I think debating this is quite silly, in this thread, if you have doubts or are worried about the future or the management of the fansite, just go ahead and create your own.
Kind of a childish/formulaic reply - you're right of course, neither me nor anyone else is forced to be here but ignoring dissent is foolish and having Mark surround himself with sycophants is something that contributed to his past mistakes and failures.
I was upset with ArcheAgeWiki because I provided assistance to them when they got started, warned them about going down the same path I went down (selling out), and then they went did it anyway. I also helped BladeAndSoulDojo.com get started and they did the same thing. My comment in that private message was just me trying to steer you away from that destructive path, it has nothing to do with money. We actually have a mediawiki installation running here but it's not used because it's a pain in the butt to manage, edit and grow, which is why I wish you guys the best of luck. I like to see underdogs win.
And yet you're still refusing to rule out selling out yourself, you worded your original post specifically to leave the door open to selling AAS to a larger company, for someone with so much supposed regret you don't seem to be executing due diligence in avoiding a reoccurrence of the AS debacle, unless you have some insane notion that other fansite meat grinders are better than Curse.
CBT5 I literally didn't have time for, even though I was assigned a press account. It started when I was in Germany and continued while I was in Seattle the next week. OBT I want to play in but had to acquire an account in a less-than-optimal way. I still plan on playing, but haven't had the time so far, though I did idle inside the Teamspeak server for almost a week listening to people talk both in English and German.
People will struggle to understand your disinterest in ArcheAge, your lack of taking advantage of the privileged position you've been put in previously and no amount of excuses (busy people find SOME time for the things they love) will change that.
Yes, some comments are way too hostile, looking at you Ueq. Nearly sounds like an old grudge.
There's some truth in what's been said though admin. It's clear you're not as interested in ArcheAge as one would expect from the admin. But i've known that from the very start and I don't think it's a big issue. As long as you keep the platform running for other interested players
However I do regret that you do not have more staff, and also that they barely seem to have any power at all. Everything here is way too dependant on you, which could affect AAS negatively in the future (Although I also understand you want to keep control, but surely there's people mature enough around that you could trust?)
You can take it as hostility if you wish, it's not intended as such, I have been following this site (Including archeage-online) since days after it was launched, with AA launching in Korea I expect NA/EU publishing deals to be signed and for the game's path to the West to ramp up, thus my registration and posts.
But before I took it upon myself to contribute money, thousands of posts, many hours and things like my language skills to this site, I wanted to ask blunt questions of the person running it, questions I wouldn't have needed to ask if it were someone else. If you consider that unreasonable then I'm never going to make you think otherwise, I don't regret it one bit though because the answers are exactly what I'd feared.
People should be aware of this before they buy-in, especially a one-pony show, when you ask for donations it takes it beyond a personal project. I have no grudge to bear against Mark and I wish no ills on his attempts at getting into the industry, but there's a huge difference between running a fansite as a labour of love, that hard work being noticed and being offered a job, and specifically conniving to USE a fansite and its users purely as a means to that end then ditching it when that goal is achieved.
Mark has always been domineering over his sites, which is fine and directly ties into my previous paragraph, I think it will hurt the site in the long term and I don't expect it to ever change and judging by your post neither do you.
I was there when he made the decision to sell to Curse, and it was actually a smart business move at the time on his part. When under his management he was always looking for bigger and better ways to get in touch with the game he was representing, through relationship building, through attending and providing coverage of gaming conventions and through direct interaction with the developers.
tl;dr Mark's been faithful in his belief to support the community, and honestly works hard to keep thing's running, is worth supporting back.
Obviously it wasn't, or he wouldn't have been fired, been stripped of his site and had the community suffer for his sins, it was a smart move for a 17yo to get a fat lump sum and a yearly salary with a corporation, but how you can say it was the best decision for the site is beyond me.
As for "supporting him" (I assume you mean donations), that's up to the individual clicking the PayPal Pay button, my intention is not to discourage those people but if they're anything like me, donating in the name of an independent site that is in it for the long run and administrated by passionate people, is a much different proposal than donating in the name of a site that could be sold at any moment and administrated by somebody who will leave the site to die at the drop of a hat if he gets a decent offer on it.
Just wanted to mention regarding any "free" software solution. The first thing that will happen to this site when a NA publisher is announced is that it will be targeted by hackers. There will be stupid people that use the same account name and pwd combo for a forum account as they use for the game when they do beta weekends for promotional purposes. This will happen. Trust me.
You want commercial software that is updated regularly with security patches and Mark is preparing everybody for it when it happens.
IPB and vB are certainly superior products, but claiming that free systems such as phpBB are full of holes, never updated and the site will be brought to its knees by scripters the moment it gains in popularity is simply misleading and demonstrably untrue.
I will say I got to almost level cap in Aion upon release (45, max was 50) before quitting and participated in almost all the later Korean betas and all the North American test phases. For TERA I participated in every single test phase from 2009 to 2011, since I was in the HoV. I was heavily invested in both games. Posters of concept art from both games cover the walls of my home office (only two did I acquire for free, the rest I bought). I still hold a candle for the Aion demo that was shown at E3 2006. That being said, your distrust is understandable given your personal experience with my work and I don't fault you for it, though I hope to eventually reverse it.
"Heavily invested" is always going to be a subjective assessment but I don't consider your achievements in those games as encouraging given that post-launch is when it matters and having such a cliff-face drop off in your interest at that point as a fansite admin is a bit wet. People need you to be there in the nitty-gritty day to day not when it's all shiny news from Korea.
For my part it'll come as no surprise that I won't be participating in this community beyond responding to this thread when appropriate, it's bittersweet given there's no alternative and I love the community accompanying an MMO
, but when the longevity and quality of this site depends on three things NOT happening (A direct sale of the site, a job being offered by a Curse-like network or a job being offered by XL) I don't see much hope for the future beyond sharing the hype as the game approaches.
Believe me when I say that I hope you get your act together and show me up to be a crazy, I hope people's donations won't be in service of you getting a payout and therefore in vain and I wish you the best of luck either way because when all is said and done, you still went out and did it which is more than can be said for the rest of us these days.