CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
CoN forums are very quiet, aren't they?

Posted: 30th November 2014 17:58

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How do you even get people to come to a forum? I know nothing about this.

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Posted: 7th December 2014 02:24

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Just post, and when people see it in the "Posts since your last visit" they'll be interested or not. It is a relatively small community with very thoughtful people, so there is not as much activity around as on larger websites.
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Posted: 7th December 2014 06:59

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Well at least you posted.

Shame, really...Final Fantasy VI is the Rolls Royce of the series.

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Posted: 7th December 2014 20:47

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FF6 is great, but it's hard to come up with fresh topics of conversation regarding a game that's two decades old.

I do appreciate that people on here tend to give well thought out responses when they do post.

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Posted: 9th December 2014 02:57

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I was waiting for Josh to post, but I see he's been devoting his CoN energies to making some fancy-shmancy CoNvent calendar (a decision of which I heartily approve).

I think there's a thread about this somewhere (it's certainly not a new problem) and have been periodic discussions on chat as well. A lot of this is concerned with reasons for the decreased activity (our games aren't getting any younger, internet traffic has trended to different forms of community, etc.) because, well, it's hard to come up with a good answer as to how to improve.

There are obviously two parts to the equation: first, getting new people here, and second, getting the people that are already here to continue participating in the community. There are, as just mentioned, a lot of elements beyond our control that tie our hands to some degree. But doing more with social media (like da facebooks) is one attempt to increase our outreach. On the other end of things, well, it's up to us: but the quietness speaks to the difficulty of generating momentum with so little mass to, um, moment. The trick, as always, is to come up with new topics on new things that appeal to people who came here for old reasons.

And thus ends the most unhelpful post ever flag-blue.gif

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Posted: 9th December 2014 06:52

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It would be nice if FF6 would get some attention these days. Whatever may be said of the chibi art, the story is remarkably less goofy than others, and has a very strong arc to it. Think about it...

Does FF6 ever get hung up on explaining the plot to you? A couple of times, in the World of Balance. The Returner Hideout, the Opera House, Terra's Flashback and The Imperial Capital. Other than that, it moves along at a pretty breakneck pace, yet still manages to achieve a stable plot arc.

The characters are introduced and the setting is established, then more and more stuff happens until a climactic event happens, and the third act amounts to a playable resolution of the plot.

At no time is it unapparent what is happening. The game never gets specific enough about things (preferring to you know, just throw magic around, cuz this is Final Fantasy, after all) to get bogged down.

I miss that about the series. It really grabs hold of you with a lot of tension and doesn't bother letting up in the slightest until the game is over. As senpai used to say...

"Their kung fu is nice."

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Posted: 10th December 2014 03:44

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Final Fantasy VI felt like the end of an era for me. One the games stared coming out for newer gen systems they began to feel lackluster, focusing on visuals rather than story. When they did find a good balance between visuals and story, the controls and battle system being a pointless disaster (12, anyone?) that we fought through just to get to the end of a well thought if not vaguely soap-opera plot. From there the series took a dive in the character department. I found myself unable to finish 13 from sheer annoyance with the characters. While Lightning was interesting and enjoyable to follow everyone else seemed poorly designed and had me wanting to rip my teeth out (especially Hope.)

I've been leery of the new games as they've been coming out, disheartened by the drop in music composition and dissatisfied with story concepts in general.I haven't played either of the online games but was glad to hear that they did and are doing fairly well. Nothing will conquer VI's achievement in the departments of design, story music and gameplay for me, however. It felt more like an odyssey of self-discovery than just an adventure game and broached the subject of hate on a species / race level (Espers and Humans) which was a chord that very few game developers would even dream of touching on at the time. I call that a bold move and well presented in its medium. It also brought forth the idea of a female character in the LEAD role as opposed to a secondary role as a love interest or a healer. In this we find that while yes, our ladies are good solid healers, they also happen to hit like trucks even without the use of magic. Yes, this had been done before in games, but here it was brought to the forefront of the story and shoved in your face.

Annnnd...give me a little bit and I'll make some more noise. x3

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Posted: 12th December 2014 02:57

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Preemptive edit: Jeepers, this got long. There's links at the bottom, at least get to them. smile.gif

Apologies for keeping you all waiting, if indeed you were waiting for me to weigh in on this. I think DP did an admirable job of speaking for the PoV of the CoN.

Couple reasons why I haven't posted yet. One, I seem to find myself busier than ever at all fronts, and I'm not sure why. Two, when a topic like this comes up, I don't like to just vomit out some words on the subject. I do care deeply about this site, and that situation dictates that I put some real care and thought into topics like this one.

So, here's the deal. Yep, things are quiet, far too quiet. I don't think people didn't notice, it's more that people just didn't want to talk about it because it's a little sad. We've had more than a few long-time and highly-active posters wander off, and there just doesn't seem to be new blood to replace them. You can modify an old business truism pretty easily to fit this phenomenon - it's a lot more expensive to get a new forum contributor than it is to maintain an existing one.

That expression exposes a couple different facets to the "forums too quiet" phenomenon, and both are pretty problematic. First, it's hard to keep people around. Second, it's hard to get new people in who don't suck. We're having issues with both of those, to be honest, and we're likely to continue to do so for a few reasons.

