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Messages - Galapagois

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Many thanks to Woona for preparing this recap, and to everypony else on the team for their hard work all year; and a very special thanks to the players who have organised such amazing events for everyone to enjoy! We hope you all enjoyed LoE in 2018, and wish you the best for 2019!
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This query was already addressed by multiple team members on the discord server when it was brought up, and I feel it's a little disingenuous to take that conversation onto another platform without mentioning those answers because you didn't get the answer you wanted, but regardless, I'll reiterate what was said there:

We have, from the very introduction of the foal stage, made it clear that choosing to remain as a foal will mean missing out on content that will only be available for players who have progressed to the adult stage - in much the same way that progressing to the adult stage too fast may mean missing out on foal-exclusive content like the werepony questline. You're welcome to keep one or more of your characters as a foal, but that does mean that you won't get to experience some of the content that was not designed for that stage. You are, of course, free to progress to the adult stage at any point, or create a new character that gets to that stage, in order to experience that content.

There's a multitude of reasons for this. Some of them are purely technical; certain aspects of certain items are very difficult to get to play along with the foal model, and even those that we manage to get to an acceptable state have numerous issues (see basically any armour equipped on a foal). The time it would take to get each individual item to function to a point that we feel it's at least playable would be time that wasn't spent on actually adding new content to the game.

Another issue could be with our phasing system. Insofar as I know, all current items/events that are unique to a particular stage are bound to quests, which make a lot of use of the phasing system, which gets very complicated very fast. Given that many quests use the phasing system at the same time, depending on how certain quests are set up, it might be very difficult or even impossible from a technical perspective to get them working in one stage or the other.

Some of the specific items you've mentioned, along with some others, involve quests that use characters that aren't in the right place, or simply don't exist, during the foal stage. For example, the Winter Warm-Up event quest involves, off the top of my head, Mercury, Hullabaloo, and Spud, all of whom are the player character's classmates - meaning that during the foal stage, they are foals, they are in a different location, and they may not be in a position to provide the item or help that is required for the quest to progress. In these cases, that makes it impossible for foals to participate.

There may also be character and story reasons why foals cannot participate. For example, Ensemble - being an arrogant, aloof, and thoroughly unpleasant character - would probably think it beneath his talents to waste his energy creating a mere child's costume, when he could instead use that time to fashion a magnificent outfit for a full-grown, upstanding citizen. Also, he'd probably assume that a foal's pocket money wouldn't be sufficient to afford his services. Another example might be Micro Transaction's quest, where she specifically states that she's asking for the player's help because she believes that an adult could convince her bullies to stop, but a fellow foal could not.

There may be story reasons beyond just a particular characterisation that limit a quest, though. Our writing team has been working for years on an entire world history, with hundreds of thousands of words not only detailing Equestria's past, but also its present, and its future. Not all of that content has made its way into the game yet, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't contain details that would explain why foals are generally not seen participating in certain events.

In addition to this, existing quest information might well contradict the ideas. For example, in the foal-exclusive werepony quest, the characters involved braving the threats of the Evershade is treated as a big deal, because foals are not meant to go into such a dangerous location. It would undermine that story point an awful lot if Ensemble was just casually sending foals in there a couple of times a year like it was nothing.

Finally, there's the consideration of game design. The simple fact is that we want to encourage players to experience as much of the game as possible, and that naturally is going to involve needing to progress to the adult stage. Again, if you're happy to remain as a foal, we're more than happy to let you do that, so long as you understand that it's going to mean that some content, such as these costumes, are going to be out of your reach. Not everything will be, though; it's not like there aren't already a good number of costumes or other cosmetic items available for foals anyway, after all!

As time goes on, and we add more content to the game, it's inevitably going to mean we add more stuff that is exclusive to one stage or the other. This might mean costumes and items, or quests and activities, or even entire zones, as we work to improve Equestria. You may well find that remaining as a foal for longer means getting some things that players who choose to quickly progress to the adult stage don't get.

If you want to experience all the content we create for you, that's fantastic! But if you want to remain in a state that we have openly from its inception stated is designed to be restricted, for the variety of technical, gameplay, and story reasons that have been outlined here (along with probably a host more that I'm unable to remember right now), then you'll need to accept the limits that you yourself are choosing to place upon your character.

