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Gamers of Steam,

As we very shortly head into a new year, I'd like to take a moment to provide some insight on the state of things here at SG, and where the community is headed going forward.

 

For those of you who haven't met me before, I started playing on our zombie servers years ago, and eventually got hooked into the other games we ran on CSS back in the day.  Fast forward to 2014, I put together the theme I see we still use on Sourcebans today, and re-styled the forum when we still used vBulletin, which got me the rank of TA.  After that, I was a BD back when Spartan, Caution, and Xeno were on the Board.  During this time, Caution was handed the reigns from Spartan, and in retrospect, we accomplished a great deal of work in a short amount of time, even with just a 3-man BD team back then.  Eventually I took a leave to focus on more important things, but a few years later, realized SG is more important than anything else, so here I am....... But in all seriousness, it's good to be back.  We have a good crew of BD & AO members right now who are eager to get things rolling here, and there are some good plans in the works for the future.

Current & Future Servers
Our biggest focus is on our Jailbreak and TTT servers in CSGO. A giant thanks to everyone who has helped these servers stay alive. We strongly believe that the best way to gain popularity is through simply playing the servers. With that said, we are also looking into other games as well. While JB/TTT can quickly populate for us, we also understand that these gamemodes are no longer as popular as they were in the past, and it would behoove us to try other games as a result. Future games being discussed and/or worked on include: GTAV, Gmod TTT, TF2, and even a possible CSS server coming back. We will announce more info on these in time, as details are still being worked out. As of right now, there are no plans on closing any of our CSGO servers. However, if there's an opportunity to replace one with something more popular, we will re-evaluate each CSGO server.

Server Maintenance
Concerning the management of our servers, and development of new servers, this is something that has been heavily delegated to AOs in the past. This is now an expectation of the BD team as well. The only way for the servers to succeed is hands-on work and simply playing the servers ourselves, from the top all the way down. It's been discussed at the BD level several times now, that aside from taking care of the servers, there aren't many other "management" tasks more important than this at the moment.

All Admins - SA/LG
This next point concerns all admins, including SAs and LGs, to be taken as a "Call to Action" of sorts. With the state of the servers right now, it has been difficult to select new CAs to promote because the servers aren't as active as they used to be. After months of discussions and weighing pros and cons, by unanimous decision, the Board has decided to discontinue the rank of CA until further notice. The "management" duties previously assigned to CAs, including player complaints, award requests, etc will be an AO/BD responsibility going forward, not like these items come up a whole lot these days anyway. The "advising" aspect of the rank is what we would like to bring to ALL admins in the server admin section of the forum. This will allow for more thorough discussion than what would normally happen at the CA level, and ensure that all admins have a voice in admin-related topics. LGs, this is where you come in as well.

I've always said that LGs input is extremely valuable, given that most of the members in this group consist of former higher ups who have been in the positions we are in now. While you have more than earned your retirement here, if you are an LG reading this now, I ask that you not be a stranger, and not to hesitate to voice your thoughts if you have some free time. Your opinions still very much matter to us, I assure you. As someone who has been around for a long time, during times when many of you have been higher ups yourselves, know that I still take your words to heart, and it's refreshing to see you post your thoughts.

For all SAs/LGs and higher, I would like to begin implementing regular Admin Meetings to discuss any topics needing to be addressed. These Admin Meetings will essentially replace our CA Meetings.

With the CA rank being discontinued, we do not have a timeline for bringing this rank back, but it will probably not be for a while. Historically speaking, this rank was created in 2008, when we had multiple active servers, dozens of admins, and a forum that constantly had multiple posts on it every hour. We have not seen this for quite a while. Until we have at least a fraction of those results, we do not see a need for the rank to exist, and we feel it is far more important to involve ALL admins to help guide the development of the community, instead of promoting just a few for this purpose.

Forum Changes
First, we will be updating the forum very soon. The plan is to do this within the next couple weeks sometime. However, it is a very time-intensive process that will end up involving the entire website (more than just the forum), so it will take place whenever Nishok has the time. There is no exact date, but when it does happen, everyone will be notified on Discord. This may cause some extended downtime for the forum and other website features, which we may not be aware of until it's actually happening.

Next, with this update comes a new theme which I have sneak-peaked to the AOs previously. Big thanks to Nishok, Gator, and Acer for their constant help and input. It's a dark theme that is similar to what we use now, somewhat resembling our original dark style from 2008-2011. Once the forum is updated and the style goes live, I also plan on developing a ZombieMurder "light" version of the theme, which will allow members to select whether they want to use a light or dark theme. This will also hopefully bring back a sense of nostalgia whenever you may want to go down memory lane if you've been here for a long time. I don't have a timeframe for this as it will be worked on in my free time as a side project. The first priority is getting everything updated.

The other part of the forum changes I have planned, is just a general cleanup of all forum sections, particularly the sticky threads. I have noticed that some of the important info is outdated or cluttered, and this needs to be cleaned up or moved elsewhere where it may make better sense.

