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Lelling

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Blog Entries posted by Lelling

  1. Lelling
    Hello everyone!
    After over a year of working, blowing up Teamspeak server after Teamspeak server, and waiting on Teamspeak Systems GmbH to get off their butts, we've finally set up the GW2League teamspeak!
     
    Community Assembly - Saturday, February 29th, 16:00 CET!
    Before we get started with this announcement, - reminder that this announcement, and some other stuff will be discussed on the Community Assembly, happening on Saturday, February 29th, at 16:00 CET!
    We'll be discussing and opening up to questions regarding GW2League, as well as talking about OC's future, and taking a look at OC's 2019 budget report!
     
    Background
    When we decided we no longer wanted to directly lead teams of commanders from the top of OC, and instead just let people do what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it, we also started talking about creating a new Teamspeak server, that would operate as something that we believed is what people wanted from OpenCommunity in the first place. Not a top-down organised community with a structured approach to events, but a free-for-all teamspeak where anyone can hang out, request a channel, and just do what they want to do.
    At this time, Teamspeak had already announced Teamspeak 5, which was set to release in Q4 of 2018 (yikes). We decided to wait on the release of TS5, so that when we built the new Teamspeak, we'd build it knowing what this new generation of Teamspeak was all about.
    But 2019 came along, and TS5 still wasn't released, and nobody at Teamspeak was giving any information about when the brand new, much hyped TS, would be releasing. But we did find a claim that TS5 would run on TS3 servers, so, as 2019 trucked on, we decided we'd just make the separate Teamspeak without waiting for TS5.
    The goal was to make an exact replica of our current server, so that when we made the move, people wouldn't have to learn all new channels, get new groups, etc. All the supporter groups from OC would carry over, so people would be recognized for their contributions on both servers. However, that was easier said than done.
    What followed were a couple months where @Leaky and I would be poring over a single-line file with almost 1 MB of data in it, to try and decode what exactly we needed to clone to make a successful copy. If there was any kind of conflict, the new server would crash and we'd have to start from scratch. After about 10 iterations, we finally managed to build the new TS!
     
    So What Is GW2League?
    So, the idea behind GW2League is to have a TS platform where any guild or group can request a channel, in which they have full admin permissions. They can moderate the channels, rename them, set passwords & permissions, and even prevent other people from seeing inside. They can assign groups such as Moderator, Commander, Muted, Keyboard Disabled, they can ban people from accessing their channels, basically anything that somebody can do if they have a Teamspeak server of their own.
    The advantage is that they're not alone - if they ever want to make bigger events with other guilds, form alliances, or just hang out with strangers, they're surrounded by others that might be interested in doing so. But, there are no requirements to do so, you can also just completely stick to yourself.
    The main advantage of GW2League over other communities is that it's completely federated - each guild has its own channels where they have admin powers, meaning that you do what you want in your channel, without interference from outside, and because it doesn't hinge on a single individual or group of individuals to run it as a staff (like OC did), there's no top-down structure, and no orders coming from a staff of people. If you want to work with other guilds, you can do that, if you want to ban all other guilds from being able to enter your channels, you can do that. If you want your channels to be invite-only, you can do that, and if you want everyone to be able to join, you can do that.
    The Teamspeak just exists, regardless of what people want to do on it. It's there as a neutral platform, which I think is what a lot of people wanted OpenCommunity to be, but it never could have been that.
    I also wanted to create a Teamspeak which had no connotation to OpenCommunity, because generally, I think a lot of people have personal beef with that name, and creating a separate TS and not calling it something like "OCPublic" or "OCGuilds" or whatever, was the right thing to do.
     
    So What's Going to Happen to the OC TS?
    All public & guild channels from the OpenCommunity TS will be moved to the GW2League teamspeak.
    We've been telling everyone from the individual guilds to use the address "GW2League" to connect to the OpenCommunity TS for a while now, and that's because on March 1st, that's going to point to the GW2League teamspeak rather than OpenCommunity's, so if you've been using that address, you wont have any interruption of service. You'll have the same groups, see pretty much the same channels, and have the same permissions.
    The OpenCommunity Teamspeak will be dedicated more towards a small & friendly community, with the occasional big charity event open to everyone, just like in the old days.
     
    Plans For the Future
    There's several things we want to do in the coming months - build a new OC website, build a new GW2League website, and I'd love to create a bot which automates the creation of a new guild channel, so that people wishing to have a new TS channel on GW2League could just click a button on the website and become admins of their own channel! That'd be really nice 😄 
    And of course, in the first half of 2020, I also wanna go ahead with two big events for OpenCommunity:
    OpenCommunity's 5th birthday (probably not held on May 1st, OC's actual birthday, but on an adjactent weekend 😛 )! I think it'd be great to have a big party celebrating 5 years of OpenCommunity, remembering everything we've done in the last 5 years and all we've achieved! Tyria Pride! In June, I'm hoping to once again organise Tyria Pride! Those are the big events I'm looking forward to, in the meantime, if anyone wants to hang out and play some games, or just shoot the breeze, get in touch ❤️
  2. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    We've finally done it! Through massive help on @Leaky's side, we managed to successfully create the secondary TS, and it is currently an almost exact replica of our current teamspeak - with everyone's groups and permissions successfully replicated on the second TS (mostly). Let's talk about what's different and what all this means!
     
    What we didn't manage to transfer over:
    Overall, the new Teamspeak looks exactly the same as the OC one. The only things we weren't able to transport over were:
    some individuals' custom client icons (mostly because I put those up on request for some nice people, and I don't have them all saved as official OC stuff). Since I was not able to find all of them, I decided it was best to just go with none of them. detailed channel permissions. These had to be reassigned manually, and since each guild in GW2League had their own setup, with their own clientlist, this was impossible to do for one person. Channel groups will need to be reassigned. client info of clients that joined in the last few weeks. This is just because the source we were copying from was a copy of the OC TS from a couple weeks ago. No server groups have been assigned since then, but if any of them have assigned channel groups, they'll have to be reassigned.
    Otherwise, pretty much everything has been transferred over - including everyone's supporter groups! The only work to do now is to change any sentences referencing OC to GW2L, and maybe doing some rearranging.
     
