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Twilight Sparkle ✨

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Posts posted by Twilight Sparkle ✨

  1. 1 hour ago, Califorum said:

    That makes sense however seeing numbers go up due to something you are doing is satisfying for everyone I bet.  

    The "rank badge" under your avatar (that starts at Blank Flank, then progresses through Muffin > Cupcake > etc.) is meant as a fun replacement for in-thread post counters that rewards you with a progression of new badges as you make more posts over time but without emphasizing the specific number as an important piece of information for all the world to know while reading your content. The FAQ page that contains the list is sadly broken at the moment (there's lots to still fix up that broke during the upgrade) but here's a partial screenshot of the list from the admin panel:


    These badges fulfil the "fun" aspects of post counts but differ spirit by reinforcing MLPF's pony theme (everyone starts as a Blank Flank, just like newborn foals!) and feel more like long-term rewards for ongoing contributions to the community; watching a generic number count up with every post, in comparison, is more like the short-term dopamine jolts from getting a like on a Facebook post. Yes yes, I know we have a brohoof/reactions system but there are no "rewards" for it beyond the software's "won the day" thing and a somewhat hidden "leaderboard"). Being motivated to earn the next badge is more fun and creates a friendlier community atmosphere in my opinion than being motivated to increment a counter over and over again.

    Most forums show post counters because that's what most forum software does out of the box but I've observed it subtly breeding elitism over time on many sites, creating a sense of classism between longtime users and new ones. This has torn apart more forums I've been on in the past than I can count; de-emphasizing the counters helps make the site more welcoming to newer as well as less active users by not constantly intimidating them with higher numbers than their own that we humans reflexively compare and generate feelings about - and making MLPF fun for new users is just as important as keeping it fun for everyone who's already here.

    Please give the new look without these counters a chance and pay attention to your feelings about posts and their authors as you read various threads and write your posts. :) The difference is psychological and might be pretty subtle but I expect you'll feel a friendlier vibe to the site after an adjustment period.

    • Brohoof 3
  2. On 12/15/2020 at 5:28 PM, CypherHoof 🐎 said:

    My paypal just has my email address; I don't trust them with my mobile number.

    This is an interesting datapoint! It contradicts various posts I found on PayPal's own forums that state you can't use PayPal without providing a phone number.

    I'd appreciate if you could answer some or all of the following questions in the hope of generating communal wisdom:

    • When did you sign up for PayPal?
    • Which country is your PayPal account based in?
    • Do you recall PayPal ever asking you for a phone number (or demanding it) during signup, verification, login, payments, or at any other point? If yes, how did you bypass the request?
  3. @Treeglow Flicker I'm one of the ponies who does "money things" around here and I sympathize with your disdain for cellphones. I was unaware until your post that PayPal required a mobile number and would love to have a detailed conversation with you to explore alternatives to it.

    I'm not the greatest fan of PayPal myself but we use it due to popular demand and because it's "easy" (it issues payments "to" email addresses and tends to cost less than wire transfers). I agree that in principle, a bank account should suffice for handling one's financial affairs and that it's silly to require a phone number (a mobile one at that!) as a precondition for getting paid. I don't want that to be a requirement for doing business on MLP Forums even if we're not the party asking for the number. What a weird world we live in.

    To determine our options, I'll need to learn more about your personal banking situation (most importantly, the country your bank is in) so I'll continue this conversation in a PM thread with you and Pathfinder. I can't promise we'll be successful in finding a good PayPal alternative but I want to try.


    Feel free to skip the rest of this post; I wrote up my initial thoughts on "huh, how else other than PayPal could we pay artists?" in case you (or anyone else who encounters this thread) are curious but it's merely idle musings.

    BTW: If you're not Treeglow Flicker but you're reading this as an artist, and don't want to or can't use PayPal to get paid, please reply to this thread, too! It's helpful to know how much interest exists in having alternatives. :o


    Here are some thoughts we can dig into - and for anyone else who may come across this thread and wonder what's possible:

    Poniverse maintains bank accounts in Canada and the USA. USD is our "primary" currency but we're capable of handling CAD as well.

    Wire transfers are the usual way of transferring money internationally between different banking systems but tend to be too expensive for smallish payments. PayPal works by performing "local" bank transfers through their own bank accounts in every jurisdiction they operate in. They make this convenient for registered users but are not the only service that does such things, and won't let you receive money to a bank account without registering.

