Warrior Cats
 of the Forest

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News

Monthly Meow LV

Posted by Ember on December 29, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Hi everyone! It’s been a pretty chill December around this website. We’ve solidified some of our plot planning, welcomed in new members, and generally had fun hanging around the roleplay forums. There’s plenty to look forward to next month as well. The website’s 8th birthday will be on January 16th, we have a unique NightClan plot on the horizon as the camp is raided by two-legs, and the New Year Gift Exchange is ending in just a few days. But December still isn’t over, so for this month, we have everyone’s favorite type of Monthly Meow: housekeeping!

First off is the survey. Thank you so much to everyone who responded, I can’t overstate how much these surveys help me understand how members interact with the website and what can be done to improve everyone’s experience here. If you hadn’t had a chance yet to fill out the survey, it’s still open and I’ll keep checking for new responses for another week or so. I have some changes planned that will be announced later, but there are a few things I’d like to run through all of you before settling on what should be done.

A few members mentioned that they’d like to see more landmarks, particularly in SunClan’s territory. I have a few ideas for what these could be, such as some boulders that form a sort of sunning rocks or a small clump of trees or bushes, but I’d love to hear any of your ideas.

As well, there’s been some talk both on the survey and on the website’s skype chat whether we should move from Skype to Discord. I’ve created a little survey about that HERE.

By far the most mentioned topic on the survey was the plot planning blog entries, but there was very little consensus about what needs to be done. Almost everyone rated that their voice was heard at least most of the time, but how often people reported posting on the plot planning blog entries was all over the place. Some members reported thinking that the plot should be more planned out, while others advocated for dropping planning the plot entirely. I don’t think it’s a good idea to rely entirely on member initiative with no overarching planning for the plot -as when we’ve done this in the past such as in the flood arc nothing ended up happening- but I agree that there’s also danger in over-planning. Finding the balance is, of course, tricky and the best thing I’m coming up with is to simply try and be mindful over whether or not we’re over planning instead of changing how the plot is actually planned. However, I’d love to hear your ideas on how we should handle plot planning.

One outlier response on the survey that caught my attention was the possibility of lowering character counts. While I can understand the frustration with members creating characters that don’t end up being used and the mix-ups that occur on the pages because of the simple fact of how many characters there are, I’m not sure how much reducing the character limit would actually help with these problems or how we could go about lowering the character count. Most members have a number of characters they’re comfortable roleplaying and hover around that number, rather than going all the way to the character limit, so lowering the character limit wouldn’t affect them. As well, members create characters with the intention of playing them, so lowering the character limit wouldn’t necessarily change how many successful characters there are. The pages might actually get messier as characters are created and removed more quickly as members work within the smaller character limit and I inevitably make mistakes while updating the pages. However, my biggest concern with this suggestion is if members do agree that the character limit should be lowered, how exactly the transition to the lower character limit will be accomplished. My best idea is to simply put a date a few months in the future and say that by then, all members must be below the new character limit of, say, 16 cats. Any thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

The New Year Gift Exchange is scheduled to take place on January 1st. Sadly, I have yet to hear back from Webs about the “error #2049” that’s been preventing members from uploading art to the photo app. If that error persists, anyone giving their gift-ee artwork will have to upload late or find an alternative method of gift-giving. I’ll tell you guys what I find out as soon as Webs gets back to me, so let’s hope that’s soon! As well, an unexpectedly high number of members has dropped out l from the gift exchange and not enough members have stepped forward to do extra gifts to make up for them. If you have the time, it would be amazing if you signed up to do even just one last-minute gift. To reiterate from the original blog entry regarding the gift exchange, gifts don’t just include artwork, but rather anything personalized that you can upload to the website or otherwise present to your gift-ee.

The number of cats in each clan aren’t very even right now, with MoonClan at 109 cats, NightClan at 71, DawnClan at 92, and SunClan at 93. In order to even out the clans, please consider making new NightClanners and avoiding creating new characters in MoonClan.

To close out this Monthly Meow, I’d like to point out that memberships are currently open. Activity has been slowing down around here over the past month, so it would be a great help if you showed the roleplay any of your friends who might be interested. Registrations are likely to remain open for at least a week, possibly as much as two.

