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Because this applies to both series, I’ll be copy-pasting this chapter on both The Queen’s Hound and CORE. If you’ve already read it on one series, you don’t need to read it on the other.

Alright. It’s been a month since any new chapters have been released with no announcement as for why, meanwhile the rest of my stories have been getting updated. Those of you who still look forward to these stories every week probably realize that something is up and that it’s not a good something. Unfortunately, you’d be right. If you only care about the result of everything that has happened and not about all the explanation behind it, then feel free to skip to the tl;dr at the bottom of this chapter. Otherwise, get your popcorn out.

Here's the personal stuff. Make sure to actually click the spoiler to read it if you care.

Spoiler

So, I’ve been talking about this in my weekly updates on Patreon for the past few months now. TQH and CORE have been giving me significant difficulty and stress for a long time now. I’ve probably typed up about 10k words total or so now about this entire topic over on Patreon, but I’ll try to summarize and keep things simple here. And by that, I mean copy-paste large parts of what I said on Patreon to here.

Basically, it got to the point where the stress of writing TQH and CORE began to have a physical effect on my body. The stress was enough to give me a severe spike to my blood pressure when nothing else in my lifestyle has changed other than the added stress from them. Given that they’re my two most-followed series, and that TQH in particular is responsible for the vast majority of my support on Patreon which I kind of need to survive, I’ve been in a pretty damn difficult spot considering that I’ve known I can’t keep these series going as they are.

I’ve still had fun with them at times, but after the latest arcs on Patreon, I just completely ran out of ideas on what to do. I had so many plans for both series, but I completely fucked up actually getting to those plans and dug myself into a massive hole that I couldn’t get out of. Neither series has ended up being anything like what I originally wanted them to be like.

Just taking a break from writing the series for a couple of weeks was already enough to decrease the stress I felt. Of course, that stress has spiked back up now with officially making an announcement regarding them on Patreon and losing a bunch of patrons as a result, and now I almost feel sick from anxiety as I type this.

For a long, long time now, there’s also the fact that these series have pretty much killed my motivation to look at comments, reviews, and so on. I’ve known that the series aren’t up to my standards and people really liked to remind me of that. Now, this isn’t to say “boohoo people didn’t like my story how dare they.” The vast majority of the criticism has been 100% justified for both series and I would never want to discourage people from being critical nor guilt them for being so. It’s just that, with everything that’s been going on this year, especially in regards to my grandma living here now and dealing with her  dementia every day, I was already stressed the fuck out and couldn’t mentally handle any negativity even if it was constructive and left with good intent. This led to me not even checking comments or anything on my other series, either. My interaction with the community on both RR and SH was basically completely killed because of the anxiety I felt over TQH and CORE.

It’s also pretty obvious that readers have been losing interest in these series as well seeing as how, despite being my two most followed series, they get some of the lowest views on the latest chapters out of all my series and have been generally losing readers. So I’m definitely not alone in feeling that the series have gone downhill.

And none of that is even me going into the recent, severe feelings of impostor syndrome.

Anyways, that about sums up the physical and mental effects these series have had on me which is a major part of why I’ve made the decision that I have. God, I feel cringe as fuck writing about that, but I feel like it’s important to leave in for my own sake.

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Moving on.

Time to copy-paste from Patreon.

Here's the stuff actually relevant to the stories moving forward. Again, make sure to click the spoiler if you care. I really recommend reading this one even though it is pretty long.

Spoiler

Originally, I was thinking that I would probably drop CORE and bring back the spirit/style of it someday in the future since I still love that style of narration. For TQH, I was thinking that I'd probably reboot it or just indefinitely hiatus it until I know what to do with it. What I've decided to do instead is something that I didn't even think of before and would technically fall under the category of rebooting.

Now, some of you know that TTE and EDO are in a shared universe. Basically, all of my MMO stories are going to be in the same shared universe and take place around each other in timeframe. I have a ton of stories planned for this universe.