    So what does this mean?
    This means we're ready for the move of public & guild channels to GW2League!
    I've already put up an announcement for people to use the nickname "GW2League" when connecting to the OC TS - this nickname will be redirected to the GW2League teamspeak in 2 weeks, so for users, not much should change and there should be no interruption of service!
    I'll be writing a full announcement with more details about the move on the announcements blog on this website about it soon (today or tomorrow at time of writing), and we'll have a Community Assembly on February 29th, but I just wanted to get this info out first!
  3. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    On the last Community Assembly, we brought up the idea of creating a physical OC / GW2League calendar for 2020, that members could get by donating to the community, in order to shore up some funds for OC & GW2League, and a lot of people seemed to really like the idea!
    As we were discussing how we'd like to put the design of the calendar together, we knew that we wanted to involved everyone in the community somehow, so we wanted to open up the whole thing to everyone in the community! That way, we'll be able to have a calendar that we made together!
     
    How You Can Get Involved
    If you'd like to participate in creating the calendar, you can contribute your own suggestions either as an individual, or as a group! Some guilds, for example, have expressed interest in holding an internal screenshot contest in order to contribute for specific months, such as a halloween-themed thing for October.
    Any suggestions will be considered, and contributions can be anything from in-game screenshots to original artwork! 
    For screenshots, please keep in mind that they work best if taken at a high graphics quality, and it's best that they were taken in PNG or BMP to avoid artifacting. They can be a single screenshot or image, or a collage, and depending on the amount of contributions, each month might either feature just a single image or - more likely - a collage of images from different contributions! They don't have to be GW2-themed, but should be either memories from OpenCommunity events, or iconic things that OpenCommunity members would recognize.
    If anyone has a very specific idea for a specific month, feel free to throw it in the comments here! You can also upload any suggestions here, or send them to me directly via direct message here on the website, or via Discord, or upload your images on a file-sharing website such as Google Drive.
     
    Timeline
    The current deadline for contributions is November 15th!
    After the contributions are all sent, we'll have a few days to go through them, and to create a cohesive overarching visual theme, and then the calendar will go to print! The plan is to have them physically in my hands by December, so that I can share photos by the time we make the calendar available for supporters!
    EDIT: The deadline has been extended to November 25th! This will delay the production of the calendar, but we wanted to give people some more time to send submissions in.
     
    I'm really looking forward to OC's very own calendar!
  4. Lelling
    The OpenCommunity 2020 calendars are finished and are now available to those supporting OpenCommunity during the holidays & in January!
     
    About the Calendar
    Containing memories from the last 5 years of OpenCommunity, the calendar is a great way to support OpenCommunity and get something that is both useful and can be kept as a keepsake. Each month is represented by a GW2 screenshot from a memorable event in OpenCommunity's past, from charity fundraisers to community birthdays and weekends! The calendar has days marked and numbered, with white spaces where you can put notes and reminders!

    How Do I Get It?
    In order to get the OC calendar, make a donation to OC, and select the goal "OC 2020 Calendar" from the dropdown! The calendar is available to anyone who donates 20€ or more, and I'll be shipping them worldwide! They should arrive within 2 weeks in the EU, and slightly more for other parts of the world.
    After you've made your donation, I'll process it, then you will find the calendar in your Package Tracker. You can fill in any missing information (such as the mailing address), and add any comments you wish to add. You can also follow the package to receive notifications about when it's packaged and dispatched.
    The donation will also be added to your other OC supporter reward progress.
     
    Specifications
    The calendars are A4 size, made with coated paper, backed by a sheet of cardboard, bound with a metal spiral with a little wire thingy (technical term) that you can use to hang one on the wall.
    We've ordered 10 calendars in advance, so the first 10 people will get them pretty fast, and if we receive additional donations by the end of January, we will order a 2nd batch. After that, once they're gone, they're gone!
     
    Thank you so much for supporting OC!
    Happy holidays, everyone! 🎉
  5. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    It's been a while, but we've finally made a breakthrough on the new Teamspeak, which should allow us to have it up by the end of the year! And we've also got some exciting news about the OC calendar!
     
    Teamspeak Database Shenanigans
    We've extracted the database from the OC teamspeak a while back, but we've had no luck transferring it over to the new teamspeak for a seamless transition, until recently! By carefully editing the conflicts out of the file, we successfully copied over the channel structure, and will be moving onto groups and then identities!
    If nothing breaks on the way, we will be able to avoid manually reassigning all groups and permissions, which would be ideal for everyone, because then we could simply redirect to the new TS without any major issues, only a small reversal of any changes done in the last two weeks or so. With this, we could potentially have the new TS up and running by the end of the year!
     
    OpenCommunity's 2020 Calendar!
    When we announced the 2020 calendar, we said it'd be ready by the start of December. Unfortunately, we received 0 submissions, so we extended the deadline, and even then, we received nothing. For a while, I thought we should just scrap the idea and move on.
    But after a couple days, I decided to dig through our forums and my own screenshots to try and find 12 worthy screenshots from the last 5 years of OC to put in the collection, and I'm pretty happy with the result! It took a bit longer than originally planned, since I had to source all the pics, and got to work later than intended, but it's here! I've ordered 10 copies, which should be arriving here on Friday or Monday!
    The donations for the calendar are already open! The calendars are available for donations of 20€ or more, and ship worldwide, so if you're interested in owning the calendar, head on over to the donate page, and when making your donation, make sure to select the goal OC 2020 Calendar!
    I'll be posting a larger announcement specifically about the calendars, once the physical copies arrive to my place ^^
     

     
     
  6. Lelling
    Together with @Slaywright and @Leaky, we've been working a while to get the new GW2League teamspeak up, so here's a little update on how that's going!
     
