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Moving Forward


ShadowDraikana
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ShadowDraikana

Hello.

 

I’m ShadowDraikana, although some may remember me from my old handle, Slimy Slug.  As some of you may know, I am now the new acting administrator of Rock Raiders United and have been made responsible for the rebuild and safeguarding of the forum.

 

First, I want to apologize that it has taken so long to get anything off the ground.  It has taken me some time to get my bearings and to determine a plan to best move the forum forward, given the practical mechanics of how the site is operated.

 

After carefully evaluating the situation with the old moderation team, I have decided that it might be best to start with a clean slate, focusing on transparency and improving communication and site usability.  There are several reasons for this, the most important of which are the concerns that have been raised about how the forum has been moderated throughout the years.  RRU’s moderation has left a lot of people feeling unheard and dissatisfied.  This is something that needs to be fixed going forward.  Although I have decided not to introduce a new moderation team at this time, I do realize that engaging with the community to improve the site and allow for its continued operation is the job of more than one person.

 

With that in mind, I am considering bringing another individual on to the administrator team to help me with the day-to-day running of the site and to partner with me to rebuild the relationship between the moderation staff and the community.  Currently I do not have any specific plans related to this, but will be asking for feedback from the community as well as potentially accepting applications for the position.  More news to come regarding this in the coming months.

 

Regarding the thread created by Cirevam to address recent events, I have decided to move it to the Community Discussions section of the site.  You can find the thread here.  It will remain open for civil discussions.  Anyone that wishes to speak about the situation is asked to post their remarks or questions there.  Posts may be merged with this thread if they happen to be posted on an unrelated topic.

 

It is my aim to push Rock Raiders United forward, and I hope very much you will give me a chance.  Please be on the lookout for follow-up announcements to come in the future.

 

Until then,

~ShadowDraikana

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  • ShadowDraikana changed the title to Moving Forward

Hi ShadowDraikana, thank you for taking up the responsibility of forum administrator. I wish you a lot of luck in performing this role! I have two questions I'd like to ask, feel free to answer them however you like :)

  1. Regarding safeguarding, and without getting too personal, what do you think you will do differently compared to how things were done before? In other words, how would you describe your policy (or personal vision) for dealing with behaviour that breaks forum rules or is morally dubious but not explicitly outruled? (Zero-tolerance, second chance with warning etc.)
  2. Do you have other plans for the forum that you have always wanted to see implemented?
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On 10/23/2022 at 8:56 AM, ShadowDraikana said:

It is my aim to push Rock Raiders United forward, and I hope very much you will give me a chance.

Sorry, but forward to what? Most of the old users have left the site and do not want to return, the site's reputation was already pretty bad before and is basically nonexistent now, and most of the activity from here has already moved on to new successor communities. Even before this most activity had moved to the site's discord, and with that permanently gone there's not really a hope of this community recovering. I had honestly assumed the site was going to stay in archive mode as a collection of downloads and reference of research, since what else would even be done with this place? Where is there to go from here?

 

Out of curiosity, who is the current owner of the site? Like, who owns the domain and hosts it?

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Hey @ShadowDraikana I am still not able to edit my topics. Is this correct? I am really looking forward to continue updating my moc topics.

 

On 10/29/2022 at 11:15 PM, Lair said:

I had honestly assumed the site was going to stay in archive mode as a collection of downloads and reference of research, since what else would even be done with this place? Where is there to go from here?

If you want to put the last nail in the coffin this is the way to do it. This forum has a lot of data which has to stay up-to-date in my opinion. Closing this forum will only make this forum more obsolete in the future. Also searching on google for "lego games forum" shows this forum very high in the search ranking with only one general lego forum. I do not know what new successor communities you are talking about, but if ShadowDraikana is not going to continue RRU it would be a big step backwards.

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On 11/1/2022 at 7:31 AM, Thomkok23 said:

If you want to put the last nail in the coffin this is the way to do it. This forum has a lot of data which has to stay up-to-date in my opinion. Closing this forum will only make this forum more obsolete in the future. Also searching on google for "lego games forum" shows this forum very high in the search ranking with only one general lego forum. I do not know what new successor communities you are talking about, but if ShadowDraikana is not going to continue RRU it would be a big step backwards.

