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What do we want the future of Druchii.net to be? 
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Great suggestions, Marchosias!

Today, it is too early to merge the 3 Elven factions.
But it could be feasible to pool the games.

Daeron mentioned the discouraging AoS bashing. When did it last occur?
We may have reached a time when it is sufficiently under control.

Let's suppose we had a single forum for all games discussions.
We could ask all threads to start with the name of the game in brackets.
[AoS] or [KoW] or [T9A] or [WH8].
If praise is allowed or desired, add +, if bash is allowed or desired add -, if it is to discuss the merits of the game add +-;
otherwise, if neither + nor - is shown, it is assumed to be a discussion among people who already apreciate that game, need no praise and would be pissed off by bashing, so any evaluation of merits should be considered off-topic and be reported to mods for action.

Not my idea, I've read somewhere that it worked.


Big advantage:
A single forum for all gaming discussion, and instant visualisation of game an mood to be discussed.
Those who need still can bash GW, but without deterring AoS lovers.

Drawback: it forces everyone to start their threads with [game].
If forgotten, up to mods to add it and warn user.

Thoughts?

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Sat May 14, 2016 1:14 pm
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I'm fine with the brackets idea, as long as mods don't come down too harshly on noobs who do it wrong. I know there will most likely be a "please read before posting" faq type of topic, but you know how it is.

The +/- things sounds needlessly complicated and possibly confusing to me, though. I'd just say that if it has [KOW] in front of it, don't go in there and bash KOW, under the assumption that the people reading that thread actually like the system, unless it's specifically listed as a "[KOW] Complaint" thread or something similar.

Just my 2c.

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Sat May 14, 2016 1:29 pm
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By the way, here is a cute article about segregation: http://ncase.me/polygons/

While it is a big simplification, the message is clear. Each of us can either just demand his game to have proper support... or we might actually want to see what the others are doing as well. In the first case, we end up isolated, one part of the community on the 9th Age forum, another somewhere where KoW is being talked about, others in a website for oldhammer lovers. In the second case, we can have a diverse community and share ideas.

For those who want segregation, the segregated forums already exist. Thus, I think D.net and similar sites should seek their future in diversity instead. But for this, we need to actively support it.

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Sat May 14, 2016 5:59 pm
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Cultofkhaine wrote:

Personally I would like to see us remain loyal to Dark Elves (in whatever reincarnation that might be, across all game systems)

We do not have to be everything to everybody, and while I can see the benefit with a combined P&M having more traffic I think we loose to much of what makes us unique (our niche)


But, arguably, being entirely separate hasn't worked since AoS killed off Warhammer. Asrai became unviable while we and Ulthuan aren't really generating large amounts of traffic.

All of the sites need to change...to what degree is difficult, but now we have to come together more and more and offer players of T9A/WH/AoS something relevant.

(Internal forum subdivisions are useful if one particular game can generate more traffic than the others - too many games together in one actual forum can mean some get lost)

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Sun May 15, 2016 8:41 pm
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I think the best approach is to start with as few subdivisions as we think can work, and then split forums up later if traffic increases to the point that it's necessary. I'd probably do it as follows:

Community General & Announcements
News & Rumours
Painting & Modelling (covering all elf factions in all games, with thread tags - e.g. [AoS Shadowkin] or [9A Dread Elves])
Background/Fluff (covering all elf factions in all games, with thread tags)
AoS Tactics (including army lists, batreps, etc. - basically anything that's not purely fluff)
9A Tactics (same, with thread tags for factions - e.g. [Dread Elves])
KoW Tactics (ditto)
Oldhammer Tactics (for all versions of WHFB up to 8th - thread tags to include version, e.g. [6e DE Cult of Slaanesh])
Other Games Tactics (depending on how many KoW and Oldhammer players we actually have, those forums could also be folded in here)
Trading Forum
Ask The Admins*

* - This is an idea I've seen work well elsewhere. Basically it's a place to ask the mods/admins questions where the answers might be relevant/useful to other members and therefore are best asked 'in public' rather than by PM. It can also be the place to give suggestions about changes to the site. It is separate from Community General because the moderation rules in this subforum would be, by necessity, somewhat different to the rest of the site. This is the one and only place (aside from PMs) where actually arguing with a mod about some aspect of moderation would be allowed (provided it is done politely/respectfully).

