Jeric

Roleplay World Rework -- Suggestions and Feedback

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There is a strong interest on staff in evaluating RP on MLPF. Looking at what works, tossing what doesn't, fixing some broken things, and introducing some new ideas that might make RP more exciting for some. For simplicity's sake, EvE is the RP section that allows freedom to explore Pony and non-Pony RP without having to strictly adhere to canon requirements. EqE is the canon Pony RP Section. Basically anything in there should not contradict the show. I wanted to go over that because some ideas will be for EqE and some won't work in the canon environment. 

Before I go further, obviously the Character Databases are a priority. Getting the templates to display HTML correctly is going to be a major focus for me over the next month. Luckily I have time and patience. Now, I'm going to list some ideas we've already mentioned that would impact the canon area. I'm curious as to how they would be received. 

 

EqE Ideas

Some ideas that have been tossed around include reevaluating EqE to make it more accessible and adding some perks for jumping in.

  • This includes streamlining the application process through some automation and improved response time, making some of the requirements a bit more friendly toward the lesser experienced individual, creating a page that includes all the rules in an intuitive model. Basically, to quote another staffer, we have realized that it takes an awful amount of effort to simply say, "Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie!"
  • Some cool ideas that seem to ha e almost unanimous approval  are investing in a IPB extension that will allow members to be able to switch to their Cast characters on the fly so that they would be posting as Applejack with an Applejack profile. Also allowing this characters to be able to interact with the community during various events and in statuses. 
  • The removal of character bans is happening. Basically, villains and Equestria Girls characters would be open to the community to grab. While this would make EqE slightly more canon flexible with the introduction of characters like King Sombra and Tirek, we see this as a important step to opening EqE. 
  • Event based RP's with a focus on adventure and epicness. Currently EqE is mostly an SoL affair. We want to work with the community to create massive exciting event epics within RP that would be memorable experiences. We even have the Clubs feature that we may leverage for such occasions. 

 

EvE Ideas

  • A guided beginners system that would slowly introduce inexperienced people to RP that would leverage the Mentor program and help people craft phenomenal characters and learn how to create a fun interactive narrative. 
  • A greater focus on organizing non-Pony RP. Yeah we are a Pony site, but creating an area for other properties to thrive is not something that is off-the-table. 

 

Back to you

So I'm curious if you, the community, have any ideas. Regardless of whether you RP or not we are listening. This is your time to have your voice heard. What would you change. 

 

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@Jeric 

Not quite sure what can be done, but something to encourage players to stay on board with an RP. There are many RPs where players just dropped out with no warning and plans had to be changed on the fly at best. At worst, the RP had to be abandoned half finished. Plenty of RPs on going right now that have stalled because of an important player or two not replying to mentions. I know RL gets in the way and is more important to deal with, but it'd be nice if the rest of the party was told that was the case. Or if they simply weren't interested anymore, they're character could be phased out or things can be fixed within the RP to make it interesting again. But no responses? It may just be a text based forum role play, but it's important enough to the rest of us to invest time and energy into it. 

A procedure to follow should they wish to leave, like a weeks notices to phase their character out. A sort of signed commitment to post every two or three days at least, or state why they wont and let that be judged as acceptable or not. And if they drop out or don't reply for a lengthy time with no word as to why, perhaps we implement that as part of the forums disciplinary system. And if the behavior of applying to, playing in, and dropping out of RPs with no warning is consistent, perhaps they shouldn't be allowed in the RP section. 

Role Playing is a commitment, and when that commitment isn't followed through, it impacts other members. 

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I'm not into RPs, but don't you need a rulebook and a dice simulator for epic adventures?

 

Also, I cannot see how restrictive and ambiguous FIM canon would be able to host good adventure stories. Most of us can't even agree on how the magic works. Can anyone tell me how my bat pony can penetrate a unicorn barrier of that lazy OP magic camper over there without getting into a heated debate with other Bronies? You can't and that's a problem. Heck, it's the current year and we don't even know if bat ponies are a thing or what kind of a thing they are. Can I use giant crabs and what are their stats?! Buck everything!

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1 hour ago, Goat-kun said:

I'm not into RPs, but don't you need a rulebook and a dice simulator for epic adventures?

In my experience most internet text based RP's are DM and story driven with some general planning. If I ever go balls to the wall, I would tear into this framework and try and build a economy system, stat system, inventory, arena, and even a random encounter system with a bestiary. I did that on phpBB about a decade ago and was quite the challenge. At least the random encounter engine was. phpBB was far more manageable to modify at the time. This would be a year long project here (if not longer). I would definitely jump into something like that if I was certain the userbase would utilize RP more. 

