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Update about the USTLF and the future 
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Captain
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Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:13 am
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Update about the USTLF and the future

TL:DR1: To break this information down succinctly, the USTLF website has exactly 363 days of Life left to it in its current incarnation. For further detailed explanation read below.

TL:DR2: No, this is not a ask for money, I think a new solution would be worth investigation and pursuit, and am open to facilitating that conversation.

Gallant crew of the USTLF, Good Afternoon. On the 23rd of July, 2013, the USTLF was founded in its current design with GoDaddy.com. This would be the 3rd iteration of the original Bethesda forum for the video game Star Trek Legacy and its related video games. Over two months ago I did some number crunching, I estimated that we are close to expending almost $1000 over time to keep this site open. The breakdown is that the URL and private domain registration are $18 and $11 respectively each year, however the cheapest cost for the server hosting is $120, and the price goes up every year. It is needless to say that paying that much money for a web forum that has on average 3 to 5 new posts every month, is not an endeavor that is doing favors for any of us.

We have a long and storied history, this gang of individuals and this place where we all meet, and the urgency that drove me to create the first website on Yuku, and then to build this one in Php to facilitate our needs is simply too much for too little, if we wish to continue on we need to think smarter, not harder solutions.

Now, with this information out in the open, I’d like to walk you through my memories of this place, and you all, some of the best friends I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

December, 2006, almost 12 years ago, imagine where you were, what you were doing day to day, and how far you’ve come since then.
I myself was stuck on a particularly difficult mission trying to rescue every single evacuation shuttle as Borg ships invaded one of the larger maps. Looking to gamefaqs for help, and finding nothing but squabbling about the game in general, a basic internet search brought me to the original Star Trek Forum by Bethesda. I found the information I was looking for, and joined myself. I recall the great discussions taking place there, I remember conversing and making new online friends to play deathmatch with like terrabytz, jaguarpaw, xxxtc, and so on. Eventually I remember we had Sundays where we hosted scheduled one on one tournaments, I can vividly recall creating several 1 ship challenges to do solo with the game, and creating guides for how to get the best scores on all the co-op matches (I actually recall this very well as the DS9 map had a bottleneck for the Borg in the gravity well of a planet, I also think the Klingon map had this also).

But, eventually as the months went on and on, and support for the game was discontinued, the only active part of the board left was the PC section, where I met everyone reading this today. Will had an avatar of a pear with teeth saying “wut”, I want to say Vern had been banned under 1 name and come back under a slightly different one, our Forum Praetor S*D icons-d was no longer active, but I did enjoy necro’ing several of his topics, we had both RogueVulcan and RogueAngyl, KtingaCrusier, TrekFan, Illithi Dragon, I’m sure there are others I don’t recall anymore, but it was a lively cluster of individuals posting daily. I remember getting into an argument with CoWmAn about who Armin Shimerman voiced before the release of Bioshock, I remember posting video from Zero Punctuation only to have Ecthelion tell me “we don’t watch review videos here”, and posting a faux repair Youtube video that Magellanic was critical of.

Eventually after ST Conquest and ST Encounters had run their course, the forum moderator Grandstaff posted the site would be coming down in a week. I can recall leaving my desk at work and calling my wife to ask where she hosted her board from, Yuku it was, the destination was set.
I created a new forum and extended this offer, to keep all moderators in their current places of power if we moved over. I’d say we lost 80% of the members that day, but it was the words of Magellanic that reinforced this was a good move, “Surlaw, you turned a 404 into a fighting chance to post again”.

The Yuku board was a rough go at it, in the beginning it didn’t look like much, and took several months to get things in place, it was duct taped together with ambition and elbow grease. I recall Ilithi introducing Catamount in to talk about global warming, and he joining our rowdy crew. After the first official meet up in Virginia in 2010, we introduced the weekly Skype calls, and FPS BeaT joined our group, along with weekly online games, where my crappy internet would always cut out every 90 minutes or so. Memories! I do specifically recall that Praetor S*D joined only 1 Skype call, I believe Ilithi, Catamount, FPS and myself were all still online, I want to say Ilithi saw him playing STO and sent him a message. I remember we saw S*D join the call, his mic was open…. Silence. I swear we sat there silent for a good 30 seconds until we started to hear the opening notes of Also sprach Zarathustra from 2001 came blasting across his mic, bigger than life it was Bwaaaaa, BWAAAAAAAAA, DUNBWAAAAAAAAAAAAA bum bum bum bum, man that was a riot, another great memory.

I could keep going with memories, but the post would just keep rambling on, tournaments, Insane Picture Stories, that time all of us changed our avatars to match Ilithi's and after a day or two he was like WTF?! All great stuff, all great memories large and small.

