A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

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 #18324  by Purple
As copied from the Discord Help Section:

I'm concerned a number of main canon players are going to accidentally lose their characters. Under the new season rules it states that "★ Main Characters must post at least once per month to remain active. Secondary Characters must post at least once per season. We understand that players have busy lives outside of the Vault, but certain characters are in high demand and we would like to provide a fair opportunity for all players."

HOWEVER I just received a PM stating that main canons "are required to make at least one post per month in their main era in order to remain active". This "main era" requirement is not mentioned anywhere else in the canon requirement section, or if it is it certainly isn't clearly marked. Where did this come from? People are going to lose their characters if they don't notice this.

There's nothing in the linked announcement in the PM about posting in "main eras" either.

As per Canon Character Creation & Activity
"All players must now use the Canon Character Sheet for creating new canon characters.
Players wishing to create Canon Characters are no longer required to have a sample post.
Canon Characters have been redistributed into Main and Secondary Character categories.
Main Characters must post at least once per month to be considered active.
The limit of five (5) Canon Characters per player is still in effect, but no player may have more than two (2) active Main Characters as a part of their five canons."

I did notice there is a small footnote in the latest announcement but AGAIN this is not clearly marked NOR is it mentioned in the main character information section
Where did this addition come from? It's totally out of the blue. Moreover, why did the PM link to the September 1 announcement that has nothing about main era requirements, and not the one announcement that does contain this requirement (albeit poorly marked)?
Last edited by Purple on 27 Sep 2018, 22:57, edited 2 times in total.
 #18343  by Kay
Hey Purple,

Thank you for your concern, it is one that we shared and is a major reason why we chose to send out the PM to make certain, to the best of our ability, that everyone was entirely aware of the rules and what is expected of them as players of main canon characters. We have also, following your bringing the confusing wording to our attention, adjusted the wording in Canon Creation Rules to more clearly reflect the main era requirement.

As far as previous information, the September 20th announcement, which you can read here, makes note of the main era posting requirement for canon characters. Again, this announcement was made to clarify and remind players of the activity requirements established as of September 1st, which did include an accidental omission of the phrase "main era" as you noticed, which was not intentional. Unfortunately, we had all just been working very hard for more than a week getting the site ready for the first of September and, as tends to happen, we had a few errors here and there.

With all of this in mind, we have made many attempts, publicly and privately, to alert the players of our canon characters of these rules changes. With the Private Message that we sent, we are confident that we have not only fulfilled our obligation to alert members of rules changes, but have gone beyond said obligation. It is ultimately each member's responsibility to read all announcements and make sure they understand the rules, which include a certain level of responsibility for those playing canon characters since no player has ownership over a given canon character since they are the characters of J. K. Rowling. Our activity requirements, as relaxed as they are, are simply to ensure a fair playing field for existing and prospective members alike and to uphold player expectations of canon availability.

As a final note, in the future if you have a particular concern that is not necessarily a question we kindly ask that you bring it up with any Admin or Vaultkeeper via Private Message. As well, if you wish to take it upon yourself to remind your fellow players to post their Canon Characters more often, you are welcome to start some sort of Canon Character Roll Call thread in the Harry Potter & Roleplaying Discussion forum or create a plot classified to encourage canons to post with you.

We hope this clears things up, and please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.

Vaultkeeper Kay
 #18350  by Purple

First, thank you for adjusting the Canon Creation Rules to reflect this sudden change in requirements, although I admit I am still confused as to why this sudden requirement has been made at all.

Regarding the announcements and PMs, I would first like to remind the one (or ones) who address this issue that I am in fact a canon player, have received the one private message and have read the announcements.

As mentioned, there was only one announcement addressing this issue, and one PM. Consequently I do not understand how you can claim that you have made "many attempts" to alert players.

I also do not understand, and would like elaboration upon what you claim as going "beyond obligation" to inform players. This change was made in the last few days, shortly before the month ends, which provides very little notice.
-The mention of the change in the announcements was part of a footnote at the base of the announcement, in font the same size as all others, and consequently did not stand out at all. Considering how grave the consequences are for such a new rule (losing a character entirely), I do not understand why this rule was not highlighted or given any visual importance outside of a little bit of bolding (I consider the star a form of footnote, as one was attached to other less dire notices as well).
-Likewise, the reference to the new requirement in the PM was embedded within the larger text in the same size and font as everything else, easily missed by the busy player who likely has only given the PM a cursory glance, as such PMs have never contained rules where a character's continued playability is under threat.
-That nobody addressed the "accidental omission" as you claim in the September 1 announcement (side note: why was that announcement linked, and not the more recent September 20th announcement?) is also difficult to understand, but does not change the aforementioned fact that the requirement was not made visually clear or made to stand out in any way in the later announcement.

I also do not understand your definition of "relaxed activity requirements." If your definition of "relaxed" means posting every single month (as opposed to the former requirement of once a season, a by far more relaxed requirement that has existed since before I joined the website) particularly in the main era, then I must wonder at your definition of "strict" (every week? every day?).

Finally I seem to be receiving mixed messages from vaultkeepers. The last vaultkeeper I spoke to in the discord (Izzy) informed me that I should in fact post this in the Help Desk.

Postscript: If the Help Desk is restricted exclusively to concerns phrased in the form of a question then allow me to form a couple of questions:
Based on the aforementioned inconsistencies and concerning regulations and timelines thereof, and based on your admittance that the "main era" change was "accidentally omitted" from the announcement linked in the PMs that went to all main canon players...

Would you consider deferring this rule to the start of the following month, and allowing all main canon players who may have missed this crucial requirement this month to retain their characters?

Thank you for your grateful consideration of a concern that affects players vaultwide.
 #18357  by Kitastrophes
Hey there Purple,

Again, we wanted to thank you for your concerns and let you know that the Vault staff are discussing them and how to move forward. We value member feedback and take all comments, concerns and suggestions into account.

Regarding your concern over main canon players possibly losing their characters, I can safely tell you that as of my typing this post, there are no players at risk of losing canons this month. All currently active main canon characters have posted. Moving forward, we hope to encourage canon players to continue to tell their characters' stories.

Regarding your concern about the visibility of this new rule, as Vaultkeeper Kay said, this change was in place at the beginning of the month. We do regret that the rule was not made more clear. Moving forward, we as a team are committing to ensuring any significant rule changes have an appropriate emphasis placed on them.

If you have any further concerns, please feel free to send a Private Message to a Vaultkeeper or Admin.

-Vaultkeeper TyrellRose
 #18361  by Purple
Hi Tee,

Thank you for the reassurance! It is good to hear that future rule changes will be appropriately highlighted, as you say, and even better to hear that nobody is in danger this season! I greatly appreciate you guys's willingness to help with this issue!

Much appreciated,