    The cheapest way for Poniverse to issue a bank payment to someone is via mailed cheque in US Dollars to a US address. This is because our American bank has an online feature that lets us dispatch a number of cheques to US addresses every month free of charge. If you're comfortable accepting a USD-denominated cheque and have a US address to receive it at, this is likely the easiest non-PayPal method.

    Some other other pay-to-bank-account options off the top of my head:

    1. CAD payment to Canadian bank account via Interac
      • Estimated cost: $2-5 CAD in fees per payment
    2. USD wire transfer to any bank account
      • Estimated cost: ~$30 USD in fees per payment - probably a ripoff for our purposes.
    3. CAD wire transfer to any bank account
      • Estimated cost: Looks like $15-135 CAD - probably an even bigger ripoff than USD wire transfer.
    4. Hoofwritten USD or CAD check, mailed internationally.
      • Estimated cost: $1-5 USD (cost of preparing a physical check + postage)
    5. USD or CAD money order, mailed internationally
      • Estimated cost: $1-5 USD (cost of preparing a money order + postage)

    Some other potential options in this space:

    • Payoneer
      • looks like a PayPal competitor
      • also appears to offer ability to send payments directly to bank accounts
      • unsure of what fees would look like but I heard that it can be cheaper than PayPal
    • Stripe Connect
      • a service designed for companies to pay users (like Lyft paying its drivers). sends money to the user's bank account.
      • unsure of what fees would look like
    • Payment to non-US/non-Canadian bank account through a foreign exchange service like TransferWise, OFX, CurrencyFair, etc.
      • Poniverse uses one internally but I haven't looked into what paying a different party with one of these would look like.
    • ACH payment to US or Canadian bank account
      • unsure if this is possible at all for us; this is the mechanism by which PayPal, Stripe, and other services interact with US and CA bank accounts
    • Cryptocurrencies
      • low fees!
      • potentially high "fun factor" (YMMV)
      • may have taxation rules requiring special attention depending on your jurisdiction
    • Western Union
      • best known as a method by which low-income workers working abroad send money to their home countries
      • has extensive international footprint
    • Brohoof 1
  4. 23 hours ago, Beetlejeric said:



    Actually that was decidedly the co founder of MLPF who missed that one. It was right after he launched this place and I don’t think they started to take on any staff. 

    @Twilight Sparkle  you are in big trouble now mister! :P


    You can always report the topic. It’s actually the number one reason why we get reports. 

    MLP Forums was a FiM-exclusive community at launch by design due to the founders' vision of a gathering space that was predominantly focused on the G4 TV show and fan labor surrounding it, to the exclusion of virtually everything else (gaming, politics, other shows, movies, "general discussion" were all underemphasized discussion areas here as well). Though other FiM- and MLP-themed forums existed at the time, a laser focus on the G4 TV show itself was surprisingly rare in the world of pony forums at the time.

    A 'previous generations' section wasn't "missed"; it was deliberately omitted as MLPF was not specifically intended to attract their fans (fans of G4 who also happened to be fans of previous generations fell into this target audience, of course).

    Having a clear, specific focus area is extremely important for small fledgling communities as, for users to stick around, they need a critical mass of other users and content that are interesting to them. If you're only gonna have 200 users in your first month, it's easier to achieve this when they're all interested in celebrating the FiM TV show than when 50 of them are into FiM, 50 are into fan art but not the FiM show, 50 like the previous gens but don't care for G4, and 50 don't care about ponies at all but wanna talk politics and video games with people who wear pony avatars.

    Threads about previous generations that were relevant to G4 in some way (ex. comparing G4 art style to prior gens, tracing the history of the MLP franchise, comparing similarities and differences across generations, etc.) had a home in Sugarcube Corner or Show Discussion before 2016 and arguably still do. As MLPF stepped on its hooves and secured a robust identity as a FiM fan forum, it had enough strength in that core competency to begin "allowing" other lines of discussion.

  5. Title: The Last Problem
    US Air Date: October 12th, 2019
    Written by: Josh Haber
    Synopsis: Years from now, Princess Twilight is visited by a student with a friendship problem. As she attempts to solve it, she looks back on the times she and the Mane Six spent together.