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Mon May 16, 2016 5:48 am
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Shadowspite wrote:
I think the best approach is to start with as few subdivisions as we think can work, and then split forums up later if traffic increases to the point that it's necessary.


That's certainly the approach I prefer. We've been cutting back forums over the last few years since we had many that were largely unused or redundant.

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Mon May 16, 2016 3:21 pm
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Incoming!

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Thu May 19, 2016 12:52 am
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How is this progressing, if at all?

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Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:25 am
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No progress.
3 sites are on survival mode, with nobody wanting to ake action.
Changing requires energy and leadership.

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Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:02 pm
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Cultofkhaine wrote:
We need to get the ball rolling on this - we have been stuck in the doldrums for too long now!

Before we know it another 12 months will float past and we won't have the option.


I said that back in April.

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Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:05 pm
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OK, so:

1) Who has the authority (admin privileges, formal ownership of the domain name, etc.) to OK the necessary changes?

2) Who has the technical knowhow to actually make said changes (reorganising the forum, updating the site graphics and theme, etc.)?

3) Who is liaising with the admins at Ulthuan and Asrai? If nobody is doing this, then at least who has contact details for them so somebody else can take the initiative?

Personally, I have no clue about the technical side. All I've done in the past towards actually running Druchii.net the website (rather than creating content) is graphic element design and some forum moderation. I don't know my CSS from MySQL and can't even write simple HTML without having to look up every damn command. But I'm willing to do pretty much anything else that might help things along.

It's frustrating because it seemed like we'd all pretty much agreed on what needs to happen. But nobody seems to have done anything about it.

Maybe we need to agree a proper action plan, with a list of who exactly is responsible for each change and a date by which it should be completed?

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Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:57 pm
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2) Who has the technical knowhow to actually make said changes (reorganising the forum, updating the site graphics and theme, etc.)?
Daeron is Admin on all three sites now.

1) Who has the authority (admin privileges, formal ownership of the domain name, etc.) to OK the necessary changes?
Daeron will not act on his own behalf. Any change will require a dialogue with each site's remaining admins (here, Rork and me).
Daeron has good trust established with all three sites, the same goes probably for me.

The admins on the 3 sites will probably do nothing without some vague consensus from their community.
That is problematic for Asrai, which has gone very idle, but it could be envisioned that a 1 month notice without reply means no objection.

3) Who is liaising with the admins at Ulthuan and Asrai? If nobody is doing this, then at least who has contact details for them so somebody else can take the initiative?
Daeron and me have been liaising with the admins at Ulthuan and Asrai.

-=-=-
It's frustrating because it seemed like we'd all pretty much agreed on what needs to happen. But nobody seems to have done anything about it.
We discussed, we did not agree. What was lacking was basically a knowledge of where AoS and T9A would go for our 3 factions.
Now it is clearer, but meanwhile the frequentation of the 3 sites has dwindled further more.

I'm willing to do pretty much anything else that might help things along.
Great! That is precisely what is needed. Do yo uhave an account on all 3 websites?

Maybe we need to agree a proper action plan, with a list of who exactly is responsible for each change and a date by which it should be completed?
Could you start by suggesting the action plan, without persons assigned or delays? That would be a great basis for discussion.

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Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:18 pm
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An action plan without persons assigned or a timeframe is really just a list of "stuff I think should happen". But OK. I think we need to prioritise the things we can do fairly quickly "in-house" without necessarily needing to coordinate with Ulthuan and Asrai. Make Druchii.net the "all (A)elves across all systems" forum first. Then go from there. I think it is better for us to take the initiative (while of course taking onboard suggestions from the other two sites as and when they are offered) rather than waiting for outright approval from them. If everything has to be approved by multiple people across three communities before it happens, nothing will ever get done.

