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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2015, 06:07:25 PM »
One more thing about Aramax's post, I have always felt like a square peg here as well, always.  I am not sure I feel comfortable using the Citadel we, like others do.  But perhaps this is just how everybody feels.

Offline Moonlake

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2015, 06:33:52 PM »

So the scores matter to people. And they don’t always push to people to improve posts but they push people to try and play the game of the citadel: delete posts, hold posts back as stubs, keep content out or even steal content.  I am all for scores, but I do worry because of Aramax’s comment that the biases of the citadel are becoming the engines of scoring. Furthermore, that these biases (not a genuine desire to help people develop their ideas) are keeping our community smaller and more exclusive than it could be.

Ergh... so I'm going to bring the discussion off to another direction again but what Axle raised seemed too important to let go by without a discussion. Firstly, I have to say that I'm one of the guilty ones who care about getting a score below 3.5 but I don't engage in any other activities that Axle label as the 'game of the scores'. I write stubs but like the other Moon, these are wayward ideas that are not really sub-worthy in my minds or just in-work ideas that one day I'm hoping to group into an actual sub. I don't think the culprit in this case is really motivation to 'game my average' but I guess internal high standards and pedanticity though some might argue whatever the goals, they lead to the same result.

I had managed to side-track a little as I'm wont to do but getting back to the aversion to score below 3.5 biz, I think Strolen's newbie sub had partly cured me of this although it makes periodic comebacks. But to be honest, I don't really see much we could do to cure these adverse behaviour identified by Axle as arising from the voting system. Again, I feel like including this issue in my article for newbies that throws the discussion open but other than that, I feel like I'm not even contributing 1 cent of worth to this issue. Ah well....

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2015, 06:42:57 PM »
One more thing about Aramax's post, I have always felt like a square peg here as well, always.  I am not sure I feel comfortable using the Citadel we, like others do.  But perhaps this is just how everybody feels.

Oddly enough, I should be feeling like a square peg here based on my non-gamer status but never felt that way. Axle, I had assumed that you are pretty like me on this. Not sure what exactly are you not comfortable with using the Citadel for besides the fact that sometimes your longer work of fiction is under-read but that goes for anyone that writes work of length here. The fact that selected Strolenatis are up to reading and commenting on subs past a certain length is a recurring rage that Strolen old-timers have. Personally, I love reading work of length (that's why I tend to read epic fantasy that naturally run in trilogies or quintets) but I just have an aversion to reading work of length on the Citadel or on the PC.

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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2015, 07:12:26 PM »
One more thing about Aramax's post, I have always felt like a square peg here as well, always.  I am not sure I feel comfortable using the Citadel we, like others do.  But perhaps this is just how everybody feels.

I've heard this from a few others as well. I felt that way for a time, but I dealt with it the same way I do many other situations: I threw myself into the middle of it all until I became acclimated. After that, it was smoother sailing. I still have moments, of course, where I say or do stuff that I feel goes *whoosh!* but I expect everyone else does that once in awhile.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2015, 08:01:32 PM »
Gird your loins.

TLDR: Lots of words that may not help or answer anything. The answer is 42.

Honestly, I see an inability to take criticism as the #1 cause of newbies not sticking around, rather than the stats taboo. And while axle waxes eloquent about the harshness of our standards, I see them as a plus, since I have personally benefited from them.


I know the guy that is involved a little in this site so will throw in a couple cents and you can take it for what it is worth. I tend to get long winded when I start but will try and stop myself when I feel it digressing too much but no promises. I type fast so I get out of control.

First and foremost, this is definitely a community driven site and all features were requested or discussed before being implemented. Some work, others don't. The next version is going to do A LOT of trimming of features that seemed like a good idea but didn't turn out so well...or they will be reincarnated into something new and, again, we will see if we like them. Stubs...ugh. Yes, will keep them as they apparently serve a purpose to somebody. ;)

So back in WW Nam when I put this site together I played Palladium as my game of choice. AD&D's AC systems is just plain stupid to me...booooring. I want to roll to defend d**nit. CRIT FAIL...YEAH! Anyway, that isn't what drove the no stats rule. I didn't build the site to share character stats, there were a thousand sites like that and all useless, following the formal conventions of whatever game they were making the character for. Dry, mechanical, without soul...filling out blocks so you could correctly roll the dice. When I found a cool idea I wanted to use, all I took was the idea and left the stats...always. The other site I liked organized all their ideas into game systems and it sucked trying to find anything useful. The stats were usually crap and the ideas were all over the place. Stupid organization system. So I wanted to make my site with no stats and organized by what a GM would need when putting together a game. Remember, this is back in 1996 when I designed the site so tags weren't even a thing yet except on AOL. Just be happy I dumped the animated unicorn gifs (try the konami code on the main site if you need that though). Once I lost my gaming group, I missed the ideas.  (PS manfred is the oldest user by far, he contacted me by email when the site was on version 0.0012 Alpha)

