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There are currently 52 users playing Freelancer on 43 servers.
November. 20, 2019

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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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But Flight Simulator Steamed!

Posted on: 2015/4/27 20:56
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Quote:

FriendlyFire wrote:

You say that like nobody's ever thought of it before. Microsoft gives no fucks about the game.

Thought? Or also done?

There are some MS games there at least;
http://store.steampowered.com/search/ ... isher=Microsoft%20Studios

Posted on: 2015/4/28 7:49
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Come on Bas, stop living of hopes and dreams. We tried to talk about it with them years ago through the contact we had for the game's official website and they said they were not interested. From what we know, we're not even sure they still have the source and there's a good chance it's using some unlicensed software as well.

You'd be better off working on the game and/or community than just thinking "Microsoft will save us." No, they won't.

Posted on: 2015/4/28 15:42
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Well, hopes and dreams kept Freelancer up and running for more than 12 years. What has changed?

The chances might be minimal but they are higher than not trying at all.
I know, its not my business actually and my words probably wont find any consideration but what do you have to lose?

You started to think about which direction this website is going to take in future... without much concept other than "lets chose a new forum software"... yet you turn down other ideas instantly.
Im not saying that its wrong to change the software (you just have to take care not to lose data or features while doing so) but in the end you still kept the status quo.
Its a FL modding website while there are nearly no modders left and 80% of the discussions over the past 2-3 years were about adoxas plugins/hacks. Adoxa deserves a very big thanks for that.

I think it was on the first page of this thread where it was mentioned that it is pretty hard to change the direction of a site and support other/new games. Out of experience I can only agree to such a statement.
If you try to jump on a already moving train you always risk ending on next to the track without having achieved something. Its not impossible... just a bit tricky and often requires more than just 1-2 tries.

Question is if you want to do that or if you want to focus a bit longer on what is your strength actually (FL modding).
If you are still interested in Freelancer and modding you probably should ask yourself at which point things went wrong.

For a Freelancer community there have been relative little... wait no... ill bring it to the point... during the past 14 months there has been not one Freelancer related news item here.
There have been multiple mod releases during this time... game magazines have released multiple articles about Freelancer and Freelancer mods... one magazine even had the original game on its DVD a few months back... and there was like every year the annual mod awards with nominated Freelancer mods (even that got totally ignored).

The forum software is clearly the smallest problem here...

I can understand that long term members got tired and lost the interest in FL but that should not be reason to let chances (no matter how small they are) just pass by. The times where we had such a luxury are long gone (to a degree because we didnt use chances in the past).


(I didn't want to offend anyone... its just an observation)

Posted on: 2015/4/28 17:03
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Uh, don't worry, got some other plans in my mind.

Better Social Network integration
There seems to be a site (the is a like button on the site, after all), but I couldn't find it by a quick search. It doesn't seem to be promoted much either (judging from an inactive member here, so please forgive me if I am seeing something wrong here).

TODO:
Create and maintain a Facebook, Twitter and possibly G+ page. Get users to follow there (more on this below), post updates regularly and integrate buttons into the website to share a news or forums topic, download, mod etc.
[Also enable some kind of auto-posting from the website whenever you create a news etc.]

Promote donations and social networks
It is nice that there are ranks on the forums, but other than that there aren't really rewards and benefits for donating (or following FB).

TODO:
This might sound like a tough step, but can help TSP financially and in popularity. Allow people to select one or multiple rewards; these might include but not limited to;
- Getting a special icon on the forums or a personalized text/rank
- Get the chance to have a talk with an admin/mod/police from either the 'Port itself or from one cooperating server, do some missions or PvP
- Get some ingame benefit from a cooperating server (obviously, a list should be nearby for this) such as equipment, ship, credits, characters, reputation...

Hosting events on the website or gameserver
A step to bring some live to the website again, and making it...well, fresh!

TODO:
- Doing SP site events
- Doing events on a freelancer server together as a community. Might be simple PvP (tournaments? Ladder hosted on the website?), RP (not being very familiar with this one) or modded something (like the HC imba events when they were happening?), cheat imba equip of a mod to each player and doing PvP (might also give that mod some chance to get into a spotlight in the community)
- As rewards you could run with similiar things to the donations I suggested.
- I am quite confident that it is possible to organize a server for some hours in this community, considering how many admins are around here.

In any case, the events should be listed at the front page, clearly visible.

Minor buffs;

TS Server
Might be already somewhere, but put it visible on the website. Also might want to include some kind of TS viewer. I don't want a discussion here about if TS should be used or Ventrilo or Mumble or CV, TS is probably the most used one so let's keep it simple.

