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About Lelling

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  • Birthday 10/08/1993

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  1. I was not attacking you, I was merely stating a fact. The only world in which "you don't join events" is considered a negative thing is one which revolves around said events. But that's the thing - we don't want to live in that world. There's a whole number of people who don't attend events anymore, either because they aren't interested in the events that are being ran, or they have lost interest in GW2 in general, or they don't like the atmosphere of events themselves. And in an OC that focuses on GW2 events only, once you're no longer there, you're as good as gone. Both commanders and members alike have expressed a certain anxiety they feel when an event is going on, and they are doing something else on Teamspeak - often just as a residual anxiety of not being there and doing something they're "supposed to be doing", and sometimes actually as a consequence of being poked with a guilt-tripping message saying "Why aren't you at this event?". We don't want such an environment anymore. And we've tried very hard to encourage people to see any activity they are doing on TS as elective, but the public doesn't see it that way. If an event is cancelled because no commander wants to do it, and then people see commanders on Teamspeak, doing something else, playing some other games, we always, without fail, get complaints about it. The facts are simple, the focus on events meant that many commanders, and all of the staff, could not actually play games with people, because the only time we had on TS, we felt obligated to spend it doing events - which, due to the nature of how our events are percieved, did not feel like playing games with people anymore. Sometimes you could be commanding for a room of 30 people and still feel absolutely alone, despite wishing to start a conversation. And in the rare cases you do have an interesting conversation with someone, people will complain and say that's not how a commander should behave, and you should just stick to narrating the event. I'm not making it up when I say that when we were thinking about this change, one of the people I thought of was you. I thought "well, Mini's always alone in his channel, and now I'll finally be able to poke him and ask what he's doing, and maybe just hang out... or who knows, dream big, maybe even play some games together!" But I suppose that's not a mutual feeling. So many people leave OC entirely once they stop playing GW2, not because they don't like the people, but just because they don't see that there's anything else to it. We're just interested in creating a place where the emphasis is on the people, not on the events. Independent organisers have been doing events all throughout the OC downtime, and I believe I saw them doing a Dry Top yesterday as well. So when it comes to events, they've been active throughout the whole thing anyway. And when it comes to founding the newly formed autonomous group, that's not going to be an overnight process. They did have the first meeting on Saturday, as announced in this thread, and I believe a good task force of people has formed. They've already discussed many things about the focus of the group, the possible structures, how the leadership of this newly formed group will work, and so on, but it's only been 6 days since their first meeting, and I think it's unfair to demand any sweeping announcements from them, before they've even figured out what exactly they want to do. But, I did catch up with a few of them after their meeting (I didn't attend the meeting because I didn't want to influence their discussion), and I think they've got a good thing started. But we want to take things step by step, and wait with further changes until the autonomous group is set up, so that we know their scope of plans, and can work with them. But the reality that people must accept is that nobody is being paid for any of this, and the group's creation depends on how much free time they have, and how much of it they are willing and able to put into this. OC was set up and founded by a group of people, most of whom did not have jobs or uni or school, or social lives outside of the community, and had 12+ hours a day to sit in a channel and debate decisions, systems and structures, That was largely why we could set up OC the way that we did, and coincidentally why we could do the fabled 67 TTs per day and whatnot, and also, I think, why the way we used to do things was ultimately unsustainable. Moving forward, we - both us at OC and the new autonomous group - have to work within our reasonable limits. It's important to understand that anyone demanding that OC should continue as it did up to now is demanding that the staff continue to put our entire lives on hold to keep OC going. I'm inviting @Saiface and @Viridian to chime in here, since this is a feeling that I think they can talk about better than me. And I'd just also like to address Just because OC as a community is no longer organising events, it doesn't mean that its members will no longer be doing anything. In fact, what we're hoping for is more organic activity of people just hanging out and actually communicating with one another, when the tight event schedule is no longer a burden on the most active and outspoken members of the community. I've mentioned many commanders feeling like they can't be at OC outside of running events, because any time they appear on TS, there's always a passive pressure of "but you should be doing events". That's why there's such a heavy burnout rate of commanders, and then people that we've made friends with just disappear, because you realize outside of GW2 events you had no connection. GW2 events were absolutely consuming us, and we just don't want to do that anymore. I hope people can understand that. I know this can be an uncertain time for many people, but that's why we tried to lay this out as plainly as possible, and are even supporting the creation of an alternate option for those that do wish to continue just attending events in a similar way as before.
