One thing I’d like to note is that I never meant to ask you to share site visitor or add revenue stats.
Now that you say that, I can definitely read it the way you intended.
You'd be surprised at how many people want to know the nitty gritty, and I get it, no one really shares that information and we're all curious beings.
I took look forward to the future and bringing back our holiday site event.
Realistically, we can't be a Hearthstone-only site. Even look at the biggest Hearthstone sites online, they aren't getting the traffic they once did and by extension they are not doing great. Larger companies are keeping them around because it's worth having the property in your portfolio, and not because it's necessarily very profitable. Look at our old home - I'm not saying we've done a super good job recently, but they've been quite a bit late to some reveals, they also can go many days at a time without posting anything particularly interesting. They don't have anyone properly paying attention to that site.
Yes, our primary folks visiting and interacting are still Hearthstone, but we are seeing more traction as time goes on and as we try new things for the "games" side of the site. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is Out of Games. The end vision is to continue supporting Hearthstone for many years to come and to have more than that too.
One of the most difficult things to do is to get people to sign up for your website. "Why do I need another account". This problem ultimately needs to be solved and we need to find good reasons for people to join our community and good places to promote the fact they can sign up - a lot of sites these days seem to not have registration systems and instead exist just to farm pageviews with crappy seo content - fun! Leveraging our community-focused side of the site to bring more people in is going to be a big thing going forward.
> but it doesn't look like it works out so far
I don't disagree with you. I'm not particularly happy about it and it can certainly be a demotivator at times, but on the flip side it increases the drive to try new stuff. We're trying to push more content through social media, and new ways to engage with people, which has been working more this month and I've been happy to see some of that result in more site traffic.
Written media is on a decline, and it really pisses me off. It's difficult to hold people's attention because it isn't a 15 second TikTok clip with robovoice. Video is currently the king of content online and through those platforms, so not your own platform, you can build an audience. But, does that translate well to your own site? Not really.
On the social media side, man. There's your video social (YouTube, TikTok, Facebook/Instagram Reels) and your traditional link social (Twitter, Facebook) and Twitter is feeling like it is less and less worth it with them changing their algorithm to make discovery harder. Facebook, if you aren't paying them money, they aren't sending you viewers anymore. Then the video stuff, if you focus on video, now we're no longer focusing on our written side of the site.
Where else can you promote your website? Reddit... and Discords. Sharing your content on Discord servers though is varied and may not be allowed in a lot of places. Reddit is similar with every subreddit having a different rule set. Promoting your own content outside of organic google traffic is just harder than it once was. We also have a team that doesn't like promoting their own great content on sites like reddit, which you kinda need everyone to promote their own content instead of one person promoting all the content, just due to the way those places work, which could be some nice additional traffic.
> actual visitor stats
I don't think we've ever really showcased our traffic stats? We've done a few infographics at the end of the year to showcase the community, but other than that, traffic stats haven't been public - though please do correct me if I'm wrong. Sites generally don't make that information available to the public as competition can more easily see what works and let's them copycat more easily.
We showcase view metrics on user-created content because people like to see how well their content is doing compared to everyone else, and it serves as a good metric, outside of votes, for people to sort content by to find good stuff.
> add revenue stats
Similarly to traffic stats, this is private information. The vast majority of our site staff don't have access to this information and instead, they get to see a more general view of our ups and downs in traffic. One could certainly put some pieces together to figure out a rough guess of what the site makes, and maybe someone on staff has but hasn't said anything about it, but yeah, that's something we're likely to keep private.
What I will say, is the site is a money hole and I haven't been full time on it for a couple of years because I've been working full-time. I wish it wasn't the case because it has clearly had a large impact on the site, but running the site without ads for a good portion of the early days pulled us into a bad position for sustainability and we've been playing catch-up since. I haven't said anything about it in public because the last thing I wanted to do was cause alarm bells to ring and people leave the site because it didn't look like I was a big part of it anymore. Nope, I still am, just not the 10-12 hours a day I used to be. I could have also made some smarter decisions with our infrastructure costs, which are now greatly reduced vs our early days. Covid also fucked us pretty hard for a variety of reasons and I lost a ton of money from that. Oh joy!
Discord, honestly, has never been a big priority for me. Discord is chaos, and if anything, takes away from the site itself. Insightful conversations on Discord are lost immediately because people won't be able to reliably find them in the future. I'm quite against Discord for that reason, so much good information is being locked behind joining Discord servers.
> staff members
It's difficult to find quality additions for our team. I want people that will treat it seriously and have the time to help us push great content every single day and have multiple hours they can dedicated to the cause. I love our folks that don't have that kind of time anymore too because we get some genuinely good stuff from it and without a healthy mix of the two, I don't think you end up with as good of a product. The biggest issue though is people want to get paid and if your traffic isn't great, there's not a huge sell to working on the site when everything is revenue sharing based.
We don't have an unlimited budget because we're independant. I've had several offers throughout the years to buy the site which could have injected large amounts of capital into it, but then I lose control of it and I don't know how new ownership would feel in a year from then or even a month. Out of Games will always be independant, it just means the growth is slower.
