With 2016 now behind us I felt the need to write how I became the lead admin for FK. Especially since I only joined this group 3 months ago. When I started writing this post I initially set out to make it a short as possible. As you can see below that didn't work out as planned. Which is rather fitting considering the story is filled with unplanned events. So here comes a new years post from a server admin.
The past (How and why I found FK):
2016 was a year I could not wait to leave behind me. In the first 8 months I lost more loved ones then in the past 30 years of my life. It became so bad that I started losing motivation to do anything. Some would call it a burn out, I called it a lack of me time, or better said, a lack of killing virtual enemies. My old community had gone from 30'ish people to a hand full and each of them played different games, so finding someone to play a game with was getting harder. That combined with all the real life issues meant I played games less and less. By September real life had hammered me down so much I needed a holiday for the first time in 12 years of working.
The weeks before my down time I had been watching soviet's streams and I realized that I wanted to get back into ArmA. I had played ArmA 2 a lot in the past and was keen to get into ArmA 3, however due to the lack of people around me who played it I never bothered with it. So during my holiday I decided I was going to find myself a new group of people I can play games with regularly. I figured the group Soviet played ArmA with was as good as any so I did what every pleb would do, I joined the ZF ts and waited. Luckily it didn't take long before I got the TS detailed and that's when something magical happened.
From the first mission I played with you guys I realized that this was a group of people with the potential to make a great community, with the right tools they could grow to be the biggest bunch of idiots one can dream of. A few days passed and I decided the first thing that had to be fixed was their TS. Having to kick people from TS because it was so limited meant a lot of people got annoyed. Since I had a spare NPL I offered it to Greybeard for use on his TS with one condition: "No more secrecy around the TS details, it needs to be an open place that anyone can join." I will be honest, at that point I never planned to be in any form of leader position, I just wanted to make sure I would have a group of people to play games with.
With TS now in a good place and the number of people joining on the climb, I got to talking to Greybeard and we shared some idea's. He started working on a website in his secret cave and I got to thinking about how we could organize this group of misfits. I mean, even bad company had a leader. My past experience with larger communities meant I knew we needed more then one person to make the decisions, and so the community managers were born. The website came online, a name was decided on and some wanker made a pink logo, PINK?!? really...? There was no turning back now tho, FK was born!
The present (and some more of the past):
I will say when GB announced he would have to leave due to real life issues I was "frustrated". Don't get me wrong I understood his reasons and knew exactly how he felt, after all I had been in that same position on months before. The point where you feel you are about to burn your self out on something that is meant to be fun and relaxing. However it also meant I was now in a position I had never planned to be in. I was, as someone called it, the head honcho of this community, the go to guy when something had to be done.
I started working on ways to make my life easier, one way was the restart script that allowed ArmA admins to restart the server without my help. I started giving them more access on the website to allow them to take more control of it. I even moved some of the servers to a central way of managing them. However there was still a ton of work to be done and I still found myself dealing with community decisions more often then I liked. This meant that between my work, my admin tasks and the community, I had 2 full time jobs. It also meant it took the fun out of the thing I came here for, ArmA.
So for the past few weeks I have been thinking about how I can prevent burning my self out on this community. I took a step back and just watched it grow and form itself. I watched the streams to find points of friction and made notes of what might need changing. All this time I refrained from actively making decisions other then the ones that would effect the server side of things. By doing that the Community Managers inadvertently answered my question. They stepped up and showed they are capable of running this community, they are capable of making the hard decisions that can push this community to higher levels. I know that they made a few mistakes, but can you blame them? We are all new to this and we all have to learn. Personally I think they have done one hell of a job.
The future (Plans, ideas and people):
What does all this mean for the future? The role of community manager with become one with more responsibilities, one that requires people who are willing to make the tough choices. I will be looking to get less involved with these decisions to a point where I only have an advisory role (something I have been doing for the past weeks). We will probably see new community managers as the load on them increases, we might even introduce community moderators to spread the load and responsibilities.
Of course there wont just be changes in leadership, there will also be changes in the community. We will be looking to setup fun events to find new ways of enjoying ArmA. As more people join we will inevitably setup servers for other games, more games means more people and so the community continues to grow. We might at some point even reach a point where we have more then one ArmA server. A few weeks ago I jokingly mentioned FK merchandise and the amount of positive comments I got for that where staggering , so expect a store section on this site to open up at some point in the future (Seriously, We will be starting a competition for the designers amongst you to send in your art work for the merch).
As you can imagine, with a new and growing community comes allot of change. And I won't deny, some changes might not sit well with everyone. However we will always keep the community in mind when making these decisions and the community is larger then just 1 person.
One thing won't change tho. The people. The people that enjoy a good ArmA session and know when to have fun and when to be serious. People that will make you laugh at the moment you least expect it and put a smile on your face. The people that will always manage to annoy you no matter how hard you try to ignore them. The people that make FK the community it is!
The year is coming to an end. 2016 will become 2017 and with that I unofficially celebrate the birth of what is now known among us as FK.
