Are you excited? Because we sure are!
In today’s blog post we’d like to introduce a couple of fresh features we’ve been working on for a while and believe are a step in a right direction towards improving the community of Royal Road.
We’ve received plenty of feedback from you, our dedicated user base, on improving user communication, and especially on fictions and the forums — something we think has not been given a proper priority until now. That is about to change.
Reputation of a Royal
To start off, we’re reintroducing and repurposing the old Reputation feature. Once present on the old Royal Road Forums, the feature has been reintroduced a few months ago, left to gather up some strength and dust, and now has been improved with, you guessed it, levels.
But, let’s start from the basics.
How to get Reputable
Users can give each other reputation on comments and forum posts (look for the small +Rep button in the corners).
Now, where have I dug these up from?
The amount a user can give to another will vary but will depend on their reputation level, which they increase by getting reputation. So, get more reputation to give more reputation in return. Simple stuff, really.
Authors can give more reputation to users that comment on their chapters. We feel this should encourage more productive conversations in the comment sections of fictions and allow authors to get more valuable feedback from their readers, which was one of the primary goals of the features.
You will notice that authors can't receive reputation on their own fictions. This is to encourage authors to communicate with each other and the rest of the community, as we don't want them sticking to just their own comment sections and getting scores of reputation from it.
Your previous reputation score (all the way back from obscurity) has been saved and will be factored into the new reputation as a way to jumpstart your climb through the new systems.
Shine bright like a… gem
Your reputation level will be now displayed on your profile avatar, encrusted in a magnificent gem that levels up as you do!
There’s a lot more where these came from!
Along with the Reputation system comes our new Experience system! That’s right, you can now level up in Royal Road!
Each level has a corresponding border for your avatar picture to nestle in while you show it off across Royal Road. Note that comments do not get the full border due to room constraints.
A display of all borders, from level 1 to 30. Shiny!
There are multitudes of ways to get experience (in no particular order):
- Gaining new achievements
- Logging in (or just visiting if you are always logged in) daily to Royal Road
- Gaining Reputation levels
- Giving Reputation to users
- Commenting on fictions
- Making reviews, and voting on reviews
- Referring new users to Royal Road
We will be ironing out details, rewards, and ways to get more Experience in the future, but we feel this is a comfortable starting point.
So, go on, Level Up, get Reputable, and we will see you on the Royal Road!
If you want to hide your border
If you don't feel up to showing your border to the world, you can disable it on the Settings page under General settings.
PLEASE NOTE: The experience system is currently in its infancy; numbers have been tweaked in the last couple days, and may be further tweaked down the line. All such changes are retroactive; we re-calculate experience and level thresholds all over again. Your achievements/contributions are not lost, but your total experience and level may increase or decrease depending on how we re-balance things, as it has today. Apologies about this; the community is too diverse for us to be able to easily figure out the numbers we should use even after days and weeks of calculations and estimations.
Let’s Loop back to Feedback
We’re also rolling out a new user feedback portal. After logging in via Single Sign-On with a Royal Road account, you can use the new feature to provide us with valuable feedback and directly communicate your wishes and requests to the site crew, with improved UI, communicability, visibility, and response time.
Note: Due to this platform being a completely different one from the previously used feedback portal, we manually copied the most upvoted suggestions from the old one, losing all comments and upvotes they had in the process. While we apologize for any issues this might cause and some data loss that occurred, as we couldn’t do any better in the transfer, we believe that the new system should work significantly better long term.
Sorry for the Blinding Light mode
Summer 2019 Feature Break
We will be taking a break from new features for awhile while we transfer to a new platform. We will be tweaking the existing features only if a major issue occurs that needs fixing, but nothing is expected until the transfer is complete. After the transfer, we expect smoother updates, fewer downtimes, better-streamlined releases, and more flexibility on our end, allowing us to make swifter and better changes to the system.
Royal Road App When?
Unfortunately, while mobile app designs are ready, we still need some time to start development on it.
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- ಇ( ꈍᴗꈍ)ಇ
- being the last is never a reason to skip out on the uWu session, i'm afraid.
ok mister cultured person
Blest froest on
Colin Mentel on
Burn in Holy Hell Fire....
DISGUSTING, ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING, IT MUST BURN!
Town Crier on
You fail by questioning it.
