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The History of RPGClassics

Loosends:

Other than the usual problems involving finding/paying for a new server and setting up a new layout, one of the issues still needing addressing was what to do if Jim started a new site with the staff's information. He could theoretically just start a new site, upload the old data, and start again with the staff's hard work at his disposal. This of course was against one of the main reasons for deciding to fire ShaheenJim. Through some evidence and advice provided by Merlin, a confirmation from Sephiroth Katana, and Mr. Saturn's relation to a lawyer, it was decided that Jim did not have a legal right to the shrines. Now if the need proved desperate the staff had the power of the law on their sides.

The next issue was to decide how the site was to be run when Jim was removed. Obviously a single webmaster in charge was not the most desirable solution considering recent events. A preliminary decision advocated by Sinistral was reached that called for a "council" of sorts to run RPGC. It would consist of an equal ratio between permanent "largely involved" staffers and a random group of "not so involved" staffers, and they would decide all the major decisions together, with the not so involved group being rotated on occasion. This was going to be the plan until Sephiroth Katana proposed a new system, in which every staffer could vote equally on issues, making the site a textbook democracy in terms of decision-making. This was far more appealing to the staff and Merlin began to formulate how it would operate on paper.

Some new jobs were then also delegated to put the new ideas in motion. Mr. Saturn began working on a new layout, Blizzard (who would rejoin the staff) worked on a new logo with Dragon Ninja (previously a simple subsite maintainer who has come to play more of a role in RPGC). Also Bahamut, Dragon Ninja, Merlin, SK, and probably more staffers all did some degree of server hunting, eventually settling on a good choice, AllWebCo.

Ms. Saturn was going to join the staff as the fanart maintainer, and Mazrim Taim and Mr. Saturn would enhance the role of the fanfic archive. Sinistral and Dragon God would open a soundtracks review section, SK would polish up his plan to add a bunch of game reviews to the site, and there of course would be more shrines added. Lastly, Merlin (who used to be only a major visitor to the site for years until Mazrim Taim leaked the Anti-Jim meetings to him, at which point Merlin got involved in The Firing around the winter of 2000) would write the site's history, take over shrine and staff submissions, and co-maintain the Quotes Archive. Merlin also volunteered to pay and manage site and server finances, and also wrote a formal in-depth outline of SK's government ideas, in addition to other RPGC policies in the RPGC Charter.

The Firing

The process to remove ShaheenJim never went smoothly. At various times before Rast was contacted the staff's confidence in their chances waned occasionally, and they were soon hit by a bigger bombshell. Rast at first reported that his first attempts to redirect the URL were a failure. Most of the staff, even Sinistral had all but given up hope on reclaiming RPGC. Yet, the staff stuck together with their plan and Rast gave it another attempt and succeeded, it was now more of a question of when rather than if.

RPGC hurtled towards its "deus ex machina," the transference of the URL, around mid-March 2001. Kentar eventually met a similar fate as Luna (albeit temporarily), being fired from the site for arguing over the chat room with Jim. The message boards were eventually deleted completely by Jim after a couple of inane comments by MegaManX (just a poster at that time) provided the excuse Jim was waiting for to delete the boards once and for all, even though X wasn't staff.

ShaheenJim opened his Castlevania 2 Shrine in late March, but shortly thereafter he must have been notified of the URL switch. One must compliment the speed with which he reacted. He reserved himself a new URL, and got a new server. He also "informed" everyone on the RPGC main page and in his newsletter that (to quote his last newsletter, get ready for more lies) "As we no longer cover only classic games, the address of the website (formerly http://www.rpgclassics.com) has changed. Change all your bookmarks to http://rpgshrines.com. The old address will stop working soon."

Jimís Last Gasp and the New Beginning:

The old address however did not stop working, and the redirect to our new server was soon complete. April 10, 2001 can be considered the opening day of RPGC's new doors, as Mr. Saturn's new, friendly, light-blue layout greeted everyone's eyes. Gone were the old days of dark blue backgrounds and dropboxes, gone was the database (for now), gone was Jim's inefficient scripting, and with the new site came a host of new ideas, plans and optimism. As well, only the anonymous co-maintainer of the FF8 shrine, ACSRalphie, declined to join the "new" site (we had given every staffer the chance to leave if they wished, and take their info with them if they so desired). By April 14 the Charter was formally "ratified" in a staff meeting, by a unanimous decision of the attending staffers, and each of us prepared to tackle our new duties.

