Community Update - Notification Toggles, Fixed Competitions in 2 Weeks, Friesian ETA Poll, Team Changes, Merge FAQ

Wednesday, Aug 11 at 13:45

Hi community! Once again, our news post is brimming with information. Just like last time, we’ve split the post into a section that’s our regular community update, and further below you’ll find an FAQ about the merge of the COM and NL server that we’ve announced last time. There’s plenty to read, so let’s jump right in!


🔔 Today's Code & Art Update 🔔

🔹 Your account settings now has an area where you can toggle notifications for specific game events on and off! Finally a way to stop the notification flood! 🎉🎉🎉 This update is likely to start out a bit buggy - please open a bug report if you think something doesn’t work as intended! Notifications relating to V1 pages (horse births, deaths, …) aren’t toggleable yet but will be added once those pages are rewritten in V2. Also worth mentioning: The market toggles already speak of “horse/item” because we’ll soon add the functionality to trade items, but this is not yet possible. Hold on just a little longer!
🔹 QoL Update: We added a notification when a show/comp ended. That’s for those of us who want to switch off all other event notifications but still be reminded to re-enter our horses or check in our bank history whether they won anything.
🔹 QoL Update: We’ve added summarising numbers to the competition entry page, telling you how many horses you’ve got selected.
🔹 QoL update: The currency exchange now shows all orders. Previously, there was a mechanism in place that made only the highest buy-orders and lowest sell-orders show up. Logically, this made sense, since orders are always fulfilled for the best available price. For example, if you are willing to buy 1 DP for 1000 HRC but there is someone offering 1 DP for 300 HRC, you’ll pay 300 HRC and 700 HRC are instantly refunded to your account. Therefore the CE was hiding such 1000-HRC-sell-orders and only displayed them once all lower orders were gone. However, many players found it unsettling to enter e.g. very high sell-orders and don’t see them show up anywhere. That’s understandable, so we’ve now changed the code to display them all!
Our lovely discord moderator Reysies has made a video explaining how the currency exchange works, check it out!

Art
🔹 Tack: All of the “image coming soon” tack placeholders now show their artwork! Woohoo! Who would have thought we'd live to see this day!

Bugfixes
🔹 Collapsible headers: In our last update, we unintentionally made a bunch of headers, e.g. on the news page, freezer, bank, … collapsible. This was not the plan and is now fixed!
🔹 Buying dead horses: If a horse you were bidding on died during the auction, your money will now be returned. Previously you could successfully become the owner of a ghost.
🔹 Premium account: It is now possible to remove your footnote, instead of just replacing it. Woo!
🔹 Hamburger menu: The menu with the three vertical stripes disappeared from some Android devices on V2 pages. We are happy to report it’s back! (edit: Apparently, this issue is still happening and will be fixed in our next update. We are very sorry about this inconvenience!)


🏅 NEXT Update on August 25: FIXED COMPETITION CALCULATIONS! 🏅

🚨 Please note that updates can always be changed, postponed or cancelled! 🚨

🔸 As we announced in this news post, August 25th will bring correctly working competition calculations for all disciplines! Yaaaay! The same news item that was just linked also explains in detail how this will be done and why it will be done that way, so please have a look if this is the first you hear of it!
🔸 Our team roles will receive an update, adding in some roles that we have internally but so far weren’t able to display in-game. We will also be replacing our current staff badges with the new and beautiful ones our former art intern Mette drew for us!
🔸 Some other small bug fixes & internal workflow optimisations


👀 Poll: The Friesians are ready - but when? 👀

We need to confess - we’ve kept a secret from you! The reworked art for the Friesian Horse is ready to be released!!!
In all the turmoil about the merge and the Thoroughbreds, we didn’t know how to tease this without raising questions about the TBs that would then raise questions about the merge - it was all quite complicated. Now the big question is: When would you like to see those sleek beauties join us?

Answer A: As soon as possible, add them yesterday please!
Answer B: I need some time to prepare, release them in 1-2 months!
Answer C: Anything before October 6th would be unfair to the Thoroughbred breeders, please update the Friesians only after the TBs have arrived!

Tell us in the comments!


💜 New Community Manager & Communications Intern 💜

The last few months have been particularly stressful for our team. Ever since our much beloved ex-community manager and friend Tasinei had to leave Horse Reality on short notice (we miss you!), our workload tripled and our nerves halved. Finding a worthy successor was not easy - and all the more exciting that in the end, we didn’t just find one but two! Because they have now successfully passed their trial period, they want to introduce themselves to you. Say hello to your new community manager Shadeslayer, and our very first communications intern harmony_!

