We've now raised over $2500 toward our donation target goal for site improvements. Thank you for all the generosity shown! Please see this thread for more details.
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I decided to open my imagination I prayed about something recently. I asked God to give me signs. God gave me all the wrong signs. Therefore I submit this as Exhibit A, God is eother an asshole or doesnt exist. Discuss
Conservatives- Resistant to change, confident in the status quo. Liberals- Supportive of change, dissatisfied with the status quo. If we stopped attacking each other for a few minutes these traits could be complimentary.
Must be exciting to be an american today. Prosperity and optimism and winning are so much more fun than divisive bullying and globalist theft and war with russia. Plus Barron is hilarious. Glorious stuff! Good on you democracy.
www.PlayDiplomacy.com is hosting a cross-site Diplomacy tournament. We have *eliminated* the paid premium membership requirement to allow us to invite members from other sites. WebDiplomacy players with strong reliability ratings and ratings in the top 10%+/- on this site are invited to participate in this event .
As many of us know, we want to make the site into the best Diplomacy site there is and make regular improvements to the game, the variants, and features. We have been doing that more over the past two years thanks to A_Tin_Can, but we'd like to do more. To keep up the regular improvement and to update our forum so that it doesn’t look like it’s an old forum from the 1990s, I am starting a donation drive to create a fund for site development. My goal is to raise to at least $10,000. The donation link can be found here (http://webdiplomacy.net/faq.php). The fund will be used to get a developer to create a new forum (or substantially update to the forum) and to make site improvements over time such as integrating non-point ranking into the site (not sure if we will stay with ghostrating for now or if we will go to something more along the line of TruSkill) . I’ll work with Kestas and the mods and any site user who wants to help to find a developer who can do the work with us (for a discount, I hope).
To that end, I am asking everyone to donate as they are able to. As a possible incentive, I am creating two new levels of donation and I am also going to make explicit the minimum amount for each level. I hope people will still donate as they are able and not just aim for the minimum amount. If people want (and I am not sure if they would), I am also willing to play a full press game with the top six donators during this donation drive at one point in the summer.
For bronze: less than $50 For silver: $50-$99 For gold: $100-$499 For platinum: $500-$999 For adamantium: $1,000 or more
In addition, the whole webDip team will continue to work on improving the site in other ways. For instance, we just ported over two 1 on 1 variants: F vs. A, and G vs. I, and a new large variant: Known World 901. Thanks to jmo for doing this part. The 1 on 1 variants are unranked so people can’t bet points on them, and we will work on creating a new set of stats for it later. The mods and I will also be reviving the various Player of the Year Awards in the coming weeks, and we intend to create and maintain yearly tournies. There are some ex-mods and current mods who are getting pretty damn good at doing this. I will be encouraging them to do more of it.
My hope is that we will continue to improve the site and make it the best possible place to play and enjoy Diplomacy games. Please help me in making it a reality.
I should note that the donation badges will now be period badges lasting at least one year. The plan is to restart badges between official donation drives as we need funds to maintain and improve the site. Anyone who donated in 2016 will be able to keep their badge for next year.
@ssorenn, one of the next things I'd like to do is make a simple new page that will list out donators by level. But it'll take me a little bit to make sure I do it right and in a way that will fit with Zultar's plan and meet all the donators requests for privacy (if there are any).
Would the best way to make a specific page for this fund drive? But people can opt to remain anonymous if they wish. They can just send me a comment that their donation is to the fund drive for site improvement when they donate.
I think it could be good to demote old donators, one year after last donation, one level at the time. Gold -> Silver or Silver -> Bronze or Bronze -> none. If they then donate again they get back the lost level...
I get the idea of giving people who already have a badge a reason to keep donating, but we shouldn't forget the people who have donated in the past. If badges become temporary then there should at least be a page recognising *all* donators (even ones who no longer have badges).
Also, one huge concern - can it be ensured that the site stays open-source? This is something that is central to webdip and helps a number of other sites function (such as vDip) and it would be incredibly disappointing if that was lost.
The site will remain open-source as long as Kestas and I are in charge. There is no premium account. Everything will always remain free as long as I can help it. Please put those concerns aside. I don't think I've ever said anything otherwise, but since there are concerns, I want to make sure that those concerns are put aside.
I think Jmo and I can work on two pages, one for anyone who has ever donated and one for specific drives. AUD/USD doesn't matter that much for Kestas and I. In terms of if there will be anyone who donates a $1,000 or more, maybe there will and maybe there won't, but I feel that if anyone were to donate that much, they should be recognized in some ways. Maybe I can also work on updating the forum how much donations we get on a weekly basis (without revealing who donated how much at this point).