Take a look at any category and sort it by oldest first. That is the simplest of goals and my initial vision. Plenty of 3 submissions there...now, probably 2s and maybe even 1s. They are some crap, I will admit...but if you look past it at the central idea, there is something there. A quick idea that anybody can take and make their own. That was my vision and goal and how it was built. Sharing of all kind of ideas that people can pick up and place in their own game. I stand by the mantra that most GMs are creative and smart and if you give them idea, they can make up some stats with ease in whatever system they want. Even if you provided stats, they are usually changed and modified to work where they are used by the GM to fit their requirements so even more pointless. Stats really serve no purpose in my vision of the Citadel. It is about the idea, thought, usefulness of the post. Give me that core idea and stats will almost create themselves...and be completely different for every GM.

Many may know that I am a fan of your medium size sub that gives you all the data you need and then gets out of your way. However, some longer posts with the glorious prose and descriptive fiction is brilliant and a joy to read. But I will be the first to admit that long post gives me pause. I am of the internet, short attention span, bite size pieces personality...and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit it here now. But I am. Shorter posts will get more of my attention than longer....because I am all about a quick read and seeing the core idea. GIMME! I am nervous to write that because I don't want to offend some folks, but each person enjoys something different and this site definitely encourages creativity above all. I probably wouldn't even read the entire post I am writing...well, maybe, as I would be curious, but generally....tooooooo long!! And sorry about that. :)

But we can argue about stats and prose all day....what it boils down to is people getting too critical with their comments and/or authors taking those criticisms too seriously. It is all about life experience and perspective and we can never predict that somebody will take our writing as intended.

So we debated about removing the voting, but then the site loses the core it was created on. Debated on making it a "like" button, but the voting seems to be central. A thousand other arguments could be made for all ways of doing it and I would agree with most of them. But good or bad, voting will stay. Can't fix it and it is not the same without it.

Voting itself. Compare it to job performance evaluations. Every single rating system, ever, will become inflated. Seems to be human nature. A 3 submission is perfect in my mind, but people are disappointed with it. In an inflated system a 3 is bad and a 2 and 1 are just painful and unacceptable. Rarely will somebody earn a 2...except dark elf assassins with scimitars, but that is another issue.

So we incorrectly believe that 4s and 5s are what we should strive for. And, occasionally, commenters give criticism to "help" improve the post on this inflated scale instead of just accepting it. Generally, we are VERY good at not doing this, but most folks leaving the site stems from a miscommunication of some sort, either interpretation or expression. Sometimes people really don't get along but that is a bit rarer.

Granted, some folks want the harsh criticism, and that is fine. Probably need a feature to request that specifically so commenters know when a hard edit would be appreciated. Or when I want mine grammer corectid. Deal with teh mispellings sometimes and comment on the idea. Shouldn't be down voting a post because they spelled something wrong... (ok, digressing there)

I want positive remarks on the core idea, a vote based on that, and the understanding that 3 is perfectly good. Getting all those together is very difficult and, based on each individual, there will always be interpretation issues, conflict and confusion when you allow comments and voting...but that is the heart of the system.

Which brings me back to the quote above which I think brings in the two key pieces that make the Citadel the way it currently is.

-I have an idea.
-Spend a little bit putting it together.
-Here it is.
-Then I get low votes (3s and 3.5s which are actually great votes) and suggestions of what I should do better.

Based on the misinterpretation (or correct interpretation of a more critical comment):
-Do I take it personal and argue? I just wanted to share an idea?
-Do I disagree, this is the way I wanted it?
-Do I take my ball and go home because I don't need to deal with this?
-Do I sit and spend hours and make it more word pretty with a submission I just wanted to quickly share just to be "accepted?"
-Do I think, incorrectly, that 3s mean my idea is crappy so I am too embarrassed to stay around?

Are any of those thoughts legit? Depends on the person and interpretation.

Submitting a post here for the first time is intimidating. We are not newbie friendly. The site is huge and unwieldy. Things are confusing and not set up in a very easy way to understand. There are a lot of undocumented features that not even Strolenites know how to use. Submissions are of an extremely high quality to the point where they are almost short stories instead of gaming ideas. There are great ideas and most are great fiction as well. I don't want to discourage that because it is frick'n awesome, but how do we make it so the more mundane and normal submissions are more accepted?

