Since Wikia would like us to not link the wiki a number of us have migrated to on the main page, I am adding it here:
No user should feel obligated to follow those who have moved. You're welcome to contribute where you like. You can read the discussion that led up to the move below. - TarkisFlux 06:40, October 21, 2010 (UTC)
Some Starting Information
Yes, we're moving, and soon (well, soon as of 29 September 2010, like, a couple of weeks from now). Why? Well, Wikia's doing this mandatory skin update. For the official blog on that whole deal (and a lot of the reaction), go here: 
So, we're moving, to our own virtual server, with a new web address. When the move happens, it should be pretty painless.
Please, voice concerns and questions here. --Ganteka Future 02:18, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
- Can we be outrageous there? I refuse to move if I can't be outrageous... Also popcorn. I'll ... like ... stand in front of the wiki when the wrecking ball comes to tear it down if there's no popcorn. --Ghostwheel 02:30, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
- Ah yes, the skin update. I hated it. Unfortuneatly, I'm limited to wikia and won't be able to follow you. Farewell.--May the true lore ever be protected and Kept in the mighty tomes. 17:26, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
It's unfortunate that we have to do this, but I hope that we can benefit from it in the end. I want the move to be as fast and painless as possible, so I'd like to implement it in the following way:
- Retrieve database dump of this site.
- Secure hosting, preferably VPS hosting. (Already have a potential provider.) Update DNS records.
- Install necessary software (Lighttpd/Apache, Mediawiki, Postgresql)
- Unzip database dump into new site, support the Monobook and Vector skins (aka old Wikipedia and new Wikipedia). At this point the new site is live.
- Work on rolling out a more lightweight version of Monaco on the new site, possibly change backends in response to live testing (ie if lighttpd proves to be shitty we'll turn on Apache).
We'll see some benefits from the new site -- namely, we can use whatever extensions we want. Editors may find things more convenient. Navigation pages may be significantly enhanced. Users will be very easily able to make printable books out of wiki content (I'm actually pretty excited about that).
Once the database dump is done, the rest of the steps should hopefully take a day at most. Sitenotices and the main page will be edited to direct community members to the new wiki. Notices will be posted on the major Dungeons and Dragons message boards informing the general D&D community that the wiki has moved. Surgo 03:30, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
- Anticipated issues: random skin incompatibilities, spam. It'll take a bit to get the spam-blocking set up. Surgo 03:54, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
- I plan on putting an ad on the bottom of pages to defray costs, but the per-month costs are something I can afford. Surgo 15:46, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
- Hmmm, well, I may be paranoid, but moving to a new location dependent on one person's pocketbook/generosity might not have the long-term staying power needed. Wikia may be overbearing with this change, but at least they're a large corporation that is likely to stay around (though not if they drive all their users away). So I'll actually stick with Wikia for the time being given that alternative. --MidnightLightning☇(talk) 19:34, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
- I think you absolutely are being paranoid, as the cost is only $7.50 a month! Surgo 21:59, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
What's this Moving business?
So yeah, call me a noob, whatever. I still want to know, why we have to move and, most importantly, where? I mean, do I have to change the address or something? Call me a nub, newb, noob, I really don't care. I just want to know what the overall effective changes for the users will be, and I'm talking the hobbyists, not the higher-ups.--Soulblazer 87 19:22, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
- The move is being done to retain functionality and formatting that won't be available with the new wikia skin. It hasn't been stated explicitly here, but to my knowledge there are no plans to even attempt to purge this wiki post migration. The licensing allows all the information on here to be copied without permission so long as credit is given, so it's not really a big deal to have two copies floating around. So the move is actually more of a fork, and this wiki will remain up and functional afterward so far as I know (if stripped of a community and lacking significant updates). And that means that if you like the changes wikia is pushing through (fixed page width, altered navigation setups, reduced personal configuration options, etc.) then you don't have to move. There will be changes associated with staying that decrease or eliminate current functionality, however, and I honestly don't know what staying means for hobbyists long term.