 

MoonClan

Apprentices:

Swankit: Mid January

Mistletoekit: Late January

Warriors:

Mousepaw, Weaselpaw, Ebi: Early January

Copperpaw, Whitepaw, Pebblepaw, Sandpaw, Honeypaw, Glacierpaw: Mid January

Snowflakepaw: Late January

Elders: Mantis-strike, Sennagaze, Leo, Vervaintongue, Actaeaberry

Deaths: Smokehaze, Snaketail


 

NightClan

Apprentices:

Blazingkit, Shredded: Early January

Warriors:

Boo, Silverpaw, Fangs: Early January

Mikhail: Mid January

Sugarpaw, Shasta, Glucose, Broadpaw, Goldenpaw, Russianpaw, Witheredpaw, Queenpaw, Stainedpaw: Late January

Medicine Cat Apprentice: Blindpaw (Early January)

Deaths: Spikeback, Lostmoon


 

DawnClan

Apprentices:

Slatekit: Early January

Coffeekit, Rockkit, Umberkit, Mochakit, Foggykit, Javakit, Lattekit: Early January

Cappuccinokit, Dreamkit: Late January

Warriors:

Otterpaw, Sharkpaw: Early January

Spookypaw: Mid January

Citypaw, Damselpaw, Dragonpaw, Flashpaw, Emeraldpaw, Brightpaw, Prairiepaw, Wolfpaw, Walnutpaw, Antpaw, Puddlepaw, Snakepaw: Late January

Elders: Tenorwillow, Belugasplash

Deaths: Rippedheart, Dragonheart, Meadowbreath, Sugarglider, Wolf-fang


 

SunClan

Apprentices:

Pebblekit: Early January

Huntingkit, Charmingkit, Rushingkit: Late January

Warriors:

Beepaw, Purplepaw, Frozenpaw, Endlesspaw, Windypaw, Twopaw: Early January

Leopardpaw: Mid January

Elders: Mossfields, Ghoulfright

Categories: Monthly Meows

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17 Comments

Reply Raven
10:02 AM on December 30, 2016 
This is a great meow! I am going to make 2 new night clanners soon. For the gift exchange I'm just typing poems in their chat, so I guess I could do another.
Reply Silverwind (busy)
10:16 AM on December 30, 2016 
No matter how I say this...someone is gonna take it as me being rude, even if I am not... Anyway, I don't feel that the character limit should be lowered any. Just because there is a limit of 20 cats no one should ever feel obligated to make that many, if it isn't what they can handle. Personally I have had to cut down how many cats I have had, just because of being either not as interested in the roleplay, or being too busy to play 20 cats, and actually build good characters. The point I'm trying to make is that maybe the limit can be left at 20 and maybe there could be a way to let members know, for certain, that they don't absolutely have to make 20 if they don't want. Only making what they feel they can reasonably handle and work on character development?

This is all pretty much from a personal angle, and this will not likely make too much of a difference in the final decision. Yet I just wanted to add my piece before everything is finalized. Thank you for your time :)
Reply Henry MacArthur
9:28 PM on December 30, 2016 
There's a website Skype Chat?
Reply Ember
9:56 PM on December 30, 2016 
Yeah, it's not very active these days. It's the same thing as the chatbox on the home page, just a lot of off-topic chat. If you'd like to join, add me (Ms.SylviaRose) as a contact on skype and I'll add you to the group.
Reply River
8:04 PM on January 3, 2017 
I definitely support lowering the character limit. Silverwind makes a good point, not many people actually make all 20 cats, but if just five people do, that's a whole hundred more cats on the site, the majority of which are likely going to be inactive. Continuing with Silverwind's point of people only needing to make as many characters as they feel comfortable with, you may notice that despite how many characters members make, they always seem to have some which they roleplay better and more frequently, and some which are quite inactive. These inactive characters, however, members feel obligated to roleplay at least some of the time, which takes their attention away from their preferred characters, who are already successful and could become more successful with more time and effort free to be devoted to them. You may argue that members could just get rid of these inactive characters, however many members are reluctant to do so, for one or several of a variety of possible reasons:
-They feel sentimentally attached to characters
-They feel that the characters could be better if they just give it more time
-Their characters are part of a bloodline important to them
These reasons could be countered easily if members were pressed by a lower character limit, listed in the same order as the reasons above:
-A lower character limit would press members to let go of the sentimental attachment weighing them down
-Members would either be pressed to devote the extra time needed to make the characters better, and stop wasting the character space, or would realize that the character couldn't become better, and would get rid of them, stopping wasting the character space as well
-Members would strive harder to make good characters in bloodlines important to them, so that they wouldn't be wasting a character slot

Earlier today in the off-topic chat, we were talking about how all our characters were loners. Some of you may recall this conversation, in which the possibility of beginning an activity pact was brought up. I believe that the reason for this isolation of the majority of our characters is partly rooted in the excess of characters on the site. In the conversation, the constant creation and deletion of characters was agreed to be contributing to the loneliness of our characters, as well as the masses of single-use or unused characters on the site.