UwU is why ;3
Some people just want to say "UwU" like I want to say "Please don't spam the comments".
I have a question maybe I'm incompetent but I can't find the gem would you be so kind as to point it out to me?
Ashreb Tuano on
uwu ? what ?
Silver tail on
Crazy _AI on
Then allow me to join
Jason Dewey on
Thanks, your post clarified what UwU is for me.
The great chain of uwu much like The great chain of being although unfair continues on through the ages
Wohooo! It's on!
Also, I dropped from level 6 to level 5 in the period since my last post. Is there a reason for this? I wasn't going to post this here, but for some reason I just keep getting error messages when I try to report it on the link below..
We noticed some bugs that we immediately worked to fix. Sadly, among them, we noticed an incorrect calculation of the exp. Which means that once they were recalculated correctly, some people lost a few levels.
As for the error:
First, make sure to login with your Royal Road account.
Then in the search bar that says [report your problem]
Write what the issue is, you will get similar reports to it, if none of them match your report click on [continue posting...]
If you do it accordingly, do you still get an error? what is the error exactly?
Can you share more details about it?
The exact error might just be due to my computer. What happens is whenever I press login, it opens a side window, but all that appears is '403 forbidden'. The same thing happens when I press post, but that might just be because it wants me to log in first, and then opens that same window. Hope that helped!
Can you please post a screenshot of the 403 page, including the address bar? Please send the link to me in PM.
wait but where do I skill grind? Levels aren't everything
We skill grind in comments sections as usual.
Keep up the good fight!
If only this feature was implemented before the chain....
I swear by all the gods above and below I will create a fix to un-break that chain of yours so it will stop breaking the page
what chain is this?
Yea, you deleted it, leave us alone
exactly! thanks for backing me up Vile
Ward, for more info on this mysterious Chain.
I'll do something like only showing the first 5 and last 5 posts of a chain with a button to show more. That way people reading chapters won't get 5 minute long pageloads and 10MB bandwidth hits.
you know you love the fact that we have hit 1386 comments on that chapter even if you removed a bunch and we can't see them anymore
You thought your sad little effort to halt of the unending march towards pure entropy that is our thread would work? Ha, we spit in the face of such laughable resistance
But seriously, please gib bandwidth, it takes like 5 or 10 seconds to jump to the comment
posting a comment is laggy as well takes like ~10 seconds
pls snd hlp, we is stuck in the purgatory that is slow pages, actually, no, dont, last time hepl came it deleted all of our hard work
Also, bug report, cause im to lazy to go to wherever they are supposed to go, when i get a comment notification, it says "Aselo and another 10replied to your comment" which looks nota very good
Shiny gems and avatar frames are adorable. :3 Very pretty!
Sounds like we'll all be working to level up now. XD
Rusty Knight on
So I'm not sure if it's considered a bug or just preference but I love the very recent UI overlay upgrade for comment sections but I did notice that it no longer gives a visual cue if you've given someone rep.
It used to bold and brighten the current rep tally if it was someone you'd given rep to.
Will fix that tomorrow!
Thanks! You guys rock!
Add a function where posting a new chapter of a story gives the author xp and rep.
Add different emphasis features around the frames such as feather quills, laurels, books, folded paper, etcetera.
There are so many things wrong with that idea I don't even know where to start.
Actually, I'll start by mentioning the artist would have an aneurism. And so would I when I have to implement that.
Maybe, though giving exp for chapters is somewhat problematic due to deletions and such. And only XP could be given, not reputation.
Would receiving reviews work as a source of reputation or exp?
Again, the only allowed source of reputation is other users. And definitely not on an author's page. Anything an author touches as an author, he cannot get reputation from. It'd go against the point.
Experience though, maybe. I still have to do a bunch of sanity checks on the numbers.
Hmmm, maybe you get exp from "unique views" on posted chapters, where the amount depends on the viewing account's rep/level and/or chapter length?
That would make it fair for many different kinds of authors and would make a view from an older, more reputable member weigh heavier than fresh, throw-away/spam accounts.
There are spam accounts? how would you even spam something on here?
I think this is the first time I relised just how fucking amazing our admins are. You actually talk to people give, read feedback and so many other things that just don't happen often. Most admins for websites I've run into are cancer mixed with ebola but you guys are actually amazing.
Just thought I'd let you know I think your doing a great job and I appreciate it.