  2. No? Can you please point to where it says that? The only thing we've literally announced so far is that we're hoping to create more of a community than have hordes of anonymous people joining for events without ever even communicating with a single person, and then these very same people outnumbering the people the community was created for, and the first step to that is that we're no longer organising events. Which shouldn't even matter to you since you never even join them. I thought you'd be happy to hear this news. Honestly, this is ridiculous. I could say "Hello everyone, I'm hoping to be more active this month", and people would freak out and turn it into something negative. Oh wait... that actually happened once already. How unreasonable of us that we'd want to change such an environment.
  3. I don't think the thread is very political at all, and I think we've been very straightforward about what our goals are. And I think we've been far more transparent than "tip of the iceberg" - in fact I've often talked about issues we've had with OC that are personal and not anybody's business, quite openly. Partly because I think it's important to be honest, but also because I just don't know when to keep something to myself It's very simple - we're not looking to continue being a host, or a platform, for a massive number of people, all with their own entitlements and demands. We're simply wanting to be an online community, just like many other online communities out there, except with our special little corner of positivity and good feels, and mostly as a nice place for likeminded people to find each other to play games, share cool projects they're working on, and generally have a good time. This is the opposite of what we want to happen. OC wont be a hosting platform, but will rather be an online community. Just based on a forum and a small teamspeak for members to chat on in voice if they so wish. OC as an organisation wont be hosting events, other than a couple charity fundraisers, which will be organised with volunteers rather than commanders from teams. To that end, the raid schedule and calendar have already been shut down, and we've already scaled down to a smaller discord. So, to reiterate the post: OpenCommunity will be a community of players, not a platform for other communities. We have already disbanded our commander teams and shut down our event scheduling. But, we still have many commanders around, and it's not that we are opposed to a group focused on events, and that's why we wish to help our commanders set up such a group. As an extra bit of information, originally the discussion was that we (the OC staff) would actually found and establish such a group, parallel to OC, that would actually be an event / guild platform, basically taking that part of OC's functionality but expanding it to be more free and open, and then give the leadership of it over to the commanders / guild leaders running events there, but then we thought it would be more democratic if we let them found it themselves, while we just help with providing resources - that way, it can truly be something those people built from the ground up, and it will feel more theirs from the beginning. During the time that the autonomous group takes to establish itself, we plan to offer them a section of our TS, and certain other bonuses, that allow them to more easily transition towards becoming an independent group. While they're on our TS, and actively advertising within OC, they need to follow certain OC guidelines, but as they transition to their own platform, they can switch to their own guidelines. The other reason for OC staff to observe the progress of the new group is to determine our future relationship with them. It's highly likely that there'll be a lot of overlap between members of OpenCommunity and members of this new group, and there's potential to work together when working on charity events, which means it's best that we have an established relationship - however, the nature of this relationship depends on how compatible our two groups are in terms of philosophy and behaviour. But the new group is perfectly in charge of their own destiny, and can decide on a completely different philosophy, if they so wish. OC is very much alive, but it's simply taking its steps further towards being a community, and not just a place for anonymous people to come to events. It's not a failed project, and it's not being abandoned. But I wouldn't say something like our foray into Black Desert was a failed project either. When Black Desert came out, we prepared to scale up if necessary, we made a guild in there, had some fun, and then we were kinda done playing that particular game. But all the we