What happened, GB?

Anything goes... just keep it clean.
AvatarOfLight
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Postby AvatarOfLight » Sun May 22, 2011 5:29 am

Stworca wrote:[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke"]Sigh...[/url]

I hoped that such a radical exaggeration (Gay terrorist that eats children) would be enough. Now that it's possible that some of my statements were slightly less than serious, let us go through them once again, ahoy!


Since you're so fond of wikipedia XD
Poe's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Postby LastDanceSaloon » Sun May 22, 2011 7:32 am

If anyone dares parody MY beliefs, they will hear my wrath!

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Wrathful tag-line :mad:

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Postby Claudius » Sun May 22, 2011 11:48 am

I actually did my masters degree in pastafarian studies... could be poe's law again :)
Right Speech has four aspects: 1. Not lying, but speaking the truth, 2. Avoiding rude and coarse words, but using gentle speech beneficial to the listener, 3. Not slandering, but promoting friendliness and unity, 4. Avoiding frivolous speech, but saying only what is appropriate and beneficial.

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Tamerlane
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Postby Tamerlane » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:56 am

This old thing is still around.... I love it! :D
!

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Xandax
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Postby Xandax » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:32 am

Tamerlane wrote:This old thing is still around.... I love it! :D


You talkin' to me? Are you, talkin' to me?

:laugh:
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Ned Flanders
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Postby Ned Flanders » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:42 am

Tamerlane wrote:This old thing is still around.... I love it! :D


It's still around but you know it's quiet when page 1 goes back 40+ days.

The internet's grown quite a bit over the years and there's so many avenues to vocalize these days, people can't be everywhere even if they can go anywhere while sitting at a computer...or a phone.
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Postby Tamerlane » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:38 pm

G'day Xan :)

Looks like Buck needs to invest in a GB app then? :D
!

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darkrauser
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Postby darkrauser » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:19 pm

I know this is an older thread, but I just happened to see it when checking the forums. I'd just like to reiterate the points some other people said and add my own thoughts on them. The game industry and the web has changed quite a bit since BG2 first came out.

1. New RPGs in general much easier to beat these days. Some of them may have special achievements that are difficult, but the main questline or campaign can be finished without the need for looking up strategies from a a website. Most of them don't have any puzzles, and if they do they can be solved almost instantly by inspection.

2. New RPGs in general are shorter than older ones. With so much of the budget going towards graphics, there is less time and talent spent on fleshing out gameplay. Many new RPGs don't have much replayability or possible outcomes to explore that some might want to look up on a website.

3. Dedicated fansites - Almost every big release these days has a slew of fansites to go with it. Not only that, making your own website these days is cheaper and easier than ever before. I know with myself, I tend to dedicate my time to one game at a time. In that situation I'm more likely to go to a specialized website for the game I am playing rather than a more general one like GameBanshee. Some general gaming websites like Gamespot or Steam have a lot of forum activity, but that's only because they have such huge traffic numbers coming through.

4. Web 2.0 - Websites that allow for user-added content and incorporate it well into the site are ultimately more compelling than web 1.0 websites where readers are passive. Wikis are the chief example of this, but even a mostly static websites have the ability for user comments on most pages.

So my one suggestion is with this last point (4). Almost every static page should have the ability for comments to be added at the bottom. This doesn't make sense for all pages (like a search page), but it should be added as much as possible.

Since the first commenting systems, there have been a number of improvements such as the ability vote comments as good or bad. Good comments become highlighted or brighter while bad comments become darker or disappear entirely. Many websites also hand out points of some sort which are displayed on participants' comments and their profiles. These points are essentially the same thing as gamer points on Xbox, but I can tell you from experience, they really get people to contribute.

Here's some examples of modern commenting systems:
Blizzard's [url="http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/game/unit/scv"]Starcraft 2 website[/url] - Even developer websites have commenting these days. This page is a specific unit in the game, the comments providing constantly evolving dialogue about that unit. So in a way, the static page becomes it's own forum thread. This is a strategy game, but the same idea can be applied for an RPG. Just for example BG2 on GameBanshee, each class, monster, item, skill, etc. would have its own page with comments.
[url="http://www.wowhead.com/class=11#comments"]Wowhead.com[/url] - This is a dedicated site for WoW. Items, spells, monsters, etc. all have their own page with a comments section. The comments are the most important thing on the entire site. There are plenty of websites with the same data. It's the comments that keeps people going to Wowhead. Commenter profiles record how many positive comments they make. There is also a simple achievement system on the site for doing desired things (mostly submitting good content).
[url="http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1569272/what-is-the-c-equivalent-of-calendar-in-java"]Stack Overflow[/url] - This is part of a larger network of Q&A sites, but the principle is the same. Users gain points for answering questions which gives them more credibility in future contributions they make. Translating this into comments, people with consistently good comments gain more credibility in later comments they make. This is the main incentive for a points system. No one gets an advantage over others, just a little more recognition maybe.
There are many more examples than these, but the idea is the same.

