Obsidian Portal - site update (Jan 2016)

124

Comments

  • Leonidas300
    Leonidas300
    Posts: 271
    So I have some thoughts here...

    First, where-as I had been an Ascended Member for years at this point I am a free user... According to the KS free users were supposed to be granted 250mb but let's be real that is way too much space for free especially considering an easy 80%+ of campaigns are just a bare bones page.

    My own campaign "A Manifestation of Chaos":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/metzger/wikis/main-page which has a tremendous amount of content (somewhere in the neighbor hood of 400+ wiki pages, 100's of pictures, some Youtube videos and so on) rates in at File Storage Locker - Storage Used: 186 MB | Storage available -193088470 Bytes ( -9207.18%) so just being real here, if you can do all that for free, there is little motivation to upgrade and one of Chainsaw's several good points is that it takes money to keep things going.

    My problem is; that again as Chainsaw points out, the 2MBaccount limit is pretty stifling to the user experience. There is no way that is enough space for me to test enough things to my satisfaction to make a decision to renew my Ascendant Status, nor for a new user to feel anything but pressured into upgrading. I would have to see several things working and working well before I'd even consider it.

    personally 10mb seems like a good number to me.

    "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
  • Basileus
    Basileus
    Posts: 589
    The other way to monetize free users is ad revenue. Put ads EVERYWHERE! Yay!
  • AaSampson
    Posts: 20
    Basileus you would invite dark things into OP...
  • Basileus
    Basileus
    Posts: 589
    It is the will of the All-Spider.
  • GrayGriffin
    GrayGriffin
    Posts: 19
    I actually don't mind ads much at all, as long as they don't involve so much animation that it slows down page loading. I also don't like ads that appear in the middle of forum threads. Even then, I never use adblock.
  • ChainsawXIV
    ChainsawXIV
    Posts: 530
    Years ago, there _were_ adds everywhere. I didn't actually realize until I looked last night that there weren't any more (no-adds was originally the only feature of subscription to the site). I don't recall when they were taken out, but I assume the choice was driven by a combination of low add impressions (I expect that daily page loads here aren't actually all that high, since it's a service business rather than a traffic driving one), and negative impact on the user experience.
  • andreww38
    andreww38
    Posts: 239
    Good to see healthy discussion going.

    At this point, the free storage locker allocation is still open and all your feedback is being compiled and sent to the powers-that-be.

    -
    To clarify:
    1) If you're ascended, build out a lot of stuff (even 10gb worth), you retain everything, even if you return to the mortal realm 30 days later. The monuments you built, remain intact. There's no "hand of god" that obliterates the Acropolis, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

    2) We see free users as an important part of the community, because they comprise 95% of the user base. A large chunk of these accounts are player accounts, a smaller number are GMs. I am guessing that it's mainly the GMs who are having issues with the smaller file storage allocations.

    3) OP needs to function as a viable business in the long term. There is a "game balance" issue that I'm juggling, between managing the budget to get bug fixes, feature upgrades in, manage staffing costs (we love the game, so "working" here is quite a pleasure and at the same time, we need to support our families, have financial obligations, etc). If we up the file size, then there will be adjustments in other areas like bringing on more coding talent to accelerate the pace of feature development, etc.

    So while we would like to give more ascendant features to free users, and accelerate the pace of bug fixes, feature development, improve our hardware to the point of millisecond response time when you're updating a wiki or doing server-intensive tasks and achieve all these goals simultaneously, the reality is that this isn't possible. Or, at least I haven't figured it out yet. PM me if you have a solution or might have won first prize in a lottery recently and are really, really, really motivated to bring OP to the next level!

    4) I understand $5/mth for an ascendant might be a lot to some. Maybe your players could kick in with $5 for a quarter or 6 months of play if you feel that OP brings value. If you want OP to grow, then your support will help us do that.

    The gaming group is also a microcosm of the gaming community, and if the "burden" of buying rulebooks, expansion sets, paying for services which support the group all fall on the GM, then it will be a burden for them, especially if you're a poor college student (Is there any other kind?) or just graduated, have a bunch of student loans and just started a new job. Ask the players if they're willing to put a little skin in the game, especially if they're already investing 3-4 hours every Friday in the group.
  • andreww38
    andreww38
    Posts: 239
    Heya,
    So we put in this improvement to expand the OP PM function so the "message" area is expanded from 1-2 lines before to 12 lines now, so you can better see what you're typing.

    You can see the sample "here":https://andreww-s-op-fixes-updates-upgrades.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/op-personal-messaging-enhancement

    Enjoy!
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,900
    I just want to say that when I started with OP, I started as a "free" user for about a year, while I worked things out and tested how the site might work for what I wanted. When I was sure that it was the right thing for me, I changed to "Ascendant" and have never regretted that decision. While I believe it is the prerogative of the user to know what they want and what they can afford to spend, I must say that I felt Ascendancy gave me so much more than I already had and feel it was a fair price to pay for such a valuable tool in my gaming life. I still feel this, and would recommend "Ascendancy" to any who wish to expand their game beyond the initial level.