- The new site won't have a lot of changes for hobbyists, aside from a different internet url. The stated goal is to take what is here and replicate it there, since it works well and just doesn't work with wikia's changes. So if you like this setup and can put in a different address (still TBD, though I expect it by Monday), I think it makes sense to move. There are other long term benefits as well. We can run run whatever extensions (read: power tools) we want, which allows to make navigation more efficient / searchable without also being more complicated and potentially make forms more useful in general. This is a much bigger deal that it sounds like and will very likely make the hobbyists life much easier (by making prettier preloads among other things), but it's really hard to get the impact across without getting technical. Surgo's already said that the new site will have better book making functionality, so if you wanted to compile a dead tree version of your favorite stuff you could do that more easily. There are other benefits as well, but this is getting long so I'm going to leave it at that for now. - TarkisFlux 20:57, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
- I see. Good to finally understand what the blazing nine layers of hell was going on. Though, there are things I kinda wonder about still. Since there are going to be two copies, does it mean that what goes up on one, goes up on the other as well? I mean, it's gonna be such a hassle having to put up stuff in both sites. At least I'm not wondering if I was some kind of mental retard, not being able to find the new URL... Good to know really. Thanks for clearing it up.
- As separate sites, there won't be any sort of dual updating unless you want to do it manually. While that's probably doable short term if you really wanted to, long term it will get problematic as any changes done there probably won't be duplicated here, and vice versa. There are plans to direct traffic there however, and long term that will be a better place to have your work seen. My advice would be to make the move and not worry about updating here. - TarkisFlux 22:11, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
- Hey, sorry to hear you are intending to move. I just want to make it clear that anyone who wants to stay and edit on this wiki is more than welcome to. We absolutely respect your right to choose where you edit, but very much hope you will give the new look a go and see how it fits with your content. -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 21:43, October 6, 2010 (UTC)
- The new skin is now available to everyone. I recommend that concerned folk go and check it out under their preferences while logged in. --Ganteka Future 01:26, October 7, 2010 (UTC)
- Holy crap, this is ugly as sin. --TK 14:39, October 7, 2010 (UTC)
- Navigation should be functional in the new skin, though there's a couple of duplicate links to make it work like it's supposed to and be consistent. It's not pretty, because the pages and tables are rather cramped and everything is extra long huge due to page width limits and the zebra doesn't work, but you should be able to get around in it currently. - TarkisFlux 16:24, October 7, 2010 (UTC)
The skin, it looks horrible. Anyways, I will not stay in such an ugly Wiki. When will all of the articles be taken and dumped into the new site (When will my edits not show up when the new site opens)? The Dire Reverend 17:47, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
- Surgo's waiting on a new database dump to upload. It was expected a couple of days ago, and I don't know what the holdup is. We have a backup plan if it continues to be delayed though. - TarkisFlux 19:55, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
- Meh. I'll continue work here, and once the move is finished, I will just copy/paste the changes.The Dire Reverend 18:34, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
- The whole point of the planned data dump is that all of the pages on this Wiki will automatically be transferred to the new site without the users having to do anything, so you don't need to copy and paste changes. From what I have heard, the dump is practically instantaneous, so you can pretty much continue making edits here without having to worry about manually re-pasting them. - TG Cid 19:44, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
- What I am saying is that at a certain point, the data from my article will be taken at one point, and further edits on the wikia after the data is taken will not show up on the new site. I will just have to copy and paste all of the articles of mine that have changed after the data was taken for the new site.The Dire Reverend 18:32, October 18, 2010 (UTC)
- Actually, I can transfer those pages too (I'll know the time discrepancy). Surgo 19:09, October 18, 2010 (UTC)
- How will we know when we have moved? Is there a Domain already, do I just need to check the front page everyday?The Dire Reverend 19:53, October 18, 2010 (UTC)
- You can get a link on the IRC chat, even though there isn't anything that can really be done on it as of yet until the data dump mentioned above goes through. But when it does go through, my guess is it will be posted on the front page so that can be your last resort. - TG Cid 20:14, October 18, 2010 (UTC)
Everything is now functional (save blogs), just waiting for the database dump. I hope I can get cooperation with Wikia in closing down the old wiki and letting someone else start a new Dungeons and Dragons wiki if they so desire. If not, well, it's been a good run here. They were available in our time of need, and it's a real shame that it had to come to this. Surgo 02:00, October 7, 2010 (UTC)
- New layout changes on November 3rd. Hope to see a link to the new site soon. Thanks for all the hard work Surgo. We'll be watching. --Jay Freedman 09:30, October 11, 2010 (UTC)
- Surgo, as I said above, we'll keep this wiki open for anyone who wants to stay to continue to edit (and for future visitors. I very much hope you will reconsider the move, and have a go at making the new look your own with a new theme. If I have time later, I'll put up an example theme for you to look at. The new look is a big change, but our goal is to make this and every wiki a better place to be in the long-term. -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 19:53, October 11, 2010 (UTC)
- You say that on one hand, and on the other hand you have a big stick that says, "You must follow the change and can't keep the old thing that worked despite the fact that the new skin will mess up tons of tables that you have on here."
