18 votes

Old School Message Boards

I assume most of the people that post in Tildes came from Reddit (or they used Reddit primarily). Does anyone else primarily post on something other than Reddit? As an example, I primarily post on Something Awful. I think what attracted me to Tildes is what initially repulsed me from Reddit. I absolutely hate the idea of my opinion being drowned out simply because it was downvoted. Tildes has a bit in common with Something Awful in that sense. Something Awful is a more 'traditional' format. Each post follows the other and there isn't any mechanic for a community to hide or collapse a post.

Additionally, it seems like the few punishments that occur here are a bit more open and transparent than Reddit. That is similar to SA, where they have something called a 'Lepers Colony' to see punishment reasons. Tildes appeals to me because even though it has a hint of Reddit, the discussions are a bit more focused just like SA.

If you do post on older message board, which ones do you post on, and why do you like it?

Like I mentioned I primarily post on Something Awful (Games and C-Spam subforums). I also used to post on GameFAQs and the resulting spinoff called LUElinks. I enjoyed each of these because they were a little bit more rough than other message boards, but they weren't a wild west like some of the anonymous options that existed.

37 comments

  1. [5]
    masochist (edited ) Link
    Traditional web forums make me really, deeply unhappy, because they're not at all designed for people like me. I prefer high information density, I prefer lots of information presented per page...

    Traditional web forums make me really, deeply unhappy, because they're not at all designed for people like me. I prefer high information density, I prefer lots of information presented per page without any obnoxious nonsense like signatures or avatars or post counts or embedded images or graphical buttons instead of text links or huge amounts of whitespace or... You can probably guess that I grew up with older systems like IRC and Usenet, where none of that kind of thing existed (you can do signatures on Usenet, but unless you were particularly egregious about it and broke the documented standard, a reasonable client can hide your signature no matter how obnoxious it is). Another big thing that IRC and Usenet support, that absolutely no web forum supports, is the idea of blocking a user. Web forums seem to be predicated on the assumption that everyone is going to get along with everyone. That's just not true, and if I find someone's contributions to not have any value, I don't want to see them.

    Given all that, you should find it unsurprising that I rather like the premise of reddit, and the reality of Tildes. Often I've referred to reddit as Usenet 2.0 due to its deliberately lofi text focus and the eschewing of all of the things I described above. I can use reddit from the commandline and not really miss anything. Of course, the reddit redesign is moving in the opposite direction of what attracted me to the site initially, so Tildes is very much a welcome respite. Beyond this, the userbase on reddit has moved far away from the highminded discussion-oriented ideal it started as, to the point that you can't have an unpopular opinion without being utterly buried and denied participation because you dared to be different. Some topics are just sacrosanct and unquestionable site-wide; e.g. you cannot even hint that marijuana can ever be harmful under any circumstances. People who've never said a word in the sub otherwise will jump on you in defense of their drug of choice (which sounds really, really unhealthy when I describe it that way). In sum, there's a lot of tribalism and fanboyism on reddit, and I'm quite tired of it. I haven't really seen that here on Tildes, though part of it is probably due to the smaller userbase.

    edit: How could I possibly forget dial-up BBSs‽ I used to live on BBSs back in the day. Most of my time was spent in MajorMUD, sure, but when I wasn't the archetypal MUD-addicted teenager I spent a lot of time reading message boards, exploring, downloading all the files, you know, normal curious, technically adept teenager stuff. Sure, the interfaces were awful, but I didn't know any better, and things were just cooler back then. And, of course, interacting with people in-game. I've not kept contact with anyone I met that way (you tended to think the BBS was always going to be around back then...), but I had some good friendships at the time.

    14 votes
    1. [4]
      mbc Link Parent
      I knew it was time to call it quits on Reddit when I was getting downvoted for going against the grain on the subreddit for my city. One would think that there, of all places, diversity of opinion...

      I knew it was time to call it quits on Reddit when I was getting downvoted for going against the grain on the subreddit for my city. One would think that there, of all places, diversity of opinion would be welcomed. Nope. Instead I just got anonymous disagreement by way of downvotes. What a load of crap.

      I miss killfiles in Usenet too!

      9 votes
      1. [3]
        gyrozeppeli Link Parent
        City subreddits are pretty bad, actually. Most of the time. Plenty of dumb stuff gets upvoted in /r/Chicago all. the. time.

