Obsidian Portal Launch Feedback

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Comments

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Thanks to everyone that has participated so far- keep them coming!
    I should as well.
    Obsidian Portal, pre-Reforge, was a very active community! When you started at the opening page, you would see campaigns recently worked on, and there always seemed to be someone new in the list. The forums were far more active, and we would always be sharing some new trick, or answering someone new' question. That honestly is what I miss the most!
    The Reforge was not cooperative at all. People would vote on what they wanted to see, and Micah would do whatever he wanted. The rollout we were promised would affect few campaigns- and the opposite was true! If anyone had any code whatsoever it was now broken. Many of us put in lots of hours (we estimated that we put in over 80, my players and I) fixing everything.
    Then we waited for the stretch goals, and waited, and waited.
    I love the ability to use CSS, and the larger space allowed me to not break up my campaign, but the rest was a disaster or still not delivered.
    By the way, by purchasing Obsidian Portal and not changing the name, the Kickstarter is now Kaleidescope's problem- not Micah's. They can sue him to get the money, but they have taken over the responsibility- and they have had it 9 months.....

    The 28th of October was the 2 year anniversary of the Reforge. Still waiting.
    killervp
    "A God...Rebuilt":https://a-god-rebuilt.obsidianportal.com

    Just trying to help out.

  • BearerOfTidings
    BearerOfTidings
    Posts: 28
    Thanks SkidAce! Learn something new everyday around here.
  • bluesguy
    bluesguy
    Posts: 127
    @killervp

    "The forums were far more active, and we would always be sharing some new trick, or answering someone new’ question. That honestly is what I miss the most!"

    So I use to be very active in a blues forum. It was not unusual to have a hundred or more new posts a day, sometimes a lot more when festival season was going on. Then the founder got very sick. He had to share the ownership with long time members. That went well. He eventually died and the site was moved to a new software forum package. The only good thing was that all the old information was moved but the whole layout and how it worked changed. Over time many long time members stopped participating and visiting and things got very quiet. Honestly I don't go there anymore either. It was sad and hard.

    And it is life. Things change. Communities change.
  • Leonidas300
    Leonidas300
    Posts: 271
    OK, now it is my turn. This will not be a short post, This will be a classic Leonidas300 post…

    For those of you who do not know me, I am Leonidas300, my campaign A Manifestation of Chaos won COTM in September 2012. Once upon a time I was very active on these forums, where I made dozens of friends and where I also shared my work with the community and have been honored by the fact that many people liked some of my stuff so much that they use it for their own games.

    “How much better or worse off is your Obsidian Portal experience, 2 years later”?

    I have left the portal. I let my Ascendant membership expire in April of 2015 and have no intention of renewing it. At one point I had 5 Ascendant members in my group and another 3 Ascendant GM’s in my area that I knew/introduced to the portal, currently none of them are Ascendant members and three of them have deleted their accounts entirely.

    Until recently, I had been using the portal just for the calendar and e-mail but since those proved to be unreliable; I’ve left altogether.

    For those of you who have been around, you know that A) I was extremely dissatisfied with the reforge and B) I actually did try to work it out and stay; I put weeks of effort into fixing MOC and even with vanguard help was never able to get it back to 100%, but in the end I could not reconcile putting effort into an endeavor not knowing what hair-brained change on the part of the developers would do to my work. (Not that they were really doing anything anyway)

    Now, I’ve tried to go back through the forums here and see what has been going on and here are my thoughts.

    I am not surprised things are still in such a state, not one bit.

    To avoid confusion I want to make this disclaimer right now – I have no issue with alex redeye or the other members of this inner council, in fact this inner council are the only bright light in all of this. (This disclaimer will not be the classic; I praise them only to piss on them seconds later) I think the entire council cares and are trying to make the portal better, the only issue I have with the council is that Killervp was not immediately picked for it. Got to be honest – singularly he has been the most responsible for trying to keep the portal together since the reforge went down; to not have him on the council is in my opinion insulting and a huge mistake.

    Here is what I do have issues with:

    #1 Our new benevolent overseers, what the hell are they? I saw the intros for two of them, one played in Jr. High and 1 has some Dragon Magazines, well color me unimpressed by those “gamer credentials”. (I have a thirty sided die, so I must be the second coming of Gygax by that definition)

    I went to their website which really should have been the first alarm in all this; can anybody tell me what they actually do? Do they even know what they do? Their Mission statement is very reminiscent of something right out of Harvey Birdman: “But no matter what we do, it all comes down to company's one mission statement: Putting clients first by putting employees first, immediately after prioritizing fiscal responsibility and leveraging profitability toward exceeding by empowering our employees to put clients (and themselves) first, in a diverse and respectful environment of only those that come first, first.”
  • Leonidas300
    Leonidas300
    Posts: 271
    cont.

