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  1. #1
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    Give Me Your Feedback on the RPS Community Updates

    Howdy all.

    I'm Scott, otherwise known as Krathor on the forum. Alongside being very active in the Game Clubs... subforums (especially Terraria and Guild Wars 2), I've been responsible for summarising major happenings in the community since the end of April, alongside one-off articles about how to get involved, the launches of our two official Terraria servers, and our Arma crew. You can find most of my work under the RPS Community tag.

    Thus far, I've made a point of covering those communities we have dedicated, active subforums for in Game Clubs... But recently, I've branched out in covering topics from other parts of the forum like this, and I've also recently contacted the likes of alms for input for things like the Bundles Thread. I also plan to incorporate stuff like this into the November one.

    It's also worth noting there's topics I purposely don't put into the monthly update - whether they be too sensitive or personal, or the likes of the Kindness Club (lest all the codes be nicked by outsiders).

    Personally, I was a little worried that the community updates were losing traction with readers, but it seems our last one has been quite successful - probably due to engagement with the featured groups prior to writing. What do you think? Do you like how the updates are focused at the moment? What about my plans in the future? Would you prefer more one-off, in-depth articles like those on Terraria and Folk ARPS?
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    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus BillButNotBen's Avatar
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    I don't have anything particularly useful to add, but I think they're a good idea and I like them.

    Kindness thread out and bundles / guessing game in sound like good decisions.

    I guess I tend to skim them because, by their very nature, a lot of the content won't be of much interest to me personally as I won't have those specific games. It can be interesting to hear about events in games I don't play, but not always.

    One possible issue you might run into is simply that some groups may be more active than others (Arma, Planetside, Blood Bowl, Terraria, i guess..)

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus BillButNotBen's Avatar
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    PS/ a couple of ideas on visibility/promotion/process, if not on content.

    You could see if you could get a link to the latest community update included at the end of the "What are we playing this weekend?" post. Cross promotion and all that.

    There may already be one, but you could set up a "Community Updates" thread on the main forum where members from the varied communities could post any important updates or information about upcoming events. Again, I don't often go into the social forums, so something like that may exist. But I don't think it exists as a sticky at the top of the pc gaming forum.
    You could then harvest events, news and discussion from that.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    I think they're a good idea and I like them.
    Seconded! I really enjoy reading them, even if I don't personally play a lot of the games featured.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Ethelred's Avatar
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    I think it's great to contact the groups beforehand. I guess the key for us is getting the right message across so could you give us some editorial help?

    e.g. ask us what we need to include!

  6. #6
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your input so far folks.

    Bill, I think all of that is particularly useful! Many readers may be in the same situation of skipping over content they don't associate with, which could be an argument for having separate articles if there's anything rather lengthy going on in a community - so that people not interested don't spend their time scrolling through all the details in the monthly update.

    And yeah, I was actually running into a bit of an issue the month-before-last of consistently featuring the same communities - I think GW2 was on a four-month run of getting included, which is great - but makes for boring reading for those uninterested in the game.

    By coincidence, I was thinking of that exact same situation about the whole weekly 'What Are You Playing?' post! I definitely think it's an ideal place to link back to our communities - either the previous community update, the Game Clubs... forum or even the thread in Gaming Discussion about what folks are playing. In my opinion, the content on the main site should refer to relevant material on the forum, and direct people here where appropriate. This is especially since the other mods have gone to great efforts to instill expectations and standards on users of the forum which are congruent with the rest of RPS.

    I would also like to expand our efforts with aligning messages too; the Steam group has been somewhat mismanaged over the last few years, but we should drive its members towards the activities of the community here. Part of this would be to set an events calendar (with the one run by Challenger and I on the forum being a manual precursor), but that's subject to me getting the rights (and time) to do it.

    Will definitely give some thought to just having an open thread where people can suggest ideas and where I can give input on what I'm looking for. Of course, you're always free to PM me (and many have), alongside putting things in the comments of each update too. I'd definitely recommend putting any upcoming events in the thread linked above too so we can add it to the calendar (and subsequently stick it in the monthly update).
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

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  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shards's Avatar
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    For Blood Bowl in the latest update, it was really well timed as the Divisions were in an inter-season period and so people could come and sign up and engage with us straight away.

    Definitely good to cover games clubs that have an event coming up that people can take part in immediately so they don't drift off.

  8. #8
    Network Hub Challenger2uk's Avatar
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    Weekly updates would be nice, but I think there would be more interest if a representative from each community was elected to summarise a few pointers on what has happened in the week and what is planned in the following week. Not just including the weekly events that happen every week, maybe name a few players that made something happen, like the fact the STO fleet is still going and has what I hear a big shipyard that can make bad-ass ships. Community update could revive or bolster the numbers in smaller groups if the masses knew of them.

    I think you need a footer to all the updates, it must include the mumble server, link to game clubs forum, some way to contact yourself. Something you can copy and paste at the bottom of every report.

  9. #9
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    Good ideas - cheers for more input.

    Frequency of updates is also something I was just thinking about last night. As we've seen from Terraria, Europa Universalis and most recently Blood Bowl, promotion of forthcoming events does bolster activity in the forum significantly. The problem with monthly updates is that people sign up to something, then forget about it. Naturally, weekly updates would get around this - either by enabling promotion way ahead of time and then a reminder closer, or just an announcement as the event becomes imminent.

    As for the addition of the footer, there is this general post that I do plug in the monthlies, and I give people the option to ask questions or plug other games in the comments. The problem with putting even more content into the monthly is this that they're already running into a thousand words. After every game there's a 'call to action' about how to join the respective game, and I don't want to necessarily put more directions on the same post.