I have yet to be convinced this would be a bad thing, considering this site's trashed reputation. I can't see it recovering from this, and even if it did I know many former members already had very negative opinions of it and their time here. Not to mention most people wouldn't want to be associated with a site known for protecting a pedophile. But I guess you're not concerned with that considering in Cirevam's topic you were defending his actions.

 

These former members not returning would also affect the "up-to-date" factor you mentioned as they would not be updating old topics of info, which was already pretty apparent over the last 4 years here. I don't want the site itself disappearing, it would be a huge loss of mods and info, but I honestly can't see any positive future for the community as anything other than an archive. I've been here on and off since early 2009 and it sucks seeing what it's turned into, but honestly it's been bad here for a long time and a lot of people have been hurt by members of this community besides just sarge.

 

On 11/1/2022 at 7:31 AM, Thomkok23 said:

I do not know what new successor communities you are talking about

Primarily the ones baraklava linked to in the other topic, mostly the research realm as far as the research side of this community goes. there isn't really a replacement for the modding stuff yet, but I don't think it'll continue here either. At the very least, a large number of still-unfinished mod tools were made by Cyrem, and as he seems to have deleted most of his online presence after that video came out I don't think he's coming back to finish them.

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2 hours ago, Lair said:

Not to mention most people wouldn't want to be associated with a site known for protecting a pedophile. But I guess you're not concerned with that considering in Cirevam's topic you were defending his actions.

No idea why you want to throw mud, but you already know I was not there and did not see anything. Only the information based on what Cirevam has written was the only thing to go on, before you guys posted some proof of the situation.

 

2 hours ago, Lair said:

These former members not returning would also affect the "up-to-date" factor you mentioned as they would not be updating old topics of info, which was already pretty apparent over the last 4 years here. I don't want the site itself disappearing, it would be a huge loss of mods and info, but I honestly can't see any positive future for the community as anything other than an archive.

I agree the website should stay up, but archiving would also mean that people still interested like new people are not able to add/edit anything new, which I do not prefer to happen. I have for example my ingame MOCs I want to complete and do more of them in the future. It is not as if people are spamming inappropriate topics on this forum. I think the moderators are doing fine on that front. I think the situation with the pedophile is dealt with for now. It is up to ShadowDraikana how to improve the forum and how to prevent anything similar happening. Maybe this forum could use some age restrictions to solve this problem in the future. Users with less rights unless they are old enough.

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On 11/3/2022 at 1:34 PM, Thomkok23 said:

No idea why you want to throw mud, but you already know I was not there and did not see anything. Only the information based on what Cirevam has written was the only thing to go on, before you guys posted some proof of the situation.

Since it seems you have not seen it, and it is possible many people in the future won't see it, I will link to the video directly here. This video is the entire reason why the ownership changed. It goes into detail about how Cirevam, then-owner, opted to defend a friend convicted of pedophilia: 

 

 

 

The only part of the video I think is not verified to be true is the claim that this pedophile user wasn't banned from RRU, which seems to be true. However Cirevam's claims of not knowing the guy is completely false/damage control though, but since he stepped down peacefully I will leave it at that.

 

 

On 11/3/2022 at 1:34 PM, Thomkok23 said:

I agree the website should stay up, but archiving would also mean that people still interested like new people are not able to add/edit anything new, which I do not prefer to happen. I have for example my ingame MOCs I want to complete and do more of them in the future. It is not as if people are spamming inappropriate topics on this forum. I think the moderators are doing fine on that front. I think the situation with the pedophile is dealt with for now. It is up to ShadowDraikana how to improve the forum and how to prevent anything similar happening. Maybe this forum could use some age restrictions to solve this problem in the future. Users with less rights unless they are old enough.

 

Apart from the website having an issue with persistence and disarray of information, there are things that you don't know, and perhaps that's for the best.