This doesn't mean that things won't change in the future; as I constantly state, LoE is a work in progress, which means that every aspect of it is subject to change depending on the needs and capabilities of the team. It's very unlikely, however, that a poll is going to be what changes this - it'll be a decision taken by the team based upon the reasons that have been detailed above.
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Quote from: Sorunome on 2018 Oct 07, 09:33:291. Mark warnings clearly
This has been at least partially addressed elsewhere, but I'll reiterate what I think are the main points here.

If a moderator is telling you directly to stop doing something, you are being warned. I really don't understand what about 'when a moderator tells me to stop they're doing so because what I'm doing breaks the rules' is causing the problem here. I can agree that providing more information would be useful, and I'm fairly certain that I've already indicated as much in previous discussions, as well as that we're discussing the idea internally already. Regardless of that, though, if you're ever uncertain about why a moderator is telling you to stop, which rule they believe you've broken, etc., you are more than welcome to ask them, and they'll almost certainly be happy to tell you if they failed to provide that information at first instance. Once again, if you feel that warnings were not given in a particular case or were unclear, please appeal the decision/report the incident by emailing Perry (preferably with evidence, e.g. screenshots, that can be used to help identify the issue), so that we can review the action(s) of the moderator(s) in question, change a decision if necessary, and try to ensure that such does not occur again.

Quote from: Sorunome on 2018 Oct 07, 09:33:292. Actually follow the protocols - It appears ponies are rarely kicked before being banned
This was already at least partially addressed:

Quote from: Galapagois on 2018 Oct 01, 17:11:47At any rate, under this process, no action is taken 'without even warning the player beforehand' except in the most extreme circumstances, where an immediate kick/ban is justified. Again, if anyone feels that such a process has not been followed in their particular case, they are welcome to contact Perry to appeal a moderation decision, at which point the moderation log will be consulted, and if this process has not been followed properly then that will be taken into account.

I'll go a little further now and add that despite repeated requests for evidence of such things occurring that have not been rectified and the moderator responsible corrected, we have yet to be provided with any that I am aware of. That's not to say it has never happened - I'm aware of situations where it has, and those have been rectified on appeal. There may well be other instances where moderators have fallen short, but without being given specific instances where we can review the information available in our logs, or provided with screenshots that clarify a situation/prove our logs to be wrong or incomplete, we can't act on it. If you believe that protocol has not been followed (and that the moderator was not justified in doing so, see previous comments about 'exceptional circumstances where it's more important to stop the behaviour immediately'), you're welcome to appeal moderation's decision; the log will be reviewed, as well as any evidence you can provide, and if the correct procedures were not followed, that will be taken into account when reviewing the appeal.

Quote from: Sorunome on 2018 Oct 07, 09:33:293. The punishments seem way out of proportion - a permaban for an inappropriate joke? Why not a week or a month ban instead?
This has already been at least partially addressed:

Quote from: Perry The Pony on 2018 Oct 02, 17:54:14All bans and kicks are reviewed with the moderators who are online at the time. (Which is around 2-5 at any time depending on time of day.)  We all communicate with each other and show what we saw and how to deal with it.  Unless the rule broken is a major one no one takes action without review of the rest of the moderation team. (If you post adult content, advocate hate speech, and anything else that is a major no you will be banned with no questions asked and the ban will not be removed.  Also if you violate any federal or international laws.)

Quote from: Perry The Pony on 2018 Oct 02, 17:54:14Now comes the topic of jokes and context.  9/11 jokes, holocaust jokes, jokes with death/violence, jokes with any sexual conduct or meaning ARE NOT ALLOWED.  If the joke is in poor taste then it is not allowed. We strive to keep an environment that can be enjoyed by all ages and by everyone.  This means you need to run the joke through some filters and think about it before sending the joke.  If the joke would seem in poor taste to say in public to a group of elderly, or young school children, then do not say the joke!

I'll expand further, however, by saying that LoE is not an appropriate venue for such things. If a moderator has told someone to stop, and they continue (to use the example being given repeatedly here: if someone makes an inappropriate joke, and are told by a moderator that that joke was unacceptable, they then immediately follow up by suggesting another topic that they absolutely know will not be tolerated, and proceed to then insult the moderator and make trolling comments like requesting an exemption from the rules specifically for them personally), then moderation will decide the appropriate measure to take to prevent the continuation of the behaviour. If they believe that the behaviour will not stop, then permanently banning that player is the only way to ensure they do not continue. Once more, if you disagree with an action moderation has taken, you are welcome to appeal through Perry, explaining why you believe the response was disproportionate, or in error, or to demonstrate that the behaviour will not continue in the future. Even if a ban appears entirely justified upon review, an appeal that indicates that the player understands that they broke our rules and action was taken accordingly, and that they are committed to ensuring that it won't happen in the future, may well result in a ban being shortened.

