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The popularity of Discords worries me regarding future preservation of fan knowledge, mods, & guides

risq_au

Member
Oct 11, 2018
2,271
The pin system on discord/slack presents itself as a mess, the whole thing is a mess really. Whoever designed it should be retrained.

Bring back the good old days of plain IRC and forums.
 

Error 52

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,782
Only time I ever used it was in the transition to this place and I hated it. Just felt like a chat room.
I mean, it is literally a chat room.

I do agree with the idea that Discord shouldn’t be the fall-back for technical support, though. The amount of shit I’ve only figured out because of decade-old forum threads...
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,601
I get the concern OP but you could have easily said the same thing about IRC years ago and we managed to get by.

I see where you're coming from, but as someone who doesn't use Discord, I never had any issue finding things like that whenever I need them elsewhere.

The issue I have is that too often video is replacing text, and it's really a pain in the ass when they take 10 minutes to tell you something you could understand in 8 seconds.
I agree. I miss the days where you could skim through a GameFAQs guide.

I'm glad that some big podcasts are transcribing their episodes. Makes getting relevant info quicker.
 
Last edited:

benigngerm

Member
Oct 31, 2017
174
I haven't had trouble finding info I want on reddit, gamefaqs, stackexchange, wikis, etc. Besides, it's Youtube, not discord, that is more likely to supplant traditional text-written guides.
 

Aquova

Member
Oct 27, 2017
376
USA
You're not alone, it's an issue I've thought about as well. I've been getting into rom hacking lately, and I've found information on certain games on old websites and forums going back decades. This information is still relevant, and saves a lot of time in figuring it out myself. Having your own Discord server is so easy, I've seen a trend were eventually small groups go off and make their own, which is fine, but the knowledge they have in there is only accessible if you are in the server. Eventually, there won't be any invite links, or the server will be deleted, and the information will be lost forever.
 

Servbot24

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
19,041
Forums are way better than Discord because people are inclined to put a little bit of effort into their posts. The level of conversation on Discord is usually only one notch above Twitch chat, and I'm definitely not interested in watching an endless stream of spam and meme-regurgitatng drivel.
 

Gelf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,810
I mean, it is literally a chat room.

I do agree with the idea that Discord shouldn’t be the fall-back for technical support, though. The amount of shit I’ve only figured out because of decade-old forum threads...
I suppose I just don't get why now glorified chat rooms are replacing forums when that never happened back in the day. They serve different purposes.

Support certainly shouldnt just be provided there as then you remove the option for people to just google it themselves rather then having to seek out which specific discord it's hidden in and then hope it's arranged in a readable manner for solved issues.
 

Jaded Alyx

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,380
Most guides and such that I see on discord are Google Docs which you can find elsewhere, usually via Twitter and forums.
 
OP
OP
Natasha Kerensky

Natasha Kerensky

Alt Account
Banned
Jul 18, 2019
262
Praha, CZ
I get the concern OP but you could have easily said the same thing about IRC years ago and we managed to get by.
I guess that a lot of smaller communities as well as bigger developers start setting up shop at a Discord because it's simply cheaper to set up and host, while forums and wikis are more expensive and therefore all the knowledge and tools that are produced within the Discord can easily disappear if someone doesn't bring it outside the Discord. At least with forums, it's automatically archived for future use.

What games have guides that are only exclusively on Discord and literally nowhere else on the internet?
Many examples;
- Homeworld modding has gone into a Discord that isn't publicly available. Guids and mod releases are in one single channel but it is flooded with chat messages. Before, they would be available in a easily searchable forum format.
- Heavy Gear Assault's forums are completely dead so you have no idea what's going on with this dead game even though it's still sold. You have to find their Discord link in the store page and then you can access it and then you can start going through the old chatlog and see that the developers were bamboozled by some predatory publisher.
- Mechwarrior 5 modding and announcement and dev interaction have gone completely over to the Discord so you no longer have forum threads to help you understand what's going on, what the latest information is, etc.
- Screenshotting forum used to be on Dead End Thrills, but it's completely abandoned and dead now. Instead, it's a Discord now where expert users have to repeat the same information over and over again to new users.

Curious to what info? Over the past year in terms of mods/tools/guides i have found them way easier to both find and digest through reddit than any fan/official discord channel. I stopped reading guides to games when Youtube became a thing. I don't think information is going anywhere i think people like to just have more personal experiences with each other.
I don't think there's less personal experience between a chatroom and a forum, but that's just me.

What. Discord is a chat channel similar to Teamspeak, AOL Messenger, IRC, etc., but much improved. Not meant for guides or storing information. People join a Discord to chat about something, a topic, or with their friends.
The problem is that a lot of developers and smaller communities exile themselves to closed Discord servers as a replacement for forums or asynchronous conversation. This means that a lot of the traditional way of accessing information and getting help is completely incompatible with the Chatroom format of discord.