That would mean every author will reach max level before a reader could get to about lvl 15... especially the popular ones
Interesting new update.
I had been wondering what was going to be done with the reputation system, since the old rep comments were still around, and this seems like a pretty cool way to bring it back.
After reading through the update notes a bit more, I had a few questions:
Are the various ways to get exp listed fully implemented?
Is there a soft cap on how much exp you can recieve from giving reputation?
Is there any reason why you can only give reputation on comments and forum posts, as opposed to reviews etc, or has it just not been implemented yet?
Is it possible to give large sums of reputation to a single person even at base level by giving reputation multiple times?
Thanks for the regular updates and listening to the community, -rando
Let me go through those one by one:
"Are the various ways to get exp listed fully implemented?" - Yes, except for voting on reviews, which gives experience to the reviewer but not the voter currently.
"Is there a soft cap on how much exp you can recieve from giving reputation?" - EXP is gained on Rep level up, and Rep level is capped at 50. Each level gives progressively more EXP but also requires progressively more reputation.
"Is there any reason why you can only give reputation on comments and forum posts, as opposed to reviews etc, or has it just not been implemented yet?" - reviews are under consideration for reputation. EXP is already given for thumbs ups received but we've been trying to decide on a good way for the reputation, given that review upvotes are already a thing, so having a separate +rep button could feel redundant. On the other hand, daily reputation from a single source is limited, which is hard yo apply on review upvotes.
"Is it possible to give large sums of reputation to a single person even at base level by giving reputation multiple times?" - There are limitations in place - you may only give the same person reputation twice every 24 hours currently, and only once in that period for each of their posts/comments. You are also limited to giving reputation 20 times a day at most.
I kinda wish that authors' own comments were elligible to get reputation from. It seems like it's unnecessarily punishing authors for interacting with their own audience. Punishing might be the wrong word, dis-incentivizing might be better. If the problem is that "authors could get too much reputation", I don't actually see how that's a problem- authors are the people who are providing the content for people to read haha.
Perhaps a compromise could be that readers can give authors reputation on each chapter they post. That would somewhat cap the amount of reputation authors earn, while still feeling rewarding for providing content and engagement to the reader. Especially since there's no way to gain levels via writing either...
Overall, I like the changes, but I do think that they "favor" readers over authors. But if the system was designed that way, then I guess I can't really complain.
The problem is that giving authors reputation on their own fiction dis-incentivizes interacting with other authors and the forums.
Perhaps. I can understand that your goal is to spread engagement out over as wide an area as possible, rather than have people remain in their own little niches.
In the end, it probably won't have any measurable impact on my behavior as a user- and I'm only complaining because I just love to see the numbers go up :p
Hmm, not really.
Almost every author here is a reader of the other authors too. We will comment and interact with other people on the chapters of other authors' novels every single day. Point out typos, speculating on the plot, making theories, discussing the current arc of the chapters, etc.
We are readers too, so we do the same as them, but prohibiting readers to give reputation to the authors seems unnecessary. That doesn't disincentivize interacting with other authors.
I must say that I agree with Javert, because for an author their main interaction is their reader audience. The readers of a novel are the supporters of the author, so anything that the site installs that can be seen as a supportive feature should be enabled for the readers to give it to the authors. Readers always want to show their support in myriads of ways like giving ratings, reviews, comments, and donations, so now reputation could be added to that list.
That shouldn't be denied.
See Caoimhín, you forget what the effect of authors would be on the system overall. Authors have such a ridiculous gravity that they'd distort the reputation system, making viable numbers so high due to number bloating such that readers would never have any chance ever to reach them. Or authors would basically instantly cap the numbers.
And ultimately, it'd still result in you not considering reputation as an incentive for interacting outside of your story, since getting reputation for your own stuff would probably give you an entire degree of magnitude more reputation.
Ah, good point.
So the reputation is to be given in our status as fellow readers, not as authors that can get it en mass due to the followers of the novels. That makes sense.
You guys have obviously considered this features for a long time and thought of the different possibilities more than the rest of us (our comments here are, after all, initial reactions and thoughts at the top of our heads), I think we will all need some time before we can properly grasp the depths of these new features and their uses.
In the meantime... Let's grind some levels!!
EXP was also added separately so we can also reward authors without taking away the meaning of reputation.