Quote from: Sorunome on 2018 Oct 07, 09:33:294. Ban appeal process is painfully slow with very little feedback. If it is too much for Perry to handle alone, why not share the work?
This has already been responded to:

Quote from: Galapagois on 2018 Oct 01, 17:11:47Responses to such appeals may not always be immediate; as I'm always quick to remind everyone, we are a completely volunteer team, working on this project in our free time, and around often-hectic work, school, college, university, and life schedules. As such, responses to things like ban appeals, which take time and investigation to fully pursue, may not be swift; they will, however, always be reviewed when the relevant team member has the chance to do so. I'll happily agree that this isn't ideal, and I'm already looking into how ban appeals might be more swiftly addressed - for example, the possibility other senior moderators investigating appeals as well (with exceptions for situations that they themselves were involved in, obviously, e.g. if they were the one who did the ban, they wouldn't be the one to review it).

Quote from: Sorunome on 2018 Oct 07, 09:33:295. "We are not able to read whispers in the game at all.  We are however able to review logs and see what has been said." this is just contradicting itself. It doesn't matter if you can read whispers or party chats within LoE itself or via another program, there seems to be tons of unclarity on this, especially how moderation acts on unreported whispers / party chats.
This has already been responded to:

Quote from: Perry The Pony on 2018 Oct 02, 17:54:14MODERATION CANNOT READ WHISPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Please note that we have a new rules page on our website, available here: https://www.legendsofequestria.com/rules - please refer to this page for information about our in-game/forum/Discord rules going forward, as well as our appeals system for moderation decisions, as this thread will no longer be updated.
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Please note that we have a new rules page on our website, available here: https://www.legendsofequestria.com/rules - please refer to this page for information about our in-game/forum/Discord rules going forward, as well as our appeals system for moderation decisions, as this thread will no longer be updated.
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Most of the issues mentioned in this letter were already addressed directly by myself when the document was first posted in our Discord server, but I'll happily reiterate what was said there here, as well as try to provide more detail. I'll try to go point-by-point, but if I miss anything out feel free to pester me about it.

We have no plans to make any sort of 'public' moderation log. All moderation actions, as well as the evidence surrounding them (e.g. screenshots, reports from players, etc) are already logged by moderation, and this log is viewable to the moderation team, overseen by senior mods as well as Perry, our moderation lead. This moderation log, however, will remain team-internal. This is for several reasons, but the most pressing ones are that we'd rather not be encouraging witch hunts over individual players whose behaviour others may take umbrage with, nor witch hunts over individual moderators. If you disagree with any moderation decision, you are of course able to appeal it by emailing Perry directly, and those concerns will be investigated by him.

Moderators are not 'able to kick or even outright ban players at will, seemingly with no need to consult other moderators, and often without even warning the player beforehand', as the document suggests. Moderation has the most stringent recruitment process of all teams on the project (necessary given their field), and no moderator is given any responsibility until they have already proven themselves to the satisfaction of the moderation team as a whole, as well as the moderation lead. As part of this process, moderators follow a pretty strict set of rules on how to deal with any issues - it can basically be boiled down to: warn, then kick, then ban, but that's a very simplified view obviously. These warnings are usually delivered to the person privately (e.g. in-game as a whisper), which means only that individual will often see the warning. It's possible that some people might well miss the warning they've been given, but that doesn't change the fact that it's been given, and recorded as such in the moderation log. At any rate, under this process, no action is taken 'without even warning the player beforehand' except in the most extreme circumstances, where an immediate kick/ban is justified. Again, if anyone feels that such a process has not been followed in their particular case, they are welcome to contact Perry to appeal a moderation decision, at which point the moderation log will be consulted, and if this process has not been followed properly then that will be taken into account.

A 'standardised message' doesn't particularly seem necessary to 'help players better regulate their own behaviour'; our rules are pretty clear, most players are already aware of them and will happily remind each other in situations where they feel someone may be going against them, and quite frankly if someone needs that much help 'regulating' their behaviour so as to not fall foul of some pretty easy rules to follow then I have to question whether such a message would make any difference. The moderation messages I've seen myself are usually pretty clear-cut, along the lines of "the thing you just did goes against rule [X], please stop or we'll take action", but I obviously can't speak to every instance of moderation taking action (but then again, that's what the log is for!). I will agree that it's important that people know what rule they've breached, and are warned against doing so again - but, once more, this is something that seems to be widely practised regardless, from my own observations.