I get you what you say about preservation, but Discord is SUPER useful about specific issues, you find a game/device channel and you already know that there are dedicated ppl in that channel that can help you with the matter, instead of asking on general forums hoping that someone who know the issue will read and answer you.

On Reddit you rarely get anything helpful and no one check specific forums anymore so yeah, Discord is really useful despite its "volatility".
The problem is precisely that people have to be active there and see your message before it gets flooded by other messages. And there actually has to be an active community, otherwise it's long dead.
 

Falcon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
95
I feel the same way but not just for gaming. We use google and other things all the time to find answers, I'm using it for game development so much right now and Unity / Unreal forums are invaluable. All this conversation moving to Discord and only having a shelf-life of a few days max is a huge waste IMO.
 
Feb 8, 2019
441
The death of Dustloop pains me to this day. Back then it was so simple to find the forum for a character in Blazblue or Guilty Gear and right there would be a combo thread with a list of combos, a frame data thread, match up thread and general guide thread. All in one place, easy to find. Nowadays all that info is behind joining 15 different servers, one for each character and you have to go out of your way to ask about the info or look it up through Discords bogus search engine because nobody bothers to just make one write up and put it up somewhere.

Discord is a good chatroom but a terrible method of maintaining information.
 

KingK

Member
Oct 27, 2017
726
Indianapolis
I agree, OP. A lot of things online are making me feel old these days though. I miss the internet from the mid-2000s.

Discord is 100% a young people thing. If you're old & busy, it's practically useless as you can't keep up with 1 long conversation.

I can't even find text guides anymore because everyone thinks I want to watch some dudes on YouTube.
God, yes I fucking hate that. Why are all guides/instructions, even for the simplest things (and not just gaming related), in video format/on YouTube? What happened to text instructions? I don't want to listen to some dude talking slowly and adding a bunch of filler. Just give me a good text guide I can absorb and skim at my own pace.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,601
I guess that a lot of smaller communities as well as bigger developers start setting up shop at a Discord because it's simply cheaper to set up and host, while forums and wikis are more expensive and therefore all the knowledge and tools that are produced within the Discord can easily disappear if someone doesn't bring it outside the Discord. At least with forums, it's automatically archived for future use.



Many examples;
- Homeworld modding has gone into a Discord that isn't publicly available. Guids and mod releases are in one single channel but it is flooded with chat messages. Before, they would be available in a easily searchable forum format.
- Heavy Gear Assault's forums are completely dead so you have no idea what's going on with this dead game even though it's still sold. You have to find their Discord link in the store page and then you can access it and then you can start going through the old chatlog and see that the developers were bamboozled by some predatory publisher.
- Mechwarrior 5 modding and announcement and dev interaction have gone completely over to the Discord so you no longer have forum threads to help you understand what's going on, what the latest information is, etc.
- Screenshotting forum used to be on Dead End Thrills, but it's completely abandoned and dead now. Instead, it's a Discord now where expert users have to repeat the same information over and over again to new users.



I don't think there's less personal experience between a chatroom and a forum, but that's just me.



The problem is that a lot of developers and smaller communities exile themselves to closed Discord servers as a replacement for forums or asynchronous conversation. This means that a lot of the traditional way of accessing information and getting help is completely incompatible with the Chatroom format of discord.



The problem is precisely that people have to be active there and see your message before it gets flooded by other messages. And there actually has to be an active community, otherwise it's long dead.
I think your problem is more how Discord is used vs Discord itself.

Plenty of games I follow have specific channels for important info like announcements that only devs and other important people can post in so that stuff is easy to find.

Like forums it's important that the server owners moderate their platform and make sure everything isn't just a flood of random info.
 

Radeo

Banned
Apr 26, 2019
1,305
I've never seen resources that are exclusive to Discord. More often than not, any resources put on Discord have links to sites or are copied from somewhere else. I don't think forums or wikis are going anywhere
 

AshGerhardt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
650
Canada
Like I'm supposed to seek out special discords for individual fighting game characters and comb through the endless chat? Why back in my day we had these newfangled web guides on central hubs and we were damn grateful!
Shoutouts to finding fighting game tech being a fucking mess in 2019
This has been my main experience with Discord, I was very slow to get on that train and I'm honestly still not really on it, I try going to somewhere like 8wayrun for info and the forums are barren, rarely posted in. Everyone says to go to discords so I do, and it's so hard to sift through. Forums and wikis were, I won't say better because I still don't really understand discord, but certainly much much easier, to navigate if nothing else.

I've also run into this problem with WoW Classic trying to figure things out for the classes I wanted to play, I eventually gave up and resorted to the WoWHead guides even though I know historically that guides on sites like that aren't really what you want to be looking at.

