Conversation about OUR future8
Hello and happy holidays everybody!
I hope you are having good time and will have a wonderful holiday week around the corner!
On a serious note I would like to talk to you about our future, we need to discuss what our community wants and how we can get there. Please notify your fellow gamers about this news, its important! Feel free to come back if you are not able to go through the walls of text in one sitting. Despite declining activity there are still people who enjoy this beautiful game and it would be a pity to let it die out with no effort to prevent that. All you have to say matters, it is YOUR community!
From here on I will try to be open about our situation here and all of our issues:
1. Management. There were no active admins for a long time, obviously. I myself do not have plans to be involved much unfortunately, I can help here and there a bit, give advice etc, but thats it. So we need new management solutions, possibly even transferring community into more capable hands.
That implies new head admin, or several admins that are able to manage priority list and take on different tasks during someones absence, solve problems etc. Keep in mind management is usually more time consuming than segmented work like demochecking. How would you like to see it function?
2. Demo checking. On a positive side we have possible 1-2 helping hands with limited personal time, just enough to start the new year with map and lj release right away. That doesn't mean it is a sustainable model and long lasting solution, when people go inactive. Do we need more democheckers? Training and gaining experience are also time consuming tasks in different ways and become problematic if we have constant rotation of man power, people coming and going all the time. Is there a better solution?
Can we go full transparent? That means making all our demochecking tools and guides public, releasing demos "as-is" without in depth check almost instantly. That would become responsibility of community to check suspicious records and report them, making massive relief of time consuming demo admin man power. On the other hand cheaters would get short spotlight or even can evaluate their efficiency beforehand, to avoid detection according to published demochecking procedures. However our demochecking methods never been as extensive as on XJ, so this threat always existed to some extent, also there are always some people who tell us about new ways to detect cheaters that don't have to be public... Is this something acceptable for our community? Would instant releases be a better trade off for "slightly" increased cheating threats?
3. Website. Our website is not in a bad shape, but barely functioning to be honest, its still old garbage e107 engine. There are some severe bugs, mainly related to records section, sms donation script and auto updating XJ new maps. It will not fall apart without big changes, but neither me nor RemaKe have time to dive into that unfortunately. There is nothing to add here, if anyone experienced is willing to fix and develop the website - that is more than welcome.
We don't have ssh certs, so be careful when using public internet. Don't use the same password on the other sites. I advise you to use password manager and VPN, especially on public wifi etc.
Another aspect is cost. Even though its not much - I've always paid the most for it, and we haven't had nearly enough donations for the past years. Its a subpar hosting that is around 80 EUR/year including domain, due in march and to be honest I'm not very motivated to pay for it further considering current inactivity... if this is unproductive discussion and we can't come up with solutions for the main things - march of 2018 is when it comes to an end.
4. HLDS - public server. We don't have one, but we have all means to run it.
We have old database with old top15 entries and everything including website integration.
We have plugins to provide main kz functions. We also have [routes] on maps that support it.
We can run autocups (and can integrate its status to the website), works on every map, but can improve with admin created waypoints (~1/4 maps supported)
We have private anticheat that is still superior than anything I've ever seen at least few years ago (but could use some tweaking).
Downside is main kz plugin has a lot of old amxx functions from 2006 and can crash server once out of 100-500 maps or so. I have new stable kz plugin by xPaw that was used on XJ too, but less functions and could use some improvements.
If we could get hands on a server it can be set up with existing infrastructure or somebody could take on its development process even further.
5. ROTM, video production. We don't have any movie makers. Do we need any? Could moviemakers just submit their movies to the front page (with a quick review process of course)? How do we encourage people to make movies? Thoughts?
6. Events, interviews, articles, game related news. That's another aspect that requires initiative and probably resources. The only way I see its happening is when individuals take initiative themselves, everyone just needs to encourage it. Writers and event planners need to speak up and you will be green lit, but without anyone stepping up its not happening.
One of the new admins will be adding a few unofficial maps every week/month, which I think is a good idea. That may not be enough to change anything drastically, but its a good start, don't you think? Do you think we should do something instead? Do you think we should do something more and how do we achieve that?
7. Alternative development. Ambitious initiative would be to expand to every country and take over (or via cooperation) national communities. Of course that would require a lot of resources to change the website (coding) and pay for a better hosting, but return would be great too with a lot more activity and with the right management even surpassing XJ.
KZ-Baltic maybe small dying community, but the fact is our infrastructure is far superior than anything XJ or other communities ever had (I've been admin on XJ for a long time so I know what I'm talking about). Even cooperation and possible merges can produce fruitful results in this context. Unfortunately neither me nor other admins were never fully active, never had considerable spare resources to have such ambition, even though it is doable. We really need to take a look at other big gaming community models to understand how to make it big, its not hard really given even minimal resources... That is just idealistic perspective on where and how far it could go.
PS. KZ-Baltic would benefit from any kind of help, so don't hesitate to speak up and step up. It is YOUR community and everyone of you can influence its future shape. Its a conversation what is best for us and how do we get there. Do you know someone or are are you yourself ambitious enough to take on some of the above mentioned tasks? Either that or something small - tell us! Use application form or comments down below to let us know how you would be able to help out. Questions are welcome and I can elaborate if anything was unclear.
tl:dr we need your opinions, voice it! we want the best for our community and willing to make changes.
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