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Caleb956

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Ok so apparently this needs to be said and no one else will.

This entire post is probably worded badly but I don't really care, hopefully you're able to read it.

 

Let's go over a few basic building blocks for a community, you must:

A. Have a playerbase

B. Have communication

C. You SHOULD seek advice, or guidance from your players.

 

Now let's go through here and see what of these we have!

The screenshots below are going to be your friend for the first part of this post.

image.png.27e487a0ea777a620bbe7aa782eefdbf.pngimage.png.4f7258d15341ca4ed76e9d91ebec51f4.pngimage.png.3443b588271d491802b8e496b2114972.pngimage.png.072e1f03c14908759f5f2c6456f9bfd4.pngimage.thumb.png.75c1519ba4107be44dd033c39e7f32a9.pngimage.thumb.png.75326a423acd137edb3c162cb15daf43.pngimage.thumb.png.00ebf47f70034b575de4ca7a033ccf59.png

 

A. Have a playerbase - Uhh... Kind of? I'll give it a 2 at best. Any kind of playerbase you do have, I'd say a good majority leave after their first time connecting.

B. Have communication - There was a post in October..and the (semi?)monthly newsletters.. I'll say a 4.

C. You SHOULD seek advice, or guidance from your players. - There has been zero polls for who the fuck knows how long, except for Halo MCC if I remember correctly. 0

 

Ok so lets say you're left with 6 points out of 30.  That's a 20 percent.  If we followed this exactly, that would be saying your community is good as dead, or rather more than it already is.  The fact that this kind of population has been plaguing the servers for months, and not a single event has been held, just blows my mind.  How do you build a business? Or a club? Through advertisement.  You know what the best advertisement is for communities? Your players.  If there is never anything going on why should they tell others to join them or even stick around? I'm sure the majority of people won't think twice about stepping away from the servers and going somewhere else, but you get them to invite their friends, all of a sudden they became their go to place to play.  That should be your goal.

 

This is aimed specifically at the higherups. I don't know if anything may be going on in any of your guys' lives and that's why you aren't able to work on the community, and if there is then I hope it improves for you, but quite frankly if you aren't able to or just aren't willing to work on it, why the hell are you even in a position of power?  I get it, motivation is likely at an all time low, it was even when I was DL, and I can only guess it's gotten even worse.  But let me say this, how do you think it looks to the people that still care about the community, and the servers? Seeing the higherups not saying a damn thing about the state of really anything, and acting like everything is fine ( @hongkongatron )?? Here I'll say it for you. The majority of servers are completely dead, and the ones that still have population are only decreasing.  And I don't want to hear the excuse of it being school time, that's bullshit and we all know it is, there are plenty of other community servers out there full all the damn time.  Accepting the fact and doing something about it is a better choice, that is, if you care about the servers you claim to manage.  Literally all it takes is ONE person taking the lead, and having more community interaction, and this community could be popping again, that's literally how communities work.  They are based around communication.  Run polls to figure out the future of the servers, do events with other communities to bring traffic to both, do SOMETHING, at this point literally anything is better than how it's been.  I could be completely wrong, and everything could just be being posted to the discord, and if it is then fine but I HIGHLY doubt it, and if it is why the fuck isn't there posts about whatever it may be on the forums as well?  Forums exist for a reason, it's kind of where, you know, COMMUNITIES get together..  To tell you the truth, the CMs should be the ones focusing on fixing this dumpster fire, and I personally have not seen a single thing out of any of them regarding the community in months, or longer.  The most I've seen is promo demos, which haven't even been posted since October, Lithium and Bleed do CSGO I would assume, Virr I have no idea anymore. So really I just have one question, if it's taken this long to do anything, you guys must be working on something huge right?  Maybe it'd be a good idea to tell your people about it, that is, if there IS anything. I'll wait 🙂

 

I was gonna type more but then I realized all of this will probably just get ignored like everything else so fuck it, that's the motto around here right? I know I said I wasn't gonna care anymore, and after this I really don't give a shit what you decide to do, but it does push me in the wrong direction to see the current situation of literally nothing happening and the community being killed.  I honestly give up with this place, if you want to ban me then please do so, if you want to actually take advice from anyone for once then please do so.  And I don't apologize for being "too harsh" either, I can't believe I even had to make this post in the first place.  I'm out lmao

 

TL;DR - xG is supposed to be a community, figure out what the word community means, and what they are.

