What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Discuss anything ZDoom-related that doesn't fall into one of the other categories.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by SanyaWaffles »

Those are very valid points, dpJudas. I guess I'm just extremely jaded and don't wanna admit it.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by dpJudas »

We sadly can't ask all those that left why they left, so that's just my interpretation of it. It is anyone's guess, really. :)
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by Enjay »

@SanyaWaffles A considered and heartfelt reply. Thank you.

Whether the reality is more towards how I characterised it, or how you did, or somewhere else entirely, it would still be nice if we could all work together to help "build back better" (to steal a phrase from several governments and other organisations who I may, or may not, agree with).

Different people will need different timescales for healing and some may never manage it. That's a reality that we will all have to accept.

Some people have left, some have stayed, some may rejoin and others may join for the first time. A community is, of course, made of its members, but who constitutes the membership does shift and change over time (as do the individual attitudes and actions of the people involved). A community is often bigger than the sum of its parts and many communities will last longer than the duration of any individual's involvement in that community.

All I'm trying to say by that is, basically to reiterate that, while we need to learn lessons, we also need to move on - I hope to better times. It won't necessarily be easy but, if we are to stick around as a community, then we all need to play our part.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by SanyaWaffles »

To be clear, I do want this community to turn around. The overall Doom community is the first community is the first community I've felt a sense of comradery with a lot of people and have been given a chance to grow in a positive way.

I'd like to see that extend to this side of the community, but I don't know what I can do.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by KeksDose »

I like how these forums work for modding. I see that as usual player701, jarewill and others offer great help in the scripting forums and it makes me quite glad! I post rarely but I lurk fairly regularly. I still mod occasionally to much to the same effect as always and help a certain friend's ideas. I was planning on posting a project here, which is something I would not have considered before. It's mostly because I feel far more comfortable now that a lot of things changed around me in this community. It didn't go that well for everybody, and it didn't come easy for me either, but I feel I could make it work for me anyway...
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by Kinsie »

Discord is not a replacement for a forum, in much the same way that IRC wasn't. It's a supplement. Attempting to treat it as a replacement is a recipe for disaster, as a number of fighting game communities have found out in recent years as lots of gameplay and strategy knowledge has been lost to Discord drama without being written down in a wiki first.
Caligari87 wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 10:09 am Just come out and say what you want from me Kinsie. You backpedal from almost accusing me of being a puppet figurehead for the ZDoominatti, only to make some vague gesticulations about "confidence" and "users running screaming" as if I can somehow force people to be here against their will. What would make you happy.
Cards on the table: I think the people involved with The Event should be completely persona-non-grata and not in some mealy-mouthed "oh they don't have any influence, they just control all the web hosting on both a technical and financial level, and without them this place dies, but that's not influence because ??????" way, and large sweeping changes should be made to the rules (both written and unwritten), forums structure etc. to completely break away from the overly bureaucratic and hostile approach the previous management took, which, let's face it, was already driving people elsewhere (often because their accounts had been disabled, or because they couldn't register them in the first place).

That won't be easy, but as far as I can see, it's the only proper way forward.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by SanyaWaffles »

It pains me genuinely to say, I can't deny I get Kinsie's angles.

I definitely agree with the discord server != forum replacement angle 100% angle full stop. I do agree both have a place, however.

As for the other bit... I can't disagree.

I've spoken to many people who still can't get their accounts activated even now, and after that kurfluffle, they're off put from being in this community, and some want little to do with the Doom community after what happened. I don't agree with the whole "the entire Doom community is toxic" mentality some of my friends and peers have, but I get it because if all you see is the worst in a community, it's gonna put you off no matter who you are.

I was about ready to retire myself before I met some cool, not-chuddy, not-hostile people. To be direct, I dunno how else to put it without it sounding harsh. All I can say is I'm glad I found this group of people or I might have gone down a deep dark path. Sure, some responsibility is on myself, not gonna deny that, but these people claimed to be my friends and treated me like I was a criminal.

