[ Updates and Reminders ]
31 May 2012 at 11:47 am
1) The game materials have been updated.
The profiles and premises have new text; a few minor tweaks replacing Acumen's name with Sentience have been made to various pages, and there was some major overhauling on the FAQ page.

Please read the FAQ page. If you have never read it, extra please read it! It looks really long and scary, but only half of that is information; the rest of it is comments! And if you don't read it, you may end up making really basic errors, like...

2) Text is not a function of the communicator.
We have been asked by several people to remind players of this, since it's creating confusion. The communicators that everyone gets when they enter the dome are only capable of voice and video broadcasting. You must have a special communicator to have the ability to do text communication, and those communicators are only available to 1) the deaf and the mute, who require text to understand and be understood, and 2) people who have specifically requested these communicators.

Please read the FAQ! This information was always in it and has not changed. If someone texts at you, you have to voice or video them back. You can't use text just because they can.

If you see anything that still needs to be changed, or have any questions, please ask us.
[ On Activity Check Rules ]
12 April 2012 at 07:02 am
Hello, players! This post is a heads-up to let you know that we have amended the Activity Check Rules page to make things clearer for you by adding the following:
3. A passing thread must be one continuous thread of eight comments.
If you make a comment on a mingle post and then two people tag you, you can't tag each thread four times and then call it eight. Each thread is counted separately, so you must reach eight on either or both for it to count.

We realized this AC period that this was not explicitly mentioned in the AC rules, so while it has always been our policy, we needed to add it in belatedly.

In addition, we would like to encourage players to read the AC rules page. In the last two months there has been repeated confusion, especially over hiatuses, with questions and problems that could have been answered by reading the rules of the AC! We hate having to tell people "Even though you thought you passed, your hiatus doesn't count. We have to fail you."

So if you haven't read it, or if you have any doubts, please read the AC rules. Learn them. Know them. Internalize them. And then we hopefully will never have to tell you that! ♥

The AC rules are linked on every AC post, so it should always be easy to find.
[ On the Activity Check ]
24 January 2012 at 12:35 pm
We have some AC-related updates! Purely in the formatting. There is no change to the AC requirements or rules.

1) We will be changing our standard monthly AC/HMD post format to eliminate unnecessary text, and instead link to a full, complete Activity Guidelines post, including full information about hiatuses and failures. 100% brand new, so go ahead and read over it!

2) We are removing the comment field for "future plans". The summary and the flavor question will remain, as well as all the link fields.

3) We are adding a Guide to Making AC and/or CR! For a long time we've been hearing players who have difficulty getting activity or getting the CR that they want, and new players probably also have these concerns. So we decided to provide an official guide! We encourage everyone to read this: everyone has RP concerns, and maybe it'll help!

4) The game rules and FAQ have been changed accordingly to link to these two posts.

The AC changes will barely affect you at all and they'll be easy for you to see for yourself in a week when the AC goes up. However, if you have any questions, please feel free to submit them here!
[ On Cast Caps ]
14 January 2012 at 10:31 am
We're finally getting substantial casts who can't be easily segregated by our current criteria, and concerns were raised that our sorting system of "DC Universe" and "Marvel Universe" would result in people not realizing that the cast cap doesn't apply to broad groups of canons like that. But at the same time, the respective universes are so closely intertwined that they really should be under the cast cap. Our efforts to sort them out into smaller groups were also unsuccessful.

After some consideration, we have decided to lift the cast cap to accommodate these growing casts.

It's something we've been meaning to do for quite some time now. It's always been our policy to just wave in new players after a cursory question or two to encourage new blood, and anyone excited enough to consider contacting the mods was already pretty much guaranteed to get in, so in many ways it was only a formality. Additionally, Marina is at a size and a strength where we don't need to worry about any one cast overwhelming the game. We have 185 characters, from 89 fandoms, played by 91 real live people! Having fourteen DC comics characters won't negatively impact us.

All that this means is that players no longer need to worry about a cast "closing" after 10 characters and requiring mod permission to app into. Go ahead, Marinarans! Do your worst! Just try to flood us with your cast!