    Stepping up the frequency of updates would also remove this issue, as it'd enable the 'chopping up' of such directions. If I announce a GW2 event on my blog, I don't then talk about four other things, otherwise it clutters up the message. And even if posted separately, each event announcement could easily fill 250 words - the question is: Does the main site think it's worth it?
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus TWChristine's Avatar
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    I think a focus on a single event/group (like the Folk ARPS one) is a neat idea. It'd be neat if you did that for all the groups; dropped with a major event in PS2, wrote an article on a dungeon run or even with your GW2 group, sat in on one of the PnP sessions, etc. It might even be neat to have a Q/A or interview session with the groups as well to have the members themselves express what they enjoy about the game/community. I know that puts a lot more pressure on you (having to play with all the groups), but it's just an idea!
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  11. #11
    Moderator Ethelred's Avatar
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    That would make an excellent video series, especially for games you've not played before or are not proficient in.

    I'm not sure about the other communities but Bloodbowl certainly is on a 1-2 month cycle for notable events so it's not necessary for us to be in EVERY update.

  12. #12
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    Surprised I didn't respond to these last two comments; streaming games with the community is something I've thought about before, although it just seems everyone is doing it at the moment, y'know? Maybe not with RPS, but we'd have to find a way to make it more appealing.

    There's some news on the Steam group that every community stakeholder should be aware of - see here.
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krathor View Post
    Surprised I didn't respond to these last two comments; streaming games with the community is something I've thought about before, although it just seems everyone is doing it at the moment, y'know? Maybe not with RPS, but we'd have to find a way to make it more appealing.

    There's some news on the Steam group that every community stakeholder should be aware of - see here.
    For what it's worth, I rarely watch someone else playing games, if ever. If someone I "know" is playing something, like someone I regularly see on the forums or on RPS in general, I'd be more inclined to watch a stream. Maybe you/RPS in general could give it a go sometime?
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. Throatwobbler Mangrove

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Never go full Wulf.

  14. #14
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    Thanks Gert. I think it's something quite a few of us would love to do, but it's just finding the time y'know?

    In case anyone's curious, I've put together a very small update on what's been going on with the Steam group over the past month, which you can view here.

    As I say in the post, if you feel there's anything that needs plugging through a Steam group announcement (opposed to say, the monthly Community Update), please let me know.

    The chat's been pretty quiet over Christmas, but I think it'll pick up again over the next week. I'd also like ideas on how to pick the Group Player of the Week.
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  15. #15
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    And in case you missed it, John gave props to the community in his end-of-year Horacemas post.
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  16. #16
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    Hello!

    Eagle-eyed regular readers will have realised that it's been quite a while since the last Community Update on the main RPS site. Personally, I was bogged down with real-life work at the start of the year, but after checking in with Graham the direction is to hold off on regular updates, rather focusing on one-off plugs (like this). So no further regular updates in the foreseeable future.

    That said, I'm still updating the RPS Steam group semi-regularly with upcoming RPS events via the calendar. I've also slowly going back to hosting events in GW2, with success.

    Feel free to shoot me a PM if you'd like anything plugging on the Steam group, or if you're hosting an event that I may be able to lend a hand to.
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus BillButNotBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krathor View Post
    I was bogged down with real-life work ...
    I know how that feels. Thanks for the hard work.

    Can members update the steam calendar, or only group mods?
    How about an events / new groups sticky thread in the main gaming forum that people can add events to, or post when they make a new sub-group? This could then feed into the calendar etc.. and save some work.

  18. #18
    Moderator Krathor's Avatar
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    No problem - thanks very much for the support.

    I actually think only Administrators can add to the Steam group calendar at the moment, probably because when the group was first set up the staff didn't want people spamming the function (and subsequently everyone getting Steam notifications every time).

    As for your idea for a thread, that's actually what this was supposed it be for - although reading it now it doesn't make exactly clear that anyone can reply to the thread for something to be added (whether it be a game's thread, Steam sub-group, or even separate website). Having people contribute their own events and communities would be ideal, but would still require someone to manually update the main directory, then reflect on the Steam group, run it up the flagpole etc. I speak from experience when I say it's quite unsustainable on a volunteer long-term basis.

    The alternative is to somehow open it up more (like anyone being able to add to the Steam group calendar), which reduces the reliance on one person... but has its own risks (and relies on more people remembering to include relevant info etc.).
    Guild Wars 2:

    Main character name is Seigous Bearheart. I also play on Duke Witherheart. And Lindenheart.

    My GW2 blog that you can follow on Twitter.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus BillButNotBen's Avatar
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    I guess it makes sense to have the Community Calendar thread be in the Games and Social Clubs forum... but I never check that so I wondered if it'd be better to have it in the main PC gaming forum to let more people know about it.

    I don't suppose the forum software allows threads to be mirrored in multiple forums?

  20. #20
    Moderator alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krathor View Post
    I actually think only Administrators can add to the Steam group calendar at the moment, probably because when the group was first set up the staff didn't want people spamming the function
    Everyone used to be an admin up and could do basically anything, until about the time I uploaded a version of the updated RPS Logo to the group, subsequently there was a wave of demotions, so however the permissions were set didn't make a lot of difference anyway.

    The problem with Steam groups is that some changes can only be effected by the group owner, which means going through John, who isn't very active. I believe he could transfer the group ownership to someone who's more involved in running the community, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    I don't suppose the forum software allows threads to be mirrored in multiple forums?
    Think I can do that by abusing vBulletin, if enough people agree it's a good idea.
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