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[Feature Interest Survey] Character Maker
Feature Interest Survey - Character Maker

Hello everyone! We’re hoping you’re having a restful holiday and good New Year so far! We’re sorting out some of our long term planning and development goals, one of which is to potentially develop a way to make a more unique and flexible option for character making.

Why

Currently, we have site coats and unique coats (sprouts/customs). Site coats can be flexible for character making through items, drifting, and glooming, but are limited in what players can do to customize faces/expressions, markings, color combinations, and other types of body modifications. We think that it would be beneficial to build something new that would allow much greater customization of these aspects. Unique pets are much more customizable than site coats, but are also costly to the player due to the heavy involvement of a site artist which makes them largely inaccessible by much of our community. We would hope that this new pet type would be more affordable for players without increasing (and potentially decreasing) the strain on our art team long term—this is because we’re envisioning something that is largely automated and with potential avenues for players to contribute.

Expectations

Right now we’re just in the early stages of thinking what a potential feature like this could look like and if it is something that players want and would use. That means we likely can’t answer detailed questions about what our plans are since we’re still figuring it out ourselves, the plans could change drastically, or we could decide that our time is better spent elsewhere and this could be dropped or morph into something different. The feedback results will help us determine this! It also means that if we do move forward with it, it’ll be awhile before players see it since we still have development for other features we need to do first before starting development on this one.

Purpose

The purpose of this survey is to let the community know of our potential future plans, to get a feel for what the community as a whole thinks about this idea, and to get a sense of what would work best for most in terms of some of the larger decisions that need to be made.  Many of you play/have played a variety different pet sites and have seen features like this, know some strengths and weaknesses of those systems, and likely have strong opinions. Understanding what everyone is generally excited about or afraid of will be helpful when thinking about the design!

Survey Date


This survey will close on January 16th at 23:59.

Feedback raffle


We will raffle off 50 Golden Tickets to the participants of this survey after it closes!

Posted Jan 2

oh man I really really REALLY would love to see this in some way (as I elaborated in my reply! >:D) I really hope this doesn’t get stuck in development hell like the recolor shop has gotten :‘D

In general I think a good direction to take this might be the way of Dappervolk’s pet accessories or Flight Rising’s skins/accents, with things you can overlay onto pets! I would hope that any customizable pets or items would be layerable and toggle friendly.

Posted Jan 2

So I would love to answer the survey, but I’m honestly superpants confused about this whole thing, and I know you say you don’t have much of an idea of what it would look like, but neither do I?

So basically the early concept is to create a third sort of pet, separate from site coats and uniques? And this type of pet is somehow ultra customizable? Is it like, users could create and submit art to be used on these ultra customizables? Or they have unique items or extra toggles or something?

Pls clarify I am honestly very lost here.

Posted Jan 2

i REALLY love this idea! i imagined it as a sort of “make your own” with potentially cycling options of edits, recolorations, etc (which i mentioned and gave suggestions about possible ways that could work perhaps in excess lmao), but how purr envisioned it i also think is a fun idea!

seriously, i said it in the feedback also but i LOVE this idea haha

Posted Jan 2
Chimerical  the rough idea is to create a system where you can build your own pet and customize it with different eye options, ear options, paw options, muzzle/expression options, and color/hue options, etc. from a premade selection so it would be somewhere between site coats with no customization options (you buy them as-is) and customs/sprouts that are entirely customized (each aspect is created new and unique to you)
Posted Jan 2

Really loving this idea. :eyes:

I know it says that some specific questions can’t be answered, so if this is one of them, I totally understand!

But would there be standard markings that could be applied and colored, too? Like, polka dots, stripes, speckles, etc? Sort of like a “dollmaker” style for lack of a better term?

Posted Jan 2

I love the concept!

I’m not sure what flappy/swimmy/hooves-y entails, so I did not rank my preferences.

I’d really like to see these be able to be sent through the custom edit queue. I would also really like the option to toggle all layers, unlike customs. My main concern with this is coat patterns; I don’t want to see this feature turn into something with a limited set of patterns, like Flight Rising dragons or Wajas pets. I would love if this were something like Flight Rising skins: We can color in within the lineart, and it would need manual approval and have official shading/highlights added. I know there’s pros and cons to each side there, but part of the uniqueness aspect on here that I appreciate comes from the coat patterns themselves. Perhaps there could be a mix of them—some preset patterns that we can pick the colors of, and a more expensive option to upload our own coloration for review? It would be great if we could also go back into this like a “make your own edits” queue, especially since I imagine traits would be added over time.

That said, even if there are only preset patterns, I would be highly interested in this. From what I recall, Wajas provides pattern customization by permitting patterns to be layered atop one another, which lends a lot to creating unique coats with preset patterns. I think they also provide various ways of obtaining these patterns, from being built into the creation tokens themselves to potions you could obtain through site gameplay/marketplace. I think it would be neat for MC to explore integrating a Character Maker feature into other parts of the site in a way like that, whether such items are exclusively provided through other features, or they have a gem cost through the maker itself but a voucher/potion can be obtained through raffles/fishing/etc. as well (obtaining such items could encourage players to use the Character Maker if they aren’t already).

The one downside, to me as a player, is the cost. The 10-15g starting price sounds fine to me, it’s not a prohibitive cost, I can pay out of pocket for a couple of them. But the site feels like there is so much cost, as a whole, without equivalent ways to earn site funds. I am saving for a January set and the seasonal. I am always saving up for the next monthly set and I usually want the seasonals. I don’t buy duplicates because I can’t afford them. I don’t buy marketplace items because I’m saving for the next limited release. I’ve missed out on seasonals that are now more expensive and more out of reach. I can’t look at Rikur’s because I don’t have the funds. If I want to exchange nuggets for PP for a custom, I have to sacrifice limited items. Every single purchase I make on this site involves calculating how much I can make in order to get the next monthly set.

I would have absolutely no problem spending USD on this feature. But it is somewhat stressful to always have to save up on this site because there are such limited ways to earn site currency and such a low cap on the games. It doesn’t feel balanced. Maybe I create a character through this new feature, and items are equippable. So I spend USD on the pet, and then I want to spend nuggets to outfit the pet, but I’m already saving for the current OotS and the current seasonal, and I need to calculate how much leeway I have for the next OotS, and what if I want fodder for that event mushroom, and I can’t even save for other seasonals and standard store mushrooms and the respective fodder… There’s long-term goals, and then there’s impossible goals, because I’m always out of site currency.

I do appreciate all the free items and pets we get through events. But I feel like the cost of purchaseable items on this site (OotS and nugget marketplace) is not balanced with what we’re able to earn. Despite my excitement for this feature, it feels like another weight on the stress of spending or saving. I would love to see this feature, but there’s also things I want that are already on the site, which individually have reasonable prices but, as a whole, feel impossible to obtain. It leaves me feeling burnt out.