Some of you also know that some months back, I started teasing art for a tentacle-focused lewd series that ended up never really getting posted. Mostly because of me struggling with how I wanted the series to be and all that. I must have restarted it like, at least 5 times now, and I've had the artist completely change the design of the main character. That being said, I have a world with a system already built for it. It's the first world since ASV (shoutout to anybody who has been one of my readers long enough to know this acronym) and TTE that I've actually done some proper worldbuilding for instead of making everything up on the spot. It's got history, countries, original(ish) races, a life and death and reincarnation system, and all that stuff.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

I've confirmed before (on Patreon) that I won't reboot either CORE nor TQH into an MMO series like I did with EDE -> EDO. I had no idea how I would possibly redo CORE and I only had very vague ideas for how to reboot TQH, and most of those ideas would have made it far more comfy and pushed it much deeper into slice of life territory.

Then I had an idea.

If TTE and EDO and my other planned MMO stories can share a setting, why don't I create a fantasy universe for my other stories to share? I've already got a world that would be able to host both CORE and TQH inside of it, albeit with some changes. Vampires don't exactly exist in the world, for example, but I already know exactly how I would adapt that so that they're still basically vampires. They just might not be in name anymore.

There won't be LitRPG status screens and hard numbers or anything like that anymore, but there will still be a game-like system influencing the world that is heavily inspired by the system in Rance. I basically took that system and then modified it. Removed some things, added some things, changed some things, etc. I think I came up with a flexible system that lets me have a game-like world without the hard restrictions of a LitRPG system. Most importantly, I modified it to the point where it won't be copyright infringing. I think.

Side rant: LitRPG is basically cursed for me. I absolutely fucking adore the concept of LitRPG, but I fucking hate writing it far more than I love the idea of it after I actually have a series of it. That’s why the LitRPG elements basically become nonexistent after a volume. So, no more LitRPG. LDQ is the closest I’ll ever get to a LitRPG and that story doesn’t take it seriously at all. I have a huge amount of respect for the people who can actually manage numbers and status screens and all that over and over and over again. Whether they’re doing it to milk page counts on Amazon or because they’re just huge math nerds who love that stuff, I respect it. I can’t do it while retaining my sanity. GameLit? No problem. I fucking love writing GameLit even after almost 3 years of it. LitRPG? Kill me.

Too bad LitRPG status screens are what always brought in the highest patron surges. You guys really love your numbers, not that I can blame you. LitRPGs are awesome. Writing them, not so much.

Okay. To bring this back to TQH and CORE, both of these stories are going to be brought into this new shared universe and adapted to work with it. Here's what I'll be doing with each specifically:

TQH: TQH is getting straight up rebooted and I plan on starting writing the rebooted version this week. I'll probably write at least ten chapters (short chapters, since the RR strategy is to write like 30-40 short chapters of only 1k words each or so first before switching over to longer chapters) before posting anything to Patreon. Woofen will still be the main character. I'll be writing in past tense instead of present tense, and I thought about switching from first person to third person, but I'm most likely going to stick with first person. So, we'll be going from first person present tense to first person past tense. I just feel like the quality of my writing in general is higher with past tense. Moving on, TQH will be more character-focused than before and introduce multiple characters much faster than it did in the original. In the original, we started off with Zurie and then had Elanah come in at around the 20th chapter or so. We'll be starting with Zurie again, we'll be getting much more of Zurie throughout the series, and Elanah's introduction will also come sooner. There isn't going to be any throwing the pupper into a dungeon all by himself for the first 20 chapters or anything like that. There will be dungeons, kind of, within this new universe, but not like before. They're going to be more traditional dungeons and not at all a major part of the story.

That being said, I was originally planning on making the rebooted version of TQH more slice of life focused rather than plot focused, but I'm going to try for a more balanced approach. I plan on focusing on plot, but smaller plots. Individual quests of sorts that have their own self-contained stories within them rather than teasing and building up to a plot that I originally planned to take 15 or so volumes to finish. I want to be able to wrap up at least one plot per volume, preferably more. I'm not going to go into any spoilers, but I really liked that one chapter at the beginning of TQH's second volume where Woofen basically got to play the role of a detective with Fane. I'd love to do more stuff like that. However, I don't plan on abandoning the plot of Zurie and the progenitor. That's still going to be sort of the main overall plot, at least for the beginning. I would preferably wrap that plot up within a few volumes instead of dragging it out and only hinting at it for 4 volumes, then only really just start focusing on it for what would end up being another 12 volumes going by my original plans. The plot for these last four volumes was basically just "hey woofen go fight some stuff and get stronger while plot is pending."

