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Gerard

Gangs

Gang System Rebirth   11 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these gang options would you like to see?

    • Private forums for gang members
      10
    • Inter-gang competitions on the forums
      7
    • Multiplayer GTA gaming
      5
    • Fully-integrated multiplayer GTA gang wars
      6
    • Gangs taking over parts of the forum as 'territory'
      5

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30 posts in this topic

Background & History

Since this forum opened in 2004, gang have been a central feature of TGTAP.

The gang system was initally supposed to be a large on-forum text-based RPG system, where users could team up, buy weapons and attack other users. An early beta version of part of this functionality was operational for a while but it was never finished. This ceased to exist when the forum software was upgraded, and was never fully remade.

Efforts were made to integrate the forum gangs into Multi Theft Auto - an unofficial third-party multiplayer addon for GTA San Andreas. Whilst this forum did run an MTA server for a while, it was never integrated with the forum gangs and there was nothing special about that server.

The gang system then simply became a series of private sub-forums, and users could join gangs to gain access to those communities. This persisted for several years, although when TGTAP became less active, most regular users posted only in those private sub forums, which only a handful of users could see, so they were closed last year to help keep the forum as a whole alive.

Rebuilding the Gang System

It is clear that people miss the gangs, and would like them to return. I think they were great, but I don't think the models we had before worked.

So - which of these ideas would you like to see us do?

Private forums for gang members - Quite simple: members of a gang can chat to each other in private

Inter-gang competitions on the forums - Challenges and competitions such as making videos, writing stories, telling jokes, hottest members etc - but where gangs compete against each other

Multiplayer GTA gaming - Running a free-for-all multiplayer server

Fully-integrated multiplayer GTA gang wars - Holding gang wars, integrated with forum gangs, but this requires a lot of people to be online at the same time, and it might exclude people who don't own that game. This would take a lot of time and development, and we can't even guarantee that it's possible at this stage.

Please tick ALL that you agree with - but please consider the time/effort that it would take to implement.

If you have any other suggestions or comments - please add them below!

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What if:

Each gang consists of some people, however this happens, idk.

Now, each subforum becomes a 'territory'. (bear with me) When members of a certain gang become prolific in that subforum, moreso than other gangs, it becomes their territory. That way, each gang develops a specialty, or range of specialties such as modding, computers, whatever. Perhaps if gangs / members / subforums were colorcoded or w/e then it would be easy to reference or find someone who either know alot about a subject, or who is very close to someone who does. Should increase the feel of community, allows a new vein for people to find what they need, want etc.

Like to see the private forums return, but then we run into the issue of people only posting in there because of more lax rules, etc. Whilst out own MTA server would be nice to have again, I feel foundations need to go down before we start buying scatter cushions and scented candles.

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We don't really have as many active members to do the first and third on the list. Could probably put up the private forums once the community gets active again, but doing it right now seems like a bad idea.

The 2nd seems like a nice way to get the people to post, but I see it working better the way Llama said it.

Don't really have much to add right now. May think of something later.

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What if:

Each gang consists of some people, however this happens, idk.

Now, each subforum becomes a 'territory'. (bear with me) When members of a certain gang become prolific in that subforum, moreso than other gangs, it becomes their territory. That way, each gang develops a specialty, or range of specialties such as modding, computers, whatever. Perhaps if gangs / members / subforums were colorcoded or w/e then it would be easy to reference or find someone who either know alot about a subject, or who is very close to someone who does. Should increase the feel of community, allows a new vein for people to find what they need, want etc.

Like to see the private forums return, but then we run into the issue of people only posting in there because of more lax rules, etc. Whilst out own MTA server would be nice to have again, I feel foundations need to go down before we start buying scatter cushions and scented candles.

Interesting, this actually sounds pretty cool and potentially implementable. I like that you brought up gangs with a range of specialties instead of only gangs with a specialty because right away I thought to myself, "What about the masters of all trades, not the jacks of all trades?" What happens if most of a gang proves abundant in a subforum, but one or two others in the gang show the most activity in a completely different subforum? Do they just not get to be labeled as an expert to that because their gang overall doesn't have that image? Perhaps instead of tying this with gangs, we could create a whole new group feature which provides groups purely based on skills that would be displayed next to each member(i.e. a moderator would have his mod status, and under that picture text would write he/she is apart of the modding group, or the whatever group showing he is experienced in that field). Now that I think about it, maybe I'm just talking about forum bosses haha. Still though. I like Llama's idea.