        City subreddits are pretty bad, actually. Most of the time. Plenty of dumb stuff gets upvoted in /r/Chicago all. the. time.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          masochist Link Parent
          r/Philadelphia has the opposite problem, or did when I unsubbed. Perfectly reasonable content downvoted because ?.

          r/Philadelphia has the opposite problem, or did when I unsubbed. Perfectly reasonable content downvoted because ?.

          1 vote
          1. mbc Link Parent
            That's how r/Minneapolis was. It was the only subreddit where I found reasonable comments buried with like seven downvotes. It's a shame.

            That's how r/Minneapolis was. It was the only subreddit where I found reasonable comments buried with like seven downvotes. It's a shame.

            2 votes
  2. [17]
    Amarok (edited ) Link
    Did you see the SA thread about Tildes? I was amused. I started out in college on Usenet and Muds/Mushes, used to hang out on GlobalMUSH and early IRC quite a bit. This was back before web...

    Did you see the SA thread about Tildes? I was amused.

    I started out in college on Usenet and Muds/Mushes, used to hang out on GlobalMUSH and early IRC quite a bit. This was back before web browsers even existed, when we were all using gopher and hypertelnet. Then Everquest came along, so I spent a lot of time on various EZBoard forums. If anyone remembers the Monk petition - that was me, you're welcome. Also my guild was responsible for the entire Mayor Grubbin incident, which did waste man-years of the dev's time. We got around on those forums. When EZ imploded from greed and chased the entire global EQ community off of the platform, my friends and I set up a website for our guild and our server that were both based on phpBB - that's where I cut my teeth being a mod/admin. I spent a lot of time in those places.

    When we all moved on from EQ I ended up on Fark and Slashdot for the news/conversations I was missing. Digg was around but I didn't get the appeal. When reddit hit the scene I rather liked the early community so I moved over there, eventually got sucked into listentothis and the music communities. As reddit went sour I wasn't sure where to go until Deimos told me about Tildes, and then it was obvious, so here I am.

    That old EQ server community survives to this day as a 1200+ size group on facebook, but I don't do facebook. Once Tildes is in grow moar! mode I'll be sending them invite links, though. Some very clever and interesting people in that mix.

    12 votes
    1. [5]
      Soptik Link Parent
      Is there an interesting story behind that?

      Mayor Grubbin incident

      Is there an interesting story behind that?

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        Amarok Link Parent
        Oh, yes. Grab some wine and a cigarette, it's worth a proper telling. ;) This is also a story about Everquest. Some random wednesday we're in the guild's IRC channel. I was eyeing this as it...

        Oh, yes. Grab some wine and a cigarette, it's worth a proper telling. ;)

        This is also a story about Everquest.

        Some random wednesday we're in the guild's IRC channel. I was eyeing this as it scrolled by in IRC while I was at work. One of our mages (Cobbee, who always wore a pink tutu in-game and never, ever fully looted his own corpses) got it into his head to do something to torment the newbies. This is a common passtime among my peoples (trolls). He was aided in this by Sorrows, a monk who was a cali-based voice actor in real life and quite the clever evil fellow. The best way to fuck with newbies is debated, and the idea was hit upon that this was only worth doing if it was something irreparable, horrible, and vicious, that one day stories might be told of its glory. The guild deliberated, and a tremor was felt in the force.

        Everquest wasn't like your modern MMOs. The games back then punished you viciously for a host reasons - bad design, uncharted development territory, skinner-box like elements. Nobody knew what the fuck they were doing, and most of what they were doing was bad, and the rest was broken. That may have been why these games were so much fun. The only way to beat them was to team up with all the other players to share your misery, and out of that came relationships that persist to this day, and I personally attended two marriages that caused and know of many more.

        All characters had factions they needed to be a part of, and this was largely handled by your starting race and city and class choice. This brings us to the halflings, the poor, innocent halflings... and the Druids. That class was a big deal in EQ, a good, well played druid was like a battery that kept your group going and moving fast, plus lock down threats until you were ready to deal with them. They were a popular and universally loved class, but it was all goody-twoshoes races, like the poor, innocent halflings. Perhaps this why they were singled out for mass murder and genocide by my guildmates.