spent in it, I'd say was a fun time and in the end, no one expects anything to last forever. Things end, but end and fail are not synonyms. And if there is a "fail", there has to be a "success". But what is success with a place like OC? There's no investment return, no bottom line. There's no end goal, there's no success scenario where we've completed all the quests. Other than emotional satisfaction, there's no profit to be gained, so the measure of success is really what we get out of it on a personal level. And for a while now, the staff has been very unhappy - and we did have plans to keep our teams going. We developed some really cool tools for IPS, which would've made raids a lot easier to organise, we had plans and a structure set up for the Minecraft team, and an overhaul of our commander teams. But we realized none of that was making us happy, and it clearly wasn't making other people happy either otherwise people would be stepping in to take over. So, we could've kept it going - very easily, we could've just restructured things and maintained the status quo, we had most of the work done for that, but that was just a goal that served its own purpose. "We have to keep events going because events are important" -why? When did that start being the most important thing? It's clearly not a source of personal fulfilment, and it's not furthering the cause of this community either. It was just making us unhappy, and making those who the community was made for less comfortable in the process. Ultimately, I think continuing that would have been the bigger failure.
  4. Right now we'd like to focus on establishing the autonomous group first (to clarify, the task force is simply founding the autonomous group), and once that's up and running we're going to begin a restructuring of OC itself. The changes would be a balance of simplifying the structure of OC to support our new direction, creating an environment that's more appealing to the people this community was made for, and making the community less attractive to those who are not interested in its ideals. These changes will encompass all OC platforms.
  5. Hi everyone! We've been in downtime for quite a while now, and it's time for us to post an update regarding the state and future of OpenCommunity! But before we move forward, let's take a look at how we got here. Let's Start at the Very Beginning I hear it's a very good place to start. When OpenCommunity was founded, its goal was to create an inclusive space and community which is based on communication, collaboration, and solidarity, particularly as an answer to toxic movements such as Gamergate, and the beginning of the spread of right-wing movements which saw the spaces of many gamers - particularly women, feminists, and LGBTQ+ gamers - shrink and become more hostile, and the wake of the "LFG" world of MMOs, where people's worth and / or enjoyment of content was based not on the experience they had, but the loot they received, or achievements they achieved at the end, reducing the social aspect of games to a minimum, and creating an environment where people treat each others as NPCs which they can use in order to finish specific content. The aspect of organising events came about as a secondary aspect as a result of who the community's founders were; every single founding member of OC staff was a Triple Trouble commander in GW2, and thus, that was what we did most of the time, and quickly, due to the desire to create a sense of security for our members, we began making commitments in regards to in-game events, which at the time were easy for us to uphold as they were mostly how we naturally commanded anyway. So we created a unified event presentation, promised to uphold a consistent & regular event schedule, as well as set a specific standard of commanding and event notification. Unfortunately, those projects never worked out due to the pressure of the daily requirements of GW2 organisation. Due to OpenCommunity's open nature, meaning anyone could join and attend the GW2 events we were organising, as well as get involved, we very quickly amassed a fairly sizeable following, but not of people who were actually interested in OpenCommunity's core ideals, or actively participating, or indeed the social aspect of playing together, but were mainly just interested in the events that we organised. In an effort to remain open and continue growing, we did not change our policies that resulted in this, and that's when OpenCommunity began to be seen as a service provider, rather than a community of players. Fast forward to today, most of the community's members actually belong to smaller groups (guilds), which function as communities, or they are simply uninvolved and log into TS for events, but both of these groups only, or mainly, see OC as a service provider for events and a Teamspeak, which was not our intent. Even when we had a daily traffic of 100+ individuals, most people did not interact with other community members at all, and would log out immediately after an event was over. Such events are much more stressful to organise, and there is much less positive feedback (not in the form of written feedback sent to the forums, but rather in the form of a positive social experience), while commanders still invest the same, if not more, effort and care into organising the events. As a result of people viewing us as a service provider, many members also have a degree of entitlement, as if we are here to serve