We will look forward to it. ♥
[ New Mod Announcements Plurk! ]
02 December 2011 at 06:39 pm
Lots of people, including many of Marina's players, are on plurk these days. And many of those players don't have the time to read the OOC community, and it's easy to miss announcements in the flood of our posting.

Correspondingly, we have decided to create a plurk for OOC announcements! This plurk will be updated regularly with mod info posts, app dates, event timelines, Monday memes, etc. You can also private plurk the mods here, as well as contact them via AIM, email, mod contact post, or private plurk (both mods can be contacted via private plurk even if you are not friended to them).

Go forth and become a fan of marinamods on plurk today!

This plurk is public, so everyone is welcome to use it or spectate. However, all questions asked about an event, or which might otherwise be relevant to an OOC post, will be reposted in the questions thread of the OOC post they refer to. So if you do not have plurk, you do not need to worry that you will be missing out on important information: the plurk should not contain any information you won't be able to get on the OOC comm.
[ Official Marina Calendar!! ]
03 September 2011 at 10:55 am
Guess what we've got for you guys! It's a present! A great big delicious...

The Marina Asylum calendar~!

This calendar will contain our monthly activities (the AC and the app dates) and in-game events: for instance, as you can see, it currently has on it the talent show, the prom, and the upcoming baseball game! All events will be listed on the Monday of the dayweek of the event, so that people can most easily see how busy each week will be and plan accordingly.

Generally speaking, this calendar will include any IC plans that are gamewide or that are going to be open for mingle interaction, and OOC notes for canon updates; it will not include events that are private or closed, or that are regularly-scheduled. So here's some examples:

Would be on the calendar:
  • Acumen's Thanksgiving celebration.
  • Jennifer's Christmas party.
  • Fourth wall event.
  • A big official baseball game.
  • Holy crap the power went out!!
  • Defense force social.
  • Venom attacks a dozen people.
  • Komui gives everyone cat ears.
  • Flynn's "Everyone he knows, Yuri knows, and who passes by" birthday party.

Would not be on the calendar:
  • Sewing club meetings.
  • Baseball practices.
  • Philosophy classes.
  • Nena attacks Nakama.
  • Flynn's private birthday party with only like three people invited.

Posts that are gamewide mingles or events, or which may disrupt the IC activities of a large number of characters, require mod contact; during which a mod will put it on the calendar. Posts that are smaller-scale or regularly-scheduled do not require mod contact, do not need to be put on the calendar, and can be put up whenever you like.

Ask questions here, or offer suggestions if you have any! We'd love to hear from you!
[ On the Fourth Wall and Special Apps ]
26 August 2011 at 10:19 am
A couple of announcements! First of all, a poll: Once we remove the fourth wall journals from the community, they will not be able to respond to comments/posts anymore!

Poll #6364
Open to: All, results viewable to: All

When should we remove the fourth wall journals from the community?

View Answers

This upcoming weekend.
1 (3.7%)

When apps close.
26 (96.3%)

Second of all, items of business:

1.) Fourth wall characters and players are encouraged to join us permanently! If you app in the August/September round, you will be able to keep your memories from the fourth wall event, but characters who are not apped this round will not keep their memories.

2.) The current app will now have an additional field toward the top, so early app-writers, take note: Is this a reapp? Is the character canon-updated or keeping Marina memories? If no, then you just say no and move on; if yes, then you don't have to remember to tack on something to tell us, and we don't have to guess! If you are a fourth-wall apper, let us know if you're keeping fourth-wall memories. (Thanks for the suggestion, Pip!)

3.) We are opening a new page for alternative apps: hip, edgy apps that the mainstream appers can't-- Er, that is, apps that are non-standard. There are currently several kinds of non-standard app: alternate universe, original character, and "temporary" character. For the purposes of Marina, a temporary character is someone you would app for the purpose of enacting a plot rather than playing the character for who they are, with the intention of having them face permanent consequences of that plot shortly thereafter. Only alternative apps from established players (or, in this case, fourth wall players) will be accepted, and the app period will be the same as for standard apps.

More information is available on the special app page!