        The 'big deal' in Everquest was getting your epic weapon. This was like 'completing the game' or at least that's how it came to be viewed by most players. The veterans know that was the day the game truly began. It was every player's dream to finish it. The reward was an item that was basically an exploit designed for your class. The cleric's mace could resurrect people like Rip Taylor hurling confetti. The monk epic (which I had, and it took me like 80 days of effort which was viewed as a 'quick and easy' run to get) was a sash that greatly hasted your actions nearly doubling your DPS. A monk with this could solo content, something hard for monks to do. But these godlike items, which had the first animated swirly bits to appear onscreen in an MMO, came at a cost.

        I know this sounds like I'm on a tangent, but trust me, this is very relevant. :D

        Every single one of them required you to complete a quest that had like 50 steps and required you to travel to every corner of the game world, looking for things that only appeared at best once every two or three days. On top of that some of the steps required you to get items from enemies you couldn't even hope to kill unless your guild could muster up a no-slackers 30-man roster to take down. Let me point out that this is before the era of 'instanced' content, which meant being in competition with every other $CLASS on your server for the rare item all the time. Imagine WoW didn't share quest items, and you had to fight to kill the creature to get the loot with ten other players all standing there. Welcome to EQ.

        Here's the key: These epics were deeply, deeply tied to the faction rating of your starting character. All of the NPCs you talked to and turned in items to (the quest givers) were locked to those factions.

        This brings us to the Druid Epic Quest, Mayor Grubbin, and The Jade Reaver. The jade reaver comments will show you the level of pain of the Druids trying to finish their epic quest. Don't worry, nobody else had it any better, and many had it far worse, like the poor clerics with Ragefire. No greater sin, no greater triumph in accidental social engineering by any developers in any game.

        Mayor Grubbin is the mayor of EQ's hobbiton-ripoff zone, Rivervale, where the halflings live. He's from the era of EQ development where some drunk dev one night decided randomly what numbers to stick into his stats that would make him impossible for the players of that era to kill (which meant 10ish players could do it now). He's also a member of certain key starting factions tied to the druid epic quest.

        That same wednesday, a rumor begins on the Druid forum. Someone said they killed "Mayor Grubbin and he dropped like THREE Jade Reavers! They have screenshots to prove it! OMG REEEEEEEE!!!!"

        You know how some major shit goes down in EVE and certain people disappear from the Earth for three days? When this news broke, people lied to their bosses and quit their jobs just to get home as fast as possible. Anything to get the jade reaver, the hardest item to get for this quest. Every druid in the universe logged in the instant they saw that message.

        The Druids, the gentle hearted friends of all the good races, that day descended upon the innocent village of Rivervale and bathed in the blood of their allies, the halflings. They had come for Mayor Grubbin. When he saw the army of mad Druids, the good Mayor did what most boss-like NPCs in EQ did. With a shout of "You've RUINED your own lands! You'll not ruin mine!" he charged at the invaders to engage in bloody combat (as soon as they cast a spell on him to gain aggro). All of the other halflings in the 'vale came to his defense, and great battles raged across dozens of Everquest servers.

        Quietly, in the corner of the text window, the warning flashed. None of the greedy paid it any mind. That -2000 faction hit for the Mayor, and -20 for every other halfling, scrolled by unheeded. Within minutes, anyone there would become KoS (kill on sight) to the factions they started the game with - their punishment for turning against their own people. Perhaps some saw it and decided the reaver was worth the hit, and so kept silent.

        In all this carnage, no Jade Reavers appeared. On the forums, screenshots of more joyus successful players with their Jade Reavers appeared at pace. The frenzy continued into the night, and the next day. The horrible truth of the situation was that this faction loss was all but irreparable - it would have to be earned back in tiny +5 increments by turning in semi-rare items, doing newbie quests. If they had thought this through properly, my evil guildmates posting those photoshopped screenshots would have stocked up on these items beforehand and sold them for a king's ransom to those who would try to pay their way out of their mistake.

        The time spent would be many, many times greater than the difficulty of just getting the reaver the right way - by visiting one of the most epic and deadly zones in the game, the dreaded City of Mist, and slaying the golems that guarded the fortress at the heart of the city. That place was a blast, and it boggles my mind people would want to skip such a cool step in their epic quest.

        The fallout from this prank was unexpected, hilarious, and horrifying.

        A year and a half later, I fly out to Boston to meet up with guild members there. Our guild's attourney takes us to an excellent seafood restaurant in Boston and then we attend the convention. We all go to the 'dev panel.' This is where you went to take out your fury on the developers for whatever bugs crippled your character in this week's patch. If you can imagine ten overworked, underpaid, t-shirt wearing, exhausted looking programmers, by now burned out to the embers by the burden of the EQ codebase - sitting in front of a couple hundred angry players. Our guild is right in the front two rows.

