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Messages - KnowsNothing

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Okay, I've skimmed the thread, and determined this really isn't the place for this post.  But I typed it up anyway.  I doubt I'll post much more here so I might as well leave in, like, the worst way possible  :P: .  And this is definitely coming from the wrong person, I know that.  Feel free to skip it.

I don't really know what the overall goals for this site are.  It seems to be in a sort of weird limbo between a blog shared between friends and an actual serious enterprise.  The founders of this site certainly used it as a stepping stone to other careers in the industry, but maybe you guys don't have those same aspirations.  That's perfectly fine if that's the case.  Without knowing that, I can safely say that most of this post will be nonsense.  It certainly won't be productive, in any case.

Reorganizing the forums is an entirely separate issue from why this site doesn't attract new members, and why activity down.

I think there are some hard truths you guys need to face about how much the internet has changed in the past few years.  I’ve been here since 2003 (I think?) and while the site has undergone some cosmetic changes it ultimately functions the same way it always has.  While that might make the old-timers feel more comfortable, the reality is that people these days use the internet very differently than they did over a decade ago.  The industry is also exponentially larger, so competing sites have a lot more resources to throw around in designing their website and producing content.  Small forums ARE dying.  It sucks, but it’s true.  My guess is that larger communities like NeoGAF attract the few remaining people looking for that type of online interaction.  (I have no idea if that site even exists any more, just a guess!)

I wish we could go back to the old Planet GameCube days, but I don’t think that type of fan site can even exist anymore.  (For what it’s worth, GiantBomb does the best job of straddling the line between big content producer with a fan-site feel.  They do a hell of a job of somehow being a profitable enterprise without showing it.)

Maybe I’m just out of touch, but that’s what I see.  And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep the site functioning the way it does now, just don’t expect your membership to suddenly start growing.  I’ll admit it’s nice to come back after all these years to see this place close to how I left it.  It’s also a little concerning.

The other elephant in the room is reddit, which is overall just a much better source of news and community interaction for ANY topic, not just limited to video games.  Social media is an issue as well, but in my mind you are really competing with reddit. 

(I will admit, however, that you out-lived Digg, and reddit is ultimately bound for the same fate. So you have that going for you  :P: : )

And I know some of you are thinking I’m even crazy to suggest NWR compete with GiantBomb and reddit, but if that’s where people are going to talk about games, then that’s who you’re competing with for users.  I know you guys don’t want to be THAT big, but at the end of the day you need traffic, and revenue, and a reason for people to volunteer their time making this place run.  Good old Billy Hamburger spun his time here into what I imagine was a few good years at Game Informer, G4, and EGM.  Sure, he bounced from dying-medium to dying-medium, but you get the point.  It’s not just the forums that need to be strong, it’s the entire site.  It’s the motivation of the staff.  It’s a reason for people to spend time HERE, not THERE.

I also saw some people saying that social media (and reddit) can be used as a tool to draw traffic to these forums, and while I agree I think there’s a VERY important step in between those two things: content.  The whole point of social media is that it’s a place to have conversations with people, so it’s a really tough sell to go there and say “yeah, but there REAL conversation is happening over HERE.”  There needs to be another reason for people to come to this site.  Why would anyone from reddit ever come over here to start talking about games when they can just to to /r/games, or /r/Nintendo, or /r/3DS, etc.?

My point is that the forums aren’t going to draw in users, content is, and that’s going to be a really tough nut to crack.  The forums on its own just isn’t going sustain itself independent of the rest of the site.  The main page is honestly a disaster, and it has been ever since the NWR re-branding.  It looks like an ad-spam link aggregator designed in Frontpage.  The forums aren’t much better.  Articles are short.  Podcasts are long.  Editorials are infrequent and not compelling.

And I get it, this is a site run by volunteers.  You use templates for site design.  You don’t have professional podcasting equipment.  You’re not familiar with producing video content.  You have other careers to focus on.  I’m certainly not going to spend my free time producing content for this site for almost nothing in return.  The real issue is that in 2003 you didn’t have to have a good looking site, or a podcast, or any video content at all.  You just needed a place for people to read and talk about video games, because there weren’t too many places on the internet for people to do that.  And the people that did want to do that were really dedicated members, because it took five minutes to load a page and you couldn’t use your home phone while you waited.  Things are so, so different now.  There’s so much more money in this industry.

