I've been an avid GSer for years, and a contributor to the site in many ways, including participating (and headlining) in Chalk Talk and the Awesome User Blogs community features. It should come as no surprise when I lament the removal and lack of clear direction of most of the site's community features. I'd love to know where they've gone and what plans GS has for nurturing the more mature side of the community here.
One feature that brought a lot of users together is blogging, and the ability to track blogs and have a separate feed for blogs was of great importance in fostering this sharing of knowledge and thought amongst many users, especially the more mature ones. I am sincerely hoping that this can be re-implemented in the near future.
Next, another feature having to do with blogs that also brought out the best in the community was the Soapbox and Awesome User Blogs. When I went to CBS Interactive's GameSpot offices over the summer to participate in a meeting of GS users, I was told by Mr. Anderson himself that the community would be highlighted in the site redesign, but I have yet to see evidence of this on the actual site itself, beyond some silly facebook and twitter posts that I don't see bringing users into the actual site itself. This was a big feature that really set GameSpot apart from the rest, and drew many users to contribute and share a wide variety of thoughts and ideas with the site, and it would be a very positive step forward if some iteration of this were implemented (with more control over postings from the community as there were some issues with the AUB and how some users handled it, in my humble opinion).
Lastly, it's my understanding that union boards have still not been carried over. I believe it was promised that union boards whose officers/leader submitted their union to be saved would be placed in the forums, and since it has taken so long without proper explanation of a timeline to set realistic expectations by the user base, this has caused quite an issue within the community. I understand that the numbers showed that unions are a minimal source of site traffic, but if the decision is actually to completely can them, it shouldn't have been promised that they would be transferred. Not setting clearer expectations on this front is causing unrest from users, many of whom have left, though there are still quite a few, from what I've seen, who are holding on and may bring back some of the dissenters should this promise be followed through on.
I do hope that GS lives up to their promises and delivers more on the community front; the community is what has set GameSpot at a higher level than the rest for so long and it would be a shame for this site to lose users through a concession of these valuable community features.