Posted Jan 2, edited Jan 2
staff i will pay you literally any amount of money to give my cave shadows a frown instead of his grin literally any amount please let him frown ive wanted this for six years let him be grumpy staff p le a se
Posted Jan 2

I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Vely on every point he made with regards to cost. There are so many things to buy on MC and the games are… unpleasant at best to play every day (and vaguely insulting, when an hour of my time in the best-case scenario translates to less than one US dollar of site currency). I can very comfortably say that almost everything I have on MC is from either spending my own money on gems/PP or from trading offsite things from games that aren’t as painful to grind out.

...yeah I was going to try to cushion that a bit more, but I really can’t. I could get in the car, drive 15 minutes down the highway to downtown Cleveland OH, find a few quarters on the ground within a couple of minutes and go home, and it’d be less painful and less time-consuming than spending an hour struggling through Echolocation boards or bashing my two braincells together to spell out things-that-might-be-words in Spellstones for the same amount of ‘money’.

I understand that you can’t just address virtual economy issues in a day but this has been a more and more pronounced problem of people clinging desperately to the nuggets they have unless they’re trying to buy PP without spending cash out of pocket since interest was removed several years ago. The site has stagnated. No amount of encouraging the same 200 increasingly more burnt-out people to do creative things will fix that on its own. Assuming (based on the numbers of orders picked up out of queues recently/currently in queue) that there are about a quarter of those people who either actively spend money or actively seek to buy PP on a regular basis, soliciting the same few people for more and more money isn’t the answer either.

It seems, based on the “site events are a net loss for Mycena Cave” logic that brought us buying-event-points-with-gems in the last couple of events (which, don’t get me wrong, I deeply appreciate!) that MC is hurting for money, especially with how scarcely nuggets have been awarded. If that’s the case… can something like Dappervolk’s ad theater be implemented, or even some kind of unobtrusive footer ad? MC is one of the only sites that I would actually willingly turn my adblock off for because I’ve been sure that staff has good intentions. I know other people feel the same. It might be worth capitalizing on that.

I’m frustrated with the carrots-on-sticks that keep being dangled in front of the playerbase. The recolor shop was discussed four years ago, there are assets (items) prepared for it, but the last we heard about it was “it’ll come after the marketplace revamp” and that’s been like a year now. There are a lot of vague “we’ll take your feedback into account” posts any time someone posts feedback but it never feels like things actually change.

Yes I realize the staff team is small, I realize there’s one coder and he’s got a full-time job. I am not by any means criticizing that. People have lives! I get that. That being said, it’s frustrating to see something you feel strongly about (the item recolor shop is my biggest example) keep getting delayed or ignored while more new shiny features keep getting trotted out - the Adventure system is cool, but when was the last time anyone started writing anything new in it? When was the last time someone set out on an adventure? I feel like the vast majority of new adventures-in-progress and adventure roleplays have been abandoned by this point. It honestly seems like a lot of development/testing/coding/whatever hours went into something that, even on a very small very secular site, has gone pretty much untouched.

Or what about the item tagging interface that’s supposed to help improve item searches that hasn’t been activated since the marketplace/item list revamp rolled out?

I just. At some point Mycena Cave started feeling a lot less like a community and a lot more like a place a bunch of people who’ve been on here for years stay out of habit. And while in theory I think this is a great idea to address the problem of queue burnout and/or general business that most of the site artists seem to be dealing with, I don’t really know if this is the bandaid MC actually needs right now.

I love the idea of more customization. I think it’s a great idea. And I am very frustrated with how things continue to be addressed onsite and I would really like if Things Could Be Addressed in a meaningful way that wasn’t just comforting platitudes meant to calm down people who are rightly upset.

I am burnt out from trying to deal with one of the worst years of both my and many other people’s lives, and I am tired, and I don’t have the energy to grind out an hour of “””games””” every day for an insulting amount of nuggets. It’s been hard enough for me to manage any creative collective stuff over the course of a month. And it’s hard to sit on a site that I’ve spent half of a decade on, met some incredible people on, and be frustrated with the stagnation along with Everything Going On In The World.

I’m going to stop myself here before I continue talking in circles, but I genuinely hope that someone on staff actually reads this and takes it into account. If anyone has feedback/thoughts on this, feel free to bounce off this.

Posted Jan 2

Ok so I’ve had some to chew over this and hmm

I like the idea in theory, but I feel like it could be a) super confusing to have three kinds of pets, b) be yet another thing to spend very limited currency on (as been brought up), and c) I don’t rlly feel like it fits MC tbh.

I personally am happy with the customizability of site pets! Especially with the items that keep coming out, plus the drifties and gloomies.

I also adore seeing the custom pieces (even if I wish more people would donate items lol), and love the variety! They give me inspiration for my own pets, which is super fun.

a) I feel like having a third type of pet could be hella confusing? Esp to new players, or even to me, who will sometimes see an item equipped to a pet and wonder ‘what is that and where do I get it’. New players seem to have enough trouble getting up to speed on the site (esp in ‘how do I get more pets’ area), and having another sort of pet that’s not readily identifiable as to how you get one could worsten that.

b) I also high-key agree with wot people have being saying about currency and spending. There are so many currency sinks already. It’s a struggle to keep up with what I want from OotS and the seasonals, and I wind up having to be very picky about what I do purchase to save for wot I really want.

c) On the last point: I’m honestly not sure how this could better lend to the customizability of the pets! The way the pets right now are all drawn uniquely, it allows for complex patterns, interesting edits, and really cool concepts to be brought to life (like the unicorn kelph! that is so cool).

I feel like having a pet that’s more of a doll maker type would honestly take away from this. IMO, doll maker images have a tendency to look very samey. Even sites like Flight Rising and Wajas, having all the same markings on the same base prevents flights of fancy like the artists are currently allowed now. I honestly feel like this type of feature is the sort of thing a site should be based around, instead of added to a site later (this honestly feels like it would be a feature creep for MC).

What I would super duper support is a user-made customizing feature like Flight Rising’s skins or Dappervolk’s accessories! Those are such fun ways to customize a pet, and because you can be the artist, the sky really is the limit.

Posted Jan 2, edited Jan 2

Hey, Sapphy here. I know I’ve been almost downright silent for awhile. But, I have been checking in. So, I figured I’d toss in my two cents on this feature, and on Purr‘s post.

First, The Feature:
Semi-Customs always seemed like a good idea to me. In Concept, it puts a lot less strain on the artists.
But I worry about the amount of strain they’re in already. It’s no secret that the Sprout and Custom Queues tend to move fairly slowly. And this feature isn’t replacing anything, it’s just adding. So it would just require more time, not less.

So, to be 100% honest, I would want to know more about how this feature would function before I would feel comfortable voting for sure if it’s a good idea or not. Like I said, on paper this is a good idea. A a great idea in fact! But, I think what would make it a successful one is heavily dependent on its execution. Not on the base idea, itself.

Like, are these edits you can add to/switch on site coats? (Tea mentioned giving OotS coats the option of a Frown, which I think would definitely be cool for site colors to have expression options) The toggleable edits that site colors have right now, is cool. I don’t happen to use it that much, but it is fascinating, and I have used it on one or two of my pets.
So, is it something like that?

