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Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!]

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Fri 01 May 2020, 10:19

Fans and followers of G4TW!

So you've probably noticed that we "did" a couple of things here recently, and maybe you wondered what this was all about? There goes:



I. The "lame duck"

In case you were unfamiliar with the term, see the Wikipedia entry. In essence, I will not be "Gatekeeper" here forever. Contrary to the unspoken/unwritten tradition of many pirate sites that certain 'players' just leave without saying anything, I thought I try and get you all used to the thought that my own era will also come to an end at some point. And it will come sooner probably, than later.

~Ann~ will remain Head Admin on this Forum by the way, but that's not the point here. Very Happy  Carlos is tha man

Over the years I have helped the old Admin, ~Ann~ and the countless other Helpers/Moderators that came and went ... with running these Forums. Unbeknownst to most people, that involved not only the publicly visible part such as responding to support requests. But many other things in the background such as general organization, improving structures, testing all kinds of stuff, uploading/seeding, giving "candy" to G4TW team members (a.k.a. cheap game codes, mostly paid out of my own pocket), and even just being there if somebody wanted to talk. I did not earn anything, out of these activities. It always was a hobby, nothing more, and nothing less.

For various reasons I am, however, slowly but surely reaching the point where it becomes more and more difficult for me to "keep up". One reason is that from a physical and mental standpoint, the work here is becoming more and more of a burden for me. Another reason is that the political/legal landscape surrounding our type of activities is also having increasingly burdensome effects. In short, I will be moving on, but I intend to stay on-board in a more passive role. There are some other - more minor - reasons, which I might talk about in more detail later in the future.

Now. We (basically me & ~Ann~) are working in the background to prepare a few things, and to ensure that a smooth transition can take place. If a suitable person can be found they would need to perform straight out of the box. There would be little time for explanations or an elaborate on-boarding process. Such a person would not only have the full trust of ~Ann~ and me, but basically fulfill all other checkboxes as well (anonymity, knowledge of the community & key members, experience in administration/moderation, also technical knowledge, etc).

Yes, expectations and demands to that new person will be EXTREMELY high, I daresay even higher than with the old Admin & me, but it will only be to the best for you at the end.

So that one thing is clear: there is no beef at all with anybody. Initial discussions about the topic took place at the end of last year already. And yes, I also intend to stay in touch with ~Ann~ and the rest of the team, even after my 'active' time on here.



Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!] P6Wlh5X



II. What can we expect from this interim period??

For starters we've temporarily disabled new user registrations. And in preparation of a new person (possibly) 'taking over', we've also gotten rid of all superfluous Forum sections.

I'll still try and give you some company, in the sense that TS4 updates and DLCs will be posted on this Forum. Maybe I'll do a couple more Indie- & Non-Sims games, as part of a "farewell tour", not sure about that yet. We do not plan for special Forum announcements like we always did. Just look at the TS4 Must-Read Guide, Global Patch-thread and/or the All G4TW Downloads-thread and keep refreshing the Forum pages with F5 when new updates or DLC are due to surface.

In general I'll be focusing more on "passive help", by improving organization where necessary and coming up with new tutorials/guides.

But as for the rest I will probably stop with responding to game support requests and instead focus solely on administration/moderation/management, and helping ~Ann~ with whatever preparations are needed.


I will pretty much also ignore most e-mails that you may send me. Most site navigation issues are detailed in the Forum FAQ. In other words: just don't bother. Haters gonna hate  

Once a suitable person has been found they will assume the daily supervision. After which I myself will step into the dark, so-to-speak. Please don't start causing drama or beef, because you may not get a response to your Sims-related problem. Or for whatever reason. Let's bring this to an end together, peacefully. Also try getting used - if you don't get any direct help - to solving issues yourself, with the help of the written tutorials on here.

Because I anticipate things along those lines: don't message us with the intention "to buy G4TW", and don't use the "opportunity" to advertise downloads from unrelated sources. The platform is neither meant to be sold, nor used for advertising unrelated agendas.

