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Reference The RPF Policies, Programs, and Events Thread - Now Disc.: New User Welcomes

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Imperial_Hammer, Aug 24, 2008.

Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza
  1. Dinkus_Mayhem Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2006
    star 3
    It does seem that there are users who are more exclusive to one forum or another, merging...IMHO...would seem to give all games equal billing.

    Also, Mod approval for games doesn't seem like a great idea, it would seem to stifle creativity more than help it.
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Speaking frankly, that policy would come back over my vehement objections, a rather spectacular car chase, gunshots, unloading the last bullet in whoever made me reinstate it, and then I'd toss away my moderator badge in disgust. Roll credits.:p

    So I'm just going to flat out say no, we would not be reinstating the mod approval policy again, ever. EVER I SAY.
  3. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    Good man. To both, Peng and Ramza. Honestly, in wake of the recent Facebook update, if we also see the RPF go through a major transition, I might cry.

    Stewie speaks my mind.
  4. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    That's all well and good, but again, I just don't see how this benefits us at all.

    I mean I see how we could make it work - it makes sense to archive the NSWRPF rather than move all the threads exhaustively, it makes sense to tag threads as SW or NSW as appropriate, but what do we gain? The users who are exclusively SW games won't magically start playing in NSW games just because they're there (believe me, they know the NSWRPF exists, they just ignore it), or vice versa (ditto).

    I also don't think merging would serve to put all games on equal footing - I'd even say that it would give the perception that we're putting NSW games back on second-class-citizen status, because (I assume) if this were to go forward we'd be moving active NSW games back into the SWRPF, not archiving both forums and creating a new one.
  5. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    I actually think we are in some sort of (ign caused) crisis and judging on traffic right now is kinda . . . strange. We got no ability to get new users on and have no idea how things will develop once we can. Therefore making a decision like that should be made when we are normally operational. AND indeed I feel like being pushed into SW boards with my games. Seriously. People need to realize there IS competition to these boards. If we go SW only (and that´s what it will look like in the five seconds we got until the users hit the next google link) games will go elsewhere and players will go elsewhere to look for them.

    Despite that, the sections do not cost us, do they? Why change them, then?
  6. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Things we know: if (big if) we merge the boards, mod approval will not be needed for NSW games. And yes, for about the fourth time, traffic is down across the JCF as a whole.

    If people still want to discuss this potential merger, that's fine, but let's talk about benefits and drawbacks now.
  7. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Yes but the perception is always going to be that we're folding NSW back into SW (look at how many times you've already had to explain that no mod approval will be required :p), unless we're proposing to archive both forums and create a brand new All Kinds Of Role Playing Games forum.
  8. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    Is there really anything else to say, that hasn't already been said in some way?
  9. Dinkus_Mayhem Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2006
    star 3
    I can only speak for myself, but I barely pay attention to the NSWRPF...not because I don't find games interesting...but because the thing is so darn slow and I find myself forgetting about it. Nothing is happening there, there is no reason to draw the interest of many people. Sure it has a few exclusive games, but 2-3 interesting games isn't going to make an active forum out of the NSWRPF...nor is it likely to draw in fresh players on a consistent basis so that the forum thrives.

    Just look at Tide of Flames, it is a superb game. Is it accepting players? No (not faulting ToF in that). Or SotS, it had a particular style that interested certain people. But that is about the extent of the games there, and if you can't get into one and the other doesn't interest you what is left to keep you there? In the past year we have had 22 NSW games, 6 of which actually broke 200 posts...of those 1 is a social thread and the other is Tide of Flames.

    That isn't a summer slowdown. It is a persistent lack of activity, we have 2 choices....either accept it and allow the forum to stagnate, or find a way to bring more people in. The RPF thrives on new players and ideas. Could there potentially be new blood out there? Yes. How does the NSWRPF draw people in to participate in the games when even people interested in those types of games (me) forget to check the forum because nothing is usually happening?

    That is my $.02 on it.
  10. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Dinkus, let's be honest here: you were in ToF. You just disappeared after, what, a month. And you've done that before and since in other games, both SW and NSW.

    If you forget about it that's what bookmarks or Favourite Boards are for.
  11. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    First: I totally don´t see why merging boards will help with any of those problems. So we get more players when SotS and Tides of Flames are next to GaW IV?
    And btw, your numbers are wrong. We had four games in NSWRPF to break 200 and Tides of Flame was not among them, as it is much older. And it were around ten in the SWRPF. Over the last year.


