ForumsThe TavernOne Dilly of a Pickle, ain't it?

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Salvidian
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Salvidian
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INTRODUCTION

Thread Background
Coming from a long-time lurker born in 2008, I have noticed that Armor Games is facing a recent "slump" of activity. In other terms, Armor Games is becoming inactive. In my quest for answers, I've contacted several Armor Games users, ranging from new users to veterans. Thinking that I gave people something to think about for the day, Ernie15 gave me a bold idea to convert these ideas into a thread where one can give his/her ideas on the matter instead of letting this issue be small-talk. In many's minds, this is an issue that needs to be addressed to immediately. There have been threads like this, but this is the central HUB of what we view of Armor Games today.

Armor Games, I give you The User's View.

Armor Games Background
AG3, a major update to the Armor Games world, has been in development for around 2 years. There are tons of beta testers for the website. Prior to and starting at the development of AG3, Armor Games was once a bustling "city," if you will, of ideas traveling by means of public forum posting to comments to one another, or "small talk." Many of these users have left for reasons we will discuss and are being replaced by users we will later discuss.

Staff Changes
Late 2011, Cormyn, a very popular admin, resigned from his duties and became a regular user. He was somewhat replaced with Justin Royster, aka username jroyster22.

Part 1: Cormyn
Cormyn was undoubtedly known for his ability to be publicly active within the community and was often described as strict. As strict as he was, he kept the trash out and helped shape our modern-day Armor Games. He wrote code for the community, laid down a lot of the rules, appointed moderators alongside the moderation team, and, short and sweet, held Armor Games together. In many people's opinions, he was the administrator's community face of Armor Games. Once Cormyn left, jroyster22, alongside his duties with AG3, became the one to contact if you needed help. Justin Royster had big shoes to fill, and so far, he's done a moderate job. He prefers to contact via email, taking away from that on-site communication charm. In my opinion, Justin Royster has been a little vague with his duties. I and others have complained that Armor Games needs a new head, and if Justin Royster was a little more open, we'd have that strong, great leader. I am not criticizing his work- I understand he's busy. I'm just asking that he showed a little more of his face.

Part 2: Inactivity
Sadly, many of Armor Games' moderators have been caught up with daily life to successfully fulfill their duties on a daily basis. Similarly, admins are busy preparing AG3 for its release and have a lot to do. I understand they have lives as well. Many other new members have complained that it is impossible to get in touch with anyone on the staff team. Cormyn had written moderator-selection software, and many are thinking, if it is still available after Cormyn's resignation, perhaps it could be used to find another addition to the moderator team. Freakenstein has been a fantastic addition, but I feel as though we need more. I'm not going to name names because I respect what our moderators do; I feel as though we need more. Maybe it's time we eliminated the "small staff team" tradition for the time being until we recover. As for admins, we don't need a lot, but just one public face to get contact with would be fantastic.

Migration
I know AG3 is going to be very different. I know forum activity has sunk. I know your friends have left. Because of multiple things, many users, newbies and veterans alike, have moved on to different websites. This is not going to help our inactivity problem. It will only make it worse. I am not only asking you all to stay, but I am asking you to help out. We can't sit around and let our users leave. Part of it is our problem; we can make things interesting again. We can make people want to spend all of their time here. We can show people Armor Games is the best darn website out there!

Generation Transition
Jeol brought this to my attention and it struck me. What if the reason so many people are leaving is because they are older? Now, some people will never change, but others will grow and move on. And, who replaces them?

Part 1: Veterans
It's summer. You've finished school and want to enjoy the outdoors. You've finished school and have to work. You've finished school and want to try something new. Whatever it is, whether you've gotten too old for Armor Games, or have something else taking up your time, you can't visit your favorite website in the world. You know what? That's quite OK. Just remember to drop by once in a while and talk to your old friends. Many users are finding that they are having difficulties connecting with new people if they leave right away. Sadly, this leaves many users bored and craving for a good conversation.