 

Partnerships

If you haven't noticed already by Dominic's recent announcement, we've recently partnered with TMC.  We are still interested in other potential partnerships that would benefit us as well, so If you come across an opportunity that you think would be good for SG, please send a PM to Dominic or myself and make us aware.  Simple advertisement can really go a long way.  While our main focus is still on our current and future servers, we don't want to lose sight of our current and future partners.

In Conclusion
Anyone who has worked with me when I was a BD previously, knows that I have seen this community in rough shape before, possibly worse than it's been for the past year here. Many of my solutions typically involve thinking of simpler times, meaning scrolling through a lot of old threads from years and years ago, and to just generally not over-complicate things. Sometimes it's beneficial to recycle and re-implement old ideas and old mindsets, which is essentially why I'm involving the BD team more with maintaining the servers. You think Haggard built this place by never touching the servers and making everyone else do all the work? Hell no. We all have to get our hands a little dirty. Obviously not all old ideas work 15 years later, but many of the same concepts can still be applied.

In a nutshell - Continue focusing on TTT/JB and don't stop trying to get those servers populated. Our goals for the next month or so include GTAV, Gmod TTT, TF2, and CSS. Having our name on the list of servers in multiple games may prove beneficial, even in a game like CSS that isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. Additionally, an update/cleanup on the forum will be coming soon. I would also like to see all admins more involved with discussing ideas in the admin section, including LGs.

Finally, I would also like to note that Caution is still an important part of this community, and will still manage all donations and community finances. If you have a question about your donations, please send him a PM. If you PM me about it, I will do my best to help you, but will most likely require Caution's assistance with anything donation-related.

 

Thank you all for your continued dedication and support to the community, and I'm looking forward to a great new year of SG.

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I enjoyed reading through this. Very nice address, Revenga. SG is suffering from something that all gaming communities of the sort are, but I don't see it as the end of the line. Taking a step back and revisiting things that worked historically is a nice approach and could prove to be beneficial. There's a lot of life left for this place to experience.

 

Here's to the brighter pastures on the horizon!

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17 hours ago, Revenga said:

All Admins - SA/LG
I've always said that LGs input is extremely valuable, given that most of the members in this group consist of former higher ups who have been in the positions we are in now. While you have more than earned your retirement here, if you are an LG reading this now, I ask that you not be a stranger, and not to hesitate to voice your thoughts if you have some free time. Your opinions still very much matter to us, I assure you. As someone who has been around for a long time, during times when many of you have been higher ups yourselves, know that I still take your words to heart, and it's refreshing to see you post your thoughts.

For all SAs/LGs and higher, I would like to begin implementing regular Admin Meetings to discuss any topics needing to be addressed. These Admin Meetings will essentially replace our CA Meetings.

With the CA rank being discontinued, we do not have a timeline for bringing this rank back, but it will probably not be for a while. Historically speaking, this rank was created in 2008, when we had multiple active servers, dozens of admins, and a forum that constantly had multiple posts on it every hour. We have not seen this for quite a while. Until we have at least a fraction of those results, we do not see a need for the rank to exist, and we feel it is far more important to involve ALL admins to help guide the development of the community, instead of promoting just a few for this purpose.

I guess I will voice a few thoughts here then:

 

If I'm being honest, I'm not sure how many of us will heed the call of action. I know I'll likely be willing to in certain circumstances if there's a topic that interests me or a game I would enjoy hopping on (ex: GMOD TTT, maybe GTAV) but that's just because I'm someone who lurks around the internet in my free time and don't have many obligations for the time being.

 

Of the 130 people with Legend rank, many of us have well and truly "retired" per se: we've moved on, gotten jobs, started families, etc. I think this only holds truer for the old generation of LGs with join dates from the 00s to early 2010s, they all likely are growing in their respective careers, starting families, settling down, etc. and don't really consciously think of Steam-Gamers anymore. As far as my generation of people go, we're all finishing up college and starting careers, so I don't forsee many of us coming back either. On top of that, many of us have logged several thousand hours on CS:GO and simply don't feel the same about the game how we used to and almost have sort of a permenant burnout from the game. I'm unsure of how many people you excepted to draw from the call of action, I guess I just wanted to speak on behalf of the people who won't come back and the people who also share my pessimistic outlook, as I have always been one to be honest and open about my thoughts even when they aren't the greatest in terms of spreading cheer. 

 

Call me a doomer (I am), but that doesn't mean I don't think you lot in charge aren't taking good steps to get this place on the best track moving forward. Keeping things simple and trying to revisit stuff that got this community going strong in the past is absolutely something that sounds like a good step to take. I am excited for the future and hope positive strides are made to get this place hopping with some people again. 

 

I'm absolutely down to attend admin meetings and help how I can but that's also the reason I have stepped down 87 times since I would usually call it quits when I felt there was nothing meaningful for me to contribute to this place in the positions I held.

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I’d consider playing on the servers again if CSS came back, I’d strongly consider playing if a CS 1.6 (yes it’s still popular) was thrown into the mix as well.  In my case, it would be an understatement to say how tired I am of CSGO.

 

Also, it’s great to see you Revenga and I wish you nothing but the best.  I know you’ll be a great presidente.

