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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:22 am
quote : #31
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
I'd like to shift this a bit to discuss this letter as a whole, and all of the great comments people have been adding to the thread.

OF Project has some big announcements coming this year. I was hoping this letter, as well as your replies would help to clear the slate. So far I am very pleased with the results, and have had quite a few apologies sent my way from users abroad who have wrongly directed negative comments in my direction. This thread could have easily turned into "quote mania". However this has been averted because everyone actually took the time to read through everything before posting. Thanks, as it has made for a much more engaging discussion.

Feel free to continue stating your points as you see fit, and to any other users, your comments are also welcome. This thread will remain open for quite a while so everyone gets a chance to say something if they wish.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
Nico0020
rank 11
Posted:
Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:15 am
quote : #32
profile : pm
Posts: 167
Type: NTSC-U
I used to be quite active here back in the day, but still lurked a lot after we lost most of our titles. I had not been to the site in a few months due to lack of internet/i'm living in Japan until August. Last night was my first time seeing the open letter and OF project. I have not always approved of some of the ideas/rules here, but all in all the site is great and run quite well. More dedication was put here for the dreamcsat than I ever could have imagined, and I still remember the names of those I used to game and BS with on Outtrigger. I may not be around or have much input, but I approve of the approach taken at looking at console online gaming as a whole. Console online gaming is temporary, and seems to be shifting at staying that way. I love playing on xbox live, but the shutdown of xbox1 games really frustrated me (nowhere near as much as the random dropping of dc games though) in that games are pulled out from under us with the fans being able to do nothing about it. With the current love over "matchmaing" and PSP hosting, the problem will probably only get worse in the future.

But I digress. I've gotten a bit sidetrack. I thank all those here for their work in preserving online games, even if I haven't logged into one in quite some time. And if the time comes that someone is able to actually give us back a game's online function that was taken from us , well, as stated we would all love to see that happen. If not, our current standing of preserving game information, online data, and a few games online function, well that makes all the difference.
 
maddmaxx
rank 11
Posted:
Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:20 pm
quote : #33
profile : pm
Posts: 157
Type: NTSC-U/C
Very very interesting read. the open letter, the project, and the topic.

i use to be a active member in the day but life throws you a curve ball and what can you do really. its good to see OC again and see its still operating.

I haven't fired up my DC in quite a while. i think its time to start playing it again.

off topic rambling.

now i just need to find a way to get my original PSO ver 1 character off of yahoo (made a backup when i went from ver 1 to ver 2 and used the ver 2 to get on the server) and back on my memory card.

end off topic rambling.

To me everything here was always ran smooth. never really had any issues with how OC was ran. I cant believe on how people can spread Fud just because they don't like how something is ran.
 
MasquedWarrior
rank 9
Posted:
Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:34 pm
quote : #34
profile : pm
Posts: 122
Type: NTSC-U/C
Quote:
I have never insulted another member of any gaming community. Regardless of the epithets thrown my way, I always remain civil and never stoop so low as to call anyone any sort of name or insult.


I have spoken with people who claim to read posts in the IRIDES thread in which you actually did insult site members, and that you deleted and/or edited the posts in which you insulted them before you locked the topic. Is this true?
  _________________
Gamespy ID (for Evo 4x4)- MasquedWarrior
AIM screenname (for general instant messaging purposes)- masquedwarrior
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:18 pm
quote : #35
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
Those claims are entirely false. This was stated in the letter. I don't call other people names in threads on the forum.

The notion that I would get all out of control, and post so irractically that I had to remove my own comments in some sort of super secret cleanup effort is just silly. Especially considering how in-depth the responses were in that thread. Usually name calling starts when people aren't able to convey their thoughts in an effective way.

Now, some people might take offense to some of the stuff I say, and then refer to them as insults, but I can't control that. This is entirely probable. For instance in the Irides thread I stated, and I quote:

lordnikon wrote:
Anyone who pays cash money for Irides is not a true Dreamcast fan.