    Setting Up the New TS!
    A lot of the work on the true backend of TS is basically us learning as we go, but thankfully, we're quick studies. We've created the second Teamspeak and it's basically ready to use, however, while I can create a clean copy of the server by hand and rebuild every channel identically, and I can get the list of everyone who has specific groups on the OC TS, Teamspeak doesn't allow assigning groups to someone who has never visited that specific server before. What this means is that in order to assign the same groups from the OC server, we'd have to get anyone who wants to get them on the new server to first log in, and then I'd have to manually assign them.
    So we're looking at some other options. Teamspeak provides a way to create a backup of a server, and we're trying to find a way to use that backup to essentially create a clone of the OC server. That way, all the permissions would be carried over, with no need for any individual work. We could make the switch, and for those using the GW2League channels, it would essentially be like the OC channels & groups disappeared, and vice versa. In theory, this option is easy, however, there have been some complications. This may just be due to the fact that our server has existed for 5 years, and had thousands of people come through, so the database backup file is so massive it crashed the server upon import (not good 😛 ), or, it may just be that there's a conflict in some parameters.
    We'll do some diagnostics on that, and hopefully be able to figure it out! Otherwise, we've still got some options before we have to rest to manual reassigning of groups ^^
     
    Fleshing Out Permissions
    As an aside, I've added two new permission groups for GW2League's use today on the OC Teamspeak, and finally updated the Commander role, which should now be assignable by both Channel Admins and Moderators.
    The "Temp Pass" server group can be found under "UTILITY", and can be applied by anyone who is verified in any way on our teamspeak. The Temp Pass has a join & subscribe power of 25, so members of the GW2League can create a secure channel that guests cannot enter, but their guild members can simply let any guest in by just giving them the "Temp Pass" group. When the person disconnects, the group is automatically removed.
    The "Private Pass" channel group can be found under "SPECIAL". This group can be assigned by Channel Admins and Channel Moderators. It has a join & subscribe power of 60. That way, a channel can be created to which only those people (and Channel Admins & Mods) have access to. Because this is a per-channel group, it can be assigned individually to people who should have access, with different people having access to any amount of channels.
    We're going to continue to polish and flesh out the permissions, and I've also started to put together some documentation for members of the GW2League to use so they can benefit from all the features at their disposal.
     
    That's it for this little update! We'll continue to keep you posted as things progress!
  7. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    A while back we asked people what kind of stuff they'd like to see as supporter shinies, and by far the most requested thing was mouse mats! Well, after some iteration, they're finally here, and with them, the new supporter tier!
    We also updated our donate page with new goals to make it easier for members to direct their donations and see their impact!
     
    Glorious Supporter
    Adding to the progression from Heroic, you can now become a Glorious Supporter! The new rank comes with all all new website & Teamspeak badges, as well a mouse mat, which can be shipped anywhere in the world!
    Your supporter rank progresses by donating to OpenCommunity or any of our sponsored charity events, and any donation you make adds up in the set, for as long as the set is active! This means members who can only donate smaller amounts, will still be able to unlock higher tiers over time!
     



    For more details on the supporter rank, check out our Donate page!
     
    OC Mouse Mat
    Behold, the OpenCommunity mouse mat!

    The mouse mats come in two different options - with border and without. The top is a fine smooth cloth, and the bottom is a soft flexible rubber. The picture features 36 Bibi icons of members of our community, drawn by @Atila!
    You can click here to see a more detailed close up.
    I never used mouse mats before because I just didn't like them, but I'm definitely keeping one of these for myself! I like the stitched border myself, as it protects the edge from fraying, and doesn't feel hard enough to bother me, but some members said they preferred it without the border so we're giving people the option for either! Once you've unlocked the Glorious Supporter rank, you'll be able to choose your preference from the Package Tracker!
     
    Donation Goals
    Recently, we've also slightly updated our donate page by adding donation goals! These goals allow members to direct their donation towards a particular goal, and help us illustrate more clearly how much money is needed to keep the community running.
    You can see these goals on our Donate page. When donating, simply select the goal from a dropdown to direct your donation towards that goal. You can also donate to "OpenCommunity General", which will cover various costs not included in goals, such as shipping out supporter rewards to our members, or be kept as a rainy day fund in case any goals are not met in future.
     
    Thank you so much for over 4 years of standing behind OpenCommunity! We couldn't get here without your amazing support!
  8. Lelling
    OK so this is just a short little post, but I wanted to tease something that I'll be writing about in an upcoming announcement on the website 😄
    So, ages ago we were talking about what we might want to do for the next supporter tier, and we had a couple ideas flying around. Scarves, pillowcases, OC-themed dice, even some other more mad ideas, but also mouse mats! I went to explore and look for a good place to find decent mouse mats, and I found a great place.
    When we were talking about the OC mousemat, we knew we wanted something simple. We don't really have any artists on hand so we can't afford to go all out with something wilder, so we thought what would work is a black / dark background, with the OC logo in the corner. Just something sleek and neat that people could use at home or in their office, without it being too distracting.
    So I got to work.
    The basic idea was something like this:

    A simple dark background, 1 accenting decal on the top side, and the OC logo in the corner.
    Then I was experimenting a bit with different backgrounds, I came up with this wave design but I didn't really know what would go with it. The squiggly line was just a placeholder for an actual decal, but I couldn't come up with something that wouldn't absolutely clash with the waves.

    The wave design is already so busy that the decal should be super simple, and after waffling about with various stuff for a while (that I wish I'd saved to show off now 😛 ) I just scrapped that idea and tried something else. I figured I would try to add a splash of color to the background and maybe play with irregular patterns a bit.

    I liked the concept, but not the execution, and felt it needed a little bit of polish. So I worked on another version of this and ended up with our final version:

    It's sleek, it has irregular patterns, the background has a decent splash of color while the front decal isn't too garish, and the logo is smaller and fits in better than in the above version. So, thinking I was done, I decided to sleep on it.
    ...
    ...
    And then the next day I just scrapped everything and tried something crazy

     
    So basically I think we're gonna scrap the above ideas and just go with that! 😄 OK that's it BYEEE
  9. Lelling
    September & October is Pink Day Season as Pink Day in LA preparation, pre-events and main event are happening, with several weeks of events, tons of prizes and opportunities to win shiny stuff and / or get involved and help out! 🎉
     
    Pink Day in LA is the annual cancer research fundraiser that we've participated in every year since OpenCommunity's inception, actively organising one megaserver and pre-events since 2015! This year, we are also getting involved, with the first pre-events starting in September, and then we will have pre-events happening every single week until Pink Day in LA finally happens on October 19th!
     
    Quaggan Waddle - September 21st, 16:00 CEST
    Quaggan Waddle is the journey of pink quaggans through Tyria, as we try to spread the word about the Pink Day event and let people know how and where to get involved! We'll be starting in one corner of Central Tyria and waddling our butts to the opposite, while having fun, chatting and hanging out on Teamspeak!
    You don't need anything specific to join, just hop onto Teamspeak and join us in the Quaggan Waddle channel to get involved!
     
    Volunteer Meeting - September 28th, 19:00 CEST
    We'll be having an open Pink Day volunteer meeting that everyone is invited to on September 28th at 19:00 CEST, on Teamspeak at solts.org (password: franticzebra). Hope to see you there!
    If you can't make the meeting, just private message me on discord and we'll get you set up. More info at the bottom of this post under "Get Involved"!
     