1 hour ago, Goat-kun said:

Also, I cannot see how restrictive and ambiguous FIM canon would be able to host good adventure stories. Most of us can't even agree on how the magic works. Can anyone tell me how my bat pony can penetrate a unicorn barrier of that lazy OP magic camper over there without getting into a heated debate with other Bronies? You can't and that's a problem. Heck, it's the current year and we don't even know if bat ponies are a thing or what kind of a thing they are. Can I use giant crabs and what are their stats?! Buck everything!

 

That has always been an issue with some online forum based RP's. My old old forum was a nightmare because it was Star Wars and .... well ... that was a mess because everyone that touched the IP at the time kept changing how the Force worked. Come to think of it ... that is how it is now too. :P

 

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I don't RP, but if there was a way to encourage some connections between forum RPers and fanfic writers, that'd be pretty neat.

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19 hours ago, Goat-kun said:

I'm not into RPs, but don't you need a rulebook and a dice simulator for epic adventures?

 

 

 

Also, I cannot see how restrictive and ambiguous FIM canon would be able to host good adventure stories. Most of us can't even agree on how the magic works. Can anyone tell me how my bat pony can penetrate a unicorn barrier of that lazy OP magic camper over there without getting into a heated debate with other Bronies? You can't and that's a problem. Heck, it's the current year and we don't even know if bat ponies are a thing or what kind of a thing they are. Can I use giant crabs and what are their stats?! Buck everything!

 

You could always use Ponyfinder.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TabletopGame/Ponyfinder

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In my experience: the number one thing that will scare people away from RP is elitism. Make the atmosphere as inviting to newcomers and possible and they are more likely to stay. Appeal only to the RPers that you think are "worth the time" then you quickly find yourself in a tiny puddle of elitists who take so long to reply to anything because everything has to be "perfect".

The best rules are relaxed rules.

The best system is one that encourages improvement, but not forces it. When people feel they are being bossed around they are not going to have fun, so they need to be given gentle nudges into the right direction rather than scolded for misstepping.

Help the newbies and you will find yourself full of fresh RP.

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5 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

Did check it out. Bats have sonar and griffins aren't total chums. Good, good. That's the kind of foundation we need. Though I do believe most users are seeking a fluffier social experience that does not require such tools. I'm only in this particular thread cause the words "epicness" and "adventure" summoned me here. That kind of a thing would require a tutorial as most of us are noobs. That's why I'd also like to see a kind of a simplified rulebook that's unique to Poniverse.

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Well, I gave my two cents' worth on EqE roleplay over a year ago, but to reiterate:

1. Lift the minimum posting requirement for cast characters. It's supposed to be fun, not a chore.

2. Allow more than one person to play a cast character at a time.

3. Drop the requirement for a picture of a character when applying.

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46 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

2. Allow more than one person to play a cast character at a time.

Minimum character count or the number of posts per week? 

46 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

2. Allow more than one person to play a cast character at a time.

Since the plan is that there will be actual cast character accounts that we will link to their profile, that may not be tenable. 

46 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

 3. Drop the requirement for a picture of a character when applying.

For OC's or for Cast Characters?

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1. Posts per week.

2. That's unfortunate. It will discourage some.

3. Both.

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If we were to limit people playing a cast character to a char count would that not totally bork things? Some people might have epic plans for the character or play the character in a way people like better etc. So that means that word flow, plans for the rp etc might totally fly out the window from person to person. Which would make it hard to play would it not?

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12 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

2. That's unfortunate. It will discourage some.

 

Perhaps it will be offset by the encouragement that comes from the excitement of being able to possess an account such as this one that somepony might be able to use during Roleplay. 

PLUS POSTING AS LUNA IN THE CANTERLOT VOICE IS AMAZING FUN!

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1 minute ago, Princess Luna said:

Perhaps it will be offset by the encouragement that comes from the excitement of being able to possess an account such as this one that somepony might be able to use during Roleplay. 

PLUS POSTING AS LUNA IN THE CANTERLOT VOICE IS AMAZING FUN!

Seems to take the roleplayer out of the equation. I liked being recognized as the roleplayer of Applejack. Now it's near-anonymous.

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14 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

Seems to take the roleplayer out of the equation. I liked being recognized as the roleplayer of Applejack. Now it's near-anonymous.

So you are suggesting that there be an easier to recognize or get to the public cast list? I tell you what, if the doors of EqE start to burst open with Bronies rushing in where memory can no longer help keep everything in ones head, it may be a viable suggestion to have some better way of identifying a person. Though there is something to be said about the illusion. People certainly had a lot of fun interacting with those characters here recently, so there has to be something there that we hit on. A lot of what we are doing is working off of actual proof of concept instead of guessing and theories. Perhaps there is a way to utilize both ideas. Something to consider. 

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It's kinda late and I haven't thought this through all that much, so take it with a lot of salt.

Oddly enough, I believe that the roleplaying section would actually benefit from paring down somewhat and even getting a little less organized. Right now, the roleplaying forums are structured in a way to help with a wide and vibrant community of roleplayers, something that is very much absent from the site right now. So, the roleplaying forums and sub-forums and sub-sub-forums can come across as intimidating enough that I can actually see it taking an awful lot of effort to simply say "Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie!"

The couple successful roleplaying communities I've been a part of were pretty much a free-for-all, with things like structure, canon or even historical consistency emerging from threads that grew to the point where some sort of fixed elements were needed, rather than being there by design and a lot of the time even those were optional in pursuit of plain, straightforward entertainment of people involved - and by extension, people who wanted to get involved.

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image.png.822914816a20b5aee99cba352e74f096.png

You could always change the username title to the name of the person holding the character. You already have a second one under the avatar after all. And it wouldn't be possible to make multiple accounts a parent to it, I guess?

Multiple people holding cast characters is a good idea, very good one even I'd say. You could RP with an RD player of your choice in EqE, should you wish. And it would alleviate any kinds of disappointment should the character be already in play. Even though there would be a risk of having one player becoming more popular than the others, it is still better than having no choice at all.

 

As for people dropping, I am really not certain if this is something the staff can influence at all. The process of dropping from RP depends on multiple various factors which are outside of userbase influence. Starting from, for whatever reason, loss of available time, going through RP heading in direction which was unwanted/unexpected, to perhaps some kind of dissatisfaction with fellow roleplayers or in worst scenarios writing yourself into a corner with no visible target for your character.

Bottom line, it's not the userbase who decides if fellow roleplayer will drop, but that roleplayer solely. Perhaps if there was some kind of button, mechanism, one-click tool that would allow roleplayers to notify that current thread that they are not willing to continue taking part in it. Something that would not require you to go into thread and write it all out, but rather an "aim-push-post update" kind of thing.

 

EqE has been suffering from SoL disease for a long time now. Based on the fact that we've seen a multitude of really, really odd things happen in the show past couple of seasons, I think that being even more lax about what's been proposed would not hurt it at all at this point.

 

How would the framework for events work though? I do understand it would be RP staff (edit: Second thoughts: Why staff? Why not have users dictate some aspects of the event?) driven and prepared. But it would need to be made different from a regular RP, have something to pull people in. Even some form of gratification as a simpliest solution.

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6 hours ago, Passion said:

You could always change the username title to the name of the person holding the character. You already have a second one under the avatar after all. And it wouldn't be possible to make multiple accounts a parent to it, I guess?

Using the role field is a valid solution to that. Shared linked accounts is simply not a viable option at present, and based on how IPS manages their DB, multiple accounts holding the same display name isn't either. 

 

6 hours ago, Passion said:

Perhaps if there was some kind of button, mechanism, one-click tool that would allow roleplayers to notify that current thread that they are not willing to continue taking part in it. Something that would not require you to go into thread and write it all out, but rather an "aim-push-post update" kind of thing.

There are several options for visually informing and notifying others that a person can't or won't continue an RP or multiple RP's. 

6 hours ago, Passion said:

How would the framework for events work though? I do understand it would be RP staff (edit: Second thoughts: Why staff? Why not have users dictate some aspects of the event?) driven and prepared. But it would need to be made different from a regular RP, have something to pull people in. Even some form of gratification as a simpliest solution.

:)

 

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I RPed once on another board years ago, but I had trepidation at first. I eventually got into it, but in general it seems like a big bar to cross, and one that sometimes makes me feel awkward or uncertain.

I do like the events thing though. It's sort of like the difference between an online board RP and a video game RPG. In a video game RPG, everything is already laid out, the setting, the story, you take the actions and do the fights and things in it, there's some framework, I like that. Additionally, it's the coming up with a story thing that gets me... who is supposed to do it? The person whose RP it is? Anyone? I know it's freeform but I sometimes wonder about framework.

(the RP I was in was a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon thing, I was a Swampert, but the plot happenings seemed to depend around the person whose RP it was, and eventually posts just stopped happening in that thread.)

The other thing that's kept me from putting my hooves in the RP section is that I'm really not the most creative guy when it comes to pony OC making. All I have is the yellow pony that I decided to desgined myself as. No backstory, though I'd love to go the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon route and once have been a human, but I don't know how that would work well to get with the show.