1. No matter how many times they re-release the games, they lose momentum over time. The audience of active fans of the games we choose to cover is getting smaller, not larger - or at best it's staying roughly the same. To grow or tread water, we have to get a larger percentage of them.
1a. I continue to get the impression that people don't understand our content anyway. Caves of Narshe? Obviously only a FF6 site. In fact, some of the posts in this very thread have that undercurrent, and the people posting here should know better beyond any doubt! Really not sure what to do about that, we're definitely not changing the site name after seventeen years no matter what the reasoning.
2. The idea of a community like ours has largely been supplanted by the rise of social media, particularly the idea of a community that relies on actual thought and conversation, and not just profanity and memes. I'm not sure that community bonding happens much on a site like ours any more.
3. Related to that, I still believe that the level of individual narcissism has grown on the internet, again tied to social media. Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram - so many of these things are built to facilitate those who like to hear themselves talk without much interest in whether they hear anything back besides an echo. An active forum requires more two-way communication than a bunch of people responding to a Facebook post, each with their own thoughts but without much regard to what others are saying.

Of course, those things don't exist in a vacuum even if they are objectively true and not my own delusions. At the end of the day, the weight of this problem is on my shoulders, and I'm certain that I haven't been the best at keeping things rolling along in a community sense. For instance, I'm bad at producing content that the audience sees as viral, and like it or not, that's the name of the game these days. Even if we get more virality, though, that doesn't necessarily drive forum traffic - shares on social media tend to stay on social media and they don't drive lasting traffic back to the mothership. I've seen that as I've worked on larger sites than CoN on a professional basis, so I believe it to be true here too. As another example, I'm personally not a rah-rah cheerleader for Square Enix, despite the fact that I've loved a lot of their more recent output a great deal. I think that much like in my real life, people perceive me and the tone I set as more curmudgeonly than it really is. Finally, I simply can't dedicate the raw amount of time to the site that I'd really like to. Simply keeping the lights on is a big knock to my free time, because CoN's not my job, and it's not my family. Reaching out to users and potential users, adding new content, performing major upgrades - those are things that are difficult to do for a person in my position, IMO. I know it to be true because it used to be much easier back when my career was garbage and I had virtually no other responsibilities.

It's not all doom and gloom. The site's not dead, and as long as the site isn't dead, it's not likely that the forums or chat will go completely dark either. Site traffic is still pretty good, in fact - while we have slightly fewer visitors than last year, the pageviews are actually up, indicating that our users are finding more on the site to keep them interested on average. Regardless of traffic, though, we still have a good thing here. It's still got some holes to patch and work to do, and I really do want to do it even though it's much harder now. The biggest difference now relative to five or ten years ago is that it's just not as easy to find folks who want to do it with me, and that goes for everything from posting to the forums, going to chat, contributing site content, and everything else. I can't say I'm giving it everything any more, but I'll certainly give what I can give, and what I personally can give swells with those around me in the CoN community.

If you want to know more of my thoughts on the topics of the forums as an entity or even why I feel like any site like ours might feel threatened, you can check out this forum thread, in which I post several times, or the very first CoNcast. If you want to stem this tide of moral decay community slowdown, there's plenty you can do. Give me ideas of things that I can do. Share our content on social media. Comment on fanart - most artists subscribe to comment threads on their art, and if they see interesting commentary come in they might come around more often. Produce content that fits our needs, and we do have needs. If you know someone who can help us grow, tell them about us. I don't know your friends, so it's hard for me to do it myself!

Or, you know, dance like nobody's watching. I heard that works.

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Posted: 12th December 2014 12:48

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I don't think any of us (on this thread at least) think of the site as FF6 only. Spooniest just made a remark about FF6 and so the topic of conversation shifted in that direction. I think the people who really want this community to thrive tend to be the people for whom the 90s were the best years of the Final Fantasy franchise. For me personally, I keep coming back here to feed my nostalgia for the games in the series that I enjoyed the most.

Sometimes I wonder if it's sad that I am "stuck in the past" with regards to the FF series (or even video games in general). Just now, it occurred to me that most ongoing franchises continue a single story, so long-time fans get their fix with each new entry. It's not the same for FF fans. There's no new content for the older entries (with the exception of the Compilation of FF7). For me, CoN is a way to keep those worlds alive in my mind.

Edit: Thanks for noticing my typo, Glenn. Fixed.

This post has been edited by ElPanachino on 15th December 2014 00:32

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Posted: 14th December 2014 19:02

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Quote (Rangers51)
Yep, things are quiet, far too quiet.

Use the boost to get through!

Try a somersault!

Quote (ElPanachino)
Sometimes I wonder if it's sad that I am "stuck in the past" with regards to the FF series (or even video games in general).

Quote (ElPanachino)
For me, CoN is a way [to] keep those worlds alive in my mind.

Definitely agreed on both counts.

I still love these games for what they are, and although I haven't played them in years now, I still fondly remember them.

I also have an unplayed copy of FFT lying around. I will make use of it at some point, I swear!

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Posted: 15th December 2014 03:48

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Chimera
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I actually came here cuz of Tactics. I stayed here cuz of the community. And the awesome fanart gallery. Also the nifty fanart submission system, of which I wish I could make more use (cuz that's about the best way I can contribute). It makes me feel a little bad that R51 has been having to outsource from outside the community so much lately happy.gif ;. On the other hand, he has been bringing in some top shelf stuff, and if it serves to increase awareness of the site, then all the better.

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Posted: 17th December 2014 00:04

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Why not try a general off topic thread. My main forum Exploding Rabbit had one. Til the community moved to New Game Plus. The thread is known commonly as a Current Thought's thread. Here it could be called Current Fantasy or something. smile.gif

This post has been edited by seraphimdreamer777 on 17th December 2014 00:06

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