Or, is this an entirely new thing? Where the coat coloring is buildable, where you choose the coloring and gradients of various patterns you choose to layer on eachother in various ways? Are the coat colors custom via Site-Artist, but the edits are switchable like how Ineki’s heads and tails are? Or are they completely MYO (Make-Your-Own) Colors where you color the pet yourself, but the lineart is a set base with certain available edits?

All of these would be different executions of the same base idea, and there are definitely pros and cons to all of them. MYO colors might not be as clean as site-artist colors, and not available to all users. Buildable patterns might not mesh together 100%, Site-Artist colored starts straying into Custom territory, even if the edits are already set. (Though, I will mention that something like that should be considered for Customs in general for edits like Frowns or Closed Eyes- it would make those edits much simpler and more consistent).

So, I very much would like to know where on this scale this Feature would fall.

(I will add that my views on Customs vs these Semi-Customs, and similar concepts, are heavily influenced by Closed Species over on DeviantArt. Which is part of the reason why I’m curious if these lean in that direction function-wise, or if I’m just misunderstanding things.)

PREFACE: I believe the Semi-Custom feature is partially a response to some of the concerns I mention here.
and I greatly approve of that, if it is.

First- A VERY CONDENSED tl;dr if you don’t know what CS are- Closed Species are essentially Custom-Only Pet/Species Designs with Art+RP communities around them. (So, imagine if Mycena only had Custom/Unique designs, no Site-Colors. Or remember things like the old Gaia Online Breedable/Changable Adoptables)

I am seeing an increasing similarity between CS and Mycena Cave, as more and more emphasis is put onto Customs and Sprouts (aka: Unique Designs) by the community. This is actually not something I approve of, and I am saying this as someone who has quite a number of Closed Species Characters from various Groups.

That’s because Mycena at its core is a petsite. While the community is RP-Centric, it’s expected you have a collection of the Site Colors or Items. It’s expected that you have more than just a couple pets and to Dress them Up. But, it doesn’t seem like you’re actually expected to Roleplay them. Meanwhile, in most Closed Species, I’ve found that having a Collection is..actually kind of Frowned Upon. You’re more expected to have Characters, Commission Art of them, etc. instead.
I believe the fact that every single design of a CS is Unique is a contributing factor to this expectation.

Thus, Mycena’s setup requires there to be a balance between the value of Unique Designs and Site-Colors since it has both. A balance that I believe is shakey at best at the moment. Site colors seem to either be Highly Prized, or Worthless. The same goes for the items used to dress them up (effectively adding edits). Specific Pets might be worth something inherently, Low ID#s and such. Rare/Limited items are worth more too. But, people in the Trading Threads seem to either be trading for PP, Customs, Sprouts, and Gems, or they are Offsite Trading. Then as a sub category, people often feel pressured to get the higher-cost Sprouts because they have more edits, so they’ll be worth more.

This is also where the similarities to CS spring back up. Closed Species on Deviantart are effectively Pay-to-Join. 98% of designs sell for IRL. A few communities have “currencies” you can get by participating in monthly mini-events and such, or free holiday giveaways, etc. There’s a few that lean heavy on those Monthly events, and there are a very small number where you design your starter/basic design and then add edits/make it fancier by doing similar events.

However, besides the Giveaways there are also other balancing factors like things that are referred to as MYO Slots. Which are kinda what they say on the tin. You make a design and the art. Then, as long as it follows all of the Species’ guidelines, it just gets added to the Masterlist (in Mycena’s Case, this’d be the equivalent of getting uploaded) and as such it is much cheaper. Furthermore, your MYO is still a unique design, you can commission someone to do the art for you. But it is not required. (This makes the art of the species rather inconsistent, but there are very few species where there is any sort of official style-requirement. Furthermore, there are often Bases that can be used for simple designs)
Another ‘but’ is that it is very up-front about the whole pay-to-join aspect. Meanwhile, on Mycena, it’s more of a social pressure and status symbol, more akin to Phonegame Purchases than an actual Mechanic.

So, yeah, I see a lot of similarities between CS Designs, Mycena Customs/Sprouts, and MYO Slots as being a sort of in-between, and the idea of this New Feature.


Second:

They have a lot of good points in relation to Mycena’s apparent stagnation, and how that is affecting the Userbase.

I want to chime in that all I’ve really been doing is signing in, grabbing my daily sign-in bonus, and possibly checking the announcements. Then just… kind of letting the Mycena tab in my browser just…sit there. I vaguely participate in some events, and I doodle my characters. (Heck, I have an attempt to draw lip-synch frames for The Twins. I’ll let you know right now, animating a muzzle-mouth made of teeth is hard.) But, I don’t participate in the Monthly creative things, or similar, and I don’t play the games. They’re just too grind-ey, and the nuggets just don’t seem like they’re worth it.

Heck, the site pets don’t even really seem worth it anymore. Nuggets are in this weird nebulous area of simultaneously being worth a lot, and worthless. People get OotS with them, or site items/seasonal colors. But, are also constantly saving them specifically for that purpose, so they aren’t spending them in the User Market. Also, there are more people in the User Market looking for PP and Gems than Nuggets anyway, so they aren’t really worth anything there either. So, their only purpose in that regard is to just be traded for Gems, another currency. Which…seems kind of bizarre.
(As for Pets, Pets usually trade for Pets, and their value is all over the place. Mentioned it in my CS Opinions, but any particular color could be Extremely Prized, or Worthless, with no real indicator as to why or which ones just by looking at the designs.)

Like Purr mentioned and it’s something that needs to be said and emphasized: virtual economies (heck, any economy) can’t be fixed in a day and all of the staff have lives outside of Mycena, including jobs, health, and family. That’s important. Especially over this last year.

But, this Community Stagnation is definitely a problem. People need reasons to stick around. Users are getting bored and exhausted by the games, finding things monotonous. They need reasons to be active besides a possible feeling of Obligation: And new users can’t be scared off by the social expectations and push towards PP and Gems (IRL Currencies) and the pressure that exists to calculate out every literal every nugget of currency to make sure you can buy the next OotS/Limited item, or extra Event items, and Seasonals. This is then just multiplied by participating in the community as a whole, posting in the threads, roleplaying, participating in the monthly prompts. Mycena practically turns into another job at this point.

It can be fun! Petsites are fun! That’s obviously why people are here in the first place! But the effort needs to match the return, and it can’t be too overwhelming at first. Otherwise it’s not fun.

Purr also importantly pointed out that Mycena could be hurting for money: and gave the suggestion of watching ads, etc. for users to get these currencies, while still making a bit of money. That’s a pretty good compromise for that particular point, and is something that has been proven to work for other places as well. (Purr mentioned Dappervolk, but heck- look at almost any Phone Game) Advertisements in particular would be useful the more active users Mycena has.

As a related/similar suggestion:
This actually happened a long time ago: But, have Pre-Made customs. Heck, maybe you could even combine this with other things too. Have this be the way you test artists out, could even have just a special 1 time artists or something. You could make these prizes for the Creative Prompts, or in either mini or Major events!
Could even just have them as a occasionally available cheaper option to Pure Customs.
Heck- the Edit Queue is a thing, so even if they’re given out for free, Mycena might make money that way too.