them. This has resulted in many negative attitudes, some of which include constant messaging and harassment both in-game and on discord, as well as some amazing threats of lawsuits and demands that we do or provide certain things "or else". There were also cases such as people planning (and succeeding) in creating drama with the sole purpose of hurting those in charge, by individuals, groups and guilds. Now We Here OpenCommunity is now a combination of two concepts - one is a community of players who wish to find a safe, inclusive environment where they can discuss and play games together as well as share their creative pursuits, and the other is an open platform for events which are accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, these are incompatible concepts, as the latter draws a much larger crowd than the former, and a crowd which is not necessarily interested in the former's goals, or may even actively inhibit them, which causes instability and unhappiness. Our commitment to GW2 events has also completely stalled any development of the community's other projects, and, the OC staff is seen somewhat like the staff of a restaurant, expected to take complaints and serve the needs of anyone, rather than as people who are just here to play games and have a good time. So What Now? As it stands, this model of a service provider is something that was never intended for OC, and is also something nobody in the OC staff really wants to, or can, continue doing, and as evidenced by our consistent inability to fill new managerial positions, is in general something nobody wants to deal with. This is a status quo that is very difficult to maintain. We want OpenCommunity to become more than just a "stop by & get your loot" point for GW2 events, and to evolve into a community of gamers, creatives, and friends who enjoy playing games together, chatting, talking about their hobbies and sharing their creations! Making the change from being just a service provider to an actual living community will not be an overnight process, and will be done in several steps. Our first step will be to try and ensure that our members who were only here for events will still have a place to go. So here's how we're starting! Step 1: The Task Force Awakens OpenCommunity will no longer be a service provider in terms of GW2 events & raids, and will no longer be a direct organiser of scheduled everyday events. It will, however, continue to organise charity fundraisers such as the three annual Gamers Giving Back fundraisers, but this will be done with volunteer community members rather than pre-made teams. However, a large number of our members and commanders would still wish to join and organise events, and we don't want to simply drop them, and we do want to support a place where commander teams and guilds can organise regular events. Before this ship can be steered into a new direction, we want to make sure we're not leaving anyone in the water. To that end, we want to help establish an autonomous group focused on events, made up of former OC commanders, guild leaders, and any other members who wish to get involved. This autonomous group would have the aim of eventually becoming fully independent from OC. This autonomous group will be fully in charge of when, how, and which events they do, as well as set up their own structure, leadership, and internal guidelines. The scheduling and cancellation of events would be up to them, as would the recruitment, training, etc. of commanders, and they will have the full capability to unilaterally split from OpenCommunity at any time. The group can be a singular unit, or a collaboration between many groups (or guilds) working together. In order to truly make this an open process where anyone can get involved, we are putting together a task force which will be charged with founding this new group. The task force will lay down the groundwork for the new group's structure and concept, essentially founding this new autonomous group. We will offer our resources, advice, experiences, and guidance to the group, and during its transition to independence, it will have its own area on the OC teamspeak for events, but how much they choose to use, and how long they choose to stay, is up to them. We are hoping for a positive, constructive relationship, and an eventual amicable split. Here are our projected goals for this autonomous group: Phase 1: Task Force The task force is formed from OC commanders, guild leaders, and any other members who wish to get involved The goal of the task force is to decide on a structure and direction for the group Phase 2: Autonomous Group The autonomous group is up and running with its own structure, running events on their own terms, with the support of OC A section of the OC teamspeak will be made for the group to run events in, still subject to OC guidelines During this time, the goal is for the group to secure their own calendar/schedule, voice platform, and any other feature they wish to have. As these goals are being met, the level of OC observation will decrease until the group is ready to become independent Phase 3: Independent Group The group becomes fully independent and no longer a part of OC The level of partnership and collaboration between the new group and OC is decided Note that these are only projected goals, and the final result may differ based on further developments, and the priorities and decisions made in the newly formed group. If you are interested in being a part of the founding task force, contact Stormmy Knight ( @ktommo10 ) - or keep an eye out for an announcement regarding the date of the first meeting! Once this project is underway, more changes will be coming up in the community to continue the process of transitioning to OC's intended direction. This is only the first step OpenCommunity is taking towards its new horizons, and more updates will be posted as things progress! We're super excited to be starting on this journey - we're hoping you'll join us too!