Part 2: New Users
The size of Armor Games' user list is rising exponentially- it's skyrocketing! Most would think this would create more activity, wouldn't it? Frankly, no. Many games require an account for online saving to work, and the new generation replacing the previous one seems to be filled with people who join, stay active for a day, and quit dealing with the forums, leaving a large gap to be filled by no one.

Armor Games v3
As mentioned earlier, AG3 is being developed. By my count, there are currently 5 admins developing it. Unfortunately, users are complaining because there is little or no status updates on what's going on. Not to sound demanding, but more frequent updates could make the waiting all the easier. Also, the new achievement system may scare veterans who are used to and have gained recognition by the current AP system. AG3 will also result in a clean slate for the forums... By deleting all of the material there. Of course, much of the material is repeatable, but many veterans have good memories of posting here.

Conclusion
We've lost the face of the admins, Cormyn, and would like to have another public face again. Many moderators are busy with their lives and some more help would be fantastic. A lot of people have given up on Armor Games and have outright quit. Old faces are being replaced with people who aren't as devoted the site. AG3 is coming with big changes, but has gone very quiet recently.

~Salvidian

Those who contributed to this information in some way, shape, or form
-jeol
-Ernie15
-daleks
-Skeleton_Pilot
-Cenere
-GhostOfMatrix
-MrDayCee
-johnmerz

  • 339 Replies
EnterOrion
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EnterOrion
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He involved himself with the community and let everyone know he was there.


How could someone miss that ban message when they try to log in?

Little infraction? b&. Disagree with cormyn? b&.

Stalin got **** done. He also killed twenty million people.

because that's not what I'm asking.


You were asking something? I wasn't aware.

If you want to give up on the community, then give up. But complaining about other people voicing their opinions on how to better it again doesn't help anybody.


I'm complaining about the repetitive nature of the thread. I've seen it all before, and I'll probably see it again. The intention is good, but it's pointless and irrelevant. Stating that we're lacking in activity is like saying that people die when they're killed. It's obvious. While I would support more activity, the main divisive point of the thread is the issue of mein fuhrer cormyn.
Xzeno
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Xzeno
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Like him or not, when cormyn was in power, things got done.
No, they didn't. What did he achieve? What &quotrogress" did he make? The &quotroblems" he worked to solve didn't exist until he decided they needed to be solved. He did achieve some good things and ban some bad users, but he was overzealous to say the least.

And Orion Alt and I aren't being negative. Well, we are, but not pointlessly so. We all agree that AG sucks and should be better. We apparently all don't agree on how it should be better.
Cenere
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Cenere
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However people might feel about Ian/Cormyn and what he did as an admin and as a face for the staff, he was probably the best thing that could have happened since Carlie got busy and left. Simply because he bothered to listen to mods, users and he actually communicated with the community.
His - reign was stricter, but also better controlled, at least from a mod point of view.
I personally liked him a lot, since he actually did bother with us, he bothered with small talks and put in as many thoughts on topics as he could, so we could find a proper solution. Not to mention he was there, just a post away, and not twenty emails and an angry thread away like the rest of the staff seems to be.

So, even if he was trigger happy to some, that he might not have an agreeable solution or he might not be as smooth with the community as an of the mods or something... He still actually gave off the feeling that someone cared.
The current staff... The current staff will write four word posts, reply to one single thread and apparently ignore anything else and, I assume, does not value their moderators, present, former or future.
Or they just hate me specifically, which would not be news, but seems like an overly ambitious thought.

Strop
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Strop
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So, even if he was trigger happy to some


I think we've been talking around this, but the transition to "strict AG" (in the name of standardisation) under Cormyn's watch alienated the veterans the most, hence the comments you see from Orion, Xzeno, Nicho and in his own weird way, Alt. That's because we knew the days when this place was like a small town, everybody knew each other, the local council was friends with the peasants and we all got away with quite a bit more as a result. Then suddenly everybody was equal. That's how Klaus was banned. That's also when Lige etc. etc. started spawning like a dozen alt accounts just to stick it to the man. But all that really did was make our (the moderators' lives harder.