    Fashion Wars - Saturdays & Sundays, Sep 29-Oct 13
    Fashion Wars is a 5-part event, made up of 5 separate events, where each time, members of a specific race compete in a themed fashion contest, revealing a racial category winner, and after the event, the overall winner will also receive an additional mega prize! Join us every Saturday & Sunday from September 29th to October 13th with a member of a different race!
    More details to follow pending an official announcement from Gamers Giving Back!
     
    Mini Pre-Events - Extra Waddles, World Boss Runs
    In addition to the six pre-events above we're also hoping to do some other more spontaneous small and fun pre-events, to spread information about the event and possibly get some prizes. If you're interested in joining events like these, keep an eye out in-game, on teamspeak, or on the OC discord!
     
    Pink Day in LA 2019 - October 19th
    The main event is on October 19th, officially starting at 19:00 CEST, with the possibility of some pre-events earlier in the day, if we get volunteers interested in organising them! The event will last a couple hours, with tons of mini-events, legendary giveaways, and more! We've got some brand new event ideas planned out that we're really excited to try out, so we can't wait to see you guys there!
    More details to follow in early October pending official announcements from Gamers Giving Back!
     
    Get Involved!
    If you'd like to get involved, please contact me either here on the website or on Discord! There are many ways you can help or get involved, even if you can't make it to the volunteer meeting or even the main event on October 19th, so feel free to get in touch! You can also join the GGB discord or the OC discord to get in touch more easily!
  10. Lelling
    Hi everyone!
    @Viridian and I have been thinking about our announcement blog, and we've decided on some changes to the way we'd like to make announcements.
    In the past, we've always put a lot of effort into wording our announcements in just the right way to both interest as many people as possible, as well as create a narrative of hype and excitement. We've always felt our members were a bit apathetic and constantly being on the receiving end of abuse or criticism from people who misunderstood announcements, we would put in hours and hours into writing announcements, going back and forth with multiple drafts, making sure the wording couldn't be misconstrued or used against us.
    Ultimately, this took a lot of our time and meant that announcements would take days or weeks to finish, since we wouldn't always have the time, or the right mindset, to constantly correct ourselves over minute details of how a sentence is constructed. As a result, not only were those announcements late, but these days, I also always dread "oh no, we'll have to make an announcement about Pink Day", and I usually write announcements way later than I wanted to, just because it's something that feels like such a big task.
    And we just don't want to do that anymore.
     
    We feel that we should be able to put out our thoughts and announcements easily without having to spend hours thinking "How will people turn this around to make us look like bad guys?" We want to feel comfortable in just writing and posting announcements, and speak and be treated like human beings, rather than the staff of a faceless organisation.
    This will also be better for the community, since we'll hopefully be able to put out more (but much shorter) announcements, more thoughts, share more about what's going on and our thoughts about things, as we don't have to spend hours and hours formalizing them, meaning everyone will be in the loop a lot more. We can post about works in progress more easily, as well as detail small changes as they happen, rather than wait for big announcements.
     
    As a side effect, you'll also be seeing a lot more 1st person singular rather than plural 😄 Our philosophy about that in the past was guided by the fact that using "we" instead of "I" and "us" instead of "you", as with commanding, is more inclusive and makes it less likely that people will feel excluded, and puts the focus on the group, rather than the individual speaking. However, in some contexts, this had the effect of alienating people since the language used feels more corporate.
     
    Future announcements and blog posts will thus be shorter, less rigidly structured, more informal, and hopefully more frequent.
  11. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    Now that everything's been successfully overhauled and rejigged, we're ready to get back into the saddle of actually actively existing, and just in time too, because it's almost time for OpenCommunity's birthday and the MS Toga Party!
    Let's see what May has in store for us!
     
    May 1st | OpenCommunity's Birthday!
    On Wednesday, May 1st, at 20:00 CEST, we're hosting a little get-together to celebrate four years of OpenCommunity!
    We'll get together on Teamspeak, and decide what we want to do from there! We could just hang out and chat and catch up, or we could try our hand at some fun events in-game, do some racing, some fun hide & seek, or revisit one of our old favorite events we haven't done in a while! The choice is yours!
    On this day, we can also decide if we want to make any advance plans for May 4th!
     
    To celebrate OpenCommunity's birthday, just like every year, any donation made to OpenCommunity will count double for the first 10 days of May! You can find the various supporter perks on our Donate page, which has just come online, after we took it down in November for our downtime!
    If you donate during that time period, you'll also get the exclusive 4th Birthday Supporter badge & icon on Teamspeak! We thank you for your support!
     
     
    May 4th | OC's Birthday Party
    Because May 1st is a weekday, we can reserve a slightly bigger chunk of time on Saturday, May 4th, to get together and hang out! The initial plan is to get together at 18:00 CEST, but if on Wednesday we decide to meet up earlier, we can do that too!
    We can again play some games, hang out in Guild Wars 2, do some events, or just chat and catch up!
     
    May 11th | Toga Party for Multiple Sclerosis!
    May 11th is the day of the Toga Party for MS, and it's going to be great!
    Toga Party is a day full of fun events, legendary giveaways, and tons and tons of prizes, all with the goal of raising funds for Multiple Sclerosis care & research!
    The official event is scheduled to start on Saturday, May 11th, at 19:00 CEST, but we might have some pre-events on EU before that time to get us all into the party mood, so stay tuned!
    Check out the event on the calendar for more info!
     
    May 19th | 5th Community Assembly
    After Toga, we'll be having another Community Assembly where all members of our community are invited to come together and participate in open discussions regarding OpenCommunity's future, as well as discussing any big upcoming events. Check out the event on the calendar to find out more about specific topics planned for this Assembly!
    The assembly is scheduled for Sunday, May 19th, at 18:00 CEST!
     
    May 25th | Tyria Pride Volunteer Meeting
    June is Pride Month, and once again, for the 4th time in a row, we'll be organising Tyria Pride! Tyria Pride is a fun get-together where we celebrate the diversity of our and the GW2 community and as always, try to raise some funds for a good cause!
    If you'd like to get involved, share ideas and suggestions, or just learn more about the event, join us on the volunteer meeting!
     