I'd also like to point out that anyone who has been banned, when they try to log into the forum, will be presented with a ban message, which will usually provide information about why the action was taken, as well as the duration of the ban as currently set. This message could be more detailed, however, and I'm already looking into editing our current system to allow for the message to include which rules were the cause of the ban, a link to the rules themselves, and a line directing the person banned on how to appeal.

Speaking of which, an appeal system for bans already exists, and has existed for as long as I can personally recall: anyone who feels any moderation decision was mistaken, or wishes for a decision to be reconsidered, can contact Perry via email ([email protected]) and appeal it. Responses to such appeals may not always be immediate; as I'm always quick to remind everyone, we are a completely volunteer team, working on this project in our free time, and around often-hectic work, school, college, university, and life schedules. As such, responses to things like ban appeals, which take time and investigation to fully pursue, may not be swift; they will, however, always be reviewed when the relevant team member has the chance to do so. I'll happily agree that this isn't ideal, and I'm already looking into how ban appeals might be more swiftly addressed - for example, the possibility other senior moderators investigating appeals as well (with exceptions for situations that they themselves were involved in, obviously, e.g. if they were the one who did the ban, they wouldn't be the one to review it).

I was actually unaware that the rules threads on the forum weren't viewable for some who had been banned (specifically those who have been IP banned), but we've immediately taken steps to rectify this. We now have a rules page directly on our website (https://www.legendsofequestria.com/rules); I'm still sorting out the formatting for it, and I plan to unify our current three separate rules sheets (discord, forum, game) together there, but it already serves the intended purpose of making these rules viewable to people who have been IP banned.

Accountability within the LoE team has always been present. The Team Leads direct the project, with input from each of their teams, and regular meetings help to keep us all co-ordinated (or at least as much as is possible, given the nature of the project). Outside of our internal HR team to resolve internal disputes, however, we don't currently have, or plan to introduce, a system by which a member of another team will 'oversee' that team's actions. It seems fairly counter-intuitive to have the people who are essentially experts in their sphere of the project being overlooked by someone who isn't one, and it wouldn't really do anything to resolve an "us-vs-them" mentality - it would just shift the "them" part of that equation from "moderation" to "the whole LoE team". In a way, however, we kind of already have something like that, at least when it comes to ban appeals; namely, I am cc'd into every response to an appeal that Perry sends out, and am usually involved in the appeal itself (since most appeals come through PR, as we direct them to the correct place and notify moderation that an appeal is happening, and when a person disagrees with the outcome of an appeal, they usually go to PR next in one form or another to protest the decision). This has been the standard for at least a couple of years now, and I have yet to disagree with any decisions taken as a result of a ban appeal, whether it be the lifting or reduction of a ban or the confirmation of it - and yes, both of the former have happened, in cases where the player in question has made it clear through their appeal that they understood the reason for the ban and that they were willing to comply with the rules going forward.

Moderation itself should not have access to the commands mentioned in the document - specifically 'developer tools' like spawning items or creatures. These commands are - and to my knowledge, have only ever been - available to implementers, administrators, and PR, usually for the purposes of testing or adding content to the game (although with PR, I'll readily admit, the commands have occasionally been used for fun interactions that most players seem to enjoy, such as Ellowee spawning clouds or other mobs in SCC once in a blue moon). It's entirely possible that some moderators who are also on implementation have used these commands as well, however. If you object to any team member's usage of commands, please send us an email ([email protected]), providing screenshots if possible, and we'll happily address it.

And finally, on the note of moderation reading messages: our rules are extremely clear on what will and will not be considered acceptable communication on our servers, and we will continue to enforce those rules to ensure the atmosphere we have strived for all these years is maintained. If you wish to discuss things that you know will fall foul of the rules, you are more than welcome to do so on any platform that we are not responsible for - but while you communicate using our systems and servers, we will expect you to adhere to our rules, regardless of whether or not you believe that the person you intend to see your message would personally find it acceptable or not.

