Oh, I suppose I shall attempt to describe the events that led up to the exodus as well as the aftermath to the best of my recollection. The whole thing has already started to become mythic. So, I shall start at the beginning. Let's make this an autobiography of my stay at dandwiki.com then.
It was late May of 2008 and I was talking with my gaming group. We were discussing various books and whatnot, and of course, the SRD came up. A friend mentioned dandwiki, so, I went there, and was surprised and pleased at what I found: people posting their home made stuff online! Wow, what a concept. I mean, how cool is that? You can post your stuff, get comments on it, and have it logged with a load of other stuff, link it to the SRD for referencing and share it with the world of nerds and geeks out there looking to get what they can for free.
So, about a week of casually using the site, and I clicked on The Tavern, wondering what in blazes that was. Turns out, it was a chat room, and empty save for Valentine the Rogue. We talked for a bit, and I asked him if it was worth it to sign up and post my stuff. He said yeah. So, the next day, I did. I also thought The Tavern was awesome, and wanted to get some use out of the thing. Get some chatting with other people about DnD. So, I sat around all day in The Tavern and waited for people to show up to talk to. Eiji popped in. We talked. Then Summerscythe, and more and more folks popped in. Pretty soon, they stayed longer and longer. Eventually, I didn't even have to sit around in it all day to ensure that people would be there. Though, I stayed in there all day anyways, as I uploaded my stuff, article by article, slowly learning wiki formatting and saying "welcome to the tavern" dozens and dozens of times a day.
With that, and the daily dose of talking, in came Salin, and The Tavern had its very own forum site for gaming, bringing the community closer together.
Time passed, and my need to post my own material dwindled, and I moved on to fixing other articles (and still sitting in the Tavern, welcoming folks). Oh, the good times had in there... and some stomach churning arguments and such that were just big messes. All in all though, good times. People came and went. Some stayed for the long haul and even others returned after long absences.
The Tavern was a really great place to hang out while working on the wiki. It really brought the community together and allowed for quick solutions to problems with balance on articles, ideas, suggestions, brainstorming as well as loads of comedy value, for which this article has none. My bad.
The Tavern was our Happy Place. It was our home. We lived there daily.
Now, I want to be clear here. The Tavern community is not the dandwiki community, but it was a part of it, and an active part. It encouraged community, and that I am glad for. I and others constantly tried to get others to join in on the conversation.
Though, really, enough about The Tavern, this is about the wiki itself. So, let's start with the events that led up to The Meltdown. Those events for me really start a few days prior.
The Warforged Artificer, much like his name might suggest, was working tirelessly to update pages from DnD to 3.5e as well as get things formatted and trim and clean as much as possible. With WotC shooting down a request made to host archived articles, he moved on to other wiki projects. Something that struck his fancy that particular day was some auto-linking for spell schools on the spell template. Not a big deal, really, in the scope of things, but seeing as how a vast majority of spells could use that linking, it seemed like a fair project. Now, following the words of "if there is ever a problem caused by an edit, you can always roll it back", I gave an adminly go-ahead for it. The Warforged Artificer always liked checking with admins before instituting any change in templates or other formatting aspects of the wiki, which was greatly appreciated, and allowed for discussion and coordination rapidly with the use of The Tavern.
So, he worked on that little project, and some questions arose during formatting of the template, which were resolved. Sure it wasn't really a project that needed to be done, but, had it been implemented in the beginning, it would have made things easier and smoother for the site in general. Anyways, as a wiki, it is always evolving, and these things come up.
Oddly, I am about to reference something that is rather unrelated, but pertinent to the situation. I just finished reading The Lost World by Micheal Crichton the other day, and in it, the pain-in-the-ass Dr. Ian Malcolm goes on his tirades about his theories and whatnot about extinction and behavioral systems. The short of it as it applies here is: Life exists on the edge of chaos, in a balance of change and not change, of chaos and order. If it tips too far to one side, the balance is thrown out of whack, and it could very well lead to the end of that complex system/species/big company/ecosystem. All it might take to tip a complex ecosystem is the behavioral change of one organism in that complex system.
So, basically, you never know where you are on this point of balance and chaos, and you need to change just enough over time, but also need to remain just enough the same.
The wiki is a complex system. Its got loads of users and readers, all people in the real world devoting loads their time and energy toward the effort of making DnD fun and playable for themselves and others.
Now, what does any of that have to do with The Warforged Artificer and the Meltdown? Well, lots. So, the spell template was changed. It was functioning how it was intended to function as modified by The Warforged Artificer, because heck, problems can always be rolled back, and it was discussed beforehand. Green Dragon shows up, and starts messing with it and undoing things, basically, throwing it out of whack. Instead of finding out why first of course, or rolling back the changes, or any of that. So, we get him into The Tavern, and it is clear he isn't happy.
Read here for the rundown of all that other stuff outside The Tavern.
Basically, all this managed to accomplish was foul up Green Dragon's mood. I re-read the conversation, and now I just don't even have any idea of why it went down as it did. Bah, what a mess. All that over just wanting 3.5e homebrew spells to link to a list of other 3.5e homebrew spells of the same spell school. Anyways, this was on the 8th, two days before The Meltdown.
So, two days go by. It is now August 10th. TK-Squared began making the appropriate pages for the Ratings Committee, just to try and get things rolling again so that it didn't stagnate like the Wiki Magazine (for those who remember that failure).
Read here for the rundown on Green Dragon's talk page. Keep in mind that if someone different responds to his comments, it is because the previous person was banned. Green Dragon does not believe in free speech or something, I don't know.
Anyways, that was The Meltdown. People panicked in The Tavern. Read here for the rundown on The Tavern History as it happened. Scroll down to about 03:57:21. Theories ranged from "has he gone insane?" to "has someone hacked his account?" So, Green Dragon said "Right, this is my website. You may like to start your own if you are so inclined."
Obviously, a new wiki now exists. Pages were exported quickly (obtaining our articles first and foremost). We honestly thought Green Dragon was going to trash the wiki. Since the site went down, and cryptic messages were put in its place such as "This space left intentionally blank" and something about Lukas, I don't know, the message changed a lot, and it was all very odd.
So, after all that, I just felt horrible. I didn't want to leave, but with that much disrespect, and even loads and loads more in the following days, I had no choice but to take my activities elsewhere. Alas, because he is now the only admin, he can make up whatever rules he wants and doesn't have to follow any community voice. Also, without any of the dozen or so dedicated users to monitor recent changes and make improvements to the site, and with new pages being added every day, and possible vandalism lurking at every second, the wiki is only going to suffer tremendously.
(Minutes before my posting of this, Green Dragon reinstated our admin rights.)
All in all, it just makes me wonder. Why did he ban his brother too?
The worst part though, is that my articles are stuck here. I cannot request their deletion, for he will not honor that, even though he would honor WFRC authors and preventing their OGC from being added in the first place (and locked upon request without a second thought) back when the wiki was first founded.
Ah well, I'm just ranting now. So, to finish this off. Any comments about any of this or the good days we had? Yellow ninjas, conesnails, bunnies in cups, bears, hamedos, sheep the heads, bees, green cupcakes, rapegorithms and all those other fond things.