On September 29th 2014, the Hello! thread, originally created in the Team Fortress Classic forum, was brutally murdered, after a traumatic last two days.
What’s the Hello! thread, you ask? Well, it started off as a joke when TF2 Comics #3: A Cold Day in Hell, was released. Being called the Medic, I realised that I had indeed betrayed my mercenaries and took shelter in the Team Fortress Classic forum. This silly thread slowly turned into first a TF2 discussion thread and then into an itsurblog thread. But the Hello! thread was a nice thread. The pace was slow. The people were friendly. Communication swayed between TF2, TFC and general chat. There was lots of orange juice involved too. It was a nice thread and it made me very, very happy, something I have desperately needed lately because of my bouts of sadness.
The topic trickled on nicely. The Hello! thread was 6 months old when it died. It had nearly 7000 posts. It died suddenly. It didn’t die happily.
On the 28th of September, the thread was randomly moved to the Off Topic forum. Everyone who had posted in that thread lost a large number from their post counts. The thread was now being shared with the people of the Off Topic forum, which is basically a completely different community. There were hopes though that the thread will survive, despite the constant competition from the long-established This Instant and Moment thread. No one liked the move. Moving the thread did nothing but cause complaints. So what did we do? We understandably complained.
And because we complained, a moderator decided to close the thread.
The moderators screwed us over. They tricked us into thinking that the thread was okay, before suddenly moving it, then closing the thread because we complained. How is that fair? It’s not. And the closure of that thread really upset me.
Alright, I’ll admit, the thread WAS off topic. But saying “post in the off topic forum!” doesn’t work, because the Off Topic forum is a completely different community. The regulars are different. The rules are different. The rep is different. The threads and comments are different. The entire conversation is different. The whole point of the thread was so that TF2 forum regulars, very few of whom even step foot in the Off Topic forum, had somewhere they could chat. What other options do TF2 forum regulars have? One hidden forum which is invite only and offers very little to the average TF2 regular and one IRC channel. Yes, I could right now create a forum for TF2 regulars to post in but THAT’S NOT A PART OF SPUF NOW IS IT? Going from TF2 to Off Topic is essentially going to a new site. And people aren’t going to want to leave the safety of the Steam Powered User Forums to continue their discussions via a new website or a chat room. Steam Groups are bloody awful as well, too hidden away and out of view to be of use. The TF2 SPUF regulars want to have a general discussion thread, the same way the HL forums had a general discussion thread and the same way Off Topic has a general discussion thread. So why can’t we have one?
The problem is, if the Hello! thread was a problem, WHY DID THE MODERATORS WAIT FOR SIX MONTHS TO CLOSE IT? Six months. Six MONTHS. I know the moderators knew about the thread. I know they did. People had received infractions and bans because of posts in that thread. And some of those happened way before we reached the 6000 post mark. If the moderators knew the thread was there, why didn’t they close it or move it before it got out of hand? Why wait for so long?
You know what the moderators did? They let the children take cookies from a jar for a long time then cruelly punished them once they felt that taking cookies was okay. Six months later. Six months, when they could have told the children off the first time they took cookies. Or the second time. Not the six thousand and ninety first time.
So what has closing this thread done? Nothing. You’ve taken away a long, winding, friendly discussion from a lot of people. You’ve caused unnecessary drama. You’ve upset people for no reason. You’ve confused people as to what is acceptable and what isn’t. And for what? In a couple of weeks time, someone else will just create a new thread. Then someone else will create another thread. Then someone else and someone else. It never ends. You just end up deleting and banning more and more. You’ve created a vicious circle that wouldn’t exist if you HAD JUST LET THINGS BE. So what if there’s one off topic thread in the TF2 forum? That’s better than twenty, thirty, a hundred of them! Not that anyone is listening.
In the end, I feel deprived. I feel baited. I’ve lost trust in the moderators of the Steam Powered User Forums. My only option now is to create a support ticket, which is what I’ve done. I’ll probably never get a reply. I am generally upset about the loss of the Hello! thread. There’s nothing I can do.
Rest in peace.