Jim however still had one card up his sleeve. He convinced the newest addition to the staff, Spop6 (whose Pokemon Yellow shrine was added just as the URL transfer was about to occur), that the staff had somehow cheated Jim, and convinced Spop6 to give Jim our server's password. ShaheenJim then tore down chunks of the site, and infused much of the rest of the site with porn in a rather childish effort to get our service to shut us down. Working together, Bahamut, Blizzard, Dragon Ninja, and Sinistral staved off his attack and discovered who the culprit was. The staff then began fixing what he sabotaged, and Merlin informed the server host that we were under essentially a hacker attack and would have the improper content fixed immediately. After the incident, not only did a number of staffers want to fire Spop6, but also he felt extremely guilty over the entire ordeal, and instead chose to resign from RPGC rather than exist under perhaps an eternal cloud of doubt.

Whatever happened to ShaheenJim you might be asking around now? Well, shortly before his hacking attempt, he knew that he had virtually no traffic coming to his new site, and tried to deftly convince us to put up a link to his site and he'd do the same for us. But because he continuously refused to take down the shrines, subsites etc. of the existing staff, we refused to help his new site out in any way. After his hacking attempt failed (it occurred roughly on the 15th of April), an almost complete loss of traffic, and due to the fact that he got worried over legal action etc., he quit. Citing the fact that he was "getting too old for games" he formally announced to Merlin on AIM that he was quitting on April 16, 2001 at 1:53 AM EST...

BalldeHorn:Hey.
Merlin3649:hi
BalldeHorn:http://rpgshrines.com
Merlin3649:oh god no I'm not allowed in, looks like I won't be able to view pirated information
BalldeHorn:Heheh. I deleted the site, you goofball. }|>
Merlin3649:oh, it said I was forbidden access
BalldeHorn:I guess that's its way of saying deleted. }|>
Merlin3649:where are you moving too?
BalldeHorn:I'm not.
Merlin3649:I'm sorry, repeat that
BalldeHorn:Heh. I'm giving up. }|>

In conclusion, Jim deserves some credit. Under his virtual-dictatorship not only did the site recover from being deleted but expanded as it never had before, with such huge additions as Cidolfas' FFCompendium; while the staff did make many of the contributions it was done under his unilateral command. He was a smart guy, and also an exhaustive worker, at various stages he ran virtually every management-aspect of the site, it was rare when he was not on ICQ. Unfortunately he corrupted the power he wielded. He kept most of the advertising money for himself (he admitted he made thousands off the site), and he refused to let his fellow staffers assist him. He often ignored advice and suggestions, and there are many other issues that people had with Jim that isn't worth discussing. Yet his biggest folly was that he continuously sank further and further into a delusion that the staff was powerless, that he held absolute control. It was unfortunate that he ultimately failed at his webmastering duties, so he had to be fired.

Thus ShaheenJim disappeared from the RPGC scene, and the site has carried on under its new system where any staffer is allowed, in fact encouraged, to contribute to the decision-making process.

RPGC Continues Marching On (April - July, 2001):

Once the new site was organized, the entire staff worked together to get the shrines up to snuff layout-wise, the last shrine being reformatted by April 29. The staff then got to work adding new sections.

On April 17, 2001 Drak and Rahvin joined with RPGC's own music radio station, eventually creating three different stations for listeners to tune into. RPGC's first new staffer since Jim's firing was Orakio, who joined on the first of May with the Phantasy Star III Shrine; he would later add a Sword of Vermillion, Legacy of the Wizard, and the Phantasy Star IV Shrines over the next couple months (PS4 on July 24).

Otakon then formally joined the site (he had been hanging around previously) with his Harvest Moon Shrine on May 12; he would later assist with the Lufia 2 Shrine, which Sinistral had earlier unveiled back in August of 2000. On June 12 Cidolfas added a Star Ocean 2: The Second Story Shrine, and Rirse joined the staff with his Actraiser Shrine on July 12.

Sadly, not everyone can stay with RPGC and a couple of people have left the site lately. First was Luna, she who was the first to drag the question "Who owns the shrines?" out into the open by (brazenly?) deleting her subsite back in late winter-spring 2001. The entire fiasco that evolved from that caused her to grow fearful over the control of her information and she resigned from RPGC on May 11, 2001 in order to try to develop her own stand-alone site. Death Lock also quit RPGC on June 10 because he couldn't find time to finish the Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Shrine like he wanted; Sephiroth Katana took it over on the 19th.


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