    Second: Point is, what is the gain from merger? What do we win? We look smaller, we get slightly more traffic in the short run (and probably risk loosing NSWRPF games in the midrun, becoming one of many SW only boards in the longrun) and we piss off a lot of users. Which (something everybody ignores) will make them leave. Not immediately. But if players feel a resentment towards a board they usually don´t hang around for a long time. Those people who say "NSWRPF is what keeps me here" will be gone within a year, I guess.

    AND if we wanna get new people limiting our attractivity by burying NSW games in a thread called SWRPF does help how exactly?

    And concerning "checking the forum" I wanna say it once and clear. SWRPF has NEVER brought back as many old players as ORIGINS or SOTS did. So it seems people are more checking NSWRPF (or finding more interesting stuff there) than SWRPF, actually. Maybe you forget to check. "People" didn´t. Not that I was ever aware of that. Both SotS and Mass Effect Ashen suffered less from such things than my two SW games.
    We had fewer games there, true. But lately we had some of our biggest games there and also our oldest.


    Third, there is a big, BIG disadvantage in merging. We chain ourselves to SW. And SW is not healthy right now.


    Fourth, I would repeat it, because it was ignored: People - and among them myself - won´t start new NSWRPF games here, if they got an alternative (like spinner, invasionfree boards, wizards, yahoo groups, rpfcastle etc.).


    Fifth. Again repeating myself. What is the benefit? That some people think this or that about NSWRPF? I mean . . . what do you think will happen? More people will join the SWRPF? Or NSW games? Why?

    My two cents (euro-cents actually)
  12. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I got a project called "Noir" planned for 2012 and recently we had some good vibe for "Horizon" and somewhere Sarge is lurkung with a Zombie Game. I don´t know. Honestly. I got a hard time imagining those between KotLR, ToRR and GAW IV. SotF next to Rebellion? Dunno. Does it feel right for you guys? It means loosing NSW games (by forcing them into SW games) or it means loosing the SW touch (by getting rid of the SW specialty - considering "where" we are here, a strange idea). Anyway, it means loosing something.

    Do we also gain something? More users? Certainly not. We lost a LOT of users in recent years to other NSWRPF boards, because people felt like us not having the "support structure" for their games (Monomyth, RoSteel both were eyeing these boards once) and that were some dozens of players not showing up here. Ask TGI, he can tell you a pretty interesting story about how "accessible" we appear to neutral outsiders when it comes to Non-SW-games. Also keep in mind the success of NSW games to recruit new players and the troubles SW games had doing that.

    Giving people as many opportunities to play as possible is our best safeguard against loosing players, I believe. Forcing stuff on people and games won´t make our reputation better or keep our players around. Actually I am not responding very well on be forced to do something in my freetime. If I do my Film Noir game or my Blade Runner game I would not even CONSIDER to do them under a SW board which is so nice to tolerate me.

  13. Dinkus_Mayhem Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2006
    star 3
    I spoke to the GM when it became clear that I wasn't going to have the time to keep up, it isn't like I just up and left. Have I done it to other games? Sure. Who hasn't.

    What's your point? Doesn't seem like this has anything to do with discussing solutions or finding ways to draw new blood.

    But hey if you would rather focus on me and my faults (which I admit to having many) that is fine, thanks for pointing them out. I really appreciate you doing so. :)

    I was just trying to bring ideas and thoughts to the table, but it seems like people are getting defensive and rather than talking about what is clearly a non-seasonal problem of reduced activity in the RPF forums they are defending the status-quo. If people are 100% happy with the way things are I can live with it, just thought it would be interesting to discuss and see if there was potentially a better way of doing things.

    I guess Nick was right, there doesn't appear to be anything else to discuss on the topic. [face_peace]
  14. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    It is not about becoming defensive, I just think it is a terribly wrong thing to do. And I don´t say I know what is right and you´re wrong, dinkus. I just got a different set of experiences who let me come to a very different idea of merging boards. I totally accept you seem to find NSWRPF a bit irrelevant. You can read above, my personal idea of it was different. Who is right? Dunno. But I can´t let the discussion here go down without telling people I think we should not merge, can I? What member of the community would I be?
  15. CPL_Macja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2008
    star 5
    One of the things that we have to remember is that IGN's mailserver mess up is futher reaching then just limiting new users. It also has caused Mods from other boards (who also are players and GMs) to deal with this issue and others. Not to mention other Real Life issues that have caused them to be away as well.

