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Firebird Festival
Posted by:  Qiao+

Greetings, Acitius Kingdom! The cold, icy days are over and spring is upon us in full force. With the changing of the seasons comes new life, and as always, we seregans have returned once more to welcome another year full of endless possibilities, love, and laughter. How time flies, hm? Why, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating the Firebird Festival!

In honor of the festival, seregan will be adoptable in any number all week long!

I am honored to be the one to announce that the seregan species has had its art entirely updated!

Additionally, there is one new enchantment:

But that's not all, oh no, no, no! This year, we seregan have brought an abundance of items with us to share with you all. For a limited time, of course.

Bok has a large shipment of the following foods and a drink for the adults in your family:

Baijiu, Baozi, Cashew Chicken, Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Zongzi

Boris is now selling this baked treat by the dozen:

Sun Cake

At Bound to Please, you'll be able to find the following books:

Dream of the Red Nest, Fun with Origami, The Philosophy of LaoBeak, Seregan Stories, and The Wind-Up Seregan Chronicle

At Seek and Destroy, you will be able to choose from a variety of weapons:

Emei Daggers, Pudao, Rocket Launcher, and Seregan Shield

Fiyero has just what you need if your amor (is that how you say it?) is a seregan:

Hand Fan, Incense, Lovey Dovey Seregan Candle, Ornamental Comb, Seregan Feather

Tinker has some new toys for the young ones (or those young at heart ) in your life:

Origami Seregan, Ornate Seregan Mask, Spinning Tops

For the chefs out there, we're going to share with you how to make three of our species' favorite dishes:

Fried Rice, Green Onion Cakes, Steamed Carp

I've also been told by local fishermen that two new fish have been seen around your lake:

Carp, Firebird Fish
(I heard one of them absolutely loves bread)

Happy New Year, Acitius Kingdom!

Comments (34)

Pet Art
Default, Doodle, Lovey Dovey, and Storybook done by @Rat

Earth, Phantasm*, Summer, and Voltage done by @Dragonflight@. Phantasm was just resized to be 200x200.

Light, Spring, and Water done by @amelia

Dark & Fire done by @MAYHEM

Ice done by @MONSTER@

Wind done by @Vulli@

Item Art
Carp, Emei Daggers, Fun With Origami, Hand Fan, Lovey Dovey Seregan Candle, Origami Seregan, The Philosophy of LaoBeak, Seregan Shield, Seregan Feather, and Steamed Carp were done by @Rat

Cashew Chicken, Firebird Fish, Fried Rice, Green Onion Cakes were done by @amelia

Incense and Ornamental Comb by @Vulli@

Baijiu, Dream of the Red Nest, Pudao, Rocket Launcher, Seregan Stories, Spinning Tops, The Wind-Up Seregan Chronicle, and Zongzi by @MONSTER@

Ornate Seregan Mask by @MAYHEM

Gyoza and Spring Rolls by @glassycandlelitthing

Thank you all for your amazing work!

We are hoping that these redraws of the seregan will show you the path we plan to take with redraws of pet species and enchantments. One of our goals in the redraws is to make both the pet species and the enchantments on the site more dynamic. As you can see, a lot of them are very different from the current enchantments (e.g.: dark, earth, ice, spring, summer in particular). All of the enchantments will be redrawn to match this new style. The redraws will all be 200x200 instead of 150x150, which will allow them to show more detail. You may need to hard refresh to see the new images!
wooo, restocked the Red Nest book before the newspost was added

The new items are nice, I really like the candle! It's so cuuute. Not sure how to feel about the revamped pets though, most of them don't really match the rest of the pets for their enchantment? Particularly Ice; they kind of stand out because of that. Their art is lovely, don't get me wrong, I'm just slightly bothered by the inconsistency ^^;
The Spring Seregan is sooo amazing. Would it be too gushy to like, thank y'all out loud and personally?! Staff these look so great! I love the direction the Summer enchant is taking. I was so excited when it got released way back when, and it was cute before but it's ~beautiful~ now!