     
     
    That's it for May, as you can see we'll be keeping pretty busy!
    Hope to see you at these events!
  12. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    We've kept busy since our last update, with both a website and teamspeak overhaul, so let's dive right in and see what's new!

     
    Community Assembly - Sunday, 21st of April, 18:00 CEST
    First, we'd like to remind everyone that this Sunday, at 18:00 CEST, we'll be having our next Community Assembly! We'll be discussing the website & Teamspeak changes announced here, as well as some future ideas such as potential donation prizes, OC birthday plans, and other fun stuff!
    As always, if you have any questions, comments, queries or complaints, don't be shy and speak up at the assembly! If it's something to do with this update, you can also comment on the post here!
     
    Website Overhaul
    Our website's been overhauled with a few major, and several minor updates!
    New Front Page

    As we've moved away from predominantly using forums, we're now using a brand new front page, which should better highlight and focus the different hangouts our website provides  
    Clubs Renamed to Hangouts!
    As clubs are beginning to take their final form, we've renamed them site-wide to hangouts. We just thought it sounded better and less exclusive than clubs 😄   
    GW2 League The biggest and most profound change is the GW2 League, which is our new working name for the section previously known as "Autonomous Groups"! The old GW2 Guilds page has been taken down, and all guilds that wish to be listed on our GW2 League page can now do so!
    The GW2 League hangout features give guild leaders a lot more freedom with regards to what they can do, as they can freely edit and moderate their own areas, create new sections of their private hangout, and even schedule their own events!

    We'd like to first take a while to give priority to guilds that used to be OpenCommunity guilds, so any guild leader that wishes to have their guild listed (and to gain a channel in the new independent section), feel free to contact me and we'll arrange it!
     
    The Return of Donations Donations are back! Now that OpenCommunity's closer to resembling its final intended form for the foreseen future, we're comfortable putting back the donations page! We're also toying with some options for the last 2 supporter tiers that are yet to be announced in this supporter set!
    The Package Tracker has also received a slight improvement, receiving an additional progress field for mails that are "In Progress", to let people know if their mail is being processed by us.
     
    General Improvements We've added a mega footer with some useful info, links, and navigation, we've updated the navigation menu up top, and tweaked the theme a little bit to make the transparent backgrounds a little bit less transparent, to improve overall readability on the site! In general, there have also been some other small improvements on the site, and some cleanup of old information.
     
    Teamspeak Overhaul
    Our Teamspeak has been completely reworked with regards to the channel and group structure!
    GW2 League Area The GW2 League area has been created as the area where leaders of independent guilds & groups have a lot more freedom, and can freely create and curate their private channels!
    Within this area, guild leaders and their chosen officers have more powers than they did before, including channel bans, moderation, assigning music bots, and being able to create guest-protected channels!
    In addition, it's now possible to connect to our Teamspeak using the server nickname "GW2League". When GW2League becomes hosted on a separate address, this'll make it easier for users to connect with the same bookmark!
     
    Public Area The public area is the space for anyone - from community members, to guild members, to guests - to hang out and play together! It features two social channels - one regular and one music channel, and a ton of private channels for your group gaming needs! It also houses the old AFK cupboard!
     
    OC Sanctuary The OpenCommunity sanctuary is the area where OC members can go, knowing they will not be disturbed or harassed by non-confirmed members. It provides a safe space that only those with the permission can visit and see into, that way, our members know they have a private area they can use, even during the time OC is hosting the GW2League.
    This area features a social channel, a music channel, private rooms, and even its own AFK space. It also houses the OC office and the Workshop (the latter is, at the moment, still accessible to non-members)!
    OC members still have the ability to create private channels, just like they did before, along with some other cool features that we're planning to outline in a TS usage guide soon!
     
    That's it for Update #5, we'll go into some further details regarding the GW2League and Teamspeak permissions in the future!
  13. Lelling
    Hail, comrades!
    As promised, we are continuing our steps to further align OpenCommunity with its core ideals. We've updated not only the channels on our Teamspeak, but also the website, with a brand new logo!

    We're also happy to report that in the spirit of equality, all our members on Teamspeak have been awarded a Golden Cookie!
    In the coming days, we will continue to improve the website to truly flesh it out in the spirit of OpenCommunity. Please stay tuned for further announcements later today, detailing the new redistribution of power and responsibilities amongst the members, as well as additional announcements regarding our Teamspeak changes tomorrow!
     
    We are really looking forward to taking OpenCommunity one step closer to the ideals mapped out in its initial founding!
    SFSN!
    Lelling
  14. Lelling
    Hello everyone!
    As the reshaping of OC continues, the biggest, and so far most untouched, area that will need to be affected is Guild Wars 2. Let's talk about the future of Guild Wars 2 and OpenCommunity!
     
    Guild Wars 2 Club
    As part of the modernisation of our website, the Guild Wars 2 section has been moved into a club of its own, becoming our third specialized area of the website! This includes all the general Guild Wars 2 forums, but does not include the GW2 guild subforums.
    Check out the announcement here:
     
    Our New GW2 Project
    As OpenCommunity is moving away from organising events, we find that there is a lack of Teamspeak platforms hosting Guild Wars 2 groups. Since we still have a running Teamspeak, we figured we would extend our support to anyone wishing to still run events on Teamspeak. As such, we want to announce our new Guild Wars 2 project, which hopes to establish a neutral place for independent event organisers, and just guilds and groups in general.
    So, what is it, how will it work, what is even happening? Let's break it down!
    A Neutral Platform The idea behind this new platform is a separate section on the OC teamspeak where each group can get its own area within which it is fully autonomous. The Players vs. Events group was recently given such an area, and we wish to extend this opportunity to any group that desires it!
    Each group with such an area will have full autonomy over its channels, as well as moderation rights, similar to what Community Guilds got under the old system, except with more powers and privileges. Groups will have more protections and a more dynamic permission system, basically being little islands inside of the platform.
    OpenCommunity will not have any direct influence on when and which events any of these groups choose to run, as well as on how they choose to run them, and they will enjoy full autonomy with regards to their members. Each group will be able to set their own internal rules and regulations, and will also be in charge of enforcing those rules internally.
    This platform would be open to any group, regardless of whether or not they organise any events on their own, and can just be used to provide a cosy voice chat home for those who need or desire it. For those who organise events, this means they will have more visibility, and for smaller guilds it should mean they'll have more chances to join activities!
     