> plans for the site
Earlier in the year I talked about us being close to shipping a site update. We were! We were quite close to pushing it but changes kept creeping in and deadlines were missed and then heavy news cycles took away attention (and irl responsibilities too) and so that update never got pushed. Since then, a lot has changed with our big site update and I've got a few bits that still need to be styled before we can push it out.
I'll talk a little bit about expectations.
The forums as they are currently known are getting destroyed - however I use that word incorrectly because all the content is being preserved. I love the forums, I love forums in general; I love being able to chronologically look at the way people are having a conversation. Forums don't work for our site anymore. Every game will, going forward, have it's own "forum" and each of those "forums" will have the ability to tag topics so that they can be filtered. You want to look at Card Discussion? Click on the topic tag for it!
One big problem our forums have always had is having all the content spaced out into so many different sections. There may have been conversations happening in half a dozen different forums this hour, but going to each of those forums, they effectively look dead. People don't want to be a part of a discussion place that looks dead.
Portals. I mean, Realms. Games exist as a Realm on the site. Much like how today you can go to our Hearthstone Portal, there will instead be a Hearthstone Realm which will put our curated content at the forefront and the community's content alongside it.
Maybe we don't need to cover a thing about Hearthstone Esports because someone has made a really good thread for it and people are already talking about it there. Why split the discussion if we don't need to?
We're also going to start diving more into tools. Things like our Hearthstone Deckbuilder can give us opportunities to be more than a site that is focused purely on content. Tools help create content, yet, but tools let everyone share their favourite things or let us give people ways to calculate important information in games they love. Tools should be the biggest part of our pie, it leads community, which is in front of good curated content.
In addition to tools, activities like our word searches are going to be right up there too. Giving folks more fun stuff to do outside of the games they play in quick bursts can be a great way to encourage signups. Nothing concrete to announce right now, but we should be seeing our prototype of our next Hearthstone tool very, very soon. One of our new staff members is quite passionate about it and I've built a tool to make the experience even better. Stay tuned!
I also want to make it easy for people to ignore the content they don't want to see. Having a personalized feed - even if that means it's only for Hearthstone stuff, is important and is something the site update delivers on. The homepage itself doesn't change, but everyone will have access to a new page on the site that will showcase filtered information that would otherwise be on the homepage. I'd eventually like to add more customization to it, such as being able to embed our Hearthstone deck widget onto it, but that will have to be down the line and be a greater discussion with the community of what they'd like to see pluggable there when the time comes.
So, no, Out of Cards is not coming back and being 100% in on Hearthstone will never happen. We will have people that dedicate themselves to Hearthstone, and if you want to subscribe to an Out of Cards experience, you would be able to subscribe to the card games you like to see that personalized feed for them, but we are very much going in the overall direction of supporting games as a whole.
And with that, supporting games as a whole with a consistent approach to community. I cannot stand how insane reddit's moderators are. They rule with an iron fist on the stupidest of topics and most importantly, every single damn subreddit has different rules which can make it difficult to be a part of.
One set of rules, site-wide. No NSFW content, no spamming, no hateful people, just quality discussion.
I miss Out of Cards too and it was a brand that I was fully in love with. I wanted Out of Games and Out of Cards to live side-by-side but our reality was that the niche site just doesn't work as well because of the limitations. It also split our staff with some folks only on Out of Games which meant there were even less eyes on Out of Cards. Had Out of Cards been a larger site, I think we could have pulled it off better. One big, happy community is better for all of us though, so let's focus on making that happen.
Moved to the correct forum.
I looked into the block reason and have taken steps to fix it.
Thank you very much for the support, goober!
I hope we can continue to support collections for many years to come. They are so vital to finding decks to play with at a glance, we've almost certainly lost some traffic due to broken collections and I hope we can rebuild everyone's trust going forward.
Thanks for the feedback I just deployed the following fixes:
There is still an issue with the game mode dropdown that need to be investigated but its on the radar.
Hearthstone collections should be fixed.
Runeterra has a lot of other issues right now, especially since our overall site data is out of date and there is a bunch of cards incorrectly flagged that need to be fixed.
The update should be going live Fridayish, in time for updates to be made to collections prior to the launch of the expansion.
This is the definitive thread for you to tell us what's currently broken with the deckbuilder. That includes core functionality and cards that aren't flagged correctly.
We need feedback to know when stuff isn't working as expected. People that leave feedback inside of news article comments aren't helping us with visibility of issues. The deckbuilder experience should be smooth and cards should be showing up as expected.
Data can take a bit of time to uncache after changes are made to the Hearthstone database on our site so please be patient as the system catches up.
yeah if you just type “Out of Games” in the search box on the guilds panel you should be able to request an invite.
We've still got a few open slots!
Double post time, get in quick so we can get Sylvanas as a guild, thanks. We're 13% of the way there and there's a new surge coming... tomorrow? So plenty of easy progression towards her.
Oh no, the thread that I get to reflect on the past month briefly and set myself up for failure by not accomplishing anything I'd love.