    Also, Fin is right once exisiting users feel spurred they'll just walk away and not look back which will have the opposite effect to what everyone of the boards is striving for right now: increased traffic.
  16. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Folks - let's cool down. This is a friendly debate; let's not stray into to baiting, because I don't want to have to edit this discussion or close it down. :)

    The idea that we'd lose attention from NSW games in a merger just doesn't fly with me. It's not like this is a hostile take-over situation; we were once nothing more than the Role Playing Forum, and a merger would really just mean we're both NSW and SW in one. In short, we wouldn't call it the Star Wars Role Playing Forum. :p

    And yes, as CPL_Macja has reminded us, traffic in general is down due to issues with IGN and The Move; continue to follow along in Comms and via the handy header at the top of every page for news on that front. Don't lose your password. :p

    My personal thoughts on the NSWRPF is that I love it, but want more traffic there. Ramza and I also have a love for the RPR which managed to make it into the top twenty most active boards a while back (really!) and that was awesome. I'm releasing a game very soon in the NSWRPF; I can't speak to how excited folks will be for it, but I do notice a number of new projects for that neck of the woods. Sins of the Fathers, for one, is going to create a massive wave there.

    And yes, people get bored/busy/leave/etc - this has always been a facet of the RPF and the JCF as a whole.
  17. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    My point is that ever since its inception the NSWRPF has never had more than around 3 truly active games at any one time. That number goes up a little sometimes, and down a little sometimes, but it hovers around 3. The current state of the NSWRPF is not a recent reduction, which is quite remarkable considering the slowdown of the rest of the JC.

    If that's too slow for some people (or too fast, apparently) ... well, it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, isn't it? If people don't play in it because it's too slow as opposed to trying to build up activity to a level they like, it will continue to truck along at a pace that is comfortable for its regulars.

    But hey, okay, let's talk about benefits and drawbacks. It sounds like we will get these benefits:

    (1) All the role playing games will be in one place, on one page. Organizationally, that's efficient and elegant. (To be honest I think this would have been a better idea from the start - simply allowing NSW games in the RPF without requiring mod approval - than splitting off the NSWRPF, but as I said before that ship sailed a few years ago.)

    ... actually, that's all we've said so far. The idea that we might attract fresh blood by doing this is ludicrous at present, considering new user registrations are not possible.

    And the drawbacks would be:

    (1) The mods would be inundated with questions like "Does that mean we have to get approval to run NSW games??" and "Does this game meet your approval? <insert OP here>" - although obviously if Ramza and Peng are cool with that, then that's fine. They'd also have to do all that back-tagging of thread titles with [SW] or [NSW] signifiers, but that is a one-off thing that would take maybe half an hour, tops.

    (2) As Fins pointed out, it is entirely likely that people would just assume that means we're getting rid of NSW games entirely and create their NSW games elsewhere. Consider: if you don't follow the RPR, and suddenly you see the NSWRPF has gone read-only, you wouldn't automatically think "Oh, that means we go to the other forum for NSW games now," you'd think, "Oh, NSW games are no longer welcome." Unless the plan is to archive both RP forums and create an entirely new one.

    (3) It would irritate the people who only want to play in SW games, or only want to play in NSW games, because they have more to scroll through and/or mentally filter out before getting to the games they want. There are several such people that I know of. I have linked someone a NSW game and have had them reply "Eh, I'm only interested in SW" and vice versa - that's not something that can be solved by putting it there in their face.

    (4) We'd likely lose one social thread, and that would likely be TROTSTATEOTG, because two social threads in one forum is overkill and against general JC convention. People who frequent TROTSTATEOTG will probably not be happy.

    (5) If we irritate too many people they'll just move away and, again considering new user registrations are no longer possible, this is something I'd say we cannot afford.


    edited to add - Look, I really am a huge supporter of making sweeping changes when there's any improvement to be had whatsoever, or sometimes even just to shake things up a little as some of you have probably noticed :p, but in this case I really think we stand to lose too much by doing this.
  18. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Before I get down to SRS BSNS, there's exactly one quip I desperately need to make:
    Holy crap, that's like 5 cents USD!:eek:


    Okay, now to less irreverent affairs.

