Open Plea to The Reforge Backers

killervp
killervp
edited November 2015 in General Archive
The link to the people that backed the Reforge is "here":https://www.obsidianportal.com/reforge_backers I am begging those that signed up as "Demigods", pledging $250 or more of their money, to start voicing their issues!
You signed up for lifetime membership, and at this rate this site will not last to the 3 year mark- that means you will have tossed away $130 of your money for no reason!
Start complaining! The only ones I saw on the list that have voiced anything are Kenurian and Maesenko....
Complain to the BBB. Report to Kickstarter. Go to the other businesses in Kaleidoscope. Please! I have gotten my $80 investment out, but you should be more angry than I am!!
Please, if you know the people on the list, get them involved- this is an outright disgrace.

Just trying to help out.

Comments

  • weasel0
    weasel0
    Posts: 375
    I did it to have the permanent wiki area with unlimited campaigns. Will it be crap to have the whole place die before I have gotten my money's worth? yeah. But sadly, who am I going to go after? That's part of the problem of doing Angel Investments....aka throw money at something hoping for a return. As has been pointed out on another series of KSs that don't need to be gone into here(anyone know who Ken...I'm sorry he's changing his name after moving states and erasing his never registered business' website.... Whit Whitman is?), unless the money gets pocketed for other things, aka personal use(which would be embezzlement/theft), the money goes bubye and that's really about it. If the company delivers(Shadowrun guys, Reading Rainbow etc.), great! IF it fails to, KS can't do anything about it. At this point no CC or banking institution is going to do anything about it(AFAIK-it's just been too long). What's the BBB or local State Attorney General going to do? Lay down costly lawsuits that nearly guarantee the closing of the site and a limited if any return of the spent $?

    (List lifted from your Jan 5, '15 post on the KS comments

    1- Maps: Bigger. .....sweet
    -A library of map markers – Different colors and shapes. .....Meh
    -Better connection with the rest of your campaign – .....wait...isn't this exactly the same thing as the markers only reworded?....Meh
    2- Name Generator: Not delivered. .......and don't care
    3- File Storage Locker: The free limit will climb to 250MB and the Ascendant limit will rise to 10GB. Delivered. ....sweet but....hot linking anyone(I know all media is broke right now so that crap)
    4- Custom Campaign URLs: .....While neat....seriously don't care.
    5- Mega Stretch Goal – I agree this should not have been put in place until after a fully working site was operational
    5a – Natural Editing -Not delivered. .....I only half care for the ease it would bring .....meh

    Though to be honest...while looking at the company page....it screams shell corporation as it's very pretty....and it's pretty. What...exactly do they do?

    PS-This forum is a pain in the ass though.
  • killervp
    killervp
    Posts: 2,734
    Thanks Weasel0! I agree that nothing really can get done- That is the problem with Kickstarter and other crowdsource sites. I just hope that more people like you complain, as this really sucks!!

    Just trying to help out.

  • berdman
    berdman
    Posts: 46
    I am one of the people who pledged to get the lifetime level. The main reason I did was to push for the Natural Editing goal, so the fact that we have not gotten this yet is disappointing to say the least.

    I have not been more vocal because I am not currently running a game so I don't run into the issues that the site is having, additionally my last group came together through Meetup so all the scheduling was done through there so I never really noticed the email issues.

    Finally I was waiting to see what happened after OP was purchased. I was hopeful that things would improve, but that has not happened.

    On the current situation this my take.