Shadeslayer
Hi everyone, pleasure to meet you! My name’s Locke (he/him), and you’ll get to know me as Shade! I’m your new community manager, currently located in the green hills of Scotland, and Ora’s loyal sidekick.
While I’m fairly new to HR, I’m a seasoned browser game veteran! It all began in the heyday of Neopets with a very small Shade, and look where we ended up… I feel very grateful that I get to be responsible for such a lovely community and become part of this weird, wonderful team! What’s there to know about me? I’m obsessed with frogs and worms-on-a-string. I read tons, write, play music (current enemy of choice: the mandolin), draw/paint and smother my houseplants with love. I’m also full of terrible memes.
I want to make sure Horse Reality stays a fair, mature environment with space for everybody’s playstyle! You can message me anytime with your concerns, feedback or questions (although for serious issues the contact form is faster than a single person’s inbox, friends, spread the word!). I’m a native German speaker with an abandoned English degree who migrated to the UK a while ago, and I’m happy to speak either language with you.
While the CM team splits most of its tasks fairly, we each tend to gravitate towards a field that suits us! As I have a very keen (some would say pedantic, heh) eye for art, I’m working towards adopting the Artwork Bugs Forum as my child. I’m also involved in providing feedback and quality control for our in-progress breed artwork and brainstorming improvements to existing art. I’m thrilled to be working with a team of artists as exceptional as ours! That’s it from me! I shall see you in the comments 👀

harmony_
Hello everyone! I am Raegan (she/her). I am from Arkansas, US. I recently graduated from university with a double bachelors in communications and political science. I will be starting law school by the time you read this in the news post lol. I ended up on HR because of my love of horse genetics and then I saw the application for a communications intern, which led me to be here! In my personal life my family owns a reining and working cow horse breeding operation. I have three of my own personal show horses: Lena, Honey, and Ginger. If I am not studying and playing HR you can find me most of the time showing horses or on an off weekend I will most likely be binge watching netflix or playing RDR2 lol. I am super excited to get to work with the HR community! If you ever feel the need to chat, my PMs are always open!


🧡 New Discord Moderators 🧡

Not just our development team has newcomers to welcome. Our moderating team also grew! Mindy, better known as DarkShadow on discord, and Blood_Moon, better known as Tori, have just made it through the ride of passage called our trial period! Please give them a very warm official welcome! They’ve been so active and involved during their trial period that it feels like they’ve always been part of our team. Both came to us with plenty of moderating experience already, owning one of the biggest player-made discord servers out there. We’re honored that they have enough energy and time to join our own moderating ranks as well! Thanks, you two, for volunteering so much of your free time for HR! 😍

P.S.: We are always looking for new forum & discord moderators! If you want to join our little chaos club (and/or help us keep the chaos to a minimum), apply here! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


🌳 Birthday Background: Poll Results 🌳

In our last update, we asked which kind of special background you’d like us to add for our birthday in October. The community has spoken: It’s going to be an epic tree at nighttime! What exactly that will look like will be up to our talented background artist Chutkat. We can’t wait for October to find out ourselves, and to celebrate our T(h)ree of Life with you!


🦘 New Background: Show Jumping! 🦘

Does our lack of discipline-specific backgrounds drive you up a wall? No need to be cross, railly! Our efforts to fill these gaps are in full swing! We’ve added a show jumping course and are flying high because we love it so much! We’re even on the fence about which horse breed it fits best. Don’t for-gate to admire it in the Delta Store or Fitting Room. Jump on the bandwagon, get yours today!


This week, we’ve picked d0gelovesmax’s drawing “Second Chance” for our community art feature. It is so simple, yet so expressive, and the colours make us just feel warm inside. Thank you so much for this contribution!


Want your art to be featured? Give it a go!


🇳🇱 The Merge FAQ #2 🇳🇱

Q1: What is this about?
The merge is what we call the integration of Horse Reality’s NL server into the COM server. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, please read our last news post first (“Important News: Future of the NL Server”). To keep this FAQ informative, we want to avoid repetitions as best we can.