        The panel unfolds as you'd expect... the devs learning of all the haunted bits they never knew were a problem and trying to placate everyone. Someone eventually asks the question, "What's the worst bug you've ever had to deal with?" They all look at each other, and the lead dev puts his head down on the table and sighs, "Has Mayor Grubbin dropped a Jade Reaver yet?"

        See, EQ's code truly was haunted. It was pure, unadulterated, aged-like-fine-wine in multiple dev teams spaghetti code. Change anything, and five more things you didn't know depended on it broke. The idea of an NPC 'bugging out' and dropping items that they weren't supposed to drop wasn't absurd - it happened all the time. The developers themselves couldn't tell if this was a real problem, so they assumed the worst (as only the brutalized can) and performed extensive code audits to find that bug. They couldn't find it. In EQ that meant doubling down - and the whole company couldn't find it.

        When we heard this the entire guild went into throw-you-out hysterics. The looks on those dev's faces - I worked with developers, I know that look. That's the look of long, long hours and no joy. The soul crushing defeat of knowing there's a problem and failing to find it. When we finally recovered enough to let everyone in on the joke, the other players were entertained but the devs were just fucking relieved to know it wasn't their fault - there just was no bug. They were so happy about that they forgot to be mad at us.

        15 votes
        1. masochist Link Parent
          Thank you for typing this epic (no pun intended) story. Probably one of the longest non-text comments on the site. When I'm not sysadminning, I'm a developer. I know that juxtaposition of defeat...

          Thank you for typing this epic (no pun intended) story. Probably one of the longest non-text comments on the site. When I'm not sysadminning, I'm a developer. I know that juxtaposition of defeat and relief the developers felt. Almost always, I feel it after spending a day (or more) tracking down a bug in my code only to find it's a bug in a library I'm depending on.

          One that stands out in particular was libzip conflating two different errors with one value in its internal errno equivalent (for non-technical types, basically errno is a variable used to track how the last function call failed). I was utterly bewildered at why my code was failing in that way and after several long hours trying to figure out why, I decided to crack open the source code. Sure enough, the error code was wrong! One of the most fundamental things you learn as a programmer is to always trust the error message. An incorrect error message can be absolutely maddening. Yes, I absolutely did submit a bug for this. :)

          5 votes
        2. [2]
          Soptik Link Parent
          That's awesome! I read it 3 times in a row, each time it was better than before. So you just made hundreds of players attack NPCs, losing reputation, wasting tons of time, and making the entire...

          That's awesome! I read it 3 times in a row, each time it was better than before. So you just made hundreds of players attack NPCs, losing reputation, wasting tons of time, and making the entire companu search for a nonexistent bug. And year and half later, you simply told everyone that it was just a joke. Truly legendary! I'm surprised I wasn't able to find anything about that.

          Thanks for sharing!

          3 votes
          1. Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
            I took a look too, wanted to link some of the carnage. This mostly went down on EZBoard, and those forums are consigned to the depths of the internet dustbin. I wanted to find the original thread...

            I took a look too, wanted to link some of the carnage. This mostly went down on EZBoard, and those forums are consigned to the depths of the internet dustbin. I wanted to find the original thread with the fake screenshots, a true masterclass in digital manipulation of a userbase. The forum was called The Druid's Grove which still exists, but that's the post-EZBoard apocalypse version, and this shit went down on the EZBoard incarnation like most of the other best Everquest shenanigans.

            If you didn't pay EZBoard's eternally increasing monthly rates, they did a hard delete of your forum within 30 days. The original EQ community's legacy was deleted as punishment for non-payment. It's possible that somewhere the waybackmachine has a cached copy of that somewhere, but I can't remember the URL of the original Druid's Grove ezboard to go looking for it.

            What did EZBoard do that lit the fuse? Forcing in-line advertisements. Just like reddit's doing now. No one ever learns. /sigh

            3 votes
    2. [2]
      saiyanprideparade Link Parent
      You seem to know a lot about SA so my comment isn't entirely necessary, but my two cents is that GBS is a deeply terrible subforum and its mostly just people chomping at the bit to be relentlessly...