Looks cool, thanks.
How about giving Premium status to those that reach Level 30? That could be a nice reward for those that reach the top level.
We've actually considered giving Premium for level 25, or even for every level above 25 - it'll take a loooong time to reach those and even longer between the levels. We'll see. We have some issues we need to solve with the subscription system for this, as due to technical limitations we can't really gift someone with an existing subscription 1 month free due to billing periods being handled by PayPal and their API having no proper surface to delay/skip someone's next payment. Or their documentation is simply terrible. I'm having a hard time telling with them.
I see, seems pretty cool still.
Do admins appear with the top level border like the Game Masters in some games?
You could also make an "Admin-only" border that combines with the Admin badge XD
We did consider admin-only borders, just not there yet :)
This'll get more people to comment, but I hope it never becomes like webnovel with people spamming 'exp'
I know what you mean haha. At the very least, they likely won't be getting any reputation for it. Even possibly negative reputation by the author for spamming their story.
I think that most people will at least have the decency to spam "thanks for the chapter" instead.
tbh, I kinda hate those comments; I almost think that it would be better for them to be prohibited. I am all in favor of thanking authors for their hard work; I just think that word-for-word identical comments are unoriginal and far from the best way of supporting authors.
I really want this update will encourage actual discussion in the comments, but I'm not too hopeful :\
So it's finally little more than a vanity system, huh?
That works for me, Kyon~!
Ooooh I'm really excited for the app version of this! Really hope you'd add a download feature which allows us to save chapters in both versions.
Neat. It seems as if is finally time to pull all of those filthy lurkers out of their dark caves into the burning light where they shall be damned for all eternity!
let us burn!!!!
Root Greevil on
I'm glad RR is continuing to add features, and adding levels and getting reputation back seem like great features for the community, although I can't deny that there's a part of me that's slightly salty about all the past EXP that I missed out on. *Shakes fist at kids on lawn*
It’d be cool if you at least show the designs for the Mobile App. But how long is it going to take?
At this rate a year probably.. If I donate $ will it quicken the process? lol
Woo for the rep system! Enjoyed that as a feature back on the old site, was a good way for authors and readers to mutually show their thanks for comments, corrections, or providing content. Out of curiosity though, on the original system I believe there was a way to give reputation to authors on chapters they have posted (as I have reputation gained comments from people to such an effect) and I figured I should ask if that's planned to be added? It seems like a cool idea to be able to give your favorite authors a figurative 'thumbs up' for their work, which goes into a visible tracker people can have a look at. Just a thought though, and thanks for the new features!
Note: just saw an above comment chain on a similar thing, and figured I'd suggest maybe something like people only having x reputation to give on chapters? I mean, a lot of people read something like 30+ novels on the site, myself included, so if we only had 2-3 reputation daily for authors it would mean we'd actually give it to the authors that wrote the most engaging content, again just a thought lol
The entire idea behind disabling reputation to authors on their fiction is to make them interact with the community in ways beyond just writing their fiction or interacting on their comment sections. Any implementation that just gives reputation for essentially writing chapters would go against that.
I was here.
I was here, but I'm not going to admit it
Do you get experience when receiving downvotes as well as when receiving upvotes? After all, clearly people still felt strongly enough about it to indicate their disagreement.
Since often downvotes are often used for badly written reviews, I don't think this makes much sense.
Also, I can see how that would very quickly devolve into people saying the worst possible things just for the exp.
Yeah, that makes sense now that I think about it
Can you give us a breakdown of what gives exp, and how much is given for each, as well as the thresholds for levels and rep?
I think all the current ways to recieve exp are listed in the post.
They are, but not how much each is worth or level thresholds
Since the amount of experience handed out for individual actions might change in the coming days/weeks, I'd rather not say anything official just yet :)
This is great! Especially due to it being kind of casual with being hidden on the user’s profile.
If only all previous comments added up to the exp task, from all those years back... all the lost exp! Ahh...Guess I’ll just have to do more commenting.
At what level in reputation can I give more than 1 rep at a time? So far I’m lvl 3 in rep and can give 1 rep at any time. Is it first at lvl 10 it changes?
Let the Game commence.
All Hail the Penguin Empire!