~Sapphy

P.S. The Spoiler tags are purely in a sad attempt to make this not a textbook.
It doesn’t seem to have worked much.

Posted Jan 2

This sounds like a really exciting idea!

Editing after reading some things:

- If it would be beneficial to the site, I’d also be willing to turn off add blocker for Mycena if there was hypothetically an ad theater or footer ad situation added.
- And/Or, would consider like a subscription based premium account type thing if the onsite assets gained were balanced with the USD spent.

Just mentioning those things because Purr’s post mentioned something along those lines, as well.

Posted Jan 2, edited Jan 2

I agree with some of what’s been said here (mostly about economics and how adding another way to spend money is exhausting), and disagree with some (mostly because I’m a fan of the artistic cohesion onsite), and put a lot of thoughts into the survey as well that I don’t want to try to remember to retype here. Which is… kind of the problem.

Whether intentional or not, the incentivized survey format itself seems to have the consequence of shifting user input away from open discussion to something given behind closed doors. The way it’s being approached feels like it runs counter to the idea of soliciting feedback from the community. We all know that there’s a lot of heavy curation when the results of event feedback surveys are presented, so it’s hard not to assume this may be another case where unwanted feedback is just going to be quietly thrown away.

(edit: I also get that not everyone wants every opinion to be public, and probably appreciates the opportunity to have their thoughts out there without getting argued with by people who disagree with them. But surely there are ways to have both options more transparent and explicitly condoned.)

Posted Jan 3, edited Jan 3

I wasn’t going to add anything but then I typed some stuff out oop. I normally shy away from posting anything in discussion forms but thought I might ramble out some things. I hope nothing ends up coming across too critical or anything, I just got off a 12 hour shift so I’m sorry if my rambling doesn’t make sense ^_^; I’ve also been absent for a while on site and missed a chunk of time on here, as I’ve only increased my lurking in the past several months, so I may be off base on what is best for the current community in any of my ramblings.

 

Purr (followed up by Sapphy and Hoax) mentioned introducing ads to the site - I also personally wouldn’t mind them. Especially if they were unobtrusive and it could open up opportunities where staff feels more free to offer nuggets as prizes in things and don’t feel they take such a loss during events. It’s nice having a petsite that isn’t flashing ads at me, but the concept of ads on a site doesn’t bother me - However, I do know ads can greatly disrupt someone’s game, so I like the “ad theater” option if something were ever done with ads. That way it could be a feature that you can chose to look at or completely avoid and it shouldn’t interfere with any gameplay.

1) Purr mentioned ad theater on Dappervolk - I don’t play there, so I’m not entirely familiar with it, but it sounds like something I was going to mention before I googled what it was haha. Watching an add for some nugget reward would 100% for sure be something I personally would go for, as I never tend to play games on here to cap out. I love echolocation, but getting 20-80 nuggets for a game depending on how well I can mange it at the time kills any interest I have in trying to play it more/trying to take the time to be strategic with it haha. It could even be factored into the daily nugget cap/added into it with a nugget cap increase as an alternative way to cap out aside from grinding games, or just have a separate cap so there isn’t any competition between the two ways to earn nuggets? Since I don’t know if this would effectively kill games on site if their competition is “just watch 5-10 minutes of ads for the same effect” if that is any worry. Other idea rambles: There could be a random chance that you get a gem instead of a nugget reward for an ad too? Or it could be “watch an ad, grab from a bag” and an NPC digs into a bag and gives you one of several pre-set prizes. Maybe just 100 nuggets, 1K, 1 gem, there could even be small items at rare chances. (That would add to art team though and eventually would become flooded and not as valuable, but I always liked that I could get items from games on Digis like Bingo or Go-Fish-Go, even if just to hoard for fun or sell back to the site for little nugget amounts like fishies on here.) Making some nugget cap easier to get to for all users would likely make it easier for them to save up for OotS and other things, and perhaps it could even give them extra spending nuggets if they don’t normally manage to cap out rn on just games alone.

2) I’m not sure what kind of ads MC would utilize, but I’ve seen sites allow users to submit their own ads if they were selling commissions, had a web comic, or perhaps to their Etsy shops or something like that. It could even be to on-site art/raffle/game threads. If it wouldn’t already be an option/something that can happen with ads set up on site, it could be a way for users who are able and have a need for ad space to contribute without directly getting any site-based perk over other users. I don’t know how popular user ads are on those sites that allow them though, or how well received they are by the userbase.

Anyways, sorry, very off topic and not helpful to semi-customs eep ^_^;;;;;;

 

I like the idea of semi-custom pets, I think it’s a nice option to have more creativity and customization options. I already feel like I see so many pets that look unique and are just site coats other’s have spruced up with items, but I’m sure there are those that run into limitations still with making their character stand out/match just what they’re looking for. I feel like an easier-to-make “custom” type would allow more users to have an option other than only site coats, and just to throw it out there - if they put less stress on MC to throw out, they could be something occasionally raffled off too? I haven’t been actively around for long to know how often MC does raffles anymore, so I don’t know when the last one was, but I like the idea of doing raffles especially if everyone gets one free ticket to start/there are ticket caps. That was a feature before, right? I thought they used to happen pretty commonly. It might make it feel a little less “one more thing to pay/hoard $/gems for to have a chance at getting”. I think that’s a nice thing to throw in between events and such.

I like the idea of player created items and elements! I think that is a great way to involve the community, and may give users interested in becoming future site artists a reason to practice MC’s art style and see if they can get things submitted for semi customs. You could even allow users to make some of the Semi-customs like I think Sapphy mentioned even if it’s just coloring in a pre-made base with pre-made edits (that may be user submitted edits too), those could also be something to consider for raffles like I mentioned above? I don’t know if this would start to alienate non-artist users though or not. (You could even throw a bone to some of the fantastic writers we have on site, semi-custom pets could come with descriptions submitted by users as well, so they are similar to what sprouts get? If they were pre-made to be sold/raffled off.)

I would lean more to the side of using current bases and still allowing items to be equitable, just for the sake of customization. I love items and being able to use them so, so much. You may make a semi-custom with one idea in mind, but if you want to change up that idea later or add “memento items” that mark their journey through RP/geness partners that on site items work for, I think it would be nice to add/take away items as you go. A new pet base would require a lot of work from site artists to redraw items onto it, or have the majority of items on site never fit that pet. And not being able to equip items at all regardless of base would just be… No fun imo. If I couldn’t add items to my custom pets, I would be very sad! I love that I can quickly change items if they fit the pet, even if they are already “unique” as a coat color. Sure you could just enter the edit queue again, but someone might not be able to pay for an edit(s) on top of the pet, and I think that would add to the problem mentioned of how much things can tend to cost on MC - plus if you have to edit in all your items, it could make site items less valuable.