Looking back at last month quick, I finished all the Timewalking dungeons each week to get my achievement in Dragonflight, so that was great. I finally installed and played Forza Motorsport and have had a few peaceful hours of cruising Spa, Silverstone, and Suzuka. No F1 2023, but we're at the end of the season now with Brazil, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi left, so I know the itch will need to be solved by going back to the game. No Payday 3 at all. RIP.
This month I'm hoping to close out my Oracle of Seasons run and start Oracle of Ages. I may or may not have gotten stuck at one point, requiring me to experience an old school zelda title's feeling of exploration, which was something I hadn't felt in a long time. Apparently, I don't remember the games perfectly :D
Warcraft Rumble will also be touched every night for 10-15 minutes to build experience with the game - plus it's just a bunch of fun. I've been playing Rumble now for a little over a month and it has been exactly what I wanted from Clash Royale. Plus, Warcraft stuff so that's awesome.
Dragonflight will be played. I'm not really sure what I want to do in it, but everything has been fun to do so dabble I shall!
ARK: Survival Ascended came out and I've already got the boat built so my friend and I went on our first expedition this week to the Northern peaks. On our return trip, we caught a couple of Argentavis which are going to be great for transporting metal around, a resource we so desperately need. ARK is probably going to be the main game for me for November. We've also got half a dozen Trikes, an endless number of Dilos, and only a few deaths to the Alpha dinosaurs that keep interrupting us at our base.
November 30, World of Warcraft Season of Discovery begins and... yup I'll be playing. I might start a guild for it too, it would be nice to have at least a group of 10 to play the new Blackfathom Deeps raid.
It sounds like I have a lot to play this month, but I don't even know how much I'll end up being able to play games. There is just so much stuff to do- new staff to onboard, site updates to deploy, the Hearthstone expansion launch, the never-ending daily news to cover. I've always joked about wanting to clone myself, and I think I might need to seriously figure this out.
I have collection pages fixed on our dev site, but I can't deploy the updated code atm due to some larger changes that have to be pushed as well but they are currently blocked. I understand how important the collection system on the site is, we never would have built it if it had no value, and I know we can do better at pushing out updates to fix problems.
Quote From dapperdogBut I feel in this instance I can say with certainty that this card would never see play unless there's like an influx of tens of cheap beasts and a massive draw option associated with beasts.
But I feel in this instance I can say with certainty that this card would never see play unless there's like an influx of tens of cheap beasts and a massive draw option associated with beasts.
Yeah, we don't know what next year will hold. A card that doesn't look great right now might be the star of every deck next year if the Core Set and first set both go hard on good beasts.
Of course, it's easy to say that for every "bad card" we see during a reveal season because support has to start being printed somewhere.
A true legend! Great design and and execution.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 game looks pretty sweet and I'm hoping to join you on that.... once I find the time to play the first one.
Demon, I am jealous of your playthrough of Roller Coaster Tycoon and really want to play it again. So many great memories over years of playing RCT, I'd love to make even more pending the time to do so.
On my side of what's being played for October:
There's also a couple of titles I want to check out to write about for the site, on top of Zelda Seasons and Ages which dropped on Switch Online not too long ago.
The current way it works is definitely not ideal. Threads that are 4 years old shouldn't even be able to be bumped without staff intervention tbh.
There is some magic in the works to fix this problem. Call it one of my top 10 annoyances on our platform!
Bad gateway errors are never intentional. Receiving one just means the server had an issue processing your request. If it immediately resolves itself, it's not really an issue. If a page only ever gives you a 502, that's a problem. Ideally we'd never have any 502s happening, but certain race conditions have them pop up on occasion and it can be annoying to track down.
Cloudflare check on posting is intentional. It breaks enough of the automated bots that it has become a neccessary evil.
Great on getting this started, Link! Hyah!
I'm going to be diving deep into Path of Exile's new league, Trial of the Ancestors, on August 18. I'm thankful they launch these at night here so it doesn't typically interfere with the day. I've currently got a playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077, which I started for the first time the other night when it was clear I wasn't getting to sleep anytime soon. Oracle of Seasons and Ages just dropped on Switch Online so I will need to find a time to play that as well. World of Warcraft will certainly also make an appearance, as it does during the month to complete the Trading Post as a bare minimum.
Last month I had a chance to sneak in a play of Techtonica which released a couple weeks ago. I've got most of the outline of a review ready to go, I just need to fill in the missing parts. Spoiler alert: It's a great factory/automation game and although it's a bit on the shallow end right now, you can see where it is going and I'm pumped for it.
Link, after getting to read all your Baldgur's Gate content, it makes me want to check it out (would be my first BG game) but I have no idea if I'll actually have the time considering there is a million other things to do outside of playing games. Maybe one day when it goes on sale...
It also sounds like you have a ton of games on the go which would drive me crazy. I'm already worried about my simple Cyberpunk playthrough that I started (and Tears of the Kingdom which I have yet to finish) being left in the dust to everything else and then if I do return to it one day, I'll have forgotten where I was and either alt+f4 or restart entirely.
Cheers to August!
Oh, also, I need to find some time to play more F1 2023. I have like an hour in it which is kinda sad times. No race weekends this month due to the F1 mandatory summer break does open up some time.