Site Reorganization

By Shamus Posted Sunday Sep 21, 2008

Filed under: Notices 37 comments

As this site has moved away from its origins (tabletop games) and become a site more about video games, the categories have gotten skewed. It’s gotten to the point where cramming all of my videogame-related posts into a single category no longer makes any sense. To combat this I was offloading some of them into rants, even if the thing I was discussing wasn’t really rage-worthy, but instead just an interesting annoyance. This made the site seem a little more angry than it should. (Not that I have any shortage of stuff to get incensed over these days.)

The “Random Thoughts” category has become a big hole into which all sorts of things get thrown. This weekend I’m shuffling posts around and re-categorizing them. I now have a category just for my commentary (my so-called “reviews”) on single games, and another for talking about videogames in general. I’m going through the “Random Thoughts” archives and seeing if I can file those posts someplace useful. I mention all this not because I think you care about the minutiae of running this site, but because I know some people read through those series in chronological order, and this is going to make a hash of that if you’re trying to do so while the whole thing is in flux. Sorry.

Also, I’m going to shelve my survival horror series for a bit. October is a better month for that. So this weekend I jumped into Tabula Rasa. We’ll see where this goes. Will it enslave me like Wow, or underwhelm me like Hellgate? Will my inevitable criticism draw an army of irate Tabula Rasa fans to let me know that I “just don’t get it”?

I guess we’ll find out.


From The Archives:

37 thoughts on “Site Reorganization

  1. Daphne B. says:

    Non-substantive comment: Broken HTML somewhere maybe? The whole article is in orange bold print, and turns blue when I mouse over it (or maybe I have that backwards). The rest of the front page is the same way.

  2. Zukhramm says:

    Weee, an MMORPG review comming up!

  3. Ben says:

    Oh gods the orange font. You missed an tag somewhere, I believe.

    To confirm, it’s blue when my mouse is outside of the window and orange when it’s inside of the window. Like if the entire thing was behaving color-wise like a link.

  4. The Lone Duck says:

    You also said “note” instead of “not”.
    Organization is important. :D As Larry says, gitt’r done.

  5. Snook says:

    “This made the *site* seem a little more angry”

    Missed a word there? This is amusing. :p

    Also, I miss some of your posts on tabletop games. I always enjoyed your seemingly endless rants on the silly mechanics the games employed, or how to handle certain situations, etc..

  6. Hal says:

    Shamus, are you still playing any tabletop games at the moment? You know we love hearing your thoughts and stories.

  7. Teppesh says:

    Shamus, I miss your posts on tabletop gaming! While discussions on the merits of various video games is entertaining, I’m also curious about your thoughts on the various tabletop systems that you are playing right now. For instance, you’ve mentioned that you were playing a Star Wars game a while back. How is that going? You also gave some brief impressions of 4e. Have you gotten a chance to play any yet? If so, would you say that the experience matched what played out in your head when you were reading the rulebooks? Given that it’s your blog, of course the content is all completely at your discretion, and you can write about whatever happens to tickle your fancy, but your thoughts on these sorts of subjects are things that many of your readers might welcome. Keep up the good work!

  8. Old Geek says:

    Wouldn’t any category labled “Random” become a bug hole into which all sorts of things get thrown? Isn’t that the point of a “Random” category?

  9. Terran says:

    I’ll “fourth” (or whatever “#th” it is by the time I post this) the tabletop comments. They, and DMOTR are what first drew me here. The insights from you and your readers have proven to be the “Mame” to my “Agnes Gooch”.

    Not, of course, that I want any *less* of the other stuff(s). Rather, I simply wish for you to devote even more of your time and energy to what *I* want.

    So…that’s no problem, right?

  10. Shamus says:

    Not my fault: IE is stupid and does not properly parse HTML.

    My fault: Never, ever make changes without testing them in IE. Doy.

    This is to say: The orange text is fixed.

  11. Shamus says:

    On tabletop gaming: The Star Wars campaign fell through. I’m not playing a campaign right now. This is sad. I DO have some GM advice type posts buried in my unfinished article queue – I hadn’t thought of them until just now. Maybe I should make a goal of polishing those up and releasing them at intervals.

  12. Illiterate says:


    Best of luck to you in the makeover.


    [edit] apparently I can put any old thing in less-than/greater thans and your site tries to parse it. my original cough tags disappeared.

  13. Tango says:

    Something that may amuse you from the Diet Coke and Mentos folks:

  14. Ed says:

    Thanks for putting up interesting content, regardless of it’s topic.

  15. Cybron says:

    I do miss the tabletop content, but hey, the video games stuff is pretty interesting too. I will say though, the more you talk about video games, the more you seem to invite raging fanboys from the depths of the internet. In fact, that could be why your site had relatively insightful comments for a long time; it started off as a discussion of tabletop games, which has a much smaller community, which, as you discussed here, means less idiots.