If this were any other community the April 2023 shit would have been dealt with much more harshly - for better or worse. I do understand you don't want to overthrow anyone Cali. However, this isn't a government, this is a forum about a 30 year old game engine and it's family of source ports. And I'm tired of all this... intrigue going on.

Less on the personal side of things, it is also more of an IT security thing. In the Retro FPS community we lost an entire community because someone with all the keys... for lack of a better phrasing... shat the bed mentally, emotionally and professionally, and I have it on good authority it ran deep. However, server and management ownership, there was nothing that could be done, and there was nothing in writing to take action.

In short - no recourse. There was jackall the community could do, or the management could do that wanted to save it. All they could do is leave, start a new community, and hope people understood what happened and weren't gonna be gaslit by the rogue community manager.

Is that a 1:1 to this situation? Of course not. However, the risk is there, and people are rightfully put off by it.

As a less extreme "cards on the table" approach - I do think webmaster and billing needs to be transferred to someone else, sooner than later. I do believe that was something mentioned that was going to happen at some point (at least implied?), but it never happened. Not saying I don't believe that is still in the cards - I just hope it is.

If I knew more about webmaster stuff I'd offer any support I can, except my knowledge is very rusty, and my time is scarce. And I doubt I know anyone who'd be willing to do so on a pro bono basis.

Plus I don't feel comfortable doing so - not for the reasons you may think - I'm just overburdened with a bunch of things and I dunno if I could put my best foot forward on any tasks.

I hope I didn't cross any lines there, I'm trying to find the courage to weigh in. I should have done so in April, but I didn't as much as I should have.

EDIT: meant to say "of course not" and "of course" at one point. Apologies.

EDIT 2: clarified something without using a certain anaology
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by dpJudas »

Kinsie wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 8:57 pm I think the people involved with The Event should be completely persona-non-grata and not in some mealy-mouthed...
Ah, so your true colors finally show. Trying to drum up drama as always, Kinsie? Half a year has passed and you don't have a single thing to point at what is wrong with it after The Event, beyond some abstract "they still pay the bills and that's unacceptable" kind of argument. So basically you want them banned, that's your solution.

I'm sorry, but if that is going to happen then I'll leave the forum. I considered Marisa a friend at the time and it greatly disappointed me that she behaved like she did. Someone should have called the police at the time. That you think the old mods making poor decisions should result in a perma ban, despite not really having anything to do with moderation for the last 6 months in any capacity, really tells a lot about what kind of person you are. I hope you some day fuck up so karma can hit you with the same kind of justice that you seem all too eager to hand out to others. None of the old mods are guilty of grooming - they were guilty of going way too far in trying to protect a friend they thought were innocent. Should they have realized it earlier? Yes probably, but hindsight is always 20/20.

I'm not a believer in a world where people can't make up for past bad deeds and if that's the kind of place the ZDoom forums is going to be in the future then I'm out. Sorry for being so aggressive in this post, but Kinsie has pissed me off for years now with exactly this kind of bullshit he's pulling in this thread.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by R4L »

Well, I can definitely confirm some issues with registration. Just made three accounts. It seems to be if you fuck up any of the pre-requisites (not long enough password, invalid characters in username, etc...) and then correct them, you'll fail for not providing a solution. Three fuck ups and you have to try again. I assume there's something pointing to the old registration where it asked you a Doom related question and required a solution, yet that field isn't visible.