Based on the clan counts in this MM, there are 365 characters in total on the pages. That's quite a volume of characters, a good portion of which are likely unused. With the abundance of characters on the site, the characters used in the roleplay are constantly changing. This leads to the inevitable solitude of our characters, for other characters are never roleplayed long enough to befriend or develop any sort of relationship with our characters. This, of course, leads to loner characters, whose owners usually end up falling victim to one or several of these possible outcomes:
-Becoming uninspired to roleplay because their characters have no relationships to interact with well
-Getting rid of their characters because they think another character will be able to develop better relationships (which, in fact, they likely won't, due to the aforementioned reasons)

By lowering the character limit, we could greatly reduce this problem. An abundance of inactive characters would no longer be nearly as frequent, for obvious reasons. With a lower character limit, members would value their permitted characters more, and devote more time to each of them, thus making many of the characters more active. They would also realize that they couldn't waste valued character spots on inactive or half-hearted characters. This would prompt them to create more active, successful characters, who would likely have better development, behavioural consistency, and relationships.
Reply Mockingdeath & Co.
8:38 PM on January 3, 2017 
I don't normally post on Month Meows so please pardon the lack of detail and possible misinformed disputes or points placed.

Honestly Riversoul is right on the fact many of us agreed that we have many characters who are often loners when it comes to their places in the roleplay. However I do not believe it is due to the character count at all. It is more along the lines of, perhaps, members preferring who they roleplay with and with whom their characters interact with. Many times I have tried to have my characters get involved with "cliques" or "groups" but they just don't fit in and soon become ignored. I will be the first to admit I have had a preference of who my characters interact with, but I have since rectified this and it truly makes roleplaying easier and more enjoyable. Not everyone might have realized this and not everyone does this but some do.

The character count is set at 20. I for one very much like this number. I personally believe it allows people who are very active to create the amount of characters that they desire. As Silverwind pointed out, you do not need to fill this count number, You can create a smaller, more manageable number if you please. But at the same time it allows people who like to have many characters to go ahead and fulfill this desire. But once again I fall back to Riversoul's comment. Due to the recent inactivity, many people have characters that they no longer use. They are just empty shells adding to the Clan Count. Again, I will be the first to admit I also had inactive characters, but as of late I have begun to play these characters and I find it quite enjoyable. Some members have limited time and cannot roleplay all of their characters at once so they chose the last character that they used to rp with or one that is more popular.

As for character development, the members who have smaller counts are able to build their characters more quickly than those of us with higher counts. But again this could fall back to the fact some members have limited time on their hands. Those of us who can manage higher numbers may not want to kill off or discard their characters that they have worked on developing if the count is lowered.
Basically to sum this up, I do not believe the character count should not be lowered. Those of us with high counts and actively use each character would be forced to discard them. Instead, perhaps we could clear out our character lists of inactive characters? That way the Clan Numbers can be accurate and members won't be overwhelmed?
Reply River
9:38 PM on January 3, 2017 
The cliques that Mocking mentioned do indeed exist, and they are quite hard to have characters fit into after they have been formed. However, I believe that the inability to fit into these cliques has its roots in the problem we are discussing overall. By lowering the character limit, the results that I mentioned in my previous post (more active, developed, and relational characters), would allow for characters to find cliques more easily, because their personalities would be solidified. That aside, the cliques might even become unneeded, due to the stronger and more common relationships that characters would have if the character count was lowered.

Coming to the point of members being forced to discard well-developed characters, I shall quote Ember the Great and Powerful, 'My best idea is to simply put a date a few months in the future and say that by then, all members must be below the new character limit of, say, 16 cats.' These few months would give members with many well developed characters time to determine their best characters, who have the most potential. In this time, members who tend to allow their characters to live to the age of an elder could also find themselves having to kill off their characters anyways. These few months would also allow members to find meaningful ways to eliminate characters that need to be cleared out.

I don't believe that the solution to our problem is as simple as members remembering to clear out their character lists. Many would be reluctant to do so of their own choice, for the reasons that I mentioned in my last post (sentiment, hopeful potential, lineage). As alternative option, we could try lowering the character limit for a short while to see how successful it is. For, say, a month or two, we could have a lowered character limit, and we could determine if it helped make more active, developed, and relational characters. Members with more than the proposed character limit could simply have some of their less active or less successful characters leave, and could bring them back once the trial period was over if they desired.
Reply L
9:40 PM on January 3, 2017 
I see no reason to change the character limit. There's no reason to think that members are incapable of handling their own character count and to assume they need a lower character limit placed for their own best interests seems a little insulting. We all go on this site in our free time, and so only have reason to create and play characters that we actually like.
Reply Mockingdeath & Co.
10:14 PM on January 3, 2017 
Just to correct my post. I had a double negative.