    1. Kaleidoscope has lost any good will that has been built by Alex and others over the last few months. The current forum issues and the complete radio silence is deafening and speaks volumes.
    2. The actions to date have drowned out the words and as others have speculated I think OP was acquired as a recurring revenue stream that would require light maintenance for a period of time. If this was the thinking then this is very concerning for the long term. I have been involved in the due diligence process on both the selling and buying side, and not understanding the potential issues that were open with OP means either the buyers were way over their head or they knew what they were doing and made the decision to not address those issues. Either way this does not inspire long term confidence. This opinion is based on their actions and may be completely wrong, but until their actions prove other wise this is my working framework.
    3. I have seen comments on the boards saying that people should be mad at those who sold OP and go easy on Kaleidoscope, but I don't see it that way. I feel that if the original owners were unable to deliver on what was promised in the Kickstarter, then selling OP to a company that had the resources to full fill those commitments and shepherd OP to be even better is commendable. It is hard to admit when you are overwhelmed for whatever reason, so to admit, own the problem and find a solution speaks volumes. Could they have sold sooner? Sure and could they have been more open about what was going on after the initial Reforge rollout absolutely, but at the end of the day I feel they did what they believed was the right thing in selling. The second reason I feel this way is the day the deal closed, Kaleidoscope inherited all the assets, liabilities and commitments of OP. Anything that was left to the original owners in the terms of the sale is not theirs, but if it was not then they own it. In the beginning giving them leeway because of the situation is fair, but after 2 or so months the lack of communication and movement was disappointing and their failure to deliver is 100% at their feet.
    4. I voted with my wallet during the Kickstarter, so I can't now. While we can raise a fuss it really won't do any good as they already have my money and they can probably justify everything about the Kickstarter if anyone was to try and make an actual legal issue of it. As much as I hate to say it the way to get their attention is for those that are still paying for Ascendant to vote with their wallet. If you are not happy with things not getting fixed, issues you are fighting with or promised features that have not been delivered than stop paying. If the revenue stream drops they will pay attention. But if people keep complaining and keep paying then nothing is really going to change.

    This is my take and represents my opinions and I have no personal knowledge of what is going on so everything is speculation. I would very much like to be proven wrong, as I have been with OP since April 2009 and started paying for Ascendant a few months after. I very much would like to continue using OP and for it to grow and get better.

    I have wanted to say something, but never knew where to put it or was to busy, so thank killervp for starting this thread and prompting me to put down what I have been thinking.

    In Response to the ugly forum issues, should we start a Redit?
  • berdman
    berdman
    Posts: 46
    Ran out of space in the previous post.

    Last thoughts:

    If I wanted to invest the time I could build my own site for a given game, but to match even what OP does today would be a pretty big time commitment, so that is why OP has value to me and why I have continued to use it, but there are limits and when I get ready to launch my next campaign I will have to think long and hard about how and where to host it and that to me is the ultimate failure. That someone who has Ascendant for ever without having to pay would consider using something else potentially paying again for the same things is not a good sign.

    That people who have been on OP for years and have given so much to the community are leaving. Some quietly and others letting everyone know but either way some of the value has been lost and may never be recaptured and I feel bad the new people will miss that. Even though I have never been terribly active on the Forums, I have found answers here to problems and gotten great ideas from the amazing work others have done so I have felt the losses that we have had to our community.
  • weasel0
    weasel0
    Posts: 375
    Well, at the very least the forums are now operational and Alex has given a three post response addressing various issues "here":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=4025&page=3#Item_9.
  • Stygianheart
    Stygianheart
    Posts: 6
    After reading the posts here I thought maybe I should throw something into the mix too. I'm pretty silent in the OP community, I haven't been active on many forums on the net for quite some time. I tend to browse for inspiration and only really get involved if I have an opinion on the matter discussed.

    I'm an OP lifetime member. I backed the kickstarter because I really loved the original site and the potential of the new site was really exciting to me. I'd been a subscriber for some time, but the promises of what were in store for OP convinced me to put up the money for a lifetime membership. I don't have much in the way of a disposable income due to being a stay at home carer and family man. And I used what little money I had saved and money I'd received as birthday gifts etc (which made things a little tight financially for a while) to help fund and support what I had come to see as an amazing RPG resource and community platform.

    I was really looking forward to the easier user interface, navigation, storage, natural editing, organising sessions and generally easier networking with other gamers. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed with how things have turned out.

    I used to really try to sell OP to friends and other gamers when the opportunity arose, telling them how much of a wonderful and versatile tool it was. But not anymore, in fact several of my friends that joined the site on my recommendation became subscribers, but left after all the problems started and I can't even get anyone in my group to participate on my campaigns I still have on the site. The loss of a lot of users that had pretty extensive campaigns on the old site that were messed up after the reforge was terrible and affected the community greatly.

