Should we conclude our long running forum?

As numbers have dropped off significantly, and all of our community members have moved to Discord or left, we are looking at bringing this forum to a conclusion and turning it into a read-only archive.

From moderation perspective and to prevent discussions from being split up or duplicated, this is a logical move.

Regarding the use cases of the forum, a lot of recent topics have been started to post long form impressions about games that would create a wall of text on Discord. Steam and GOG provide good reviews sections for posting long form impressions about games that will reach a wider audience than this forum. These can be linked to on Discord, while Discord itself provides a good outlet for shorter impressions.

Are there are any other use cases for the forum that are not met by Discord and would be missed by our community members in practice?

It’s sad to see the death of gaming forums. I much rather them myself to the likes of Discord, but I’m old school and set in my ways LOL


Yeah for me it is about “one stop shopping” and since I use discord for other things, I always check to see new posts vs checking the forum randomly

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Ironically cross-posting my response from Discord.

Are there are any other use cases for the forum that are not met by Discord and would be missed by our community members in practice?

Yes, a big one. Searchability on the internet.
A Discord server is pretty much a closed thing and Discord’s search function sucks.
Combine that with no organisation of Threads here and it becomes pretty awful for long-term discussions.

While I mainly use Discord myself, I do like to sign up for fora like yours for things I put more effort in and want to be findable.
Think guides specific to PD or posting of a decompilation attempt I plan to do eventually.
An example of such deeper posts I made to other fora for their searchability are [solved] Re-enabling hardware en- and decoding in SteamOS 3.4 :: Steam Deck General Discussions and

And with the #forum-posts channel, Discord can still be used to find new Threads there.
Thinking about it, in it’s current form, the forum serves as an alternative to Discord’s Threads in a way more manageable by most community members.
Personally I do have a future blogging site which I will use for the same purpose, but I’d rather cross-post than rely on that getting indexed.

P.S. I created this account as the irony of replying in Discord did not forgo me, but that does proof how Discord is a more comfortable platform to post and perhaps proof-read in.

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I’d have to say I much prefer forums over discord. My personal impression is that discord isn’t great for reading historical posts and I’ve given up trying to read history on a new discord area like I would when going into a new forum.


Yeah its much easier to see historic posts on a forum to discord and you can also use high res screen shots with out the need to pay for Nitro.

But I get why Solo is looking to go with the times and just very thankful he’s stillkeeping the place going and we had the forums section for so long. I so miss the old days of Dreamcast Technical pages and the likes of Video Game Imports forums

Good times for SEGA fans back then :slight_smile: Getting old is horrible :frowning:

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I’ll be taking a “does it work” approach to any arguments here. I’m actually a fan of the organised nature of forums and the openness of the web in general, but these personal preferences have to be balanced against where the interest in this forum is today.

One practical problem is that, because the majority of the discussions take place on Discord, these discussions end up not being searchable in practice anyway. In the past I’ve copied some important Discord discussions, such as feedback on the E3 Panzer Dragoon: Remake demo, to a forum topic, but practically speaking I wouldn’t be doing that often.

We do maintain the Panzer Dragoon Steam group (here’s a list of all PDL maintained channels), so perhaps that could be the official continuation of the forum for long-form posts? Would that meet your requirements for searchability and topic organisation?

I agree with the points from Team Andromeda and yourself and about historic posts. Would a read-only archive of this forum and the Panzer Dragoon Steam group for newer topics meet these requirements?

I see that you aren’t very active here yourself (last post, 2 years ago) which is no fault of yours but unfortunately doesn’t help make a case for keeping the forum around.

To elaborate on my Steam group idea a bit more, I was thinking this would be more of a subset of what the current forum offers. No off topic threads etc, just a place to put an occasional focused discussion (similar to Reddit or the Facebook group in that sense) that could be linked to on Discord. The Panzer Dragoon Reddit and Facebook groups don’t really fragment the Discord discussion in two places, they’re seperate.