    I previously argued in favor a merger but, frankly, circumstances have imposed a paradigm shift.
    Xan's not the first person to bring this up, but this is succinct and quotable, something I am quite fond of, and, more importantly, it's the absolute biggest red flag for me against going through with a merger.

    Basically, it's a matter of logistics - as of right now, we stand to lose no one by not merging, but we probably stand to lose a few users by merging. At this time, the latter situation cannot be compensated by new users because... well, there are no new users. Barring those users who come to seek out the RPF from other parts of the board, users to whom I do not think the current separation will pose an issue, there's nothing coming in to replace lost users. I don't want to chance an overhaul this massive until, at the least, email is back up and working, and that will almost certainly occur post-move.

    That's not to say I am opposed to all change - indeed, following this discussion I have a very important change in the queue that I feel needs community feedback - but I am opposed to a change, such as this one, which I feel will result in a deal of effort with no gains, and, indeed, some losses. That's not dynamism, that's suicide, plain and simple.


    All that being said, I will again cite my mantra,
    [image=http://deadwildroses.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/internet-serious-business-cat.jpg]
    and reiterate Peng's thoughts by asking that we all remember to criticize the opinion, not the user. While I realize the need to contextualize arguments, I feel like it can be done without personal swipes.
  19. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    I am not on top of things around here, but it looks to me like going All In when the pot is not really worth it. The risk of loosing games and key-players is there, the benefit isn´t that incredible big. We won´t go from 3 recruited newbies to 30. Maybe to 4. That is about it. God, some games brought us more people back.

    I saw a discussion about approachable games and how to make games accessible for greater audiences. I think Sarge brought it up, somwhere. If you guys wanna have new players (once you can actually take any, again), that is the way to think about it. Could we make games that are interesting to new people? Can we create a buzz? Games get people here. Not merging boards. Not even traffic. I did never check the traffic on any board before joining it. Only if the game I wanted to be in was dead. If someone wants to join The Sins of the Germans because he likes Germany or ManCubs II: Jungle Fever because he loves Kipling and SW he won´t care how well other games do. Nobody joins boards. People join games. That is why we could not keep many of the SotS or AFAS newbies. We didn´t offer them anything as a follow up. Not that it is our job to do so. But thinking of it, there was potential for a great player base everyone wants to have and NOBODY used it.
  20. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Seems kind of like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Maybe things will improve when new players can register after the conclusion of the endless comedy that is the board shuffle, but right now it's a dead-end board on a dying forum. The way is shut, which means aside from whatever secondary accounts people can scare up (which may not be entirely board legal), what we have is what we've got, and each loss to real life concerns is one fewer player. That's the situation we've been given at the moment, but I'm more curious as to what will happen after the move.

    Peng, ramza, maybe Xan (if you was around for it), do any of you have even the smallest idea as to what features the new board will have? Or are the higher ups keeping you guys in the dark as well?
  21. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    The news boards, assuming nothing has changed, will have some handy dandy features such a Community drop-down menu for keeping in touch with folks and a friend system, a handy way to keep on top of new posts in forums, a streamlined control panel...there's a fair amount of things in the works.
  22. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    What about stuff like the ability to post actual full-sized images (large or small) without them being thumbnailed, or better html? Images in particular are something that other sites do much better. Yes, you can have a mod (well, manager, so mod plus three months) come into your thread and post your image, but mods change (we've gone through five in two years, which has turned ToF readthroughs into a bundle of code and edits) and thumbnails just sort of break the flow of things.
  23. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    Honestly, I actually like the thumbnails. Pick the right image, and it's not distorted too much, and they're all the exact same size. Nice and tidy.
  24. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    And you don't have to deal with page stretching, which can be a huge pain in the ass at times for those of us who aren't using a full widescreen web browser.
  25. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    While the new site maintains thumbnails (I guess that's just something the administration likes? Don't quote me on that.), it does strike something of a nice compromise by having a slideshow viewer, so you'll click the image and it pops up full screen on the same page. In addition, thumbnails scale properly, as opposed to the current (And read: lame) auto-squish garbage this version has. You can also attach files to posts now.

    Can't speak to HTML access because everyone on the test boards at the moment has moderator privileges and... well, and thus HTML access. Dunno what the policy for regular users will be, although I wouldn't expect a change unless they announce otherwise.
Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza