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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bring Out Your Dead! Ere Now - Is ENWorld Dead?


Last night on Twitter, Morrus, the main man behind ENWorld, was involved in multiple discussions regarding the "obsolescence" of forums as news sites or hubs.

He puts the blame squarely on:

Facebook- did i mention I personally hate Facebook?

Youtube- because you know, it's so easy for the average person to produce a game related video that looks professional and uses celebrities

Company owned websites- how DARE companies have their own forums!

Celebrities- This means YOU Will Weaton!

Blogs- the bane of all existence, especially when those evil game making companies run one.

Apparently G+ is a pimple on the ass of the internet. He doesn't see it as a news distribution method or a threat to his business model.

Oh yeah, that's right - ENWorld is a business. It makes money off ads and subscriptions from it's numerous users (more like a donation). For the longest time it was one of the slowest sites to load on the internet. It seems to have gotten past that, but whether that is due to increased bandwidth or lower traffic numbers, I couldn't tell you.

I used to go to ENWorld fairly religiously before 4e hit the market - and the forums. It wasn't the edition wars that soured me, but it was the changing of ENWorld slowly to something with more flash and obviously more of a commercial appeal. Heck, even finding the forums these days can be a chore.

The more the site changed, the slower the traffic / postings seem to be. There's been less and less of anything I wanted to add my thoughts to, let alone read.

Damn shame.

Morrus wanted to know where online "communities" were going to go if forums withered and died? The answer is simple enough - Facebook, G+ and blogs (which already form a loose community). It might not pay anyone a salary, but the communities are going to go where their interests are served best.

One good thing did come from last night's twitter threads - I realized I was still paying $14.99 every 4 months as a Silver Supporter of ENWorld - a site I visit 2 or 3 times a month. The community has been leaving ENWorld for a while - the posters whose threads I would search out have moved on. So I canceled my supporter account.

I'm sure I can find a way to spend those $45 a year that will better support my gaming habit.


9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I check on occasional forums, RPGnet being a big one, along with UKroleplayers, but it's a bit hit and mess compared to G+ where you pick the news the want, and blogs, which have to maintain a high standard by necessity to keep people engaged.

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  3. Enworld sucks balls. They are knee deep in WotC's hip pocket and only give a rats ass about 4th and/or the most recent edition. There's way more to gaming than that.

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  4. Well, personally, I think the marketing campaign of 4e sowed the seeds of discord. The mods at ENWorld decided to pretty much allow trolling of past editions of D&D and Pathfinder, but not allow any complaints about 4e.

    Okay, I'm probably overstarting things, but I got banned from the site for complaining about people trolling the Pathfinder threads. Even though it was only a temporary ban, I didn't go back until the 5e announcement, and things seem to be no different.

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  5. I quit ENWorld some time ago, the moderators made it seem pretty clear that if you weren't on board with 4E then it wasn't a place for you.

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  6. I haven't bothered with en world much at all for 5 or so years now. It was once relevant to me, it long-since ceased to be so.

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  7. I don't know about the community, but I do feel that Enworld's generally slow load times and lack of accessible design has to have hurt it. I can get into other rpg sites pretty quickly but with Enworld I often open it up then go to another window while I wait for the site to load.

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  8. Oh, I was alos just reminded that a big part of Enworld's problem is its lack of news. Just looked at it again, and as usual its mostly entries that are talking about WotC's latest posts or Paizo's latest posts. Which is not news, and I've already visited both of those sites. I remember long ago Enworld was the best place to go to read about 3PP support....not anymore.

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  9. I don't know how bad it sucks because every time I get a wild hair and go visit it to see how bad it is, it loads like I'm on dial-up, and frankly, that would be a deal killer for me even if it were a forum dedicated to TSR editions instead of current ones.

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