The Birth Of Something Special:
About a year ago, a strange funny man started streaming Arma 3. Having bought this game once during a steam sale I thought to myself "what the heck, let's join this faggot's stream and make sure the money I spent on this game was actually worth it". Little did I know I would pour around 900 hours into Arma, and that in just a year's time. To make this figure a bit more impressive, that's about 2.5 hours I spent daily on this game (thank god for being unemployed for a few months).
So anyway, I started playing with some of the ZF-guys and I felt like a small dream was coming true. No, not because i'm a fanboy, but I always wanted to play a 'real' military game with tactics and command structures. Heck, during my first few games I became the squad leader because no one was willing and I nearly creamed my pants. I was in command of a squad in a game that simulated real warfare. It was just amazing... well until I met this fucking new guy called Katla.
Special Needs, Special Friends:
Meeting Katla was both a blessing and a curse altogether. Here was this special guy, sounding like an adult, someone who has been through shit, jaded before his time with the wisdom of a thousand men... and suddenly I found out he was 15, abused his guinea pigs and yelled profanities at friendlies while charging the enemy through an open field screaming like a little girl. Needless to say my Belgian pedo side was immediately in love with him.
And as I kept playing with the ZF guys I met so many wonderful people. The idiot Ace, autistic Anden, crazy SM, deathmachine Callistano, relaxed Radio, australian Leslie (WE MISS YOU MATE)... I can't name all of you fucks, but it was great. We played with about 20 people and we had a blast. unfortunately ZF stopped playing and this meant we scrambled to keep our little gamesquad together. We local hosted, got our own TS... but we slowly faded out. It seemed that this was a short but successful story, not meant to last forever. But ZF eventually came back, started streaming and this is when the magic happened!
What Are We Doing? Fuck Knows:
The guys from ZF started playing and streaming again and we got the old guard back together. Arma was starting to kick off and combined with the bullshittery videos from Womble we got a decent amount of new guys. We played missions with 25-30 people! that's three full squads, something I could never dream of! But once again interested started to wane, it seemed that again we would lose our fun community. But in october two wonderful people stepped in: Mavy and Greybeard. they saw the potential we had. They saw how me, Katla and others tried to keep this community together and we all knew this was the beginning of something special. Suddenly we found ourselves with a forum, our own teamspeak and Arma server. We even got a dedicated modlist/repo so people could join more easily! FuckKnows was here and was here to stay.
Dreams, Potential And Growing Pains
We were all optimistic. We played with the mods of our choosing, with people we knew and liked, and new guys kept joining. We went from playing a game with 10 people in january this year, to playing games with 50-60 people these last two months! It's still in a way unrealistic to me. I remember the moment we decided to have an actual Platoonlead and someone thought it was a good idea to let me do it. i sat on a hill, overlooking the battlefield and it was just incredible. I saw four full squads moving to their objective, engaging enemies. I saw tracers flying and explosions going off. A friendly tank was rolling down the road providing support while littlebirds flew over my head on their way to a CAS-run. All of these soldiers, assets... all controlled by real people I interacted with. It kinda makes you think how incredibly well put together this game is, and how this community managed to become this big. Clearly we were doing things right.
And yes, we are doing things right. The fact that we have people in this community that have known each other for a year proves we have longevity. The fact we keep getting new guys joining proves we are an open, attractive and accepting community. Sure we do some things wrong... we grew so much that discipline is not always a given. Rules were sometimes unclear. We had drama and public yelling matches, people threatening to leave and others actively trying to ruin the fun for others. But we are still here. We have improved on a lot of aspects, and we aren't perfect yet, but we are heading in the right direction. And it is my hope and dream that in 2017 we will keep improving on our values. That we will remain an open and fun community, where people come to relax and not only play a game, but hang out with the people they met on this virtual battlefield.
I want to thank each and every single one of you for being a part of this community. What we went though this year to become 'FuckKnows' is incredible. And I really hope that this time next year I can write a new post on this forum. Thanking old friends and new members alike for their continued support of this community. I wish you all a happy new year and I'll see you in 2017!
It's been an interesting year of 2016 with FK being formed and becoming the community it is, and I have to say, I've seen a worse bunch of people come together to form a community!
Okay... that's a lie. I really haven't. Fuck you all.
Merry Christmas, I love you all. Or hate you. One of the two.
Have a picture of .Ace feeling moderately festive. Some say he'll return in 2017. Or was it 2027?
The order has come to sweep West to East taking the towns of Shakhovka Dolina and Solnichniy. Solnichniy is the main objective however the southern road has been mined, stopping the possibility of a direct assault. The towns to the west appear to be only lightly guarded so command has decided you must sweep through and assault Solnichniy from the West.
Calendar event here.
After the partial succes last mission, we cut off Salah-Ansar's money income. Sadly he fled because one of our helis flew past his Villa and he instantly knew what's coming. The good thing is he has not enough money left to get out of the country, so we narrowed his possible position down to 3 towns in the north west of Clafghan. We know that he spent his last cash on more troops and vehicles, we don't think we have to expect heavy equipment as he wouldn't have enough budget for it. So expect BTRs, Uaz and transport trucks. You HAVE to get him this time or else he's gone forever, so act fast and smart and try to take Salah-Ansar alive.
Calendar event here.
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