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  #1  
Old 12-24-2012, 04:09 PM
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rpgcrossing.com

This thread is a place to ask questions about the url change to rpgcrossing.com (see the announcement). I will be watching the thread, and will answer questions to the best of my ability as they come up. I may also add some of the answers to the FAQ.

Alternatively, you may send me a private message and I will answer in kind.
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2012, 06:22 PM
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Will the basic design of the site remain the same?
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:28 PM
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For the near future, it will. Of course, there'll be the brand change, and there will always be advancements made, but every button will remain right where you're used to.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:36 PM
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So, the opposite of the Facebook approach. Sounds good to me!

Thanks for your great work on the site!
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:08 PM
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Some answers to questions I received by pm.

I think a general comment that I am tempted to write in response to many of these is: please remember that I am one individual with other commitments in addition to this site. For most of the past four years, I've been the sole technical support person responsible for server issues, creating and modifying custom code, and creating an infrastructure for and managing volunteer coders (huge thanks to chronicler for his efforts over the past couple of years). In addition, I have been an active partner in ownership of the site, and have now taken over that role entirely, including financial administration. The site supports itself, but it comes nowhere close to being able to provide even a part time income that would justify this being my 'job' (though sometimes it can feel like the workload is getting there!) Further to that last statement, I feel that it is important that this site focus more attention on investing in itself over the near future, at the expense of paying back debts to its owner(s), and that is what I plan to do.

I'd like to also take a moment to highlight the incredible moderator and admin staff here, whose role it is to help maintain the soul of the place. They keep this place running smoothly, and are frequently involved in decision making. Their insights have been incredibly valuable.

Quote:
What kinds of partnerships are you seeking to pursue? What kind of interaction level are you looking for from them?
This is going to have to evolve organically to some extent, but some examples are: advertising, promotions for CS members, invitations to publishers to run games here in their system, the possibility for our site to be listed as a site that supports a given system.... There are many possibilities.

Quote:
Where do you see the site going within the next three years?
There are so many great aspects to this site. Three years is a long time. Rather than answer this question exactly as stated, I'll do it this way: our next priorities will be a) getting the site stably situated on a better (faster) server, b) redoing the backend so that the site uses a more modern, secure, and faster code base (likely by choosing a different type of bulletin board software, and recoding our custom code to match it): this will be done in such a way that it preserves the look and feel of the boards, and c) redoing the aesthetics of the site to improve useability (menu revamp, homepage revamp, better information for newcomers, things like that).

Along the way, I'd also like to see us support diverse roleplaying systems better (have character sheets for every system used here, for example), and support initiatives like our competitions, the podcasts, and Explosive Runes magazine so that they are more visible. I'd also like to provide better support to DMs in their games (perhaps a blog space, or the ability to customise the look of their games), but there are many steps that have to be taken before we get there.

Quote:
Since you have taken over the site I have seen a lot of "forward progression" thinking yet have also seen a lot of maintenance issues come up more often. How will you be improving the quality of the site beyond just simply getting a new server?
Just to be clear: back in March, I took over the administrative tasks involved in running the site, but I was a silent partner in the site and have been in charge of all the technical side of things for almost four years. The "maintenance issues" of late are not the result of a change in the way the technical side of the site is handled, but rather the combination of heavy usage (I have been promoting the site through social media more actively, which has helped us increase our usership), a larger database, and increased problems with spam. I have made a number of changes even in the last six months that have drastically improved site performance; unfortunately, most of these have been made in response to DoS attacks and increased levels of malign search engine traffic and have thus resulted in little or no net gain. Our infrastructure is ancient, and I had been suggesting for some time that we update it. Now, it is fully in my power to make that financial decision, and I am doing it. No, a new server will not solve all our problems, but it is crucial that we do it and do it first.

As for "improving the quality of the site": yes, I would like to do that. There are clearly issues with ease of use and aesthetics. I will strive to maintain the feel of the place, but I do intend to make changes to update it. Unfortunately, our server isn't our only problem: vBulletin is another. We are now running an outdated version (which has security implications), and from what I hear of new versions, not only will transitioning to them require a lot of recoding of our (thousands of lines of) custom code, but they are even more bloated and slow than what we are currently using. After the server change, I am going to do an in depth comparison of our options; currently, IPBoard looks like our best bet, if only because it explicitly supports archiving, which would make a huge difference in how this site performs (vBulletin gives this lip service, but still keeps all the 'archived' posts in the main post table, resulting in huge and unnecessary overhead and slowness). No matter what back end we choose, there will be a lot of code revisions required.