Here's my current thinking on what needs to happen in order:

1) Reorganise the forum here along the lines I suggested on May 16th. Nobody has objected to that outline or suggested any improvements, so I guess everyone is OK with it. In any case, this can be refined later. The important thing is to have a forum layout that makes it clear this is a place for AoS, WHFB, KoW, 9th Age and whatever other systems people want, and for all types of pointy-ears players.

2) Change the website's name, iconography, etc. to match the new more inclusive theme. (Obviously we still need to agree on the new name, but that doesn't need to delay point #1 above). "Druchii.net" should redirect to the new domain (or however that works). Eventually "Asrai.org" and "Ulthuan.com" will also, but that can come later.

3) Sort out multiple "themes" so members can choose a colour scheme and graphical appearance for the site that fits their preferred flavour of elf (initially, three themes matching the existing three sites, but we can add more later).

4) Arrange with the admins at the other two sites to invite their members here. This should only happen once the previous steps are completed, so that this place already feels both ready for them (i.e. the forum is set up for the faction-and-system-inclusive concept we've promised) and familiar (because they can choose a theme that matches the site they've come from). Mods should probably be chosen from those communities and established as mods here before the regular members are invited over.

5) Evangelise on other sites like The Grand Alliance, The Warhammer Forum and DakkaDakka. I don't mean obnoxiously poaching their members, but things like putting a link to the new site in your sig for your account on those sites and reminding people that we are a good place to get advice on collecting, painting and gaming with elves. Jumping in when somebody mentions Druchii.net or Asrai.org and wonders whatever happened to that site. That sort of thing.

6) Migrate the posts from the other two sites to our archive, alongside D.net's own archived posts from the now-defunct forums. It's something that needs to happen eventually, but there's no tearing hurry for this. This is probably also the point where those sites should redirect to us.

7) Add additional functions as people ask for them. A photo gallery seems like a good first addition. But this is stuff that isn't strictly necessary to have done before we invite new members in.

No doubt this list needs adding to, but it at least gives a starting point.

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Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:49 pm
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Sounds great to me!

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Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:20 pm
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Some good ideas, a deep thanks for providing them.

Issues to clarify.
1. Your idea is to merge all forums into a single one, with three different visual identities according to the user.
The end goal seems fine, as long as there remains clear distinction of identities between the three factions, for two reasons:
- users want it
- if we lost faction specificities, we would lose also a reason to exist. People come here mostly to discuss their own faction.
So my question: besides the color, do you envision other specificities?

2. No obvious pre-eminence to Druchii.net.
The other two sites trust us. Let's keep this trust high.
As anyway there would be a need for a 4th name, we can create the 4th site while keeping D.net as is.
We would implement a skeleton, discuss with other 2 sites, and only when the discussion is done, we would say that we, at D.net, are satisfied enough to move us there, and they would move at the speed they wish.
At least, they will feel that they had a say to the creation of the new website. Possibly, they would join forces in building it!
But prior to do that, they should be associated with the choice of the name.

Appreciate your energy, not trying to delay unnecessarily, only trying to anticipate issues and make transition as smooth as possible.

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:09 am
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Calisson wrote:
1. Your idea is to merge all forums into a single one, with three different visual identities according to the user.
The end goal seems fine, as long as there remains clear distinction of identities between the three factions, for two reasons:
- users want it

Which users, though, and how many? Are they a big enough group to matter? If 90% of the combined membership of the three sites are happy (or at least grudgingly OK) with mashing the three factions together for the purposes of forum organisation, then I think catering to the other 10% at the cost of having three times as many subforums (and therefore only a third as many people posting in each) would be counterproductive.

Quote:
- if we lost faction specificities, we would lose also a reason to exist. People come here mostly to discuss their own faction.

