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Author Topic: The future of the Bay12 forums  (Read 7543 times)

scriver

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #105 on: January 15, 2018, 07:36:47 pm »

I suggest more LotR movie quotes
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nenjin

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #106 on: January 15, 2018, 07:50:16 pm »

I'm with GC on this one; it's not our job to promote the forums. Hell, to me, General Discussion isn't even really part of the DF forums. The mores of DF define the GD crowd, somewhat. But I feel little to no connection to the upper boards from down here in GD, or OG. Others have said as much before too.

So while I guess I appreciate the brainstorming, to me there are 1.4 zillion threads here with dozens of posts daily I don't read, and probably never will. There is a buzz of activity around here, all the time.

Let me put my experience in to perspective, and give you my post mortem of watching a simple forum grow enormous then, over the years, collapse in on itself like a neutron star:

My first real forum after the bulletin board system days was a forum based around Everquest, specifically aimed at players of the Rogue class. This was back before wikis and online game resource pages really took off. A time when people had to talk to each other, network, problem solve, compare notes, blah blah blah, to learn what they needed to know and do what they wanted to do. This was around 2000.

I loved the forum and community so much, and posted there so much, I eventually became a volunteer member of the staff. We were big, then. Thousands of daily visits, mentions and recognition from Sony Online Entertainment, invites to conferences, betas, previews, the whole 9 yards. Developers posted there, the biggest names in Everquest argued and boasted and what not on our forums.

Then shit changed. Everquest was knocked off its perch by WoW. Staff left for their own reasons. Online resources became a thing and people had less and less reason to socialize via the boards.

Eventually I too quit EQ and migrated over to the General Discussion forums more than the game forums. The forum tried to rebrand itself as a place for all things Rogue in games, from Assassin's Creed to the MMO flavor of the month. Had a web page for reviews and web content that only me and a couple other people uploaded to. (It's why I still write big massive fuck off game reviews and break downs and updates in OG; because it's what I used to do at this other forum for kicks.) The move ultimately didn't work.

But still, I posted there in GD happily for another solid 3 or 4 years. (Sorta the same shit really as here. Politics threads, culture threads, video game threads, "daily threads", all crammed in to one forum. My personal favorite part of the forum was the "Rant Hall." Go figure.)

Then one by one the remaining admins petered off to do their own things. As a staff we stopped organizing, stopped planning, stopped really caring other than responding to the odd flare up or bot attack. Daily visits went down so far we moved to a cheaper (and shittier!) host. It was no longer worth the admin's time to spend hundreds of dollars every month to host the forums, so we started seeking donations from users. It was usually enough to keep us going a year, with some additional cash thrown in by staff, but quality kept going down. Forum software migrations and lost user accounts caused some users to never return.

Then pretty much the last active staff besides me and one other guy left, and we changed hosts again. Many of the regulars in General Discussion moved on, away, grew up, went to college, got married. One notable one in my memory even died. (*Pours one out for Kroe*) We're seriously talking about 17 years of forum history now.

Now....the site is still there, still gets paid for. Has possibly the world's shittiest host. New posts get made in GD.....maybe once every other couple weeks. And that's the most active forum of the group I still bother to check for new posts in. I sort of expect every year for someone to finally declare the forum is truly dead. Most of the remaining users have said as much. We keep the forums up for nostalgia's sake, pretty much.

I guess my point is....given a long enough timeline, everything's odds of survival reaches zero. DF has been going, what, 14 years now? That's impressive time span for any online community. Shit, multi-million dollar game communities have lasted a fraction of the time. I've seen how far decay can go in a once thriving internet community, and personally, DF ain't anywhere there yet. If it's one thing it has that many other forums don't, is a constant influx of new, intelligent, young, energetic people who can quickly blend in to the masses. This forum can be insular, but not so insular that we see a new name we don't recognize and go "WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU INTERLOPER?!?!!?"

Another thing in the forum's favor is that it owes its existence to something that isn't going anywhere. DF will be made until Toady dies, and probably in some capacity afterward. Unlike my first real forum, which was based around ultimately transient games that came and went as the tech improved or players got bored......DF is in the museum of modern art. IT IS ETERNAL. And so the forums will always have a firm basis for activity. As long as there is a DF to talk about, then people are eventually going to want to talk about something else while still being within DF's sphere. The tree of the forum is watered with the blood of new posters, and DF is the sword.

TLDR: Could be worse.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 08:53:26 pm by nenjin »
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milo christiansen

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #107 on: January 15, 2018, 07:56:28 pm »

Yup. For example, last time I looked at the Warzone 2100 forums. They used to be slow, but stuff did happen there, now they are almost completely dead.