I have no pony name, it's just me. And I don't even give myself a cutie mark, this reflects my real-life general feeling of unfullfillment in my personal life, and more importantly, professional. I've always felt like a blank flank at heart. I even considred buying that shirt with that CMC cape logo on it. (if I had a mark though it would probably be voice acting one cause I love doing that)

Oh, I almost forgot: the fear of feeling like I'm going to say or do something that's wrong or improper. It's bad enough I'm like that for real, but I guess with RPing too.

Edited by Toastypk
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Sometimes.... I wish there was a category for folks who want to Roleplay but don't want the commitment of a long term RP...maybe a mini or episodic Rp category...with the intention that it'd end either by a page limitation or date. 

 

 

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First of all I have to say I completely agree with my good friend @Denim&Venom. Denim and I are so in synch in RP (obviously not IRL lol) often that sometimes I feel we're the same person. I can often guess what Denim wants to do, what would be done, and I know it won't lead to abuse. My experience has been that we have our confusion and misunderstanding, but it almost always leads to the RP being massively improved from the mere participation of Denim or Denim having given input. Pretty sure the feeling is mutual?

There are a couple other people I feel the same way about, and they know who they are.

So here's my suggestion on the topics so far:

1. Yes we need some kind of way for people to announce an incoming ghosting to avoid RP death due to at least that. Allow people to quickly pick a final wish: Phase me out I'm not coming back, kill me I'm not coming back, phase me out but leave a way for me to come back, kill me but leave a way for resurrection, GM control me cause I'm important. Maybe a write in field too?

I made every effort to impress upon people in a recent RP that they absolutely cannot drop out, and people did anyway, which is leading us to needing to reboot it now cause enough people dropped that were important.

I was guilty of it also, and I'd like to request a way for the GM to easily and quickly @ping every player in their RP. DO NOT allow this for regular threads, but this should be a thing for OOC/planning threads and RP threads. Please. Don't allow people to opt out of this if they've posted in the thread, except if the post is deleted.

Aside: Maybe allow players to delete their own posts? GM to delete posts in their threads? Like Mini Mod powers on their own threads in OOC and EvE? 

I would want to announce to my players I'm going to be inactive and call that to attention, and I might need to announce it quickly. I then would need a quick way to put the RP on hold without closing it, and then announce I'm back when I'm ready.

@Jeric2. EqE Cast characters.

I'd also like to suggest that it NOT be anonymous, but definitely make it a Cast account. How would I do this if I had the forum knowledge? A header on the post, somewhere between it and the previous post or at the top.

Person X, posting as Princess Luna. So people already somewhat familiar know who's being awesome at the Cast character, but people who don't could see it and be like wow I like this writer. Definitely still allow posting as the character outside of EqE for events and the quick switching, but a header I feel would work wonders. As it is most of us have no idea who's in charge of these accounts, so people can't get their due praise. It's a real shame.

If you can allow more than one person to play each Cast that would be great also, but I can understand that not being possible as previously discussed.

If this can be done for characters as side accounts in general, that would be lovely. Just, only allow Cast to use this outside of RP sections, not everyone. As much as I'd like to post as a character outside of RP, it doesn't contribute much to other threads or events. Ok maybe allow staff a switch to allow posting as characters in events only, and maybe just allowed ones only. Maybe EqE approved only and that's it.

3. I'd love some kind of Respected RPer tag for members? Extra member titles maybe? Don't allow this to be self assigned, but assuming this figured out somehow, you'd know if such a person shows up in your thread that they know what they're doing. Kinda like I mentally note a couple of people like this personally already.

4. Quality of life

Definitely we need the profiles fixed. Please Celestia, get this working, oh powers that be. Thanks so much for announcing it's still being worked on.

EG Cast, EG villain, and Equestria villain sign up in EqE? Yes please! Of course on a first come first serve basis too.

I assume this will include EG OCs as well? I would love this, personally. I have many ideas for EG, but I never thought that would ever be allowed on the forum in EqE.

*-*-*

Hmm I totally need a NON NSFW art version of my character. I mean she's not naked, just teasing, but I assume a school would not allow a teacher (or even a student if EqE wouldn't allow such a young teacher) to wear a tie-together top as normal attire during school hours. She just closes her lab coat, but not everyone would catch on to that and I should get some art of her with the lab coat already closed :mlp_toldya:

Edited by Lektra Bolt
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27 minutes ago, Lektra Bolt said:

 3. I'd love some kind of Respected RPer tag for members? Extra member titles maybe? Don't allow this to be self assigned, but assuming this figured out somehow, you'd know if such a person shows up in your thread that they know what they're doing. Kinda like I mentally note a couple of people like this personally already.