This is being considered mainly as an attempt at simplifying things (from a moderation and community consolidation perspective). The Steam group is kind of seperate from the community, whereas the forum isn’t. A random Steam user can just pop in and post a question because they already have an account, but it’s a not a dedicated place to build a community like a forum or Discord (or at least, that wouldn’t be it’s purpose). From an administration perspective we wouldn’t have to deal with software updates/security and the Patreon costs could eventually be reduced a little bit.

There have been good counter arguments to this on Discord, which I’ll compile later (if @RedWyvern or others don’t get there first).

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I guess the steam group is better than discord only. I’ve not spent enough time on steam groups to get a good feeling for them.


For future reference, this was originally discussed in Discord starting here and here.
Under the guise of bringing this to a more searchable and better preserved place, I will reply and repeat the (to me) important points below.

This being pretty much my point but going the other way in the discussion on Discord.
Usually such timely chats are lost to history, unless winning the lottery with Discord’s broken search or having someone remember the chat and refer back to it.
But when something is significant enough, someone (in this case us both) takes the effort to cross-post it to the Forum, preserving it and wanting to bring it to the attention of other people.
How I see it, you generally have two kinds of community members:

  • Members who actively participate in ongoing discussions in real time or with short reply jumps.
    These are best served by a Discord server, like the one already in use and not under contention.
  • Members who silently lurk the Threads or return every once in a while, rarely of not at all chiming in.
    Practically these are only served by a Forum, like this Discourse instance.
    Below I will elaborate on this view, based on our discussion in Discord.

Functionally, I will go as far as saying that the Steam Group it’s discussion page beats a Discourse instance.
This as Steam Discussion pages are proper old-school fora with paged loads instead of infinite scrolls and as I am learning now, has a simpler and more pleasant to use message box that more easily lets you reply to multiple posts.
Additionally, while sending this I got restricted for having “more than 10 links”, while I had 6, outside of quotes. My apologies for having to modify the quotations.
Steam Groups are also hosted for free, by a company that can be trusted with keeping information up in the long-term.

There is a big but though, Steam Discussions are a surprisingly obscure feature, with terrible SEO too.
Proven by the negligible activity in the Panzer Dragoon group, supported by my experience with Vintage Story Steam Groups.

I do believe that Steam Groups are the best backup for both Discord and Discourse, if respectively platform moderation or upkeep do become a problem.
If this forum does get archived, putting a banner on it’s read-only archive linking to the Steam Discussion page which explaining that this is a forum would be the best approach.
But currently it would harm the community’s growth for the reasons I mentioned earlier.

Additionally, removing other game discussions would remove a small but potentially valuable side-channel for spreading the word of Panzer Dragoon, from off-topic search hits.
The off-topic discussions also draw in like-minded people and help with building a community around the game.
Also leading to more significant discussions taking place in the searchable web, of which I feel that this thread is an example of holding valuable points for other communities discussing closing their fora.

I will not deny that this Forum has low activity and is slow moving, but it is not dead, unlike the Steam Group.
Having little (or no) activity of dedicated members also helps the above point and keeps the server upkeep low, from processing little data and having little civil discussion to moderate.
And as mentioned in Discord here and here (not quoting for privacy), to those few dedicated members fora are irreplaceable.

Thankfully @Solo_Wing confirmed on Discord that upkeep is not the problem.
Which if it would be, I offer hosting the forum on my home server, if entrusted to it for the above reasons.
Of course I fully understand the privacy and longevity implications, fact that I’m not that well-known and that this is not relevant now.
But if it does become relevant I believe share my track-record of things I have hosted would explain why I feel that having me take over would not be as bad an option as this initially seems.

In Discord we also discussed moving to Discord’s own forum feature or Lemmy (a federated Reddit alternative).
Speaking from my experience around Better than Adventure!, which is fully organised through Discord and making good use of it’s forum feature, I vouch against switching to this feature.
This as Discord’s forum interface is clunky to use, being a half-baked alternative interface stuck over it’s poorly functioning Threads feature and has an even worse search function than the channel one.
My opinion is based on hosting one of the larger BTA! servers through a Discord which heavily uses Threads for applications and being active in said Discord, along with having a history of having moderating two large Discords and still keeping up with two smaller ones in the long-term.