  6. I replied to Dawnkeeper on Discord, where he also asked the question, but I really should reply here as well, so I'll post the (slightly paraphrased) reply here: Posting any specific information on how that's going on is difficult. In the past we've had a lot of (both accidental and malicious) jumping to conclusions, false interpretations and spreading of unconfirmed rumors whenever making partial announcements, and it's something we wish to avoid and want to write something more complete. Basically, there's an environment where me just saying "I've been thinking about the possibility of X and Y" has led to some serious fallout (and personal attacks), and it's not something I'm interested in experiencing again. I can say that we are definitely working on a future for OC, rather than giving up on the project. And I'm hoping we'll be able to inject some FRESHNESS into everything. I'm feeling really positive about what we're cooking up - positive not just for the people who agree with OC's ideals and the way OC's been ran in the past, but also for those who wish things had been run a bit differently. It's really exciting and I'm hoping everyone will like it. Keeping that in mind, I'll reply to your other stuff as well ^^ (And perhaps that'll make it more clear why we're being so cautious with what we want to write in the announcement) I find "the event team can't organize events" to be very strange wording. All Teams have been suspended and were effectively disbanded when we went into downtime. It's not that the Event Team can't organize events, it's that the Event Team doesn't exist. And neither do the other teams. We just decided that while we decide exactly what we want to do with the teams - whether we want to reform them in pretty much the same way they existed up to now but with new leadership, whether we want to change their internal structures, whether we want to make a single new team, or something else entirely - rather than remove everyone's tags, we're just going to "freeze" them as they are, since, while the teams no longer exist, the people in those teams do still exist, and can do events - no point making it harder for them to do so by stripping them of the tags (it also makes it easier for us to regroup after the downtime is over). This is also one of the reasons there were no promotions in the TT Team leading up to the downtime - since we knew the trainee hierarchy was going to be reworked for sure. Regarding Minecraft - it was something I was really looking forward to as well, particularly running a server which has community-wide goals and events / challenges that everyone can participate in, but based on the response we got, it's not something people really wanted - neither to participate in as members, nor to help in preparing these events and running the server as team members. Basically, people just wanted a server where they can do whatever and the admins will spawn whatever they want for them at any time, which is not something we're interested in running. The server will stay up, but all general plans have been put on hold for now. Organizing events and managing teams was a daily, time-consuming and mentally exhausting task - which no one else wanted to do. By the time we went into the downtime, I was the temporary team manager of both the TT Team and the Event Team, and keeping things going as they were up to that point was the equivalent of using a spoon to try and save a ship from taking up water. Staff members would get several messages on a daily basis, on discord, in-game and on the website, writing in with questions, requests, and most commonly, demands. In the weeks leading up to our decision to go into downtime, I also got two threats of lawsuits (ridiculous but stressful nonetheless) and even threats of physical violence by someone who had my address (I put my return address on all OC packages that go out, so a lot of people have my address). Pressing the proverbial "pause" button on the community was the only way to gain some distance and allow us to evaluate the community, its teams, and everything that's going on, without having to fight 5 fires at any given time while trying to figure out the best way to keep the fires from happening. It also didn't help that some of the very people we relied on in our own teams would turn on us and try to set fire to the firetruck. It also gave us a nice insight into how much of our community is actually a community, and how much is just people wanting someone to organize events for them and who see OC as a service provider. Basically, everything that makes OC a community is still up and active, the only things that have been properly suspended are things that made us a service provider. But like I said above, we're not giving up on the project just yet The idea of shutting down did come up, but while I can't speak for the other staff members, I still believe there's a lot of good we can do!
  7. Lelling

