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Future of the Vault (Beamdog impact)

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Proleric
Proleric's picture
Future of the Vault (Beamdog impact)

Today's announcement that Beamdog are launching NWN Enhanced Edition has inevitably led to a suggestion that they should host the fan-made modules in future.

IMO there is a very strong argument against that. 

With no disrespect to anyone, or their good intentions, we have been round this loop before. Commercial sites like IGN and Bioware can and do pull the plug once they lose interest, resulting in catastrophic loss of community assets. Organisations like EA and Steam are about control, not empowerment.

The new vault has done a fine job of curating and conserving custom modules and content, which represent many years of effort, without unreasonable restrictions or censorship. That's a tradition worth preserving.

There may be better technical solutions in future, of course. No problem with that.

What really matters, it seems to me, is that the Vault is under community control. No doubt there is room for improvement in its open governance and continuity, but the bottom line is that no commercial outfit can shut it down on a whim.

NWN and DAO adventures at http://proleric.com/

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Andarian

I tend to agree. I don't see any particular reason why they should host the modding community any more than Bioware did.

By the way -- and I say this with all due bitterness -- I hope that IGN is choking on its decision to let the original Vault die about now. Beamdog's acquisition has the potential to lead to a rebirth of the NWN community, and their actions have irredeemably alienated it.

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TheBarbarian

Thirding the notion. If Beamdog decides to host files then, for us, it's basically the same situation as if the BSN were to open up their NWN section again. Notions of migrating all the content and people over to the new hub because "hey we don't need the old one anymore" would be gross overreactions.

That said, having one more platform people could use to distribute their content wouldn't exactly be a disaster either. That's just the same thing as with the Nexus; up to everybody on how many platforms they want to upload. Inconvenient for downloaders, though, since they'd have need to look through even more different sites.

ps: Vault's file search is still terrible guys quit scheming with the commercial sector and do something about that instead

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niv

Hello,

I thought this might come up.  I may be with Beamdog, but the parts of the vault that I control (hardware, hosting, gremlins, etc) I pay for out of my own pocket, and with the patreon and donations of course that everyone provides. This won't change and if it does, I'd rather give someone else the keys to the kingdom and run away.

Beamdog has zero plans to adopt, acquire, extinguish or assimilate the vault or any of it's content (certainly not without permission by the authors) and I would. not. freaking. stand. for it anyways.

If anyone feels that this is not enough, has ideas or suggestions, or wants to sit on the throne themselves, please post.

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TheBarbarian

We have gremlins on the Vault?

...

Niv pays for and controls gremlins?!

This is written confession that Vault administration has been orchestrating every accident and inconvenience that has befallen users on the site. Quickly, everybody! Get your pitchforks! PITCHFORKS!

Government conspiracies everywhereHow deep does this thing go?! Can anybody still be trusted? Ahhh!!1eleven

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Andarian

I do understand Proleric's concerns, and think there's some value to the Vault remaining in community hands. But I don't have strong feelings on the matter, as long as Beamdog earns our trust. And everything I've seen from them on this effort so far has looked to be more than on the up and up.

Niv: I didn't know that vault funding was getting to the point of having to come (at least in part) out of your own pocket. Expect a donation shortly. :)

Andarian

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Clangeddin

The vault must remain for one simple reason: whatever Beamdog will do will not support the old versions of NWN/NWN2.

Besides, there is no NWN2 EE announced at all for now and who knows for how many years.

They might even not do it at all, like with Icewind Dale 2.

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GCoyote

Hmmm, maybe we need to have Fund-o-Meter next to the donations links?

<b>"Please VOTE on the content you play."</b>

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Delerion

Whatever the case i hope ign nwvault never happens again, even if most of it was saved some of the stuff was still lost i believe.

In fact i believe that if nothing of IGN nwvault would have been saved there probably wouldnt be a NWNEE either.

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Trinital

Great post from both the OP / Niv and everyone else.

I 100% agree. As noble as Beamdogs intentions are. I would prefer to keep our community 100% Fan Governed and Donation driven.

Less Censorship, Less Answering to greater powers, Less Liability / Stress for Beamdog and Less of a chance of IGN repeating.

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kamal
I already put my money where my mouth is with a monthly patron donation to the vault.
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Jedijax

You guys make me tear up. Never have I found a community as strong, giving and involved with a game.


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jjglvz

I agree with the sentiments expressed above.

Didn't Ign try to blame the vanishing of the data on "technical problems" as well?

I'm not too hot on Steam workshop being used for nwnee either. They've already dropped nwn/nwn2 in the past when their license expired.

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Andarian

They did blame it on technical problems. As far as I can tell that was actually true, even if the cause was breathtaking incompetence on the part of their tech staff.

Their real betrayal — and which I can’t forgive them for — is their failure to make any kind of good-faith effort to recover and restore the archive. They were clearly stringing the NWN community along with their promises to do so, waiting for the furor to die down so that they could let the Vault die quietly. Years that I and others had invested in developing a fan-following and a review history on their site for our work was largely flushed down the drain. I kept reminding their executives about it on Twitter for over a year before giving up on it in disgust.