Some people took offense to this. While I justified my stance on the matter, many people including Dan Loosen simply could not understand what I was trying to convey. As such the thread descended into what I now refer to as "quote mania". As soon as people are having to repeat themselves it means with each reply any given poster will almost certainly requote everything you quoted... and so on... and so on. Often times it really doesn't even matter what you are saying. You could totally diverge onto some spaghetti recipe, and they would quote you and say "Wtf? Now you are talking about cooking?! What does this have to do with Irides? You should really stick to talking abou...." and this would go on for maybe another 300 words.


A discussion took place, it played itself out for as long as it could (at least for everyone to state their point) and then the thread was locked when I felt quote mania had set in.

There have been many threads over the years that have sprung up like this. I make bold statements, and sometimes its not what some people want to hear. I have high standards, and I often convey my comments in a very direct and blunt way that some people can find abrasive.

The 1UP podcast thread, Redspot's showing at E3 (maybe before they were redspot would have to check), then the HDTV thread each spring to mind.

Threads such as these can often get heated, and when more knowledgable individuals are trying to convey complex information that some users don't fully understand, such comments can be viewed as condescending in nature. This much is certain. However this doesn't mean any flaming, insults, or name calling is going on. It just means people are getting frustrated during the heat of an intense discussion.

---

SIDE NOTE:

The HDTV thread thread especially needed to come to a close after a user was sending me a youtube video to prove "Composite" (yellow cable) video was the highest quality video output possible on the Dreamcast. He held up his Dreamcast controller playing PSO, pressing the buttons in the air yelling "see no lag". Anyone who knows anything about display lag, knows how silly this is.

Now some might argue that by locking the thread I was restricting people's freedom to discuss the Dreamcast in relation to High definition video games. I am sure some people felt that way too. However, the thread was a complete train wreck because many were not doing any scientific technology research. They were attempting to convey their perceptions as universal fact. So you had 3 types of people: 1) Experts 2) Users who thought they were right, but were actually wrong, and 3) users who just wanted accurate information, were very confused, and didn't know who to believe.

This was the reason why I wrote this research study. So you see, there is some logic going on here with moderation actions on the site. Its not me being emotional and locking threads on impulse. They are calculated decisions based on a motive to improve the forums going forward. Eventually a new HDTV thread can now be created with this literary work as an educational basis.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
Blast
rank 43
Posted:
Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:05 am
quote : #36
profile : pm
Posts: 1285
Type: Pal
Well Howdy one and all.

Long time no see Sad Life has been rather hectic.

I have over the last few days read the open letter and all of the replies. I don't have much of an issue with the way the site is run. I do think sometimes the moderation can be a little strict and I have had several PM exchanges with Lordnikon but I don't feel there is any bad moderation maybe just different schools of thought. Its good to remember that the internet is not free in which I mean every piece of it belongs to someone and they can set the rules to their website as they see fit. If users do not like the way OC is run or its rules then simply they should not use it.

The main point I have picked up whilst reading the letter and replies is about topic specific threads. I think it may be a better idea to have information pages around specific games. I know this is already done to some degree. What should not happen in my opinion is having one thread with all the information in it about say Sonic adventure. If new users arrive on the site read the Sonic adventure thread have all the information they need then they wont post right? Then it becomes a library not a forum. Every forum I use regardless of the subject matter has the newbie posts which repeat year after year but its just part of life and I think you have to allow it to let them begin to interact. Users like to ask questions and have them answered sometimes that can involve a reply or a link or a link with a reply Very Happy Don't make users log in and wade through a thread of information to find what they are looking for. If you do that then you don't have a community and people will stop interacting.

Overall I am confident that Lordnikon runs all three site for the benefit of the communities. I have had no hesitation in the past in making donations for the up keep of OC servers, in fact I should do another. Sometimes people don't see eye to eye its what makes life interesting.