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Take this any way you want, but to be honest, over the last few years, things have just changed so much that steamgamers does not feel the same.  There have been some, in my opinion, incredibly bad decisions that I do not feel a desire to even voice, and while I come here from the nostalgia, I don't feel like it will ever be the same, and any desire I have to play on the servers left years ago.  

Maybe it is just the fact that the majority of the people I used to know are long gone, and that I'm old enough to the point its hard to feel a connection whenever I try and rejoin.  

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1 hour ago, Spiritwind said:

Take this any way you want, but to be honest, over the last few years, things have just changed so much that steamgamers does not feel the same.  There have been some, in my opinion, incredibly bad decisions that I do not feel a desire to even voice, and while I come here from the nostalgia, I don't feel like it will ever be the same, and any desire I have to play on the servers left years ago.  

Maybe it is just the fact that the majority of the people I used to know are long gone, and that I'm old enough to the point its hard to feel a connection whenever I try and rejoin.  

Everyone will grow and move on eventually. Every community has its glory days and it seems this one is long passed that . Cherish the memories and move on old man .

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2 hours ago, Spiritwind said:

Take this any way you want, but to be honest, over the last few years, things have just changed so much that steamgamers does not feel the same.  There have been some, in my opinion, incredibly bad decisions that I do not feel a desire to even voice, and while I come here from the nostalgia, I don't feel like it will ever be the same, and any desire I have to play on the servers left years ago.  

Maybe it is just the fact that the majority of the people I used to know are long gone, and that I'm old enough to the point its hard to feel a connection whenever I try and rejoin.  

You and I both remember a time where there were between 350-400 forum users logging in daily, with dozens of posts being made constantly on the forum.  Not to mention the growing multitude of servers that became more and more popular all the time.  Believe me when I say I miss those days as much as anyone else who was around back then.

 

Thing is, gaming has changed.  The Internet as a whole has changed.  Ofc I miss the way it used to be.  I remember someone once posted on the forum, I think Cloud, that the older the Internet gets, the younger its audience gets.  With that said, there is also a new generation of people here too, that will happen after this place existing nearly 16 years.  The biggest part about what made the community what it was back then was the players alone.  Nowadays we carry our phones around in our pockets that allow us to check up on the community by logging into Discord or checking the forum.  That didn't happen back then until the community got older.  There was far more interaction back then on Vent and on the forum.

 

CSGO is far different than CSS.  I miss CSS, I miss it a lot in fact.  There was a different feel to everything back in the older days, especially when you compare CSS with CSGO.  As much as I want to time travel back then and relive fond memories, I know that those memories are far better left simply remembered and cherished.  Those of us who were around back then know that feeling.  

 

While there are definitely older concepts I'm looking to bring back, I also feel it's important to keep in mind how the community was built to begin with.  It was built around the current players back then, and it needs to be built around the current players now.  Back then you could log on and there was always something new going on.  Nowadays, that's not always the case.  It takes a bit of effort to get the servers going, whereas back then you could could pretty much get home from work/school and jump into a full server (the reserved slot definitely helped).

 

I will say that just a couple nights ago, we had 20+ people crammed into one channel in Teamspeak, multiple servers with double-digit player counts, and a ton of laughs and just screwing around with each other.  Talking about gameplay, making jokes back and forth about each others moms, me slaying Dominic for freekilling me, etc.  Not everyone in TS was in one of the servers either, some were there to just hang out.  The population these days tends to move from server to server, but generally sticks together is what I've noticed.  So we started on Jailbreak, then moved to Surf, some into TTT iirc, then eventually into SCP.  While it's still a far different dynamic from 10+ years ago, I had a blast in all honesty.  It takes a little push to get things rolling these days, but we're essentially building from the ground up, which takes a lot of time.

 

Bringing back Teamspeak was strictly an experiment.  Our only plan was to simply see what happens.  We weren't sure what it would do, but we were happy seeing what we saw the other night.  That result was exactly what we were hoping a TS server would generate - voice-to-voice interaction.  Discord is nice for chatting while you're not at your PC and just need to check stuff on your phone imo, but something about it doesn't scream "voice chat" to me.  I don't even know the last time I've seen 20+ talking people in a Discord channel unless it was for some type of meeting.  With TS, everyone just seemed to keep pouring in.

 

To wrap it up, I agree with you that SG does not feel the same.  I will say that there have been decisions I have strongly disagreed with in the past as well (and if there's anything currently too, send me a PM and I'd be happy to go into it with you if you'd like).  Nostalgia is a large factor so many of us are still around.  I'm still at SG because I consider it like another home, as do a great number of us.  I understand that some come around for nostalgic reasons and nothing else, and there's nothing wrong with that.  Still nice to see your name at the bottom of the forum, or an occasional post.

 

Regardless of your feelings about the community nowadays, I will say that it is still good to see another old timer post occasionally and come around, and I thank you for your reply.  I never got to know you much, but I remember there was a time I would see your name quite often on the forum/servers.  It's crazy how many people you remember over so many years here, regardless of how much/little you interacted with them.

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