- It's just kinda hard to have it both ways :-S At the very least, I figure I can ask the admins to remove my material from wikia once it's transposed to the place where we're moving. Sure, people can edit--I'm just not sure how many people will when much of the material isn't easily accessible (after being deleted) :-P --Ghostwheel 19:58, October 11, 2010 (UTC)
- We are currently talking about some new solutions for tables. One thing to remember is that tables big enough to be outside the fixed width now, are already broken for anyone with smaller screens. The goal is to give a layout that works for as many people as possible.
- I'm sorry we can't let you keep Monaco, we have to put all our resources in to a single better skin. But you can use Monobook as a personal choice if you prefer.
- On deletions, if someone were to mass delete because they want to move, that would be unfair to anyone who wants to stay. In effect, it would be vandalism, and I would hope that any remaining admins would prevent that. If there are no active admins at the time, then we would look after the wiki until someone was ready to adopt - and that would involve reverting any mass deletions. I know this sounds harsh, but we have to think of the remaining contributors and readers and the future of the wiki -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 20:26, October 11, 2010 (UTC)
- I've been running the new skin, trying to get used to it and whatnot. I don't doubt that the skin change is a good one for other wikis, or wikia in general because of the back end changes. It's not a bad skin, but I don't think it fits our content at all. We have long pages, big tables, and other layout things that the rather small fixed width just doesn't handle well. Breaking our pages up isn't a realistic solution due to the nature of their content, and the sheer number of them we'd have to work on. Our most used templates don't behave properly anymore, though I'm genuinely unclear whether that's because we have custom css that isn't working or because table functions have been significantly altered. I came in shortly after the initial move, and I know what went into getting things working nicely here. I'm just not interested in changing tons of stuff to make it work again. It's honestly less work to move it elsewhere than to redo it in the new format. Which is why I intend to move. New skin just isn't for our setup.
- That said, if the wiki is staying up, I'll be around and admining until someone comes in who can handle it. I want my content to be seen and understand that's it's free to distribute, and that means I don't really care if it's up in places I don't intend to watch it at long term. But, our policy has been to delete content if the author requests it, especially after events that caused a lot of users to come over here, and that policy will continue for the time being. New community can change that if they want I suppose, but that's unlikely to happen immediately. I think complete deletions of your work is pretty silly, especially since it's all CC-BY-SA content anyway, so someone could just go copy it off of the forked wiki and put it right back up if they wanted, but that option remains available and would decidedly not be considered vandalism since we place such a high value on primary authorship here. Deletion of other people's work certainly would be vandalism of course, but Surgo and I (not sure about Aarnott) aren't really interested in purging this wiki without the express cooperation of wikia. Since that doesn't seem forthcoming, it's not going to happen. - TarkisFlux 20:43, October 11, 2010 (UTC)
- We are working on solutions for exactly that situation. I don't know what the techy types are coming up with yet, but I know that large tables are an issue that's very much on their minds. This new look is a massive project, with many details to be looked at, but the amount of work going on right now makes me sure that they will find ways to solve the remaining puzzles. -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 00:19, October 12, 2010 (UTC)
- Monaco to Oasis, as MySpace to Facebook. Myself, I look forward to the new changes. Streamlining the process will be nice in the long run. Of course, will I have to learn a few new tricks to keep up? Yep. But thats life on the web. Haha. Thanks for the input Sannse. This is a unique experience for all of us. --Jay Freedman 23:21, October 12, 2010 (UTC)
- What is the new URL? Does one exist yet? I just stopped by after a few weeks (maybe months) of absence, and I'm very confused. Where are we headed? --The Badger 23:30, October 12, 2010 (UTC)
- @Sannse: So what's the change with the Monaco skin? Why doesn't it work anymore? Why is it so terrible now? >_> --Ghostwheel 00:41, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
- Badger: The new URL will be very visible once we finally move. Right now, all we are waiting on is the database dump. Everything else has already been set up and is ready to go. Surgo 00:59, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
- I can't seem to be able to log in with my wikia profile. Is it going to need me re-creating another profile? I have no problem either way, as I'm sure of us don't either, but out of curiosity though. The site looks great by the way, only a few discrepancies here and there (like the descriptions in the PrC section) but that's about it. Good job to those responcible, we're saved from that horrid look we would have had to suffer.--Soulblazer 87 21:40, October 19, 2010 (UTC)
Some Feelings on the Topic
I've kept pretty quiet on my opinions about the new skin and about the move in general for a while, but I figured with the date of the mandatory skin change drawing nearer (which I find odd that it's becoming mandatory before all the problems are fixed with the new skin), I should probably speak up on it, though, I'm finding it difficult to express my exact concerns and feelings.