    This is it. The end of the line. The end of season nine. The end of Friendship is Magic (at least the moving-picture part of it - the comics have a few issues left yet; please don't riot, IDW fans). Show's over, fandom's dead, nothing to see here anymore. Everycreature, shoo and go home already; the apocalypse has come and gone.


    What are you still waiting for?


    Wait, right.

    Episode 24+25's title was a lie. THIS is the End of the End of the End...... of the End?


    Join our adorkable purple equine for the last time as she shows us the grand outcome of Former Sun God Celestia's decade-long personal training program to weaponize friendship in defending Equestria and infecting the entire world with her harmony propaganda.


    There's just one teeeeny tiiiiny wrinkle: Equestria's last friendship problem went unsolved. Watch the glorious Twilight Sparkle find out she missed something in taking over the world commemorate a lifelong tour-de-force of unforgettable memories to fix it. Will she finally fail at something? Will we get one last round of Twilighting? Did she even survive the battle from E24+25?


    If you're looking for something fun and special to do to pay your respects to Friendship is Magic, try writing a friendship lesson letter to Princess Twilight Sparkle about what her adventures have shown you, what you learned, and how the show affected your life. She'll be pleased to read all about it now that her own world's problems are all over.

    You can adapt the following template to get started!


    Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,

    Thank you for <something - or many somethings - positive you took away from the show>.

    Before I discovered that Friendship is Magic, <a peek into your life before ponies>.

    Now that it's over, <what changed in your life since your journey as a ponyfan began>.

    Your faithful student,


    Maybe she'll even compile another Friendship Journal if she gets enough of them.



    One final, personal note: All good things come to an end. Don't be sad that the show is over. Be happy that you were along for the ride!




    • Brohoof 18
  6. 3 hours ago, StrawCherry said:

    If I could, I definitely would! But I’m only a student that has started in August. I’m in no way capable yet of helping with a professional website. :sunny: I hope all turns out well, though! The temporary fix could work well but I’m assuming it also consumes a lot of time.

    > implying Poniverse is a professional operation

    I'm a student, too. I only said that I was a professional developer myself; this organization is a scrappy volunteer effort. Please do get in touch if you see something at some point and think "sweet Luna, even I can do this better!"

    • Brohoof 6
  7. 13 hours ago, Jeric said:

    Back in 2011, it sucked hard. Didn't get much better for years.



    I don't honestly know why Feld didn't do it back in 2011, he was a youngling then. It wouldn't have worked against spam bots and only provided the illusion of safety. Something that is still relevant today with some vulnerabilities. 

    Anyway, reCaptcha was not really part of any web development curriculum at the time, and wasn't as ubiquitous as it started to become a year or two later. It was popular and present, but not always implemented. 


    reCAPTCHA has historically been awful in practice and, as a professional developer, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Because it's so widely touted as the solution to spambots, it's also by far the most heavily targeted by spammers. In particular, it does nothing to stop business-savvy spammers who employ kids in Bangladesh for $0.10/hour to click pictures of traffic signs. There's also the philosophical issue of Google using reCAPTCHA to extract untold hours of labour from the unknowing masses, which gives them an incentive to not go too far in thwarting this particular kind of spammer. The list of issues goes on...

    Any custom captcha that is specific to a given site is better than reCAPTCHA or other third-party captchas. They'll confuse human spammers who barely understand English and no bots will exist that understand them. MLPF had this in the form of a Q&A captcha that asked (easy) trivia questions from FiM's first season between its launch in 2011 and the introduction of Poniverse logins in 2013. It worked, and unexpectedly even hampered an attempted raid from a car forum at one point by trolls who didn't know anything about ponies.

    For reasons I'm not going to delve into, having a similar captcha on Poniverse.net never made it to the top of the priority pile until recently, and we're short-staffed on developers the task can be given to. Yes, this is a low-key call for help.

    • Brohoof 6
  8. 13 hours ago, StrawCherry said:

    But I just wonder, why is there no captcha in the first place? As a Webdevelopment student, you learn to add captcha once you create your first form page or however I’m supposed to call that. I just assumed that it would be added by default as many websites seem to have it, so I guess I’m also just wondering what’s taking so long?

    There first needs to be an active staff developer to give such tasks to. It would be an understatement to say that there's been turnover since I started MLPF in high school in that regard which hamstrung MLPF's or Poniverse.net's abilities to get technical updates at all.