But they do! All existing comments, reviews, upvotes and achievements have been awarded experience retroactively :)
Ah, I meant to the days of yore, before one of the big updates. I recall having some 30k comments back then, and awarded with the Penguin Emperor title or some such madness. Quite a chunk of those were lost somehow. Good times, though!
Nice update, thanks!
reputation was a fun feature (if a bit wonky) i'm glad to see it return
didn't read it yet sad too long for me Should reduce it to 100 word
You are on a website literally to read stuff......................
You made me laugh so hard on your reply that I had people in my office ask me if I was ok.
TLDR: You do stuff, you get fancy borders and achievements to show the world your awesomeness.
This feels like someone gives a shit about their website and the people that use it. It's a super weird feeling.
Oooh the Rep system gives me nostalgia. Glad it's back and better than ever.
Um... I just saw the higher achievements have just become the realm of possibility, but I think the texts might not have been updated.
Excellent Commenter (VII)
Achievement awarded for posting 15,000 comments
I did write a lot of comments, but I'm very sure it's not 15,000.
Interesting idea based on what some comments said, plus my own opinion:
Give experience not based on uploading a chapter, but on release rate.
Make it a passive exp, that when you upload at a faster rate you gain faster passive exp, but it resets every week/month.
We could have 2 different passive exp givers in my idea, no need to separate it.
The first passive is weekly, but the second is monthly.
I mean, they reset in that time.
If that mixes it up too much, then it could simply be a different level thing, not the same as what you implemented.
If you want, you can also set a cap on the weekly/monthly passive exp.
Huh, I like the level up pop-ups that follows a level up. A nice little thing to show how awesome you are! Heh.
though it looked like a video or sort was supposed to be there for level 10, but it didn’t work. A shame.
Oh, this is actually a pretty cool update. Cheers.
glad to hear stuff's going on, frankly
If you give reputation to someone on a comment do you lose it?
No, you lose nothing :)
Lol. I went from reading a comment from Ha2kon on one of my chapters to coming over here and seeing Ha2kon in the example picture. *Queue X-Files music*
Someone's getting a +rep
This looks promising. Will be interesting to see it play out with all these nifty features.
An interresting that will incite people to be more active and communicate better. That's pretty important for both author and reader.
I'm just glad that I now have confirmation of a mobile app's development
I just wish it would get here soon. I’d binge read all day. I wish this site more success!
Am new, so a lot for me to learn around here...
yee been here for three years and ive seen some sh#t going on but thanks be to you Gods of royal roads
What happens if we just never logout?
It doesn't matter, you get your experience every day when you visit the site first.
The time for 'Royal Road - Legends' the Game is near!
WAIT! When did the URL change to royalroad.com instead of royalroadl.com???
We announced it around half a year ago I think. There is a blog post about it somewhere...
Aha, must have missed it lol. Only noticed it today xD.
Long line of comments👍
I remember when they introduced the next chapter/previous chapter buttons. *tear* so proud at how far this website has come.
I really like that that royal road is doing this and I am looking foward to everything being rolled out. I hope it causes more activity between everyone.
Holy crap! Admins that talk to people! What is the world coming to?!
Actually, thank you for not being too full of yourselves to talk to people AND still do your jobs. You're the first ones I've ever seen!
i'm just happy that an app is confirmed. will you gamefy it like webnovel has done (with less pay-to-play stuff) i hope?
Hard to believe how far this site has come. Guess this is what happens when Admins actually care
- Gaining new achievements
- Logging in daily to Royal Road
- Gaining Reputation levels
- Giving Reputation to users
- Commenting on fictions
- Making reviews, and voting on reviews
- Referring new users to Royal Road
Are these the only way to gain levels?
Alright, thank you!
I don't know if someone commented this already, but why not make a separate author reputation that is independent of reader rep and is much harder to get due to the volume of readers that authors can get?
It'd mean making a system that can miraculously treat average authors and people like Puddles (Randidly Ghosthound) or Andur on the same scale. That's simply not happening. And that's just one problem out of a dozen...
Im sure youve considered giving xp for reading & since it wasnt listed as a way to get xp, I was wondering if you could enlighten me on the thought process behind the decision.