ETA: Polls require paid accounts! /slides into something a little more expensive
[ On Plurk Communication ]
23 June 2011 at 04:48 pm
As Plurk has gotten more popular it's become more and more natural for people to seek out mod-capacity conversations using Plurk, instead of by our mod contact page or via a messenger like AIM or Gtalk. But after a few incidents where we've been (unsure) about this, we've decided that we don't want to encourage it.

So please be aware that in the future we will not be responding to public mod requests made over Plurk! For one thing, Plurk is notoriously unreliable, and often hides comments or delivers them out of order. For another thing, shouting "Hey, mods, can I do this?" in an open plurk is in no way guaranteed to get our attention, and asking us to make a potentially unfavorable decision in a public space could embarrass you or put pressure on us, which puts everyone in an awkward position.

If you want to make a private plurk to just the mods, or the mods and the other parties involved, that is okay! We will get alerts for that, so we know it's there, and can accommodate you when we're ready to talk and it will still be easy to track down. But from here on out we will not be responding to plurks that just say "Hey, Kay or Li or whoever, I would like permission for something!"

It is still recommended to use the mod contact post or to speak to us via a messenger; you can find our contact info on the mod contact post if you don't know it!

Sorry for the inconvenience. ♥
[ On the :Tags ]
28 May 2011 at 08:42 pm
The terminology has probably created confusion, but the ":event" tag on the IC community is not for posts that are related to in-game events! The :tags are all meant to designate a specific style of posting. For example, :class implies a classroom style of posting where there will be a classroom lesson plus a before/after section, :action implies action tags, etc.

":event" is not a tag implying that the post is for a game event; it actually just implies that the contents are a big game-wide event, so everyone who tags it should ignore the original poster and chat with the other commenters.

To try and correct this confusion, we will be renaming the event tag ":mingle", designating that the people inside the threads are meant to mingle and tag each other, as opposed to tagging the original poster.

The :event->:mingle tag will then be removed from all your dream posts.

EDITED: If you want to capture links a particular event, collect the links in a post on the community and use the "event timeline" tag! The dream event and mistletoe event link roundups are both now under this tag. It may also be used on mod posts in the future.
[ Some Mod FYIs ]
30 April 2011 at 11:09 am
Hey guys, just a few quick notes, because all of these have come up more than once now. (So it's not directed at anyone in particular and no one is in trouble, don't worry!)

First of all: Hiatus and drop tags.

Please remember to tag your OOC comm posts! They are not only very useful to us as moderators in maintaining the game information, but they are also required by the game rules. If your hiatus is not tagged, it will be the same as if you never say you are on hiatus.

If you see an untagged hiatus or return-from-hiatus post, it would help if you tagged it "hiatus", and the same with drops! Thank you. ♥

Second of all: Character drops, IC version!

When making a post about a dropped character, try to check around before making a post going "Where is idk my bff Jill?" If Jill was living with someone, why did you notice before them? Did Jill's other bff have something planned? It helps if you go "Was anyone planning on doing anything, because I would like to!" on the Monday meme, or contact players OOCly. Unless you're sure that your character would notice this absence first and know that it's a disappearance and not just an unexpected nap, your character probably wouldn't be able to tell until, at the earliest, the next IC day anyway!

And whenever possible, try to combine posts about a drop with some form of substance. It is really disheartening, both ICly and OOCly, when the community is a wall of "X is no longer here." "Y has officially left." "Has anyone seen Z?" posts. It would help if you had something to say, and then ended the post with "...By the way, I haven't been able to get a hold of my bff Jill..."

Third of all: Canon updates / power updates.

Remember that canon updates require explicit mod permission; you must speak to a mod personally before making a canon update. In addition, the timing of the update is important, so please make sure the mods are aware of when you plan to do it.

And if your character is getting a powers update, whether this is from a canon update or simply because new material has indicated their powers are changing / revealed more of their powers, talk to a mod about it. It is your responsibility to seek out more power nerfing. It doesn't matter if your character was supposed to have this power all along; the mods need to okay how it works in Marina.

Repeat: If, for any reason, you intend to use powers that were not on your original apped list of powers, you must talk to a mod.
[The New Sex Policy]
14 February 2011 at 08:20 pm
I'm too lazy to log into the mod account.