Posted Jan 3

Hmm, oh there’s a lot of words here now. Am actually fairly interested in the character maker, since having a semi-custom option would be nice to have a lower number to try and save for, though the concerns over having too much to spend on and not enough to spend with is definitely a thing here as well. It’s difficult to get enough for everything I’d like to get at this point. There’s Oots, seasonals for both coats and items, and event stuff that has a mix of both and require a notable time investment that can sap motivation or time to grind the games. Plus with all the new items coming out from players donating and otherwise just being made, there’s already so much stuff that it’s becoming impossible to keep up with what’s wanted, even with maxing out the daily grind. I haven’t even had a chance to look at the new items for a couple months because I’ve been trying to save for the seasonal coat, and even then I’ve got to pause that to get the OoTs since that’ll go away even faster.

As for the actual features of semi-customizing, I rather like the idea of choosing our own eye colors, as well as otherwise tweaking colorations. It’d be quite nice to be able to sort of pre-drift coats when buying them, since driftshrooms are somewhat expensive and getting one just to change a pet to one color forever feels like a bit of a waste, since the full potential of driftshrooms would include using its ability to change colors at will, as much as is wanted. Though, given the lower range of changes the gloomshroom does that one seems less valuable to do something like pre-glooming to.

More little edits would also be nice for things like changing the muzzle, ears, eye expressions, etc. But these sorts of little tweaks could just as easily come from making items that do these edits, enhancing Mycena’s existing content, rather than making something entirely new. Also the little ranking thing for types of pets is interesting, and I would definitely be interested in what seems to be a new base on the horizon. (Am particularly interested in a rodent base, personally.)

Posted Jan 3

i maintain that i love this idea! i think it will solve the issue of “the artists entire time is spent creating content only certain individuals (the ppl buying their custom) can use and that only a subset of the community can feasibly afford” which i feel is a piece of the problem

but i wanted to chime in again because i agree with the discussion going on here and i dont usually talk in these kinds of situations but i wanted to add as another voice feeling the same especially as this problem has only grown over the years

i agree that it’s very tedious to make nuggets here. when vely said “I would love to see this feature, but there’s also things I want that are already on the site, which individually have reasonable prices but, as a whole, feel impossible to obtain. It leaves me feeling burnt out.” i REALLY felt that haha. i really think that nails it on the head. the introduction of a way to make nuggets with the new profile drive feature is great! i love it and will be participating. and i love you guys are working so hard!! i see that and i think we all do! and i love that about mycena how many ways there are to make nugs through creative means.

but imo the solution the TRUE solution is more in the lines of increasing the daily nugget cap, increasing payout on games (not in ratio with the nugget cap increase, i mean that it should be quicker and easier to cap out per day. if you have a cap its ok if its easy to reach it!! nobody can go over anyway!!), adding a few more options (i know its a meme that i keep asking for snake but im asking for snake because as far as i know its easy to code and relaxing and mindless to play which can make it FUN im literally asking for snake for mc’s benefit not mine haha. it doesnt have to be snake though! we just need a new game that is easy to code for glitch’s benefit, MINDLESS it needs to NOT take thinking, and i think a game that uses the lil arrow keys is very important too bcus we have none. thats why i keep saying snake!), bringing back bank interest, and for goodness sake just introduce ads! i agree with ads! we’ll watch them i promise! we like you guys! to me its clear that mc is strongly incentivized to minimize use of nuggets to encourage gem and pp purchases, which to me says mc is struggling to make ends meet. ads have gotta help with that! and there are SO many ways to do them, ways that other pet sites utilize successfully! if you pay me nuggets to watch ads i PROMISE you i will watch my fill every day! i’ll leave the browser active! i’ll even do the lil clicky thing some of them have! i’ll whitelist mycena! when i first joined i was so shocked mycena didnt have ads and honestly i still am haha (also im literally obsessed w the dappervolk ad theatre. sometimes i leave it up when im done with it just for support. i can EASILY do that for mycena too!)

personally i don’t even think that these changes need to be paired with bigger economy structure changes. i personally feel that pricing reconsiderations or that kind of stuff like…. doesnt actually need to happen at all! and CERTAINLY not in tandem with these initial changes, as its probably impossible to know where pricing will go in response. that’s a good and normal thing! i literally think that increasing nugget flow through these methods i suggested and then introducing ads to help mc recoup money from the alleged loss in gem sales they might lead to would fix…. a lot hahaha obviously im no expert but thats my two cents. at the very least i think it’s worth a try. if the site goes up in flames you can use it as my funeral pyre.

anyway again im only saying this bcus it’s been so long that these problems have been discussed and i feel like people are offering earnest, good intentioned suggestions that i agree with so im echoing that to give yall a better idea of where the community is at by adding another voice. but i dont ever post in this kind of discussion because im literally terrified of getting into arguments or stuff like that so like….. lets be collaborative and nice about it!

Posted Jan 3

I agree with everyone on the money front. I joined in 2015 and then quit for 5 years, and even now - coming back - I cannot spend USD on the site & the current games we are offered don’t earn enough nuggets in regards to how much time is spent on them. I don’t play much because unless you’re already rich on this site or can spend the USD, the site really isn’t free to play friendly.

In terms of customs, maybe consider doing it like mweor? Mweor has statues you can buy to make customs. Each statue corresponds to a different amount of markings (clay statues (30 premium currency) get 1 marking, stone statues (40 premium currency) get 2). When you make a custom, you get like… 100 predawn markings to choose from, and then you choose the hex codes & opacities and layering. It majority cuts down on work for on-site artists, since all they have to do is make the markings to begin with, and then players can still add items and such to their customs. Perhaps you could have a starting cost of the 10-15g that allows you a certain amount of customization, and then the price can increase depending on how much more customization you’re allowed.

Posted Jan 3

Discussing with a friend, wanted to mention this as it’s relevant to the ads/money conversation that’s been happening: Brave is a Chromium based browser that has built-in adblocking (and is genuinely a pretty good browser in my opinion, I’d recommend it!). They have opt-in ads; you browse around, they show you ads from time to time, if you decide to click on them they give you cryptocurrency. It’s not a lot but over the course of the past 6 months I’ve been using it I’ve earned like $20 USD in crypto that’s just gone into my own pockets.

But!

If a website verifies itself with Brave as a creator, then people who use Brave have the option to just automatically send their accumulated crypto to that creator (or to creators split up by percents). There’s a lot of flexibility with it and it’s not super hard to use, from my experience? It took me like 10 minutes to set up an account on the wallet site they use and then verify my Twitter as a creator despite my Twitter having very little of value on it.

Anyway I guess what I’m getting at is hey glitch please verify Mycena Cave as a Brave creator so I and the couple of other people who use Brave (I know there are at least two of them!) can throw fake Internet money that turns into real-world money at you.

Posted Jan 3, edited Jan 3

As someone who has been around for a long time and has NEVER been able to afford any fancy $25 custom pets or anything of the sort, I don’t really care about this feature. I probably won’t be able to afford to indulge in it anyway.

