RollingStoned

How Do We Expand the CT Community?

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Friends, Romans, CollecTooners, lend me your ears (er, eyes in this case (unless you're using a text-to-speech application)).

Okay, I'm not about to make a great speech here, but the site you're currently browsing (no, not that one in the other tab, this one) is quite possibly near its end.

Yes, the site simply does not have enough money to last forever. With the community dwindling and updates to the site at basically a halt, we're in a sinking ship unless we can work together to build up the userbase again. To continue to thrive, CollecToons has to rake in enough donations per month not just to pay for website expenses, but also to hire an active developer to ensure that the site continues to grow. To my knowledge, the site hasn't had a consistently active developer in years. Then again, I haven't been consistently active in years either, but from what I've read we definitely do need one.

My question, CollecToons, is how do we do this? How can we stop the metaphorical ship from sinking?

Any and all ideas are welcome, but practical ones are preferred. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts!

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Well for one, I know if I was a prospecting new user to the website and used chrome, this would scare me away.

 

CSReySt.png

This is displayed on chrome for anyone that comes to the site seeing the site isn't a https website.

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I have said for a few years the one thing that puts anyone off I try to refer or get to join instantly is put off by the layout and design its like something out of the early 2000's 

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I feel like there's two lines of thinking here.

The first line is if you think we haven't squeezed every single nostalgic person who misses Orbit/old cartoons. If you don't think we've covered all of those bases, I don't think the layout is a huge deal. Someone looking for the nostalgia of the old games isn't necessarily going to be looking for a super modern look. However, that doesn't expand to the lack of security pointed out above. With this crowd, all you can really do is continue to be active in other similarly themed forums and slip a reference to this in eventually (I wouldn't do that super quickly though because then it seems like spam/selling). 

If you do think we've gotten absolutely everything out of nostalgia lovers and people who will eventually google 'Orbit', then a site overhaul could be helpful. This game is marketed towards the old guard, but if there are none of us left, we have to do something that will attract a newer crowd. That's where a developer could come in handy. But what else? We already have sets that cater to new shows, so I don't think that's an issue. All I can think of is to do a better job on social media. Then again, the mods already do enough. At the end of the day, it may come down to who really wants this site to keep going. Does everybody want to? Or is it the hardcore players and mods trying to keep something alive without much backing?

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The Orbiters are now in their late 20's/entering their 30's.They probably have or are starting families. Or are busy with work. 

 There are tons of younger cartoon fans that have never heard of Orbit. Who would probably enjoy being on this site.

But needing an admin to verify your account is kind of off-putting. People just want to start playing.

I thought summer was the time to bring innew players. It has in past years. I can't say I know anyone who joined this summer. Granted, I am very busy, sohave less time to spend on themain site and in chat. 

If we had a Youtuber on here with 50k subscribers, sure. This place would be booming.  But alas, no dice there.

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I tried sending a mass email. Only 3 people came back. 

Not gonna lie, a lot of the people weve lost was due to them getting caught cheating (harvesting, scamming, etc) and us punishing them and them deciding to rage quit. It's made me feel like crap, cause I wanna be a good mod, but also dont wanna be a b*itch. It's a tough spot to be in. 

Lots of people refuse to come back too, cause of feuds, cause of sets they didn't get, cause of unfair modding from the previous team.  I've exhausted myself the last few years trying.

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17 hours ago, oasisx said:

Well for one, I know if I was a prospecting new user to the website and used chrome, this would scare me away.

 

 

 

This is displayed on chrome for anyone that comes to the site seeing the site isn't a https website.

This seems like a simple-enough fix. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/324069/how-to-set-up-an-https-service-in-iis

@The Grand Poobah Can this be done?

17 hours ago, Moana of Motunui said:

I have said for a few years the one thing that puts anyone off I try to refer or get to join instantly is put off by the layout and design its like something out of the early 2000's 

I agree. Believe me, we have had improvements since the original layout and we have had ideas for a more modern one. @Hokey had a great layout idea years ago that never got implemented because it was, to my knowledge, never coded. I've proposed a new, fully functional side menu to @average ct player in the past with mouse hover and complete source code to no avail. -_-

17 hours ago, FredTheFish said:

I feel like there's two lines of thinking here.

The first line is if you think we haven't squeezed every single nostalgic person who misses Orbit/old cartoons. If you don't think we've covered all of those bases, I don't think the layout is a huge deal. Someone looking for the nostalgia of the old games isn't necessarily going to be looking for a super modern look. However, that doesn't expand to the lack of security pointed out above. With this crowd, all you can really do is continue to be active in other similarly themed forums and slip a reference to this in eventually (I wouldn't do that super quickly though because then it seems like spam/selling). 

