Week 8 – New site features, Events, the 3 previous weeks…

It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve brought you the newest, spiciest, gaming-iest (tryna get those SEO keywords in there ya feel?) update on the block. Fear not, I’m back, and I’m better than ever…

What do you call the weekly update when you skip it for three straight weeks? I digress, I’m here again to bring you the next Weekly Founder’s Update. As promised, this one will be full of spiciness, and a few Byarn wipes along the way.

As always, I have to remark at what a whirlwind this continues to be, even as we’re now well past our second month anniversary since our formation in October. Hugs and kisses, I didn’t get anyone anniversary gifts. I’ve tried to break this update down into different segments, sort of like a running TL;DR, so I guess skip the sections you couldn’t care less about. Just know that there will be a mandatory reading comprehension quiz and anyone who doesn’t ace it can’t be in the running to be my best friend forever ANYMORE.

If You Read Nothing Else: Thanks for sticking around, seriously. I know a lot of the groundwork for The [P4CK] took a while, and most of us are learning as we go. Each and every member has been awesomely supportive of the process – your feedback and your dedication don’t go unnoticed. You’re the best gaming community a Founder could ask for. (And I don’t just say that to all my gaming communities, or I wouldn’t, if I had other gaming communities…)

Like I’ve said before, trust me when I say I know how daunting it can be to take on a leadership role or shoulder additional responsibilities in any situation, let alone a gaming community. I appreciate everyone who has done so thus far…

>A SPECIAL THANK-YOU AND NEW ADMIN ANNOUNCEMENTS!

I know that many of the improvements to the website and the Discord server took a while to implement, and in some cases broke them completely. Of course I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with new members, recruitment, random Discord drama crap, and teaching runs without the help of the other admins – a special thank you to every person who has stepped up and taken on leadership in The [P4CK] – you’ve made it what it is so far, and I can’t wait to keep working with you! On that note, we’ve got some new admins who have joined the ranks. Please give a big welcome to:

  • TheLegend
  • pdlf626
  • yamarider2000

I know TheLegend isn’t “new” but he wasn’t an admin as of my last announcement so leave me alone and welcome the salty boi.

-Admin and Moderator applications are now live! Head over to the admin application page (https://thep4ck.com/admins/apply) and apply if you’d like to take on a leadership role in The [P4CK]. At this time, we aren’t looking for new Admins as we have enough to handle our current membership base. However, that means we need Moderators who can maintain a consistent presence on the Forums and in Discord. Maybe you don’t play as often as some other members, but you’ve got time to be available on Discord/in the Forums – a Moderator role might be perfect for you, so apply today!

>VETERAN TEAMS

We’ve modified what used to be called our A-Teams, and they are now called Veteran Teams. I want to give a major shoutout to one of the current Veteran team members who discussed the change with me. In addition to avoiding an elitist mentality, Veterans more closely fits with the role these team members will play – in addition to being highly skilled they set an example for other players!

-Veteran Team applications are now live! Now that we’ve gotten the ground work all set up, we’re working on recruiting for our Veteran Teams. If you know of someone who’s highly skilled and wants an active gaming community to call home, point them our way. We’re especially looking for folks who want to take on team leadership roles and help The [P4CK] grow competitively. If you’re a current member and you think you’re ready to take on the role of a Veteran member, visit the application page!

>NEW WEBSITE FEATURES

This has got to be the portion of the weekly update I’m most excited about, because for the last three weeks I’ve been pouring nearly all my free time into learning the basics of WordPress coding in order to get the site where it needs to be. I’m truly happy to report that we’re finally there, and the only things missing are a few Guides and Walkthroughs that we’re working on developing right now. I’ll be updating the Website Changelog Forums soon with a detailed list of everything that’s been added or changed in the next few days, but for now here’s some of what’s new and exciting on thep4ck.com:

  • Increased hosting capabilities and switched to dedicated server resources
    • 240GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, 4GB of dedicated RAM, dedicated server IP address
    • I never want our website to be a bottleneck, and we had the awesome problem of too many visitors at one time – our site was getting sluggish and we actually got a warning that we were exceeding our daily bandwidth allowances
    • I definitely went overkill with the upgrade, but hopefully it’ll mean we won’t have to worry about website downtime, or access issues for users nearly as much
  • WEBSITE TOUR!
    • I had been getting lots of questions about how to find and access specific portions of the site. I’ve done my best to make it intuitive from a User perspective but I recognize that there are a LOT of features on the site (because I’m awesome and put a lot in there). Given that, I’ve created a fully-interactive, guided tour of the website. Check it out by clicking on the image on the homepage, or visiting the New Member Guide (the tour will launch automatically each time you visit that page).
      • I hope you find the Tour helpful – I think it’s a good thing for new and existing members alike to take, because there might be a part of the website you didn’t know about!

>NEW FORUM FEATURES

I’ve tried to make sure the Forums are now fully functional, and I’ve succeeded! Head on over to check them out.

  • User badges for Admins/Mods/Streamers/Veterans
    • Users now have badges to proudly display their status as Admins, Mods, Streamers, and Veterans! Check Your  to see your available badges! If you think you’re missing a badge, please let me know!
  • User badges for post counts
    • The more you post, the spicier you’ll be! Anyone with less than 2 posts will be a Scrublord. More than 2 makes you a Contributor, and over 50? Well, you’ll just have to find out.
  • Updated Forums and access permissions
    • Specific forums for Tech Support/Help requests which allow a user to create a topic and edit only their own replies, much like a standard help forum
    • Specific forums for user roles, i.e. designated Veteran forums to organize practices/discuss strategy etc.
    • Added specific sub-forums and descriptions for each Forum
    • Still needed: 1) Forum Rules sticky post, 2) Sticky the weekly update, 3) Sticky the website tour page
  • Added private messaging for users
    • Click “Send Message” under a user’s name on their profile to send them a private message!

>MEMBER REQUIREMENTS, THE [P4CK] INFO, GAME-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS

They’re done! All the “rules and info” is now available on the Requirements & Info page, so be sure to go check them out! I’ve also added game-specific info for Destiny 2. I know, we’re going bigger than just D2, read on, I cover that later, I PROMISE.

  • Finished the Requirements and Info section for both general membership and Destiny 2 game-specific requirements
    • Check out the Requirements & Info page for general membership here
    • Check out the Destiny 2 Requirements & Info page for information specific to The [P4CK]’s Destiny 2 clan as well as some useful links!
    • The way I’ve structured The [P4CK] is to allow any person to join, even if they can’t join a specific in-game team. For example, if a player wanted to play with us on Destiny 2, but there wasn’t room in the clan, they could still register on the website and join the Discord – doing that means they’ll be around and available if we ever need another person!
      • This is a good way to get to know members before they join, and that way our 2 week recruitment cycles won’t be hectic, we’ll already have folks lined up!
    • You should familiarize yourself with these because they’re uh…mandatory and stuff.

>REFRESHED DISCORD

  • Discord is new and improved with a revamped channel system including PTT only channels and Private Voice channels for admin, mod, and veteran team use
    • PTT only channels force all users to use Push-to-Talk! See the Requirements & Info page for a more detailed description of channels – if you need help @admin in the Discord #help channel
    • Private Voice channels can be used by any member, but can be joined only by Admins, Mods and Veteran members
      • If you set up a high-level run and want to make sure nobody joins and distracts you, these are great channels to use! Available in both PTT and Voice Activity formats. If you aren’t on a Veteran team but still want to use a private voice channel just @admin in Discord and we can work with you to set it up!
  • EMOJIIIIIIIS!
    • I’ve made lots of folks in our Discord custom emojis, and I’ve also made a bunch based on jokes we’ve developed since our inception! Check out the list below for some of the spiciest new emojis, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled – there are some that aren’t on this list!