But I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree that currency in this game is obnoxiously hard to obtain/accumulate and that it’s really just hurting you devs in the long run. The more difficult/cash grabby you make the site, the less likely that you are to attract people to it. The less people you attract, the less money you can earn. It’s a spiral down into oblivion.

I LOVED this site when I first joined. It was fun, interactive, the events weren’t JUST ‘write this story”. My first Halloween was an interactive scav hunt, basically and that was amazing!

Since then, everything’s been utter trash and there’s nothing to keep me here. Even my partner quit.
Something needs to change or the site isn’t gonna last.

Posted Jan 3

Disagreeing on the point that everything’s been “utter trash” in regards to content, and I feel like there’s been far more growth in regards to variety than I would have expected for what this site is. I wouldn’t normally participate in discussions like this, but that particular comment felt excessively unfair, so I apologize for adding to this whole thing but I couldn’t not comment on that. This site has never felt like a cash grab to me, and while I’m sure I have very few pets overall compared to others than joined at launch, I feel like I’ve always been able to get my hands on things that I really wanted without feeling like I needed to spend RL money or grind games for that matter - which includes multiple customs, none of which I paid for out-of-pocket, but instead through trading and event participation thanks to the CC/PP system.
———-

I’ve never bothered to play the games much (I’m talking literally a small handful of times that I’ve capped over the many years I’ve been here, ALMOST ONLY when made to do so as part of an event task) and generally do events or offsite trading to get what I need with the occasional boost from getting pondshrooms (because while echolocation does move quickly for me, I’d much rather spend that time doing something IRL or playing something like an MMO with my gaming friends given I have little free time to begin with), but I also never have the patience to grind out games on other sites, either, so I can’t say it’s a problem with the games here. But, I don’t see a lack of effort in improvement. It feels like there’s been a lot of effort going into adding more features to the site to offer more variety for people (both in games and event types to try to include as many playstyles and preferences as possible - I mean, every event is followed up with a survey which is unheard of anywhere else) - and pacing with new content has just always made sense to me given the size of the development team and what the intent of this site was to begin with. I’m not someone that does a lot of creativity stuff, I’m not normally even much of a pet site person although I’ve tried to be - my activity on similar sites has never lasted more than a couple of years, tops, but I’ve stuck around here for SEVEN now, which is huge for me - the only other thing I’ve stuck with for that many years is WoW, haha, so I’m pretty sure I’m here for good. I appreciate this place for what it is.

———-
On the actual topic though, I appreciate the idea of a new character maker system as an alternative to regular customs, and I appreciate the ability to provide input via survey. The starting price sounds extremely reasonable, and is even in gems which is much easier to obtain than PP for people like me that are usually broke as a joke IRL.

Posted Jan 3

I’ve been on the site for about a year and for perhaps nearly every day since I joined I’ve been grinding the game cap in order to afford the pets I want. As a newcomer, I saw the abundance of coats and clothes and I was bubbling with excitement because I wanted to buy a whole bunch of clothes and pets and coats…but I soon found out that a maximum of ~3100 nuggets could be earned per day, and that wasn’t worth very much. All I could do onsite was play some minigames that gave me money and once i couldn’t get any more I could stare longingly at all the things I wanted and feel frustrated. I almost deleted my fledgling account out of disappointment, I only stayed because I planned to max out the game cap for a month or two and then delete. But after a…newbie incident I was politely informed I could get more nuggets from the creative collective instead of spamming the forums, and now here I still am.

What I’m getting at here is that I would prefer more accessibility to the items already on site instead of being offered new things to buy. I don’t hate new things, but as an example I’ve been trying to save up for a Floral Mist mushroom for a good while now but derailed myself over and over just to buy Oots stuff because the monthlies will be gone but the marketplace mush won’t move.

I’d like it if there was an option available for users to customize their own pets without staff involvement, but I don’t think it would go well with the rest of the site’s structure. Others have said it’ll probably end up looking cookiecutter and samey and I agree, it’s the site artists’ personal touches that give custom pets their charm. Personally, I have not gone anywhere near the custom pet system because 1) I have so many other things I’m trying to afford, and 2) on top of the wait to save up the nuggets to trade for PP I’d have to wait for the artists to finish all the work already on their plate before they even look at what I’m asking of them. If staff artists are going to be involved in this new feature I don’t know if I’d want to brave Custom Pet Queue 2 for a partially unique pet when I could just commission a whole design.

I’d really just prefer to be able to buy a coat that’s close enough to the pet I want, and also to be able to afford to drift their colors and dress them up to my liking, and I think that’s a sentiment other players share.

TL;DR; I think it’s a neat idea, but I don’t think it’s where focus and development should be at this time <:3c

Posted Jan 4

I’m a bit baffled at the direction this entire conversation has gone.

Starting with, I absolutely would not want any measure that brought ads to the site, especially when taking into account the current state of tracking and digital privacy. The lack of ads is something I specifically enjoy about MC and a major reason why I am willing to spend my personal money buying things from the site.

I do think the game grinding is problematic, but that’s probably more of a “the payout rate for games other than Spellstones really should be raised” type of opinion. I think a lot of the recent events—especially like the Drawntlet—seem to really try and address that, and I’m interested to see if the new Profile aspect helps as it’s incentivizing something that would probably be really helpful for most users. I do think the economy/reward balancing of MC has always been rather out of sync, but we are a fairly small and limited community, which means that any individual opinion could dramatically affect the market. I’m excited to see creative-output geared ways to generate nuggets though which might help with the seasonal/oots nugget saving for most users.

In general, I don’t see this potential feature as a great idea, but if executed and implemented really deftly it could possibly work. I would say I’m firmly of the opinion the maker has to be restricted to site resources only (no user contributions at all, but things like dory for user opinions on what to add would be great) just because every system I’ve personally seen with user contributions eventually devolves into issues. Overall I would love to see more general item releases (especially expression modification edits!) instead of this system being created. I would say that *if* this does end up being created then I think customs should receive toggles. 

Posted Jan 5

I can see how bringing in ads would be a concern for privacy.

Ditto on keeping user creations out of official site artwork, not because we don’t have stellar non-staff artists, but because of the potential for disruption and issues over assets.

I need to go about my day, now. If I get a chance to read back later, and if I find I have anything of potential interest to say, I’ll add or edit.

Posted Jan 5
Personally I’m not extremely concerned about online privacy because my primary account is through Gmail and god only knows what Google is doing with all that information. That being said, I realize many people are more privacy conscious, and on any site with ads people are more than welcome to opt out via adblocker. Even now, my adblocker on MC is always blocking Google analytics, so it’s not like there’s no tracking here already? I’d just be a lot more comfortable with this data being collected if there was a clear financial purpose for it.
Posted Jan 5, edited Jan 5
Would just like to say that ads are annoying and I appreciate the current lack of them. Also am quite fond of the different styles of event you’ve been trying out. ‘S nice. Am on the fence for this feature, but I think it could work well if implemented well enough. Though, it really would depend on how it was implemented/what options are available. To that end I’d be rather interested in it if it does work. So hmm.
Posted Jan 5, edited Jan 5

Hi everyone & thanks for all of the great discussion so far! We are glad to see so much passion about the site and its continued growth and are aware that there are a few areas outside the character creator (should we proceed with the feature) that also require attention. We want you all to know that we carefully read and consider all of your thoughts, even if we aren’t able to immediately reply — but we would like to take some time now to address a few of the points made. We will try our best to respond to each of the major questions and subjects presented, but as there is such a breadth of ideas being shared, please pardon us if anything is missed!

