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Closing down omniverse-rpg.com

#1
Hey,

It's come to my attention that post-server transfer, we're dealing with a number of unfixable database issues. I have no idea what's causing these or how to fix them, as I'm not a coder. After I handed over control previously, a great deal of updating and modification was done to the site and due to the nature of our site relying on modifications (such as the points mod, and rested xp), I can't really undo this stuff easily or untangle it without a massive amount of work.

I already had to do work to make previously-incompatible mods such as NewPoints work on the MyBB version we were running, so making updates to the base system software carelessly is kinda like upsetting a careful ecosystem or pulling a brick out of a jenga tower. Things can have knock-on effects and since I'm not a coder, I never changed anything without backups. Now, I have backups from before these changes - I have backups running back years - but that would lose all the posts that have been made since. Every choice is a gigantic headache, especially for a site I no longer use. I have kept the site running because it felt like the right thing to do for the community, and because wonderful people were willing to keep busting their ass to keep it alive. But ultimately it's not feasible for me, and it's not feasible for you, anymore.

As I don't really use the site anymore myself, the option of paying out money for modders to make updates and the like (which is entirely feasible) is not really something I'm wanting to do. And honestly, dealing with database things, site drama, and things of that nature is not something I want to do anymore. I put my years into the site. When I made the site I hoped to carry the story for about 6 years. It’s been an amazing journey through the formative years of my life. But I’ve moved on.

Now, I could simply leave the site up and let it continue running. Which works up until things like this happen - updates and internet changes, require SSL certificates and the like. Or up until the site really takes off again, and I need to organise a larger staff team to keep things going.

I proposed, some time ago, bringing the story to a more natural close and suggesting that people find different sites to run. But the Omniverse is popular and people want to stay here. People have investment.

I would love to delete the whole Omniverse, let it sit for a few years, then use the rules pages to build my next site over the next few years, which I plan to be fully automated. But it feels like a bit of a dick move. I've tried to come up with a compromise that keeps everybody happy but it seems like, ultimately, I do have to make a hard decision. I want to keep this as fair as possible, so here's what I'm doing.

Any current Omniverse member is free to use the site pages and rules pages verbatim to make their own "copy". This will not be the official Omniverse RPG nor supported by me, but you have my blessing to use the rules for this purpose, or to make your own spin-off based on these rules. Please do give me credit for my work, but otherwise go hog wild. The Omniverse was always about making your own thing, about members making up their own stories and filling out the world as they go.

I would ask that any spinoff changes the name. Even if it's just Omniverse Next or Omniverse Plus. This is a condition of using my rules.

Want to continue this story straight-up with the same rules and same characters with the same Earned OM? Go ahead. Want to do a totally different setting with rules based off this? Go ahead. As long as you recognise that the rules are copyrighted content created and owned by Greg Harris, go ahead.

If you speak to me via Discord or email (gregorz@gmail.com), I may be willing to help you out with story content (i.e.: what the fuck is Omni’s motivation, the truth behind the Omniverse etc) or send you the basic html for the rules pages, other things. I’ve decided against just handing out the current database and files because:

A) Any continuation really needs new forum software anyway, and if you aren’t at least willing to put in the time and effort to make your own site and go through the pain in the ass of setting things up, then your site is doomed to fail anyway. Running the site will ultimately be more work than you’ll think.

B) I don’t really want to give out the ability to trawl through the database, have access to everyone’s emails etc to just random people.

But people I trust (i.e. current staff) will have full access to the files and database, and I’m willing to consider others if they are serious and not just like “sure, I’ll take the database”.

We were set up for another year on the new host, but now we’re back on the old host and so if folks want to use this place to plan and check out the rules past March 11, the servers will need to be paid. I’ve been paying out for the last two years-ish without any help on donations, and especially after paying for the new host I’m not great on money, so I’m putting my foot down now and saying that I’m not going to keep paying for that solo. If you guys want the servers to stay up, please help out. I think that’s a fair ask.

I would encourage the community to have a discussion about where they want to go, who they want to follow. Ideally, everybody goes to one person but I'm not going to give any "official" successor because that is not my job. If somebody does a bad job - anyone else can make their own version and try to do better. That's the way communities have always been run.

For me, this is the healthiest way of ending my Omniverse while still allowing people to use the rules and make their own thing if they want. And nobody can complain about the successor I’ve chosen because ...  there is no official successor beyond what you, as a community, decide you want to do or who you want to follow.

This site will stay up for as long as people are willing to pay the site fees, but no longer than a year. I will not be supporting the site other than to keep it up for that length of time.

Best of luck to everyone, I hope to still talk to some of you on Steam, Discord Facebook or wherever. :) And best of luck to those who wish to take on the gargantuan duty of running the next Omniverse.
Curious about me and the characters I play? See the 'Staff' page! See also the rosters for my characters Samus Aran or Enel if you'd like to see examples of well-formatted rosters. Hope you enjoy the Omniverse!
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#2
Now, as a follow-up to that, I want to say that there are already plans from the current staff team to make a new site. I gave the staff team advance warning of this, following the server problems that arose, and I've been sharing information with them and giving them all the necessary information they need in order to make a new Omniverse. I will leave it to them to reveal further.
Curious about me and the characters I play? See the 'Staff' page! See also the rosters for my characters Samus Aran or Enel if you'd like to see examples of well-formatted rosters. Hope you enjoy the Omniverse!
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#3
And lastly, I just wanted to thank everyone who ever came to the Omniverse or contributed in any way, shape or form. I thought about addressing each individual person and their contributions, and I may well at some point, but for the moment it's a bit too painful.

What I will recognise here are all the ways people helped:

Writing, participating, telling friends, advertising, voting, making up quests, thinking up stories, encouraging friends and working on plots, helping friends with their character ideas and building, helping convince friends with writers to block to stick with their character, or helping others to honestly consider better character options for themselves; writing up verse descriptions, areas and quest descriptions; working to build factions and alliances, fleshing out those alliances and their bases and forming independent chats so you could discuss those things; updating, checking on moves, answering questions, talking, making the community a nice place. Sharing their experiences of real life and the ways the Omniverse helped them, talking as friends. Making up diagrams and helping with graphics. Designing plots and storylines for others to take part in. Writing updates as a storyteller and adopting the creativity of writers into your story. Listening to the troubles of your fellow members and making them feel less alone. Statting out monsters and enemies for players to fight against. Designing new artefacts. Giving feedback on rules and helping suggest new alternatives.

For believing in me and the work I was doing and saying so when you truly believed it; or for telling me honestly when you thought I was wrong, without judgement or hate. For donating and helping keep the servers up, and my mouth fed when I developed RSI and I couldn't work, especially in 2015 when it became clear I wasn't recovering and everything was at its darkest. For being patient and understanding with me even when I was at my lowest.

And for extending that same kindness to others on the board and in your life.

For all that and so much more, thank you.
Curious about me and the characters I play? See the 'Staff' page! See also the rosters for my characters Samus Aran or Enel if you'd like to see examples of well-formatted rosters. Hope you enjoy the Omniverse!
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