People tend to forget that in this social structure, moderators may be cops but they're also middle management: there are executive decisions and actions well beyond our capacity. And that's why right now, I don't mind the inactivity. It means less chance of people calling upon us to do a job that's not in our job description as unpaid volunteers not working under contract with Armor Games.
Laughable97
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Laughable97
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Well seeing as I am a new user and (Probably) younger in age, maturity and time on AG. I can safely say that I can safely qualify myself as someone who is an outsider of this community.

However, I can give a neutral look on this website. Specifically on community leaders. Please correct me if my opinions are wrong. I am solely looking on past posts.

In terms of AG3 it looked like Cormyn did a good job of informing, which to his credit, was his only job he was supposed to do. However after some lurking I see that Cormyn did think of himself as a community manager, which he was not. Now, as a community manager cormyn shouldn't of stepped up.However you "Veterans" seem to think organizing a community is easy and that finding someone that wants to dedicate hours of time into a forum is as simple as an advertisement. Cormyn might not have been a good "Community manager" but he gave it a good shot, looking at his decisions, some weren't that bad and he did do some things that needed to be done.

In conclusion, AG just needs a face of the community that keeps everyone happy and talks to the mods a bit. All succesful forums have this person. At the start they can do without a one but soon the size is hard to control. AG just needs someone who is dedicated.

Wait a second...

We already knew that, and this person isn't coming soon.

Cornyn did a better job with him than without anyone. Look at you vets now. Whining about inactivity and arguing over what AG needs. If I hadn't been lurking here for a while I would guess that this forum is just filled with complaining veterans.

Note: I am not a veteran and I am not someone who has been on here for a long period of time. I have lurked a year and the rest is just judged from past posts. Maybe I shouldn't have posted but challenging arrogance is hard to resist.

nichodemus
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Well one thing is that we don't really need a Cormyn now to chase whoever is left out of the Forums. We need a Cormyn type person only when the Forums are bustling and actually need some trimming and garden management. What we do need is someone more avuncular, friendly, enthusiastic in a cheery manner, to get things running again. Someone like Carlie, who will make people want to stay.

Cormyn might not have been a good "Community manager" but he gave it a good shot, looking at his decisions, some weren't that bad and he did do some things that needed to be done.


Yes, but most of us weren't going to get used to his stricter ways so fast, it was a cold splash of reality, and it didn't work out if you suddenly expect everyone to just shape on the spur of the moment. I left at the beginning of his time here, and came back near the end of his time here, so I won't past so much judgement, as much as just repeating hearsay from most of the other users.

Note: I am not a veteran and I am not someone who has been on here for a long period of time. I have lurked a year and the rest is just judged from past posts.


When you see so many of the older users and friends get banned or just leave in a huff, you tend to get prickly.
daleks
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daleks
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Wow. One night and already on page 3. And as far as I can tell it is becoming a lets support or hate cormyn thread.

I wasn't around before Cormyn but he seemed fine to me. Never got into any trouble with him and he was helpful. He kept us informed so we actually new what the heck was going on with the admins. I think we really need a new community manager. I don't really care if he is as strict as cormyn was or more loose. We just need some connection with the admins.

I don't really think we need more mods, just clear up the list. There are a few since I have been here that I have only seen once or twice. If they are still active they could at least show it but if they are not they should be demodded.

As for inactivity goes the only thing you can do is stay active. It isn't like we can force people to come on the site. Just stay active and hope the activity comes back.

Salvidian
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Salvidian
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One, how did I add anything to this when I did not even know about it?


I read some of your conversation with other users. Didn't you recognize your ideas?

Participation is where AG is at fault in my opinion. Of course, threads are a part of this, but I am thinking of literary, artistic, and gaming participation as well.


No doubt. However, as far as gaming participation goes, I think it's gone up. In my opinion, many users joined to utilize the handy online saving feature instead of having to save locally. It's a lot like PS3 and the PS Vita.

ohh thats why you ask to be friends


I don't understand.

If you're seriously considering someone like cormyn, I will e-kick you in the nuts.


