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Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 14:30

“All good things…”
 
Well, 2020 certainly hasn’t been good, and I think everyone can agree that there have been better years.

But I’m talking about this forum. After a decade, It’s done. Lots has changed in those years. When we got started, we had a community. Forums were still a very good and useful medium for what we used to do. But times have changed. Social media became more popular, but it wasn’t a good options for us, because it meant giving up some anomymity. The forum software’s possibilities began to start lacking.

And in the final years, many changes were made to the team, which left us feeling “lost” for a while. But the popularity of a forum as a means of communication, had already started declining by then.

For us, it changed too much. From interaction with the members in the earlier days, to repeatedly answering the same questions. All of which could’ve been answered if the Forum’s search function had been sufficient.

What does this mean?
Well, it has been hinted at before, when the_gh0stm4n decided to quit: the forum is not going to reopen. There are several reasons for this, first of all the things I have already mentioned. Secondly, I have to be realistic. None of the team, as it was when we closed temporarily, have time to keep up with the forum anymore. Lives change, and time management becomes more important as they do.

What it doesn’t mean, is that Games4theworld stops existing. Behind the scenes, work has been done on a new website. It’s by no means finished, but when it goes live, it will be complete enough for you to use our downloads.

As time goes by, more information and FAQ’s will be added, to ensure you can still find what you need, and answers to your questions. We will not continue live-support at this point, but we also hope it won’t be needed.

The forum itself it not going down, so you may still browse topics and guides. But after 2020 is over, we will not be adding new links or information to the forum. Instead, it’s current URL will then redirect you to the new website, which can also be reached by going to the following address, that will eventually be your go-to place for new updates:

Code:
www.games4theworld.site


The old forum here can then be accessed again by it’s previous URL,

Code:
www.games4theworld.forumotion.com

 
All in all, I think it was a good decade. Personally, I learned a good number of new things, and I have met numerous great people, including 2 friends for life. And I hope that, looking back, you will agree with me that, all good things... must come to an end. Even if it was a little overdue.

What rests me, is wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2021.

We hope to welcome you all on our new website in due course.



 ~ Aɳɳ ~ 


Last edited by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 16:51; edited 2 times in total

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 16:36

Alright, first things first. I acknowledge the contents of the above message, and confirm the authenticity as well.

At this point, I might as well go ahead and shed some light into what I hinted at in the earlier announcement as "other reasons". Well ... you can read it between the lines in Ann's message; at least as far as my own role on G4TW is or was concerned, over the last couple of years I've grown increasingly disenchanted with certain things that have been going on in the community.

It's worth noting that the platform was primarily a creation of the original Admin, with a huge influence from Ann. I myself only came along much later, and ended up mostly by accident in that intermediary position between Supermod & Admin, what would be known as "Gatekeeper".

People who were hitherto accustomed to the old Admin's style, did not take kindly to many things that I instituted over time such as a stricter moderation regimen (which was a response to negative experiences back in the days with some former staff and community members). The fact that I implemented further restrictions such as the prohibition of message-downvotes, 'message attachments' and retro-active post editing/deleting, was also met with some displeasure (the primary reason of the latter was to curb down potential abuse from people wanting to exploit the Article 13/17 restrictions, trying to get us into trouble). And the Linkvertise too, that not only helped us finance the operation costs but gave some other minor advantages (slightly more anonymity compared to asking for donations, an improved legal position, slightly better takedown-protection of download links). Even though in regards of the Linkvertise, I ended up making many exceptions and amendments, because individual users were having trouble getting through it.

Keep in mind that even though I eventually became the "public face" of this place, most decisions were in fact reached by agreement between me and Ann.

More generally, and again in comparison to the old Admin's style, a lot of things that I say and stand for turned out to be unattractive and inelegant, sometimes even outright obnoxious to many people. Being popular on a piracy platform may have worked out 10-15 years ago, but meanwhile it has become nothing more, than lore from the past. And while it's understandable that most audiences that we get today tend to be very hedonistic and individualistic ... these are concepts that I disagree with, which in certain situations has also led to conflicts between me, some former staff, regular community members, and the original Admin too.

However, those of you who know me a bit better will recall that I generally do not care about being popular, so I would probably do most things the same way if time was turned back.

Regardless of the above statements, and given the "realities on the ground" coupled with the increasing efforts needed for managing a platform such as G4TW (a Forum focused on Support) ... I have to concede that in hindsight we should have saved ourselves the hassle and just 'cancelled' this Forum, after the old Admin's departure in 2016. In that respect, Ann's last sentence above is - as always - more than spot-on.

But even with all that in mind, I have not forgotten that despite all hardships, there are still people to this day who look up to us, and support us. Therefore I shall take the liberty to give some comments on operational issues "in the final days" of this now defunct Forum, and ideas on what you can expect from the new website in the short- and long-term.

Arrow I suppose I will continue doing these TS4 updates, even though at this point it's mostly for nostalgia and sentimentality only.

Arrow the STACK download links that some of you might have taken notice of, are going to get banned by no later than the beginning of February next year. Although we did look for alternative solutions, we are not extending the STACK accounts, nor using any alternatives for the moment. In the longterm we only intend to keep the GoogleDrive stuff for the TS4-New-Format, and the Indie Games. Anything else remains open. Though, due to the limitations of free GoogleDrives, I will have to see how to host the Kingdom Come-release.

Arrow so in other words, yes, if you see something you like, then by all means be quick and grab a direct download of it now. Who knows when or even if we can come up with a decent alternative to the STACK.

Arrow we also want to discontinue the old G4TW torrents ("Non-Sims Games" & "Software"), and leave them available only on the .org website and The PirateBay. We will also discontinue seeds for these old releases.

Arrow the new website will incorporate topics outside of what "G4TW is normally known for"; for now I'll deliberately keep this vague.

Arrow even though we thought about it for a moment, there will not be a new G4TW Forum. The website that ~Ann~ mentioned will mainly consist of text + imagery, maybe sprinkled with some (YouTube) videos. And if YouTube takes the videos down, we'll just provide them on MEGA or MediaFire.

Arrow there will also be sections for individual Sims 3 store items.

Arrow I also want to do some kind of section on the new .site, where I will be talking occasionally about news & developments regarding piracy, and offering some analysis of my own.

Arrow plus another section where I'll be recounting select experiences from my time @G4TW, touching upon issues such as general community management, the influence of social media, some technical things, etc.

Arrow  and probably a hundred other things that I can't think of right now. But remember, this is just a rough sketch, and work-in-progress. It will take some time, and in the beginning the new site will be primarily about download links and basic tutorials.


---


While many things were no doubt difficult, there were also many fun moments, and - I can only speak for myself here - it did gave me some valuable experiences, that I probably would not have been able to learn, had I decided to not stick around G4TW, way back in 2012.

Unfortunately, we don't see anybody of the Moderators or Helpers being able to really step up to this Gatekeeper-role. Otherwise this moment would be utilized to introduce such a new Gatekeeper.

One thing that I do regret a little bit, is that we have never quite managed to expand our scope to items other than The Sims. But then again, we have to be realistic, and concede that our support-capabilities have traditionally always been 'stretched', and that in order to introduce major changes to the Forum, they probably would have had to be done in the era of the old Admin.

In my opinion, the ship has long sailed in order to seriously "do other stuff", but in the end that's also fine. Oftentimes you have to roll with things as they happen, and without much chance of you influencing them. If I remember correctly, the old Admin also said he did not want to do new games, because of difficulties with seeding.

Only real OGs remember that G4TW, for a long time, was not even about The Sims in the first place. The name "Games4theworld" was floating around 2004 already; back then support was given through MSN and email. If you are really interested, feel free to dig around way back under the section named G.H.O.S.T. chronicles, and look for posts from the old Moderators.

This Forum here was opened in March of 2010, and even then it still did not feature The Sims items, or at least not prominently. It was primarily a place for a random collection of games that were popular at the time (COD: Modern Warfare 2, CS: Source, Minecraft), and a place for the old Admin to hang out with people.

A little bit later somebody suggested to the old Admin, to do The Sims 3 ... and that is how the platform eventually blew up, and got most of its clout. In recent years it has become a lot more quiet though, and yes, 2020 is in no way comparable to 2010. In terms of internet-time, that is basically like a century in terms of human-time. More on that maybe later on, when we start writing more frequently on the new G4TW website.

I'm personally glad that the lame-duck phase is now coming to an end.

duck!!
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