There are some comments with suggestions or wondering exactly how the design of the pet colors would work with this system. We’re waiting to determine the specifics until we’ve gone through the feedback, but there are a few aspects that are more/less likely.  This system would very likely not involve 1:1 type markings from site artists (i.e. site artists make unique markings that apply to only one coat)—one of our goals is to design a system that does not add additional burden to the art team long-term and this would be counter to that. That means the system would likely have a variety of pre-made options created by site artists available to anyone using this system, possible 1:1 type markings from players (a player makes unique markings that can be applied to one pet), or possible pre-made options that are limited edition/rotating/etc. The direction we develop this in is heavily dependent on player feedback. This is a system that would result in a new coat type, e.g. the coats produced by this system will be categorized as something that doesn’t fall under our current categories.

Players commented that this system is already common on other petsites, it tends to make pets look very same-y, and that the nice thing about Mycena Cave site coats is that they have specific site artist’s touches. It’s true that many petsites incorporate this model, and it’s a successful model on many petsites because players can create a fairly unique pet using assets that only need to be made one time (as opposed to customs/sprouts where the artist creates something new for each pet). It does have the potential to look same-y and remove some of the charm, though players are coming up with ideas on mitigating some of the causes of this.

Is this feature creep? Potentially, particularly if players don’t use it enough because it isn’t filling a need, and thus it ends up not adding any value to the site (this survey has been released in part to help us determine if this is the case). At that point a feature like this would just add additional burden to build, grow, and maintain for little/no benefit. However, we do think this feature would help fill an area where we are weak: Mycena has a strong focus on customizability of pets, but there are limitations on site coats and what items can do to modify them. This system would allow greater customization of faces/expressions, markings, color combinations, and other types of body modifications. Our item system can’t do this. For example, we can’t just make a frowny mouth item since the lineart and color of the ineki wouldn’t be reflected by the item. A frowny mouth would need to be drawn with new lineart to account for the new mouth/jaw position and color matched to every existing coat, then redrawn and colored to match any and all future coats. We can have a large grinning mouth as an item because we can hide the pet’s existing expression under it, but more subtle expressions and changes aren’t possible. Just because we think there is a need for something between a site coat and unique coat doesn’t mean our players feel the same though—that’s why it’s critical to get a feel for how players would receive a feature like this before we invest our time and resources.

Someone wasn’t sure what flappy/swimmy/hooves-y entails. Flappy would be some sort of creature that spends a lot of time in the air/flies around and thus their design would reflect something that evolved to fly. Swimmy would be the same except the creature would spend a lot of time in the water much like kelph. Hooves would just be some sort of creature with hooves—typically hooved creatures are terrestrial and are primarily herbivores. Beyond those basic themes, we don’t have a clear idea as to what each category would entail at this time - this is more of an interest check for a general category of species!

There were some misgivings about us hosting a survey as the main method of gathering feedback. We have found surveys to be very valuable in the past, and decided it would be a good route to go here too: surveys allow a much larger portion of our community to participate than many other forms of feedback—we already have over 100 responses to this survey which is a good portion of our active players. It’s also an easier and more reliable way to sort through data. Forum discussion is valuable for bouncing around ideas and building ideas off of community members, and staff does read and take into account forum discussion, but for many players, posting is a much larger commitment of time and energy than a survey, and more public than many are comfortable with. Because it’s a small subset of our community participating in discussions, topics and concerns brought up may not necessarily represent how the majority of the community is feeling. That isn’t to say we should disregard forum discussions—we absolutely give serious consideration to the points raised in them, and it’s why this thread is here—but having the survey results ensures we’re making an informed decision using feedback from the whole community.

While we do summarize results rather than providing raw data, we don’t throw away any feedback collected or skew data. It’s understandable that players may feel that their feedback was thrown away if it goes unaddressed in our summaries: more niche suggestions aren’t mentioned in our summaries because it is likely that if a player’s feedback is in the minority, our adjustments won’t reflect their feedback. We can provide the pie charts and graphs google surveys spits out for us to give players a more direct view of the aggregate data, though we think it’s important to keep player’s personal comments private as they typically aren’t written with general viewing in mind.

A few of you brought up that one of your major hesitations about implementing this feature is that it would just be additional stress as something else you need to save up for, and you’re already burnt out on grinding. This is valid, and we do understand and agree with the sentiment. One of you mentioned that recalibrating nugget payouts and creating a wider variety of games would be helpful. We plan to address some of these issues regardless of whether or not we move forward with this feature, and have been considering some potential solutions to help mitigate the problem. We will be elaborating on this further once we have completed our initial discussions and have something more concrete to offer.

The decision on whether or not to run ads is always a balance weighing the benefits against the costs. There are a lot of misconceptions about online advertising, so a few thoughts are worth bringing up in this discussion. “Traditional” online advertising (e.g. Google Adwords, etc.) bring in a whole host of both ethical and privacy issues. For a site such as this one, traditional advertising can be expected to bring in somewhere between $2 and $4 per month. A much more effective form of advertising we could use is a partnership agreement, where we make an agreement with another website to e.g. show their banner ad in exchange for a monthly fee. In the best case scenario, we could expect to bring in somewhere around $20 per month, if we manage to have a buyer at all times.  We’re also aware of Brave and the BAT cryptocurrency, but the EULA for this program is relatively hostile and the earnings potential for Mycena Cave via this avenue is similarly in the single-digits order of magnitude, most likely much less. These sums are negligible compared to our monthly expenses, which are typically on the order of about $2,000 in a normal month, up to about $4,000 when hosting a large event.

Mycena Cave is not designed to be a profit-maximizing venture. This is in part due to choices that we knowingly and very intentionally make, and also in a large part due to ensuring that our artists are compensated proportionately to the time and complexity involved in their work. We also make a point to avoid the kinds of tactics most “freemium” organizations put in place to induce their players to spend more money than they would like to, or can easily afford. We’d love to see MC grow into something more financially self-sustaining through ethical decision making, and our opinion is that our long term goals should focus on changes and additions that make it easier for new players to join and stick around, for our old players to continue to stay, and that tap into our players’ creativity.

Mycena Cave operates under a “freemium” model. This means that where at all possible, everything we sell for money can also be acquired without having to pay money for it. This puts “fun vs grinding” into a difficult position: obviously there has to be some reason to spend money for the site to actually sell anything, and generally the idea behind spending money is buying the ability to avoid the inconvenience of grinding. Over the years, buying gems for dollars has fallen drastically in favor of PP (a relatively low-margin offering for Mycena Cave), with the many players choosing to grind nuggets for their gems instead — which is, of course, inconvenient for the players and unprofitable for Mycena Cave. A true “fixing the grind” in a setting where players consistently choose grinding over spending means moving Mycena Cave away from a freemium model, but completely restructuring an organization’s business model is not a step that can be taken lightly, without a solid business plan, or without significant risk of failure.

