Alright, so this has definitely been a recurring discussion on AIM for probably years by this stage, but I feel like it's most relevant the last few months. Honestly, URPG has hit quite a dry spell. There are probably about two members leaving for good if not long periods of time for every new member we get that sticks around. The last new member to actively become a part of URPG was months ago. Maybe none since last summer even? The URPG has survived so long and it's really brought me a lot of happiness and entertainment throughout the years, and not to mention how intricate and expanded and pretty much perfected the battling sim aspect of it is. The ultradex, the calcs, the refpedia, the vast expanse of knowledge most refs have is really impressive. The stories section has spurned out some pieces that could not just be published, but actually really help pave someone's career as a writer. The community that have all gravitated around one central thing important to us all, Pokemon, has built some incredible friendships and learning experiences.
Please, let's give other people the opportunities we got.
There's been a lot of feedback on this on AIM and I really think everyone involved in the URPG now should have their say and weigh in on what they think on some of these issues. I'm going to keep this brief for now because I don't want to influence other people's thoughts, but I really want to see everyone's opinions on these things and the future direction of this community.
- The transition from getting your starter to meeting the community is not worth the effort. Any aspiring members have to browse the forum to find the URPG (the little subheading near the bottom) to even notice the URPG. They have to find the in-depth rules which they are heavily encouraged to read before posting anything, pick their starter, create a templated stats thread, discover that most of the URPG happens on AIM (and skype for discussions too), create an AIM account, contact a moderator to ask to join, and only then when they've done all of this do they stumble across any real trace of the community. That's a lot of work before any reward.
- The RPG part of URPG is misleading. Although there are RP aspects, this is pretty misleading imo. I distinctly remember a gang of about 20 or so people who were very invested in the RP forum here all joining the URPG in the BMG expansion. They all left within a few weeks max, probably disappointed with what this RP had to offer. The Park was under reconstruction then, but it is very seldom used to be able to roleplay. More to capture Pokemon for battles.
- Expand your horizons is vague and doesn't surmise the URPG very well.
- To anyone without access to the staff boards, the Moderators seem inactive. I know they have lives. I know that they have all committed themselves so much to the URPG throughout the years. Even if they're working behind the scenes, I just think a bit of face-time would really help. And, if a mod wants to leave, they really shouldn't be guilt-tripped into staying (in any forum, not urpg-exclusive by any means).
- The URPG is very battle-based. I know Smiles and Blue are working hard to develop the other areas, but I think advertising the battles aspect as the URPG stands now would be very effective in attracting members from other subforums. BMG has always had a high interest in showdown.
- The very untrue myth that BMG Mods hate the URPG. This is absolutely untrue. I was a Mod for quite a while. I saw every discussion thread about the URPG. There is no bad blood between us and the rest of the forum. It's very easy to see us as insulated if anything as people who URPG are rarely involved in other sections of the forum and vice-versa. I know mods have been contacted before about section collabing and things, but if we're gonna do it, we really do need to go all out for it to work.
- Is the URPG on too many forums? Three forums with two mostly inactive and the third heading that way isn't good. I know people who originated on PWN love that forum and don't want to see it die since the URPG has really helped it, but it kinda feels like dead-weight for me anyway. PWN gave Felly, Smiles and possibly a few other dedicated members! PXR, none really come to mind unfortunately. I'm not saying that we should cut all ties or anything. But it feels like we're half using those resources at best.
- BMG has several thousand active members. There are 10-15 who are active in the URPG from BMG I'd guess. We really gotta make use of this resource. I can definitely try work some strings but we'd need a definitive plan first. No half-assing.
- Older members aren't introducing newer members. There was a time when as soon as you signed up, you got some VMs from helpful members wishing you the ebst of luck, and advice, and what not. We should really get back on this!
- General disinterest in battling and reffing. This ebbs and flows to be honest. I don't feel as though it's so bad these days, but I really don't have high hopes for when the summer ends and school starts back up.
THERE ARE SO MANY TOPICS HERE, WITH A LOT OF OVERLAP. AND PEOPLE PROBABLY HAVE A TON MORE. PLEASE CAN WE GET SOME HEALTHY DISCUSSION GOING AND TRY GET URPG BACK UP ON ITS FEET. THIS IS A BIG ANNIVERSARY, LET'S MAKE IT COUNT WOOOO.
Edit: so during my shower I was thinking of things that make the URPG so great, and there's definitely a common denominator (yay maths): the sense of community. That's when the URPG is at its upmost. This has been achieved in the past through FFAs, Tourneys, TinyChat, The Quote thread, iSketch, etc. This would be a great thing to work on - for instance we could have a urpg photo album thread where people post photos of themselves (or even a drawing of themselves if they want!) and weekly games nights where we do things like Cards against Humanity, Board Game Online, Transformice and iSketch, among all the other URPG fads throughout the years.