As Buck said, the traffic has shifted to the static game pages. Get those people involved in commenting with a Forums button in a prominent position on the page, and maybe the forums will see more of that traffic. I know this would probably be way too big an undertaking, but I think it's one option to improve the site. Sorry for such a long post.

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Postby Xandax » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:24 am

LOL - Web 2.0 buzzword. Ain't heard that in a about 3 years. Web 2.0 is over, gone, past. We're already in to the next paradigm of the internet. Social networking. Social driven content. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. LinkedIn - and what not.

And funnily enough - a forum is Web 2.0. :laugh: All the stuff written here is user driven content. The blogs - yup, "web 2.0", news comments - likewise.
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darkrauser
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Postby darkrauser » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:49 pm

Xandax wrote:LOL - Web 2.0 buzzword. Ain't heard that in a about 3 years. Web 2.0 is over, gone, past. We're already in to the next paradigm of the internet. Social networking. Social driven content. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. LinkedIn - and what not.

And funnily enough - a forum is Web 2.0. :laugh: All the stuff written here is user driven content. The blogs - yup, "web 2.0", news comments - likewise.


Anything social driven fits into web 2.0, including social networking. Social networking may be an evolution of the idea, but it still fits within the bounds. Also like Buck said, the game spaces get the most traffic. My guess is a lot of those people don't even know there are forums. They just find it through a google search, get the info they want, and leave not even knowing there are forums.

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Postby Bloodstalker » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:53 pm

Wow, been a long time since I've been here,and yet some threads never die. :D

One thing I've noticed is that video is taking the place of text in a lot of ways. Game guides are good, and I still use text based guides when I get stuck. But more and more it seems like people getting stuck in games are just going to youtube for the answers.

It's not that people don't get stuck anymore. In fact, most of the questions about games I recall seeing over the years here were pretty basic questions.Often the person asking would have found the answer if they'd kept playing for 10 more minutes instead of stopping at the first sign of an issue and making a thread.

Now they can just go to youtube and see the answer played out on the screen. Most games have video walkthroughs posted over there by users. They get a ton of views based on how many comments those videos get thanking the uploaders for helping them out too. So the need is still there for a lot of people to have their questions answered. Hard to believe sometimes when a lot of games have map markers for each quest and mostly hold your hand, but a lot of people still need help. But video walkthroughs are fast replacing text and screen captures as the primary mode of resolving these questions I think. You don't need a complete and finished walkthrough to answer questions people might have about the prologue to Witcher 2 for example. It's more effective to just post these things as you goso you can keep pace with demand.

It would seem like they would be easier to do as well. You'd just have to record your playthrough without having to write up everything after the fact. Putting up sections as you complete play without waiting for the entire game to be finished and written up would go a long way towards keeping up with other sites as well. Frankly, the speed in which GB produces walkthroughs lags pretty badly these days. It's just not reality to expect people to wait even a couple weeks after a game is released before posting up a detailed walkthrough for it. I know GB has a youtube account, so I would suggest trying to do video walkthroughs for games in sections like other people do to try and keep pace if that is at all an option.
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Postby galraen » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:15 am

Excellent post Bloodstalker, and point very well made. The dilemma for GB when it comes to using YouTube or Facebook is that directing traffic there is likely to reduce traffic here even more, and eventually that is going to impact on advertising revenue. On the other hand that is happening already as you point out, a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

Text problem solutions do have one advantage though, you can print them.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby Xandax » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:29 am

darkrauser wrote:Anything social driven fits into web 2.0, including social networking. Social networking may be an evolution of the idea, but it still fits within the bounds.


Just as "Web 2.0" is an extension of the forums from "Web 1.0" days, but just in a new fancy buzzword. Well, new and new.
There was never actually any new things in Web 2.0. Web 2.0 was never anything but marketing-speak.
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BuckGB
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Postby BuckGB » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:03 pm

Thanks for the continued comments, guys. I'm about to head out for the 4th of July weekend, but I wanted to address a couple of Bloodstalker's points first:

Bloodstalker wrote:Frankly, the speed in which GB produces walkthroughs lags pretty badly these days.