    As I said, everyone should consider what they can afford and of what use the system may be to them, but for those really serious about gaming, I would argue that $5 a month is no more than a couple of beers in a bar.

    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

  • Maesenko
    Maesenko
    Posts: 325
    I would like to state that I never called the free users a burden or used the term, nor did I mean to imply that they are; specifically I was referencing how much additional server drain that massive amount of new storage allocation would be such. But I still stand by upping them to something better than 2MB, perhaps 10MB to start (and can be fine-tuned later if need be)?

    With that out of the way...

    * Ack, ye gods, no ads! Bane to all existence, they be! Granted, I am already Ascendant _and_ use AdBlock. But still, they'd be so disruptive to this community.
    * Like the PM update. It's minor, but an improvement all the same, and anything that saves me time (having to drag the box open for every message) is good.

    ~Mae

    CotM Selection Committee

  • GrayGriffin
    GrayGriffin
    Posts: 19
    @Maesenko: I was responding to what Keryth said, for the record.
  • Banzai_Aether
    Banzai_Aether
    Posts: 8
    I'm one of the ones that contributed enough to the Kickstarter to be a lifetime Ascendant member. So I'll toss in my few cents.

    No Ads. In my day job, I work as a Chief Software Architect that has to deal with vendor companies that run ad revenue based platforms ... they aren't the revenue generators they used to be. The revenue that they generate is meager, and invites security risk when put into a site. It will also inevitably cause a drain on the staff of Obsidian Portal having to review those things when the hacked ads start showing up. So again, please. No ads.

    The PM update is great! Thank you.

    About storage allocation: Ok, sure, 2MB is tiny. I agree, that if OP has the budget available to handle the increase in staff/time/hardware allocation/potential data center contract negotiation time, then I'm all in favor of an increase to say 10 or 20MB per.

    As for funds, would OP offering a donate button to the community be out of the question? I'd toss in money to help fund a hardware upgrade if that's what it took for a storage increase.
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,900
    PM Message space increase to 12 lines is a VERY WELCOME improvement!

    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

  • Lxcharon
    Lxcharon
    Posts: 189
    I'll back up Banzai_Aether, working in the same industry, internet ads have a very specific audience that they work on now a days, and the tech-savvy non geriatric users of OP is not that audience. also as I think Killervp pointed out earlier, OP being a very focused website (where campaign pages are mostly viewed by the 3-7ish players and a handful of interested GMs) it doesn't really hold the traffic to make ads profitable.
  • Basileus
    Basileus
    Posts: 589 edited January 2016
    What we really need to do, in order to reduce load on the server resources, is implement an edit cooldown on wiki pages.

    For example, if someone saves changes to a page, that same page can't be edited again for another hour... That should throttle traffic nicely - no more slow loading or 500 response codes, reduced operating costs (which should trickle down to Ascendant subscriptions and make it more affordable for free users to upgrade), etc...

    :3
    Post edited by Basileus on
  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 992 edited January 2016
    If my statement implied that the Free users were a burden, my apologies. That was never my intention.

    As for the current discussion of storage space for Free users, I think I MIGHT have a solution.

    While reading through Andreww's input, I realized that a vast majority of the free users on OP are Players. And as such, have no real need for storage space beyond what thye currently have (My own players are all free users, so, again I apologize if people thought I was accusing the free users of being a burden. I certainly don't want to call my players a burden when there would be no games without them. Also, they're allf riends. So, again, I'm sorry)

    However, there is a small gorup of free users who are GM's. And GMs will need more space. So, perhaps there should eb an option somewhere in the Profile configuration, fo someone to indicate they are a GM and will be using OP to create their site for their campaign, and such free users get increased sotrage space?

    Just a thought

    As for the increased PM size. THANK YOU

    As for Basileus's suggestion of a cool down, someone been playing too many MMO's :) And please no. Many times I'm editing a page, preview it, like wha tIs ee, save it, and only THEN do I find an error I missed (or see the stuff on the right out of whack indicating an extra DIV somewhere). Having to wait an hour or even less, to go bakc and correct that error would drive me insane, or cause me to forget the error as I moved on to other issues in ym site. And lets not even mention when I'm starting from scratch how many timer sI save a page, then decide I want more information on it.