    Are you volunteering to help? We could use it. :(

    • Brohoof 5
  9. I donate to Poniverse every month (you should, too, if you like this place!). This is my favourite nonprofit. :pinkie:

    I used to give to the local riding associations of political parties I supported as well, but recently cut down on those. I've given a reasonable amount of money to BC Children's Hospital and charity:water in the past as well, largely through MLPF's annual Christmastime fundraisers.

    • Brohoof 3
  10. 4 hours ago, Jeric said:

    When they upgraded MLPF to the new version of the software, the new status update system had an attachment feature. It was applied universally. Basically, if the attachments in statuses were a thing back when Feld created the perks ... they would probably be part of them. Instead, we can all enjoy them. 

    That's not quite right. The reasoning for attachments in PM's being a subscriber feature is mainly because PM's are hidden away from the public. We're happier to foot the bill (read: spend subscriber money subsidizing a feature for everypony) for attachments in public content because great public content helps attract new users to the site. This property does not hold for personal conversations, so getting a subscription pays for the resources your attachments there will use.

    • Brohoof 3
  11. I'm so very happy to see the progress on this. Your persistence and attention to detail with this will soon pay off, DDR!

    One thing I wanted to comment on was the following:

    4 hours ago, DDR said:

    I did, however, run out of HDD space before the dump completed this time which was odd because it worked last time with 10gb to spare.

    Some versions of MySQL set the innodb_file_per_table setting in my.cnf to false by default. If this is set to false, then all InnoDB tables will write their data into a single "ibdata" file in your MySQL data directory which will forever grow and never shrink. MySQL tries to reclaim space from "deleted" tables but it's not perfect. If this setting is disabled, and you previously imported a database and deleted it, it's possible that you lost some disk space to that pesky ibdata file.

    • Brohoof 1
  12. I went to a Wednesday screening at a VIP theatre (an adults-only theatre with a bar/lounge and restaurant-style service). This particular screening was organized by Cineplex, BronyCAN, and Entertainment One for the local pony community and sold out. :o It kinda turned into a meetup, too, with lots of people showing up early and hanging out in the lounge afterward.

    It was a ton of fun but also admittedly a very unusual screening.

    • Brohoof 2
  13. On 2017-08-28 at 1:47 AM, Techno Universal said:

    Well really I would be donating a lot here if I was living in my own home and I could supply funding but annoyingly it's pretty much impossible for me to donate here because of my current real life situation. Like I have no PayPal account right now and I probably won't be able to create one until I'm 18 plus I really am extremely annoyed of how I can't donate here! :)

    I know this post is a little late but PayPal isn't a requirement - if you have a credit or debit card with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover logo on it, you should be able to use it. Maybe that helps? It's usually possible to get a MasterCard or Visa debit card that links to your bank account (and open a bank account if you don't already have one) even as a minor.

    • Brohoof 1
  14. We accept credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and money orders for commissions and subscriptions; and PayPal for one-off donations to the site. You can also contact me to work out alternate arrangements or get help with using one of the above.

    • Brohoof 4
  15. My real name is not hard to find; it's not constructive to threaten me with "exposing" that we don't have resources assigned to MLP Forums - that is a rather plain, non-contentious fact. Starting drama will only waste a lot of time and mental energy.

    What would be constructive is volunteering to help out. There's been an ongoing search for a new MLPF lead developer since @Lavo left that post, which has not proven very fruitful so far. Its scope will be expanded soon but we had a few other channels to try first. A project's lead developer is normally supposed to be the person communicating with the general public about technical things and it's hard for that to happen when that person doesn't exist.

    Our volunteers are not a mindless "resource" that can be assigned to whatever tickles a manager's fancy, and Poniverse isn't a magical source of them. Volunteer developers typically sign up to contribute to projects that they have a significant personal stake in (ie. they have a dream to realize or are strongly motivated to work with a particular technology). Canterlot Avenue's technical staff volunteered very specifically for that project - it's wishful thinking, and ignorant of social dynamics, to suggest that they'd be working on MLPF if only I tore them out of Canterlot Avenue.

    One of the first tasks the new MLPF Lead Dev will get, assuming IP.Board doesn't scare them away, will be to go through the Feedback and Site Questions sections and learn what all the broken things are that need fixing. Their next task will be to get to work fixing them.

