Hi guys. Been a while since I've written a Top 10. Been a while since I've written anything. I may have forgotten how to write at all. Let's see. I'm going to clear my thoughts and just write the first thing that comes to mind...
Boogerman is more of a wet fart than the bass emanating from a Sega Genesis sound card.
...Nope. I still got it, baby!
How've you been? Good? Fair? Poor? Excited for all the recent Nintendo announcements? It's been fun to see the engine of Negative World starting back up again, hasn't it? Things were pretty barren for awhile there. But now, with all this news and the release of the Switch so close, it feels like maybe there's a reason to come home to our fair community for the first time in a few months. I know I've been poking my head in more, lately.
So, I've written a Top 10 list. It's less of a proper game article and more of a general appeal to Negative World: I've seen the future of Negative World chat and it is that Discord thing that Brick set up the other day. I feel strongly we should move over to it and I hope to explain why. I know there's a kind of conservative urge we have sometimes to stick with what we're doing, but I can really say I don't see much of a true downside to using Discord over Mibbit. So here's my 10 reasons why we should switch to Discord.
(This isn't so much a Top 10 list as it is a logical progression of 10 points that... you know, what? Who cares. It's a Top 10 list. Let's do this...)
Chat has been a valuable part of the Negative World community for many years now. The most exciting times we use it are during the big events - E3, Nintendo Directs, etc. Just the other day, during the Switch event, there were around 20 people in chat. For me, it was just like old times again and that was a blast.
Some of our best, long-running jokes come from Negative World chat. FloRida singing into a golden taco... you kinda had to be there to understand why that was so funny. But that also kind of proves the point. Chat adds value.
Beyond the big events, there was a time when chat was extremely active nearly every night. I know I participated in those chats and some of my most cherished memories at Negative World are from just shooting the breeze and making jokes with you guys on some random Wednesday when the chat thread got bumped. Zero, Stephen, Stache, Anand, Gui, Ploot, Shadowlink, Jargon... we all used it pretty frequently at one time and got a lot out of it.
So just as a community building feature, I think chat has value here at Negative World.
Mibbit was never a great chat solution
Look, Mibbit has one thing going for it - you can sign in with a single click and you're in. That's pretty much the one advantage. But beyond that, it was never very good, even in its heyday. In fact, it's always been inferior to the old IGN chat from the mid-2000s, and that had to be accessed through a long-removed link that got passed around through PMs and had a tendency to go down.
Some problems with Mibbit?
- It's not very stable. People get booted out of it all the time and come back swearing because they've just lost an important part of the conversation.
- It works like absolute stinging hot garbage on a smartphone. There are so many times I wanted to chat with you guys before bed, but I really couldn't because it was so pathetic on my phone. It would crash more frequently than usual. I'd have to tap a hundred times on the little message window to get a field to type in. It was so bad that I just stopped using it there altogether. But the problem never went away. During the Switch event I actually had to get out of bed and go to the computer because I didn't want to miss out on the chat. I shouldn't have to do that in 2017. If I want to lay in bed in my underwear and talk to Mr. Mustache, I should be allowed to do that. This is America, dammit.
- There are no avatars. Instead, we try to figure out who's talking based on a limited number of color choices that get claimed by people as they come in (or if they use chat frequently. Or did use it in 2011. The point is, Purple is still mine and I'll cut you over it.). This has led to actual fights, believe it or not. It's silly.
- No accountability. Anyone can come in with any name. If I want to show up to chat pretending I'm Ploot and tell everyone I'm not really Canadian, I can do that. It's bad. (Well, that example is kinda funny, but it's still really bad.)
- It's never handled pictures very well. You want to drop a photo and actually have people see it? There's a trick to it, but even then it didn't always work for everyone. I lost so many good jokes that way, I'm telling you.
- When a chat is over, it's over. There's no transcript. There's no going back to it. This also means, you know, it's open for backbiting and stuff. Two people want to talk trash about you, there's no way to limit that.
- Who even runs that Mibbit server? Last I asked, Zero basically just knew a guy or something that let us use it. It's not like it was something Negative World built into the site that we have control over. Why have loyalty to that?
Discord seems like a great chat solution
Discord feels like something that people should be using in 2017. It's a clean, basic app that works across multiple devices. It fixes every one of the problems with Mibbit that I just listed up there.