    Website & Calendar Support The groups will also get their own area on the website, in the form of clubs. We've had some great success trying out clubs, and they have many features and are very flexible in terms of what they can be used for - from discussions, to questions, to information pages and calendars, a club offers a guild a micro-site of its own, which the leader(s) of the club can fully customise.
    They can also appoint their own moderators, and are completely in control of what kind of content appears in their club!
    We'll also be returning the Calendar to our website, and members will be able to see events from all clubs they are a member of, meaning it'll be a great go-to place for anyone wishing to see who is doing what event!
     
    Eventual Goals So what is our goal with this? We've said before that we do not want OpenCommunity to be seen as a service provider, so this move seems kind of counter-productive.
    This is still true, however, this is also a project that we thought was really cool, and something currently missing in the Guild Wars 2 community. Our intention is to see if this idea picks up any traction, and eventually create an independent, self-running Teamspeak. If it does not, we can most likely continue to accommodate a small number of groups, even if this project ends up being shelved.
     
    The Future of OC Guilds
    We've already discussed integrated guilds in the past, now let's take a look at what's going to happen with the other OpenCommunity guilds.
    With the move towards a more community-focused OpenCommunity, and the addition of this platform, guilds that were previously under the umbrella of "OpenCommunity guilds", will now have the ability to move to the new independent area.
    While guilds can continue to exist inside of OpenCommunity, there will no longer be a label such as "an OpenCommunity guild". The existing guild sections on the website and teamspeak will be deprecated, as there will be no more need for them, and guilds will instead be able to have the (more independent) guild area on Teamspeak and a club on the website.
    Guild leaders who wish to transfer to this new area should get in touch with us, either via the OC Teams discord or directly here on the website!
     
    OC Raid Discord
    As we're no longer organising raids, the OC raid discord has been inactive since we went into downtime. However, there are still many members on it who might be interested in raiding, so before we fully shut down the discord, we wish to hear from anyone who organises, or is interested in organising raids. Let us know, and we can give you a shoutout in our closing announcement on the raider discord!
     
    Teamspeak Updates
    Coinciding with this project, we'll be cleaning up our teamspeak and reshaping it to fit our new direction for OpenCommunity better. We will be clearing out most of the existing channels, and replacing them with a brand new structure, as well as re-evaluating the various tags.
    The Community Member - GW2 tag will be getting deprecated, however, as Guild Wars 2, and all our members within it, held such a special place in OpenCommunity we will be replacing it with an exclusive legacy tag. This tag will remain on all identities which had the GW2 tag beforehand as a kind of vanity tag to show off your legacy status. Note that we wont be reassigning these tags, so make sure you don't lose your identity! (For help with preserving your identity, you can check out the relevant Teamspeak tips post.)
     
    We're planning a lot of cool changes for the Teamspeak itself, and we'll go through more details and specifics regarding those in a future update. Stay tuned!
     
  15. Lelling
    The other day, I got all our pins & magnets required to fill the supporter packages still waiting to be shipped out, so over the last few days I've been packing the next batch of supporter prizes. I figured it would be fun to share the process, drama and conflama of preparing the packages for mailing 😄 

    When I decided to make this blog post, I unfortunately already packed all the currently pending packages - you can see them in the pic above, waiting patiently in their box corner for the day they get to see the world - so I was a bit miffed I couldn't include the whole process, but fortunately, someone ended up filling in their information just a few days ago, so I had another one to prepare!
     
    Package Tracker
    The first step is always going to the package tracker. Every now and then, I check all the packages marked with "Awaiting Response", to see if they've been filled in with the required information. Once the info's been updated, the package is ready to pack!
      
    Today, we'll be packing a Heroic Supporter box, so it does contain the magic OC mug 😄
     
    Preparations
    Alrighty, so we've got what we want to pack - we need 1 mug, 5 bibi pins, and 1 Tyria Pride pin! Time to bring out the many boxes of pins & magnets!

    These boxes contain all the pins we've accrued through the ages. I'm currently looking at ordering a nice sorting box so I can store them all a little bit more neatly, but until then, I just have to do a little bit of browsing until I get to the right ones 😄 Right now I basically have 3 boxes - one for the bibi pins & magnets, one for the other currently sending pins, and one for everything else 😄 There's also one box where I keep the brand new thank you cards and stamps.
    If this was just a small package containing pins or magnets, I'd just use one of the envelopes you see on the left side of the picture above, and a stamp, but because this contains a mug, we'll need to use a box! Normally, I'd use a small box, but I just ran out! 😱 Luckily, I have some backup boxes from the post office - I originally bought those for the packages, but they're too big, and made from heavy cardboard (probably on purpose, so they can charge more for mailing them 😛 ).
     
    Pen to scale.
    Lastly, we're going to need some safety wrap. There's now a general rule in our house that all bubble wrap gets brought to me for inspection before it gets thrown away 😄 However, I did also buy an actual ball of bubble wrap, and some other safety wrapping that I use for the mugs, but for just filling empty air in boxes, I generally use recycled packaging, so we don't create too much waste ^^
     
    Let's Get Down To Business
    Now, let's get to packing! First, I like to write a little thank you note. Thanks again to @llandshark for making the artwork for our Thank You cards! I'm really happy with how they turned out! The reason I write the message first is because the pens I use are very wet, and the ink takes ages to dry, so to avoid any smudges I write the note first, and put it away to dry 😄. And yes, this has resulted in me having to open an already sealed and packed box to put the card in after forgetting to do so beforehand.

    Now, on to the pins! I like to secure the pins to a piece of paper, so they don't rattle around and get bruised, or leave marks on anything else in the box. I bought this nice shiny paper in both green and pink, originally to write on it, but the shiny finish it has actually makes it really difficult to write on, so now I use it to secure the pins on it 😄  It just keeps them nice and safe. In a completely unnecessary act of overkill, I use this weird professional-looking cutting tool to cut the paper into strips instead of using scissors 😅
      
    Once the pins are nice and secure, I put them safely inside of the mug, in a little pocket of spare bubble wrap I had lying around, just so they don't damage the mug on the inside.

    That's the entire content of this supporter package, but the packing doesn't end here! Now it's time to protect this mug like it's my own child. Recently, I ordered a new chair, and its legs were protected in this foam mesh ting, like they're some kind of sensitive fruit, so I stored the mesh to use it for the mugs 😄
    Behold, my ceramic fruit child!