Another thing is the whole transformation stuff. I basically introduced the transformation potions as an easy way of letting him talk with the others and also opening up a route for him to fuck them without getting me #canceled by RR/SH/Patreon/Amazon/PayPal. Going by comments on RR and how I feel, that really cheapened a lot of stuff. It made communication too easy and essentially trivialized those problems. There won't be a transformation potion this time around. There will be no getting to transform every time it would make the plot easier. Woofen will be a beast and he will stay a beast. Now, I'm not saying he won't ever possibly get temporarily transformed at some point. But, if he ever does get transformed, I can pretty much promise right now that it's only going to be either for comedy or for me to get to write a detailed sex scene with him. It won't even be 1% as frequent as it was in the original.

And on one final note before I summarize things... more fanservice. I ended up holding myself back again like I did with EDE when it came to the fanservice. Because, you know, people get weirded out by waifus being thirsty over a man in a puppy's body. But you know what? Fuck that. I ain't going to hold back. If you were already disturbed by the fanservice before, you're probably going to be disturbed even more now. Now, obviously, I can't go all the way. That would be bestiality and bestiality isn't allowed unless I make my own website and subscription service and get everybody to follow me there, which I'm not willing to try and do right now. But that doesn't mean there can't be even more teasing, even more lewding, and even more fanservice in general. So, be prepared. As for how that affects sexual routes - I'm still thinking about that. I can either just have tons and tons of teasing and fanservice and basically blueball him eternally until he maybe gets transformed before going back to always being blueballed, or I can take the risk of having fade-to-black sex. I'm leaning towards the fade-to-black right now, though I'm sure that'll get me plenty of super positive reviews on RR and the like (that's sarcasm, by the way). The fade-to-black would at least have to wait until he's no longer a pup. He’s still going to have a 30+ year old mind and spirit, mind you.

Oh, and I plan on paying more attention to evolving and stuff like that since this setting makes that really easy to work with.

I lied. One more thing. Sexual stuff. Not like, the good sexual stuff. I mean the bad sexual stuff. I'll admit, I fell for the trap of adding sexual abuse into character backstories to make them more tragic. I did the exact same thing with ASV when I wrote it. I also had plans of that for SG despite never getting that far. I'm most likely going to completely cut that out of the reboot. I still plan on Zurie (and probably Lixue depending on how I change her story) having some tragic things in her past, but I just don't want to make any of that trauma have anything to do with sex. One, it made me feel pretty fucked when giving them these tragic pasts and sexual trauma but then making them thirsty as fuck for a dog. Two, it's just overdone and cliché in a bad way.

So that's: shifting to past tense, quicker introduction of characters, self-contained plots that can stand on their own while making progress toward the greater overall plot of Zurie vs Progenitor which I would want resolved in a few volumes instead of over a dozen volumes, a game-like world without the hard restrictions and statistics of a LitRPG (there will still be levels and skills, but this system will make much more sense and give greater freedom), more Zurie - a lot more Zurie, no more transforming every other chapter, more lewd fanservice, more evolving, and no more rape backstories all while taking place in a world that I've put some serious effort into building and giving a history with a logical system.

I still have to figure out the specifics of how the story is going to go, but I already have some ideas that I'm really happy with, and I know exactly how I'm going to start it. At this point, though, I can already officially say that I genuinely believe it will be better than the original. I expect it to be more controversial and maybe disliked, especially by those who love LitRPGs for all their numbers and stats, but I'm actually excited for the reboot and have high hopes for it.

Now then, I have significantly less to say for CORE, but CORE is still getting better news than what I originally intended (aka dropping it).

CORE: CORE is not being rebooted. At least, not yet. So, what's CORE's--the character--role going to be in this new shared world? Well, obviously, he's going to be a character in it alongside his monsters. With all the worldbuilding that I've done for this setting, there's a role that I never filled. You see, in this setting, there's a certain area/kingdom of what could be considered monsters. This region needs a ruler. So, if it needs a ruler still, who better than the Emperor of Emperors himself? Who better to play the role of a cocky, confident, incredibly powerful ruler from a foreign land of monsters than CORE himself? I can't say anything else without it being a spoiler but, for now, CORE is going to become a side character (perhaps a main character during a certain arc idea I have) within this universe that you can most likely expect to show up within Woofen's story and my eventual tentacle monster's story.