      You seem to know a lot about SA so my comment isn't entirely necessary, but my two cents is that GBS is a deeply terrible subforum and its mostly just people chomping at the bit to be relentlessly negative about whatever the topic is. There are some much better subforums.

      3 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        SA is like 4chan for me - a place I visit, but don't care to participate in. I just lurk and enjoy.

        SA is like 4chan for me - a place I visit, but don't care to participate in. I just lurk and enjoy.

        2 votes
    3. [7]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [6]
        Amarok Link Parent
        I was aware of its existence but wasn't into the MMO thing. That took a few RL friends telling me about Everquest, which I started on just about the time the first expansion (Kunark) hit. Stuck...

        I was aware of its existence but wasn't into the MMO thing. That took a few RL friends telling me about Everquest, which I started on just about the time the first expansion (Kunark) hit. Stuck with it to Planes of Power but lost interest and went for WoW instead, also switched guilds to a better one that was in my time zone unlike the EQ guild I started with. That got stale after Cataclysm so I moved on to Rift for a while until that also got boring.

        I'm still 'in' that guild (we have a massive discord channel) but not playing any MMOs. I may come back for Pantheon since it looks like the first proper MMO since EQ and promises to bring back the pain. I expect I'll at least be heavy in their beta testing. If/when Star Citizen even launches I'll probably check that out as well.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          masochist Link Parent
          I'm concerned about this failing. Do you remember Wildstar? It was an MMO that set out to be what oldschool WoW was, and it just shut down last year after not making enough money. It was fun, it...

          I may come back for Pantheon since it looks like the first proper MMO since EQ and promises to bring back the pain.

          I'm concerned about this failing. Do you remember Wildstar? It was an MMO that set out to be what oldschool WoW was, and it just shut down last year after not making enough money. It was fun, it had a number of original ideas. You actually had to--gasp!--move around during combat, and not just while fighting high level raid bosses! Healers did damage in combat! But everyone already has their MMO, so unless they can somehow manage to amass a playerbase to sustain them, I can't see it lasting long.

          I want to be optimistic here. I really do. I miss the oldschool MMOs. I want WoW and the others to have solid, strong competition from someone who isn't an established player in the games industry. We need new ideas from folks who aren't afraid to take risks, because the MMO has largely stagnated for many years. But doing an MMO is just so hard that I can't help but be skeptical.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Amarok Link Parent
            Honestly, it all depends on the vision. If they recreate a fantasy MMO that's basically like the original Everquest, with all the lessons learned from all the MMOs since (which they are aware of...

            Honestly, it all depends on the vision. If they recreate a fantasy MMO that's basically like the original Everquest, with all the lessons learned from all the MMOs since (which they are aware of and talk about like we do here getting the place built right) they've got a shot and they've got a secret weapon that no one else has seen.

            The original Everquest still lives on, with the blessing of the companies that own Everquest, at the Project1999 Forums. They've recreated, from scratch in an emulator infinitely more sane and stable than it's target ever was, the original Everquest circa 1999, with the first two expansions (the ones that were done right, not the theme parks that followed). There's 1900 players on that server right now, and that's just about what a normal EQ server was capable of handling.

            There are other instances of EQ like this out there in the wild. What's more, every single server spawned guilds that persist to this day, and social media groups on dozens of platforms. The Original EQ player base is still out there as a semi-cohesive community, and it's still sporting tens of thousands of people. Pantheon is already on their radar. Tales of Everquest grace Pantheon's forums. Links are stickied in guild's discords and shared on facebook groups.

            When Pantheon launches, a hardcore playerbase just as decidated as Eve's ever was will arise from the ashes of the past and descend on that game, looking for something that only existed in Everquest and Eve, and was forever lost (or never present) in any game that has ever followed them: community. The same kind of community that tried to recreate WoW classic not long ago and was crushed by Blizzard in their ignorance.

            If Pantheon can build something that 'feels' like EQ - is hard, unforgiving, wonderful, without hits, map markers, or websites spoiling everything... a game that forces you to be in groups of 3+ to do everything, makes you compete with and help and be helped by your fellow players, then it'll stick. Pantheon will have a shot, the atrophied heart of Everquest still beating within it's chest. This is all on the developers bringing back that vision.