So yea, I get the problem and it's a problem even now tbh. The best information is hard to access and who knows if it'll ever make it out of the channels. Either that or I'm with you in being a dinosaur.
 

CaviarMeths

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,097
Western Canada
From what I've seen, Discord hasn't really replaced forums, but are supplementing them. Yes, overall membership of online forums is probably way down from the mid-2000s, but the core features that you describe as advantages for traditional forums - like guides and logging development - are still alive and well. And then there's Reddit, which is still highly popular even in the age of Discord.
 

Dyno

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,277
Discord in general works better with small sub communities dedicated to certain things rather than catch calls for entire games. I've been on a few official game discords that are a swamp of information, huge chunks of it useless. Been in and am still in some ERA game discords and theyre generally better and a good way to keep in touch with some groups despite not always being active in said community.
 

Asreia

Member
Jun 29, 2019
65
Dischord just the next step of more interactive chatting. I never was on PC back in the 80s and 90s, but know they had the usernets, then you got IRC and Skype in the 2000s that Dischord just a mixture of.
 

Pokemaniac

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,095
Discord works good as the IRC tool with voice chat it was designed to be, but it's really bad when people try to use it as a repository of information.
 

mutantmagnet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
8,111
Discord doesn't at the minimum archive chats? Looking at google this seems to the case for public discords which is odd.
 

Kelanflyter

Member
Nov 9, 2017
1,384
France
i never used Discord for other purpose than replacing Teamspeak. And only because my friends used Discord (i Don't see how Discord is supposed to be better than TS)
 

Merc

Member
Jun 10, 2018
174
The problem is Discord is probably going to replace forums altogether outside of a few big ones. Most are already dead compared to what they were even 5 years ago.
I disagree. Forums and a Chat Room serves completely two different purposes. Forums are for discussion and the posting of information. Discord is for chatting. I use Discord everyday but never use it in ways that I do with forums.
 

Castor

Member
Oct 29, 2017
287
New York City
It's pretty meh whenever I want to look something up in FF14 about a class and the best answer I can get is "Check 'The Balance' Discord".
 

Fancolours

Member
Oct 25, 2017
458
Man I wish people would upload fighting game tech in a central hub instead of having to search for character discords
 

leng jai

Member
Nov 2, 2017
8,826
I disagree. Forums and a Chat Room serves completely two different purposes. Forums are for discussion and the posting of information. Discord is for chatting. I use Discord everyday but never use it in ways that I do with forums.
That's how you see it and how it's supposed to work but in reality that's not what is happening. Everything is about being quick and convenient and that's where Discord shines especially with the younger generation.

There are plenty of forums I've been going to in the last few years that have either died or have less than half the traffic they used. Forums like Resetera are an anomaly these days and even some communities that used to thrive here have basically moved to to Discord - the Lego community for example.
 

Zeno

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,062
I find discords are generally the best way to talk about individual games.
 

demondance

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,443
For some things, discord is already a mess compared to forums. Fighting games are in a weird spot because of this. Each character has separate discords, sometimes multiple, not always as well managed as the next. You can find great up to the minute tech on one hand, while someone just starting out has to navigate a web of nonsense to find basic info in some cases.

A ton of stuff that ended up on FAQs or forums is now on very ephemeral discords and open Google docs. With blogs, forums and personal websites pretty much dead with a few exceptions, it could be near impossible to find detailed info on this era of games the way we can now with older stuff.
 

Zen Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,346
Yeah I definitely hear you. Discord is great as a chatroom but it doesn't work well as an archive. The problem is that Discord has become so popular that proper archival work isn't being done as much.

I also miss the older internet but I guess I'm just old, too. If the newer way is what the people want, then I guess that's how it's going to be.
 

low-G

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,195
I can't believe what a back slide the Internet has been on about communication.

It's just like the old IRC days (which even had easy logging).
 

Ferrio

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,109
Shoutouts to finding fighting game tech being a fucking mess in 2019
Yep we regressed hardcore, it's maddening. I think too many people wanna promote their own shit instead of making a single source of information that'd help everyone. It's crazy that it's harder to find information nowadays than it was 10 years ago, even though there's more of it.
 

Unknownlight

Member
Nov 2, 2017
4,380
Yep we regressed hardcore, it's maddening. I think too many people wanna promote their own shit instead of making a single source of information that'd help everyone. It's crazy that it's harder to find information nowadays than it was 10 years ago, even though there's more of it.
I definitely feel that the early to mid 2000s provided the backbone of the modern internet and we've been kind of regressing in terms of easily accessible archives of information ever since.

Like, I can't imagine that Wikipedia or Archive.org would have been successful had they been invented today.
 

