Oct 13, 2011

Dead community

Well, like it has been, the NWN2 community is in massive decline.

I feel like you can discuss it more readily here than in a forum full of fan kiddies who put in days of effort to drown you out in a pile of argumentive posts.

Let's look at facts. The early mods of this community cleared 20k downloads in a year. Now they are hard pressed to hit 1k. I can't make it any simpler than that. Typically, something is considered defunct when it reaches it's "half-life". Well for that, even if we ignored the first explosive 6 months of NWN2, that was a solid 3 years ago.

But like I said, when anyone ever pointed out the decline, they caused a sh*tstorm of angry replies from people. Mostly people who never posted or add anything to the forums, but they always appear to rant like lunatics about its never-ending and always growing appeal. And then disappear again, leaving it to near silence as 100 posts per day became 10 per week.

I remember one particular poster who joined about 2 years ago asking if it was viable for him to start in this community, a project he had a long time frame for. It was not an accusation, just a question if the community was still valid. Surprise surprise there was another volley of "this ocmmunity is BETTER than it was before". Except this time it wasn't the old deny-er guard, because they had moved on. The few stragglers continue this denial, and even tried to claim it was the "prime" of the community, because 3 year production mods were coming out and NWN2 was going to steam etc etc.

Now what fuels this furious denials, and sometimes out right bs in the face of facts (claiming a community that is a percentage of it's former size is in it's prime or growing, for example) is beyond me. It's beyond me because I have long agreed the community was in decline, but I ended up staying longer than these blindly angry deny-er types, who today aren't even around to keep up the facade.

I really just find it a mystery what they really accomplished. Rather than paint an at least somewhat unbiased view based on facts, they lie, deny, quit and are never heard from again. Were they trying to trick new modders into joining and wasting their time? Convince others, or just them self? Either way they failed because they are gone, and others are not joining.

Really you have to decide for yourself however, when the community lacks an audience for you, as a modder. For me, my Islander would have done well to be released about a year sooner. Most of my fellow modders who I swapped ideas with in the early days (and by early I mean nearly a year after MOTB as thats when I joined), never saw me complete my campaign, nor play it, nor comment on it.

Everyone who has released a campaign that took more than a year (which is why some argue we are in the prime, because of the "multi-year" projects coming out) has abandoned the community immediately after. Some names?

Harp and Chrys
Trial and Terror
Misery Stone

I'm sure if you're a follower you can fill in the other names.

I get a giggle out of the fact that as I wrote this, it took all of 8 minutes for someone to show up and write a pissy reply to my post on this topic. From the same person who fits the category above, of having nothing to say until his community's glaring emptiness is pointed out.

And there are a lot more visual cues than simply watching your module getting 2 to 3 downloads per month in the top ten list, or my rough math that tells me we are below 2% of our one time popularity with downloads and viewership.

Look at the forums themselves; our moderators have neither posted nor "moderated" a post in months. When the police leave the inmates to guard themselves, you know something less than ideal is going on. The vault fills with more spam than commentary and the ability to even upload has evaporated. People are already speculating where you can release works at this point.

I don't see why this is an issue; life moves on, and a 2006 spec game should not be expected to last into 2012. My only regret is there is no real successor; the dragon age toolset does not offer a decidedly better product so much as just newer, and it's overwhelming difficulty has seen its community misfire and shrink in only one year.

It could also be that people modded at a time in their life when they had too much spare time like myself, and simply had to outgrow it.

Anyway I figured I owed any of my 2 readers an explanation rather than a simply drop off the internet which I saw many of my fellows do and found rather... haunting. Haha it's like they were ashamed of it and wanted to "die to the modding world". Well here is where I went.

Personally I think it's a little sad the community wasn't just "shut down" formally around 2010 rather than see it in the state is has become. Not that I expected something like that, but it would be more humane. You got a handful of persistent hard working talent, and no audience at all, with more and more dysfunctionalities appearing daily.

Should a superior toolset product show it's head I may well be interested in a lesser capacity, but the complexity has really gotten such that it's more than a full time job to even use the full range of tools available.