Eventually we were spending quite a bit of money in donations to keep Yuku free, and it made more sense to switch over to just hosting our own place, and now also the time has come for, as it is well known, All Good Things to come to a close. In 2017 and 2018 russian web-bots were signing up to post here by the hundreds every other day, and it was taking me more and more time to go in and clear them out and deny them access, heck even getting ArcticFox to join was a challenge in the sea of spam to the point where I made the security question to join so obscure that hardly anyone will ever join again... but such is the state of things.

Let me know your thoughts, and above all else, remember that nothing will ever replace the great memories and friendships we’ve made here together over the years, and also remember, I’m STILL #1 Ranked on the Legacy Co-op Leader Boards. iconawe icon1710c

Glohhaasi' mnekha!

_________________
1. The Godfather II (PS3)
2. Assassins Creed II (PS3)
3. Bioshock (PS3)
4. Bioshock II (PS3)
5. Fallout 3 (PS3)
6. Fallout New Vegas (PS3)
7. Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires (PS3)
8. Dynasty Warriors 7 (PS3)
9. Borderlands (PS3)
10. Sly Cooper HD (PS3)
11. Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3)
12. Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
13. Resident Evil 6 (PS3)
14. Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (PS3)
15. Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (Vita)
16. Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 (PS3)
17. Trivial Pursuit (PS3)
18. Fist of the North Star: Kens Rage (PS3)
19. One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3)
20. Resident Evil Remake HD (PS4)


Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:43 pm
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Captain
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:51 pm
Posts: 627
A new alternative.

Gosh, Reddit? Discord? I have little experience with the latter actually. Not sure if its even a forum per say.

We could split costs, but again with it rising and all of us potentially not in a position to do so that can get complicated and only stave away.

Not sure if there are alternative forum hosts we could use, I will do some thinking over the weekend. As we have quite some time to think about how to move forward.


Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:47 am
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Captain
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Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:13 am
Posts: 834
I did look into Discord, as I also didn't know what it was, but it's just like Skype but its easier to run from a browser while playing multiplayer games online, so its not a forum exactly.

We could create a subreddit, however at that point, what would only 3 or 4 of us move over? At that point might just make an email chain with everyone. Also if we had a subreddit, we'd have to go back to moderating it as I am unsure of how you lock them down...

_________________
1. The Godfather II (PS3)
2. Assassins Creed II (PS3)
3. Bioshock (PS3)
4. Bioshock II (PS3)
5. Fallout 3 (PS3)
6. Fallout New Vegas (PS3)
7. Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires (PS3)
8. Dynasty Warriors 7 (PS3)
9. Borderlands (PS3)
10. Sly Cooper HD (PS3)
11. Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3)
12. Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
13. Resident Evil 6 (PS3)
14. Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (PS3)
15. Metal Gear Solid 3 HD (Vita)
16. Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 (PS3)
17. Trivial Pursuit (PS3)
18. Fist of the North Star: Kens Rage (PS3)
19. One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3)
20. Resident Evil Remake HD (PS4)


Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:05 pm
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Captain
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:51 pm
Posts: 627
Private Subreddits exist, let me check quick...yeah they do. Not sure how you’d lock down the membership requirements but they’d actually have to find it first.


Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:24 am
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Commander
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I've been using discord a little bit for games. It's pretty easy to use and straight-forward once you start playing with it. It's also "free," in the sense that Discord doesn't charge for server use, though I'm sure they're mining data and selling that, plus it does make use of ads (though they're pretty tasteful and low-key ads for different games and game services that focus more on the subliminal "hey this is interesting" approach rather than the overwhelming bombardment approach).

Honestly, Discord might be the way to go for this group, and it might draw in some more activity from less active members. I check back in here semi-regularly (USTLF.com is still my browser's default homepage), but I mostly lurk and skim more than anything else because I'm limited on time (I average something like 80-85 hours a week at work during a normal work week).

A chat program that lets the regular posters maintain active conversations, while also making it easier for the irregular posters to jump in and out of conversations, might be the way to go.

_________________
Image Fleet Admiral Ilithi Dragon Image
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"Never meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and go well with ketchup!" -unknown
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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But it was on Star Trek!!! D8 It'sREAL!!!


Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:01 am
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I had a similar thought with regards to Discord. Though, actually, my initial reaction to the news was one more of grief and guilt--guilt for not pitching in when I could, and remorse that I cannot afford to pitch in to keep the forum running for the time being (I'm banking on getting a job early next year and finally having some disposable income for the first time in my life). But alas...I'm sorry I wasn't there to help foot the bill when I could've.

To that end, our options seem to be limited to Discord, or perhaps Slack? What are the thoughts on that?

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"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."


Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:05 am
Posts: 306
Alternatively....could we potentially scrounge together enough titanium to build a four-meter cockpit parts to build our own server and piggyback it on someone's internet connection? I'm not an IT guy but I might be able to figure something out in the next year. Then, we'd only be responsible for registering the domain name, thus saving us boocoodles of money.

_________________
"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."


Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:55 pm
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