In the more tangible here-and-now, the best way to support Mycena Cave financially is by buying a few gems every month. It’s to this end that we have been implementing different ways to spend them, such as on event prizes, etc. Like some of you mentioned, there is no quick fix and we just have to keep moving in the right direction. Given that we do implement changes and new features very* slowly, it’s not an easy road and there is a chance we’ll fall short, but I’m optimistic that we’ll get to a more sustainable place!

  • Most of our team is employed elsewhere and as such has limited time to work on site assets and contribute to staff discussions about new developments (as I’m sure most of you are aware)! This issue is further compounded by differing work schedules and time zones, which unavoidably slow down discussions and any other work of a collaborative nature.
  • Much of the time we dedicate to Mycena Cave is dedicated to creating new assets for our regular events and activities, so anything new we create has to be on top of our regular workload.
  • The bulk of our coding/programming work falls onto glitch. This includes general maintenance, debugging, important backend updates to keep up with changing code and security (etc), event coding, game coding, and any coding for new features in both the backend (i.e. staff interfaces) and front end (i.e. the things players see and interact with). 
  • glitch spends much of his Mycena time on the regular maintenance/de-bugging of the site, along with smaller (often invisible) updates to keep everything running smoothly. This often leaves him with little time to work on larger or more complicated (but outwardly ‘small’) projects, which can lead to those projects appearing to stall or going in a different direction than initially expected (usually to reduce coding demands or because the new direction is more useful or appropriate to MC).
  • Many new site features also require a significant amount of art input from our art team, writing/proofing input from our coordinators, and detailed discussion from the team as a whole prior to their release.


Thank you again for your discussion, I hope some of this response was helpful!

 

Posted Jan 5, edited Jan 5

Thanks for that extensive reply, Myla.

fwiw, I’d be super into something like a premium subscription-based model, especially if it was something I could pay for in advance (for 3, 6, or 12-months), and doubly especially if it’s something I could gift someone else. At it’s most basic, a sub could represent a small discount in gems (Maybe you pay $12/month, $60/6-months, or $110/year and get 10g per month or something, for example), plus visual/bragging rights like an exclusive badge on your profile beside the “online” mushroom (a “subscriber” mushroom), or something like one or two “exclusive” subscriber items (possibly a golden/shiny/rainbow recolour of a site item / post border?) per year, so as not to overload artists. If you sub for any month in 2021 you get X.

I definitely think there are ways to take sub models too far in the “pay to win” direction (a daily increased nugget cap or special item/shop access every month would be too far). They also represent…. idk a nicer word than “stickiness”, but if someone can look forward to collecting something every month they’re more likely to check in. If they know they have a few gems coming it might be easier to grind the rest of the way for the stuff they want. It might even mean more gems on the market for sale. (fwiw, Habitica is probably my favourite sub model implementation, though they do a lot of things mycena doesn’t/can’t. They DO have a neat thing called an Hourglass, though, that you gt for something like every 3 months of subscription, that allows you to “go back in time” and get a premium item from a past year.).

Ultimately, I kind of.. have enough pets/stuff on Mycena. I’m a bit of an item hoarder, so I do try to play the events, but I get frustrated with the grind. I don’t mean that as a brag (but blow up, drama blogs, ig), just that I don’t really feel like I need to buy the oots every month or seasonal each season, and customs/spouts feel too expensive to buy out of pocket so I trade for them. So while I potentially, sort-of, maybe, like the idea of a new kinds of pet at a middling price-point for semi-customizability, realistically I’m probably not going to buy it. I try to buy gems, when I can, specifically to support mycena, but I just don’t think about it each month (moreso when it coincides with new features or items). International currency fluctuations and my own budgets mean a bare-monthly sub or just telling myself I’ll buy X gems a month are not so good. But buying X months of subscription once or twice a year year or as a gift for someone like during secret santa? heck yeah!

That seems to represent a vast amount of work to implement though, and may take away work from features more directly accessible to other users. (I don’t think Mycena has any autmated systems like that? I’m assuming since the game high-scores are given manually as well.) But I’ll throw out there that I’d be one of the first supporters of something like that.

(ps I hate ads I would not turn adblock off for you, mycena, even if you made the saddest, biggest-eyed crying Hopper as the “please turn off adbock” banner. I do not need to find single HOT kelph under 40 in my area, or know why Dr. Sprocket HATES this one neat trick, etc)

Posted Jan 6, edited Jan 6

I’m glad there likely wouldn’t be ads. Besides potential ethics/privacy breaks, it generally wouldn’t be the same. I’m not sure how else to put it other than it would cheapen the experience, after many years of no ads.

I don’t mind the idea of a semi-custom. It ultimately would depend on a lot of factors if I would personally use it, but assuming it’s an easy interface, auto-add to account type of experience, I would likely buy those over sprouts. The part I was concerned about is the addition of player content… I’m not sure I’m understanding it correctly, but if it means allowing user’s art, I worry about visual incongruency over the full site.

Posted Jan 6, edited Jan 6

thanks myla for your response! i see now that ads wouldnt even be worth the trouble of implementing, that’s a shame they wouldnt be helpful at all for mc. as someone who is well acquainted with ads in an efforts to avoid expensive premium services, streaming fees, etc etc i dont mind them any more and accept them as part of being able to enjoy free content but i understand that a lot of people have no patience for them, so i guess it’s for the best!

looking forward to hearing more about these potential solutions for economy/nugget issues!

as for the feature at hand, i think there’s a lot of potential as long as it works to be a third option to our current two (site coats and customs), and so far im pretty interested in seeing where these ideas go!

Posted Jan 6

I think what I like most about this idea is the potential to create a pet with a unique combination of traits. (Most important to me: feet, ears and coat color.) However I do think the handcrafted nature of each coat in Mycena is really cool and I could just as easily agree that this would go counter to that.
The question of whether I would have the nuggets/gems/PP to afford to use this feature is not something I had thought of when I did the survey, but I suppose it would be a toss-up whether I would allocate my resources to a semi-custom or not. Currently, I have a long list of coats I eventually want to acquire and I’m still working to get items for the coats I do have. Because I only buy items for pets I have and don’t use many items anyways I’m still making progress on my list even though I might go for weeks without grinding. That said, my brain doesn’t like the idea of getting a unique coat when there are still so many site coats I want and don’t have.

I do think it’s hard to get everything you want on this site. Partially that’s good because there has to be incentives to pay, but for myself I know I won’t spend money until I’ve gotten all I can get with in-game currency. At the same time, the idea that I could have everything I want on here has never crossed my mind. I just took it for granted that the point of this game is work-for-things not have-the-things. I’m not sure what that says about me or the economy, but it felt worth throwing out there.

Posted Jan 7
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