If you do think we've gotten absolutely everything out of nostalgia lovers and people who will eventually google 'Orbit', then a site overhaul could be helpful. This game is marketed towards the old guard, but if there are none of us left, we have to do something that will attract a newer crowd. That's where a developer could come in handy. But what else? We already have sets that cater to new shows, so I don't think that's an issue. All I can think of is to do a better job on social media. Then again, the mods already do enough. At the end of the day, it may come down to who really wants this site to keep going. Does everybody want to? Or is it the hardcore players and mods trying to keep something alive without much backing?

There are many former Orbiters who would love the site, but because of Turner Broadcasting's massive media presence compared to CT's virtually nonexistent one, they'll never discover it.

Millennials (which, depending on who you ask, may or may not be my generation) are heavy on nostalgia. Look at Nickelodeon with its recent "The '90s are All That" block, the long-awaited Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, and the announced Rugrats reboot. Look at Cartoon Network with the reboots/reimaginings of The Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans as well as the Toonami Adult Swim revival. Just walk into any Hot Topic, Spencer's, or Rue 21 store and you'll find nostalgic '90s-themed shirts, backpacks, hats, belts, and even shot glasses.

Yes, we cater to shows both young and old. From Popeye to Thundercats to Attack on Titan, CT is really the only place for animation e-collectibles from all generations (that I know of). The mods do a lot to keep the site's presence in social media, but if it were enough, then enough is simply not enough. Users must also contribute. That's where the whole refer-a-friend thing started, but it isn't enough either. Advertisement would be wonderful, but it is neither in the site's budget nor feasible due to legal issues.

16 hours ago, Sister Love said:

The Orbiters are now in their late 20's/entering their 30's.They probably have or are starting families. Or are busy with work. 

 There are tons of younger cartoon fans that have never heard of Orbit. Who would probably enjoy being on this site.

But needing an admin to verify your account is kind of off-putting. People just want to start playing.

I thought summer was the time to bring innew players. It has in past years. I can't say I know anyone who joined this summer. Granted, I am very busy, sohave less time to spend on themain site and in chat. 

If we had a Youtuber on here with 50k subscribers, sure. This place would be booming.  But alas, no dice there.

Hey now, I'm only in my mid-20s! :P

Since when does account creation require admin verification? I haven't created an account in a long time, but I didn't know this was a thing.

If I had a YouTube account, I would surely be messaging that RebelTaxi guy. He seems to have a thing for nostalgic cartoons.

8 hours ago, Xavianangel said:

I tried sending a mass email. Only 3 people came back. 

Not gonna lie, a lot of the people weve lost was due to them getting caught cheating (harvesting, scamming, etc) and us punishing them and them deciding to rage quit. It's made me feel like crap, cause I wanna be a good mod, but also dont wanna be a b*itch. It's a tough spot to be in. 

Lots of people refuse to come back too, cause of feuds, cause of sets they didn't get, cause of unfair modding from the previous team.  I've exhausted myself the last few years trying.

We don't want cheaters. Cheaters either need to create a new account and play fairly or leave the premises.

If the previous players don't want to come back, that's fine. Maybe, just maybe, the site will grow beyond relying on past players.

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Ive looked in to https. The issue is that it costs $ to purchase a proper license, and I would have to figure out how to attach it to the sites on the server, and then run through all the code that has hard-coded urls and change everything over. I know there are free licenses out there, but I dont know how legit they are and what sort of backdoors putting something like that on the server could open

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7 hours ago, The Grand Poobah said:

Ive looked in to https. The issue is that it costs $ to purchase a proper license, and I would have to figure out how to attach it to the sites on the server, and then run through all the code that has hard-coded urls and change everything over. I know there are free licenses out there, but I dont know how legit they are and what sort of backdoors putting something like that on the server could open

Hey there, you can actually get an SSL cert through CloudFlare for free with any of their CDN plans (even the free one). It doesn't expire every 90 days like LetsEncrypt either, so it's not particularly high maintenance or anything.

 

I don't know if you've ever experimented with their CDN but it might be worth looking into. I found a pretty good speed boost when I was hosting a few sites too, though with all the dynamic content you have that part probably wouldn't be as effective.

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On 8/18/2018 at 4:44 AM, RollingStoned said:

Okay, I'm not about to make a great speech here, but the site you're currently browsing (no, not that one in the other tab, this one) is quite possibly near its end.