Who/what is "we" in this statement? Druchii.net, Asrai.org and Ulthuan.net have already lost their reason to exist. That's why we're in this mess. The new proposed site has its own reason to exist: catering to all players of elves of whatever flavour in whichever system. So keeping too much segregation is counterproductive.

Look, we already know that DE, HE and WE players cannot survive as three separate online communities. The only way we're going to go forward is as a single community. The forums probably need to be divided by game system / edition to avoid a lot of confusion; I don't think we can afford to divide them by faction as well.

Quote:
So my question: besides the color, do you envision other specificities?

Besides the colours, site banner style, icon/button style and maybe header fonts? (These are the things I mean when I say "theme".) No. If you want to start a thread about a particular flavour of elf, you use tags. So if you want tactics advice on a DE army list in WHFB6, you ask in the Oldhammer Tactics subforum and tag your post with [6e] and [DE].

I guess we could ask members to state an allegiance when they join and give each kindred its own icon next to their user name. I'd want an "all elves / no allegiance" icon as an option as well, though.

Quote:
2. No obvious pre-eminence to Druchii.net.
The other two sites trust us. Let's keep this trust high.
As anyway there would be a need for a 4th name, we can create the 4th site while keeping D.net as is.

OK, that could work. I certainly wasn't suggesting that we unilaterally declare ourselves the bosses of this new all-elven utopia. Just that we take the initiative and start doing rather than merely talking. If some details are not to everyone's liking, that can be fixed later.

I assumed that modifying the existing site initially would be easier than starting entirely from scratch with a fourth site, but like I said I have no clue about the technical side so maybe that's wrong. I do worry that an entirely new site is going to be starting with zero content and zero members and is going to look even deader than Asrai.org. That will in turn make it harder to attract new members from outside the existing three communities.

I think maybe some threads, such as PLOGs, should be moved/copied across to the new site from D.net (and eventually the other two sites) before we open to new members, just so it looks alive.

Quote:
We would implement a skeleton, discuss with other 2 sites, and only when the discussion is done, we would say that we, at D.net, are satisfied enough to move us there, and they would move at the speed they wish.
At least, they will feel that they had a say to the creation of the new website. Possibly, they would join forces in building it!
But prior to do that, they should be associated with the choice of the name.

Sure, provided this consensus-seeking doesn't hold everything up. If we're waiting for every single member of all three sites to agree before anything happens, then nothing will ever happen. When asking for input from the other two sites, there needs to be a deadline. It cannot just be open-ended with no real work started until everybody has had their say. There must be an assumption that if nobody objects to a particular action point by a given date then it goes ahead on schedule. That is why we need a formal plan with responsible persons and due dates clearly stated. Plans can be changed as necessary, but you need a plan to start with, even if it is very imperfect initially.

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Last edited by Shadowspite on Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:17 am
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I was over talking 6 months ago - now is the time for doing - this place is dead already :(

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:18 am
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Good to see that you gave significant thought.

Why keep factions?

1. Because some users want it
I may not agree on the precentage of users who like all 3 factions or who like only "their" faction, but it does not matter:
we need them all.
We have to take care of those who only like one faction (those very few remaining), and those who like all three (who we only suspect).

The plan must give a space for each faction plus pan-elves, inside a single website.

2. Because it is a great added value
Context: I work a lot (I mean a real lot) on T9A. I have been involved in reflexions about future of 3 websites since the start.
My position has evolved a bit, it was initially "let's merge", but I came to realize the following:
There are already sub-forums in T9A webiste and other generalist websites for DE, HE, SE.
We need to offer more than T9A forum.
What T9A does not give is a specific faction feeling.
This is our best added value.

This is why we need to be at the same time merged and faction -specific.

Does it help?

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:58 pm
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OK. So how, specifically, would you modify my plan to cater to those who want to keep a separation between the three flavours of elves?

BTW, Calisson, I have to admit to being a bit amused that you and I have essentially swapped positions on this since the previous thread on this topic. :P

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:28 pm
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Calisson wrote:
What T9A does not give is a specific faction feeling.This is our best added value.