    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/
    Post edited by Keryth987 on

  • Lxcharon
    Lxcharon
    Posts: 189
    being able to designate player accounts and gm accounts does seem like a good solution.
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,900
    I am a hundred percent behind Keryth987 here:

    "As for Basileus’s suggestion of a cool down, someone been playing too many MMO’s :) And please no. Many times I’m editing a page, preview it, like wha tIs ee, save it, and only THEN do I find an error I missed (or see the stuff on the right out of whack indicating an extra DIV somewhere). Having to wait an hour or even less, to go bakc and correct that error would drive me insane, or cause me to forget the error as I moved on to other issues in ym site. And lets not even mention when I’m starting from scratch how many timer sI save a page, then decide I want more information on it."

    Just thinking of such a thing, I am inspired to uttter: "THE HORROR! THE HORROR!"

    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: 2,956
    As for the increased PM size, there is a real problem!! I can no longer see the message I am replying to- which means I have to open it in a different window.
    To the cool down idea, I am with Twiggyleaf- please no!! I use tags and have different colors, parchments, etc, and often edit a page multiple times. That would get me off the site faster than anything.
    Twigs, if $5 a month gets you 2 beers in a pub I am moving, yesterday... You will find that it will only buy you 1/3 to 1/2 a beer in Vegas this year...
    killervp
    "A God...Rebuilt":https://a-god-rebuilt.obsidianportal.com

    Just trying to help out.

  • Maesenko
    Maesenko
    Posts: 325
    Well, there IS a method already in place for determining GMs...creating a campaign and earning that badge!

    And I'm all in favor of that being an unlockable benefit for free users: become a GM and get more storage!

    As Always,
    _~Mae_

    ~Mae

    CotM Selection Committee

  • Tau_Cetacean
    Tau_Cetacean
    Posts: 285
    I third what Keryth987 and twiggy say - having to wait an hour just to edit a simple mistake I've noticed in a page I just edited would drive me insane
  • NikMak
    NikMak
    Posts: 379
    ditto on the not waiting an hour... my spelling and grammar are appalling but, once I do notice one of my many (many, many) errors, I need to change it there and then!
  • Basileus
    Basileus
    Posts: 589
    bq. Just thinking of such a thing, I am inspired to uttter: “THE HORROR! THE HORROR!”

    - steeples fingers together malevolently -

    Yes. _Yeeesss..._

    I have to ask, though, because I'm seeing what look like some serious responses. Its understood that these are sarcastic suggestions right? I mean, the most objectively terrible ideas I can think of. They don't really need to be refuted with actual reasons and thought out analysis of ad revenue and such. Or are folks just taking the joke a layer deeper than even I am?
  • MdBLimited
    MdBLimited
    Posts: 20
    Would there be a way for the OP to allow you to set your default order when you arrive at the home page to something other than "Popularity"? Every time I log on, it defaults to "Popularity" where, for example, I would prefer "Last Updated." Looking at the popular sites is not helpful to me, plus half the campaigns on that first page have not been updated in years...
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,900
    The joke cuts deep, Basileus, too deep for mortal men doomed to die!

    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

  • GrayGriffin
    GrayGriffin
    Posts: 19
    Also, could there be a way to search campaigns by keyword? I'm interested in seeing other Pokemon tabletop campaigns, but because the system isn't on the list, I need to scroll through a whole bunch of games in the "Other" category.
  • Bortas
    Bortas
    Posts: 645
    I think Mae's suggestion is actually quite good. Player's with virtually no storage. Earn your GM badge, bump to 10mb.

    -bort
  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 992
    So, seems everyone likes my Free Using GMS get more space idea.

    And I agree with MdBLimited. Even as someone on the front page, I have to say, seeing the Popular games listed first, well, its not quite useful. And it kinda looks bad for OP too, as ALOT of those sited have not been updated for a yr or two. A new person coming to OP and searching campaigns seeing a bunch listed that have not been updated since 2013, well, might think OP is dying. In my opinion, it was better when it showed the most recently updated sites. Activity is good

    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/

  • andreww38
    andreww38
    Posts: 239
    @killervp -

    Noted about not seeing the msg you're replying to.

    -
    I find it weird that the orig msg/thread doesn't appear in your reply, which would help contextualize the exchange better.

    Ugh, looks like the messaging system isn't so intuitive, so I'll put in a request to have the threaded response appear in the reply, so it'll be easier to go in with something like

    " >>>> Ok, this is a good suggestion" type appends so that it is more in line with the type of messaging systems I'm used to using/seeing.
  • andreww38
    andreww38
    Posts: 239
    "Also, could there be a way to search campaigns by keyword? I’m interested in seeing other Pokemon tabletop campaigns, but because the system isn’t on the list, I need to scroll through a whole bunch of games in the “Other” category."

    If there's a missing system from the campaigns list, we can add it in. then OP users can choose to list their game under that category.

    There are probably way more games that we've listed, so we'll continue adding them to the list.

    Maybe even work in a text link like "See a game that's not listed? Drop us a note to have it added to this list" or similar text.
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