The one positive is that with so many people interesting in gaming it's easier than ever to carve out a niche, and it's even possible for that niche to sustain your website.  What's NWR's niche?  Nintendo?  That's not enough.  You're stuck between being too focused to attract a general audience, and too broad to attract people away from other sites. 

I don’t know what the solution is.  I’m not sure there is one.  Maybe you just need the bare minimum amount of traffic to keep the forums up and hope a few people stick around.  But major changes in the health of this site, and by extension these forums?  I really don’t know.

Edit: I would also like to add that I'm frankly shocked the site has survived as long as it has, and I don't mean that in a derogatory way.  It's a testament to the dedication of the staff that this site is still generating original content and has ventured into podcasts/videos.  It's certainly a lot of work that often goes unappreciated.

It's hard to know what to make of this game.  Impressions so far have come from people dedicated enough to the franchise/genre to import the game from Japan (frequently without knowing any of the language), which is so far removed from how most of us will experience the game to be almost worthless.  These are people who spend 200 hours trying to get 100% on the game and then complaining about the grind.  These are people who feel compelled to explore every inch of the world and then turn around and complain about its emptiness.

To me the appeal of the huge world is that I'll realistically never explore all of it.  I just don't dedicate that kind of time to a single game anymore.  That kind of size makes the game world seem a little more real.  If I plan on skipping most of the simple quests and focusing on story or affinity missions, will the game still feel like a grind?  Will I constantly be under-leveled?  If I don't plan to explore every inch of the continents and go mainly where quests take me, will the world still feel empty?

The only thing I've heard is that your ability to progress in the story line is sometimes tied to your completion rate (literally the percentage of the map you have explored).  That type of thing really concerns me because it forces a grind, potentially to a greater extent than even being under-leveled or needing resources (although resource scarcity is also a big concern; constantly needing fuel and money to use your skell could be annoying).  At this point though I just don't know.

TalkBack / Re: Satoru Iwata: 1959 - 2015
« on: July 14, 2015, 09:35:58 PM »
I never post here anymore but I'm pretty sure my avatar is his beautiful face creating sunshine for children all over the world to enjoy.  Hopefully the next president hates smartphone games as much as I do.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Mario Golf: World Tour - Japanese Intro Video
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:50:44 PM »
I hadn't actually figured it out (though I did stop trying).  Seems so obvious now...thanks!

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Mario Golf: World Tour - Japanese Intro Video
« on: May 05, 2014, 09:30:28 PM »

How the hell do you remove costumes? I DON'T WANT TO LOOK LIKE BIRDO ANYMORE.

TalkBack / Re: Mario Golf: World Tour Review
« on: April 28, 2014, 07:52:10 PM »
Does anyone know how to put sidespin on the ball?  I feel real dumb but i cant figure it out.

TalkBack / Re: Official Legend of Zelda Timeline Revealed
« on: December 23, 2011, 11:11:12 PM »
Why don't we have a "what if Link failed" timeline for EVERY game?

There is a "what if Link failed" timeline for every game, they just haven't been made yet.

TalkBack / Re: Mario Kart 7 Review
« on: November 30, 2011, 12:03:54 AM »
But then again, I loved Mario Kart Wii, and apparently most other people had issues with it. Everybody's favorite Mario Kart is different.
For a series that, according to most, hasn't progressed much in the past few iterations it's funny how differently people feel about the games (and how vehemently they defend their personal favorites).  These small changes create vast rifts in the gaming community.

Personally? Super Circuit is my favorite, followed by Double Dash (I loved the cooperative game play and clunkier vehicles).  Mario Kart DS was fun but snaking ruined the online play, and the best part of Mario Kart Wii was the motion control.  Mario Kart 64 has aged very well and is still more fun than the DS or Wii versions.  The original is the worst.

General Chat / Re: Just another day at the office...
« on: August 28, 2011, 01:31:09 AM »
This is beyond neat, thanks a lot for sharing!

TalkBack / Re: More 3DS GBA Titles Revealed
« on: August 01, 2011, 03:59:33 PM »
Drill Dozer, Mario Golf, and Advance Wars/Fire Emblem.  PLEASE.