            From the docs about that MMO, I'd say they aren't just going to bring it back, they are going to take it to the next two levels on launch day. It's an evolution of MMOs in every way, but it's also built on the best parts of an MMO that have been discarded as we moved into the theme-park era. The community and the challenge. I'm excited, and I will be there on day one of the beta feeling giddy, like a child that has snuck off to his favorite clubhouse with his friends to create mischief of the first order.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              masochist Link Parent
              I never played EQ, so I can't really comment on the EQ-specific parts of your post. That said, I would be very interested to see what Pantheon is like, for that reason. I played the original Guild...

              I never played EQ, so I can't really comment on the EQ-specific parts of your post. That said, I would be very interested to see what Pantheon is like, for that reason. I played the original Guild Wars, I played the original WoW, I played on a number of NWN servers. In short, I was right there with you, if a bit younger.

              You are absolutely right on the point about community. WoW had one, Wildstar had one. People were welcoming of strangers, giving away valuable items to strangers just because (this was before any hint of it shutting down came out). I remember grouping like that, I remember fighting over quest mobs with awful quest item drop rates. I remember helping a player on the other faction who was struggling with a quest just because I could (we couldn't directly communicate except through gestures, so we really were strangers who still had a common understanding; it was actually really touching and something I'll always remember). It's not just the atrophied heart of Everquest still beating; it's the atrophied heart of all gamers who were MMO players of a certain age.

              I miss the community, I miss the challenge. Things got more convenient in later versions of WoW, sure, but with the convenience came a lot of unfriendly people. And they really ruined it with Cataclysm. It wasn't just that they changed the mechanics so much that they killed the game I loved; they killed the challenge, too. It's not just a theme park, it's a theme park with neon, blinking signs like in the Wile E Coyote / Roadrunner cartoons pointing the roadrunner at awesome birdseed.

              I'll have to check out the docs to see what you're talking about regarding it being an evolution of MMOs, especially in comparison to Wildstar which I think had some genuinely good ideas (one in particular was sidequests that were directly designed to target players' inclinations in the Bartle taxonomy; it made the lore nerd in me very happy).

              That said, though, I do have to point something out...

              The same kind of community that tried to recreate WoW classic not long ago and was crushed by Blizzard in their ignorance.

              I think you mean "hired by Blizzard to develop their own retro servers". Blizzard sent Nostalrius a cease and desist and then hired them. All was quiet for a year or two and then Blizzard announced they were working on vanilla (classic) servers.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Amarok Link Parent
                Ah, I wasn't aware Blizzard had pulled their head out of their ass. That's good news, they can be taught. Just for a taste, Pantheon make twinks into part of core gameplay. A Twink is a new...

                Ah, I wasn't aware Blizzard had pulled their head out of their ass. That's good news, they can be taught.

                Just for a taste, Pantheon make twinks into part of core gameplay. A Twink is a new character you create and then bedeck in rare gear and lavish amounts of money, earned by your old max-level character. A form of boredom-killing, if you will, on the days when your main just isn't interesting or there's no raid going on. Everyone had twinks. Most had players had several. They are called twinks because they zoom around in newbie areas making everyone else feel terribly inferior and incapable, breezing through content far faster than was intended.

                In Pantheon, your main characters can have children. These 'children' characters are the twinks, but there's a family system, inheritance mechanics, and trees of bloodline toys to unlock with each new generation. If you're a powergamer, your goal is no longer to max-level your main character. Your goal is to breed the finest bloodlines. This system has the potential to keep power-gamers recycling characters like socks over the years. It's a system designed to harness an emergent effect of MMO players - the twink phenomenon - and turn it into a solution to the powergamer problem. That's the kind of thinking you see when a dev team actually gets the big picture. That's a feature designed from a community perspective.

                4 votes
                1. masochist Link Parent
                  That's really fascinating, actually. It's the kind of thing folks on MUDs and NWN servers have been doing for decades (with varying amounts of associated RP), but to make it a first class citizen...

                  That's really fascinating, actually. It's the kind of thing folks on MUDs and NWN servers have been doing for decades (with varying amounts of associated RP), but to make it a first class citizen of the game mechanics is really interesting. I've never been a fan of that kind of thing, but I can recognize that folks are going to do it anyway so it makes sense to have mechanics around it to keep it sensible.

                  1 vote
    4. [3]
      eladnarra Link Parent
      That was a weird experience. Amusing, but also off-putting as the first thread I've read on SA. Guess I'll stick with Tildes~

      Did you see the SA thread about Tildes? I was amused.