I also agree with Llama that it'd be nice to see the private forums come back. Though, how about as soon as possible? It may not prove needed now to the already settled in members(and/or it may become the only active part of the forum, but I seriously don't think that'll happen), but let's have it ready to use so the new members have something to reach for, because the ability to join a gang and get benefits from it was really enticing when I first got on board here at TGTAP. It showed(theoretically at least)that you were being a productive part of the community, because no gang wants an ass to represent them.

Fully-integrated gang wars on the other hand, alone, is a big endeavor to apply, and it does require a good amount of people to participate which can be equally as tough. Also, the game we'd be using isn't something that just came out yesterday, and I don't need to say people naturally are more likely going to want to swarm to the newest thing(i.e. new consoles coming out every so years)than the predecessor. Then again, I've never played SA for PC, let alone the online version and don't know the traffic of it today so I'm not one to say anything there.

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If we wanted to have inter-gang competitions on the site we would need some sort of manager for the events - new possible staff position. We would need to think of a whole host of possible competitions though, some of the things which Gerard mentioned are good examples. However before we can start this though we need to get the gangs going again. Get the private forums back up and increase awareness of the gangs to new members, give them a reason to want to come back.

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One of the problems with gangs was that 1 or 2 "good" gangs picked up all the best members, because all the "good" members wanted to join them, not the others. How do we make it more balanced?

Could we have a maximum of say 8 people in a gang? That way there will be a wider variety of gangs, and members will have to remain active to keep their position (rather than wasting a slot for their gang). Multiple gangs can team up too.

I like the idea of groups of users specialising in certain subforums (like Forum Bosses) but I'm not sure that should be a gang. The idea of gangs is that they compete against each other, but the content of the forums should not be the battleground. We would end up with users spamming in a forum to get the most posts (to take it over), or even spamming in another gang's form to ruin it. I was considering using the rating/karma buttons, but that's too easy for gangs to abuse.

Fully-integrated multiplayer gang wars is not possible, to be blunt.

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I'm really digging Llama's idea, even though it might need some changes. Gerard makes a valid point, members could spam forums to try to take over them but there should be some kind of rule against this, something to prevent it from happening.

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I like the idea of limiting gang sizes quite sharply, though maybe to 10 members, and with a moderator limit of 1 or 2, for example.

In response to what Nate said re: a couple of people from 1 gang being uberacyive in a certain forum, idk how we'd tackle that, maybe if within the gang people had specialties, and something like a badge would be applied under their post thingy on the forum. So though a gang could be prominently knowledgable in SA, members who don't would get credit. Or, maybe move to a gang that suits their knowledge better (would be up to them), this way it gives the whole thing a bit of life aswell, plus places them with people of similar interests and abilities.

Tweaks would be needed to make it work.

Re: Gerard's spamming concerns, obviously a way to limit this would be to use the old system whereby the gang has an application process, possibly moved to PM as it got a bit flamey. Now we have PM discussions, many members could get it on this. So only respected members who know the rules and respect them end up in gangs, and with a moderator possibly in each gang, I think it could / would be easily curbed.

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One of the problems with gangs was that 1 or 2 "good" gangs picked up all the best members, because all the "good" members wanted to join them, not the others. How do we make it more balanced?

Could we have a maximum of say 8 people in a gang? That way there will be a wider variety of gangs, and members will have to remain active to keep their position (rather than wasting a slot for their gang). Multiple gangs can team up too.

I like the idea of groups of users specialising in certain subforums (like Forum Bosses) but I'm not sure that should be a gang. The idea of gangs is that they compete against each other, but the content of the forums should not be the battleground. We would end up with users spamming in a forum to get the most posts (to take it over), or even spamming in another gang's form to ruin it. I was considering using the rating/karma buttons, but that's too easy for gangs to abuse.

Fully-integrated multiplayer gang wars is not possible, to be blunt.

Bold: I'm glad you brought that up because I forgot all about that problem. Cutting the amount of members a gang can have would definitely solve this and that sounds good to me. Might change the feel of a gang, but like you said, gangs could have alliances, and I think this would be a really cool change.

You also described what I felt about Llama's idea, being that it sounds pretty sweet but I'm not definite of whether that should be a gang or not. Hence, my proposal of a new group feature. Either which sounds good though, possibly. I just need to here more of it to grow accustomed to it.