    Says a lot, sounds good but is meaningless… totally meaningless

    I also notice the one section of their site where they show you the team, tons of CEO’s, Director’s, Managers and so on that leads me to question who are their Morlocks? (They have a ton of Eloi’s but seemingly no Morlocks).

    Next, I’ve seen this floating around a lot lately and want to call it for the BS it is. “They inherited a mess”
    NO!!! WRONG!!! They did not inherit a damn thing, they bought it, and there is a huge difference there, like Grand Canyon huge. They knew what they were coming into, or should have known so this shucks we just got stuck with all this out of nowhere should not fly with anyone.

    So let’s engage in some critical thinking here, ok?

    What was their strategic plan for the OP when they decided to acquire it? (anyone?) Surely, with so many CEO’s, Directors and such there was a plan? Surely they researched what it was they were buying! So what was the plan because it seems to me like they sat on their ass for 6 months or so, then scapegoated Jerry (the one guy on their team who actually has some passion for the OP, you can’t just summon passion, it is there or it is not) Yes, scapegoated is exactly the right term. The whole “I’d like to apologize for the lapses in communication and rude behavior that a number of you have encountered in recent months. We were horrified to discover this type of behavior towards the community and have swiftly made changes in staffing” was such crap. If Jerry was arguably rude to anyone it was me and let me be the first to say he was not rude and depending on the subject I may have had a hard reply coming. I ask hard questions and do not brook weak answers. Jerry if you are reading this, no offense was taken on any of our interactions.

    Before they scapegoated Jerry, which in all candor was likely the plan/back-up plan all along, what were the overseers having Jerry do? A T-shirt, never mind that a T-shirt does exactly jack-sh#t to solve any actual portal issue, the only thing a T-shirt does is generate revenue. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, these people bought the portal because it has decent potential for subscription based revenue. What was going to be next on Jerry’s list a pog? an action figure? A dice bag? How about solving issues or actually having Jerry provide real updates? It is woefully apparent Jerry was being muzzled and In essence, it appears Kaleidoscope did not really research anything, thinking they’d come in fix a few things and have a nice steady base of subscription income every month and a stable customer base for 1-shot revenue generators to put towards other endeavors. Also why is Jerry still listed as an employee on your website? It really does not inspire confidence that you cannot update your own rather unremarkable site when you are trying to run a complicated one, does it?

    So again what was the strategic plan Kaleidoscope?

    Let’s ask another question: What would have happened if there was no Alex redeye? You clowns got extremely lucky finding him, let’s not pretend otherwise or try to pretend that was your plan from the get go because if it were why was there the 6 months of nothing? An announcement of hiring one of the portals own out of the gate would have served you much, much better.
    Another question why was Alex even needed? You took over the portal with no one able to actually do anything on it? And yes I read the thing about the one tech team, another scapegoat, where was your “CEO of Oversite” none of you geniuses followed up on or noticed nothing was getting done? So again you got really lucky finding him. Not sure customers want to pony up cash based on luck though.
  • Leonidas300
    Leonidas300
    Posts: 271 edited November 2015
    cont

    I jump off Kaleidoscope’s neck now for a bit. Let’s go to #2 issue

    The portal community: Once the portal community was the gem of the internet’s gaming communities. Absolutely the best, hands down, now it looks fractured, tired and defeated. 90+% of the post are tech based issues, that is a huge turn off, especially for the older gamers (you know most of the ones who actually run a game and would pay for a membership). I don’t want to come off as a I told you so but almost two years ago I made in my opinion a very passionate and concise “Post”:http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=3394&page=6 outlining troubling issues that were damaging the portal community. I look back today and almost all of them are still issues, one especially ignored at the time and will be now is barrier to entry. Working the portal may not actually be any harder than it was 2 years ago but it sure appears that way. I know several people on other sites I am on mention that it does not seem worth the trouble and really based on what is going on who can dispute that?

    Sitewide Search – probably the most important feature – gone
    Updated site stream – really useful for reaching out in real time – gone
    Fanning sites – tried just 10 minutes ago – could not
    Search by popularity – can’t
    The forums and sub forums on the campaign pages are nowhere near as useful or manageable.
    I have not looked at campaign or adventure log comments.

