A Plea for RPG

Sep 13
Hello, there! I was looking for something more I could do to help my players and other players in RPG groups owned by friends, and in browsing through the Groups Suggestions site and looking for anywhere to get word to a real person, I spotted Nightowl’s message that your group had reached a real person in Customer Care and you wanted impact stories. So, here we go.In 2010, our various RPG groups were faced with the choice to stay and cope with the changes being made or seek out a new platform. We were all relieved that the change was revoked. There is literally nothing out there like Yahoo!Groups as it stands currently for text-based RPGs.

I’ve been using Yahoo!Groups to play games since it was OneList. I think I first started in 1998 or thereabouts. OneList became eGroups, and eGroups became Yahoo!Groups. Though some features have come and gone, the meat of the service–the archives and emailing–have remained wonderfully the same.

The online archives as they currently stand can be followed by thread or by date, so you can either follow a single storyline or reread posts in order of submission, enjoying the overlap of reactions to major events that occurred in the game in the past. Like reading an old favorite novel, whenever nostalgia strikes or whenever I join a new RPG, I can easily enjoy what’s happened in the past.

The email service has, overall, been a huge convenience and a real delight. Especially since I got a smartphone, it has been a treat to have this hobby of mine right there in my pocket. I read each post as it comes through, enjoying scenes as they unfold.

The files, photos, and links have all been convenient for keeping resources for the game, setting, characters, and players near at hand.

The polls have added a nice democratic way of making decisions now and then, plus amusement for running game-related player’s choice awards.

What I’m trying to underscore here is that Yahoo!Groups as it stands has been my primary source of entertainment for fifteen years, give or take, and I would hate to lose it.

Here is my primary concern right now: The messages are all screwed up, and messages are the core part of our storytelling games.

Some messages–emailed, posted via the “Classic” site, or posted via the “Neo” site–are either not appearing in the archives or appearing hours or days after they are posted.

Some messages appear in the archives but are not emailed out, meaning that members who primarily read and post via email miss those messages entirely.

Some messages are labeled as spam, either by Yahoo!Groups filters and thus not posting to the archives, or by my email account. I have never had problems with my groups being labeled as spam before the Neo changes began.

This has led to a lot of confusion. People are missing parts of the story left and right. It’s as if someone is tearing every other page of a novel out and leaving the reader to try and figure out which page is supposed to go where.

I know we aren’t medical groups or support groups. We face no dire crisis. I won’t be so inflammatory as to say that these changes are killing us. But it is still heartbreaking that these changes are transforming a hobby that is a usually pleasant and entertaining escape for myself and my fellow players into a massive headache where we have to check and double-check if our posts went through and if we missed someone else’s post.

Please, if there is anything you take out of this, remember that there is no service out there like Yahoo!Groups as it stands now. Do all you can to enhance the unique assets of the Yahoo!Groups that us old-timers love and maintain the features that we use the most, and Groups will thrive.

~Kayla Wells


2 thoughts on “A Plea for RPG

  1. Just, what I have been looking for another role player using Ygroups.

    Do you belong to Mods and Members?

    We use the files, photos, database, attachments and we have had the occasional poll. We have not had much need for links, but that is also a nice feature to have available. Some like to read and post from the group and some like to do it from email, so it is nice to have both options.

    We also looked for something else to replace our Ygroup in 2010 and found nothing to match it. Our group is in the UK so we fortunately have not been Neod yet. Although we have been on the lookout for something else just in case needed and still have found nothing else to replace what Ygroups once was, the best service for Groups.

    Ygroups was a service that was able to meet the needs of various groups and can be once again if Yahoo! admits it made a huge mistake with its users, publicly apologizes and works to change things back. Yes, classic is still an option as some in the US have not been Neoed and to my knowledge neither has some countries, the UK, AU, etc.

  2. Reposted for Random the Navigator
    Original Post Date: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:19 pm
    Subject: Impact Stories: RPG Groups

    Next to Singer’s tale, mine’s just an itty-bitty thing, probably not worth adding to any actual set of quoted examples. But this is as good a place as any to mention it:

    The original Avatar RPG my characters were on began, and ran for two and a half years, on a fan site/message board called NaviBlue.com. When the site began to show signs of instability last fall, I created a Yahoo group as a backup and began archiving everything–over 400 pages of posts which I copy-pasted into 41 chapter files, weighing in at between 90 and 150KB apiece–just in case.

    Yes. I brought us to Yahoo to save it from a site that I thought might disappear out from under us at any moment. I trusted Yahoo as a repository for those two and a half years of creative effort. When NB went down for keeps, we were even able to move live play over to the Yahoo group; the records I’d already uploaded were that complete. We picked up where we left off, almost
    without a hitch. In all respects, if I had to rescue the game from NaviBlue, I couldn’t have thought of a better repository than Yahoo.

    The last thing I expected–the absolute last thing–was to have to rescue that game from Yahoo.

    We’re on GroupSpaces now. And even though GS is much easier to use, moving the RP twice in one year has been confusing as all-get-out to the other players and the readers. I have to wonder if they still trust my judgement. One coauthor has yet to show up on the new board, and I haven’t seen the reader/subscribers at all since the move. One reader, a nurse, had been printing out the chapter files and handing them around to the other nurses. Yeah. Technically that made us published authors. And I liked to think of our little story bringing smiles and a reprieve to all those weary caregivers on the night shift.

    Game over? We, authors and readers, were strongly attached to those characters. We feel like someone killed them off willy-nilly. And I will be a long time
    forgiving that.


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