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I think we should make gangs more interesting. Have the members write longer stories for the gangs, give them a more unique feel, something along those lines. And for example, imagine a member joins or leaves a gang, that is written in the gang's story in a cool way like " Ivan messed up a drug deal and now has to leave the organization". So that when we look back in like 4 years from now, we can relive all this through the gang stories. I dunno, maybe this is silly but I kinda like it.

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After thinking about this more, I like the idea of users being recognised for expertise and effort, but I do not think that gangs (in this sense) should take over parts of the forum. I think that would be wrong.

So I think that we should have a separate system where users work hard in certain areas (ie modding) and are become an official 'expert' for that area. Whether we go on voting, karma (+/- post ratings) or a staff decision, we can work out that detail.

I think it might be a good idea to have teams who like the same sort of thing, groups that anyone can join. For example, there might be a modding team who work together to make the modding section awesome. They would run that section together by answering questions, maintaining lists of useful topics, starting discussions etc.

I think gangs should be completely separate to this. Gangs are selective, social and competitive clubs. These expert groups are productive, and anyone can join.

Given all that, what would you like gangs to be, do and have?

I like Ivan's suggestion of more backstory. I always liked the ranks and stuff. I think gangs should be able to make a proper organisation with its own history, structure, criteria etc. Question is, what should they do with all that? Would a subforum on its own be enough? What more could they do?

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Given all that, what would you like gangs to be, do and have?

What they are: selective, social and competitive clubs(like you said). As for what they could do, gang wars is out of the picture, but there's still other stuff. What about still playing SA online, did the community enjoy that? I at the time never had SA for PC. Was it tough to host and whatnot? Can gangs feel like it's gang oriented without executing fully-integrated multiplayer gang wars? Is rp-based action completely out of the picture?

I liked the idea of gangs here at TGTAP right when I joined, hell my first post was in a gang discussion topic, and I still enjoy the idea. It sets us apart from a lot of other forums which is really neat and enticing to people that would consider registering at TGTAP. But it does need purpose, or at least makes more sense with purpose.

Edited by Nate10

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Well if all of us enjoy it, perhaps we can have fun on other servers then. Might not be as organized to fit right in with the gangs, but it'd be people here gaming together. Which is good. I don't have a 360 or ps3 and realized today how badly I still want to play GTA IV, so I'm going to buy it, and get SA for the matter too(on pc).

Edited by Nate10

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After thinking about this more, I like the idea of users being recognised for expertise and effort, but I do not think that gangs (in this sense) should take over parts of the forum. I think that would be wrong.

So I think that we should have a separate system where users work hard in certain areas (ie modding) and are become an official 'expert' for that area. Whether we go on voting, karma (+/- post ratings) or a staff decision, we can work out that detail.

I think it might be a good idea to have teams who like the same sort of thing, groups that anyone can join. For example, there might be a modding team who work together to make the modding section awesome. They would run that section together by answering questions, maintaining lists of useful topics, starting discussions etc.

I think gangs should be completely separate to this. Gangs are selective, social and competitive clubs. These expert groups are productive, and anyone can join.

Given all that, what would you like gangs to be, do and have?

I like Ivan's suggestion of more backstory. I always liked the ranks and stuff. I think gangs should be able to make a proper organisation with its own history, structure, criteria etc. Question is, what should they do with all that? Would a subforum on its own be enough? What more could they do?

I'm intrigued, I understand what you're saying totally re: the whole control issue, it might ward off new users who feel too intimidated to post.

Given that, I like the idea of having regular members (not regular, but... not mods, like, regular respected memebers) who the mods can rely on to keep the modding section useful, and to report anything within their specific section reliably.

Gangs are selective, social and competitive clubs. These expert groups are productive, and anyone can join.

Yes. This.

As far as expanding them and making them more interesting, I don't know just yet - as trivial as it seems, stuff like member badges would be nice to have. Possibly each gang could have a 'perk' to being in that gang. Not sure what they'd be, but... y'know.

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Okay, so we're saying there 4 special things members can do:

  • Apply to join a gang, to get a badge and a private forum, participate in inter-gang competitions
  • Join an cleanup group, to help work to clean up a specific section
  • Apply to become a staff-approved TGTAP Expert, with a badge
  • Be appointed as a staff member, to keep the forum running smoothly

These are NOT staff positions (apart from the last one), and do not have moderator abilities.