As far as emails not being received to confirm registration, I didn't run into that issue but I could see certain regions having difficulty based on online reputation alone. I work with Barracuda and their spam filtering solutions and it's basically a requirement to block certain regions or get phished to death.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by Kinsie »

dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm Ah, so your true colors finally show. Trying to drum up drama as always, Kinsie?
I have no interest in drama and every interest in this place returning to health. I've spent decades in communities that have gone through some real nasty existensial-threat-tier events (Lowtax. Say no more...) and to see a place I've invested so much time and effort into have so much trouble navigating such choppy waters is deeply saddening and disappointing. I'm told this is a thread to discuss that. Am I wrong?
dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm Half a year has passed and you don't have a single thing to point at what is wrong with it after The Event, beyond some abstract "they still pay the bills and that's unacceptable" kind of argument.
"They're still actively around and in less-direct-but-still-essential levels of control, no real concrete changes have been implemented by the new administration and the population has sunk through the floor" seem like something wrong to me, and something worth discussing to some extent.
dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm That you think the old mods making poor decisions should result in a perma ban, despite not really having anything to do with moderation for the last 6 months in any capacity, really tells a lot about what kind of person you are.
dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm I'm not a believer in a world where people can't make up for past bad deeds
There are absolutely certain levels of fuck-up you can come back from with hard work and a genuine willingness to repent for past wrongs, and some you can not. Which side of the fence this situation sits is in the eye of the beholder, filtered through their own real-life personal experience and the real-life experiences of the people they know and love, and that's all I'm willing to say about that.
dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm None of the old mods are guilty of grooming - they were guilty of going way too far in trying to protect a friend they thought were innocent.
This is not the slam-dunk you seem to think it is, and I'd recommend re-reading this sentence and seeing how it might perhaps sound less-than-great.
dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm Sorry for being so aggressive in this post, but Kinsie has pissed me off for years now with exactly this kind of bullshit he's pulling in this thread.
I greatly respect you as a programming wizard, and can only express sadness and disappointment in your reaction to this.

To reiterate: I am not here for sick burns, funny jibes, or argumentative ribaldry. I am mostly just sad and exhausted. People I greatly respected have been exposed in varyingly-unforgivable ways, and part of moving on from that requires moving on from them. I don't envy Cali, he's been dealt a pretty crappy hand at a time when he's not the most prepared for it, and I sincerely wish him the best in both tackling the litany of challenges he's signed up for, and pulling together a new team to help him tackle them.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by dpJudas »

If you truly believe in improving the community then perhaps bringing up bad blood that honestly belong to history at this point is not a very good strategy. The mods were punished at the time and while you might not feel it was enough, the punishment was actually quite big for those involved. Consider that the mods in question had literally spent over a decade at the time, every single day, administrating and moderating this place. Losing those rights was the punishment. They indeed cannot recover from it, which is why they won't become mods again. That you are bitter about them still sponsoring the forum is a bit odd to me, but okay.

Just because they made mistakes as mods and clearly can't have that role again doesn't mean it is fair to permanent ban them from the community either. I know we won't ever agree on this, but I think the punishment was fair for what they did and this is as far as it should be taken. It honestly surprises me you are so one dimensional about this considering you too have talked to the people involved for many years. Humans aren't so black and white - they have feelings and unless they are sociopaths and such usually they want to do good. Mistakes happen and that's why forgiveness and moving on is an integral part of life.

In any case, I very much doubt banning them will magically result in a forum as vibrant and alive as they were in 2010. That's just not the age we live in now - all forums suffer. I think the ZDoom forums have gone stale far more because of interesting conversations have vanished over time than what happened at the Event and how that was handled. The way bots invaded the forum so accounts had to be annoying to create also factored in. The fact Discord showed up and stole a large portion of the audience didn't help. The original developer of ZDoom stopped posting regularly. There are so many reasons that are much more likely explanation than the things you try drum up.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by Professor Hastig »

dpJudas wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:40 pm I'm not a believer in a world where people can't make up for past bad deeds and if that's the kind of place the ZDoom forums is going to be in the future then I'm out. Sorry for being so aggressive in this post, but Kinsie has pissed me off for years now with exactly this kind of bullshit he's pulling in this thread.
Haven't you realized yet? In communities like this it is impossible to make up for past mistakes, some people will never let go and only be satisfied when the people they target are finally gone for good. Never mind if these people are needed to keep the community alive.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by Dynamo »

The ZDoom forums have been more akin to a ghost town for quite a number of years now, and this dates from before the big drama from earlier this year. A big reason why has been the fact that many popular mods always existed in their own sub-communities so to speak: megaman 8 bit dm on cutman forums, hideous destructor in its own servers, other popular mods also having their own somewhat separate communities or itch.io pages and so on. I would say that, without getting into too much detail into what happened before, at least thus far trust into the Caligari administration remains, I've not seen anything to indicate otherwise.