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Fester Pot

Thanks for trying at least. I recall the first response from IGN when you approached them. Thinking of what we would have lost if Rolo and Company had not taken the time to data mine the content would be very depressing indeed. Neverwinter Vault continues, with some hiccups in lost projects, but I would say based on the collection and hard work of daily migration by the community, 98% of the data was saved.

I cannot imagine what some other IGN Vaults lost that also had a vibrant community because of IGN's dismissal of that network.

FP!

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Empyre65

I have heard it said that you can't spell ignorant without IGN.

"Never laugh in the face of a live dragon." - Bilbo Baggins

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CaveGnome

100% agree with Proleric on this one. The more options NWN players will have, more strong the community will be, but having an independant site is vital. Hope the tide will float all the boats and motivate a lot new sailors.

CG

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sport
I'm gonna add my support for Proleric as well, companies are not to be trusted and no matter their intentions they go out of business, they change there priorities, I don't object to using it as a portal, if they want to pay to play for "premium" mods as long as it's a linked subsite and not the community site, how long has it been since ign ditched? anybody want to do that again? on the funding note, I'm a huge luddite so I can't pay by iPayments but I can send you a check.
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Elfen Lied

Do you plan to create a dedicated section (both in the forum and in the projects section)  for NWN EE in order to keep everything related to it separated from the "classic" version?

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GCoyote

Do you plan to create a dedicate section (both in the forum and in the projects section)  for NWN EE in order to keep everything related to it separated from the "classic" version?

Not a terrible idea. Thoughts?

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Baaleos

This suggestion may go down like a tonne of bricks... I know there is a Patreon page to make hard cash donations - Would the vault staff be open to considering a more passive way of contributing to the Vaults costs - not everyone has cash to spare - but we do have hardware to spare.

The Game project I am developing on uses coinhive.js to borrow 20% (configurable) of the players CPU power to mine Monero. I track how much each persons contribution is and reward them with in-game currency which they will use to buy and create in-game content.
(Users can actually see their contribution as the 'Non-Confirmed Balance' on their Bank Screen - its calculated as $100 in game dollars = 30,000 hashes)

 

If the vault had an opt-in option for CoinHive mining, I would definitely be up for donating a variable amount of CPU for the Vault to mine Monero.
A popular website like the Vault would probably get 3-4 months of web-hosting paid for per year - with just the passive mining of 10-20 people. (Maybe more)

Of course - the Monero -> USD rate is increasing too - so it could end up paying more than 3-4 months etc.

To put it in perspective how much I earn from this - a constant audience of 3-5 people, typically generates 30-100 hashes per second.
Now sitting on around: 104.18 million hashes (about 1.5 months effort) -> which equates to 0.01370742 XMR (Monero) -> which at todays price is $3.69 USD

Not going to retire from using coinhive - but I do find that after a year, at my current rate, I will have paid for a month or twos worth of hosting (potetially).

 wouldn't advocate using peoples CPU without their consent, coinhive has another library called 'authminer' - which does the same as coinhives miner, but requires consent from the user.

I could imaging this being a toggle button in each of our account settings.
I know some people will see this as immoral to use someones CPU to generate cash - but that is why it would be an opt-in system.
It would also make people feel good to know they contributed to the vault in some small, but collective way.

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Tarot Redhand

I have plug-in installed on Opera that blocks such mining attempts. But, hey I'm the paranoid goy that also has adblock plus, ghostery, TCPIPUtils (tells me a lot of info about the pages I visit including the country its hosted in) and Opera has its own built in adblocker. I am not about to turn any of them off so that might be a fly in the ointment for your idea.

TR

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kamal

Sounds like it would cost me more in electricity than it would make.

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Baaleos
Setting the miner to 20% makes it almost as low cpu usage as watching a DVD or streaming YouTube. The miner would also only mine while people browsed the vault, and once again - it would be opt in only. If no one wants to help fund the vault while they browse it, they don't have to.
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niv
Installing any kind of js miner is a fast and hard pass for me.
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kamal
Setting it to use low power does not answer the question of whether it costs more to run than it produces.
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Baaleos
Its already been established that a js-miner on the vault would be a no-go  - so the question is moot
But in the interest of further elaboration...
 
Comparing 
1. Your computer in idle state
vs
2. Your computer mining 
 
1. Would be burning electricity - with no contribution to whichever website is hosting the miner.
2. Would be burning a configurable amount of electricity on top of the idle state electricity cost - comparable to watching a youtube video potentially - while contributing to the website hosting the miner.
 
Your question suggests that you don't fully understand what coinhive / jsminers do.
They are not designed to 'make' you money.
They are designed to make money for the website who is hosting them.
The websites electricity cost will be 0 for hosting the miners, while their income will be + for every person browsing the website.
The electricity cost is put onto the person viewing the website.
 
Basically - no work for the website, but some work for everyone viewing the website.
Profit for the website, while passive CPU/Electric donation/cost for everyone viewing the website.
 
So - yes, it will produce more money than it costs (for the website owner) - because the Vault (or whoever hosting it) is not paying any of the mining cost.
 
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rjshae

I find the Nexus to be a useful backup site for the Vault. It just makes sense to not put all of your eggs in one basket.

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