Skulltag website stolen!
Oh yeah, and Carnevil is gone for good! Epic celebration!
As many of you are currently aware, Skulltag.com was recently moved to a new host. What you may not know is that the website was actually... (wait for it! wait for it!)... STOLEN!
Admitedly, I don't expect anyone to care (all of the sudden, I sense people leaving this page!), but I want to lay out my case because I feel like everything that has happened is very unjustified, and because you just might find it interesting! ... no? You don't care about my story? Well in any case, I'm telling it anyway, so tough luck! :)
It all started when I put Rivecoder in charge of things a couple of years ago to start working on Project Vega. I helped out every now and then answering questions (like explaining to SuperGod how to do unlagged) and giving Rive permissions, but didn't really get my hands dirty with anything else. I took a hands-off approach to things, and generally bit my tounge whenever I saw something not going how I wanted, because I thought it was important to let them manage how they wanted to. They ran the show.
As time passed, Rive got more and more power, and the team took on more independence from me. I became more and more disheartened at the way things were being run, and expressed these concerns to both Metal and Rive over the course of time (I spoke to Rive at QuakeCon over some of these issues). The bottom line though is that it was becoming harder and harder to bite my tounge over the way things were being run.
Recently though, is when things really got out of hand. It started with Rive wanting to move the site due to alleged problems with Dreamhost. SoulPriestess, someone who had been on the team for a very short period of time, offered to host, and Rive approached me about moving the site. I very recluctantly gave him a "do whatever you want" response (I was busy with some Vega-related material and didn't really want to be bothered at that moment), which was a huge mistake on my part. I should have taken the proper time to think it over, and given him an "absolutely not" response. But, I didn't think the move was going to be done so quickly, so I put off rethinking it.
The site gets moved, and I'm immediately stripped of my founder access.
Now, this came at a time when the community was getting particularly unruly. Ralphis had reared his ugly head once again, and several others, such as phucket and Doom Marine, were intentionally causing trouble on IRC and on the forums. Getting sick of it, and making an attempt at getting the community under control (one of my criticisms of Rivecoder and staff's management), I did the logical thing and banned them. It wasn't the first time they had caused trouble, purgatory hadn't caused them to improve their behavior, and I had the support of the other admins at the time.
Moreover, Metalhead and Xenaero were having a very public obnoxious argument on the forum, which resulted in the forum being shut down for awhile. I decided that enough was enough. I wasn't going to sit by and do nothing any longer. I talked to Metal and SoulPriestess, and we all came to a consensus decision to de-admin Xenaero. Let me repeat that. A consensus decision (Fun fact: SoulPriestess reinstated my founder access specifically so that I could de-admin Xenaero. Betcha didn't know that!).
(And by the way, Metal's behavior in that thread was equally deplorable; however, I didn't de-admin her because we were on more friendly terms, she had been around longer, and she hadn't hastily been made an admin with no discussion, whereas Xenaero was.)
The next thing I know, Xenaero is once again an admin, and the consensus decision we had agreed on somehow vanished into thin air. Rivecoder had undermined my decision.
This was a total mess. I let things get way too out of hand. The team I put in charge to take care of my baby was now telling me what I could and couldn't do, and overriding me. The team I put in charge to manage Skulltag was taking control of Skulltag.
I knew I had really screwed up. I let my creation, something I had worked on for more than 10 years, out of my control. Now they were calling the shots, telling me what I could and couldn't do, and having no respect for what I had created and done for Skulltag whatsoever. They were beginning to enjoy their place at the top, and didn't want anyone coming in and threatening that.
Honestly, I knew I was screwed, and told myself "You know what? I have more important things to worry about." So I was going to let it slide... until I found that my founder access was revoked. Again.
At that point, I absolutely had enough. I lost it. They emasculated me both privately and publicly (which only emboldened the trolls. You should see some of the emails I got after that. Ohhhhh boy!), and stolen my creation. The second Rivecoder/SoulPriestess assumed complete control of the website, my founder access was stripped, and it was again when I had the balls to step in while the community was crumbling and make a decision, something no one else was capable of doing! By the way, it was the first time I had made any sort of major decision in two years. Overbearing and stepping on toes? I don't think so. Did my absence embolden them to the point in which they felt they owned Skulltag and had complete control over it? Probably.
I knew it was too late, though. They had already transferred the website. There was nothing I could do to reclaim it. At that point, I told Rivecoder that I was changing the skulltag.com DNS back to my host, and that I would give him one week to set up a new URL home for Skulltag, and to make some sort of portal page to their new site (something like "Hey, if you want to go to Skulltag's new home, click here! If you want to visit the stuff we've got going on here, click here!") The result? Exactly what I expected: the new URL for Skulltag (skulltag.net) was immediately set up, and no response to me was given. It was exactly as I suspected: They had no intent on returning the site to its original location, and were perfectly content to run the same site at a new URL. They were stealing the website.
Rivecoder and SoulPriestess claimed they weren't trying to steal the website, but have completely reneged on that claim. And that's where we stand today.
I have made skulltag.com point back to my host site. I realize that it's too late to to get my port back, but that is the fault of my own naievete. All of the site and forum files still exist here, but I will make no effort to recover them or turn this back into a functioning website. It's not worth the effort, Skulltag already has a new home, and frankly, I don't want to deal with all of the trolls. You know who you are.
I am incredibly hurt by all of this. I've had something I've worked on more than half of my life ripped from me, all because I placed far too much trust in the staff I left to manage Skulltag. Perhaps what hurts more though is that I've put so much time and effort into creating purely for the enjoyment of others (well, at least mostly! I enjoy Skulltag too!), and instead of people being thankful and kind, I get bills, headaches, whining, and insults. The sense of entitlement I see from so many people in the community to me is unreal. And frankly, it's shameful.
Anyway, that concludes my story, and my involvement in the Skulltag community. You will never see me make another forum post, answer another PM, or type a single line in Skulltag's IRC channels.
If anyone cares to contact me, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.