    Now, all that's needed is to fill the package with tons and tons of protective bubble wrap, put everything inside, seal it, and write the address. Then, the package is ready to send!
     
     
    It joins its friends in the box corner, waiting for the day they all get to be released into the world!

     
  16. Lelling
    Hey everyone!
    Things are picking up and our plans for the new and improved future of OpenCommunity are crystallising 😄 We've got a lot to share and we're hoping to share it all before the end of March, so let's get right to it!

     
    Community Assembly
    Before we get right to it, here's a quick reminder that the next Community Assembly will be taking place on Saturday, March 23rd, at 18:00 CET!
    During the Assembly, we'll be making new announcements, revealing a new project, as well as discussing our plans for the future and anything else our members wish to discuss. For more information about the assembly and the topics discussed, check out the announcement posted yesterday.
     
    Fate of Integrated Guilds
    One of the issues we were yet to make a final announcement about has been the fate of our three integrated guilds, [DV], [PvE], and [KIT], so let's remedy that now!
    [KIT] will remain as OpenCommunity's newsletter guild, with no expected activity or guild chat. [DV] will remain with OpenCommunity, but will aim to be a smaller-sized guild of friends, rather than focused on daily events. Please read the full DV announcement. [PvE], as previously announced, has become the flagship guild of the new autonomous group of commanders who are organising events on their own, outside of OpenCommunity's direct management. For the time being, they have their own area on the website, with the aim of becoming fully independent. As for the other community guilds, we've got some big announcements coming up regarding our plans for Guild Wars 2, which will be revealed on the Community Assembly. Don't worry if you miss it, though, the announcement will also be posted on the website!
     
    Autonomous Group / [PvE] Update
    The newly formed autonomous group has decided to take on the name of [PvE] - Players vs. Events! They have been granted their own Teamspeak area, in which they have full autonomy, as well as their own section on the website. Check it out for any news and announcements from their end!
    Since most of the active members from our Minecraft server are from [PvE], they will be receiving a copy of the OC Minecraft world when / if we decide to shut ours down, or sooner, if they so desire. For the time being, our server will remain online, and we'll make sure to announce it well in advance when the time comes.
    [PvE] now has full autonomy over their operations, and we'll likely no longer be posting updates on their behalf. If you'd like to keep in touch with their news, consider joining and following their club on the website, and joining the guild.
     
    We've Updated Our Privacy Policy - No, Seriously
    We've been going with an outdated privacy policy for a while, and while we're doing all-round updates to the website, we decided we might as well update it. Check it out here.
    Account Deletion
    With all the changes coming up, we do understand if anyone wishes to have their data and account deleted from the website, as per GDPR. If you're no longer planning on using the OpenCommunity website, you can request an account deletion. Simply private-message @Lelling with a request for deletion.
    Package Timeout
    Not really part of the privacy policy, but also a new website policy so we'll keep in the same chapter. Packages left with Awaiting Response for over 60 days will now be shelved if no address is given. Packages which have a mailing address but have not filled additional information needed, such as the type of Bibi icon, may not receive that particular part of the package, and may only receive the selected items.
     
    LFM
    Now that the future of OC is becoming clearer, we're getting ready to once again open our doors to anyone willing to help out around the community. Keep an eye out for further announcements, as we'll be announcing some new roles open to community members, as well as looking for volunteers for the Toga Party for Multiple Sclerosis charity event, which will take place on May 11th!
    If you're already wondering about helping out, feel free to post a comment here or contact a staff member! Don't be shy 😄 If you have any questions regarding this, we can also discuss them during the Community Assembly.
    In order to help out with MS Toga or any other future events, you don't need to be a commander or have any commanding experience.
     
    Spring Cleaning Continues
    In the next few days, there'll be some more cleanup on both the website and the forums, as we continue to shape our platform into something more suitable for the kind of community we wish to create.
    We're super happy with the Club feature tests so far, and will continue implementing it in the future, to replace many of our forums, so keep an eye out for any changes to familiar areas of the website 😛 
    On Teamspeak, the new autonomous section for [PvE] is up and running, so we'll be running some optimisation of the number of other channels we have on Teamspeak, particularly those which are no longer operational, to make our Teamspeak a little easier to navigate, especially for new members joining for [PvE] events, and to get ready for the major TS overhaul we're also planning to implement in the next two weeks!
     
    Stay tuned, and we hope to see you at the Community Assembly!
  17. Lelling
    Hello everyone!
    We've had a productive few days working hard on some upcoming changes, and in the next two weeks, we've got a lot of pretty big upcoming changes!
    In order to open up a little bit of discussion, and to better be able to present and explore the upcoming changes, we figured it was about time for another Community Assembly!
    The 3rd Community Assembly will be taking place on Saturday, March 23rd, at 18:00 CET!
    The assembly will, as always, be taking place on Teamspeak, in an open channel, and all community members are invited!

    What is the Community Assembly?
    The Community Assembly is a community-wide meeting open to everyone, where we can share plans for the upcoming future of the community, hear ideas from our members and discuss any questions, quandaries and concerns people might be having related to the community.
    Anyone can come along and voice their concerns, ask questions, share ideas, as well as ask for clarifications on any matters regarding the community!
     
    What will be the big topics?
    Any topics can be brought up by members, but major topics that will be brought up by the OC staff relate to the changes in the community, what we hope they will achieve, and the future we're hoping to build for the community. We'll also be announcing a special new project, which we're hoping will blossom into something bigger than anything OpenCommunity's ever done!
    Pretty much all of the community will be affected by these changes, but the largest points will most likely be:
    Our plans and future in Guild Wars 2 Upcoming Teamspeak changes Upcoming Website changes New project Announcement! The topics discussed will strongly affect OpenCommunity affiliated guilds, so we would like to extend a special invitation to all Guild Leaders in the community, as well as anyone who has a guild of their own that isn't affiliated with OC!
    If you'd like to discuss other topics, don't be afraid to bring them up!
     
     
    Whether you have questions yourself, or you'd just like to come and hear what others have to say or what the plans for the future are, we hope to see you at the 3rd Community Assembly!
  18. Lelling
    Hey everyone! It's been a month since the last update, so it's about time for another one!
    Let's get right to it!
     
    Part 1 - Early Spring Cleaning
    We've taken the old broom out of the cupboard for a bit, cleaning house a little bit, scrubbing some of the various old features on the website which are no longer in use out of the old shower curtain, polishing the silverware with some overall performance improvements, and afterwards we brought in some shiny new furniture to liven up the place slightly! Let's take a look at what's happened.
     