All of these items are fantastic, like seriously. I'm giddy at the prospect of how even more wonderful the site's art will be after y'all have more time to spruce things up and make everything even more cohesive.

I'm especially a sucker for that Lovey Dovey Seregan Candle aaa. ( _ )

Thank you for your hard work everyone!!!
@Lynxogirl "We are hoping that these redraws of the seregan will show you the path we plan to take with redraws of pet species and enchantments. One of our goals in the redraws is to make both the pet species and the enchantments on the site more dynamic. As you can see, a lot of them are very different from the current enchantments of their species. All of the enchantments will be redrawn to match this new style. The redraws will all be 200x200 instead of 150x150, which will allow them to show more detail. You may need to hard refresh to see the new images!"
Wholey moley. When I saw a teaser about an update coming our way on the forums I did not believe it would be this substantial! Thank you to all the artists for all the new items and completely overhauling an entire species!
I'm ADORING the direction you're taking the summer enchant. I love how it has something new, the sunflowers, instead of the same clouds and sun every summer pet gets. I also love the new size here, I was actually working on a phantasm Seregan earlier and I had to zoom in 250% just to see all its details.

I do see a style difference in some of them though, but this uptick in art quality is just too breathtaking for it to detract from this update. Love the items, love the art, love the festival- wasn't even planning on getting a Seregan (because I'm too obsessed with Kozens) but looking at the Earth one, I'm going to make room. Thanks for all the hard work, staff!!
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tfw you didn't know something needed changing until it does get changed & then your mind is COMPLETELY blown by how it changed for the better
me right now because WOW these seregans are immensely beautiful and I want all of them omg
You guys did amazing! Oh my gosh. I'm in LOVE. Thank you to @Rat @amelia @Dragonflight@ @MAYHEM @MONSTER@ @Vulli@ and @GlassyCandlelitthing for all your work. This is BEAUTIFUL. I'm really excited to see how the rest of the enchantments are updated!

I'm also really REALLY happy to see the enchantments be made so dynamic and oh my GOSH the summer seregan. RIP Me. I never liked the summer enchant for the most part but THIS is like HELLO GORGEOUS.

You guys are amazing.
i'm so happy about this??!!!
hell yeah east asian culture representation
Also I love the webbed feet. @Halloween. LOOK GEEKS/Swans/ducks!
i'm a big fan of the new direction these seregans are taking us.
I want two of each ahhh! They're all so stunning!
Awesome celebration! I love the new items - can't wait to get my hands on one of those Lovey Dovey Seregan Candles, it's so sweet. *__*
Yessss, now I have my very own seregan.
@shamurai No need to copy/paste. That hadn't been posted when I posted my comment (it just said "We are hoping that these redraws of the seregan will show you the path we plan to take with redraws of pet species and enchantments." and the 200x200 thing), if it had I wouldn't have asked.

Gotta say, the news that all the pets are going to be redrawn is not comforting news :/ Why change something that doesn't need to be changed? The current pets are fine as they are. Seems like its creating a lot of work for no actual reason... :/
The art for most of the species and enchantments is horribly outdated. We're moving away from the art style the site had in 2009 for more dynamic, lively, unique, and anatomically correct enchantments. The enchantments are getting an update so that we don't have to mimic an old style that doesn't work anymore, especially with the new image sizes.
@Caspian@ out of curiosity, why doesn't it work any more? I've never seen anyone complain about it. This is just change for the sake of it, pure and simple.

(I'd also disagree with the "unique" part since a lot of these look like pet colours from other sites - Ice in particular is very Neopets-reminiscent, being that it's now literally made of ice - but perhaps that's just me.)

You seem to be moving away from a lot of what made AMZ, AMZ, lately. Or "Acitius", I suppose. If you wanted to make a new site, why not just do that instead of screwing about with this one?
We are a new site. We haven't even been called AMZ in 6 years. Our pets still have Acitius charm, just with better art. Better, updated art was actually one of the top things users asked for in a few suggestion threads. The decision to move forward with updated art is supported by the entire staff, and clearly many users are excited about this change from the comments on this post alone.
@Caspian@ Let me rephrase that. Call it Acitius or AMZ or Azopets or whatever, it's still the same site. These changes are making it into an entirely different site, which make me really wonder why you're even bothering with this site instead of building off this one.