    I hadn't used my campaigns for a while due to being a player in other campaigns, but my group wanted me to run the next game in our roster. so I came back to make use of OP, but have instead been collating notepad documents and media on my PC and communicating with/organising my group through facebook instead. Which I think is a crying shame, that there is a potentially wonderful site/resource right here, that I have paid for; but I'm instead doing it all myself off-site.

    Truth be told, I really miss the old site. I think that none of the promises have really come through. Navigation and user interface are a mess. And all the rest of the problems on top of that.

    I just feel that we are watching this site die slowly and terribly.
  • killervp
    killervp
    Posts: 2,734
    Thanks berdman and stygianheart for your feedback. I hope others also share.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Stygianheart
    Stygianheart
    Posts: 6
    I guess a lot of the Demi-Gods no longer use the forum...
  • killervp
    killervp
    Posts: 2,734
    Many obviously do not... sad, like most developments on the site.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Banzai_Aether
    Banzai_Aether
    Posts: 8
    I'm one of the ones on that Demi-God list. I don't frequent the forums as having two jobs, and three campaigns, leave me little time to go to the forums very much.

    So, for @andreww38 ... to keep this brief, I have a list of things that could use improvement:

    [ 1 ] find a way to increase server storage content for Game Masters. This can be constraining at times with maps, or images for items/people/etc.
    [ 2 ] There seems to be an issue with the Co-GM concept. @JarissaVenters is a Co-GM of one of my campaigns ( "Tales of Justice":https://dch-tales-of-justice.obsidianportal.com/ ) and has insane levels of issues with control over posts, etc. Some issues related to Co-GM problems are:
    [ 2.1 ] Co-GMs seem unable to reliably see what a GM posts. It's like a permissions issue in the user setting for Co-GM
    [ 2.2 ] Co-GMs are unable to edit forums posts, GMs can. That isn't right. Co-GM should be able to edit forum posts for a campaign like a GM.
    [ 3 ] When making forum posts, it is not always desired that it send an email to the ENTIRE gaming group. There needs to be a selection under a form for a forum post (just as there is for wiki entries) that allows who gets an email notification that the forum post was made.
    [ 4 ] When some of my players signed up, for unknown reasons, they are *always* marked as "email me" on anything I enter. Even if its GM only entries. At times, they get the email anyway, after I uncheck their name to try and keep them from being bothered about an email. This needs to be fixed, or the GMs need a way to manage this from the settings, being able to pre-check - or not - certain players with regards to notifications. ESPECIALLY if a player has to temporarily retire from playing ( they travel with their job, etc ), and needs to not get spammed by forum posts from a campaign.

    Nice to haves:

    [ 5 ] Random generators, similar to those found here: http://www.scifiideas.com/ ... while its not hard to open a different link, having the random generator for more than names ( such as technobabble ) draws players into using the particular obsidian portal based campaign.
    [ 6 ] IF the campaign is run online, what about a chat system that only works for online based campaigns?
  • killervp
    killervp
    Posts: 2,734 edited January 2016
    @Banzai For #4, it is really pretty simple. Have your players edit their profile, and uncheck the box to receive all emails. Problem solved.
    For #1, they have increased it to 10Gb for Ascendants- which obviously includes you. Even my over 1000 page site is only 5Gb.
    killervp
    "A God...Rebuilt":https://a-god-rebuilt.obsidianportal.com
    Post edited by killervp on

    Just trying to help out.

  • Banzai_Aether
    Banzai_Aether
    Posts: 8
    @killervp, For #1, I should have specified for GMs not Ascendants. But ... that does bring me to the maps section of a campaign. I noticed there is only a handful of maps allowed. Is that a space consideration? or what?
  • andreww38
    andreww38
    Posts: 239
    @Banzai ----

    @killervp, For #1, I should have specified for GMs not Ascendants. But … that does bring me to the maps section of a campaign. I noticed there is only a handful of maps allowed. Is that a space consideration? or what?

    There are 2 classes of GMs:
    1) Ascendant GMs
    2) non-Ascendant GMs

    Class #1 should not have any issues for the next 2-3 years of intense usage. If they do hit 10gb in disk storage used, we will be looking at alternative by the end of the year. These will include, in the coming weeks/months, a comprehensive file management system to list the assests/media that is taking up the bulk of storage. There's no existing code for this now, and the tech team will be working on a way to efficiently view assets/files by campaign and then managing them.