I think that's everything, but if I've missed any concerns, please do let me know and I'll try to address them. I'm genuinely happy to see that these issues have been raised peaceably, and I'd encourage everyone to continue the conversation in this manner, to make sure we keep things productive!
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Quote from: Fluttershy Cloud on 2018 Aug 03, 05:22:37Oh no, you're telling me I have to level up all 30 of my lvl50 ponies again from lvl23??  >.<

You don't have to, nobody's forcing you to hit max level. You can enjoy the content we have available, and then wait for us to implement more of the quests, areas, and systems designed to support higher level play, if you'd prefer.
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Hey! Thanks for your feedback, we do appreciate knowing how players feel about that game. That said, though, I would like to point out that regardless of whether or not you enjoy a bug, the fact that it's a bug at all means that we're going to want to try and fix it. Some bugs are harder to fix than others, which is why you might find that some of the ones you enjoyed exploiting are sorted out quicker than the ones that might irritate you.

I'd also like to know where you're getting information of our player counts from, to be able to say that we're 'driving off' players. Last I checked, that information wasn't publicly available. We, however, can see those metrics, and we use them to plan out the future of the game accordingly.

It's also worth bearing in mind that LoE is still very much in development. Nothing you see in the game is 'final' until we decide we're happy with it. We still have a whole bunch of content to add, new systems to implement, new areas and quests to develop, and a metric butt-ton of re-balancing goes on around that. That includes server changes and improvements, too. What you find difficult now may well be made easier in the future!

I do find it a little strange that you follow up your point about there being no challenge, with a point about how a combat encounter is too challenging. Regardless, though, this is an MMORPG; some things aren't meant to be tackled alone! Plus, as suggested earlier, we have much more to add to the game, and plenty of changes to be made; it's very likely that you'll find new challenges emerge as development progresses.

One final note I'd like to pick up on is your description of us 'killing the game'. I find that more than a little insulting, considering the hard work and dedication that hundreds of developers have put into this project, for free, over 5+ years. I don't mean to compare LoE to any professional game project, but it's worth at least remembering that most MMORPG games take 5+ years, and a few million dollars, to develop - and that's from a fully paid, trained, centrally-located development team working on it full time. The fact that we've gotten this far on no budget, with nothing but the commitment and spare time of dedicated volunteers, is quite frankly incredible to me; the fact that we're still going, with even more planned for the future, is nothing less than breath-taking. That's why I think you asserting that we're trying to 'kill' the project that so many have poured so much passion into, for no compensation beyond the desire to see this game come to life, is something of a slight.

I'm not asking you - or indeed, anyone - not to criticise us; I was entirely genuine at the start when I said that we appreciate feedback. However, accusing us of trying to kill the game doesn't really provide us with much that we can build on, and it kind of taints any ideas you may want to genuinely convey. If you'd like to provide us constructive feedback, I'd highly recommend using our bug report & suggestion system, Phabricator, as explained here: https://forum.legendsofequestria.com/index.php?topic=16754.0 - things might not be addressed as quickly as you would personally like, but everything reported through Phabricator is assigned to the appropriate team's queue, and will be reviewed when that team is able to!
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Quote from: Asriel on 2018 Apr 02, 12:18:44Well, it's not technically false. Just incredibly misleading.


Though I have to say the alicorn quest is absolutely hilarious. Especially the conversation with Active Vision and Electric Art.

You know, there's "on the nose," and then there's "ripping the nose clean off the face."

You have no idea how much fun writing this thing out was.
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Quote from: chrome thunder on 2018 Apr 01, 02:55:57With one of my characters I got the items, then while I was putting stuff in the bank I accidentally put one of them in the bank, and I couldn't take it out again. When I tried dragging it over to my bag it disappeared. Any way to get t back?

Drag & drop isnt used in the bank. Have you scrolled through your whole inventory & bank space to check if it's been sent to the top/bottom of either? Have you tried relogging to see if the item returns? Also which part of the costume was it?
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This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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When you're logging in, there's an option to set how many minutes you'll stay logged in for, or to keep you permanently logged in. Your best option would be to use that to make sure you stay logged in long enough!
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Resolved Issues / Re: Translate to Spanish?
2017 Nov 14, 23:16:03
This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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Resolved Issues / Re: Accessible combat bar
2017 Nov 14, 23:15:05
This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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Resolved Issues / Re: Black List
2017 Nov 14, 23:14:35
This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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Resolved Issues / Re: Tail design
2017 Nov 14, 23:12:50
This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!
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This forum area is intended for reporting suggestions & bugs to do with the site, not the game. All game suggestions and bugs should be reported using the system described here, and all requests for help should be directed to our support email address. This makes sure that we guarantee that the right people actually know about the problem, and can work on fixing it!