Cormyn was strict. Strict as hell. The most strict admin I've ever seen. By being strict, he took out the trash. Am I really the only one who's noticed the spam skyrocket? I have gotten several spam messages on my profile and have only been here for a short period of time. Part of it is the moderators as well. Go look at Raze 2, and I'm sure you'll find 90% of the comments are spam stating stuff like, "awesome," "good game," "so much fun," and etc.

The community is not better or worse than it ever was. Without purposely falling into a golden age fallacy, would I say it was better in older times? Yeah, it was. For me it was. Maybe for others it wasn't.

Old days were great, and new days are boring. That's how it works. That's how it always is.


I don't know if you caught this, but AG should be GROWING, not sinking. We have more games than we ever had. The site is so structures now. The site has a fantastic foundation to build upon, and we have no one do to it with! It doesn't have to go inactive just because it's getting older.

Cormyn was one of the worst things that ever happened to AG. His primary outlook on AG was that being an admin automatically meant that he knew what was good for the forum. He put him self up as some sort of beleaguered person doing the work that was required. But the work he was doing wasn't required. It was bull****.


I'd absolutely love to see evidence of this. When has Cormyn banned someone for not breaking the rules? I'd settle for even a logical example.

he had the power to ban anyone who disagreed with him.


He had the power, but I have NEVER heard of him banning someone for disagreeing with him.

Cormyn was Alduin and people like the OP are the draugr who still wake up every day to give their life force to the dragon priest leaders


I assume you're saying I'm kissing ***. I'm not. If I was, I'd be telling the moderators they're doing the best possible job, and I'd be telling the admins I know exactly what's going on with AG3.

Why would someone have to take time out of their schedule to do something they don't care about and isn't essential?


I'm not demanding it. It's just advice. Besides, this tip was for those who are busy with life but still enjoy AG. I was saying if you're on, visit your friends.

We? How? Dilly of a pickle?


As others have mentioned, part of it has to do with OUR participation. Of course, a lot of us are posting frequently, and there aren't a lot of people posting, so things tend to get a little bland. This was directed to those who come on AG and lurk.

I want Carlie, not Cormyn preferably and hypothetically. Don't want to go through such a strict Forum phase.


I understand that, but we're facing quite a bit of spam as of late.

Justin isn't the head of AG... Dan and John are the head guys as far as I know. (Just to keep the facts straight.)


Justin is the one to contact if you need help within the community. Therefore, he has Cormyn's job.

If you haven't noticed, if you get two or three mods posting in the same thread, that thread is going to blow up with activity. Newish users especially want to get in on the "action" of posting in the presence of mods. They probably see it as some sort of mortals-on-Mount-Olympus thing.


This was beautifully stated. \\

I don't know about you, but sometimes the staff seems to have given up on us.

How could someone miss that ban message when they try to log in?

Little infraction? b&. Disagree with cormyn? b&.

Stalin got **** done. He also killed twenty million people.


Cormyn wasn't as bad as you remember. You're obviously an argumentative type and would probably have a problem with Cormyn here or there. Cormyn did his best to keep trash out, and if you kept straight and didn't break the rules, you were fine. Besides, I'd rather have a clean AG with lots of rules than have an inactive one full of moronic newbies (Not trying to be hypocritical, merely making a point).

You were asking something? I wasn't aware.


Ernie15 was suggesting that we try to make this like 2009- not make an exact replica, just more active.

And Orion Alt and I aren't being negative. Well, we are, but not pointlessly so. We all agree that AG sucks and should be better. We apparently all don't agree on how it should be better.


I'm not hearing any suggestions...

Well one thing is that we don't really need a Cormyn now to chase whoever is left out of the Forums. We need a Cormyn type person only when the Forums are bustling and actually need some trimming and garden management. What we do need is someone more avuncular, friendly, enthusiastic in a cheery manner, to get things running again. Someone like Carlie, who will make people want to stay.