 

 

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gotta say im surprised this post didnt come earlier, it all needed to be said and is absolutely true

 

personally ive been feeling bad about the state of our csgo servers and ive been wanting to think of a way to try to revive the population but 100% honestly i didnt know where to start. the part about getting player feedback is something that seems like something so obvious that should have occurred to me but never did (i know bad DL lol).I think for the most part our playerbase for csgo still hangs around discord from time to time but never actually play on the servers because nobody else does. ill talk with @Jadow (fat) and see what we can come up with. 

 

 

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.. Huh. So, that's what it's like being on the receiving end of a "TL;DR" post :coffee:

Jokes aside, I certainly can't speak for the current higher-ups, but I can only assume what is likely the biggest reason behind degrading activity on their part: life. Needless to say, growing up sucks. What's worse is that growing apart from something sucks even harder, in this case Xeno Gamers. Majority of the time there just isn't enough daylight or energy left in the day to meet the expectations of the community. I speak simply as someone who was in this position as an ex-CL (Co-Leader), and can attest to the fact that it isn't easy.

I understand that it can be frustrating to have "inactive" higher-ups, and it is more than justified to demand why no one is seeking replacements; but in order to have a replacement, you need to find someone who cares enough to put in the time and effort to improve things or to really make a difference. This means finding folks that take an active interest in engaging with the community as a whole, who will be in it for the long haul (and who won't bail within months). Finding a replacement is not as easy as it seems, especially for a position that is volunteer work that rewards nothing but a sense of accomplishment.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the backbone of any gaming community is not its higher-ups; rather, the groups of players that make up the community itself. Rather than waiting on anyone to do something about it, try a pro-active approach- I have made this point in the past and I will do it again: a member of the community is only as small as they make themselves out to be. Have an idea for an event? Just do it. Need something bigger than a thread to garner attention? Ask a higher-up to post an announcement or event in the Steam Group, I guarantee that they will not shoot it down (within reason) and would be happy to get the ball rolling. I cannot count how many times I have seen suggestions or recommendations in threads, only for them to fall flat because of the expectation that higher-ups will simply take it and own it. It is not enough to suggest something and to leave it at that, not if you truly want something to change. Members of the community need to take initiative, just as much as any higher-up would.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it's easy to point fingers at those in charge to make a difference and to clean everything up, but if you truly are a dedicated member of the community and genuinely care about how things are done, then you could be doing so much more than merely posting a thread to point out flaws and moving on. A community consists of a group of members who share a common interest, even a common goal. In this case, it's to improve.

So then I ask: if it's a community with a common goal, why do those improvements have to come from the higher-ups? Who is to say that they can't come from your average Joe within the community? But I digress, this is just my 2-cents, take it with a grain of salt.

Change starts with the community, and the community is everyone. Not just the higher-ups.

Edited by Forest
"a" (see edit history)

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this post reads like a ben shapiro tweet

ok serious face now

In keeping with this thread's apparent theme of confusion, I'll respond to it in no particular order (which is, to say, I will do the exact opposite of that and respond to it in order (which is not a confusing action, just stupid)). 

21 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

Let's go over a few basic building blocks for a community, you must:

A. Have a playerbase

B. Have communication

C. You SHOULD seek advice, or guidance from your players.

Let me start by saying that for a long time now, xG has been a very non-commercial, non-mainstream, mostly player-dictated community that really resembles a big friend group more than anything else. To apply a scale befitting large-scale servers to a locally oriented entity like xG is already hardly appropriate. Let me include the shoehorned food analogy by saying that it would be like comparing McDonalds to a ma and pa diner-- one is name-brand, oriented entirely on attracting new customers because it has competition, while the other knows everyone's face and who they are. xG has no competition, as it maintains its position as a uniquely tight-knit community with no particular focus, which hasn't been in massive demand in general these days, instead just doing whatever people want. This leads into my second bit.

22 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

Ok so lets say you're left with 6 points out of 30.  That's a 20 percent.  If we followed this exactly, that would be saying your community is good as dead, or rather more than it already is.  The fact that this kind of population has been plaguing the servers for months, and not a single event has been held, just blows my mind.  How do you build a business? Or a club? Through advertisement.  You know what the best advertisement is for communities? Your players.  If there is never anything going on why should they tell others to join them or even stick around? I'm sure the majority of people won't think twice about stepping away from the servers and going somewhere else, but you get them to invite their friends, all of a sudden they became their go to place to play.  That should be your goal.

Again, it's not appropriate to judge xG now with the same standards you could have judged it with 3 or 4 years ago; communities change, for better or for worse. We don't advertise largely because we believe it would be falling on deaf ears. We have a specific niche community and we stick to it, and in addition to this, the larger servers of our community are often games that would result in very little backing if we advertised for them. As for population, it wanes on and off as time goes on, but largely, xG TF2 is self sufficient. It requires very little from the people who manage and play it other than the necessary presence of staff to keep things chill, and higherups to maintain it, but generally it's in the hands of the players. It's a simple and straightforwards rationale.