How close to the end is it? I just stared playing a few months ago lol 

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22 minutes ago, dbzeee said:

How close to the end is it? I just stared playing a few months ago lol 

Not close lol

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On 8/18/2018 at 9:44 AM, RollingStoned said:

Friends, Romans, CollecTooners, lend me your ears (er, eyes in this case (unless you're using a text-to-speech application)).

Okay, I'm not about to make a great speech here, but the site you're currently browsing (no, not that one in the other tab, this one) is quite possibly near its end.

Yes, the site simply does not have enough money to last forever. With the community dwindling and updates to the site at basically a halt, we're in a sinking ship unless we can work together to build up the userbase again. To continue to thrive, CollecToons has to rake in enough donations per month not just to pay for website expenses, but also to hire an active developer to ensure that the site continues to grow. To my knowledge, the site hasn't had a consistently active developer in years. Then again, I haven't been consistently active in years either, but from what I've read we definitely do need one.

My question, CollecToons, is how do we do this? How can we stop the metaphorical ship from sinking?

Any and all ideas are welcome, but practical ones are preferred. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Well I've seen us destroy the donation meter many months back to back thanks to the brilliant contests our mods would put on. I don't think there is a lack of money, just a lack of commitment and desire. Some decent, low-profile marketing, a developer and a few additions now and again would keep everyone on board.

 

People say they are busy with real life. I study psychology and people make time for what they want to make time for. The truth is people would prefer to do other things besides play CT and that is a fundamental problem which can be addressed with just the simple solution on my first point.

 

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17 minutes ago, Ssoldier said:

Well I've seen us destroy the donation meter many months back to back thanks to the brilliant contests our mods would put on. I don't think there is a lack of money, just a lack of commitment and desire. Some decent, low-profile marketing, a developer and a few additions now and again would keep everyone on board.

 

People say they are busy with real life. I study psychology and people make time for what they want to make time for. The truth is people would prefer to do other things besides play CT and that is a fundamental problem which can be addressed with just the simple solution on my first point.

 

I see that too. I mean weve given some of the biggest contests this year and donations have plummeted. Currently at 38% with the golden tickets giving people a chance at ooaks in auction.

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1 hour ago, Ssoldier said:

Well I've seen us destroy the donation meter many months back to back thanks to the brilliant contests our mods would put on. I don't think there is a lack of money, just a lack of commitment and desire. Some decent, low-profile marketing, a developer and a few additions now and again would keep everyone on board.

 

People say they are busy with real life. I study psychology and people make time for what they want to make time for. The truth is people would prefer to do other things besides play CT and that is a fundamental problem which can be addressed with just the simple solution on my first point.

 

It's a Catch 22: we have great months, and we have lulls. What happens is, the great months have to carry those lulls, so expecting these huge additions or fixes from 1 or 2 good months isn't possible. I have to take those good months and spread them out. So in the end, it's just a bunch of average months. If we consistently hit the meter or higher every month, like we used to, we could start chipping away at that to do list. It is why the staff is getting tired; we want to see big changes too, but I can't foot the bill for something that doesn't look like anyone really cares anymore, nor can I personally afford it right now with the baby coming. The mods are creating these great contests, but they arent going anywhere or generating excitement, so people will literally win for nothing at all.

 

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Hmmm. Now that I'm back, I'll see about some of those contests lol.

But more on topic. It would be nice if things were more designed for a mobile phone as smartphones have become very mainstream 

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12 hours ago, neokid90 said:

Hmmm. Now that I'm back, I'll see about some of those contests lol.

But more on topic. It would be nice if things were more designed for a mobile phone as smartphones have become very mainstream 

Agreed, smartphones are basically taking over the world. As a matter of fact, a CT mobile app would be pretty nifty, but the funds to pay a developer are most likely not there.

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7 hours ago, RollingStoned said:

Agreed, smartphones are basically taking over the world. As a matter of fact, a CT mobile app would be pretty nifty, but the funds to pay a developer are most likely not there.

Making the site mobile friendly may help the issue (and shouldn't be too much of an issue, excluding the use of some games), doing an app is obviously out of the question right now, but at least being able to surf the site on your phone may bring up some sort of activity.

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1 hour ago, oasisx said:

Making the site mobile friendly may help the issue (and shouldn't be too much of an issue, excluding the use of some games), doing an app is obviously out of the question right now, but at least being able to surf the site on your phone may bring up some sort of activity.

The best way to do that eventually would be a complete layout overhaul (the game badly needs one) and then you can incorporate a mobile version into the same design 

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Greetings friends,

I started revisiting the site again over the past couple weeks as I get random surges to play CT. Now that I've experienced it a bit I figured I'd be able to give my feedback on what I've seen and what I feel has changed:

Every time I come back to the game I come back with a goal this time being to finally get a PPG radio. So I start to snag CRs and HRs from shops to flip for profit, as well as sell off some toons I've been stashing in my collection to hopefully have gone up in value. There seems to be no demand for new releases in shops as I see new HRs selling for only 30k. I feel like the return on time investment should be greater here. As this used to be my main way of generating points.