I remember when the old Admin resigned, the interim period lasted almost 18 months. The plan here is to come to a conclusion by the end of this year (2020), at the latest. Preferably much earlier though.

danger! beware!!



III. Other Staff Changes?

In preparation of what I announced above, I will also disband the Gatekeeper, Super Moderator & Developer groups, and demote their remaining team members. @Dracos66 and @SeoY are now RETIRED Mods. We thank them for all their valuable help and technical advice over the years! I will also keep the Forum VIPs, mostly for symbolic reasons I guess.

Until clarity has been reached as to the future of the support activities, there will be no formal appointments to the G4TW team. Yes, I've said above you are free to help your fellow G4TW users if you are inclined to do so. But don't necessarily expect from us any special rewards for whatever you end up doing. Remember: this is not about personal profit or clout.

When a new person eventually takes over, they can create their own groups, with their own permissions, and so forth.



IV. What remains?!

Do I regret having to make such an announcement? To be honest, no. As for me, I've reached everything that a G4TW n00b can possibly reach. Most people don't know that I myself started here almost 8 years ago, as a normal user, with the orange color. And I feel I've also reached a logical conclusion for myself with regards to the "mission" on here.

Every era needs to come to an end at some point: ancient Rome/Greece, the Soviet Union, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, F.D. Roosevelt, the old Admin's, and now I guess mine as well! OK, the younger readers may not be able to relate to these things too well. But to use a different example: some of you might have experienced that your favorite brand of whatever food or drink suddenly got discontinued in your supermarket, and you may never quite know why. Sure, we might get angry or disappointed. But at the end of the day, all good things must come to and end at some point.

There is nothing left for me to do, other than help prepare the ground so that the "mission" can still be conducted in the future. There will be challenges, as well as exciting new prospects (The Sims 5, Paralives, ??? ).

Since I'm not really inclined to get overly sentimental and/or make too much of a big deal about it, I shall leave it at that. People come, and people go. Just like in real-life. But the Support-aspect with G4TW will always remain - one way or another!

Good luck.

duck!!
The_gh0stm4n
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Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!] Empty Re: Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!]

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Fri 01 May 2020, 20:24

Indeed, it would be difficult, likely impossible to find a "replacement". I believe your work here has been priceless, and I am grateful for the years we worked on this together. My trusted "sidekick", who grew into my trusted co-administrator, adviser and friend. 

We've had a couple of rough years on here, and no matter what happened, no matter how messed up it was, you were always supportive, and for this, I am very grateful.
I am also grateful that you've decided to step into the shadows, but not disappear from this entirely. 

There are no hard feelings here, and there never were. Just good memories.

Having said that, I hope and wish the community will step up, and help each other out. That's how we all started here, we met good people, and learned a lot of new things. You can all do it!

_________________
"Under sun and sky, we greet you warmly"



Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!] Bn60syW to Games4theworld

Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!] 20181110


 
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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Mon 28 Sep 2020, 23:45

In preparation for the formal conclusion of this Forum, I will proceed with purging all user accounts in the coming week(s) - minus the colored usernames. In the process of which I'll think about giving a few more users an honorary title, and/or making some other "adjustments" to the existing usergroups.

There is no immediate danger, no worries. But since we cannot transfer this Forum elsewhere, and leaving the user-list intact will only ask for trouble later down the road, it is something we feel we have to do. We don't want to delete the entire Forum, because we intend to keep it as an archive of sorts. But the userlist will get purged.

I would not be doing so, if it wasn't for a little trick that I discovered, allowing the mass purge of accounts. The policy here has always been to not delete accounts manually, unless users do it to themselves.