Bay12 is still a thriving community compared to many.
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Ispil

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #108 on: January 15, 2018, 08:10:27 pm »

That, and the development of DF doesn't really have a stopping point any time soon.
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scourge728

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #109 on: January 15, 2018, 08:23:51 pm »

Isin't there plans for DF to go open source if Toady ever dies, unless foul play is suspected? Now THAT would be an interesting time for the forums

Baffler

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #110 on: January 15, 2018, 08:30:12 pm »

Interesting in the "may you live in interesting times" sense, maybe. If Toady One were to die in the near term and the development process were to get closer to Cata:DDA's these forums would probably turn into a warzone as people fight over the game's future direction. Cata's a fine game, but its dev process is pretty chaotic and it has a much smaller audience than DF. Toady One is our enlightened moderator-despot too, so the question of who moderates the community going forward would mean the lower boards don't escape even if they stay out of the fight over the game itself.
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #111 on: January 15, 2018, 08:35:45 pm »

Nah, it'll just end with Threetoe being mortally wounded mounting a frontal assault on the Pentagon, plugging a USB into the mainframe before succumbing.

Humanity survives for mere weeks afterwards.
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Putnam

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #112 on: January 15, 2018, 08:45:06 pm »

2.) I mean, okay, but for how long was he highly visible--towards the end, it felt like everyone knew him and was tired of him. It certainly wasn't always so.

For the record: since about 2013, I'd say

Baffler

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #113 on: January 15, 2018, 08:50:01 pm »

Nah, it'll just end with Threetoe being mortally wounded mounting a frontal assault on the Pentagon, plugging a USB into the mainframe before succumbing.

Humanity survives for mere weeks afterwards.

Maybe, but I bet with all that attention nobody would be complaining about the forums slowing down.
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nenjin

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #114 on: January 15, 2018, 08:58:05 pm »

Nah, it'll just end with Threetoe being mortally wounded mounting a frontal assault on the Pentagon, plugging a USB into the mainframe before succumbing.

Humanity survives for mere weeks afterwards.

Maybe, but I bet with all that attention nobody would be complaining about the forums slowing down.

Although they'd be technically right if they did, because everyone would be dead or w/o internet access.
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Zanzetkuken The Great

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #115 on: January 15, 2018, 09:04:50 pm »

Still going through the thread, but I spotted a couple things to reply to.

FG&RP is still its own beast, but I do want to mention that freeforms seem to be more or less dead. Metric h*ckton of "Arms Race" games, whatever those are, and an active FEF community, but ye olde flood of Magic Girls games and whatever is a thing of the past. Mafia is a ghost town and the traditional forum games (of the player-above-you variety) are pretty quiet.

I can actually answer about the abundance of Arms Race games.  They're basically team-based weapon design games.  There aren't too many games in all honesty, they just have a disproportionate representation as you need one thread for each team in the game and typically have a third for the sake of having a place where players on opposing teams can chat with each other, frequently being a spot where the turns are placed as well.  As a result of this need, having even 5 games running concurrently can explode into ~15 threads with a good chunk remaining fairly active.

Might be a good idea to shunt them off into a subforum to not strangle everything as a sideeffect, though there is a more optimum route in the form of a general subboard for 'team threads' for all competitive games using two (or more) teams of players to store their stuff rather than just one type of game.  The neutral threads could remain in the main FG&RP, as the main problem is the subthreads used by the teams since they are greater in quantity and more active.

More than anything else I want threadmarks. It's hard to have a structured thread run long without it, and I don't even play forum games which I'm sure would benefit from it. Once you've spent some time with them the idea of not having them just comes off as senseless, and frankly I don't know what's going on with SMF that they're repeatedly breaking their search function instead of adding threadmarks.

As for the rest - you'd have to ask, I guess. But let's not pretend like SMF is elegant and minimalist, I mean look at this shit
help
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What the duck did you just ducking say about me you little quack
What is this even for

Also you can email threads to people, which is either useless or harassment depending on what the end product looks like.

I think I remember having contacted Toady awhile back about implimenting these.  He did seem to have some interest in implimenting them if their code was modified from Xenforo to work with SMF (they are an open source extension, so that is possible), but at the time I contacted him I seem to recall he was wanting to wait for SMF to become a bit more stable.
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Egan_BW

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #116 on: January 15, 2018, 09:35:24 pm »

I kinda hope that b12 would be able to survive developing an open-source DF without Toady, but yeah, I'd say that's the most likely cause of death. Kinda sad.
Obviously to avoid this problem we need to get Toady to appoint somebody as the official Toady Two. :P
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Japa

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #117 on: January 15, 2018, 11:08:29 pm »

I know I'm a lot less active on the forums than I used to.

Kinda moved in, I guess.
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Magistrum

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2018, 08:25:18 am »

Wait, Toady One really does not have successors!

Do we have a cupid or something lying around?
He cannot simply die and leave us with no leader!

I demand offspring for me to offer my loyalty to!
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Imic

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Re: The future of the Bay12 forums
« Reply #119 on: January 16, 2018, 08:46:43 am »

Wait, Toady One really does not have successors!

Do we have a cupid or something lying around?
He cannot simply die and leave us with no leader!

I demand offspring for me to offer my loyalty to!
Me?
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