I think it would be cool, after having people exposed to him some more through their stories, to then give him his own story. Probably a short one that basically just exists to expand on his character and the world and its history, but still his own series. And that would most likely be told in his traditional style, too. Full of arrogance and hubris as he rambles on about how amazing he is.

But for now, I think this is the best possible thing I can do with CORE. I actually think this really suits him better than being a main character. I feel like getting to experience him through the eyes of other characters will really show him off in all of his glory. Kind of like... oh, I know a great example. For those of you who might have watched FGO: Babylonia, or played through the game, I would be treating him like Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was an important character during the arc that involved him, but he was never the main character. He served the role of basically being a quest giver and then occasionally got off his throne to remind everybody that he's the best and biggest badass ever. That right there is what I would love to do with CORE.

Alright. That's everything that I have to say for TQH and CORE. I originally felt hopeless with them, but now I'm excited in a way that I haven't been since starting their series and fantasizing about how they'd go.

I've already been through this process before with EDE -> EDO. I know that people are going to be unhappy and that they will unpledged (And I know that some people will read this and leave negative ratings on my other series, too). That's alright. I'm not going to try and convince you to stay around if those were the stories you got invested in and were the main cause of your support. However, I will say that I plan on giving my all to this shared setting, and I'll also say that pretty much everybody agrees that EDO is better and higher quality than EDE. Here's to repeating those results of improved quality!

Alright. That’s it for the copypasta. News status: delivered.

What’s going to happen to TQH and CORE here on RR and SH before the reboot is out? I don’t know. It might be a little bit until I’m ready to post the reboot. The smart and most logical thing to do would be to leave the series up and then use whatever followers are left on them to advertise the new series once it’s up. You know, like making another announcement chapter and linking to the rebooted series.

But even just seeing the series in my fiction lists stresses me out.

My choices are either: one, delete the series in a couple of days and shoot myself in the foot when it comes to losing the audiences to advertise future series to but take care of my mental health first and foremost; or two, delete all chapters except for these announcements chapters and leave them the series up until the reboot is out.

I’m honestly leaning more toward the first one. There’s also the fact that I don’t like that both CORE and TQH would be dropped while being in SH’s top 10 most followed series. TQH only just fell to 2nd most followed the other day. I don’t want new visitors to the site checking out the top followed series and seeing two dropped ones in the top ten.

Regardless of what I do, you’ll be able to read the series on my personal website:

https://acearriande.com/category/tqh/

https://acearriande.com/category/core/

You can also join my Discord server to stay up to date with everything (you can also join my ARK server if you join the Discord uwu), follow my Twitter, or follow my profile on SH. The rebooted version of the series will eventually be announced on all of those.

That’s all for now. I know people are going to be disappointed. I know some people will lose faith in me to ever complete a series. Others will just never want to read anything by me again because this whole thing will have left a bad taste in their mouth. And that’s fine. If you feel that way, it’s perfectly understandable.

But for now, that’s all I have to say on the topic. I always preach to other writers not to force themselves to write things they no longer enjoy and to follow their heart when it comes to writing, so this is me taking my own advice and doing what I genuinely believe is best for myself and the series.

I hope that you stick around and thank you for staying around for as long as you have regardless of what you choose to do.

I’m also going to do my best to read all the comments I get again on all my series. I really do want to be active with you guys again in the comments instead of only on my server and Patreon. So, I’ll force myself to read every comment on this announcement chapter no matter how anxiety-inducing the idea of that might be.

If there is anything you feel is an issue regarding TQH that I missed above, feel free to post it in the comments so that I can check on it and think it over! Also, you can leave a review, but seeing as how I’m probably deleting these series in a couple of days off of RR and SH, I’d rather you save your time and effort. If you have any critique, just leave it in a comment and I’ll be sure to check it.

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TL;DR: TQH and CORE are being absorbed into the same shared setting with another WIP series of mine. TQH getting rebooted as a new series with the same cast and similar plot but new setting and there will be other changes. CORE’s cast will be taking side character roles for now but will likely have an independent side series dedicated to it in the future. I’m addicted to Hololive and ARK.

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