*I do not believe the character count should be lowered. I believe it should stay as it is.
Reply Averyiator
8:32 AM on January 4, 2017 
I have no preference for what we do, but I like River's idea of trying out a lowered character limit for a short while to see if it works or not.
Reply Silverwind (busy)
9:14 AM on January 4, 2017 
Can members choose their own, personal limits? So that way if people only want to have up to 16 cats, they can do that themselves? That way other members, those who are able to manage 20 cats (even if they develop their cats more slowly than others due to lack of time to get on as much, not knowing which cat to develop first, etc.), don't have to lose out as well?
Reply Raven
6:31 PM on January 4, 2017 
Silverwind says...
Can members choose their own, personal limits? So that way if people only want to have up to 16 cats, they can do that themselves? That way other members, those who are able to manage 20 cats (even if they develop their cats more slowly than others due to lack of time to get on as much, not knowing which cat to develop first, etc.), don't have to lose out as well?

I like your idea, but people would ask for their limits highered or lowered after time.
Reply Blossom
8:03 PM on January 5, 2017 
I'm completely neutral on all of this.
Reply Mockingdeath & Co.
8:20 AM on January 6, 2017 
Raven says...
I like your idea, but people would ask for their limits highered or lowered after time.

I think what Silverwind meant was member have the same limit but set their own personal limitations. I.e. if the character limit is 20 and I set my own personal limit to 16. That way the member can still have those four extra slots if they so desire.
Reply Ripple
9:43 PM on January 6, 2017 
Maybe we could correlate character limit with the number of members on the site. For instance, as of now there are 50 members. The character count should be lowered from a number of 10-15 cats if the membership is over 50. If membership is below 50, then the limit can be raised back to 20. These values can be changed of course, so this is just one example. I'm honestly fine with the character limit as it is, but as River said the idea is worth trying out at least.
Reply Ember
11:50 PM on January 7, 2017 
I?m not totally sold on the idea of lowering the character limit. While I that a lower character limit may force members they actively roleplay less
To keep the potential number of characters even across all four clans, the character count will be some multiple of four. We could move it to 16, but most members are already just at or below that limit, so it would not purge many characters from the clan.
If it was moved further down, to 12, members would feel pressure on their character counts but I?m not sure if that?s actually a good thing. If members divided their characters equally- which admittedly is fairly uncommon- that?s only three characters in a clan. Assuming that other members roleplay how I do, I maintain flexibility in my roleplaying by always having a handful of characters around so that if my favorites are tied up in scenes with members who aren?t around at the moment, I?ll still be able to roleplay with whoever is online. If I only had three characters in each clan, I may not be able to play in a given clan at all at some point because my characters are tied up with offline members which would either limit how much I can roleplay, or cause me to have characters excuse themselves from those scenes which just isn?t the most polite thing to do.
I may be wrong since I haven?t thought much about this problem before, characters not having many friends seems like less a result of there being so many characters, but a natural result of all of us living in different timezones and having different schedules. I rarely have characters interacting with the same consistent characters just because my schedule isn?t very regular, so the members who are around aren?t consistent RP session to session.
Just looking over the clan lists, the vast majority of characters I don?t recognize also belong to members who aren?t very active and haven?t been in a while, so lowering the character count wouldn?t affect that.
Characters are created with good intentions, so even if a lower character limit would force members to get rid of unused characters faster characters will still be constantly created and deleted when they don?t end up working out. If anything, it seems to me like a lower character limit would just speed up that process as members weed out characters that are just beginning to flag in order to make room for new ideas that also may or may not work out. Totally unusued characters don?t tend to last long on the pages to begin with, if members forget about them, they?re inevitably brought up in a character list check. As well, members tend to remove their unwanted characters in waves if they notice their character count swelling.
I also agree with Lightning and Silverwind in that members, with very few exceptions, are capable of managing their own character counts. Most members don?t go near the limit and those who do are almost always the most active members who simply enjoy the flexibility of having a wide range of characters to choose from whenever they log in to roleplay.
Ripple, while if the website does grow much larger in the future I may begin to look into the possibility of lowering the character count, I plan on keeping the website at roughly the same number of members for the foreseeable future. If we made the character limit contingent on a number of members close to what it hovers at now (70-40 members), the character count would constantly be bouncing around as members join and are removed for inactivity in large batches. I don?t see the point in deciding on a number that?s much above or below that number, as I doubt we?ll have that many members soon and by the time we do, the way the website is organized will have inevitably shifted as I adjust to our much lower or higher member count.
Reply Averyiator
1:15 PM on January 14, 2017 
Response to River's idea: We should try it out, just to see how it goes. And even if it does nothing, nothing bad comes out of it, right?
Response to Ripple's idea: I really like this idea. That way, the clan members can roughly stay at the same count.