Do you have any questions about the new sex policy? Ask here and the all-knowing and extremely inappropriate Roxas will tell you about it!

What it basically amounts to is that you only get to have sex if you agree to be monogamous forever. Acumen still hates your creepy organic biological drives.
[ On Dates ]
07 February 2011 at 12:27 pm

Please be aware that the January activity check only includes posts that are dated in January.

The activity check is seven days long to allow you to finish old threads and to make sure you have the time to write up your summaries/gather your links. You cannot count threads on posts that went up after the AC, because when the activity check goes up, January has already ended! If you wait until the end of the seven days of AC to post your response, that doesn't mean that threads that posts that were made in February will count to January's activity. You have to have been active in January.

If you have used a thread from the costume ball, for instance, you will fail the January AC. The costume ball happened in February! It will count towards your activity for the month of February. It's great if you've been having fun with that, but it doesn't count for January.

If you have included a post dated to February in your activity check, please go back and update it! If you need more activity on a comment thread in January, comment here asking for help! If you even suspect you might have, go back and check your links to make sure all the posts were dated in February! You still have until tomorrow to get your activity, because your mods had 41 apps to review yesterday and there is no way we are doing ACs tonight.

Once more, for clarity: The date on the post has to be the same month as the AC, in this case January. The dates of the comments in your thread don't matter, so even though it's now February, if you get the thread to eight comments, it will still count!
[ Reminder ]
15 November 2010 at 06:40 pm
This is just a reminder, since this has happened several times in the last two weeks:

You cannot remove your character from the dome without mod permission. Characters only leave the dome if they are dropped or if you expect to be gone for a long time, and in the latter case, the mods need to approve it. This is not a game where it doesn't mean anything if your character vanishes; it means Acumen's programming failed. It involves the dimensional stabilizer, which requires mod permission, as stated in the FAQ.

If you plan to be on a hiatus for multiple IC days, there are other ways to do it that don't require mod permission. Your character can get sick, get injured, just hang around reading or fishing or whatnot for a mini-vacation, break their communicator, etc. Please find alternative means of hiatusing your characters.

Thank you!
[ On Activity Checks ]
08 October 2010 at 07:26 pm
On an obvious note, activity checks are being done late this week. They'll be going out shortly.

So! Here's the deal: Our current activity system, as you know, involves you linking your tag, and the mods reviewing your tag to see your activity over the last month. Then we cross-reference with hiatuses, then we cross-reference with the previous month's activity, and then we comment to let you know if we couldn't find enough activity for you.

What you may not know is that this method takes hours and hours and hours. We have 161 characters in this game (as of right now, according to our database) and we have to check each of their activity for the last thirty days: multiple times, if we don't find enough activity the first time. Every month two dozen characters fail the AC on the first pass. Then we have to review the findings, sort everyone, comment to everyone, think of how to put things nicely, and answer questions and complaints... We had someone volunteer to help us, and then it took so much of her time that she quit. That's the kind of thankless job this is! :(

So what Li and I were thinking was, maybe we could foist off the responsibility on you switch to a format where players link their own activity in the monthly AC/HMD. We'd ask you, on the HMD, to provide links to three threads that were [X] number of comments long. Activity requirements would be a little more firmly-defined, which some of you would like, but also a little less lenient, which you probably wouldn't like. But you'd have the chance to defend yourself there and explain "I was on hiatus for half the month so I only have two threads."

Obviously, we don't want to do this unless people are okay with the idea; we're not exactly at a crisis point, and we can easily pick up another volunteer if one is available. so we're gauging player opinions on the matter!

Open to: All, results viewable to: All

Should we stick with the current activity system, or switch to one where you will have to provide links to your own valid activity?

