[UPDATED] WotC To Close Forums - Including D&D and M:tG (aka "Welcome New Forum Members to EN World!

WotC has announced that it will be closing its forums, which they refer to as a "former foundation of our community". The forums will close on October 29th. Of course, WotC's forum members are welcome here at EN World (although the expectations are a little different, so please do check the rules if you sign up!) The forums have been around for nearly two decades, in various incarnations, but WotC cites the rise of social media platforms as the reason for the closure.

Here's the announcement in full.

Choosing to retire a former foundation of our community was not an easy decision, but we feel that we must adjust our communications structure to reflect where conversations about Wizards of the Coast games are taking place.

Social media has changed significantly over the last ten years, and discussions about games aren't exclusive to company-hosted forums. The majority of community conversation takes place on third-party websites (such as Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and many other fantastic community-run websites), and it is up to us to evolve alongside our players.

We encourage past and current users to retrieve any information you want to retain from the Community Forums for both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. The shutdown will occur on October 29, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. PT. We want to provide enough time for our forum members to move their content, and we recognize that given our forum's vibrant user base and extensive history, this may take time. Any information still on the forums on the cut-off date will be deleted.

Thank you to all of our past and current forum users. You helped build our community into what it is now, and we look forward to continuing to interact with you on our many active social platforms.


WotC's Trevor Kidd had a little more to add.

"I could hop onto all the forums having this discussion or I can say it here and let it disseminate. I'm choosing the former. Moving away from running our own forums doesn't mean we think longer conversations or fan sites/forums aren't good or necessary. They are both good & necessary. From what I'm seeing, they flourish and you enjoy them more when they are run/managed by fans.

DnD & RPGs in general are all about story telling & talking with friends. It makes sense that we want to share those stories. So, it's vital that we have places to share those experiences & stories, like forums & fansites. But it's not vital that #dnd run those.

Closing our forums does not in any way lessen our interactions. We'll still be talking & lurking in your social media & fan sites. And the idea that forums are going away because dnd &/or magic are doing poorly - that's ludicrous! :p Both are doing very, very well.

We'll still be talking with you here, and elsewhere. Enjoy your new forum homes and don't forget to migrate your treasured content!

On the topic of losing forum content - it's tough, I agree. Once we knew we were going to close the forums, we also knew we weren't going to maintain the community site indefinitely, so we opted to pull the band-aid off quickly rather than let it linger."


Welcome to new members!

If you're a refugee from WotC's forums, you are very welcome here. You can register here at EN World by clicking here. You'll find out community busy and vibrant, and generally welcoming. We've been here over 15 years now, and there is tons of useful content here and lots of great resources which you're welcome to explore. These include:


(Announcement spotted initially by Critical Hits on the Twitters).
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Agamon

Adventurer
While it may not be the way the majority of D&Ders communicate these days, there is still huge volumes of valuable player-created content on those forums. That stuff should really be archived; unfortunately it'll have to be done manually, as WotC has "norobots.txt" up on its site, meaning the Internet Archive can't access it. I hate how much terrific stuff was lost when they revamped the website w/o warning a year ago - only a small percentage of the stuff can be re-found under "archive.wizards.com". So much for keeping material on every edition alive again for playing with 5E...
Certainly we don't need to keep conflict and toxicity, but this is the equivalent to throwing the baby out with the bathwater...

Files are one thing, but web pages never really die.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We should certainly try to coordinate some kind of rescue of all the useful material on those forums. It would be a shame to lose it all. I'm not sure how to go about that, though.
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
We should certainly try to coordinate some kind of rescue of all the useful material on those forums. It would be a shame to lose it all. I'm not sure how to go about that, though.

That's what's odd about this... It's fairly easy to simply disable logins, profiles or forum posts. Instead, they're going to just obliterate every part of it? I know it costs a little money to maintain, but WotC isn't that strapped... are they?
 

Barantor

Explorer
We should certainly try to coordinate some kind of rescue of all the useful material on those forums. It would be a shame to lose it all. I'm not sure how to go about that, though.

