Has traffic on this forum declined?


Online Campaigns General Discussion


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I've been on and off this forum since 2012 or so, and it feels like there's less traffic now than a few years back. Still plenty of activity; just, less than there was a few years back.

This is just an impression, but... does anyone else see it too? (And is anyone tracking or keeping statistics that could confirm or refute it?)

Doug M.


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Paizo has official online discussions on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Instagram, and Youtube. Click any of the links at the bottom of this page if you want to take part in those discussions.

With discussions spread over so many web pages, it makes sense that older sites are slowing down as users switch to the newer ones.


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Sorry, I was unclear. I was thinking of *this* forum particularly -- the PBP / Online Campaigns one.

Doug M.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe...there don't seem to be anywhere near as many recruitments lately. OTOH, we're in the middle of a Game Day, which will slow things down. To the extent that there's a real reduction, I think Discord has picked up a lot of traffic as the stability issues with the boards have gotten worse.

Grand Lodge

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When Gameday happens, it seems that the forums for recruitments die out for a month or so. It'll come back after folks are done with their focus on the Gameday event.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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What's a Game Day?

And yes, I think users for the PBP have gone down a little, but there's a lot more options for online RP these days so I'm not surprised. I like playing here but I am well aware this site is pretty antiquated and this way of playing is for old fogies (like me). This said, it's still hard to get into a good game, and there's plenty of folk out there looking to get into games, so I'm not too concerned about its popularity.

Also, I've noticed increasingly every few times of year the PBP forums get spammed for closed recruitments for events that you have to be special people to know what they are about to apply and that makes it harder to find a game you can get into, so that makes non-elites not in the know give up and look for games elsewhere.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Game Day is an organized play (Pathfinder Society, Starfinder Society) event running from early September through November (I think). As a result, a lot of people who would normally be recruiting for games are tied up.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Thanks John.


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I think it's more than just gameday, pretty sure this trend has been going on for some months. I don't know why exactly although I have a probably wrong pet theory: There's less people interested generally because its really difficult to get into a game (well except for a few who always seem to get selected).


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I suspect a lot of folks have migrated to playing on Discord, whether in closed groups or on a server where things like Pathfinder & Starfinder Society happen. I can think of at least a couple folks who used to be active in PbP here that have since migrated to Discord to play.


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Speaking for myself, one factor was the instability of this platform. I had my most recent campaign end because the system locked me out for several days. (No reason I could ever figure out, and eventually it just let me back in.) Intermittent outages are also a thing. IME they seem to come in waves -- things will be fine for weeks, and suddenly there'll be a flurry of incidents where the forum won't load, or it loads but messages post slowly or even disappear, or whatever.

The Paizo forums were amazing when they came into existence 15+ years ago, and they're still an important asset. But they haven't had a serious upgrade in... when? over a decade? more? At this point one has the impression that behind the scenes they're held together with string and chewing gum.


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Lady Ladile wrote:
I suspect a lot of folks have migrated to playing on Discord, whether in closed groups or on a server where things like Pathfinder & Starfinder Society happen. I can think of at least a couple folks who used to be active in PbP here that have since migrated to Discord to play.

I believe that. OTOH there are people who dislike gaming on Discord, for one reason or another.

I'm one of them! I'd much rather game on a friendly forum -- especially one that provides a good set of tools for it.

Doug M.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having played a few PbP games on Discord, I think the server makes a huge difference in the available tools. At least, the folks I'm playing the SFS special with on Find the Path use more and better tools than the ones I played with on Org Play Online. (Not a dig against the latter; the games were fine.)

Silver Crusade

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John Woodford wrote:
Having played a few PbP games on Discord, I think the server makes a huge difference in the available tools. At least, the folks I'm playing the SFS special with on Find the Path use more and better tools than the ones I played with on Org Play Online. (Not a dig against the latter; the games were fine.)

I hate Discord but that's because I'm a curmudgeon.


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I'd much rather play on the Paizo forums than Discord too but I am also old.


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Ditto on the above 2 comments... heheh

-- david


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I'm a little biased, but my main factor for where to play online is the fact that Paizo (inexplicably) isn't blocked by my work. Discord and most other PbP sites are.

I have played a game that was started on this forum and then moved to Discord, and to be honest, Discord seems like a very robust platform. But in my experience, it's a robust chat room, not a robust forum. It was hard to go back and easily view and search in previous posts. (Or maybe it wasn't hard, and I just couldn't figure it out.)

Plus, I didn't like playing on my phone which is what I had to do, because Discord is blocked by my work.


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Heh, I'm very in-between.
I really like discord for its availability and responsiveness so I moved all OOC, QA, time/character/loot/NPC/round tracking, character-DM secret talk(s) and yes even rolling over to my own discord server enriched with a couple bots, but the actual IC posts still happen here.

I like the fact that the campaign is public and I have read a good few numbers of other people's campaigns on this forum and had a blast, so in a way this is me ... contributing back, so to say?