I've really enjoyed my stay as we built this little site at wikia. When we arrived at wikia, we were a group of active contributers and administrators from another wiki who became dissatisfied and disenfranchised. Basically, we packed up our stuff and left, settling a new town, er, wiki.
Now, the contribution and administration philosophy of this wiki, and any usability it has garnered is because of the users who've enforced that and those who've voluntarily abided by it. It was a big team effort and I'm thankful to everyone for helping out. If the wiki remains on wikia, it's gonna need a huge overhaul anyways, with formatting, as well as how contributions are handled without it's initial primary administration (any change in administration is going to result in a change of policy). That is to say, it's just not going to be the same site. Without the attention of day-to-day maintenance and quality checking, the site will suffer under a skeleton crew, if it manages to have a crew knowledgeable in DnD at all.
I don't mind a version of the site remaining here on wikia... actually, I don't want to call it a "version", since it will quickly change into something totally different. Let me give a sort of anecdote: What swims through the ocean, has gray skin, a dorsal fin and eats fish? If you're confused about whether to answer "shark" or "dolphin" to that, you might get what I'm trying to say. The new site and the old site would be similar in content and function, but really, they're two different beasts, and certainly shouldn't be branded the same. The little logo should change, seeing as how having two places with the same logo is confusing, plus, I don't think the current one displays normally as is anyhow. All I've seen is just the top sliver of it repeated across the top of the screen in the new skin.
As far as dumping the site entirely, I'd say to just go for it. It's gonna require so much overhaul, that it might be easier to just start from scratch anyhow, uploading things from the moved-wiki as needed for whoever wants to take on the project, because such a project needs direct management and not just a house-sitter, and rather than having a wikia moderator appoint a new bureaucrat from whoever comes along first and says "sure, I'll do it".
With the move, I do plan on dumping some articles I've authored, for the purposes of quality control, but that's just a few. I want what I have posted to be strong, lean and quality, and right now, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to do some trimming. I'm making this aware now so that confusion and frustration is avoided down the line. Everyone needs to clean their house before they move.
I guess really it comes down to: If I'm moving, there are two options: leave the place as a massive time and effort fixer-upper for whoever moves in -or- demolish the ruins (like what McDonald's Restaurants do) and let someone build something new on the same plot of land (even somuch as starting rebuilding the same day). --Ganteka Future 23:40, October 12, 2010 (UTC)
- I understand your feelings on this, Ganteka Future, but I would say this: if the content isn't something you would remove if you decided not to leave (or, to be clearer, that you intend to remove from the copy too) then I ask that you don't remove it otherwise. Otherwise, it's more like demolishing the house before the new tenant has a chance to come in and see if he wants to change the curtains ;) -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 00:35, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
- I simply plan on removing some poor quality articles I've authored (due to poor game mechanics or that have become superfluous in the wake of improved iterations) that I should have dumped a long time ago, but have lacked the motivation to do so, since it's more time and effort. I do not plan on taking these articles to our new site. --Ganteka Future 02:45, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
- Erm, possible solution. My freind, Kagimizu from SNN, is actually doing negotiations and preparations to have his wiki, and other wikias, moved to either a generic site with no strings attached, or POSSIBLY a different site. This different site really isn't gooing to hold any interest for you, as it has no advantages. I merely wish to put tihs up as Mizu does not wish to abaondon our affiliates (other wikis). If this was of any help, I'm glad to have shown up.--Fear the Takashi Legend-Ruins, lowly mortal. 12:50, October 13, 2010 (UTC)
I have been working on the BleachD20 page, And after the move, I am probably going to delete the Wikia's version, mostly because I won't be editing the one here, and it could confuse people who see both versions, and do not know which is the up to date one. The Dire Reverend 17:42, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
site notice and main page
Hi, I've adjusted the site notice and the main page text to be a little more neutral, and to link to this forum rather than directly to the new wiki. I've tried to leave it at a point where I'm not totally comfortable with the wording, and guess that you won't be either -- the sign of a real compromise ;)
It's probably too early to look at who has decided to stay and whether there is a need for new admins here... seems to me some settling time is needed first. To those that have decided to go, I'm sorry that it's come to this, but I respect your right to fork and wish you well in your new home. -- Sannse (help forum | blog) 06:06, October 21, 2010 (UTC)