    Crusader Kings Shenanigans!

    So @Yuudai and I have been playing CK2 a lil bit since the new update and I figured I'd put up some choice screenshots here from time to time. The newest update allows the player to create random rulers & titles, as well as a funky setting that creates some very interesting animal rulers I naturally picked the Ruler Whomst Is Cat, and Yuudai went for the doggo of the prestigious dynasty of Goodboy. I didn't take a screenshot of the world right at the start but this is pretty much near it The glowy bit is Yuudai's and the amber bit is mine. We actually didn't plan on being neighbors but that's where the doggos and the cats live
  8. Lelling

    Triple Trouble

    The Three-Headed Great Jungle Wurm terrorizes the jungle! But we're ready to terrorize it back! The Vigil Crusaders are ready and waiting for the armies of Tyrian heroes to march into the Wurm's domain and slay the giant creature. The Triple Trouble event is a fast-paced, high-intensity event where three teams must coordinate their efforts to slay the three heads of the Wurm at the same time. Due to the large number of split-second decisions, TeamSpeak is required. No experience with the event is required, all tactics & mechanics are explained beforehand.
  9. Lelling

    Triple Trouble

    The Three-Headed Great Jungle Wurm terrorizes the jungle! But we're ready to terrorize it back! The Vigil Crusaders are ready and waiting for the armies of Tyrian heroes to march into the Wurm's domain and slay the giant creature. The Triple Trouble event is a fast-paced, high-intensity event where three teams must coordinate their efforts to slay the three heads of the Wurm at the same time. Due to the large number of split-second decisions, TeamSpeak is required. No experience with the event is required, all tactics & mechanics are explained beforehand.
  10. Lelling

    Aerial photography & video

    This looks awesome! How many of these castles are open for tourists? I really want to visit more cool historical locations around Europe some time ^^
  11. Lelling

    Triple Trouble

    The Three-Headed Great Jungle Wurm terrorizes the jungle! But we're ready to terrorize it back! The Vigil Crusaders are ready and waiting for the armies of Tyrian heroes to march into the Wurm's domain and slay the giant creature. The Triple Trouble event is a fast-paced, high-intensity event where three teams must coordinate their efforts to slay the three heads of the Wurm at the same time. Due to the large number of split-second decisions, TeamSpeak is required. No experience with the event is required, all tactics & mechanics are explained beforehand.
  12. Year 1326-1369: Empress Katarina III of the Illyrian Empire Image: Katarina's profile through her years as queen. Katarina III was a much more peaceful ruler than her mother, and during her reign became known as ‘the Gentle’. During her reign, she preferred to let her vassals expand her realm, while she focused on internal improvements and imperial politics. She was married to Basileus Bartholomaios III of the Byzantine Empire, who lost the title due to faction pressure, a loss she spent 17 years of her reign reversing in order to secure the inheritance of the title for their son. Image: Family tree showing Katarina's family, including close family as well as her family connection to her husband. Katarina had five children. 5.5.1328 - Nejc [heir] 5.10.1332 - Jurij 5.3.1334 - Bartolomej (becomes Pope Ioannes IX on 31.12.1357) 5.6.1335 - Leon 5.8.1342 - Katja Her full title at the time of her death was: Empress Katarina III of the Illyrian Empire, Queen of Illyria, Italy, Sicily, Croatia and Jerusalem, Duchess of Carinthia and Friuli, Countess of Krain, Aquileia, Istria, Kärnten, Treviso, Verona, Padua, Veglia, Steiermark, Rome, Protector of Jerusalem, and Maga and First-Among-Equals of the Hermetic Society. Image: Katarina's death screen, absolutely roasting this poor 61-year old lady who was actually quite nice. Except for all the assassinations. Katarina's biggest achievement was putting her husband back onto his rightful throne as Basileus of the Byzantine Empire after he lost the title to internal political factions, while still keeping peaceful relations between the two Empires. She died on 5.9.1369, and was succeeded by her son Nejc, who inherited all of her titles as Emperor Nejc of Illyria. She ruled for nearly 43 years. Katarina III secured her son's position as the heir to both the Illyrian and the Byzantine Empire, paving his way for greatness. Will Nejc make full use of the potential to unite two of the most powerful Empires in the known world, or will his opportunities be squandered before the ink is dried on the deeds of inheritance? Image: A timelapse of Katarina's lands and influence. Her realm tree: Her wars: During her reign, the size of her realm increased from 450 to 525 holdings. Lelling note: I'm rushing to finish this before the patch comes in on November 13th and changes the maps! About a hundred years to go - Halp!
  13. Yes, the Raid Team will continue their break during the downtime. A large part of the downtime is that we realized the reason the Raid Team required the 1-month break had some underlying issues that couldn't be resolved as easily as we'd hoped. No, the Minecraft server will stay online
  14. For as long as it takes Our minimum time framework was 14 days, but realistically it might take longer than that depending on the time we have & the progress made. It's also likely that different features will come out of "downtime" status at different times, as we gradually roll out things that have been finished. This is an important period of change for the community, and we don't want to rush any changes. The point of taking this downtime is that for once, we're not rushed to finish something by a specific deadline, but can instead take the time needed to properly move forward to the next chapter of OC.