Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

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Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Halcyon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:27 pm

Hello everybody,

I'm creating a thread for perhaps the first time since 2015/2016 to bring your attention to an alarming development. Those of us who use Writing.com (WDC) for interactive stories may have noticed that, occasionally, the Interactive Stories section will be offline for "visitors" and "free members" (that is, users without a paid subscription). However, these offline periods have recently been put in place more and more often and for longer periods, so much so that I have no been able to access that section of the site at all in weeks.

Now, I'm all for supporting sites and giving back when we can. I have had paid subscriptions to the site before, though I currently don't have one now. WDC subscriptions are quite cheap, as well - as low as single-digit dollar amounts for an entire year. However, the simple fact of the matter is that, by making interactives paid-only for readers and contributors, the site is vastly decreasing the potential reach for collaboration. What I mean is, even with the stories open to everyone, every story-owner knows how hard it is to find people to contribute. Now that the stories are all but completely inaccessible to free users, I fear that the potential number of contributors may decrease to 10% or less of what it was before.

I know we've had problems with WDC before when stories have been deleted without explanation. I also know that it was a major step behind a paywall when creating new interactives became paid-only. Indeed, I myself even purchased a subscription to write my story, Elder Scrolls Vore. However, I believe that this development might be the final "nail in the coffin" destroying the vore presence on WDC for good.

I'm very passionate about interactive stories. The ones on this site were my first foray into both vore writing and the community in general. Today, I'm still the owner of what is either the largest, or at least the top-5 largest interactive story on the site. Thus, I couldn't help but to take notice of this development.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the matter. I'm curious to hear what you all think. If anyone's curious, I do have a few ideas about where we could go moving forward. The ideal situation for me would be an expansion and fixing-up of the interactive story section on this site, but I of course understand the limitations of administration and why that might be an unreasonable idea. With that aside, then, does anyone have any other ideas of what we can possibly do going forward?
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby zerothx16 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:37 pm

I have noticed this too and it has been bothering me. I have to wonder if they are really struggling or if like every creative website now, they are locking people out who simply don't want to spend money or every little thing. When I have time I have actually gone through the whole interactive I enjoyed and placed every page in twine. Needing to wait 10 minutes for every page to let me in, on the biggest interactives has made it extremely difficult, even with how it normally takes anyway. If people are willing to put the time in, its a simple copy and past method. Copy the passage, then enter, then paste the choices below that and encase them with square brackets. Keep the asterisk to make a none existant passage. Click on an open choice and paste the next passage and repeat. Organize the squares in the twine interface so you can keep it easy to manage.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby FanficFetishist » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:50 am

I've all but given up on my own interactives. This thing with writing.com is getting very annoying.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby BBthewolf » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:02 am

yeah i noticed that as well, it is annoying i got good ideas for chapters but can't add them because of it.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Nornim » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:27 am

I've started copying and pasting stuff I like from WDC so I can 'read it' later and even gives me the option now to edit spelling errors and even spice up otherwise incorrect or boring passages, but still, checking for new chapters on interactives I like is now a total chore and test of my patience. The server load-up doesn't seem to be as big of a problem during times like late at night (or early morning), for example 3am to 5am.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby lapraslunch » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:05 am

I've been lurking writing.com for ages as well and I'm sad to say that I think this really is the last nail in the coffin for vore interactives there.... :( Heck, it might be the end of all unpaid access to the interactives section as a whole. All one has to do is search "writing.com interactives not available" on google to bring up a long list of complaints by users on the site's support forum. And everyone of them has two things in common. 1. A copy and pasted reply saying that site membership is really cheap and helps the site grow and 2. A snobby reply by "The Storymaster" aka Writing.com's owner, telling people to stop complaining, man up (aka pay up), and deal with it because "It's not good business to expand free access to the interactives section" and "There are THOUSANDS, I say THOUSANDS of free users browsering the interactives all the time! We can't handle all of them!" (mind you, I think he's seriously overstating this statistic just to make himself seem like he's in the right). He also has repeatedly blamed all writing.com's problems and his 'reactions' to them on the free users, despite many people telling him that pissing off said users is NOT the way to go. Really, if you have any doubt as to the hatred this guy harbors for free users, look no further than that forum and you will see all the proof you need.

At this point, it's pretty fair to say that he's gone full EA and is doing his hardest to get rid of any 'unprofitable' usership of his site without just flat out making the whole site paywalled. All in all, it's a pretty sad development for what used to be an extremely enjoyable site.. :(
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby LightningLord2 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:13 am

Twine is a much better to structure interactive program without the required explosion of path divergence. Writing.com is just expensive.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Assimilation » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:47 am

Interactive stories are, bar none, my favorite medium for vore content. Yet, about 5 years ago I significantly slowed my participation on writing.com amid their first round of reader access changes, and I abandoned checking up on WDC interactives entirely about 2 years ago as they restricted reader access much more heavily and took down the vast majority of my old favorites (whether through active WDC staff removal or author's account expiration, I don't actually know). I was hoping that the new (4+ years ago) interactives system here on Eka's would be a good replacement, but in practice I've found the system disenchanting, especially between the missing navigation controls, poor management tools, and simply ugly layout.

Despite everything I've just said, I think the most important factor towards a replacement site for vore interactive stories isn't a high quality interactive story system, but that it's simply a single destination that's visible enough for a writing community to form and keep itself afloat. Interactives stories are interactive in 2 ways: you get to choose your own adventure as a reader, and you can contribute to other authors' creative vision as a writer. It's easy to drain yourself if you're writing all the choose-your-own-adventure chapters by your lonesome in the quest for quality control, so the more-appealing aspect to me is the lowered minimum of commitment when you get small bursts of inspiration to continue from someone else's writing.