Lindsay

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,560
Ya the internet just seems ta be getting harder an harder to quickly & easily find what ya want.

html guides replacing txt ones = slower
youtube videos replacing faqs = super much slower
wiki's are just plain uneven with formatting and other stuff

discord is just another issue ontop of many others. Also what happens for games without official discords? Which of the dozens of fanmade ones is the best? And do the people within even chat about the game or predominantly random crap? What a mess. Even aol chats were far more transparent an easy ta see what you were getting into.
 

lake

Member
Oct 27, 2017
837
You're dead-on OP.

Putting often one-of-a-kind information on a closed, proprietary platform is an obvious recipe for long-term data loss. And DIscord seems a particularly bad case because so many special-interest Discords are 1) hard to know even exist and 2) if you do hear of them, you must find a working "invite" link to again access. And invites often expire! Awful. Good luck finding out about and then accessing an old Discord with the information you seek 3, 5, 10 years after the fact.

It's a definitive step backward from key principals the web's founders espoused re: enabling, spreading, and maximizing access to information. It sucks to think how much game-specific information we're bound to lose. (And content concerning fields beyond gaming too, of course -- Discord's in wide use across numerous interests, communities, and hobbies.)

Honestly I don't see how anyone could defend this concept. It's already made information harder to find (invisible to search engines), and longer-term, it's obviously going to lead to the loss of tons of unique information / community history.

If we're going to hoard information on proprietary platforms, I wish it would at least be on a more open platform that would more likely care about data export and preservation. I am not aware of any open-source projects that can currently match Discord feature-for-feature though. (Is anything close?)
 

Diablos

has a title.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,674
Discord freaks me out because back in my day I was on IRC and it's basically nothing compared to Discord, which is basically a juggarnaut. I don't even use it. I feel so fucking old. But reading your post about how powerful it is makes me wonder what the hell I've been missing and is a stark reminder of how primitive IRC is in comparison.
 

slothrop

Member
Aug 28, 2019
112
I absolutely agree with this. Discords are basically undiscoverable.

Compare something like smashboards where early melee discovery was labbed out and discussed. You can still go look at that stuff now. When it's gone someday there is archive.org. The independent character discords nowadays for ult just don't come close. It's ephemeral and we will be regretting it someday. Or maybe we just won't even realize what we don't know and have lost.

I'm mostly a lurker on forums (I've been lurking here for a year and just joined!). Discords are rough for the likes of me. I like to read discussions, not stream of consciousness chats that are always in medias res and never really have a concrete beginning and end.
 

lake

Member
Oct 27, 2017
837
I would love to hear Archive Team's thoughts on this; that is, if they have any feasible plans to preserve Discord information.
 

P.Scoop

Member
Apr 10, 2019
123
I can see why this is a problem, while this is probably not affect most games, some games with very small community might had this.

Case in point: Alice Gear Aegis. A mobile game that I would say was moderately successful in Japan. It only has two fan-made Discord servers. (Only one is active, while the other is mostly silent) And one wiki site. Which is also dead for now as the founder have quitted. Because of this, most English-language infos and translations are only found on Discord or Reddit (with the latter beings outdated) There are some works to putting info into said wiki, but as I said earlier, it's dead for now so no new info was put.

This leaves to a situation where newcomers to the Discord server asks the same question again and again. So I can see where are you coming from. As someone who did contribute to the wiki and Discord server. (mostly provides visual translations and editor for the wiki) I would like to make this better for newcomers of course. But as I have no knowledge of Japanese, and the community beings so small only a few English-speaking players can provides new infos. It's gonna be continue this way for now.
 
Apr 24, 2018
994
Discord freaks me out because back in my day I was on IRC and it's basically nothing compared to Discord, which is basically a juggarnaut. I don't even use it. I feel so fucking old. But reading your post about how powerful it is makes me wonder what the hell I've been missing and is a stark reminder of how primitive IRC is in comparison.
Right there with you...I definitely miss IRC, though. Made some great friends back in the day on it. I've used discord to call another user (actually played some Dragon Marked for Death with another Era user) and that's it...I feel too old/behind the times for whatever the "real" Discord is.
 

headspawn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,804
There's nothing stopping anyone from mining those channels of gold and organizing it into editable databases. Such a site would be pretty popular.
 

Wonderment

Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
9,844
I still remember Reaper511's KOTOR guide from BSN, which basically unlocked my understanding of the game and what goes into the builds and such. Sometimes these guides can be really well-done and helpful.

As for Discord, you can pin posts and such to channels, so a particular discord could keep its guides documents handy if it wanted to.
 

DoradoWinston

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,098
Not everything but a lot of stuff from discord finds its way to a subreddit.

You bet the Assassin's Creed discord for example shares a lot with the subreddit when a new game is to be announced.

Same with mod focused discord like the one to add music into Beat Saber.

Like I said not every bit of information is moved over but since the hardcore are usually in both the subreddit and the discord the small bit that is moved over isn't really inaccessible