TalkBack / Re: Netflix Impressions
« on: July 16, 2011, 01:48:39 PM »
Anyone else having trouble with their Recently Watched list?  Sometimes it shows up and sometimes it's completely missing...

TalkBack / Re: Netflix Coming to 3DS Tomorrow
« on: July 13, 2011, 08:40:14 PM »
This is great news, I honestly didn't expect it until September.

TalkBack / Re: Wii U's Online Service May be Left Up to the Publisher
« on: July 06, 2011, 07:39:19 AM »
*just shakes his head.*

Xbox LIVE is the standard and PSN works pretty well for the constraints it has.  For once, Nintendo needs to just swallow its pride and model its online structure after these systems we already know work, and then they can build from there with their own ideas.  If they go with (as the rumor insinuates) putting this system in the hands of individual publishers, what...does that mean I'll have to have a half-dozen different logins and passwords for every game I play (like when you login to an EA game on PSN/360)?  That doesn't sound very user-friendly.
Isnt that how the rest of the Internet works? You don't use the same account information to sign into both gmail and NWR, for example. Every site uses a different system, and every online PC game does the same thing (save for steam). I'm not saying it's the best method for nintendo, but most of us deal with this issue of multiple accounts every day and don't think twice about it.

General Chat / Re: Hockey Discussion
« on: June 16, 2011, 12:51:27 PM »
Last year the Bruins were up 3-0 in a series and up 3-0 in game 7 and they blew it.  The Celtics won the NBA Finals in 2008, were eliminated in 2009, and went back to the Finals in 2010. You guys are a good team and will have another shot. I feel terrible for the city though for having to put up with those insane rioters, that's just inexcusable.

General Chat / Re: Hockey Discussion
« on: June 16, 2011, 12:48:22 AM »
I honestly feel bad for Vancouver fans.  Your team is obviously very talented but they cannot play from behind.  Score one goal early in the game and mentally they can't seem to recover.

TalkBack / Re: Raptr and Nintendo World Report Summer Giveaway
« on: June 15, 2011, 05:45:46 PM »
This is my kind of contest!  I usually never win anything that relies on talent :(

After hearing all the bitching about the cost to play Crystal Chronicles or Four Swords Adventures I don't really blame them, and those were only two games!  If they build that mechanic into the console itself people are going to be pissed.  Yeah, a lot of us here on the forums might shell out the money to buy a few of these things (Uncle Bob certainly would) but most people would be pissed if playing Mario Party required another $300 investment just for three more controllers.

General Chat / Re: Hockey Discussion
« on: June 14, 2011, 02:28:07 PM »
Boston looks just as bad on Vancouver's ice.  It's really mind boggling.  The Canucks are around -11 in total goals but are poised to win the series all because the Bruins outscored them at home 17-3 but can't seem to find the net in Vancouver.  Those numbers might not be perfect but they're pretty damn close.  Both teams just seem so much faster on their home ice, and Boston is not known for their speed :p It's just really strange

The Bruins aren't saints but I've seen a lot of slashing and bumping from both teams.  Hell, Alex Burrows bit Bergeron's finger and Aaron Rome sent Nathan Horton to the hospital with very late, cheap shot.  Plus, Luongo's comments about Tim Thomas aren't helping their PR problems and were particularly hilarious after last night's performance.

Anyway, I don't have too much of an emotional investment in this series but I would be disappointed to see the Canucks win after getting destroyed in every game in Boston.  The Vancouver games have at least been close.  But whatever, the Heat lost the NBA finals so justice has been served in the world of sports.

I think Link's Awakening is the best Zelda ever!

Hyperbole aside, I'm just an hour in but this is super-fun.  I'd never played this before, I was half-afraid it would be like the first Zelda, but it's much closer to Link to the Past in terms of gameplay.  Good candidate for a RFN retrospective, maybe?

It's not hyberbole if it's true.  8)  I know there are at least a few others here, including me, that call it their favorite Zelda.
I'm one of them, although I separate the series into 2D and 3D categories.  Link's Awakening is my favorite 2D game, followed by Link's Awakening and Oracle of Ages.  Wind Waker is my favorite 3D Zelda, followed by Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.  LA might gain the edge as the best Zelda ever, but separating the franchise into two sections allows me to never have to's too hard to pick the best one.