View Answers

I like the idea of more defined activity requirements so I'd do the extra work.
21 (42.9%)

I will riot if we change from the current easysauce method.
4 (8.2%)

Either way is fine by me, go with what's easiest for you.
17 (34.7%)

Why isn't there a ticky box to express my ambivalence?
7 (14.3%)

/made this post with Allen's journal so it could have a poll

What do you guys think? Share thoughts! Volunteer to pitch in! Make a case for why you should be Marina's Next Top Junior Mod! Etc!
[ On Hiatuses and Slowatuses ]
28 September 2010 at 11:26 am
We've had a few complaints about this, so we needed to address all the slowatus and hiatus posts that have been going around lately.

Please keep hiatus/slowatus notices to an absolute minimum. You don't need to post a hiatus if you're going to be gone for 36 hours, and you don't need to post a slowatus if you have a paper to write at the end of the week. Everyone in this game has a real life, and almost all of us routinely experience short periods where we can't tag all the time because work or school or personal life is interfering.

These are normal disturbances and they're to be expected; no one is going to resent you if you're not tagging back immediately, or if you spend a week tagging a little more slowly in your spare time.

Please only post a hiatus when you expect to be completely AFK for four or more days. Please only post a slowatus when you think you won't be able to tag unless a miracle happens.

We've all been abusing these, mods included, but as of now we're going to ask everyone to scale back and return to only declaring a hiatus (or, in rarer cases, a slowatus) when necessary.

Thank you!
[ New Tags ]
12 August 2010 at 01:25 am
Public Service Announcement! We've added a few tags to the community, at player request. Those tags are...

:class - for posting a Marina Academy class session. This will allow you to see what classes are being actively posted, so that you can thread out attendance if you want, or look for classes to slide in on.

:event - for event-style posting where the person posting the thread is only setting the scene for a large-scale event and intends to have a private thread inside the post. This should be handy for keeping track of big posts or special days.

:mail - for PM's daily mail round-up and random action threading sessions! Obviously this will allow for you to follow the mail without having to pick through PM's other interactions, since she is too popular to be contained in just mail posts.

Please add them where appropriate. (The first time these tags are used, they will have to be manually typed in, same as all new tags.)

And a reminder: The 4th wall event starts next week!
[ Rule Awareness Update ]
06 August 2010 at 09:34 pm
Issue 1: Activity check/How's My Driving!

If you haven't responded to the activity check, do so immediately! It ends tomorrow pretty much whenever the mods get around to it, so get it in today.

Issue 2: Formatting rules

At player request, a rule has been edited to reflect our new[ly-official] policy on how to format posts.

2. All posts on [info]marinasylum must have a subject line of one of the following: voice, video, action, text (only if you have a special communicator). Action logs may optionally be in prose, but network posts should have dialogue in normal text, description in brackets. See the main community for examples. You are also allowed to mix posts, such as a video and action post or an open and private post, but keep the multi-tasking to a minimum: if the mods have to scroll down to get past your post, or you have three action prompts in one post, you may be asked to cut or shorten it.

Issue 3: Valid activity

At player request, a rule has been edited to hopefully clarify what is considered valid activity for the month.

4. There will be mandatory activity checks/how's my driving posts once a month. Players are required to participate in them unless they are on hiatus for the entirety of the activity check. Missing or failing two activity checks for ANY REASON is an assumed drop. Actual activity requirements are pretty laid-back (your character's tag must be on at least three posts where you participated in a medium-length thread). Hiatus notices should go on [info]marina_ooc, but a hiatus that requires you to miss more than 2 ACs will be an assumed drop without extenuating circumstances and explicit mod permission.

This is not a change in policy, so this rule has been in effect the whole time, and there is no difference in the way we treat our review of the HMD tomorrow. The rules page will be officially updated shortly.
[ On Third-Hand Issues ]
10 July 2010 at 06:16 pm
1) YOUR MODS DON'T READ ANONYMEMES! You guys, if you have anything to say about the game, especially concrete complaints that something could be done about, you really have to say it to us. As we have said over and over and over, we are completely open to having a dialogue with you. Problems don't get resolved if you sit on them and complain anonymously to one another. We have an anonymous-enabled contact post, and you don't need to be afraid of letting us know what you think or what concerns you. We're totally nice people!

This time, some of your fellow players were kind enough to let us know that there were two items that were bugging people. So they will actually be addressed!