 

Personally I witnessed enough behaviour, such as bullying, from the administrators before this mess (that is, excluding Cirevam) that I distanced myself from the site, and this change in ownership will not solve the fundamental administrative issues that I have observed. As an administrator/moderator, it is just as important how you treat your users as moderating the site itself. If you keep the website itself clean but allow/foster toxicity or sow malcontent with its users, I'd argue you are not doing a good job. Usually it's not noticed / an issue for users until they're personally involved.

 

 

 

Going forward I will personally not use the site anymore and focus on keeping my own communities healthy, though I think sharing details of everything I've observed will probably only serve to cause unnecessary drama.

 

I will re-post the links of alternate Discord communities for you, @Thomkok23, as you seemed to have missed them in the other thread. You are welcome with discussing your projects here, we have even had threads about how to correctly construct the in-game buildings/vehicles in the Research Realm:

Spoiler

As a response to anyone looking for a similar Discord to discuss LEGO Research stuff, these 3 Discord servers have been around for quite a while with similar crowds, you are very welcome to join any of them:

The Lego Research Realm - for LEGO research and preservation, similar to what RRU was about

Project Island - for the Project Island game (New Lego Island game)

The Manic Miners Discord - for the Manic Miners game (Rock Raiders remake)

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/1/2022 at 1:31 PM, Thomkok23 said:

Hey @ShadowDraikana I am still not able to edit my topics. Is this correct? I am really looking forward to continue updating my moc topics.

 

Still unable to edit anything from replies to topics. Looks like ShadowRaikana did not come back after Oktober 27th. I have a feeling this is not going to be possible for a long time. Really annoying... 😕

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/29/2022 at 3:27 AM, Thomkok23 said:

No idea why, but I am finally able to edit topics and replies again! Awesome 😁!

Not any more :elvis::rruftw:

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrators

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the absence, it was simply not in my control due to irl circumstances.  Lack of internet also played a role here, namely due to the fact I do not possess home internet access from living in a rural area, meaning I’m reliant on hotspots from a local library.  It sucks but that’s the way life is in this area.  These hotspot are not available constantly so there are long stretches where I *cannot* be physically around.  

 

With my personal life keeping me from being able to do anything with the site, in addition to various login problems I was having due to software issues and the aforementioned internet, I had to simply take a break and come back when I could.

 

On 10/28/2022 at 4:12 AM, Crystalyzer said:

Hi ShadowDraikana, thank you for taking up the responsibility of forum administrator. I wish you a lot of luck in performing this role! I have two questions I'd like to ask, feel free to answer them however you like :)

  1. Regarding safeguarding, and without getting too personal, what do you think you will do differently compared to how things were done before? In other words, how would you describe your policy (or personal vision) for dealing with behaviour that breaks forum rules or is morally dubious but not explicitly outruled? (Zero-tolerance, second chance with warning etc.)
  2. Do you have other plans for the forum that you have always wanted to see implemented?

 

To answer this crystalizer, the rules I outlined should reinforce that things will be handled differently, as the rest of this post should clarify.  I'm frankly not going to be as hardline on some grey area items but blatantly bad offenses such as criminal behavior?  Instant removal.  Plans for the site going forward will be detailed below.

 

On 10/29/2022 at 5:15 PM, Lair said:

Sorry, but forward to what? Most of the old users have left the site and do not want to return, the site's reputation was already pretty bad before and is basically nonexistent now, and most of the activity from here has already moved on to new successor communities. Even before this most activity had moved to the site's discord, and with that permanently gone there's not really a hope of this community recovering. I had honestly assumed the site was going to stay in archive mode as a collection of downloads and reference of research, since what else would even be done with this place? Where is there to go from here?

 

Out of curiosity, who is the current owner of the site? Like, who owns the domain and hosts it?

