This list has been written by multiple former Celendria staff members who, at one time or another, remained active both as staff in their respective positions and as players on the main site. It includes information pulled from our own experiences/observations and the experiences of other staff. This list was first started months ago, and was always intended to be public unless drastic changes for the better occurred among the offending staff. We release it now because the problems listed here have gone on long enough, and if anything the situation has gotten worse. We feel it necessary to post this to inform current and potential users and staff of the site what really goes on. 1. Lack of user input - User input often not acknowledged (or even recognized) - Input ignored/pushed aside (not important enough, not enough resources, etc) - Users sometimes not given the chance to explain/validate reason for input - User input seemingly not recorded as it is often forgotten - Criticism is met with a “PM us if you have a problem with this” approach, which prevents users and staff from seeing the scope of any problem. 2. No accurate moderation (Mods break the rules or don’t know/understand them) - Abuse of other members (Lilly and Rae vs Pirate) - Rules are enforced wrongly or inconsistently. - Staff enforce “rules” which are never stated in the Rules or ToS. Typical staff defence is that a rule is should’ve been self-evident, even in cases where this isn’t reasonable. --- No auto-playing videos in profiles was spontaneously instated as a rule - it has not been added to the rules page since. --- Moderators have for months as of this writing told users that discussing buying/selling between users in the shoutbox was against the rules. This was also never part of the actual site rules. (The Celendria rules prohibit advertising in the shoutbox, but any and all discussion where concepts of buying/selling from other users arose has been stopped.) --- Users have been banned for actions that are not stated as against the rules anywhere at the time of their bans. While some of those rules have then been added to the rules formally afterwords, users are not always given any chance or warning to stop the behavior in question. 3. Too Many Excuses (used as deflection, getting out of hard work, etc) - Lilly deflecting criticism that she moderates inaccurately: “Not enough mods on...only me” - Ray - Can’t work on the site bugs because Veo left, when there are two other coders on the site (now three). 4. Art department = ALL OVER THE PLACE - There appears to be no set style on Celendria - Correct anatomy and lighting is often entirely ignored - Lack of consistent feedback by high staff members (those who have power to accept/reject art) - Lack of consistency in critiques and acceptance - the artwork of certain artists receives virtually automatic approval; other artists are regularly criticised on minutia that makes no perceptible difference - this correlates with whether or not the Art Head likes you. --- Lines. Must. Be. TAPERED. Doesn’t matter if a human being can’t physically see the difference on the final result whether they are or not. --- Some artists’ threads go ignored for days before approval/disapproval --- Some staff not interns when they should be, some staff not getting appropriate corrections/direction, some users not getting ANY correction, some getting way too much - Indecisiveness and lack of direction from main staff when direction is desired. - Working not fun or rewarding except for payment, even then not entirely worth it considering time spent waiting for approval/fixing/etc (The lowering of payment for art a couple months back didn’t help) - The position of “intern” is indefinite and vague. No stated guidelines for the basis for making somebody an intern vs a normal staff member, or for promotion from intern to staff. The stated intent is to improve the artist and teach them to match Celendria’s style, but given the current Art Head’s understanding of ‘style’, that could be anything. - Head Artist does not understand certain art concepts, yet uses them as a basis for rejecting art. 5. Clique (This is rapidly fading due to the recent development of issue 6) - There is a clique-level unity among certain staff in authority that correlates with unwillingness to see wrong in each other and to fix problems caused by their wrong doings - Staff is stratified as a result, and staff with power are unyielding to criticism (some that seemed more receptive of criticism are less active now). - Those outside (staff and users) feel alienated and ignored/dismissed, because expressed disagreement yields little if any results. - Numerous new staff and users have reported feeling very intimidated by existing staff. - When the last Programming Head quit, they wanted a couple days to tidy up some bugs and code; instead their access was revoked instantly and some of the staff verbally harassed and degraded said former staff member afterwords. 6. Staff Inactivity/Detachment - A number of core staff - owners of the site itself - have been absent or present only marginally as of late. - Current programmers were largely inactive until a volunteer programmer was allowed in who started doing their jobs for them for free. - The only staff member whose position was dedicated to user/public relations went inactive a month or two ago as well. 7. Jobs (in general, not just Art department) - Little if any detail given on job assignments in ALL sections - Priority lists not updated, or assigned to anyone, duplicate work by multiple people highly possible - No clear written guidelines of what is expected, what acceptable absences are before termination, etc. - Staff have been removed either with no forewarning, or without being informed at all. - Some staff are not removed over prolonged periods of inactivity even when others are removed after far less - Payments are not allowed to be discussed publicly - an artist is not allowed to state what they are paid for a given item on the staff forums. This is done to “protect the privacy” of the staff, which doesn’t make a smidgen of logical sense. 8. The Site - Site bugs are left unfixed for long periods of time, while features are changed/added around them. - Site was totally dead in the past when Ixy was not online --- Month span of time where only lottery and charity updated when she was gone - Site was totally dead recently until Max (volunteer programmer) joined - Inconsistency in site (cash shop changes, smithing changes, mining changes, etc) --- Drastic changes, not just minor - Cash shop prices and stats have been changed around - the effects of pet stats were changed repeatedly, but for a while users did not get stat resets for free. --- Site wording, combined with bugs, is misleading/confusing. - Forced rares not really forced (supposedly guaranteed 1 per hour, which is only sometimes true.) --- Same rares appearing over and over (jewelry shop chosen more than other shops for R99?) --- Zhang changing what Natalia needs? --- Zhang/Salvatore paying prices completely unrelated to value of item? --- Intimidating to new users (what to do? where to go? point of site? meaning of “just a small meal!” “just a larger meal!” “a small snack!”? Jobs to pick? How to make money? --- Newbie guide not helpful - Point of playing on the site? Plot? Quests? Adventure? Anything? --- Plot not integrated fully with site --- If one wants to know plot must force self to learn it (only in Encyclopedia and NO WHERE else) --- Plot not mentioned by any characters - Site ownership is vague and while formally stated, not clear in practice --- Mutual ownership of core staff? --- Raychul has by far funded the great majority of all of Celendria - Ixyra acts very much as if she is in charge (Ixy basically runs the site since April and Ray have become almost completely inactive) - Little to no knowledge of what to expect, what is being changed/updated, what is in the works of being added/removed; users “in the dark” regarding the site’s direction/updates/purpose - Staff are planning a system-wipe of the site after beta ends, even though they had promised not to wipe the site again to the users after the last wipe Hopefully you’ve read through all the above. While this isn’t a conventional review, we feel it is important for users and potential staff to be informed of the issues that a present in any site. We also realize that no site is without problems - the reason we are posting this is because the issues that we describe above, while minor on paper, are and have been prevalent in one form or another on this site over a long period of time. Celendria, like most petsites, is not without potential - but it has left a trail or disgruntled and hurt users and staff in its stead. From what we have seen since we started composing this list months ago, if those steering Celendria do not act to change the above, Celendria will fail - either spectacularly and with much fanfare or a slow rotting death as more and more users are alienated and leave the site. It is also important to note that harming/destroying Celendria is not what is intended by this post. What is intended is that the truth is out and in the open, which is typically the best step towards resolving problems of any nature. At least one writer among us would still be happy to see Celendria succeed if the problems mentioned above were addressed properly. In writing this, we have done our best to stay objective and reasonable, and eliminate personal bias and feelings from the criticisms enumerated herein.