Break it up by edition, then by setting. Anything that is generic rules just goes to edition, everything setting related goes to that obviously.

Have a post on the relevant forums here in enworld that is stickied and have someone moderate each section. Tons of copy pastas and you have it. Maybe make it into a .pdf later to download if someone feels froggy.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Break it up by edition, then by setting. Anything that is generic rules just goes to edition, everything setting related goes to that obviously.

Have a post on the relevant forums here in enworld that is stickied and have someone moderate each section. Tons of copy pastas and you have it. Maybe make it into a .pdf later to download if someone feels froggy.

It was more about the work involved and who would do it, rather than where to put it. It sounds like an immense task.
 


keterys

First Post
I suspect there was more staff involved in maintaining the forums than all of the staff working on producing D&D products. I'm not too surprised by this decision, after their previous decisions.

They are very active on twitter, if you want information from an official source, and other sites (like this one!) do a better job on the managed forums angle.
 


Barantor

Explorer
It was more about the work involved and who would do it, rather than where to put it. It sounds like an immense task.

Ah, would have to be volunteers passionate about it enough to want to do it of course. My concern would be for the older editions there probably isn't the following to even know what is important and what isn't.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ah, would have to be volunteers passionate about it enough to want to do it of course. My concern would be for the older editions there probably isn't the following to even know what is important and what isn't.

I guess the ideal situation is that content creators move their own stuff over, followed by volunteers doing it. I'm not 100% clear on the "permission" angle of that though (if content creators move their own stuff, there's no issue of course).

It occurs to me that the easiest way to facilitate this and make it as easy as possible for everyone involved is to have one single "Emergency Evacuation" forum. Folks can copy stuff over to it in new threads (or attachments, if PDFs) without having to work out where to put it. Then someone can go through them and move them to where they need to be.
 

Dragonsbane

Proud Grognard
What makes you both say "difference in expectations"?

What would you say are the five biggest differences between the forums?

Just curious.


Zapp, I know you must read both forums. I don't read the WotC forums anymore because of the rudeness, argumentative nature, and sense of self-importance many of the top posters there have. Not all of course, but . . . . many. Can you honestly deny the huge differences in tone and attitude between the two forums?
 

timbannock

Adventurer
I'm not surprised really. All the RPG companies that I follow never pay attention to their own forums.

There might be other exceptions out there, but the only one I can think of is Mongoose, and even they are a bit slow to respond, but they do. Beyond that, I agree with this statement, and it makes sense.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I get that maintaining forums has an expense. And I get that the WotC boards haven't exactly been a model of good internet behavior.

But relying on other social media comes with costs as well, maybe less in employee costs, but more in externalities. Here we already have some people contemplating the loss of information that will occur and what must be done to preserve useful stuff that WotC will otherwise delete. How persistent is social media information, anyway? It's stored somewhere, but I find old information a real pain in the ass to access. Recycling topics is pretty common on more clearly persistent forums like here, think of how much more you see it on other forms of instant social media. I can barely stand to monitor company pages on Google+, Facebook, or anywhere else because similar posts flash by all the time.
Then there's the cost borne by people seeking out WotC's website for more information. Now, they'll have to seek out one or more of many different social media sites or independent forums to find more information, ask questions, and so on. Some people do that anyway, but a source of information in a convenient place, like the company website, that's easier and, I guess, it will soon be gone.

Maybe WotC thinks this will work for their bottom line. I don't think I'd call it much of a plus for customer service.
 
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Egon

First Post
I'm not surprised really. All the RPG companies that I follow never pay attention to their own forums.

Actually, Kevin is pretty active on the Palladium forums. Then again, it is Palladium, and those forums are a mess to begin with.
 

qstor

Adventurer
We should certainly try to coordinate some kind of rescue of all the useful material on those forums. It would be a shame to lose it all. I'm not sure how to go about that, though.

There's a bunch of good d20 Modern stuff like the used car lot thread.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Looks like I'll be full-time at enworld then!

I've already got some of my content here and will move over the rest of my stuff prior to the day the WotC forums shut down.
 



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