Laters
  _________________
Now have a working PC DC server courtesy of Segadreamcaster. Bring on the DC on line games yeeee haaa.
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:37 am
quote : #37
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
Hey Blast,

The thing is I just have no interest in running a newbie board, with newbie posts repeating year after year, and random postings thrown all over the place. I know some people are really used to the open chat room everything goes atmosphere of other websites, but OC is not like other websites.

There is actually a precedent for this already over at shmups: http://shmups.system11.org/

I have been reading shmups for a while, and quite like their forum structure. They isolate topics to a single thread. OC "sort of" did this, but not really. We isolated a thread to its original post or question, rather than the overall global subject matter such as a specific game. However seeing how shmups works and from using it over a time span of many years, I love being able to go there and access 1 thread with everything about say Under Defeat. You get to read the complete history of comments/opinions on the game over time. Plus you know right where to look, AND right where to post when you want to talk about the game.

I know with the proliferation of blogs, twitter, and instant search features; there is an expected immediacy for information. People are people cultured into wanting everything to be cut up into bite size little pieces. I can't help it if others get cranky about having to "read".

Shmups is doing just fine traffic wise, so I don't think structuring content in this fashion will negatively impact this community. In-fact I think it will make things easier to find, and give people something to peruse over during their morning Count Chocula cereal.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
Blast
rank 43
Posted:
Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:50 pm
quote : #38
profile : pm
Posts: 1285
Type: Pal
lordnikon wrote:
Hey Blast,

The thing is I just have no interest in running a newbie board, with newbie posts repeating year after year, and random postings thrown all over the place. I know some people are really used to the open chat room everything goes atmosphere of other websites, but OC is not like other websites.

There is actually a precedent for this already over at shmups: http://shmups.system11.org/

I have been reading shmups for a while, and quite like their forum structure. They isolate topics to a single thread. OC "sort of" did this, but not really. We isolated a thread to its original post or question, rather than the overall global subject matter such as a specific game. However seeing how shmups works and from using it over a time span of many years, I love being able to go there and access 1 thread with everything about say Under Defeat. You get to read the complete history of comments/opinions on the game over time. Plus you know right where to look, AND right where to post when you want to talk about the game.

I know with the proliferation of blogs, twitter, and instant search features; there is an expected immediacy for information. People are people cultured into wanting everything to be cut up into bite size little pieces. I can't help it if others get cranky about having to "read".

Shmups is doing just fine traffic wise, so I don't think structuring content in this fashion will negatively impact this community. In-fact I think it will make things easier to find, and give people something to peruse over during their morning Count Chocula cereal.


I guess only time will tell. I think the only difficulty in that for you is the added moderation as not everyone is going to understand it. With ref to shmups I have no idea how large a fanbase that site is catering for? I mean how does it compare to OC? Here traffic is fairly slow at times, I have left for a week to come back and read just two new posts. At some level people need to interact to get to know each other so they can get to like each other and play games together. Members logging in and reading a forum post from 2008 that answers the question wont encourage this.

Laters
  _________________
Now have a working PC DC server courtesy of Segadreamcaster. Bring on the DC on line games yeeee haaa.
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:36 pm
quote : #39
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
OC has been able to maintain its community over a very long period of time and I think many of the people keep coming back to OC because it has a bit of integrity to it, and I am not going to strip that down because the post counts aren't enough to satisfy certain users.

Have you noticed that our Dreamcast Lounge has more activity on it than the general DC boards at any other Dreamcast community website? The reply dates for the first page of threads dating from Nov 14th through December 13th. Check other DC communities. OC's Dreamcast Lounge is one of the most active, and all of those other communities are run with a far more open posting environment. I am not trying to pit OC against other sites, but rather give some perspective on where OC stacks up in the big picture.

