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RoW's Future: Community Discussion
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Oh boy, let's see where to even start with this.

RoE has become an interwoven and intervene part of my life and my main source of writing for the last...three...four years of my life. The people on here are vast and diverse and have been there for me through some dark and rough times. I admit over the past week or so I've been getting stressed out and ghosting on the site mostly because of classes and career changes. My muse and socializing have to take a toll thanks to all kinds of stuff. But yall have still been there for me. I love new things, I think a new chapter could be interesting and fun. I fully plan to bring Daesamar over if it does happen.
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I personally love this idea. Don't get me wrong, I have worked for years on Lachesis on both building a storyline for him and beefing him up, but I have been feeling stagnant with my characters for quite some time. Limited. Unmotivated. Uninspired. Lachesis is one of those characters. RoW has been my second home for years, and I am so grateful for all the wonderful people I've met and the friendships (and snap streaks) I've created, so the thought of RoW shutting down and not being in contact with yah'll as often... that's too much. But I can feel myself straining to give life to characters that I cannot put anymore life into. I like the idea of moving, and potentially bringing characters over, because I can have those stalemate characters (like Lachesis) "retire" in peace while bringing characters that have life (and my muse, like Sachiel) over. I know it's not ideal for those who have put so much time and effort in their characters, which is why I am not opposed to a different sort of LP method, but I think it's a brilliant way to keep current members motivated and attract new members. There's limited space for growth here, and with the current map, so I feel like expanding the world of RoW and creating a new map would help not only attract more people to the site, but inspire the current members to create.
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stick with those who stick with you
I, for one, would like to start out by saying I would be a far less happy person without RoW in my life. I've been on here for nearly eight years now and it's the only place I RP. I kind of feel at this point in my life I'm 'too old' for the new fad and trying to find a new community. Any inactivity I have isn't because I'm not interested in RoW anymore, or don't like it. It's either I just don't feel like rping, I'm being lazy, or just caught up with work, husband and life in general. I've always enjoyed rping here which is why I guess I've been around so long. :3

While I don't necessarily mind getting rid of the fight system and life points, I feel SOMETHING might have to be in placement to decide who a leader is of a fight if it can't be agreed upon and to show status of a seasoned fighter. Just doesn't have to be as detailed as the system we have now. Some times have staff teams judge the fight and decide, so that COULD be an idea but alas, that would take time too.

Maybe as prizes and incentives, just keep the ribbons? Maybe instead of needing life points for show status for fights, how many ribbons you had did? (just tossing ideas)

Another thought is, lands people have made. Former packs people created, subterritories people thought up, that would all be obsolete if the lands were moved.

I noticed with some people replying, they are stuck with their charries, while my eldest is only three and has just begun.

My main problem for me would be my Archer characters. Specifically Ravenna. While Judas is already a wanderer and Ragnar planned to venture off on his own soon anyhow, Ravenna is bound to Willow Ridge. She wouldn't leave, ever, unless she absolutely had to and I'd hate to get rid of her because she is like my 'mini Elettra'. Which brings me to the Archers and Willow Ridge. While the Archers are vast and surely many places and can go and grow anywhere, Willow Ridge has been around for longer then most rpers have been. I don't wanna sound rude or pompous by any means, but it will suck to have it go down just, out of no where. Which would mean Ravenna would have to stay behind to assume she is still living there, with Willow Ridge alive and well.

I know that's not a major concern for the site as a whole and if RoW shut down anyway anything I mentioned would have been gone anyhow but, just my thought I decided to place down.

I was going to lie and not mention anything of some sort of wave of anxiety when I first read this yesterday morning. I didn't read all of it until later, and finally exhaled upon comprehending: Fundamentally, what we're proposing is a fresh start to RoW. It brought me to realize something: RoW, for some time now, has felt like a closing book, filled with feelings of "moving on" because I have been without Borden and Angier for 4-5 years now. I've struggled with wondering if that meant that it was time to find other hobbies and "grow up a little"... but recently, N. spotted the familiar layout of the site and said, "hey, you're writing again." And, he smiled. He told me that it was good to be 'back at it,' that he knew I loved writing. I love writing. How could I have forgotten?

Honestly, to kinda help combat the lull/inactivity that's been going on, I brought a couple characters back (to also give me something to do during my downtime at home). So, I'm glad this has been kinda finally addressed!