Steam Group
Again: Is there already one? If so, where is the info to it? Might be used to annouce stuff/events as well.


I hope my thoughts can be of some use here.

Posted on: 2015/4/28 17:19
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Well this is most if not all about Freelancer here. Barely something different. And its quite OK this way. I am coming here to get some news on developments of others, also about the modding.

Social Frameworks dont improve anything. Users have to use them, and honestly i dont like them at all - they are mostly deactivated for data protection reasons. Rewards, well forum rewards are actually good for? The only reward someone needs is to see how many posts he has and how long someone is a member. I personally dont care if you have an uber cool name or icon showing what you are. Bas you are already talking with admins here - so where is the problem. If you have the need to talk to one of them, you can send them PMs

Also this here is no game server forum. Each mod has that on its own. We had this discussion already in the past. TSP cannot offer that for certain reasons and it wouldnt be in their responsibility at all.

I prefer to come here for modding stuff. Thats what TSP should put its priority at. Or totally break and start something new. I wont visit TSP just if it becomes another game server site. Clearly news about Freelancer are lacking, but that again is not solely the fault of the admins. There is a community and moderators who could do that. Same as for the rest. If someone wants to make a global event, start it on your own or ask for help to start it. I dont see why this has to come from the TSP admin team in first place and why it should run to their expense.

Just my two cents.

Posted on: 2015/4/28 18:14
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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I think it boils down to us not really, believably focusing on becoming a player-centered site. Therefore, mostly modders visit here and since everybody assumes this is a modding site only, nobody really cares about posting news. This is my theory at least.

In this regard, I think it makes sense to update and concentrate on the forum software because after all, the forum is the most used and useful feature of this site.

Posted on: 2015/4/28 19:12
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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may i ask what you gain by upgrading the forum software?

people can write posts before such an update
people can write posts after such an update

whats the benefit of such an update other than a few backend features that regular users wont even have access to?

Posted on: 2015/4/29 10:57
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Largely avoiding an eventual hack, because I don't trust Xoops whatsoever about that.

But I personally don't think it's that urgent or that necessary, we've been running fine for quite some time. As for other mod releases, lots of mods seem to center around Discovery these days and those people often seem to ignore that there actually exists a community beyond Discovery. It's disappointing, but there's little to do about it. Looking at the average player numbers, it's nonsensical to expect a large amount of activity. The game is very old and has a tiny community, and that's perfectly fine, she's had quite the long run and that's no thanks to anyone but us.

I'm fine with this site being the ultimate repository of knowledge for modding and a good place to ask for modding help. Trying to be TLR would be foolhardy in a community which couldn't sustain TLR.

Posted on: 2015/4/29 15:38
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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probably true

Posted on: 2015/4/29 16:10
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Quote:

w0dk4 wrote:
I think it boils down to us not really, believably focusing on becoming a player-centered site. Therefore, mostly modders visit here and since everybody assumes this is a modding site only, nobody really cares about posting news. This is my theory at least.

In this regard, I think it makes sense to update and concentrate on the forum software because after all, the forum is the most used and useful feature of this site.


Agree completely with this!

Loved this site and community, but at some point everything and everyone got completely serious and forgot what it was to have fun, and I think that's the freelancer modders curse!

As numbers dwindled, people got more competitive in trying to grab playerbase in order to survive, stopped sharing assets and ideas, Adoxa is about the only white knight the community has had for the last few years, selflessly creating and sharing for the benefit of all. I shut my mouth in the end because any attempt to poke fun or have a bit of harmless fun by banter was met with hostility and threats to watch my tone, a sure sign that things had gone really sour around here.

There's so few of you guys left that can actually make a difference to freelancer it's well past due you just banded together, shake hands, let the past be in the past. You might never be friends, but you're stronger together than divided.

The last couple of years using the Nexus for games like Skyrim has reminded me what freelancer used to be like years ago and it's refreshing. What happened with the valve crap last week has been a reminder how things can go badly wrong in a community as happened here.

Be nice to see what little time you guys have left mucking about with this game be as a harmonious community who finished everything together the way they started everything together. Good luck to you all!

Posted on: 2015/5/3 13:06
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction

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Sorry it has been a while since I have posted here last and I definitely know where w0dk4 is coming from. For those that don't know I am the admin of SSC and it's tough running these sorts of websites they are not huge money makers. Yeah I have VPS hosting and it runs me about $600 a year for it all (not too bad really) but that just means I have to make $600 in advertising which I usually do when I add the donations.

I think its all worth it because the games are a passion of mine so its worth the expense and my personal time. And it definitely takes time and as the Starport knows you need to be around for a while to get that name recognition.