Therefore, while I would love to finally see the overhaul of our system here on Eka's, I'd rather not hold my breath and instead I'd prefer we (together as a vore writing community) establish a website with sufficient tools for interactive story creation and hosting, and somehow be very constant about promoting the site in other vore communities. But that's, of course, a matter of putting money or muscle where my mouth is; if I'm not the one to do it, why should I expect anyone else to do so?
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby GeneralUrist » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:06 am

Is there any script kiddie or something with a paid account around here? Because it's increasingly looking like emergency backup/archival efforts are warranted...
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby njeraldson2 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:55 am

making an interactive in this state is fruitless, since adding chapters has become a chore and most membership-having users aren't active outside of reading, many don't add new chapters for months. admittedly, the site's content isn't fetish-focused, they probably expected a few fetish things but not a whole community. so it's probably intentional. they probably want to weed out the people who are just freely using the service to mass produce fetish stuff. they probably see the vore community like a growing burden, since the interactives have become fetish orientated.

they're doing the mining for GP thing also, which they are ONLY doing on interactive pages, as they state. so that ADDITIONALLY slows the load speed on interactive pages, depending on how many users decided to mine for GP on the interactive. GP comes easy though, and you barely need it if you have a membership, so i doubt many people with a membership mine. though it's stupid to ask free members to mine on interactives if they can't access them, Lol. you can't deny that there's some coincidence in taxing interactives and the uprising of fetish interactives being the most popular kind of interactive.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby HxD » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:22 am

No Viewing or $erver Limitation$: Interactive $torie$ $imply do not monetize well and the bulk of our reader$ u$e ad blocker$, thu$ we mu$t limit the available re$ource$. Paid member$, on the other hand, $upport Writing.Com and pay for their own u$age, a$ $uch, paid member$ have no viewing or $erver limitation$!

I tried adding emojis, but phpBB decided to throw SQL errors at me.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Jswrighting » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:30 am

If I were to write an interactive story these days I'd probably use something like Twine or Squiffy.
It really depends on the person, I prefer squiffy since its mostly text-based, but others might prefer twine due to its pretty graphical interface for linking your interactive fiction together. They're great because you can use variables to store gender, height, etc.. which can solve the problem that many interactive stories have which is cloned content or early "What is your gender" questions which end up totally diverging the story, rather than a similar, or same one being told just with edits.

So, yeah, Squiffy or Twine. Both have a bit of a learning curve but are well worth it.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby MrPigUwu » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:18 pm

I've noticed too, it's quite sad :c
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby rarrawer » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:55 pm

If anyone else here knows python and wants to try archivng the interactive stories, I'd be willing to give them my code.
I've pretty much given up after encountering too many "Sorry, free users can't access this" pages.
I was thinking of buying a membership to run the downloader through, but I was worried about giving my personal details to vore related things. (And now also this talk about the attitide of the admins makes me more uneasy about the idea)
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby HxD » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:06 am

They are trying really hard. They just added this to the page:
"Writing.Com hosts over 6,500 interactive stories
with more than 1,700,000 interactive chapters.
That's a lot of pathes to follow without worrying about
resource limitations... with your paid membership!"
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby sweetladyamy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:41 pm

Well...Vivé la FUCKING FRANCE.

This is some ridiculous, greedy, avaricious bullshit. I honestly wish someone who doesn't think lowly of those who cannot afford paid memberships on every single fucking platform would buy them out, and while they're at it, buy out Google and YouTube, and fix that bullshit too. Fuck this shit. UGH! It makes me wanna scream.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby lapraslunch » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:19 am

I wasn't gonna post any more on this subject, but after spotting this little tidbite from "Northernwrites" (who seems to be "The storymaster"'s alt due to the way they copy and paste stuff to back him up on almost every complaint post), I just had to show it here. Take a look at this backwards logic:

"Thus, any solution to the interactives access problem lies with the users, not with the site. The people who use the service will need to decide whether it's worth competing with the other free members and guests for limited resources, or whether it's worth paying for a membership to get better access, or whether they'd rather do something else with their time."

Edit: Here's the full post here: https://www.writing.com/main/forums/message_id/3165516

And yes, this is from the number 1 admin of Writing.com (who as I said before seems to be an alt of the site's owner). It's really sickening to see the way the put all the blame and the responsibility for their own actions on the users... DX
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby Aickavon12 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:13 am

Instead of complaining about the tragedy that is writing.com.

Perhaps maybe it's better to do something more constructive? I mean to say, our interactive stories page is well... it has no organization! If you want to find anything there, you have to know what you're looking for before browsing. If our interactive story page had some sort of tagging method, or searching method, then I think it would make a lot of potential interactive writers far more celebrant to write down stories there as well as contribute.

Jump ship and see if we can improve our own website. I don't know if there is a way to ping eka or anyone responsible for such a vast undertaking but I mean. It's worth a thought. We have more control over here than we do at writing.com
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby linkever » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:01 am

Before, 1000 users could be connected without becoming restricted. Now, only 700(sometime even 500) and the site will block access to free membership user.
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Re: Is This the End of Writing Dot Com Interactives?

Postby shaneh28 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:19 pm

Yeah I stopping visiting writing dot com entirely about 2 months ago. I've saved some of the chapters from a few of my favorite interactives, but there's still a lot there that I'm going to miss. I'm not going back though, they clearly don't want us there.

@Aickavon12 Are there interactive stories on Eka's portal? I've never noticed any. I think I'd feel more comfortable contributing here than on writing dot com, since Eka's is clearly a fetish specific website while writing dot com appears to be a more general population website with a few niche members (who are apparently being phased out). I've got an account over there but I've never really contributed anything. I've never contributed here, either, but that's because I can't draw, haven't ever written any sort of fiction or fantasy; and am pretty insecure about my interests.
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