Q2: How can I stay well-informed about the merge?
⚈ A similar FAQ section will from now on be included in every news post, informing you about the latest developments. New information will always first be published in a news post.
⚈ Our moderating team will be around in the comment areas to help with clarifications when needed, and to clear up any misunderstandings. However, completely new questions will be collected and answered in the following news post/merge FAQ. That’s because it would be unfair if we’d first publish something important on page 7 of a random forum thread. Of course, we’ll still answer you in the news comments as usual and will let you know if something you asked will rather go into the next FAQ.
⚈ In addition to the news, we’ll soon create a “Merge FAQ” page that will always hold the most recent information. For example, once we know the date of the merge, we’ll announce it in a news post and then edit the according part in the FAQ from “ETA: unknown” to “DD/MM”.
⚈ Please also make sure that the email address in your account settings is one you actually read and have access to - the most critical steps of the merge will be announced via mails, too. Note that schools and workplaces often block our emails.

🚧 Technical questions about usernames, logins, ... 🚧

Q3: I have the same username on COM and NL - what now?
⚈ Once the NL profiles have been transferred to COM, they’ll temporarily receive a tag, for example: Username_Merge
⚈ There will then be a possibility to change your name once, free of charge.
⚈ With our current system, this would have to be done manually by our community managers. If that will be the case, we’ll probably have to keep the work to an absolute minimum, e.g. only allowing ex-NL accounts that happen to have the same name as a COM account to get a name change.
⚈ We very, very sincerely hope we’ll be able to update our internal system in the meantime, making (occasional) username changes a possibility for everyone!

Q4: I have the same login information (mail, password) on COM and NL - what now?
⚈ Our current idea is this: If an email address isn’t unique to our system, the NL version will receive a tag, for example: If your email on both accounts is [email protected], then you’ll need to enter this exact email to log into your COM-account. To log into your NL-account, you’ll have to enter the mail with the tag: [email protected]_Merge
⚈ After you’ve logged into your account, you can edit the email address in your settings by yourself.
⚈ We expect this to create quite some confusion and will do our best to mitigate that through extra staff in our support mailbox, big explanation banners, and multiple mails warning of this change.
⚈ More detailed step-by-step explanations of this process will come once we’re closer to the merge and 100% sure what our plan will be!

Q5: What about my university progress?
The university progress is connected to one account and cannot be transferred at all. You will have the progress of the account you keep.

🥕 Stable questions 🥕

Q6: I have an account on COM and NL - will my stables be added up?
⚈ We’ve talked about this question over and over and over with our developers. Unfortunately, their answer always remained the same: There is no way at all to automate this process.
⚈ This means that our community managers will have to manually make those changes in the database. How exactly that will work is something we’ll have to explore together after the merge day itself is over. Meaning that: If you log in after the merge, both your accounts will have the same capacity they had before.
⚈ At the moment, we imagine something like this: We’ll publish a form that asks for links to both your accounts and which one you want to keep.
⚈ We’ll then work through that list as fast as we can - how fast that is will mostly depend on how many players will use this opportunity.
⚈ Players whose stable sum is less than 250 will get the amount of stables they purchased for HRC or DP added to their keeper-account. For example: You want to keep your COM account that has 50 stables, and you want to yeet your NL account that has 70 stables. Since 25 of those 70 were free (starter setup + levelling rewards), we’d add 45 stables to your COM account, resulting in a total of 95 stables on your keeper account.
⚈ Players whose stable sum is more than 250 will get HRC/DP back for those stables that couldn’t be added due to the maximum capacity. For example: You want to keep your COM account that has 200 stables, and you want to yeet your NL account that has 150 stables. 50 of those will be added to your COM account. Of the remaining 100 NL-stables, 25 were free (starter setup + levelling rewards). 25 were purchased for 5.000 HRC each and 50 for 500 DP each. That means we will give you 125.000 HRC and 25.000 DP.
⚈ For this equation to work, we’ll also take into account which level the account is at (how many stables they got for free). That makes it a tad more complicated, but anything else would be unfair to the COM-only players who only ever got 25 stables for free.
⚈ This is our plan so far, but note that it might change. If way more people participate in the merge than we are currently expecting, we might have to come up with a simpler solution. However, this is what we think would be the fairest way for players and the healthiest option for the game economy - if we can at all manage the workload of this manual process, we will!