    Issue # 3
    All of the tech issues that are over a year old, but that mostly goes hand in hand with issue #1

    Lastly, I will say I’ve noticed a shift in killervp attitude and some of the responses to him have been thinly -veiled irritation. That should stop, he has done more for the portal than most three active people combined, the fact that he has not quit should be applauded. I feel your pain on this killer, it is not easy to be vocal on subjects people want to sweep under the rug.

    PS – “And it is life. Things change. Communities change” – way wrong answer… community built the portal, community sustains the portal, you change that and there will be no portal.

    "Leonidas300":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/metzger/wikis/leonidas300
    "A Manifestation of Chaos":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/metzger/wikis/main-page
    COTM - Sept. 2012
    Post edited by Leonidas300 on
  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 1,000
    (Crossposted from my Shadows Discussion)

    I'm putting this here to let everyone know ahead of time. I have about had it with the Technical errors and glitches in OP that have sprung up recently. I am currently looking for a new home for Shadows. This hurts me greatly, but I have a campaign starting in a few months and if I need to move from OP to a site that actually FUNCTIONS, I will and need to start doing so soon as I have ALOT of pages and information to move. I am not happy about this, and I am not looking forward to it, but things that were working are broken, and now even the forums are bothced.

    Keelah Se'lai,
    Keryth
    "Shadows Over New York":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shadows-over-new-york
    "2013 Campaign of The Year":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/2013-coty-shadows-over-new-york/
    "Campaign of the Month July 2013":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/shadows-over-new-york-julys-campaign-of-the-month/

  • MdBLimited
    MdBLimited
    Posts: 20
    From the Status Update on the Blog dated 08/26/2015:

    OP REFORGED: KICKSTARTER UPDATES
    Speaking of new content, I have some news about the as of yet to be delivered stretch goals from the Kickstarter. We have all been patiently awaiting the release of the updated File Locker and the Natural Editing. Tech let me know that these are actually all set to go as soon as we can push an update. So, once those technical issues I mentioned above are cleared we should be seeing these items get rolled out to the site. On a personal note, I think I am most excited about the natural editing, but that might just be me.

    Status: Completed, awaiting resolution of technical issues above.
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    @Leonidas- When I talk about the people I miss, and the community I miss, you are one of those that immediately come to mind. This post is exactly why- you point out what is truly the issue, and pull no punches.
    Thanks for the kind words, and most of all, thanks for being you. I agree that Jerry was a scapegoat- taking nothing away from Alex, who is great.
    You are missed!

    Just trying to help out.

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    @MdBLimited- Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Just trying to help out.

  • kettle
    kettle
    Posts: 72
    I have to agree with Leonidas300. I also checked out Kaleidoscope’s website and not only has it not been updated in a while, clicking on the blog link I received “Error establishing a database connection.” If they can’t even maintain their own blog, how can we trust them to fix the issues on Obsidian Portal?

    In the Message from the CEO blog post on Sept. 17, 2015, the CEO stated “Know that Alex is not the person at whom you should be directing any displeasure. Know that he is truly your pipeline to the Company owners. And we hear you. And we hear him. Please remain patient a while longer and let’s see what we can do by working together to make OP a world-class gaming community.”

    I do not blame Alex_redeye or any of the programmers. I blame the CEO Keith Allaun and whoever under him that is in charge of Obsidian Portal specifically. Kaleidoscope choose to purchase OP. This was a business decision. Why are they not treating it like a business? They obviously saw the potential for OP otherwise they would not have bought it.

    As far as making OP a “world-class gaming community,” A few years earlier it was getting there. OP had the one of the best communities in the gaming industry. But the lack of attention, the constant broken promises and thing continuing to break has ruined that community. Kaleidoscope has had a chance to fix/improve this site and community for more than 6 months. Instead we get less and less attention. Less and Less fixes.

    OP should not be thought of as a “gaming website” or a “Gaming Community.” OP is a business. As I stated in another thread, my wife and I have given over $2,000 to this website. I pay for 3 Ascendant Accounts for me, my wife and a friend. I have five other friends who also have Ascendant Accounts.
    This is a service that we pay money for. Any other website would rush to have the forum issues fixed within hours. Why? Because that is part of their service. Without a service what am I paying for?

    Understand that OP is not an essential purchase. I have been GMing games since 1986. In the past I used a 3 ring binder to hold all of my notes. I could easily go back to that. I went with OP because of the features it provided, but now it is not providing all of those features. Why pay $15 per month (3 accounts), when I can buy a 3 ring binder for $2.50 and get the same result. If I wanted an online solution I have Onenote with my Microsoft office subscription.