Seeing as I have no qualms starting fresh - in fact, all of my characters, second-gen or not, are pretty much easily able to transfer over to the proposed new setting without too many strings attached - I am absolutely onboard for a chance to simply start again. Close the chapter that was Ruins of Wildwood and, yes, begin to write a new one.

Positive Vibes (Count me in!) and I'm ALL FOR:
+ Shifting characters (histories and all) and bringing them elsewhere
+ Yes, please streamline the Life Points a little. I'm sure most of it will still work if its pared down a bit.
+ Removal of Fight System (maybe simple dice rolls with some LP calculation involved? Or, heck, even a Rock, Paper, Scissors thing?)
+ Reducing the amount of tedious things that call for Staff involvement
+ Translating Life Points into a comparable system

Any negative vibes? None thus far...
I'm kind of excited, really. At the very least I get to take a Lyall and an Archer with me into this new phase for our little tight-knit community; and, for the first time, in the face of a site "closing," I'm pretty optimistic for it and grateful for being able to keep all my characters had in the past vs. having to start from scratch (which happened A LOT before I came here).

If I have an concerns, I'll edit/post again, but for now, I am all for this. If there is ANYTHING I can do to help or assist with this move, I'm still here. <3

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@Ravenna/Vami: I hear your concern and I feel for Ravenna. It hurt for me to lose GH a second time and if I had known it had been in danger, I might have done something, but it was already too late when I heard about it disbanding. :/ If it helps, if you'd like, I have Niles/Skoll at my disposal to help persuade her to move (if you'd still like to keep her)? They might have outgrown WR and gone elsewhere, but they could offer her reasons to move with them. <3

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edit: I want to give you Staff and those of you who are still here a shout-out and flat out say that I LOVE YOU GUYS! I can't even begin to imagine not having all this to come home to. I've been with RoW since mid-college (mid-2011), through a long distance relationship, through the ups-and-downs of becoming and being fiancee, and now a wife (and, at 16-ish months in, I'm still adjusting to my move away from home). Frankly, you guys have helped me through a lot, and I'm not sure what I would do without, say, being able to just check out the Active Threads and peek at what's going on.... or snoop in the chat and make sure you're all okay. <3 And, also, thank for this opportunity to stay together and begin again.
i'm a dreamer, i'm a man
i'm doing whatever i can to make the bad things go away
I took a couple of days to sort through my thoughts, ideas, and feelings after reading this post. In fact, I really wasn't going to say anything at all, but it was brought up to me again and I decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to share my opinions on the matter.

While I know I haven't been here as long as most of you, two years is nothing to sneeze at, and I've been decently active for the better part of it. I love this place and the people here - it's a really good community and a wonderful place to write and escape from the real world. I've enjoyed writing stories, making characters, building them up, and watching them as their stories progressed. I've also really loved meeting the people here and making friends, and I genuinely like you guys. So I agree that it would be a shame to see this site go and not be able to talk to you guys again.

I appreciate that you've tried to come up with a solution to that problem... but the execution of this thread as a whole is off.

As @Joe has stated, this is just a temporary solution to a bigger problem.

My points:

1.) Personally, I don't think shutting down the site should've been a decision discussed only by staff. That involves just a few out of all of the people that put time and effort into this website. Hundreds of hours of time, hundreds of thousands of words written, art made and art bought. Yes, we can bring the art over, but we can't bring the writing and locations and stories. So shutting down the site should have been a vote, preferably, if you didn't think that you wanted to work on it anymore.
2.) Moving could've been a great idea, but it has very clearly not been thought out. I'll admit that the mountain being in the dead center of the map was a bit of a silly decision, but I have actually not seen it be a real problem ICly whatsoever, with just about any character that isn't confined to a single territory and doesn't want to move at all. It's never been a problem for any one of my wolves, personally. To me, it seems as though the decision to shut down the site was firmly cemented down and then, as a sort of proverbial bone to toss us, it was decided that you'd give the option of a possible new site. The problem here is that the move wasn't thought out before you put up this thread. It really should've been a big discussion overall - to shut down the site and move in general, - but it was instead confined to a small group of people. Even the "you choose the way your wolf decides to relocate" seems weird to me. This could've been a sort of BWP with the Mountain of Dire erupting. Seismic activity and ash clouds and the whole nine yards, kind of like that confined fire in OTB territory sometime last year.
3.) Will this fix the root of the problem with inactivity? I'm not 100% sure where that begins or ends, but a big problem that I've noticed is a lack of staff activity. Recently, I brought in Hideki. This was a partial bid to be more active and start more plots up. I was very excited to bring him in - I spent a long time in creating him, and I posted his join thread. It took a solid week for him to become accepted. If I was a new member, I wouldn't have written a single post. There are 6 staff members, and I'm sorry if it seems rude, but that should be plenty to keep the site up and running fairly smoothly. Perhaps shifts, where one person spends 20 minutes on Monday fixing things like joinings and LP and all that stuff, and the next person spends 20 minutes on Tuesday, and the next on Wednesday, and so on and so forth until the first person goes again. A life outside of the site is understandable, but if you've decided to be a staff member, then time should be made for staff things. I've personally created websites and managed them, and been part of the staff team for others. It does take effort, but it's the foundation for keeping a site active and healthy. There are currently three packs that have been inactive for months and are still on the active packs list. Things are a bit messy and could definitely be better. Perhaps making it easier and simpler for you guys would be best - simplifying the LP and fight systems and reducing ACs.