After reading this, I see your point. Frankly, I still think we should have a bit more strictness to larger degree, but having more active/seen moderators would help with that, instead of making think you're alone with all of these people who are just like you: lost.

We just need some connection with the admins.


Which was my biggest point with the new head idea. We need another public face that we can all get in touch with.

As for inactivity goes the only thing you can do is stay active. It isn't like we can force people to come on the site. Just stay active and hope the activity comes back.


Of course we can't force people to come, but we can get new users to stay, and there's a lot of potential there.
Patrick2011
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Patrick2011
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Am I really the only one who's noticed the spam skyrocket?


In March, there was MASSIVE ad spam. In fact, it was so much that the admins added a CAPTCHA, but that failed. The failure of CAPTCHA led some to believe that the adbots were the 2012 April Fools Joke. However, there was no April Fools joke this year.

Cormyn was strict. Strict as hell.


I would agree. In fact, cormyn gave me a warning for bypassing the filter once by replacing some of the letters in a swear word with asterisks. It was given on March 14th of last year and has the following text (I did not delete the warning):

Need to give you a warning about posting profanity with ***'s in them to bypass our filters. Either let our filters do the job, or don't post swearing on the site. (It was a game comment where you said the game had 'lousy' sound.) This kind of stuff is not tolerated on the site. Thanks for your cooperation


I understand that, but we're facing quite a bit of spam as of late.


The spam seems to be confined to comments since I don't think there is much spam on the forums now. However, there was much more spam in March and April as I described earlier in my post.

Justin is the one to contact if you need help within the community. Therefore, he has Cormyn's job.


But he doesn't have cormyn's visibility/activity.

Cormyn wasn't as bad as you remember. You're obviously an argumentative type and would probably have a problem with Cormyn here or there. Cormyn did his best to keep trash out, and if you kept straight and didn't break the rules, you were fine. Besides, I'd rather have a clean AG with lots of rules than have an inactive one full of moronic newbies (Not trying to be hypocritical, merely making a point).


I didn't have much trouble with cormyn other than the warning I mentioned earlier in my post. However, I did have some trouble with the mods when cormyn was around. By trouble, I mean that the mods temp-banned me twice for backseat modding (something I don't do anymore).

Which was my biggest point with the new head idea. We need another public face that we can all get in touch with.


Correct, and the easiest way to achieve this would be for Justin to be more visible/active.
Salvidian
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Salvidian
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But he doesn't have cormyn's visibility/activity.

Correct, and the easiest way to achieve this would be for Justin to be more visible/active.


Indeed. This is part of the reason why we need more/active moderators, or at least moderators that participate. Along with regular user's participation going down, staff participation is going down.

Others have pointed out that with a dead forum, we don't need more/active staff, but we really do for this place to become a family community again. Others have also said that back when the community was small, it was a family. Guess what? The community's small, but it doesn't feel like a family. This is, in my opinion, because we aren't seeing friendly staff helping people. The whole point of having staff is to be there for people.

Ironically, I had a problem posting this entire thread yesterday. When I did it, I received a message stating that I have a temporary IP ban. I emailed AG and received a message from larry (username unknown; not necessary to find out) saying that it was a filter for spam. My IP ban vanished. The help hasn't gone away- it's gone off-site, which takes away from that community feeling.
Patrick2011
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Patrick2011
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larry (username unknown; not necessary to find out)


Larry is lroot FYI.

Ironically, I had a problem posting this entire thread yesterday. When I did it, I received a message stating that I have a temporary IP ban. I emailed AG and received a message from larry (username unknown; not necessary to find out) saying that it was a filter for spam. My IP ban vanished. The help hasn't gone away- it's gone off-site, which takes away from that community feeling.