Discord is also a major reason why, and it's easy to see that when you consider that activity on the ZDoom Discord is still very high and remained, from what I could tell, largely unaffected by recent events. This is the case for many popular forum boards (Zandronum forums are also largely a ghost town lately) and it seems only Doomworld remained unaffected by this by virtue of it being a port-agnostic entry point for newcomers to the community, and also the fact that Doomworld does not have a Discord server like ZDoom or Zandronum do where activity could be directed. Even on Doomworld though, a lot of activity that was previously carried out on the forums over project management also switched over to Discord.

But, provided we retain a bit of hope, we can understand these events as being at least partly cyclical. Discord is still owned by a corporation and they will eventually fuck up and go the way of Twitter, and when it does happen, I expect a lot of people to return to forum boards or perhaps even IRC and activity to tick up again. One cannot say that Doom modding is on the decline, *especially* GZDoom modding which I'd say is as popular as it's ever been, and so inactivity on the forum board does not necessarily represent inactivity in the community, be it Doom or ZDoom or what have you. It does suck when newcomers post their projects and receive scant reactions (if any at all), but like I said, this has been a long-running problem from before this year.
Professor Hastig wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 2:07 amsome people will never let go and only be satisfied when the people they target are finally gone for good.
I don't think this really describes the community at large, even if such people exist they are a very tiny minority: most people just play the game, have fun and contribute productively. For what it's worth, I don't think Kinsie was calling to ban anyone, he was merely talking about how the optics of the whole situation reflect to outside groups at large, but that's neither here nor there.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by Graf Zahl »

Dynamo wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:08 am But, provided we retain a bit of hope, we can understand these events as being at least partly cyclical. Discord is still owned by a corporation and they will eventually fuck up and go the way of Twitter, and when it does happen, I expect a lot of people to return to forum boards or perhaps even IRC and activity to tick up again. One cannot say that Doom modding is on the decline, *especially* GZDoom modding which I'd say is as popular as it's ever been, and so inactivity on the forum board does not necessarily represent inactivity in the community, be it Doom or ZDoom or what have you. It does suck when newcomers post their projects and receive scant reactions (if any at all), but like I said, this has been a long-running problem from before this year.
I'd rather expect them to go to the next new thing than returning to the forums. Only if all this social media truly blows up I see a chance for things to realign along more pleasant options.

Dynamo wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:08 am
Professor Hastig wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 2:07 amsome people will never let go and only be satisfied when the people they target are finally gone for good.
I don't think this really describes the community at large, even if such people exist they are a very tiny minority:
While that is true, the toxicity of such people can easily poison a well until it dries up, if these are not kept in check.
Just have a look at Doomer Boards for a place where this isn't done and the result more resembles a toxic waste dump than a nice place to hang out.
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Re: What's the state of the ZDoom forums?

Post by neoworm »

Interesting thread. I stopped logging to ZDooM forums quite a long time ago. I think it was at the time when longer passwords were enforced. Which is another thing that contributed to complete death of ZDooM forums.

This forum needed change in moderation staff long before "the event", that was just step too far for everybody. Getting banned around here was really easy. Say that you don't like something from the mods, you get immediatelly pressed on and if you stand your ground than banned. Just look at older project, the flood of banned accounts speak for itself. This community grew toxic and nobody want's to have anything to do with it anymore. It's too bad, because when this place was alive, it was best place to get help with project, find inspiration or just wonder about the new stuff. Now this toxic stench moved from forums and Discord to GZDooM itself. People will rather pick DSDADooM than to deal with GZDooM and maybe be forced to deal with people around here.

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