    • Brohoof 5
  16. In light of this thread, I'm considering revisiting that rule and opening up some kind of user-to-user marketplace here. I have two possible approaches in mind right now - comments would be appreciated!

    • making "for sale" threads a thing you can buy - ie. paying $10 (as an example - actual pricing might need more thought) to put up a thread in which you're allowed to sell something
    • adding something resembling a proper marketplace, where you can post items for sale, arrange payment, and MLPF/Poniverse takes a small cut from the transaction (there's an IP.Board add-on for this, so I don't anticipate it being a strain on our troubled access to dev resources)

    @StormBlaze @Jon the Bronynerd ^

    • Brohoof 2
  17. Hey @Mickey Adaptus, I appreciate that you want to support us financially and want to work with you to find a way to let you do that!

    I took a look at iDEAL and accepting it would require us to open a Netherlandsbank account, which is not a path I'd like to go down at this point. However, I assume you have a bank account since iDEAL works through online banking, which gives us some options:

    - cheques

    - a money order

    - prepaid VISA cards

    - opening a PayPal account (maybe?)

    - VISA or MasterCard debit card, if your bank offers them

    I'll follow up with you via PM to work out a solution!

    • Brohoof 1
  18. 4 hours ago, Midnight Scribbler said:

    Currently I only take payment via paypal. I should also mention that if you commission through the forums, artists couldn't take payment through DA in any case, we're under an agreement with the forums when we run our commissions through their services. 

    A small correction: your customers can pay for a commission on MLP Forums via PayPal, credit/debit cards, or a money order, with no further effort on your part, Scribbler. ;)

    • Brohoof 1
  19. We're not in the financial position to start providing "free" ways to get perks normally reserved for subscribers. It would discourage those who can afford a subscription to avoid getting one and virtual currency is no good for paying Poniverse's (very real) bills.

    Objectively, the price attached to those perks is not very high - the price of two Starbucks coffees a month will get you most of them - so the few perks they do get will remain exclusive for the foreseeable future. You get a very complete user experience without them already. Note that if you have money in some form but can't use a payment card or PayPal to subscribe, we're able to make alternate payment arrangements as well.

    That said, there are some latent ideas for an achievement system floating around - that could encourage certain actions that benefit the community, and be plain fun, without conflating contributions to the community with contributions to its continued existence and development. I can't promise when or if that would happen, though - a forum admin may or may not have something more specific to say about this.

    • Brohoof 1
  20. The record ought to be set straight on the apparent understanding of MLP Forums as an "all-ages" or "family-friendly" site: MLP Forums has, at all points throughout its history, been a 13+ site.

    The considerations in catering to children vs. teenagers are comparable in significance to the considerations in catering to teenagers vs. adults, and serving children under 13 has never been one of this community's goals.

    Opening MLP Forums to all ages would be an almost equally "interesting" paradigm shift with just as many potential pitfalls - legalities aside, consider how you'd feel about discussing complex headcanon with 4-year-olds.

    • Brohoof 4
  21. 1 hour ago, GrimGrimoire said:

    Pretty much every large "pony" site on the web is a NSFW free zone.

    There aren't many pony fan sites much larger than MLP Forums (Equestria Daily, Fimfiction, and Derpibooru come to mind). I'll play devil's advocate and point out that Fimfiction and Derpibooru in particular have very large amounts of NSFW content on them - if you had these sites in mind when writing your post, they're evidence that it's possible to design a site to host both SFW and NSFW content, while keeping the latter kind of content completely isolated from those who don't care for it. deviantART, though not a pony-specific site, is also worth a mention as it hosts both 13+ and 18+ material while decidedly serving both age groups.

    Successfully designing a site in such a way (which I'm not suggesting is simple) broadens the number of interests it can serve (meaning, more users and activity, which benefits everyone) without negatively impacting the experience for anyone who only wants the SFW stuff.

    • Brohoof 2
  22. Where did you see that we only take PayPal? MLP Forums also accepts credit/debit/prepaid cards, money orders, and cheques. Can you use any of those? All you need to send a money order is cash and a post office.

    It's unlikely you'll find an artist who accepts Steam games as payment since making money tends to be the reason one opens commissions in the first place. I'd be happy to discuss alternatives to PayPal via PM.

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