Why would such an IP ban cause you to divide the OP into 2 posts?
MrDayCee
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MrDayCee
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There's simply too much information spilled by numerous users to even try and quote/react to it, so I'll slide in my 2 cents worth, hopefully without too much fuss... =/

First of all... Cormyn is being burned down by some users as having been an admin that was not doing the job he was (in the community's eyes) supposed to do and I oppose that strongly!
He might have been harsh in some actions and silenced you thoroughly and swiftly when all you wanted to do is to speak your mind, but giving the amount of work it is to run and guide a community I think he did an amazing job!
He managed to work on the development of the ArmorGames v3.0, keep the community up to date with what was going on at that moment and -at the same time- answer any questions about it in the forums. Not an easy job if you ask me, but he was there... out in the open, anyone's target and a suitable person for the job. =)
To say that I was sad he left is a clear understatement here...

The new ArmorGames v3.0 is a bit of a different story... they are undoubtedly working hard on it at the moment as it is a huge task to create, change, process and develop a complete overhaul on a website, especially a flash gaming website!
But what's bothering me personally is the fact that the AGv3.0 forum has almost completely shut down in terms of feedback given by the staff. When Cormyn was active, the forum was active and you could get an answer on any topic or question regarding the beta or the coming AG3 website, but now that has diminished into a mere courtyard for people to randomly speak their minds and have their words simply fade away into a void...
I don't think Justin is able to pick up that part Cormyn left him to deal with as he has to focus on the development of AG3 currently, which is (if you ask me) FAR more important of course.
But on the other hand, I'm glad to see that the getsatisfaction.com/armorgames part of the Beta feedback loop is still active, but -agreed- not as it was half a year ago... maybe it should be posted more visible for ArmorGames users to know where to go to with their questions regarding AG3?

As for the 'mod-team'... they (the active ones) did a great job so far! Allthough some of them have dissapeared (for undoubtedly very good reasons, probably real life, which is understandable) on the community without letting the users know what is going on. And this is resulting in frustration among the users as they want to help feeding them misguided threads and spam and want to ask them questions, but nobody's home to react and/or answer them...
What might be a better -and simpler- action to take here is to update the About section and make sure that the personell data (both administrators and moderators) is correct and up-to-date again, maybe in a very easy way, by adding an 'active/dorment' sign alongside their user profiles? That would be an easy way to let users know who to turn to with their beef.
Needless to say that, even though the 'mod-team' has only a few active members right now, they are doing a great job on a massive amount of work (even with the lower current activity) with the tools they have been handed out! So, simply to give them a deserved pat on the back, I say: Two Thumbs Up for the Moderators! =)

[/2 cents worth]

Cenere
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Cenere
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Which was my biggest point with the new head idea. We need another public face that we can all get in touch with.

Just gonna highlight this again (I can already hear the sighs at this), because, goddarnit to heck, the current staff is apparently really hates communicating.
And it's horrible, and it ruins their business completely too, but I guess they haven't noticed yet.

The help hasn't gone away- it's gone off-site,

Best part? From my observations, you will only get a reply if they sense you are going to leave, if they don't fix it. That is, if you have people complaining about a server that has gone down (nevermind the mods trying to clean the S&S section for repeat threads on the issue), they are going to appologize and get it back up ASAP (but only post this information on twitter). If something offends some poor little whoever, then it is taken down ASAP. If a mod needs help, they can wait. If a mod demands action, they can wait. If a mod wants to resign, they can wait, and will get no reply on their request of a recommendation. Because, well, who cares about mods anyway.

So, from my point of view, it's not even that the help has gone off site, it has become selective and inefficient, and that, paired with the complete lack of communication or interest from the staff... It just doesn't work that way, guys...
My professors would laugh at this way of handling a website, then they would shake their heads and go "programmers", the same way people say "kids" or "idiots" or something to the like.
Meh.
Patrick2011
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Patrick2011
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So, from my point of view, it's not even that the help has gone off site, it has become selective and inefficient, and that, paired with the complete lack of communication or interest from the staff... It just doesn't work that way, guys...


Then we must somehow get the admins to become non-selective and inefficient. Alternatively, we could at least find out why the admins are selective and inefficient.
Patrick2011
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Patrick2011
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Then we must somehow get the admins to become non-selective and inefficient. Alternatively, we could at least find out why the admins are selective and inefficient.


The bolded word should be efficient. This is why we need edit post.
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