Drops in activity don't have anything to do with OC's message board format, but rather other more complex factors. People move on to other consoles, have kids, get a job, etc etc. Users tend to get very active at OC when they are in their teens or in college. After that... things start to become difficult. Most people can't balance work, life, and a hobby such as this. Especially to the point where they are going to extend the extra effort to stay active in the Dreamcast. Its just easier for a lot of people to migrate to where-ever "everyone else is" on other platforms.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
SEGA RPG FAN
rank 20
Posted:
Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:12 pm
quote : #40
profile : pm
Posts: 392
Type: NTSC-U/C
gary_b wrote:
i think what generates some anger is when you reply to a topic in a way that you feel is relevant, only to have it removed for not being 100% on topic. though this doesn't always happen, it can and has. this might be seen or taken as censorship? i just stopped replying to some threads when i thought this might happen. i can't speak for others but this is about the worst things that i can think of that has happen to me here


I have felt this same way a few times. For me it was more of an issue with "gray areas" such as how much is too much to say about PSO. At one point I felt as if the three letters "PSO," even if out of its online context, were grounds for a PM notice. Like lordnikon said, it's hard not to feel as if you're in trouble with the parents.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to bring this up, but one thing that may help users work toward PSO access on the site is to have a sub-section dedicated to discussing offline play. Because the core game is the same online or off, people can still have discussions about quests or how to raise mags. This discussion would keep them connected to the OC community and they will get to know some of the people they may eventually play with.

Like other members have said, I respect what is done here and understand the rules. I tend to be active on the site when life slows down and then lurk for a few months when things get busier. I still find myself coming back though, and I think that says a lot for the quality of the discussion on the site.
  _________________
PSO:
Erisi HUnewearl
Eda FOmarl
Official Servers: (formerly) Nawara'ven
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:05 am
quote : #41
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
SEGA RPG FAN wrote:
I'm not sure if this is the right place to bring this up, but one thing that may help users work toward PSO access on the site is to have a sub-section dedicated to discussing offline play. Because the core game is the same online or off, people can still have discussions about quests or how to raise mags. This discussion would keep them connected to the OC community and they will get to know some of the people they may eventually play with.

Actually, this increases the complexity of the site rules, and means I would be having to send out more forum notices. One of the things I have been doing lately is simplifying things, especially with regards to the rules.

If you'll remember, we once had some rather complex rules about talking about games from other consoles. You couldn't talk about xbox games for instance, but you COULD talk about comparing ports between say the Dreamcast and the Xbox (a la Shenmue 2); but then you couldn't talk about sequels that were in the same franchise but not released on the Dreamcast (Crazy Taxi 3). Sure it allowed users to discuss games in these comparison contexts, but it also created a highly confusing rule structure where more forum notices were being sent out because of the confusion. People didn't understand why you could bring up an xbox game in one thread, but then couldn't slightly reference the Saturn in another. It was just too complicated.

In the end its easier now for me to just say: "We only talk about the Dreamcast here." It simplifies the entire process.

For PSO it is the same way. There is no way there could be a public PSO forum for talking about general offline play without people posting in the support area about getting online with PSO, or posting in the game organization area about scheduling online matches on other servers. They simply wouldn't understand why they could talk about PSO in one context but not the other, and I would be having to send out far too many forum notices.

Instead of being perceived as a more "open" administrator, I would actually be viewed in a far more negative light.

I have been thinking of ways in the past year to make it so that we enforce the same policies but less forum notices have to be sent out. Simplifying the rules as described above was one way, but another example is the new "merge" topic ability I have. I can merge two threads together. I couldn't do this in the past. So when people would make new threads on say Sonic Adventure without searching when another SA thread already existed, this is no longer a problem. I simply bypass any need to inform people about posting on topic and just merge the threads. The now larger SA topic would get bumped by the addition of the new posts merged to it. The notion of posting ontopic is hinted by these actions transpiring on the forums. Its what I have been referring to as "pro-active" forum moderation.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
SEGA RPG FAN
rank 20
Posted:
Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:07 am
quote : #42
profile : pm
Posts: 392
Type: NTSC-U/C
In reading the letter and the resulting discussions, I feel there is one question that needs a definitive answer:

Is the number one priority of OnlineConsoles to serve the DC/PS2/GC community or to make your (lordnikon) vision a reality?