Change can be a great thing, if it wasn't so sudden and so out of the blue. To some, you might have been thinking it over for a while, but for others, who were beginning to write again and getting excited about spring coming up, it seems extremely jarring to think that the decision has already been made to shut down the site.

What I believe should be done is that, if RoW is really coming to an end and being continued fresh in a different site, a community post should be created to build this new site. The entire community should be able to discuss changes and layout and things that they want. Even if it isn't included, it's important for everyone's voice to be heard and for ideas to be tossed around, not making huge decisions behind closed doors. I hope that, if the decision to make a new site is chosen, it is done promptly and with input from the community. Personally, I know that this has killed my muse - why would I write if it's already been decided to move on from RoW anyway? - and I know that I am not the only one.

Will I be there for the new site? Possibly. If it's well-thought-out and the staff are active. I will leave quietly if I do decide to leave, but I will stick around to see what will be done here. As I stated before, I adore this place. I want to see it be great.

I do apologize if this comes off as rude or cruel in any way. These are just my opinions: good, bad, and neutral.

May edit later or post again with any further ideas or opinions, but I believe that I've got everything down.

EDIT: I do realize that you all put effort into the site as well, and I agree that it’s stagnant. The only thing I would really change is the execution of this plan - include everyone in the discussion.
Just wanted to pop in again and mention a couple of things:
1. Even if row had closed no one would have lost the ability to log in and access their stuff. Shadow still pays to host everything and would have kept it up for awhile in order to ensure we can all enjoy the thing we built. But also at the end of the day it is her money and her code and her decision.

2. The plans for a move are rudimentary at best but we also have no intention of moving in the next week. This next phase will involve a lot of planning and we wanted to see if people were open to this idea before we devoted hours of time and money developing a site, assets, a map, and alternative systems to LP and such. There is a lot of time to handle the off boarding of characters or continuing to play them as you wish.
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I’m 100% down for this. I’ve been on RL since 2013, and in that time I’ve come to know so many of the players and their characters. I’ve become emotionally invested in their stories, and their plots. It’s been a wild ride, but the last few months, maybe even the last year it seems like things have.. died down. I joined the site because it was the most active wolf RP that I had been able to find. There were players on at all hours of the night, but now it’s like.. even in peak hours our activity isn’t as great as it used to be. All welcome threads used to be replied to relatively quickly, but I feel like now you go to make an all welcome thread, and you’re lucky if someone posts in it. 

I think RoW is special in that we’ve formed a pretty close knit community via the old chat and slack, where we are able to talk outside of our characters and plots. For me, RoW sort of feels like coming home in a way. I know that sounds sappy af, but there is familiarity in the people, the places, the characters. I remember the first thread I ever did with Lach way back in the day, and even though he’s just a fictional character made from Arla’s amazing brain, it feels like I’ve watched him grow to where he is now. Not just him, but wonderful characters like Morg, Skoll, Askan, Aponi, Sahalie, and more. It’s been a lot of fun watching them become who they are, and I would be sad to see any one of them go. However, I completely understand that not everyone will make it over to the new map, and that’s okay too. 