Q7: How am I supposed to add all my horses to my keeper account?
⚈ This is what the grace period will be for, because yes, most likely there will be some culling involved. We’ll make sure that you have 2 months to figure out which account and which horses to keep, most likely counting from the day onwards that the CMs finished adding the stables. - We don’t know exactly how all of that will work yet, but we want to make sure to give you enough time to make this emotional decision.
⚈ We would love to offer you something better, e.g. temporarily adding the option to trade horses even when you’re over capacity. However, though this is not out of the question yet, it is very unlikely. The merge is a huge and complicated coding project by itself. If everything goes smoothly and our developers are having some extra time, this is the kind of request we’ll make sure to tell them! However, we don’t advise you to plan for that. The most important thing the developers need to do is to handle the merge without any loss of data or potentially catastrophic bugs - only once we are absolutely 1500000% positive that we’ve achieved this will we ask them to add quality-of-merge-life-features. We hope you understand.

Q8: Why don’t you just increase the stable capacity?
The stable capacity doesn’t exist because we like to torture you, but because each new horse is a TON of data our server needs to handle. However, the merge itself is a huge and delicate coding project, and bugs or server hiccups during this time would be absolutely inacceptable. We don’t want to additionally pressure our server into dealing with an even bigger amount of horses while all the other stuff is going on. That being said, we may increase the capacity again in the future, but during a time of less risky code updates and in small increments, e.g. 10 or 25. Such a small addition wouldn’t really solve the challenges questions 4 and 5 pose, yet could add another risk factor into the mix.

🌼 Other Questions 🌼

Q9: Why didn’t you tell us sooner that the merge would happen?
As you see in this FAQ, a lot of our answers are quite vague. There are many maybies in there: “We think, we hope, we imagine, we plan, ...”. Most people find uncertainty frustrating or even scary, yet development is an extremely uncertain process. That’s why usually, we only share our plans with our community once they are well under way and we have all the answers. But with the merge, we knew our community would want to know as soon as possible to make informed decisions in their gameplay and money spending. It is true, though, that our internal discussion about what to do with the NL server started sooner, about 2 months earlier. But had we announced this information the same week, we wouldn’t even have had vague answers - but instead just none at all. A newspost at this time would have read “We are forced to close our NL server. We have no idea what that will look like, though. One option is that we take the page offline in 3 months and until then, DP will be for free, and we’ll make a purge out of it! However, we have asked our developers if it would be possible to transfer the user accounts and horses over to our COM server, so that everyone would have at least something to show for the time they spent there. Hold on tight, we’ll only know more once the devs have looked at all of this!” - And then we would have waited. Now we know that it took the devs 2 months to figure the answer out, and that a merge was possible. However, we didn’t know either of that at the time. It could have been 1 week, or 6 months. During all this time, any time a player would ask us anything, all our team could have said was “Sorry, still no news, we also don’t know anything, and we don’t know when we’ll know”. And the option we were really scared of was that a merge wouldn’t be possible on a technological level, and that after long months of players waiting, thinking, hoping, fearing. The only thing worse than pulling the plug on NL altogether would have been to pull the plug after 6 months of telling you “But there is hope that we can merge the servers!”
Now, in retrospect, we know it was only 2 months and that a merge was possible - had we had this information sooner, we would have told you sooner. But we were waiting to know anything ourselves, and as soon as we did, we told it to you.

Q10: How do you plan to compensate us for our losses in game progress/horse worth/…?
The short, albeit very hard sounding answer is - We don’t. We’re all gamers and as such, we’ve all experienced what it’s like when (part of) a game we love is being shut down. It sucks completely. The things lost are irreplaceable.
We are sorry if we ever created the impression that we think NL players could carry on with their game on COM like nothing happened. We know most of you won’t. The merge was never intended as a happy unproblematic unification of our two servers - although we sincerely hope that in some cases, this may indeed happen. But originally, our only option was to completely pull the plug on NL and delete every memory, bit and byte of it. The merge is our attempt to rescue and preserve at least some of it.

Q11: What will the welcome package be like?
We don’t know it exactly yet. There will definitely be some currency and a special limited edition background only ex-NL players will get. We have some other ideas, too, but those are still in the works.
It’s important to us though that this is a welcome package and not meant as a compensation (see question 10). We know that the first login after the merge will be a sad occasion for most NL-players, and we hope it will be the tiniest bit better because there’s a little surprise waiting.

Your question wasn't answered?
We're so sorry! Please ask again in the comments and we'll do our best to help you out!


Next community update: Wednesday, August 25
See you neighxt time!

The Horse Reality Team ☀️

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