Ideally these two would be one and the same. There is obviously a balance between these two at the moment, as there necessarily must be, because a lack of direction gets us nowhere. Please don't take this as an attack, I feel that it's a legitimate question. I think the answer will help members to frame the way they look at the site and its future and hopefully avoid some frustration.
  _________________
PSO:
Erisi HUnewearl
Eda FOmarl
Official Servers: (formerly) Nawara'ven
everynewday84
rank 12
Posted:
Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:02 am
quote : #43
profile : pm
Posts: 196
Type: NTSC-U/C
SEGA RPG FAN,
By asking such a question, you are 'begging the question' (if you have not heard of this fallacy, google it), not only that but its a 'loaded question (Also, google loaded question fallacy).' I say you are begging the question becasue you have plainly, and sufficiently, answered the question yourself. You say there is a balance between 'these things,' well balance, by definition, means equalibrium or equivalents. So there you have it, since there is balance, or equilibrium, between nikon's vision and his desire to cater to the community, your question is answered. Mr. Green Truthfully, it comes across to me as a seriously loaded question.

It has only been very recently that I have been playing dreamcast online, and active here at online consoles, and in that short amount of time I have seen some serious flaming of lordnikon and onlineconsoles within the dreamcast-online-community.

So, here's where my two cents come in, lordnikon may run this site in a way that is not all that common for sites of this nature. In fact, he's very open about this on record. It's also worth noting once more, and this is also on record, that the vast vast majority of OC users have had no trouble with the site. The only reason I feel compelled to make this post here is because I frequently run into other dreamcast users while playing quake online, (I usually always ask if they are a part of this community and if they are willing to organize future games at OC's game organization page,) and what i sometimes find are players who have what seem to be serious deep-rooted issues with online consoles.

And the way I see it is LordNikon is kind of like Sienfeld's 'Soup Nazi", a guy who does things his way and provides a service that many people enjoy. Things are run a certain way at his soup kitchen, you can order some of his soup so long as you obey the rules, and whereas it seems wierd to some, the vast majority are fine with doing things the "Soup Nazi's" way because he's got the best soup in town.

Now I'm not at all ragging on the way this site is run, or pointing fault at any other dreamcast community, but the way I see it is LordNikon can do whatever the heck he wants with his website, and the fact is, in light of all this commotion, Online Consoles is useful, informative, and just may be the best place to organize a dreamcast game in 2011.

I've only used this website recently, but it has helped me troubleshoot problems with my dreamcast, get relevent information i sought, and organize future games. I tip my hat to the administrator of the site because theres no real payoff for his doing this in the first place, factor in costs associated with hosting servers, and top that off with a small population of users holding deep-rooted grudges, and what you're left with is virtually no payoff at all. I applaud his efforts and encourage everyone who appreciates online consoles to reassure him with your thanks.

Thank You for keeping OC up!
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:36 am
quote : #44
profile : pm
Posts: 5898
Type: NTSC-U/C
SEGA RPG FAN wrote:
In reading the letter and the resulting discussions, I feel there is one question that needs a definitive answer:

Is the number one priority of OnlineConsoles to serve the DC/PS2/GC community or to make your (lordnikon) vision a reality?

Ideally these two would be one and the same. There is obviously a balance between these two at the moment, as there necessarily must be, because a lack of direction gets us nowhere. Please don't take this as an attack, I feel that it's a legitimate question. I think the answer will help members to frame the way they look at the site and its future and hopefully avoid some frustration.


I am most definatly trying to craft this website in a specific direction.

Sometimes people expect more than I can actually deliver. Users expect OC to be a service with certain obligations to its community base. This is true to some extent, but I have to make tough decisions sometimes. Decisions that involve changing the site. In most instances people don't like change. They came to this site with a certain idea in their head about what its supposed to be, and they don't want that to shift or waver in any way.