- It's got avatars. Apparently administrators can add colors, too. - The chat exists perpetually, so you can come back to it if you miss something - So far it seems rock solid to me - Works deliciously on a smart phone - An account system means spoofing is less likely - Handles pictures great! - It's run by Brick, who we all know and love, and not some strange guy Zero knows. (Well, I guess it still is some strange guy that Zero knows, but it's Brick, so we know him too.)
But wait, there's more...
Well, I just said that, but whatever...
Other features of Discord?
- It has multiple rooms, so we could theoretically set up more chatrooms, as necessary - It has emotes - even custom ones which could come directly from the community - It has notifications, so your phone can tell you if someone is in chat or you can modify it so it tells you if someone mentions your name. Or turn off notifications altogether. - There's PM functionality, so that's cool. - You could theoretically visit other Discord chats (why would you want to talk to anyone else but me, Anand and Mustache, though?) - And I've just scratched the surface. I'm sure there are tons of other cool features hiding out in here.
The big new feature though? Voice Chat. And it's glorious!
Tonight I was testing out the Discord chat and Fink just said, "Yo Money, let's play some Splatoon." And I thought, why not? It wasn't what I was planning on doing, but what the heck, right?
So what happened? I fired up my Wii U, hopped into Discord voice chat with Fink and Ploot and played about an hour of Splatoon. And it was so much fun. It was the kind of experience everyone at Negative World could and should be having with each other. We were laughing, cutting up, talking about the game, talking about the Switch. Stephen and Pokefreak joined us, too. We got a preview of some of Pokefreak's thoughts on the latest Pokemon game. Heard Trish in the background talking to Finn, even. It was really just a delight. There's no downside, here.
Personally, I can be really self conscious about things like Voice Chat. I think of myself as a writer and I think, "What if I'm not as funny on voice chat as I am when I write? Or what if I say something stupid?" I also hate the sound of my own voice - I sound like a dude with a permanent cold. So I can be very neurotic about talking to people on the phone.
But I'm telling you, even with those thoughts in my head, I think Voice Chat is the kind of thing you think you don't need until you actually participate in it. Then you wonder why you bothered going without it. If you don't think you want Voice Chat, I say try it first.
Currently, it's the missing component in our Nintendo game sessions. It's true that Nintendo is about to roll out a Switch app, so there may be opportunities in the future to put something like this together using that app, but for now this is way too easy and way to fun to miss out on.
Negative World really could use a new community building tool
Let's face it, Negative World has been pretty dead over the last few months. I'd even say we've been in a funk.
Not right now! I'm being serious! Geez!
We don't have to be ashamed to admit it. It's not like the community had a big falling out or anything like that. Yeah, maybe we shouldn't have talked so much about politics, but I don't think that's really our problem. I think it's just that there hasn't been much Nintendo news to fire the engines of conversation. So we've filled it up with other things - chatting about politics, music, movies... whatever we could talk about. And that's ok, but those topics are not as comfortable for this community. It's not why any of us came to Negative World in the first place. We came here because we love playing Nintendo games.
Frankly, I think we made some mistakes. We should have been playing video games with each other that whole time.
I really do believe that Discord is ironically named, because I can imagine it bringing some harmony back to Negative World. Like, my game with Fink and Ploot just now - it was a great opportunity to catch up with some friends, share our love for Nintendo, and play a great game together. And it all grew out of just one stray comment by Fink on Discord.
Imagine that happening every night. I'm super excited by the idea!
Yeah, sure, the counter argument is that someone could already bump a Splatoon thread if they wanted to play, but we all know that's a different thing altogether. Threads feel so permanent and we're not in the habit of bumping them or checking them for something so casual as that. Plus, if I see a Splatoon thread and, if I'm not already thinking about Splatoon, I'm probably not going to open it. I'd never have known Fink wanted to play. Whereas tonight we were just chatting about any old thing and the decision to play Splatoon just grew organically out of that conversation.
This sort of thing is good for the community and I think it's something we've been sorely missing.
The timing is right
During the Switch event we had something like 20 people in the Mibbit chat. There were folks I haven't seen around in a while, folks who never used chat much, etc. I had a really good feeling about it and it was a fun night.
Negative World has been relatively busy again since that event, with everyone talking about these new announcements and getting excited for gaming again. I think we'd all agree that it's been fun to actually get to talk about Nintendo on our favorite Nintendo site.
I think now would be a good time to capitalize on that excitement by doing something bold with chat. If there are more people around, then let's use the opportunity to try something exciting.
Yeah, I'm sure surfing with you is exciting, Funky. Get out of here...