    Class #2 (non-Ascendant GMs): This has been at 2mb per free user account since 2013. I'm in discussions with management about this limit, about whether it should be adjusted, the expense for it, how it will be funded, etc. Will have an announcement in due time, but because it involves a large number of accounts (200k+ free accounts), we need to make sure it makes sense for everyone involved.

    ----
    The other issues you raised:

    [ 2 ] There seems to be an issue with the Co-GM concept. @JarissaVenters is a Co-GM of one of my campaigns ( Tales of Justice ) and has insane levels of issues with control over posts, etc. Some issues related to Co-GM problems are:
    [ 2.1 ] Co-GMs seem unable to reliably see what a GM posts. It’s like a permissions issue in the user setting for Co-GM
    [ 2.2 ] Co-GMs are unable to edit forums posts, GMs can. That isn’t right. Co-GM should be able to edit forum posts for a campaign like a GM.

    >>> You are probably correct in saying that a Co-GM is more like a user than a GM in terms of rights/abilities.
    We'll likely need to cut a new "Co-GM" class in the list of users/rights/privilege levels, and might even need an admin panel for the GM to decide which permissions to grant the co-GM.

    [ 3 ] When making forum posts, it is not always desired that it send an email to the ENTIRE gaming group. There needs to be a selection under a form for a forum post (just as there is for wiki entries) that allows who gets an email notification that the forum post was made.

    >>> I believe the intent for the forum is that it is a public space, hence the email notification to all. We can work in options to selectively mail members of the gaming group. Is this an options you'd use frequently? We'll likely schedule it after we get the big fixes in.

    [ 4 ] When some of my players signed up, for unknown reasons, they are always marked as “email me” on anything I enter. Even if its GM only entries. At times, they get the email anyway, after I uncheck their name to try and keep them from being bothered about an email. This needs to be fixed, or the GMs need a way to manage this from the settings, being able to pre-check – or not – certain players with regards to notifications. ESPECIALLY if a player has to temporarily retire from playing ( they travel with their job, etc ), and needs to not get spammed by forum posts from a campaign.

    >>> Thanks for the info about the context about excluding players, useful to have. How about a "vacation" mode for players so they will be excluded from email for a period of time? I think it'd be easier for the GM to manage, and the player can decide if they want to be on "vacation" for a period of time, or want to be excluded from all email because they are checking in every 1-2 days on the campaign anyway?

    Nice to haves:

    [ 5 ] Random generators, similar to those found here: http://www.scifiideas.com/ … while its not hard to open a different link, having the random generator for more than names ( such as technobabble ) draws players into using the particular obsidian portal based campaign.

    >>> There are plans for these in the long-term. In the short term, we'll be hitting the bigger pain points which have to do with natural editing, mapping, file uploading (some persistent bugs in the code base which our tech guys are working on), video embedding and the like.

    [ 6 ] IF the campaign is run online, what about a chat system that only works for online based campaigns?

    >>> Long-term, I would like to see the option for text-chat, voice-chat, video-chat. Realistically, it would happen in the later part of this year.
  • weasel0
    weasel0
    Posts: 375
    As feedback for [3], if I were to manage a game that didnt' fall apart online going, I'd use OP for all the campaign storage and whatnot but the PbP that would happen would occur over on RPOL.net for it was built specifically for PbP and as such is a better tool for it. OP is way better than any of it's wiki capabilities for information storage, organization but the forum capabilities here on OP pale in comparison to RPOL. That may be a bit more work than you want to look at until you have a great many other things fixed.

    As far as storage: wouldn't the cost be nothing until such a time as people use it? Okay so you promise 200k+ accounts all this extra storage space...doesn't someone out there offer expandable storage like CPU cycles? You don't need much processing so you only get assigned and pay for a small amount...until you do X and suddenly people are checking you out and trying out your services so the services you use scale up and charge you accordingly. (Google servers for example) There's no provisioning for this in the service you guys use? In this way you'd only have to get storage as people use it.
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