This does not make us very newbie friendly. It is actually very daunting. So much so that even Strolenites admit that they are discouraged from submitting only their best. Hell, I have posted for awhile because I am intimidated by the results. I just want to write sometimes but then there is that doubt that creeps in. Is it good enough? Will they like it? And then I stall....and still a Weaver Guild initiate and not a full member.

I can't even imagine the awesome ideas we are missing out on because of this self-imposed barrier that we have created.

Is there a point to all this rambling? I doubt it. If you find something let me know. There is an overall philosophy in the site that I have retained since I built it. It is somewhat contained in the words above if you can decipher it. Use Ra if you need some help with that.

Do I want more people to visit, comment and post?
HELL YES! You guys are awesome and deserve a huge community sharing and commenting!

Do I have a plan to try and work towards that goal?
d**n straight I do. I have a hundred pages of notes and hundreds of dollars in books to help try and get us to the next level. It will take this year to get it there though.

Question is, will anybody still be around to see it?
 :read: :poet: :dizzy: :ahh:

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2015, 08:50:53 PM »
Wow, Strolen, there are probably a lot to pick out from your post but I'll concentrate on one bit that struck a chord with me somewhat (or did once), which is this idea that people sometimes do not appreciate too close scrutiny at particular aspects of their subs. Most gamers complain about being picked on for spelling and grammar whereas for me, sometimes, I have in-work ideas that are complete but could still be worked on that I got sick of and just chugged out as a sub, especially for my Dragon Empire setting. I remembered I used to get annoyed that people give me a 3 for it stating the reason being that it's short on particular content (yes, as I mentioned before, I'm one of the ones on the inflated score line as you call it, your newbie sub only partly cured me of it). Then I almost wished that I had created a new freetext for these subs called "not for public consumption" or something like that. But then I just got over it.

But like you said, I don't think any of the problems identified in this thread could be removed short of removing the whole voting system but to me, that's just a bit extreme. Even then, the harsh commenting is likely still here to stay unless you want to completely purge old-timers that some of us just love as both contributor and commenter which is again a preposterous idea. Speaking of this, I suddenly have an idea but not sure about feasibility: can we have an additional drop-down on the submission page regarding commenting: thinking that you can select from options of most critical reader welcomed, no picking on spelling and grammar, background info for my world, just a quickie etc.

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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2015, 12:23:19 AM »
Quote
...Strolenites admit that they are discouraged from submitting only their best. Hell, I have posted for awhile because I am intimidated by the results. I just want to write sometimes but then there is that doubt that creeps in. Is it good enough? Will they like it? And then I stall....and still a Weaver Guild initiate and not a full member.

I can't even imagine the awesome ideas we are missing out on because of this self-imposed barrier that we have created.

That cuts to the core the question at hand. 

I think 100 word and Oekaki are part time solutions to this problem. 

But the bar is going to get raised on content, and as that gets raised to will the depth and scope of the comments.

Don't get me wrong I am still having fun on the site, but I think Aramax made an interesting observation, which was articulated well by Strolen.  It just is what it is,
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 12:29:55 AM by axlerowes »

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2015, 01:30:26 AM »

Scras, and I still can’t believe he does this, deletes his low scoring posts. 



When I see that one of my submissions has scored poorly, I look at it, and I try to understand why it failed, why what I saw in my mind didn't translate into message, or I see that the idea I had simply was lacking merit.

Then, as it clings to the edge of the crevasse, feet dangling over the yawning abyss, I look at it, and push it over.



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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2015, 07:32:40 AM »
When I started this thread I had no idea of the sparks it would ignite. I thought I was making a simple statement of an observation.Then I came to what I thought was the heart of the matter with my question"What do you want this site to be?" but Strolen has given me the true incite into this discussion.

What do you DESERVE from this site?

First off you deserve Axel and myself. We feel like outsiders but we have plugged away. We are both very creative peeps that need to get OVER our feelings of being an outsider.You deserve our best efforts and in my case a much greater attention to my grammar and spelling.Also your longer works that I have shunned deserve consideration.

You deserve a wider audience for your efforts. The love and sweat of an AVERAGE sub here needs to be seen and commented on wider and with great detail. On this I have no answer, other than to say what we got now is broken, in that it is not really attracting new blood.

You deserve slow and careful change. No need to rush to judgement , tiny steps toward correcting our 'inbreeding'. Debate and descussion and argument over how best to address the core problems. Baby steps.