I think moving away from RL will be hard for some people, but it’s really what I think we need. A fresh start, perhaps in a closer vicinity, with characters that people have muse for. Maybe this move will allow some players to drop characters that they’ve been hanging onto without feeling guilty for whatever reason. I know that once a character becomes intertwined with others, and people are relying on you for plots, you’d rather just skate by the AC’s with them than risk disappointing people. A map without a mountain might make pack wolves more accessible to each other, and give those wanting to make all welcomes a better chance at having their’s replied to. Another thing, I know that when creating a pack, people often look for more secluded areas of the Lore so as not to step on any toes, but maybe that’s what we need. Having more possibility for interactions between packs, packmates, and loners might strike someone’s muse.

As for streamlining, I’m all about it. One thing that kind of scares me is removing the fight system entirely. I know that it’s a big headache for everyone involved, but I fear that it would be the same headache under different circumstances without. What do we do when an agreement can’t be met ooc? Would brand new characters be able to come in and dethrone those powerhouse characters since they’re on an even playing field without it? Would they be losing all of that work they’ve put in to pump them up? How would rank challenges work? Is there something we can do as players to take the strain off of staff when it comes to this? Perhaps having an official thread where the players do their own roles, but cannot edit their posts? I wish we could just make a less detailed version of the fight system and LP that worked in everyone’s favor, but idk. Maybe someone else will have an idea for this.

As for LP requests, I agree with everyone else in that maybe we shouldn’t claim LP for every thread. That’s got to be a nightmare on Staff’s end. The more time you guys spend doing staff duties, the less time you guys get to actually do what you joined the site to do. I’m pretty sure that none of you joined the site to be stuck going through requests all day. Maybe we could switch to claiming just fights, hunts, RE’s, gaining roles, pack activities, becoming a leader, gaining a mate, and having cubs? That might still be too much. I’m sure someone will have an amazing idea for streamlining this. The goal here really needs to be about pulling some of that weight off of you guys so that you can focus more of your attention on rping.

I am curious to know what we’ll be doing for puppy season, whether it will happen before the move, or whether the characters who have cubs will end up being stuck in old RL until the cubs are old enough to move.
Have you seen my OOC preferences?
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(wow this got really long and I'm sorry if it seems daunting but this is a lot more positive than my first post and hopefully can clear the air a lil bit and make people feel better about things)

If my first post seemed overly negative, I'm sorry. I know no one's intention right now is to make things even harder on you guys.

The idea of a new website is a blessing when the alternative is nothing. Staff has their hands full and I don't want anyone to sound entitled because this isn't paid job for staff. Ya'll don't get paid for this and any time you dedicate towards improving this is a gift. Hopefully, I can speak for everyone and say: thank you for that. If things are getting too busy to keep up with (which happens- no one should feel guilty!) then cutting down admin duties makes sense. So far, it seems like everyone is open to cutting down the LP system and removing the dice rolls just to make things easier.

I think one of the biggest fears is that RoW shutting down has been predetermined, which makes giving discourse on the new website feel a little hopeless. I'm really really thankful that this conversation is even happening! If given the chance, I'd be more than willing to donate money and time to help. If it had happened sooner, I wouldn't had purchased so much puppy art and instead put the coins here. I do feel guilty knowing that donating the cash could have been more beneficial than commissioning art pieces, especially since new characters are relatively useless. I'm being completely genuine in saying that I would love to do my part in keeping things alive. Maybe for the new site we could add some more staff members? Completely fine if the answer is no. I am not very well versed in moderating myself, but hell- I'd be willing to learn and dedicate the time if it would help!

Along with this, I don't think logging in and accessing the threads is the issue. I can save the art, screenshot my favourite threads for keepsakes. I can only speak for myself, but I think the tension is just fear from being blindsided and losing such an immersive world. Logging in would feel very sad if I couldn't RP, kinda like rereading a break up text.

This is Shadow's decision 100% and she shouldn't feel guilty or pressured or like this online universe is negatively impacting her mood and how she thinks of her creation! I've never donated to the website (and I'm sorry, that will change), I haven't done a single piece of coding for it, never helped write the rules or guidelines- but I can try! This conversation has really helped me realize how badly I want to help and make things better, and I'm sure this goes for more people as well. In actuality, the staff are gods and we're just living in your world and maybe we took that for granted: I'm sorry.