      That was a weird experience. Amusing, but also off-putting as the first thread I've read on SA. Guess I'll stick with Tildes~

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Amarok Link Parent
        SA always shits on any new forum. This is tradition, and it is to be welcomed. <3

        SA always shits on any new forum. This is tradition, and it is to be welcomed. <3

        7 votes
  3. Whom Link
    I continue to use 4chan (and occasionally I peek into lainchan) despite quitting Reddit very soon after joining Tildes. That's the closest I've gotten...I respect what we all think of as the...

    I continue to use 4chan (and occasionally I peek into lainchan) despite quitting Reddit very soon after joining Tildes. That's the closest I've gotten...I respect what we all think of as the "traditional forum" and I think that should be the primary place we look for how to create successful communities on the internet (and why I want features that enable groups to be distinct entities here on Tildes), but for my interests I just don't think there are any perfect fits out there which are still active.

    My "why" for sticking with 4chan isn't very convincing and everyone who doesn't use it for the obvious reasons is totally correct. I'm just still totally in love with the imageboard format and I've been using the damn thing for a good bit over a decade now so I don't want to jump ship. This might be a bit odd given that I think I'm usually one of the more vocal people here in favor of heavier moderation and quit Reddit because I found it to be going wild, but the simple act of using an active imageboard, which satisfies the need for a multitude of things to interact with without sacrificing long term conversation and constantly bumping the most interesting things to the top (with the best disengagement feature there is: anonymity! No targeted harassment is possible like on the social media platforms of today, quit talking whenever you want!), all overrides the bad things. Of which there are many, but you all know that. I'd love to support a site with Tildes-like principles that acts as an imageboard, but I don't really think there is demand for new ones other than as fallback places for existing sites.

    I also remember a better time, when the edginess was still there but not the default. 4chan always had hate, but there was a time when it could be used without that hate spilling into every thread. Making the most of the site nowadays requires a strong filter list and an even stronger skill at selective reading, but I enjoy being part of the few who still try to use it in a not-awful manner, because when everything falls into place and we interact nicely, it's an experience that can't be replicated anywhere else.

    6 votes
  4. [2]
    mbc Link
    Usenet. I couldn't get into the non-threaded web boards and shunned them until Reddit came along. Ideally, if there were a way to take Tildes and have it accessible through a newsreader, I'd use...

    Usenet. I couldn't get into the non-threaded web boards and shunned them until Reddit came along. Ideally, if there were a way to take Tildes and have it accessible through a newsreader, I'd use it that way.

    4 votes
    1. masochist Link Parent
      There's rtv for reddit, which is as close as you're likely to get to slrn unless someone sets up a reddit <-> Usenet gateway. I can't imagine it'd be difficult to build something similar for...

      There's rtv for reddit, which is as close as you're likely to get to slrn unless someone sets up a reddit <-> Usenet gateway. I can't imagine it'd be difficult to build something similar for Tildes once we have an API. That it'll stay open source forever also means developing clients against the API will be far easier than it is for reddit these days.

      2 votes
  5. [11]
    hamstergeddon Link
    It's funny you mention GameFAQs because the only traditional forum I'm still a part of was a spin-off of their Star Wars board formed a little over a decade ago. We all basically grew up together...

    It's funny you mention GameFAQs because the only traditional forum I'm still a part of was a spin-off of their Star Wars board formed a little over a decade ago. We all basically grew up together on this little free-hosted forum and became really good friends. Initially it was created just to give us the freedom to run SW-themed roleplaying games, but eventually it grew into a much more casual place to discuss anything. I don't think we even have any active games anymore. We're all in our 20s and 30s now and who has the time?

    Digg and reddit basically killed forums for me though. They set the bar so high for what forums could be that it made what they actually are really disappointing. Which isn't to say forums of old don't have advantages. Avatars and considerably smaller community sizes meant you could actually recognize and get to know prolific posters.

    4 votes
    1. [10]
      masochist Link Parent
      Do people really have that much trouble remembering usernames? Am I really that much of an outlier here? I have no trouble recognizing people by usernames. I'm starting to get to the point where I...

      Avatars [...] meant you could actually recognize and get to know prolific posters.