    So Kaleidoscope as a company needs to realize that while we love OP and are willing to pay for a good online campaign management service, if the site does not work; if we are not getting the service we are paying for, why pay for it?

    So Keith Allaun needs to get his ship in order. Whoever is specifically in charge of Obsidian Portal needs to either fix the issue or be fired. I don’t even know who is in charge of OP. I looked around and could not find out who is in charge. If I missed that announcement please let me know.

    My point is Kaleidoscope has been messing up this site for a while now. It is time they get back to work and fix these issues, or they will soon find their revenue dry up. Which will make them sad and will make us member sad, because it will mean the death of OP.

    Kettle
    "Rise of the Dead":https://rise-of-the-dead.obsidianportal.com/wikis/main-page
    Campaign of the Month June 2013
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,920
    For Frith's sake PLEASE FIX THIS NEW ERROR!!!!!! This is absolutely embarrassing in the light of all that is being said. I don't even know what this new MESS is, but it is HORRIFYING that a Forum Page could get like this on top of all the other problems!

    People are REALLY starting to leave the site now and who can blame them.....

    twiggyleaf

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • RaseCidraen
    RaseCidraen
    Posts: 890
    This is quite possibly one of the weirdest errors I have ever run into on this site, hands down.
  • deljohn
    deljohn
    Posts: 24
    The error has been appearing for a couple of days now. Also, the reply box is sitting in the middle of the first response on each page... Major formatting error...
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    @kettle- Really well said- I quoted you in the most recent blog post.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Praesi
    Praesi
    Posts: 31
    Heeellloooo! Me again :-)
    Would anyone of the OP/Kaleidoscope guys PLEASE show just a tiny bit of RESPECT for their paying customers and crawl out of their hobbit hole in the ground? CEO anywhere? Community manager somewhere in sight? Seem to be busy searching for someone to blame. I'd even listen to the cleaning lady - I guess her IT-abilties can't be worse... .
    Sorry for being so provocative - but YOU started the hole offense to the community by knowingly making false promises and keeping your lips shut when everybody is waiting for some crumbs.
    Get your a***s up and talk to us!
  • DreadGazebo
    DreadGazebo
    Posts: 218
    Oh hi guys, I'm still here, but they fired me. :(
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    I know that Alex is doing his best, just as Jerry did- and yes, Jerry, thanks for still being here and caring. I just want someone other than Alex to take some of the blame and tell us if they are going to fix it or not.

    Just trying to help out.

  • DreadGazebo
    DreadGazebo
    Posts: 218
    Oh, I wasn't trying to knock Alex. I feel for him. Being told about sunshine and roses over on the other side of the fence and then getting a sack pulled over his head. Poor guy, i"m sure he's trying to make the best of things. I have a drink on his behalf every now and then.
  • Krothos
    Krothos
    Posts: 230 edited November 2015
    I get the feeling that Alex is either no longer the "Community Manager" or is no longer with OP. Either case it appears that the new owners of the website is letting this project continue with no support until they have to renew the website licensing/registration.
    Post edited by Krothos on
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Hoping for info from Bluesguy after his meeting with management- Alex is still with OP.

    Just trying to help out.

  • bluesguy
    bluesguy
    Posts: 127
    Please look at the "thread":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=4088&page=1#Item_1 concerning the forum software

    Alex is still the Community Manager.
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,920
    Thanks!

    Credit where it's due! I am so glad the FORUM is looking and working NORMAL now!

    twigs

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Still hoping that the so called "priority list" is shared someday, and that perhaps one of those "priorities" could get fixed.
    Some of the "priorities" are over 2 years old.
    Even if they became a "priority" they have not been fixed in the over 9 months that Kaleidoscope has owned the site.
    Thanks Bluesguy for making sure at least one thing got fixed.
    killervp
    "A God...Rebuilt":https://a-god-rebuilt.obsidianportal.com

    Just trying to help out.

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Make that 2 things fixed.

    Just trying to help out.

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Nothing from Alex since 11/21- 18 days now.
    Nothing from someone other than Alex since September 17th and the infamous CEO message.
    The silence is deafening.

    Just trying to help out.

  • RaseCidraen
    RaseCidraen
    Posts: 890
    As a completely unrelated note, and from a purely informational point of view has anyone found a different wiki-based service that fulfills a similar role to OP?
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    No, but working on getting one.

    Just trying to help out.

  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    "Draft Test Campaign for Emergency Failure of Primary":https://sites.google.com/site/alfaysia/
  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    "Original Primary":https://alfaysia.obsidianportal.com/
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