By contrast I my experience with federated networks is only having opened a linked Mastodon post a few times.
While I therefore can not comment on the technical details of said platforms, especially not Lemmy, this is a point in it’s own right.
Despite how I like the idea behind federated networks a lot and believe it is the return to the old web needed in a time where Fora die off, I do not use them myself yet.
Panzer Dragoon Legacy moving over to it would get me to try it, but I am not representative as I am dedicated enough to make an account and write this wall of text here.

Concluding, I strongly believe that the best approach is keeping the Discord Server and the Discourse Forum going as-is, as either serves a different (possibly overlapping) kind of community member the best.
Keeping the Steam Group as a backup for both, as it is properly separate as-is but would make do as a replacement for either if (desperately) needed.


Thanks @RedWyvern, @alavaliant, @Team_Andromeda, and @Lagi for replying. In addition, thanks to @Atolm, @Arcie, @MagickPistacho, @legaiaflame, and others for sharing their thoughts on Discord.

In short, you have convinced me that the community finds significant value in having an independently run discussion platform, and we’ll be keeping the forum (supported by our Patreon).

I’ve made a list of pros and cons from the discussions, for future reference in case this topic comes up again in the future.

Reasons to keep the forum

  • Accessible from the open web: indexed by search engines, topics findable via shared links, archivable by external services.
  • People like the idea of their being a public “preview” of the community, even if the majority of the discussion takes place on Discord.
  • Slower pace of topics makes it easy to reply to something written months or years ago.
  • A place to share their fan art or other content in a dedicated topic that can be linked to on the web.
  • To be able to lurk / read other posts without being logged in, even if they don’t have anything to contribute, e.g. if member isn’t necessarily the type that wants to be active or create an account.
  • Discord isn’t forever. It’s only a matter of time before the next cool chat app pops up and people migrate.
  • Nostalgia for the old days / nice to see it’s still around. People get excited when they’re told the Panzer Dragoon forums are still around, even if not Panzer fans. Sentimentality is a valid consideration.
  • “Forums as the home everyone can go to when all else is gone”.
  • Community is visible, not hidden behind an obsecure Discord link.
  • Discourse (this forum software) has a rich feature set that Discord & Steam lacks.
  • In some Discord servers it feels like it could be an established ecosystem with things already set (despite rules) and it can be hard for a newbie to be comfortable with the community and break out of their lurking shell.
  • Members are not necessarily concerned about there only being 3 or so active users.
  • Alternative platforms that could be used as a forum alternative (Lemmy/Steam Group) don’t have an existing member base.
  • Some members don’t plan to create a Reddit account due to not liking/preferring the platform. The same arguments can be made for Lemmy, Steam, Facebook etc.
  • Steam Groups are very obscure as a feature and difficult to find amoungst Steam’s many other features.
  • Reddit and Discord are problematic for their lack of searchability and worse interface for finding threads.
  • Panzer Dragoon Legacy’s forum is fully run by the community, giving us control compared to if a corporation that runs service X decides to change things.
  • Forums are some of the last bastions of the “functional” or “searchable” internet, it would be a shame to lose access to whatever’s been discussed and shared all these years in PDL (note: this concern could be addressed by creating a read-only, static active of old discussions).
  • Both Discord and the forum have their clearly defined and understood place, including having deeper discussions from Discord trickle down to the forum.
  • Forums as perceived as necessary in constrast to social media.
  • This forum has “significant history” compared to alternative forum platforms (Steam/Lemmy/Reddit), dating back to 2003.

Reasons not to keep the forum

  • Activity has decreased significantly in recent years, even with the release of Panzer Dragoon: Remake.
  • There isn’t a “one stop shop” for community discussions.
  • Duplication of topics on Discord and the forum create community fragmentation.
  • Some forum topics don’t get replies if they’re not cross-posted to Discord (even when showing up in the #forum-posts channel).
  • Ongoing patching / server maintenance that requires workarounds due to limited disk space.
  • A small on-going cost (that is currently covered by our Patreon supporters).
  • Most of our Discord moderators are not also forum moderators, meaning that the forum may not be well/actively moderated (but lower traffic than Discord makes this less of problem).