Real Talk: No one uses Mibbit chat anymore so we've got nothing to lose
I was a huge user of Mibbit chat when it was at its peak. Maybe even the primary user of it, for a time. So I think I'm qualified to say the heyday of Mibbit chat was years ago at this point.
Simply put, Negative World only uses it on rare occasions, now. Some of the people who were naysaying Discord have probably only used Mibbit chat once or twice all year. And they didn't use it regularly back when that was a thing. So let's get real about what we're talking about here. It's not like we're sacrificing some key component of the community with a move over to Discord. There's no reason to be conservative about this. We're not risking anything big by dumping Mibbit.
And even saying that we're dumping Mibbit is too strong. Truthfully, it'll still be there. So all I'm asking is that we try it as the primary chat platform for now. If it turns out it doesn't work out for us, or people who want to use it can't use it because of technological issues, then we can always go back to Mibbit. But it's not like we're taking a great risk just to try it out. You just can't lose.
Hey, it's like the opposite of playing against Lucia in Wii Sports Resort table tennis: You just can't lose!
Don't worry about having to download the app or signing up to an account. It's super basic and easy.
I heard in the other thread some disapproval about having to make an account or run an app to use chat. Those worries are for nothing. It's simpler than just about any online account I've ever set up.
Yes, you do have to set up an account - but you set up that account in like two minutes. Maybe less. I bet you could time yourself and set it up in 30 seconds. You don't even have to verify your email right away, so you could use some throwaway email if you're worried about that. And that two minutes prevents spoofing, so that alone is the least you can do for such a good trade-off.
Ok, so I guess you're just the mascot of this article now. Fine. Why are you dressed like Randy 'Macho Man' Savage with a Tool Belt, though?
As for whether or not it'll run on everyone's devices, I admit that's something that remains to be seen. But you can make that argument until everyone's using apps that are compatible with Windows 95. At a certain point we have to move on and hope as many people as possible can come along for the ride.
Anyway, tonight, Fink was running voice chat directly from a Safari browser in an operating system that's 5 versions old. And it worked just fine. Sure, there may be a few people who'll have some challenges getting Discord to work, but I don't think that's worth holding the whole community back, particularly when you consider the people who can't use Discord probably aren't using Mibbit regularly anyway.
Mibbit is controlled by the Illuminati and it reads your mind through your computer screen
This might be a bit of a shock, but I have it on good authority that Mibbit was coded by the Devil specifically for the purpose of reading the minds of dudes who have strong feelings about which Pokemon is the coolest. Mibbit is a key component in his diabolical plot to win souls for Hell, come up with new jokes about platinum recording artist FloRida, and to lie to an entire generation about White Knuckle Scorin'. In this plot he's called upon his most sinister mechanism on Earth, the Illuminati, to distribute copies of Mibbit directly to websites like Negative World. So that's right - we've all been unknowing patsies of the New World Order. Jolly.
I don't know about you, but if I'm given the choice, I would like my freewill back. I want to be able to talk about FloRida singing into a golden taco without the criminal, oppressive shadow government knowing all about it. Maybe it's just me. Maybe you like having your mind read by demonic bureaucrats in the depths of hell. Me, I'd rather be on the side of the angels.
You can't argue with a Kris Top Ten. Especially when you have quotes destined to be timeless gems such as this:
If I want to lay in bed in my underwear and talk to Mr. Mustache, I should be allowed to do that. This is America, dammit.
In all seriousness, beyond the mild annoyance of downloading yet another chat program (poor Skype), I have no issues with Discord as an option. My biggest concern really was if enough people were going to jump to make it worthwhile? Or would it follow in the steps of Tinychat and be tossed on the ash heap of NW history within a month, as Mustache stubbornly clings to Mibbit and we all inevitably gravitate back to what was old, easy, and familiar.
But judging by the frantic thread bumping, not to mention pleading messages from Pokefreak to save him from a ravening American horde, it looks like this one might be here to stay. So what the hell. I'll see if I can get it to run on my tablet so I don't have to muck with my PC's temperamental audio settings.
@ploot Oh, interesting, that isn't what it sounded like. I know it's a hassle, but I hope people can be respectful of that. Maybe I'll let it run in the background sometime and see if any more spontaneous game playing happens.
One of the things I wish I had addressed now is that Discord shouldn't replace any of the key features of Negative World. I'm against setting up too many standing chat rooms on Discord, as that begins to look like an alternative Negative World forum rather than an alternative chat room from Mibbit. So I don't think it'll have a bad effect on forum traffic, except maybe in a few of the more social oriented ones (the Online Now one and, more sadly, possibly the Community Thread). I think the trade off could be worth it, though, as it'll be easier to game together.