Experts wasn't mentioned in this topic, but it's something we've been considering doing too.

What privileges, rights etc do you think these should have? Would a private social form & inter-gang competitions be enough reason to join a gang and keep people coming back?

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My initial thought is that these 2 should meet in the middle somewhat.

  • Join a cleanup group, to help work to clean up a specific section
  • Apply to become a staff-approved TGTAP Expert, with a badge

In my mind, the members who specialize in say, San Andreas, are appointed by the mods having applied for the position. They get the relevant badge, etc, so that they are easily recognisable. 1, possibly 2 members front the group (depending on size) and act as an advisor to the rest of the group, should they be unsure about something (gameplay related, if something's worth reporting, etc.) This blurs the lines a bit and I think it makes things a little less complex.

Would a private social form & inter-gang competitions be enough reason to join a gang and keep people coming back?

With regards to this, I think so. The private forums were sort of a haven for a lot of members, as I recall first name terms were not uncommon and alot of people enjoyed the camaraderie.

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Experts wasn't mentioned in this topic, but it's something we've been considering doing too.

What privileges, rights etc do you think these should have? Would a private social form & inter-gang competitions be enough reason to join a gang and keep people coming back?

Bold: This is the seperate group feature we've been talking about in this topic, correct? If so:

this might just be me, but I think if we implement this, the members in the given group shouldn't have the ability to delete posts, topics, etc. as a Mod would. That's why we have Moderators to begin with. What this group would do(take for modding as an example)is it will publicly show who really knows their stuff in a given area, and be of adequate help nearly 100% of the time in that area. So for instance, let's say you have a question for GTA SA modding, but your question doesn't REALLY need a new topic, but it is something you need to be answered. Find one of the members that is in the modding group and pm them. The members of the group also would more than likely always post in the given subforum they're appointed to, otherwise why be in the group.

These groups don't need advantages over other members of the forum, it's just a little hint for everyone at the forum to know who to talk to if they need small questions answered so we don't flood the board with unneeded topics. This could however make our boards less active, but idk. I'm not as experienced with the ways of forums contrary to the experience our staff possess, or even some of the members. But I'm trying to look at this from all angles, and help our site become and stay better.

I do think a private social form & inter-gang competitions will make joining a gang and staying here at the forum enticing, but maybe we could make our gangs be our official clan tags on the ps3 and 360(that is if you have one or both of them).

-----

EDIT: is being appointed a staff member different from being an Admin, Moderator, or Forum Boss?

Edited by Nate10

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I don't think the inetntion is for these groups, experts, whatever they may be is to have the ability to remove posts etc. What their role would be is the sort of go - to guys on a given subject, since they know the most. They'd also perhaps be relied on to report anything a little more vigilantly in the areas of the forum that pertain to their expertise.

Also, being appointed a staff member means becoming a mod / supermod, etc.

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I have implemented the award/badge system - we've called it our 'Honours' system.

All users who have been here for 5+ years, have 1000+ posts, or are staff will receive an award very soon. So long as you have posted in the last 30 days, otherwise the award disappears. These awards will be added and removed overnight.

The old forum bosses have become "GTA Gurus" (which are the 'experts' I mentioned above). These users are the go-to people for any GTA-related questions. They have no special powers, but users will now recognise that they know what they're talking about. Gurus will be picked by staff, and we'll start this process off soon.

You can see all Honours here.

(By "Staff" I mean admins, super mods, section mods and site admins ONLY. No other users are staff. )

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I just wanna say - private forums.That's what got the guys to post in this forum again.Everyone would see some new topic which was unreplied to while they were scrolling down to their private forum, and post there, and then go to the private forum to see what's new.Same with the Honours system, the eyecandy attracted members again.

Also, for the 10k post award/honour, please replace it with Over 9000.

Edited by Damjan

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I love the badges! The 'OVER 9000' is pretty epic :P

Anyway, these groups your all talking about... how would someone determine if a person is an expert in a certain area? If it was just plain old recruitment then your likely to get a bunch of people who think their hot shots in a topic but really know little at all or they are wrong. What's exactly the idea around recruiting people?

To be accepted into one of these groups you should need say a certain amount of posts in that section, which would be evaluated by the top man who runs that group. If it seems like he/she knows that certain area well and are willing to help out then they get in. Similiar recruitment techniques to the old gangs; help encourage posting activity but can lead to just spam posting.

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