The next issue I've found is no one seems to want anything. I feel as though everyone has collected the sets they want and are holding on to those specific toons. This I feel is spiraling activity, and it's going to continue on a downward trend. As even I am extremely demotivated to post anything on the TB or AH as it sells for nearly nothing or never gets a trade offer.

If I was a new player coming to the game it would feel nearly impossible to ever get anywhere. Especially with the amount of toons, lack of AH and TB activity cause even myself to not know the values of anything anymore. Where as with an active auction house I can see what the community is determining what the value of a toon is.

The name of the game is activity, if that isn't glaringly obvious. I've been playing on my phone during downtime at work just hoping someone posted something on TB or AH that I was interested or offered something for some of my trades but nothing. I'm so in the mood to play but am just not getting any fulfillment out of it. (Although I did win the lottery the other night and was super excited!)

Before I close out, I think there needs to be a massive point dump. The ticket ideas were great, but also kinda sad because I knew I had no shot of making the points necessary based on how many points some players have. 

 

I know I was all over the place with this, but I'd be more than happy to elaborate on any specific feelings via PM. I truly miss this game when we had a higher activity and would love to be a part of getting it back there.

 

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22 hours ago, Johnny said:

Greetings friends,

I started revisiting the site again over the past couple weeks as I get random surges to play CT. Now that I've experienced it a bit I figured I'd be able to give my feedback on what I've seen and what I feel has changed:

Every time I come back to the game I come back with a goal this time being to finally get a PPG radio. So I start to snag CRs and HRs from shops to flip for profit, as well as sell off some toons I've been stashing in my collection to hopefully have gone up in value. There seems to be no demand for new releases in shops as I see new HRs selling for only 30k. I feel like the return on time investment should be greater here. As this used to be my main way of generating points.

The next issue I've found is no one seems to want anything. I feel as though everyone has collected the sets they want and are holding on to those specific toons. This I feel is spiraling activity, and it's going to continue on a downward trend. As even I am extremely demotivated to post anything on the TB or AH as it sells for nearly nothing or never gets a trade offer.

If I was a new player coming to the game it would feel nearly impossible to ever get anywhere. Especially with the amount of toons, lack of AH and TB activity cause even myself to not know the values of anything anymore. Where as with an active auction house I can see what the community is determining what the value of a toon is.

The name of the game is activity, if that isn't glaringly obvious. I've been playing on my phone during downtime at work just hoping someone posted something on TB or AH that I was interested or offered something for some of my trades but nothing. I'm so in the mood to play but am just not getting any fulfillment out of it. (Although I did win the lottery the other night and was super excited!)

Before I close out, I think there needs to be a massive point dump. The ticket ideas were great, but also kinda sad because I knew I had no shot of making the points necessary based on how many points some players have. 

 

I know I was all over the place with this, but I'd be more than happy to elaborate on any specific feelings via PM. I truly miss this game when we had a higher activity and would love to be a part of getting it back there.

 

Yeah I'm trying hard to do a point dump xD 

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This site is not friendly to new players at all.  My wife, my brother, my close friend, his brother, my cousin and myself starting playing over a year ago which is a late start as far as this site is concerned.  The only two who still play are me and cutzman.  It is really hard to aquire any of the older toons as people have hoarded most of it and will not sell any of it even though they have 50x some of the toons.  Xavian was awesome enough to hook my wife up with the beauty and the beast toons she was missing.  Josh, Kitty, Ike, and Wanteddead helped me complete my mega man, space ghost, etc.  Outside of that obtaining old toons is an absolute nightmare.

The site looks very sketchy and outdated to new eyes.  Having to have an admin approve your new account is not welcoming to new players.  Also, the fact the site works really poorly on mobile is not going to help the situation(I basically refuse to play on my phone).  Also, as it has been stated previously the TB and AH are basically dried up anymore.

Donation perks dont feel particularly beneficial.  The points you receive for donating is not enough imo. Auto-surfer 10k points is basically nothing.  The extra lotto tickets dont super matter.  I also think any use should have access to create a shop and have that replaced with a better perk.

Having said all that I do enjoy this site but thats really only because i played orbit as a kid.  To newer users its going to come off as unsafe and outdated.  If only they could see into the future and know it gets better.

