So somebody asked me something today, combined with my free copy of Alpha Strike yesterday, and going through all 110 of my Battlecorps orders over the last few years and finding 5 items (need to double check, but at least 3) that I haven't even gotten yet and it got me thinking.
I went and got my order history from my 2 battlecorps accounts (not sure how that happened) over the last 5 years. From August 2008, to this month, I have given CGL $2988.27 of my money. On top of that, I've given IWM another $1809.20 ($255 of that through the Kickstarter). I've also bought quite a bit of stuff at my LGS, but don't have detailed records on that. I have at least 6 of the latest boxed sets, and more miniatures that I can paint in a lifetime. I also blew $90 on a battlecorps subscription (well 2, because I couldn't disable auto-renew).
I have also spent thousands on ebay for miniatures, old book lots, etc. I won't count that though, as that wasn't money into CGL's pocket.
So, on average, each month, over the last 5 years, I've given CGL about $80 per month.
Of the 6 of my "warnings" on the forum that got me banned, 2 were due to me talking about politics in a discussions about military sizes, populations, etc, you know, those threads that start every week. 2 more were in a thread that was only used by a group that met at a particular store on weekends. I said "bring money, I'll bring mini's" sorta thing. Apparently that was wrong too, even if no $ was mentioned. The other I said something nasty about the amount of errors in their products. I never flamed anybody personally, never attacked folks, never got "trollish", and always acted with respect towards others. A couple of those "warnings" I'm 99% sure were just a difference of opinions between a moderator showing personal bias over their role as a moderator, but whatever, I got banned.
Then I'm like "Screw these guys" on my blog after, which even though a temper tantrum, it was on my own blog, read by at most 50 people, but probably well under half that. Regardless, it was an off-the-cuff thing, and I pretty quickly got over it (or did I? :)).
As it really appears to me, justifiably, that CGL simply doesn't care about me as a customer, I wonder now why I'm sending them $80 a month to pay their bills, sustain their operations, and create new content.
I was one of the top submitters for errata out there, I created lots of new utilities for folks, wrote designers, star charts, and if I wouldn't have been banned I know that today we'd have builders for everything from warships, to mobile structures, to buildings, to bases, to RPG characters, in addition to the usual stuff. I could have made vast contributions to the masterunitlist.info site. I would have been fine waiting the couple months before updating my database with new products (for example, I added the LC 3145 stuff last night, though I haven't updated the database their attitude towards me doesn't justify me holding off either). I was a positive influence on the game, the forums, and the fan base. Heck, I would have ran demos and given away more miniatures at events (I have thousands I'd give away for a decent cause). I bought everything, often multiple copies. In every single way, I was a great customer.
That all being said though, I won't throw hate at Herb, Randall, or any of the folks on the staff at CGL, nor will I stop buying too much stuff. My anger towards them is unjustified, as not one of them have ever said anything negative to me. A couple of times I've spoken with them personally and not had any negative thing to say.
So I will direct my anger and disappointment towards the moderators of the forums at http://bg.battletech.com. Not all of them, but many. I see bias, hypocrisy, elitism, and trolling, not to mention unprofessionalism from many of the moderators. It is the moderators (again, not all, but many) that I think are the root of the problems on the forum.
If I decide to not become a customer anymore, and with my current trend towards PDFs only that could very well happen, the moderators on the forums will have cost CGL $80 a month, or nearly $1000 per year.
The biggest tragedy however I think is the overall loss of quality of content on the official forums over the last year or so. The topics are dull, interesting conversations few, and the number of posts where no information exchange takes place is astounding. I have spoken, in person and email, from quite a few folks that have nothing positive to say about the forums as well. Perhaps its just my viewpoint.
Soooooo, now for the good part, since I'm sure everybody has gone on to surf porn by this point and left this blog behind.
I will be starting my own phpBB forum. I've gotten it running before (its actually on my site if you know where to look) but never advertised it as I didn't think my server, already overloaded making battletech PDFs and Alpha Strike cards, as well as a handful of other sites, could handle the load of a forum with decent response time. Anyway, I actually work at a hosting company, and can get a new server up and running, well, within a few minutes, that should easily be able to handle the load, and has hundreds (yes, with an 's') of megabits of bandwidth available.
Initially I'll focus on Battletech, though I'll have Robotech, Heavy Gear, Star Fleet Battles, Traveller, 40K, and whatever threads I think may be interesting.
My forum rules:
#1. Don't be an ass
I'll post an update in the next few days as I set this up. Hopefully I'll have my site updated to print all the new Alpha Strike cards as well.
If anybody wants to be a moderator... well, not in protecting threads, but just maintaining the board (moving threads as requested, locking them, answering user requests, etc) apply within. I can setup and get phpBB running, and can probably figure out updates, but I'm not a pro with it.
I actually thought about doing an appeal to one of the official CGL folks, but with me recognizing the biased and hypocritical moderators, I'd be hypocritical in even asking (at least not until they "clean house").