 

Lair, to answer your’s, the current backend owner who was paying is rockboy aka Frozen Snow.  How this came about was I had been faced with Cirevam leaving and likely shutting down the site then and there with no further access. This was until I approached him and convinced him to leave it up. It was then clear that I was going to inherit the costs, which I could not do.  I then in turn reached out to Frozen Snow and asked if he would be willing to cover costs as I believed he had the means to do so, knowing that he had mentioned having the infrastructure in place for hosting a site in the past.  He agreed, and thus the site backend was transferred to him.  Once the transfer was complete Cirevam hung around briefly to reply in his announcement thread but he has not logged in since.  

 

Your other points are also valid.  If people don’t want to update their threads there’s quite literally no requirement for them to do so.  Neither should they be discouraged from doing so, if that’s what they choose.  It’s very clear that for some time a lot of threads weren’t being updated anyway, so there isn’t going to be much of a difference here.  The reopening of the site was intended to let people continue to use and rebuild this community if they wanted to, with again no requirement that it happen.  Frankly if the site's reputation is viewed as tarnished to the point of no return, then that's that and there's no further point in rehashing and debating this in a snark-fest.  But, most importantly, the site was reopened to preserve its history, which leads into my next points below. 

 

The site is going to remain up for archival purposes, which at the end of the day is something everyone can agree on.  This transitions into the newest points regarding how things will be going forward.  Simply put, the current owner has stated he can no longer support the forum’s costs, and is stepping back from his role entirely. Due to the costs I cannot financially support this either, therefore I am looking into ways to convert the forum into a different software system to minimize this.  Furthermore, I have been looking into a new host/ownership to be able to support the site with lower costs. This is to at the bare minimum preserve the website’s information and history.  Current ownership made the final payment, which covers for another month.

 

For those who are interested in knowing what kind of costs I am talking about here:
Web hosting: ~$58/month
Forum software license: ~$90 every six months
Cloudflare: Unknown, but has been prepaid a few years by Cirevam before he left
Domain Registration: ~$15/year per domain, so ~$30/year total for two domains

 

In lieu of the current issues, I am revising the rules again, as well as implementing some changes that some may have noticed already.

1. New user account creation is disabled, those who wish to make an account will need to request one until further notice.  

2. Edits have been removed to avoid vandalism (you know who you are).

3. New posts are currently not going to be allowed outside of this section of the forums (ie, announcement section of the forum)

4. Gallery access will be restricted to a limited degree.

 

Due to software changes that will need to be made to cut costs, I will likely take the site offline and restrict access to select trusted users in a sort of archivist role while the site undergoes this entire process. Suggestions for handling a transfer are welcome, but I hope you understand why I have had my hands tied these last few months in dealing with all this.    

 

One additional point about the site going forward: there are a number of hidden sections that I would like to return to being public. However, there may be personal information within them so they must be checked/cleaned first before hand.  These subforums and topics were displaced during the 2017 restructure of the forum and were never made public again/moved into proper homes, thus becoming an internal reference for moderators and administrators only.  The process of sorting through these old topics has been appointed to Sadie Meowsalot and Lair, as they have experience in archival and preservation while being careful with personal information.  If the site must be taken offline, they will hopefully retain access to continue their work.  Once this process of sorting is finished, these particular topics and subforums will be made public again.

 

Lastly, I will try to reply to posts here but due to circumstances, may not be feasible again.  I will be making a further announcement if I am able about a site transfer if one is completed or not in time if I am able.

Thank you again for your responses and time.
 

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Hey ShadowDraikana! Thank you for the response. Hopefully your internet situation will improve.

 

I have a few questions about your reply:

  • My MOC topics are currently really reliant to editing, because I prefer not having to fully complete the topic first before posting or having to reply to my topics for updates. Is editing going to stay removed for everyone? Is it possible to grand some people edit rights based on what they want to do on this forum or some other way? I really like the way my MOC topics are structured and want to keep doing it the way I do it currently. These are the MOC's I am talking about. I am also planning to submit a LEGO island 1 topic, but it would not be 100% complete when I want to post it.

 

  • Am I still able to post zip files for my MOC topics and am I able to edit them overtime?
  • The four changes mentioned changing the forum. Are these going to stay or are they temporary?
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