22 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

This is aimed specifically at the higherups. I don't know if anything may be going on in any of your guys' lives and that's why you aren't able to work on the community, and if there is then I hope it improves for you, but quite frankly if you aren't able to or just aren't willing to work on it, why the hell are you even in a position of power?

This is a valid assumption. I do not speak for other higherups, but I've been absent for several weeks now, initially due to a bad case of the flu, and later due to an increased focus on life. As for the rest, see what I said above. 

22 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

Seeing the higherups not saying a damn thing about the state of really anything, and acting like everything is fine ( @hongkongatron )??

yikes bro

22 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

The majority of servers are completely dead, and the ones that still have population are only decreasing.  And I don't want to hear the excuse of it being school time, that's bullshit and we all know it is, there are plenty of other community servers out there full all the damn time.  Accepting the fact and doing something about it is a better choice, that is, if you care about the servers you claim to manage.

In my role as a higherup of xG, I try to interpret and act on the current state of my division to the best of my ability. This also involves speaking on behalf of the community as a mouthpiece of sorts. I have not claimed, nor do I believe that the presence of school starting back up is solely, or even partly, responsible for the waning population of TF2, or any division in xG. We instead acknowledge that, and again, it is based largely on the interests of the players, and so it is best to give the players as much of a hand in this as possible. As proof of this, in accordance with the changing interests of TF2, the TF2 populate role was created for that very reason, to let players more easily control the population in a more "organic" fashion rather, than trying to force population at a time when it would garner little interest, which became the main issue in population events. It was not under my management that other servers died, and what I do now I do in the pursuit of maintaining the population and playerbase that is left. To claim that we care little for the servers is contradictory to your actions of exploiting the trust xG placed in you by abusing what powers you had left that had accidentally not been removed.

23 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

I could be completely wrong, and everything could just be being posted to the discord, and if it is then fine

(the discord is almost entirely what xG's communication is based off of now lol, the forums are pretty heavy handed, for want of a better platform, when lots of things can just be posted in announcements there instead)

23 hours ago, Caleb956 said:

I was gonna type more but then I realized all of this will probably just get ignored like everything else so fuck it, that's the motto around here right?

image.png.4b3a8afa878ecba72d17ff49d217e654.png

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I decided to stew on this post for a bit before responding, and am glad that I did. I was not exactly sure how I would articulate my point that smaller, more tight knit communities (of which xG is not the only one) should not be compared to the larger ones that essentially run a(n) business/advanced daycare. As someone who was around in 2011/2012, to be honest I like the direction things have gone community wise. There is less drama, everyone, including the higherups, are more chill. Yeah, the servers are not popping 24/7 (at least for CS) like they were back in the day, but a large part of that is the diverse interest in games our community plays together

That being said, if we are speaking in terms of pure server population, then yeah a good chunk of what you said is true. There is definitely a lot of truth in the statement that higherups should try to run more pop events and communicate a bit better. But just to go over something important:

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

I don't know if anything may be going on in any of your guys' lives and that's why you aren't able to work on the community, and if there is then I hope it improves for you, but quite frankly if you aren't able to or just aren't willing to work on it, why the hell are you even in a position of power?

The vast majority of higherups now-a-days are 21+, have full time/part time jobs/are in college (or a combination), and just in general have to juggle adult life with online responsibilities. I will be the first to admit that I have not gotten on the servers as much as I should. But to paint with such a broad brush, that 'if you have an active adult life you should not be in a position of power' is a bit nonsensical. Maybe that was not your point and you did not word your argument very well, but that is essentially how it read to me.

 

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

Forums exist for a reason, it's kind of where, you know, COMMUNITIES get together.

This point is kind of muddied just solely on the point that discord is where most discussion takes place now. Back when we used teamspeak, and any really meaningful discussion pretty much had to occur on the forums, than this would be a good point. But now there are so many avenues for communication, that I would hardly call the forums the place communities get together.
 

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

The most I've seen is promo demos, which haven't even been posted since October, Lithium and Bleed do CSGO I would assume, Virr I have no idea anymore.

My understanding is that there is no reason to post promo demos unless there is actually something happening in that regard. So instead of just forcing it out, it is better to wait for some actual substance before posting it. 

 

So yeah. Despite what I wrote above, there is definitely some truth and rather reasonable criticism to your post. There is definitely more that we could be doing to help the servers.