Mostly you deserve a preservation of the core of what makes this site as great as it is. Whatever changes that need to be made to bring fresh ideas and commenters  into OUR(proud to use that word) ranks must preserve the status quo also.
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Offline Lady Wolf

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2015, 11:56:34 AM »
Quote
I didn't build the site to share character stats, there were a thousand sites like that and all useless, following the formal conventions of whatever game they were making the character for. Dry, mechanical, without soul...filling out blocks so you could correctly roll the dice. When I found a cool idea I wanted to use, all I took was the idea and left the stats...always. The other site I liked organized all their ideas into game systems and it sucked trying to find anything useful.

This is one thing I find charming about this place, (well that, and the people :lol: ) finally a rpg related site I can find great ideas for my games on without having to slog through walls of text of game stats for systems I don't use and thus are absolutely worthless to me. (Unless you are familiar with the referenced rule system even converting stats from it to one of your choosing is hard to impossible.)

Without the needless stats the ideas take on a certain clarity, a purity of use that lets me quickly adapt it to my game without fuss, or distraction. (Or that nagging feeling if I don't do a conversation from the presented stats that I am improperly representing the power level  challenge of the NPC/item/adventure.)

From my limited experience here, I have seen for the most part the people that don't feel like they fit in mostly are the source of that perception, (for better or worse) and no one else sees them as an "outsider" after the first week or two once they have hung out in chat and made a few quality comments on subs.

I think the ones that don't actually fit in here are those that just post halfassed stuff within the first 5 minutes of signing up without even checking for punctuation or grammar, or even bother to read other subs in their entirety to get a feel for what is considered a "quality post" here at the Citadel before unloading their own subs. From what i have seen those ones draw justified critique/commentary, and either move on, or evaluate their subs and stick around.

That in it's part is a very good thing I think, if people can't handle being told something was done in haste and to do better and leave then so be it, the chances are the citadel is better off without a continual plague of sloppy low quality submissions clogging up the site. Those that stay seem to adjust to the minimal quality standards expected here for submissions, and go on to add to the collective of rpg awesome sauce.

It might also be this place requires a certain open mindedness, and general laid back attitude along with an over all maturity for people to really feel at home, and get on well with everyone else, since from my limited experience those that don't stick around often lock horns with other members in chat, and have an over all abrasive attitude that doesn't mesh with the zen like coexistence of the Citadels current inhabitants.

That's my take on it anyway, having been a member for about 6 months, so take it with a grain of salt.    :wink:
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 11:58:59 AM by Lady Wolf »
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2015, 11:58:49 AM »
Well said, LW :)
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2015, 01:53:04 PM »
Quote
It might also be this place requires a certain open mindedness, and general laid back attitude along with an over all maturity for people to really feel at home


so that is what is wrong with me....

good to know

Offline axlerowes

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2015, 02:16:05 PM »
Aramax has abandoned the Citadel.

As I survey this thread, I reminded of the words of Robert E. Lee on July 3rd 1863

‘It was all my fault this time. Form your ranks again when you get back to cover. We want all good men to hold together now."'


It happens near every year. The wave of new content and new people breaks and all that it was rolls back out to sea.  We few, we happy survivors are left to cling to the lifeless rocks of shore , hoping that a sweet rain may come and  wash the crusty bitter salt from our lips. 

Perhaps another map challenge. I liked Decathros a lot. 

Maybe with trade routes and roads!!!

Offline Moonlake

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2015, 04:32:53 PM »
A pity, I was seriously thinking of doing a Wiki from ideas that different people contributed in this thread and put it on the Newbie page. When I came in today, I saw Aramax had beat me to it but I was glad and was about to go take a look and then it told me the link was eaten by a grue.

On map challenge, I was actually playing with the idea of releasing my Kalimon world as an "invisible map challenge" (purely because I suck at drawing and am also lazy). But well, then I felt I won't be happy unless I do one or two more subs on it before releasing it out and now my novel is taking up most of my attention....


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Offline Aramax

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Re: Theoretical vrs experimental
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2015, 08:39:20 AM »
I thought that I should explain why I deleted all my sub's. It started with my meta sub. The comments on it were rather hurtful.This combined with the fact my wife is in agony ,waiting for serious back surgery and my 24 year old son is stealing the pain killers she needs to get high.This is just the tip of the iceburg. I'm not making excuses, I'm an adult 54 years old and responsible for my own actions.I'm not looking for pity or trying to increase the drama that has surrounded me these last few months. To be honest ,the reason I am posting this is to try and cut off any efforts that would lead me to be banned.I would rather that this puts to rest the whole matter  and prefer that no one respond to this.I am deeply sorry for deleting the '30 exotic birds sub' a lot of peep put a lot of effort into that, it was way more a group project than it was mine.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 08:54:28 AM by Aramax »
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