The reality is that I wish we could kick walkthroughs out faster, but GameBanshee's scope is much larger than it used to be (there was a time when I only had to worry about BG2 content morning, noon, and night) and I have a wife, three kids, and a dog vying for my time these days :) . Between posting news, taking care of administrative tasks, handling our social portals and YouTube channel, updating our RPG database, and working on our 80+ subsites, it just doesn't leave a whole lot of time for me to do walkthroughs. As such, that burden typically falls on Steven, and he's a busy guy, too.

Bloodstalker wrote:I know GB has a youtube account, so I would suggest trying to do video walkthroughs for games in sections like other people do to try and keep pace if that is at all an option.


They might be easier and faster to create, but we simply could not survive financially if we did video walkthroughs. Getting into YouTube's partnership program is very tough, and even with Google ads, there would be very little money to be made in order to cover our monthly expenses. On top of that, it would likely only result in a reduction in traffic, which wouldn't be a good thing for the future of our community.

Ultimately, I feel that we've still carved a nice little niche over the years. Are we the first site with a review, preview, or walkthrough for a game? No. But our articles typically go very in-depth and span several pages, and many of our walkthroughs are comprised of hundreds of thousands of words worth of text and dozens of annotated maps. We may not help those people who pick up the game within the first month, but anyone who waits for the game to be discounted or simply doesn't have time to pick it up until several months later will usually have our plethora of content awaiting them.

Beyond that, I am working on even more features for the site and GameBanshee will continue to evolve as time goes on. It's disappointing to see the forum traffic taper off, but we're not going anywhere, and it's hard to say what the future might bring.

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Postby galraen » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:39 pm

Thanks for the update Buck, we certainly appreciate the time and effort you put in, let alone the blood, sweat and tears (Cue 'Thank you for letting me be myself' :D ).

Those of us who do visit regularly, and this is one of just five sites 9including checking my E:Mail) that I always visit at least one a day, may kick over the traces from time to time, but we come here because we love the site and the ethos you have given it.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby QuenGalad » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:54 pm

I second that. I was not drawn to GB by walkthroughs, or novelties, or anything "sparkly" for that matter. It was "just" the people that took time to participate, and quite a lot of them are still around. All the other stuff can be found elsewhere, but there's still a chunk of GameBanshee flavour that does not get old, just mature :D
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Postby chickenhed » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:24 pm

I just wanted to chime in here for a moment.

I first came to gamebanshee because of their outstanding Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 walkthroughs. This would have been some time in 2000 or 2001 (I don't recall exactly).

I have been coming here for guides exclusively ever since. While I am not very active on the forums here (nor anywhere for that matter), I greatly appreciate the politeness and mature attitude of it's members.

So I suppose this post is a quick "thank-you" to the people behind this great site. It is greatly appreciated by me (and many others) for over a decade now.

Thank-you.

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Postby jklinders » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:27 am

Good to hear from you Buck. I'm just gonna add that I don't mind a wait for the walkthroughs and reviews. You guys do for free a quality of walkthrough that many people pay good money for. It's worth a wait.

As for the delay on reviews, well for my part I don't need them as I usually use my own judgement on the game to decide if I'm buying or not. However if a friend is on the fence about a game I will reference your reviews above all others as you do not post them until you know what's there to talk about. Where other sites spend a few hours or maybe days, you guys give it weeks. So i know you have put a lot of thought in your opinions.

These 2 things makes gamebanshee's editorial staff awesome.

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Postby C Elegans » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:43 pm

QuenGalad wrote:I second that. I was not drawn to GB by walkthroughs, or novelties, or anything "sparkly" for that matter. It was "just" the people that took time to participate, and quite a lot of them are still around.


Totally agree. I was drawn to, and stayed for many years, at GB because of the unusal mix of people. This specific mix was a selection drawn out by the characteristics that games like Baldurs Gate I & II and Planescape had back then. I don't think there are any games around now that have a similar position and similar features in relation to other games, that BG and P:T had then. If you look around more closely, you can still find groups of gameplayers that are similar to the old GB crowd within other contexts, but the truth is that I don't have time to play computer games anymore. And Facebook has helped me stay in touch with several of the old GB members, which makes the social function of SYM reduntant to me personally. However, I still look at GB when I want to find information about new games. Where else? :)
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Postby moltovir » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:57 pm

my 2 cents: despite the quite "pessimistic" tone in this topic, the majority of posts in here are still at least twice as long as the internet standard, and most of them are from people that have been members for 5+ years (which, again by internet standards, is kind of comparable to the age of the universe). So, at least for me, GB hasn't lost much of its old grandeur :) I do plead guilty to only spending time on the game websites and basically none at all on the forums. But since I'm planning to spend part of this summer on PS:T I'm sure that'll change - if only for silly questions ("why is there no armour in this game?!!")
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