  16. Shawn says:

    I’d love to see you do a series of reviews of Tabletop games. Even if it’s just making a character for a dozen different games, I think it would be interesting to see the perspective of someone who’s mostly played D&D digging in to different games.

  17. Christian Groff says:

    It had better not be either. It was made by Lord British, the guy behind the Ultima series! He had BETTER not make a crappy sci-fi MMORPG!

  18. Viktor says:

    Shamus, I do have to ask why your site tries so hard to parse everything. I’ve had comments where I’m trying to make an annoyed smiley(‘less than’ ‘underscore’ ‘less than’), and it finds a way to parse it, usually ruining any italic or bold formatting on my posts. Do you perhaps have noparse tags enabled, and I just missed them?

  19. Shamus says:

    Victor: WordPress – my site software – doesn’t give me much control over how html is parsed. I know it badly mangles links and such. Since I can’t see what the user originally typed, I don’t even know what’s going wrong.

    The system is a safety net so that people can’t post unclosed tags and make a hash of the page. If I had a way to fine-tune it I would.

  20. gahaz says:

    Considering the very thin population of TR and the fact that it is floundering you probably won’t get too many defenders.

    It is summed up pretty easy, “Hey I’m WoW, but with guns! Well, not as good or as easy to run, but I’m in space! Well kinda you never see “space”…um…General British?”

  21. Eric says:

    Are you ready to do a campaign? We all thought that you had a lot on your plate as of late, so we wanted to give you a break. If your ready we’ll play! I better not get my hopes up.

  22. Viktor says:

    If you’re looking to RP some more, but lack time, may I suggest doing some play-by-post? PbP generally doesn’t require too much time beyond checking and posting once or twice a day, and is a lot more story-focused.

  23. Strangeite says:

    Count me as another vote for tabletop games. DMotR brought me to your site and your posts on tabletop games kept me.

    I also would vote for a [cough]forum[/cough].

  24. Miral says:

    I played in the beta of Tabula Rasa. It was boring. Maybe they’ve improved it since then, but it seems unlikely.

    Then again, I’m not exactly the MMO-loving poster boy, so maybe I’m just not their target audience ;)

  25. Katy says:

    Speaking of reading in chronological order, as long as you are redesigning a bit, previous and next links that follow only chronological order (ignoring the categories) would be grand.

  26. Sharon says:

    Thank you, kind sir, for the “back to the top” button, although it may be broken. Still, I am hopful for further progress.:~)

  27. Sharon says:

    The button works- it is I who am broke. thanks

  28. Davesnot says:

    Snook says, “”This made the *site* seem a little more angry””

    .. should be “This made them seem…”.. the typical bit about typing the when you meant them.

    How ever you organize it.. it’s good stuff.. thanks!

  29. Had a friend who played. Early on he ran out of ammunition and money to buy more. Seemed like he had reached a complete dead end.

    So he quit. He is now doing artwork for a pending SF game of which he knows nothing about the game play.

    But that seemed like a big hole in TR, wonder if they fixed it.

  30. matt says:

    @Stephen: how do you fix something like that without players breaking it, selling their ammo to get more free stuff to sell, you could pose a limit on how much they get, but at later stages it might not be enough, etc.
    Also, shamus (or anyone else for that matter), I don’t play tabletops, but am interested in getting involved, how should I go about doing this?

  31. Chargone says:


    I’m pretty sure the answer is something like mass effect’s “bash them in the face” attack, which it uses rather than shooting when you ‘fire’ your gun on an enemy who’s, you know, Right There. hehe. or just a gun that cares not for ammo. but that’s just my thoughts, i know nothing about the game.

    also: yay for order and organization :)

  32. Zaxares says:

    Aw, come on, Shamus. You know you thrive on the vitriol-swollen fanboys (and fangirls) who slither and roll their way into your blog to defend their chosen idol with such zeal. :D And think of all the entertainment it gives the rest of us!

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about Tabula Rasa. I’m not really into sci-fi MMOs, but I’m eager to know what you think about it, Shamus.

  33. Nalano says:

    I remember TR. Ammunition costs ate up your entire budget (making the “fun” weapons prohibitively expensive) and as there was no PvP to be had and most instances could be soloed, there was a certain dearth of interesting things to do.

    They may have nerfed the ammo costs since I left, but what’s an endgame without PvP? More boring raiding?

  34. Du Jurk says:

    I’m all for the tabletop games as well. Maybe even bust out some classic board games like Dungeon and Magic Realm or even newer ones like RuneBound and The Game of Thrones.

  35. Kevin says:

    One RSS feed is still enough, right?

  36. Terrible says:

    I was wondering if you’d ever go back to tabletop.

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