So we're ruling out paid for content? No prospect of members willing to splash out getting access to additional variants, or exclusive tournaments? We're sticking to purely voluntary donations even if the targets aren't achieved as quickly as we'd like?
My hope, and it's only a hope, is that we will reach the goal and can find a developer to work with us and we'll do the best with what we got if we don't get there, but we will never move to a pay-for-play site. Except for +1ing me of course. That's different.
Could I ask if new bands take into account prior donations. I.e. If someone has donated $25 before and now donate $30 do they get bronze or silver?
Also, just a suggestion, it's usually a good idea to work out target/active members in $ amounts so people can have an idea of what their fair contribution would be. These extra small donation will mount up.
I'll try to answer as many of these as I can now before I leave on my trip.
The first three donation levels have always been the case ever since Kestas created it. Kestas and I do take prior donations into account, so even though this drive is for a specific site improvement fund, we may do that again. We never had a need to ask for that much money before, so if people are going to donate more towards growing the site, it seems fair to have the last two levels in case anyone donates that much. If no one does, then it's not a problem, but if someone did donate that much, then I think it's fair they are recognized for it. I am hoping that we will be pleasantly surprised if/when someone donates that much towards the site improvement fund. We have some initial estimates from people who do this kind of work that the hourly rate maybe around $50-$100 an hour and possibly higher if we want quality work. It's not a skill that is widely available, and we can't afford to have amateurs play with it and crash the entire site. I wish it was cheaper but that doesn't seem likely.
In terms of the specifics of what we hope to do with the site improvement, having a new forum is a goal and it is not trivial because it has to be integrated with how our games work, how our mod tools works, and a number of other things that I've been told and have little to no expertise about. If it was just a forum without any gaming related stuff, it would be much easier. I wasn't sure if the general ideas about what we would do would be enough or if specific items are more preferable. Here is a partial list of what we would want to improve (what gets done depends on costs and feasibility):
New forum or modernize the front page Mobile app for the site Integrate Ghostrating or TruSkill-ish rating into the site Integrate tournament scores into the site Sandbox mode (one player can control all seven countries for the classic map; this would have been perfect for the Worldcup but we couldn't get it to work) Dual-player system (where two players can access and control the same country for the classic map; this would create new possibilities of gaming tournaments and teaching/training) Map overhaul (Scalable (SVG); More practical (readable, colour-blind friendly, etc); Beautiful; Original as to prevent copyright issues) Rethink the way we input orders (such as the addition of point and click) Create notifications for game progress
As you can see, these would be fairly substantial new features that would greatly improve our site and they aren't things that we can whip up easily. I am probably forgetting some stuff but this is what I can remember.
Considering freelance development costs (for a good dev) are around 50-250$ per hour. Let's assume the person doing the development projects 12 hours for the project (not unreasonable considering how old site code is and if rumors hold true how messy it is) then at just 12 hours and 250$ the cost ends up being 3000. Considering Zultar has other things he wants to get done 10k isn't a big ask. Especially since we could raise that simply by having everyone donate 1$.
Those may have previously been the donation levels, but up until now, those levels lasted forever and were cumulative. Which meant a person could donate $25 per year and after 4 years be a gold member. Donor badges now have a nebulous shelf-life, so you'd think the levels would be set lower.
In terms of the $10,000. That's a lot of money to raise and spend. Is a new forum really the number 1 priority? Is that what's holding us back? I hear people ask for a lot of improvements, but rarely a new forum. How was this chosen as the number one issue? For $10,000 there are a lot cooler improvements we could do.
Can we all remember that this is being done with the best intent for us? Considering other people on other sites would have simply started a premium service or made it P2P we here at webdip are lucky. Sure the details might not be exactly how we may want it, the priorities may not be exactly the way you see fit but there are thousands of users each with his/her own list of priorities and reservations about donating. Imho this seems to be being handled in the best way possible. Unfortunately it doesn't allow you to keep your donor badge long term anymore but maybe that's the price to pay for an upgraded site. I for one will be donating, likely monthly, just because I see some things on that list that excite me.
Give this a chance. If any of you are really here for the best interest of the site you should recognize the opportunity here and dk everything in your power to help this along. If you can't donate that is fine, look for those who can and direct new players to the site. If you don't want to donate that is fine as well but don't come on here and encourage others not to donate. Opportunity to have a better site shouldn't be this divisive.