"Better, updated art was actually one of the top things users asked for in a few suggestion threads."

sourceplz? Cause I sure as hell never saw anyone asking for this.

Obviously it's supported by the entire staff or it wouldn't have been implented, but why not run this past some of the users first, see how the community as a whole feels about it? You've been changing stuff without warning a lot lately. You point out "clearly many users are excited about this.." but what about all the users who haven't commented? What about the users who are too afraid to speak out for fear of backlash? Because I doubt I'm alone in this.
I am so in love!!!

Just created Arson and Tadpole! :3

The new Dark Enchantment looks like it would be so much fun to gamma!
I love the art and new items!
@Lynxogirl: I disagree with you, but I understand your attachment to old AMZ. Ultimately, old AMZ has been shut down for 12+ years now. We aren't trying to make a new pet site. We are trying to spruce this one up so it can attract new users in an age when more and more people are playing their games as apps on their mobile devices. All of the pet sites have been hit hard by these changes, because more mobile apps means fewer users on our site. To compete with both other pet sites and all of the mobile games out there, we have to add new features and spruce up old features.

In particular, several users in the "#hate" thread that was in the General Chat prior to my purchasing the site requested updated art. We archived that thread so we could use the suggestions there, in addition to the ones in the Moving Forward thread and on the Feedback/Suggestions forum, to help guide our changes to the site. But we also all play the site too, so 20 staff members working together on changes is also 20 users working together on changes. Many of the times I look at the users online page, it is half staff members.

I think you're wrong about the users who fear backlash. Users haven't had any issues posting their complaints on the forums, in previous news posts as comments, and other places on the site. If you look at some old threads and news post comments, it is pretty clear that users tend to be vocal when they don't like something.

Ultimately, the point of my response is to say one thing: We can't just keep our old AMZ art and become a shrine to 2004 AMZ/nostalgia. We have been losing active users over the past few years. There was a time when we had 300 users online almost every single day, and now we're hovering between 100 and 110. To survive as a site and grow, we have to make big changes. Unfortunately, not everyone will be happy about these changes, but as a staff, we feel they are necessary for the site. We understand that users are attached to the old art, and we are happy to provide any of the old art to users on request if they wish to make custom pets with it. For the pets we have publicly released, however, we feel it is necessary to improve the quality of the species and enchantments in order to bring new users in.
ok the ice summer and water are making me cry i love them

especially the color pallets and the changes y'all have made to them like they look so sharp! i rly never liked the color choices for summer much and these new choices are so so so nice
@Brian@ You know, I was only on oldAMZ for about a week, maybe two, before it died. So any nostalgia I have is for this version of the site.

I think you might be misunderstanding me. My problem isn't with the art being revamped in general. I mean, I might not always like revamps, but I do understand the need for them. My problem lies with the complete overhaul of the designs for these enchantments. The art is nice but quite frankly, I think most of these look way too cluttered and busy. Less is more, and the older designs had nice designs without being too simple or too complex. (Again, I have nothing against the artists or anyone at all involved, please don't misunderstand me on that one. I understand a lot of work went into this and I appreciate that, but I'm.... rather dismayed at this huge change being thrown at us with no warning.)
@Lynxogirl: I respectfully disagree with you, but obviously you are entitled to your opinion. A lot of the current/now old enchantments are defined by one or two features, in addition to coloring changes. The new ones have a lot more detail in both big features and smaller features. What you see as "too cluttered and busy," we see as much more dynamic and thought out than the old enchantments.

