@Smmenen perhaps I shouldn't have used the term "Vintage Community" - it seems like the term has some built-in baggage. Honestly I'm not too concerned with the semantics of it. Whatever you want to call them, there are different groups of humans with an interest in what happens in Vintage/on TMD, and they don't all meet the three criteria you stated. Whether they're "part of the Vintage community" or not, they have opinions, and my concern is about how to weigh them.
In the BDominia era, there were few non-playing "Vintage Fans" (because there wasn't much to follow). Also most people who played vintage had SOME contact with the BDominia/Early TMD community, because you just couldn't find out about Vintage tournaments any other way. Those things have become less true over time, but in the past few years (because of MTGO), they have become a LOT less true.
Recently, MTGO vintage has become a bit of a spectator sport. The VSL Patreon has 186 paying supporters - larger than the attendance of most "very large" vintage tournaments. Eternal Weekend has viewer number in the thousands each year. I wouldn't be surprised if more people have watched Eternal Weekend coverage than have ever played vintage in the entire history of the game. Every Friday on twitch I get over 100 viewers – many of whom have never played vintage or posted on TMD – asking me questions about the format, often with some context they picked up from Twitter or Reddit.
And of course, there's another large group of players who would love to play vintage, but simply can't for logistical reasons. The price of entry is so much steeper than it was when I started, and most of the world doesn't have a local vintage community that a lone, interested player can join. There are a lot of people out there who want to play vintage, who love vintage content, and enjoy talking about vintage. These players might have very strong opinions about the format despite having never played it.
When I said I was struggling to answer the question "what is the Vintage Community?", what I really meant was "how do I prioritize the values of these different groups?"
WotC, as a business, has a clear goal and responsibility to be profitable. If there are policy decisions to be made that favor one group over another, they have to consider the relative size of those groups, and how valuable those people are as customers. I don't have the data that WotC does, but I suspect the average vintage player is a worse customer than the average VSL Patreon supporter, or even the average EW viewer (yes there is likely overlap between these groups). It should almost go without saying that the average MTGO-exclusive Vintage Player is a better customer than the average paper-exclusive Vintage Player. Most vintage-exclusive-paper-exclusive players I know haven't given money to WotC in years. Of course Wizards wants every format to be healthy and every customer to be happy, but when it comes to making decisions that affect vintage, I'm not sure interest/play/communication are on the top of their list.
When it comes to TMD, I'm not profit-obligated, and I have a smaller set of stakeholders to worry about. I'm very glad I'm not responsible for B&R decisions, but I still make decisions that help one group at the expense of another. I pretty frequently need to make a policy or moderation decision, or decide how to spend limited time or resources building things for the site, or generating content for the vintage-interested community outside of TMD.
My instinct says that everyone should count, and everyone should have a voice, but things can get bad for everyone when you serve too many masters. Should TMD have a subforum dedicated to Old School? How about art collection? Should B&R discussion be banned entirely? Should users be banned for posting low-quality decks? Should users be banned for telling other players that their ideas are low quality? Should there be gated subforums requiring written tests to enter? A lot of people use TMD for a lot of very different reasons, and far more people are interested in vintage, but don't use TMD because it doesn't provide some key resource/dynamic/interaction that they need. A lot of those key dynamics directly conflict with each other.
TMD is not a business in the way that WotC is, and I don't want it to be. That doesn't mean that some users aren't more "valuable" to me than others. There is the Patreon of course, but there are also users that create more or less content, and users that give more more or less headaches. So far I haven't really let that drive my decision making, but it's impossible not to consider it. I don't expect to get a clear answer because this isn't really a correct/incorrect sort of problem. This is more of a "this is where my head is" sort of thing than a "looking for a definitive answer" thing
Is there a way to not display the replys separately and maintain the threaded nature?
Like, I see
Post A-1 (reply to Post A)
and would like to have it display a bit more obviously that Post A-1 in the in-line view was a replay to Post A. And when I expand to see multiple replys to one post, then they're all posted again in the in-line section.
Is there a setting for that or I ought to just get used to it?
thanks! I do like a lot of how the site works, it's just my preference to not see the replys twice.
So in theory, tags are supposed to do this. However, I really like how websites like The Source are laid out when it comes to decks because it makes it very easy to casually browse through. I find myself doing nothing but clicking the "Unread" button whenever I visit this website, which sometimes causes me to miss things, especially if I haven't visited in a while.
Andy, I was wondering if you could use you're heavy weight status as TMD owner to talk to SCG and see if you can gain access to the old Vintage boards from their site. TMD was obviously better than SCG, but there is still some good stuff on there, like the "pimp proxy" thread as well as a lot of strategic discussion.
@vaughnbros I don't disagree on that, honestly. I certainly understand that some of these cards that are discussed will never see serious vintage usage. Certainly not disputing that. All I'm saying is I don't want to see a single thread devoted to all cards in a set. I think that will severely limit the discussions and will make it hard to discuss and/or find information on a card. I believe that is more important then sifting through bad threads.
I always loved how MTG Salvation does this. There's a [card] tag, a "card list" tag, "deck" tag and even "mana symbol" tags. It works preety well, since it also has buttons to help you tag stuff (like we do with bold, etc). If it's anywhere near that, I'd be happy.
This! I have to second this option! MTGSalvation forums are what they are, but its very functional and easy to use!
I don't think anyone is arguing against site usability, nor do I think anyone's trying to attack wappla. Remember that nobody in this thread has seen wappla's redesign but me - I think people just want to understand what he's suggesting.
Let's be careful about using the word "unreadable" to mean both typography and content - those are both important things, but they require completely unrelated solutions.
@wappla - At some point I must have given you the impression that I didn't want your help or your opinion. I absolutely do, even if it takes me a long time to act on that information. I know things could be moving faster, but we're in much better shape than we were when SCG owned the site. We weren't allowed to make basic security patches to the site for 10 years, nevermind template changes or plugins. If you had wanted a typography update under SCG, it would have been impossible. While there are some very generous Patreon supporters of the site, currently TMD runs at a loss, which means the time I split between posting/moderating/sysadmining/featurework is all volunteer, and there isn't much of it.
I've already explained in this thread exactly what needs to happen to change the typography/layout with more granularity than the skins can to. A NodeBB Plugin with the appropriate HTML and CSS changes would reduce the amount of work I need to do from development to just testing. The development docs for NodeBB are here: https://nodebb.readthedocs.io/en/latest/plugins/create.html . If you have the ability/bandwidth to work on a plugin that implements the changes you think would be an improvement, I would be thrilled to have the help.
@p3temangus - unfortunately this issue is a lot trickier. While everybody on the site things improved usability is a good thing, not everybody agrees on what set of rules makes for a better community, or what kind of conversations they want to read. People have voiced very strong, and very opposite opinions about how to handle single-card discussion threads.
Is there any way you can be more specific about the sort of posts that you think are problematic? I've re-read the posts in this thread and I'm not seeing what you're seeing, but that might be an internet/tone thing. If you'd rather talk about it over PM/Facebook, I'm cool with that, too.
Ultimately, if you think TMD's moderation/community guidelines just don't work for the kind of content you want to post, or community you want to build, I'm not at all offended by starting a new community elsewhere. The point of TMD is to support a healthier, bigger format - If that means using TMD to help promote other communities with different focuses, I'm totally fine with that.