Quote:
What are your thoughts if people don't jump on board your "bandwagon"?
I think the proposed change makes a lot of sense, and I'm hoping that addressing people's questions in a forthright manner will result in general agreement on that point. I've already had many long and sometimes difficult discussions about it with staff and a number of long-standing site members during which we hashed out ideas and found good answers to qualms that people expressed. I think that all this talk has resulted in solid and good choices. There is a concensus amongst staff and members of our "2nd floor" group that this is a good way forward.

I listen carefully to the comments and thoughts of moderators, admin, and all community members, and I appreciate your feedback.
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
1. Will rpxp and post counts stay the same?
2. Will DMs have anything different in regards to thread management?
1. Yes.
2. No.
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2012, 10:04 AM
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Without going into a large personal explanation, I think the overall direction rpgcrossing.com/rpgcrossing.com is going is the right one. It's very exciting to see my favorite hobby site breaking out of it's former boundaries.

So, to the issue of support by community, I think people will be more on board rather than less. It's simply in everyone's best interest to let the site grow.
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:36 AM
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As long as I can still write DNDOG whenever I feel like it ?

Merry Christmas.

I didn't see this coming, but I just want to say good luck. Seems well thought out to me.
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CE2JRH View Post
As long as I can still write DNDOG whenever I feel like it ?

Merry Christmas.

I didn't see this coming, but I just want to say good luck. Seems well thought out to me.
^ This. All of it, actually.
(including the DNDOG part )

As a first-time CS'er (although I've been on the site for 6+ years), I have to say that it's good to see that the changes are ones based on not only stability and performance, but also on vision. Gives me confidence that the CS membership that I paid for is money well spent.

Thanks for all the hard work all of you Reds and Reds have put in, both past and present, to make the site enjoyable. Special thanks to those who have put in countless, unpaid hours in providing the technical work to ensure the site is running (I'm looking at Birched and his team).

...where do I get a DNDOG sticker for my car?
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:44 AM
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I do not like this change.
I don't agree with the reasons given. I am currently playing an alternative system and had no problems at all.
I'm not going to argue, or do internet hate/trolling/etc.
Yes, I realize it is a cosmetic change, but It feels like abandonment all the same.
If others feel the same I hope that they speak up and let birched/admins know their thoughts, but otherwise avoid flaming.

Best wishes to all.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:31 AM
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I have to say I think this is a great thing. At first I was a bit unsure of the whole thing...we human beings naturally hate change...but after giving it some time to sink in and pondering the ideas/issues and reasons given by the staff, I have become more and more convinced this is a very good direction for this great site.

Will it be tough to get used to the new site name? Well yes it will. Will I eventually get used to it and be fine? Yep. And the games I love will keep going and hopefully new games with even more players will spring up also.

Thanks guys for putting a lot of work into thinking this through, providing answers to all our questions, and for working more and investing more into this site than anyone has a right to expect out of you, all to give me a great site for playing these games. You guys ROCK!

+
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:59 AM
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Wow, big change. I have to say I love this idea. I'm a little sorry I'm not a mod any longer to help with this exciting new development but if you want any free advice from a 4th year business student, my PM box is always open.
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2012, 12:00 PM
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She's a genius.
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PS And I'll be happy to promote the new site on my professional Facebook page as I always have.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:21 PM
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I love the idea!

That said, I've only been here for 6 months, so I don't have a lot invested in the brand nor do I know how much a significant change in that brand will hurt the "business model". I'm guessing not very much if at all. If it brings in a new crop of gamers who play games other than D&D, then a change in brand will probably help the business model quite a bit.

And for the record, I'd love to see the site become profitable for those who invest so much time and energy making this place run. I'm no expert, but I'm told profitable businesses are the best kind.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:04 AM
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Love the work all our admins do. I will miss my DnDOG... can we get badges? ... but embrace the alteration. I am glad to see that member statistics will remain. I only wish I had the time and expertise to be more than just a contributor of content.

Question: Will the switch involve directly importing information in to the new site? This being on-going games, member accounts and their statistics, and the like.

Comment: I am glad to hear that we will be dumping vBulletin.
...I do not like it, Sam I am.

Thoughts: I will be interested to see how the proposal of having gaming companies involved in the site pans out. My money is on WotC opting out... haha.
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