2) The MASS INTRO POST. We know it's kind of uncool and that people get neglected if they're late to it; however, 25-40 new intro posts at the beginning of every month, while the AC is up, is a tremendous flood of intros and it means anything that gets posted during or before the end of the month is completely drowned out.

We're perfectly okay with people making their own intro posts if they get there Monday or Tuesday but it'd be pretty awkward to base a policy on "if you're going to be late..."

One idea was to encourage existing players to intro on the mass intro post, and encourage newbies to make their own posts, but that, while welcoming to new players, feels kind of lame to the existing players. What do you guys think? Any suggestions or opinions?


3) The AC/HMD. If you have constructive criticism for someone, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from giving it on the HMD. We've had secrets and now anonymeme complaining about how unwelcoming to crit we are, which is kind of ridiculous, since hardly anyone has given any!

The HMD is mandatory, not to mention anon-enabled and non-IP-tracking. And it always has been. There is zero excuse for not giving concrit except not trying.

If you think someone is doing it wrong, find a considerate way to say it, and then say it. Maybe they'll learn something! Maybe you'll learn something! But please don't just assume that if some anonymous person on the internet says it, it must be true that we don't accept or provide a welcoming environment for concrit. It's in the rules that you must be willing to accept crit if you play here, and that's not just for show.

So, yes. HMD is mandatory, anon-enabled, doesn't track IPs. If you actually concrit someone where we can see it, and they ignore it, talk to the mods.

So I hope that puts that to an end.

As usual, comments, suggestions, questions, hugs are welcome. ♥
[ On the FAQ and the Dimensional Stabilizer ]
21 May 2010 at 03:50 pm
New FAQ is up!

Everyone should read it: some information has changed, more information has been added, so you should review it and let us know if anything doesn't make sense or if you have questions that weren't answered. We will be enforcing the information in this FAQ.

However, we also wanted to make sure everyone was notified of one change, since more and more hiatuses lately are abusing the dimensional stabilizer.

You need to consult with a mod if you want to do anything involving the dimensional stabilizer, including canon updates, getting "lost" for a hiatus, etc. The dimensional stabilizer is a game device, so only the mods can say "Yes, you can use the dimensional stabilizer for that."

You need to find your own reasons why your character wasn't around much for an IC day or two. They weren't feeling well, they had a private project, they were buried in a particularly good book or video game at the arcade, they just didn't do anything interesting and didn't have anything to say for a little while -- all of these are just fine excuses and your character doesn't need to vanish and upset everyone just because you're not going to be around.

So there you go! Again, FAQ is here.
[ A Reminder On the Activity Check ]
08 May 2010 at 09:47 am
This is your official notice about a change in the rules, although not a change in policy:

4. There will be mandatory activity checks/how's my driving posts once a month. You are required to participate in them unless you are on hiatus for the majority of the activity check. Missing or failing two activity checks for ANY REASON is an assumed drop. Actual activity requirements are pretty laid-back (3 posts/logs/solid threads per month). Hiatus notices should go on [info]marina_ooc, but a hiatus that requires you to miss more than 2 ACs will be an assumed drop without extenuating circumstances and explicit mod permission.

This policy has always been in place, but it wasn't clearly written down, and now it is!

We're pretty generous with people who have needed to take hiatuses, but two months is a very long time to be on hiatus. If you are taking a hiatus of over two months, we need to hear a good reason why. If you're going on a hiatus that needs to be over two months long because you have to mail your computer to Thailand for repairs, or because you've been conscripted into the army, that's okay. Talk to a mod and we will make sure not to kick you out after the second missed activity check.

But missing two ACs in a row is, and always has been, a presumed drop, for any reason without explicit mod permission and extenuating circumstances.

You are only allowed to miss the AC if you are on total hiatus for the FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH.

These rules are in place because your castmates miss your character when she's not around, and your gamemates want to play with your character because he's awesome. If you're gone for two months, the other players in your cast have to work around you, and it's not fair to them, or to prospective players who might want to play these characters.

Please also note that if you miss multiple ACs without a hiatus, you will eventually get in trouble, even if your character is active and you never miss two in a row. We haven't decided on an actual number yet.