    Website Cleanup Due to the teams no longer existing, a lot of website content became outdated, and has now largely been cleaned up to create a fresh groundwork for any new features that will enhance our community!
    To reduce the sheer amount of stuff on the front page, some of the older, unused forums have been consolidated into more general groups, or removed. Any outdated threads that got swept up during the forum cleanup have been moved to a newly created Archive forum.
    New Announcements and Staff Blog
    The Archive forum now also houses the old News & Announcements forum, as we are replacing it with a development blog that should hopefully be more engaging!
    You can find all future announcements right here on the OC Announcements blog! You can also follow the blog and set up notifications so you never miss an important announcement!
    In addition, we've also added a Staff Blog, which is a nice cool place where we can post works in progress, thoughts and plans for future features and general ruminations about OC. We're hoping it'll be a great way to make the process of forming new ideas more accessible and transparently presented.
    Highlights

    Another feature we're rolling out is highlights! A new section has been added to the top of the front page, which will contain any content across the website that has been highlighted. This is almost like superfeaturing something! This allows us to direct attention not only to announcements, but also cool content posted by our members anywhere on the site, as well as big events such as the charity fundraisers!
    Creators' Corner
    Speaking of posting cool content, another new feature (and the one I'm most excited about) is the new Creators' Corner! Replacing the Community Showcase, the Creators' Corner combines the features of a chat forum together with a gallery, and can be expanded to add any number of additional features! Check out the featured Creators' Corner post for more information! The Creators' Corner is our first use of the clubs feature, which has a lot of potential that we didn't get to use before, so it kind of serves as a trial for the various options we could use it for. I personally am really looking forward to seeing it in action!

    What's Next?
    These changes aren't the final transformation of the website, but they bring us closer to a smaller, less cluttered environment fit for a cozy community. We'll continue improving the website as time goes on. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let us know!
    Coming up in the near future is also a rework of our Teamspeak structure - more on that below.
    We also want to get started on non-structural changes as well. All the current changes are just a way of laying the groundwork for the more substantive changes coming up in the future.
     
    Part 2 - State of the Autonomous Group
    One of the most burning questions people had for us was the state of the Autonomous Group mentioned in the last update. While we don't want to press the task force charged with founding this autonomous group to rush their preparation, we do understand that everyone's eagerly awaiting any information, so we poked them to see what's up. We're happy to report that the group has set up a preliminary founding council based on its original meeting, and are starting to get ready to begin recruitment soon!
    We've spoken to the task force about certain things that it would be nice to have as soon as possible, such as any estimated / projected dates about their progress, as well as the name of the new group, however, a good name is something someone should take time with... you know, to avoid naming your community something that's basically 2 words with practically no way to brand them... we were on a tight time constraint, ok? 😅
     
    How Long Till It All Goes Boom? One of the most common questions / concerns we received was about much time the task force has to get their own website & voice communication platform, before they have to leave. When it comes to time constraints, we don't want to pressure the task force, so we want to be pretty flexible when it comes to the timing. Right now, no deadline has been set.

    We really want the task force to transition from being community members to being independent in a way that feels natural, and not just kick people out.
    [PvE] Guild Ownership
    The [PvE] guild was founded for and maintained by the Event Team, a large number of whom are also the founding members of the new Autonomous Group. Since [PvE] was founded as a guild dedicated to scheduled / regular PvE events, we felt it was only fair and logical to transfer direct ownership of [PvE] to the task force, who have already begun a restructuring process.
    Guilds in General

    While the transfer of [PvE] was a very easy decision to make, we are still considering our options when it comes to community guilds - many guilds came here to participate in scheduled events, and since that's an activity we're no longer providing, we are open to facilitating a transfer of other community guilds from OC to the new group. Whether this will happen or not is up to the individual guilds themselves, and the newly formed group. While it is our hope that these guilds will have a place to go, the new group might wish to remain limited to a single guild.

    Depending on how the various guild leaders, their members, and the new group decide, we'll explore our options further in the future!
    The Fate of Minecraft
    A few people have asked about this, and while we don't have a definitive answer just yet, we can present where we're at right now.

    Our Minecraft server was set up for a team structure which, with the recent changes, we ended up not implementing. As of right now, it still has not been decided whether or not OpenCommunity will keep its Minecraft server. A lot of the founding members of the new autonomous group were the most active users on the server, and as such, we did offer to send them the world file, so that they may set up a server under their control, and continue playing.
    For now, the Minecraft server continues to run on the OC servers, but in the future it may be transferred over to the autonomous group, if they so choose.
    Teamspeak Update

    We are planning to update the Teamspeak soon, to facilitate a better, more cozy environment for our members, but we'd like to update it all in one go, together with the new area for the autonomous group, since we'll be reducing the OC event areas.

    Currently, we are waiting to hear from the task force, giving them the time necessary for them to consult each other and come up with an idea for what they'd like in their own area.
    Website Features
    In order to make the transition from OC to the new group easier, and more visible, we also offered the new group the option to use the clubs feature on the OC website, at least for the transition period from this community to independence. To view the various features of a club, you can check out the Potato Test Club we created for testing / showcase purposes a while back, or the newly created Creators' Corner, which replaced the Community Showcase.
    A club can function either as an extension of the community or a relatively isolated part of it, so it works perfectly for a transitioning section of the community that will eventually decouple from it, and it's something which we can easily point to from any page, without redirecting people directly to a discord or external website. It can be either just a simple page with information on it, or it can have a whole slew of features such as a gallery, a board for chatting, and a blog to post developments. The owner can also assign moderators, who can moderate the content within it, offering a lot of freedom.
    As always, the decision of which features - if any at all - they want to use, is up to the group.
     
    What are your thoughts on some of the changes that are up for discussion? Let us or the task force know, or speak to your guild leader about what you're hoping to see for your guild! We're inviting the task force to post and comment as well, to share news and information about the goings on with the other members of the community.
    We want to keep the founding of the group as transparent as possible, but we can't speak for the new group, so we can only give the information that we have. For any additional information regarding the autonomous group and its founding task force, please contact Stormmy Knight - @ktommo10.
  19. Lelling
    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!

Teamspeak

We have an open Teamspeak, which can be freely used by guests in need of a practical voice communication solution.

Address: ts.theopencommunity.org

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