>OTHER GAMES AND BRANCHING OUT

I know, I know, I know, I KNOW, Destiny 2 is like, dying and stuff. That has no impact on The [P4CK] in my honest opinion, because this gaming community is bigger than any one game. With that said, that means it’s absolutely crucial that we start forming teams and branching into other games to keep the community satisfied! I know there is a desire to start playing games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and PUBG together. The key thing is that that’s going to take work and dedication, so if there’s a game you want The [P4CK] to play, please let us know!

  • I’ve worked really hard to make this easy, so there’s actually a form that you can submit a new game on right on the Games page.
  • Put in a contact e-mail, tell me the game you want, tell me if you’ve got other folks you play with – and we’ll be in discussion.
    • The reality is I’ll need your help creating some basic content for the Game-specific page, and we’ll discuss how to go about starting a team. It isn’t some crazy process, but if you start a team, I’m going to want you to help lead it. This is a great opportunity to take on more leadership.

>A NOTE ON TAKING ON ADDITIONAL LEADERSHIP/RESPONSIBILITY

Like I’ve said before, trust me when I say I know how daunting it can be to take on a leadership role or shoulder additional responsibilities in any situation, let alone a gaming community. I appreciate everyone who has done so thus far, and I wanted to share a little bit of my personal views on leadership and responsibility in this community.

I want The [P4CK] to belong to every member as much as it does to me, because in my mind being a Founder has never meant exerting total control, it’s meant creating a place where people can feel like they’re a part of something meaningful. It’s meant allowing members to contribute beyond simply farming milestones, but by taking on leadership roles and helping to shape The [P4CK] in every way. Sure, I’ve got some hard and fast rules, but at the end of the day I have been consistently impressed by the innovation and resourcefulness of every person I’ve worked with. I want to give you the tools to make The [P4CK] better – so whether that’s working with you to start a new team and branch into a new game, figuring out a way to improve the website/Discord, or finding the right “spot” for you here, let me know what I can do to help.

>LIFE STUFF FOR MR. CUMB!

I’ll be moving next week, meaning that my internet/PC access situation will be a bit up in the air! Don’t worry, I’ll be available on Discord and I’ll definitely get online when I can. As of now, I expect to likely be unavailable for a few days after the start of the year, but I should be back up and running shortly after that. I REPEAT, BATTLE STATIONS, [P4CK] FOUNDER IS GOING TO BE AWAY FOR A FEW DAYS STARTING JANUARY FIRST, PLEASE DON’T BURN THE HOUSE DOWN, KIDS.

>MONEY TINGS

I’m loving running The [P4CK], and a lot of the guys I started this with have been awesome about chipping in to keep the costs of that love relatively low for me. However, with website upgrades and the potential for branching into new games on the horizon, that means costs will be growing! I’m interested in starting a [P4CK] fund pool that would be publicly accounted for among all members of The [P4CK]. Every three months, we’d set target donation goals and goals for what to use the money on (i.e. base website costs, server rental for a new game, monthly giveaway, MVP prize, etc.) and then any donations would be logged. Any money spent would be accounted for so that everyone could see where their donations went. I think by opening it up to this kind of voting system, we create an incentive for people to throw a dollar or five a month at The [P4CK] because they get to help choose where their money goes! Anything that doesn’t get covered in terms of operating expenses will of course get covered, but it’s a way to make sure I don’t go b r o k e.

>UNTIL NEXT WEEK

That’s all for now, but there’s a lot more that’s happened in the last 3 weeks that I haven’t been able to consolidate into one post. Bear with me, and if you’ve got any questions you know you can always find me in the Discord. Now that the website is sort of kind of done mostly to the point that I won’t have to spend many hours a day working on it (that’s my built-in disclaimer), I’ll be much more available in Discord!

Thanks again for everything, y’all. The [P4CK] best [P4CK].

-Cumb

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