I think we all want to pick up an online game and have that feeling that it has "potential". That a thriving community of hundreds of players could form around that 1 title and that it would be a fun grand experience. I see an online game, and see how a forum could be made, and graphics could be designed, and tournaments could be scheduled. However, as the administrator of this site since 2003, I also see other things. Negative things that can break the experience.

The Dreamcast site has been a success. I think the last key to the puzzle is wrapping up the OF Project stuff and me rejoining the community as an active online participant. By and large, if I could have every Dreamcast game back online today, I would. The whole reason OC started was because I was so enamoured with the Dreamcast's online lineup. I built a 3 console website at the time because the GC and PS2's online infrastructures provided by Nintendo and Sony had barely gotten off the ground. It was all new back then. I thought those consoles would turn out just as good as the DC with some great online options. In-fact, I wasn't even making this website with the notion that games could even go offline. That was a new shocking concept for me back then. I was just a young graphic designer who just liked creating communities. I had no idea what I was in for, and couldn't predict any of the events that have transpired since then. Just to put things into further perspective, when OC started I had maybe 20 physical video games. Now I own almost 1,500 games.

I have ran the site for what is now going on 8 years, and at the PS2 site I covered every online game released. It went from 18 games at the outset to HUNDREDS of online capable games. Each month a new game could come out that would force me to rethink which games had dedicated forum areas. The PS2 website has been an exercise in "anxiety" for everyone involved. Not just for me, but the users as well. We never knew what to focus on. Last year I cleared out over 3,000 posts that weren't discussions. They were just "what game should I get?" No other discussion. Just patches of 10-20 posts about people asking about what online games they should buy, how active they are, etc.

OC started at the decline of Dreamcast online, yet at the very start of PS2 online. I had at my disposal a pooling resource of hundreds of thousands of online video game players, along with easy connectivity via broadband, and a massive library of games. The PS2 site had everything going for it, yet it never managed to become what it should have been. I feel the PS2 site never lived up to its potential. It always had MORE, but maybe this was the downfall of the PS2 site all along.

The PS2 did have a lot of awesome online games, but most of those games are now gone (SLAI, Resident Evil Online, Monster Hunter, Metal Gear, MOH Rising Sun, Auto Modellista). The bulk of whats left are all rather drab in content and presentation. I know. Some people really love Socom or Toca Race Driver. However these games are what I refer to as simulators. They try to exactly mimic real life without any personality. Yes we have 4x4 Evolution here, and while 1 game like that is fine, over at the PS2 site we are drowning in 4x4 Evolutions.

See, I am used to shooting a nuclear weapon from my tank at an Alien walker stomping through a Dynamite Cop billboard. I'm used to hearing the ROAR of the engine in F355 Challenge, and that butt rock coming on with the bright blue sky and searing red paint job. The catchy tunes of bomberman, the madness of chu chu, the bongo drums of Ooga Booga, and the blorpy pick up sound when collecting coins in Outtrigger!! The Spirit of Dreamcast Online is what excites me about OC and about online console gaming.

My goal is to have 3 engaging game communities which focus on playing creative, competative, colorful and exciting online games that yield the same rewarding and memorable moments we had on the sega console that inspired the site's launch. To realise this vision, I have to make some changes. The PS2 site especially is going to be tweaked to better realise this vision.
  _________________
I'm already numero uno on Dark Helmet's hit list...
everynewday84
rank 12
Posted:
Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:30 am
quote : #45
profile : pm
Posts: 196
Type: NTSC-U/C
Although I playfully joke about begging the loaded question , I think lordnikon has answered your question very nicely. The point of the letter and the thread is really to clear the air. And I hope it works: Tonight I was on the OC-01 server waiting for a QIII game for about 20 minutes, no one had signed in so I was signing off, but when I exited the game and was looking at the master server list I saw that there was another user waiting in another server, so I signed in to say 'hi' and ask how long they had been waiting for a game. The player told me that they saw me on, but never use the OC server because of a mishap or misunderstanding in the past. They saw me online and wanted to play me, but were not willing to play me on an Online Consoles server, so they waited alone in another server. Confused Shocked Neutral
 
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