That's a lot harder to log properly, doesn't actually do much in regards to actual reader community interactions, and doesn't serve any of the goals set by the introduction of the systems.
sry it was not promting for the @ any way you should probaly add a feature that allows people to see thier EXP bar for both reputation and leveling probaly diffrent colors one blue the other green to see how much farther till they reach the next level.
thank you guess i didnt see it
Yeah, started reading a chapter of Savage Divinity and got a pop-up telling me "You have reached Level 6!" and I was like, "Excuse me, what the fuck?" until I read this. Good to know. Also good to know how the rep system works.
Mike Wallace on
Hi, I just found Royal Road. Seems like a fun place to be.
I'm excited to be a part of this community!
Great this is leveling just by reding
ok cool, hope it won't devolve in the black mirror episode about permanent evaluation score (facebook like) in a dystopian future. Exe royal road becomes a VR chat.
A bronze Pleb? what are you doing in the glorious Silver Xianxia halls?
Shush don't, you know he is friend with a celestial DIamond of the Vrmmo Litrpg realm? he could come and crash our sect!
Regarding logging in; do I have to? I just about never log out as I visit the site so often, so if the exp is only awarded on logging in…
No, simply visiting at least once a day counts as logging in.
molfy nova on
FRiGRiD LORD on
Actually God on
Sean Bai on
Google was right. Royal Road has a bunch of anime fan teenagers on here. :)
I've had to consistently disable java because of take over ads since the may announcements. WHY?
Holy shit, I'm in the article
I have noticed that the authors are being slightly excluded with this update. I was wondering if any of the followong had been conaidered as (to my understanding) authors can only recieve EXP from their stories.
Can authors get a small amount of EXP with diminishing returns for advanced reviews posted on their fictions (with possible weighted bonuses from the reviewer's EXP level to reduce spam-bots)?
Possible author rewards / milestones? For example, say that there is a seperate ranking EXP system for authors, and have rewards (such as premium again) for doing well? Maybe even use the existing badge system? This could also help newer users find long-term authors that regularly produce high to medium quality fictions on this site (such as Andur) with endings.
Perhaps add a search option for the previous suggestion? Being able to search for authors with high levels of hard to (quickly) earn "author rep" could be a way to draw potential longer-term site users to potential longer-term quality authors.
I'd love to hear any feedback that you guys have.
Authors have been plenty active on the site already; the main goal of this update was to increase reader interaction.
Authors already benefit from a wide range of author-exclusive achievments which also give large amounts of experience.
Plus, we won't stop any author from interacting with other authors via their comment sections. I want to say reviews, too, but sometimes there are consequences to that that is completely outside of our control.
Ok, thank you Kanadaj.
how to level-up
like yur on comment with yur ALT
I didn't put this here when I first read it because I hadn't expirimented with it yet, but I really have to thank you for this. It has definitly encoraged me to engage significantly more with the comunity.
Kari Rakitan on
OK, looks fun!
When I had clicked this I had thought it was a novel
I personally can't wait until the app comes out, it's quite a hastle to go on the website each and everytime instead of jusst loading up an app
... I can't resist anymore.... UwU
How do you increase the amount of rep you can give?
I figured it was based on your rep level or actual level, but I've found someone with the same level and lower rep level who can give out 5 rep when I can only give out 1... Is it achievement based? I guess that would make sense to favor authors, who could give more rep and encourage more readers to comment.
It depends on your rep level but authors can give 5 (or 10 if they have high rep) for comments on their own fiction.
- there seems to be an ongoing uwu plague in the comments lmao
Don't know what all the "UwU"s are for but I am very excited for this!
Guess I'm grinding tonight boys!
The Oven on
can I give my own comment reputation if I wrote it in one of my story chap
Exist sect time
Leveling up is great and all, but do I get blue text box announcements when I do? It's just not the same without them.
Is there any way that a beta version of the app could be available by the end of this year or early next year?
Caleb Arny on
What rep level do I need to be to give 2 rep points?
Nice! Pretty excited on leveling up! hehehe
White Fang on
I have been part of this community since it was translating legendary moonlight sculptor. I was 14 at that time and my English levels were at around B2. I have grown up a lot since that happened and now I am a 20-year-old junior mobile dev working with react native. I would love to thank all the community and the devs for making all of this possible.
I still remember when the price of being a mod was paying the server fees for a month and being a decent human being. Lovely watching kanadaj and the dev team evolving from being the pica guy to this, my kudos to all of you guys.
Thanks for everything and for making an amazing new platform for new authors who want to try it out!