 

Hm. This is a new suggestion. What would be a determining factor in being given this title to signify their ongoing status as a key member of the RP community?

 

28 minutes ago, Lektra Bolt said:

Definitely we need the profiles fixed. Please Celestia, get this working, oh powers that be. Thanks so much for announcing it's still being worked on.

 

I'm still picking away at this. Admittedly a lot slower than I would like, but I still test out some tweaks at least once a week and record changes and how they update the sheets. 

 

 

I'll respond to the other stuff soon. 

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32 minutes ago, Jeric said:

Hm. This is a new suggestion. What would be a determining factor in being given this title to signify their ongoing status as a key member of the RP community?

When I originally brought that up, I just meant I have enough confidence in the staffers that should this suggestion be implemented (no guarantees on anything brought up here, fully aware) they'd figure something out.

As long as we're making suggestions?

As a start off and eventually phased out: A test, kinda how EqE approach is done. Pass and you get it, fail and you can retry as necessary.

Members can report for having the title revoked if someone is sucking and is no longer worthy of it?

Eventually? Have this assigned by the forum automatically if you've been in X RPs. A voting system when GM announces the RP is over where players (limit to those who participated) give each other reputation towards this title. Like an auto poll that comes up with a max of 2 or 3 choices.

You know how like when you have a conversation with Support for something some ask, hey did this person do a good job? Something like that, where everyone's name would automatically come up. Everyone who participated votes on their favorite. If you 'win' say 3 or 5 times you get a point towards the title. X points and the forum auto assigns it to you.

This needs to be carefully controlled so people don't make short RPs to 'farm rep' toward the point system, but that's one way I would suggest it be implemented.

How to lose this title if someone starts sucking suddenly? I heavily hesitate suggesting negative reputation on an inclusive and good natured forum such as this, so the only thing I can suggest is points decay over time? Considering some quality RPs can continue for months and I've even seen some go on for 6+ especially if an RP is put on hold, the point decay time has to be reasonable to the length of time RPs take to complete.

If you drop below X points, you lose the title? This would encourage people to participate in RPs and maintain their title (keep points above the number needed to not lose the title), but again it might decay too quickly to be able to reasonably maintain it

Maybe you lose a point after a year? Seriously if you get no points in the year you were probably not cool enough anyway and earned the title accidentally. A fluke if you will.

Maybe the title has to be earned over again with the reputation system every year regardless?

Edited by Lektra Bolt

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27 minutes ago, Lektra Bolt said:

When I originally brought that up, I just meant I have enough confidence in the staffers that should this suggestion be implemented (no guarantees on anything brought up here, fully aware) they'd figure something out.

As long as we're making suggestions?

As a start off and eventually phased out: A test, kinda how EqE approach is done. Pass and you get it, fail and you can retry as necessary.

 Members can report for having the title revoked if someone is sucking and is no longer worthy of it?

 Eventually? Have this assigned by the forum automatically if you've been in X RPs. A voting system when GM announces the RP is over where players (limit to those who participated) give each other reputation towards this title. Like an auto poll that comes up with a max of 2 or 3 choices.

 You know how like when you have a conversation with Support for something some ask, hey did this person do a good job? Something like that, where everyone's name would automatically come up. Everyone who participated votes on their favorite. If you 'win' say 3 or 5 times you get a point towards the title. X points and the forum auto assigns it to you.

This needs to be carefully controlled so people don't make short RPs to 'farm rep' toward the point system, but that's one way I would suggest it be implemented.

How to lose this title if someone starts sucking suddenly? I heavily hesitate suggesting negative reputation on an inclusive and good natured forum such as this, so the only thing I can suggest is points decay over time? Considering some quality RPs can continue for months and I've even seen some go on for 6+ especially if an RP is put on hold, the point decay time has to be reasonable to the length of time RPs take to complete.

If you drop below X points, you lose the title? This would encourage people to participate in RPs and maintain their title (keep points above the number needed to not lose the title), but again it might decay too quickly to be able to reasonably maintain it

Maybe you lose a point after a year? Seriously if you get no points in the year you were probably not cool enough anyway and earned the title accidentally. A fluke if you will.

Maybe the title has to be earned over again with the reputation system every year regardless?

Many of these are doable with the tools we have available, including the automated promotion to recognize an RP 'master'. I honestly have always liked the idea of recognizing community members who have been solid participants in whatever area tof the site hey enjoy, and this could be one such way of doing that. 

 

And keep ideas coming. Some may not be implementable in the fashion they are suggested, but I've found some gems in this thread that have been put on my list. 

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