That was where I was going to leave it, till I realized I never addressed your last paragraph, which is a bit... much.

 

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

I was gonna type more but then I realized all of this will probably just get ignored like everything else so fuck it, that's the motto around here right?

I honestly have no idea what this is even referencing. If you have examples of us willingly and intentionally ignoring stuff, than that would have been nice to reference.

 

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

I know I said I wasn't gonna care anymore, and after this I really don't give a shit what you decide to do, but it does push me in the wrong direction to see the current situation of literally nothing happening and the community being killed.

No response to the meaningless excuse-making in the first half of this, but just to reiterate something. xG, as a community, is not dying. If you want to make the statement the servers are dead/dying, that is perfectly reasonable, but as the community currently stands the servers are more an extension of the community, not the core of it.

 

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

I honestly give up with this place, if you want to ban me then please do so, if you want to actually take advice from anyone for once then please do so.

This is where it gets weirder. Under what pretext would you assume that you would be banned for making this? To me, this seems like a desperate attempt to seem like your 'sticking it to the man regardless of the consequences' which is pretty weird considering none of the higherups would ban you for posting criticism. Whatever your intention was with this remark, it was severely out of place.

 

On 1/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

And I don't apologize for being "too harsh" either, I can't believe I even had to make this post in the first place.  I'm out lmao

I don't really care about the 'harsh' language, as if you feel that is how you want to get your point across, then go for it. But at any rate, your entire post, which absolutely did have some helpful and meaningful criticism got completely derailed by this final paragraph, which reads like a shitpost. I don't even see a point in its inclusion, but I digress.

I have no personal issue with you, and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. If you ever do decide to return, you will be welcome.
 

tl;dr xG is a community that has evolved with its playerbase. It is not dying, though we could be doing more to help server pop.

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On 1/17/2020 at 8:58 PM, Caleb956 said:

I don't want to hear the excuse of it being school time, that's bullshit and we all know it is, there are plenty of other community servers out there full all the damn time.

I propose a solution: replace the higher ups with little children.

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@Caleb956 It seems strange that you got reported for abusing admin powers you weren't supposed to have just a little while ago but you apparently have the decency to explain to us what a community is supposed to be about.

The servers and this community specifically is based on the key idea that we want people to make friends and have fun while dedicated members willingly give up their FREE time to help moderate our servers. Server populations for custom servers on valve games are at an all-time low, and everyone is constantly growing and changing the games they play. 

Instead of forcing people to have resentment towards us and trying to force members to keep servers populated in games that they don't want to play, we would rather work with higher ups and either figure out solutions i.e. trying out a game that people want to play, or letting people do their own thing on our discord and trying to get people to have fun. Recently, we had a 15 person Rust group about 3 weeks ago, and we are constantly playing golf-it or other party games that people join. There are plans for Gmod in the works for months now because we want it to be good, and we also are ALWAYS open to suggestions. 

The idea that our servers that is paid for from Silence are not populated thus we are not a community anymore is absurd. 

On your second point of having communication is also baseless as one thing you are taught as a communications major is people get annoyed if you tell them things just for the sake of telling them. If there is nothing to update, what do you want us to post about? 

Your last point also ties into your second and that is communication is a two-way street. Listening is in fact even more important than talking, especially for higher-ups, and @virr and myself are on discord religiously. There is never a time that we can't be reached about any situation, doesn't matter if you are a non-member all the way to staff. If anyone feels you "shouldn't" reach us, please don't feel like that and we are always happy to help or listen in any way we can.

I'll leave this thread open for any further comments as I am genuinely curious as to what people have to say.

Edited by Aegean
grammar (see edit history)

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(i know im very late) jokes aside, i think a large problem that leads to declining player counts is just that a lot of the gamemodes and features the servers utilize are just not nearly as popular as they were a couple of years ago. if you go and search jailbreak into the tf2 server browser for example, theres usually only 1-2 jailbreak servers that have any players at all out of the many jailbreak servers on tf2. Furthermore, one would expect trade servers to be dead as the tf2 economy is essentially dead. i understand that a lot of people on the server would just play deathmatch as opposed to just trading, but playing deathmatch on the exact same couple of maps most likely gets old, especially with trading being killed off. as previously mentioned in this thread, people also just grow up. sure, games like tf2 and cs have a decent amount of players, but not as much as they used to. people leave these games behind as they get older. you can (constructively) criticize staff but at the same time keep note that theres some things they cant fix regarding the servers. 

 

sorry if i restated stuff already discussed, i didnt read every message in this thread

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