Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Engel View Post
I think I said this on the Warseer Facebook group, but it's worth repeating here as well:

The dedicated forum is largely a dying breed, not just Warseer. I remember in the old aughts I had so many different logins. Logins for BSG forums, Portent/Warseer, Dakka, Dysartes, 40kOnline, EldarOnline, a Stargate forum... I wasn't the only one. Then came social media and we only needed one login, but the features weren't as good. It took time to catch up, but accessibility has won the day.

Reading through this thread, it's also obvious that a lot of the new blood in the hobby doesn't even consider creating a new account. They subscribe to a new subreddit, join a Facebook group, or follow a new Instagram hashtag, etc. And the names I recognize here are... yeah. Many of the comments here come off as old men lamenting the "good ole days." GW has a larger playerbase than ever before, all around the world, and has largely curbed their worst price spike impulses, and given players a ton of new, affordable ways to join the game — Warcry, Killteam, etc. let people engage with the universe with less money invested than ever, even before inflation. And yet everyone seems to be ignoring the good to focus on the bad.

If I were just joining the hobby, I'm not sure I'd see Warseer as a particularly warm or welcoming place to engage with, especially when you have what is genuinely a wholesome hobby space like /r/Warhammer welcoming and giving genuine advice.

There's also the shift to mobile devices. Posting on vB and other fora from mobile is awful, and I'm someone who is very comfortable with a touchscreen keyboard (also, the whining about phone keyboards also makes everyone here seem very old to someone under 30).

On top of these issues, Warseer was hit with the aforementioned hacks, the security issues, the Photobucket death, the loss of galleries and owners who... don't care? Who even owns it? Why do they want to own it exactly? They're clearly not involved in the community, and I can't see ad sales here really bringing in much to cover costs. There's a reason B&C has to have a donation drive and Warseer's traffic is dwarfed by theirs.
I agree with a lot of this and even where I don't fully agree, I understand where you're coming from. Where I take a slightly different position is over the importance of accessibility. I think that the shift towards Facebook and other similar platforms owes more to the increasing desire for instant replies, instant gratification, and zero moderation. There are too many people who just want to post one-liners, spam-like replies, off topic comments, or just say whatever they like without following any kind of rules. Facebook and the like facilitiates this, whereas a moderated forum does not. In addition, the younger generation has grown up with Facebook et al and it just comes naturally to them to use it for discussing their hobbies. A forum is anachronistic to the younger generation. The problem for forums (N.B. 'fora' is apparently only the correct plural for an actual forum taking place in real life and that I was 'forums' is the correct plural of an online forum. I used to use fora for both though) is that the older generation increasingly does not have the time to invest in GW or wargaming more widely, resulting in many no longer frequenting forums, such as WarSeer, because they do not have time to play wargames, let alone talk about them. I fit into this category. The only games I now play are Fallout Wasteland Warfare (which is a fantastic skirmish game by the way) and Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms because they only take a couple of hours or so to play a 5-6 turn game, so I can fit them in at a weekend. The rules are also much better than anything that GW has ever written for Warhammer/Age of Sigmar or Warhammer 40,000.

The result of all of this is that when more experienced players stop posting on forums, younger and newer players no longer take their place. In the first decade of this century, new players would come through to replace those who left, resulting in forums still being active places. Now though this does not happen and the few new members who do arrive find that there is so little activity and they do not know anyone, that they choose not to stay. This is sad, but trying to solve it is immensely problematic. Specifically in relatin to WarSeer though, the loss of members caused by all that down time has been very severe and the layout of the forum really is incredibly off putting to me as an experienced member of this forum, let alone newcomers. I get the increasing impression that WarSeer does not really know what it wants to be and that this lack of direction is resulting in an overgeneralised layout without any clear focus. The owners, whoever they actually are, need to decide what they want and what their vision actually is, explain it to the community, and see what kind of feedback they receive. I cannot see any other way for this place to move forward.

My last point is that, in my opinion, you do not go far enough with your critcism of vBulletin. It is just awful period now, regardless of whether you use it on a PC desktop, as I do, or whether you try to browse with it on a phone. It looks awful, it is difficult to use, it has too many bugs, and I think a major opportunity was missed during the rebuilding of WarSeer to change to a different forum software.