, but I agree with you.

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3 hours ago, angelicdragonpuppy said:

I think it's good to let people let off steam, and I think discussions have been much more civil than before

I'm inclined to agree. With the most recent update, I saw a lot more (what I'd consider) to be valid comments/complaints and I think it helped some to accept the changes.

 

Though I would say having the thread be open would require way more detail than just: The sprite of *this dragon* is being updated.

 

There would need to be notes saying what is going to change [ex. Shading, getting dimorphism, pose change, etc] for people to better express their thoughts than "Noo! Don't change my beloved *dragon*" or "Finally, they needed an update."

 

Of course, if things get too heated - the thread can always be locked and cleaned

 

Either way, I'm also feeling that updates should be given a warning no shorter than a week before the change (two weeks to a month is how some other games I've been a part of have done big changes)

 

 

 

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Too long and people might forget.

 

And the latest update was still hostile enough to be locked in two days. While I doubt the actual update thread would ever be posted and immediately locked, I don’t see sprite update discussions calming down anytime soon. Having at least the notice thread be immediately locked would be nice.

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As someone working with gamedev, and playing games that don't have "endgame/storyline" content, I know that it's a common - and welcomed - practice to warn/hype the playerbase about future updates, whether it be upgrading graphics, adding quests, gameplay mechanics, reworking the guts of the game system totally, the list goes on.

 

We can agree that DC is a game, and sprite updates are a part of the natural process such games sooner or later go through. And as in every game community - there will be joy, there will be salt, there will be dozens of other reactions. We know that certain changes are inevitable and necessary, and therefore not up for discussion. It's still necessary to mentally prepare your players for new experiences; some may not like the end results, but they'll at least appreciate the transparency/communication.

 

Whether the updates remain secret until release, or not, depends mainly on how artist contracts are constructed, if they even concern such a thing as "updates = releases, therefore secret". And if the team is willing to consider signing new contracts that drop this bit.

 

The trick is to keep the promises. I've seen many games hype the content that's either released much later after the deadline, incomplete, broken, or not released at all. But that's mainly a matter of discipline, time managment, coding difficulties and other factors. Which, in case of DC, shouldn't be an issue.

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As long as the thread gets locked before the changes and then unlocked after then I'm in support. I don't think having an advance notice thread open will do any good on spriters or the community and I certainly wouldn't want the spriters to make "adjustments" because they felt pressured by what the community said. 

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Posted (edited)

After everything we went through during the discussions over the changes to the Silver sprites, I don’t really want advance notice for sprite changes. I don’t want to see more drama, I don’t need to read everyone’s salty reactions.

 

But I do think sprite changes should be limited to fixing up a current sprite in a limited fashion, with minor corrections, and not reinventing a new dragon; in that case, it should be a new dragon request, in my humble opinion.

Edited by missy_

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@missy_  This suggestion specifically mentions not allowing discussion/drama with the advance notice. If that's your only concern, that's actually part of the suggestion. I don't think anyone wants *more* drama. But advance notice *will* help people, and as long as the thread is locked immediately and it's made clear there shouldn't be on-forum discussion until the sprites are actually updated, I don't see this suggestion leading to increased drama. At least not on the forums. 

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1 minute ago, HeatherMarie said:

@missy_  This suggestion specifically mentions not allowing discussion/drama with the advance notice. If that's your only concern, that's actually part of the suggestion. I don't think anyone wants *more* drama. But advance notice *will* help people, and as long as the thread is locked immediately and it's made clear there shouldn't be on-forum discussion until the sprites are actually updated, I don't see this suggestion leading to increased drama. At least not on the forums. 


Unfortunately, we see plenty of “drama“ even in threads like the recent Festival of Eggs thread and any time there is a new release. People can always find something to complain about. Even though this is a free game, and TJ owes none of us anything, yet he has kept this site open and given us new content for years. But I am getting off track. 
 

I just think that threads like advance notice type threads would automatically attract drama. Unless maybe it is a pinned notice with no option for comment. (You mention that in your suggestion, but the point is sort of buried in the bottom of your fifth paragraph.) But probably people wouldn’t want that, right? They would want the option to, erm, let’s call it “give feedback.“ Or just comment on the new sprite? What would the purpose be for having any sort of discussion thread whatsoever for the announcement of new sprites?

 

If indeed your suggestion is simply to have an announcement that is immediately locked, I would suggest that you move that to the very top of your suggestion so that people can easily understand what you are requesting here. And if your follow-up suggestion is to have the opportunity to create discussion threads after the new sprite is introduced, then maybe put that in your first paragraph as well.

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