One thing however... Searching on paizo is a pita compared to ... practically any other place I can think of, at least for me. If you don't have a very good and unique search in mind ... I feel you're better of going through the pages yourself than to use the search - urgh


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The Ghost of War wrote:
One thing however... Searching on paizo is a pita compared to ... practically any other place I can think of, at least for me. If you don't have a very good and unique search in mind ... I feel you're better of going through the pages yourself than to use the search - urgh

This is true, especially since this forum's search sweeps occasionally break, and it can take people awhile to realize it. I can think of a few different times when we've realized that searches on these forums weren't returning results after a particular date.


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Andostre wrote:


This is true, especially since this forum's search sweeps occasionally break, and it can take people awhile to realize it. I can think of a few different times when we've realized that searches on these forums weren't returning results after a particular date.

I like this forum a lot -- I've been hanging around here for over a decade now!

But it really, really needs an upgrade: more stability, better reliability, and maybe a few new functions.


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I've just returned from a 5 year hiatus, but PBP is still the best solution for me.

Between work and family, I can't reasonably expect to block out hours at a time to talk with others online. But posts? No problem, I can be called away in the middle of the action and resume when I get back in a few minutes. Easy.

And I'm going to be called away.


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being that old guy....

this nexus of pbp gaming has definitely seen a sharp decline in usage. Thnking back to 2018, the recruitment webpage, 1st page, would be filled with current, within 1 week of recent postings. Now, as of today, it dates back to Nov 2022.

BUT!

those first four stickies for the recruitment thread also sucks up a lot of the perception that this recruitment thread active. those 4 threads always have some kind of interaction/responses that keep it on going. It's my thought that majority of the people here like to play the PFS adventures, whereas those that want to branch out and do other things/settings/rulesets are found within individual recruitment threads.


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I think a lot of pbp activity has moved to Discord servers.


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how the heck do you even find games on discord?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mostly through the LFG channels on the different servers.

Liberty's Edge

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I mostly see OP recruitment on the Find the Path and (unsurprisingly) Org Play Online servers.


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RIZZENMAGNUS wrote:
how the heck do you even find games on discord?

Discords for specific systems too


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

I've been on and off this forum since 2012 or so, and it feels like there's less traffic now than a few years back. Still plenty of activity; just, less than there was a few years back.

This is just an impression, but... does anyone else see it too? (And is anyone tracking or keeping statistics that could confirm or refute it?)

We don't have that kind of data on traffic or user statistics, but I've noticed it as well. You can jump to any number of previous pages and find much more activity.

I think a big part of it is the lack of functionality (having to manually add dice, bold, limited avatars, etc.) in the forums as well as the instability (eating posts, being locked out randomly), which is preventing Paizo from retaining the Pathfinders who play, let alone those who like other systems.

I have no data to prove it, but the fandom split between PF1e and PF2e might have also contributed.


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Sebecloki wrote:
I think a lot of pbp activity has moved to Discord servers.

Would that be expecting real-time play of a few hours at a time?

Liberty's Edge

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Wrong John Silver wrote:
Sebecloki wrote:
I think a lot of pbp activity has moved to Discord servers.
Would that be expecting real-time play of a few hours at a time?

No; you can play by post on Discord just like you can here. As far as I can tell in my limited experience, tools available (dice rollers, aliasing, etc.) depends on the server. Find the Path differs slightly from Org Play Online, e.g., in that one uses Dash Delta for dice rolling while the other uses rollem.


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Wrong John Silver wrote:
Sebecloki wrote:
I think a lot of pbp activity has moved to Discord servers.
Would that be expecting real-time play of a few hours at a time?

It can end up being like that, depending on the time zone of the participants. Some don't like it because there are more intermittent notifications and some realtime talk like a messenger, and that's more interaction than a forum play by post game.


I did a PbP on discord with friends and then came here and here is much better. There are a number of things this forum could use - but none of them are discord's features.

It's bit annoying that the only way to navigate here is by numbered post-groups. BUT that's better than trying to scroll-back in time on discord, which better effectively impossible after a certain point.

What I'd love to see here is the ability to divide the game thread into named subsections and navigate with those names. Still, some of the features here are very useful if properly "abused" - using the "short description" of the campaign to give capsule summary of the campaign's current situation for the players.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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GM Hansj wrote:

I did a PbP on discord with friends and then came here and here is much better. There are a number of things this forum could use - but none of them are discord's features.

It's bit annoying that the only way to navigate here is by numbered post-groups. BUT that's better than trying to scroll-back in time on discord, which better effectively impossible after a certain point.

What I'd love to see here is the ability to divide the game thread into named subsections and navigate with those names. Still, some of the features here are very useful if properly "abused" - using the "short description" of the campaign to give capsule summary of the campaign's current situation for the players.

It's not as useful as the option you describe, but I have sometimes tagged key posts in a campaign using the "List" feature of the boards to easily go back to posts or sections of the game I may need to reference later. (The hard part is remembering to go look at my lists and remember I did that, but if you make regular use of it, it can be very handy.)


GM Hansj wrote:
What I'd love to see here is the ability to divide the game thread into named subsections and navigate with those names.

The GM can do something like this on the Campaign Info tab by posting a link to the first post in each subsection under a given name. For instance, in this game, I separated the gameplay thread by in-game days; scroll down past languages, maps and NPCs, and you'll find the list of days just above the loot list.

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