That's what I like so much about DNet - it's pure evil :twisted:

Personally I'd like to see a site for just Dark Elves - but do understand that that might still be limiting for us.

The time for talk is over - if we don't do some radical stuff soon this forum will continue to die a slow death.

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Shadowspite wrote:
BTW, Calisson, I have to admit to being a bit amused that you and I have essentially swapped positions on this since the previous thread on this topic. :P
Well, you are right, we did swap something.
Not so much the idea of the end state, which was intermediate for me and no merge for you, and now is intermediate for me and full merge for you.
What we swap is a leadership position where you have become a driving factor while I am now dragging behind.
Well, my excuse is my very demanding functions in T9A, and I am very relieved to have found in you someone who wish to push forwards :D .

So here is what was once said, which still stands partially:
Calisson wrote:
...After discussions, decisions can be considered:

1. Save Asrai.
2. Migrate Ulthuan.
3. Consider some commonalities.
The appetite to get the three websites closer, but not fully merged (not yet) is clear.
There will be more opinions requested from the communities about what would be great to have in common between all Elves, and what to keep separate.
No hurry to discuss that, step 1 and 2 will necessitate probably months of work from our dear webmasters.

Once done, and when what is technically possible is made clear, then the discussion can start about what shoud be done.


Thanks all of you for providing your feelings.

1. Save Asrai. Done.
2. Migrate Ulthuan. Done.
3. Consider some commonalities. This is where we are now.
There was once no hurry, there is now a greater sense of urgency, better act before the three sites die totally.

I'm afraid I am now less available than I was once, but on the other hand I am in a superb position to have a keen ear from T9A if there is a possibility to find some role for us towards T9A.

I would like to hear from Daeron. Will PM him.

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Yeah, since Daeron will (presumably?) be the one doing most of the actual work to get the new forums up and running, it would be helpful if he could chip in. Do we need Rork to put in an appearance too, or can you speak for him?

Would it be helpful if we put together a small number (three?) of alternate outlines for a combined site and let the memberships of each of the three sites vote on them? As long as we set a firm deadline for results and commit in advance to going with whichever option is most popular, that shouldn't result in too much more delay.

We already have my plan, which is basically a single forum with subforums divided by game system rather than by faction.

A second option would be a single site frontpage (and a single member login) leading to three essentially separate forums for the three factions, with each one of those further subdivided by game system.

I'm open to suggestions for a third option.

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You know what surprises me? Everytime I look at the forum I see around 20 - 30 guests, more users than we had for a long time!
Actually I think when the mods keep thinking about new topics / initiatives to activate members to reply they will.

I have the feeling the forum is still daily watched by dozens, most of them will be enjoying all the historical wisdom and work of earlier times. But new work, especially work such as 9th age battle reports, tacticals and discussion might welcome them to also start posting themselves.

Currently I am a little busy, but I will also try to do my part soon!

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Shadowspite wrote:
OK, that could work. I certainly wasn't suggesting that we unilaterally declare ourselves the bosses of this new all-elven utopia.


We're not? Oh...right...we're not.

It's worth trying the extreme measures (is extermination an option? No? Damn.), and consolidate further what traffic there is. We're not only competing against WHFB going, but also how social media has often replaced what forums do, especially niche forums.

It's also a good time for someone else to become the glorious figurehead.

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Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:36 pm
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Bronze Khaine Winner
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2002 5:32 pm
Posts: 1371
Location: The black ark Arhathalau
I mentioned Druchii.net's continued existence in passing on the Grand Alliance forums and there seemed to be some interest. Former D.netters who left when this place became somewhat hostile to AoS seem open to returning, provided such anti-AoS hostility does not reoccur.

BTW, Asrai.org does not seem to be working. I was going to pay them a visit and see how much or little activity there is there now, but it's returning a "Server Not Found" error.

EDIT: Rork, would that mean taking over the domain name and responsibility for paying for server space? What exactly do you do? :P

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Some of my minis - now on Imgur rather than Photosuckit.


Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:47 pm
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