I wasn't aware until this moment that we had any members of the forum who were hearing impaired. I think we can still be respectful and inclusive in Discord as with any other chat. It is true that voice chat becomes a problem, but I don't know a technical way around that, except to just be considerate and include written comments along with some of our voice chatting. I'm sure we can work that out through experimentation, though. The idea is to bring us together, so I hope that's the spirit we can approach the technology with.
BTW, we were talking just last night about wanting to play some MARIO Kart with you, so I definitely think we're all up for some spontaneous gaming, soon.
"you kinda had to be there to understand why that was so funny."
That's one of the big reasons I don't like chat vs. message boards. Can't always be there, and I'm not going to sit and sift through chats to get inside jokes.
I'd hate to see any kind of chat take over message board time for folks, but if that's the direction things head I understand and wish everyone chatting all the best. I don't have time to sit in a chat room, so I will respectfully bow out.
One has to wonder, for all the people like me saying they don't want it, how many others aren't going to be vocal either way and then not download something just to join in the occasional E3 chat? Is it worth losing these folks? Obviously that is something everyone has to decide for themselves. For me, I'd rather have the lurkers and "Haven't seen you in forever!" members willing to click a button to chat at those big epic events in the Nintendo calendar vs. download programs and make accounts so they don't bother and we never see them. My two cents. Again, all the best if that's what the majority decides, I just won't be there. (Which for a few may fall in the Pro list of switching, lol.)
I don't play online games much if at all. So the big feature you're pointing out isn't really for me.
I understand what I am against. I am against downloading additional stuff to my computer. I am against creating yet another social account to yet another place to talk when honestly to GOODNESS I'm getting sicker every day of communicating so much online as it is! I have no qualms with Discord or any other place to communicate/organize/whatever. I'm just totally burned out on all this stuff, and I don't want to add more to the already heaping pile I have. It's not worth it to me when what we have, I like a whole lot.
And, again, I am against missing out on people being able to drop in and out easily even if they're not super active members here. If an account/download is going to stop me, how many others will feel the same? To me it isn't worth losing them. If it is worth it to you, seriously, I'm not going to like judge you for it or whatever. You have to make that call for yourself, it's absolutely no thang to me.
Well, let's start here - this conversation is about adopting a new chat service at Negative World. No one is asking anyone to accept Discord as their personal Lord and Savior. So let's keep this in perspective. This isn't something we have to take some big philosophical stand on. It's just a question of which chat service gives us more bang for our buck. (Buck, in this case, being metaphorical as both services are absolutely free.)
But I have to admit, I personally don't understand your point-of-view against creating a Discord account. To get the obvious out of the way: That line of thinking would keep you from posting on Negative World at all, since you have to have an account to post here. Beyond that, I address the concern in my Top Ten by pointing out how easy it is to set up an account. This is a needless barrier (heck, Mustache is already posting in Discord with his account, and he's usually the holdout on things like this. If he can do it, you can do it). If that's still a dealbreaker, then that's up to you. But to turn around and ask the forum to not update the chat service to something clearly better just because you simply don't want to take the two minutes to create an account is not really fair, either.
You mention feeling burned out on social media - which is something I generally relate to. I'm about an inch from dumping my Facebook and scaling back my social media presence, too. So you're not alone, there. But Discord is just an extension of what you already do at Negative World. It's not like we're asking you to participate in some broader Discord social media environment, like Facebook. Once you sign in, you could use it practically like you use Mibbit, just without the crashes if you wanted. And I'd personally bet money that you'll like it enough to at least play some Mario Kart with us or something.
I'd also just say, personally, that I'd like to see you on Discord with us. I wouldn't write like 7 paragraphs here if I didn't want you there. I know sometimes this place can be combative or people can jock each other a little bit, but it's my sincere hope that Discord could be a way for the community to just play more Nintendo games together. And that's kind of the whole point.
While Ploot maybe could have worded it a little more generously, I think he is right about one thing, though: You're taking a hardline stance on an innocuous product you haven't even used, yet. And that's a total Green Eggs and Ham thing. You haven't tried but you're convinced you won't like it.
I understand it's not about the product, per se, but the need for an account. But from the perspective of someone who used Mibbit extensively for years (not just at E3 or during Directs) and who had no particular interest in Discord until two days ago, your position just makes little sense. This is just simply a better service and the barrier to entry is so minute that it seems pointless to fight it.