One of the reasons we haven't released a ton of new content up until the past couple weeks is because we have been planning a ton behind the scenes. We are trying to fully plan features before their release, and we are having full discussions as a staff on each topic before any decision is made. We plan to include users in some of the decisions, but we don't want to give users an opportunity to choose an option that the staff, as a whole, disagrees with. We don't want to ignore users' opinions, and that is why I'm taking the time to respond to your comments/concerns! On the other hand, we don't want to give users a decision and then overrule their decision because we disagree with it. To that end, we will only be presenting options to users when we feel that we could really go either way as a staff. When we have a consensus, as we did on these enchantment changes, we are not going to present the idea to users before implementing it. We have seen in the past when ideas were "teased" before their release that it has resulted in endless debates between users and a couple vocal users have caused the staff to change their well thought out plans for a feature. At the end of the day, someone is always going to be upset about every single decision we make. We could give every user 1,000,000 AP and someone would complain. Our goal is simply to grow the site, and we felt it necessary to make these changes in order to do that. It is clear you don't agree with that, and I respect that viewpoint, but I just wanted to let you know where we were coming from!
@Brian@ So as long as the staff like it, then it doesn't matter what the users think?

Good to know.
@Lynxogirl We do our best to consider users interests when making changes to the site. The new art being implemented was first demanded by users--the reason those opinions are not so visible anymore is because the main thread evolved into discourse for tangential reasons and was therefore moved out of the public forums. While we understand that we cannot please every user, we do believe that these changes will bring the most happiness to the most people. Surveying the comments above, many people seem to really enjoy the new art! As much as we would like to be able to accommodate everyone's individual opinions, it is simply not possible to create new designs that every single user will endorse in full. That said, we hope that the upcoming features will enrich the site further and give users more to look forward to!
I really like to new art direction! The Seregan and its enchantments are gorgeous and I love the new aesthetic! So happy to be back and to see the site getting the attention it deserves with these new babies.

I'm looking forward to seeing future pet revamps/redesigns! I might start making characters for my nerds again at this rate. (I hope all the dark pets look like that because holy heckie it's BEAUTIFUL aaaaa)

The items are also lovely!! Mad props to all the artists for all these
Add me to those who aren't a huge fan of the art overhaul? I always understood "new art" as being new enchantments.
There's also always going to be people afraid to voice their opinion, just because people who do voice their opinions are loud doesn't mean the others don't exist. I just always went along with things when there were a few art updates for pets, whether I liked it or not.
This is a really big change, is it possible at all to have the old art as alts? I personally prefer the old ice seregan way more, and I'm afraid if I clear my cache, my seregan will have his art changed.
Holy CRAP this is intense! Way to go guys. Lookin productive!
@Rita: I'm sorry, but we won't be bringing them back as alts. You're welcome to use them as custom pets if you want, as you are with all site art, but we don't want to keep the old/redrawn art as official pet images.

That being said, your pet image shouldn't change if you clear your cache. It is set to your pet, so it should only change if you set the pet again as that enchantment by going to their enchantments page.

I'm happy to hear people commenting both positive and negative things. We really do appreciate the feedback, and it helps us to figure out how we can improve in our communication in the future. That being said, our job as staff, and my job as the owner, is to ensure that we make the best decisions for the site in both the short term and the long term. We will not let a vocal minority dictate site decisions. We respect your opinions, and we are happy to hear them, but we aren't going to change course with these enchantments. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with by my count 13 different users very happy with the changes and 2 users who are not happy with the changes (in these news comments). These numbers do not include staff, who all overwhelmingly support this change. You can talk about these people who are sitting in silence not voicing their opinions, but unfortunately, since we cannot read the minds of users, we can only respond to the opinions we hear. From the opinions I'm hearing, an overwhelming majority of the users support this change.
Will the three cooking items and Carp be gone until the next Firebird Festival? I assume everything else will.
The Carp and Steamed Carp will remain year-round! The others will not.
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My only complaint re: the redesigns (they do make sense to be more than recolours and minor physical changes when some elements always got more major, literal changes. Wind and lightning are a conundrum though, short of strange visual effects I can't think how you'd revise them) is that ice looks like frozen anti-freeze or energy drink instead of clear frozen water. It doesn't say extreme cold to me, more gel/goop.

I'm guessing it's a compromise on the old colour schemes without overlapping too hard on Winter, but if I were to make one I'd have to gamma it like this:…
Now there's icy.

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