      Do people really have that much trouble remembering usernames? Am I really that much of an outlier here? I have no trouble recognizing people by usernames. I'm starting to get to the point where I am remembering little details about specific folks I see on Tildes. Amarok's an old grumpy sysadmin, Whom's an anime nerd, for example. :)

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. masochist Link Parent
          Honestly, I genuinely can’t. Maybe it’s because I grew up on systems like AOL and IRC and Usenet and MUDs / BBSes where names were all we had. I’ve always picked up on usernames because it’s the...

          Honestly, I genuinely can’t. Maybe it’s because I grew up on systems like AOL and IRC and Usenet and MUDs / BBSes where names were all we had. I’ve always picked up on usernames because it’s the one thing that’s consistent across every platform I’ve used over the last 30 years.

          That said, you do make an interesting and insightful point about the evolutionary reasoning for avatars being easier. Thank you.

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        hamstergeddon Link Parent
        For me at least, I'm way more likely to notice a recurring avatar than a recurring username. So it's not so much an issue of remembering as it is names just don't stand out to me. Although I'll...

        For me at least, I'm way more likely to notice a recurring avatar than a recurring username. So it's not so much an issue of remembering as it is names just don't stand out to me. Although I'll work on it a bit...you are trippysnail, person who first replied to my first comment here on tildes :)

        2 votes
        1. masochist Link Parent
          Then welcome to the site! I’m pretty new here myself. As I said elsethread, I grew up with systems that were entirely text based, so no avatars for me. Apparently that does make me an outlier.

          Then welcome to the site! I’m pretty new here myself.

          As I said elsethread, I grew up with systems that were entirely text based, so no avatars for me. Apparently that does make me an outlier.

          2 votes
      3. [2]
        asoftbird Link Parent
        There's a select few users you see everywhere, it's nice to recognize names.

        There's a select few users you see everywhere, it's nice to recognize names.

        1 vote
        1. masochist Link Parent
          Like you! And probably me at this point. ;)

          Like you! And probably me at this point. ;)

          1 vote
      4. [4]
        Amarok Link Parent
        It's a right-brain thing. The centers of reputation are deep down in the old school animal parts of that brain, and it can read more in a subconscious glance than you can type in ten paragraphs....

        It's a right-brain thing. The centers of reputation are deep down in the old school animal parts of that brain, and it can read more in a subconscious glance than you can type in ten paragraphs. For some people, the username is fine, they laze that out in an instant. For others, they don't pay much attention, it's all a blur.

        I'm willing to bet that for everyone, a colorful avatar-thing (especially if it is the only colorful thing on the page) is a right brain broadcasting device. I'll wager it'll work better than any text-based item for most people.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          masochist Link Parent
          I'm going to have to be That Guy here and point out that this "left brain, right brain" thing has been debunked for a while. See e.g. this Psychology Today article and the WP article....

          I'm going to have to be That Guy here and point out that this "left brain, right brain" thing has been debunked for a while. See e.g. this Psychology Today article and the WP article. Specifically, the section on auditory and visual processing is relevant (most specially facial processing), as the two journal articles that section cites show that these tasks are bilateral.

          It might be tied to lower brain function, I'll concede that, but this has nothing to do with "right-brain" stuff.

          4 votes
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            TIL. That's actually good news - I was going of off Shirky's talk where he mentioned it briefly. That's good, means we can accomplish the same effectiveness with text that we do with images.

            TIL. That's actually good news - I was going of off Shirky's talk where he mentioned it briefly. That's good, means we can accomplish the same effectiveness with text that we do with images.

            2 votes
        2. saiyanprideparade Link Parent
          I also like avatars for the simple fact that it gives you a glance into who they are. When you read a post, you are typically getting their view on a single thing (obviously you can glean other...

          I also like avatars for the simple fact that it gives you a glance into who they are. When you read a post, you are typically getting their view on a single thing (obviously you can glean other information from posts about who they are as well), but you'll see their avatar on every post. If someone picks a specific avatar, it generally means something to them in some way or other. You might learn about a specific interest, their sort of "posting style", etc based on it.

          2 votes
  6. Silbern Link
    I used to participate a lot on topic specific bulletin boards back in the day, a couple different independently hosted phpBB, vbulletin, and others like that, sites. Not gonna lie, I miss the...

    I used to participate a lot on topic specific bulletin boards back in the day, a couple different independently hosted phpBB, vbulletin, and others like that, sites. Not gonna lie, I miss the different communities and customizations across the different sites, it's a lot nicer to be in several smaller communities than one giant one tbh.

    3 votes