General Chat / Re: The NBA thread
« on: June 13, 2011, 04:00:21 PM »
Lebron showed perhaps his greatest weakness in this series.  When he's not getting the superstar calls he's used to, he shuts down.  I honestly don't think Lebron has the skills to be a great champion (yet), nevermind to be called "the best ever."  What he has is strength, speed, and athleticism.  He is a very inconsistent shooter (from anywhere, including free throws) and has NO post game at all.  His success comes from his "bull in a china shop" strategy which relies on pure strength and speed to penetrate and finish at the rim, but when the calls don't go his way he seems to lose confidence in that technique.  Compound that with a poor shooting night and all of a sudden he's scoring next to nothing in the 4th quarter.

What he does have going for him, aside from pure athletic prowess (which I admit is extremely important), is fantastic defense, great passing, the best fast break in the league (although that comes from his athleticism), and the occasional hot shooting night.  These skills alone are enough to make him one of the best in the league, but he needs to shore a lot of things before he becomes legendary.  As it stands, despite being bigger and stronger than Wade, he is MUCH more easily shut down.

For the past year or so my DS Lite's shoulder buttons stopped working and the touchscreen became inaccurate in some places.  Because of these issues (mostly the shoulder buttons, because the touchscreen was still 90% fine) I ended up using my iPod Touch as my portable gaming device.   Now that I have a 3DS and can go back and play all my old DS games, I have to say I MUCH prefer using a stylus to using my fingers.  When using a stylus you don't really need a capacitive touchscreen with multitouch.  There's just no need for it, the screen they use works perfectly fine.

General Chat / Re: The NBA thread
« on: June 12, 2011, 12:26:26 PM »
This rest of this series is going to be stressful.  I (along with 99% of the country) want the Mavs the win but I have a terrible feeling tragedy will strike them yet again.  Either way though, this series has given me a new appreciation for the Dallas Mavericks and especially Dirk.  Like my Celtics (at least before the Perk trade...), this team has great chemistry and knows how to play good team ball.  The Heat have their big three but little else (Chalmers has hit some big shots, but he can't really create his own offense) and I hate to see that style of basketball succeed. 

Furthermore, these playoffs have made me lose a lot of respect for Wade.  It seems like Lebron's sense of entitlement has rubbed off a little on him.  He's made a number of flops and dirty plays, and like Lebron he expects every call to go his way.  Again, like Lebron, he's allowed to throw temper tantrums at the refs without getting a technical.  I just don't like what that kind of attitude is doing to the league.  The again, maybe he's always been like that and I'm only noticing it now that the Heat have gotten a lot more exposure.

Anyway, go Mavs! Dirk and Jason deserve their rings.  Lebron will have more chances.

TalkBack / Re: Star Fox 64 3D Impressions
« on: June 10, 2011, 01:21:49 AM »
FINALLY. As a socially awkward gamer I sometimes want to know how my friends are reacting without having to risk eye contact.  This solves everything!

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Animal Crossing 3DS
« on: June 09, 2011, 09:43:40 PM »
Some notes on the trailer:

-New musical theme.  Good omen!

-Tent has a mailbox, indicating that it can be a permanent home.  It will most likely be your starting house, but there's potential for different types of houses or perhaps greater control over your house location.

-Obviously you now have control over you shoes and pants.  Woo!

-Villagers can now follow you around.  Potential for stalkers and/or sexual predators.

-There appears to be a bee house surrounded by flowers.  That seems to indicate better control over hybridizing flowers or defending your borders with an army of bees.

-The lamp posts in the winter scene seem to be placed haphazardly, as if they were placed by the user.  Perhaps when you become mayor you will have control over such things.  Hopefully they also include forced relocation of villagers.

-Swimming and diving, duh.  Ability to drown stalkers and/or sexual predators likely.

-Beaches can now exist on the east/west of your town instead of just the south.

-The dock is long and has tires on its side, indicating that thar be BOATS.  It's most likely just the next version of the train from the original (or the taxi, or the bus), but I really hope it's something more.

General Chat / Re: Hockey Discussion
« on: June 09, 2011, 12:14:13 AM »
Haha bruins humiliated the canucks once again. Hopefully they can perform like that again on canadian ice!

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