Social media helps only a little in my experience. But you have to be active in posting to it for it to be effective and its like a full-time job and its a job you don't get paid for. So the motivation for social media isn't really there for me either. I don't advertise at all and all I try to do is just focus on the games and help out any developer I can and usually just word of mouth gets the traffic flowing.

SEO (ie word placement for titles is big) has helped a lot for getting SSC noticed and the use of tags when you can do it help get you noticed on the search engines.

For forum software, I use IP.Board... its ok and would like something more lightweight. But I am invested in IP.Board for now. But this forum software looks amazing http://www.discourse.org/ and is super fast and the SEO potential is amazing. It's just they don't have a converter yet for IP.Board. But you will need a VPS I think to run it unless your host allows Ruby/Rails based websites because you will need some extra software most general hosts don't carry by default. I know a few devs that are using this software and it is slick and its 100% free

If you need any help from me just ask away, I could always post something on the site that may send some freelancer fans your way. Or feel free to post in the FL area on SSC to bring people here for new mods and news.

We both know Star Citizen is going to be a huge game and I wasn't even going to bother trying to cover modding for it (I'll make a download area for it, that's about it) because I think it will be tough to pull the traffic away from the SC website when it comes to modding. That's just my opinion, this game is gonna have a huge following and it will be a tough fight to become the 'place' for modding or just plain information on SC thats not covered on the SC homepage.

Nothing wrong with more focus and I am sure there is current FL modders that will be SC modders that will bring traffic here if they post about their mods here exclusively. So as long as you have a good base of mod developers you should see the traffic pickup and all it takes is mod developers to post youtube videos and telling everyone to visit here and that should help a lot.

I will quit rambling. If you need anything from me just ask I will do what I can, space gaming websites have to stick together.


-D1-

Posted on: 2015/5/6 5:02
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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We're already running on a dedicated server so we could technically run Discourse, I just wasn't convinced last I checked - it seemed very "social media-y" and lacked structure. It looks a lot more modern, that's for sure, but our current forum has a very clear structure that I'd like to keep to a certain extent.

I'll also agree regarding SC: it's going to be a big game (unless Roberts manages to run out of money again...), but I doubt there's much of a market to cover it. That's the problem with every game that gets official forums, it becomes redundant to make a fansite and extremely hard to attract traffic. People will just go to the official forum, where you get everyone and possibly even the devs interacting. That's largely why I saw no point in expanding Starport to cover SC.

Posted on: 2015/5/6 15:32
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction

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The dev for Shallow Space actually put me on to Discourse after I commented on his forum software. You can use categories if that's what you mean see it in action here: 'http://forums.shallow.space/categories'. I think it organizes well if you put the effort in, but how painful will it be migrating a large forum into it? So if you try it please let me know how the migration is


Really our sites are in niche areas and are focused in content so population will probably always be an issue. For instance on the avg day I get about 60-90 registered users to login per day. But at any given moment I have 100+ guests on the site at all times. I have been trying to figure out how do I get those lurkers to become users, contributors or even donators?

That's been the tough point for me because SSC tries to provide just general game information for anything and everything out there. So people can read that without logging in. But if I make it hard for people to get at the info I could push people away.

I do make people register to download, just because I don't have unlimited bandwidth. I don't know how much you pay in dedicated server fees but I pay about $50 a month for my VPS, dedicated server is even more through my provider so are you utilizing all the server that you need to have dedicated? I would go with a cheaper plan but I need the HD space for the download area.

But to get back to my point was that maybe looking over your threads and use SEO techniques to help classify your discussions better. Making sure the words MOD, PATCH, FL or Freelancer, etc are in the post titles (if it makes sense too) or at least in the body. Build internal links to related content on your site, google loves that. You are already on page 1 search results for 'freelancer mods' so you are already there... it's just how do you get more people to play freelancer?

Especially when SC arrives I think a lot of people will be very absorbed with that. And depending on the experience and if modding is good for SC will give FL scene more looks or less looks. I love freelancer myself, but I will be honest I haven't played it in a few years now, been so busy with all these games that come out I don't have time. And looking back the game is what 10+ yrs old now and still has a decent presence and its a shame MSoft never capitalized on that fan base.

As long as we can play FL people will have a need for a mod site and starport is the #1 mod site for FL. So your already getting it done. It's just how can you provide the same service that costs less for you or figure out how to get more people playing.


Posted on: 2015/5/6 21:12
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Re: [The Starport News]Server Switch & Site Direction
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Maybe it could provide being useful to either post things @ https://www.reddit.com/r/freelancer/new/ or make some kind of auto post feature of news articles or sth?

Posted on: 2015/5/11 13:50
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