The deletion will purge your login, your entire profile information (avatar, gender, age, hobbies, country, favorite games, etc) and the IP-address(es) from which you posted. Though I believe the IPs are still visible to the French Forum Operators in the background. However, if you posted something on here and somebody else quoted you, then your original username will appear in the quote box. That's rather unfortunate, but I won't be going through the entire posting history here. Should you have a problem with that, feel free to get in touch with the French overlords from "Forumotion".

Any posts you may have made will have their author show up as Guest, and not whatever your username was.

I don't like doing it, but there are safety considerations involved (e.g. a lot of female-gendered users who have put pictures - of presumably themselves - on their Forum profile here). Over the years we've managed to partially bring this aspect under control by putting a disclaimer in the Forum FAQ, and we made Forum profiles only visible to registered users in order to somewhat reduce the "farming" of any profile info. But yes, that is a major reason we've decided to go to this length.

Plus, bluntly speaking, I simply don't want people getting on my nerves later on with requests to delete their stuff from a defunct Forum.

Beyond this point, we will do nothing more on this Forum. In particular we will ignore all requests for further modifications or deletions. We have taken great care over the years to immediately purge any personally-identifiable information from actual Forum posts. However unlikely, it is still possible that on occasion we have simply overlooked things. We apologize for that in advance, but as said, due to the overall number of messages it's not really practical for us to re-visit every single comment. If you really feel that comments you have submitted contain personally-identifiable information, then please get in touch with Forumotion about it.

Take all further information from ~Ann~'s "farewell address", whenever she is ready. This will be my penultimate comment on this Forum, so a big thanks again to everybody having contributed to this community or otherwise supported/followed us over the course of 10+ years that this Forum was active!

As for the remaining colored usernames - mostly the retired Mods/Helpers/VIPs - I will leave it to them whether they want their account active or not. If they choose so, they can delete themselves. Or they can remain; it's their choice.

That's all for now.

duck!!


//EDIT


So someone asked through e-mail that if security concerns were such an issue in the move to delete all accounts, why the public announcement with the intention to do so. Yes, I indeed thought about a "stealth-deletion", and announcing it only when everything has been done.

But I thought that the potential for confusion that could ensue from a stealth deletion was not worth the benefit in 'added security'. A lot of these profile pictures  - again, most overwhelmingly from female users - have been out there for many, many years already. An additional week or two more really shouldn't make the difference in this case. And ultimately, despite our best efforts to mitigate any negative effects, the decision to post personal pictures (and conversely, to withdraw themselves either completely or partially from the Forum!), is up to each individual user. If push came to shove there wouldn't be much we can do about it anyways; therefore it always was primarily each user's individual responsibility what they put out in public, and to deal with any possible negative effects.

The suggestion is not bad, but in my humblest opinion it (really) doesn't make any difference either way. Carlos is tha man


//EDIT

User account deletion completed on 16-10-2020, after some unexpected difficulties with the "workaround" that I hinted at initially. Nonetheless, the workaround worked (almost) as expected, and I would not have done the deletion in the first place if I had had to go through each user individually. I also gave some former Helpers/Developers the honorary VIP title.

Please also bookmark the alternative URL of this Forum, because the .club domain will be "otherwise used". The alternative Forum address is this.
Code:
https://games4theworld.forumotion.com

And about this here:

@The_gh0stm4n wrote:Take all further information from ~Ann~'s "farewell address", whenever she is ready.

Introducing: the "lame duck", staff changes & future outlook. [!!! PLEASE READ !!!] INK5smI

Haters gonna hate IAmSoHappyEmergahwd Carlos is tha man


//EDIT

Update 24-10-2020 ... Direct Downloads re-introduced for Indie Corner Games; no guarantees whatsoever though they will come back for the rest of the download list. If you encounter any issue with the safelinking.net and/or the STACK-website (non-reacting download links, any other errors, etc), then please just try accessing the download links later again.

As long as ~Ann~ doesn't decide to "pull the plug" on this thing, I guess I will just keep adding new releases to the Forum Downloads List, so keep an eye out for that.
The_gh0stm4n
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