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I haven’t read every comment here, but has anyone mentioned buying ads? I know it’s expensive, but it takes money to make money. You can market anything if you do it the right way. You could target certain genres on YouTube just as one example, since ad blocks don’t work on them. I’m sure there are many gamers in their 20-40s that would at least try this game out. The only problem is (and this was cartoon orbit’s achilles heel) the distribution of wealth has been rooted to older users. Sure, new players could play to collect toons for fun, but this will drive away the competitive gamers since they have little/no hope of ever acquiring the same wealth as the older players, thus entering the game on an unlevel playing ground. To add on to the problem, the rarest toons will only become more scarce as the population grows, which only makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. If we find a way to incorporate a way that new users have a way of competing, while maintaining the current value of rares, it could work.

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On 5/3/2019 at 3:19 PM, MTD_Orbit said:

I haven’t read every comment here, but has anyone mentioned buying ads? I know it’s expensive, but it takes money to make money. You can market anything if you do it the right way. You could target certain genres on YouTube just as one example, since ad blocks don’t work on them. I’m sure there are many gamers in their 20-40s that would at least try this game out. The only problem is (and this was cartoon orbit’s achilles heel) the distribution of wealth has been rooted to older users. Sure, new players could play to collect toons for fun, but this will drive away the competitive gamers since they have little/no hope of ever acquiring the same wealth as the older players, thus entering the game on an unlevel playing ground. To add on to the problem, the rarest toons will only become more scarce as the population grows, which only makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. If we find a way to incorporate a way that new users have a way of competing, while maintaining the current value of rares, it could work.

If this route is taken. I would try a facebook campaign. Our facebook page has a bunch of followers that could be re-engaged, or we could run targeted campaigns for people who like Cartoon Orbit or Cartoon Network pages. 

In addition: I'vve been thinking about making a "how-to play" series for CollecToons, or maybe even a Let's Play series. I know there are some dated Collectoons videos on youtube, and that's great. But i think i can make something with a bit more production value/a little more in depth. Then i feel like reaching out to Youtubers like these guys (see below) who sepcialize in nostalgic fan-revival games (Pirates Online, Gaia, Toontown, etc) and trying to get them to them run an episode on Orbit (plugging CT towards the end of the video), or get them to link to my tutorial videos in their description. I think this approach stands to net us the most new/returning/Orbit players with the least amount of cost. 

Some examples of youtubers to target, and their videos:

 



What do you guys think?


EDIT: Also @The Grand Poobah https://letsencrypt.org/getting-started/ Trusted, open funded, secure. As for the find/replace... GLHF. lol j/k.

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On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 8:28 PM, The Grand Poobah said:

It's a Catch 22: we have great months, and we have lulls. What happens is, the great months have to carry those lulls, so expecting these huge additions or fixes from 1 or 2 good months isn't possible. I have to take those good months and spread them out. So in the end, it's just a bunch of average months. If we consistently hit the meter or higher every month, like we used to, we could start chipping away at that to do list. It is why the staff is getting tired; we want to see big changes too, but I can't foot the bill for something that doesn't look like anyone really cares anymore, nor can I personally afford it right now with the baby coming. The mods are creating these great contests, but they arent going anywhere or generating excitement, so people will literally win for nothing at all.

 

Unfortunately the site does need some major investment - not the type that can be collected from the existing pool of players. So whether you've lost the spark to "create" the interest for new players or whether it is financial constraints, it is looking very bleak.
 

For this to have ever been a good success, it would have needed consistent investment and cash injections till it hit 10K active players after which revenues may have been self sustaining. The fact that the site had to source its own money to upgrade itself was an uphill battle it was very unlikely to win.

 

I always felt Collectoons had great potential but it didn't build on the momentum during its peak years in 2010-12 when we really should've been fleshing out a new design, new mini games, a functioning Card Clash etc...

It would be great to grab some memories as this was an amazing game and community!

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Do you guys think it's even possible anymore to expand at all? I'm gonna tag most of the more active players. I would like some honest opinions and stuff. 

I've been a little more behind the scenes lately, rather than being as active in the community as I was before, but even so, i see very little activity, no donations, and just an overall staleness on the site. I guess i'm asking this a lot for myself too, since honestly, I feel like i'm wasting my time here lol (don't let that discourage you though).

@Masoonite @Sora @Sharktibolt @PhotonCyberStar @mongoose @CT_Robin @RollingStoned @Terrie @Fierce Deity @Ssoldier @thelastsith @FredTheFish @dragonwolf @RubixCube @XxGothsCanSmile2xX @kaigeta @indieman19 @deepcanyon1 @MTD_Orbit @Paul @woodstock24 @Josh123 @Draden @oasisx sorry if i forgot anyone. 

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