I am scared myself that the site won't be created. I'm speaking candidly here, but I don't want criticism to deter things. I was pretty harsh originally, but it just stemmed from fear. Sometimes things get pushed off on RoW and forgotten, such as prizes and extending the BWP and it should not be held against the staff- but this is a huge decision. Like Sarah said, hours of time and money developing a site, assets, a map, and alternative systems to LP. It won't be an easy task and I think members are just afraid that taking that on, when accepting new members or updating the pack roster is already overwhelming, will be waaay too much for you guys. Personally, when I first heard about it, I thought maybe the idea of a new site was just to break our fall. I hope that isn't the case.

I don't want RoW to feel like a chore to anyone. If it feels like a chore, it will fail. Creating a new website is a huge responsibility that everyone should split up beyond staff. I'm shit at coding, but I'd give it my best and hours of time if it helped the load.  

My final thought is about muse. Knowing RoW is ending does make it harder to post. I'll admit myself, hearing talk about how horrible activity is makes me feel a bit disappointed and upset. I try my best to keep activity up, and if everyone tried then this wouldn't be an issue. People waiting on other people to become active is futile. I'm not sure if members are still encouraged to claim LP right now or not- but I don't want this to completely ruin activity. If this stops people posting, then we're fucked. Staff won't have the motivation to make a new site and everyone will drift off. Especially if it takes months to create a new site, where will that leave us?
currently travelling with Circe (she can jump in any of his threads)
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This is the first website, in my 14 years of role playing, to actually offer a solution or bring it to the sites attention. Other websites I have been on literally shut down without notice. Barely an explanation. Gone. Bye. See ya later. What Shadow, and the rest of the (busy) staff members are trying to do is offer a solution. Will it be hard for those who have worked for YEARS on their characters and storylines? YES. Lachesis is a prime example of that. But he deserves more than being killed off or tossed to the archives. It’s hard to keep certain characters and plots alive. RoW has always been like an escape for me and I try my hardest while working a full-time job / seeing my boyfriend on the weeks to get on and post. To be an active staff member. But, honestly, when plots/characters are stale the motivation isn’t there. Yes, I could wipe my old characters and bring in new ones. Yes, I could start fresh. But it’s hard to bring in a new character and stay active (hello, Blue) due to the activity of others. I don’t want to see RoW go down. I’ve been floating around since Tara was around, and decided to join the RoW ship in 2013. I love this place and everyone in it. It breaks my heart thinking about losing the legacy I, and others, have created here, but we are getting a chance to create a new one. I know people have spent money on art for their characters here — that happens at other places, too, but they don’t give their players a warning. They don’t offer the chance to bring those characters over. To create a new chapter.

This is ultimately Shadow’s choice. She’s the one that pays the bills. This is her baby. She is at least giving us the option of having a discussion instead of shutting it down like MOST websites would do. You don’t get a discussion about a RPs future often.

I think some people forget, too, that the staff are real people. While we do our best to be on as much as possible, real life can be a bitch. We all have RL commitments that sometimes make RoW a low priority. It sucks. I feel bad all the time that some days I just don’t have the time or energy for RoW. But, speaking for myself, I feel as though a new website and a new map will spur up the old muse machine for me. Since the mention of a new website I have been brainstorming new characters and for the first time in a long time, I am excited to RP again.

edit: RoW will not be around forever. We all know that. Obviously, this came much sooner than we were all expecting and took us off guard. Regardless of if this happened now, or 5-10 years down the road, art would still be lost. Characters, plot lines, stories would still be lost. I would like to see RoW succeed and continue on, but if the only option is to create a new world for our wolves to explore then count me in. I worry, too, about how long it may take to create another website. What will need to be involved. But it also offers as a shiney, new solution for potential new players who seem daunted by the deep-rooted plotlines we have created here.
sachiel has a photographic memory & associates moods/emotions with colours
fun fact: he hates the colour orange
Just posting to add on to Joe's thoughts -- creating a new website, a new map, ect is a very daunting task in and of itself, especially for the staff team! I'd love to offer any help I can to help you all with this if you decide to move over to a new site instead of shutting down.

EDIT: At the end of the day, it's 100% Shadow's (and the staff's) decision. She's the one who poured countless hours into creating the site, pays to host it, pays to maintain (and update when necessary) the servers. The staff team are the ones who have to manage all the behind the scenes work with their actual lives (speaking from experience, it isn't easy) and while I'd love for RoW to stay open and to start this new chapter, I want staff to do what they think is best <3
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