I think userbase definitely makes a big difference. I've lurked another RPGing site for quite some time now, although the more perceptive people who've known me a long time can probably guess which one it is. Time to confess: I have branched out and started up another RPG over there to see what it's like. Biggest impressions: necessity and starvation for a playerbase raises the bar substantially. On this forum, the userbase is, I've come to realise, tiny. Therefore competition for players is very real. But from one perspective that's a good thing, because it means you either bring your A-game or be prepared to watch your thread sink slowly towards the bottom of the page. Sad fact of life around here. But it generates a pretty good "baseline" GM, I think; if most of the GMs we regard as competent to experienced were to take their standards and dedication (albeit maybe not the freeform) to at least this other forum I'm on, they'd be respected. Least as far as I can see. Second impression: like I said before, but it bears repeating, boy, our userbase is tiiiinnny. When I first posted up an advertisement for my first RPG over on the other site, I was swamped with player requests. I had six spots open and took twelve applications, and I've spoken with people who've had to winnow out four spots from twenty. Try and imagine that scenario happening here -- last time IIRC was Titanomachy, and we all know what happened to that. Yet, on my lurking headcount, on my other site that seems to happen three or four times every two weeks or so; you'll get a playerbase together, sheets submitted, ready to go, and poof! The GM disappears. Over there the playerbase and GM base is big enough that everyone seems to just shrug and go on with their lives. Here I think we'd be about ready to don sackcloth and ashes if that happened again. On the other hand, when you're spoiled for choice with players, the average quality of GMing apparently goes down. I'm not sure if it was one of my players blowing smoke up my proverbial (I tend to think not because he already had his spot for some time) but he was a forum regular and indicated I'd not only met the informal RPG standard for that board, but exceeded it. And this is my first shot at doing it on that board we're talking about. I therefore think on this board, which has literally tens of thousands of users, you don't have to be very good or very attentive to your players to get some people together and play ... which means as a DM you don't have to dedicate yourself to improving or attracting players. It may be a community thing, of course. Over on that board, to borrow SithGirly's line, it's much more "back and forth". Updates are faster; if people are doing deep character work I don't see it, although it might be the nature of the RPGs run over there or the fact they don't last long enough. People tend to RP in present tense rather than past tense, which annoys the heck out of me, but when in Rome ... and I might add that freeform is much, much rarer on my other site than it is here. So the takeaway is -- I think on a very, very quick average I think we do a better quality of games, but a large vs. small user base I think has a lot to do with it.